From the category archives:

Our Causes

NEDAwareness_2015_Shareable_Illusions_Monday

“I had no idea that the ‘perfect’ images I see every day are digital illusions.”

“I had no idea that my passion became my problem.”

“I had no idea that bullying can trigger an eating disorder.”

“I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick.”

“I had no idea that eating disorders don’t discriminate.”

“I had no idea…” This is the theme for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is February 22-28 (this week!)

I have gone through most of my life being fairly thin. But that does not mean my weight has never been an issue, at least not in a traditional sense… I’ve heard the words “You’re so thin, you need to eat!” probably more times in my life than I care to count. I know those saying this to me had good intentions (and for the record, I always ate just fine…), however the underlying connotation of hearing this so often drilled it into my brain that I had to be thin!

By the time I got to college, however, that thin frame I had always had started to get more “womenly” curves.  Jeans I’d always worn didn’t fit the same. Shirts began feeling a little too small. My size was changing, and this was a very tough pill to swallow.

I began feeling very self-conscious in a body I had always felt so comfortable in. I began blaming my bad days on my physical appearance. I even convinced myself that getting into better shape could save my near-the-end relationship of 6 years.  So I began following a strict diet plan, committed to intense workout routines, and took fat burning supplements.

Looking at me, would you have thought I needed to loose weight? Most likely not! I was a healthy weight for my height (honestly, probably underweight according to BMI standards.) In fact, I was still hearing that “You’re so thin!” spiel. But to me, the way my body looked was not acceptable. To me, I was no longer “thin,” as I had always been.

I was constantly comparing myself to pictures I saw it the health and fitness magazines I religiously read (because I was on a journey towards “health” after all.) But just as that first quote demonstrates, these pictures of “perfect” bodies were just setting me up for more self-criticism.

Then one day I realized that this journey I had been on towards “health” had been completely skewed! I stopped taking all those supplements, got out of that toxic relationship, traded in my dumbbells for a yoga mat, and stopped shaming myself whenever I “overate.”

Today, I am thankful for my health, and I love my body for all of the incredible things it does for me! I have learned that it really is my best friend, not my worst enemy! Are there still times I feel a little insecure? Do those thoughts come crawling through my mind every now and then? Sure, but not for long!

Now, my case would have be more “disordered eating” than an eating disorder, and thankfully I had an amazing support system to help it from escalating any further. Nonetheless, disordered eating is just as significant as an eating disorder, and it is important that we are aware of the signs for both cases!

Which is why there is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! So we can bring awareness to help the millions of people struggling with issues of body image. To help the “20 million women and 10 million men that suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.” And according to the ANAD, 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 19 and 25!!

95% of these people are college-aged! Not adolescents. Not dealing with the trials and tribulations of high school. College-aged, young adults. Just like I was when I began feeling so insecure and developing a negative relationship with food!

Although, this is not to say you shouldn’t be on the lookout for signs of eating disorders at any age. As the quote above says, “eating disorders do not discriminate.” Any person, any size, any social class, any age, any background. We are all susceptible. I was even a nutrition major, so you would’ve thought I’d known better! But none of us are immune to poor body image.

So what can you do? 

For You: Feeling crumby about your body right now? Write down the top 10 things you love about yourself, that are not related to how you look! Keep it by your desk or tape it to your mirror so it is always there to remind you how much you rock!

For Your Friends: Become a voice of positivism among your friends, and put a stop to group body shaming (you know that scene in Mean Girls..)

For Others: Visit NEDAwareness.org for ways to get involved in National Eating Disordered Awareness Week!

Also be sure check out the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park! It will be lit in green and blue in honor of NEDAwareness week!!

Think you may be suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating? Take this survey!

Also be sure to check out my personal health blog, The Wholey Trinity, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

What will you be doing to help promote awareness for NEDAwareness Week?

-XOXO Hannah

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Elizabeth

A Group Tribute

by Elizabeth on February 23, 2015

in Our Causes

On Thursday, February 19th, a comedian named Harris Wittels passed away. He was best known as a writer and producer for some of the best comedies of the best decade, including one of my all-time favorites, Parks and Recreation. Additionally, he was a great musician, performing in a band called Don’t Stop or We’ll Die, and his death leaves several shows unperformed. I never heard anything that wasn’t nice to describe him, by like-minded comics and friends with the pleasure to meet him alike. The night after his last stand-up performance, he overdosed in his home. He was pronounced dead at age 30.

Right before the school year started last year, on Friday, August 1st, my older cousin suffered in a similar way and passed away. He was a sweet, shy man born into a sweet, shy family. After falling into the wrong crowd at a young age, he became wrapped up in drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to know him well. He was 15 years older than me, and didn’t come to as many family events as we would’ve liked. He cared a lot about music and even more about his friends and family. After being sober for a long time, he tried drugs again for the last time. His brain swelled too big for his skull, and he passed a week later. He was 33.

Addiction is rough. It’s something a little curiosity and a try can turn into what takes your life, or at least part of it. I’ve been thinking about addiction a lot, between the year anniversary of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death to a friend of mine coming out as recovering. If you’re reading this and are struggling, know there’s sources of help and love. I’m not trying to preach, I just want to let anyone who needs it to know they can be helped.

Here is a list of help centers in the area.

Here is a center for more help advocating, finding help, and statistics.

Here is an interview Wittels did before he passed.

Good luck, friends.

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EJ

#WhyNotNow

by EJ on February 18, 2015

in Faith,Our Causes

It’s Fat Tuesday! Bon Appetit :))

Fontbonne enjoyed a three day weekend due to all the snow! A little snow in February is always a good thing but there seems to be some unusual weather patterns this new year. Many people have been talking about global warming over the past decade but is it really happening?

The Mauna Loa carbon dioxide record, also known as the “Keeling Curve,” is the world’s longest unbroken record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.  This record is taken near the top of Mauna Loa on the big island of Hawaii. It shows that carbon dioxide has been increasing steadily from values around 317 parts per million when Charles D. Keeling began measurements in 1958, to nearly 400 ppm today. A few things that effect this number are industry pollution, unnecessary consumer waste, inefficient energy sources, and forest destruction. Since the new year, the carbon (ppm) has decreased to around 395 but please take time to look over this website. While our actions today do not effect the our lives or the lives of our children, it is our grandchildren and the generations after that feel the full consequences of environmental change.

climate.nasa.gov/effects/

Simple things like not getting a receipt at McDonald’s, using online bank statements, turning off lights, televisions, and other electronics throughout the night when the house is left unattended, and even RECYCLING can help reduce the carbon parts per million and help our world with it’s sustainable future!

Please follow the Fontbonne Instagram – @fontbonneu !

Ev

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What is my major?.

In an earlier post I stated that I am currently studying Family Consumer Sciences, which is designed to help individuals, families, communities and much more, but my major is a branch of FCS, specifically called Family Policy & Advocacy. Now I will be honest and tell you that I am still in the learning process as to what my major entails. I know that I will work towards improving the quality of life for individuals in a given area in which I will reside. Additionally, I will aid families and communities as a whole since each group is affected by one another in some way shape or form. I will strive to make a difference with family and social issues that are present in the community around me. Going off of Fontbonne’s description for Family Policy and Advocacy majors, I will “promote social justice and stand up for human needs and rights on local, national and global levels.”

I will overall do what I can to help those around me like I have already stated. I know that I have several Social Work classes ahead of me, since I have social work commitments, which is not as stressful as the job of a social worker, or so I have been told. I still have more to learn about what I am to look forward to in this field, though am very excited!

 

Why you chose your major?

Well to be honest, I was in a situation where I was forced to switch majors. I wish not to go into detail as to why I was put in that situation though looking back on it, I am forever glad that such events occurred. I knew that I wanted to help people and give back to the community, plus knew that I had to have a passion for what I would do for the rest of my life, and I love working with children. Though recently I realized that yes, it is a good thing I love working with children, though is it more of my maternal instincts within me saying that I hope to one day have a family? The more I thought on that, the more I realized that I would burn out very fast if I ended up working in a work environment that was with children day in and day out and then come home to a family with multiple children – I would one day soon end up not giving all of my love and attention to both sides of the spectrum. I would be doing more harm to myself as well as those around me because I would have reached a burnout level too soon. So I looked deeper and asked myself what is it that I really like about what I do when I volunteer? I love helping people strive for greatness through personal relationships!

What you love about your major?

I realize that I must be repeating myself in this post, but I love how I can impact other people’s lives through my time? I love the moments that happen between me and someone else in need, and how those moments of genuine time spent make life so worth it.

http://www.fontbonne.edu/academics/undergraduate/departments/family-and-consumer-science/family-policy-and-advocacy-major/

 

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Volunteering Opportunities

by Sarah December 2, 2014

While attending Fontbonne University, I can honestly say that I love living in a city that has several volunteering opportunities at almost every corner you turn, not literally speaking though. Growing up, I was taught to give of my time and talents to those in need, whether that is through my church services or girl […]

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Student’s for Life presents Dead Man Walking

by Lauren September 29, 2014

Students for Life hosted a movie night of sorts last Wednesday. The movie was Dead Man Walking, a critically acclaimed film based off of true events undergone by Sister Helen Prejean. Sister Prejean is played by the talented actress Susan Sarandon. Sean Penn plays Matthew, a convicted murderer who seeks Sister Prejean’s guidance. I had […]

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We Are the Revolution

by Lauren September 23, 2014

These were the words uttered by a woman at the People’s Climate March, held on Sunday at Kiener Plaza. I thought that this would be appropriate topic to talk about. Firstly, because it is always an appropriate time to talk about climate change and its continuing impact on our environment, on our world. Secondly, because […]

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Help Yourself By Helping Others

by Alumni Posts April 30, 2014

Hello! Today, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on community service and its relevance to Fontbonne’s mission statement. • “Why is service so important?” Serving your community lets others know that you want to help change the world little by little while gaining a new perspective of life. Service, amidst being so important, […]

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (JK, I’m Talking About COLLEGE)

by Alumni Posts April 7, 2014

If I were to give a new student advice on how to survive college, the first word that would come out of my mouth is, “God.” It is crucial to have a backbone of faith – in something. By having faith in our Lord, you will have more faith in yourself. When you have more […]

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Recycle ALL the Things

by Alumni Posts February 10, 2014

Remember how I said I was Environmental Club president? Well, it’s time to get back on my game and start shamelessly promoting some events. First, we have our annual Recyclemania campaign running from February 2nd – March 29th, so there will be periodic trivia and prizes for that.  Recyclemania is basically a nationwide competition for […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.