Monthly Archives: January 2013

Love… My Body?

It’s Love Your Body week.


I remember the first time I heard of this while attending UND. I just laughed.
“Me? Love this?! Umm… OK. Let me get back to you.”

You see, I lost 130 pounds, and although a very large part of me has gone away (literally)… I still have a lot of reminders of my former self.

My skin hangs. And stretches. And it’s covered in stripes that used to be red, angrily declaring that my skin was being asked to take on more than it was capable, and are now (thankfully) a flesh color.
It’s not pretty, and most days it doesn’t make me proud.

At times I happily claim it as my “weight loss trophy.” But then there are those times when I’m with people who don’t know my story… and all I can think about is the possibility that they might think that I have really odd-shaped rolls and a very “unkempt” body.

The truth is that I go to the gym most days of the week. Exercise is such a great release and escape for me. Make no mistake- I work out! And for years people told me that if I lifted weights and did sit-ups they were SURE my skin would “bounce back.”
Well… I tried that… and it didn’t.

Option 2 was surgery to remove the excess skin. It’s a very dangerous procedure, and the thought of them slicing and dicing, and then stitching me back together like a rag doll is extremely nerve-wracking.

So. Here I sit. With my loose skin.

About a year ago, I made a conscious decision to quit weighing myself. It had become a way for me to determine my mood and the kind of day I was going to have. If the number was up, it was going to be a bad day. If the number was down, I allowed myself happiness (and an extra marshmallow or two).

I wanted to stop doing that to myself. I wanted to feel “normal.” I wanted to feel FEELINGS.

It was really hard at first, but a year later I feel much more confident in my abilities to make healthy decisions (without an electronic device as my moral compass and guide). My clothes fit just as good as they did a year ago. (In fact, I probably wear them more confidently not having to worry about the number of pounds that they are encasing.)

One of the most important changes I’m working on now is learning to Love My Body. ALL of it: accepting my “flaws” as unique bits of beauty; exercising because it feels good and gives me strength, not because I saw a bigger number than I was comfortable with and need to try harder; eating healthy foods because they taste good, not because I “screwed up” the day before; looking in the mirror and smiling at what I see.


Pardon the cliche, but life is really short. I’m 27 and often wonder when that happened (and you will figure this out the older you get, too!).
I’ve spent far too long dwelling in the negative, forgetting to appreciate what I have and what my body does for me. The truth is, it’s been awfully good to me.

How about you? Do you want to cut yourself some slack and Love Your Body? Do you make healthy choices because you Love Your Body? 


Running with Lynn Show

Good morning Und another cold day today we hit the below zero mark today to torrow should be even colder, the movie of the week Bullet To THe Head. A New Orleans hitman and a New York City cop form an alliance to bring down the killers of their respective partners. Nothing like a Sylester Stallone movie in the big screen, action packed

So I am getting my hair cut yesterday and my barber says I am going bald, she says thats not good I says baldness will catch on when the aliens land who due you think their going to relate to first?

New Year Resolutions: Get healthy

Most of us have New Year Resolutions. They might vary depending on our goals, values, and life experiences and what we want to change. However, I think what we all have in common is a desire to become healthier. Many people with the start of the New Year have been using the workout facilities on campus much more than the previous semester. But it is important to know the general exercise guidelines.

In the “2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” it is recommended to get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. Aerobic exercise is the exercising and conditioning of the heart.  This moderate exercise consists of walking, dancing, biking, and-sports like softball, baseball, and volleyball. Instead of moderate aerobic exercise you can chose to spend 1 hour and 15 minutes doing vigorous aerobic exercise such as jogging, biking faster than 10mph, swimming, or to engage in sports like basketball, hockey, and soccer. These two types of exercise are interchangeable. Every minute of vigorous exercise is equal to two minutes of moderate exercise. Remember these are just guidelines so it is ok to getting more aerobic exercise than this. In other words think of this as minimum requirements. It is also important to lift weights at least two days a week. During these times make sure to workout major muscles such as your legs, arms, stomach, chest and back.

With sticking to these guidelines you will be able to achieve your resolution and will become healthier. These guidelines will also allow you to change things up to help prevent yourself from burning out from the ordinary exercise. Remember to stick with your resolutions and if you have failed already don’t worry about it, now is a good time to start over. Let 2013 be the year you take your health to a whole new level!


Dimension: Physical

Activity: have your blood pressure checked at the Wellness Hub.

January 15, 2013

After my 8:00AM stats class (that is enough to raise your blood pressure), I walked to the Wellness Hub to get my blood pressure checked. The kind lady at the hub showed me how to use the blood pressure machine, and she said that I could use it any time. I was embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t really sure what was considered a normal blood pressure reading. She patiently explained.

It turned out that my blood pressure was slightly elevated. The kind lady said that it could be that it was a little high, because I had just completed a brisk penguin walk on the ice outside. I will certainly go back to the Hub to get another look at my blood pressure.

I have been a special education teacher for many years. One morning before school, a school district nurse was giving blood pressure checks. She said that she was concerned that my blood pressure was elevated. I was surprised, because I am a runner, and I exercise regularly. The same afternoon, I went to the dentist, and my blood pressure was taken again. The hygienist said that my blood pressure was fine. I feel that my blood pressure was elevated in the morning, because it is stressful to get ready for students with behavior challenges at the beginning of the day. You are not sure what will happen.

Again, I am glad that I am more educated about blood pressure, and I intend to watch mine more closely.


Dimension: Emotional

Activity: Complete online health screening

Monday, January 14 th at 4:15 pm

With a new semester and new classes beginning  I was feeling a little stressed out. The online health screening is through the University Counseling Center and it is a completely anonymous survey. the survey consists of  about 25 question- most of the questions are yes no questions. The other questions ask you to describe your previous health history and mental health history through a series of questions. At the end of the five sections, the survey gives you a possible cause to your symptoms. In addition to telling you about any possible condition it gives you resources and helpful solutions to the problem.  While doing this survey I had to carefully analyze my own feelings and behavior and in doing so I became more aware of my own behavior and how some things caused me stress. I think by taking this survey I am much more aware of the things that cause me stress or cause me to get angry. The tools that the UCC website provided will help me to better manage my stress which will ultimately allow me to preform better in my academics. I have already begun using several of the tips that the survey suggested and I have found that I am more focused when doing my homework.

We won’t dance (unless you want to).


Looking to score some Altru’s Pursuit of  Wellness points? Check out the Cash Mob taking place TONIGHT (Tuesday) beginning at 6pm. We’ll be at Ferguson Books and Media (a few doors down from Pizza Ranch). This is a great way to learn about a locally-owned business from owner and Greater Grand Forks Young Professional, Dane Ferguson! If you haven’t made it in the store yet, now is your chance. And if you HAVE made it into the store, you probably want to go back anyway. The event is open to the public, so we’ll see YOU there!

For more information, check out this poster
r contact

Dimension: Physical

Activity: Cardio Sculpt

Thursday, January 17th at 6:00pm

This activity was quite physically demanding, and I haven’t done cardio that intense for quite a few months. For warm up we did plenty of jumping/squats/marching with a bosu ball for about 20 minutes, then did many reps of various weight lifting exercises and finished with abdominal exercises. Talk about a work out to keep your heart rate high the entire time! Although it was about 50 minutes of nonstop exercising it was quite fun and the time went by super-fast. The next day I felt quite a bit of soreness in my calves, glutes, and biceps. I was a little sad to see the class was predominately female as it feels quite awkward as a male, but it felt like it would be a good male class as it had quite a bit of lifting. Another thing I took away from this class was the interesting variation on cardio and resistance training that I normally do. I feel this could potentially help me suggest exercises to patients once I graduate from the physical therapy program here. I would recommend this class to those are at least active some days of the week but it was a little intense for a person in the initial stages of trying to into (or back to) exercising. Overall it was a great study break to make me feel good, now back to studying everything about joints!



Cheep, Fast and Healthy Cooking Demo at the Culinary Corner

Tuesday January 22

I had never been to the Culinary Corner before at the Wellness Center, but I has heard many good things about it. I was excited to try a new recipe that I could easily replicate at home or back at the dorm.  at the Cheep, Fast and Healthy cooking demo we made fruit salsa with cinnamon chips. The cooking demos typically take between 15 and 30 minutes  ours took about 15 minutes. I really liked that we got to eat the what we made. After going to a workout class at the wellness center it was nice to have a refreshing/healthy snack. while we were preparing the food we had time to get to know the other people attending the session.  I met some very nice people at the cooking demo- all of whom I had never met before. we as a class had very lively conversation and I think that is what made the demo so much fun-the company. I think going to the classes where I can meet new people will be a great way to distress from a long day of classes. I probably will go to future cooking classes.


Written by: Katie Olson

Would you rather spend a few more minutes sleeping than wake up in time for breakfast?  It might be time to change your habits.  Eating breakfast can actually help you manage your weight.  When you sleep your body goes into a fasting state, which is why we call it “breakFAST.” When your body goes into a fasting state your metabolism slows down and your body tries to conserve the stores of nutrients that it has previously stored.  Eating a healthy breakfast will help jump start your metabolism and give your body and brain energy to get going for the day. Being in college, it is important for your brain to have energy for your full day of classes and studying.  This will help you stay awake and focused throughout the day, which for some students is hard to do.  It is also important to have a balanced breakfast.  Having a source of carbohydrate, protein and possibly a fruit is ideal.  Having a variety will help you stay full and satisfied until it is time for lunch.  Some examples of a balanced breakfast are listed below.


–          Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit and 1% Milk
–          Low Fat Greek Yogurt with Whole Grain Granola and a Banana
–          Scrambled eggs, Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter and a Fresh Fruit
–          Whole Grain Waffles with Nut Butter and a cut up Banana on top, and 1% Milk
–          A Whole Grain Bagel with low fat Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter and 1% Milk
–          A Whole Grain Cereal with cut up Fresh Fruit and 1% Milk

Dimension: Social

Activity: Cheap, Fast, & Healthy Cooking Demo

Tuesday, January 22 at 5:30pm

Having time to cook is quite hard to find as a graduate student and I always find myself just heating up a healthy choice dinner after being in class from 8 to 5.  This social event was actually quite surprising on how fast and delicious the snack was we prepared.  We all pitched in and help make fruit salsa and cinnamon tortilla chips.  The whole process took around 15 minutes for us to cut up the fruit and add cinnamon to the chips to bake them.  The salsa was very delicious and I had to get some seconds.  I really enjoyed this event because when your time is short to make meals, you can easily find yourself grabbing a bag of chips.  We had some small group discussion about how to make the meal cheaper by shopping smarter or freezing foods.  For a social event, however, I felt there wasn’t much interest in anything else besides the food we were making.  I made one of my goals to try to be more social so I probably could have asked other people there about what they had going on at UND.  Next event I go to I will make it a goal to talk to someone new and wear my purple social WOW to help encourage me.

Here is a link to some of the recipes they offer, if you want some more they have a lovely big binder of everything at the kitchen in the wellness center.

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