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Learning Balance: Lights, Camera & No Onion Rings

By Kelley Vargo

Things in DC have been keeping me busy.  This fall I am the editor of our campus fitness magazine, teaching three undergraduate fitness classes, taking two classes myself, performing thesis research, working as the nutrition and wellness graduate assistant for athletics and recreation, teaching group fitness, and personal training.  And I sometimes wonder why I am tired or a little stressed ;).

At the beginning of the semester I set out to compete. In the past the thought of it would get me so excited, but this time it felt different. Lately, when I would hear the word “compete” my heart raced, but not in a good way.  What did this mean?  I was so used to being able to take on the world single handedly and do it with a smile.  Why wasn’t I smiling at the idea of competing? I love competing.  With FMI (the Fitness Model International Conference) only a few weeks away, I was still feeling more stressed than excited.

Something had to give.

This past Friday I met with my professor, Dr. Amanda Visek, one of the best sport psychologists out there.  As a part of my grade for her class, I have to undergo a four-week behavior change.  Most people decide to take up exercise, eating vegetables, or cutting back on caffeine.  I could probably cut back on caffeine, but I think I am safe to say I do a decent job working out.  That being said, I knew I had a deeper issue to change, my mind.  But how do you undo 26 years of doing?

We started talking about stress, anxiety, and the thoughts I allow myself to ruminate in… Am I lean enough?  Am I dieting tight enough?  Am I getting in enough cardio? Dr. Visek then asked me,  “How do people get hypertension?” I replied with, “They eat friend foods.” “And…”she said.  “Genetics?” I replied. “And…”she said again.  I was stumped, I looked at her puzzled, and she said…”Stress Kel!”  She said, “From now on, when you stress out think of it as you eating onion rings. (She did make a disclaimer that I can eat onion rings if I want to :)).

I leave in less than two weeks for FMI and now more than ever I am getting excited.  For a while I was anxious, I am not in “show” shape with 10% body fat.  I have my butt!  And as lame as this may sound, I was watching the Kardashian’s while incline walking today and noticed Kim’s butt.  She has one too!  And she is gorgeous!

With my booty and smile I am ready to enjoy FMI without onion rings!

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