Monday, October 31, 2011

How to keep the bathroom floor* dry when you shower. For slobs like me Vol.1 (Plus really cool hair-washing tips, you're welcome.)

Here at B's How-To Factory, not only is she concerned in sharing with you the bigger how-to's that she discovers in life as she finds them, but also the little things that make trivial day-to-day stuff a bit better, one way or another. (Along with taking the piss and making other random lists just because she can.)

Today she has found herself needing to shower in her mother's bathroom once more, for she is still out of shampoo in her own bathroom. Ah, yes my friends: B lives at home. She lives there with her mom, two older brothers, and one younger brother who is still in school like she is.  This isn't a very odd predicament where she is from. Now that we have got that little bit of information out of her, because boy oh boy isn't it exciting when bloggers divulge a bit of personal information here and there, we shall now make her stop referring to herself in third person because let's face it, she is the only one writing this (and reading this kind of) after all.

So yes, as I was saying, I was going to take a shower in my mother's bathroom. And I guess, because I've been on a journey of only learning NOW how to really pick up after myself, (yes, after 21 years folks) I somehow, in the middle of rinsing, came up with the amazing idea that maybe I didn't have to mop the floor with my used clothes this time (too graphic for you? I really do that). Usually after I shower, I get the floor very wet because of having to walk across the bathroom to even dry myself. I was somehow especially conscientious today and thought maybe there was *gasp* ..another way..

Maybe I should just ....not wet the floor* in the first place??!!

*with "bathroom floor", i meant the space of floor that goes beyond what is meant to be used for showering and bathing. Of course there is nothing that can be done for the space right below the showerhead. I apologize for every single one of you who came here looking for a magic trick. I'm sure a lot of you did because this is the internet. Don't worry, maybe in the future I'll eventually do a post about magic tricks, this is a how-to blog after all (albeit a very personal one)..I guess keep an eye on it and you'll find out!

How to Not Wet the Floor in the First Place:

  1. Keep your "tools" within reach.
  2. source

     Before you shower, place the towel/s you will be using somewhere in arm's reach from where you're showering without having to step out from the assigned showering area. Do this with use of a towel rack if you have one that is near the shower, or even a dry sink.

  3. Minimize the damage
    He's letting the curtain do all the caring for him.
    Limit the amount of water that splashes outside the assigned area WHILE you shower. Of course a lot of us don't even really notice this, but here are a few tips that might be useful:
    1. Invest in a shower curtain if your showering area isn't enclosed. In my particular case I don't actually have a shower curtain in my own bathroom, but what I do instead is to make sure the showerhead isn't facing too far away, and that the water projectile is aimed at the tub, where I shower. In this particular instance where I've done it successfully however, it was because my mom's shower area is enclosed. Heh.
    2. Be mindful of what you're doing. While getting yourself squeaky clean, it's not only good to be mindful because of the dry-floor benefits. You are also more likely to be able to apply these nice showering tips:
      1. Rinse shampoo and conditioner with cold water to seal cuticles for healthier shinier hair!
      2. Shampoo near the scalp starting from the nape (to prevent hairloss where it's visible), condition near the ends (that's where hair usually gets dry cos it's farther from sebum-producing roots).
    3. ....That's.. it, actually.

  4. Calm down.
    Boob-shaped gel dispensers highly unrecommended for floor dryness. This is a guy who is too excited in the shower if I ever saw one.
    Don't get too excited to step out of the showering area. I know it's part of routine and it's a method that's tricky to not snowball into, but it's crucial in our important work of floor-dryness. (Please stop looking at the boobs now) It's also part of why it's good to be mindful of what we're doing most of the time. (This isn't only a good idea in terms of showering. I once got hit in the eye with a bamboo stick during dance practice because my dance partner's mind was somewhere else during rehearsal. We were supposed to make the sticks hit each other [her attacking, me shielding] and make a loud noise, so she whacked it full force towards me.. a count too early. Don't worry, my eye is intact. My face cushioned the blow. I had a slash-shaped bruise for two weeks. It's been five years and I still remember. Do you want to be someone a random blogger mentions in an unnecessar[il]y long parenthesis because of not paying attention ESPECIALLY when you absolutely had to? I didn't think so.) 

  5. Imagine A Portal.
    Enter a world of dryness.. Hm. That somehow didn't sound as appealing as I thought it would.
    Imagine an invisible vertical border that separates the inside of the shower area to the rest of the bathroom. Every time a part of you passes the border, you have to take measures with your magic tools that will enable you to enter this magical world of dryness. What I'm simply trying to describe here is the method of drying parts of yourself as you cross the border. Personally, I squeezed excess water from my hair and wrapped it with a towel first because it's freakishly long and therefore hold a lot of moisture, then I dried my body with a separate towel, and lift the first foot, dry it up to the leg, and put it down. Then I do the same to the other foot while keeping it in the border, then pull it out and put it down when it's dry.

    Et Voila! You now know how to use other people's bathrooms without pissing them off about slippery wet floors! Your roomate-able points have just increased! 

    You're welcome.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Putting myself on a "diet".

I've been all over Tumblr lately, scanning through the fitblrs that I followed recently. When I started thinking about wanting to fix up my diet and activity levels in alignment with my goals, to be honest I wasn't feeling very enthused. In my mind, I was looking forward to it, but was missing that real KICK in the gut that tells you you're really up for it. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Anyway, looking at other people's progress really did it for me. Also, habitually reading REAL ADVICE FROM REAL EXPERTS(I'm not being paid for any of my links so you know I genuinely was influenced by these people) really got me hyped up about it. Nothing like too-obvious marketing schemes to get me all soft and turned off about fitness. I really didn't like the idea of short, get-results-quick diets, I can never get myself to trust them because of what I know now: Long term results are a result of long term changes. You can't expect to stay fit if you go back to eating junk after a crash diet. What you put inside manifests in your appearance, and that's not magic. It's math. Cause and effect. Burn less than you consume*, and you build a pile of interest in body lard.

*more or less, although that's not all that there is to it! when it comes to long term health, especially

A real expert will also tell you, and I'm saying real expert here as somebody who sees the bigger picture. Some people out there really know what it takes to stay looking fit but they seem kind of obsessed with it, and are thus not really healthy in the fullest sense of the word. A real expert will tell you that what really matters is health, not appearance. Not numbers, but how you feel inside. A real expert will let you focus on balance, and ask you to be good to yourself above anything else.

I thought of something I'd like to call the Feel Good Diet, but I can't because someone apparently called their book that already. But hey, if you promise not to tell anyone,,,,,

This is how it goes:

  1. I'll try to keep a supply of fruits and veggies and tea available for breakfast and lunch, and eat those by default. I will make those more available, because out of sight, out of mind. And honestly, the last thing you wanna be doing on a groggy morning is to toil and stare at food you shouldn't eat (and, after 15 minutes of walking past, end up eating anyway. and then some.). I'll satisfy myself with nutritious food before I even run to a whole bowl of ice cream in desperation caused by deprivation. No rules here, but there's a hierarchy.  For example, at breakfast I'll aim for raw vegan (fruit smoothies, or fruits, tea) and if not (I'm on a student budget and can only eat what's available usually), I can have something that's processed or cooked like oatmeal or cereal or baked sweet tomato or something, but still vegetarian, then eggs, and at the very bottom is eggs and meat. Why? Not because I'm an animal activist, not because I believe everything I've read in Skinny Bitch, but because it doesn't make me feel good, which is kind of the point.
  2. If I honestly actually CRAVE for anything, I'll go eat it. Slowly. And with each bite I'll linger and enjoy all of the different tastes, and after each bite I'll pause and ask myself if I actually want another. I'll stop when the craving has been satiated. I'll stop if I don't crave it anymore. Maybe I'll keep it for later, or maybe I'll give it to someone else. The point is to only eat bad stuff when I enjoy every morsel, instead of aiming to finish a serving. I can eat a serving of healthy food freely because they're good for me. It might seem like too much work to think about EVERY SINGLE BITE (or spoonful, whatever applies. sometimes a spoonful = 2 bites), but I believe that if I keep that up in a long enough time to create a path in my brain (21 days), my brain will pick it up and start doing the rejecting of the next bite that I don't want on its own. I'd get used to refusing what I don't want in the first place, and that's big for a compulsive eater. That's why we even get fat. We hit a slippery slope and go "oh well, I already started eating this cake, might as well finish all the portions" Mind you, this forming-a-habit thing applies to almost everyone. The brain responds to repetitive, rewarded acts (google: dopamine). And your reward will be how good you feel afterwards.
  3. I won't blacklist anythingI can eat ANYTHING if I wanted to. I believe that most of the time, when we snack mindlessly, we don't really enjoy the food. We just enjoy and maintain the feeling of taking and tasting and chewing, even to the point where we can barely even taste what we're eating. So I'll try to keep that distinction and only eat what I enjoy. What I feel will do my body good, or sends my tongue on some magical adventure. If you think about it, when you eat a large serving of fries, for example, the level of enjoyment doesn't really match the actual simplicity of the taste. it's salt and potatoes, but due to conditioning, we feel the need to eat so much of it. What I'm trying to do is to get myself used to the healthy stuff, and fill myself with those, and to enjoy myself more with the more indulgent stuff, which, I think, will ultimately lead me to eating less of it. It will also repair my taste that has been desentisized by food that is too sweet or salty.
  4. This last one I've known for quite a while but still find difficult to do at times because of the condition of life we're in where we're well-oiled gears in some sort of consuming machine. We don't really put our attention to the present moment. This will be a good exercise for me, then. I will engage all of the senses while eating. This leads to me eating slower, with amplified reactions. More enjoyment for less calories over time. More awareness of the Now.
A couple of years ago I went vegetarian for two months and I noticed my tastes radically change. Crap I used to eat really started to taste a bit like crap, and enjoying healthy stuff became natural.

Another thing I have a problem with is the guilt associated with not finishing everything. This was also addressed by Margaret Cho's "Fuck It" Diet, which I REALLY recommend for anyone who's feeling desperate. I'm not even just talking to the overweights. Anorexics, I'm talking to you too. When I read that I eventually reached the point that (honestly I thought I read it there, but reviewing it now, it's not there. It's my own brainabrain's doing) you're not wasting anyone's efforts, like harvesting grains of rice, by not eating everything, because you already paid for what you took. Nobody's gonna take money from them because someone down the line, some end user didn't eat the last spoonful. And the reason why farmers farm is because of money. The big men got paid whatever lump of interest they applied on top of those farmers' grains of rice too, and that's all that matters to them. Don't obesify yourself over it. Or better yet, just STOP HEAPING THE GODDAMNED PLATE

What I took most from that article is how giving yourself freedom and love is the best way to getting over bad relationships with food. It's either you hate yourself for eating, or you feel like you're deprived so you get a lot of it, and quick. I've noticed that when I'm in a healthy relationship with food, I find it easier to hide the second kitkat back into the wrapping paper and save it in my bag for later. And that gives me a reward at the end of the day, when I can actually use the chocolate pick-me-up.

Another person who deserves thanks is JennaMarbles. When she did that video about her diet and exercise, the pressure that I didn't even know was on me about the vegetarian/vegan label was lifted off. I don't need to commit to NEVER EATING MEAT EVER or reach phony status, because I EAT vegetarian/vegan food, and it doesn't have to be a label as in I AM this or that. Don't make it weird. I somehow always felt weird about that anyway. I wanna eat vegan because it gives me, personally, more energy and makes me feel great. And in the end that's what's food is all about before it got blown up to this whole... moral debate. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about animal rights and humane farming conditions, but I mean, if I kill my chicken in a moral way please let me eat it. Animals eat animals too, you know.

Anyway, as usual this post was too long and I totally worship you if you finished it at all. I'm now going to live life and actually try to apply all of what I've written now. That's why I wrote it. To keep myself accountable, cos here this is for anyone to see (my boyfriend especially). Not that it's that hard to do. How hard should it really be to love yourself?


Well, Hi! .. I guess..
Holy christ, this is a big thing! I'm starting a brand-spankin' new blog, and I'll be honest: I feel very self conscious about this opening for some reason. These will be the first words! This will be the first entry! Aaaaaargh! 

...Oh no I've blown it! Aaaargh!

There. Now that that's out of the way I can work on making it better from now on. Can't disappoint them later on if you start out from the bottom.

I started this blog wanting to kind of record my way up from the huge slump I've had since freshman year of college. Yep. I get dreams sometimes, kinda nightmarish ones, I'm in my high school with my friends, and it dawns on all of us that we're about to graduate high school! This will all be over soon! Everything we've ever known, we'll have to leave behind. The buildings, the hangouts, the campus that feels like home.. (I have been going there since I was six) We're leaving all of it and starting new lives apart. Then I wake up and realize that there's nothing to worry about, it's already been done. I'm actually just about to graduate from COLLEGE in a few months*.

*it actually took two more years.

Oh. Thanks, Real Life, for consoling me. I guess...

While struggling (with myself) to complete my thesis, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and troubleshooting about my life, where I want it to go, and who I want to be. All of this made way for this nifty little baby right here:

With the help of the article Design your Life by Tina Su on, I was able to kind of organize in my head and pinpoint where I really want my attention and energy to go from now on. I listed out what is most important to me, and how I feel about these specific facets at the moment. This way, when I make my resolutions or goals or generally decide on what to do next, I have this to guide me and help me aim my efforts to results that will actually make me feel happy.

Don't get me wrong, this doesn't solve everything. I still have to work on whatever I want to achieve. Some of us just need a stronger push than others, and I'm waaaay past the stage of denying that I'm one of those people. I need constant motivation and discipline, which I've honestly been trying to give myself all these years, it's worked out for the most part in consoling me and keeping my head under water, but that's not how I want to live my life. I want something more than just realizing it's okay even if I fail.

So here's to the start of a new blog, and hopefully a new lifestyle.

And yeah, duh, here's to hope itself. Us grouches need a load of that.