Monday, 28 December 2015

Resolutions and Diet

I don't do new years resolutions. Waste of time because nobody in their right mind sticks to them. I do have hopes and plans for the new year though.
One of those plans is to try and tailor a diet that suits my own personal needs. I won't say I'm going to go completely paleo because I know nutritionists and dieticians will go all "Rosanna Davison" on me because paleo is the "latest fad diet". Personally, having trialled it for a while a year ago, I can see the benefits to my energy levels, my body shape and muscle tone and even my sex drive. But there are drawbacks. Especially with high fodmaps in things like onions, avocados, cashews and cabbage and certain other fruit and vegetables. There are also highly acidic foods like tomatoes and red bell peppers. I am sensitive to fodmaps and my own research into diet has suggested that an unbalanced body ph on the acidic side can draw calcium from bones and I was vitamin D deficient in 2014, the very vitamin that helps bones take in calcium. So that is why I won't stick to a specific type of diet. Just tailored food intake to suit my needs. It will take inspiration from paleo however because it consists of very natural food that is easy for the body to draw nutrition from.
The goal of the diet is to gain (yes gain) weight and stay above 70kg if not 72 or 73. Hopefully increasing my energy levels and helping me get to a reasonable fitness level. I want to try and stretch muscles and joints to be more flexible as well. Fitness is the other plan to try and work on for 2016.
But it all comes down to sorting out my finances first. If I can move to a flat closer to the college and where I'm entitled to rent and fuel allowance on top of my back to education allowance it would be a major boost to being a healthier and fitter me in 2016. So that's what I want to make happen. Sort out my financial situation so I can tailor a diet that increases me to a healthier weight, maintain a certain weight range and increase my energy levels to where I can get fit and still have time and energy for college studies.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Further College Stuff

Well, the Christmas exams in college were a disaster. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I wasn't ready for them anyway. It got me thinking. As well as suggesting to lecturers to find a way of teaching that helps necessary information to sink in, maybe I need to study in a way that's going to be less off-putting and more motivating. One possible idea is blogging the basics of what was covered in each subject each day. But maybe I would be better off setting up a new specific blog for that. But that's one way I could integrate something I'm somewhat enthusiastic about (blogging) into my studies and making the learning process less tedious. I'll think about it a while longer in the hope other ideas at least as good develop.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

College So Far

This might turn into a bit of a rant but maybe not - we'll see how it goes.
I chose Limerick IT over Tralee IT mostly because I was getting straight into second year and wanted to be qualified quicker, but also because my landlord in Tralee was pressuring me to pay those horribly corrupt and anti-human rights water charges that are against my principals. I started looking for a place to live in Limerick in July. When I found a place it was far away from the college and I couldn't move in until the day I was due to start. So I had no time to settle in and get my bearings before starting college. So I was unsettled and distracted starting college. I don't qualify for rent allowance or fuel allowance either because the other tenant in the apartment is in employment, which is stupid because he's not related to me and we're not dependent on each other.
Next thing I had to let the social welfare know of my change of address. I also needed a letter from the college confirming my attendance for the social welfare to continue my back to education allowance. These delays meant my allowance was cut off so my rent was late leading so more unsettling distractions. I ended up missing a maths test because of having to go to the social welfare to sort things out. Luckily that test is only a very small percentage of my overall mark for the year.
Then I saw how much weight I had lost when I was weighed at the coeliac clinic confirming that I wasn't eating enough because of a limited budget. No wonder I was so drained every evening, but with so much on my mind it was very difficult to get to sleep or get back to sleep if I woke up during the night. I neither had the energy nor motivation for study beyond classes.
They didn't tell us that we would need to buy equipment for a couple of subjects at the start of the course. This meant that I fell behind in a couple of practicals. Indeed one of them I'm still behind because of the only faulty cheap equipment I could afford not working properly anymore.
On top of all that my mobile phone was cut off.
The money issue will be sorted if I can get a place of my own where the landlord takes rent allowance. But the other issue is more difficult to sort out. That is the teaching methods. They are unlikely to change years of proven methods for a single student. I'm not an academic person. I'm more suited to the FÁS/SOLAS model of learning by doing. Even if I study enough there is always a chance I freeze in a test if it is not how I expected it to be. Also in the college we only have one 2-hour practical per week for each subject. At least two of those have limited, basic equipment and in a lot of cases we have to share equipment so we don't get the full 2 hours by ourselves to practice when that is what's needed. Sometimes sharing with the right person can be helpful though. So not being academic and little scope for putting theory into practice means learning is difficult when it comes to my own personal needs. I'm not the type of person who can sit down and study college notes every evening even if I had the time. I have to love, or at least like, what I'm doing to immerse myself enough to put the hours in. The teaching methods for certain subjects put me off studying because I don't get to the stage where the info I need clicks into place. When that click happens I can get into a routine of knowing how to do things and thriving. Putting things into simple layman's terms using analogies and tips and tricks for remembering methods and procedures are what clicks things into place outside of helping me work out physical methods for practical applications. But I'm being bombarded with heaps of off-putting, discouraging notes in college.
So my lack of enthusiasm has lead to a lack of study and possibly failing exams I would easily pass if they had a better way of teaching to hold my interest and increase my enthusiasm. I would be good at assignments as well if I could get them all done in class times. When I go home from college I want to relax and wind down after a long day. But having to trek long journeys to the nearest shop for groceries and having to take the time to cook proper meals because most of the quick and easy food contains gluten is another thing that means it's sometimes as late as 9pm before I get to really sit down and relax. Sometimes later if I have to stay and use the facilities on a day that classes finish at 6pm. Not to mention that I have to walk from one side of the city to the other to get to and from college on days I can't afford public transport.
So I could have thrived on this course because I have the intelligence level for it. But it's the external forces preventing my personal needs from being accommodated that are the problem.