nutrient cycle

Soothing Tea for Menstrual Cramps

Period having people know how painful cramps can be, especially at the beginning of the cycle. This tea is designed to ease cramping by relaxing the muscles of the uterus and aiding in relaxing cycle-related nausea. The herbs used in this blend are traditional remedies for menstrual pain, used for centuries all over the globe.


  • ¼ tsp mugwort - helps stimulate smooth menstrual flow, normalizes and calms the nervous system, regulates menstrual flow
  • ½ tsp red raspberry leaf - cleans the blood of excessive hormones, soothes breast tenderness, supplies the body with many of the nutrients lost during a cycle
  • ½ tsp mint - eases discomfort from cramping, helps ease nausea, regulates bleeding, adds flavor, soothes and comforts
  • ¼ tsp ginger - eases nausea, relieves uterine pain, adds flavor
  • ½ tsp parsley - has strong analgesic and antinociceptive properties, acts as an anticeptic 
  • 2 cups of water - purified water works best but tap water is also suitable
  • Quart sized mason jar with lid - for storing the mixture
  • Optional - sweetener, lemon, cinnamon sticks


  1. Add the herbal mixture together in a tea strainer. Place strainer in a quart sized mason jar.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil and pour into the jar over the tea. 
  3. Screw on the lid and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. 
  4. Once the tea has finished steeping, remove the strainer. You can divide the tea up into 3 parts in separate jars, or measure it out each time so that each dose is exactly 2/3 cup. It must be stored in the fridge. 
  5. Drink the dose in the morning when you wake up, at midday, and before bed on the first day of your cycle to ensure best results.


This tea is has a very earthy, bitter flavor. Those who are not fond of teas to begin with will most likely not enjoy this brew. Copious amounts of sugar is recommended to improve the taste, but you may just have to hold your nose and gulp it down…

I realize there is some concern with ingesting mugwort. The FDA recommended safe dose is 1 teaspoon per 8 fluid ounces of liquid, and this tea calls for ¼th of that amount because of the dangers associated with overdosing on mugwort. However, If you do not feel comfortable taking this ingredient, you can simply exclude it from the tea or turn this tea into a spell jar instead. 

You can add some magickal components to this tea as well. Here is a sigil for relieving menstrual cramps that you can draw on your abdomen or on the jar used for storing your tea. You can also turn this into part of a tea ritual. I have instructions for one here for healing and relaxation. I recommend researching the magickal properties and energy of each herb used in this tea before use so that you have a grasp on the energy given to you through these plants. Really, your magickal creativity is the limit for this tea!

WARNING: Do not take this tea if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or at risk of becoming pregnant. If you are taking any other medications, check with your doctor first before taking this tea to ensure it will not interact poorly. Please ensure that you are not allergic to any of these ingredients before taking this tea, even in small doses. Do not take more than the recommended dose. Do not take this tea more than once per week. 

anonymous asked:

Hey if you actually cared about animals you wouldn't be butchering them up and using their body parts like they were jewelry. You must be really sick if you think that's cute.

sorry, i usually just delete bullshit like this, but i’m in a sappy mood about the homestead so i’ll post this for others to read (i won’t change your mind and i’m fine with that)

most of what i make art with is roadkill. the rest (rabbit & chicken feet, ears, skulls) are parts that would otherwise be wasted. you’d rather i put them in the dump? these animals don’t die for me to make art (and yes, that’s what it is. everyone gets different things from it, feels different things looking at it, which is great!). 

 usually, they have to be culled because they are ill, not thriving, beating up the others, or because my DOGS need to eat. not even for my own food… i get most of my protein from my goats’ milk and laying hens’ hard work.

quick question: do you eat meat or animal products like eggs? if not, do you have pets who do? and do you know what kind of lives all those thousands of factory-farmed animals suffered through to bring those things to you?

i am an animal lover. life and nature have basically been my obsession since i could say my first word (kitty). but i also recognize that humans are part of an ecosystem, whether we choose to destroy it or try to nurture the world around us. ecosystems rely on death. if you know a single thing about biology, ecology, or the world outside the city you probably live in? you know that death is as necessary as life for the world to keep breathing as one enormous organism. death on every level, the cycling of nutrients and energy from the sky down to the dirt, is what makes this world possible.

so. yes. i use the 5 acres i live on to grow gardens (organic means that depends on manure!) and to feed/house livestock. i spend 4-6 hours daily doing my best to give them lives not only free from suffering, but full of joy/enjoyment. i protect these animals from predators, feed them well and give them clean water, make them comfortable places to sleep, sort out their social lives so they’re always with their best friends. that’s a hell of a lot more than i can say for the wildlife that lives in the forests around me, let alone factory farmed animals.

so i guess i’m asking… do you really think small-scale homesteading, by people who use every single part of the animals who have to die here, is the problem? take a closer look at the industrialized food production that you depend on. even if you buy 100% v/egan products you’re still supporting corporate big agriculture, which is interlocked tightly with factory farming.

contemplatingchicken  asked:

I hope it's not too nosy to ask what your grad program was in? It sounds v. interesting.

Not too nosy! I haven’t talked about my research much lately because it’s been less interesting to people who aren’t interested in the details of rangeland ecology and/or python programming (and because I’ve been short on Brain), but there’s some stuff back in the archives: the time i wrote the first draft of the intro to a paper as a tumblr rant, which led to the one where I explain the Green Revolutionthe one where I showed cropland expansion in gif form; participatory research and why it’s useful; and why half my job involves telling my colleagues why they aren’t as useful as they claim to be.

So my sub-field is called “farming systems analysis” and the tl;dr definition is that I look at how different components of a farm contribute to farm households’ livelihoods. So a lot of times that means looking at how integrating crops and livestock through e.g. better manure management and growing improved feed can help farmers make more money and/or improve family nutrition through better crop yields or more livestock products or whatever. Or looking at how different kinds of farmers use technology differently. Or the way nutrients cycle through a farm. Basically, we get to stick our fingers into everyone else’s disciplines and pull them all together to get a better picture of how farming actually works, or could work better.

So I’ve looked at how changes in the crops people grow and the technology they use (cotton, and draft animals) relates to land use change at the village level; why “just get farmers to use more fertilizer and they’ll stop being poor!” is wrong because the profit margins are still too small (which should not be surprising given the history of agriculture everywhere ever); how pastures are used and managed and the feed quality and ecological health of those pastures; and right now I’m building what’s known as an agent-based model to explore future trends in land use under different scenarios of mechanization and changes in crop choice (e.g. growing more tree crops like cashew and mango). Those are, in brief, the 4 chapters of my PhD thesis. 

I also have a contract with my supervisors to do some part-time work since my fellowship ran out last year. That’s basically a spite project on the part of my advisor, because he apparently keeps getting in fights with organic advocates who say African farmers should use manure instead of fertilizer, and he thinks  there isn’t enough manure to do that. But there isn’t a ton of data on the amount of shit per hectare in sub-Saharan Africa. So my job is to use existing datasets to create, yes, maps of available manure per hectare of cropland in a handful of different countries. Because my advisor is a snarky pain in the ass who will fight anyone up to and including Bill “I spend more money on agricultural research than USAID” Gates. (I like my advisor a lot, he definitely uses his Prestigious White Dude powers for good).

It’s actually pretty interesting work, even though I complain a lot. But then again, I think everyone in their last year of a PhD complains a lot. 

anonymous asked:

What about ticks? (Out of genuine curiosity what summarises their role in the ecosystem?)

First and most obviously, they play a role in the nutrient cycle and provide food for other animals. They also spread microscopic bacteria and other tiny life forms (which sucks because that’s what disease comes from, but that brings us to the last point) they are important in terms of population control.

Sickly animals are overcome by parasites and will die from it, strong animals with good immune systems will survive and fight or groom them off. While it seems inhumane, think of it like any other predator that picks off the sick and the weak and keeps populations below their carrying capacity. Disease and parasites sit next to predators as important mitigators of other species.

Ticks have been around since dinosaurs were a thing, they’ll probably be around when we’re gone too.

Pineapple Decomposing (Time Lapse)

At some point, if left to the elements, everything that was once alive succumbs to decomposition. It’s part of the carbon cycle and the recycling of organic nutrients and energy.

Organisms that break down organic tissue cells are called decomposers or  saprotrophs. Decomposers can include things such as fungi (mould), mini-beasts (worms!) and bacteria. 

“Bacteria are important decomposers; they are widely distributed and can break down just about any type of organic matter. A gram of soil typically contains 40 million bacterial cells, and the bacteria on Earth form a biomass that exceeds that of all living plants and animals. Bacteria are vital in the recycling of nutrients, and many steps in nutrient cycles depend on these organisms.”*

Fungi are the primary decomposers in many ecosystems, and many are very specialised in what they break down (such as certain fungi that have evolved to break down lignin in wood).

Invertebrates and also vertebrates that break down organic matter by consuming it are called detritivores. Detritivores eat organic matter, including other already-dead animals, plants and poop, and chemically break down nutrients through digestion. They then expel the nutrients (in their own poop) to make them easier to consume by other organisms.

Altogether, decomposition is a great thing! In the GIF above you can see fungi (mould) spreading over a pineapple and tiny invertebrates slowly breaking it down over time. As the most valuable, accessible and nutritious parts are broken down first, the pineapple collapses in on itself, leaving the parts behind that are harder to digest and least nutritious.




We’re relocating 50 endangered Pacific pocket mice to their historic habitat in Orange County, California. This is the first introduction since 30 mice were brought in for the breeding program in 2012. Pacific pocket mice are critical to their ecosystem because they disperse the seeds of native plants. They also dig burrows that hydrate and increase nutrient cycling in the soil that encourages growth of native plants. Learn more about our collaborative efforts to save the smallest mouse species in North America here.

At age 18 a curious Yvon Chouinard learned the art of fly fishing. This eventually led him to the centuries-old Japanese technique tenkara—or “simple” fly fishing. He’s passed this knowledge on to experienced and novice anglers ever since, and recently penned Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel, with co-authors Mauro Mazzo and Craig Mathews. But Chouinard’s passion for nature and fish also translates to direct action. A self-proclaimed dam-buster, Chouinard co-produced the film DamNation, to explore how our river ecosystems are endangered as a result of man-made dams, and how we can all be part of the solution.

You just got back from the premiere of DamNation at SXSW?
Yeah, we had 400 people show up, that’s pretty good.

Why was it important to make this film?
I was taught that if you make a mess, you’re responsible for cleaning it up. Somehow corporations and governments are immune to that kind of thing. They pollute a river and they walk away. They build dams and when they’re no longer useful it’s left to the taxpayers to clean it up. That’s wrong. So I wanted to establish a precedent, starting with dams, that if you build something massive like that—divert a river, or whatever you’re doing, you need to put money into a trust so that when it is obsolete, you have to restore it to its original pristine condition. If that should ever become law they’d never do these massive things again.

The other reason for making this film is that I’ve been a dam-buster all my life. Patagonia’s been involved for a long time in trying to take out dams. Our first victory was Edwards Dam on the Kennebec in Maine. It was preventing hundreds of miles of salmon tributaries from going up there. But it was a local issue. We decided to make it a national issue by coming out with full-page ads in the New York Times.

A lot of interest was given to the thing and it came out. It’s gone, and salmon are now roaring up there, as well as shad and striped bass. It’s amazing there. We were involved with the Elwha Dam even though it was absolutely hopeless at that time. Now it’s gone and the fish are back! So we’ve had some of what I call “concrete” victories.

Most of us in the US grow up going to see these dams, not really understanding how bad they actually are. So what was really nice about the film was that it shined a light on the destructive nature of dams.
[The film] makes a good case for taking out obsolete dams and harmful dams. We need to make a stronger case for not building any more dams and talk about the unintended consequences of existing dams: things like preventing sand from reaching the coastlines, which is very important, especially with the rising seas in the future. We’re losing the beaches. And then we’re losing nutrients. The Colorado doesn’t reach the Gulf of California anymore; two-thirds of the Gulf is a dead zone. All the big fish are gone, because there are no nutrients. And the Aswan Dam of the Nile has killed the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is a dead sea.

Within a decade or two, there won’t be a single river in China reaching the sea. The whole South China Sea will be another dead zone. We’re killing the oceans with these dams, because the nutrient cycles are being stopped. Then you’ve got evaporation. In the film we talk about how 8% of the total water behind Glen Canyon Dam is lost to evaporation every year. That’s a lot of water.

We’re having a big drought here in California and people are talking about building dams again. That’s not the solution. The solution is to replenish our aquifers. The Ogallala Aquifer is under the whole Midwest and responsible for all that agriculture. It used to be, on average, 30 feet under the ground. Now it’s 300 feet. In another decade it’ll be gone. And it’s fossil water. It’s millions of years old. So it’s not being replenished. Instead of building dams, why not replenish our aquifers, which is completely possible to do.

The film makes the case for protecting these areas and rivers so we can actually enjoy them. You just made the book Simple Fly Fishing, which talks about fishing on rivers that are healthy and the beautiful art of simple fly fishing, or tenkara. What’s so special about tenkara?
The book is a metaphor for society. The overlying problem is growth, which is what no one wants to address. Whatever gains we make as a society in cleaning up our act and becoming more so-called environmental are completely erased by growth. Whether it’s population growth, the growth of companies, or the growth of consumerism. We’re not getting anywhere. In fact, we’re losing, every single day. The only solution is to go back to a simpler life.

You perfect a sport when you can do all of these things with less stuff. The most impressive ascent of Everest was by the Swedish guy who bicycled from Stockholm to Kathmandu and then soloed Everest and bicycled back to Stockholm. That is cool, as opposed to this huge multinational guided thing with computers and internet cafes at the base of Everest. I’m really stoked to see some of the routes I did on Capitan that took us nine or ten days being soloed by guys in their gym shorts. That’s the way sports should go.

Unfortunately, fly fishing has gone the opposite way. The industry has made people so insecure that they feel like unless they have a $1,000 rod, $500 reel, and multiple ones, they won’t catch a fish. They have reels with drags on them that can stop a truck. So it’s an industry based on enticing people to consume more and more. Which is the problem with our society. We need to get back to a simpler life where we consume less. We buy used clothes, we patch our clothes, we make things last. We buy less, but buy better quality that’ll last a long time and hand it down to our kids. That’s what tenkara’s all about. The technique goes back to 210 ad, when it was first written about. That’s the way I and a lot of people in my generation learned to fish. We bought a bamboo pole, or cut one, and put a line on the end with a worm and we caught fish. Tenkara is a pole with a line on the end and an artificial fly. I started doing this as a novelty. Then I realized the combination of the flexible pole and being able to control the action of the fly—which you can’t do with a stiff fly rod—I can make that fly dance in front of a trout’s nose and he can’t resist it. I’ll go out with some of the best fly fishers in the world, and at the end of the day, they’ll maybe have caught 10 fish, I’ll have about 50.

In Simple Fly Fishing you ask fly fisher Lefty Kreh to describe in two sentences how to cast a line. Can you describe in a couple sentences how to use the tenkara system to catch a fish?
I could teach somebody to cast in three minutes. It’s that simple. If you want to turn someone into an angler, they have to catch fish. They can’t go three days without catching a fish (laughs). As soon as they catch
that fish, they’re hooked. I was just down in Argentina and I had a waitress in a lodge and I promised to teach her fishing. I gave her a three-minute lesson casting a tenkara rod. I told her what to do, and she went out, she landed two rainbow trout! Two twenty-inch rainbow trout all on her own. So it’s a metaphor for society in that if we have to go to a simpler life, it won’t be an impoverished life, it’s going to be a great life.

A lot of people learn a sport without ever learning the basics. A lot of climbers learn to climb in a climbing gym. Then they go out on a real crag and they don’t know how to place protection or anything. They never learned any of that stuff. Fishing’s the same thing. People start out and immediately take a casting class or they go out with a guide. Unless the guide is a real teacher, your mind just shuts off. It’s like being driven by a chauffeur to a place in the city 10 days in a row. Unless you actually drive there on your own, you’ll never be able to do it because your mind shuts off while that guy’s driving you there.

Tenkara teaches you the absolute basics. The most important thing is that it gives action to the fly, instead of this dead object that’s floating on the surface with no drag. The thing is dancing around like a real fly does. If you get it in front of a trout’s nose, it’s a killer.

Fishing is such a male-dominated sport, women may be intimidated to pick it up. You look through fishing magazines and there are women fishing in their bikinis. To fish, you either have to put on a bikini, or deal with the burly tattooed guy.
It’s not only male-dominated, but if you look at magazines and stuff, all the guides, they all have these great big bushy beards, they have tattoos, and they’re talking about ripped lips, and it’s become this testosterone-laden sport, where it used to be the gentle, contemplative sport. It’s you against the fish now. And it’s crazy! Women look at that and say, “Gee, that’s not me.” But 38% of our business right now is women’s fly fishing stuff, because no one else is paying any attention to [what they want].

Your wife doesn’t fish. Has she tried the tenkara?
No, she doesn’t want to poke holes in a fish’s mouth. But you know, catch and release causes very little damage to the fish. There’s the rare occasion where you could kill or hurt a fish. But I’ve caught the same fish in two different casts. I’ve caught a steelhead, released it, cast again and caught him again.

The fish was probably so annoyed.
You’re tormenting fish, no doubt about it, but it’s pretty harmless for the good that it does, which is to create anglers who really care about the environment and clean rivers and stuff like that. If you don’t have any relationship with a river, then you don’t care whether it’s polluted or not. It does a lot of good in that respect. If you really didn’t want to hook a fish, but you like the idea of outsmarting one, you just put a fly on that doesn’t have a point or barb. The fish will tug on it and that’s it. You get the same enjoyment.

Can you talk about the idea of “reading the river” and how it’s important to fishing and being able to catch something?
Like I said, I could give people a three-minute lesson and then they can really start catching fish—if I tell them where the fish are. It’s like robbing a bank: that’s where the money is, but there better be money there! It’s the hardest thing for people to learn, and that’s something they have to learn on their own, studying and even going out with guides who point out where the fish are. But that’s the enjoyable part—learning.

You’re known to go off on your own when you’re fishing. Is that a good time for contemplation?
It takes an incredible amount of concentration to be a good fisher. You have to really study the water flow and think like a fish: “Where’s the fish going to be in this kind of water? What insects are likely to come out at 2 o'clock this afternoon?” It’s very intense.

People say, “I don’t fish because I don’t have the patience.” That’s a different kind of fishing. That’s throwing a worm or some bait and sitting there waiting for something to bite it. Fly fishing’s not like that. It’s a completely proactive thing. Each person is in his own world. You may as well just go and do it yourself. Plus you want to get to the good places before your buddies.

Do you consider fly fishing a sport?
I don’t think it’s a sport. A sport belongs in the sport pages of a newspaper. Climbing doesn’t belong there, and fly fishing doesn’t belong there. It’s a passion. With the tenkara, if you catch a big fish, you have to replace that reel with physical action. You have to run after the fish, you’ve gotta do all kinds of stuff to get that fish in. But that’s the fun of it.

Does Patagonia have a particular fishing ethos that’s different from other companies?
I think we’re more concerned about protect- ing resources than a lot of companies. There are 30,000+ manufacturers of fishing gear in America. Of those, only 13 belong to the global organization 1% for the Planet. You’d think a company that’s dependent on having clean rivers and healthy fish populations would feel more responsibility to do some- thing about protecting them than your average taxpayer, but no. It’s really a crime.

Then, I’m interested in getting people into fly fishing because they’ll be advocates for protecting their resources. Right now, it’s a dying sport. Kids are sitting at home, playing their Game Boys and they’re not out. Especially urban kids, who have a long ways to go before they can catch fish. I’m particularly interested in getting women and their daughters into fly fishing. There’s tremendous interest from women, if it’s done right.

You started fishing with your brother back in Maine. Were you fly fishing?
No, I didn’t get into fly fishing until I was 18 years old when I was in the Tetons. One of the mountain guides, Glenn Exum, who owned the Exum Guide Service, was teaching his son how to fly cast. I was watching him out in the meadow and he looked over at me and said, “Hey. Come on over here, son.” He taught me how to cast, and that was it. I put away my spinning lures and became a fly fisherman.

The last time we talked you said you had to survive off cat food one summer because you were so poor—
—that was the summer!

So once you learned to fish, you didn’t have to eat cat food anymore?
(laughs) I only did that for one summer. I mean, I ate porcupine and ground squirrels. The butcher shop in Jackson would save bones for me. I scavenged a lot of different things. And yeah, I ate fish.

From top: Yvon Chouinard, 2013. Photo: Jeremy Koreski; Yvon Chouinard on the Henry’s Fork River in Idaho fishing for Rainbows, 2013. Photo: Jeremy Koreski; Salmo Salar, no reel no problem, Iceland. Photo: Malinda Pennoyer Chouinard; Don’t fence me in. Yvon Chouinard wrapping up a bad day of fishing. Still beats workin’, Wilson, Wyoming. Photo: Tim Davis

anonymous asked:

I'm starting high school next year and I'm just overall a big ball of anxiety. Any tips just in general (about gym, lockers, people, etc)?

Okay, I’m gonna tell you this now, high school will not be the best experience of your life. Still, there’s nothing to be anxious about as long as you know what to do.

You have so much better shit coming up in your life later on, that high school is gonna be a distant memory, but at the very least try to make it as enjoyable as possible, but remember that your goal is to walk out of there with a diploma. 

So here’s a few tips to make your next few years as easygoing as possible:

  • Upperclassmen are gonna be assholes to you, not much you can do about it, but there are some diamonds in the rough that you’ll come across at some point and they can give you some pretty amazing advice, so take their words to heart.
  • But still most of them are assholes, so just chill out as fresh meat, alright?
  • Also they like to pull pranks.
  • Try not to fall for them.
  • Get more than one gym uniform and remember to take them home each week and wash them. You don’t want to be stinking up the locker room, trust me. 
  • Also have toiletries (deodorant, body spray, lotion) in your gym locker or in your backpack at all times. You’re gonna need them.
  • Gum is also a blessing, keep it on you.
  • Also money. Money’s always good to have. Impromptu Starbucks runs after school happen.
  • Your locker is your friend, but you also don’t need to go to it after every class, so get what you need for a few classes at a time. That time used going to your locker can be easily used for going to the bathroom or talking to a teacher. Try to keep it down to 3 visits a day, first in the morning, then around lunch time, then at the end of the day.’
  • Keep some extra clothes in your locker too, you never know what could happen. Especially a jacket.
  • Also if you menstruate, tampons and pads are good to have on you, but never be afraid to go to the nurse and ask for one. They will have some for you, no questions asked.
  • Also if you menstruate, take vitamins. You need your energy, and you lose a lot of nutrients from your cycle. Don’t worry there’s chewable ones out there.
  • And keep snacks in your backpack and a water bottle. You’re gonna want them. Or at least some change to get something from the vending machine.
  • It’s good to have some friends from middle school going up with you, that way you’re not alone when you’re starting out, but be sure to try and branch out to meet other people. Your original friend group is gonna change by the time you graduate or even by the end of your freshman year, and that’s okay. That’s just how life works.
  • Cliques exist, but there’s a lot of intersection between them, so you can actually have friends of all different creeds believe it or not.
  • Don’t get involved with drama. It’s all trivial and you got better shit to worry about.
  • And don’t go to high school parties, college parties are way better so just wait until then.
  • The dress code is bullshit, but take a look at it anyway to see what you can and cannot wear, some schools and teachers can be really harsh about it. You just gotta deal with it, but believe me, that shit doesn’t matter when you graduate and/or go to college. So just try to wear the stuff you wanna wear.
  • If you’re in a rush, a t-shirt and jeans is always a safe way to go and a universal outfit. 
  • Get to class on time, seriously, those tardies will not only piss of your teachers, but can also cause detentions, which aren’t fun. At all. You can chat with your friends later, I promise.
  • Be pleasant and respectful to your teachers, and they will most likely respect you back. There’s absolutely no reason to be disrespectful to the person trying to give you an education, and you’ll find that it will be to your benefit when you need college recommendations.
  • WORK IN YOUR CLASSES. I know it seems like the “cool” thing to goof off, but no please pay attention and work during class time, and if you have questions, ASK YOUR TEACHER. There’s no need to feel nervous, but if it’s more comfortable for you, talk to your teacher after class is over. They’re there to help you.
  • Try not to miss too many classes, it adds up and your grade will suffer, so don’t do that too often. Also if you don’t miss too many classes, you don’t have to take the finals which means you get done with the year earlier, woohoo!
  • Still, it’s okay to take a day every once in a while if you need to, if you have work to catch up on or whatnot, or just need to get yourself together. Your sanity and well-being matter too, don’t forget that.
  • Take classes to challenge yourself like Honors, AP, Dual Enrollment, etc., but remember to pace yourself AND DO NOT OVERLOAD YOURSELF OR FEEL PRESSURED TO TAKE CLASSES YOU’RE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH. AS IN, DON’T TAKE AN AP MATH CLASS IF YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT MATH. Colleges don’t want to see your struggle through AP courses on your transcript, they wanna see your best.
  • Get involved with some extracurriculars your freshman year, and try to stick with something all four years, it’ll benefit you in the long run. Still, find something you enjoy, don’t do something because you feel like you have to.
  • Start driving as soon as you’re ready, but you’re gonna hate riding the bus by junior year, so also know who can give you rides in the morning.
  • Go to Homecoming, Prom, and other dances while in school. It’s actually a lot of fun if you’re with the right people.
  • Do NOT feel pressured to get into a relationship in high school. It’s not worth it honestly, you got your whole life ahead of you. You can focus on your love life later after you walk across that stage.
  • Still, if your interested in someone, there’s nothing wrong with having a relationship, but don’t let your priorities shatter over it.
  • Sex Ed is also bullshit, please try to do some of your own research to learn about your body, and start thinking about going to see a gynecologist after you turn 16.
  • You don’t have to have sex yet, but if you do, USE A CONDOM. 
  • Trust your gut instinct, it’s there for a reason.
  • Football is overrated, but at least try to go to the Homecoming game each year. BUT STAY AWAY FROM THE PAINTED PEOPLE, THEY DON’T SEAL THEIR PAINT.
  • People are gonna be rude asswipes about you in some way or another because they’re immature, but trust me if you just ignore them and stay in your own friend group, you’ll be fine.
  • You don’t need a lot of friends, but be kind and sociable with everyone that you work with or come in contact with!
  • Lastly, don’t forget that you have an entire life ahead of you, this time is gonna be awkward and weird, hell, you’re a pubescent teen trying to understand wtf is going on with yourself while balancing the hells of high school, it’s not easy, but you’re gonna get through it and everything is gonna change for the better. Don’t let anyone try to dictate your happiness except for yourself. And have fun, believe me it’s possible.

Need any other tips? Let me know!

Gino, 5'9’’. I went through my couch a week ago while cleaning and found my old school ID! It expired last year so I need a new one but I was looking at the picture and was like “Damn I was that big?”

Left I was 350lbs in 2010 and right is a pic taken a few weeks ago at 250lbs.

What I did first was in 2009 just start walking around my neighborhood and eating less. I didnt eat healthy real, I just controlled my portion sizes. But me becoming sick with my illnesses I have now, made me postpone my weight loss. I had to quite school for awhile and also quit my job at Target where I was working 40+ hours a week. 

I got back in school in 2010 (when the ID was taken) but I also spent the whole year in depression. From being overweight and being very very sick. 

In 2011 one of my all time heroes, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock came back to WWE and I saw how much mass he put on from the last time he was in the WWE (2003 or 2004 I believe) I thought to myself “Holy fucking shit!” and was like “Thats it, I need to get me ass in gear”

So in February of 2011 I decided to start again with my weight loss. In a span of 8 months just about, I dropped 40lbs by walking, going to the gym for the treadmill, doing 15 minute exercises each night at home, and counting calories. I ate no more than 1800 calories a day but made sure to eat at least 1600. 

Then in late 2011 I wanted to get more into fitness so I started to do P90X. I bought the whole program and did 2 and ½ rounds. By the summer of 2012 I lost another 40lbs making it a total of 80lbs I lost. Then in laste 2012 I bought Insanity. I still did P90X here or there, but I did 1 and ½ rounds of Insanity. Then by summer 2013 I also did a P90X and Insanity hybrid. By late 2013, I say around October, I finally reached 100lbs lost, being at 250lbs. 

Since October I have started a new regimen called Intermittent Fasting. I fast every day from 8pm till the next day at noon (12pm). From noon till 8pm I eat and make sure to reach at least 2000 calories a day. I have all my meals, Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. I also incorporate Fasted Strength Training at the Gym 3-4 times a week with a little cardio. Not much at all. Then I also do Macro-nutrient Cycling. Macro-nutrient Cycling is when you take your macros (fats, carbs, proteins) and cycle them each day. I eat an equation of Fats < Carbs <Protein on Gym days and Carbs < Fats < Protein on rest days. What that means is on gym days I make sure my fats are really low (really no more than 50g) and my carbs are moderate (around 100 to 150g) and my protein is high (around 200g). On rest days I make sure my carbs are low (no more than 100g), my fats are moderate (around 100-120g) and my protein is high (still around 200g). 

Its been working for me and I have lost inches, am now in a XL shirt and hoodie. But of course the scale plays with my mind…saying I have gained weight. So dont listen to the scale lol. I have gained mass and at the same time my fat is burning. 

I lost all this weight…while battling illnesses. Just in 2013 alone I was hospitalized FIVE times. Its a record for me. lol. Just dont give up. I still have a ways to go till I am comfortable with who I am. I still have my body hate days, but I never give up. I am so much better than I was 4 years ago. 

Keep fighting. 

If you want to follow me, please do! I love new followers and answering any questions about my weight loss and illnesses. I have other photos of myself on my blog taking a look back over the years at my progress :)

Take care!

—– Follow here for more weight loss, fitness, and healthy eating before and after!

anonymous asked:

(1) Sorry to go all dumb and personal on you (actually I'm not that sorry), but I recently found your blog and I don't feel like other non-scientists will understand. I am studying biochemistry with plans to go to grad school for ocean science to do research in biogeochemistry. Lately I've been facing this crushing sense of incompetency. It is likely a result of personal and medical problems, but going to school and learning crazy stuff like microbiology and genetics and metabolism used to be

pleasurable for me. These days it is a complete drag to get out of bed, and the awe and wondrousness of the material I’m learning is shrouded in hard work and frustration. I don’t want to lean on the excuse “but this is HARD, you shouldn’t feel incompetent just because you’re struggling with something that is expected to be difficult”. I’m an adult, I can handle the truth: I’m just not that bright. The really important thing is finding my enthusiasm again. I used to have this vision of being a travelling scientist, going all around the world, scuba diving, and studying nutrient cycling and toxicity and promoting ocean conservation. Now when I picture myself in the future, I just see a sad, old woman struggling to find happiness, working a deadbeat job and doing stuff that I don’t feel any excitement for.

I know how you feel. I struggle to find motivation to work every single day. Some of the things I have to study are genuinely beyond my ability - today is a great example: I had a statistics lecture, followed by a seminar on global change. The stats lecture consisted of an hour and a half of a mathematician teaching maths the way you would teach it to a group of mathematicians, and not the way it should be taught to biologists, concentrating on proofs instead of just teaching us what we need to know. The seminar was on eutrophication - a lot of technical experiments on the affects of different chemicals on the biotic composition of lakes. I struggle with both of these subjects, and I’ll be honest: I was so un-motivated for the latter that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do in preparation for that class, and statistics makes me feel stupid, and I hate being made to feel stupid. All round a pretty bad day, that was only compensated for by my finding a Zootoca vivipara on a tree just outside my university buildings :)

This whole ‘I’m not that bright’ thing is bollocks. Just because you struggle with these subjects does not make you dim. You might be a whiz at other subjects, or when courses are taught in different ways. It is all circumstantial. Don’t expect to be the best in your class - 99% of all students are not the best in their classes by the very nature of that accolade. You are allowed to struggle with things. Sticking with them when they are hard for you deserves respect - it is a lot braver to stick with something you find difficult than to float along.

All I can say is that you have to find that thing that gets you out of bed. If you are trying to do things that are so technical and complex that you cannot wrap your head around them then you have two options in my eyes: either you need to get private tutelage/find a way to teach it to yourself so you can keep up, or you need to change subjects.

It is not a pleasant experience to be stuck in a field that you find difficult to the point where it is unrewarding. If you don’t feel a spark for what you are doing anymore, then get. out. It’s as simple as that. Nobody wants an unmotivated employee, and you deserve happiness in your employment.

Remember that just because one dream is dead, doesn’t mean you can’t find a new one. Maybe the first one wasn’t realistic. Maybe it was. What matters is that you have something to strive for, because that creates a drive. A thing to work toward; something to get you out of bed. Just don’t expect to find it immediately, and don’t expect it to be smooth sailing the whole way. It won’t be.

But also remember to give yourself time. Time to adjust. Time to find your passion and enthusiasm. I have had a series of rather bad experiences in the last five years that have taken a toll in every part of my life, and every time it results in a complete loss of enthusiasm for anything but death by cake. But in time, it all gets better. I find myself again. I find what makes me get out of bed in the morning. The thing I live for. Give yourself a chance. Try out new things to see if you can find a new passion.

Don’t give up and don’t lose hope. You will find a way. Seek the spark, and when you find it, use it to build a fire.