So I moved…

In my last post, I basically emotionally vomited all over the blog. If you read it, then it should not come as a surprise that I decided to move out. Luckily, I have the best friends in the whole world, and we were able to get all of my major belongings relocated in under an hour. I’ve been gradually unpacking and then going back to my house for things that I left. Hopefully, the move will be complete by the end of the week, but here is what I’ve got so far.

Props to Tinkerbell for her modeling talents.

Props to Tinkerbell for her modeling talents.

It’s still in progress, but I think it has potential. I am loving having my own space. Take a look at the picture of my refrigerator. It was sooooooo nice to be able to grocery shop, and buy whatever I wanted, and not have to worry about making it fit into my tiny corner of the fridge.

I wasn’t “allowed” to have plants before (my roommate said they would bring bugs into the house), so I may have gone a little overboard in the botany department. I’m especially fond of my tree. Hopefully I can keep him alive.

Home Sweet Hell

I’m heading back to school tomorrow and I am dreading it with every fiber of my being. This may seem like a strange remark considering how much time I spend writing about how happy I am with school. It’s true, I love my classes. I love being a group fitness instructor. I love teaching life time physical activity and fitness. I love reading research articles. I love discussing said research articles. I love my professors. I love my friends. I loooooove the teenagers that I have the opportunity to work with. So, what is my issue?

I’ve tried to keep it classy on the blog, but everyone who has had a conversation with me in the past four months know that I am unhappy with my living situation. The deal is my roommate hates me. I’m not over exaggerating. Seriously, haaaaaaates me. And my dog.

How could anyone hate these faces?

How could anyone hate these faces?

If you find yourself a little confused, don’t worry. You are not alone. I don’t understand it either. I feel like I have gone out of my way to try to accommodate her, I even had to pay her portion of the utilities last month and I did not complain (not to her face anyways).

I wish that I was a stronger person and I could shrug this whole thing off, and not let her opinion effect me. But I’m not like that. The status of our relationship (because you certainly cannot call it a friendship any longer) hurts my feelings on a daily basis. I feel uncomfortable in my own home. I’m there rarely, and when I am at home I’m locked up in my room. It sucks. Tinkerbell is miserable. I am miserable. The whole ordeal is not fun for anyone involved.

Home Sweet HellSo what am I supposed to do? I would like to move out, but our rental company will not allow me to find a sub-leaser. It would be worth it to me to to just pay the remainder of my lease on the hell hole and get my own place, but I’m afraid that she is going to move out and stop paying her portion of the rent (she’s already not paid me for her utilities), and then I’ll be completely screwed because there is no way I could pay my rent (at two locations) and hers.

It’s a sticky situation. I feel like there is no solution. I have no idea what the best course of action is, and after a month long hiatus I am not looking forward to putting up with her bologna again.

I realize that this is a personal post and has nothing to do with fitness. I’m telling myself that if I think of health in the holistic sense, then my personal sanity is relevant to this blog. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

An Exercise Psychology Student’s Thoughts on The Biggest Loser

The season premier of The Biggest Loser is tonight. As a professional in the field (or soon to be anyways), I have some conflicting emotions surrounding the show, that I want to share with you.

Biggest Loser Banner 2013The show has some positive qualities that make me supportive of it and excited to watch tonight.

MOTIVATION: I think that it can be inspiring for people who are also struggling with their weight. They see relatable people on TV losing weight and it causes them to think, “Hey maybe I can do that too!” The show has the capacity to reach MILLIONS of people- the impact it can have on people’s lives is huge!

REALITY CHECK: I think that the show serves as a wake up call for overweight individuals. While discussing the show with friends, numerous people have made comments such as, “I watched this HUGE person on TV with a myriad of health issues struggling to do basic exercise, and then I realized, ‘wow he/ she actually weighs less than I do’.” It has the power to make people realize that they may be in a more drastic situation than they realize.

PROMOTES NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS: I love love love that the contestants lose weight without diet pills, liposuction, or gastric bypass surgery. In an era where people are constantly on the lookout for quick fixes, and instant gratification it warms my heart to watch a reality TV show about hard work, and how that effort pays off in the end.

PROMOTES UNDERSTANDING: Finally, we live in a society where anti-fat bias is rampant. Without even realizing it people are judgmental of individuals who struggle with their weight and treat them differently and negatively. By showing the background story of contestants (WHY these people struggle with their weight), I think it can make us more sensitive and empathetic as a society.

Now that I’ve hit on some of the better qualities of the show, let’s talk about the things that make me less than enthusiastic about it.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: I can’t say for certain the truth of this statement (I’m not a producer, nor have I spoken to one), but I have read that a “week” on the biggest loser is not necessarily seven days; their “weeks” are a longer time frame. This explains how the contestants are able to lose so much weight so quickly. While this does make for more dramatic television, it gives people unrealistic expectations. I can see a situation where  someone watches the show, decides that they want to get healthier, and makes dramatic lifestyle changes. Our theoretical friend is very diligent with his new lifestyle changes. At the end of the week he is excited to step on the scale, but he is met with disappointment. You see he has “only” lost three pounds (a pretty standard amount). He gets frustrated and gives up. I don’t know anyone who this has happened to, but I can see how it very well could give people the wrong idea about how weight loss works, and backfire.

UNNECESSARILY HARSH: It makes me cringe to watch the begining of the season. The trainers push the contestants to the point that they become physically ill. They do this because it makes for dramatic and exciting television. From a health perspective, there is absolutely no reason for workouts to be so intense that it causes nausea. Aside from the fact that I feel badly for the people on TV, I think that the negative repercussions are even more extensive. I imagine viewers at home, who would like to get into better shape seeing these bouts of exercise and feeling completely intimidated. As a result they don’t attempt to become more physically fit. On the other side of the same coin, someone could witness these intense workouts, and think “Well I need to push myself like that.” They workout at an extremely high intensity one time with the best of intentions. The next day they feel like total crap. They are sore, achy and miserable. They decide that they just don’t have it in them to exercise after all and end up not following through with what could be a life altering  experience. Along this same line of thought, why do the contestants have to wear nothing but spandex and sports bras? I’m sure it is humiliating for them. I wouldn’t want to wear that attire in public either. We could just as easily see how heavy they are in fitted tanks and more flattering pants. I know that it’s because the show wants for the viewers to see the physical changes, but c’mon.  

I could go on (looking at both positives and negatives), but I’ve mentioned the aspects that I feel most passionate about. As someone who works with overweight/ obese adolescents I am especially interested to see how they integrate the teens into this season. I started watching some of the teenagers’ audition videos, but then I started crying in Starbucks (red face, tears, the whole shebang), so I had to stop before I drew too much attention to myself.

I will be watching tonight. Will you? What are your thoughts on the show? Love it? Hate it? Do you think I missed any important points? If so, please share I would love to know your thoughts!


***Disclaimer: I am not associated with the show in any way shape or form. All of the above information is my own personal opinion. Others in the field may (and likely do) disagree. I am just a student and have plenty to learn about these topics.***



January Goals

I said in my New Year’s post that rather than making a list of resolutions I was going to make short-term mini goals every month… then my google reader (understandably) exploded with blog post about goals, and I didn’t want to bore y’all with another list.

But now it’s January fifth and I still haven’t written anything and that makes for a crappy start to 2013. Now that I’ve written that completely unnecessary introduction, here is what I plan to do this month: Photo on 1-4-13 at 3.07 AM #5

  • Read every single word of this book: Run Less Run Faster. I’ve pretty much hit the meat and potatoes of it, and I plan to use the training plan from it to train for the Knoxville Marathon.
  • Create an Excel Spreadsheet to track my workouts.
  • Actually use the aforementioned spread sheet.
  • Get my rear in gear and start this training cycle so that I don’t have to be carried off the course on a stretcher (talk about embarrassing).
  • Write two blog posts a week.
  • Give my blog a makeover (I can actually already check this one off- check it out. Cute, right?)

I’m actually really really reallllllly into all these goals. Can’t wait to talk about them again on February first!

Thoughts on the Upcoming Year

I’m having a hard time getting into the New Year’s spirit this year. Every time I’ve tried to write a post about the upcoming year I feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. Normally I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but right now I just feel grumpy.

I think part of my issue is that 2012 was such a great year for me that I am sad to see it go. Also, I know that 2013 is going to be busy and filled with stress. This time next year I will have submitted PhD applications and I will be anxiously awaiting replies. I will have more responsibility with my research project, I will have proposed my thesis, and be preparing to defend it. In many ways, my career is dependent on my performance in this upcoming year.

In order to avoid sending myself into a panic, rather than making a huge list of resolutions for the entire year. I just want to take things month by month. I’ll make a list of mini goals every month and evaluate them as the year goes on- no pressure.

And now that I’ve written this post, I’ve actually come up with a resolution: Take care of myself. I don’t handle stress as well as I would like. I know that I am a much happier, friendlier, and productive person when I allow myself to relax and not get worked up and upset. I need to keep things in perspective, decide what is most important to me, and not ruminate over whether or not I’ve made the correct decisions.

I know that’s not a S.M.A.R.T. goal at all, but it’s what is in my heart right now. I don’t want for the things that I am passionate about to become stressful burdens; if I don’t put my own well-being first, then I know that is where I’m headed.

Good-Bye 2012! You were great.

Hello 2013! I’m as ready as I will ever be, so you can Bring. It. On.

This picture isn't really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!

This picture isn’t really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!