I hardly ever write about my personal life here, but a lot of changes in my life have been happening, and I thought it was important to share them with you. It's also why I haven't posted in a few days.
Most importantly, I've taken an indefinite leave of absence from my PhD work. As much as I enjoyed the work I was doing, I'm not sure research is really what I want to do. Plus, my advisor didn't have funding for the research, so I was reliant on teaching assistantships from Northeastern from year to year, giving me much less time to work on the research anyway. So rather than continue on a path I'm not sure is the right one, I decided to take a step back and reassess what I want to do. Who knows; I may eventually go back to my PhD, but for right now I think I made the right choice.
So, I've moved back to Long Island, NY, where I'm originally from. My fiancée found a job down here a few months ago and I just moved down on Tuesday (hence no posts this week). I'm now living with some family until I find a full-time job. As much as being unemployed sucks, I'm really glad I made the decision to come back home. In the meantime, I'm tutoring students to make a little money. So if you're in the Long Island area and need a math/computer science/SAT and GRE prep/beginner trombone tutor, I'm available.*
On a more traditionally positive note, I've lost nearly 50 pounds since March! I now have a normal weight, according to my BMI, for the first time since high school (maybe first year of college, not sure exactly when I crossed over to overweight). I did it by centering my Chi, drinking stabilized oxygen and a homeopathic... Hah! Just kidding... I actually counted calories (with the help of caloriecount.com), and eating less calories than I burn each day. As a wise man once said: "Science, it works bitches!"
I did give myself one "free day" every two weeks, where I don't count calories. I highly recommend this to anyone trying to lose weight. It changed my mindset from "I can never eat X again" to "I can have X on Saturday," which makes eating healthy so much easier to handle. And after a while, I didn't even want to eat tons of crap on my free days; I got so used to eating better that I started to enjoy healthier foods. Some suggest that a free day every so often can also help you maintain your metabolism, which helps burn more calories when I'm not eating as much. I'm not sure if this is actually true or not, but it does make a bit of sense to me. Either way, it has worked for me.
I also started running regularly a couple of months ago, to get more exercise to go with my new diet, and discovered how much I enjoy running. I'm going to run my first race soon: The Smith Point Bridge 5K on September 11th. And I'm now a 10 minute walk from a state park with a number of trails I can run on. If you've never been trail running before, you should try it. It's like meditation for me. I'm steadily increase the number of miles I run each week, and I'm hoping to run a marathon some time next year.
So that's all of the stuff going on with me. I'm starting to get settled in the new surroundings, so I'll start posting more regularly again in the near future. I'll also be looking for some skeptic/atheist hang outs on Long Island, now that I'm here for a while. If any of you readers are from the area, let me know!
* I've been finding students recently on a website called wyzant.com. If I'm not in your area, or you need a tutor for a different subject, you should check out the site to find a tutor who can help you. And if you're looking to tutor yourself, I'd highly recommend the site. I've found a number of students via Wyzant, and their website it very easy to use, and very professional (as opposed to many other tutoring sites I've seen). OK, I'm done shilling for websites, I promise!