Snubbed {and science + nutrition}

My last few posts have been somewhat dreary, I admit. They’re all about me feeling completely unmotivated, me having wonderful interpersonal issues in the lab, me feeling just generally discontent.

That is, overall, how this week has gone for me.

The only way to describe it would be: Meh.

Trying to find the energy to care is exhausting, caring too much and then crying about caring too much is exhausting. And today was just the cherry on top of an exhausting week.

Without going into too much detail, I got snubbed. Whether this was done by the girl I vented about yesterday purposefully or was just sheer oversight, I cannot say. But it happened, my months of contribution was left out, and I found myself fighting back tears reading the “congratulations to blah blah blah and blah [excluding me]” email in the library.

Yep, that is a spectacular feeling.

I’ve always been quiet, I’ve also been “less noticeable” because I don’t create drama and would rather be noticed through my excellent work and not a loud mouth. So when I don’t get noticed at all, even after I put in just as much work as everyone else, tears and eating giant bags of Doritos happen.

Which brings me to my next subject: Nutrition and Science

{And no, this is not going to be a nutrition lesson…it’s more about the lack thereof}

My lab-mates and I are often study in the lab approximately 10 hours a day. So when it comes time to order food, we are typically tired and stressed and ready to eat our feelings (yes, even the males…and it’s a male dominated lab) it’s like a 13 year old boy is there making the decisions for us.

Tonight, for example, we are having an impromptu evening lab meeting. The dinner choice? Pizza delivery.

Our lab snack of choice is Doritos.

Our lab dessert of choice are cookies.

Needless to say, unless I plan ahead and bring my lunch/dinner, I end up eating quite unhealthily.

But as far as I can tell, this phenomenon is not limited to the lab that I work in…when I occasionally leave the dungeon and converse with other graduate students, they typically have the same story of, “yeah, we subsist on Cheetos and Chinese take-out most days”.

And it seems to me that the cycle of stress + limited time + long hours + the deliciousness of junk perpetuates itself. I find myself unable to chip into the take-out dinner pool…not because my lab mates would think any less of me, but just because I find myself wanting to be part of the group. Sure, we could bond while all eating our own dinners, but bonding is so much stronger when we’re all sitting in a circle on the floor, talking about what we accomplished during the day and munching on the same pizza.

Lame, I know.

Lately I’ve been stirring the idea of weekly potlucks in my brain…but can’t imagine how that would turn out any healthier. So I am humbly bowing down and asking for advice: how do you eat healthier when your whole lifestyle is seemingly built around eating unhealthy? 

OMG, it is so totally Friday.

Thank goodness.

This calls for some cute animal snuggling.

And waking up 15 minutes before my alarm went off means: blogging, coffee, and a delicious pumpkin muffin to make my morning slightly less painful.

On more motivated Fridays, I’d have dragged my body out of bed at 5:30 am and attended a 1 hour hot yoga sesh. On this Friday, it was all I could do to convince myself that getting up 15 minutes early for the above reasons was a *good* idea.

I guess it’s just that time in the semester.

I’m simultaneously energized and drained by everything I am doing at school and it’s a weird feeling. Last night at work, I went on and on about my research proposal…yet, I spent hours reading random website and looking up *other* research projects that are currently going on at the university.

Talk about productivity.

Thankfully, after 3 patients this morning, my Friday will officially commence. And even though my Friday will commence with a solid 6 hours at work, it’s better than paperwork and playing, “who’s the better clinician” mind-games with older students whom cannot stand to be “one-upped”.

Yep. That really does happen.

I also got my spring semester schedule. {cue groans}.

In an attempt to keep my running life somewhat intact, I attempted to schedule all of my work onto Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday…leaving Wednesday and Friday free for research, and more importantly, running.

Running has been an avoided topic of mind this week but mark my words, I will run a PR half marathon come spring. It is going to happen. Somehow.

But first, I need to survive this semester.

I’d like some whine with my cheese

{Warning: This is  going to be a very tired, achy grad student’s rant}

I am not a slacker.

In my entire grad school career, which is long than I care to admit, I have taken *one* sick day.

One.

I’ve showed up to the lab exhausted, sniffling, and quite arguably contagious. I religiously get my flu shot to prevent anything more pesky than the common cold. I generally “suck it up” and power through my 50 hour weeks in the name of science, good patient care, and responsibility.

And today, I finally allowed my brain to give my body the permission to take a knee.

Instead of bounding out of bed at 7 am, I stayed in bed for *gasp* an extra hour. I ate pumpkin bread for breakfast and allowed myself to wake up with the aid of 5 cups of coffee. I allowed myself to feel how I feel: miserable, stuffy, achy, and just plain ‘ole *overworked*.

And, knowing that I had no classes or research responsibilities to attend to this morning, I let myself realize that I really, truly needed a sick day. But not even an entire sick day, mind you. A semi-sick day…a day in which I’d arrive at school at 1 pm instead of noon and still attend to all of my afternoon responsibilities.

So, being a big girl, I called the girl coordinating my afternoon responsibilities letting her know of my plan change.

And, instead of accepting that I was attempting to do the right thing while also allowing myself some time to rest, she essentially blew me off. Accused me of “faking” my “illness” and “shirking my responsibilities” because I am “lazy”.

Which, of course, sent me into a fit of tears. For a good ten minutes. I typically do a good job of being me and overall not giving a crap what other people think about me. But the idea that someone would think that I don’t work hard and would make an excuse to come in an *hour* late just got me at the core.

For a millisecond, I thought about calling her back and saying I’d come in at noon anyways.

For a millisecond.

Then I realized that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was still going to do what I had told her I would do, only with a slightly later time of arrival. That even if she thought all of those things about me, she could have had an *ounce of tact* and simply said, “Ok, thank you for letting me know”.

That’s what an adult would do.

{End rant}

This morning is brought to you by…

…caffeine.

Coffee. With milk. No sugar.

Usually, I at least attempt to make it to lunch time without having to succumb to my coffee desires. But this week has not started off on the right foot, energy wise. I have a lighter schedule this week, patient-wise and class-wise, so you’d think it’d be a little easier to drag my butt out of bed at my normal 5:30 am wake-up.

Nope.

It’s now 8 am and I am still on the couch, in my pajamas, sipping [no, really…*chugging*] coffee in hopes that I can be semi-awake for my 9 am research subject.

Oy.

Running? Yeah…hasn’t happened so much. My plan for a 5 miler today turned into a plan to catch up on reading articles pertaining to my research project and trying to fend off a cold.

Sunday I did a wonderful fall 5 mile run. Hilly, challenging, but wonderful.

Monday was a planned rest day.

Tuesday was a planned 2-miler day. It turned into a me getting off from work late and shoveling dinner into my mouth instead of running day.

But I admit, even though my #1 goal at this moment is to run a sub-60 min 10k right now, I don’t feel terrible about skipping runs and choosing rest over anything else, really. Again, with a lighter schedule you’d think it’d be easier for me to go about my day normally but since weeks like these are so *rare*, I find myself wanting to soak in all of the rest and relaxation at possible.

My Type A self is admittedly freaking out at this moment. But whatevs.

How do you deal with lack of motivation? I feel like when I’m at my lowest, it’s a sign that I am in terrible need of a break….

Turning leaves

It’s autumn and everything is changing. The weather, my wardrobe, my menu (goodbye lettuce, hello soup!). I can *finally* wear sweaters and cute socks without looking like a strange Southerner hoping for fall. But other things are changing, too.

Such as my outlook on life.

I cannot stop thinking about life outside of school. I can just see it in my mind: a cute little house, a baby on the way, a job with regular 9-5 hours. Time to try new recipes, go for long runs, afford things that cost more than $25. The future? Yeah, I want it to be now. My classmates are all out drinking and partying and all I can think about

I know with all of my heart that I just need to slow down and enjoy what I have now…school, (arguably) more free time [although I beg to differ on this “argument” handed down to me by parents and professors…classes, clinical rotations, and a 20 hour/week job + running, yoga-ing = very little time for me to just be], very few “big girl” responsibilities.

I know what’s got me feeling this way: seeing my married classmates buying houses and having babies and not having to spend every waking weekday hour slaving away on campus. Work + school has always been something that I’ve had to do but it’s getting a lot more difficult for me to juggle everything and still be who I want to be. I’ve been thinking more about what life would be like without work + school and this leads me to believe that I’ve got some seriously evaluating to do.

I’ve always been one to look towards the future, but the only time I seriously fantasize about things I know I can’t yet have is when some serious dissatisfaction is coming on.

Needless to say, my mind has been psyching me out. But there’s not much I can do about it right now aside from breathe, study, and keep my eye on my small goals.

Small goal #1: Run a sub-60 minute 10k in November

Small goal #2: Write a solid research proposal by December

Small goal #3: Survive this semester and then re-evaluate what I need for next semester.

Whew. First up: create a kick-butt 10k training plan…

A commitment

In August, I made a commitment to myself to get healthier. 

In September, I made a commitment to myself to run more.

In October, I am making a commitment to myself to be more balanced. 

This past week, I didn’t exercise once. I went to my first Hot Yoga sesh in months, but followed that up with far too many tortilla chips and a cinnamon roll. I spent an entire week studying an doing basically nothing else.

And while that’s all good and well and I survived the week while eating like a teenage boy and devoting my life to studying and not exercising, I don’t think that’s a solid long term plan.

To put it simply, I feel run down. 

So I’m starting my week out on the right foot. With a 6 am hot yoga class.

Yes, 6 am.

But that means we’ll be done at 7, I’ll be home by 7:30, and I’ll have 2 hours to luxuriate, clean, and eat a legitimate breakfast before heading to school.

Of course part of me says, why bother? It’s mid-term and my motivation is so low that I can hardly be bothered to put much effort into anything. But the lure of fall break, relaxed coffee drinking, and amazing sweaty work outs keeps me going.

How do you keep yourself balanced?