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college life

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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Hello fellow Fonties! Everyone in college, no matter what your major is, and how old you are, is going to feel overwhelmed more than twice in their college careers. My job here isn’t to be a buzz kill, I’m just being honest. The truth is, there will be moments in undergrad, where you will feel like eating an entire can of whipped cream (yes, I said whipped cream). Before that time approaches though, I have two fail proof ways to not loose your marbles…. and have a jolly good time while doing it. Yes, ladies, this post will protect your waistlines…. you don’t have to thank me.

1. Take one day off

When you’re a student, you probably have to deal with multiple responsibilities, and that’s life most of us have to. What I like to do is to take a day off from responsible me. For me, this day is every Friday.  On this day, I do nothing school related, I sit in my sweats and do my laundry.

2. Strengthen the vibe

Music has wonderful powers. It can get you through things that seem impossible and make the worst day ever, seem halfway decent. So when you feel like you can’t deal with the day anymore, put your headphones on, crank the volume way up, and let the vibe take you to new and unseen heights.

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It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, but since it’s my last semester, I hope you will indulge me as I prepare for the next step. Yes, I am graduating in May! It seems very surreal, but so does the rest of my life. After all, I am grateful that I was able to start a new life here.

I am watching “Fried Green Tomatoes,” one of my favorite films about the friendship of two women in the 1920s and how their story empowers a housewife set in the early 90’s (I think?) to emerge from the barren dust of her marriage to strengthen her confidence in herself and in others around her. I watched this film with a friend here at Fontbonne, and it’s remained a favorite since.

Last week, I walked through the passageway between East and Ryan Hall into a group of international students. I met them at the President’s International Student Reception the week before. My mood was rather sombre and stressed, so I did not stop to speak, but I said hello. And wow, what a hello back I received! All of them saw me, and just yelled, “HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” in different timbres, pitches, inflections, languages… you name it! It was as if I scored a goal in a football match. I mean, a soccer match. I walked away laughing, out of my sombre mood!

Though I cannot relate to being a bitter housewife, I can definitely relate to being in a rough situation when I started here. It’s moments like those where I can stop and remember how amazing the stories and efforts of others from times gone by are, along with the friendships and support I’ve received here. I have really come to fry my own green tomatoes… and eat them too.

 

 

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3 Quick Ways To Feel Less Stressed

Well Fontbonne, we are now about a month into the spring semester. Are you feeling the stress yet? Because I sure am! Assignments, readings, and projects are starting to pile up, on top of working two jobs and managing my social life (or at least pretending like I have one!)

But during these times, I remember my favorite quote, “Diamonds are made under pressure.” Who said it? Well… I don’t really know. But it is a powerful saying either way! By learning how to handle life’s stressors, we will truly be able to shine above the rest!

Here are some quick ways to help you defrazzle during a hectic week!

1. Take Deep Breaths

Next time you find yourself rushing to finish that paper, do a self-check. Are you breathing normally or taking short, sporadic breaths? I find when I am really having a stressful day, my breaths are very short and shallow. Sounds silly that we might have to remind ourselves to breathe, but by taking a few deep breaths we allow more oxygen into your body. This, in turn, slows down your heart beat and helps lower your blood pressure, helping us feel more relaxed. Simply inhale counting to 3 and then exhale counting to 3. Do this about 3 times to help you destress.

2. Laugh 

There are so many benefits to laughing, which is why I believe we should laugh every single day! One of those benefits is, in fact, that it helps us relax. Laughing helps lower the stress hormones in our bodies and helps loosen the tension in our muscles when stressed. So go search YouTube for some of those funny, cute cat videos! They always give me a good chuckle!

3. Exercise

We all know exercise is essential for overall health, but it can vastly improve your mood and stress levels as well! When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that help lift your spirits and reduce anxiety (also known as “Runner’s High.”) Even a simple 10-minute walk or a quick Sun Salutation can help reduce your stress!

What are some ways that help you relieve stress?!

Also, be sure to check out my personal blog, The Wholey Trinity, for more health and wellness tips!

-XOXO Hannah

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My Hectic Adult and College Student Life

by Rikia February 12, 2015

Hope everyone so far is having a great week:) So getting into my hectic adult and student life, it is a challenge but I do believe it is worth the struggle! Monday- Friday my mornings start at 5am. I work full time. Once my shift ends at 3pm I rush home to do a Jillian […]

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Finding Your Balance

by Dani February 12, 2015

College, jobs, family, friends, extra-curricular activities: a lot of college students juggle some or all of these things in their daily lives. The real challenge, however, is finding the right balance with everything and still find time to sleep. After almost three years of college life, I’ve come up with a few tricks of my […]

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“Naps are always a good thing!”

by EJ February 10, 2015

Hello, everybody — Fontbonne Lacrosse kicked off their season over the weekend with a big game against Rockhurst. They took a loss but they showed signs of a promising season behind Freshman goalie Seth Yance! In other news, the men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to 5 games and secured the 4 spot in […]

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Five Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

by Raven February 9, 2015

Hey there Fontys! Happy New Year! Well, I’m gonna get straight to the point, the life of an undergrad can get pretty stressful. I mean, with all the things we have to deal with on a regular basis, a little self care can quickly fall by the wayside. I can admit that even before I […]

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What Really Goes Down Behind the Walls of Fontbonne University

by Sarah December 1, 2014

What do you wish you knew before you came to Fontbonne? Would you like the honest truth? – I wish I knew how difficult finding a parking spot can be depending on what day of the week as well as the time of day.  It is really truly hard to believe how Fontbonne is primarily […]

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Final Countdown

by Sarah December 1, 2014

Oh my goodness, what else can be said for the final weeks of school?! Well for starters, all I know is that I have less than 5 days left in each of my classes, actually much less than that overall. Once Thanksgiving Break comes and goes, everything literally is a blur for academics to be […]

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