The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Keep it Balanced

Michelle Menkins While at Marshfield, in 1973-74 Menkens swam at the state meet, placing first in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100 freestyle. Menkens was the first woman to win a national title in any sport at University of Oregon (UO). She qualified for nationals every year and in 1975 was a national champion. By the end of her freshman year of college, in 1975, she held six records. In her career at UO she acquired four All-American certificates for freestyle sprinting. She was also a ten-time All-American and voted Oregon’s Athlete of the Year in the spring of 1975. 

Over the decades, dieting has been discussed and experimented with repeatedly. Everyone has had a different view on dieting, whether based on facts or what they have heard from the media. According to health teacher Doug Fendall, one’s body needs a proper balance of both dieting and exercise.

“In order for it to be healthy, balance it between healthy food and exercise,” Fendall said. “Just doing one or the other comes of the same with a lack of results.”

Sophomore Taryn Ellingson found an equally proportionate middle between eating and exercising during her recent three month diet, which led to a 21-pound weight loss.

“I still balance working out and proper eating,” Ellingson said, “I eat breakfast, plus body shaping, I would take a jog or walk, eat dinner, and maybe an ab workout; but I still ate what I needed to eat.”

Diets work best when one is fully committed to the change, according to health teacher Brooke Toy. She said a temporary diet will not give the desired or permanent results without working for it and converting to a healthy lifestyle.

“I don’t think short period diets are a necessary change. Long term diets can change how you look even by changing just the way you eat,” Toy said. “You have to change your whole mentality.”

Senior Quentin Kirk initially started dieting for one month, but is choosing to continue using habits he has acquired.

“It was supposed to be only for January, but I decided to continue,” Kirk said. “I’ve been sleeping better, I feel physically better, and mentally, am more positive.”

According to both Toy and Fendall, exercise is a necessary factor to accompany dieting. They said workouts do not have to be long and rigorous routines every day, but recommended doing different types every day or every other day. There are different workouts available depending on whether someone wants to lose weight, build muscle or lose inches. Fendall recommends teens try new things to change their bodies.

“Do a balance of cardio and strength. Say for two or three days of running or an elliptical and for the rest some lifting,” Fendall said.

Toy said sticking to a diet can be difficult with the convenience of Taco Bell and McDonalds down the road from campus. She also said an unhealthy snack is not bad to have once in a while but doing so may lead to stopping one’s healthier choices.

“If you give in once in a while, it’s okay,” Toy said. “Have a cheat day.”

Toy recommends to plan ahead with dieting. She said instead of eating a few large meals during the day, snack healthily every two or three hours. For example, bringing fruit to snack on may stop a sweet tooth. To make the change easier, it is advised to stock up on healthier snacks that one may enjoy at home or to bring and eat around school. Kirk prefers the smaller and healthier portion method now that he is accustomed to it.

“I think a lot of it I will keep because now that I’m used to smaller portions, it’s easier,” Kirk said.

However, according to Toy, dieting can only be healthy to an extent. Some take it to the limit, continuously wanting to lose numbers that appear on a scale. This goal, most likely caused by the pressure from peers or society, can lead a person to begin crash dieting which could lead to harmful diseases, such as bulimia or anorexia. Toy said sometimes it is a matter of a person not being satisfied with their own image.

“Usually, skinny girls have a skewed image of their body and want more from themselves,” Toy said. “Not necessarily based off models or athletes, but for themselves.”

Ellingson encourages eating, because the negatives are also emotionally damaging.

“Always eat, don’t stop eating.” Ellingson said. “Not eating can put you down and make you really irritated.”

Toy said friendly intervention from a positive support group and friends could stop unhealthy dieting habits as well as professional help.

Fendall said diet choices should be made because they are beneficial to the person who is making the choices. They should in no way harm someone. No diet works the same for every person because everyone is different with different bodies. Kirk knows this as well, because he has tried several different diets.

“This is my fourth or fifth diet,” Kirk said. “I only stuck to this one to prove I could do it.”

Ellingson advises to continue with the diet because it becomes easier.

“Keep with the diet,” Ellingson said. Sometimes you want to give up, but keep going; it will get better.”

There is no set plan in weight loss that works for everybody, according to Fendall. He advises to adopt new habits until satisfied with the results.

“When it comes to dieting or working out, there is no master plan,” Fendall said. “What works for some, doesn’t work for everyone. Just experiment with different methods.”

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Keep it Balanced