Spotlight On: Courtney D. Marshall
English and Women’s Studies
Year Started at UNH: 2009
What does health mean to you?: Health means caring for myself and choosing activities and behaviors that keep me in a happy and well state. I think of the term UBUNTU “I am because we are.” For me, health is about being in a loving and sustainable community that makes our bodies and souls feel wonderful.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I preach the gospel of self-care to my students. I tell them how important it is to get enough sleep and to eat foods that make them feel good. They work their brains really hard, and it’s important to take good care of our bodies and spirits as well.
How do you stay fit?: I’m a fathlete! I do dance fitness (Zumba, barre, and hip hop cardio) 6 days a week. I also take tap and hip hop dance classes. I am a powerlifter and recently won my first medal a couple of months ago! I have another powerlifting competition in October. I also go to EverProven Crossfit in Dover. On my own, I swim and recently started cycling.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: At the dining hall, I use the Wildcat plate. It helps me with my portions. I keep my healthy eating very simple. If I don’t feel like eating a salad, I’ll eat spinach or kale out of a bag, munch on a cucumber, and pop some grape tomatoes. There’s no rule that says a salad has to be eaten off of a plate. I drink water more than anything and carry my water bottle everywhere I go! I also do meal prep and planning so that I always know what’s on the menu. There is always a healthy choice at my house. I make commitments with a good buddy and have theme weeks. For example, this week is Spartan Salad Week!
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: I find people who are doing what I want to do and ask them how they’re achieving it. This puts me in contact with a ton of wonderful healthy homies and cheerleaders!! I maintain a blog and a Facebook page where I share my goals with anybody who wants to check them out. I make what seem like impossible goals. A few months ago I decided to sign up for the Spartan Sprint. I sign up for obstacle races and CrossFit competitions in order to work on the skills necessary for them. I’ve decided that in 2015 I’ll complete my first triathalon. Having a variety of impossible goals keeps me going. I also make sure to keep this process funny and positive. There’s no room for body shaming or feeling bad about myself.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: I have decreased the amount of medication I take and more effectively managed a number of chronic diseases that I live with. I’ve made tons of great friends and won medals. I’ve set a deadlift record of 303 lbs. and am looking forward to getting to the 400 club! My blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels have all improved! I’ve also lost over 100 pounds.
Anything else you would like to add?: I didn’t know I was diabetic until I went to Healthy Returns. It really saved my life! Also, if you want some cheerleading or a workout buddy, let me know!