Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Well, I guess I will start in chronological order. I am extremely excited for Thanksgiving. I haven’t been down to visit my family for three months, so the anticipation is getting to me and making it hard for me to focus. I got all of my grades in the system earlier this afternoon, but I still need to complete a lab report by tomorrow afternoon. I am mostly packed, but of course need to throw in the last minute items.
I talked with my parents on Saturday about our arrangements. Originally I thought that we were just going to have one Thanksgiving dinner, but I guess now we are having two with different sides of the family. In addition to two full out Thanksgiving dinners, we are also having a beef brisket Friday night with my sister’s family. It sounds like I am going to be in food coma, but I made sure to pack several sets of running clothes. Also, I think I am going in with a healthier mind set this year. I haven’t seen my family in three months. I might mess up a little with food. I might over eat a little. That’s okay. It’s okay to let loose in a while. I don’t need to let my fear of gaining weight overcome me. Plus, I am learning more about weight control as my goal (not weight loss). I’ll eat a little of what I want, and stop when I am full.
I had been talking to a guy online, and on Saturday night after a few things he said I realized it was time to end communication. I am writing this in here vaguely, but also because I am proud of myself. I knew when it was time, and I acted upon it. I think one of the things I learned from my last relationship is to have no more “well maybes.” With my last ex-boyfriend, I knew things weren’t working after three months…but I let the relationship drag on for three additional months. I listened to people tell me I should just date him because I didn’t want to end up “forty with cats.” Granted I would prefer dogs, but there’s nothing wrong with that. “As far as I know, he doesn’t hit you,” one person actually said to me. Really? I wasn’t happy; things weren’t working. I didn’t need to “well maybe.” I didn’t need to say, “Well, maybe he’ll change.” “Well, maybe he was just nervous.” “Well, maybe it was because it was his first dating relationship.” No. I didn’t go with my gut feeling, which was correct, that we weren’t right for each other.
Then on Sunday, I went on a first date with a different guy. We had been talking through messages for a while. Conversation was flowing really well, and I was incredibly happy when he asked me out. However, I was concerned that he was going to be too seriously academic for me. Anyway, we were supposed to meet on Thursday, but I wasn’t well so we postponed to Sunday. He was incredibly understanding about that, which seemed like a good sign from the very beginning. We met for coffee, and in my opinion we really hit it off. It turns out that we have a lot in common. In addition, as another graduate student, he understands what my life is like more or less. Oh, and I like that he is also six hours from home, so he knows how important it is to me to visit my family. I liked how I felt so relaxed and comfortable with him…no pressure. I felt a connection, and I feel like things could definitely develop between us. I am excited to see him again after Thanksgiving. With my last ex-boyfriend, sure we hit it off…but I felt like things were moving too fast in a lot of aspects. With my date Sunday, I felt like we would let things develop instead of forcing them. I’m very happy; I can’t wait to see where things go. Things may develop; they might not...but that's okay. What is going to happen will happen.
Lastly, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting today (versus my normal Friday meeting) since I will be out of town Friday. This meant I was weighing in only a half week after my last weigh-in versus a whole week. Somehow, even though I definitely used some of my flex points, I managed to lose 2.2 lbs. I think maybe this is because my weight had seemed stubborn the last couple of weeks…maybe I finally shook it off, so to speak! Heck, I even ate this very rich red velvet brownie yesterday.
Well, Happy Thanksgiving, Sparkers!!!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Such a busy time of year. Grad school can be quite the mind game. But I’m doing what I can. Thanksgiving is close, but I’m trying to remain focused as excited as I am.
My two major goals on SparkPeople have been learning to control my weight and becoming more social. I should clarify that I don’t mean weight loss for the first goal. I’ve done weight loss so many times throughout my life. I am referring to learning my body and learning what is best for me. In the past, trying to lose weight as made me less social (look at my second goal). I am trying to learn how to be social but at the same time do what is best for my health. Lastly, going through a recent break-up (September) in a place I’ve only lived for a year has made me realize that I am not the greatest at socializing.
In regards to goal one, Weight Watchers has been helping me a lot with that. I’ve really enjoyed the meetings, with the exception of the one I skipped. So far, I have lost twelve pounds and seen the scale be at the lowest value I have seen within the past year. I now go out to eat, but I don’t feel like I screw-up to the point of no recovery when I go out. If I splurge a little, so be it. But I’ve also been finding tricks to help me cut down while still enjoying a little splurge…this is where portion control comes in.
For goal two, I will say that I’ve never been a social butterfly so to speak. But despite having an extremely hectic schedule, I’ve been to trivia night, went out to sushi, and carpooled to 10k races. I also started dating again, though just a date here and there. I don’t want anything serious along those lines because I feel like I wouldn’t be becoming the person I need to become if I were tied down to someone. I do my homework with classmates, and some of them have started becoming people I would call friends and not just classmates. I am still missing a “best friend.” But, maybe that will come with time. Part of the reason socializing can be so difficult is that so many people in my program are from the area…and hence go visit their families on the weekends. My family is a more than 300 miles away. I can’t do that.
This past week I had several melt downs about my program. It’s very difficult. I am pushing through as best as I can. I might make it; I might not. But that is beside the point. Last night I went to bed thinking to myself, “I am happy with how my life is right now.” I don’t want things to really change. If I weren’t in this program, despite its many challenges, I don’t think I would be fulfilled. So here I go.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I've always had coughing after running in the cold, but it never really bothered me. After I came inside and took a hot shower, I was usually okay. I just jokingly called it my "runner's cough" and never thought much about it.
After my car accident in January 2012, I couldn't run for six months due to concussion/post-concussion syndrome. In June, I slowly got myself back up to running, dealing with set-backs from the post-concussion syndrome. I ran a 5k at the end of July 2012. From then on, I managed to do several more races, including two half marathons this past summer.
However, during my half marathon training I started noticing something in addition to the cough I had always had. Every once in a while on a long or harder run, I would develop wheezing. I finally decided to go to the doctor, who diagnosed it as exercise induced asthma and prescribed an inhaler.
After receiving the inhaler, my cough generally seemed to go away after running, which was really nice. However, I still, on occasion, wheeze. Sometimes I can run through it. Other times I cannot.
After discussing matters with one of my best friends who is a medical student, he suggested I try to get into a pulmonary specialist, thinking it might be some kind of pulmonary contusion due to the chest trauma I experienced.
Overall, I am fairly healthy. I am about 10 lbs overweight (I am working on that). When I donated blood last week, my blood pressure was 106/70, pulse 64, and iron 12.8. My oxygen levels are typically 100%.
When I think back about my car accident, I remember chest pains I had afterwards, which I attributed to the seat belt/air bag. About a week after the accident, bruises began to appear on my chest and breasts. Sometimes when I would try to lift my arm I would get an extreme pain across my chest. My CAT Scan was clear after the accident.
I was, however, earlier this year told I have developed a heart murmur.
Upon reading about pulmonary contusions, I find that they are usually accompanied by hypoxia. I have not experienced this. But upon scrolling down the article, I find that the number one cause is motor vehicle accident...and the car in the picture looks like mine did when it was totaled.
I know this is something I need to get checked out, but I am scared. I don't really want to know the answer. Sometimes I think that if I can just stop finding more and more things the car accident has caused, it can somehow go away. I also don't want to try the find in my time to see a specialist, in addition to going through hoops for my health insurance.
Please send some prayers my way.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I should note that I didn't even bother going to my weigh-in...I knew I had gained weight. Maybe I can go in the future and not hit the scale just for the meeting. Anyone who does Weight Watchers know?
I started my week off great. That was, until Tuesday. On Tuesday one of my co-workers and I decided to go out for lunch. I skimmed through the menu and took one of the better choice options. However, it was served with French onion au gratin, which could have been a meal by itself! I wish I had just had the guts to ask for a to-go container for the soup before it even came to my table. So after eating both the soup and my entrée, shrimp pomodoro (which was surprisingly lean…not breaded, super oily, or fried…) I was really, really stuffed. I ate the breadstick as well…which wasn’t even that great, though my friend raved about them.
Then that night I decided to go ahead and go to trivia despite my busy schedule. I knew there would be free fried unhealthy food there, and as I as still stuffed from lunch I figured I just would be strong and not partake. Instead I did. I just *felt* like eating, though I wasn’t hungry. And I wanted to fit in with my skinny teammates who were eating the fried snacks. (Though in their defense they probably hadn’t eaten such a big lunch).
That was Tuesday. The rest of the week I did sort of okay, despite not exercising due to my difficulties sleeping from stress and my blood donation. But then Friday rolled around, which was my first date since my break-up almost two months ago. He had invited me to one of the nicer places in town, so of course I wanted to splurge a little on my food choices. It was a place that my friends and I wouldn’t have picked to go to on our own. I looked at the Weight Watcher’s cheat sheet for steakhouses online, but it didn’t really help much since I didn’t really know what this place’s menu was like. When I got there and met my date (this was our first face to face meeting) he seemed alright, but I wasn’t interested in him from the very beginning. I know that might sound superficial, but I think you can just tell about a person sometimes. But it’s not like at that point I can say, “Oh I’m not interested…we don’t need to have dinner even though you took the time and made reservations for me.” So I gave him a chance.
We sat down, and he wanted me to pick an appetizer. They all sounded really unhealthy, and the last think I wanted to do was to admit that I was trying to learn how to live a “healthy lifestyle” on a first date to a stranger. So I picked one. It was supposed to be peppadew peppers stuffed with goat cheese. I have had that before, and it was very good. Instead, this was not only peppadew peppers stuffed with goat cheese but wrapped in a shell…almost like a crab Rangoon. They were alright. The fried shell made it so you really couldn’t taste the flavors of the fillings. Then we ordered. I got perch, which I thought would be a healthier choice compared to an 18 oz ridiculously huge steak. Why do serving sizes like that even exist? Then I had to choose soup or salad. The soup was New England clam chowder, and with this cold weather I was really hankering a good bowl of that. So that’s what I chose. The salad was the premade up kind, with tons of dressing so it wasn’t a healthier option. After I ate the clam chowder, I was really pretty full.
In the meanwhile, my date talked to me about his large appetite. He explained that his roommate’s girlfriend was a dietician and that, for one summer, she recorded his daily caloric intake and found that it ranged from 8000 kCal to 9000 kCal daily. I hope I managed to keep a straight face. I was mortified! And I didn’t know how to explain that despite my active running I still have to carefully watch what I eat. For one, it’s a bit embarrassing for me because so many people assume that because I am a runner I am super skinny and can eat all I want and have a super large appetite. While I do need a little bit more kilocalories daily in my last few weeks before a half marathon, it’s not an extreme number like people would like to believe. I found that out quickly because I actually gained weight when I started running, which, according to Runner’s World article I read, is not that uncommon. But back to the “present” of this blog entry…Here I am, a fairly active person (minus last week) talking to a guy who is a self-proclaimed bottomless pit. I don’t want him to think I am “dieting” or anything. One of the complaints I have heard most from guys is that how on first dates girls hardly eat…like they are afraid to eat in front of someone. My ex told me he went on a first date with a girl who ordered a sandwich and then barely touched it. I didn’t want to appear to be that girl. And I don’t know why it mattered. Although conversation was going fine, I knew I wasn’t interested in this guy. Why did I care what perception I put out of myself? And I certainly knew I wasn’t ever going to be able to keep up with this guy’s appetite. I didn’t like him, but I also knew if I were to date him I would gain a ton of weight…because I felt pressured about things.
So I did my best to finish my soup. Things got worse when I noticed my date talking about how so many things were wasteful, and money losses in businesses he has overseen or in his personal businesses. At that point I thought oh my goodness, I better make sure to eat everything on my plate or else he’ll get upset I wasted it. I finished most of my soup. Then our entrees came. The green beans on my plate were great. The rice pilaf…not so much, but I guess it was at least on the healthier side. Then the fish? Breaded. Fried. With some kind of creamy cheese sauce on top. And none of it was that great at all. Not worth blowing my weight loss attempts over. But I ate it anyway…though I was already full on the New England clam chowder.
We talked some about my job, and some about his. And mostly about his motorcycle. And I further found I wasn’t interested in this guy…the only emotion he really mentioned all not was materialistic. He didn’t talk about a pet he loved or a fond memory of childhood. But he seemed to really love his motorcycle.
Conversation flowed at least. Things were fine. He was a gentleman, opening doors for me and taking care of the check (thank goodness for the last one, as this place was way out of my price range as a student). He walked me to my car. I shook his hand and thanked him for inviting me. He said, “I’ll talk to you soon,” and left it at that. He had parked close to me, and before I even had my seatbelt on ready to go, he was backing of his parking space, hurriedly. I thought to myself, “Was I that bad?” Then I remember how he talked about his need for speed and his constantly driving super fast.
Well, looking back at everything…not only did I struck out on the date (at least he was a gentleman), but I also did myself a disservice the way I ate. I let how I wanted someone’s potential perceptions (someone I didn’t even have feelings for!) control how I treated my body. I didn’t listen to the fact my body was full after the soup. Then the food, except for the soup, wasn’t even that great...not something I wanted to dietary splurge on!
One of the reasons I am using Weight Watchers is because I want to learn how to get around these situations in the future. Would it have been tacky for me to have asked for a to-go container for the soup without partaking at all in it? Probably. Maybe I should have just ordered the soup for my meal. As you see, the food wasn’t something I even particularly enjoyed. I just didn’t want to make a bad impression on someone! Last thing I will write is that I was so full from all of it that I didn't even want breakfast when I woke-up this morning!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The last time I wrote in here I talked about people shushing me to be quiet and the fact I found that offensive. User ARMONIA wrote that it could be how people perceive me. I’ve been thinking a lot about that, and I think it’s true. Growing up when I was just in one place, I just thought the way I was treated was because people didn’t like me. But that’s continued from one high school to another (though the second high school was much better) and to college. I’ve always wanted to be a leader, but people have always looked at me as some kind of joke. When I was in undergrad, as a senior I applied to be a mentor in a program for freshman. As a commuter, I thought I would be able to help the students get more accustomed to campus life, especially since I always felt like an outcast as a commuter. The first step of the selection process was an application which included a résumé and some essay questions. I passed that first step and moved on to the second step, which was the interview. I wanted this position really bad. I dressed-up (no jeans, nice sweater) and went in for the interview. I could see that “very good!” had been written on my file. They thought I was a good applicant on paper. However, I was extremely nervous being that I wanted this so bad. I felt like I did a good job at the interview, but when I didn’t get the position I figured it was because of my nerves. I was supposed to be applying for a leadership position, and I let it show that I was extremely nervous. However, looking back at it, I think I didn’t get the position because they saw me as a pushover and not a leader.
Looking back through my life, I’ve realized I’ve never really had a leadership position. And anytime I did, I wasn’t very good at it. I was involved in an organization once in which I held an appointed position, but I realized quickly that no one took me seriously. My emails were all ignored. I believe I ended up leaving the position (with apologizes from the president who had appointed me) because I couldn’t get anyone in the group to cooperate.
In addition, I’ve noticed that with the online organizations now that I have moved don’t respond to me. They don’t even know me a lot of times (nature of being online) but I can write questions about the events and not get a response. Other people do and they are responded to. This goes for more than one organization.
For some reason when I need clarification, people get annoyed with me or don’t take me seriously. One time I was going to be meeting with other people to carpool. I didn’t know where the carpool parking lot was and by the way they described it, Google Maps wasn’t pointing me in the right direction. I messaged them to find out the correct location, and I was glad I did because Google Maps was not at all right and I was looking for it in the dark. But people seemed upset with me, like I should just automatically know where the car pool parking lot that wasn’t on the map and I’m not from the area should be.
As I was growing up, I always thought things might go back to my childhood. I was overweight as a child (noticeably so), not very athletic, wore glasses, and had bad acne. That could have been the case at my first high school, but it could not be the case elsewhere.
At my second high school, upon the signing of our senior yearbooks, I didn’t end up having mine signed. I remember sitting in the classroom. Only a couple of people asked me to sign their yearbooks. I walked from one part of the classroom to another and something caught my eye in someone’s yearbook. My name was written in big letters. *My* name. The inscription read something along the lines of how much they enjoyed making fun of *ME* in Spanish class.
My second semester freshman year of college I took my second Spanish class in college. I remember one day that chatter, in English, broke out in the class. The professor asked us to start working on our projects in Spanish again. So I turned to my group mates and proceeded to work things with them in Spanish. Lo and behold, the professor (no joke!) started making fun of me, by name, talking about how eagerly I went back to working on the project. She was literally laughing at me in front of the class, and a few of her favorite students joined in. Why was I being made fun of for doing exactly what I was told? I was just trying to do the right thing, as I always am, and I always seemed to get burned for it.
So this is what I have written for today about perceptions. I always wanted to be a leader. But I am not perceived that way. I don’t understand what it is I am doing wrong. Sometimes I think I just need to be the person God made me to be, and other times I think that maybe there are a few simple things I could do to change perceptions.
I’ve also noticed that as I have gotten older I’ve become more timid about things. I don’t want to accidentally upset anyone (which is something I seem to do quite often).
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