Weight loss expo to give students advice on fitness, diet

Andrew Justus

Grand Valley State University senior Reuben Rodriguez is no fan of Papa John’s Pizza — not because the campus pizza joint makes bad food, but because it tempted him throughout his pursuit of a healthier weight.

“What didn’t help was Papa John’s, my roommates would usually get it every other weekend and I knew I couldn’t have it, but it was really tempting,” Rodriguez said. “I did hold back and never had a slice.”

Rodriguez will be speaking Feb. 1 at GVSU’s Fitness and Wellness Expo to tell others about his experience and to motivate others to pursue a more healthful existence.

“The challenging part about being a college student trying to lose weight is all the food options,” Rodriguez said, adding that the freedom of being in college can sometimes lead to not-so-responsible food choices.

The Fitness and Wellness Expo is a collaborative effort between Campus Recreation and the Health and Wellness office. The Fitness and Wellness Expo has been helping students become healthier for eight years, said Lindsey DesArmo, GVSU Health and Wellness Coordinator. She said the emphasis of the Fitness and Wellness Expo is on practical ways to be healthier.

Rodriguez, a history major, said his game plan was to minimize carbohydrates and calorie intake while cutting out junk food and pop. He said Campus Dining was both helpful and a hindrance. “I was glad that there were salad options for me to get instead of Chinese or pizza,” he said. “… I always avoided (Fresh Food) because of the ‘all you can eat’ option,”

After about four months of dieting, Rodriguez began going to the Campus Recreation Center. He said he didn’t use any campus resources like personal trainers or nutrition programs, but he still managed to lose 170 pounds in 17 months.

The expo provides resources for students, staff and faculty who are looking to get healthier and more active. Student resources at the event include the MetroHealth Campus Health Center, the GVSU outdoor Activity Center, Campus Dining and others. The event will also have participatory attractions, such as high-intensity interval training, Zumba and boot camp, where students will be able to exercise and learn various exercises.

Expo-goers can also win door prizes including iTunes gift cards, bikes and a membership to MVP Sports.

The purpose of the event is “to raise awareness of campus and community resources for health and wellness,” DesArmo said, including stress management, nutrition and campus organizations in addition to physical exercise.

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