“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

- Crowfoot

Friday, December 24, 2010

My christmas gift to myself

It has been ages since I have posted a blog. It is as though my life seems to be a revolving set of homework, placement, lectures, homework, placement, lectures. Blogging just got left behind to be able to deal with everything else. I have even been to England and back, am half way through my third year of university and am planning to return to England to work again, come the summer. For now though, I am stuck trudging away.

For the past semester I have been living at my parents' house for half of each week and at my house for the other half due to circumstances surrounding my placement. Thus it was good bye routine, healthy eating and exercise.... who am I fooling? Those things have never really existed in my university life. This semester however, I had an excuse.

Then I stepped on the scale before going to bed and saw a number that made my jaw drop and my heart sink. Now I know what they say about self worth not being attached to a number and blah blah blah. Truth is, I feel the same way. I guess the difference is that this number simply manifested the way I have been feeling all semester.

I haven't been eating well, I haven't been exercising, I have been keeping irregular hours - all of which have combined to make me feel.. I don't know, just unhealthy. That is the best way to put it. It is that feeling of knowing that you are not taking care of yourself. This was compounded by the fact that I am a nursing student and know what happens when you don't take care of yourself. I see the end result. And who am I to be telling my patients to eat well and exercise when I am not doing that myself? Like those nurses who stand outside of the hospital and smoke, it is just hypocritical.

I have tried to do little things here and there, but you can't buy fresh food if it goes bad by the time you eat it (and freezer space is limited when it is shared among three roommates and consists of one of those tiny over the fridge units) and the budget is tight. So I have done little things like picking the healthiest kind of Minute Rice (which is actually pretty healthy!) and freezing what I can.

One of my roommates keeps asking why I am so fixated on calories and fat content and such, that I should just make sure I feel good and that is it. But I don't.

So there is the whining. But now what I am doing to do about it, you ask?

I am going to run.

Well, learn to run or jog or whatever. I am going to start tomorrow (as it is already past midnight) - Christmas Eve. I am going to go for a walk tomorrow and get active. My goal is to do something active everyday. My Christmas gift to myself this year is going to be health and happiness.

I am going to feel healthy and feel good in my skin this year! And this is where my blog comes back into the picture. After tonight's run in with the scale, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep (difficult because I had an hour's nap at, like, 8 o'clock) when finally I decided to make this determination.

Speaking of determinations, this summer while I was working in the UK I was introduced to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism (trust me it is not a cult, despite what you may hear, or the results you may get from a google search). I loved it. I chanted gongyo (the recitation of two segments of the Lotus Sutra and the repeated chanting of nam-myoho-renge-kyo) twice a day with my aunt through out the summer. Only once I got home, my chanting stopped. I didn't have anyone I was accountable to and, I am sad to say, it just went out the window. So another determination of mine is to chant at least once a day, every day.

Knowing how my brain works, I can't simply rely on myself and my own will power to stick with something. I need someone else who knows, someone else I am beholden unto - someone to beat me over the head with my own laziness. So the first thing I did was I sent a text to my friend who happens to be in New York City with his family to let him know about this promise to get fit (explicitly stating I didn't need a response). This may come in handy as he is a runner (you may congratulate me later on my strategic choice of friend). The next thing I did was powered up my computer and located this blog once again to let all of you (whoever you are, see post: It's lonely being a blogger) know. That way if anyone actually reads this blog, I will also be beholden unto you to keep up my end of the proverbial bargain. What your end is, I do not know.

So I will update this blog as frequently as possible (which may be quite frequently as it is Christmas holiday) and no less than once a week with my completed activities, etc.