Saturday, March 20, 2010

If You Like Pina Coladas....

     I have survived yet another finals week!  I think they went relatively well, I am just waiting for my grades now.  I realized this is my last finals week of college because next quarter the classes I am taking don't have finals (or they are 10th week vs. finals week), so I am definitely looking forward to that.  Amidst all the stress and boredom of studying 24/7, there are some things I actually love about finals week.  For instance, since you barely get any sleep, you get super delirious, which is fun because then EVERYTHING is funny.  Also, living in the sorority is fun during finals because instead of not seeing anyone for two weeks (like you would in the dorms or apartments), you actually end up spending quality time with everyone else while you study.  Ok, kinda cheesy, I know... but that's just me!  The few of us at the house who had Friday finals (barf) were starting to go a little crazy, so we held mini dance party study breaks in the dining room and oak room, which was hilarious!  And a few of us put our bikinis on an studied while tanning in the courtyard.  I'm really going to miss stuff like that.

    Since the house is closed for Spring Break, J and I are staying at our other friend's apartment before our flight on Sunday afternoon.  Last night after we were completely done with finals, you would think we would go out or something, but we were both so tired we just watched Gangland and went to bed.  What a life I live!  But about Cabo, I am so excited!  I haven't been on a real vacation like this in a really long time!  I have absolutely nothing to stress about and it is going to be so relaxing!  I will be sure to put a few pictures and stories up on here!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's so simple, yet so hard...

    So today I went to donate blood on a study break, and when they were taking my stats, I realized what an impact my weight loss and healthy lifestyle change has actually had on my health.  I lowered my resting heart rate to 60, which is very good!  I am not sure exactly what my heart rate was before, but I know for sure it wasn't as low as 60 beats per minute.  Also, and probably more exciting, I lowered my blood pressure to 110/70.  I used to be anywhere around 120/80 (which is about "normal", although they are changing the definition of "normal" to more around 110/70).  Having a blood pressure this low is exciting because it means that I am further away from being hypertensive, which is very unhealthy.  It is amazing to see what an impact healthy eating and exercise has made on my health and general well-being. 
    On another note, I have hit a slight slump in my weight loss, in that I have been strictly following my plan, but haven't lost any weight in the past week.  This is okay though, because after all, it is finals.  And staying at the same weight instead of gaining several pounds from stress and overeating is fine by me.  Also, I've noticed I'm a lot stressed this finals season, but that could be due to my senioritis.  Unfortunately I will probably gain some weight in Cabo from drinking and eating out, but I'll continue my healthy eating once I get back, so it should be okay.
     Speaking of Cabo, I am really excited! I keep imagining myself in the warm sun on the beach, and I can't wait!  Today, some reporters from NBC News knocked on my sorority's door asking if anyone who was going to Mexico for Spring Break would say a few words for their story.  Now first of all, I was in my typical finals get-up, which meant g-phi shirt with obnoxious yellow sweatpants and no make-up.  And the guy was like, "You look fine!"... YEAH RIGHT!  I am not about to go on the news to look like an absolute scrub.  Second of all, the story they were doing was about the danger in Mexico right now.  So obviously, I would look like some idiot sorority girl who is too ignorant to know what is going on down there because all I care about is getting drunk.  Let me just go on the news and make a complete fool of myself... NOT!  I mean, I know Mexico is dangerous right now, and believe me, I AM a little nervous, but we are going to Cabo, which is super white-washed.  And the story they wanted to relate me to was about some couple who got killed in a Mexican town called Ciudad Juarez, which is no where near Cabo.  Anyway, the guy was really pushy and I didn't appreciate it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I love lolcats

Especially when they are involved with science...

Sunday, March 14, 2010


     Okay, so I'm sorry for yet another post about weight, but after all, this is my blog.  Since I have been following the advice of my physiology of nutrition class and eating a lot healthier, people have been driving me crazy.  I mean, I don't mind that people mention when they've noticed that I've lost weight, but what really gets me is when they have to remark about what I am eating.  I am getting tired of people putting in their two cents at every meal, or making some snide remark about "oh that's all you are going to eat?"  I am tired of all of the negative attention because it is making me feel like I am doing something wrong, which I am not.  I probably know more about nutrition than any one of them, and I am simply following what I have learned in my nutrition class, which is taught by very prestigious doctors at the UCLA Center for Nutrition.  I am not being unhealthy (i.e. anorexic or bulimic) so I would really appreciate it if people would mind their own business about what I eat.
      Excuse me for wanting to change my life so that I am less at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the latter of which is the number one killer in our country.  These diseases are preventable, and I just because everyone else would rather remain ignorant about their lifestyles, does not mean that they can judge me for choosing mine.  I don't give a fuck what other people are eating... if they want to eat 3000 calories per day of a high fat and sugar diet, be my guest.  But I would appreciate it if people would stop looking at me like I am anorexic every time I eat a salad and fruit instead of lasagna.  I'm tired of feeling like I have to defend myself at every meal.  This has been going on for quite some time now, and today I just snapped.  I know what I am doing is right so I'm going to just keep on doing it.  That is all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Biochem Lab, it was fun while it lasted, but... oh wait, no it wasn't!

     Today was my last day of Biochem Lab! Thank the heavens!!!! I have been counting down the weeks until this day and it feels so good for it to finally be here.  The class actually wasn't all that bad, I just hate lab classes in general.  I liked my lab partner a lot.  She was really nice and laid back, unlike other freaks in that class.  The one thing that I guess is pretty cool about lab classes is you get to know your classmates a little better, and our class dynamic was pretty funny.
       So our TA was this tiny Vietnamese girl with braces, who was so easy to relate to because she did not take the labs too seriously like most neurotic, control-freak TAs I've had.  Also, we had a guy who liked to do magic tricks for us before class.  And normally, I think that type of stuff is cheesy, but he was actually pretty good, so it was entertaining.  Besides, who does magic tricks in biochem lab?!  The whole idea just makes me laugh.  Then there was this one girl, you know the one.  She was top of her class in high school and expects no less at UCLA, so she must prove to everyone that she is the smartest.  She thinks that she is soooo much better than everyone, and if someone ever doesn't understand anything she scoffs, "how could you not know that?!"  Needless to say, I never talked to her.
    I can't stand people like her.  I mean, can't we all just get along?  There is absolutely no need to put yourself on a pedestal above your classmates.  If other people don't understand something, why don't you share the wealth and explain it to them?  I have never really understood "gunners"*.  Why do you have to be the best of the class?  I feel like as classmates, its a lot more satisfying when you all work together and everyone succeeds instead of just one person.  (Not cheating of course, just helping eachother to succeed by being collaborative and bouncing ideas off of eachother, as opposed to "every man for himself")

*gunner = douche who feels that they are better than everyone else in the class; must outcompete everyone for grades; sets the curve at an impossible score; will not help out any fellow classmates; RUDE

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back To My Roots

         This morning, while walking to my work (which is completely across campus) I stopped by one of the news stands to check out the other papers it had besides the Daily Bruin.  One that caught my eye was the Pacific Ties magazine, which is a student run magazine for Asian Pacific Islanders (API).  One of the pages had bios of some Asian Pacific Islander students at UCLA, and there two Tongan students who talked about how they wanted to spread awareness about the colonization of Tonga.  Seeing their blurbs reminded me of how little I actually know about my Tongan heritage, and it makes me really sad.  Though I am only a portion Tongan, I definitely feel that it is a portion that is important to my identity, and I really want to learn more about it.  My grandma was born in Tonga, but her family was relocated to New Zealand during WWII, so unfortunately she no longer speaks the language and has since stopped practicing many of their cultural customs.  Growing up, my family was always really involved in the Pacific Islander community, so I am used to coming into contact with people from all sorts of cultures and learning about their customs.  For example, my family is really involved with a Polynesian cultural club that performs the dances of many of the Polynesian islands and competes in outrigger canoe racing (a Polynesian tradition).  However, most of the culture we learned about was Hawaiian and Tahitian (I am a sliver Tahitian as well).  While I love learning about the Hawaiian and Tahitian cultures, I never really got much of a chance to learn much about my Tongan roots specifically.
          Even when I joined UCLA, I was still interested in staying active in the Pacific Islander community, and planned on joining PISA (Pacific Islander Student Association), but after hearing that they were mainly concerned with tutoring students in the LA county, I never got around to joining because I was looking for more of a cultural experience.  Looking back, I probably should have just checked it out and at least met people in the group who could have pointed me in the right direction.  Oh well, I can make more of effort from here on out.  Unfortunately, learning more about Tongan culture is not as easy as it would be if it was a more prevalent ethnicity.  For instance, there are no classes at UCLA about Tongans or the Tongan language.  So, I will have to put in a lot more effort individually to find out more.  I am really interested in volunteering at the API clinic once I go to UC Davis.  Maybe then I can meet people who can expose me to what I've been missing and immerse myself into my long lost culture!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

So, it's been a while...

Though it seems like I have been neglectful of this blog, my most recent lack of entries has more been due to the fact that there isn't much to write about, so I have been "saving up" in a sense.

It is the end of 9th week, and finals are upon us.  My first one is biochem on Tuesday, which I haven't even thought about yet... oops!  It shouldn't be too bad though.  I ended up doing really poorly on my Cardiovascular Health midterm, so I kinda have to rock the final to get a decent grade in the class.  I'm a little worried; I don't want to get kicked out of med school before I get in!  I am just going to bust my ass for the final, and hopefully I can pull it off!

Other than that minor setback, things have been going pretty well.  My weight loss plan has been working, and as of today, I have lost 19 pounds since January!  I can notice a difference, but I still don't feel like I have lost that much weight.  I think I don't look that different, but it's definitely an improvement.  While I have been working pretty hard, it has actually been easier than it ever has been for me.  For some reason, this time I am just really motivated to keep going.  I think a lot of the inspiration has come from my Physiology of Nutrition class this quarter, in that it has really opened my eyes to how I needed to change my eating habits just for my future health.  That's probably why this time has been so successful, because instead of temporarily "restricting" myself, I have made a conscious effort to actually change my eating habits.  One of the things we talked about in class was some of the psychological factors behind overeating and what triggers it.  Our professor told us to try and figure out what triggers our urges to binge, so that we can either address the cause, or be prepared to consciously resist.  I have come to the conclusion that one of my triggers is stress over upcoming midterms/finals.  In the past, around these times I tend to eat lots of junk food as a sort of consolation to dealing with the stress and negativity of studying for tests.  But this habit is not healthy, and obviously took its toll on me in that I gained about 25 pounds in college.  Now, when I get the urge to binge on copious amounts of delicious junk food, I just remind myself why I am feeling that way, and continue to eat normally.  I've been successful so far, but who knows if I can resist in med school.  At least I am excited to hopefully be able to start med school off "fresh".  After all, as a doctor it is important to keep up with your own health.  I wouldn't feel right if I was an overweight MD telling my patients to live a healthy lifestyle that I wasn't even living. 

 I have continued on my ER project, watching episodes here and there when I can squeeze them.  I am now on season 3, but I still have a long way to go.  I think my favorite character is Carter, who starts the series as a third year medical student.  I just really like how the show follows him in his progression from student to doctor, although I have seen some of the later episodes, and I'm not looking forward to all the trouble he gets in later on.  I know tv shows and movies are not indicative of what a doctor's life is really like, but they still get me excited for the future, so I will continue to guiltlessly indulge!