How to…Lose Weight (The Healthy Way!)

Hi everybody, sorry I’ve been gone so long, last semester was a nightmare!

But anyways, I’ve seen a lot of young people, mostly girls, trying extreme diets (like the ABC diet or “ana boot camp” diet) in order to lose weight.

As someone who has struggled with eating disorders (and still does!) all the social media promoting eating disorders and these extreme diets, really concerns me, so I thought I’d write a short guide as a “healthy” alternative! ¬†I’m not a doctor or anything, I just have found the things that work through trial and error and my continuing issues with EDNOS so I hope you gain something from this ūüôā

So here is How to Lose Weight:

1. Don’t do this to look good.

Weight loss should be about promoting your health! ¬†Yeah, you’ll look good, too, but make sure you’re doing this for your health! ¬†Sure, you could lose weight by eating a large fry and NOTHING else for the day, but that’s not healthy. ¬†And you will feel beyond awful. ¬†Commit yourself to eating healthy and (preferably) exercising.

Doing this just for you and your health makes it so much easier to commit to your new life!

2. Accept that this is a slow process.

Healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week.  Most diet plans suggest that you have a 500-700 calorie deficit per day to achieve this.  Therefore, if you burn 2000 calories a day, you should consume about 1500 calories.

This means that, no, you don’t have to work out. ¬†But that isn’t healthy. ¬†Also, I’ve found it absolutely miserable to be a total couch potato, burn 1200 calories a day, and only be able to eat 700 calories. ¬†Therefore, I would recommend you work out so you can eat something and feel like, you know, a non-miserable person.

Also, trust me, if you eat 500 calories of fries you will be much hungrier than if you ate like a 500 calorie spinach salad with fruit and cheese.  Healthy foods promote LASTING energy, which will make you less hungry longer!

3. Accept that you will be hungry.

You shouldn’t be starving, but yes, at the end of the day, you should feel a mild grumble. ¬†There are ways to cope with this like drinking water, coffee, tea or other low/zero calorie drinks, chewing gum, and eating low calories foods like pickles and celery.

The smell of coffee has been suggested to reduce hunger, and sometimes strong flavored foods can make you less hungry (why I looooove pickles!)

One thing that is a huge issue in college (and I assume other circles, too) is stress eating/emotional eating.

So I have some tips to tell that you’re REALLY hungry.

  1. Drink a glass of water. ¬†Your body often confuses thirst and hunger. ¬†So drink a glass of water and ask yourself a few minutes later if you’re still hungry.
  2. Ask yourself if you would like an apple. ¬†No? ¬†You only want a hamburger or chocolate? ¬†You’re not really hungry, you’re just having a craving. ¬†If you do want an apple, go ahead!

4. Remember this is a LIFESTYLE change!

Here’s a secret: Crash diets work. ¬†Trust me, I used to do them, but they ARE SO UNHEALTHY AND THE RESULTS DON’T LAST. ¬†Immediately after you finish your “30-day only apples diet” or whatever and go back to eating normally you will gain it back.

Commit yourself to filling up on veggies and fruits with a sustainable diet! ¬†And don’t skimp on protein! ¬†Get it with lean meats and low-fat cheeses and yogurts. ¬†When cutting your calories, it is even MORE ESSENTIAL to fill up on healthy foods to make sure you get the nutrients you need!

Some of my favorites are skim milk, greek yogurt, spinach, string cheese, almonds, anything that has double nutrients like protein AND calcium or calcium AND fiber!

5. Don’t deprive yourself.

Don’t say that you will NEVER have chocolate again.

Know what that makes you want?

Yeah, chocolate.

It is OKAY to have fries, chocolate, milkshakes, just make it every once in a while, and try to work out the morning you know you’re going out to a big dinner or something. ¬†And when you do get these things, get small fries not a large ūüôā

And honestly, on your birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, don’t bother, you’ll make yourself and everyone around you miserable.

And if you’re a sweet tooth like me, I recommend dark chocolate. ¬†I’m good with just a piece and it totally satisfies my chocolate craving! ¬†(Also, like antioxidants or something, I don’t really care, I just like chocolate.)

6. Exercise doesn’t have to be a big time/money commitment.

Basically, do what works for you.  If you work out, you will lose weight and you will feel better and you will get toned!

One misconception I always see, if that cardio is the only kind of exercise that helps you lose weight. ¬†Not true, building muscle burns calories (albeit fewer), but also increases your metabolism so you burn more calories just by existing! ¬†Also, toned is better than just straight skinny ūüėČ

And you don’t need a gym membership, but do what motivates you! ¬†Berkeley offers memberships for $10 a semester for our gym and group classes are fantab! ¬†But, you can find free work outs on Youtube or Popsugar! ¬†Or just mix and match your own.

You can sneak in work outs by parking your car farther away, walking to work/school, or taking the long way!

I know people that do things like 10 squats before sitting on the toilet, too ūüėõ ¬†I like to do three sets of 50 jumping jacks, 50 sit ups, and 10 push ups right when I wake up. ¬†Short work outs are easy to motivate yourself to do if you can’t imagine dragging yourself to the gym!

And, I love running, but I know I’m a weirdo. ¬†Honestly, though, so good for you. ¬†It tones your legs and abs, and is fantastic cardio. ¬†You can start with a mile and work your way up, so it doesn’t have to be absolutely miserable.

AND just so you know…you should be sore after doing a hard work out. ¬†That’s how you know it’s working!

That’s all I have for now ūüôā

I might post more later, and maybe some essays on eating disorders and depression if you guys find yourselves interested!

Hai Hai

So…uhm…I guess I haven’t written in a while.

But I’m a sophomore now!

I thought I’d feel all cool and confident with none of those lame freshman panics, but as it turns out, I’m never as in control as I think I am.

I showed up, same feelings, same thoughts – same sudden notions of poverty and loneliness.

Then I saw people, and to be honest, I’ve never seen my friends look so frazzled.

I didn’t exactly look like a dream either, I was wearing an owl t-shirt with a coffee stain on it, and while packing my clothes the day before, forgot that I would need something to wear in the car ride to Berkeley…

And I have a nervous habit of playing with my hair, so I had so many fly-aways Hermione Granger could have made fun of me.

The worst part about showing up, was that I didn’t feel rooted.¬† Even after I unpacked and the room looked like mine, it still didn’t feel like mine…

Getting into bed the first night felt like a sleeping in a hotel room, except I knew I wouldn’t be going home for a looooong time.¬† Fortunately, the uneasy feeling gnawing at my insides dissipated a lot faster than last year.¬† At least now I had a few reliable friends and even more acquaintances.¬† This week I had a few good hugs with people I hadn’t seen in months.

I also forgot how much I love this city.¬† It’s the first one I picked for myself, and it only took about a day for me to feel back at home again.¬† I forgot how beautiful it was, and how nice busy streets are.

It reminds me of a Death Cab for Cutie song, “Your Heart is an Empty Room.”¬† There’s a line, “All you see, is where else you could be when you’re at home, when out on the street are so many possibilities to not be alone.”

The key is making sure to not feel lonely, when you’re alone.

How to Be…

A successful tabler! In seven easy steps:

1. Ask some ridiculous question, that no one will ever say no to.

Here are some examples:

“Do you care about starving children Africa?”

“Do you want your children to see elephants?”

“Do you love your family?”

The answer to these questions is of course: “Yes, I care about X, I just don’t care about you.”

But you’ve got them in a trap, where all they can utter is a single monosyllable, and you want to make them feel as horrible as possible about “no.”

2. Pay no attention to the head down, head-phones in, no eye contact student rushing through campus.

S/he obviously wants your flyer.  Go greet them!

3. Always send out the attractive people.

4. If they even look slightly interested, launch into some spiel enumerating countless details that no one really cares about.

And sound hyper-into it, in a borderline creepy way.  Take every awkward nod and forced smile as an indication that you should keep talking.

5. Those who are alone are more vulnerable.

6. Make sure you have polluted the environment and murdered as many trees as possible in making a million gaudy, brightly colored flyers, that no one will ever read.¬† This goes double if you’re an environmental club.

7. If all else fails just scream the name of your club or organization at the top of your lungs as people walk by.¬† It’s not at all obnoxious and it interests everyone.

Follow these tips and you too, can be effective at spreading the message of your organization!

Ice Cream

Somewhere in the teenage years, most people pick up a “depression ice cream.”

That is, there is one specific flavor of ice cream, that one keeps on reserve for those times when life seems to be caving in.

I discovered my depression ice cream at seventeen after reading consecutive rejection letters from Columbia, Princeton, and Brown.  After greeting my mom, face streaked with tears, she comforted me the best way she knew how.

With a trip to the freezer section of the grocery store.

And that’s when I discovered red velvet ice cream.

Now some people take up drinking or smoking in hard times, but, and this might be the only time these words collaborate in a sentence like this, I honestly believe ice cream is healthier for you.

Because drinking and smoking can be chronic, but really, you only need one pint of red velvet ice cream before you’re both sick to your stomach and sick of your moping.

A pint of ice cream follows the Wallowing Rule:

It is only healthy to wallow in misery for about an hour, preferably less.  Enjoy every delicious second of agony.  Cause once your time is up you better get your ass back into gear, throw the failure out the door, and jump back to life.

So just a word of advice:

Break up?

Bad grade?

Rejection letter?

A dozen failed interviews?

Get a pint of ice cream, cry about it, then get over it.  It works.

And make sure you don’t use your favorite ice cream as your depression ice cream.

Cause then every time you eat it, it’ll just bring back memories of your failures…

And I believe that the best ice cream should be untainted with foul memories.

Eighteen.

So.¬† Recently a bunch of people have been asking me if I feel like an adult now, and I don’t really know how to answer…

I thought being an adult meant being confident and having yourself all put-together.

Instead, I’m bopping around and ninety percent of the time I am making complete guesses as to what I should do.

Really I think I’m wedged somewhere in between, because I think I recognize what an adult is, but I am aware that I am not one… But high school senior Katie had no idea what she was talking about.

Progress.

At this point, I would now like to go into some examples about how 17-year-old Katie’s perception of adulthood has differed from one that I assume to be more accurate.

1. Seventeen: Adulthood means I can do whatever I want.

Eighteen: I’m pretty sure that even though I can do whatever I want, I really should do what I’m supposed to.¬† I also constantly feel like even though few people can directly tell me what to do, someone is always watching, and I’m pulled by invisible forces like “finances” and “loved ones.”¬† What jerks.

2. Seventeen: I’m pretty, smart, and athletic, and I base these assumptions on what other people think of me.

Eighteen: I’m probably average at nearly everything, and I’m basing this on the curve and the fact that I get consistently rejected from jobs.¬† And if I want to walk around in sweats I can.¬† And there is a reason I no longer brag about my GPA.¬† Sure, I still want friends, but I’m beginning to realize we’re all fundamentally idiots.

3. Seventeen: When I’m an adult, I’ll never have to ask my mom for permission again.

Eighteen: Right, no permission, I just need to call and ask about everything because I have no idea what to do.¬† So now, I’m asking to be told what to do.¬† And I’m humble enough to admit I need help.¬† Also, my mom has this absolutely uncanny ability to know when I’m having an off day, and she calls me exactly when I’m free, to see if I’m okay.¬† Honestly, it’s weird, and one of many reasons I love my mother to death.

4. Seventeen: Screw practicality, I have all these ideas.

Eighteen: I should be practical, but then again, I’ll worry about that later.

5. Seventeen: I like that because it makes me look cool.

Eighteen: Yeah, I like really lame things, and I don’t care!¬† Well…maybe I care a little…

…I just won’t play that song in public.

Basically, what I’ve realized is that being an adult isn’t all that fun.¬† Right now I only have to take care of myself, and I can barely do that.

I can’t imagine being hinged to other people…

But then again, I’ll worry about that later.

I Lost a Bet.

Well, I’m back in the bay now, and second semester has brought on a new slew of first encounters.¬† At the very beginning of the year, I got greeting people down to a science.¬† It really wasn’t that hard, because when meeting people here they always ask the same set of three questions:

“What’s your name?”

“Where are you from?”

“What’s your major?”

It came to a point where I would nearly cut people off before they even opened their mouths, and I would spew “Katie Ligmond, Orange County, Art History” in a torrent of information no one really cares about.

Trust me, I get it, and I understand everyone just wants to be polite, but I think there should be a rule to eliminate some of the useless greetings.¬† Maybe if you see a person three or more times, then its acceptable to introduce yourself, because odds are you’re going to see them a fourth or fifth time.

Anyway, that wasn’t really the point of this post.

What I was getting to was the follow-up question everyone asks me, “Oh, art history, huh?¬† Why that?”

And it is almost ALWAYS phrased like that.¬† Or they exclaim, “Oh!¬† I have a second-cousin who’s majoring in that?¬† He goes to school in Oregon.¬† Do you know him?”

Yes, because all of us in art history departments around the world meet semi-annually to meet new members, like I’m sure all you engineering and medical science majors do.

I got so sick of answering that question that when one person asked me, I answered, “I lost a bet.”¬† He looked a little taken aback and questioned me on whether or not I was kidding, and I assured him that I wasn’t.

That got him to stop asking.

But now, I will explain to you, to put this question to rest, why I am an Art History major.

Firstly, not that this was my intended goal here, but my Renaissance Art professor, who is this 30-year-old guy coated in tattoos who has a near antithetical appreciation for beauty, told us that art history was one of the highest paying majors.  Mainly because art dealers are jerks.

My real fascination with this field though, comes from people.

I am on a constant quest to prove to myself that I am not alone, and one of the ways I have encountered is to study history.

History connects us with the human experience and demonstrates that people coped with the same circumstances and emotions thousands of years ago, and I want to understand how they got through it.

But, one of my favorite things, which is what brought me to art, is object history.

When I was about ten, my dad bought me this little clay Hohokam (a Native American tribe in the Southwest) bowl.¬† I watched him pull it out of the bubble-wrap and I jumped excitedly with chatter of “what is it? what is it?”

He sat me down, told me to be careful, and placed it in my hands.  Near my thumb, was a small imprint.  I looked closer, and found a fingerprint.  I was astonished.  Someone, years ago, had held this nearly the same way I was.

I wondered who he or she was, and what they used it for.¬† I didn’t even know who this person was, but I felt we were connected, by our relation to this one small object.¬† Even though we must’ve both related to it in different ways.

Just recently I’ve had a re-visitation of this feeling.

I was actually feeling a little disheartened about my degree as I walked toward the Art History offices, which are located in the Doe Library.  I was concerned about whether I had been taking the right classes and meeting expectations.  As I walked up to the front entrance I noticed years of wear had worn the steps of the staircase down.  The middle sagged under the wight of thousands of students, traveling up and down them, for the past century.

It was as if the stairs were sinking because of the weight of history.

There was the connection again.  The feeling that I was part of the human experience, and connected to thousands of people, whom I may never know, by our use of the same tool.

That is why I study art history.

Recap of Round One

As I await break’s inevitable end… I decided to reflect on the things I have learned this past semester.

1. How to do laundry. Without even dying or severely damaging any clothes…

2. I’m not as smart as I thought I was. Berkeley has severely humbled me…especially all those damn engineers with their physics jokes…

I saw the word “quantum” while I was studying for Astro, yelled “NOPE,” slammed the book shut, and proceeded to not study for that class ever again.

And I passed by 1%.

3. It is absolutely possible to feel alone in a crowded room. Even if not everyone is a complete stranger.

4. The real world doesn’t care about my circumstances, how special my parents think you are, or how well I did in high school. It only likes me if it thinks it can make a profit on keeping me around.

5. Morals are incredibly expensive. Some quote I read somewhere said “Every time you buy something you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Or something along those lines.

Absolutely not true.

I don’t have money to buy all organic food, make sure all my clothes were not made in sweatshops, and only buy free trade coffee. Also the time and circumstances needed to know good from bad are incredible.

6. It’s not failing if we all do it together. Blessed be the curve.

7. It is only about 50% possible to run from my problems. Most of mine followed me up the coast.

8. If you hang around some people long enough…they’re going to start to trust me. And when they start to trust me, they start to talk. And when they start to talk I won’t want to miss it.

Because it always reminds me that I am never alone.

9. It is possible to be friends with people that are completely different.

A quote from the Desiderata poem: “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.”

10. Adventures are everywhere, I just have to be willing to look.

So I just need to get off the internet and be brave.

11. The world is full of amazing people. There are brilliant people and talented people and beautiful people. And most people will try to understand.

12. It gets better. It always gets better.

Just when I think it won’t, someone lifts me up, I discover something new, or find a way to cope.

If things are bad it is ALWAYS just a phase.

13. And I will always remember:

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Augustus Shedd

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John Augustus Shedd