Monday, May 7, 2012

Doing Your Best IS GOOD ENOUGH

Ha ha ha. So much for the weekly blog posts.

I left off last time by saying I had a sleep test scheduled to get to the bottom of my insomnia. Well it was just dandy. I felt like I was terrorist hooked up to an explosive.

And I most certainly felt attractive. 

All of that to be promptly told that I feel asleep in about 3 minutes after lights out and slept 95% of the night away.  I believe their machines were defective....

Regardless of what the test said, I have been trying to change my sleeping patterns. One of the biggest things I shouldn't do before bed is do school work. Again with the homework, I know. I tend to do assignments till right up before I head to bed. Now I try to allow between 30 minutes to an hour of relaxation before my beauty rest, in order to unwind from the events of the day. This means I need to prioritize a bit more during the day, but it's worth it in the end when I get to enjoy some television or a good book. 

I find that I can get overly frustrated when things become overwhelming. I recently was in charge of a Youth Event by myself. I kept a level head by writing out lists. I had a before prep-list, day of list and a concluding list. Preparation was the key to success. l know that my fellow youth minister has been feeling stressed to no end with all the obligations he has undertaken. I too have been in that position. Its the one I like to call "When you take on too much and everything crumbles around you even though you had the best plan" scenario. When it comes to this, I remind myself: "You Girl, are doing Your Best".  

With the varying health problems putting me behind in school work, I need to remind myself that there is only so much I can do in a day. Taking the occasional break is good thing because it will re-centre your focus. If the stress becomes too stressful, I take a step back and look at where I have come from. My 18th birthday is coming up in a month. The doctor's told my parents that I wouldn't live past two. HA TAKE THAT!  I am living proof that if someone works hard enough, progress does happen. Therefore a couple over due assignments will not kill me. 
My philosophy has been: It is better to take the time and understand, then to rush.
It appears to be working since these are my mid-term marks:
Chemistry - 92%
Data Management - 92%
Canadian History - 95%
Philosophy - 93%   

If you or some one you know is about to pull out their hair remember this:

Stay strong. Persevere. You Can Do It. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rethinking YOU: Part 1 – Tummy Time

Noooo, the title sadly does not refer to cutesy babies lying on their tummies.

It refers to that annoying little pouch people sometimes get – Y’all know which one I’m talking about!
I’m pretty sure most people who read yesterday’s post laughed when I said my first opponent was body fat. The words ‘Becky’ and ‘fat’ are not usually ones that fit into a sentence together. According to some lovely seniors from my latest bus trip, I am “Size Nothing”. Now that is all fine in good… but being ‘skinny’ (for lack of a better descriptive word) is not all that it’s cracked up to be. You may be surprised to know that I too also fight “the bulge” *grimace*. It started two summers ago when I put on a yellow horizontal striped top and looked in the mirror. It accentuated a few spots that certainly were not flattering to this bod. I was horrified to say the least. *insert scary movie music of your choice*

That top, along with the ones in varying colour but identical style promptly went into a pile for Goodwill.

Now this, of course, is my completely biased opinion, but I feel that ‘skinny’ girls have a tougher time fitting in with the ideal body shape.

For plus size or more curvy girls, a little fat will drift into the bust, hip or thigh region. Sure, that extra padding isn’t always great to have around, but at least it looks proportionate. Then there are people like me who are height-less, hipless, thigh-less, bustles and waist-less. That extra padding HAS NO WHERE TO GO! Thus, as a PETITE person who enjoys food, a nice squishy midsection is not really appreciated especially with summer coming, along with bathing suits, shorts and tank-tops.

So what to do about this issue? Here is my process:

1. All that negative stuff written above: Accept it; consider it; throw it out the window. People should appreciate your personality, not your body.

2. Goodbye junk food: It’s great for a little treat on a movie night but all of that has salt. Salt = water retention. Thus, although it tastes great, so does snacking on fruit. Another incentive in case you aren’t convinced: You will feel better after eating an apple than a chocolate bar. Think of it as the placebo effect. It’s good for you, thus you better.

3. Work it OUT: After getting a job that involves walking, I’ve noticed a reduction in my waist line. HURRAY! It’s not quite flat yet, but it’s getting there! With some added sit-ups, I’m confident I will be summer ready. Now that the weather is nice, I intend to start walking and biking even more. I’m working on getting fit at my own pace. After I can run around the block without passing out, I will move on to more strenuous activity… * wheeze*

Time to drag this out of storage ^

4. Portion control: I am still that girl that eats more than the average man. I do not intend to ‘diet’. However, everything is good in moderation! My goal in portion control now is to not eat that third helping of pasta… *ahem*

5. A Back-up Plan: Ok, so sometimes I don’t follow my own rules and give into temptation. Solution? Clothes of course! If you are feeling down, find an outfit that makes you feel great about your body. The baby-doll style top is great because it gives the illusion of body shape while flowing over the belly to hid any things you want to cover up *wink*. Seeee?


So thoughts? How do you compete with the Battle of the Bulge? Come back tomorrow when I tackle something about my face I’d love to change.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter/ Rethinking YOU!

Happy Easter! Today is not only a celebration of the Risen Christ, but it is also the ending of forty days of Lent. Lent is important time for me, not just as a Catholic, but as a person. Lent provides for me a time to reflect over who I am as a person.

What is Lent you ask? Well here is a quick explanation:

Lent marks the time when, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent time fasting in the desert where he endured temptation by Satan. Today, it is an observance of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter. During Lent, many commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penance.

My family always gives up meat on Fridays during Lent and for the past few years I have given up all junk food. This year I also added a penance of drinking at least one glass of milk a day; a beverage I tend to avoid as much as possible. With the conclusion of Lent last night, my family and I pigged out; eating chips, onion dip and chocolate … in moderation of course.

Whaaat? The bunny broke in half and I ate the broken bits....

When I got up, I got a reminder of why I gave up junk food in the first place: bloating.
A good friend of my recently posted a blog titled “Muffinous Tops and Saggy Bottoms.” I have to say I was impressed with her honesty; this was a topic I had wanted to discuss, but couldn’t figure out how to segue into it. Her final sentence asked:

LADIES, what are your problem areas if any? How do you combat them? What would you change if you could?

Well, after eating that bowl of chips last night, I figured out where my problem areas are! However, throughout this whole Lenten period, I have been trying to think positively about myself. Sure, I really didn’t want to drink that milk every day! But I reminded myself that one glass of milk = calcium + strong bones. I forgot the negative thoughts and concentrated on the optimistic.

There are many, many parts of my body that I am NOT ok with. BUT, they really can’t be changed. Thus, I have decided to only focus on what is good about myself. Nothing boosts morale than positive encouragement. Therefore, every day this week, I am going to tackle something about me I don’t like and counteract it with some personal motivation!

I encourage you to follow my journey this week, and maybe do something similar for yourself. So check in again tomorrow; my first opponent is body fat!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Organizing your Organization

My goal going into reinstating my blog is to get at least one post out a week. Well here we are; it’s been a week already and a nasty one at that. For the past while, I have struggled with a mysterious illness. Symptoms include exhaustion, nausea and migraines. A trip to the doctors and even some blood work brought up NOTHING unusual. After explaining that I have not been sleeping (I think I got about 8 hours max this weekend :S) my doctor told me to contact a sleep test clinic.

Of course with various trips to and from medical facilities, I got behind on school work. This weekend I completed a history essay, mid-term test and two chem assignments to catch up. It got me thinking, how do people handle these sudden elements of stress?
When life throws out an unexpected curveball, what do you do to balance the load without pulling out your hair?

For me, I use lists. Lists and posted notes reminding me of things that need to get done. When I was homeschooled, my mom made me write down due dates for the week in a special binder. I tasked that II strongly loathed. However, now that I have a busy schedule, I find it’s always good to have everything laid out. I even have a small list of possible blog posts ;)

You hear about two different types of mentalities. There are some people that need structure in each element of their life. There are others that prefer to “live in the moment”. I believe that I am a bit of both. Everything for me needs to be planned out in advance, or otherwise I will most likely forget. However, I don’t mind an added boost of spontaneity. Without it, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go see the Hunger Games twice with two good friends. Of course, when agreeing to have a social life, I need to ensure that my priorities are taken care of first.

Therefore, I consider myself a person that is chaotically organized. How about you?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Decisions, Decisions.

Haha, I am back! After blogging on and off for a few years, I am hoping that the third time is the charm and I will actually stick with it. I stopped previously, because I really didn't think I had anything substantial to write; essentially I am a high schooler whose biggest dilemma is not understanding Gr. 12 Chemistry homework. Not exactly the most riveting topic.

But now I have reached a moment where suddenly my life has purpose; or more purpose than it had. I figured I should share the news in a format more personal than a Facebook status.

So, what have I been up to lately?

Well, if you did not already figure it out, I am a grade twelve student or a 'senior'. Yah, that's right: GRADE TWELVE. Essentially, that means I will be going on 18 in the very, very, very, near future, I can drive and hold down a job. Ha ha haaaaa? Whaaaat?
How am I not a little girl anymore?

For the past couple of months I have been struggling with this fact. I can guarantee you that I have had many a "WHEN THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN?" moments because I have no idea where the time has gone. Suddenly being a grade twelve means that I have been faced with an onslaught of life changing dilemmas over the past year. Now, I know; you think I am being all dramatic when I say 'life changing'. But I am literally not joking. Every single decision I have made has intertwined together to bring me to where I am at this point. It's quite amazing when you think about it. One simple 'Yes' or 'No', no matter what the circumstance, has a domino affect on the rest of your decisions afterwards.

"But Becky, what do you mean?" you ask.

In September 2011, I went on a fantastic trip to Ottawa. I met a great group of youth, got travel experience and managed to successfully fall behind in school at the start of the semester. As a result, I needed to make a choice: either go on the final choir retreat of my life, or concentrate on school. For anyone that knows me, you can guess which one I chose.

I have always been hard on myself academically and this year has been no different. I placed my school work first and foremost. However, it's been a deep inner struggle for me. I strive to achieve at least an 85% average, but it constantly seemed I was stuck between hanging out with friends or tackling another assignment. I would always chose school, then get frustrated when I spent so much time on an assignment and get 60/100. I don't think many people realize, how much of myself I put in every, single assignment, test. For exams, each student gets 3 hours and I work until the final minute, flipping furiously through pages of an English novel or in the memory files in my brain. After my English final, my teacher joked that she never, ever had a student with such a high work ethic. I wasn't sure if I should feel complimented or insulted. But I realized that she is right. If I didn't work as hard as I did, I know that I wouldn't feel like I did my best. Thankfully it paid off, my final grades for last semester were:
English - 92%
Writers Craft - 88%
World History - 89%
Individuals in a Diverse Society - 89%

Not the 90's I would like, but close enough to get early acceptance to University.

Through my academic struggle, it dawned on me. I needed to find balance. So I started volunteering more and long story short, my help with my church youth group made me co-chair of the youth fundraising team, something that looked fabulous on my scholarship applications.

All in all, in a few months, I will be graduating and entering a new phase in my life. I am not legally considered an 'adult' yet, but the past few months has definitely made me into a more mature individual. I have come to terms that I will and always be that girl who doesn't follow the norm and doesn't want to. While everyone is partying, I will be the 'lame' one, who chooses to study instead. I will be the one that over analyses things to the point of insanity. And I AM OK with that.

Thus being said, I finally get to announce my news; this decision, unlike the past ones in my life was not difficult. I pretty much knew from the start which University I would choose; I just needed a nudge in the right direction. I got that last Saturday, at an Open House. After leaving the event with my Mom, I knew 100% I was choosing the right post-secondary institution for me. My confirmation of acceptance has just been finalized so here you go, my final decision that will take me from a youth to an adult: