Finding the right schedule for me….

Taking a little break from studying for my first physio exam (on Friday) to post some thoughts.

I’m out out shape

Its been about a month since I started school, and I have been so intent on keeping up with all the material and even attempting to stay ahead of it that exercise has fallen off the radar. I still want to do that half marathon at the end of October. I know every day I don’t run makes running that HM a dumber and dumber decision.

I know there is time in my schedule to run, even just 20 min. But studying this much really drains your energy. If I find a moment to relax and step away from my notes (like now) I usually end up on netflix.

Damn you Netflix. You have been the main contributing factor to my procrastination in the past few years.

I have to, HAVE TO, become more regimented with my time. Its hard for someone like me, because if I have a a day scheduled a certain way and fall off the schedule by an hour or two….it just spirals out of control because I have a hard time being flexible. I hate feeling like I messed up, and failed at keeping my schedule. That same feeling of defeat in itself makes me even more unproductive. If I leave my day completely unscheduled, theres no way I can mess it up and therefore no way I can fail.

I’m setting the bar too low. I have to become more flexible with what life may throw at me when I’m trying to stick to a schedule.

So tonight, after studying for about another hour and skyping with Nate, I’ll head straight to bed and quiz myself with some notecards till I fall asleep. I find stepping away from back-lit screens even 10min before going to bed tremendously helps my sleep (And is supported by research)

Then I plan on waking up at 6am (which, yes, still seems very early to me) and go for a run.  I’m going to try to make this a habit, at least for 4-5 days of the week. I find that when I have been in shape, I was getting up early more often and banging out a workout before the rest of my day began. It also leaves you swimming in those wondrous endorphins for the rest of the day 🙂

I’ve been doing better with my study schedule, but still fall off track when it comes to breaks. When I’m super focused, 1 hour studying per 15min break works really well for me. Just enough time to get through an appreciable amount of stuff, without completely loosing attention and focus. Breaks are important, just like rest days when training for a half or full marathon. I just gotta make sure I don’t take too much rest. Sometimes I get way off topic with friends during breaks and end up having wonderful conversations..but also lose a few hours. Studying alone may not be for everyone, but I think I do best in that situation.

Well, back to studying for me. Maybe that run tomorrow morning will clear up my brain and help me consolidate the last bit of info I need to get in there before this exam. We’ll see 😉

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! whOa….Haven’t been on here in a while….

Life started happening…..fast…..at the end of the last semester. I was hyper-focusing on finishing strong, with good grades, and then med school interviews started coming and that was all that was on my mind. Throw in my thesis, and I was swamped.

I didn’t exercise for a minute the last 2ish months of the semester.  I gained weight….I felt gross. I lost fitness. 

School wise, I accomplished what I wanted to. I finished my thesis proposal and then actually proposed, and it all went better than expected! I am so glad I am getting this degree and able to research racial disparities in the geriatric population. No doubt, it’ll be part of my career in the future as a physician.

About 2 weeks ago I started feeling really sick. I was sleepy all the time, hungry all the time, bloated, gaining weight, had bleeding gums, my body temperature randomly fluctuated to extremes, and my heart rate was elevated. I was scared I was anemic, or had hypothyroidism……something……I wasn’t sure. 

Well, I had had enough.  This all started when I stopped exercising, so once I got a break from school I started up again. Easy…..30min….on the bike. This was a little over a week ago. I swear…….2 days after consistently exercising, I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

I don’t know if its all mental….If its the “placebo effect”, but man does exercise have such a wonderful affect on me. My mind set regarding exercise has changed a bit in the past week. As my symptoms disappeared  I realized exercise is my medicine. It keeps me feeling good. It makes me feel great actually! Why stop? Why allow the possibility of feeling absolutely terrible? I can’t anymore…I won’t.

So I’ve been cycling and running consistently again for a week now. Not long at all, but better than where I came from. Fully appreciating now what a powerful effect it has on my health and mood, I am trying to darnedest to make this a regular part of my life. No ifs and or buts. Its something I just have to do for myself every day. 

Classes start up again this coming Tuesday, and my challenge will be to not sacrifice my health for good grades. I can do both.

Watch me.