After 3 months of studying and preparing, I finally took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) a few weeks ago. I am so relieved it’s finally over. I feel like I have my life back. I’ve never been so stressed over anything before, probably because this stress was stretched out over a 3 month period. I had random meltdowns where I couldn’t control my tears or emotions. Even the smallest things like disputes between friends or misplacing my headphones would greatly affect me because all the stress was too much for me to handle.
It’s hard not to stress over a test that can have a huge impact on your life like getting into a school of your choosing. But looking back these past 3 months, it really felt like I wasn’t living. I was miserable hiding my anxiety behind a fake smile. My stress and anxiety levels were probably the highest they’ve ever been. When I’d try to relax and take a break, I wasn’t fully relaxed because the test was still there in the back of my mind, haunting me. I put my passion for music and making covers on hold because I was afraid of the guilt I would feel from not studying and investing my time in something else.
If I could change something about the way I approached studying, it would be to constantly remind myself that it’s just one test. No matter the results, it’s not the end of the world. This one test does not define who I am or the person I will become. I’m so much better than this test and the number score given to me. I wish I could go back in time and take back control over these past 3 months. This ride wasn’t worth all the unnecessary tears, anxiety, and stress. I regret studying and approaching the GRE in this way. It wasn’t healthy for me and it made me extremely unhappy. So my advice to anyone reading this is to remember that your happiness and mental health is more important than any test score and that you are not alone. We’ve all gone through the stress of taking exams before. But tests do not define you or your intelligence. If you do poorly, it’s not the end of the world. Learn from the mistakes you made and approach the situation differently next time. Move forward with optimism and confidence and DO NOT let stress and anxiety take over your life. You’d be surprised with how much stressing out can hold you back from achieve great things, maybe even a great score. When you let fear, stress, and self-doubt take over you, you’re holding yourself back from reaching your full potential. Power over the stress and fear because you are better than that. You are better than numbers and letters given to you on a piece of paper.
I’ve been feeling low about my physique lately because I’m not where I used to be. Not to mention the added stress and anxiety from the small but irritating health issues that have been randomly popping up for me this year. But then a friend helped me realize that you don’t look the same year round. Your body is constantly changing and changes throughout the year. It’s almost impossible for the average person to look the same year round. I was extremely motivated before summer to look my best for the beach and pool parties! During summer I was out and about eating and drinking all the delicious summer foods while vacationing and taking advantage of the good weather. Now that summer’s come to and end, I’ve noticed I’ve lost my tone and gained a little more fat in a few areas. BUT THAT’S OKAY. IT HAPPENS. Most of us are not body builders or bikini competitors who track their macros year round! Your body changes like the seasons and sometimes changes alongside the seasons!! I thank my friend for helping me realize this.
Aside from the obvious factors that contribute to your body changing like physical activity and diet, there are other reasons your body changes that people tend to forget. I’ve listed a couple or them below.
- Hormone Fluctuations
- Stress & Anxiety
- Weather & Environment
- Vacations & Studying Abroad
So if you find yourself wishing that you look and feel like a time in the past.. don’t sweat and don’t be so hard on yourself! You most definitely can get back there if you stay focused and work hard! The important thing is to stay happy and view everything in an optimistic light. If you were there before, you can get there again. Having something to work towards is exciting!
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Today I completed a killer 5 circuit workout when normally I only do 4 circuits! Half way through I felt like throwing up, but I kept pushing because I was so motivated to finish! I definitely don’t recommend doing workouts so intense they make you feel like or actually throw up, but I was so into this one I had to finish!
Circuit 1: Treadmill
Incline / Speed / Minutes
15 / 3.0 / 2
15 / 5.0 / 1
12 / 3.0 / 2
12 / 5.0 / 1
0 / 2.8 / 2
Circuit 2: Legs & Abs (7 minutes nonstop)
Squat and Press w/ 8lbs (x12)
Leg Lifts (x20)
Knee Up with Lounges (x12 each leg)
Bicycle Crunches (x40)
1 Minute Rest
Circuit 3: Arms & Abs (7 minutes nonstop)
Push ups (x12)
X Crunches (x30 total)
Tricep Dips (x12)
Regular Crunches (x40)
1 Minute Rest
Circuit 4: Legs & Abs (7 minutes nonstop)
Cross Over Steps w/ Stepping Stool (x40 total)
Heel Touches (x40)
Jump Squats (x20)
Russian Twists w/ 8 lbs (x40)
Step Ups w/ 6lbs each hand (x12 each leg)
1 Minute Rest
Circuit 5: Arms & Shoulders (7 minutes nonstop)
Overhead Tricep Extension w/ 6lbs (x12)
Jumping Jacks (x50)
Bicep Curls w/ 5lbs (x12 each arm)
Shoulder Press w/ 5lb Dumbbells (x10)
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Diet is probably around 80-90% of weight loss and staying fit. For me, my diet has been the toughest part of staying fit and is probably why I haven’t yet reached my goals. Especially when I work 9am to 5pm in an office full of unhealthy snacks! But no worries! There’s always room for improvement! Everyday I try to pack healthy snacks to help resist going into the snack cupboards at work when I’m hungry. It try to keep it different every day with fruits, veggies, and nuts! Here’s a picture of my healthy snack today! Also, don’t forget to follow me on my fitness instagram!