by Hannah Langley ’21
With college being a time of newly presented freedom and independence, it can be hard for a lot of students to balance sleep, work, and healthy eating. This week, Providence College celebrated its annual Inside Out Week, four days full of events, classes, and inspiration helping to promote healthy living and mindsets for PC students.
Inside Out Week is normally held during NEDA, or National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which begins Feb. 26. Inside Out Week was held early this year, for several reasons. The message of the week, as stated by Courtney Mackey, assistant director for fitness and programming in the Department of Recreational Sports, is to make people think of the “bigger picture” and the “whole spirit of wellness,” rather than focusing on just body image.
NEDA Week is still an important time, and will probably receive its own awareness event at the end of February, but Mackey wanted this year’s Inside Out Week to focus more on the idea of intuitive self-care, and “making decisions from the inside out, rather than the outside in, which is commonly portrayed in the media.”
Mackey also hoped that by moving up the week, there would be more participation from the student body. Students tend to be busy during NEDA week, as it coincides with midterms and is the week before spring break. By moving Inside Out Week up to the beginning of February, students would have more spare time to participate and volunteer and be less stressed about having to get work done.
Traditionally, Inside Out Week features booths set up outside the Concannon Fitness Center, as well as fitness classes and other fun events, which all help promote the message of self-love and self-care. While all those things were still included, the booths were moved to Lower Slavin. “Our usual targets are those coming into the gym for classes and workouts,” Mackey said, “but we decided moving the booths to Lower Slavin would help reach out to more people.” The booths also incorporated a broader range of topics surrounding the message of living a healthy lifestyle, as it was not so concentrated on body image, but more on wellness of the whole self. Each day, booths were set up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and centered around a different aspect of health.
Monday focused on “myth busting” surrounding health and nutrition as portrayed by the media, as Marianna Martinez ’16, the graduate assistant for the recreational sports and fitness department, explained. The day ended with their kick-off event, which began with a reading of The Good Body by the author herself, Eve Ensler. The reading was followed by a fun cardio class, led by fitness trainer Brittany Price ’18, and a frozen yogurt bar.
Price talked about why she loves Inside Out Week, saying, “It gives us a chance to really remind people that they need to be in tune with how they feel on the inside instead of solely focusing on what they look like on the outside. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and that message needs to be portrayed more.” By holding her class, which she described as a “huge dance party,” on Monday, she hoped to inspire this message in everyone who attended.
Tuesday’s booth, according to Martinez, was all about “learning how to use exercise, food, and energy management practices to find balance.” There was also an Embody Love Workshop, which was all about empowering women and helping them speak their minds and begin to think differently about themselves and others. Wednesday had a “Set Your Intention” event, which allowed people to create their own inspiration boards for healthy living and also featured PVDonuts.
To end the week, those who participated in the events or classes throughout the week could come to the “Relaxation Café.” Those who participated in four or more events, as proven by a whole punch card they received, won an Inside Out double walled tumbler and could receive a chair massage. People who went to some of the events could also trade in their whole punched card for raffle prizes and baskets, which included PC gear, fitness and gym equipment, or beauty products.
To promote Inside Out Week, Mackey also coordinated with Sarah Ereio, RD, LDN, registered dietitian for Providence College Dining Services, to create healthy meal options available at Raymond Dining Hall throughout the Week. Some of the meals they came up with included a grilled Asian chicken salad, turkey Bolognese with whole wheat pasta, and a make your own guacamole bar.
Mackey looks forward to coordinating this event each year and especially enjoyed planning this year’s Inside Out Week. By celebrating Inside Out Week earlier in the month, she was able to put more time and attention into some of the ideas she wanted to emphasize. “It’s about getting in touch with what your own needs are rather than working for the perfect body,” she said. Briana Alberti ’19, president of the Simply Healthy club at PC, also talked about how she always looks forward to Inside Out Week.
“It gives students the opportunity to learn more about personal well-being and loving oneself from the inside out. The events on campus throughout the week really teach the importance of self-love, spreading a great vibe around PC.”