I finally dusted off my Wii and hooked up the ol' Wii Fit for the first time in (apparently) 270 days. I think I really hate that chipper Wii Fit voice right now. It cheerfully informed me that I have gained 14 pounds in the past 9-ish months and that I am now technically obese. Lovely.
Guys, I'm literally right back at square one with my body. I weigh exactly what I did when I first discovered SparkPeople. I'm healthier than I was then - my blood pressure is good, and staying gluten-free has ended my wacky allergy problems - but I am right back to being super-flabby and disappointed in myself!
It's school, dammit. Higher education has once again made me sick, fat, and miserable. When it happened in college I thought it was the usual college thang, first time away from home and all, compounded by being at a tough tech school. Then I lost weight while working for a year, and when I gained it back getting my masters I thought it was just the stress of being in a program and city that were a bad match. Then I lost weight and started getting really fit during my next stint in a real job (thanks, Spark!) but here I am, back in school and back in my damn fat pants!!!
We all know that correlation is not causation, but that's a pretty tight pattern, innit? I've thought about getting the hell out of here but every time I look for jobs I remember that all the really fun jobs doing scientific research at private companies require a PhD. That, and I hate quitting as a general rule. The good news is, my ongoing saga of The Wound That Would Not Heal finally seems to be over, after one year of regular doctors visits, three surgeries, six weeks of alternating between excruciating pain, pain-pill daze, and pain-pill withdrawals, and a few rounds of hard core kill-all-your-good-bacteria antibiotics. So I'm glad that's over, and that I can start exercising again.
But school stress is a big problem. I'm at a point where I just want to throw paper airplanes and shoot the first years with spitballs. (Not really, cuz that's gross, but you get the point.) I don't understand why "becoming a scientist" requires that you beg for money by writing BS sob stories about teaching and outreach and why you are a good candidate for affirmative-action pity money. I hate that I am in debt via student loans for the first time in my life, and that I'm about to turn 30 but I get treated like a sheltered 18 year old just because my job title has the world "student" in it. It pisses me off that I'm supposed to be grateful for the free pizza, cookies, and crappy sandwiches that the department occasionally throws our way. And I really dislike the isolation of the PhD process; I much prefer working collaboratively, or at least having colleagues who are working on the same broad project who have a vested interest in the work that I am doing. Too much time in my head is just not healthy.
Regardless, I need a PhD to get the research jobs that I want and I don't want to become morbidly obese while getting the damn thing, so something has to give. I've joined the local YMCA so I can take advantage of their lap pool, rock wall, and gym, which I think is a good start. I haven't stopped eating fresh, local, healthy meat and veggies, so I'm good on that front. What I need to work on is stress-bingeing. I'm using all my willpower just to get through each day at school, and when I get home at night I'm so desperate for a serotonin boost that I carb load. Like, epic amounts of food. Bottomless pit, me. It's no bueno.
Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward two or three years and be done with this part of my life. I want to be a PhD graduate, but the ideological mismatch between academia and my worldview is wearing me down more than I expected it to. Some days it's just too damn much…and then I numb the pain with ice cream. At least it isn't drugs? Le sigh.
Anyway. Sorry for the mind dump. That cheery little Wii voice really got to me today. Stupid bodyweight. Stupid school. Stupid negative reaction to being labeled obese again. But, to end on a happy note: yay for reasonably priced indoor pools in December?