Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dorm Room Workout!

We all know how hard it can be to get over to the Rec center in between our many other daily activities. Although going to the Rec is a great place to get a good workout, some may find the environment to be competitive, intimidating, or just uncomfortable. Our goal with this video is to give you some ideas as to how you can workout in the comfort of your own dorm room. In this video, you'll see "dips," which target your triceps, some weight training to target your shoulders, "squats," to target your quads, hamstrings and gluts, and "planks," and "toe-touches," to target your abdominal muscles and lower back. Best of all, all of these exercises require NO WEIGHTS! Take a look to see what we came up with to help you stay healthy without leaving your room!

XOXO, Mayfield 1

Body Image Programs at Other Universities

In one of our first blog posts, our Mayfield offered the results of a body image survey done throughout Vanderbilt's campus.  One of the most upsetting statistics was that approximately 50% of Vandy's students are less happy with their appearance and body image since coming to Vanderbilt.

Vandy is not alone in this disturbing statistic; other colleges across America have seen issues with body image amongst students and thus started body image programs as a resource for students.  After some research we were particularly impressed with Brown University's program; Brown has developed an extensive website devoted to health education and Body Image, definitely check it out!  Here's an excerpt from their website which discusses ways to boost your body image.

What can we do to boost body image?

  • Talk back to the media. All media and messages are constructs – NOT reflections of reality. We can choose to use a filter that helps us to understand what an advertiser wants us to believe and then choose whether we want to believe that message. We can also talk back when we see an ad or hear a message that makes us feel bad about ourselves.
  • De-emphasize numbers. Neither weight nor Body Mass Index tell us anything substantial about body composition and health. Eating habits, activity patterns, and other self-care choices are much more important. For a more complete discussion of healthy weight, see our page on Weight Concerns.
  • Stay off of the scale. It’s really hard to cultivate an attitude of body acceptance and trust when you are basically climbing on the scale to ask if it’s OK to feel good about yourself that day. It is ALWAYS OK to feel good about yourself – don’t let a machine tell you any differently.
  • Realize that you cannot change your body type : lightly muscled, bulky, or rounded, you need to appreciate your body and work with your genetic inheritance. As UCLA SNAC says, “Instead of thinking of it as a limit, think of it as your personal best.”
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Your physiology is unique to you; you can’t get a sense of your body’s needs and abilities with someone else’s body as a reference point. And the research has shown that frequent comparing tends to increase negative body image.
  • Limit the “body checking” that you do throughout the day. Researchers have also found that negative body image is reinforced by lots of time in front of the mirror, or frequent checks of (perceived) body flaws. Instead, consider rearranging your living space so that you aren’t running into full-length mirrors every time you turn around.
  • Move and enjoy your body – not because you have to, but because it makes you feel strong, energized, and peaceful. Walking, swimming, biking, dancing, Ultimate Frisbee – there are many activities that emphasize pleasure rather than controlling your body.
  • Spend time with people who have a healthy relationship with food, activity, and their bodies . It will make a difference in how you feel about these issues – and yourself. Also, remember to set a good example for others by refraining from “fat talk” when you are with friends and family. Think of it as the psychic equivalent of second-hand smoke: you don’t want other people exposed to that, right?
  • Practice thought -stopping when it comes to negative statements about yourself.Distract yourself, refuse to get into the comments, and focus on what you like about yourself instead. You CAN reprogram your self-talk about your body, and positive statements are needed to replace the old messages. This approach works over time, even if the positive self-talk feels awkward or forced in the beginning.
  • Nurture your inner self . Body image is linked to self-esteem for men and women both, so engaging in pastimes that leave you feeling good can actually help you to feel comfortable in your own skin. Particularly helpful are activities that are relaxing, soothing, spiritual, or that allow us to connect to others. Remember: when we don’t have ways to manage stress or anxiety, we are more susceptible to being critical of our bodies.
  • Question the degree to which your self -esteem depends on your appearance. Although we are repeatedly told “Change Your Shape and Change Your Life,” basing your happiness on this foundation is likely to lead to failure and frustration, and may prevent you from exploring ways to truly enhance your life.
  • Broaden your perspective about health and beauty. Read books about body image, cultural pressures, or media literacy. Google some fine art images on the Web. Fine art collections show that a variety of bodies have been celebrated throughout the ages and in different cultures. Fine art doesn’t exist to create a need for a product, so it isn’t intended to leave you feeling inadequate or anxious. And spend some time with the new research on weight and health listed in our resources section – you’ll be pleasantly illuminated.
  • Recognize that size prejudice is a form of discrimination similar to other forms of discrimination. Assumptions that shape and size are indicators of character, morality, intelligence, or success are incorrect and unjust. Celebrate people you know who fly in the face of these generalizations.
XOXO, Mayfield 1

Vanderbilt Dining Nutrition Information

Hello everyone!

Our Mayfield was doing research on the healthy eating options available on campus, and we came across a nutrition calculator for Vanderbilt Dining.  It lets you plan meals at almost all of its dining locations and gives info on all the major nutritional categories, making it easier to eat tasty, healthy meals!  Check it out if you haven't seen it already!


XOXO, Mayfield 1

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A 'Royal' Issue: Negative Body Image

It's hard to miss all the news surrounding Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming nuptials---if you bought magazines this past week to pass time while traveling to your Spring Break destinations, then you probably saw Kate on many covers (I must admit I bought a 'People' magazine  with her on the cover for my flight).  

However, the Royal Wedding isn't the only subject in which the future princess is making headlines-- a Huffington Post article draws attention to Kate's recent rapid weight loss, investigating possible health consequences for the 'already thin' princess.  Some articles argue that Kate's weight loss could hurt more people than just Kate; Kate's celebrity status poses further health implications and risks, as much of the public looks up to her and her decisions.  CBS recently posted an article titled, "Kate Middleton:  Is the Slim Bride-to-be Sending Girls the Wrong Message?"  

I think these articles bring up some interesting issues to consider/reflect upon.  For instance, I think CBS offers a valid point and problem; many young girls look up to Kate and might try to emulate her weight loss in spite of its health implications.  Whether celebrities want to be role models or not, the fact of the matter is that many people look up to celebs and are influenced by their decisions.  I notice I can sometimes slip into negative thinking in regards to my own body image after seeing super thin celebrities lose more and more weight.  But one thing that pulls me out of such negative thinking is when I look at the before/after pictures of the celebs.  To me, Kate Middleton has always been beautiful--and personally I think she looked healthiest before she lost weight.  And bottom line, being healthy is far more important than being super thin-- healthy, happy people exude an undeniable beauty and strength.

Just came across those articles and thought they were interesting--this was my personal reflection, I'd love to hear your reactions too- feel free to comment!

XOXO, Mayfield 1

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Beautiful Me

Jessica Simpson: A Beautiful Me

     Jessica’s experience during the filming of The Price of Beauty was so transformative that she decided to launch an initiative to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. Geared toward youth in elementary school through college, A Beautiful Me is a collaborative movement with Operation Smile and Jessica to help youth believe in themselves and use their personal strength to change the world.
     This movement encourages young people to take a personal oath to identify their inner beauty and unique qualities, recognize their strengths and realize that they can make a difference. Jessica Simpson and Operation Smile will develop tips and interactive tools that will help young people take this newfound inner strength and share what they’ve learned to empower others to do the same. Through events and online engagement opportunities, students will help raise awareness within their community about Operation Smile and its mission to bring smiles to children around the world.

A Beautiful Me creator Jessica Simpson in Kenya
Jessica Simpson and friend Ken Paves with Operation Smile’s medical volunteer team in Kenya.

February Aerobics Schedule

This is a link to the February Aerobics Schedule that are offered through the Vanderbilt Student Recreation Center. As schedules are released, they will be posted on our blog for each month. Hope to see you there!

"It's Time to Talk About It"

February 20-26 is the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  The aim of
NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment.

This year, NEDA asked everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders.  Jenni Schaefer, Ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association recounts the importance of spreading such awareness:

When I was struggling, I can only imagine what a simple message about recovery from a stranger—online or in person—could have done for me. I might have gained the courage to break through the denial and get help sooner than I did. Of course, I can’t go back and change my past, but I can be grateful for ultimately achieving a full recovery. And I can also do one thing now to help others. Won’t you join me?” –Jenni Schaefer, Ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association

There are many ways to raise awareness; NEDA suggests attending an awareness event, using twitter or other social media to spread awareness, or even simply talking to a friend.  For more information about National Eating Disorder Week, please visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.  Also, consider visiting NEDA’s facebook page.