Friday, June 8, 2012

Adjustments and Realizations

Today was the last day of the conference. I have to say, it was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The quality and variety of presentations was terrific. I feel truly honored that they invited me to be a part of such an event. Being at events like these - as well as being away from my regular routine - often gives me a chance to reflect on a lot of things.

I feel like traveling, whether it is purely for fun, for work, or for a bit of both, can test us in many ways. In terms of health and fitness, I think it challenges our discipline. The tendency is to indulge a little and eat things you don't normally eat and not exercise in the way you normally exercise (or not exercise at all). For the past year I've definitely tried to be more conscious of my habits. I'm glad to say I don't feel the need to indulge the way I used to, but that is not to say I don't indulge at all. I do, but it's not in the way or extent that I used to before.

I also try to set myself guidelines for what I eat. I haven't done too well on this trip. It's the cheese that's got me. I don't want the cheese, but it seems to be in everything. It has been tough. I'm trying instead to focus on portion sizes so when the order of enchiladas comes and there are 4 on the plate, I only eat half. It's the best I can do.

On the exercise front it has also been tough. I didn't pack my gym clothes for the trip because I knew I'd be busy with the conference and there isn't a gym at the hotel. The one thing that has helped me out to some extent is that it is HILLY here. Not rolling hills -- steep hills!! It's not a lot of exercise, but I know that walking up and down hills and stairs has helped me get in a bit of activity. If I see the same weight as when I left Kuwait, I'll be happy. I know I haven't been gone long, but factors such as travel, jet lag, and general stress as well as all the other changes do have an impact. We'll see.

Something else that I've been thinking about is my general weight loss goals and reminding myself of why they're important to me. It is so easy to get frustrated because it is a long, difficult process ... and results take a long time to show. Still, there are so many factors that remind me of how badly I want to lose weight. Of course I am very eager to live a healthy lifestyle but looking good and feeling good about my body image are very important too!

As a teacher who has to stand in front of a group of students and command respect, get people to listen to you - and learn - display confidence, etc. on a daily basis, you need to be confident in yourself. It's definitely not easy to do that when you don't feel confident in yourself. Some days I just push through, other days I feel ok, and on the worst days I absolutely dread it and feel uncomfortable. I'm glad those days rarely occur, but it is something that I fear. I have the same kind of apprehension when I give presentations at conferences. Actually it's even more intimidating because you're standing in front of experts in your field and you have to show that you belong. You have to be ready to answer questions about your research. It's tough to do when you're feeling self-conscious.

It's these feelings that I hold on to in order to remind myself of why I'm doing this. I love teaching and presenting (despite the nerves). I owe it to myself to be the best possible version of me when I'm up there in front of an audience. The last thing I want to feel up on that stage is self-doubt. I want to know that I did everything possible up to that point in time to deserve to feel confident. It's not easy, but I keep trying. It's always important to keep trying.


  1. You know, the more you practice standing up in front of people, having faith in yourself, and fighting the fight, the easier it will become. You can do it!
    Looks like you have been doing well on exercise too, way to go.

  2. Traveling does present challenges but you are handling things very nicely. I admire people who can get up in front of others and speak. It is something I hate and am not good at either.

  3. "you're standing in front of experts in your field and you have to show that you belong". uggh! I can understand your pain. I don't think it's something you ever can get fully over either. Unless, you become the leading expert in the field, or something... But, at least that fear drives you to be as prepared as you can be! (I hope!) :P

    Sounds like you're doing well with your food choices. Travel has got to be the worst thing for a diet! For some reason, focus goes right out the window. Good for you, for keeping some perspective!

  4. Do you have a PDF of it on the internet? I'd *love!* to read your dissertation. And I love how brave you are!!!! Only in the past few years have I actually wanted to speak to others. I used to just cringe when people asked me to present anything. Now, I feel I have something to say. You know what I mean. :D

    :-) Marion

  5. Self confidence is such a huge issue. Even though I'm now comfortable with how I look, I still have big periods of self doubt - I worry my superiors lack confidence in my abilities, I question my own abilities. I think it happens to us all.

    You've done well on your trip - it's hard to control our food when travelling, you're doing the best you can!


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