My Week at Uni – Ups and Downs

After a very enjoyable, jam-packed weekend, I felt pretty low Tuesday morning. Although it was great to have the break over the long weekend, I just felt even more behind and out of whack with my uni work and business work. I went in to uni for a lecture which was somewhat useful and a lab which I was excited for. The lab was even better than expected, I was able to try out the equipment used for testing a person’s VO2max, this is the maximum volume of O2 one can take in during exercise. The higher the amount, the greater the cardiovascular fitness and endurance capacity during exercise. This can be trained and is something athletes often focus on. The lab involved wearing a heart rate monitor, a face mask to collect gas expired and running on a treadmill at increasing speeds until exhaustion. Maybe for some this doesn’t sound like fun but for me it was awesome. Nothing like running until you can’t run anymore to get you out of a funk, out of your head and into the moment. I was also amazed at my results. It was quite nice to find out my cardiovascular fitness was so good.

Having said this, I did notice something else… having been doing so many labs lately and needing to be measured constantly (weight, waist and hips, body fat %, etc) I noticed that my weight had decreased by nearly 1kg since the previous lab 2 weeks ago. My weight often fluctuates during different phases of my cycle and different times of the day. I caught myself thinking ‘oh yay, I’ve lost a bit of fat’. I realised I’ve been tracking my weight subconsciously since doing more frequent labs this year and I know from past experience this isn’t a good road to go down. I had a toxic relationship with scales in the past and we parted ways, without realising they’ve gradually made their way back into my life and it’s something I’m glad I’ve noticed; something I need to keep an eye on!

I stayed home for Thursday’s lectures as I could watch the recordings from home and the 4 hours of lectures + 2 hours of commuting was reduced down to 1.5 hours in total listening to the recordings on a quicker speed and skipping breaks! So silly to think how much time would have been wasted if I had travelled in! So I used that time instead to get a start on my assignment that’s due next. I’ve got 3 different assignments currently on my plate along with general uni readings each week. I’ve also got so much planned that I want to do with my business but just lacking the time to get them going.

Uni has to be the priority and it will be for the next year and a half still but it’s just a little frustrating sometimes.

I’ve ended the week poorly; my wonderful boyfriend has shared his cold and now I’m ill. I’m not good at being ill so fingers crossed this passes quickly.

Personal learning this week: There is a difference between a need and a want.

Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:

  • Sweeteners are not always healthier than sugar – Whilst low calorie sweeteners, like Stevia, can be a good alternative to sugar this is not always the case. Low calorie sweeteners are low calorie, sometimes no calories and they are low GI (have a lower impact on blood sugar following consumption). However, as they do not promote the release of insulin the body doesn’t get the same satiety signals it gets from glucose. This means you don’t feel full, this can mean you consume more.
  • Plant foods contain all essential amino acids but – not at optimum quantity and distribution. This is why few plant foods are labelled complete proteins. For those interested complete protein sources are: quinoa, buckwheat and soy (tofu, tempeh, edamame beans, soy curls or chunks, soy milk). Chia seeds and hemp seeds are very nearly complete but they’re a little lacking in lysine good news is that beans and legumes are high in lysine. The easiest way to eat what your body needs on a plant-based diet is to eat whole foods (not processed) and eat a variety… and take a Vitamin B12 supplement!
  • Best way to help the planet…have less children – A study by Lund University identified the top ways to reduced your impact on the planet: Have one fewer children – 58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions saved per year. Living car free – 2.4 tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions saved per year. Avoiding plane travel – 1.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions saved per year. Eating a plant-based diet – 0.8 tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions saved per year. It may not be possible to do all of these but as many as you can, everything helps, it all adds up. (Read the article here: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541/pdf)

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