Oops I forgot a title…

Well another week has gone by for me with school.

I finally heard something about the new class I was trying to change to. I’m signed up for it and already trying to figure out what to do. I’m thankfully not behind because they just decided this week to do it. It’s also a distant learning class so I only have like 2 days next month that I need to go in and beyond that it’s all self-study. Yay! Pretty much a similar schedule to last semester though now I have my dissertation to worry about. I think I’m pretty much on schedule with things though. I do need to get a general idea about what I’m writing about for 3 classes, and then figure out a presentation for my dissertation and a group presentation (which I am loathing the idea of. I prefer to work by myself because past experience has told me I can’t rely on others for help. And I get total control over what I’m doing.)

Anyway a few things to talk about. A weird encounter with a new classmate from last week. Today’s rejection of being on a bone marrow donation list and an update on my cold. Yeah the cold thing is so exciting…but now I feel I must share.

So first with last Thursday. It was the class I’m having a group presentation in and it was near the end of class. We were finishing up meeting with our group and talking over stuff. When a classmate came up to me asking me some stuff. A few weeks ago he had come into another class late and then later that week asked me where a class was. I figured he was a January starter so I told him what the thing meant by G and where to find the room. I also told him where the next class would be and that I would be in that one. I was there once so I sympathized and it was obvious he wasn’t from England. Last week he started asking me more questions about stuff that really wasn’t for me to answer. I told him he would have to check online or check with his course leader. He then started asking me a few questions about myself. I was used to it because it’s not common to have an American in the UK for grad school at least in Leeds that is. I had given him my email cause he asked for it, I honestly can’t remember the reason why but now I regret that I did. So as we were walking out of the room (we ended up being the last ones, don’t know how that happened). He started saying we could study together and that he was singled and lived alone so it would be okay. And asked if I go out a lot during the week. I then realized, oh crap he likes me! So I immediately and nonchalantly informed him that I don’t go out much during the week and I spend most weekends with MY BOYFRIEND. And he was like oh, this is okay, we can still do work or something like that. By that point I had stopped listening and was just thinking how fast can I get away. Of course he followed me and then started saying he drove and had a full license and could give me a ride home. I declined and said I pay for a bus pass. He tried to ask me where I lived too and I gave him a general area. He had no idea where that was PHEW! It then got to the point where I was wondering if he was gonna follow me to the bus stop and I said, Where are you parked, I just want to make sure you’re not going out of your way, and he informed he was going to the library. We then parted ways and I tried to legged it to the bus stop. It was kind of pointless because I had already missed my bus but I was honestly creeped out. His obvious way of saying he was single and asking me personal questions was one thing but for him to offer me a ride when I don’t know a thing about it really bothered me. I told Mike about it immediately and he said he was probably just trying to be nice which I understand but I being where I’m from. You don’t accept rides from strangers (honestly I think that the standard all over but maybe he didn’t understand that.) and I didn’t like all the personal questions after a while. I’ve been taught from a young age that you need to be careful and prevent any kind harm to yourself and it has probably made me a bit paranoid especially around strange men I don’t know. But I’d rather be safe than sorry. Anyway since that incident, I’ve seen him twice. Earlier this week he was in another class and we had to be in a group together. I made as little eye contact as possible and barely talked to him. He kept asking questions about where we were in the discussion. I was starting to realize he barely speaks English or understands it from others and is probably struggling but that isn’t for me to deal with. Today I didn’t have to worry about being too close to him and pretty much booked it out there asap. I was eager to get home too because I had been at school all day and I really didn’t want to miss the bus this time. There’s a half hour wait for the bus I get and it’s been pretty nippy lately. This reminds me though, I have a third story to tell!

Yesterday I didn’t have any classes and I did my laundry the night before because the laundry room/common room was closed because of the accommodation staff doing some kind of training. So I went grocery shopping. I’m trying to be a bit better with my money so I went down to the local market where they have all kinds of stalls and stuff is usually cheaper. I got some stuff and decided what else I needed I would get at the supermarket because they have a bigger selection. Well I stupidly thought that the bus I took to the market wouldn’t be that long to take me back around to my place so I didn’t bother getting on the other side of the road to get the right bus (actually I did but I didn’t find my bus on any of the closest stops so I gave up because the bags were heavy). I ended up being on the bus for over an hour and a half. I luckily had a week’s metro pass so it wasn’t an issue for me to be on the bus that long. But I had school work to do and the bus driver noticed at one point and asked me if I knew where I was going. I did but I didn’t know where I was at the time. He was so nice though, I actually feel for the bus drivers now because of the fact they need to be on top of it to make sure people are paying the right price for their ticket and not lying. And for those parents that don’t know how to be a parent. Near the end of my journey, a woman got on the bus with a pram and 2 other children. I think she was trying save herself some money and was vague about the kid’s age in the pram. It’s free if they’re under 3 years old if I understand correctly. She then parked the pram, sat next to me and let the other two kids sit on the other side. They didn’t stay there though. They kept moving around and she wasn’t paying attention to them and one of them opened the emergency door in the back because she was too busy looking through her bag for something. The bus driver got maaaad! He stopped the bus and got out of his seat and then told her she needed to keep an eye on her children for their health and safety because if the one that had opened the door had fallen out he would have been dead. He secured the door and got back in his seat when she suddenly decided to seat in the 3 open seats on the other side of the bus (the kid in the pram was fast asleep and secured) and make the kids sit where she would see them and not let them get out of their seats for 2 seconds. Honestly was that so hard to do? I’m sure they’re a handful because they definitely seemed like it but she was lucky nothing bad happened. Thankfully I got home okay and the bus driver made a joke saying I had been on the bus as long as he had been when I finally got off.

I think first I’ll talk about the bone marrow thing from today. Since moving to this country I have discovered a few things. Smoking is banned here. Driving is the exact opposite to where I’m from and roundabouts are common but they still scare me from driving here. Certain things are spelled differently or have different words used, like eggplant is aubergine and corn starch is corn flour. And overweight people are reminded it’s not okay to be overweight by the NHS. WTF? Now back home the whole body image thing was an issue because of the American societies warped image of what a woman should look like. I’ve been battling a weight problem since I was young and over the last several years I’ve come to accept who I am. I’m overweight, I’d like to be a bit thinner but I’m not gonna kill myself doing it and I don’t want to be stick thin. I just want to be happy and to be honest I am. I have my down days at times and everyone does. I basically choose not to listen to hateful people talk about how I need to lose weight and do this or that. I know what I need to do in fact I’ve done it many times. I don’t eat a lot, I try to eat healthy, I like sweets though and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating something enjoyable sometimes that isn’t “good for me”. I didn’t exercise as much when I was at home because to get anywhere I used my car. Here I pretty much have to walk. The only times I don’t walk is when the weather is bad, it’s too dark out for my liking, I’m running late for meeting my boyfriend or a class and I’m just tired or I have a ton of bags from shopping. Even when I take the bus, the majority of the time it doesn’t take it directly to where I need to go so I am walking a lot. But since coming here it seems like I’ve been made to feel bad about my BMI not being where it “should” be. I’m on a birth control that doesn’t have estrogen in it because apparently it’s bad for overweight women. I’ve been told my acid reflux that is because of my weight. Now I know that is one of the many causes of acid reflux but not the only. Like I said before I’ve been overweight since I was young, the majority of my existence basically. I didn’t get acid reflux disease until I started at a 4 year university because my stress level went way up I was in my 20s by then. That is a cause of acid reflux, stress. I don’t handle stress well either and it really hasn’t gone down since I’ve been here so I don’t think my weight is to blame completely. Do I think if I lose weight it will help and maybe make it go away. Of course I do but it is so hard to lose weight right now. I can’t afford a gym membership and the one I had briefly last year didn’t help me and the trainer I worked with made me feel like shit so I didn’t want to do business there anymore. I like having an exercise buddy too which is hard to come by. I was on the Atkins’ Diet back when I was 19 or 20. I lost 40 pounds, it was great but then I hit a plateau and couldn’t lose any more after that. I was living with some other girls at the time too so I didn’t have access to the junk food I would get at home because we couldn’t afford it. I never got to the point where I was supposed to maintain my weight and I had so many people saying, you’ve done a good job, treat yourself a little. Then I made friends with someone who only seemed to care about when she was gonna eat, plus I moved back home because it wasn’t working out for me living with 4 other girls in an expensive rented house for many reasons. So for many reasons and my lack of self-control I gained it back and then some. The thing that bugs me though, looking back I didn’t realize how good I looked, how different I looked and felt. You only notice the bad. And then I think it got around that Atkins’ Diet wasn’t that good for you (I didn’t eat a huge amount of meat like some people thought that meant) and I couldn’t be bothered to take the South Beach Diet seriously.

So here I am today hoping to help out a group of people at my school today asking if I would like to sign up to be a bone marrow donor. I used to donate blood years ago but my iron level dropped too low to be able to donate so many times I just gave up. Apparently the low iron thing wasn’t an issue so I filled out the form and went into a room with one of the guys while he looked over my application. He noticed a few things like I didn’t have a home number, I only have a mobile number and I told him my address is a student accommodation and I’ll only be there until September (or maybe it’s August, one of the two). He left the room to ask about it and then come back and tells me while he holds a form that because of my BMI I can’t donate. My freaking weight was what stopped me from being able to donate. Not my low iron, not my address or lack of a second permanent address, my weight. Frankly I’m sick of it. It’s one thing for my grandma to ask me when I’m a little girl, who is struggling with being bullied at school because of my weight, “Don’t I want to be pretty?” to now being told I can’t do this and that because I’m fat and that makes me unhealthy and untouchable. I’ll probably be told I’ll die young if I don’t lose weight like two people from here have been told and they weigh less than me or around the same as me. It is so stupid and degrading. It’s like the banned smoking over here now let’s work on getting rid of the fat people!

I know I’m a sensitive person and part of that stems from my personally type and to how I was treated as a child. But I don’t think the NHS really thinks about how they make overweight people feel when they do this kind of stuff. Maybe they’re not to blame and maybe the got a good reason for it but damn, talk about making a person feel depressed. I was in a good mood today! And that just deflated me. I don’t know exactly how to make myself feel better when I’m being made to feel bad about myself by the government.

Beyond all that. I did feel a bit better today after that because I found some books today that might help with my dissertation and look like interesting reads. I got a family that loves me and knows better than to talk about my weight (haha but true, I go nuts if it’s even a suggestion about it is said), a boyfriend that loves me no matter what and good friends who care about what’s inside me than what’s outside. I’m sure the bone marrow thing had a reason for it but it would have been nice to know what it was besides my BMI being too high. Tomorrow I got a doctor’s appointment. My cold is now done with though I got an ongoing issue I want to address that’s cause of the cold and get some more acid reflux pills too. And maybe get that doctor’s referral thing done with so we can decide if I still stay on meds for acid reflux or if it’s something more. Anyway, best make my dinner now. It’s getting late.

Tata for now.

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