I have just started studying for the Rhode Island Bar Exam, which means my time will be strictly regimented for the next 2 months. Today was the first day of the Bar prep class and I can already tell it's all going to be a teensy bit stressful.
I'm taking the Bar class in the morning, working in the afternoons and supposedly eking out a few hours of studying in the evening. Last time I took the Bar (3 years ago) studying was all I did, so I had a lot more time to procrastinate. This time, I have to hit the ground running.
Of paramount importance is my workout and eating regimen. Before I started studying the first time an attorney friend of mine advised me to exercise every day while I was studying. She said every day she went for a good run and it helped her keep her head clear. Toward the end of July, as the test neared, all of her friends had giant explosive freakouts, but she managed to keep it together.
Three years ago, I kept that advice in mind and swam almost every day. I watched what I ate too because I knew that keeping my body fueled on healthy foods would help my mind concentrate and help me to be able to pack in the piles of information I needed to know by the end of July. As a side effect, I lost about 15 pounds. I also learned the information and even though I was stressed, I didn't have any major meltdowns - except for not being able to get more than 2 hours of sleep the night before the first day of the exam, but I think that's probably pretty normal. As the test got closer, my swimming times got faster and faster, so I know I was really working off a lot of the stress.
This time, I am starting the summer weighing a little less than I did at the end of the summer of 2005. If I lose 15 pounds this summer, I will be about 7 pounds away from my goal weight, which would be amazing. I can't even tell you when the last time I weighed anything near that was. Beginning of college maybe?
Even if I don't lose a bunch of weight, though, I am going to do all I can to be healthy and fit in my body, so that my mind has good energy coming to it. Speaking of which, now that I'm eating well, I notice I don't have those middle of the afternoon slumps anymore. Nice.
This morning I swam 80 laps and then I went to class with a berry smoothie and some whole wheat toast and honey, which I munched on during the 4 hour lecture. I felt completely focused and even found myself remembering some of the information from 2005. So that's encouraging.