Tag Archives: health

Staying Healthy

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2017

Based on my previous blog posts, it might have become apparent that I am very into health and fitness. When I am not studying or doing school work, I love learning about ways to stay healthy and looking at new workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I do other things in my free time such as hangout with friends, watch movies, go out to eat, but health is my passion.

I started getting into health when I was in high school. I knew about the rumors of the “freshman 15” and did not want that to happen to me. Because of this, I started doing my homework on nutrition and healthy habits. I grew up playing a lot of sports and always loved food. I have a HUGE appetite, so did not want to deprive myself and instead be mindful of what I eat.

After much trial and error from healthy “diets” and workouts, I have found the best solution for myself. I listen to my body every day and fuel myself with my cravings by eating healthy alternatives to certain foods. For example, if I want a milkshake, I might make a banana and almond milk smoothie. It may sound gross at first, but to me it is delicious. I have learned to live this way instead of trying to “diet”. It works way better and helps me stop craving unhealthy food.

For exercising, it is pretty much the same thing. I try to do something active every day, but it all depends how I feel and what I am in the mood to do. Some days I wake up and my IT band aches from my running injury. For days like this, I don’t kill myself with a hard workout and instead I do an easy yoga practice or go for a walk. Other days I may be in the mood to do something really challenging and will then go to the gym to have a great workout, usually consisting of HIIT exercises.

Health is not only about diet and exercise. It also has to do with getting enough sleep, not stressing out, taking vitamins for your specific deficiencies, and most importantly being happy! Mental health is so important and is sometimes disregarded. I am not a fitness or health expert, nor am I the most in shape or healthiest person. This, however, is my passion and I love incorporating healthy habits in my everyday life.

College with a Chronic Illness

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 12 November 2016

I’d like to take the opportunity to use this blog post to apologize to all the professors whose classes I’ve fallen asleep in. I can promise you that it’s never been because you’re bad teachers, or that I don’t appreciate the topic, or that I’m recovering from a wild night out. It’s not for lack of respect, nor lack of effort. It’s not something I can control. In fact, it takes every ounce of strength that I have in me to stay as conscious as I do in an hour long class. I have fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue is something that comes with it.

I wish I could give a definition of fibromyalgia to add some scientific backing to this post, but unfortunately, doctors have no idea what causes it. The current theory is that it has something to do with how the brain interprets pain signals, which explains the chronic soreness, muscle fatigue, and joint pain; but it doesn’t explain the anxiety, mental fatigue (sometimes called “fibro fog”—seriously the worst part about the illness, but more on that later), or digestive distress. Most of these symptoms don’t hurt my academic performance, luckily, but they sure as sugar don’t help it.

“Fibro fog” is the hardest symptom for me to deal with. It makes me think slow, fall asleep at strange times, and do weird things. For example, recently I tried to unlock my apartment with my car key fob. Silly mistake, I know, and most people would just laugh and get the right key out without much thought. Unfortunately for me, it was a “foggy” day, so I stood outside my apartment for five whole minutes trying to figure out why my door was broken and not unlocking. Funny to think about now, but very distressing in the moment. It causes me to work on homework much more slowly, and I’m constantly worried that I’ll have the bad luck of having a “fog” day the same day as a major exam. It hasn’t happened yet—knock on wood—but I’ve still got many an exam ahead of me.

College is hard. College with a chronic illness can be even harder, but it’s something that is entirely doable. I’ve heard that many illnesses are eligible for assistance from the Office of Accessibility Services on campus, but I’ve just recently come to terms with having fibromyalgia and have yet to look into what can be done for this invisible ailment that affects me, and other students on campus who are also suffering in silence. It helps to have a good sense of humor about it. My favorite thing to tell people about my experiences is that now I have an amazing talent: I can fall asleep almost anywhere, any time, in any position. I’m getting close to being able to sleep with my eyes open! In all reality, sometimes you just have to learn to play the game of life with the cards you’ve been dealt. My deck just happens to have a different card.