From the category archives:

Our Causes

Rikia

Be Safe!

by Rikia on May 7, 2015

in Our Causes

To my fellow classmates,

I am sure you all may have heard, the body of SIUE student Taylor Clark has been found. I ask you all to be safe! I understand we are adults, and want to be free and do as we please, but please I beg you to watch your surroundings. He simply wanted to sell his car and he ended up losing his life.

Hug and give love and live. Be safe and enjoy your summer. I suggest we all take self defense classes over the summer!!!

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They say there is nothing better than food grown right in your own backyard…
 
Now, you can be the judge of that, with Fontbonne’s very own community garden!
 
The F.R.E.S.H.greens Garden, located in the courtyard of Southwest Hall, is underway for its 3rd growing season! Ground was broken for the garden back in 2012 and it is now complete with raised garden beds, compost bins, picnic tables, and even a pergola!
 
The garden was originally established to help support campF.R.E.S.H., a summer program held on campus that teaches middle schoolers about sustainability and fresh cooking. But that is not the only way the development is putting the “community” back in community garden.
 
F.R.E.S.H.greens Garden is open to the entire campus and all are welcome to pick from its bounty! Fontbonne’s food service director is even know to incorporate the garden’s produce into the menus from time to time (cool, huh?!)
 
However, the true beauty of the garden is that it brings the staff and students of Fontbonne together. “Getting involved with the F.R.E.S.H.greens Garden is a great way to meet new people and support a part of Fontbonne,” said Emily Basler, Student Garden Assistant. “The garden is a campus garden that anyone can go to at anytime.”
 
Looking for a little stress relief? The garden may be able to help with that! “Many research articles show that working in a garden can help with stress,” said Basler. “It is a great way to clear your mind of other worries for a while.”
 
Having a public garden is such a precious commodity on campus at Fontbonne, but it can only flourish with the support of the school community. “If we do not have people regularly taking care of it, we may no longer have that space,” said Basler.
 
No experience getting your hand dirty? No problem! “We appreciate any help in the garden. A person’s gardening skill level does not matter!” said Basler. “Getting involved with F.R.E.S.H.greens Garden is a great for all experience levels, whether you’re a newbie learning for the first time or a seasoned garden doing what you love!”
 
If you are interested in getting involved with Fontbonne’s community garden, be sure to sign up for one of the upcoming work days.
 
Be sure to stop by the garden over the next few months to see what may be sprouting. Or just to take out some stress on those well-deserving weeds!
-XOXO Hannah

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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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#WhyNotNow

by EJ February 18, 2015

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 […]

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Family Policy & Advocacy

by Sarah December 2, 2014

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 […]

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