Saturday, December 24, 2011

Once again...

I've been MIA.

I was super busy with finishing up the semester and trying to stay on a healthier eating plan. I'm back home now (which is wonderful!), but my sister is (of course) stressing me out.

I finished the biking part of my ironman yesterday, which was super exciting! I'm about to go swimming to start (eek!) on the swimming part of it!

I promise a longer post later - with all the transitions in my life next year (graduating from college and heading off to law school) I think my blog is going to become an increasingly important outlet!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ironman!


So, to start with I would never ever do an ironman race. I think it would just be way too much for me. However, on the food tracking website I use someone came up with the idea of doing the traditional ironman distances (26.2 miles running, 112 miles biking and 2.4 miles swimming) over the course of the month. So...my exercise goal for this month is to do just that.

I almost never swim and rarely bike in the gym, so it's going to be a bit of challenge, but it's one that I'm looking forward to and have been enjoying so far. I've also been trying to convince my friends/family/boyfriend to do it with me (or at least do their own version of it with different activities/distances).

Anyway, so far...

1/12 Ran 2.5 Km = 1.55 miles (14 ish minutes)
2/12 Biked 8.15 miles (30 mins, 30 seconds)
3/12 Biked 12.33 miles (45 mins, 3 seconds), Ran 1.61 miles (15 mins)

Totals so far:

Swim - 0 miles/2.4 miles left
Bike - 20.48 miles/91.52 miles left
Ran - 3.16 miles/23.04 miles left

I *love* that I can already feel my muscles getting stronger from working out :D

And..gratitude! I haven't been very good at keeping on top of that challenge. Anyway, onto Day 3 of that challenge: Happiness

A lot of thing’s make me happy, and I couldn’t possibly cover them all in one post.

My family and wonderful boyfriend are definitely at the top of the list.

I also love going home and spending time with my high school friends. I do feel that I’ve been drifting away from them though. It’s kinda sad, but I think it’s a function of the fact that I’m on a totally different Uni schedule to them, and I also have less in common with a lot of them now than I used to.

Flowers: I’ve always been into gardening even when I was pretty little (and still am! I have awkward amounts of greenery on my window ledge at school.) I also love having them in my room, so it’s a big treat when the boy gives me flowers!






Dressing up: Another one of my favourite things is dressing up for formals or dances.

Good food and now 5K’s!

That was a weird post. I feel like I’m grateful for anything that makes me happy, plus there are gazillion’s of different random things that make me happy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Food

Given that everyone is doing WIAW, I thought I'd do my own version of it. I never end up taking pictures of my food, because I eat in a dining hall and it's weird/awkward to take pictures of food.

Over Thanksgiving I had a bit of a tough time with food - I ate so much Thanksgiving-y and Birthday-y food and I ended up gaining 2 lbs :(.

Anyway, I've been trying to be good today which feels great! I also go to the gym which felt really good! I also recorded all my food today which is below:


(yeah, I really need to watch my sugar. I have can never seem to stay under it :( ).

For the rest of the week my food plan is:
Thursday:
Lunch: Cheese ravioli with tomato sauce
Dinner: chickpea stew with rice

Friday:
Lunch: Chef's Surprise?! (I never like these things). Nutella and banana crepe
Dinner: Burger with french fries

Saturday:
Brunch: Fruit, caramel swirled french toast (how good does that sound?!)
Dinner: pasta, carrots

Sunday:
Brunch: Cheese blinzes and fruit
Dinner: Leftovers/chef's surprise

Fingers crossed that I can keep to that! I've been finding it much harder to make good choices when I don't have the menu and I haven't made a decision about what I'm going to eat.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving! (Properly!)

As I said before, I spent Thanksgiving with my family which was wonderful! There were a few tensions between my sister and me (more on that at some other point), but otherwise it was great.

I took the train down late Wednesday night and got picked up a the station by my Mum and Grandmother. The journey was fine, but obviously the trains were all super crowded and I was running late etc etc. I'm also a nervous traveller (not normally with trains though), but the presence of lots of armed police and police dogs on the trains didn't exactly make me feel super relaxed.

On Thursday we headed into NY to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, which is a *huge* parade through NY with giant balloons and floats with people dancing/singing/ice skating/all sorts of other crazy things.





This was the first photo I took all day and it's my favourite one! I just find random floating pumpkins hilarious!



I really really really HATE McDonalds (it's pretty much evil incarnate in my eyes), but I like the picture!



...and I like this picture too




Another picture that I find ridiculously amusing. I have no idea who these kids are but it's a) health and safety gone mad and b) something that my parents would've done if they'd thought of it when we were younger!

We also, of course, had traditional Thanksgiving food which was delicious! (And I ate wayyy too much!) (I thought I had a picture of my Thanksgiving dinner somewhere but I can't find it. Maybe it was on Dad's camera).

On Friday we headed into NY again, but this time to see the Rockettes. It was the first time I'd ever seen them and they were so incredible!







The Rockettes were incredible! If anyone ever gets the opportunity to see them definitely go!


I really liked this chandelier in Radio City Music Hall (the theater)!

Plus: there was lots of Christmassy stuff in NY. The Rockettes are also a Christmas show so those two things put me into the Christmas mood! (I'm listening to Christmas music now...it's almost December!)




Christmas Trees in NY!


There was also the most beautiful sunset when we got back to my grandmother's home, so I took a bunch of pictures of that!




Saturday was my sister's birthday. (She's turning 20). I also had a terrible skin allergic reaction to something (I think putting my facewash on dry instead of wet?!), so that put me in a bit of a bad mood. (TMI but the skin on my face all started peeling off).
I also had a super yummy/intense salad for lunch:



I travelled back to college on Sunday. The journey was much better than it could've been and I got to meet up with my boyfriend in NY, which always makes things easier (someone to carry my bags. Hehe.).

So now...just back to the grind of school for another three weeks. I've been finding it a bit difficult to settle back in/motivate myself, but today's been a good (better) day with work and a less bad day for food :).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving!


I had a bunch of posts written up to post over Thanksgiving and some how none of them got posted :(.

Anyway, this is just going to be a quick post because I need to get to lab (urgh!), but I'll write a proper one later!

Thanksgiving was great. I spent it with my family (brother, sister, mum, dad and grandmother) at my grandmother's house. We ate all the traditional Thanksgiving-y foods (and I ate way to too much), but it was a lot of fun. We also celebrated my sister's birthday over the weekend, which was fun. I didn't really get up to much, mostly just hanging out with family, but I'll post some pictures later on (after lab!).

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude, Day 2: Smile


I don't really like my smile. Occasionally I seem to smile in some kind of different way that I really like, but in almost all photos I me I have the "bad" smile (which I basically think looks like a pained grimace).



The pained grimace smile! :P

There is one thing that I do really like about my smile though: it's exactly the same as my grandmothers.



My grandmother's smile!

My mum's mum is my only grandparent who is still around and she is wonderful! She lives pretty close to me at college and has been a constant source of support. She's 80 years old, and is still incredibly active and mentally sharp. (Occasionally she can drive me nuts! But on the whole she's pretty perfect.) Anyway, I'm grateful (even if I don't like my smile) that it reminds me of someone I love.

I'm also grateful that my skin seems to be improving. I posted about this earlier, but the worst part was the area on the left and right sides of my chin (I think it's genetic. My mum said that was always the worst part of her skin). Anyway, the really important thing (to me) is that it doesn't appear to be scarring that much. Fingers crossed that the rest of it will clear up soon! (The scarring aspect of things is, I think, looking good. However, the medicine is designed to bring everything to the surface and make my skin essentially break out/look terrible, so that part doesn't look to good. I'm not even sure if that makes sense? Anyway, I just tried to take a picture of it and it looks yuck and was putting me off my breakfast, so I'll post a picture once the breakout's died down a bit and you can see the "extent" of the scarring better!).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eating Plan for Next week!


On the whole, I made good food choices last week. I'm finding that Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday are the hardest day for me to make good choices on. Thursday is my lazy chill evening, so I tend to watch TV. It's a terrible habit, but I always want to eat junky food when I'm doing that. Friday is a weird day because I don't have class. Because I'm not on such a regimented schedule (and don't have to get up a reasonable time in the morning) my meals tend to get messed up. On weekend days we have brunch instead of breakfast/lunch. I love breakfast food (much more than lunch food), so that means that I tend to eat breakfast in my room (oatmeal) plus a second breakfast which is usually something like pancakes or french toast - not the healthiest. Anyway, it's not ideal but I know that totally depriving myself of the foods I want to eat doesn't work well either, so I'm trying not to stress too much about it. (And I'm still losing a little weight eating that diet, so I guess it's not too terrible. To anyone who doesn't know the history of why I'm trying to lose a bit of weight: I put on weight when I was working on my law school applications (~14 lbs). I'd like to shed most of it by Christmas, just because I feel better when I'm a little lighter.)



Anyway, onto the important things: my eating plan for this week! (I know these are boring for everyone else, but they keep me feeling accountable).

(This week for some reason they still haven't posted the menu. I'm just going to make good choices and I'll update this post as soon as I have a menu!)
Sunday
Brunch: Fruit, belgian waffle with cherry topping (yes, not the best I know) or a broccoli cheddar bacon omelet (I generally don't go for the lunch-y things, but this sounds good!)
Dinner: No idea, it's always leftovers :S
Monday
Lunch:
Dinner: Pasta
Tuesday
Lunch:
Dinner:
Wednesday
Lunch:
Dinner onwards: Thanksgiving with my family!



Gratitude, Day 1: Food

My gratitude picture challenge for today is a picture of my favourite food. (Thanks again to Haley for the idea!)

When I was little, my two favourite foods were macaroni cheese and flapjacks (and I only ever had them together at one meal!). Now I'm not entirely sure what my favourite food is, but if I had to go with a "class" of foods it would definitely have to be fruits and berries (and carrots. I just really love carrots for some reason!).

Pictures:

Apples still on our apple tree at home

Mango. I miss these kinds of tropic fruits at school (this is an old picture from this summer, the marks around the side of the plate are from blackberries or some other kind of berry!)

Cherries! Yummy!

Raspberries! (Again, an old picture. These are from my birthday celebration at home over the summer!)

Recently, I've also gotten really into frozen fruit. The shop near me appears to have temporarily run out of the one I like (grr!) (strawberries, pineapple, mango, peaches), so I can't take a picture. Hopefully they'll get more soon though!

Gratitude part: I am incredibly grateful about two things related to food. Firstly, I am grateful that I have never gone hungry because we haven't had enough money to buy food. I am also incredibly grateful that my parents value good food and that I grew up eating lots of fruit, vegetables, lean meats and good carbs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

First (actual) 5K


I ran my first proper 5K race today (ie not one in a gym with me on a treadmill). The boyfriend also ran it, but we decided not to try to do it together (he's much faster than me and he'd get aggravated with me slowing him down and I'd be annoyed by him trying to make me go faster than I was comfortable with). We were really lucky in that the weather was great - cold, but sunny and bright.
My race number!

I was pretty nervous before it, just because I hadn't been able to run the course beforehand (because of the hip) and because I've never run an official 5K before. The course was also pretty hilly, which is different from when I run in the gym.

My goals for the run were:
1. To run the whole thing (not walking). I know I can do this in the gym, but I wasn't sure how I'd fare with the hills!
2. To finish in under 35 minutes.

Running was fine for the first few minutes (downhill!), but then got sort of tough. When I run I tend to find that the most difficult part for me is the part between about 5 and 15 minutes into the race. The end of the race was nice (ie flat!). I managed to do the whole thing in 27.11 mins, which is only slightly slower than my best gym-time (26.57 mins). I was a little peeved because I was so close to beating my best time, but it was a much tougher course than in the gym and I did achieve what I set out to achieve. I can 82/120, which I was happy with. Most of the people who were running were really intense runner types and so for my first 5K I thought that was pretty good. (The boyfriend came 24/120. Ridiculous :P). I also got a pretty awesome T-Shirt, which at some point I'll post a pic of!

My dad phoned after I'd just come back from it. I missed his call and had to call him back, and when I did I explained that I'd missed his all because I was running the race. His response was "I didn't know you did that kind of thing" :D. Made me happy, because it's me breaking out of my comfort zone!

Anyway, I think I'm hooked! I can't wait to run another race and hopefully beat my time!

Gratitude


I've been trying to read more blogs recently, because I find (most of) them really inspiring! Anyway, I was reading Haley's blog and I found a 30 day photo challenge on Gratitude. I've been meaning to take more photos and put them on my blog, so this seems like a good incentive to do so!

I might not quite get around to doing a picture every day, but I'll try to work my way through most of them! I also am trying to keep my blog fairly anonymous - I post things on here that I wouldn't want other people to know about, so there might a be a themes that I might not post for, but we'll see!

Anyway, the challenge is:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My sister and now...the boyfriend

My sister still hasn't worked out what her "illness X" is. Over the summer she was diagnosed with a couple of parasites. In people who aren't ill they don't treat them, because they're generally considered to be pretty minor, but because my sister was so ill they decided to treat. After the treatment she was feeling much better, and we all thought we'd solved it. But...a few weeks later she had midterms. She was stressed and not sleeping enough and all her symptoms came rushing back. (TMI warning!) Her doctor freaked out a few weeks ago because apparently there was blood in her stool, which is never a good thing. The doctor ordered an emergency colonoscopy, which I'm still waiting to hear the results of. She was also gluten free for a while (one of her many doctors diagnosed her with a wheat allergy), but someone else has now told her that she should have seen an improvement by now, so she's coming off that diet. (Which is great, I already think she's too thin.) She's also been seeing a counselor type to deal with some of the psychological aspects of this whole thing - she's understandably been finding it incredibly difficult to deal with all this while at college, and is also feeling like she's wasting her college years. Anyway, I will keep you all updated with any (fingers crossed!) improvements.

My boyfriend has also suffered from stomach issues for a long time (since way before we were together), but they seem to be getting worse. He saw a doctor in the UK who put him on an elimination diet, called FODMAP. Essentially, it cuts out everything but protein and some vegetables (ie no wheat, no dairy, cuts out a lot of fruit). At the same time he had a blood test, which showed abnormally (worryingly) high uric acid and creatine (indicating, according to the doctor, muscle death). The diet is meant to be 8 weeks long, so we're just getting to the reintroduction stage (which is good!). However, he had another blood test last week and the uric acid and creatine are still high, and he apparently now has high bilirubin, which is a by product of blood breakdown. The doctor at our health services is now very worried about his kidneys and has referred him to a kidney specialist for an ultrasound. He's going to have that on Friday. It would be really really tough on us and him if there was something serious. I really doubt there is, as this thing's never showed up on any previous blood tests, but it's still nerve wracking (and obviously kidney's are pretty important).

Anyway, as usual, I feel like I'm completely in the epicenter of all this stuff. I'm really hoping that all my sisters issues get resolved soon, and also that this whole thing with the boyfriend turns out to be not as serious as everyone seems to think it is at the moment :S.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Exercise Fails

On Monday I (apparently) fell asleep on the floor. I have no memory of deciding to take a nap or anything, but I woke up to the sound of my alarm covered in my bathrobe. Both of those things make me think that I must have (at some point) consciously decided to take a nap. I have a ridiculous habit of (sometimes) napping on the floor. I alluded to this in my sleep post, but if I get into bed it's pretty much "game over" and I won't get out for ages. Normally sleeping on the floor (covered by my rug) is fine, but apparently I slept for over an hour this time. When I woke up and tried to stand I noticed that my hip reallly hurt. I've never had issues with it before, so I can only assume that it was caused by lying on it on the floor for 60 minutes.

Perhaps stupidly, I still went to the gym Monday night and ran (only for 10 minutes though!) and did weights. It didn't hurt at all when I was running, so I assumed it was fine. On Tuesday it was still bothering me (no gym and I was limping insanely all day). It seems to be worse if I sit and let and stop moving. Anyway, it's been seeming better today, so fingers crossed that I'll be fine for my 5K on Friday!

In other gym news my heart rate monitor is playing up :(. I have no idea why, but I'm fairly certain that my HR didn't go from 170 to 90 in about 1 second. You're meant to wash it fairly frequently (which I don't always do :S), so hopefully a quick wash will fix it! Fingers crossed for that.

Lastly, I talked about my friend Catie over the summer. She's about 5'3" and weighed around 170 lbs. She carries almost all her weight in her butt/hips which, although the healthiest place to carry it, really affected her self esteem. Anyway, to date she's lost 18 lbs :). She wants to lose another 35ish by graduation (in June 2012), but she's definitely making progress (and she also looks much better!)

Sleep!


For some reason I've been having sleeping issues recently. I just feel tired alllll the time. I'm (generally) getting enough sleep at night (I need about 8 hours) and I'm going to bed and waking up at pretty much the same time every day. I
'm pretty sure I'm not getting ill with anything (this has been going on too long for that).

As bad as it sounds, I'm pretty sure its psychological. I get bored, and then I want to sleep. I also think that studying in my room isn't the best, especially when it's warm and I'm bored and my bed looks super comfy!

I think I might love my bed more than is normal! It's just so pink, and covered in hearts and so me! [I won the teddy bear at a fair last year. I'm not super into teddy bears, so actually the reasons that I still have it are a) I actually won something! b) it makes a really good back rest!]

Anyway, it's been on my mind a bit recently, as I'd really like to be able to feel more alert and awake during "awake" hours! A few days ago I got an email about an "Interactive Sleep Workshop" that my college is running this Wednesday. Apparently "If you're not getting enough quality sleep, then you're probably not performing at your best. Does it take too long for you to fall asleep? Do you awaken often through the night, or hours before dawn? This interactive workshop, provided by two sleep experts from CPS [counseling and psychological services], will inform you about insomnia and offer effective strategies to help you fall asleep more quickly, and others to make your sleep more satisfying.". It sounds a bit goofy, but for the last year or so I've been on a mission to take advantage of all of these kinds of workshops offered through my college. It's something I'm interested, and in some of them (especially the one's on study skills), I've learned a tonne. Plus, if I do find this useful, I'd consider going back to see a counselor about this issue if I'm not able to resolve it soon.

Once I've gone to the talk and heard what they have to say I'm also going to try to incorporate things that I know will help - studying outside my room, keeping my room cooler etc.

Fingers crossed that the talk's useful! I'll let you know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday was not a good day for me....

I'm really close to my family, and every time someone comes to visit me and then leaves I get a little upset/depressed. I've always been this way, even when I was really little. I remember/my mum's told me that I used to get absolutely hysterical in the airport when we dropped off my grandparents. I also used to cry every day when I had to go to school and leave my mum (yeah, I have/had issues). (The counselor person that I went to go see decided that I had a traumatic childhood full of loss and that now I have attachment issues. I definitely didn't have a traumatic childhood, or one full of loss, but the attachment issues part has some merit...).

Anyway, I also get bouts of nostalgia for various things like childhood. The silly thing is that I'm sure it wasn't that great when it was happening, but it seems like it would be great to go back to it now. (On the other hand, if push came to shove, I don't think I could give up my current life). I also know that in a couple of years I'll look back on my time now and feel nostalgic for that.

My little brother (who visited over the weekend) is currently in his first year of college. It seems like he's having so much fun, and it makes me miss when everything was new and exciting. There's also a girl he likes (and I have literally spent hours in the last few weeks giving him advice on that). I absolutely adore my boy now, and wouldn't break up with him for anything in the world, but hearing all about what my brother's up to does make me miss the beginning of a relationship, when it was exciting when he said he loved your or invited you out. It's not that that stuff isn't exciting now, but I know he loves me (we've been together for over 2.5 years at this point, so I hope he does!!). Him being in the first year of college and having this girl he's pursuing made me nostalgic, and him leaving (at the end of the weekend to go back to his college) just compounded the upset.

When I feel nostalgic I just feel completely depressed and overwhelmed and don't want to do anything but sleep. I'm over it now, and am feeling a lot better (getting over it in a day is pretty good for me!), but it sucks when it's happening. I still haven't really found any successful way of stopping it happening (and I have a feeling I never will) but at least I'm finding ways of coping. The most useful thing my counselor ever said was that I know this is going to happen. It happens without fail every time someone visits and leaves. Either that means that I can't have family visit (and I don't like that idea, I love them visiting) or I need to be aware that when they leave this is going to happen and so I have to plan accordingly. That means trying to get work done in advance, so that I'm not feeling crummy with nostalgia/pseudo-depression and trying to work and also trying to arrange other fun things to do or give myself things to look forward to in the near future.

Do you get nostalgic/upset when things "end"? How do you deal with it?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My eating plan for this week is as follows:

Sunday
Brunch: Fruit, 1 Banana chocolate chip pancake
Dinner: No idea, it's always leftovers :S
Monday
Lunch: Chicken fingers (whatever they are)
Dinner: Pasta with alfredo sauce
Tuesday
Lunch: Spinach salad, chips
Dinner: Vegetable risotto
Wednesday
Lunch: "Chef's Surprise" (whatever that is. Or salad)
Dinner: sweet potato, summer squash, some kind of protein?
Thursday
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich
Dinner: Veggie and cheese stuffed manacotti, dessert?
Friday
Lunch: Salad, some kind of crepe (cinnamon apple)
Dinner: Pizza
Saturday
Brunch: French toast with banana
Dinner: chicken, potatoes, carrots

This looks slightly healthier than last week, but not by all that much!

Exercise as Study Breaks

My brother is visiting this weekend, which is awesome! My family's pretty close and I haven't seen him in a while, so its nice that he was able to come.

Anyway, something he did on Thursday that made me think. We were both mucking around on our computers doing "work" (Thursday is never a productive day for me) and suddenly he jumped off my bed, got down on the floor and started doing pushups!

I'm really big on trying to incorporate exercise into my every day life (taking the stairs instead of the lift etc), but my brother got me re-thinking about whether there were useful little 5 minute exercise things I could do as study breaks when I'm working. I can't really do pushups, and don't like crunches, so I tend to do things like the plank.

Do you do any of those sorts of things? What do you do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

5K


I noticed a flyer in the gym for a 5K race next Friday (November 18). I took the plunge and signed up for it! I've never run a proper 5K race before, and I'm pretty nervous. I figured that it would give me a good incentive to run and work hard for the next week.

Previously, I've run based on time, not distance. I'm not really sure how far I've been running in the past. On Wednesday I ran my first ever "deliberate" 5K in the gym. It took me 28.31 (I got close to the end and decided that I wanted to do it in 28.30, so I was close!). Anyway, over the next week I'm going to keep working and seeing how I do with running (and if I don't feel that I'm ready on the day I won't do it).

Foodwise, I've done well. I've stuck to my eating plan so far this week, and I've also managed to stay in my calorie goal each day. I'm still using "MyFitnessPal" to track my food choices, and also to track my weight each day. I know that weighing every day isn't ideal, but it makes it easier for me to keep track of things.

My first weight (130) was from ages ago, so that doesn't really count. At least it's going down, even though I'm pretty sure a lot of that is water weight (no way did I lose 4.4 lbs in 4 days!).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday

Monday was a good day foodwise - I stuck to my plan (and I also had salad at both meals, no dessert at either and no french fries!).

I also went to pilates - I haven't been in such a long time (6 months or so!). I remembered most of the positions/moves, but my abs have got much weaker, so I wasn't able to do them as well. (My big problem with pilates is my neck. For some reason I tense it a lot when I'm doing anything that requires me to lie down and hold my head up - crunches and a lot of pilates exercises. When my abs were stronger that problem got better, but they're back to being weak again :(. I need to work on that!).

The pilates also felt gooood after my run yesterday. I am still really sore from it (much more than I would normally be). I'm also really feeling it in my hip flexors which is a bit strange. During the run yesterday (with the new "barefoot" shoes) I felt it in different areas to normal - the top and sides of my feet and the insides of my calves. I also think I really overdid it. After I came back from the run I read more about it all (trying to make sure that I was doing it "right"). Apparently you can seriously mess yourself up if you don't build up slowly. So...the new plan is to try to run in them for 2 x 10 minutes during my two cardio gym trips. I was able to run for longer than normal in them, and I felt better running than I normally do. I'm hoping that once I build up and can run those distances "safely", the shoes will help me to enjoy running again and start solving some of my foot issues!

Midterm grades are starting to trickle in slowly. I'll probably do a post on them in the next few days.

In other news, my poorly sister has to have a colonoscopy tomorrow (a bit tmi, I know). I am sure it'll all go okay, but I'll be thinking of her and keeping my fingers crossed. Also, fingers crossed for this helping to work out what her "illness X" is!

Food!

Saturday was a terrible day for me foodwise. My dining hall isn't serving food until Monday (because of Fall break), so the boyfriend and I have had to fend for ourselves. On Saturday I ate...candy for lunch. So messed up. Dinner was slightly better - wholewheat pasta with cheese.

Sunday was much better. I felt guilty about my choices on Saturday, and I figured that the best way to make myself feel better was to eat well! I had a spinach salad with celery, broccoli and avocado (and raspberry dressing) for lunch. For dinner I had chicken noodle soup and bread (so much salt in this though :S). I also ran for half an hour in my new shoes, more about that in a upcoming post!

My eating plan for next week:

Monday
Lunch: Chicken sandwich with french fries (I have to be reasonable here, and I really love French fries atm). Possibly a cookie for dessert (they make really good cookies in my dining hall)
Dinner: Pasta with roasted garlic alfredo sauce
Tuesday
Lunch: Spinach salad
Dinner: Macaroni cheese (and chocolate milk!)
Wednesday
Lunch: "Chef's Surprise" (whatever that is. Or salad)
Dinner: Chicken fajita, ice cream sundae
Thursday
Lunch: Pita pizza
Dinner: Butternut squash ravioli, dessert?
Friday
Lunch: Salad, some kind of crepe
Dinner: Burger (with cheese. I won't eat burgers without cheese).

I have to say, looking at that makes me feel like this really isn't going to be a healthy week. My dining hall doesn't have that many choices (if any) and caters to the tastes of the majority, which I guess I'm not really in. 4/10 meals are pasta or pizza, which I really don't think is good. Still, I guess I have to work within the confines of what is available, and perhaps choosing sensible portions is the way forward!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Studying makes me sleepy!

Unfortunately, the above is true. I used to eat to keep me awake when I was studying, which was a terrible habit. I've been trying to find other ways to stay awake, alert and focussed. I stumbled across a blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life, which is totally awesome. They have lists of various things (50 ways to get more done, 60 ways to make life simple again, 75 reminders for tough times, 52 Monday morning stress reduction mantras) which I've printed up and put all around my room!

One of my favourites is "50 Natural Ways to Boost Energy". It has a lot of good suggestions for staying focussed on work. I've been trying to use the ideas when I start to feel sleepy, and I've also come up with a lot of my own.

So, at the moment my top 10 ways of not getting sleepy when studying (in no particular order) are:

1. Stand up, stretch, walk
2. Open a window, cool my room down
3. Energizing breathing
4. Put on some music
5. Shower, wash my face
6. Chew gum
7. Put on an essential oil (I have a few from Neal's Yard that I really like, including one called Energy!)
8. Drink water or tea (I've started drinking coffee which is a bad habit that I want to break)
9. Brush my teeth
10. Make a (reasonable) schedule and try to stick with it

And, of course, sleeping enough at night helps a lot too!

The other thing that's key for me is not to aimlessly spend time on the internet at night. It's when I'm most easily distracted and least focussed, so I often end up wasting a lot of time if I start to go down that route (and that's sleeping time that's getting wasted!)

Do you get sleepy when you study/work for long periods of time at a desk? How do you combat it?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meals/Keys/New Toys

With regards to meals etc yesterday:
I had a falafel sandwich for lunch and a burger for dinner. Not the best choices by any stretch of the imagination, but I should have said that my university has fall break now, which means that my normal dining hall isn't open. The boyfriend and I are therefore having to make or buy our own food, and unfortunately for my health we went out twice yesterday.

I also was not very successful at taking my vitamins. For some reason I get really tired at night, almost so tired that I don't have the energy to take my vitamins (I'm also pretty bad at swallowing them, so the whole thing always turns into a bit of a to-do.)

I don't really know how I did with snacking. I had a few bits and pieces in the evening when we were watching a movie, but not much else.

Lab Key Dilemma
As many of you know, I've had a catalogue of issues with lab. Last semester I really didn't like the project I was working on (and dreaded going to lab) and my in-lab mentor, though a wonderful person, was a terrible teacher. I then changed projects twice over the summer, but I'm now really enjoying the one I'm working on. However, because of my law school apps (which are now done, yay!) I've barely been going into lab recently. Anyway, the bottom line is that I think my boss thinks that I slack off a lot and that I'm not a great addition to the lab.

I lost my key to lab a while ago (I hadn't seen it since the beginning of the summer, despite, I thought, looking everywhere). I've been reluctant to go get a new one, because they University tends to do over-excessive things like changing the locks and giving everyone a new key. Because my boss already doesn't have a great opinion of me, I don't want to cause any more trouble in lab. (I should have said, I only use the key to get in outside of normal working hours, when no-one else is there, so it's a little unusual for me to use it.) Yesterday I decided to just bite the bullet and go get a new key. When I was half way to lab I realised that I'd left my wallet in my room, which I thought I might need. I went back to my room to get it, and noticed a handbag that I hadn't checked yet. I went thought it and...found the key! The timing was just so weird, because I found the old one minute before I was going to replace it, despite looking for it for over 2 months!

(Anyway, it made me tres happy to have the key back, and not to have to do yet another thing that would make my boss think I'm incompetent!)

Minimus Shoes and Clarisonic

I've had my old running shoes for almost two years now and I've been meaning to get a new pair. While visiting my grandmother, my mum and I took a trip to my favourite sports store. I have a couple of foot issues, nothing major, just things like a falling arch. Anyway, they recommended that I try the New Balance Minimus shoe (which has a very thin sole and is meant to be one of those "barefoot running" shoes). Apparently it will help with my falling arch and ankle turning, and also my (extremely heavy) footfall. They were pretty much the same price as normal running shoes, so I decided to try them. I haven't really got much of a chance to test them out yet, but I'm looking forward to it!



















New Shoes!









The dermatologist recommended the "Clarisonic". It's like a very soft rotating brush that you use on your skin (there's one brush for the face and one for the body). It's meant to help the skin renew and also to help it absorb all the lotions and potions that you put on it. Before your first use, you need to charge it for 24 hours, which I did yesterday, and I was excited about getting to use it last night. But, for some reason it wouldn't turn on and kept saying it was out of battery :(. I'm trying recharging it again (maybe it got unplugged or wasn't on the base properly last time), so fingers crossed that it'll work tonight!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The last few days...


Have been interesting. I've done a bunch of "self-improvement" type things.

*I cut my hair and cut a lot off. It was way too long, with lots of split ends and really needed a cut. It's a lot shorter than it was before. I'm still not 100% in love with it yet, but I think it was a good decision! (There's a sort of picture of it below)

*I got a mole and cyst on my chest removed. It was very prominent and showed whenever I wore anything low cut. I've been meaning to do it for a while, but just haven't had the time etc to do it. Anyway, it's obviously still healing, but hopefully I'll get a good result.

* I got the mole and cyst removed at the same time as I went to go see the dermatologist for my skin (on my face). I'm still having issues with it, but I do think it's getting better. I'm going back to my regime that I was using before I got worried and stopped using. I'm washing it twice a day with a very gentle face wash. In the morning I'm using a benzoyl peroxide type of thing plus a moisturizer and in the evening I'm using a retin-A plus moisturizer. (Retin-A's help the skin to regenerate faster, and it will apparently help to bring things up from under the skin). I have a new brush kind of thing that's meant to help with absorbing all the creams and treatments, so that's useful. I also need to make a huge effort not to poke and prod it, because I know that really doesn't help. I'll keep you all updated with how things go!

I know this is a pretty awful picture, but this is my "start". This is the worst part of my face (my chin on my right), but I would like it to get better (I'm also paranoid about it scaring, which I think it's starting to do).

* In my psych class we talked about the way the norms of what people at my college have worm over time. It really made me think about the way I dress, and I want to start making more of an effort with my clothing choices - when I look okay I feel much better!

* I bought a couple new things that I've been planning to get for a while. For example, my backpack has been completely falling apart, so I really needed to get a new one which I've finally done! I also ordered a humidifier, which will be super helpful for the winter. (They turn the heat on so high here, and I can't control the heat in my room individually, so it gets incredibly dry here).





My old backpack (including the awful straps that I thought were going to break at any moment) and my new backpack!

* I've almost got my room fully assembled! I've been meaning to put up all my posters etc for a while, but I've had so much other stuff that I've had to do. Anyway, I've spent time over the last few days putting up posters and pictures!

My "zen wall" that's right above my mini fountain! (You can also see my short hair here!)


Some of my favourite decorations in my room - art work from when I was little! (Also the pinnacle of my artistic ability!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Goals

This month I really need to focus on losing a couple pounds and making healthier food choices.

To that end:
1. I will do at least 2 cardio workouts and 1 strength workout per week. I will also do one pilates class per week (starting next week for the pilates).

2. I will post my lunch (hopefully) and dinner choices each day - the weekly menus are posted so hopefully I'll be able to make healthy choices in advance.

3. I will have no more than 2 snacks per day.

4. I will eat breakfast everyday (I used to do this without fail, and for some reason I've got bad at this recently).

5. I will take all my vitamins plus the "green pills" and cocoa beans every day.

Fingers crossed for this all working out! I'll try to post every day or every other day with an update on how I do!

PS I just weighed myself and I'm 135.6 lbs, so fingers crossed for getting below 130 by Christmas!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Good News...

I got a phone call today from my first choice law school (which I applied to binding early decision) letting me know that I've been accepted for their class of 2015!

I am so incredibly beyond excited!

The other really nice thing about getting in is that it takes a little bit of the pressure off me this semester, grades-wise. I mean, my grades do still matter and it's (very) important to me to do well academically, but it's not like if I get one B my law school dreams will be dashed! The other good thing about it is that I perform better on exams when I'm not feeling as pressured, so hopefully this means I'll actually do a little better than normal!

Plus, it's just really nice to have what I'm doing next year sorted!

Anyway, I should probably get back to studying for my politics exam (game theory) tomorrow, but just wanted to let you all know!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So obviously I didn't quite succeed with blogging a decent amount...

But I'm here now!

This is just going to be a super short update, because I'm in the middle of studying for midterms. I submitted 6 law school applications last weekend (well, two weekends ago now), so I'm anxiously waiting to hear back from them. I still need to finish & submit a lot more, but I'm so busy with exams that that's on the back-burner at the moment. I also applied binding early decision to my top choice law school. They barely accept anyone early and my number's (GPA & LSAT) are below their averages, but who knows! Maybe it'll work out. I'll hear from them sometime in the 15 days after I submitted the application (so within the next week). I'm expecting to get deferred to "regular admission" (ie I won't find out for a while, but it won't be binding) or possibly flat out rejected (but hopefully not!). Depending on what happens I'll have some decisions to make next week! One part of this that's particularly scary is that if you get in they phone you, otherwise they email you. That means I've been completely paranoid every time I get an email. I've also had a couple nightmares about it... (oh dear!)

I'm also in the middle of midterms. Unfortunately I have 4 - one for each of my classes, over the course of 4 days (which is unusual). I had econ on Tuesday, psych today (Wednesday), art tomorrow and politics on Friday. Econ didn't go as well as I was hoping, and I'm also not sure at all how psych went (it was multiple choice, but there were a couple I didn't know). Anyway, regardless of how those ones went the main thing is to keep my focus for the next two.

Art is proving to be a real killer - I have to memorize 85 photos, when they were made them, who made them and how they were made (as well as a much of terms etc). Anyway, better get back to doing that!