Friday, June 29, 2012

The Angry Run

I went for a run at last on Wednesday night. Its been quite hot here in London over the last few days, and being summer, the sun doesn't start to set until quite late in the evening. I've never been a fan of running during the day, as I'm still self-conscious about it. As such, I try to exercise either early in the morning (which I haven't managed to do for goodness knows how long), or later in the evening when the sun has gone down. That's harder these days, as I have to stay up until sunset!

Still I went out. Part of the self-consciousness means I'm still not comfortable running in just shorts and a T-shirt, as I don't like the way I wobble, so I still put on quite heavy running gear - full-length jogging bottoms, a heavy hooded jumper and a woolen hat. It was still warm out even after the sun had set too, so I very hot for the duration - don't think I've sweated so profusely for a while!

Having not exercised for so long, I felt pretty puffed out after only a couple of miles. Luckily, I was so angry at myself for having left it so long between runs that I carried on regardless. I told myself I would just try to do my old distance of 4 miles, but as I neared the end I remembered that about a month ago, when I last exercised properly, I had managed to get a 7-mile run done, and had promised that my normal distance would be increased to 5 miles.

I was really ready for a rest, but I decided to press on anyway, and I was very proud that I actually managed to achieve my 5 mile distance. I was particularly slow, I have to say, but at least I got it done, and I plan on trying to head out for another one tonight.

It did make me sleep better, but the problem now is that I need more sleep than I can actually timetable for! Every day I'm just in fear of my looming exams - there's so much I need to revise, or in some cases just straight-up learn, as different tutors have different specialties and really just teach us what they know. I won't even be able to relax after the exams either, as I'll be waiting to see if I need to do any of the second block of tests too. Sigh. We'll see!

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Weeks 20-24 - RESULTS

So after yet another long absence, lets see what the scales say!

STARTING WEIGHT:   221.1 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  220.7 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:    0.4 lbs

OK. So, obviously this doesn't tell the whole story. The fact is I was actually at a bigger loss about a week ago, which would make last week a net gain. However, as I wasn't weighing-in regularly, I can't really break it down accurately.
On the one hand, its good that I've got a small loss over the period. The fact that I'm getting back into things while there is still a loss, rather than after a big gain, is a good sign too. However, it does feel like a bit of a cheat, discounting all the ups and downs that must have occurred in that time. Still, there's nothing I can really do about it, except try and maintain the downward trajectory.
And talking of the downward trajectory, I don't think things are actually as rosy as they seem. Sure, the weight has gone down slightly, but I'm not convinced its actually fat loss. I feel bigger, and I'm less satisfied when I look in the mirror. The fact that I haven't exercised in over a month makes me think that, actually, I might have lost some muscle mass, and actually put back on some fat weight. This is NOT good news.
Still, I've got so much else on my plate at the moment (see last post!) that I don't want to put myself down too much, and will rather focus on the positives - I have managed to go a month without exercise and not really watching my diet too closely, and still manage a small loss. Let's just try and go with that!

 2012 Weight Loss: 
4.2 lbs (76.4 total loss)

Divided Attention

I CANNOT BELIEVE how much time has passed since my last post. At first I just missed a Monday weigh-in due to post-socialising recovery. Then, we had a long Jubilee weekend here in the UK, and I met up with some old friends, and wasn't really thinking about the blog or the weight-loss. And then...well, who knows? Time is FLYING by far too fast, and it is genuinely scaring me.

I wasn't weighing regularly in the interim, and haven't been exercising at all. On my occasional weigh-ins the weight was dropping slowly, so I was happy to let it progress like that until I had time to get back into the exercise. However, earlier this week the weight had finally started to creep up again, and that was what spurred me to finally get back to the blog, and try and start afresh (yet again) with a weigh-in on Monday.

I guess, to put an (undeserved) positive spin on things, its that I'm no longer waiting until I've put on 20+ lbs before deciding to get back on the wagon. It seems I now get the spark when the weight first starts to increase, which is a good thing. The fact that I'm angry about a gain at THIS weight is good too - last year, I let the scales reach almost 300lbs before I took action, so I'm still doing SOME things right!

So, if I've not been thinking about exercise, what has been stealing my attention away? Well, the fact is I've been incredibly stressed over the last few weeks, for a number of reasons.

THE LIVING SITUATION - my flat/apartment has been a recurring nightmare for a long time. It seemed fine when I moved in over a year ago, but its just not good enough any more. There is no living room, so its very hard to get to know the housemates, and in terms of things like cleaning and tidying after themselves...let's just say they're slightly less than ideal. It got to the point where things were becoming very passive-aggressive, and its just an unpleasant place to live. Add to that the cockroaches in the kitchen and the regular disappearance of our hot water, and I'm desperate to move. Without a living space my room is my bedroom, study, living room and dining area, and its really not conducive to hard work. I've wanted to move for ages, but there has been a constant stream of deadlines, exams etc which has always made it an awkward time to be flat hunting. Not to mention that, with all these problems, the rent is bordering on extortionate, which leads me to the next issue...

THE MONEY SITUATION - the high rent has been slowly eating away at the funding I receive as a mature student. Add onto that the interest from my credit card, which I had to rely on for most of the summer between funding years last summer. I've never been great with money unless I'm saving for a specific goal (for example, it was quite simple for me to save up for my gap year ticket), and its all been slowly eating away at me, adding to the stress levels. I've finally had to dip into my life savings, which was meant to be a down payment on a house when/if I finally graduate, so its depressing to not have that waiting for me at the end. And that's if I REACH the end. The third issue...

THE MED SCHOOL SITUATION - I've got exams in just over three weeks, and I'm terrified. Because all the students are off on different placements in different hospitals, we're all being taught by different doctors, with different specialties and interests. As such, I have no idea if what I've learned is relevant, or what I should be revising. I've never had to try and learn without a curriculum before, and I don't like it - I keep feeling like everything I do could all be a waste of time. Add onto that the way they grade University exams. For example, if all students in a year score over 90% on an exam, they don't just pass everyone. A certain percentage will ALWAYS have to fail each year, and as such, I'm not so much learning to reach competent standard as I am to try and be good compared to the others on my course. I don't like that sense of competition, especially when the rest of the course are school leavers still in 'study' mode, who've decided early on that they want to study medicine, and have their goals set. I joined as a mature student after a 4 year break from studying, without a clear idea of what I wanted to specialise in. I'm really scared that, no matter how well I do, it won't be as good as THEY do, and I might lose my place. Or at least have to repeat a year. Which means I wouldn't get funding. Which means I'd have to dip into my life savings. Which I've already had to dip into...GAAAHHHH!!!!!

All this stress is ruining my sleep. I'm also getting outbreaks of stress-related psoriasis on my elbows and knuckles, which does nothing for my self confidence, especially when it turns an angry red colour after a day of having alcohol hand-sanitiser repeatedly rubbed into it on the wards.

The simple fact is, I'm not very happy at all. I've never been a very confrontational guy, so when things get tough, my natural reaction is to cut my losses and clear out, to where things are easier. But I don't want to do that now, and in a way I can't, as I've already invested so much in my present situation...

Anyway. I'm going to weigh in tomorrow morning, and then try to get a run in tomorrow night (although that'll be at the expense of an hour's worth of revising...sigh...). Hopefully if I can just get my weightloss back on track, I'll have something positive to hold on to.