Exercise and Meal Planning

Since moving into my apartment, I’ve been trying to plan my meals ahead of time. In September I made a menu where I wrote out different dinner ideas for the week. I chose to do meals that could easily be alternated with one another because I know that there are days when I just don’t feel like eating certain things. I’ve only been doing this with my dinners so far because honestly I tend to do whatever during lunch. Usually I just make a sandwich or something simple.

So far I’ve made chicken stir fry, homemade pizzas, roast, turkey…just things like that. Unfortunately beef has been really expensive recently…and I’m on a tight budget. Today I’m going to have hamburgers. They’re kind of my back up foods…stuff that I can cook right away or heat up are for my busier days. That way when I get home after a long day I’m not tempted to order in.

Since Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend I didn’t bother picking up a ton of groceries. If I’m lucky there will be some leftovers for me to take back on Sunday. Before I go back to school my parents usually prepare a bunch of chilli, curried chicken and stuff like that and then I freeze it. It usually lasts me a little more than a semester. Unfortunately they forgot…and I forgot. So I don’t get to eat any of my Mom’s awesome chilli or curry until I go home for reading break. It’s a bummer. It picks up my spirits whenever I eat a nice home cooked meal prepared by my folks. My Dad’s the best cook though. He used to run a restaurant when I was really young but had to give it up cause he was working there, the hospital, going to night school and had three kids, two of which were between ages 0-2. I don’t know how he managed to do all of that. He’s a hardworking guy. I’m honestly really proud of him and my mom. They go way out of their way to help me out sometimes. I’d be lost without them. Sometimes when I’m cooking and I forget how to prepare something or I’m having oven anxiety…it’s a long story…then I call them up and annoy them. I feel like I’m probably the neediest kid. My siblings call me a suck up. It’s true, I’ll admit it. I kiss butt big time, but everything I say is genuine. I just feel like a good way to show people you care about them and appreciate them is by complimenting them and saying thank you. Everyone wants to hear something nice once in a while. Or at least I do….

Anyway, my original goal when creating this menu was to try to improve my diet and stop eating out as much. So far it is working. Yes, I have ordered the odd pizza here and there but not every single week. Now I just need to implement the exercise half.

See, over the summer I tried to work out three to five times a week, even if I could only do like 10-30 minutes. I managed to gain a lot of upper body strength, and was able to take off some weight. I was also taking lunches into work. I want to be in good shape again. My last three years of university I was stressed out over several different things, and last year…was a mess. I want my final year of my undergraduate to go smoothly, and I feel like the best way to get myself started is by getting my body back into shape. Whenever I talk about exercising with my friends they give me weird looks. I’m a normal weight for my height and age so they just assume because I look a certain way that I don’t need to work out. For me it isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about being strong and healthy both physically and mentally. Back when I was playing soccer my head was clear, I was fit and strong and felt like I could do anything. I was never afraid I might, “hurt” myself when climbing trees or goofing off with my buds (you can laugh at the Canadian now). In April I never would’ve attempted to lift heavy stones or carry anything that looked like it could crush me. Since I’ve been doing my own little training, strengthening my arms and what not, I just pick stuff up. It doesn’t even bother me. I’m not longer afraid to give piggy backs to the kids I work with because I’m afraid I’ll drop them after a minute. I was back to having piggy back races, lugging around sleepy kindergarteners after recess and helping my Dad lay down stone in the yard. I’m feeling stronger and stronger every day. I want to continue to grow stronger, in every area of my life.

Anyway, I’m going to go start making my hamburgers. I think I’m going to cook an extra one because then I’ll have something for tomorrow or Wednesday’s lunch. I’m pretty hungry. I skipped out on lunch today because I…I just had a rough start today. Cut my entire leg up…went to the wrong location for my lab…found a dead bird…. Then my sister’s friend got me Starbucks. That was awesome of her. She barely even knows me. So now my days getting a little less…bleh and more woo! I describe…things weird sometimes. I promise, I don’t write “The sky was bleh but she felt woo!” in my novels. If I did that make for a pretty interesting read.

Well, until next time,

–R.

Advertisements

Five or Ten Minutes

It can be difficult for people to discuss mental illness, especially with those who are close to them (friends or family). I have close friends who suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar etc. and have seen them try to go through their day as though everything is okay. Some of them put off getting help for far too long, because others told them that how they thought or felt was “teenage hormones” or “just the blues.”

If more people were educated on mental health, they wouldn’t have brushed them off and my friends would have at least had someone listen to them for five-ten minutes.

We can all spare five or ten minutes to talk to someone we care about.

#BellLetsTalk

Welcome to November!

I’m grateful for the week I had off from classes, because without it I feel as though I’d be a complete mess right now. I just kept saying to myself, “It’s almost reading break. It’s coming. The end is near. Just three essays, two exams and you’re free!” and somehow I managed to survive.

I kept getting sick during that time. I think I was so stressed and overwhelmed that my body began to react. I had constant headaches, and nausea. Never happened to me before…but after all of the stuff I’ve been through since last April…boy. I’m lucky I didn’t just snap and tear my hair out.

I managed to do a lot of writing and artwork over the break. I even got to work on my music, which was a lot of fun. I enjoy goofing around with my piano and guitar when I think no one is home…my sister screamed, “Shut up!” after about fifteen minutes. I was jokingly singing Chandelier…but it turned into a screamo edition and I sang “I want to screeeeeeam!” instead of “I want to swing.”

Anyway, you probably didn’t need to know that but basically I’m doing a lot better. I don’t feel like I’m a zombie anymore, I haven’t had any nausea or headaches, and things have been a lot less stressful back home. Plus, now school is settling down a bit…it’ll be busy again in a week or two but at least right now I can pace myself and get my head in the right place.

I guess I’d never been so stressed out in my life. I let it all build up from April. I refused to let myself crack…and then finally I just broke down. Which sucks because here and there I was finding myself slowly crumbling after trying to build myself back up. That’s why I’m glad that I had a week where I didn’t have to worry so much about school, or friends or anything and I could just catch up on sleep, draw and write and relax. I needed that break. I know if I had kept trying to push myself I’d have completely shut down. I usually try to be a very optimistic person but that side of me just vanished. I feel a lot more like myself these days. I’m goofing around with my friends again, I’m reading in my spare time (even though all I do is read for class), and I’ve set some goals for myself that I’d like to meet by my last exam date in December.

So, November I welcome you with open arms. I’m in good spirits despite the cold weather and the rain. Although I tend to write a lot of very depressing poetry in the winter (according to my creative writing professor), I will try to write something…warm and fuzzy. Not corny. Warm and fuzzy. Like…a nice blanket or a fluffy animal or some sort.

This was longer than usual.

Till next time,

— R.

 

Writing Tip: Keep Your Mind Healthy

I know this might seem like a weird tip but it’s one that is often overlooked, and it’s of great importance.

When a person’s mind is healthy they’re able to think clearly and they can produce wonderful ideas.

Ones mental health is just as important as their physical health, although the media tends to put more stress onto how we look. Your mental health can have an effect on the quality of your writing.

Some simple things that you can do to keep your mind healthy are,

  1. Getting enough sleep: this can be 8 hours, it can be 10 hours. It’s all up to you and how your body feels. Just remember that too much sleep is just as bad as getting too little sleep. It’s important to have balance.
  2. Exercise: Yep…I’m sure most of you saw this one coming. I myself need to get up and go for a nice run. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. You can simply go for a walk (maybe circle your local mall a few times), or go for a swim. Try skipping or go for a quick ride on your bike. Think of it as recess. Go get some fresh air and do something that is active and enjoyable. Exercise helps to relieve stress and it is good for both your mind and body.
  3. Eat the Right Stuff: We’re all guilty of giving into our cravings once in a while…or all the time but as I said it’s important to have balance. If there are fruits and vegetables that you like, purchase those and try to have them with at least two of your meals for the day. This is something that I am working on myself and I have to say, when I eat well I feel a whole lot better. It doesn’t have to be hard. If you like tomatoes, add a tomato to your sandwich. If you like to eat oranges, have one with your breakfast in the morning. Put some strawberries or cherries on top of your ice cream sundae. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Be Social: Interacting with others, whether that be people or animals, is extremely important. I find that if I don’t talk to anyone for sometime I get a bit lonely, and it makes it harder for me to put a lot of work into anything. The conversations we have with others can help with our writing. Sometimes it can spark ideas inside of us and other times it can remind us of what dialogue should sound like. Dialogue should be written how we speak. If you listen to the way that others talk, then you’ll have an easier time trying to recreate that speech within your text.

It’s nice to have a six-pack but always remember that you should love your mind and you should cherish it. Take care of yourself inside and out and your thoughts will flow onto the page smoothly.

Oh and for those of you who get writers block, doing this stuff can seriously help. It’s better than sitting around moping for twenty-four hours trying to force something out.

Why I Watch Kids Movies During Exam Time

Watching movies may not sound like the most productive thing you could do while you have several exams to prepare for. You’ve got to review everything you know about Tap Water before you can even think about going anywhere more than 2 seconds from your room.

Sleeping, eating, drinking, social interaction; these things that we need in order to survive no longer matter.

The only thing we care about is passing so that we can move on with our lives and never have to think about the complexity that is Tap Water again.

So why on earth would I watch movies during a time where my main focus should be on learning everything I need to know for the exam? The answer, though it may not seem like it, is very simple. Watching movies, specifically kids movies allows me to relieve stress. After being awake between 8am and 3am for almost two weeks, with one meal a day and little to no social interaction outside of the classroom, I decided while in my zombie-like state that I wanted to watch something…specifically something that would make me laugh, and so I began watching shows.

When I reacted the final of each of the shows I was watching/catching up on, I realized that the shows were themselves stressful to watch as some of the episodes would leave me near tears due to some of the subject matter.

Then I decided, “I will watch a movie I haven’t seen in years!” and started searching up all of these kids movies that I hadn’t seen since I was maybe…well whenever I last saw them. A lot of the movies that I like came out around the time I was born, which makes sense now because my mother would say that I looked like a character from one of those films when I was maybe 5 or 6?

Ever since I began watching these happily ever after, funny, annoyingly corny movies, I’ve been in good spirits about writing my exams and I also ended up forgetting how incredibly tired I was…or am. I’m still tired but I’m about to watch An American Tail 2. I’ve never seen this one, and my little sister and I used to sing that one song that Fievel and his sister Tanya sing when my sister got this doll, and it was the only doll of that kind that she owned…so we pretended her doll was waiting for her family to come to our imaginary toy land. Our stuffed monkey Zoboomafoo (r.i.p D’:), was like her caretaker and he’d carry her around the town and stuff…this is becoming a totally random slightly off topic thing. Anyways it was a great song and the movie was pretty cute. Plus I like history…so I know I’ll learn something from it. I’m Canadian so I’d rather watch A Canadian Tail but that doesn’t exist…and well, Canadian television is finally stepping up its game. I think it will be a while until we have another good film. Our documentaries are pretty great though. Yah…I seriously should just write for television so we’ll gain more popularity. I have so many scripts that my sister and I have made over the years and our friends really liked them. However I’m more of a novelist…who likes to use a pen name because I’m kind of shy and my mom recommended it even though she doesn’t know anything about writing…or really care about it all that much.

Okay my eyes are literally burning…and now they’re watering. I think I should watch my movie and go to bed right after.

I may be less active for a few days I may not…depends on how confident I am after tomorrow.

Good luck to those with exams…and just some friendly advice….don’t stay up until 3 am everyday with only one meal in your belly. It is painful…and you will end up eating very unhealthy in order to pretend you aren’t starving.

Oh and don’t tell yourself you’re fasting because like…you’re not, you’re just choosing not to eat because eating requires leaving your studies and you know that if you walk away you are not coming back until like the day before the exam okay?

My dad was right I do say like a lot.

I have a stomach ache.