March 15th, 2015

So what IS healthy eating?

When we start to look at ways to improve our health, we usually start with what we put in our bodies. The foods we decide to eat play a strong role in our risks for certain diseases as well as how we meet our daily physical, emotional and mental requirements. Food is essential for our existence but it is the types of foods we eat that increase the risk of disease, cause weight gain, and make us feel less energetic, stressed and just plain lousy.  To understand how to balance the foods you eat to create a healthful dietary plan, a meeting with a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) may be just what you need for guidance and education for making healthy choices in your everyday life.

Campus Dietitians are RDN’s and are the “new thing” on college campuses. RDN’s are finding that we are needed far more than we realized. The students at The College of William and Mary daily deal with stress, erratic schedules, multi-tasking, and peer pressure, all of which make it difficult to eat at least one healthy meal per day, much less three. Students can also be so inundated with what the media says healthy foods are supposed to look like that we lose sight of how to truly eat healthy. As William and Mary’s Campus Dietitian, I provide a free service to the students and can help to sort through that nutritional maze by providing counseling on topics such as sports nutrition, weight loss/gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, IBS, dietary restrictions such as those for food allergies/intolerances or celiac disease, or just learning to eat healthy on campus.

I am so grateful to get to work with such an incredibly talented, intelligent, and focused group of people! Currently, I see students for individual counseling or for group presentations but both require an appointment. I can also be found as Campus Rec’s Right Bite Dietitian and you’ll find me twice a month at a table near the front desk. Upcoming dates Right Bite are Wednesday, March 18 from 5 – 6pm; Monday, April 6 from 4 – 5pm; and Wednesday, April 29 from 5 – 6pm. To schedule an individual appointment or to request a group presentation, please feel free to call my office at 757-221-4872, email me at jnance@wm.edu or stop by my table at The Right Bite at Campus Rec! Look forward to seeing you at the table!

 

Julie C. Nance, MS, RDN, CDE, BC-ADM

jnance@wm.edu

757-221-4872

February 16th, 2015

New Year New You?

There’s something about January 1st of every year that makes me feel invincible. It’s as if unwrapping a brand new calendar convinces me that every old habit is gone, or that the possibilities for being a self-actualized human have never been more in my favor. And this year, this year, I’ll do everything I want to do.

Let’s get real, this isn’t going to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a powerful human being and I can accomplish a lot if I’m willing to work for it, but the idea that I’m intrinsically different on January 1st, so much more capable than on December 31st, is a lie I exploit yearly. However untrue, it’s the type of lie I live with to make my life a little happier. Kind of like telling myself I could be Shakira’s background dancer if only given the chance, or that those fuzzy socks I love are not only comfortable but borderline sexy. Little lies are okay. But that little lie turns into a big problem when we transition from hopeful to obsessed.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my friends and fitness class participants convince themselves that this year, finally, they will look how they want to look. But what seems like a harmless goal so easily becomes unhealthy as people immerse themselves in a popular culture whose magazines, beauty products, and fitness regimens highlight your flaws and promise the impossible–perfection. The hottest thighs, biceps, abs, and butt are within reach: “New Year, New You”! While there are many merits to self improvement, there’s a difference between attainable, sustainable goals and getting hooked on impossible regiments that are supposed to change both your appearance and your confidence.

Put simply, my opinion is this: There is not a single physical exercise that will make you self-confident and happy. These are not external qualities, but have everything to do with mental health, self-acceptance, and self-love. From my personal experience as a human, I’m convinced your body can only be as healthy as your mind, and working toward a holistic health approach is crucial in maintaining the stamina necessary to making changes for a more physically healthy life.

Time and time again, research shows that weight loss and muscle toning that comes as a result of looks-based motivation cannot work in the long-term. How many times have we seen the super motivated friend who works out daily, loves it, wants that “bikini bod,” then loses motivation and never returns to the gym? How many times has that been you? This method cannot last, and instead leads to thoughts of inadequacy and disappointment.

Instead, this year, make your goals about YOU. Not who you want to look like, but the type of person you want to be. Hopefully, that’s a happier, healthier, more taken-care of version of yourself. Decide to find a workout you love, think about how great it’d be to climb the Morton stairs without losing your breath (a seemingly impossible feat). Resolve to be less stressed and use yoga as an outlet. Enjoy nature by running outside or feel like a beast during BodyCombat. Exercise because you’re strong, because you’re committed, because your body feels empowered when you use it. Most importantly, make fitness a goal because being yourself is something worth celebrating.

This year, start the change from within.

 

Joanna Hernandez

November 4th, 2014

Adventures of a Sport Club

It’s seven in the morning and I’ve already driven a twelve passenger van through the streets of D.C. while wearing a ballgown and at least a quarter cup of hair gel. Welcome to collegiate ballroom dance, the only sport club at William and Mary that regularly practices in high heels and glitter. For us, fall competition weekend means driving up to the University of Maryland for two straight days of dancing, music, and desperately trying to avoid stepping on our partners’ feet. We may not look as rugged as soccer or rugby, but we’re certainly as intense.

At the same time we’re dancing the tango, over ten other William and Mary sport clubs are scattered across the east coast preparing for their own games and competitions. Having been both a sport club supervisor and a sport club officer, I’ve gotten a unique perspective into just how much work goes into ensuring all these clubs get where they need to go. When we have as many as eighteen clubs leaving campus each week, it takes a huge cooperative effort between campus recreation and the clubs themselves to get everyone moving.

Before the trip, sport club officers have gathered lists of participants, organized vehicles and lodging, planned budgets, and submitted registration paperwork, among a multitude of other things. All this paperwork is then reviewed by the sport club office. Waivers and driver authorizations are checked, vans are assigned, emails are sent, rosters and budgets are verified. Club members familiarize themselves with emergency protocols and re-stock first aid kits, preparing everyone for a safe and organized trip. It’s a lot of work – but it’s definitely worth it! For ballroom, competition weekend is a great club bonding experience, not to mention giving us the chance to meet dancers from other schools. At our competition this past weekend, I was really pleased to see so many of our newcomers reaching out to talk to people at other schools.

The competition this past weekend was one of our best yet, with more of our members getting ribbons than in any year I can remember. This will also be our biggest competition of the year, and club members more than rose to meet the challenge. We had one of our newcomer –level partnerships get third place (out of more than 60!) dancing cha-cha, three of our bronze partnerships got ribbons in their dances, our gold-level partnership got third place for all their rhythm style dances, and all of our latin style dancers progressed at least to semi-finals. Plus, everyone in the club got at least one callback to progress towards finals, which is awesome. More importantly, newcomers and returners alike had a great time dancing the weekend away. And there was not a single costume malfunction.

If you haven’t tried out a sport club here at W&M, I highly recommend you do so. We literally have a club for everybody, whether lacrosse or table tennis or ballroom dance is more your style. And if you do end up traveling with your club, be sure to thank your sport club officers and fill out any paperwork they need – they’ve put a lot of work into making your trip possible!

Angelina Schiano

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