We’ve all heard of the “Freshman 15” — the supposed 15 pounds a new college student might gain in their first year away from home and having the freedom to eat whatever and whenever their wallet allows. That need to make healthier decisions is one of the reasons that Sigma Phi Epsilon promotes the “Sound Body” ideal in the Balanced Man Program.
But what about life after college?
Alumni Anthony Reynolds (2005) and Tony Beal (2006) both saw a need to improve their nutrition and fitness regimen several years after graduation. They decided to do something about by creating an online challenge for other Tennessee Kappa alumni.
“A few years ago, Tony and I did a good job of losing weight and keeping each other accountable,” Reynolds said. “Nothing beats a good competition, so I thought why not help ourselves and create one.”
The rules for the challenge are simple. Every Monday, each brother reports their weight on a Google Spreadsheet (it’s the honor system). At the end of the 12-week challenge, the brother that has lost the greatest percentage of body weight wins the competition. They created a private Facebook group for participants to share their progress.
For this summer’s challenge, there are seven alumni logging their weights each week. Brothers can see immediately where they stand on the leaderboard. The Facebook group features the occasional motivational meme.
Participants live all over the country. They use diet and fitness tracking apps to help keep them on track.
“It’s always surprising the amount of camaraderie that can be formed online,” Reynolds says. “It’s great to reconnect with brothers and work hard to stay accountable.”