Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Sister 19, about a year and half younger than me.

For a long time, we didn't really get along so well. Anyway, as of a year or so ago she's been ill. I call it "illness x", because no-one knows what it is. She's had a bunch of symptoms, including
  • hormones way out of whack
  • polycystic ovaries
  • chronic fatigue
  • extremely hormonal/pms-y
  • serious digestive issues
  • serious bloating
  • acne
She's also at college in the US. She's really smart (which caused issues between us for a number of years), and she's also majoring in science. She's just finished her first year.

She's been struggling with all these things for a while, but things got much worse this summer. She also spent a lot of her summer going back and forth to doctors appointments, and is now taking about 10 pills a day. She also hasn't really made any progress with finding out what it is or what's wrong with her.

She's meant to be leading an orientation trip, but I just can't imagine she'll be able to. She was totally exhausted and had to take a rest after going shopping for two hours. I just can't imagine her being able to lead an outdoor hiking trip for 4 or 5 days.

I'm also really worried about her ability to successfully complete next semester. I mean, if she can barely last a morning of shopping I don't know how she's going to handle a semester of college.

This whole illness has changed my relationship with my sister. I've always been a very maternal type of person, and I like to mother people. My sister hates me mothering her, but now she's becoming more open to me looking after her, which is good for us.

Anyway, I'll be writing more about my sister and our relationship later, but she's having a tough time with everything, as are the rest of us!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Driving Test!

I know I haven't blogged in a while :S. I need to get back on that!

Anyway, I've had a UK driving license for over three years. I found out that all I need to do to get a US driving license is to do my states written test, so no road test! I've been putting it off for ages. For some reason my state has a really tough written test - you need to know things like the penalty if you're caught drink driving for the second time, how snow and ice affect trucks vs cars, the driving restrictions you're under if you get your licenses at various ages. Basically, its actually pretty tough. Anyway, the really good news is that I passed! And I now have an American driving license, in addition to my UK one!

This is my last week in lab. I'm not sure how I feel about it. In one way, I can't wait to finish and see my family and be on holiday again. On the other hand, I have sort of enjoyed my summer in lab, and I've enjoyed getting to spend time at school not working all the time.

I'm going to see The Help tonight, I'm excited! I'll let you know how it is!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


As I'm sure most of you know, there are a bunch of riots going on in the UK at the moment. It seems to me like a small number of people are causing a lot of trouble through their mindless actions. Personally, I don't think there is any excuse for that kind of behaviour. My family is, thank goodness, not anywhere near the trouble. My boyfriend's Dad and sister are closer to some of the riots, but luckily not the most serious ones. I'm hoping that everything at home gets sorted out soon, without any more deaths and violence.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Goals for This Week!

The wonderful Ali nominated me to do the seven links "challenge". I'm working on it as we speak, so you'll see that soon!

On the goals/resolutions front, I completed my exercise goal for this week.

As of today, I am:

  • Time: 4hrs, 29 minutes/3 hrs, 20 minutes
  • Calories: 2347/2100 kcal
  • Time in Zone 1: 2hr, 17 minutes/1hr, 20 minutes (it's totally fine to go over)
  • Time in Zone 2: 1 hr, 31 minutes/1 hr, 30 minutes
  • Time in Zone 3: 35 minutes/30 minutes.

On the food front...mindful eating is difficult. And I'm still looking for more advice on it. I got a book out of the library today, called Savour. It's written by a nutritionist and a Buddhist Monk and it's all about mindful eating. It's geared towards overweight people trying to lose weight (which I guess isn't exactly where I am), but so far it's still really interesting. I'll let you know how the book is.

I've been doing much better at holding my tummy it - it's definitely becoming closer to habit which is a good ting!

On the vitamin front I've done well. I missed one day, but that's not the too bad.

I'm not going to be picking my new goal to "bring back" till Wednesday, because I want to do each thing for a week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I actually went to the gym today, which is good. I'm working hard to complete my "workout" that my heart rate monitor gave me for this week.

I have a polar FT60 monitor and it's great. It's really useful for me to be able to see where my heart rate is during different types of exercise (and it means that I can see how many calories I burn when I'm lifting weights!).


(I like it because it's pink! But, I'm pretty sure that any HRM would do the job!)

Anyway, like I said, my monitor gives me goals every week that adjust based on how well I did with my goals the week before.

This week my goals are:

  • Time: 3 hrs, 20 minutes
  • Calories: 2100 kcal
  • Time in Zone 1: 1hr, 20 minutes
  • Time in Zone 2: 1 hr, 30 minutes
  • Time in Zone 3: 30 minutes

The different zones correspond to different heart rate intervals. I actually changed the original settings on the watch, because I didn't feel like they encouraged me to push myself at all (N.B. This is just what works for me, so I wouldn't advise anyone copy this). So, my current settings are:

Zone 1: 120 - 150
Zone 2: 151 - 170
Zone 3: 171 - 200.

As of today, I am:

  • Time: 2hrs, 32 minutes/3 hrs, 20 minutes
  • Calories: 1188/2100 kcal
  • Time in Zone 1: 1hr, 40 minutes/1hr, 20 minutes (it's totally fine to go over)
  • Time in Zone 2: 30 minutes/1 hr, 30 minutes
  • Time in Zone 3: 17 minutes/30 minutes.

The other really really good thing about me going to the gym is it means that I'm not sitting around my room, bored. The real problem with that is that that's my "highest risk" time for mindless snacking. I've realised that I'm absolutely fine with food everyday up until the end of the day, after work, when I'm just sitting around watching TV. If I'm at the gym, I'm doing something, so I don't even think about food!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Resolutions and Review of Resolutions from Last Month

I’m a bit late with my resolutions post for this month, but here it is….

Resolutions from Last Month

Exercise – Swimming

This did not go well. I did definitely swim more than I otherwise would have, but not nearly enough. Swimming just takes so much time and I never feel like I get as good a workout as when I’m running or on the cross trainer. Also, with my new skincare regime I was reluctant to start mixing things up by getting my face covered in chlorine a few days a week. I am going to keep trying to swim more…

Food – Eating Beans

I did well on this one – I have beans almost every day for lunch and I really like them. (To me) They taste good and keep me full. I’m definitely going to keep having them for lunch

Other – ACT

This was good, I guess. “I guess” because I don’t think I’m far enough into the ACT book to see any big changes yet, but I am certainly getting through the book which is good. I’m going to keep working on this one.

Resolutions for This Month

Exercise – Heart Rate Monitor

I have my heart rate monitor, so for this month my resolution is going to be to complete my target exercise program on that every week.

Food – Eat Mindfully

I want to try to eat mindfully. I’m getting stuck in a really terrible rut with my food – I keep binging and eating crappy food, even though I know it’s not good for me, that it doesn’t make me feel good, and that I don’t even particularly enjoy it when I’m eating it. To me, mindfully is going to mean focusing on my eating – the tastes and textures of my food. It’s also going to mean no eating and snacking while I’m doing other things. If I want a snack, fine, but I’m not going to eat it while I’m on my computer or reading.

Other – Pull in Tummy When Standing

I posted on this earlier. This is both a vanity thing and I’ve also been told I should tuck my tummy in when I’m standing to support my back. My best friend is also trying to do this – so we’re going to be keeping an eye out for each other on this front

I’ve realized that I’m getting bad at some of my previous resolutions – I’m flossing my teeth less and taking my vitamins less. So, to that end, every week I’m going to pick a resolution that I liked and “bring it back” ie make sure I do that thing for one week. I am also going to be checking in on my resolutions weekly, to try to help keep myself motivated, and to update everyone on which resolution I’m “bringing back”. Haven’t decided which day I’m going to do that on, but probably sometime over the weekend.

This week I’m “bringing back” taking my vitamins every day.


It was my birthday over the weekend so I’m now officially 21. That means I can d rink legally in the US! Which, I guess, is exciting. 21 is a really big deal for Americans because of the whole drinking thing, but coming from the UK 21 isn’t such a big deal. I also don’t really drink that much, so being able to drink legally isn’t a huge thing (it’s still exciting though!).

Being the super cool person I am, I spent my birthday with my 80 year old grandmother. One of the other people in my lab was actually a little mean about it, and wouldn’t stop laughing. It did kind of upset me actually. Nevertheless I had a great time with my grandmother. We went out for a couple of nice meals and we also went to see a Cirque de Soleil performance, which was a lot fo fun. For those of you who don’t know what they are, theey’re a little like a circus but they do much more daring acrobatic type things. There are people jumping off trapezes and catching another one coming towards them, tightrope walking and carrying someone else on a chair. The whole thing makes me a bit anxious, but overall it was a lot of fun. The whole weekend was great, and I still can't believe im 21!