Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire"

Since I've been done with classes, I've been able to read fiction books! I've read two so far, the second of which is called "Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire" by Margot Berwin. It's a weird title, and a weird book, but it was also really good and I really enjoyed it. It centers around one woman's post-divorce life-revelations through plants. It's a little hippy/new agey in that some of the characters in the book believe in "plant magic" and other things like that, but the protagonist does question it, which I liked. The book had some parts which really resonated with me, and in some ways it was "preaching" acceptance of the world around us, looking for the good in the world and practicing mindfulness (which are things I'm working on).

Alison at Life in a Pink Fibro has something each week called "Rewind" where people post links to their old posts (it's awesome, you should all do it!). Anyway, through that I found this post (Finding the Mindfulness in the Meaningful) which I really enjoyed. It also talks about mindfulness. Anyway, this post pretty much doesn't make sense, but the summary is that the book and the post have encouraged me to re-start trying to achieve a greater state of mindfulness in my life (mindfulness is also part of ACT). I'll let you know how it goes!

EDIT: I've been looking for resources on the internet, and I've found two sites that I like... and In addition to these particular articles, they both have many more articles on mindfulness. I think I'm also going to get a book called Excuse Me, College Is Now: How to be a Success in School and Life, which, as the title suggests, is a book for college students about the challenges and difficulties they face. Even though I have been doing much better with college stress etc recently, I'm always interested in reading more about self-improvement type things!

Friday, May 27, 2011


So, the boyfriend and I have had to move rooms for the next week or so. He technically isn't meant to be staying with me, but is. We have two other roommates and we're going to be getting a third one today (which means that my boyfriend won't still be able to stay with me :( ). Anyway, one of the girls has two of her friends staying which is fine, but....

Firstly, they have tonnes of alcohol in the room which is fine, but if the campus police were to find it we'd all be in trouble. Secondly, they're loud and noisy and in the room a lot. We came back last night and found one of the *guests* in our common room, on the floor with a guy, messing around. We went off to shower and came back to find an empty condom wrapper and an unwrapped (used) condom in the bin. I'm not a prude, but I think its a bit much to do that on the floor of a shared common room where you're a guest. Secondly, they woke us up at 8 with their loud talking and giggling. The boyfriend went out at 10 to ask them to be a bit more quiet, and they got better, but not much better.
I also went out into the common room and here was a guy out there, who presumably spent the night. I'm really annoyed at these girls (and our roommate who said they could stay) because they're really not acting with much decorum.

 I'm not entirely sure what to do. On one hand, I do have my boyfriend here and I guess he is a guest here. I have this other roommate coming back today, so I want to stay flexible etc because we might want to try to negotiate and get the others to agree to let him stay in the room. I also don't want to seem old and grumpy and like a party pooper. On the other hand, they're really not behaving with any decorum and disrupting our ability to enjoy reunions.

Does anyone have any advice? How would you all handle this kind of thing?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Just a quick update....

I should preface this by saying that I'm not totally obsessed with grades, but they are important and they were also an important catalyst in making some important changes to my life, which I've talked about before.

Anyway, I've got all my grades for this semester now - I got a B+ in my lab work, and straight A's in my other four classes. I am so pleased with myself. I feel like I was able to make some really important changes to my study habits and that that's really paid off. I'm especially pleased with my grade in history because I really wasn't confident about that one.

On a separate (but related) note, my boyfriends meeting with the academic adviser went really well. He seemed to think that it would be helpful for next semester and he now has some good strategies for exams etc. The adviser also talked a little about how important it is not to base self worth on grades. I've already got passed that a bit (I say a bit because good grades still make me feel really good about myself, but at least my self worth isn't so badly affected by less good results). For my boyfriend I think that was an especially important discussion to have. (He also did pretty well this semester, including in his worse class, which he passed (he chose to do it pass/fail as opposed to graded). He got one B and the rest of his results were all B+, which is a pretty good result.)

I still haven't told the boyfriend about my grades because I don't want to upset him and overshadow his good achievements. On the other hand, I would like to tell him because we share everything. On the other hand, I don't want to upset him.

Does anyone else have this kind of problem? Any advice?

Anyway, just a quick update!

Summer Money Issues

I get paid ($450/week) for working in my lab over the summer. As you all know, I was hoping I'd be able to lead some tours as well, mostly for my own personal development. However, I've found out that I'm going to get paid for that as well, and there lies the problem... . I'm already working in my lab for forty hours, so any work I do outside that means that I'd be working overtime. The way it apparently works is that my lab and the tour guide people split the cost of the overtime. The tour guide people are happy with it, but my supervisor isn't and I feel a bit bad about it because he was there first as it were. Also, of course, my first priority this summer is to work in lab.

I'm not hugely concerned about the money/overtime, but still. My professor has offered to reduce my work-week in lab to 38 hours, but I don't really like that idea. Firstly, I think it makes it seem like I'm slacking off a bit (even though I'll actually be working for way more than 38 hours/week). Secondly, each tour is one hour and fifteen minutes, so that actually means that I'd only be able to do one tour and I'd be getting paid less overall (lab pays $11.25/hour apparently). Not a huge difference, but probably $100 or so over the summer.

I'm in touch with the tour guiding people trying to see if it's possible for me to do that on a volunteer basis or not be paid the overtime so fingers crossed for that! I'm just frustrated by this whole thing because it is my thing to sort out, but I feel like I'm hitting dead ends everywhere, I don't really care about getting paid for the tour guiding thing (obviously that would be nice, but that's not why I'm doing it and the pay isn't that incredible) and the whole getting paid aspect is appearing to add a lot of difficulty! Anyway, fingers crossed for being able to do the tour guiding thing on a volunteer basis!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New York and Grades

My mum was in NY today, so the boyfriend and I spent the day there and then met up with her for dinner, which was really nice. It was also great to get off campus - the boyfriend is so so much more relaxed and happy when we're not on campus.

With regards to grades...I'm still waiting for one of them, but so far I'm really pleased with them. I got a B+ in my lab work (which I'm pleased with as I didn't think I was going to do that well) and I got an A in Sociology, an A in my engineering class and an A in my Chemistry class. I am so super pleased with those results (and my GPA is looking much better as a result of them!). (I'm still wavering a bit about whether my A in Chemistry was fully deserved. I am so pleased with it, but I really wasn't expecting it. My entire grade in that class hinged on my final paper, which, due to the professor not wanting to set an exam, made up 100% of the grade. I did work hard on that paper, and I certainly understood my stuff for it, but it just seems like I worked much less hard for that class than my other classes. On the other hand, I guess compared to everyone else in that class I did work hard and learn and achieve a lot.)

I can't believe that a year ago I got B-,B-,B-,A-. It seems like I've come so far since then! I'm not sure if it's because I'm taking easier courses/am more settled into everything here or if it's because I'm getting better at school! To be honest, I think it's a combination of both, but it's certainly nice to see my hard work paying off.

I've talked about the academic support here before, but I really do think it's incredible. It completely helped me to turn my grades around (from averaging about a B to an A-). I think I said in an earlier post that the boyfriend and I are going to talk to the head of that program tomorrow in the hopes that they'll be able to help him a bit as well (despite the fact that he's gone before and didn't find them helpful). Fingers crossed for that...I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Schedule and Update!

I'm spending my summer working in my lab at college :S. I told them I couldn't work this week and I'm going home for the next two weeks, which I'm looking forward to. The boyfriend and I are staying on campus this week, as all our graduation ceremonies/reunions are happening next week and we wanted to go to some of those things.

We had to move rooms for that (and he doesn't even technically have a room, so he's living in my room. I'm in a three room quad, meaning that there are two bedrooms, each with two beds in them. Luckily, my roommate (who I've never met) won't be here till Friday, so he's able to stay with me till then). Moving was incredibly stressful. I hate change anyway, it was hot and sweaty out and he was getting mad about having to move everything. Anyway, that's done now (but we have to move again at the end of this week, because I'm in a different room again for the summer), but it was really stressful at the time.

Since then we've just been trying to chill and de-stress, but there's still a lot that we need to do. I went to the doctor today and got my nuvaring prescription refilled - apparently it costs $20/month (with insurance), which is a bit ridiculous. I also got a new pair of shorts for the gym which I'm excited about! Talking about the gym I haven't been in the longest time. I'm planning to go today though for a bit. My diet has been so poor recently that I'm never going to hit my 5lb goal for this month, but a bit of toning never hurt and I need to start going to the gym again for my own sanity. I've also fallen off the wagon a bit with my resolutions. Now that we're settled into the new room though I'm going to try to start working on them again!

Regarding grades...I'm still waiting on one in particular that I'm worried about (I'm meant to be getting it today), so as soon as I get that one I'll let you all know about the ones I have (temper the bad news of that grade with the good news of the others). The main issue with grades is the boyfriends grades though. Every semester he's always disappointed with his grades (mostly B-, B, B+) and thinks they don't adequately reflect his work input. To be honest, I kind of agree with him. He always gets a bit depressed about it, feels useless, compares himself to his genius sister and me (I do slightly better than him) etc. I never know how best to help him, as I don't want to make it seem like his problems don't matter, on the other hand I don't think his grades are that inherently bad. It's really getting to be a bit of a problem though, as I don't tell him my grades now because I don't want to upset him, and the whole not telling each other thing isn't really how our relationship operates. (NB He had a tough freshman year, got an F, through no fault of his own, and a C or two, so his GPA is really not good. Part of the reason he's so tough on himself now is that he really needs A and A-'s to pull up the GPA). I've finally got him to agree to go see the academic counseling people here. I've been to see them before and they really helped me to turn my grades around. He's been to see them before and doesn't like them at all. I think part of that though is his reluctance to put what they tell him into practice... . Anyway, I'm probably going to go to this meeting with him, which I'm hoping will help because at least I'll be able to remember/write down their advice! (Sorry about that rant!)

Does anyone else have suggestions for dealing with these kind of (boy)friend grade issues?

Monday, May 23, 2011

So, guess whose been terrible at updating the blog?

I promise a proper update soon, but I'm done!! So pleased about that, just a little worried about the grades...(there is good news on some fronts there though, which I'll share properly when I get a chance for a proper update).
I had to move out of my room which was incredibly stressful, but luckily my wonderful, incredible boyfriend helped me move everything!
The rest of this week is going to be some time off, followed by two weeks at home :).
I promise a proper update soon, and absolutely definitely before next Monday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One down...two to go!

I had my sociology exam today. I'm glad it's over. To be honest, it didn't really feel that much like an exam. It was open notes and open book. and there was very little time pressure. I really really am hoping I did well on it - I really didn't like either of the essay questions though. Neither of them really made that much sense to me :S. Anyway, fingers crossed.

I had a review session for my next exam (engineering) straight after the sociology exam, so now I'm worrying a bit about that. I had another review session for history (with the TA, not Professor) and I'm super worried about that one. We have to write an essay covering from the 1600s to today in Urban planning in the US in 50 minutes! (Along with another 50 minute essay, a 20 minute essay and 12 "identifications" in an hour! Eek!).

I know it's really boring to hear about me studying but that's all I've been doing recently, and all I'll be doing tomorrow and the day after. Come Friday afternoon though, I'm pack up all my belongings and put them in storage :(. On the plus side, the boyfriend and I are going to cook dinner together, which I'm looking forward to :).

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I'm still not feeling great, but...the good thing is that I know what's causing it. Before the beginning of this year (when I had my little epiphany about being able to change my life if I want to) I don't think I would have known the cause. Or at least I would have found it harder to accept the cause and the fact that this is just a temporary state of mind that will fade over the next month. When you know what's causing something (housing issues, exam stress, upset about the end of the school year), and you know that those things are going to pass it makes it a lot easier to deal with what's going on. (This is also partly something that ACT has taught me, thoughts are just thoughts, they don't (necessarily) mean anything and they will pass).

I've had an interesting few days with the whole food/losing 5 lbs thing. I've realised that I do actually have a lot more willpower than I thought I did and that I can say no to food. Whenever I wanted to eat something that's not good for me I ask myself how I'll feel about having eaten it in half an hour. Sometimes (a small piece of cake at dinner) I decide it's worth it it, other times (snacking on crisps) I decide it's not. Fingers crossed that this mindset will continue and that the weight will start coming off!

Exam studying is going okay, not great. I've had a lethargic type of day today (I didn't sleep enough last night, and I'm in this dark mood), but I have gone through all my lecture notes for my Tuesday exam and I also finished the reading (that I was meant to do months ago and didn't) for it. Just need to go over my notes on the other readings and think about possible questions that might come up and then I'm good to go!

Feeling a little bit better

After I posted that post yesterday I went for a run (with the boyfriend). It was a tough run - partly because I wasn't really in the mood for it, and partly because it was an outdoor run, which I don't normally do. I ran a little slower than usual (according to my gizmo). But, the good news is that I ran for 22 mins 30 seconds, which is even better than my goal for this month!

I also reflected on some of the good things that happened to me yesterday. Something I've been working on is getting less distracted when I'm studying. I have a really bad tendency to be studying and remember that I need to do something (send an email or something) and feel like it can't wait. One thing I did yesterday that seemed to work well was to put little sticky notes in my reading (randomly) that had little rewards on them (e.g. email, have a snack, facebook etc). It made it all a little more a game, which was good!

I still haven't lost any weight (130.8 lbs), which I'm a bit annoyed about. I know it takes time, but I've been feeling like I've been being really good, and usually weight comes off me pretty quickly. Anyway, I'm just trying not to get discouraged.

My skin is also getting a little dicey. Maybe its because of all the water (which is meant to clear your skin, but the skin will probably go through a bad period first, while it's clearing), the sunscreen (I'm not crazy about my current one, but I should be wearing it. And it is a resolution for this month. I think I'm going to give my skin a day off from it today...), stress, or me picking at it/touching it more. I'm going to try to be super nice to it today :)

Anyway, I should get some studying (Sociology) done!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today was...not a good day. Nothing super terrible happened, but a combination of exam stress, housing stress and being sad that the school year is almost over doesn't make for a great day.

Exam stress is pretty self-explanatory. I probably should've started studying earlier, but like usual, I didn't. I do have a good study plan worked out, and should be able to get everything done, but everything's just taking a lot longer than I'd like. I also have the last exam (Friday) out of everyone in my friendship group. It's not the end of the world, but they're all planning end of exams celebrations which I can't go to :(.

Housing stress.... I'm staying at college over the summer and I get a room through the University. I have a really nice room (with my best friend and another girl who I know will drive me crazy :S. We have three connected singles though, so it shouldn't be too bad). Anyway, between the time I leave my current room and move into my new room is the problem (it's about a week, during Reunions). I also have University housing for those 7 days, but...the University tries to keep you either in your school-year room or your summer room, but I'm going to be moved to another random room (not my school year room and not my summer room). This is super annoying for a few reasons - more moving of all my stuff and the fact that the boyfriend (who is going to be staying with me, even though he's technically not meant to be here) is going to cause problems, because I've been put in a double room with another girl, who most likely won't want him also sleeping in there. He probably can stay with some of our other (guy) friends (including the "other guy"), but we were really hoping for some time together, which we're not really going to get so much now. Plus, I now have to move my stuff from my "interim" room to my summer room...when I'm at home. In the UK. For various complicated reasons, the housing office thinks I'm here then (you can't take time off in the middle of your summer contract), so I doubt they're going to be very helpful. At the moment, I think I'm going to have to ask my summer roommates to move my stuff, but I feel really bad about doing that (I have a lot of stuff!).

And about the school year being nearly over - I'm adverse to change. I pretty much don't ever like anything ending. I used to cry every birthday and New Years Eve, because I didn't want that year of my life to end...

Anyway, I'm trying to be positive. I know everything will work out okay, it's just a little bit stressful at the moment! (And I hope that was coherent. I just had to get it out!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Public Speaking

I hate public speaking. (I'm not sure if I posted about this before given that the blog is playing up.) Its really not my thing.'s something I really want to work on. Being able to do presentations well is a really important skill, and its going to end up being something I need to do (I'm considering pursuing a career in litigation).
Anyway...I signed up to be a summer tour guide for my university! I'm not sure yet if my application will be accepted, but I'm excited! It'll be a great way to get more comfortable with public speaking - its (obviously) not graded or anything, and after being here for three years I know a lot about this place. I don't know what my schedule will be if I'm accepted, but I've asked to do 2-3 tours (each tour is an hour) every week.
Fingers crossed for getting accepted to it!


So...I've gained weight. I was steady at 129.8, and as of today I'm
130.8 lbs. I know that 1 lb is probably just a random fluctuation, but
still. To be honest, I wasn't great with my diet this week and I
haven't really been to the gym. Yesterday was my best day though, so
it doesn't seem fair that I gained weight the day after my best day.
The only saving grace is that I tend to have a lag between my good
eating days and weight loss, so maybe it's just that. I hope so!
Before today I've only taken my psyllium with black or red tea (ie
tea with milk). It's a bit annoying because it means that I have to
finish my existing pot of tea to make the black/red tea, and I don't
like to drink too much water/tea just before bed. Anyway, today I
tried putting the psyllium in herbal tea, and it was fine! I'm pleased
about that!
I'm going to try to be good again today with food. So far I've just
eaten my porridge (with protein powder and maple sugar) and the
psyllium. That said, I'm always good at breakfast, the problem is the
other meals/late at night!
PS I hope this blogger issue gets fixed soon! I'm not liking not being
able to post!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


This week and next week are finals week - I have three exams:
Sociology (May 17), Engineering (May 19) and History (May 20).
When I was in high school/senior school, work and exams didn't really
stress me out that much. I was only studying science, which I'm
relatively good at. I generally did well on exams and papers, and if
something was really important to me and I studied hard I could almost
always get a grade I was happy with.
Then I hit first semester was particularly tough (not
just because of academics) and I wound up with some of my worst grades
- C+, B, B, B+. They're certainly not super awful, but I hadn't really
got C's before.... . Anyway, things got marginally better, and I was
averaging somewhere between a B/B+. Last Spring was an awful semester
for me though - I ended up with B-, B-, B-, A-, which didn't make my
GPA happy at all! I was also disappointed because I'd studied *really*
hard (like, done all the problems in the textbook kind of hard).
Last semester I decided to seek help for academics and study skills.
Grades and academic stress were also one of the things that prompted
me to go see the counsellor, as they were really getting me down/
depressed and badly affecting my self-worth (which I later learned/
realised should not be at all linked to grades). Anyway, my University
has pretty good academic support - they run workshops on various
academic skills (studying for finals, procrastination, effective
reading etc) and they also have (free) sessions where you can go talk
to a peer advisor about your study strategies. I was really lucky and
randomly was paired with someone who just seemed to understand where I
was coming from. Two of the most useful things he told me were:
1. Often there's a type of problem or concept underlying problems that
you don't understand. So, what's important is not to do all the
problems in the book and work out where you went wrong in each
individual one, but to work out the trend in where you seem to go
wrong in problems and focus on that.
2. Think of the exam as "point grabbing". Don't imagine starting from
100 and losing points for everything you get wrong. Instead, imagine
starting from 0 and gaining points for everything that you do get right.
I've also learned a lot more about smart studying - predicting exam
questions, tailoring my studying to the kind of questions asked on the
exam (I study different for a essay vs definitions now).
Last semester wound up being my best semester ever and I was really
pleased with my grades (I got my first ever A! And 3/5 of my grades
were A range (A, A-) grades).
I'm hoping that I can keep up the trend this semester. I'm pretty
nervous about my exams, but I'm trying to use all my study methods. At
the moment. I'm really just catching up on the reading I didn't get to
do during the semester though!
Does anyone have any other study tips or ways that they like to study?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Too Tight Shoes!

My family came over to the states at the beginning of April so that my little brother could look at colleges (and make a decision about where he wants to go!). I went to go visit them while they were here, and ended up going shopping with my mum. I bought a few (4!!) pairs of new shoes because I haven't bought any at least since I started college and given that my shoes are mostly cheap pumps they're all really starting to fall apart.

Anyway, one of the pairs I got was a brown pair which my mum really liked but I was so-so about. They only had them in black in the store, so I got a brown pair sent to me.

I tried them on when they arrived, and they're just a little bit too small (too tight). Anyway, between the anticipated hassle of trying to send them back, me being super busy, and the fact that I don't want to let my mum down, I kept them. I decided today that I really wanted to get them wear-able, so I'm attempting to stretch them out a bit by wearing them and sticking an old razor case in them (which is apparently about the same size as my foot...I do have really small feet). I looked up other suggestions for stretching shoes but they all seem a bit dicey (fill them with water and stick them in the freezer) or require things I don't own (a hairdryer. I know, weird fun fact about me!). With any luck they'll stretch out a the meantime does anyone else have any tricks? Or general tricks for shoes that fit in the shop and start rubbing and pinching as soon as you get them home?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


On a totally separate note from my last post, I weighed 129.8lbs this morning. For me, this is really really bad. 130 lbs is a huge psychological cut-off for me. Before college I was never above about 127 lbs. My first year of college I put on about 15 lbs, and I think that was the first time I was over 130 lbs. I really don't want to start heading in that direction again...

I also haven't taken my psyllium husks for the longest time. I'm going to take them tonight, so hopefully I'll weigh a little less tomorrow (my diet hasn't been to great today though :S). (Pysllium help with weight because a) they make you feel full up but b) (more important right now) they help to move everything through your system, so hopefully by the time I weigh myself tomorrow most of what I ate today will be out of my system...)

Friends/The B*tch (Ex) Roommate

In an earlier post I talked about my awful ex-roommate who had a serious jealous issue with me (and especially me dating the boyfriend). She was studying abroad this semester (in Australia, long long way away!) and it's been blissful. Seriously, it is SO nice to not have her around. She made sure that the boyfriend and I were excluded from everything, which was pretty awful. (She'd get included because she was "alone", people figured that if the boy and I weren't invited to dinner with everyone else, we at least had each other to eat with).

Because of her absence (and some of my own decisions) I've become a lot closer to my current friendship group this semester, which is really nice. I love N (the boy), but, unlike him, I do need some human contact outside our relationship. By "my own decisions" I mean that, well, N is not the most social of people. He works really really hard and generally doesn't want to go out or hang out with people (other than me) and just watch movies and goof off. Between him being like that and the b*tch ex-roommate I basically wasn't close to anyone but him (and my best friend here, whose in a totally different friendship group. She goes home every weekend though, and while she's incredible to talk to she doesn't do "girly" time-wasting type things, and she never parties).

Over the last few weeks I've got a lot closer to a few of the girls in this new friendship group. I've also tried to make it clear to them that I would actually (surprisingly!) like to be "friends" with the ex-roommate. I know we're never going to be close, and to be honest I don't even value her friendship that much at this point. But..I don't want to go back to being constantly excluded from things. If she's decent to me  (ie not making snide comments whenever she's in my presence) I'm more than happy to be decent to her. I don't like arguing like this with people, and I don't think this all has a point. We're both just making each other pointlessly unhappy.  I'm hoping that we have a strong enough bond at this point that the return of the b*tch ex-roommate won't pose too much of a problem...

Has anyone been in a similar situation to this? Or have any ideas for how to reduce the risk of being excluded next semester?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Before the beginning of this year I didn't run for exercise, ever. At the beginning of this year I decided that I needed to be able to run. Sometimes I do need to run for a bus or to class. I decided to start off running for  five minutes and increase from there. I've actually decided that I really like running now - it's a great workout! I also have something which means that I can record time/distance/speed/calories on my ipod, so I can track my progress which is good.

I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I hadn't been to the gym forever - the longer I don't go for the harder it is for me to convince myself to go. But...I went today! And I ran. I actually succeeded in running for 20 minutes, which is pretty good given that I haven't run since February (according to my IPod...oops).

I'm feeling much better after the run - more focussed and also like I'm doing what I need to do to get to my goals (I was 129 lbs this morning, which isn't awful, but I'd really like to be 124-125 before the boyfriends 21st, in less than a month!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I had a strange day today - I had a history paper due at 3pm, so I woke up early to finish that off and ended up skipping dinner. After I handed that in, I had a meeting with my partner for another project, due next Tuesday. And then...pilates!

I started doing Pilates in September, because a tonne of people recommended it to me. Some people thought it would be good for stress reduction/relaxation and others thought it would be good for my back. I have very slight kyphosis (excessive "out" curvature of the top of the spine) and lardosis (corresponding excessive "in" curvature of the bottom of the spine). One of the best ways of dealing with it is to strengthen your abs, so that they can support your back better. Pilates is all about strengthening your abs, so it seems like a good fit!

At first I didn't like it - it's one of those things that based on very subtle body orientations, so it's easy to look like you're doing the right thing when really you're not. Now I love it! I've been going for long enough that I think I'm starting to get some of the more subtle adjustments, which is a good thing! I always feel better (and like I have better posture) after doing it.

I'd really recommend it to anyone (if you can find a good teacher).

Ps For the first time in about a week I finally took my vitamins today! Hoping that they'll help me shake off the cold which I'm still suffering from!


So, as we all know, I really don't like change and never have (I used to cry on my birthday every year, because I didn't want to get older).

Anyway, I came across the post "Why Change is Hard", by Hanlie ( and it's awesome! It's a really cool way of looking at the whole issue of change and made me think about how I need to change my attitude towards change.

Go read it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

General Life Update

Lab Paper
I'm done with the lab paper! Which is great, I'm pretty nervous about my grade on it though. A large part of the grade comes from how well your professor thinks you do in lab, and mine seems to think I'm never there (because I go at strange times when he's not there - he doesn't actually work in the lab).

I guess I never explained what I gave up for lent - I'm not really religious, but in the UK (or at least where I'm from in the UK) Lent is a pretty big cultural thing. For the last last three years (2009, 2010, 2011), the boyfriend and I have given up desserts and juice. This year we also gave up alcohol (not that we drink that much anyway). Anyway, Lent obviously ended a few weeks ago, and I've had a tough time not binging on sweets and licorice and dessert. The sad thing is that I don't really even enjoy them all that much, just because I never feel great after I've eaten a lot of sugar. Anyway, over the next few days I'm going to make a big effort with making more conscious, aware food choices. I'm hoping that that will help mindless eating of crummy food.

Guess who still hasn't been to the gym this month? Or last month? Or probably the month before? Argh. I really need to get onto that and stop making excuses!

Seems to be okay - I was feeling a little depressed over the weekend, and I don't know if that was because of the whole "other guy" thing or if it was the new hormones or if it was a combination of the new hormones and not taking my B6 (vitamin). The stupid thing is that its making me scared to engage physically with the boy, just because he was poking around a bit a few days ago and it hurt :(

Other Guy
So, during formals weekend one of my friends announced, in front of a few of our female friends and my boyfriend, "[Other guy] is especially nice to Jinx because he wants to f**k her". It was in the context of a conversation about how he's drifting out of our friendship group a bit, so it wasn't at all meant to be taken as "that's the only reason he's nice to you", more just that he had a huge thing for me, so he was nice to me and not other people. Anyway, the whole thing was just really awkward and threw me a lot. I am feeling a bit better after talking to one of my close friends at home though - other guy is wonderful, but we aren't compatible in the long term, unlike the current boyfriend and me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lab Paper

I'm not sure if it was clear, but the reason I spend so much time in lab is that I have a huge paper (due tomorrow!) on what I'm doing in lab. I'm going to be writing a thesis next year, so I have to do a "practice" thesis this year. It's much shorter than my actual thesis - at the moment my paper's looking like it'll be about 30 pages, including all my graphs and other data.

I went into lab for a little bit today to collect some final data. To be honest, it all seemed like a bit of a crisis, because my supervisor had promised to do something for me and hadn't, so I still don't have all the data I really need. I tried to stay calm - for the most part this kind of stuff ends up working out okay. And it did! Kind of...I can justify everything in my report (and not in my report), and I'm feeling a little better about it...tonight might be a long night though! I'll keep you updated on how it goes!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions

So, I appreciate that this seems like a strange time to be talking about new years resolutions, but....this year I've done something strange/different with resolutions. Normally I make a tonne of resolutions, find it impossible to keep all of them and end up not keeping any of them and feeling like a failure. This year I decided to make a list of things I wanted to change at the beginning of the year. I have a list of food things (things like taking my vitamins every day, eating a salad every day, having a protein at two meals a day etc), exercise things (being able to run for 15 mins, 20 mins, getting to the next "level" on the rotex and being able to lift more weight) and then random things (wear sunscreen every day, organize two parties/group activities, invite four people to meals etc). Every month I pick one thing from each category and work hard to succeed in doing those few things. At the end of each month I look back and decide whether those changes I made were good or bad. If I think they've been positive changes I continue with them. If not, at least I've tried them for a month which I think is enough time to make  a decision about whatever it was.

Last month my goals were to drink 8 glasses of water a day, be able to consistently hold the plank for two minutes (doesn't sound like a lot, but I'm pretty terrible at the plank. Also, people who can hold the plank for two minutes have significantly lower risk of back problems.), get to the gym (three times a week for cardio, once a week for weights) and also to floss daily.

So, I've kinda failed at a lot of those things - I've done okay with water but not great. I've got better at the plank, but I still can't hold it for two minutes, I haven't gotten to the gym at all (argh!). I did succeed at flossing though - that's seemed good so I'm going to continue with that.

Next month I'm going to try (again) to drink 8 glasses of water today, keep working on the plank, work on being able to run for 20 mins (before this year I didn't run at all - I'd love to do more of it) and also to wear sunscreen everyday (it's getting warm here and I burn so easily!)

Anyway, wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

PS I have my first follower! Ali is awesome and her blog is amazing - it's one of the first ones I started reading. You should all check it out -