Childhood Obesity: Why Is This Such a Big Problem?

Childhood Obesity: Why Is This Such a Big Problem?

Childhood obesity is an increasing issue in America. But why? Many people are quick to point their finger at fast food or technology, but is that really the issue? Jake DeWitt, personal trainer at DePaul University, explains his thoughts on childhood obesity.

Sneaky guide to exercise

Sneaky guide to exercise

It’s almost three weeks into the quarter and when classes start picking up and homework becomes more important, working out becomes less. There are some days I’m out of the house at 8:30 a.m. and don’t come home until 10 at night. (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But, if you’re finding your schedule is often like this you might ask, “When am I going to workout?!”

If you’re feeling motivated enough, by all means, get to the gym at 6 a.m. and your problems are solved. But if you’re like me, working out at 6 a.m. on such a busy day just isn’t going to happen. Here are some tips for sneaking in exercise when you have super long days:

  • Walk up stairs whenever possible! Now I don’t mean walking to the 35th floor of the building, but if your class is on the 4th floor of Arts & Letters Hall, then don’t be lazy and take the stairs.
  • 10 minutes of walking between three classes = 30 minutes a day. Some people think that in order to get good exercise you have to be running uphill sprints on the treadmill. 30 minutes of  walking a day is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will still help you achieve your weight loss goal. It’s better than not walking at all — Think of it that way.
  • 5 minute wake-up drill. I find it hard to believe you wake up at 7:50 and are out the door at 8:00 – If you can do that (without looking like a hot mess) I applaud you. However, most normal people need time to physically wake up in the morning. After you wake up before getting in the shower do: 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute mountain climbers, 1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats and a 1 minute plank.
  • Check out and register for “Drop 5 in 30 days.” It’s comprised of multiple quick 10 minute workouts by Andrea Metcalf that are simple and you can do them with a small space.
  • “There are many paths to Oz – don’t let the monkey scare you.” – Andrea Metcalf

How are your fitness resolutions coming along? I’ve been working at holding this plank for at least 30 seconds and finally got it! Keep working at it! Would love to hear feedback. Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at

Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
Putting Your Mind At Ease

Putting Your Mind At Ease

Stress overrides everybody in this country. I don’t know a single person y who can actually go a couple weeks without stressing over something. It’s not of of the norm for people to overbook themselves day-by-day, which makes it hard for anyone to relax and kickback. But, I think in order to put your mind at ease you have to discover what makes you happy and set your mind into thinking about doing what suits you.

I’m not really one for planning out my entire future. I like to take things as they come. But, when it comes to de-stressing, I often find myself mindlessly looking up places to travel. There’s something about the StumbleUpon travel section that puts my mind at ease when I find it anxiously wandering.

I have an itch for traveling and when I feel like my life is falling apart, I refer back to one of my several bucket lists to remind myself of all the amazing places in this world I want to see. Even though I don’t even have enough money in my bank account to even get me to off this continent, it still puts me at ease to plan out where I want to go next and everything I want to see when I get there.

Meteora, Greece — My Happy Place


I also truly believe in the power of yoga, and even though I haven’t tried it, Zen meditation is a way to find personal sanity and keeping your mind in check. I’ve been a student at DePaul almost four years before discovering University Ministry offers Zen meditation on campus. Take advantage of what’s around you!

At the end of the day — There are other ways to de-stress without overeating or forcing yourself to the gym. Of course I always promote working out to feel better about yourself, but I realize there’s other ways to achieve this same goal. Overeating might achieve short-term satisfaction when you’re stressed, but when you’re done stuffing your face you’re going to feel the same way you felt before you started — Guarantee it.

Find your happy place or try something new. It’s hard to pencil out time from your day to focus on yourself, but you might just find how beneficial it can really be. 🙂

One of my many lists





How To Hold a Confident Attitude

How To Hold a Confident Attitude

By Monica Kucera

It’s easy to slip into a down-in-the-dumps kind of attitude when the weather is no good, it’s April and it’s snowing, mid-terms are around the corner and you’ve been nothing but a frump on the couch for the last week.

Everybody has those days where they feel fat, ugly, have bad hair, etc., but there are ways to shake it off and feel great in your own skin.

1. Acknowledge the people in your life who mean the most. When I’m feeling like the world is about to end. I  stop to take a second to think about all the amazing people in my life who love me and cherish me as a friend, family member or sorority sister.

2. Realizing what you have. Like any other college student, sometimes I feel like the world is crashing down on me and that I’m just so stressed I should give up on everything. Not very often do we stop to think about how lucky we are to even be getting a college education at an amazing school with an immense amount of opportunities. DePaul University has given me more than I ever dreamt of and more than happy to be here.

3. Some people have it worst. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing. That’s all I’m going to say.

4. Capability over negativity. Realizing what you have the potential to do will take you one step forward in life. I’m sincerely sorry, but you’re dream job isn’t going to be handed to you in a silver platter.  You have to be a positive person to take a step in the right direction.

I truly believe all these factors put together, if taken into perspective will make you a more confident person. The only way I got where I am right now was being positive. I don’t smile all the time for no reason. I smile because I’m happy about life– and it’s all credited to the advice I listed above.

These people made me who I am today. 

Erica Diaz, Kate Steinberg, Natalie Randazzo, Lauren Kurash, My best friends.
My cousin & I
Alyssa Ahern, Lisa Tampier, Brittany McCormick, Ryann Rumbaugh, Best Friends
My amazing parents
My brother & I

How To Side-Step A Drunk Food Pit Stop

How To Side-Step A Drunk Food Pit Stop

By Monica Kucera

This seems to be people’s biggest downfall: eating while drinking. I have to admit, this is probably my biggest weakness and one of the main reasons why I don’t like drinking alcohol (aside from the fact that I usually make a  fool of myself.) Don’t use the “blame it on the alcohol” excuse on this one because chances are if you’re coherent enough to count money, pay for food and make the decision to go get food altogether, you’re able to make a logical decision on whether or not you should really be consuming it.

This is a common problem among most college students, and maybe realizing the nutritional value of what you’re eating will make you second guess the next time you decide to go on drunken food escapades.

1. Vini’s Pizza on Lincoln Avenue. A delicious and quick jumbo slice of Vini’s pizza will cost you about $5.00

but you’ll actually be gaining more at the expense of 350 calories per slice. (via While this one stop shop is convenient, cheap and open late, the extra unneeded calories will leave you feeling bloated the next morning.

                       – CurvyGirlGuide’s suggestion: If you really crave pizza when you’re drunk, you should stash some low calorie personal frozen pizzas at your dorm or apartment so when you get home you can throw one in the oven. Kashi’s Caribbean Carnival Pizza packs only 280 calories per 1/3 pizza.

2. Allende Mexican Restaurant. This seems to be among the most popular drunk stops considering it’s central location of most bars and is open late. There’s absolutely nothing good about ordering a late-night burrito that consists of a greasy flour tortilla with no-good fillings. Comparable to Taco Bell’s 1/2 pound combo burrito, your typical chicken-cheese-sour cream-rice-bean burrito will cost your hips about 460 calories.

stuart_spivack at

                       – CurvyGirlGuide’s suggestion: Mexican food isn’t all that bad. If eating while drunk is entirely necessary and you absolutely cannot resist it, SELF Magazine suggests some tips while ordering Mexican food. SELF suggests ordering fajitas over burritos because the smaller tortillas will cost you less calories than a huge flour wrap. “Love guac or sour cream?” SELF adds, “Pick one, but skip the high-cal beans and rice.”

Another common mistake made when ordering Mexican food is choosing a taco salad over beef or chicken tacos. Taco salads are immediately disastrous after loading them up with cheese, sour cream, rice, and not to mention it’s put inside a gigantic flour tortilla deep-fried shell. According to SELF, “Two soft tacos, with 346 calories and 17 grams of fat, leave you room for chips and salsa.”

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How To Pig-Out Without Feeling Remorseful

How To Pig-Out Without Feeling Remorseful

By Monica Kucera

There are certain things in life people just cannot resist. For some, you know, maybe it’s shopping, Ryan Reynolds, J-Biebz, ice cream or perhaps it’s the indulgence of a chocolate-Oreo-cream cheese concoction a sorority sister made. Yeah, well for me it was the chocolate-Oreo-cream cheese concoction my sorority sister made. (Thank you, Amanda Griffin.)

I pigged out, okay, yeah I said it. It happens to the best of us. It’s obviously not something I should be doing all the time, but once every now and then isn’t going to kill me.

Honestly, there’s no way you’re ever going to be a successful dieter by saying no to everything. You can only resist sweets for so long until finally caving and eating enough calories satisfying enough for  a small country.

However, for me it probably wasn’t the best idea to say “yes, yes, yes” to every food item placed in front of me at my sorority’s pot luck dinner event tonight. But, I was freaking starving and my food options were limited.

There are a few factors that go into overeating at mealtimes that most likely played an effect in my indulgence.

1) Skipping meals is NEVER a good idea.  I didn’t get a chance to eat lunch today. I ate breakfast then went from one place to the next without eating an adequate meal. That’s probably why when I went to my chapter meeting the first thing I saw was food and started eating without thinking. “Skipping meals sets you up for intense cravings,” Women’s Health Magazine notes, “Eating regular meals of complex carbs—not refined ones like white bread and pasta—with protein and a small amount of healthy fat will keep your blood sugar steady, and you feeling satisfied.”

2) You could be mistaking your hunger for food. Considering I didn’t eat much all day, I clearly WAS hungry. But, I didn’t drink that much fluid either. Evidently I didn’t need to eat as much as I did. Had I drank more water before I consumed all the food, I probably wouldn’t have eaten as much. According to SELF Magazine, “A glass [of water] before a meal-chilled or not- may curb your appetite slightly, helping cut calories.”

3) Stress. As a college student with a bazillion things on my mind, the first outlet of mine is food. A good way to curb stress without indulging in fattening sweets or desserts is to chew gum. According to Women’s Health Magazine, Australian researchers found that “gum chewers had 16 percent less of the stress hormone than non-chewers and responded better to stressful situations.” I recommend Wrigley’s Dessert Delight gum brand because it tastes yummy and the flavor lasts a long time, often resulting in an absence of craving whatever it is you wanted in the first place.

Well with the pig-out all said and done, I don’t feel sorry about it. Personally I believe the only way to be successful with weight loss is to indulge yourself at times. It’s all about continuing to being confident and disciplined when you wake up the next morning. Tomorrow when I awake for my 8 a.m. class, I’m not going to mash on one of Brownstone’s double chocolate chip muffins, (Depaul students I know you know what I’m talking about.) I’m going to eat a healthy bowl of oatmeal with blueberries like I usually would, and then workout later like normal.

Bounce back from your mistake. Don’t fret over it. Mistakes happen, it’s life, it’s part of dieting. No diet is perfect and making mistakes is a big part of the whole experience.

courtesy of