Too Much Time Management?

Clocks, Schedules, Planners…

Those things keep me sane. I like to wake up to an alarm because then I am assured at night that I will wake up with enough time to work out, or enough time to get ready, or enough time to eat a peaceful, comfortable breakfast. I like to have a schedule, that I keep in a planner by the time of each event, so that I know what I am doing each day, and to assure that I don’t have a single minute in which I am bored.

A few examples of my dependence…

  1. I eat my meals by the clock. Now I have gone into this before when I was talking about listening to my hunger. That is not exactly the point on this one. I have been instructed by my therapist to go back to an eating schedule, especially when I am stressed. I am in a new place and adjusting to my new schedule so eating by the clock is the smart thing to do to make sure I eat healthy foods that I enjoy. But sometimes (like in the summer or on the weekends when I have no plans) I am doing something on my to do list and I feel actual hunger. But do I eat? If it is the right time, yes I do. But if I have an hour until my normal time I usually wait. But that isn’t really the problem either, I would one day like to just get up and eat then but right now if my therapist says it is OK to wait then I am going to keep rolling with it. The real problem is when I go out with people and we have a day planned (beach, movies, sporting event…) and they get hungry and I am either not hungry or it is not time. I get uncomfortable and unsure about how I should eat. Should I wait? If I wait will there be an opportunity to eat again later?
  2. When plans change spur of the moment I am not calm. Oh I may appear calm on the outside, but inside I am saying ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I know most of the time those spur of the moment changes make for the best times. My freaking doesn’t stop me from enjoying the time or learning from my freak out. I am just saying I freak out a little when plans change.
  3. Finally, I live by the clock. I don’t think there is an hour in the day (except when I am sleeping soundly) that I don’t look at the clock. Now this is good in the sense that I am always on time. But it sure does make some tasks feel a lot longer. All of my experiences working or volunteering, for example, I remember looking at the clock and thinking towards the end. This sort of goes with Alex’s post the other day. I can never just live each hour in the present. I am always thinking to my next task. Never happy right where I am.
  4. Oh and one more thing (I know the # above says finally, sue me) I am really bad at wasting time. You may be thinking well duh. But really I am. I cannot just sit and twittle my thumbs. I bought things for my fun time I promised my therapist I would have 20 minutes of from now on. But when I have work to do I can’t help but think about how much time I am wasting.

Time is super important don’t get me wrong. College students struggle a ton with developing good time management skills. I am not one of those students in the sense of my studies. I am the opposite of most college students. Most think about the fun they want to have and fit in their homework around that time. I think about the work (homework, studying, cleaning, shopping) I need to do and then how everything else (time with friends, time by myself doing something like playing the Sims or coloring) fits into that. If school doesn’t fit in with that party that he/she really wants to go to the student will sometimes blow off school to another night even if it means cramming multiple subjects. Not me. If it doesn’t fit with my making the grade, I normally don’t do it. Don’t worry, I am working on changing this mindset. My goal this year is to find new things I enjoy outside of the classroom. Because I really do enjoy my time in class and my time studying. And the pay off is so rewarding. But the consequence is that I have like no social life, and I need one of those if I am going to have a happy life outside of academics. I won’t be in school forever you know!

So I am going to work on not looking at the clock constantly. Try going with the flow a little bit. Because let’s face it, if that fun adventure is when I was planning on studying I would normally say no. But I am always studying so I should go do that fun thing with people and then finish studying later. I have never been one to not finish my work and complete it with 100% effort so a little branching out won’t change that either. It just might change the when in when I do my homework or the when in the when I plan to go to bed.

So while most college student struggle with finding time to this:

I am going to to work on finding a little bit of this in my life:

Notice the misspelling of “time” It is intentional.

It all comes back to balance folks!

Bring on the Rain While I Call for Help

I moved back to college for the 3rd time in my life. I am Junior. And leaving never gets easier. I always think this time will be the time that I don’t cry/sob when it is time to say goodbye. Yeah not so much. Actually this time I had make up on and it ran down my face and now I have a stye on my eye. So maybe I am not so great at goodbyes?

This trip back to college was different than the other two. I took my car this year because me and my roomie are in a townhouse this year and we need a car. No more depending on the bus at 10pm when we just want a night out at the movies and IHOP. Or when we visit our favorite restaurant Macados for pretty epic spinach and artichoke dip + sandwiches + madison mud pie. And of course grocery shopping just became ten times easier. Well except for having a budget, that is new and something that I need to learn to get used to. Excited for the new opportunities! 

Yup that is me and my Hokie Bird and hot red car ready for the drive to school solo. I was very much freaking out about driving the whole way on my own this year. But I was also excited and confident in my ability to do so. With GPS in hand, a car packed full, and a planned stop on the way to chill with my best friend and eat the lunch I packed I was ready.

And then it started to rain. No actually it started to pour. You know the kind of downpour you only seem to run into on a country back road in the middle of no where. Where the only place to pull over it either a stranger’s house or a tavern on the side of the road… Yeah. So I had to call my mommy. She and my roommate and my daddy all agreed that the weather was looking bad. So mom and dad to the rescue! They drove out to meet me (I was already a good hour into my drive) and planned to follow me as I drove to college. And of course the second they arrive the rain stops. I felt awful quite honestly! Here I was trying to grow up, move on my own, and I needed my parents help not even an hour in. And then the whole time they drove with me, there was no rain. They went with me up until I reached my best friend’s apartment and then left to turn around and go back home. Now the plan was to stay and eat lunch (that I had all packed) at my friend’s apartment but I needed to get on the road pretty quickly because I just wanted to get to school at this point. So I stopped, we hugged, and I got back on the road. Remember I said the rain had stopped? Not anymore! Yeah I drove the next 90 minutes in more downpour. But it wasn’t bad enough to pull over or slow me down so this time I handled it on my own. However the lunch I packed never got eaten (well it did but 3 days late….) 😦 But I did get to school and my apartment with plenty of time to chill with my roomie before getting all dolled up for an epic night out for dinner 😀 Sorry no pictures, we were too consumed with life and catching up to capture the moment.

I Realized 2 Major Things

  1. I am growing up. I am more adult than even 2 weeks ago. And I am 21 in about 2 weeks BUT when I am not comfortable it is OK to ask for help. Actually anyone should ask for help when they are confused or lost and in trouble. That is the only way we learn (well that and making mistakes). I am terrible at asking for help when I need it. I am just so self conscious. But everyday I am learning. There was nothing wrong with me calling my parents. Actually it would have been wrong to keep on driving and put my life in danger. That is the thing, when we don’t ask for help sometimes it is a life or death thing. So I am going to work on asking for help/advice whenever I need it. Sometimes, yes, I need to problem-solve for myself but when I have tried and tried again on something there is no shame in raising my hand, picking up a phone, or yelling into my roommate’s room (politely of course!) that I am confused and frustrated or I just need help!
  2. I am learning to go with the flow. I couldn’t eat my lunch on my car ride. A year ago I would have been silently freaking out. Thinking my ED will start to pop up. I will have to overcompensate at dinner. This is so wrong, what if I go down the wrong road again. Not this time! I made a decision that I wanted to get to my new home with time to unpack and chill with Kailey. I did not want to stop anymore. So I didn’t. I was normal. When people around me miss a meal they don’t freak out or overcompensate at dinner. I didn’t either. I got to my new home and Kailey and I got cute and went out to dinner. I listened to my body and ate until I was full and satisfied. I did not feel like I needed to eat more or less than I did. And the next day I had no inclination to skip lunch again (A thought that definitely would have occurred in the old days) It was a glorious feeling! So I am going to keep up with my efforts to go with the flow. If I forget my lunch one day (o wait I did that yesterday… told you I was going with the flow) I will buy something on campus (like I did yesterday) and my packed lunch will be there the next day. It feels a lot more free and I know the people I love appreciate my new endeavor to stop planning every moment of their lives and mine 😉

I hope everyone has a great day!

I am onto my 2nd day of classes and I have no expectation that things will go as planned. I don’t know what my posting will be like for the next week or so. I need to get in a groove. But be prepared for some epic back to school tales coming up in the near future!

Off to College Waffle

I am about to head off to college again tomorrow.

Yes I have done this twice before and should be an old pro by now. But each year is always different- new classes, new activities, in my case a new townhouse and living situation… So naturally I am all giddy and slightly nervous inside. On the outside I like to believe I look like this is not big deal. But just so you know on the inside it is more like OMGsh what if I screw up… I am so excited!… What will I do first!?!… 

I am excited to get to my new apartment, but I am sad to be leaving home. I have quite honestly had the best summer ever this year. I will miss my mom and dad and my summer routine. I already miss my best friend (she started this week). But I am trading that for school and studying (which I adore!), my epic roommate of a best friend, and brand new experiences that come with junior year of college.

So I spent all morning yesterday packing away my life into two plastic bins and two rather large suitcases and hoping that all of the stuff will fit in my car! I need room for that, a cooler of shelf stable food, cleaning supplies, perhaps my stability ball, and o wait ME. I also went to my grocery store for basically the last time until November (OK I may go back for a banana or two because I buy them by the one since the heat turns them ripe so quickly). That means use up the food you have in the fridge Shannon! I am not sure how well I am doing with this. I still have an entire eggplant, a zucchini, brussels sprouts, and carrots that need to be eaten + some eggs and yogurt and cheese. All I can think about is if I don’t eat this food it will just sit there, no one will throw it out if it expires and no one will eat it! And then I remember O wait, my parents aren’t going anywhere. I need to remember that except for the brussels sprouts and yogurt, my parents both like those foods too and would happily eat them when I am gone!

So instead of freaking out and making myself eat a breakfast, lunch, or dinner I didn’t really want I decided to just go with the flow and eat what I want even if it doesn’t contain the “must use foods.”

Enter my waffle for dinner!

This is the first time I made myself a waffle since coming home this summer! I loooove breakfast for dinner and I love waffles when they are made just right. This was my first experience cooking with Almond Meal and I LOVED it! The waffle was so sweet and nutty and grainy tasting. I know a lot of people like their waffles light and fluffy. Not me. I used a recipe from here and chose to use my real Vermont Maple Syrup instead of honey (actually my honey expired so it chose for me). I also added 1/2 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil because I have done a lot of experiments with my waffle maker and the waffles always come out better when there is oil in the recipe.

Pre-topping

I promise it is not burnt. I was worried too when I opened the waffle maker. One taste and I figured out it is just the Almond Meal that makes it darker. Fun fact though the inside is almost pink! It looks cool, I didn’t take a picture, so make this for yourself and see!

Post-Topping

I topped my Almond Meal waffle with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and Fage Greek Yogurt. I am not a big syrup girl but if I had wanted syrup it would have definitely been my Vermont Maple. But since it was already in the waffle I was good to go.

Seriously though. I am so glad I went with what I wanted and not what I thought I should have. Yes, wasting food is not a good thing, but it’s not like no one else in my house will eat the stuff when I am gone so nothing is wasted, the food just won’t be in my belly. Stress makes food no fun. This meal was fun.

I Hope to Bust a Myth

If you are embarking on a new adventure called college for the first time I have some wisdom for you. Are you ready?

The Freshman 15 is…

Yes a lot of folks do gain weight when they head off to college, but is it college that causes the weight gain?

NO! 

The food at your college is the same (or in my case better) nutritionally that you have been eating your whole life. What is different is that you have control of when, what, and how much you eat and sometimes people let that get the best of them. A lot of people grow up with their parents preparing their meals for them all of their lives until college and then they begin eating in dining halls or making microwave dinners in the middle of the night or eating big waffle cones of ice cream every night with friends or consuming hundreds of calories in alcohol (wait alcohol has calories! yup 7kcal per gram!)

My Freshman Year…

I was in no way a believer in the Freshman 15 going in. I had had an eating disorder and knew the likelihood of me allowing weight gain was well very unlikely. I didn’t gain weight and I still ate in the dining halls every night in the beginning before I got sick of the food. I still enjoyed ice cream in waffle cones on occasion. And I chose not to drink, not because of calories but because it was illegal and I wanted to wait until I was 21 (less than a month!). But that doesn’t mean I had total and complete food success my first year. I was exposed to new foods I would have never dared to try before. Enter big bread bowls, bakery bagels, waffle cones, real ice cream, cinnamon rolls, poptarts… The list goes on. And I began to lose control around food. Thankfully I came home for Thanksgiving just as this was happening and my mom had already planned to take me to a conference called intuitive eating at Sheppard Pratt before she even knew something was up. My mom was thankful she was led to sign me up for this when she saw me devour my entire quesadilla + hers my first night back home… The conference allowed me to see that after years of depriving myself and then another few in a rigid recovery, my mind was telling me I had to eat everything on my plate and that if I didn’t I was depriving myself. Crazy right? Well not for me. My parents had never had the rule that I had to finish everything on my plate (except during recovery) but I had that rule for some reason. After this conference and reading the book Intuitive Eating I slowly transformed my mindset into “everything in moderation.” Now, I still have “fear foods” but that doesn’t stop me from challenging my mind and eating them anyways. I also know now that there is no reason for me to explain my eating to anyone around me. So my friends are going out for ice cream and I don’t want it, but still want to hang out… I go, have fun, and don’t feel the need to explain my ice creamlessness. Point of this? My freshman year was the complete opposite of the Freshman 15. I became healthier in my relationship with food.

My Advice to Incoming Freshman

  • Enjoy this experience for everything it is! This is a time to meet new friends, learn new information, and grow into the adult you will one day be.
  • Don’t stress about food and weight gain. Did you stress about this when your mom was still preparing your meals? It is no different when the dining hall sets the table. Eat what you want of what you order. If you don’t finish it all put it in your fridge. I promise that as long as you label it, it should still be there when you get hungry again.
  • Also, do you eat ice cream and late night snacks every night now? If not, chances are you shouldn’t want to in college. So don’t feel like you have to. Some people actually do eat like that and that is what their body is used to. Your body isn’t, and that means for you it is extra calories that your body doesn’t know how to use.
  • Don’t indulge. But do enjoy. The ice cream in a waffle cone or that delicious bread bowl from the dining hall won’t hurt you. It takes a lot more than that to gain 15 pounds.
  • Finally, I know most college students are not me and are planning to go to parties and drink when they are there. Be smart about it! Don’t set your drink down. Do drink water. Don’t over do it, pace yourself with that red solo cup. Remember alcohol not only has calories, but it has more per gram than CARBS and Protein. Plus alcohol has the potential to do huge damage to your body. Binge drinking can really overwork your liver long term as well as your mind. You want to remember these years when you are 70 years old and sending your grandchildren off to college.

The college years beat high school by so many points it is not even funny! Have fun, make memories, and learn something both inside and outside of the classroom!

One more thing…

Let’s Go Hokies!