Category Archives: UMASS

Calling All Runners and Athletes!

And just like that, we are almost done with Moan-Day! I got this from Caitlin’s (Healthy Tipping Point) post this morning, made me laugh πŸ™‚

I am currently sitting in one of my favorite places ever, Barnes and Noble!!!, and writing a paper. Let me first say that Barnes and Noble, Borders, or really any other book store, is my favorite place to do work. There is usually a cafe, plenty of books if I need references, and when I need a break- people watching is the best!

The only problem is being distracted by huge magazine rack, or really any other book available to read. Must. Focus. Now.

While I am procrastinating actually writing this paper, I am thinking about it at least! This is for my Nutrition and Public Health class and I am researching about a subject near and dear to me, disordered eating among female athletes. I am focusing on college-level athletes, but also am discussing the trends among regular ones, although only in women (sorry guys!).

If you Google, “disordered eating and athletes,” there are overwhelming results. Overall, these indicate there are higher levels of eating related issues among female athletes as compared to those that are more inactive. This makes sense to me: there are pressures not only from our society to become thin, but also there are certain sports that put pressure on performers to meet a certain weight criteria.

Running is a sport largely related to this. Many elite female runners are lean, mean, fighting machines, with very little body fat.

 

Elite Runners Before a Race

A person that is attempting to get to elite levels might draw the conclusion that the thinner you are= the faster you run. Although there have been studies that showed how weight loss does impact race times, these are only geared toward people that have some extra weight to lose. Check out this Runner’s World article for a more detailed explanation.Unfortunately, some women may learn this information and take it into the extreme, leading to a restrictive calorie intake and setting themselves up for menstrual loss and osteoporosis at a young age.

From personal experience of being a member of my school’s cross country and track team, I have seen the pressure to be thin among my teammates. I can remember on the very first day of practice, a girl was there that was so thin, her legs looked like sticks and she was shivering in the 80-degree weather of September. Eventually she admitted to restricting because she though it would make her run faster. With intervention methods such as requiring her to eat a specific number of calories and education on adequate nutrition and sports performance, she has recovered, gained weight and is running quite fast now.

I have also succumbed to the pressures of meeting a certain weight, as I have discussed in my “About Me” page and “Running” page. Although my obsession with food occurred long before i began runner, last summer I figured losing weight meant I would run faster. Initially this did occur, but my inadequate calorie intake caught up with me and I was constantly feeling fatigues and my performance steadily got worse.

Too Thin For ME!

When an athlete goes on a “diet” and begins to restrict their intake, it actually might look like they are eating normally. Yet they are not taking in adequate calories to meet the demands of their practices or training runs, and their performance will inevitably decline.

For example, on days when I go on my long runs, I now eat like a horse after! I am usually so hungry the entire day and continuous snacking on proper nutritious items helps me to recover. I might look like I am eating excess amounts to a non-athlete, which is why this could go unnoticed from someone who is suffering with food-related issues.

So for my essay, I would love to hear other people’s stories or opinions on this! Beyond influence from images of our culture in magazines, TV, Internet, etc, have you ever felt pressure as an athlete to look a certain way for the sport? Or have you seen this among friends?

4 Comments

Filed under Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Fitness, Fuel, Recovery, Running, Serious Stuff, UMASS

It’s a Saturday Night…

(*Side Note: A difficult relationship with food and accepting my body has prevented me from enjoying so many things life has to offer, here is yet another example)

I apologize in advance. This post is all over the place, I just needed to type what is currently on my mind! Sorry it’s a bit depressing as well!

And I am sitting in my room at my desk doing some homework, reading blogs, and listening to Food Network on TV in the background. This situation is quite ideal for me, it’s relaxing, somewhat productive, and comfortable. And yet, something is bothering me as I sit here, getting ready to change into pjs, I am a 21 year old college student who rarely goes out, has minimal close friends, and prefers being alone.

I am the kind of person that thrives off of routine and maintaining control. This often occurs around food, hence why I have had such struggles with disordered eating. The idea of being spontaneous, or “going with the flow” are so foreign to me. I fear being in situations where I have little control, and this does not go well with partying in college.

“Going out” at least for me and the people I know, usually involves hearing about some house/frat/sports party that is somewhere off campus, that maybe will be fun, which could possibly let you in, and oh yeah, it’s going to be so crowded it will be like trying to socialize in a sardine can. Sounds fantastic right?

I don’t want to sound like a complete sourpuss though! I have had plenty of fun nights in college. Going out with my track team is usually a great time, where the number of people is somewhat controlled and I can get my groove on :). I also have been out to a few bars since turning 21, and that has been great too! There have been nights where I have thought, “oh the hell with it, I am going to do whatever anyone wants to do” and those have turned out to be fun as well.

However, there have been so many more where I have struggled to get somewhere and it is too crowded to get in, or the police just broke up the party, etc and we are forced to either go somewhere else or figure out a way home. I have not had a successful or fun night in so long, and at this point weekends aren’t really something to look forward to, well getting a break from classes is nice.

Also, I want to meet a great guy and my past experiences have really set me back of wanting to pursue anything with a man. There have been some guys who I have really liked, things were going well and suddenly they drop off the face of the earth. Other times, they claim I am giving off the “I want a relationship vibe” when all they want to do is hook-up. These are such crappy excuses and I have yet to find a guy that is a genuine person and isin’t just interested in f*cking me (to be blunt). I see so many people with great boyfriends and spouses and am jealous, I want it too! I just want to be respected for once.

I’m sure if I looked, I would find something to do. But it’s always the same thing. Pre-game aka drink excessively starting around 9:30 pm, figure out your destination, make plans in a drunken state to get there, arrive at location usually around 11:30 or 12, perhaps get in, and talk to other people that are most likely as or more drunk than you. I am usually so sleepy by that time that all I want to do is go back to my room and get in bed (unless the party is a raging time, rarely it is!)

This is something I should admit: I do drink sometimes, but it’s not too appealing to me and I mostly don’t like “wasting” my calories on alcohol. Hello disordered thoughts! I can still go out and not drink and have a great time, but the main reason I decide not to is so I don’t gain weight. I am able to recognize this part of my irrational thoughts and everything in moderation is the key to happiness, including alcohol. Realistically, alcohol is a huge part of our social lives and culture so I have accepted this and am fine with it. I just want to get to a point where I feel comfortable drinking a bit, and not always thinking about my god damn weight! This goes to food as well.

Being social takes effort as well. I sometimes am simply too tired to put up a front and act like I am having a great time. It’s easier to be alone. (I know this sounds a bit like Depression, I am dealing with this πŸ™‚ )

I know so many of my feelings are related to wanting to stay in my comfort zone, so I can eat, drink, do and go to bed when I want and not be concerned with others. This is a ridiculous and boring way to live in my opinion, and I often feel I am wasting my youth. I know to meet more people, and perhaps a genuine great guy, I need to go out. But my own fears, the countless setbacks and the times it hasn’t been fun, prevent me from haivng any motivation to get ready and go out.

So hear I am, purging my thoughts and striving to find a way to overcome my own thoughts and actions.

*Any suggestions and can anyone relate?

11 Comments

Filed under College, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Recovery, School, Serious Stuff, UMASS, Weight

It's a Saturday Night…

(*Side Note: A difficult relationship with food and accepting my body has prevented me from enjoying so many things life has to offer, here is yet another example)

I apologize in advance. This post is all over the place, I just needed to type what is currently on my mind! Sorry it’s a bit depressing as well!

And I am sitting in my room at my desk doing some homework, reading blogs, and listening to Food Network on TV in the background. This situation is quite ideal for me, it’s relaxing, somewhat productive, and comfortable. And yet, something is bothering me as I sit here, getting ready to change into pjs, I am a 21 year old college student who rarely goes out, has minimal close friends, and prefers being alone.

I am the kind of person that thrives off of routine and maintaining control. This often occurs around food, hence why I have had such struggles with disordered eating. The idea of being spontaneous, or “going with the flow” are so foreign to me. I fear being in situations where I have little control, and this does not go well with partying in college.

“Going out” at least for me and the people I know, usually involves hearing about some house/frat/sports party that is somewhere off campus, that maybe will be fun, which could possibly let you in, and oh yeah, it’s going to be so crowded it will be like trying to socialize in a sardine can. Sounds fantastic right?

I don’t want to sound like a complete sourpuss though! I have had plenty of fun nights in college. Going out with my track team is usually a great time, where the number of people is somewhat controlled and I can get my groove on :). I also have been out to a few bars since turning 21, and that has been great too! There have been nights where I have thought, “oh the hell with it, I am going to do whatever anyone wants to do” and those have turned out to be fun as well.

However, there have been so many more where I have struggled to get somewhere and it is too crowded to get in, or the police just broke up the party, etc and we are forced to either go somewhere else or figure out a way home. I have not had a successful or fun night in so long, and at this point weekends aren’t really something to look forward to, well getting a break from classes is nice.

Also, I want to meet a great guy and my past experiences have really set me back of wanting to pursue anything with a man. There have been some guys who I have really liked, things were going well and suddenly they drop off the face of the earth. Other times, they claim I am giving off the “I want a relationship vibe” when all they want to do is hook-up. These are such crappy excuses and I have yet to find a guy that is a genuine person and isin’t just interested in f*cking me (to be blunt). I see so many people with great boyfriends and spouses and am jealous, I want it too! I just want to be respected for once.

I’m sure if I looked, I would find something to do. But it’s always the same thing. Pre-game aka drink excessively starting around 9:30 pm, figure out your destination, make plans in a drunken state to get there, arrive at location usually around 11:30 or 12, perhaps get in, and talk to other people that are most likely as or more drunk than you. I am usually so sleepy by that time that all I want to do is go back to my room and get in bed (unless the party is a raging time, rarely it is!)

This is something I should admit: I do drink sometimes, but it’s not too appealing to me and I mostly don’t like “wasting” my calories on alcohol. Hello disordered thoughts! I can still go out and not drink and have a great time, but the main reason I decide not to is so I don’t gain weight. I am able to recognize this part of my irrational thoughts and everything in moderation is the key to happiness, including alcohol. Realistically, alcohol is a huge part of our social lives and culture so I have accepted this and am fine with it. I just want to get to a point where I feel comfortable drinking a bit, and not always thinking about my god damn weight! This goes to food as well.

Being social takes effort as well. I sometimes am simply too tired to put up a front and act like I am having a great time. It’s easier to be alone. (I know this sounds a bit like Depression, I am dealing with this πŸ™‚ )

I know so many of my feelings are related to wanting to stay in my comfort zone, so I can eat, drink, do and go to bed when I want and not be concerned with others. This is a ridiculous and boring way to live in my opinion, and I often feel I am wasting my youth. I know to meet more people, and perhaps a genuine great guy, I need to go out. But my own fears, the countless setbacks and the times it hasn’t been fun, prevent me from haivng any motivation to get ready and go out.

So hear I am, purging my thoughts and striving to find a way to overcome my own thoughts and actions.

*Any suggestions and can anyone relate?

11 Comments

Filed under College, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Recovery, School, Serious Stuff, UMASS, Weight

Fun Sayings and Thoughts on Lunch

As I was sitting in my 4:00 class today, the kid that was sitting next to me reminded me of a few favorite quotes and sayings I use on a daily basis. This may sounds weird, but I have realized I have several particular things that I say to my mom, my best friend Danielle, brothers and a few other people and also say that in a strange way…does that make any sense? haha perhaps not! πŸ™‚

Back to class, so this guy next to me kept doing a loud and obnoxious yawn every few minutes, shuffling his feet and feeling the need to deeply sigh. I tried ignoring him and listening to the professor, but the antsy moves were “Grinding My Gears!” <— I love that one, “you know what really grinds my gears?” or “this really grinds my gears!” Yeah you get it, it’s surely a fun way to express frustration!

Another one, “tickles my/your fancy?” At dinner tonight, Danielle exclaimed that the ice cream she was eating was tasty, so I asked her, “Does it tickle your fancy!?” Also what we both like to do is call each other the strangest…err.. pet names while texting. For example (in a text), “Good morning, shnookums, pumpkin cheesecake pie, honey blossom, cherry pie in my eye, dearest, lovely lady, sexy lady, pretty lady….” I could go on but shall spare you! πŸ˜€ She is such a good friend and we are constantly “On the Prowl” aka searching for guys, “big game hunting” all referring to the hunt for a man! Ha!

This is a one I used often during this past cold, freeing-death winter, “I’m freezing my tits off!” Not sure where that one came from, but it always produces a chuckle and gets your point across.

My brothers names are Russell and Tucker. When I say hi to Russell or write an email/text to him, I address him as “Ruski” and I’m “Teski” With Tucker it can be a number of things, “T-Money, Tutter, Tucky, T-Mon…” Sometimes I am simply, “sister” πŸ™‚

Well if you read that whole thing, I hope you don’t think I am completely nuts. Do you have any fun/quirky sayings you exchange with family and friends?

I also wanted to mention my lunch today. I really like to have at least one huge salad per day to get in lots of veggies and I really do enjoy them. As I have been recovering, my salads have gotten even more delicious! The one day was especially loaded, and it gave me plenty of fuel for that midterm I had (errr, didn’t go so well :-/) Fondly referred to as a “salad beast” and contained:

  • Spinach
  • Tons of tomatoes (love)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Heaping scoop of cottage cheese
  • Sunflower seeds, have to get those fats in!
  • Kidney beans
  • Ketchup <– I use this as dressing for my salad. I love ketchup and on a salad= magical combination, give it a try sometime!

I also had a nice side of fruit: grapes and honeydew!

<– Salad bar at my favorite dining hall

This was my first time taking pictures of my food and public and it definitely made me feel a bit weird! I tried to snap a pic as quickly as possible (hence lame pictures) but am going to work on my photo skills.

I can honestly say I enjoy the food here at school! UMASS has really come a long way with promoting healthier options, such as ones that are lower fat, less sodium, grown locally, and there are several vegan and vegetarian options. The salad bar is my favorite and there is always fresh fruit available, bananas, apples, grapes, various berries, watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe and pineapple. The fried and fatty foods and desserts are still there, but people really have options and have to make choices for themselves to choose items that are better for them. It is all about balance, something I need to continue telling myself!

The school is really working to improve the health status among the students. Besides providing nutritionally balanced foods, they also have several opportunities that provide education on healthier foods and fitness. For example, the Dining Services are hosting a 5k this Saturday, the “Dash and Dine” to raise money and get people moving! It is for the school and community so anyone can participate. I plan to run with a friend and I’m psyched!

As a Public Health major, seeing the work that UMASS does shows there is hope for the future, and the weight issues our country is experiencing can he overcome.

Phew! This post turned out much longer than I anticipated! But once I start writing, it doesn’t stop, like word vomit! (another gross fun phrase :D)

Anyone in school, how is the food there? Or work/offices? Are balanced foods available?

2 Comments

Filed under College Tips, Family, Favorite Foods, Friends, Funny, Lunch, Public Health, School, UMASS