It’s that time again…

Hi everyone!

As many of you probably know, the first day of Barnard’s Room Selection for the 2014-2015 year happened today. Regardless of the outcome, this process almost always comes with a lot of stress, tension, and worry. Choosing where you’ll be living can feel very high-stakes, and having to form groups can be really challenging, especially for those of us who can’t think of enough people with whom we’d be willing to live, or are having to choose between too many potential roommates, or who don’t have good enough lottery numbers to get a suite for their group in the first place. In light of the added stress that will be present on campus during Room Selection, I wanted to remind our community that you can stop by Well Woman in 119 Reid for a place to vent, or to just hang out, drink tea, and eat chocolate! Staff office hours are from 1 to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and student office hours are from 7 to 9 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I also wanted to leave you with this picture of happy wild swimming pigs, and a link to an article about their island home.


Enjoy your weekends!!



Hi all! Hope everyone is enjoying their spring break – whether you are somewhere warm and sunny like California or somewhere less warm (but still sunny!) like New York.

As it is spring break, I have been spending a lot of time just relaxing. I find that everyone has their own way they like to relax – some people like cooking, some like knitting, some like hiking, running, singing, etc. I happen to like looking at pictures of cute animals (Especially dogs that remind me of my pup back at home!).

So, if you want to try out this relaxation technique (or just gush over pups), here’s an adorable blog about this woman who took a picture of her son and dog canoodling during naptime. She shows both of them as they grow up and it is just too cute!

Monday Message Challenge Returns!

Anyone attempting to follow my Monday Message Challenge last semester probably noticed that I didn’t do such a great job. I completed a few of the first tips of the semester, and then basically stopped writing anything about it. In the spirit of wellness and letting myself make mistakes, I’m not going to offer excuses or beat myself up about this, but I am going to try again! This time I’ll be slightly less ambitious – I recognize that there may be weeks when the tip isn’t easy for me to do, or when I have too much other stuff going on, but when possible, I’ll still be trying our weekly wellness tips, and posting about it here!

This month’s theme is Move Well, Be Well, so we’re offering a variety of tips for integrating movement into your daily life. I’ve always enjoyed exercise, but it’s typically one of the first things to go when my schedule gets too hectic. Deciding not to work out on any given day can definitely free up more time for studying (or Well-Woman blogging!) but it also tends to leave me with less energy and focus, and I don’t get to do something I genuinely enjoy.

This week, our tip was all about setting SMART goals – as in Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. We suggested trying to commit to doing a fitness activity three times this week, and checking in at the end of the week to see what worked (or didn’t!) about your strategy. This semester, my SMART (if I do say so myself) strategy has been to take it day by day. Every morning, I go over my schedule for the day, and try to find a block of time that I could spend in the Barnard Weight Room. If I really don’t have a free hour on any given day, or don’t feel up to working out, I don’t beat myself up about it. I do prioritize getting there a little more for the rest of the week, though! I also always make sure to give myself some weekly days off regardless of my schedule, so I don’t feel too overwhelmed. Generally, I like to have an ideal number of days in mind at the beginning of the week, so I can take stock of whether I got there or not.

This week, and this semester in general, I’ve found that this strategy has really worked for me! It’s very specific (find a time that works each day, and go to the Barnard Weight Room) and measurable (did I do it today? How many times did I go this week?). For me, it’s also been attainable and realistic – I live close to the Weight Room, and I can usually find a block of time to head over there a few times a week if I’m consciously thinking about it. One other thing that’s really worked for me is trying new varieties of physical activity. Until this semester, my workouts tended to be very cardio-focused, which got a little monotonous. Lately I’ve been adding more strength training – it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s really fun, which is definitely helping to motivate me.

It’s important to remember that there are a variety of things that can make it harder or easier for people to incorporate movement into their lives. Although I’m busy, I’m fortunate to have a schedule with several large blocks I can easily convert into gym time. Additionally, as a Barnard student, I have access to exercise equipment without paying additional fees, and gym memberships or classes can be prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Some people also have complicated relationships with exercise because of struggles with body image or any number of other, very fraught issues. We shouldn’t shame anyone for their decision to exercise or not, but if getting more exercise is a priority for you, trying to set concrete and realistic goals is a great way to make it happen!

It’s ok if college isn’t the best time of your life. No, really.

“College will be the best time of your life”, often accompanied by the warning “Being a grown-up is hard” is something I hear over and over from the various adults in my life. It’s true that for many people college is a time of fewer responsibilities and many opportunities.  If you listen to Buzz feed, college mainly consists of drinking and napping.  During midterms and finals (and by midterms I mean most of the semester, because let’s be real) most college students would probably rebel against the notion that college is care-free.

Our experiences in college are hopefully a good balance of hard work and fun times.  But I don’t get annoyed at those well-meaning adults because I think they undervalue the stress finals cause.  I just don’t want college to be the best time of my life.  I would hope that every part of my life is meaningful.  I don’t want to peak at the age of 22.

For me part of wellness means investing in my health.  I like to eat healthy and move my body not only because it helps me feel great now but because it will keep my body in shape for the future.  But part of wellness is also always seeking to enjoy life.  I went to an activist meeting the other week, and I was the youngest one there by a good 5 years.  It was great to see people in their thirties, forties, even seventies and all the ages in between try to untangle themselves from a human knot before sitting down to plan action on something they cared about.  Doing crazy things doesn’t stop when you graduate college.

Don’t believe me?  Check out some of these awesome “old” people.


World's Oldest Female Yoga Instructor (83-year-old)

Even in her eighties, Bette Calman is still practicing and teaching yoga.


Machsom Watch  is a group of elderly women activists who hang out at Israeli checkpoints to prevent human rights abuses.  The idea is that a person is less likely to treat someone badly if they feel like their grandmother is watching.


Daphne SelfeIs 80 year old Daphne Selfe the world's oldest supermodel?

Daphne Self is an 80 year old model who still graces fashion shoots.

Fat Fashion and Body Acceptance

In honor of Body Positive Week, I wanted to share something that has helped me tons in my path to body acceptance: fat fashion.

First, let me start by saying that I’m not using the word “fat” as negative, though it’s often used as such in mainstream vocabulary. Rather, through using fat simply as a describing word, like blonde, we try to re-appropriate the word as our own–not negative, not positive, just our own.

Fashion is an area that tends to marginalize those that don’t match the look of tall and thin. To dress in a way that expresses who you are and might make you stand out isn’t something that’s encouraged for fat people–rather, we’re expected to remain the invisible, not inconveniencing people by taking up extra space. Fat fashion is undoubtedly political.

I discovered the realm of fat fashion through a livejournal group that isn’t super active anymore, but played an important role in encouraging people to be visible through fashion, officially introducing fat fashion into the blogosphere. I’d just like to share a few personal favorites.

 photo gabifreshgalaxybikini_zps4960daeb.jpg

Gabi Gregg, of, is pictured here wearing a “fatkini” that she actually designed last summer. From her bio on her blog: “If you love fashion but you’re sick of being told to wear A-line skirts, wrap dresses, boot cut jeans, and slimming prints, this is the blog for you.”

Peggy Jean of

Nicolette Mason of

If you’re interested in more blogs, most bloggers will post other blogs that they read–it creates an awesome, supportive community that’s pretty easy to navigate. Fat fashion has inspired me so much, and I’m so excited to share with other people the influence it’s had on my life.

Until next time!

Shannon 😀