Friday, June 21, 2013

How Do You Stay In Shape

Friend: Wow, Silent you have an amazing shape. How do you keep your figure?

Me: Well, you know I run either in the mornings or after work and I watch what I eat most of the time so you know, there's that.

Friend: *scrunches face* I could never do that.

Me: Okay (*thinks to self* You seem to enjoy being out of shape anyway so keep munching on fast food and drinking those high caloric drinks if you choose.)


During these types of conversations, which spike during the warmer seasons, I sometimes end the conversation with okay and change the subject. I'm not sure why people think there is a secret to staying in shape. No I don't take Herbalife, partake in body wraps or any of those other fad weight controlling products. Trust me if there was a secret to being fit, I'd share it.

My physique is a combination of genetics (being 6 foot means if I gain 5 lbs, I'm probably the only person to notice.) and hard work. I'm a long distance runner. Well actually I fall somewhere along the spectrum of runner and jogger depending on the day and how the wind is blowing. Lately, it doesn't matter how I feel because November is rapidly approaching and I need to be able to run 26.2 miles without taking a 12 hour break. So I force myself to run, even when I don't actually feel like running.

In conjunction with running like crazy, I go to the gym and lift weights sporadically through out the week. Sometimes I do a few crunches (read: between 50-200 ) before going to sleep at night.

So you know, I go to work.

I end conversations like the one above with an 'okay' when a person says they don't have time to work out the way I do. If you're okay with your shape and the ways your clothes fit, so be it. You like it, I love it. Other times, when I'm not completely ignoring people's inconsistent actions vs words in regards to their fitness, I give tips and encourage others to change their habits. As mentioned previously, I lost my mother to heart disease at a young age which means this is not a topic I take lightly if you're in my life. When I do speak up, it comes from a genuine place of concern and love. You can almost tell how much I care about you by the interest and input I put into a discussion about health and fitness. When I care, I care a lot. I can be a bit much. I'm sure it can be overwhelming and possibly annoying.  

The moral of the story is: Don't ask me questions you don't want to know the answer to.

The other moral of the story's Friday and therefore I am not going to proof read or edit this post.

The other other moral of the story is...before you complain about your health or weight, take a good look about the food you're using to fuel your body and how you take care of the only one you get. Yeah a good long, hard, honest look.

On a brighter note, I plan to wear crop tops, shorts and sun dresses all summer so if you see a 6 foot tall woman roaming the streets of NYC basking in the glory that is hard work, say hello. It's me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Go Back to School They Say

Go back to school, they say. 
You'll have more opportunities, they say. 
The number of jobs available to you will grow immensely, the say. 
It'll pay for itself, they say. 
Expand your knowledge base and become an authority in a field you're passionate about, they say.  

They said so much when I said I had a strong desire to go back to school. I thought I did it the right way. I waited several years and did lots of research into the field I was interested in. Unfortunately, I've found out the hard way, that they didn't say everything. 

You may not find employment right after graduation, they didn't say. 
The amount of money you borrow may seem impossible to pay back, they didn't say. 
Sometimes you may find yourself unable to secure positions you're more than qualified because you're too educated, they didn't say.
You may have to dumb down your résumé to keep a roof over your head and food in your mouth, they didn't say. 
Moving home may be necessary at some point, they didn't say. 

You may question yourself at times, they didn't say.

I am sure I made the right decision by quitting my well paying job and going back to school. But honestly sometimes, I question my decision. I didn't imagine how difficult it would be to properly express to employers that I am able to excel at the positions I apply for.  Understanding that it takes more time for some opposed to others has been my most pressing issue. Finding my patience and acceptance of my path is an ongoing process. 

I will keep applying to jobs and working my network, I say. 
I won't feel defeated if I end up back in LA, I say.
Once I get my foot in the door my skills and experience will shine, I say. 
I'm going to use my degree to my advantage and affect the change I desire, I say. 

I've come this far by faith so I will trust in the lord, I say.
Watch me work, I say

Go back to school if you've done the research and are sure about what you're getting yourself into, I say.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Once It's Out There, You Can't Take It Back

I read a brief but useful article this morning over my morning cup of Joe (actually, it was water, I don't drink coffee). While most people are aware of these tips, I thought I'd share them anyway. I've definitely become a lot more conscious about what I put out into the universe, so I'd like to make you just as paranoid as I since the resurfacing of the government surveillance program raised concerns about privacy.

The article is titled,  "Balancing Privacy and Public Web Presence."

Recently evidence of a massive government surveillance program called PRISM has re-surfaced concerns about individual privacy. Here at GradHacker, we've blogged about the need for a public web presence in grad school, primarily in order to facilitate networking, sharing researching, and job searching. While these discussions have included ideas about what to share and what not to share, they've largely ignored (mea culpa!) the privacy discussion. While I don't have any tips for avoiding government surveillance, there are some privacy considerations that most of us should think about as we splash about in the social stream.
1) Be aware that if it went via the internet, it can be seen by anyone. This is especially true for Twitter and Facebook, but even applies to emails and now Google chat (no more off the record by default!).  Academics sometimes hold controversial opinions, as well. This is fine, but we are aware of how opinions can be taken out of context and perhaps save them for lengthier discussions rather than on twitter. And if you are saying something just plain mean about someone or a group of people, don't claim you are "just doing research."
2) Stay up-to-date on privacy settings on all your platforms: I like to follow the social media news so that I can stay up-to-date on the dizzying changes to privacy on my platforms, especially Facebook. Luckily, the internet has done most of the heavy lifting for me already. For example, has an "An Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy" which is an excellent place to start. Also check out Mashable's coverage of social media sites and their extensive "How-to" Section.
3) Always think before you post: It's easy to get sucked into Twitter fights, so it's important for me to think before I post. Basically, if I am angry, I try to walk away before posting. After all, as xckd noted, there's always someone wrong on the internet.

Read more: 
Inside Higher Ed 
You can thank me later.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Passive Aggressiveness is Not Sexy

I'm not in the business of sugar coating my thoughts but I said I would try and be less insensitive in my delivery of random thoughts. Today's random post is a subject I've written, tweeted and talked about over a dozen times over the past few years. I'm not sure when this happened, but it seems as if men are becoming a lot more passive aggressive in courting women. I'm sure this goes hand in hand with the lazy ass trend of constantly texting instead of calling to express interest. (This post is not about picking up the phone to call but I'll be damned if I miss another opportunity to encourage both men and women to do so. Pick up the phone and call, sign on to the computer and Skype, use your iPhone and Facetime people...geesh!.)

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and she expressed her disdain for a male suitor who sent her the following message, "Are we still going out tonight?"

I know exactly what he was trying to do here and he failed terribly. One, she's not that into him anyway so his passive aggressive message just about lost any interest she did have. Two, even if she was interested, why didn't he just ask her a direct question?

He made the right move by attempting to confirm their plans, however, he came off very unsure of himself. What we both read from that message was, "I've been cancelled on a lot and I'm sure you're going to do to me what several women have done before so instead of asking you straight up if you are interested in seeing me, I'm going to buffer my landing because you were probably planning to shoot me down anyway."

Here is a more direct approach: "What time are you free tonight, I have a few ideas about where to take you."

This is such a sexy message! It shows you've thought about her and planned the activity.

It's pretty simple: Confidence is sexy. Aggressiveness is sexy. Be sexy!

As a woman, even if I wasn't 100% into places a guy chose for us to be out together, I always went happily. Maybe I'm in the minority when saying this but if I am interested in a guy, like a guy and/or enjoy his company, where we go isn't all that important. Him being sexy to me is and there is one easy way for this to happen.

Be confident and aggressive, ie. direct.

Please note: If a man had picked up the phone to have a few conversations before asking her out, he'd probably know the kinds of places she likes to frequent and whether or not she'd be interesting in trying something new. I'm just sayin.

If all else fails and you still can't find your courage, at least bring flowers because although they aren't sexy, they're at least thoughtful.
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