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Ultimate Coffee Date – August

Hey everyone! The last (and only) one I did was back in May; I had to miss the last two coffee dates due to boards studying, but…I passed, so it was all worth it!

Coffee is rampant everywhere I go. (Luckily, hospitals/clinics/pretty much every place we go to understands that we’re all chronically sleep-deprived individuals.) I actually haven’t had any yet, but I’ve only just finished my first week of clinical rotations, so there’s definitely still time!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d just like to say that I really, really love being out in the real world and getting to interact with living human beings once more. It’s a wonderful feeling, especially after the last 2 years of somewhat-solitude from my various study hibernations. That is not to say that it’s no longer an uphill battle anymore. Life in terms of constant-book-studying is over…in a way. In its place is learning “on the job.” This is good news to me because I’m very much a kinesthetic learner; I retain information much more easily if it’s something that I can actually do (hence, why the last two years were such a struggle). My preceptor’s really great about explaining things to me, the nurses are super helpful, and the patients are really sweet. They bring in fresh vegetables and home-canned foods for the staff. :] Our break room looks like a cafe, and drug reps come in and feed us 2-3x/week!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, despite how awesome this is, I can’t shake the feeling that I feel like I know nothing. I feel pretty incompetent–there’s so much that I feel like I should know, and I’m sure my being nervous plays into it when my preceptor asks me questions that I don’t answer correctly, even though I definitely know the answers to them. But it’s just the first week, so as long as I continue to improve, mayhaps it’ll be okay!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that even though it’s difficult, I really love this. My preceptor started sending me in to do H&P’s for patients on Wednesday, so I’ve been getting a lot of practice in and learning a lot. Not knowing the answers motivates me to look things up so I’ll never get it wrong again. I’m getting better at asking questions (something I never used to do). Even though I feel like I don’t know anything, her patients seem to really like me, so I’d like to think I’m doing something right. :] Yesterday, one of the ladies told me I would make a great doctor and also told me that I was really pretty, haha.

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that I’m getting really fed up with GoogleMaps. While it’s never failed me in the past, I guess there has to be a first for everything. Whilst trying to get to the hospital, I was led to the middle of two train tracks and it told me I’d arrived. There was a car dealership on the other side of one set of tracks, and a row of very small, fairly run-down houses on the other. (I wish I were kidding about this.) I’m going to a psych clinic in a little over a week, so I figured I’d prevent myself from getting into such a predicament again. (I wasn’t late, but that was not a fun experience.)

After sending me on a narrow and frighteningly pothole-ridden road through a cemetery…

…this is where Google sent me. At a population of 12k, this town is 4x the size of the one I came from. No, Google, I am not about to believe that I’ve arrived at the medical clinic.

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that…I’m famous again! (This is what I meant about #6.) Hooray hooray!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that I’m secretly envious that my preceptor’s wearing jeans/flip flops, and it makes me wonder if that means that I don’t have to dress up every day either. I am notoriously low-maintenance (to a fault). My idea of dressing up is changing out of my yoga pants/sweat pants/shorts to a dark pair of jeans and a t-shirt, so for me to put on dress pants and a nice shirt or button-down each morning is a struggle. There’s only one thing that’s not true on this list, and it’s because I don’t drink beer (or any alcohol, for that matter).

(Seriously, this is my life.)


So there we have it! I hope everyone’s been doing well! Things that I’ve been wondering lately:

  • What’s an absolute dealbreaker for you when you’re choosing your doctor? (Or something you absolutely would not tolerate with an established doctor?)
  • What’s something your doctor has done or said to you that made you feel much more comfortable with them, and that s/he was really just there to do whatever s/he could to help you get better?
  • What’s something you think your doctor could improve upon?

 photo coffeedate_zps1b941bec.jpgThis linkup is hosted by fellow GGS ambassadors–Nikki, Jill & Lynda!

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Fitness Fav on Friday | Inspiration

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of July already. Where did all the time go?! This marks the last of this month’s Fitness Fridays.

This week’s theme is on where (or what) we draw our inspiration from.

My first two years of undergrad were frighteningly unhealthy, mostly because of my course load (let’s just say that I had enough units to graduate by the end of my second year) and the fact that I didn’t know any better. Granted, I’m sure it could’ve been worse. I ate healthily (usually), but in large quantities. (Alright, fine. This really hasn’t changed too much. ._.) I didn’t drink alcohol, but I didn’t exercise very often. My second year was the worst. I was slaving through organic chemistry and very heavily questioning my life choices. A typical day consisted of many, many cups of green tea, Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey granola bars throughout the day (I consumed over 500 that academic year. I am unfortunately not exaggerating.), and some sort of hopefully healthy-ish dinner. To this day, I can’t eat those granola bars anymore because it reminds me of ochem.

If you’ve ever happened upon the “fitness” section of my frighteningly long “About” page (forgive me; I love to write), you’d know that once upon a time, I made the glorious decision to change my major from Biological Sciences to Exercise Biology. It was easily one of the best decisions of my life, and those last two years of undergrad still remain as some of the best times of my life.

I absolutely fell in love with the major, and also had a little more freedom with my schedule, so before I knew it, on top of the Tahitian + hula dancing I was already doing, I was also taking kickboxing classes, abs/back conditioning, archery, tumbling, learning to lift weights, running…I tried it all and loved most of it (I really did try with long-distance running, but my apparent lack of type I muscle fibers just makes weightlifting so much more appealing). One of my most recent pipe dreams would be to be able to compete for WBFF, but given the amount of time and dedication it would take (coupled with the current road I’m taking), I don’t think it’d be a viable option. :[

I love the way lifting weights/exercise makes me feel, and it’s great to set state records and be awesome and all that. I will admit that I draw part of my inspiration from my dreams of badassery…but what matters more to me goes beyond that.

I want to lead by example. My hope is to go into family medicine (possibly sub-specializing in sports medicine) and to really be able to show my patients what I mean when I counsel them on incorporating exercise into their life, or tell them to start or maintain a healthier diet. I’d like to be able to give them concrete examples and tailor it to their individual needs. (I basically did this throughout the last two years, even though all my patients were fake.) I learn best by doing, so the past two years of medical school were really difficult for me. Matters were not helped by the fact that we were the guinea pig class to the new curriculum, but what matters is that we made it through. (I like to refer to our class as the “spirited survivors.”)

I’m always the first to admit that I am definitely not a genius (nowhere close :[ ). I got to where I am today because of my persistence and determination. I hope that continues to pull me forward, but for now, LEMME BASK IN THE GLORY OF NEVER HAVING TO TAKE THIS MONSTROSITY AGAIN. <3

I get to start my clinical rotations and start seeing real patients on Monday! Words cannot express how ecstatic I am right now. :]


This marks the last of Fitness Fav on Friday–go check out jvkom next week for a Feature Friday!

JVKom Chronicles
Also, starting next week, I’m really excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with several other ladies from Girls Gone Sporty for a Foodie Friday linkup! Each week will be a separate theme, so feel free to join in! :D More details will be up later on this/next week!

The Body is Art | Self-Acceptance

June’s Pole Dancing Bloggers Association (PDBA) blog hop theme is on the body, and what it means to look and feel your best.

There are a whole host of different things I could write about here, and this will probably lead to a succession of different posts later on, but we’ll start with the concept of self-acceptance.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

-Carl Rogers

As a child growing up, my closest friends were my brother and our family friends (all of which were dudes). In an effort to have common ground, I shunned anything that was perceived to be “girly.” These were poor life choices on my part, but I was young and impressionable at the time, and there’s really nothing I can do about it now, so let’s just move on.

Despite finally branching out into the world of dancing (hula/Tahitian, pole, salsa), I had a difficult time thinking of myself as a dancer. To me, dancers are graceful and possess this mesmerizing ability to make everything look effortlessly beautiful.

I trip over nothing and smash into doors/tables and apologize to inanimate objects on a semi-regular basis.

Suffice to say, the main problem I had when I first started pole wasn’t from not being able to do the move we were working on. Even if I couldn’t do it exactly right, I was still strong enough to muscle my way into whatever it was. Nope, the issue was with my apparent inability to make things look pretty and graceful. Long lines, fluid motion, the absence of a “resting bitchface” (I look kinda angry when I’m concentrating)…they were all things I had to work on accomplishing, and to this day, it’s still my greatest challenge. (Y’know, that and the issue of not having time to ever practice.)

I’ve always been my own greatest critic, which I attribute to my type A tendencies and my need to overachieve. I never want to become complacent, because I believe you can always be better than you were.

There’s a fine line between that and self-acceptance though, and if I took the above statement to the extreme, it would make for an extremely unhealthy mentality. I can’t say that I had very horrible self-esteem issues growing up, but within every Asian household (sweeping generalization, I know, but bear with me), therein lies a fair share of criticism. I like to joke that I’m somewhat full of it because my self-confidence is pretty high. I’m happy with myself and the way I am, but I also recognize that there are things I should probably work on. (My abnormal love for food/compulsive eating habits and cactus-like tendencies, for starters.)

That being said, physical activity (since it’s all-encompassing) made me way more aware of my body and what my strengths and weaknesses were. Lifting weights helps me to become stronger (not gonna lie, it usually makes me feel like a total badass). Running helped with building my patience (heh) and BJJ helped with my apparent lack of spatial awareness…but of all of them, dancing is what makes me feel beautiful.

I think that in order to really be happy–in life, in relationships, or just in a general state of being–you have to be able to accept your faults. Accept that you can’t know/do/be everything, and you’ll have a starting point. These are the five things (my life philosophies on this topic, if you will) I shall end with!

  • Know that you can’t be perfect, but that it doesn’t mean you can’t continually strive to be the best that you can be.
  • Be aware of your limits, but also know which of those limits are ones that you can push to better yourself as a person.
  • If you want something and you get the chance, go for it! Generally speaking, there’s more regret associated with the opportunities you pass up. (This may or may not be the reason behind why I continually try to do everything in the world simultaneously.)
  • Never allow someone to be your priority if you’re only an option to them. This is paraphrased from a Mark Twain quote, and summarizes how I learned to walk away from people that meant way too much to me, when I didn’t mean enough to them.
  • Believe in your self-worth. We all have different definitions of this–different values, habits and lifestyles–I feel at my best and happiest when I’m doing what I love and/or helping others, which thankfully, happens to go hand in hand most of the time.

What makes you feel and look your best?

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parenting

I had a lot of baked treats left from the Vagina Monologues and I wanted to bring some over to Larry so he could have one and also take some back to his kids. I knew he was usually there in the mornings, and as luck would have it, two of his kids were actually there with him today, so I offered them a couple cookies while they were settling down on yoga mats to play DS (it was Presidents’ Day, which we apparently no longer get off :[ ). His oldest son, also known as the one who has a crush on me due to my ring girl shenanigans, wasn’t there, so I asked if he wanted to take one back for him.

L: If you don’t mind!
F: Of course not! I hope he likes it!
L: Farrah, I think you could give him a dog turd covered in chocolate and he’d still love it.

He commented that if I ever had kids, they would absolutely adore me.
F: Ah. Yeah, about that. I don’t want kids.

People tend to get kinda taken aback about how adamant I am about not wanting kids. If they’re my parents’ age, the next statement is usually, “Oh, you’ll change your mind” (my favorite response ever), but if they’re close friends/good acquaintances, what they usually say next is, “You’d make such a great parent,” and we end up talking about how Idiocracy is pretty much settling full-force into this world.

I think I’d make a terrible parent, but it’s nice of em’ to say.

I have a whole host of reasons for not wanting children, but first and foremost, it’s this:

  • I find the entire concept of childbirth to be utterly terrifying. I have no idea how I’m going to survive my OB/GYN rotations other than to just uh, grin and bear it. My site director had the misconception that I was interested in OB for a couple days and I legitimately panicked until I’d pressed “send” on my clarification email to her. There is a slight chance that I may reconsider this whole “having children” business if I happen upon a surrogate mother who’ll birth the baby for me.

I’m all for honesty, so most of the rest of my reasoning is pretty selfish.

  1. I feel like I’ve worked really, really hard for my various degrees and to get through medical school, and if I were to have kids, I wouldn’t be able to work anymore since I don’t want to pass these hypothetical children off to daycares and babysitters–I’d want to be the one raising them. But to do that properly, I’d have to give up on my job, and I didn’t go into all this schooling and get into this much debt just so I could stay at home to take care of babies. It takes a special sort of person with a certain amount of patience/set of skills that I just really don’t possess.
  2. I’ve heard this a billion times and believe it to be true…your life ends when you have kids. Your life becomes your kids’ lives. If I find someone I love enough to marry (who happens to feel the same way about me, because let’s face it, it’d be kinda creepy and would never work if it were one-sided), I want to share my future with him.
  3. I feel like I’d be a terrible parent, or that I’d unintentionally mess them up somehow. What if I’m responsible for bringing a serial killer into this world? No thanks.

I think I’d be way better at being the cool aunt. With a whole lot of pets. :D

criticism

I read this article somewhere last year and found it rather upsetting (because it’s true for so many people), but was in the middle of adjusting to medical school, so I never wrote about it. It resurfaced the other day on fb, so here are my thoughts now!

Noel is definitely correct in the sense that in Asia, they have an entirely different standard of beauty. When I go back there, I usually can’t fit into anything less than a “large” and store-owners will say things like, “You’re so ~*healthy.*~” (Their polite version of “you’re fat.”) Family and family friends have no such reservations though; they will straight-up just tell you that you’re fat (usually followed up by something like, “You haven’t eaten much. Eat more!!!”), even when you’re not. Jun and I were talking the other night, and he pointed out, “I don’t know of a single Asian girl whose family doesn’t do that to them. Look at our group.”

This is kindasorta our group, give or take a few. (I still have yet to take a new group picture of all of us in the past uh, 3 years.) We were going for one of those Asian mafia family photos where everyone looks really angry.

Our group is basically almost entirely composed of Asians/Chinese girls, but before you start hating on me for not having too many non-Asian friends, please understand that I grew up in a sheltered suburban bubble where my high school was, I kid you not, 80%+ Asian [mostly Taiwanese/Indian, so I was already “out of the norm” since my family’s from Hong Kong]. UC Davis was almost 50% Asian and a fair amount of my activities (Hawai’i club, science+music majors, being an interpreter at a predominantly Cantonese-speaking medical clinic…) did little to change that. I would have had to actively go out to befriend what few non-Asians we had in our classes, and I feel like that’s practically reverse racism. (I’m not trying to play friendship bingo here.)

I was a scrawny son-of-a-gun for about the first half of my life, so I will attest to the fact that for me, genetics may play a part, but I still don’t believe that you’re predisposed to being slim just because you’re Asian. That’s like saying we’re all good at math, and my grades in freshmen year Honors Algebra 2/Trig will attest to the fact that this is wildly false.

Around the time puberty hit, my dad started telling me I was fat and to this day, it still hasn’t stopped. My mom usually doesn’t join in on this, but every now and then, a comment (at the way bottom of that entry) will slip through. I attribute my very intact (perhaps sometimes slightly over-inflated?) self-esteem to the fact that I just didn’t feel like believing him, and that I had and still have amazing friends, so I never listened to him when he told me I needed to lose 15-20 pounds. I guess it also helps that I always figured he was joking, but the other day, he told me, “I can’t remember a time where you were ever thin,” so I think this really means (a) he’s not actually kidding and (b) he definitely has a completely different standard of beauty than I do.

I do wish that I knew then what I know now about nutrition and working out. (I would be such a badass now. :[ …but you live and you learn. Better late than never!)

But while I managed to escape body image issues and eating disorders from over a decade of this “abuse,” I did in fact grow up hating my freckles. I actually used to pray that they’d magically disappear, because aside from the fat comments, I also heard endless comments from my parents and all their friends, “You’d be so pretty if you didn’t have freckles.”/”Stay out of the sun so you don’t get more freckles, or you won’t be pretty anymore.” Neither of my parents have them, so I’d also sometimes get asked if I’d been adopted. I couldn’t walk through a drugstore/skincare store in Asia without them pouncing on me/my mom and just assuming that I wanted creams to whiten my skin and get rid of my freckles (“You’re so dark! Here! Buy this cream to whiten your face so you’ll be pretty! And you want to get rid of those freckles, right? Here’s a cream for that!!!”). I was really self-conscious about them until perhaps somewhere in the middle of college, which is when I grew a spine and learned to stop caring about nonconstructive criticism on things that I couldn’t change. (My mom has offered to pay to have my freckles burned off my skin. Yep. Happened this summer.)

I’ve gotten nothing but love over here (or really, college and on) for my freckles. Pixie’s husband said something along the lines of, “An Asian with freckles? Could you be any more perfect?!” Thanks, Travis! <3

In any case, I now prefer to troll my parents because it’s great fun. :]

D: Farrah, you’re getting really fat. You need to lose weight.
F: Yeah, you say that to my almost-six-pack! >:O
D: I’m 4 inches taller than you and you weigh almost the same as I do.
F: Brave words that you probably shouldn’t say to someone who could beat you up! :O

M: We can get your freckles removed this summer.
F: WHAT. NO. Do you not like the way my face is right now? Are you saying that you think I’m ugly?
M: No, that’s not what I meant! I just think you’d be prettier without them.
F: I see how it is. So you’re saying I’m ugly because I have freckles.
M: No, that’s not what I meant!
F: Alright, then what did you mean?
M: (cannot find words to dig self out of hole)
F: My job is done here!