Friday, December 2, 2011

What the hell am I doing?

School has always been the easiest thing to excel at in my life. After all, all you have to do is pay attention and do exactly as your teacher says. Pretty simple. But there is always that dynamic of should you listen to your teachers or side with your fellow students? In elementary school, this used to be such a huge question for me. I mean, if I didn't somehow appease my classmates who would I play with on the playground? Middle school and high school were more questions of whether or not I'd have people to sit with at lunch. Twelve years of being in this imperfect education system and I'm starting to really feel the effects of burning out. I've come to the conclusion that school isn't really about learning or acquiring knowledge.

You're graded/judged based on how well you can perform. Can you spit back the information your teacher is cramming into your brain? Can you follow orders and follow directions? Can you keep the status quo and not cause trouble? Are you valuable asset to the school community? If so, how can we capitalize on your skills/abilities? If not, how can we make you at least of average quality?

College is a bit worse, I think. Choose the major that will get you a job and make you a lot of money. Who cares about humanities or social sciences? Who care about learning about the history of people and how that affects the way we treat each other? No one because that won't bring home enough money to pay the outrageous loans you have to take out to get a piece of paper signifying your mark of privilege.

I feel like I should have been like everyone else--major in something "useful" regardless of whether or not I actually am 1) good at it and 2) interested in the subject.

I don't know what is happening to me lately. I am so sick of writing papers and it's not because I don't like to write. I know I love to write. I think it's the rules and formats on how to write. And being told that if I don't write a certain way catering to a professor's desires then I'll get a lower grade. Realizing that yes, being a working class second generation Asian American first generation college student matters a whole lot. It makes a difference when you're the one of the few if not only person of color in the room of a bunch of white middle class kids.

Sigh. No one said this was going to be easy.

Welcome to my life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I think my stomach is getting smaller. . .

True story time! I used to be able to scarf down two and sometimes three packets of those pictured above. Each packet of ramen has two servings so that means I actually ate four to six servings whenever I had some ramen noodles. And because I'm Korean I always added eggs and kimchi with a good helping of Sriracha sauce which added to the crazy calories I was consuming.

I remember my mom would make me ramen every Saturday as a treat. It was a tradition to eat ramen before she drove me to Korean school on a Saturday morning. As a child, I felt proud to be able to eat so ramen--like hey, I can eat the same amount as an adult can! Then after I started working and could buy as much ramen as I wanted to, I ate these sodium death traps several times a week.

I always felt bloated and gross after but it tasted good to me. I guess looking back on it now I used ramen as a tool for nostalgia. I wanted to go back to the time when my mom had nothing to judge me on because I was too young.

During my Thanksgiving break I ate a lot of ramen noodles. HOWEVER. I only ate one packet at a time. I never ate two packets. In fact, I cooked one packet and while eating it I found myself amazed by how quickly I got full. How I seemed satisfied with just one ramen packet.

So I'm not dropping pounds like a contestant on The Biggest Loser. It's taken me almost two years to really start losing weight. But I'm making progress. These changes are for the long term and will last throughout my entire life.

I am still around 200 lbs but I can feel the muscles forming in my legs and arms. I can see that my stomach is slimmer and not as round. I'm proud of myself for sticking to this whole getting healthy journey of mine. I can do this.

I'm also worried about a lot of other things but I just want to focus on the successes I've had so far. I'm doing great! It's going to happen. I won't let anyone stop me from achieving my goals.


:D <3

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Touching the World

Sometimes I feel like two completely different people. There are times I will take the initiative and strike up conversation with friends and even strangers! I will organize hang outs with friends and venture to new clubs/events and meet new people. I enjoy these times when I'm interacting with people and being part of a community.

But unfortunately, more often, I am a cynical person who thinks the worst of people. I am quick to criticize and isolate myself from friends and family. I seclude myself into not just my dorm room but also my own scheduled life. I'd rather keep my schedule clear to go as I planned rather than interrupt it with a friend or checking out an event. I have to plan friend dates and heading to interesting events way in advance. And at first, that might seem reasonable, I mean everyone is so busy these days of course it would make sense that you need to schedule things in advance. But I've come to realize slowly that I will purposely avoid situations and even lie that I have things to do.

I like to think of myself as someone who tries new things--and I do. There is a small part of me that thrives on being challenged and being uncomfortable. I want to push beyond my comfort zone and keep breaking the limits of my own mind. But it's hard. No matter how much I tell myself that I can deal with change--the truth is that I want things to remain the same. I want to get better grades school but that translates to putting more effort into my school work. I want to meet more people but that means making time in schedule to just chill. I want to lose a lot of weight and that means I need to stay focused. I want to start a bunch of personal creative projects but that also takes time--time that I could be spent working and getting paid!

As a 21-year-old and in my third year of college, I feel like I've run into a giant brick wall of delusion breaking it as reality is finally starting to sink in my mind. I'm going to be 22 next year and in my final year of college. Graduate school is not the same as undergrad. I can't replicate this experience again. I have to seriously think about getting a job and making money to take care of myself. Pay back those scary loans. Start a career.

To say that this is overwhelming seems like a HUGE understatement.

The people I've spoken with say that I shouldn't worry too much. That as long as I am prepared and work hard, I can do it.

It's hard for me to sum up how much I've changed as a person in the last three years.

I mean, hello?! I go to the gym on a regular basis in a week. I don't stuff my face and choose healthier options. I don't mind speaking with strangers and telling them what I want. I couldn't even fathom a life like this in high school.

I'm scared because for the first time in my life, there is no clear cut path. There are several paths I can take. I don't know how the story ends. And I'm also scared that if I choose wrong then I just wasted my time.

Maybe it's okay to be both scared and confident. That I don't know what I want and yet still have a good idea of the life I'd like to lead. Nothing has to be absolutely set in stone. An inkling of an idea can be transformed and changed into something full-bodied, right?

I know I've made some big mistakes in my life but I do not regret making them. They're life lessons for me and there would have been no other way for me to learn them. Better to find out now rather than later.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simply addicted.

I have a serious problem. I have problems with the internet and I really need to do something about this. It amazes me how much time I waste online. On websites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogs. Link to another link. Hoping to find one more funny or amusing thing on the internet, I keep going and going and going. I did do half of my homework today. I got a couple things done so today wasn't a total failure.

But it's enough. I'd like to just one day relax and do whatever I want without feeling like there's still a couple more things I need to do for school/work. I bought Freedom and installed StayFocused on Google Chrome but those aren't permanent solutions.

I am really not getting anything out of it. I am merely going through the websites and content like a mindless drone. I have no goals or actual plans to do anything productive. It's like the minute I turn my computer on (or actually, it's on ALL THE TIME) I do whatever I can to avoid doing the things I want to do.

Okay. I am taking things into my own hand. I am going to change and figure this out. First of all, I can start with turning off my computer completely when I go to bed. So that way, I'm not going on the internet first thing in the morning when I should be getting ready for classes. Second, I need to minimize my time on social network websites. Third, I must use the internet for only the things I need. Like reading news from the NYT website. Or doing homework.

This means, there is a difference between going on the internet with no idea of what I'm going to be doing versus just hoping that I can multitask and do most of my homework.

I know this is a huge problem for me. I refuse to yield and let my life spiral out of control again. I can do this. I can take care of my own problems. I know what to do when my life is starting to get difficult. I face the problem and I fix it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The 21st Milestone

This is the first drink of my 21st birthday! The rest of the beverages for today will consist of cold water. Exciting.

I've never really bought into the idea that on your 21st birthday, you should go all out and get hammered. I believe in partying and having a good time but not getting yourself sick. Lying in the emergency room with my stomach being pumped is not my idea of a good time.

But this year, I want to take it easy. Birthdays used to be such a big deal when I was a kid. How many people came to my party. How many presents I received. How many cards people made me.

So far, only one person who is not a family member texted me a happy birthday. I purposely deactivated  my Facebook to see who would remember. I have zero doubts that there won't be too many more after that which is sad because I have more close friends than that. I'm not going to be mad/resentful to my friends who don't wish me a happy birthday because that's just petty. But it makes me realize that I need to work on my relationships more with friends.

And ever since I've turned 18, I have felt so lost and scared. I mean, hello?! I'm 21. Where did all the years ago? I can remember starting kindergarten for the first time, moving to a new time, learning how to drive, and graduating high school. Now I'm in my third year of college. Frick.

I can't help looking back at my life and wondering if I've really grown and matured. Am I a better person? Or am I worse? What has been my contribution so far to society?

Big thoughts. I am just focused on one goal right now and that is to lose 90 lbs. Tomorrow will be the official weigh-in day but I've lost around 10 lbs so far.

Next year though? My birthday is going to be awesome.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lashing Out

I really hate people who can't be polite or pleasant the first time around. The people who seem to just cop an attitude and think they're entitled to whatever they please without the consideration of others.

And when you work in the service industry like myself, you get to meet a lot of these people. One of my many jobs is a security monitor on campus. I deal with a lot of college students who seem to think the best route to getting what they want is to treat me with disrespect and swear. It just doesn't make sense to me. Why would such behavior persuade me to give you what you want? What makes you so special that I have to treat you differently?

Seriously, I've held in my anger and been passive way too long. I always try to be nice and polite and understanding. And if you're generally cooperative and not a rude douchebag, I bend the rules and do what I can to help.

Case in point, one example of a girl who refused to have her guy friend get her ID because she didn't like anyone "touching" her purse. Gah, I'm just pissed off the way she said her piece to my friend who was working. I shouldn't have said anything and let my friend decide but people like that really piss me off. Next time, remember to keep silent if the other person is handling it well. But if I ever run into that girl while I'm working, oh goodness she will be served a very big helping of justice and maybe some humble pie too.

Ugh. Just angry right now that people treat others like dirt with absolutely no good reason behind it.

I also find it hilarious that I basically complained about the girl's behavior to my friend while the rude girl's guy companion was still there. What does he do? Tell me that I'm wrong and this girl is actually a sweet person? Tell me that I should be quiet and not say anything? Nope, just remains silent. Looks away--maybe deep down he believes and knows I'm telling the truth.

Sad, isn't it?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ah, yes. This is the result of the imagination and resourcefulness of some bored college students who took advantage of the snowy day.

My sister and I were originally going to see "The Three Musketeers" but when we looked out the mall windows, there was a huge blizzard going on outside. She and I finished our shopping at the frantic Target and got some Chinese food to go. Then we busted our asses to the bus stop and battled our way to the back for some seats. I trudged through almost 15-20 minutes of snow with my pants getting soaked by the time I got back to my dorm, my feet and legs were numb.

My sister arrived an hour later and we proceeded to stay in enjoying out Chinese food and browsing the internet. We were just glad that we weren't outside anymore.

It got worse than that. The snow just kept coming. I'm pretty sure I remember the snow started around 2:00 pm and then continued until we went to bed around midnight that evening. Cra-azines. The street lights also went out. The campus started to lose power gradually. My area was hit last and by the time power went out, I figured I should be asleep anyway. The power came back on by the time we woke up so everything worked out for us.

Oh yeah, and my school canceled classes for today. I still have homework and readings and papers to do so I can't dilly dally for long. Just saw the giant pumpkin snow head outside and felt I should document this.

I might also skip out on work tonight. Don't feel like working--and we all know sick days aren't used when you're actually sick. ;)

Not that I'll be doing anything exciting. Just some writing.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Purchasing FREEDOM.

This might be the best $10 I've spent all year. Last week I had just finished my experiment of deactivating Facebook for a whole month. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. And I just ended up scrolling through Tumblr pointlessly returning to blogs that haven't been updated. I wasn't getting any of my homework done and I felt like a zombie just clicking away while my brain really didn't do anything.

Today I don't have work so I have absolutely no excuse to sleep late or not even have some free time after dinner. Freedom helps me get things done. Knowing that I don't have access to the internet and that the only way to get it back is to 1) wait until the time limit runs out or 2) reboot my computer keep me focused with the task at hand. I will definitely be incorporating Freedom sessions daily to increase my productivity.

Also, I'm going to have to do something about the social network sites I'm on. Facebook is boring. I'm on it more to look up gossip than really communicate with people. Twitter is just a deluge of information that I don't care about--shorter version of Facebook. Tumblr is a little better because I specifically use it for weight loss motivation but still it has the potential to be a serious distraction. And there are probably more websites I'll find in the future.

Which is why I have to learn what I want to accomplish with my life. Cut out all the unnecessary things that hinder me from achieving my goals.

Putting Freedom on again to finish my paper due tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taking Control of My Appetite!

First year of college was an awful experience. I had just graduated high school and been admitted to my university through the skin of my teeth (since my grades were C's, D's, and an F). I lived in a dorm that was notorious for partying and being a loud area. I didn't really like any of my classes and stressed myself out by working too much. AND I was overweight and not confident in my appearances so I avoided any social interaction whenever possible.

It was a seriously bad time for me. By the time I came home the summer after my first year? I weighed more than 200 lbs. Scary, scary thought.

I used to be able to eat an entire small pizza and ten pieces of chicken from Dominos by myself during freshman year of college. JUST ME. And here's the even crazier part. I would be full after the third or fourth slice. So full that my stomach felt stuffed to the brim. But I kept eating. Even if my stomach started to hurt, I would just keep shoving food into my mouth. After I noticed just how much I was forcing myself to consume, I realized there was a huge problem.

When I came back for my second year of college, I knew something had to change. I couldn't just keep allowing myself to eat so poorly and punish my body this way. I started to exercise five times a week. Did this for almost the entire school year but for some reason, I didn't lose any weight.

That's when I really got it. I had to be serious and realize, what you eat is more important than how much you exercise. You could exercise everyday and work your ass off but if you fill your body with shitty food? There will be no change.

So for my third year of college--this year--I've been careful of my diet. I pick healthier choices by incorporating more veggies into my meals. I avoid the pizza and pasta as much as possible. I drink water and milk only as I avoid all other sugary drinks. I eat less and listen to my body. When my body says stop, I stop.

That picture above is half of what I used to eat back in my first year. I knew that while I was eating, I could stop. And I did. I threw all of that away in the trash and opened a window to air out the smell. I've lost 10 lbs so far. I've been working hard for six weeks and I don't want to completely mess it up. I know that there will be days when I will binge. But the level of binging has significantly gone down. I don't feel miserable because I'm not forcing myself to eat. I stop when I feel pretty full and throw away the rest to eliminate it as a temptation for later.

I know this may not sound like much to someone who has never been overweight or binged before but I am proud of myself. I am proud of the progress I am making. It just blows my mind how much I'm improving. Eventually, I'd like to make it so that I won't have to eat Dominos at all.

My first goal is to reach 200 lbs by November 5th. I hope I can reach that goal. Last week I was at 203 lbs and I don't know what this week will be like but starting tomorrow I'm going to kick ass so I can reach the first goal.

Never give up. Never will give up. Always have faith and push through the hard times.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Picking Priorities

There was a time when I would look down at the lowly "B" and wanted to shoot myself for not getting that coveted "A"--now I'm just happy when I don't fail. It's amazing how I have changed throughout the years from elementary through middle and high school to university. I guess grades have always been a huge focus in my life because, well I'm Asian American with immigrant parents. And I happen to have parents who grew up in the country side of South Korea. Like rural. When I visited my grandparents as a 4-year-old, I knew there was nothing normal about having to do my business in a pot which was located in the corner of a one-room home. Or when you have to take a bath in a giant tub with water pumped from the spigot outside. My dad tells me how he managed a farm with his brothers. Both of my parents didn't attend college which meant that I obviously had to work my ass off (or until my nose bled).

I'm starting to really get sick and tired of this grades/GPA/honors bullshit. I'm annoyed with most of my classes where the professors will just bombard me with information already in the textbook. I hate the exams/quizzes where I'm just being tested on my ability to memorize and absorb information.

Thankfully, I'm in my third year of college and have just one more year after this.

It's not that I don't like school. I love learning. I find it fascinating that there's so many things in this world I don't understand or have yet to even discover. That's amazing. But I feel like for the majority of my life in school has just been one big giant test to see how much information I can parrot back to a teacher for a grade.

Is that what education is? Really? Because I am seriously starting to regret even attending college. . .and taking on a lot of debt for a piece of paper.

I want to try my best in class and learn everything I can. Unfortunately, I can't take in the information as fast as most people and I like turning the ideas around in my head.

So today, I am going to give myself permission to not get the straight A's. I'm going to let myself ignore the GPA and whether or not I'm going to graduate with honors. That's all such bullshit. Because guess what? The people who really do care about those things don't care about the learning process. They care about looking good in front of other people and for what? To show that you can do what someone says? Right. I'll pass on that.

I've just been overwhelmed by my classes recently and I feel like I'm mostly trying to do well because I want the good grade (A) rather than taking in the information because I actually find it interesting.

Plus, there are plenty of other personal projects that I want to focus my attention on. Like losing weight. Like writing a book.

Just need to figure out a way to graduate college and find a career that will not be a life-long attachment to a mediocre part-time job.