Tag Archives: Health

You Know It’s Time To Slow Down When…

It was the beginning of September of last year. I was finishing up a summer full of work and classes, plus several training sessions for the internship I’d be doing for the upcoming academic year. I was scheduled to take the LSAT, and I really needed to get started on my applications. In addition, the fall quarter would start soon, and I was scheduled to take 16 units, including 12 honors units. Something wasn’t right. 

The problem wasn’t that I spread myself too thinly. The problem was that I approached the situation at hand poorly. My doctor kept trying to get me to do yoga, and to “talk to myself” about the problem. She also really wanted me to seek help. And I tried to, but it is incredibly difficult to schedule an appointment with the counseling services at UCLA. I suppose we’re all too stressed. 

My health deteriorated quickly. I would snap at my wife constantly for not being able to get a good score on Reading Comprehension. I became this person I hope I’ll never see again. Though my bad and bitter mood wasn’t my main concern. I fell sick. The type of sick where you need to see your doctor every day, and you are weak all the time. This made things worse. 

I stopped working. My wife stepped up and began to work for the both of us; in addition to taking me to the doctor and making sure I was taking my pills on time. I missed a lot of days in my internship. I couldn’t take the October LSAT, and almost missed the December. Actually, I probably shouldn’t have taken it then, but I couldn’t postpone it any longer. I struggled with my classes because I didn’t do well with the narcotics. I didn’t want to, but I was forced to slow down. No more yelling, no more stressing. I couldn’t even walk at the same speed I do when healthy. 

I am ashamed that it had to get this bad for me to get it. But I did. I have felt overwhelmed since then, but I strongly believe I’m a lot better now. One of my professors said it better: “problems are problems because we make them be that.” You may disagree, but in my eyes, he’s a genius. I could have been excited to take the LSAT and show off my abilities, or that I would be challenged with honor courses- instead, I chose the low road and made things worse in the end. 

I know it may sound obvious to say that how you approach things makes a difference, but is it? You’re in control of your thoughts, ideas, and attitudes. You may not be able to control if someone crashes into your car, but you’re definitely capable of controlling how you’ll react after. Will you be stress and crying or will you stop and realize that this is just another part of life (accidents happen…)? It’s up to you.

Mrs. This One

Patience is Key

I’ve noticed that a lot of people have found my blog while searching for “one bad meal a week.” Although the lack of comments prevent me from knowing what they were looking for, most likely, they had the pleasure of reading my post on tips to lose weight. I don’t know what your story may be, but I know how important it is to lose weight; whether to be healthy, feel better about yourself, or get into those sexy jeans once more. In either case I have one advice for you: be patient!

I know that this is a touchy subject, but you didn’t gain weight overnight- which means you also won’t lose it in one day. Since January 1 of this year, I have lost 7 pounds as of today. It might not seem like a lot, but it truly is a milestone. How did I do it? With the tricks that you already know: Eat rationed portions, watch my calories and squeeze in some exercise as much as I can.

How can you stay on track? Want it badly! There’s really no other way around it. Only you can take control over this. And if you need someone for support, well… here I am! Use me- I’m willing to help in any way I can.


One Bad Meal Per Week

If you ever got a chance to read my entry Long Term Relationships = Weight Gain, you’d know (and agree with me) that it is very difficult to be in a relationship without somehow gaining weight. Once you’re dating, dinner is something to do rather than a meal to get the stuff you need to keep functioning daily. This, whether you like it or not, eventually leads to putting on some extra pounds.

Sweet temptation...

For me, a relationship meant a bit more than just extra pounds. I gained about 50 lbs for a period of roughly a year. I must add that it wasn’t because of the relationship, there were also a lot of external factors in play such as college, awful roommate situations, and some minor health problems. Although I wish these things combined didn’t equate to that much weight gain, it happened and it’s just something I had to face and deal with. This is why I decided to take control over my diet and exercise habits.

Before 2011, I used to eat because it was a fun thing to do, not because it was something I had to do. Once I changed my mentality on how I felt about food, I began to see a few differences about my eating habits. I’m pretty sure that my meals last year used to be somewhere between 1800 to 2500 calories with little or no exercise. So yes, no wonder I gained so much weight. But now, I have to force myself to eat more so I can meet the minimum of 1300 calories per day- how crazy is that?!

Almost there

The secret is that you know the secret; “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I decided to change my mentality about things in my life, to in turn change things about my life altogether. I now keep a food diary where I write down every single thing I eat or drink, and if I know it, I add the calories of what I eat/drink. I also record my daily weight and any major exercise activity (which now includes soccer twice a week and tennis on Saturdays). This helps me know for sure whether I am overeating or not; and also, since I keep in mind what I’ve eaten, I have less and less cravings during the day. I have lost 4 lbs since Christmas day, and although that may not seem like a lot, remember that people usually gain weight after the holidays rather than lose it.

But how can I make sure that I will follow through this new routine? We’ve established that on Saturdays, we’ll have our “bad meal of the week.” And by bad I mean something super delicious without taking any calories into consideration. How cool is that? Now even if I crave a restaurant meal, I can simply say “I’ll have that on Saturday” and move on with my life. I am in control now.

Eight Hours of Sleep

If you’re a college student then you’re most likely sleep-deprived the majority of the time. This is a fact of life. At least in our current generation.

Competition has become such a crazy game that in order to even dream of landing a job after graduation, you have to do more than just getting good grades. Now you have to participate in extra-curricular activities, do internships, and still maintain an astronomically-high GPA. And this still doesn’t guarantee you anything; it only improves your chances over the kid who’s not doing all these things. The problem is that this busy schedule can only mean one thing: the time allocated for sleep decreases per activity added.

Shoot, I slept through class again...

I read an article today about the sleeping habits of college students. The article, provided by the UCLA’s student health center’s monthly publication, provided students with steps to healthier sleeping habits. For the sake of a better-rested student, everyone agrees that eight hours of sleep should be the norm. So one of the steps to approach better sleeping habits was to not overload your schedule. You know, don’t join three clubs if you only have time for one and that kinda stuff. Well, what if you have a job?

In my opinion, this article completely neglected student workers. Eight hours of sleep, at least during the week, is very unlikely when you’re taking a full load at school while working part-time. Even my doctor asked me to try to sleep eight hours- but how? Let me put this into perspective: on the days that I work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), I must wake up around 5:30am. In order to get eight hours of sleep, that means I should go to bed at around 9pm so I can have enough time to fall asleep some time around 9:30pm. But by that time, I am only halfway through my school work (if I’m lucky). And on top of that, I have little time for extra-curricular activities. So what does that mean for us student workers?

Well, I’m not sure. Are we losing the competition? It depends on how you look at it. Are we constantly more edgy, tired and stressed because of lack of sleep? Certainly. Could we be able to pursue healthier sleep habits? I don’t think so. Then where’s the article for the ones who can’t choose to cut down on their off-campus activities?

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