Not Just A Girl Thing

Plastic surgery was once considered a procedure only young women underwent to enhance their looks. However this has changed in recent years, with more and more males trying to obtain what they believe is the ideal male physique.
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the number of cosmetic procedures performed on men increased 256 percent from 1997 to 2001 (with a corresponding 311 percent climb among women).
[world] In the past two years the rate of procedures among males has grown by 400,000. What is causing men by the droves to turn to such extreme methods of unnatural beautification? Gina Glenn, receptionist at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Farmington Hills, said many of the clients don’t even need the surgery. However, the center has also never turned down a client’s request.
As the corporate world continues to appear more youthful with each passing year, older men are turning to surgeons to restore their looks from decades past. Dr. Phillip Miller, a plastic surgeon in New York, said, “[Older men] don’t want to come across as appearing tired, inattentive or unkempt.” Many baby boomers believe, to fight ageism, or discrimination based on age, cosmetic surgery is the only way.
While looking younger is one reason many men go under the knife, many undergo cosmetic procedures to boost self-confidence.
“Self-esteem has a lot to do with plastic surgery,” said George Poletes, M.D., of the Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeons, PC, in Lansing. Poletes named liposuction, chin implants and eyelid surgery as the most common procedures he performs on male clients. Unlike Glenn’s practice, Poletes has turned down between 20 and 30 percent of clients because they had unrealistic expectations.
Licensed psychologist, Gregg A. Pizzi (from where), said that men are more likely to get cosmetic surgery because they are trying to correct a problem they perceive they have based on earlier experience. “Many people, including men, seek to modify their physical appearance for reasons other than a psychological problem,” Pizzi said. “It is not necessarily related to some pathological issue. In today’s American society, there is a great emphasis on aesthetics (physical appearance), and there is increasing pressure to look as good as one can.” He said this is because plasic surgery helps many people feel better about themselves, or atleast expect that they will be happier with such changes.
[men] People between the ages of 35 and 50 were the prominent age group of clients across the country that underwent plastic surgery in 2004, while the 19-34 age group made up 22 percent. The top five procedures among men in 2004: liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, breast reduction and hair transplantion.
Though its not as common for younger males to go under the knife, it is still an ever-growing trend to not only battle ageism, but also to give men a higher level of confidence. Andrew (LAST NAME?), a marketing sophomore, said he would never get plastic surgery. However, he would consider it if the results would move him up the corporate ladder.
Similarily, other MSU males, such as David a pre-med freshman who would like his last name sealed, wouldn’t consider getting plastic surgery, but also wouldn’t talk someone out of getting a procedure done.
Plastic surgery may be moving slowly toward becoming a trend among American males, but it’s a relief to know most guys are OK with their physical appearance when they look in the mirror.

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I Learned About It Differently

Learning about sex can be considered taboo in any culture, but the way someone of a different race learns about the subject may affect their sexual relationships, or their sexual curiosities, as they get older.
According to Dr. Gail Wyatt, sex therapist and professor of psychiatry and behavioral science in the African-American community, “[G]irls receive the impression that asking or learning about sex is impolite, rude or unladylike, and sex should not be discussed with anyone, even with adults who can be trusted.”
[girls] Dr. Wyatt also singles out the differences between the sexual education received by African-American girls and caucasian girls. According to her, caucasian girls are more likely to learn a little about sex directly from their parents, while girls from minority ethnicities are more apt to learn about sex from movies, magazines or friends.
“I never learned about sex from my parents,” accounting freshman Ashley Balko said. “I just figured it out from friends and on my own.” Sex is one of the most difficult subjects parents of any ethnicity must discuss with their children. Society tends to make sex a taboo subject with sexual images of “The Bachelor” and “MTV’s Spring Break” dominating our television screens.
However, psychology freshman Aja Casey’s parents, who are African-American, didn’t approach her about sex until approximately eight months into her first serious relationship, when she was 16. “We really didn’t talk about it unless I brought it up,” Casey said. “Since I grew up in the church, my parents always put in me to wait [to have sex] until I’m married. They never said anything about abortions.”
In this respect, perhaps the gender of a child may also affect the way most parents approach him or her about sex. Most men report receiving little or no information about sex from their parents; instead, like many others, they learned about it from the media. (NEED A QUOTE FROM A MALE HERE SINCE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT MALES)
“My parents were raised in the Philippines where parents aren’t open at all,” Kristina Ranoso, physiology junior and Asian-American, said. “I would definitely talk about [sex] with kids instead of just pretending that sexuality issues didn’t exist. I can’t say at what age to discuss it with them, but as soon as I saw it becoming an issue, I would talk about it with them to educate them about sex.”
[parents] Parents, in general, find it difficult to talk with their kids about sex because of how sensitive the subject has become. “If parents pretend that kids aren’t experimenting, kids might not get an important education, morals and attitudes about sex,” Ranoso said.
Lily Yang, social science sophomore and Akers Hall Asian-American aide, said it’s not typical for a parent to bring up the subject of sex to their children when they are younger. “It’s not that it’s looked down upon, I think that most of time it’s just seen as a way to reproduce, but as a college student I’m not as conservative,” she said.
On the contrary, Nicole Rivera, Akers Hall Chicano-Latino aide, believes religion may play an important part in how, when and why parents talk about sex in the Latino community. “Many families are conservative (and), at the same time, I believe religious beliefs impacted what I’ve been told.”
Students who are hesitant about discussing sex are open to use the aide-presented programs on sexual education. As an aide, Rivera informs her students they can go to her for condoms anytime. “I felt weird at first telling them up front that I have condoms if they ever need any, but no one seemed freaked out,” Rivera said. “I think many of them aren’t as naïve to these things because they have TV.”
[talk] With such sitcoms as “Sex and the City,” and reality hot tub scenes dominating network television, students plan to be more open about the subject when they become parents themselves. “I think my parents were kind of afraid to touch on the topic, so they tried to stay away from it as much as they could,” Casey said. “I want to talk to my kids, and want them to come to me if they ever have any questions.”
So regardless of your race or gender, talking about sex when you’re younger and how you react to the subject when you are older can be different or the same. In the end, though, the main thing is just to talk about it. If parents do not talk to their kids about sex, when their kids get older, they may have different perceptions about the subject because of the different perspectives provided them, whether television, movies or printed media.

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Magic Beans of the Diet Industry **ISSUE 25**

Once upon a time, in a place far, far away, there was a poor widow that had an only son named Jack. This fairytale has been told for years, but to recap what happened with Jack, he traded the family’s only cow for magical beans that grew into a beanstalk and stole a golden harp that saved his family from future financial problems. Now Magical beans sound a little outlandish, but the 21st century has its own version of magical beans, and it is diet pills. A number of diet pills have been released over the last 10 years, because of a growing demand for these miracle pills. These pills may not save anybody from any future fiscal problems, but they can help with squeezing into smaller clothing sizes.
With popular culture pushing the viewpoint that every individual should be able to wear a petite size and somehow still keep curves to their body, fad diets have become a common part of today’s society. Diets have become common words in households as everyone now knows the Atkins Diet or Subway Diet, but diet pills have been around for over thirty years.
The rage all started with amphetamine pills that aimed at slimming your figure. Researchers would denounce the pills because the pills were shown to cause little weight loss and become addictive to its users. The slimming pills can still be found today, but new versions have come to prominence, as Dexitrim, TrimSpa, Relacore and Cortislim can be found in almost every pharmaceutical section. There is also an all-natural option of weight-loss that includes appetite suppressants, meal replacements, and weight loss laxatives, thus proving that people will do almost anything to lose a few pounds.
“I would kill a skinny girl if I could take on her dress size,” said Christina Danielson, a Michigan State Marketing Senior. For Erika Nitsh, hospitality business sophomore, said she would eat a large piece of raw meat, although she is a vegetarian.
However, Sarah Hughes, an elementary education sophomore, would take a different approach to lose some weight. “To lose five pounds I would quit drinking,” she said. “To lose fifteen pounds I would probably stop partying!”
With the ability to help individuals to lose weight, a number of negative side effects have been found with diet pills. Many of the problems with diet pills have been attributed to the controversial drug, ephedrine (also known as ephedra or , a naturally occurring substance derived from plants. Some of the negative effects of Ephedrine are:
•Boost in energy
•Some feeling of anxiety
•Light Headedness and feeling faint
•Increased heart rate and rapid heart beat
•Increased sweating and the need for more water
•Increased blood pressure
•Decreased Appetite
•Feel restless and hyperactive
All of these effects are said to be quite normal, said Dr. Michele DeGregorio M.D. of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Oakland. Gregorio describes patients that he has seen that have taken quantities of ephedrine as being overly agitated, very hyper, and without focus.
“When I see patients that have are on diet pills it is almost as if they are on speed or have attention deficit disorder,” said DeGregorio.
The Food and Drug Administration took notice at the problems with ephedrine and administered a consumer alert of all products containing ephedrine, warning people the risks or illness or injury and therefore such pills should not be consumed. The beginning of the consumer report said:
With the crackdown on the dietary supplement, the FDA took a large step toward getting rid of any products containing and amounts of ephedrine. There is still a problem as Gregorio explained it is not just the producers fault for people taking this drug, but that also the fault also falls on the doctors that prescribe any drugs with ephedrine.
“There should be an increase of regulation on dietary supplements,” Gregorio said. “It is all about producers making the newest unregulated product and it is too easy to get a hold of. Some doctors will prescribe just about anything if a patient complains to them.”
Students what Dr.Gregorio is saying.
“People want to lose weight, whether it is to be healthier and fit or to just look better, so they pump their body with these foreign chemicals and substances, which are not good for them, so there’s nothing healthy about that,” said Danielson.
However, Brittany Maurer, communications and marketing sophomore, said she would much exercise. “I would much rather work out and lose the weight the right way than just take some pills that are going to make my body feel horrible,” she said.
Even though diet pills have come to have a bad reputation, they are still legal to buy in the United States, as many pills have begun to offer ephedrine-free versions of the pills. The pills claim to offer the same weight-loss abilities without the negative side-effects. One student on campus has experienced the bad after effects of the products but says that they are safe. Lauren Pray, a journalism junior, said she has taken diet pills for over five years now and that they are perfectly fine.
“Problems only happen when you take too many pills or you are not eating a correct diet,” said Pray. “You cannot just take the pills and expect to lose weight, you have to live a healthy lifestyle at the same time.”
She also said that she has witnessed the positive effects of diet pills many times in her life, and that she plans on continuing to use them in the future. “I really do not see what the big deal is about them, if you are healthy and are smart about how you use them, and then there should not be any problems,” she said.
However, when she first began taking the pills, they not only kept her awake, but there were some other side effects “My heart would beat really fast, but now I buy the caffeine-free pills, and I see no side effects.”
With the FDA looking further into the diet pills industry, many of the available pills are becoming healthier through regulation. With a more watchful eye over the industry of diet pills, hopefully these magic beans will lead to a safer and healthier alternative to dieting.

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Sex from Around The World

Learning about sex can be considered taboo in any culture, but the way individuals of different races learn about the subject may affect their sexual relationships as they get older.
According to Dr. Gail Wyatt, sex therapist and professor of psychiatry and behavioral science in the African-American community, “(G)irls receive the impression that asking or learning about sex is impolite, rude or unladylike and sex should not be discussed with anyone, even with adults who can be trusted.”
[uno] Wyatt also points out the differences between the sexual education received by African-American girls and white girls. According to her, adolescent white girls are more likely to learn a little information about sex directly from their parents, while adolescent girls from minority ethnicities are more apt to learn about sex from movies, magazines or friends.
“I never learned about sex from my parents,” accounting freshman Ashley Balko said. “I just figured it out from friends and on my own.” Sex is one of the most difficult subjects parents of any ethnicity have to discuss with their children. Society has tended to make sex a taboo subject with sexual images on “The Bachelor” and “MTV’s Spring Break” dominating the airwaves.
However, psychology freshman Aja Casey’s parents, who are African-American, didn’t approach her about sex until approximately eight months into her first serious relationship, when she was 16. “We really didn’t talk about it unless I brought it up,” Casey said. “Since I grew up in the church, my parents always put in me to wait (to have sex) until I’m married. They never said anything about abortions.”
In this respect, perhaps the gender of a child may also affect the way most parents approach him or her about sex. Most men report receiving little or no information about sex from their parents; instead, like many others, they learned about it from the media. (NEED A QUOTE FROM A MALE HERE SINCE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT MALES)
[dos] “My parents were raised in the Philippines where parents aren’t open at all,” physiology junior Kristina Ranoso said. “I would definitely talk about (sex) with kids instead of just pretending that sexuality issues didn’t exist. I can’t say at what age to discuss it with them, but as soon as I saw it becoming an issue, I would talk about it with them to educate them about sex.”
Parents, in general, find it difficult to talk with their kids about sex, because of how taboo the subject has become. “If parents pretend that kids aren’t experimenting, kids might not get an important education, morals and attitudes about sex,” Ranoso said.

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Thanks, Mom

Imagine being a 25-year-old girl in India, and not having a say in a lot of different things, let alone marriage. What if you had no choice but to marry the person your parents set you up with – a complete stranger? Welcome to my mom’s world.[]
Although I’ve lived in America since I was three years old, and had my parents treat me as much like all the “other American kids”, there are many Indian customs that I still hold true to myself and probably will never let go of. The main thing being religion, of course. Even growing up, as much as my parents let me have an easier time than my sister, I still wasn’t allowed to date, go to school dances, be out after 9 p.m., or do anything after 9 for that matter. When I was about 11 years old, though, I asked my mom a question that she refused to answer because she said I was too young to be talking about it. I asked my mom if I had to marry someone who was Indian, which got me wondering how the Indian marriages worked.
I would look at my parents and see how happy they are. They truly are in love and probably always will be. I asked my mom how she met my dad and she told me that she didn’t- until her wedding day- which again, got me wondering what the hell she meant. After telling me repeated times, “I dated your dad after we got married,” I had to know what Indian marriages were all about.
“It was arranged,” was all she said. Arranged? What the hell does that mean? Since I wouldn’t let go of the subject, we finally decided to talk about it when I was older and I came to realize that my parents didn’t get married after dating, like many of my friends’ parents had done. My mom had an arranged marriage, which basically means her parents found my dad for her and they got her married to him. Sounds a little unfair and wrong, right? I thought so, too.
However, sitting down while drinking coffee with my mom, it was the most emotional thing (both in a good and bad way) I think my mom has ever talked about with me. She broke down the entire process of how her and my dad came together. She told me how she was between 25 and 26 years of age, the age when most girls in India would already be married, or would be getting married. She had a bachelor’s degree and very badly wanted to get her master’s for teaching as well. Her parents had other plans for her though. Not really having a freedom of speech, she told me how her parents wanted to “dispose” of her and make sure she was taken care of. They put a personal ad in the paper saying that their daughter had a degree in teaching, wanted to settle down and that she was seeking an educated man to marry.
I guess my dad’s parents thought she was a prime catch, because the next thing my mom knew, her picture was being shown to my dad. He was impressed with what he saw and knew about her: this girl was educated, she wanted to further her education, have a family and settle down. Sounds pretty damn good! So then my mom told me how after meeting my dad at the engagement, she was very impressed with what she saw and got really nervous about whether or not he would truly love her. I suppose everything worked out okay for them, though, since they’ve been married almost 27 years and they couldn’t be happier.
[wedding]So since arranged marriages seemed like the norm for most Indian girls, I figured that I’d have to have one. My mom already told me that I don’t have to have one; that she wants me to find a guy that I love and loves me and make sure to bring him home to meet her and my dad. “Either way, the marriage will be arranged since your dad and I have to arrange for the ceremony,” she said. “But you’ll marry someone you love; a love marriage.”
A love marriage is the exact thing my cousin, Rajni Samavedam, did. She opened the door with the social change of tradition in our family by not only marrying someone she dated, but marrying an “All-American” named Barry Treadway. She told me how she wasn’t afraid to tell her parents about Barry. “There may have been concern from family in terms of marrying someone who is not of Indian ethnicity, but once my parents, at least, got to know Barry, they realized that he is a good person and makes me happy,” she said.
Rajni also told me that although of course she values her parents’ opinions, she’s a strong believer in that if you’re too scared to tell your actions to your parents, about such things as marriage, that you’re not ready to get married. However, she doesn’t think that arranged marriages are necessarily a bad thing. She said that having family involved can be rewarding and take away the pressure of trying to please everyone. “When you marry outside of your culture, you do give something up,” she said. “For example, my children will only learn Telegu [a language of south India] through me, not Barry, and they will learn about Hinduism through me as well.”
By having Barry respect and support her heritage and culture and how important it is to her, this reassured her that things would be okay. This is true because Rajni and Barry had a traditional Indian wedding, so both sides of the family could be a part of their joyous union.
The same goes for Indians who marry someone from a different region of India. Rajni explained to me that there is tension when a Telegu marries someone Gujarati [north-Indian], so regardless of who you marry, whether different race or culture, there are tensions, problems and concerns from families. “I really don’t know if any family member frowns upon the idea [of marrying someone outside of my culture and race],” she said. “No one has said anything negative to me and frankly I don’t care. At the end of the day, I’m the one who lives with my husband and not anyone else.”
So, in the end, I don’t have to have an arranged marriage. I don’t even have to have an Indian wedding if I don’t want to. My mom told me that although when I was younger, her and my dad always thought of arranged marriages for my sister and me, as we grew up in an American culture, they realized that these types of decisions are something that only her and I can make. But it all comes down to culture and family tradition. Although I don’t know who I’m going to marry, I know that I want an Indian marriage and be “given away” under my customs and my religious cultures. It’s just nice to know that no matter what, my parents will support me in whatever decision I make about marriage. “It’s your choice who you want to marry and nobody else’s. Your dad and I will always love you for whatever you decide to do. Just be happy, that’s all we want.” Thanks mom – I’ll definitely always keep that one in mind.

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Not Just for Tweens

Disclaimer: I’m a Harry Potter nerd. I absolutely love the books and everything J.K. Rowling, but this wasn’t always the case. Here’s a look inside my love affair with Hogwarts.
I’ll admit that when the Harry Potter series first started, I thought it was quite possibly the most immature attempt to make a novel, and quite frankly, it just annoyed me. Everywhere I looked, I’d see something Harry Potter-related; the lightning bolt logo on posters, pictures of owls and it seemed that every other commercial on TV had the theme song from the first film. They even advertised contests through Coca-Cola about how you could win a trip to see the actual Hogwarts castle. And I’d ask myself, “What is so great about this series? Why is everyone reading it?” My curiosity really soared when I saw adults reading the novels, since I thought the books were aimed at adolescents.
Then, when I was about to begin my sophomore year at MSU, on the day I moved in to 3 North Wonders Hall, my best friend Danielle was unpacking her things in the room next door, and out came all the then-released Harry Potter books and movie posters. I couldn’t believe she was reading it, too! She told me they were possibly the best books she’d ever read and I should read them as well. Of course I told her I had no desire whatsoever to read a children’s book, and she said one thing I’ll never forget: “Read the first book and if you don’t like it, fine, but I guarantee that you’ll want to read the second, and the ones that follow.” I couldn’t believe how right she was.
I was amazed because Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a phenomenal book, introducing readers to this boy named Harry, describing his pain and innocence, revealing his secret identity as a wizard and showing how his life changed literally overnight. So, of course, I had to find out what happened next for our hero and I read, just like Danielle said, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. Once the much-anticipated fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix was released two summers ago, I was amazed at how accurately Rowling was able to portray the feelings of a 15-year-old, including his first crush, trying to understand girls, maturing as a wizard, training, learning new magic techniques and becoming a young man.
For me to think an author deserves some kind of credible standing, I really have to be able to get into a book and feel the emotions, sense where I am, picture everything that’s being written to me. Sure enough, Rowling can do just that. She has the unbelievable ability of painting the words on the page without using a single illustration and describing places, people and events, making you feel as if you’re right there experiencing the same things the characters are.
She also has created magic for children, making Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry a place any person would want to go for visits and studies. Who wouldn’t want to learn Charms, Potions, Transfiguration (the ability to change animals into objects or make them vanish) and Divination (sort of like studying how to unveil the future)? OK, OK, stop laughing at me. Call me a nerd, a geek or what you will, but I would much rather learn how to make potions that can cure someone’s ailments, or be taught how to turn a kitten into a tea cozy, than learning how to write a lede or integrate derivatives.
For me, reading Harry Potter lets me escape the reality of this world and enter a magical world the author has created. I’ve become a devoted fan and I think I might always be one because these books truly have inspired me to become a more creative writer. I think it’s done the same for many people, no matter their age. It’s made me closer to my roommate and best friend, Danielle, because we can talk for hours upon hours about what we think the last two books will hold, what will happen in the end, who will end up dying, the possible twists, etc., and it seems perfectly normal to us for Harry Potter to be part of our everyday lives.
Just how big a fan/nerd am I? Well, for starters, aside from having all the books currently released, I, too, have posters from the movies. Danielle even got me an exact replica of Ron Weasley’s wand from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, as well as an official Hogwarts track jacket. I even think I have a direct link to the books because there is a character named Parvati Patil, who just happens to be an Indian girl (like myself), and I just happen to have been named after Goddess Parvati in the Hindu religion. I’m sure you’re on the floor laughing your head off by now, but I am not even the slightest bit ashamed of loving this series, this wizard and all his friends, and even his enemies.
Call me what you will, but I believe Rowling has brought reading back into mainstream society. Children and adults alike enjoy her books, and it brings them together since parents can share them with their children at bedtime. We’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of book six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which comes out in July, because it’s one book closer to the end of the series.
In the words of J.K. Rowling herself, “I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Going Co-ed

We all learned the quirky little facts about our school on that first campus tour. However, as smug high school seniors we probably missed quite a bit. Sure we all know there is a supposed to be a ghost in Mary Mayo. But did you know that the wide halls of Morrill Hall, MSU’s oldest building, were built that way to accomodate the huge hoop skirts in fashion in the late 19th century? More importantly did you know that MSU was one of the first schools in Michigan, and even in the entire nation, that opened its doors to women? I know I didn’t.
Up until Feb. 23, 1870, women were not allowed to attend the college. But when the first land grant university extended itself beyond men, ten women enrolled from around the state to pursue a degree.
While researching at University Archives, I learned that one of the main reasons women were allowed to attend the college was because people thought young women needed to “develop their powers” in the area of education. Attending college was regarded as a way of becoming a true woman, where she could make herself “nobler” and a better person in the eyes of society.
Originally built in 1900, Morill Hall became the first building on campus to house women. Women were basically confined to the residence hall unless escorted elsewhere. At first, they were only allowed to study the core subjects: algebra, geometry, bookkeeping and literature. After classes, all students, including both men and women engaged in three hours of afternoon work gardening and planting seeds. In 1896, the Women’s Course was added to girls’ ciricculum, which was a course women students had to follow.
Portia Vescio, technical services archivist of University Archives, said that at the time, it was considered a huge deal for women to have the privileges they did at that time.
“When you think about it, the Women’s Course was a big deal at the time,” Vescio said. “Before then, [women students] didn’t have a specific course of study and no dormitory. [The Women’s Course] really opened up opportunities for women in 1896.”
In 1873, three years after doors were opened to women, three foreign students were allowed to attend, marking the beginning of offering different races, cultures and ethnic groups the same opportunities as white men and women at the college.
According to Jim Cotter, senior associate director of admissions, the growing diversity of the college at such an early date was the result of the Morrill Act of 1855, passed by President Lincoln to ensure anyone could attend land grant colleges.
“The act was the foundation upon which MSU was built,” Cotter said. “Lincoln said that the Land Grant College needed to be an institute for all people to attend.”
Currently, 54 percent of the students on campus are women, and compared to only ten women in 1870, it’s obvious our university has come a long way over the last 150 years. No longer are women thankful for separate women’s courses, they fill classrooms in every area of study.
“We are proud of how far we have progressed as an institution of higher learning and it is each person’s responsibility to assure that MSU remains committed to our heritage of accessibility.”

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It’s snowing outside, the wind chill is well below freezing and nothing sounds better than snuggling under a blanket inside, sipping hot cocoa. But for many people, their New Year’s resolution of losing weight has them working up a sweat in a different way: by going to the gym, whether it be for spring break or just to look better.
And what goes better with exercise to shed those extra pounds than a diet…right?
Approach the diet and nutrition section of any Barnes and Noble and you will be flooded with hundreds of titles promising quick weight loss, such as Atkins and Sugar Busters.
Dr. Robert C. Atkins’ diet plan requires people to limit carbohydrates so that the body must burn fat and protein. This means a person can’t eat breads, pasta, rice or other foods high in carbohydrates.
With the Enter the Zone diet, Dr. Barry Sears created a plan where the ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein one intakes is used to manipulate hormone balance, causing weight loss. The Zone allows fruit and vegetables, and calls for small, frequent meals.
Many people also invest in weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers, where intervention with other members through routine meetings is offered in addition to a controlled diet.
“I don’t recommend any diet, because what you’re doing with a diet is something temporary,” said Ronda Bokram, nutritionist for Olin Health Center.
Bokram said when people stop following the pattern of their diet, they really haven’t learned anything, because they start to respond to hunger instead of continuing to eat a certain way.
“I don’t buy into the fad diets, because it’s a new fad every week,” said Katelin Ripmaster, senior at Michigan State University.
Ripmaster said she avoids diets like Atkins because they don’t work. She stays in shape by eating healthy foods and working out daily. “People are always looking for the easiest way to lose weight,” she said. “I’ve found the best results come from working out and just avoiding bad foods.”
Bokram said that fad diets, such as Atkins have been around for years, but are popular for short periods of time. For example, Dr. Atkins debuted his diet around 1972.
“Whatever goes around comes around again,” she said. “Didn’t work long term then, and it’s back now.”
Taking diet pills is another way people try to shed unwanted pounds. Advertisements for Dexatrim, TrimSpa and other pills flood TV screens and magazine pages daily, but Bokram said they don’t work. “None of the pills work, they’re placebos,” Bokram said. “Why are [people] spending money on something if it’s not going to work?”
Instead, Bokram suggests putting the money towards a nutritionist. “First talk to a professional and see if you even need to lose weight,” she said. “Perhaps you’re not eating enough, or not enough of one type of nutrient.”
Furthermore, by avoiding diet pills and fads and talking to a professional, Bokram said you can get the best plan.
“Don’t just say, ‘my life will be so much better if I just lose this amount of weight’,” she said. “Really go at it in a way that makes sense and can give you information that you need.”
Ripmaster believes working out is another major component. “I’ve had the best results by combining a healthy eating plan and exercising,” she said. “If you’re working out routinely, that’s when you see results. What better motivation can there be?”

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Long Distance Relationships

Long-distance relationships can be hard to maintain when at college, but with effective techniques these relationships need be no more difficult than any other.[map]
College often takes us far away from our homes, families, friends and significant others. Relationships you had in high school where you saw your boyfriend/girlfriend everyday in and out of school, suddenly seem too hard to manage when one of you decides to go to a college far away from the other. Or perhaps you meet someone really great but they are from out-of-state or are leaving for an internship or a study abroad program soon.
These scenarios happen often among younger couples and in college atmospheres. Danielle Heming and Grr Hills found themselves facing a long-distance relationship after only being together for a short amount of time. Heming moved to London, England after graduating to pursue an internship opportunity in the film industry while Hills remained in Lansing.
“It is more difficult being in a long-distance relationship because you miss the presence of the person,” Hills said. “You feel separated from them and have to live with an idea as opposed to a person.”
Many people do associate long-distance relationships with being harder than other relationships. They are viewed as more frustrating, lonely and as being very hard. Though these associations are not necessarily wrong, long-distance relationships can be both healthy and happy when both partners come to some important agreements.
Andre Cross, relationship correspondent for agrees that couples must decide what they want when faced with a long distance relationship in his article, “Long-Distance Relationships.”
“The couple must agree on how they will deal with this separation, and even if they will remain a couple at all,” he said.
It is okay to decide that you do not want a long-distance relationship and to end things because of that alone. Making this decision early is better than not being absolutely sure you want to try long-distance and having things end up things badly with hurt feelings and resentment.
However, if both partners do decide they want to try to make it work there are some important things they should keep in mind. The Counseling Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla gives some helpful advice on their website.
The most important factor to keep in mind is open channels of communication. “It is important for both parties to be able to feel that if they need to talk or write to the other person, communication will be welcomed and met with active communication from the other,” the site states. “The quality of the relationship is more likely to increase if both people develop the ability to share feelings openly with each other.
Heming agrees that communication is key to keeping her relationship strong. “When in a long-distance relationship all you have are words,” she said. “There is no time to be physical together so you can’t try to understand one another through body language. All you have is what you honestly tell one another.”
Commitment and trust are also important to consider for a long distance relationship to remain healthy. Both parties within this type of relationship may feel more vulnerable than they would be closer together. Having an understanding as to each other’s degree of commitment within the relationship helps to establish a solid base.
Much like commitment, if both partners do not trust one another then the base of the relationship is not solid.
The Counseling Center agrees that commitment is important to decide within a relationship. Their website states, “Each will trust that the other person’s social life in his or her own town will not be a threat to the relationship. Trust is so important that if it isn’t strong, you can make a conscious effort to work on it, both on your own and together.”
Besides having a strong communications, commitment and trust base, there are things each partner can do individually to help him or her avoid loneliness and frustration. Keeping yourself busy with school, extra curricular activities, volunteering and most importantly surrounding yourself with supportive people and places are also ways to stay strong.
Hills finds that friends who are supportive are essential to help remind him that the work of a long-distance relationship is worth it.
“Having people rooting for you is important especially if they are people who have seen the couple together,” he said. “If they support your relationship and you can see it from other people’s perspectives that it is a good thing then it make you want to keep going.”
The Counseling Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla encourages people to engage in hobbies, go to student lounges to watch TV with people around and let out your emotions. Cry when you need to cry, laugh when you need to laugh. If you feel as though you are beginning to become depressed in trying to cope, seek out professional help with a counselor at the Michigan State University Counseling Center by calling (517) 355-8270.
“As if relationships weren’t complicated enough, having them across a long distance is extremely challenging,” their website states. “However, throughout time couples have had to be miles apart, and have been able to maintain a solid, happy, successful relationship until they could be together again.”

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Body Image

[bones] When you look in the mirror what do you see? Can you honestly say that you are happy with who is looking back at you?
The perfect body. We all want it. We all dream of partners who possess it. And we all have a general idea of what this body looks like – tall, thin, and well defined.
However, most of us are lacking of such good fortune. We are still striving to achieve these qualities. We are, for the most part, dissatisfied with our own bodies in comparison.
In fact in a survey, the rare few that were 100% happy with their reflection were males. However, generally there is always something we are looking to change, to improve. And so it seems that the desire to change characteristics in our appearance and body images are largely self-inflicted.
“I’d like to be tall, lean, toned and preferably a size 6,” 22-year-old senior Lauren Stone said.. She represented a majority of the responses from females on campus. Interestingly enough, the average size of a woman in America is a size 12. The males were not so apprehensive to find faults of their mates’ physique. “I would like a girl who was proportionate, but the number on the scale doesn’t necessarily mean anything,” 20-year-old junior Stephen Bradley said. “So long as it is proportionate to her height and weight, it’s okay.”
Currently, girls are their own worst critics, and the reverse was true for men. “I want to be ripped,” Dan Beard, a freshman of 18 said. The girls were far less demanding in response to their male counterparts. “I want a tall guy with a thin build, [nothing] too bulky!” said Mallory Radzik, 18, a freshman here at MSU. “I definitely wouldn’t mind dating someone with a few extra pounds, as long as they weren’t unhealthy or obese,” 20-year-old junior Jessica Wheeler said.
If this is true, why such the desperate urge for young women to be so thin, and young men to have such huge muscular physiques? Ronda Bokram, Club Advisor for the organization RUBI, (Respecting and Understanding Body Image,) and a nutritionist here at MSU said that she has seen an increase in the number of patients who need to be treated for distorted body image issues over the years, despite our nation’s growing awareness of our vanities.
“The pressures women put on themselves to have large breasts are the same pressures males put on themselves to be well endowed,” Bokram said. “Furthermore, their partners, most of the time, are not concerned with these matters.” Bokram also points out that while the media is easy to blame for this, with unreasonable pornographic standards and an increasing number of underwear ads for men, [and rail thin pictures of women in magazines,] she finds that it is more plausible that the cause is due to a shift from an internal based society to an external one through changes in family, medicine and society overall. The definition of beautiful has shifted from as recently as 40 years ago because believe it or not, Marilyn Monroe was a size 16.
Amy Kaherl, founder of Beauty from Within, disagrees. The organization is about teaching media literacy and informing people of the dangers of its subliminal powers. “Recently, 81 percent of girls ages 7-10 have tried dieting,” Kaherl said. “Where are they getting the idea that this is ok? I don’t think it’s from their parents.”
In fact, Kaherl also said that the expectations most women are aspiring too are those that they seen in the magazines where most of the models are bone-thin and airbrushed to show little or no imperfections.
“Our role models have become those size-2 models that walk the runway looking like Barbie and we think that’s beautiful,” Kaherl said. “However, these expectations are far from reality and I believe that the media is the culprit for this because they are handing out these skewed views of beauty,”
Either way, the effects of these imprecise self-representations are scary. “Nothing surprises me anymore,” Bokram said. “From drugs, like Adderall, Creatine, and cocaine to spitting chewed food out, to laxative abuse and eating disorders; these are all becoming more and more bizarre and diverse.” She continues to say that we no longer only have to worry about the hazards of bulimia or anorexia, because simply monitoring your food intake can be cause for concern. “Eating has become all about numbers – calorie counts, weight, portion sizing – it controls you, makes you stop listening to yourself.” Bokram said.. “What you eat can be dangerous as well because eating too much protein, as men often do to build muscle, can be a severe kidney threat.”
According to Kaherl, the best advice is for girls to stop being so hard on themselves. “We are our own worst critics,” Kaherl said. “It’s more than likely that no one minds your extra pound or two, or your lack of bulging biceps but you, so love yourself for who you are and others will too.”
Ronda Bokram can be reached at Iinformation on Beauty from Within or to speak to Amy Kaherl information can be obtained through

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