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Saint Mary’s student promotes healthy living through social media

| Thursday, February 15, 2018

Intended to promote positivity and wellness to all students at the College, Saint Mary’s senior Perla Ocadiz has launched a new healthy lifestyle campaign, something she said was inspired by her mom.

“My mother introduced me to health and fitness at an early age,” she said. “My first major fitness milestone was making the top-ranked field hockey team at my school after training with my mother.”

Ocadiz said she also attributes her passion and success with fitness to her personal struggles with weight and body image when she was younger.

“I used to have an eating disorder,” she said. “I was super restricting my calories. I had a negative body image. I was over-exercising by running 12 miles a day.”

Once Ocadiz realized this mentality was harming her well-being, however, she said she began to re-define herself.

“Through my training I’m able to see the progress I’m making, and in the gym realize the performance I’m doing out there — and through that I feel so much better about myself,” Ocadiz said. “Now I never weigh myself on the scale.”

Ocadiz said she recommends healthy choices in the dining hall and a positive exercise regimen for college students navigating struggles with healthy living.

“Step it up a notch and get your vitamins and nutritional profile from what you’re eating to diversify your diet,” she said. “ … Don’t be afraid to try out different workout regimens even if they’re different than society’s standards.”

In addition to creating a positive impact in her own life, Ocadiz said she couldn’t just stop there. She wants to take her own passions and turn them into an influential and motivating experience for others.

As part of this mission, Ocadiz said she believes the most effective way of introducing this beneficial lifestyle is through social media.

“I completely deleted my personal page so I could be completely devoted to my fitness page, because my true passions lie in the fitness and health industries,” she said. “I deleted my personal account because I wanted to stimulate authentic conversation about these topics. I wanted to be inspired and be a personal source of inspiration for people. I wanted to start a completely new positive social media algorithm.”

Ocadiz said she is promoting easy lifestyle changes that will ultimately result in a more promising personal outlook.

“Healthy food isn’t bland or boring,” she said. “Follow some social media accounts you wouldn’t normally follow in order to give you ideas about combining different foods. If you’re scared of trying a new type of food, don’t be. It may be surprising to you, and you may like it. Remember, stick to positivity because that is the best source of inspiration.”

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