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April 6, 2014 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA |
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Sonya Says

This week, for the first time ever in my 22-and-a-half years, I had a meeting with a personal trainer. Karl, the Manager at the Rec Centre, has kindly suggested that a president needs to keep their health and fitness in check in order to keep well in a busy year. I’ve agreed, so he’s booked me in to see Whitney this Thursday. I’m nervous, but I know that it’s high time for Sonya to get acquainted with exercise again.

Like most people, I have a complicated dialogue with my body. While it wasn’t always the case, I now have a pretty positive body image and am comfortable in my skin. But as a woman, people often assume differently. A lovely staff member last week assumed that I wouldn’t take sugar in my drink, because I was a young woman. It took me a moment to realise before I clicked that she assumed I would be on a low-sugar diet. When I go out for dinner with my boyfriend, who is a vegetarian, wait staff usually assume the vegetarian meal is for me, rather than the steak and chips that I’ve actually ordered.

On the health front though, my body and I don’t get along so much. I know that I don’t sleep enough and stress too much. I sometimes skip meals because I tell myself I’m ‘too busy’. I’ve also had flat feet for my whole life, which made exercise painful until I was granted some money for expensive orthotics. My foray into fitness is also fairly limited. I attempted swimming in Year 6 (prize for ‘best learner’ at age 11 – a prize usually awarded to much younger club members), social netball in Year 8, and got a couple of third placings in cross-country. In second year, I joined the Rec Centre to attend classes with my flatmate, but gave up too quickly when I felt embarrassingly uncoordinated in Zumba.

So this is it – I have my bright yellow membership sticker on my ID card and a meeting in the calendar for my gym appointment. Unlike last time I tried and gave up, I know that Karl and Whitney will be checking in to see how my exercise is going. It’s time to stop telling myself that I’m too busy to exercise/sleep/eat properly – I know that I’ll be a better president if I listen to my body and look after myself. The same goes for everyone – sleeping properly, eating properly,  and moving your body are pretty good steps to take when wanting to balance life that little bit more.

PS Don’t forget to fill out the Student Services Levy budget simulator – help us decide the future of student services at Vic! Check your email.

Your Prez,


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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this