Healthy Eating Habits

Throughout the past several years, it has become blatantly obvious to myself that I needed to change my eating habits, as my current habits were resulting in digestive problems. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school, that I began to understand how lactose and gluten were affecting my health. Each day, I would go to school with stomach aches from eating literally anything and initially, I thought this was due to my anxiety. As I continuously tried different foods and eating habits in a public environment, I would altogether stop eating in front of people because I knew it would end up in having a stomach ache. After my older sister, Nina, found herself allergic to gluten and dairy, I found the symptoms matched exactly with how I was feeling. This is when I began an entirely new journey, as far as my eating habits.

As I began cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet, I immediately saw results that were positively benefiting my health. I began to realize how important it was to eat properly, according to my body’s functioning. At this time, I also began working out and incorporating the proper amount of meals in each day. I made it a habit to eat breakfast each morning and this drastically changed my energy level throughout the day, making me more alert and enthusiastic towards any task. I also began to love my body, as my body image had been distorted throughout my negative digestion. I made it a priority to drink the right amount of liquids each day, as well as eating balanced meals that benefited my digestive system.

Furthermore, it can be incredibly difficult to keep a balanced diet, especially with a hectic schedule and trust me, I know this from experience. However, the more I began to motivate my mind in eating healthier, it not only benefited my physical health but also my state of being. Along with other healthy habits outside of eating, I became more optimistic and enthusiastic towards my outlook on life. Reason being, I slowly began incorporating positive changes to my health and though it took a while, it has come to prove how beneficial small changes can make and how it leads to a self-motivated attitude.

Changing one’s diet from a seemingly negative one to a positive one, does require a lot of self -discipline and does become tiresome. It is incredibly important to understand that many people strive to better themselves but there is a lack of self-confidence in which, brings a less motivated attitude. Self-discipline is a long process that slowly builds from small choices such as, eating a piece of fruit as a snack as opposed to a bag of chips. Humans are not exempt from obstacles and there will likely be setbacks in a journey to a better diet, this is what allows us to grow and push ourselves that extra mile, which in the end, presents positive changes.

Lolita

By Vladimir Nabokov

Summary:

This story is based around the disturbing abduction of a young girl. The main character- Humbert, moves into a home with a middle-aged, single mother with her twelve year old daughter. Humbert finds a pediophilic attraction towards ‘Lolita,’ and since this novel is written from Humberts perspective, he frequently refers to her as a nymphet whom he is sexually, obsessed with. Seeing this book is written from Humberts perspective, it becomes much more controversial, as it is hard to understand the perspective of other characters while they play a role in his obsession with his Lolita.

My Opinion:

This was easily my favorite book out of all of the ones I have read so far. This novel is a great example of how the audience may not be able to trust the narrator. From Humbert’s standpoint, he easily twists the confrontations between him and Lolita to allow beneficial beliefs on his part. His tone is one that suggests he is not fully responsible for the scenarios that occur between him and Lolita. He pushes his focus towards Lolita’s attitude and creates her character to seem more submissive than what is blatantly controversial to her role as a twelve year old.

The story is written in a sophisticated style, making it more difficult to stay focused on the perspective of the young girl. Once the style of writing is understood more clearly, it becomes apparent to the audience that Humbert is writing in a way that benefits his character. Obviously, a twelve year old girl is not going to be as openly submissive as Humbert tries to persuade the audience to believe.

It is rather obvious that Humbert is aware of his disturbing, pediophilic tendencies but he is obsessively, infatuated with Lolita. This making it even more difficult for him to push his pediophilic tendencies aside. It becomes clear to the audience that Humbert is truly, in love with Lolita. However, the presentation of this disturbing love, makes it apparent that it will not prosper spiritually or physically, as Lolita begins to mature.

Rating:

10/10

The Foutainhead

By Ayn Rand

Summary:

This book is, essentially, the story of an architect whose work receives attention from society, but not in the way one might typically wish. This architect has such a motivated drive towards his future that the negative reviews of his unique work, do not phase him. Very few understand his motive in building and though he has many negative reviews, he continues to persevere.

The few that do understand his motive in building, are the ones in which he holds closer to his heart. His work ethic that shows determination, may leave him with close to nothing. But even this, could not extinguish his passion towards the uncertainty of life.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed reading this book because, the author incorporated a complex theme with a modern day storyline. Although, this book is rather long and includes deep understanding of metaphoric outlooks, it is truly a novel worth raving about, based on its theme and complex ideas. The main character, Roark, seems to show no emotion towards certain situations, in which, he may be receiving criticism. Whether this criticism is positive or negative in the eyes of the beholder, Roark simply pushes aside any criticism that goes against his own ethics and outlook on life. This is because, he genuinely does not care about the opinion of others.

Many people try discouraging Roark, as he designs intricate and complex buildings that do not please the eyes of society. Roark simply builds because it is what he loves to do, not because he could potentially make profit from it. Few believe and trust in his endeavors, but those that do are thoroughly, and surprisingly satisfied.

Rating:

7/10

Meditation

Meditation is a practice that takes time, it is a true test of your patience and self-discipline. I have been meditating, twenty to thirty minutes everyday for the past few months. In this practice, it has been the most influential few months of my life. I have devoted time each day to simply let go of whatever I am holding onto and allow myself to be in the moment. I will admit, I struggled when I initially began practicing meditation, as it was hard to see thoughts as just that, and nothing more.

There are many forms of practicing meditation, in regards to how it is observed and learned. Personally, I began meditating through the app, Calm. I highly recommend this app, as it is a incredibly, thorough start for beginners. When I began using this app, I began going through a couple weeks worth of different series, focusing on different aspects of myself through meditation. Each session, incorporated a different theme than the last, specifically to narrow in on a certain aspect of an individual’s’ life, in which, they may be struggling. However, some sessions were less guided for those who have been practicing self-discipline, either through meditation or other factors in their life.

As I began practicing more regularly, I observed several aspects of myself that had matured or softened. I noticed a positive change in my mood and invited an energetic state of mind to my life. Meditating, has become one of my only sources of relief when I am mentally/physically exhausted, or when I feel emotionally distraught. It has become an outlet for all of my emotions. This is an aspect of my life that had been much needed, as I had consistently struggled with anxiety and expressing myself, specifically towards my parents. The practice of meditation, tested my ability to tune in to the moment I was currently in. Though it was challenging at first, I shortly found aspects of my life that had been extremely, benefited from this practice.

My Childhood

Anna Lee

While growing up with five other siblings and each their own mental battles, my home was never seen as a peaceful place, at least from the eyes of witnesses. As my siblings and I are incredibly close, this was truly the only motivation in which we all took hold of to ignore the chaos in our own home. We found comfort in each other as each day was a different conflict between my parents or my parents and my siblings. There was never an outlet in our home, in which we could confide our thoughts (other than each other) without being belittled or manipulated

When I was around the age of about three, my family moved from Crofton, Maryland to Jacobus, Pennsylvania. In this house, is where some of the most traumatic events of my life occurred. The negative energy that consumed my family was spread throughout the house and my siblings and I have all agreed about the idea, in which we would feel a sensation, such as a weight on our chest when entering our own home. This negative energy was, for the most part, brought upon by my own mother.

From the time I was in kindergarten to about fifth grade, I was either being homeschooled or I was placed in a private Seventh Day Adventist school because, at the time, my mom was extremely invested towards becoming the ‘model Christian.’ However, this was simply a phase in her parenting methods towards raising her own kids. As I was growing up, the dynamics relating to discipline and guidelines in our home were constantly changing due to the fact that my mother was consistently changing her mindset. Due to the constant changes in my childhood, it became extremely controversial in my own upcoming as I did not know how to socialize ‘normally’ because my mom was so devoted to herself that she neglected to consider her childrens pursuits, self-esteem, and future endeavors.

When I was finally placed in public school in sixth grade, I began to see my mother in a new light. In this, I mean that I began to understand more clearly my mothers intentions but as to why she was doing them, was a question I would neglect to discover until my high school years. It was during the time I was placed in public school that I drifted further from my mother as I was able to see more clearly, from comparing my parents with my friends’ parents, that I was not being treated in the way a child should be. It became glaringly, evident that most of my mothers intentions were strictly for herself and if we were to interfere with this idea or even so much as show self-pity, we were belittled.

I can say, honestly, that my mother was the one to have made me question my own self-worth. This woman, who is supposed to care and love for me regardless, did not know the first step and in a sense, she was moving backwards. She constantly belittled me and blamed myself and my siblings for anything regarding her negative feelings. There was never a thought that maybe, she WAS to blame for this emotional torture. I found myself constantly arguing with myself and consumed in anxiety over the idea that I thought there was something wrong with me. I had so many issues with my self-esteem, my mental space, and my ability to stay civil with my own mother.

My childhood seems more and more devastating as I go back through my memories, and recall many of the times in which I was emotionally abused. My mother would strive to see me fall apart and it is overwhelming, to say that she was a huge factor in my anxiety/panic attacks. Anything, in regards to my personal well being, were simply pushed aside unless I urged my parents to go further with them as I was physically and mentally distraught. These memories from my past are what has built me into the person I am today and as much as I would like to explain this ordeal in a simple page, it will take many entries on this page in order for my audience to get a full perspective on exactly the kind of emotional abuse I was exposed to as a child/teenager.

A huge reason I created this blog, was so that I could share my childhood experience from my full perspective, as I cannot easily explain it through one conversation. My childhood/family background is one of the most interesting topics for me to talk about it because it truly is, insane. I am not looking for any kind of attention as this is simply an outlet for my thoughts and a chance to explain myself without outside influences disrupting me. THIS is how I became who I am.

An Invisible Thread

By Alex Tresniowski & Laura Schroff

Summary:

This is a truly moving story about a woman living in New York who comes across a young panhandler on the street. There are obviously many panhandler’s throughout New York, but there was something about this particular boy that compelled Laura to put her love and energy into the young soul of a boy trying to make money for his distraught family.

His name is Alex, and though it may seem as if he knows no kindness or manners, there is something insightful and compelling about his troubled mind. He opens his mind and heart to Laura, allowing them to grow a lifelong friendship despite their age difference and comparibly different living circumstances.

My Opinion:

I absolutely loved this book because it was an amazing example of being humble, which goes hand-in-hand with the idea of being kind. Laura could have easily walked away from Alex that day but she opened her heart and shared compassion to no end.

I like to believe the theme of this story is the idea in which the metaphorical length to which kindness can reach and how much it may impact a certain individual, such as a young panhandler on the city streets of New York City. Many people in modern society, have seemingly taken kindness for granted as well as underestimating how much it may emotionally/spiritually benefit someone’s mindset, whether it be just the length of that day or the length of many.

Rating:

10/10

Exercising

Self-care is extremely important, specifically when you’re internally struggling with something. Throughout most of my middle and high school career, I struggled with the idea of self-care because I was too consumed in the conflicts I was experiencing at home as well as, feeling depressed and anxious frequently. It wasn’t until towards the end of my junior year in high school, that I started realizing how important it is to take care of yourself. It was at that time, I also began realizing my self-worth which is something that I had always struggled with.

Although, the process of self-care and the internal goal of wanting to physically do better as well as mentally, it is an extremely tiring and ongoing process. The first obstacle I reached in trying to better myself, was the commitment to exercise regularly. I had gotten a membership with my sister to a gym which we would strive to go to 3-5 times a week. However, during this process, I found myself lacking motivation some days and would end up staying home then later, become angry with myself. It took a lot of self-motivation to understand I needed to exercise regularly, and eventually I gained a rhythm in which I enjoyed going to the gym as well as going frequently during the week.

As it became an easier process in going to the gym, I also found myself outdoors, taking walks rather often. I fell in love with the idea of being outside and on the days I did not go to the gym, I went on a relatively easy walk/hike. I began to see positive differences in my mood as I exercised on a daily basis. I felt more energized after working out as it boosted my drive to do well throughout the day.

As simple as exercise may seem, it is an extremely important factor in our well-being. It becomes difficult to motivate yourself but it does make a difference to consistently feed yourself positive thoughts and I have also found that it helps to notice the differences that it makes in your life. Exercising is extremely underestimated in our society, yet it is one of the key factors to a healthy mind and body. The benefits are far more worth it than deciding to stay home. It is okay to start out simple. For example, to start, go through a walk throughout your neighborhood and in the following days, make a particular goal for yourself.

It is specifically difficult to ignore comparing ourselves to others, especially when going to a public gym. However, it is also comforting to understand that the other individuals there, are there for the same reasons as you and I- they want to better themselves. If we focus on this aspect of exercising in public, we find ourselves less judgemental towards others.

All The Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven

Summary:

This story is ultimately, a tragic love story. Finch is a fairly mentally distraught high school kid who does not necessarily understand the idea of “self-care.” He does not know how to express his innermost feelings as well as ask from help, as far as mental health. Violet is also a mentally distraught high school kid, ultimately from the idea that her parents are putting so much pressure on her to get over the death of her older sister. Finch and Violet meet at an extremely unordinary place and the circumstances are rather different than most, as far as a typical societal stance. As their relationship grows, Finch finds it harder to control his mental battles. Violet is unaware and begins to understand when Finch draws himself from her with no explanation.

My Opinion:

I personally really enjoyed this novel for a few different reasons. The most important being that, this story shows that not every story has a happy ending. I particularly like the idea that the author created the two main characters as people struggling from poor mental health. The only difference is how they acquired poor mental health. The author created Finch in such a unique way that the audience begins to see him as a ‘freak’ but edgy and attractive as well. I love that the two main characters come from completely different backgrounds.

One thing I would critique, is the flow of the story. Although, there is suspense in the back and forth manner between Violet and Finch each chapter, the lack of explanation towards some details, leaves the audience confused yet compelled.

Rating:

9/10

A Bit About Myself

These are all of my thoughts that have only ever been written in a private journal. My thoughts are overwhelmingly in-depth and based around the central idea of keeping an open mind as well as a peaceful heart. I strive to learn more about myself and others each day, during this process I create a comfortable atmosphere for my self-esteem and work ethic.