Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grad Student Eating Habits (summer vs semester)

I find that different times of the year bring about vastly different health choices, at least for me. This change was exceptionally noticeable between last summer and this past fall, as I was on an internship during the summer. Unlike most internships, I was not paid any more than during the regular school year, so money was not the main issue. However, I somehow worked out more, ate more fruit, cooked more at home, ate leftovers or "real" food for lunch, watched less TV, surfed less Internet, and saw more daylight.

Many of these changes are probably due to having more time in the evenings (although of course I had research to do during many of them), such as cooking enough dinner to eat for a lunch or two as well, and finding time for tennis in the evenings. I saw more daylight because my desk was actually in a room with a window (amazing!), and because daylight lasted at least until 9PM. I surfed less Internet and watched less TV because I spent more time on the phone with people who were not there, I read a few books (including the entire Harry Potter series....again), and I had to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Of course once I returned to grad school, I started eating instant lunch food again, sitting in front of the TV with dinner, not exercising as frequently, and sitting in a windowless room. I think somehow grad school just drains the will to put effort into this sort of thing.

I have been better this spring semester though. I'm on an intramural volleyball team (last summer was my first game of volleyball in about a decade!), I have weights and exercises to do at home, and I plan to bike into school once it warms up more. I've been better about eating fruit for snack instead of junk food as well! It seems like once you resign yourself to putting the little extra time here and there to keeping healthy, it's not really so hard. It's still hard for me to convince myself to exercise for the sake of it, but soon I'll have softball as well as tennis, so it should be a great summer again. Even without the internship definition of a work day!

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