Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Weekend Sip Tip


Looking forward to Homecoming weekend? Be sure your plan includes getting plenty to eat. Of JHU students that choose to drink, 72% report eating something before and/or during drinking. If you choose to drink, start off with a filling meal before drinking and munch throughout your night. Food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream. This will help lessen the effects of alcohol and leads to an easier morning. Grease can often mix with alcohol the wrong way, so try to stick to healthy carbohydrates or nutrient rich foods. And just remember, no one wants to be able to tell what you ate for dinner based on it coming back up. Eat your food, but avoid wearing it: Stop@Buzzed!


Happy Hump Day!

MYTH 10: If I use birth control, I don’t need to worry about STDs–right?

FACT: Birth control methods, like the pill, patch, Depo, ring, and IUD, while very effective at preventing pregnancy, do NOT protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. Condoms are the only method of protection against BOTH STDs and pregnancy. For maximum protection, use both a birth control method, like the Pill or Depo, with condoms. To further reduce risk of getting or passing on an STD, discuss with a healthcare provider about getting tested for STDs, including HIV, before becoming intimate, and talk openly with your partner(s).

MYTH 9: Oral sex and anal sex are “safe” sex–or not sex at all.

FACT: Almost all STDs that can be passed on through unprotected vaginal sex can also be passed on through unprotected oral and anal sex. This includes genital herpes, genital warts (caused by HPV), gonorrhea, hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. The possibility of contracting an STD from oral sex is generally less risky as compared to vaginal and anal sex, although any unprotected sex with someone who has HIV or an STD carries some risk. Unprotected anal sex is riskier than oral or vaginal sex. Male latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly–meaning EVERY time, and from start to finish–are highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV. They also reduce the risk of many other STDs. To further reduce the risk of getting or passing on an STD, see a health care provider about getting tested before becoming intimate, and talk openly with your partner(s).

MYTH 8: There’s a cure for HIV/AIDS.

FACT: There is no vaccine to prevent HIV nor is there a cure for those who are already infected. Although medication can help people with HIV infection live longer and healthier lives, these medicines do not cure HIV infection. Our best defense against HIV is prevention. Condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV through sex. If you are HIV positive, it’s important to find out as soon as possible so you can discuss treatment options with a health care provider. To find a testing center near you, click here.

MYTH 7: Two condoms are better than one.

FACT: In this case two is not necessarily better than one. In short, one condom does the job. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), condoms when used consistently and correctly are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of STDs, including HIV. Each latex condom manufactured in the U.S. is tested for holes before packaging. Before using a condom it’s still a good idea to inspect to check the expiration date and make sure there has been no damage. In most cases, when people using condoms get pregnant or infected with and STD, it’s NOT because the condom broke; it’s because they either did not use the condom correctly, or they did not use it the whole time they were having sex. For more information on how to correctly use condoms, click here.

MYTH 6: Sex in a hot tub / sex standing up / jumping up and down /douching after sex… will prevent STDs, including HIV, and/or pregnancy.

FACT: For those who are having sex, the ONLY way to prevent the spread of STDs, including HIV, and pregnancy is to use a condom. None of the above will reduce risk of STD or pregnancy before or after sex.

MYTH 5: STD testing is for cheaters & players.

FACT: Many people assume that they are not at risk for STDs, and that STDs affect only those who have a lot of partners. Anyone who has had unprotected sex, regardless of the number of partners, is at risk for STDs, including HIV. In fact, STDs are very common. By age 25, it is estimated that one in two sexually experienced people will have an STD, and most of them won’t even know it because they show no symptoms. Some STDs are so common among teens and young adults that annual testing is recommended. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that all sexually active young women should be tested every year for chlamydia. When left untreated chlamydia can leave women infertile (unable to have kids). You or your partner may have an STD and not know it. The only way to know is to G-Y-T – Get Yourself Tested.

MYTH 4: If he pulls out, I won’t get pregnant or an STD.

FACT: Withdrawal–or pulling out–is NOT an effective means of preventing HIV or other STDs. Based on typical use – that is, the experience of most who use it – withdrawal is significantly less effective at preventing pregnancy as compared to other methods, such as condoms, the Pill or shot. For those who are sexually active, the only option that protects against both pregnancy and STDs is condoms. For maximum protection, use both a birth control method, like the Pill or Depo, WITH condoms.

MYTH 3: If I get an STD, including HIV, there’s nothing I can do about it.

FACT: Many STDs are curable and most, including HIV, are treatable. The sooner you know if you have an STD, the sooner you can get treatment or take steps to prevent passing it on. There are different treatments for different STDs. If your health care provider gives you antibiotics to treat a curable STD, it is important that you continue your medication until it is finished, even if your symptoms have already gone away. Also, you should avoid having sex until your infection is fully cleared, and tell your partner(s), who should be tested and treated too. If you have a non-curable STD, like herpes, remember that medication is available to treat any symptoms, and daily therapy is available for people with outbreaks to reduce their chances of passing the virus on to partners. Also, remember that you’re not alone! Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 infection is extremely common, affecting about one in six teens and adults (most of whom don’t even know it). In addition, about 60% of American teens and adults have HSV-1 (which causes cold sores, but can also cause genital herpes through oral sex). Rates of HSV-1 vary by age and racial/ethnic group – in some groups, as many as 90% of people are infected.

MYTH 2: If I needed to get tested for STDs, my doctor would test me.

FACT: Even though some STD testing may be recommended as part of routine medical care, many doctors may not offer HIV or STD testing unless you specifically ask to be tested. STDs often show no symptoms, so not even your health care provider can know for sure if you have an STD without testing you. Also, it’s important to know that a Pap test is not a test for STDs. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STDs or if you don’t have a regular health care provider, there are many clinics where you can get confidential and free or low-cost testing. To find an STD testing clinic near you, click here.

MYTH 1: You can tell by looking if you or someone else has an STD / I would know if I had an STD.

FACT: Many STDs, including HIV, often show no symptoms, so many people who have an STD do not know it.. In fact, 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by age 25 and most won’t know it. You also can’t tell if someone else has an STD by looking. The only way to know for sure is to get yourself tested.
Some STDs are so common among teens and young adults that annual testing is recommended. For example, all sexually active young women should be tested every year for chlamydia, which silently affects millions of people, but can leave women infertile (unable to have kids). There are other common STDs for which doctors may not routinely test. Talk to your health care provider about what testing is right for you.

Source: MTV. To check out the program click here


Get Rich

Okay, maybe you won’t make any money, but these tips are geared to help you cut costs while getting your body recalibrated before Finals period. Being a junk food junkie and notoriously cheap when it comes to my groceries, I made this list primarily for my own gain, and I thought it might be helpful to share with all of you!

1) CUT OUT SODA (and Monster, and just about anything like that)- Drinking water is infinitely cheaper, and it’s much better for your body. The benefits of water are endless, from clear skin to healthy organs. If you need a caffeine kick, try drinking tea (no calories and full of antioxidants!) or coffee, but not those fancy drinks from Starbucks.

2) GET FROZEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES- Fresh fruit and veggies can be really expensive especially for a college student. Dried fruits and vegetables, however, don’t have NEARLY as much of a nutritional value compared to the fresh variety. If you’re looking for the healthy way to get nutrients without killing your wallet, frozen fruits and vegetables preserve most of the nutrient content while pricing in at rates much lower than fresh fruits. You can find these at local grocery stores like Eddie’s and Giant.

3) TAKE SNACKS WITH YOU- When you leave for class in the morning, bring a little snack bag of nuts, maybe a little handful of dark chocolate covered almonds, or some peanuts. Or you can take some air popped popcorn in a little snack bag. If you’re swinging by Char Mar, grab one of the hummus and pretzel packs. Packing your own food not only helps you make better choices because you won’t be as inclined to buy an unhealthy snack somewhere else, but it also helps you save money!

4) SAVE LEFTOVERS- It’s hardly a recent development that portion sizes at restaurants are MUCH larger than what we need. When you go out for dinner with friends, eat half of what’s on your plate and pack the other half. You not only have saved yourself many calories, but you’ve also gotten yourself lunch for tomorrow!

5) BUY FOOD IN BULK- If you’ really like a particular healthy snack, like Luna Bars, or almonds, maybe even hummus, try buying that snack in bulk. Amazon has some great deals! When you’re hungry, you’ll easily have a snack accessible, and you won’t have to go out and buy new ones as often!

Here’s hoping that you’ll be able to save some money and eat some tasty snacks before things get too stressful!

In health,
Aishwarya, a member of PEEPs


SEE for Yourself on Monday - EAT Well

Be kind to the Earth and to your wallet - this week try replacing meat with beans for your protein source to save your arteries and the planet! Meat costs 4 to 5 times as much as beans per serving! Click here for more information. Also CO2 and methane produced by the world’s livestock are significant contributors to global warming. Every steak eaten has the same impact as driving 25 miles (Source: EarthSave International, http://www.earthsave.org/). For more information and give-ways stop by the SEE table today at Levering from 11-1 pm.

Quit on Monday tip: Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of lighting up, find something to hold in your hand and/or mouth such as chewing some gum, sucking a lollipop, or chewing on a drinking straw.

Mellow Out Monday tip: Got stress? Get some food. Similar to your sleep habits, your eating habits may have gone by the wayside. Think about what -- and when -- you've eaten over the past few days. You may think your stress is psychological, but you could also be feeling stress if you're not fueling your body properly. Go eat something balanced and healthy; fruits and veggies, whole grains, or protein. Make your mama proud! Of course getting a free back rub from Stressbusters is another great way to melt your stress away. FREE five-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday tip:  Compost your food waste at home. If you have an available space at home, compost food waste to turn it into great soil for your garden for the gardening season!.  Visit the Maryland Department of Environment website for tips and resources about home composting. 


Weekend Sip Tip: Don't be that guy or girl

There always seems to be one, at least one, at every party. You know the one- the person that makes a complete fool of themselves by either falling, puking, crying, fighting, or doing something so completely unbelievable you can't help but ask, "How wasted are they!?" There may be some that actually take pride in filling this role, but for most, no one wants to be THAT guy or THAT girl. Hopkins may be in a big city, but it's not that big of a community- stories can spread quickly! It's not fun to walk into class on Monday and notice the whispers, stares, or chuckles as you stroll by. And let's not forget the instant photos and videos that can be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube with the touch of an onlooker's Smartphone. You take pride in yourself throughout the week, don't let your pride slip on the weekends. If you develop a completely different personality with each cup, you may want to cut down on your drinks. Limiting your drinking to maintain a 'buzz' (BAC of 0.02 to 0.06) will allow you to feel more relaxed and can cut down on social anxiety, but it won't turn you into the drunken mess of the party. If you choose to drink, don't be THAT guy or girl, Stop@Buzzed! Unsure if your drinking behaviors are risky? Click here to find out!

Want more Stop@Buzzed info? Become a fan on Facebook!


Love Your Mother

Mother Earth that is. Not surprisingly, tobacco waste, such as cigarette butts, has a serious and unsightly impact on the environment. In fact, an estimated 845,000 tons of cigarette butts end up as litter per year worldwide! That's a lot of butts. This Earth Day (April 22), why not start a Cigarette Litter Prevention program. To learn how click here. You can also help make your immediate JHU environment become smoke-free. Click here to sign an electronic petition sponsored by HKB.

And just for fun you can make a cigarette bunny like the one below. This was created by New England artist Tom Deininger out of the cigarette butts that he picked up from beach parking lots. Talk about recycling!


In the News: 4/20 says "High"


April 20th. Said that way, it doesn't have much more meaning than a day of the month. But abbreviate today's date to 4/20 and suddenly it takes on a much more 'elevated' meaning. Around the world, 4/20 is considered to be a celebration for a subculture that chooses to consume and support the use of marijuana. This term supposedly originated in the 70's by a group of California high schoolers, but has since grown to take on a meaning of its own. Now, an entire day has been dedicated to this controversial herb.

There has long been debate over the use of marijuana. Whether for recreational use, medical use, or no use at all, there tends to be very polarized opinions on the issue. One very dedicated group of supporters, NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has been pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Many rallies occur nationwide. Each year in Boulder, Colorado there is an annual 420 celebration, and even a smoke-out on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder that draws thousands of supporters.

With so many advocates of marijuana use, it can often be difficult to get unbiased information about its health effects. Supporters may say it's a natural, harmless herb. Many scientists and researchers would disagree. While you can argue its positive or negative effects, one known fact is this: Marijuana use is illegal in the US and there are harsh punishments for possession or distribution. A recent CNBC poll found that the majority of Americans are against the legalization of marijuana. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Hump Day! Do you know your status?

April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on the health of Americans and the importance of individuals discussing sexual health with their healthcare providers and, if sexually active, their partners.

CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, almost half of them among people ages 15 to 24. Many STDs do not have any symptoms, so many of those who are infected don't know it. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. To reduce the impact of STDs, it is important to increase knowledge about sexually transmitted infections and make STD testing a part of routine medical care. Because many STDs have no symptoms, those at risk need to get tested and find out if they are infected. So go get yourself tested and know your status!

For more information on testing contact the JHU Health Center at 410-516-8270.

Can’t Get Out of My Head!

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’re trapped inside your mind? You just can’t shake the negative thoughts, and you are fixated on a single idea, or maybe just a few of them. Sometimes, this process is normal, and it can just be a result of stress. Other times, however, it can be a symptom of something worse, something like anxiety or depression. On college campuses, mental health issues are rampant, not only because the transition from high school to college is difficult, but also because the pressures faced by students are ever changing and ever growing. As students, we are expected to complete a great deal of work in a short span of time while squeezing in extra curricular activities and social time with friends. Something has to give, so sometimes sleep and good nutrition, among other lifestyle choices, are thrown to the wind, leaving students often feeling weary and hopeless.

While a certain degree of stress is normal, sometimes even considered positive in terms of a motivational factor, excessive stress can be a sign of failing mental health. At CHEW, we are always looking for innovative ways to make life just a little easier here at Hopkins. Today we want to help you get help, either for yourself or for a friend, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, Hopkins can be a stressful place. It’s a challenging school to say the least, and being a double major with pre med requirements to fulfill myself, I can speak to the fact that my free time is severely limited, mostly by virtue of my class choices and my extracurricular involvements.
In terms of stress management, I have tried pretty much everything from meditation to self hypnosis to taking a power nap to going for a run. I’m a girl of extremes, I really have to go to the far end of the spectrum to get even minimal results, part of it, I think is because I am so driven to the point of self deprication. What really calms me down is a session of Bikram Yoga. If you don’t know what that is, it’s yoga in a 105 degree room, sometimes around 40% humidity, and it’s really intense. One session can burn upwards of 800 calories, according to recent research. I’m not one to enjoy fitness, but Bikram is the kind of activity where I can go in screaming and crying about what a difficult exam I took, and I come out silent, at peace, and less inclined to go searching for an ice cream sundae to drown my sorrows. At this point in the semester, though, I can’t go to Bikram as often as I’d like to, and I definitely am feeling really down on myself. When it’s really hard to find coping strategies, I know there are a lot of places on campus that are there to support me. For those of you that don’t know, I’m going to make a list, and I’ll share my thoughts on each of them. My hope is that from this little blog, you’ll be able to figure out ways to supplement your daily life with means of coping. Don’t fall prey to the stresses of school! Coming from someone who suffers daily with two very difficult mental health issues, I can honestly say that it’s possible to be healthy AND maintain a near-impossible courseload.

So let’s start with the basics…

The Counseling Center- Open Monday-Friday, 8:30- 5 PM, the Counseling Center has become a second home to me during painful times. You can walk in for emergency appointments if you really need one (yes, I have done this before), or you can schedule an appointment just to talk to someone. You don’t have to have a specific mental health concern, a lot of times it just helps to have your voice heard. The therapists and psychologists at the Counseling Center can also teach you personalized coping techniques for those moments when you’re really down.
APTT- APTT is open Sunday-Thursday, and located in the AMRs. I have never been there, but my RA is a member of APTT, and so are some of my close friends. Members of APTT are especially kind and thoughtful. You can go to APTT and just vent about anything and everything. Peer listeners are trained to, well, listen, and make sure that you are able to get whatever you need out of that venting session. They also know how to put you in touch with whatever you may need outside of APTT.

Academic Advising- I talk to my Public Health advisor pretty regularly, not just about the classes I want to take, but also about how I’m doing. I think of her as extended family, and share a great deal of personal information with her, mostly because I know she is very much invested in my success. If you feel like your schoolwork is compounding difficulty in your personal life, go to your advisor!

Your professors- They aren’t here just to give you tests to take, homework to complete, and stress to drive you nuts. If you ever feel overwhelmed, the first thing you can do is email your professors and tell them that simply. When I went through a rough patch last semester, I opened up to my professors, and told them that I needed some time to take a step back and would need to spread my work out over a little bit of time to get myself together. It worked out and I actually did my personal best last semester, despite everything going on in my life.

The Deans- I meet with Dean Sheppard pretty regularly, just to talk about my life and how Hopkins can help support me as I go through college. The whole point of having Deans in the Student Life Office is to make sure that students lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Don’t be afraid to call in and make an appointment to chat about what Hopkins can do for you! The Deans, both in the Student Life Office and in the academic offices are incredibly nice and impossibly concerned about your wellbeing.

CHEW- Located in Levering, the CHEW office has a myriad of informational pamphlets and items to offer to you in terms of stress management. One of the more obvious features of CHEW is the Stressbusters group that offers those incredible back rubs that can really change my outlook on a day. CHEW also sponsors HKB and PEEPs. PEEPs are all trained Peer Health Educators who can talk to you not only about their personal experience, but also some tips we’ve learned from our training! Don’t hesitate to walk into the CHEW office and take a proactive stance on your health! Better yet, you can find PEEPs pretty much anywhere on campus. We’re here for you!

I know there are tons more resources available to you on campus, but I think that this list is a good start. By talking to pretty much anyone on this list, you can find out more about how to make college a healthy, happy and fulfilling experience not only for you, but for your friends too! I hope I will have the chance to write again soon.

In health,
Aishwarya, member of PEEPs


Live Healthier for Fun!

Do you wish you could live a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle? Maybe exercise more, get eight hours of sleep at least a couple times a week, or read for fun? If you've been having trouble finding the motivation to accomplish your goals, try "Health Month". This website takes the SCIENCE of nutrition and behavior change and combines it with SOCIAL GAMES from social networking to help people improve their health habits in a fun and sustainable way. If you can enjoy the process of living healthier, you're much more likely to stick to it.

I decided to try it out. After signing up for my free account, I was prompted to start making rules. There are a bunch of different categories. Here are some of the most popular:
• Cook dinner
• Limit caffeine
• Take a multivitamin
• Drink enough water
• Eat fruit
• Exercise

Once you specify your current practices, you set goals for the month in terms of what you would like to accomplish. I currently exercise 2 - 3 times per week, but I would like to make it 4 - 5, so this was one of my rules. As the month progresses, you get points for how well you are meeting your goals, and the site creates pie charts and other graphical representations of your progress. You can compete against friends, chat with other players with similar goals, or play privately. This is a great way to get yourself motivated to start practicing some of those healthier behaviors that you wish you could turn into habits!

Submitted by Lauren Pollack, a member of PEEPs


SEE For Yourself on Monday

Sleep is one of our body’s most essential needs. As college students, we tend to deprive our body of sleep. We choose the library over our beds in hopes of obtaining optimal grades. While our grades may not be suffering, our bodies and minds are! Depriving your body of sleep not only affects health, but your overall academic performance. Although that seems counter intuitive, according to a Stanford University study sleep deprived students have been shown to have a lower overall GPA. Feeling a little more groggy than usual after Spring Fair weekend? Trying to catch up on sleep all at once can actually make you feel drowsier. This week try going to sleep a half hour earlier, and wake up a half hour later each day this week. For more information and tips on sleep click here.

Quit on Monday tip: do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing your breathing with your eyes closed and visualize yourself as a non-smoker. SEE yourself turning down a cigarette that someone offers you. Develop your own creative visualizations to help SEE yourself become smoke-free.

Mellow Out Monday tip:  Take a moment and think - when was the last time you had some quality, quiet time? Personal space for students in college rarely exists. You may share your room, your bathroom, classrooms, dining hall, the gym, the library, etc. Finding a few moments of peace and quiet - with no cell phone, roommates, or crowds - might be just what you need. Stepping out from the crazy, hectic environment for a few minutes can do wonders for reducing your stress. SEE for yourself. Of course getting a free back rub from Stressbusters is another great way to melt your stress away. FREE five-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.

Minimize Monday tip: Replace your disposables. Don’t dispose of your income by buying disposables. Wherever possible, replace disposable products with reusable ones, like razors, food storage containers, batteries, ink cartridges (such as refill ink), coffee filters, and furnace or air conditioner filters. Take the opportunity while spring cleaning to inventory the disposables in your home, kick the habit, and save a few bucks.

Gear Up for the Green!
With Earth Day coming up this Friday, April 22, organizations across the university and the city are planning a multitude of interesting and engaging events to showcase their work and foster and celebrate sustainability in our community. Check out Hopkins’ Earth Week (April 18-23) and Baltimore’s Green Week (April 16-23).


Weekend Sip Tip


Ah, Spring Fair weekend. The days many Hopkins students look forward to all year. The bands, the food, the vendors, and oh yes- the Beer Garden. Although monitored, any sort of gathering of large groups of people for the sole purpose of drinking can result in some bad situations. A simple visit to the Garden can start off harmless enough, but can easily snowball into a day full of drinking. Too many binge drinkers in too little space can lead to arguments, fights, injuries, or accidents. While Spring Fair is meant to be a time to have fun, don't let your time be tainted by a bad experience with alcohol. If you choose to drink, keep track of your drinks, drink plenty of water, and look out for your friends (and have them look out for you!). There's nothing wrong with letting loose and enjoying yourself, but even loose has its limits. Have fun, but be safe. Stay in the blue zone and Stop@Buzzed!


PEEPs Anonymous

PEEPs Anonymous
Presents Health Confessions

College can bring a whole new environment and staying healthy can be difficult no matter what year you are. We're here to offer you tips, answers, and resources to make sure your mind and body stay healthy and happy. Simply post an anonymous question or health confession on this post and we'll publish it with our answer or comment within a week.  Post a Comment . Don't be shy, ask away!

NOTE: The answers will be reviewed by health professionals at Johns Hopkins for accuracy, but this Q&A forum does not constitute medical advice. It is simply an outlet to talk about health issues on campus.

Happy Hump Day!

You may have heard that one of alcohol’s side effects is lowered inhibitions. Alcohol interferes with decision making. While intoxicated, some students may forget about the necessary steps to make sex “safer.” Unwanted pregnancies, STI’s, and regret are just some of the outcomes of having sex while inebriated. For more information on alcohol and sex, and to view student testimonials, visit: http://www.factsontap.org/factsontap/risky/index.htm. For more information stop by the Hump Day table sponsored by PEEPs today at Levering from 11:30-1:30 pm.


Reflections from the Good Body performance

Below is a post from a JHU student who attended our Good Body event:

Do you think you are fat, not attractive, ugly, or have embarrassing acne, wrinkles, or stretch marks? It sure is a shame I’m not living in the Renaissance because if I did then I would be considered “pretty” because I have what was considered to be the “ideal” “pear-shaped” body.

This evening I attended a play that one of my teammates acted in called “The Good Body,” which is derived from Eve Ensler’s book. The play was all about how individuals perceive their body, and in one part all of the girls onstage were posing as trees. I was thinking what the heck? But one tree (girl) was talking about how we are all Created with an individual and unique body, and conveyed the message that just because you don’t look like the next tree does not make you any less beautiful.

Why should we not be happy with who we are or the way we look because society today equates being “skinny” and pretty? The reality is that the way we look is important everyone; I have realized that even if we don’t look like a model, it does not mean we don’t have beautiful features, and your size whether skinny or not does not determine how radiant you can be. At the same time, loving your body is also about eating and exercising in a healthy manner on both ends of the spectrum because you can eat and exercise too much just as you can eat and exercise too little.

Why would you want to look like someone else, when your beauty is really derived from your ability to own who you are by having confidence and being happy? This week I encourage you to do two things:

1) Look in the mirror (seriously, look in the mirror) and tell yourself what you love about your appearance and not what bothers you.
2) Tell your significant other, friend, and/or family member that they are beautiful and name one physical feature that you love most about them.


SEE for Yourself on Monday

The warm weather is here (at least for today) and we all feel a little more inclined to spring into shape when it’s nice outside. There are so many ways that we can benefit from physical activity and have fun, so why not? Whether it’s playing Frisbee on the beach or taking a walk around the Inner Harbor, Spring presents endless opportunities to have fun while exercising. Along with the nice weather, comes students wanting to sit outside with an alcoholic beverage. It’s important to know that alcohol depletes the values that you receive while exercising. Alcohol is a toxin, and can host a series of physical abnormalities to occur. Exercise and staying active is beneficial, so don’t let the temptation of alcohol keep you from being active. Spring into shape for Summer!

Thinking about quitting? Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary, start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to 30 to 40 minutes of rigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: 
Feeling stressed? Get a little help from your friends. It may be hard to ask for help, and unless your friends are psychic, they may not know how stressed out you are. Most college students are going through the same things at the same time, so don't feel silly if you need to just vent for a few minutes over coffee. It may help to process out what you need to do, and help you put things into better perspective. Of course getting a free back rub from Stressbusters is another great way to melt your stress away. FREE five-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.


Eve Ensler's The Good Body April 10th


Weekend Sip Tip

Last year 33 million adults admitted to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined for men as having 5 or more drinks within 2 hours and for most women, it means 4 or more drinks in a 2 hour period. Alcohol ranks third as a leading cause of preventable death and kills around 80,000 Americans each year. Drinking games such as power hour, beer pong, and flip cup often lead people to drink too much, too fast which, in addition to alcohol poisoning can lead to many other consequences such as the ones listed below.  
  • Alcohol poisoning & other fatalities
  • Academic consequences (25% of college students admit that binge drinking has led to poor academic performance)
  • Legal issues (alcohol citations, DUI’s, public drunkenness, noise citations, etc.)
  • Expenses
  • Hangovers
  • Lack of control
  • Unprotected sex which can lead to unplanned pregnancy and/or STI's/HIV
 More good reasons to Stop@Buzzed!  Click here to take the Stop@Buzzed challenge.


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SEE For Yourself on Monday - Food for Thought

Brain Foods… we’ve all heard of foods that enhance the way our brains function but what exactly are these foods? According to brainready.com, the top five brain health foods include wild salmon, cacao beans, matcha, acai berries & blueberries, and coffee beans. These foods all have immense health benefits. Not only can they reduce risk of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, they have also been shown to improve brain matter and synaptic connections. Talk about food for thought! Try one of these foods this week and SEE for yourself. Stop by the SEE table today from 11-1 pm in Levering for more tips and give-aways.

Quit on Monday tip:  Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyhow, and most people don't get enough. Drinking plenty of water will help you flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce those pesky cravings by fulfilling the "oral desires" that you may have.

 Mellow Out Monday tip: Similar to sleep habits, your eating habits may have gone by the wayside throughout the year. Think about what -- and when -- you've eaten over the past few days. You may think that your stress is psychological but you could also be feeling the affects of physical stress if you're not fueling your body appropriately. Eat something balanced and healthy like fruits and veggies, whole grains, and protein. Of course getting a free back rub from Stressbusters is another great way to melt your stress away. FREE five-minute seated back rubs are available every Monday night at the MSE library, Q-level from 8-10 pm.