Meredith College Student Newspaper /
Feb. 29, 2012, edition 1 /
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Spring Break in Raieigh
Christa Riley, Staff Writer
image via Anna Kathryn Renfro
Carosel at Pullen park, image via photohucket.com
If you’re not going on a cruise, road tripping across the country, or head
ing to the beach this spring break, you are most likely trying to find out
what exactly there is to do in Raleigh. Truthfully, there is much more to do
than one would think.
If you are hoping not to spend any money, there are many free things to
do in Raleigh. Most of the museums, such as the North Carolina Museum
of Art, African American Cultural Complex, North Carolina Museum of
History, NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the Raleigh City Museum, are
free to the general public, aside from special exhibitions.
Pullen Park was recently renovated and reopened in November; our
own students assisted with parts of the renovations. The park includes the
aquatic center mentioned above, a theatre, the arts center, playgrounds,
picnic areas and paths surrounded by beautiful scenery. The Durant Na
ture Park has five miles of nature trails for jogging, hiking, or just enjoying
the scenery. You can also fish in the lower or upper lake and, if you fill out
an application, the park will lend you a fishing rod.
If North Carolina’s weather is still a bit chilly for you in early March to
head to the lake, an indoor pool is an ideal place to get your swim on. The
Optimist Pool, Pullen Aquatic Center, and Millbrook Exchange Pool are all
open to the general public and are only $2-6 for each individual visit.
If you’re willing to spend a little money, you can also check out the lo
cally owned restaurants in the area by going to a new place every day of
the week with a group of friends. Doing the same with local shops and
boutiques will help support small businesses and the Raleigh community.
While you are in downtown Raleigh, you can do a sort of scavenger hunt
with your friends by sending them clues through picture text messages as
to where you are.
The Carmike Blue Ridge 14 Cinema, which is about two miles from Mer
edith, shows movies that have just finished their regular run" in theaters;
the price for an individual ticket is $2, with specials on food and drinks
throughout the week. Since the tickets are so cheap, a group of friends
could go see three or four movies in one day, and vote on which one was
On March 10th and nth, Michael Jackson: The Immortal by Cirque du
Soleil will be coming to the RBC center. The website states, that it will be a
“riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audi
ences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves
There are a lot of concerts occurring during the week of spring break
with artists including Mayday Parade, We The Kings, The Nasty Habits,
The Kole Band and many more. For a complete list of concerts in the
Raleigh area, check out http://www.visitraleigh.com/visitors/concerts.
Venues include the Lincoln Theatre, Cat’s Cradle, and the Kings Barcade.
Be sure to support local bands and businesses of Raleigh.
Confessions of an Eating Disorder Survivor
Ashleigh Phillips, co-editor
Anna Kathryn Renfro is an electrical engineer
ing and math major in the class of 2014. She is a
survivor of an eating disorder, with her lowest BMI
mear 16. These are her words.
|i. When/why did you begin changing your
|I started restricting when I was a junior in higli
school because there were three major things which
T could not openly deal with. My grandmother
|was dying which put a lot of stress on the family,
■especially my dad to whom I’m very close. The third
was the presence of an emotionally abusive ex. I
restricted as a way to deal, I guess control, what was
going on. I lived most of the time by myself from when I woke up to when I went to bed, so there
wasn’t really a moment when I said, “Gosh this is bad for me”. I did actively get into restricting;
it’s like actively making a choice to jump, I was looking for some regularity and could find through
2. What did you do to lose weight?
I kept track of my food and caloric intake, all my meals were pretty much the same. Nothing was
full-fat, or white. There are a lot of foods in the world which are white. Anything that was left out
was made up for in vitamins. I went to the gym 5-6 days a week for up to 1.5 hours. At my highest
point I could be on the elliptical at the highest setting for 50 minutes and then jump on the tread
mill for another 20.1 did weigh, but more often I did skin-fold tests. I cooked dinner every night for
my family, so I could largely hide the issue through eating before they did.
3. What were some of the physical side effects of the disease?
Obviously I was anemic and my cycle stopped for a long time. I couldn’t build muscle mass, and I
lost a lot of strength in my arms. Headaches were more frequent, and I got diz2y easily.
4. What were some of the mental side effects of the disease?
My level of secrecy and denial was really high; I ignored any pretense of the issue and continued
working out and being a perfectionist. One thing that prolonged the issue further was that I was
getting almost lOo’s on everything in school. I had the best year in grades that I had ever had in
high school, so I didn’t see a need to stop what Was working.
5. Was there a low point in your ejqperience that you’d like to share?
When I was getting ready for Junior prom, I had an XXXS (yes 3 X’s) dress and had to be corseted
into it because it was too big.
6. Did you get treatment?
I did not get clinical treatment; it started with the funeral of my grandmother and the increased
attention from my family but lagged until I went to the doctor for a check-up. The PA told me if I
didn’t get back on my cycle that I could get cancer. I thought that what I was doing was a safe way
to lose weight and a controlled weight loss; I never thought that it could harm me in any way. After
that day and two subsequent rounds of medicine I finally got on track.
9. How was the recovery process physically and mentally?
The hardest part of recovery was recognizing where I was and from where the recovery had to
start. The obvious thing was not to just eat as some people told me to do; it was accepting those
dysfunctional moments of life and to find other ways to deal with those moments. The issue with
the eating disorder is it is almost all inental; it’s only physical as a means to conquer the mental.
So the inental recovery has taken much longer. The recovery gained speed the more I talked about
it with my friends; it was nerve racking to talk about because talking made the situation real and
definable. The hardest hurdle to jump was when I started back to school in the fall of my senior
year. I had seen what I could do under immense pressure and how well I had done in that semester
on AP’s and general grades. I recognized it and wanted all that stress back so that my semester
would be great. Sometimes that lack of that control would turn into what my mom cdled ‘spinning,’
which is where I would kind of break down and not be able to function for a day or two. I would
just lie around and be incredibly indecisive. I felt like a balloon that is suddenly released after it was
10. Did you have any relapses? Or are there any times now when you struggle with
your body image?
It’s definitely not something that goes away like a cold. I had a relapse my Senior year for a span
of time. I’m still very active and health conscious but not near to that extreme ... I eat ice cream,
which is something I would’ve never done because it was dairy based. That year is something that I
think about often, but I don’t want to repeat it.
11. Having been through this experience, how do you feel when you hear women talk
ing negatively about their body image?
At first I scoffed because they had no idea what the difference was between talking and acting. The
people who usually go through this don’t talk, and if they do, it’s not openly. I would tell them to
be their own best ideal. Their body is a gift which they can abuse or strengthen. It’s unique and will
often do crazy things, but the link between their mind and body does not belong to anotlier.
12. How do people react when they find out about the eating disorder you had in the
I think they may be surprised. Not a lot of people ask follow-up questions, but they do the quick
body glance and the sympathizing upward movement of the eyebrows.
13. What are you looking forward to in the future?
Besides working in the electrical engineering field. I’m excited for more time with my family and
•a family of my own. Hard work and a career are important, but not at the total sacrifice of the
people in your life and your own health.
ampus Calendar: 2/29-3/13
Feb 29 - Mar i - The Vagina Monologues
Mar 1 - Study Abroad Deadline, Non-Meredith Programs
Mar 3-11 - Spring BrC3.K! Belize Service Trip, SLS Service Trip
Mar 13 - Faculty Distinguished Lecture, Dr. Bill Landis
collected by Kristen Gallagher
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