For most people, spending $25 to $30 dollars a week on fast food seems almost ridiculous. For Jared Fogle, the Subway guy, it was a daily routine. Fogle came to Castleton on Sept. 17 to speak about how important being healthy truly is and how he reached his goal.
Tipping the scales at 425 pounds, Fogle was morbidly obese.
“Maybe one day [these pants] will be in the Smithsonian,” said Fogle, starting off the speech holding up what looked to be a specially made pair of size 60 pants.
Fogle grew up in Indianapolis, Ind. Until around fourth grade, he was the typical kid who liked to play sports, hang out with friends and play outside.
Around fourth grade, however, Fogle admitted he became heavily into video games. He claimed he would spend hours upon hours playing and he quickly lost interest in exercise related activities.
Once he got into high school, his confidence level had been completely shot down. He resorted to food for comfort.
“In high school, getting my license was not about being able to hang out with friends and going to parties, it was about being able to get fast food any time of the day and no one had to know,” Fogle said.
His grades began to drop with his confidence, although not to the point where he couldn’t get into Indiana University.
Little known fact: Indiana University was the first university in America to have a full service McDonald’s, open until 3 a.m., Fogle said. And he admitted that the ability to ride an elevator down to a McDonald’s open that late did him no justice.
Fogle’s obesity quickly began to be very deadly. He developed sleep apnea. One night, his roommate recorded his snoring and how bad it was. Fogle said this was when he knew he had to change is life.
He moved off campus into a small studio apartment, sharing a common wall with you guessed it, a Subway shop. At the age of 20, Fogle began his Subway diet. He ate two subway meals a day: turkey sub for lunch, veggie sub for dinner and no condiments, of course.
He also ate baked chips and diet drinks. Within the first three months, he lost 94 pounds.
“Obviously, I didn’t start off wanting to be the Subway guy, it wasn’t my plan,” Fogle said.
His story, however, rapidly became known. Within a year, Fogle lost 245 pounds. “It was amazing to walk by people I hadn’t seen in months who literally didn’t recognize me.”
One of Fogles’ buddies wrote about him in the school paper, and from there Fogle’s life changed forever. He recalled seeing a line of people wrapped around the Subway building one day, each holding the article, and that was just the beginning. The story was picked up by the local paper and soon made national headlines.
Fogle said he tried multiple diets and the Subway one just worked for him. That’s not to say the Subway diet is for everyone, however. He also said exercise is key to losing weight, and being able to keep the weight off is part of the challenge.
Deb Choma, Castleton’s school nurse, believes Castleton does promote the healthy lifestyle Fogle so passionately preached about.
“Yes, I believe Castleton students are very healthy because Castleton State College is a very healthy environment,” said Choma.
Choma added, however, that a quarter to a third of CSC students gain the “freshman 15.” She continued on to say, however, that the weight gain isn’t hazardous to health and is typically lost during later years of college.
The weight gain is caused by numerous factors including food availability, depression and home sickness, she said. Choma also believes the school’s cafeteria, Huden Dining Hall, does promote a healthy lifestyle, contrary to most students’ beliefs.
“Not once has anyone gotten sick from Huden food in the 15 years that I have been here,” she said.
Could Huden actually be a healthy place to eat, offering healthy choices that tie into Jared Fogle’s beliefs about eating right?
Pete Merritt, head of Aramark Food Services at Castleton, says yes.
“There’s plenty of healthy food, people just don’t make healthy choices,” Merritt said, referring to the food at Huden Dining Hall.
Merritt is a firm believer in the idea that as long as the healthy options are available, it’s up to each individual to make the right choice as to what they will eat.
Merritt believes, much like Choma, that a lot of the weight gain in college is due to the availability of food. He also added that many people may not try new things and stick to comfort foods such as burgers, fries, and pizza.
Compared to other schools’ food services, Merritt believes Aramark is just as good. He admits he has been to other colleges and seen better, but in retrospect, he has noticed Aramark being better in some ways as well.
Students tend to find it difficult to either hate or like the food at Huden.
“The food is good, but it could be prepared better,” said Daniel Skurat, a sophomore at CSC. He also went on to say that some of the food actually is healthy.
Mike Gurman, a sophomore at CSC, believes there are a few healthy options, but still not enough food overall to choose from. When asked what could be changed to Huden to give it a better menu, Gurman said, “Get better bacon!