To Make Up, or Not To Make Up

BY RACHEL WONG

Based on my experience, girls in general tend to be a little more concerned with their appearance and self-presentation. From their hair red-carpet-makeup.jpgto their clothes, make up to accessories, everything is meticulously planned and coordinated with the intention of showing off the best version of themselves.

I am no stranger to spending great lengths of time with my makeup, trying and re-trying outfits and making sure that everything looks just right. But when it comes to my motivation for trying to looking great, it is always for myself. I wear certain clothes and do my makeup a certain way for me, and not for anyone else.

I bring this up because I was confronted with this the other day. As I fixed my eyeliner in the school washroom, a girl that I would call an acquaintance asked me who I was trying to impress. She knew fully well that I am currently single, and in a very serious voice, she asked me if I was going out on a date, or if I was trying to pick someone up.

Continue reading

My Struggle with the Freshman 15

BY RACHEL WONG

This semester, I exposed myself – quite literally – in one of the most personal pieces that I have ever written for my student paper. The paper is circulated widely throughout each of Simon Fraser University’s three campuses, and has a massive online presence as well. In the article, I came clean about my unhealthy struggles trying to avoid putting on weight in my first year of college. As post-secondary students, we always joke around about the infamous freshman 15 – pigging out to no end and having a terrible time managing our weight due to stress eating and a lack of time to cook or do adequate exercise. Though the term is often used lightly, in my case, the freshman 15 was ultimately what pushed me to developing an eating disorder. 400300p2999ednmain1840avoid-the-freshman-15.jpg

I was never really happy with my body at any point in my life. Looking at old photo albums would make me cringe at terrible fashion choices, chubby cheeks and a core section that I didn’t hide very well. Puberty was good to me I guess, as I had stretched out (and have since stopped at the ginormous height of 5’2″), gained some pretty reasonable sized breasts, and developed somewhat nice hips.

But I lamented day and night that I wasn’t skinny enough. This was my struggle all throughout high school – I wanted to be skinny, but I didn’t want to give up my eating habits or my relationship with the couch and the TV. My only real activity was gym class and running late to class.

Then senior year rolled around, and I reminded myself that at the end of it all, I had to be in front of all my peers in some sexy dress that made me look like a princess. So at the beginning of my senior year, I made it my goal to slim down by any means – even if it meant cutting back on some junk food, eating more healthy meals and actually taking physical activity seriously.

Throughout high school I had fluctuated between 110 and 120 pounds. By the night of my graduation, I was 105 pounds. 18 years old, 5’2″, and 105 pounds.

Continue reading

Anxiety – The Aftermath

BY BRANDON MINIA

Now that a year has passed since my experience with emotional abuse, I’m still rattled at just how bad the fallout can get. It still feels surreal no matter how long it’s been. And five years down the road, I’ll probably still be thinking the same thing.

My anxiety reached its fever pitch last week, hitting all-time high levels for the first timeimages
in a while. An unanswered text can leave me nervous. An accident that displeased a friend can follow me for a long time. Asking to see a person has never been so frightening.

I know exactly what causes me to experience these spells of anxiety. No one forgets being chastised for asking to hang out when the other person is tired. It’s impossible to forget the feeling of humiliation when someone turns your feelings of anger around so that you look like the bad person, despite the fact that your anger is very well justified. No one forgets being violently pressed into believing that you were overthinking something that you were right about all along about…

Continue reading

Better late than never! (Jogging tips for late-in-lifers)

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

By now, I’m sure everyone is familiar with the term “runner’s high” and the vast lacing.jpgemotional benefits of jogging. I started going for runs this past December in an effort to ease some of my winter blues and haven’t looked backed since. I’m hoping this habit will stick because unlike medication or supplements, the emotional benefits of running can be noticed almost immediately.

According to an article on Shape magazine’s website, the illusive runner’s high is a result of the release of endocannabinoids (not endorphins!), which are chemicals we produce in-house that are activated by physical exertion. The release of endocannabinoids depends on the intensity and duration of the exertion. According to Shape, most people need to run a minimum of 20 minutes before they start to feel the benefits. This of course varies from person to person.

Here are some tips for late-in-life joggers like myself.

Before you start:

  • Make sure you’re aware of proper form: keep your arms above chest level, your hands relaxed, and maintain good posture. Remember to take short, light steps. Keeping your body relaxed can help you to avoid feeling sore later. Also, pay attention to the way your feet hit the ground. Try to land in the middle of your foot and bounce into your next step.
  • Map out your jogging trail before you go. I walked mine beforehand, just to make sure where I was running was safe, practical, and private. Steer clear of uneven surfaces.
  • Make a playlist. I found it difficult to motivate myself, especially the first few times, to even get out the door. It’s cold outside, you have a headache, you haven’t slept enough, this is your only day off, your cat will miss you, your hair will get sweaty: there are infinite reasons to stay home with a bag of chips, and any one of those reasons can quickly become the deciding factor. I found music to be a helpful motivator, so I would save my newest downloads to listen to on run days. It was something to look forward to and I found the right kind of music really got my energy up.

Continue reading

What it means to be recovered

BY STEPHANIE BERTOLO

Yesterday kicked off Eating Disorder Awareness Week. With my last post already bringing awareness to why I, among others, came to suffer with eating disorders, I wanted to dedicate this one to what it means to be recovered. There is a lot of ambiguity around the topic, yet it is certainly one that needs to be discussed – keeping those who have recovered in the conversation.

I feel as though there is an idealized form of recovery, filled with sunshine, flower crowns, and no desire to look in the mirror because you know your inner beauty radiates to the rest of the world.

If, of course, that is you or the goal you wish to achieve, then I support you entirely.demi.jpg

But that is not my recovery. And I feel as though it may not be for many people.

For me, recovery is living with all its uncertainties: the good days and the bad ones, the progress and the setbacks, hating the illness then wishing it still consumed me.

There were days I spent heaving over a toilet bowl and skipping meals, begging my body to let me feel empty again. I realize I cannot starve myself as I used to be able to, which is the most dreadful feeling of weakness that you can imagine.

Continue reading