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Trying to get back to normal

Friday, March 22, 2013

My committee has my thesis. I completed my first practice defense. I have substantial work to do on my presentation and 2 more scheduled practice defenses to go before the real deal next Friday.

Keeping that in mind, I've decided I need to start focusing on pulling aspects of my life back towards normal. The good news is that I haven't been eating as horribly as I initially thought I would. I managed to only gain about 4 pounds in the last month of chaos. The bad news is that it's been over a month since I actually did any physical activity. I miss my muscles and that workout high. My sleep schedule is almost the opposite of what it should be.

There's a lot of house chores, schedule adjusts, and life changes going on in the next several weeks. I know if I want anything to stick, I can't leap in everything at once. This week I'm focusing on routine, and simple routine acts too.

Goals March 22 - March 29(judgement day)

1. 8 cups of plain water every day
2. 3 servings of vegetables every day
3. Go boxing 3 times
4. Lights out by 11pm every night

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERICADAWN1986 3/25/2013 2:35PM

    Awesome goals! Keep pluggin' away. You're SOOOOO close! Can't wait to see you!

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KONOHA-NIN 3/22/2013 5:30PM


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SHRINKING_SARA 3/22/2013 12:15PM

    Good Luck!

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What?! Where'd January go?!?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I got a couple of nasty surprises today that really shouldn't have been surprises. It's January 30th. That means only ONE more day on January 2013.

A small piece of me is beyond excited about this because there are so many fabulous adventures coming up this year. The overwhelming majority is doing the giant-cartoon-watching-the-train-hit-you eyes.

I knew this month was going to go by quickly since I have firm deadline to finish my PhD and time never slows down when you'd like it too. I'm shocked at how quickly it's gone though. I know I've been working but I can't really remember what I did because I think I'm still working on the same stuff and haven't crossed anything off. I also realized that I have exercised ONCE, as in one time, all month. Phooey!

February is already a bittersweet month for me. On of my best friends in England is coming to visit next week. I'm excited to see her and show her around, but I'm not looking forward to trying to squeeze in several hours of writing every night after spending the day out. Another friend is coming up from Mexico and really wants me to go wedding dress shopping with her. I couldn't bear to tell her that she'd have to go wedding dress shopping alone in a different country, so that's getting squeezed into my busiest final week in the lab. Somewhere in there is my birthday so the boyfriend will visit but at the rate I'm going it might be more enjoyable for if he stayed 300+ miles away.

Looking forward, I need a reward system. I have so many things to accomplish and little reward other than I don't have to do them anymore. Pretty nice prize but not especially motivating. I'm looking for low cost, low sugar ideas. If you have one please share in the comments section?


20 days of Experiments

44 days to Complete Thesis

58 days till Defense

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERICADAWN1986 2/2/2013 8:37PM

    New playlist from iTunes, mani or pedi (or nail polish to DIY), flowers for your apartment, cute underwear, a magazine, new lip or eye color, a trip to the farmers market (Troy has the best)

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58 days

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

58 days until my thesis is due.

It's due two months from yesterday.


I swore up and down I wouldn't let my experiments linger this long. Guess what I did? Some of them are bad luck or rather bad collaborators taking forever and a half to send me samples. I'm going to be in a collaborator's lab all of next week with no access to my other experiments so I'm fighting against time on all fronts right now.

I'm not dealing well with the stress right now. The usual insomnia/stress nightmares have set in which makes it difficult to get up. If I don't get up and get to work, I can't leave early to go to boxing. And the vicious cycle continues. The good(?) thing is that between Christmas and waiting for my reimbursement from the last time I went on business (over a month ago), funds are making sure that I'm only eating the healthy options from the grocery store instead of going crazy on junk.

I'm trying to pare down my other responsibilities to a manageable level. I know this is going to annoy some people but they'll just have to deal because I'm not going to be much help to anyone if this level of stress keeps up.

Next week I'll be in leaving out of a hotel which means no kitchen and a bakery right next door. My goal is to track what I eat as accurately as possible and use the fitness center at least twice.

After next week I'm going for three goals:
1) Think/monitor what you're eating (Use Carb choices if nothing else)
2) Get to bed by midnight if not before
3) Get at least 2 days of intense cardio in a week

I'm setting these as the non-negotiable bare minimum. Anything beyond that is brownie points. I'm so anxious about finishing that it's been a struggle to focus and certain monthly events haven't made it any easier.

Here's hoping the data starts coming together soon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERICADAWN1986 1/21/2013 12:35PM

    You are a stronger person than you think you are. You are capable of not just getting through and surviving the next two months but conquering and excelling! You are the most determined friend I have and if anybody can do this, it's you. Focus on the ultimate goal and get there! You've got this! emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 1/16/2013 4:58PM

    I know how you're feeling! I'm starting four cell lines tomorrow at work to try to do some stuff I probably already should have done months ago...

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TV can sit on it

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'm starting to write up my doctoral thesis, at least I'm supposed to be. I've been an expert procrastinator since before I knew what a deadline was. It doesn't help that the more stressed or anxious I get, the more difficult it is for me to actually start things. I have a couple methods designed for getting me going at the lab (with moderate success). My biggest problem at home is the TV. At the beginning of the year I declared war on TV for TV's sake and vowed to stop wasting my evenings in front of it.

I'm giving this week a B- at best. The days that there are shows that I actually wanted to watch I ended up not being home and days that I could have accomplished a lot I spent watching TV marathons until way too late at night. I need to find a way to take care of my responsibilities at home with minimal distractions and make sure that I'm taking care of my body so I can get up on time for work.

I decided on an idea I got from ERICADAWN1986 when she was combating evening snacking. She made lists of things to do instead of snacking and worked her way through the list if she had a urge to snack. I changed it up a little bit and made three giant lists of things to do instead of watching TV that are all productive on a chore, fitness, emotional, or personal level and taped them in front of the screen. I divided up the ideas by major triggers for me to park it and zone out to mediocre entertainment. There's a list for boredom, being upset, and "excuses" which is a hodgepodge of everything other reason I could think of in 5 minutes. Most alternative activities have a time limit on them so I don't end up staying up till unwittingly staying up till 1am doing something else since keeping a schedule is part of this exercise.

I'm hoping the physical reminder will help make the habit stick better. Now to see how it works this week.


Dealing with the TV

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Growing up in an Italian-American household, I used to crave quiet. I vividly remember sitting at the kitchen table trying to do my homework and wishing everyone would just shut-up! Now my apartment is too quiet. I often start to spook myself without the presence of some background noise. The problem is that I've been filling the noise void with television marathons and movies which inevitawbly distract me from whatever I'm supposed to be doing (like blogging).

I'm entering three months of Hell, also known as finish your research and write you thesis because your funding is running out. In order to do this I need to not be distracted by NCIS or Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives reruns. I'm trying to get as much work done in the office as I can but sometimes things follow you home, not mention that pesky housework thing. Unfortunately the silence still drives me up a wall.

Here's the plan. I cleared the kitchen table so there's a clear area that I can put my work that's not directly in front of the television. I'm also taking advantage of iTunes deleting all of my previous playlists and actually looking through my music to put something new together for background noise. I still want to see the new episodes of How I Met Your Mother and NCIS but "moderation" is the word of 2013 so I think that's allowed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I have the same issue with putting on shows for background noise and then I keep putting off any work that requires my full attention. I can do all the multitasking stuff easily with Triple D playing in the background but not certain types of assignments. I try to gradually ease myself into that type of work by muting the commercials and working on it during the commercials, until I get sucked in enough to my work that the TV stays muted...

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