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A year in review. A tale of two parts.

Part 1: Sciencey science science
So it’s been a while, eh? Many things have happened in the past year. My research took a new direction, and so far so good! A review paper was accepted, and I’ll be starting an internship with a leader in my field in the coming months.
With my focus back onto science; chemistry is awesome. My results to date are pretty interesting as far as monolith productions go. This year I will need at least 3 papers; 1 from July 2013 to now, 1 for my internship, and 1 before the year is out. Then we welcome 2015. Then we leave and move to a new adventure somewhere out there. Somewhere, the perfect place is waiting to be discovered. And the perfect separation column! 🙂

Part 2: The eternal battle
In the past year my relationship with food has changed. For the better. I think. After finishing with Atkins, I just eat better food, and I eat smarter. In total I lost 15 kg, and I have kept it off (except for the Christmas trip home). The relationship I had with food before was that anything goes. I’ll fix it later. Now however, with pretty good blood chemistry, I eat much healthier food, and everything is made from scratch.
I returned home for 2 weeks over the Christmas period. I was quite shocked at how easy I fell into bad habits. Again, everything went. I did try, but the binge period was here. I WANT BREAD. I still eat bread, but only when I know I’ll be exercising. I didn’t exercise, so I gained about 3.5 kg. I’m still under 65 kg (10 stone), which is brilliant for me.
My new challenge, to get back running, and improve my fitness level. I plan 3 trips per week. Then more bread. And fresh Pizza. With proper Italian flour. And Cheese.

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Step 3: Change the outside

So we have settled into our new home. During my PhD I gained about 20 lbs (~10 kg). Two things made this possible; diet and exercise, which seems pretty obvious. I tried weightwatchers, I tried the gym, with limited success. I accepted that for now this was how I was, I was too busy writing all day every day for 3 months, eating 700 cal/day. Until the other day, I walked by a mirror and caught a glimpse of myself. I stopped, and with disgrace in my heart I saw what I had become. When I was a teen I had a bit of an eating disorder, nothing major like anorexia nervosa or bulimia, but I was definately conscious about my weight. I was happy with my weight when I was 21 or 22, but it got out of hand not long after that. 

Blah blah blah, weh weh weh, ok. Done. So what now? I said “F*ck it, it’s now or never”. If I didn’t commit to something now, how could I ever be sure I would do it in the future. So now, the carb addict has started Atkins, why not. I’m now on day 6. I have actually lost some of the blubber! It’s actually working! 

The one thing I like about the programme, is the allowances you can have in the induction period. For example, I can eat cheese, vegetables, and as much meat as I want! (As long as its within the daily calorie allowance). The first few days were rough, and I suspected I went through withdrawals. Nasty mood swings. Now though, my appetite has changed, and I feel much healthier. All I am eating is breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the odd snack before dinner. Not much different to before, but its not carb heavy. My aim is to get from a 31 inch waist back down to 28, or 26″.

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Thursday’s lunch special, prepared by my amazing boyfriend 🙂

I have one more week left in induction, then I start to reintroduce carbs to my diet, in a controlled way. Eventually I will be able to eat my normal diet again, but being more conscious about the foods I’ve been eating. The diet doesn’t endorse starving, and the intake of vegetables is just so good for you. I have to say so far, I am delighted to have started this challenge, and hopefully it will increase my own happiness (yes I know how shallow that is). I’ll be like my old self again 🙂  

It’s the little things

The whole reason I started this blog was to view the changes in my lifestyle post PhD. The scene has been set. Unlike some people I absolutely loved the topic I researched over the 3 and a bit years. I used to go out Thursday and Saturday nights downtown, and I would be out most other days between volleyball and just chilling at home or with friends. As my work started to consume my soul, I knew that I would have to lose some things to make it work. My social life took a whack, although in hindsight, it was a sincere blessing (wrong crowd kinda thing).

When I started college originally I heard of the fresher 15, thinking it was a lie. Thankfully I avoided it, until my PhD. I had to drop most activities to fit in extra work time, and then because I couldn’t afford gym membership etc. It’s very easy to get into a routine and become a creature of habit, as it is to be lazy. A little too easy. Now on the other side I’m going to try to reverse this, try to be more adventurous and outgoing, and to try to get a smidgen of my personality out there.

So, when the opportunity came to go to Czech Republic, I couldn’t say no. It was a crazy idea to move to eastern Europe when there’s an influx of eastern Europeans at home! All I can say is sometimes, it really pays off to break the mould, and to get out there and to do something bizzarre 🙂

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Prague, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.

Step 1: Get the hell out of DODGE!

Step 2: Where to start?