By Alana Pedalino
The holy, unhealthy trinity of Ramen, Easy Mac and pizza defines typical college foods. However, for senior music education major, Matthew Dohm, the holy trinity consists of Cobb salads, apples and bananas.
“I never realized the genius that is Cobb salad until my diet,” Dohm said. “I’m going to quote the comedian Jim Gaffigan for a second: ‘Bacon bits. They’re like the fairy dust of food.’”
Three years ago, Dohm gained the freshman 15 and then some, opting for the dining halls’ make-your-own pasta line over the fruits and vegetables bar. He weighed 210 pounds when he decided to make a lifestyle change last July. He started eating healthy, and over the course of four months, he dropped 55 pounds.
“This past fall for me, it was very important that I lost a lot of weight very quickly because I didn’t like the way that I looked,” he said.
Dohm’s transformation began with a reevaluation of his diet and exercise.
His diet cut out all grains, soda, sugary foods, desserts, cheese, milk and complex carbs, such as pasta, sandwiches, pizza and bread.
“Sugar is worse for you than fatty bread,” he said. “Sugar is a carb, it’s an addicting carb, and people don’t realize that until they stop trying to have sugar.”
Dohm also focused on his protein intake. He ate eggs, salads with ham and turkey, and meat and vegetables. Throughout the day, he would snack on fruit.
“I had a couple of rules for me. One of those rules was never be hungry,” Dohm said.
In addition, Dohm exercised for two hours a day, six days a week. He said he ran for an hour of his workout often while watching his favorite show Doctor Who.
“My secret was that I watched Netflix the entire time,” Dohm said. “I can’t run without watching something on TV because I get bored.”
The other hour was dedicated to free weights and core exercises, such as sit-ups or planks. But he never beat himself up if he couldn’t make it to gym and he always prioritized based on the kind of week he was having.
“As long as I shot for six days a week, I always hit four or five,” Dohm said.
Steadily, Dohm dropped seven pant sizes, and his friends said that was not the only change they noticed.
“After [Dohm] lost weight, he was still the same confident person, but it’s like he has so much more confidence now,” said Dohm’s friend, Alexis Anthony, a senior communications major.
Dohm’s peer, Richard Stevens, a senior sociology major, agreed.
“There’s definitely the sense of ‘something about [Dohm] has changed’ in a really positive way,” he wrote in an email. “He’s really happy.”