Project Writeup

The Project:

As a whole, the blogging exploration was very enlightening. It started off a bit rough with the idea of writing movie reviews on Netflix horror movies, but ended up in a good place. After a week of struggle and stress I came upon the idea of writing about my health. This included what I had eaten, drank, done, and the amount of sleep for that day. At the end of each post I added my own personal thoughts about the day as well as advice or an interesting topic. I liked to call it my public health journal. I could have easily kept to myself and wrote on paper or in a word document everything that I had written in these posts, but making it accessible to anyone who stumbled upon it made me try harder. It’s easy enough to talk about improving ones health but to actually start and keep it up is another challenge in itself.

The Progression and What I Found:

My first post, 3/30/2016, was probably not the most appropriate way to start a life-logging health blog. In the morning and up until dinner I had been doing very well keeping hydrated, eating healthy foods and being positive, but then the nighttime munchies hit. My friend and I hit the town and went to Buffalo Wild Wings where we devoured greasy, fatty, not even that good, not even worth it, deep fried food. I then rationalize my actions by stating that it’s okay to cave into temptation every once in a while. At this point, the start, of the blog I wanted to include quotes at the end of each post. That didn’t quite work. Sometimes I had a picture, once or twice there was a video and other times I didn’t have anything. 4/2/2016 is when I added my first link. That day I had went to the Harmony co-op in Bemidji and tried a nice, cold Kombucha. In this post I share my love for tea and the benefits of drinking tea. After this post I started linking a lot of different sources to my blog. In my next post, 4/3/2016, I have several links that go off into the web for those who want to learn more about each topic. My first reflection for that week went very smoothly. In Proposal Reflection 2 I talk about my week and where I had exceeded my expectations and where I lacked.

The way I organized my post stayed consistent, although the content changed. As I continued with my daily posting I did become more passionate about what I was saying. It wasn’t just about keeping track of my food consumption and what not, I wanted to share advice, ideas and information. This included little things like what Kombucha is or advice on how to lose weight or my thoughts on body image. Another thing that stayed constant was my humor. No matter the subject I felt the need to add some light to the subject. One post that didn’t have much to do with health but I still thought was an important topic was on 4/7/2016 where I talk about loving your body. I again go a bit off topic when discussing the male body on 4/12/2016. This was one of my favorite posts because I got to share my outlook on body image even if not everyone agreed with it. Looking back on a couple of these posts I notice that I may have been a little redundant but I also always added some new information some how.

As the semester narrowed down towards the end I did tend to write less in the “thoughts of the day” section and the “advice” section. This was because of several reasons, the weather, papers, exams, work, lack of sleep… etc. Unimportant. My last post, 4/19/2016 and 4/20/2016 was an odd one. I talked a bit about marijuana and whats “bad” and “not so bad”about it. I did start another post that was going to sum up my blogging experience but, I never did post it.

In all, my posting was daily but, it was all over the place. I didn’t have specific topics for each day, but I did make it a point to have something interesting in each. The amount of viewers and likes fluctuated as well. My motivation to post also fluctuated depending on how healthy I had been eating and if I had a topic I wanted to talk about. I really did enjoy this project. It helped me learn quite a bit about the blogging, since I knew nothing about it before. It also helped me realize that it takes a lot of work to keep up with well thought out and interesting daily posts. Kudos to those who do this for a living.

If I were do to this project again I would organize my thoughts a bit better and use specific themes for each post. If I were to become serious about my blogging I would also use my own photography/ art and perhaps even interview people about how they feel about their health. I think getting outside sources really adds to a post, whether it’s a link or an opinion.

One thing I do regret is not being as involved in the blogging community as I could have been. I don’t know if it was because I was new and felt like an “outsider” or because I was nervous and didn’t want to be shot down for any sort of reason. Perhaps if I find time or gain some serious passion for blogging I will start again.

To conclude, I found that blogging is not for me. I don’t have the motivation or brain power to be witty, humorous, interesting, insightful, or any of the things it takes to be a successful blogger. I’m not saying that being successful is what blogging is about. I would be quite content posting about my health every day and only having four to seven likes, but I lack the drive. In order to be good and truly enjoy something one has to have the passion to do so.

My final statement: I had fun and I learned. Thank you.

 

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4/19/2016 and 4/20/2016

Tuesday 4/19/2016

Breakfast: Belvita

Lunch: Veggie wrap, mini scone and chips with salsa

Dinner: Meagan and I made our own mini pizzas with green pepper, olives and pepperoni on pita bread. I also had a three egg sandwich and some cake.

Snack: Red espresso with almond milk

Exercise: None

Sleep: 9 hours

Water: about 7 cups

Thoughts about day:

I’ve noticed that on the days  I don’t work I drink less water. This is probably because at work there is unlimited amount of water around me but on a normal day I’m not always around a drinking fountain and if there is one then I have to go fill it up and when I’m in bed sleeping or studying… water just doesn’t seem like a priority. (The life of a lazy college girl.)

Wednesday 4/20/2016

Breakfast: Belvita

Lunch: Veggie wrap with chips and salsa

Dinner: Scrambled eggs, waffles and ham

Exercise: Ran two miles, planked, dips, hip raisers

Water: about 7 cups

Sleep: 10 hours

Thoughts about the day:

It was 4/20 everyone! You have no idea how many times I heard someone talk about 4/20. Not to mention the amount of posts on iFunny that had to do with 4/20. My lord did it get old. I for one did not turn up  on 4/20 (it’s your choice to believe me or not). I don’t want to get into a debate about legalizing marijuana but I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Almost everyone I know smokes weed or at least has tried it and it’s not a dangerous drug. Yes, it is a gateway drug but so is alcohol. Every stoner will tell you, “weed has never killed anyone” or “you can’t overdose on weed.” And as far as I know this is true. If every state in the US did legalized marijuana  I think we would have a very lazy country (that was a joke) but I also think it wouldn’t be as popular as it is now. The thrill of smoking or using an illegal drug is a reason some people do it and the fact that someone is saying “no you can’t do that” is another reason. The amount of maturity one posses is another factor. For example: The legal age to buy and drink alcohol is 21 in the US yet those under this age drink more than those who legally can drink alcohol (in my experience [example: college freshmen]). I don’t think weed is “unhealthy” but I’m sure it’s not healthy for you either… Mentally it is good and bad for you. Physically it may weaken your lungs?

For more information on this topic go here or google it.

4/18/2016

Breakfast: Veggie wrap and a London Fog with almond milk

Lunch: nothing

Dinner: Jimmy John’s #12 as a lettuce wrap and no mayo

Snack: Fruit, scone, mini doughnut, and hot chocolate

Exercise: Ran around Perkins

Water: 11 cups

Sleep: 10 hours

Thoughts about the day:

I get crabby when I’m hungry. I get hangry. When I’m hungry all I want is food and that’s all I can think about. Yesterday I was hangry. But man… That veggie wrap was so satisfying. Do you ever just have something to eat and feel like all your problems melt away? That’s how I felt. So yummy.

Let’s talk about stress:

For those in school right now you know that finals are coming up. My finals are in two weeks and I haven’t even started preparing. Procrastination is my greatest fault/talent (however you want to look at it). I don’t know why but I just have no motivation to study unless the test is the next day. This is a terrible strategy since I usually end up studying until 3am and then not doing as well on the test as I could. This also has to do with writing papers, I could write kick ass papers if I just took the time to do it, but instead I just rush it and do average (B level).

So my goal for myself and for those of you who also tend to procrastinate is to take it a day at a time. Work on at least one subject every day. If you have a paper due in a week then just figure out your topic/thesis and find tidbits of information each day. If you have a few tests in the upcoming week then study a bit, take a break and then get back on the pain train.

If you aren’t in school and suffer from stress (like my mom), breath. Try drinking some tea, or do something that relaxes you. Don’t run to food as a stress reliever though, that’s just going to make you gain weight which will stress you out more. Exercise is a great stress reliever or even just listening to music. Take a nap. Spend 30 minutes doing something you love. If the stress doesn’t leave you it may be an anxiety problem, in which you should talk to your doctor.

Proposal Reflection 4

This week had its highs and lows. Overall, I think I had an average week when it came to my health. I definitely should have gotten more sleep though.

On 4/11/2016 I really reflected on what I want. What I want when it comes to my body, my future and how to obtain these changes. I also talk a little bit about trying organic or gluten free foods. I know that I can’t really tell when something is organic or gluten free but my body can. I should have mentioned that even if you only eat organic, gluten free,  or lactose free foods you can gain weight (strangely enough some people don’t know that). Gluten free cookies still have sugar, sodium and unwanted fats. By the way, Oreos aren’t gluten free… I don’t know where people got that idea

The next day, 4/12/2016, I had breakfast! (I don’t have breakfast often.) In this post I also have a small discussion about body image, mostly focusing on the male body image. I say that even though we mostly hear about women talking about how our bodies should look according to the media, men have the same issue. Men are almost expected to have abs, toned arms, chizzled jaws and dreamy eyes. Well ladies… I’m sorry but that’s about 1% of the human population and they are all man whores (just kidding, I’m generalizing). But seriously, the media presents the “perfect” man or woman as someone who is “flawless” when that’s not possible. Perfection is an opinion, not a world wide image.

Wednesday, 4/13/2016, oh my look at that, I had breakfast again! I’m on a roll. This post I talk more about Tuesday’s post and I also mention feminism and equalism (which I didn’t know was a thing). I also just found this interesting post about feminism and “equalism” if you’re interested (Feminism vs Equalism).

Thursday,4/14/2016, crap I didn’t have breakfast. Roll is over. I didn’t eat very much that day, but I did have a severe shot of caffeine. In this post I chat about caffeine and the pros and cons of it.

Friday and Saturday, 4/15/2016 and 4/16/2016, I didn’t say much because I was super busy and when I wasn’t busy I was sleeping. To sum up that weekend, I basically stayed up too late working and then slept… and then went back to work. I did try a pear grilled cheese though and it was delicious.

Yesterday, 4/17/2016, I was really hungry! I even caved into those darn muffins that taunt me every day I go into work. They aren’t even that good… Also, this is the first post that I give advice to my future self. I think it’s important to set goals for yourself and look back on them and seeing if you accomplished them or seeing what changed. I also noticed that the last few posts didn’t include pictures.

That is all.

 

4/17/2016

Breakfast: Omelette with ham, green peppers and mushrooms. Cantaloupe and Honey Dew. Half of a Blueberry waffle.

Lunch: Sunrise wrap from The Cabin (includes veggies, eggs and bacon) with more fruit (apples, honey dew and cantaloupe)

Dinner: BBQ chicken and a chocolate chip muffin (so nutritious)

Snack: Blueberry Nutri-grain bar

Exercise: Burned 50 calories running on the elliptical

Water: Over 10 cups

Sleep: Bed at 1:30 woke up at 11:30 (10 hours)

Thoughts about the day:

I’ve noticed that I typically start off the day eating healthy and gradually cave into temptation and then for dinner I had fatty, scrappy food with little to no nutrition. My excuse would be that it’s difficult to find a decent meal when you work during dinner hours so I have to resort to what I can find around the restaurant (which happens to be muffins..)

Advice to myself:

Start making dinners to bring to work. This will be easier when you’re no longer living in the dorms but if you can find the time, make decent meals for yourself that include a vegetable and protein.

4/15/2016 and 4/16/2016

Friday: 4/15/2016

Breakfast: Nothing

Lunch: Veggie wrap with chips and salsa

Dinner: I don’t remember

Snack: Iced White Night with almond milk

Water: 10 cups

Exercise: Usual exercises, one mile run and running around Perkins

Sleep: Went to bed around 3 and woke up at noon (9 hours)

Thoughts:

That Friday I worked a 5 to 3 am shift waitressing so I didn’t really keep track of what I ate for dinner. I also stayed up really late on Thursday so I slept in until 12 on Friday which is why I didn’t have breakfast.

I wish I had a nutritiousness who could tell me how terrible my eating habits are so I could get my shit together. It seems like I have one healthy meal a day, then the rest of the day is just sugary small treats, snacks and meals. I rationalize my actions by telling myself I need more sugar to stay awake or that I “deserve” the unhealthy food because I’ve “worked so hard today”. Tisk Tisk.

Saturday: 4/16/2016

Breakfast: Belvita Breakfast Biscuits

Lunch: Pear Grilled Cheese with fruit from The Cabin

Dinner: Nothing really… just a half a slice of Peanut Butter Silk Pie

Snack: Three cups of tea with honey. One cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream. A few fries and a few fried pickles.

Water: Over 10 cups

Exercise: Walking/ Running around Perkins

Thoughts:

I didn’t eat much yesterday, but I had to pee so much (since I drank so much water). I work again tonight so I’ll write more tomorrow.

Toodle-loo

 

4/14/2016

Breakfast: None

Lunch: Veggie wrap and chips with salsa

Dinner: A couple bites of a pot pie and a cup of tomato basil soup

Snack: Half of a McChicken and a Thai iced coffee from Cantabria (holy crap that coffee kept me going)

Exercise: Self Defense class, abs, ran and dips ( plus running around Perkins)

Water: 10 cups

Sleep: Went to bed around 3 am and woke up at 11 (8 hours). I probably shouldn’t go to bed so late but it was a good night. No regrets

Thoughts about the day: I didn’t eat very much yesterday, and I didn’t get very much sleep BUT I drank lots of water, so let’s think positive!

Caffeine:

So yesterday I had a lot of caffeine. I was super jittery, so energized and all around just a heightened version of myself. My coworkers could tell I was on something (just caffeine, nothing more). I know caffeine dehydrates you in which I drank as much water as I possibly could. I now understand why caffeine is considered a drug. I could easily be incredibly addicted to it. Not to mention, I basically had a hangover the next morning (without the headache).

Advice about caffeine:

Be careful how much caffeine you drink. My mom is addicted to caffeine and can’t go a day without at least one cup of coffee otherwise she has extremely painful head aches. Normally I never notice a “sugar high” or caffeine buzz which might mean I have a high tolerance, but I still take a day or two to avoid high amounts of caffeine. For those who do have an addiction to caffeine, don’t quit cold turkey, you’re just going to experience withdrawal symptoms. Instead, cut back a little day by day. It’s just like any addiction, but probably not as severe as heroin…

4/13/2016

Breakfast: The Garden Egg White from Einstein’s Bagels (My usual)

Lunch: Chicken salad with ranch, cucumber, sunflower seeds and red peppers.

Dinner: Six whole grain blueberry waffles (eggo).  (I really like my blueberry whole grain waffles… my lord they are good.)

Water: 8 cups

Sleep: I took two naps and went to bed around 3 am and woke up at 9:30  (six hours plus those two naps)

Exercise: Played volleyball.

Thoughts about the day: Happy healthy day! Except when Meg and I decided to go to Perkins at midnight and ate motz sticks, onion rings, chicken strips, fried pickles, wild berry pie, pancake dippers and a chocolate chip cookie… Tee Hee. (I didn’t tell my Lifesum app I ate all that though. If I pretend I didn’t eat all of that delicious, fatty food then maybe my body won’t retain all those unnecessary calories and carbs… It’s a thing, I swear… wink.)

Additional thoughts on yesterdays post about body image:

Looking back on yesterdays post I realize that I write how I think. Sometimes my writing may be worded a little funny or sound like the way I talk. Even now as I am writing this sentence I realize that, so I apologize if anything didn’t make sense. But anyway, I did want to add that both men and women have issues and one is not better than the other (obviously). I also just viewed this video on facebook and thought it was very interesting. It doesn’t have to do with body image but it does have to do with equality. Why I’m not a feminist video.

I always find different points of view interesting and I do agree with what she is saying. I’ve always wondered why it’s called FEMinism  when the goal of feminism is equality. Shouldn’t it be called Equalism or something that actually makes sense… Feminism just sounds like the female gender should be the dominant sex and I know feminism already gets a bed rep (thanks extreme feminists) but like I said, this video is interesting.

Back to body image and health! Don’t stress about your appearance. What truly matters is how you treat others, what you do to better yourself and fulfilling your life long dreams and passions. Everyone has flaws, and yes you can do your best to “fix” those flaws but those qualities are what give you character.

I guess equalism is a thing (I just made that shit up)

 

4/12/2016

Breakfast: Honey Whole Wheat Bagel with egg white, avocado, bacon and herb cream cheese. So yummy!

Lunch: Meagan and I went to Mi Rancho. I had these little fried tacos with a taco salad. We also had fried ice cream for dessert.

Dinner: None (Lunch was around dinner time)

Snack: Honey dew

Exercise: In the morning I ran a mile, did some crunches, jumping jacks and dips. At night Meagan and I played volleyball and did other little exercises.

Sleep: Around 8 hours

Water: 8 cups (With the amount of exercise I did it should have been around 11)

Thoughts about the day: It was a good day! I ate healthy, I worked out, I drank lots of water and I even woke up without feeling like a groggy old frog.

Small Discussion:

So I know I tend to talk about body image and loving ones self, but I feel like I typically talk about the female body. I’d like to talk a bit about how we view the male body and what we expect versus the reality.

When we think of the “perfect body” for a woman we typically think of perfect skin, thin body, long hair, nice nails, no stretch marks, etc. The “perfect male body”, although, is typically seen as muscular/ ripped/ in shape. (Basically Abercrombie models). But obviously, men don’t always look like that. I’ve talked to many of my guy friends about how they feel about their body and here are some of their thoughts.

Guy friend number 1: Description: Average height, muscular, athletic, sort of “fluffy”, not overweight, but not jacked. How he felt: He basically told me that he thought all the girls like the skinny guys. That they always go after the tall and the thin. He knows he is somewhat intimidating, but truly has the sweetest heart.

Guy friend number 2: Average height, a runner, skinny, sort of toned but not visible. His thoughts: This fiend had very low self-esteem. He had never had a girlfriend. He didn’t like his teeth. He didn’t like how thin he was, but he didn’t feel like working out was something for him.

My thoughts on the male body: Appreciate what you have. If you feel like you’re too skinny, realize that if YOU want YOU can change that. Don’t base your thoughts and decisions off of society and the media. If YOU feel like you’re overweight then start off small and eat healthier, do some push ups, change your lifestyle for the better.Being healthy isn’t just about physical appearance. It’s about your well-being, whether it’s reducing your cholesterol, risk of heart attack, risk of cancer… etc.

I’m not specifically attracted to only one kind of body type and most girls aren’t that judgmental. If they are then they aren’t the one for you. Never change yourself for anyone else.

When it comes to being the male gender I feel like they have the upper hand. In my mind, a male can still be extremely attractive if he has acne or a little bit of pudge around the waste. Unlike women who are already viewed as beautiful creatures so if we have an imperfection we are lesser (according to society).

I know men can be just as self-conscious as women and that should be acknowledged.

What I’m trying to get at is that men and women have similar problems when it comes to body image. The average human being is not going to look like the men and women seen on tv or in magazines (even those people don’t actually look like that… photo shop is magic).

In all, love your body and treat it with respect. It’s a gift and you should be so thankful for mobile arms, legs, fingers, toes, neck, brain, as well as all the senses you were given.