- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
- Henry Panion selected for 2014 Alabama African-American History Calendar
- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
- Engineering’s Ning wins ASTM International award
- Collat School of Business unveils sign at celebration
- Heudebert elected master by American College of Physicians
- Anti-aging strategies can improve more than looks
- On campus ‘blackout’ taken in stride
- Bariatric Surgery Services to present annual fashion show Nov. 25
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- Spinal cord injury research program receives gift
Viewpoint: Achieving Body Positive
I’d be the first to admit that my eating habits are bad. During high school, my average lunch ended with either two packs of Swiss Rolls or two packs of Zebra Cakes (Little Debbie Cakes are my weakness).
My freshmen year, I was terrified of gaining the freshman fifteen. When I wasn’t in class or at work, I was sitting at my desk or in my bed eating something. The total number of times I went to the REC that year, you ask? Once. What about sophomore year? None.
That’s right. My first two years at UAB included one day at the REC. I’m not really proud of that number, but I’m trying to make up for it.
Growing up, I always had this image of how I wanted to look when I grew up. The image, though, was blurry and more of a feeling that I wanted to achieve than a specific idea of how I wanted my body to look. Since coming out as trans, I’ve been able to clarify the image. It’s no longer blurry; it’s a precise image of how I want my body to look.
However clear the image of my desired body is, I cannot achieve it without breaking my one hit wonder gym record. And over the past month or so, I’ve been going to the gym pretty regularly. My goal has been to go five times a week, allowing two off days to rest (of course, I give myself more off days if I’m sick or just way too busy).
When I got an email a few weeks ago from the REC about a member login for their website, I didn’t see any need for it and deleted the email. A few days later, my friend, who I frequent the gym with, told me about the features available on the site and I knew immediately that I needed to find that email.
I logged on and looked at the attendance report for my account. Since August 20th, I’ve been to the gym a total of twenty-two times. For some people, that may not be a lot, but to me, it’s the most impressive thing I’ve achieved so far this year.
While going to the gym gives me energy and helps me focus on other things, it’s also a constant reminded that I don’t have testosterone in my body. I’ll try to cover this briefly; members of the trans community often undergo hormone therapy, which replaces their natural hormone production with the hormone corresponding with the gender a person presents as. For myself, I would need testosterone injections or topical gels in order to undergo the changes naturally achieved during puberty.
With testosterone in your body, muscles build more quickly. So, as I work out now, it’s a slow loss of fat. But at any rate, being able to work out has given me more self confidence. Of course, going to the gym isn’t for everybody; it’s conditional whether or not an individual is comfortable in their body, so I promote complete body satisfaction at every size.
It’s hard to get up the energy to go to the gym when something vital is missing from your system. If it wasn’t for my friend’s encouragement and dedication, I’d have a hard time going. To her, I am thankful.
For anyone on campus, trans or not, who is looking for motivation or a gym buddy, email me at the address above.