Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My history with boys...

(My only other serious boyfriend graduated from University yesterday, so it got me thinking about all the guys I've dated)

Before I got to my current boyfriend, I had others, only one of whom was serious. My first “boyfriend” was when I was 14. I met him at a “Science Camp”. He was overweight, had ADD and was from Essex (which is a long way from where I live. I don’t think we ever actually met up after the camp, we were just nominally “dating”). He had a very different “world view” to me. Most of his friends seem to have slept around by the time they were 14, and he was desperate to have sex. He pressured me into it and was always talking about how he should come to my house and we should “sleep” in the tent outside, alone. (In retrospect I’m pretty sure my parents wouldn’t have let us.). He did some pretty inappropriate things over msn video chat (yes, we used msn). (I didn’t reciprocate and we never got anywhere near actually having sex. I don’t think we even ever kissed). Oddly enough, my experience with him shaped me a lot. It made me fairly wary of boys, and I think that experience is probably why I refuse to do pretty much anything with someone I’m not dating and don’t really like.

The second boy in my life was one that I randomly kissed at a party when I was 16 or 17. I was very drunk (and I’d never been drunk before that party) and he was in charge of the music. I wanted to listen to another song, so I guess my devious 16 year old brain thought the best strategy would be to distract him by making out with him.

Then came James. James was a really wonderful guy. I was stupid and probably 17 at that point and didn’t realize what it meant to “like someone”. I pretty much treated the whole thing as a joke, which I still really regret to this day. (He’s since found another girlfriend who he absolutely adores). After we broke up I almost starting dating one of his other friends, but by mutual decision we agreed that that would be a really bad idea.

After James came Andrew. Andrew is my only other serious boyfriend to date, and I adored him. We only dated for 8 months (we broke up when I came to college in the US and he stayed in the UK. It was mutual, and we always knew it was going to happen). He was the first boyfriend that I actually loved. We had a really fun relationship – we only ever really saw each other on weekends and because we knew we were going to break up we rarely fought. He was also the first guy I ever slept with - a difficult decision at the time because we knew we were going to break up and we didn't know if it was "worth it", but in retrospect I am so glad that I did. I’m basically still not over him. We broke up in August and a few weeks later he went on holiday (with his friends) and kissed another girl in a nightclub. At the time it was absolutely awful – I’d just started university, I was already having huge issues with homesickness and that that happened. I still have the voicemail he left telling me to call him so that we could talk about it. Anyway, he eventually ended up dating that girl for almost a year and then had a horrible breakup with her, so they don’t talk any more. Andrew and I are still fairly good friends (I still consider him to be one of my best friends in the UK, which I’m not sure the current boy likes so much) and we go out for lunch/dinner whenever we’re both at home. He knew me better than anyone else three years ago, so he’s still pretty good at giving me advice about various things and he definitely “gets” how I think. Anyway, like I said, I’m not entirely over him. I never will be because he was the first person I loved. That said, nothing would ever ever happen between us now, because we’re past that point in our lives, I have my current boyfriend and to be totally honest I’m not sure it would work.

After the incident with Andrew kissing the other girl, I felt lonely and terrible and like I just needed another boyfriend. I went through two boyfriends in about six months (the first of which later ended up dating my roommate at the time (and they’re still together), which led to a lot of issues. The other is a great guy, and we’re still fairly good friends.) Needless to say, neither relationship worked out, probably because I wanted to get pretty serious pretty quickly (I really just wanted another guy to take Alex’s place and to already be eight months into a relationship).

After I broke up with the second one of those guys, I was feeling terrible, depressed and homesick. For Lent that year I decided to “give up guys”. In other words, I wanted to be single for a while (which is atypical for me!). I told my new best guy friend (who is now my boyfriend) about that resolution and he seemed to think it was a good idea. As we got closer and closer we both wondered whether there was something there, and after a few small issues (most notably my jackass roommate telling him that I absolutely categorically didn’t like him and that he was wasting his time) he finally asked me out. (Or rather kissed me and then said “ok, how should we tell the others that we’re dating”.). And the rest is history J.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Andrew graduated yesterday, which got me thinking about him again. I never once went up to his University to see him, which I kinda regret. On the other hand, I’m not sure the current boy would have gone for it!

How important a role do boyfriends/girlfriends play in your life?

Monday, June 27, 2011


I gave my second tour yesterday and it was great!

I felt much less nervous giving this tour and I also think I did a much smoother, better job.

I actually almost wimped out – there were four tour guides available to give tours, and they only had enough visitors for three, so I almost asked not to give one. I’m really glad I didn’t though. I think if I had it would have made it even more difficult to give one next time because I would have built up the whole thing into something much more terrifying in my head!

There are a few reasons I think it went so much better:
1. I wasn't being watched or graded by another student at my college. My last tour was sort of like a "test" to see if I was good enough to give tours. This one wasn't, and so I'm sure that helped a lot.

2. Practice. I'd already given a "proper" tour with lots of prospective students, so by the time I got to this one I felt more confident because I knew I could do it.

3. My group this time was about 75% of the size of my last tour, so I think a slightly smaller group probably made me feel less nervous.

Anyway, I won’t be giving a tour this weekend (it’s Independence Day weekend in the US, so I’m going to see my (favourite) Aunt, Uncle and Cousins. I’m going to be travelling down there with my grandmother – it’s much much easier for her to travel with someone else, but I do tend to find it stressful to travel with her. At 80, she obviously can’t move as quickly as me, and she gets tired easily. She also has diabetes, which means that we have to be careful with what she eats and she gets a little crabby when her blood sugar is off. It’s only a four hour train ride though, so not too bad!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm in lab...on a Saturday

One of the downsides of lab work is that a lot of people (maybe half my lab) works a 6 day week. I don't have to (I'm not paid for it), but I'm still trying to impress my boss/make him think that I am serious and dedicated to my work after the lead debacle. Truth be told, I do actually really like what I'm doing in lab at the minute. I'm working on some compounds that have really cool colours (pink, orange, green and aqua), which is kinda fun! Anyway, my plan for the rest of the day (interesting to me, boring for everyone else!) is:

now - 3:00 Lab.
3:00 - 3:15 Walk back to room, pick up dinner (chili) on the way so that it has time to defrost (I think I posted about this, but last weekend I cooked lots of food for myself and then froze it.)
3:15 - 3:45 Snack/Lunch (apple with peanut butter and plum)
3:15 - 4:30 Go running along the tow path (my favourite place in the whole world is the tow path by the river near by house. The one at college isn't quite as good, but I'm really luck to still have a tow path near me. I've never run along it before, and I rarely run outside, so I'll see how it goes! Annoyingly, the gym is closed today, so that's why I'm not going there and swimming, which is what I'd really like to do.)
4:30 - 6:30 Shower, do laundry, start rice, read (I'm (re) reading "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell. I'm enjoying it so far, but I much prefer "Outliers", which is another one of his books. The good thing about "What the Dog Saw" is that it's short stories that are each about 25 pages, so it's good for pre-bed reading!)
6:30-8:00 Dinner
8:00-8:30 Set up vitamins. I've been bad and haven't taken them for a really long time, so I need to get back into the habit of doing that. To "kickstart" myself I'm going to set them up for the next four weeks (I have a little holder thing) so that I don't have to worry about getting out all the little bottles every day.
8:30 - 9:00 Breathing. I haven't used my Coherence program for a really long time, and I'd like to get back into that. I have spent (a small amount of) time doing it, but not with the program and I'd like to get back into that.
9:00 - 10:30 Read or watch a movie
10:30 - 11:00 Take psyllium and set up aduki beans for breakfast tomorrow (they need to soak overnight).

So, thrilling plan for today, I know.

This weekend I'm not going to eat junk - candy, chocolate, crisps, anything else like that. I've found that it's really easy to get a bag of something and then just finish it, which obviously isn't great, so I want to try to break that habit. Depending on how things go this weekend I might try to do this every weekend....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Busy Week

Surprisingly, my week has been super busy.

I've been getting up fairly early (7:30 ish) and trying to get to lab before 8:30. I spend alllll day in lab (apart from a lunch break) and then get back between 5:30 and 6. At 7ish, I go to the gym (I've been surprisingly good about going) and when I get back from that I shower and end up starting cooking dinner at 8:45 or 9. By the time I've eaten it's almost time for bed. I've been trying to get to bed earlier, by 11:30 or 12.

I wrote another post about this, and then ended up never posting it, but I actually really like being awake early. It's good to get to lab before everyone else, because it means its easier to get time on the machines I need to use and it's also just generally less crowded. During the school year I never get up early, so this is a bit of a change for me! (I was an early bird at home though!).

I've managed to get to the gym a fair amount recently, which is really good.

I stopped using the nuvaring over the summer (the boyfriend and I agree that there's no point - it's expensive, it's not great for me and because we only use it for birth control, there's no point in using it if we're not together), so I've been slightly anxiously waiting for my period. (When you stop using birth control you have no idea when you're going to get it. For me it also tends to be a bit weird/different when I do get it.). Anyway, I know that no-one really wants to know this, but I've finally got it and it's not fun. (Which is surprising, because normally on or off bc I don't have any problems). I have really bad tummy cramps, which means that I've had to scale back my gym time this week and I've just generally been feeling a bit rotten. Anyway, I got medicine for it so if they start to get bad again I'll just take that!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good (lab) news and give me book suggestions!

I think wrote about the difficulties with the lead oxide in my last lab project. The good news is that I was able to change and I love what I'm working on now. (I put one of my (grey) samples in the furnace yesterday and when I took it out it was bright pink! Awesome or what?) I think my supervisor is still a little annoyed about the whole thing, but I'm doing everything I can to win him round! (And I'm optimistic that that will all work out once I start getting some results with my new project.)

On a separate note, I went to talk to the pre-law advisor at university. It turns out that the application isn't actually released till mid August. That's a bit annoying as I was hoping to finish it over the summer. On the other hand, it does mean that I can put it off for a bit and really focus on my lab work, which is obviously good.

I also got a bunch of (library) books today. I'm excited to read them! Does anyone have any book suggestions? I especially like pseudo-intellectual books - things by Malcolm Gladwell or Stephen Levitt (is that how you spell it? He co-authored Freakanomics), but fiction is also good! (I just find it a lot harder to find books in the first category).

In roommate news...I just realised that I literally haven't seen Diza today. I left before she woke up this morning and got back (and put a "please don't disturb" sign on my door) before she did! (I was also out at a bbq till about 9:30!)

Anyway, that's all for the moment. And please do comment if you have book suggestions!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I gave my first tour today. It was fun but also really scary. The good news is that I got the "job"! I got some good feedback at the end and I'll be doing one tour a week on Saturdays.

It seems like this is going to be really useful for getting more confident at public speaking, which is good.

[That was a really short post, I guess to make up for the super long one yesterday!]

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm back...

[This is a looooong post! Feel free to skip bits]

So, as I said in my last post I've been really busy recently. I got back to the US on Monday evening and started lab work on Tuesday. My (super awesome!) best friend, who is also my roommate this summer, moved all my things into my room, but I still had to arrange/unpack everything when I got back.

The plane flight back to the US was kinda stressful - it was delayed by over an hour because of technical difficulty (not exactly a relaxing thing to hear if you already hate flying!) and pretty much every seat on it was taken, which also ups the stress of flying!

I started lab work on Tuesday, so didn't have a huge amount of time to relax. It was all going fine until my parents decided they didn't like me working on the project I was working on (and I agreed with them). I know that sounds totally ridiculous and like my parents are being way too interfering with my life, but the reason they stepped in is that my project had me working with lead oxide, which is pretty nasty stuff. Lead is a heavy metal which means that once it gets into your body it stays there and you can't (really) get it out. Excess heavy metals in the body have been linked to things like cancer and dementia, so it's sort of serious. Lead oxide is also worse for you than plain old lead, because lead oxide is a fine powder which "poofs" whenever you touch it or move it. [I was wearing a mask whenever I was using it, but of course none of that stuff is 100% effective]. I'm also especially worried because I like in an old English house, which means that the water in my house probably goes through lead pipes. As lead doesn't leave the body, it's entirely possible that I already have a higher lead concentration in my body than someone my age should have.
I talked to my supervisor about it and to say the least he wasn't overly pleased. To be honest I don't really blame him: he thinks its safe and the rest of the people in my lab all handle the stuff occasionally. I'm also the only undergraduate who has changed projects at all, and now I'm going to be changing my project twice. (He's also grading my thesis and is meant to be writing me a letter of recommendation for law school, so I don't really want to make him dislike me...).
Anyway, that whole thing was a bit tough to deal with - I felt caught between him and my parents. I am probably more health conscious than most people in my lab as well, so a lot of other people in my lab thought I was being ridiculous and paranoid. Regardless, the situation is hopefully somewhat resolved now. I'm going to be getting a new project on Monday and I'm just going to have to try really hard to impress my supervisor!

My living arrangement for this summer is a three bedroom triple, which means that each of us has our own bedroom. I'm living with my best friend (fingers crossed that that doesn't mess up our friendship, I'm sure it won't) and another girl (Diza), who we're sort of friends with (we needed a third person to fill the triple). Anyway, this other girl is driving me nuts, and I've only lived with her for three days. She's incredibly needy and is an over protected only child. She will literally stand outside my locked bedroom door and talk at me. She insists on doing things like coming into my room and turning on my laptop so that I can hear a song she wants me to hear. She followed me into the bathroom yesterday so she could finish telling me about some inane thing. I don't want to be mean, and I do feel a little sympathetic (I think she's pretty lonely), but seriously! I need some personal space.
The other issue is that she doesn't get me. She's fairly different to me and has no sense of independence. She insists on coming to the gym with me (the gym is kinda my alone space) and she will talk and talk at me when I'm lifting proper weights (so I need to focus). She also refuses to push herself at all - she was lifting 5 lb weights, complaining that they were too light, but refusing to lift more in case she hurts herself. She also complains and complains and complains about how much she's hurting from the gym, which drives me nuts!
She's also working in a lab (not my lab, thank god! Lab is the only time she's not there chattering at me.) and everyone in her lab was sent an online quiz that was meant to determine how empathetic you are and how good you are with other people, reading other people's emotions even when they're hidden etc. She scored 16 or so, if you score below 20 that's a possible sign of autism (because you're that unaware about what other people are thinking/feeling). I scored 72ish (I'm a fairly empathetic person, even if it doesn't seem if from this rant), so clearly it's possible to do "well" on this thing.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, she's just driving me absolutely insane. I know it's not her fault, but she has zilch conception of public space and alone time.

The Boy
I miss him. A lot. It probably doesn't help my mood!

My food has been okay, but not great. I need to go back to recording my food more. I have been doing okay at the whole high fiber options thing, but I still think I could push it further. Basically, my meals are good and generally very healthy but I eat too much crap and sugar between meals (marshmallows and chocolate), which is really bad (and I just measured my blood sugar - 144 - also really bad).
Tomorrow I am not going to eat chocolate, marshmallows or other candy.
In other food news its really tough to go shopping at school. There are no supermarkets near by. I'm going to try a grocery delivery service, and I've scheduled the delivery for Sunday, so fingers crossed for that!
With regards to exercise, I've been doing okay, but it's a real pain to have to go with this other girl all the time. I find it harder to exercise with her yapping in my ear. I did go swimming (alone) yesterday though, which felt fantastic. I haven't been swimming in ages (despite the fact that I'm meant to go to increase my oxygen transport ability - more on that at some other time).
My heart rate monitor also arrived! I've only used it once so far, but I got a really good workout with it. A few months ago I went to an exercise physiologist who did various tests on me and was able to determine my own max heart rate etc (and that my limitation is the rate at which I can transport oxygen/carbon dioxide from my lungs to my blood). Anyway, what he suggested (for me, this isn't universal) is to get my heart rate to 190+ for two minutes and then come down to 160ish for 2-3 minutes. I tried it on the rotex on Wednesday and it was really good!
I've also decided that I'm going to try to...swim twice a week, do gym-based cardio two or three times a week and lift weights twice a week (and have one rest day!).

Mental Health/Personal Development
I've gotten bad about doing my breathing every night, so I need to get back to doing that. HeartMath, the company I purchased it from, runs various webinars, so I've signed up for one of those on "Better Communication". I'm hoping it'll be interesting.

I'm doing okay with the resolutions. I've been fairly good at wearing sunscreen which is of course a good thing. I've gotten worse about doing my "old" things like taking vitamins and psyllium, so I need to get back to doing those kinds of things.

Tour Guiding
I have my first tour tomorrow! I'm not an official tour guide yet (the tour tomorrow is a practice tour to see if I'm up to scratch!). I'm a bit nervous about it, but fingers crossed! I'm going to spend part of tonight thinking about what I need/want to say! 

Ahh! This was a realllly long post! Sorry about that. Just had a lot I needed to write about!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Super Busy

So, I've been pretty busy recently with moving into my new room in the US and starting my lab work. Everything is going well though, a little stressful, but I'll survive!

I promise a proper update tonight or tomorrow night though!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I've been MIA

I did track my diet on Friday (below).

The boyfriends birthday was on Saturday, so I tracked up until lunch and then didn't worry about it at the party. I stayed over at his (despite his dad being annoyed about it :S), so I also didn't track the next day, which is fine. I want to make healthy choices etc, but I don't want it to completely run my life. (I also didn't wear sunscreen over the weekend, because I didn't want to look greasy for the party!)

I'm going to dinner with his mum (and him, his sister, his mum's boyfriend and maybe some other people) tonight, so I probably won't be able to track that either. We're going to a Chinese restaurant (the boyfriend is half Chinese, on his Mum's side), which I'm a bit anxious about. I'm a bit of a picky eater, and the boyfriend is extremely extremely allergic to fish and peanuts, so I don't eat them either (I don't want to take the risk of kissing him and have him go into anaphylaxis). I've looked at the menu, and I just don't see much on it that I'm going to like. I'm sure I'll be fine - there is at least some tofu, chicken and beef on the menu, so I'm sure I'll be able to find something, but I just don't want to go.

I really want to see the boyfriend, but I don't really feel like seeing his mum again (I saw her before the party, during the party, after the party, the day after the party (yesterday)). She's really nice, and I do like her, but it's just hard having to be on my best behaviour! Plus, I'm still really tired from the party (and the after party!), so I'd really just like to get an early night!

I also have a really bad tendency to get slightly depressed after big things that I've been looking forward to happen. I used to get really distressed at the end of family holidays, and I've been feeling about down today about the fact that the party is over. It was something that I'd been looking forward to for a while (especially because I was going to get to meet a lot of his friends at it). It's also the kind of thing we don't get to do at all at university. (It being going out for a night with good friends, not worrying about work, not worrying about drinking too much because we have to work the next day etc).

Anyway, hopefully I'll get over that silliness soon. I'm sorry for such a rambly post - hopefully I'll get to post more about the party soon! (And I'll definitely get much better at posting after I go back to school for the summer next Monday!)

Friday, June 3, 2011


Has been a good day.

My boyfriend's 21st is tomorrow, so I got my hair cut (it needed to be cut anyway, and it seemed like a good time to do it!). I got to a pretty tough exercise class today, but it was pretty fun. I've also been trying to decide what dress to wear to the boyfriend's party (occasionally I am a girly girl!). I'm meeting a lot of his friends for the first time (so I want to look a bit "sexy"), his parents will be there (so I don't want to have it all hanging out!) and we're planning to go to a club after (so it's needs to be comfortable/club-esque). I'm trying to decide between a sparkly leopard print dress (which is a a little shorter and makes my boobs look incredible (or as incredible as they ever do)! There's not cleavage or anything on show though) or a black dress (which is tight, almost knee length and gives me an incredible waist (ie it makes me look like I actually have a waist!). On the other hand it's long and black and it is a summer party...)

(And that was a really short post! I guess I really don't do much when I'm on holiday at home!)

Any thoughts?

Update on Diet from Yesterday

I did manage to track what I ate, I just didn't get around to posting my stats. Anyway, they are below:

Clearly the calories didn't work out great, but I'm not overly worried about it. My target calories are set so that I lose 1/2 lb every week (vanity pounds!), so it's not like I'm going to gain tonnes of weight if I go over. I'm also not worried about going over on the fat - most of it was healthy fat and one of my (few!) readers Ali pointed out that a target of 58g of fat is probably too low for me anyway. (She has a great post on her blog at the minute about macronutrients and how much of each one we should all be aiming for.) Protein...I think the program over counts my protein, but even if it doesn't, 92g isn't too excessively much.

Other good news...I've lost a pound! I'm now 129.4 lb.

PS: I'm probably only going to be tracking calories for a week, so after then I'll be back to my normal posts!