Category Archives: Columns

Column: Columnist shares her story with eating disorders

By Madi Brown

*Bagpiper sports editor Madi Brown shares her story. Her parents have read this column. For objective coverage on this issue, check out today’s print issue.

I looked in the mirror and I saw my ribs, I saw the deterioration of my muscles under my skin, and my hair fell out in chunks as I tried to brush it. My body was screaming for help, but I could not see what was wrong with me. In my mind I was the skinniest I had ever been, and it still was not enough.

There were multiple factors that led to this, but one of the biggest ones was what I witnessed growing up. My mom is beautiful but for the longest time she did not believe it. She watched her mother hate herself because of her weight and because of that, she learned to do the same. I watched my mom talk down to herself my whole life, and it was instilled in me. What my grandmother passed down to my mom, my mom passed down to me. Our problem was never physical. It was mental.

Growing up, I was always more aware of my body, and I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I became obsessed with wanting to be skinny, so I joined sports and tried to keep myself active.

I started running in grade school, but I was 13 when I realized I could not live without it. Running to me was a way to ensure that I would not get fat, but I was never satisfied. Even though my motives were wrong, I had a healthy lifestyle. It was not until my junior year that I began cutting foods out of my diet, such as meat.   

I did not make dramatic changes to my lifestyle overnight. It was a perfect storm.

It happened so gradually that I did not know I was hurting myself until it was too late.

It started off with me eating smaller portions of meat, which eventually led to me cutting out meat all together. I cut everything from my diet until I was living off of tomatoes and crackers.

I was eating around a thousand calories a day, and on top of that I was exercising two to three hours a night. I had no idea how abusive I was being towards my body because I was blinded by the scale. In December 2016, I weighed 140 pounds By April 2017, I weighed 112 pounds. The problem was it was never enough; I never felt happy with my body.

That summer I decided that I wanted to try waist training, because if it worked for the Kardashians, obviously it was safe for me. I remember putting it on for the first time under my clothes and nearly puking because it was so tight. I was so twisted at the time though, and I actually saw it as a challenge. Over the next few months, I wore the waist trainer and I got to where it was not tight at all. I still was not satisfied with myself. It was like I needed to feel the pain. One day I decided that I was not feeling the effect as much so I would wear it all night while I slept. I continued to do that for three months, while I was still not feeding my body.

After not eating meat for six months, my hair started falling out. When it first started, I was only losing around 50 strands a day, which I was told was completely normal but as it continued it got worse. I was afraid to brush my hair because I got to where I was losing 300 strands a day. I was not the only one who began to notice the changes.

I remember the first time my dad felt concerned for me, we had just went out to dinner and he gave me a hug and said he could feel my bones. After that, my family started making comments about how my clothes were too big and my face was always pale. They looked at me with pity, as if I had this disease that was killing me. I knew I was not healthy, but I refused to believe that it was my eating habits. I did not want to believe that this miracle diet was actually hurting me. As time went on, I started to become so exhausted that I would come home and sleep instead of eat. I remember one time when I actually slept for over two days without eating.

My parents wanted to get me help, but I refused. In the end, I was the only one who could fix my problem. I found support from a friend who I had met at my church, and we began to go to the gym together. This was my turning point, seeing everyone around me striving to be healthy and not skinny. I began to become more educated about nutrition and changed my life. It has been a long recovery, but I have never been healthier or happier. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, but it is not a physical issue, it is a mental one. The problem was people believed this was a physical issue of mine, as if I could stop whenever I wanted to. My body image issues were something I struggled with my entire life, and it look a long time for me to learn how to be okay with me. I was my own worst critic because I never believed I was good enough.

That was the lie I told myself.


Column: Romeo Langford should go to Indiana

By JD McKay

After having Southern Indiana in the palm of Romeo Langford’s hand for the last three years, all eyes will be on him for one last night on the court that could one day bear his name. Being a Hoosier, I am hoping he goes to Indiana, but the other two schools he is looking at, Vanderbilt and Kansas, both have their upsides.

The Case for Indiana

The reason for Langford to go to Indiana is simple. He would go to IU to stay in state, and possibly become one of the most loved athletes in Indiana.

The reason to not go is almost as simple, 16-15 overall, 1-2 vs rivals, and no postseason.

The Case for Kansas

Kansas is the most consistent team he is looking at. They have not had a losing season since 1983, and have won the regular season conference championship every year since 2004. Plus, Kansas seems to consistently go deep into the NCAA tournament and has a top 5 recruiting class.

The only reason to not go it because it is far from home, and playing that far from where he played high school seems wrong.

The Case for Vandy

Vandy is the best academic school on this list. If Langford wants to stay for four years, Vandy is the best choice. Vandy also has two five-star recruits.

Vandy was worse than Indiana last season, finishing with a record of 12-20. Plus, they have never had a one-and-done player.

Langford’s announcement is scheduled for April 30, at 7 p.m.

Column: How to fix the NBA Playoffs

By JD McKay

The NBA playoffs started last Saturday, April 14, and will not end until the first week of June. As a reference, in that time period the New York Yankees will have played just over a quarter of their games. Plus, we all have a pretty good idea of what is coming. Warriors vs Cavs part IX.

That predictability is the reason I will not be tuning in until Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The NBA needs to take a page out of the NCAA’s March Madness when it comes to people being interested. That tournament is the only time of year when non-sports fans and sports fans come together to see if the Cinderellas can do the impossible or tune in to see if a 16 seed can beat the 1 seed.

The NBA does not need to go to one-game playoffs, but four best-of-seven series is too much. They should start the first round with a best-of-three series. That could give the underdogs a chance to beat the super teams they have to play in the first round. Then go to a five-game series, followed by the seven-game conference finals and seven-game NBA Finals.

While we are talking about the playoffs, I thought I would tell you what is going to happen. I think the Eastern Conference Finals will see the Milwaukee Bucks losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the West will have the Oklahoma City Thunder losing to the Golden State Warriors.

The Finals will be less interesting than last year. The Warriors will sweep the Cavs, and a few weeks later Lebron James will join the snake Kevin Durant and the Warriors.

Just kidding.


Column: The Yankees will win World Series

By JD McKay

The 162-game marathon is on and being a Yankees fan, I am excited to see The Giancarlos Stanton and Aaron Judge Show dominate baseball. But, as it is for most Americans, my excitement will wear down and I will be looking forward to the playoffs and All-Star break. So while excitement is still up for the season, I will tell you what will happen.

I expect some typical performances from teams. The Reds will finish last in their division, the Nationals will choke in the playoffs, and the Dodgers will find some other pitcher to go with Clayton Kershaw and have the best staff in baseball.

Now, for a few bold predictions. The Minnesota Twins will play in the ALCS. They had a surprisingly good season last year, and I expect them to build on their success. The Reds will lose 95 games, but Joey Votto will win NL MVP. He is one of the best hitters I will ever see. He consistently hits 320 and gets on base 45 percent of the time. Lastly, Shohei Ohtani will be overhyped and after the season be viewed as a bust. He is a rookie who has played in Japan for five years and finally took his talents to the MLB, but the MLB is not the Nippon Pro Baseball League, so it will take more than just one year to adjust to the MLB.

On to playoff predictions. The wildcard games will see the Red Sox beating the Blue Jays, and the Cardinals beating the Mets.

The Divisional Series will have the Yankees beating the Red Sox. Twins beating the Astros. Cubs beating the Cardinals and the Dodgers beating the Nationals.

The NLCS will have the Cubs playing the Dodgers for the second straight year, but with different results. The Cubs will beat the Dodgers to go to the World Series again.

The ALCS will have the Yankees playing the Twins and just like last year’s American League wildcard game, the Yankees will need to come back from a deficit but will end up winning the series.

The World Series will see two opposite teams playing each other. One team that has won 27 World Series and is hated by most Americans, pitted against The Lovable Losers, who won their third World Series over 100 years after their second championship. However, I will be one of the few people in Southern Indiana excited about the outcome of the series, as the Yankees will take World Series number 28 in Wrigley, almost 220 days since the Opening Day.

Lent offers chance to grow and renew faith

Art by Tori Roberts

By Erin O’Farrell

Lent is a liturgical season immensely important to the Christian faith, as it focuses on a renewal of the spirit and faith in Christ. This 40-day period preceding Easter calls to all to try to live a life more like that of Jesus through taking this time to focus on faith and preparation for Salvation.

The 40 days gains its significance from two Biblical accounts, one in which Moses spent 40 days on the mountain with the Lord, and another in which Jesus spent 40 days in the desert after his Baptism.

Today, the 40 days are important because they bring about a period of change and renewal. All Christians that observe Lent take this opportunity to better themselves both in their faith and as individuals.

Many people choose to give something up for the 40 days, symbolic of the fasting of both Jesus and Moses during their 40 days. This ranges from giving up soda to avoiding social media- whatever that person feels is best for them.

When I was younger, I mostly saw Lent as a challenge. I still do- I want to stick to my promise and better myself moving forward- but back then, I did not understand its significance, and in the long run, I did not undergo much of a change. I went right back to those habits after the 40 days were up.

Having grown older, I now understand the significance of Lent and try to utilize it as an opportunity to grow closer to my faith, which is the reason most people do abide to it. I want to better myself as a person. This is the true goal of Lent. This time provides an opportunity to change ourselves for the better. This can entail more than giving things up, however.

Another practice seen during Lent is picking up a new, healthy habit whether it be reading the Bible, helping parents around the house, or volunteering. This is equally important as it also helps people grow in their faith and as individuals.

These 40 days can help people on the road to developing better habits. Like I said early on, I had trouble sticking to the commitments I made during Lent, but as I became more dedicated to the idea and saw Lent as something more than a challenge, it became easier to turn the practices into habits that I still follow today.

This time allows people to take an opportunity to enrich their lives. If there is something that you have always wanted to do, but you’ve never had time to do it, take the opportunity Lent has to offer to make it a priority, whether that be going to the gym, getting ahead on homework, or spending more time with people you care about. Simply sticking to this goal during Lent can better your life and help you continue doing it even after the 40 days are up.

This can apply to everyone. Lent has become a time for people to try to better their lives for any reason, and the 40-day period can set them up for a long-term commitment. A study by Phillippa Lally published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that the average time period needed to develop a new habit is just over 60 days. Spending the 40 days of Lent (or 46, if you include Sundays) working on this habit, therefore, acts as a major boost to committing to the new habit, no matter what it may be. This can help strengthen you individually and spiritually for the long run, and having the support of so many people during the beginning of your journey throughout the Lenten season can make it so much easier to stick to your plan.

Whether you have a life-changing goal or are taking small steps to better your life, 40 days is an accomplishment. Maybe doing something as simple as helping more with chores around the house does not seem like a spiritual commitment, but by becoming a better person, you are becoming a stronger Christian. Every single kind act or step in the positive direction helps you and others grow to appreciate the world and people around you. It helps you recognize and value your faith. Those that see your commitment and your kindness can feel inspired by it.

Therefore, Lent is not simply a time to prove to others that you can do something. It is a time to grow in your faith and devotion to God. This can be done during any time of the year, but Lent lends itself as the perfect time period because of the meaning behind the season and because others will be striding alongside you.

Lent began on Valentine’s Day this year, so it seems fitting that we should take this opportunity to show our love for those important to us. During this time of change and renewal, it is important to remember that we are not simply trying to better our own lives, but also the lives of everyone around us through our actions.