Good News, Bad News

What a week!

As the title suggests, things have been an ever-exciting cocktail of highs and lows. Life is a rickety wooden roller coaster, but fortunately, those are my favorite kinds of rides. Also, there is more good news than bad news!

Good News – Gross anatomy exams went so well last week! I am grateful for intelligent and motivating classmates/friends who helped me through that intense study period.

Good News – The men at the Catholic Center put on an incredible “Women’s Appreciation Night” last Thursday, complete with real plates and silverware, a three course meal, and SWING DANCING. Chivalry is not dead!

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look how dressed up they are!

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that bacon-wrapped chicken was bomb

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shoutout to Evan and Veronica for giving the swing dance lesson (and to all the guys for actually dancing with us – I tried hard to not be the leader 😀 )

Are we queens or what!?

Bad News – Megan and I have found SIX cockroaches in our apartment in the past two weeks. The first one was not cool, the second one was a problem, and the next four have been borderline traumatizing.

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And she really did leave a singular rain boot for me in the kitchen.

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As well as the delicious corn bread, which made matters slightly better.

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We finally just called Emergency Facilities yesterday, so they’re coming to fumigate the place today.

We’re clean people, we promise! We also tried spraying the place ourselves, but apparently, using bug killer spray on the perimeter of the floors just makes the roaches crawl on the walls and on top of the refrigerator (!!!????!?@#$!@#%!).

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How I currently walk around the apartment more often than not. Although, squishing the roaches is potentially worse, because it might attract more?? Whatever the case, Megan and I take at least 20 minutes to recover from each huge roach we encounter.

Me to Rachel:

Good News – We have a warm bed, food, and shelter. There are worse things that could be happening.

Bad News – Speaking of housing though, my roommates for next year and I are scrambling with apartment searching/landlord issues. GAH adulting is hard.

Good News – I have been drinking and eating delicious mango things.

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champagne mangos that go down like buttahhhh

Bad News – Last night I had one of those “oh crap I have so much work to do these next few weeks” moments. Naturally, I started writing this blog post in the midst of it all.

Good News – On Saturday, my friend Rebecca and I attended a free trial class at CrossFit Fenway! It was a pretty basic class, understandably, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Crossfit “box”, and our instructor was very knowledgable and motivating.

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After going through the warmup + basic movements, our short WOD (workout of the day) was:

90 second max calorie row

1 min. rest

8 min. AMRAP:

  • 12 squats
  • 9 abmat situps
  • 6 ring rows

Nothing fancy, but it was fun to do it with a group. Other people at the gym were doing Open Workout 17.5 and I was wishing I could participate! Thrusters and double unders are two movements I can actually do.

Bad News – I think it would be fun to join CrossFit box, but it is expensiveeee and your girl can’t afford that right now. Also, our Fitness and Recreation center on campus is fantastic already.

Good News – I had my first workout/Bible study this past Sunday, and it was great! Four girls are in the group, and I take them through a 30-45 min. workout + a 30-45 min. Bible study based on Theology of the Body (trying to tie together that body-soul idea ya know). I’m really excited for it! The girls killed this workout I put together:

4 rounds (10 sec rest/30 sec work)

  • burpees
  • squats OR squats with overhead press
  • plank OR spiderman plank
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup to T OR plank to T
  • high knees

And then we had a good discussion about body image!

Bad News – It’s rainy all week.

Good News – I finally got to watch Inside Out, and I LOVE IT.

Bad News – I didn’t actually get to finish Inside Out, sooooo now I’m at a cliffhanger and I need to find another time to watch the rest.

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Good News – I watched all of Beauty and the Beast in theaters with Rachel on Friday, and it. was. magical. Wonderful animation and music, and Emma Watson is gorgeous. Highly recommend! (p.s. Disney is making a live-action Mulan movie coming out November 2018!!!)

Bad News – Eh, I’m done complaining. No more bad news.

Good News – I made and ate enchiladas for the first time ever last night. I bought a can of Hatch enchilada sauce from Thrive a while ago and finally put it to use with this recipe. They ROCK and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them this week!

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I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Laugh about the little problems and have faith that it will all be okay.

So tell me:

One piece of good news (you can share a bad one too if you want, but at least one good one!) 🙂

Have you ever had a pest problem?

Have you ever eaten enchiladas before?

 

Don’t Let The Mirror Steal Your Joy

Real talk tiiiiiiime.

Last week, I completed a fun workout outside. I think it was this one:

5 rounds
  • run the cul-de-sac (~200m)
  • 60 sec squat jump with knee up twist (15#)
  • 60 sec v-ups
  • 60 sec down dog spiderman pushups
  • 60 sec reverse lunge with kick (30#)
  • 30 sec side plank right
  • 30 sec side plank left

It involved running, so you know I felt extra accomplished when I finished. I was hot and tired, but I also felt energized and strong.

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But then I looked in the mirror, and all of a sudden I didn’t feel as satisfied with my workout anymore. I honestly think I’d been watching too many Crossfit videos that weekend, so all I had been looking at were bodies like Stacie Tovar’s:

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I’m obviously not as fit as a Crossfit Games athlete (or almost any Crossfitter, for that matter), but when I looked in the mirror, I subconsciously compared my body to fitter, leaner bodies.

And that stole my joy.

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We’ve talked about the comparison trap 1000000 times on this blog, but it never seems to fade away (for me at least). Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that I am in a healthier place than ever, mentally. But it’s still important to realize that aspiring for thinness OR fitness can be dangerous (← great article from Spoon University).

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In other words, aspiring for another person’s body (seeing someone else’s body as #goals) is denying yourself the opportunity to realize the amazing things about your body and what you can do.

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If I let myself define my workouts by how I look afterwards, I will end up miserable, and working out will become merely a means to an “end”— to have a certain physique (which is actually not an end because physical aesthetic alone is never fulfilling IMHO).

This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t set goals, but I think there’s a difference between setting goals to be like someone else and setting goals to be the best version of yourself at this stage in your life.

Even with that perspective though, how can you tell what “your best” is? Am I not doing “my best” right now just because I’m not pushing myself to lift the heaviest weights possible, to run more, or to eat less sugar? Maybe. But I’m going to say that I am doing my best, because I have other priorities ahead of fitness (that is, fitness that goes above and beyond basic fitness for health) towards which I devote my time and energy as well.

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Since I’ve been working out when I feel like it and in a way that feels right for my body on each day, I’ve truly come to love working out. When I started this blog almost three years ago, I probably said that I loved working out, but I don’t think I truly did. I was still forcing myself to work out when I didn’t want to and to do workouts that were way too intense for what I needed that day.

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throwback to when I went to New York Sports Club in high school

This also doesn’t mean that you should never work out if just because you don’t feel like it. However, if there is one Pinterest quote I am willing to share over and over again, it’s this one:

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So cheers to moving and grooving…

…whether that’s running or walking…push-ups on your knees or clapping push-ups…air squats or heavy squats.

…whether you have a cut six-pack or a “muffin top” with those spandex capris…a perky butt or a cellulite-dimpled butt…biceps or no biceps (I happen to have the latter on all three of these)…

Don’t let the mirror steal your joy. Let exercise itself be your jam, not just “the body” (whatever that is to you).

So tell me:

Have you ever let the mirror steal your joy after a workout?

Other thoughts! 

Confessions of a College Homebody

We have just a little over a week left in March! 2016 is basically around the corner.

I kid, but WOW, time is moving and grooving, am I right? To prove that, I can tell you that last week was a blur, which explains why I didn’t blog. That makes me sad.

But here we are on this fine Monday, ready to tackle a new week! I can’t promise I’ll be posting more than last week, but I can promise that I have some blog posts in the noggin that will make it to you very soon. For today though, I want to talk to you about how I’m a homebody.

I like to think that I am an adventurous and fun person, but there are many times when I just want to be in my room by myself, catching up on blogs, listening to music (when it’s not Lent), and just decompressing (both figuratively and literally; lying down after standing all day is heavenly for the spine).

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I love going out and trying new things, but I’ve come to terms that I tend to want to stay at home. Another term for a college student like me could be “loser”…and that could be accurate. But in my world, there are times for young and wild adventure (like the Great NYC Food Tour and that time I encountered an alligator in the wild) and there are times for retirement-status rest and relaxation. My weekends often call for the latter, and I’m okay with that.

There’s an underlying reason as to why I was a grandma for Halloween, I guess.

So what did I even do this weekend?

Friday

Worked out, showered, went to class, ate a fantastic Fish Friday lunch…

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tuna salad, veggie, honey mustard sandwich + maple orange tempeh and brussels sprouts

…took a nap, went to work…

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proud of this lemon pepper honey dill salmon that I made at work

…came home, ate oatmeal a la dorm for dinner (because the dining hall had already closed)…

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…and then watched CrossFit videos for the rest of the night.

Saturday

Ate oatmeal a la dorm for breakfast, help set up a Students for Life conference, stayed for a couple of the talks…

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…left the conference to change into BU gear and prepare for my campus tour, ate lunch…

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huge salad + “Asian salisbury steak” with “soba noodles” (yes, those all needed quotation marks, but it was delicious nonetheless!)

…gave my first campus tour ever (!!!)…

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…went back to the room to eat a snack, went back to the conference for a few hours, ate dinner, studied, did summer job searching, blogged…

…and I resisted Rachel with all my might, who was trying so desperately to get me to go out. But I told her that I wasted my time doing nothing on Friday night, so I needed to do work. She is right to suspect that I don’t remember the last time I went out on a weekend night during school, but I’m not complaining!

Sunday

Worked out, showered, ate breakfast…

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…did some homework, went to Mass, ate lunch, studied some more, walked around a bit, ate dinner, more job searching, FaceTimed with the parents, blogged…

…and here we are. I think I want a snack.

If you’re still reading this, you’re the coolest. On the surface, my weekend definitely wasn’t some wild adventure out on the town, but I still think it was filled with fun and exciting events! The Students for Life conference was awesome and inspiring, my first campus tour went very well, I walked outside in the sunshine (praise Jesus, winter is breaking), and found some possible job opportunities for the summer.

But don’t worry, I do have a social life and other weekend plans in the future. I’m not going to pass up the student activities here on campus!

Also, random inclusion: I whipped out this miracle substance for my weird spine pain, and it WORKS.

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It has that wonderful hot-cold, minty sensation that soothes your aches and pains. Ahhhhh. If you’ve never tried Tiger Balm, I highly recommend it for sore muscles, sprains, and maybe even aromatherapy (stuff smells so good IMO).

So there you have it, friends. Confessions of a college homebody.

Hope you all have a beautiful Monday! Let’s all get out of our comfort zone today, deal? 🙂

So tell me:

Do you tend to be a homebody or an adventurer?

One exciting thing you did this weekend.

One mundane thing you did this weekend.

Have you ever used Tiger Balm?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIII {100 Burpee Challenge PR}

HI I’VE MISSED YOU.

School. That’s my only excuse. And maybe some nights when I did not want to do anything at all except watch YouTube videos, but that’s good for sanity, right?

More to come tomorrow! But today is Sunday, which means…

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

1 mile jog to the gym + leg workout

  • 1×8 (115#), 5×5 (125#) squats // 10 squat jumps between each set
  • 5×5 trap bar deadlifts (135#) // 10 box jumps between each set (20 inches)
  • 3×8 Bulgarian split squats each leg (30#) // 16 jump lunges between each set
  • 3×20 hamstring ball curls // 30 side jump lunges between each set

Walking was a little painful on Monday.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + Purely Twins’ 18 minute plank workout

That plank workout is one of my favorite quick, low-impact workouts ever. It makes my whole body shake every single time.

Tuesday

Rest

Wednesday

jog to the gym + 500m row + “WOD” + jog back from the gym

My impromptu “WOD” was 5 rounds of:

I always go to the gym with my friend PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I was so tired this week. I texted him saying I would go later in the afternoon, but then I changed my mind and just went in the morning since I was already up (I was majorly conflicted—it took me so long to decide what to do with myself). I also needed to study a little bit more for an anatomy exam I had at 11AM, so I was in and out of the gym in about 20 minutes. Whatever works!

Thursday

100 burpees for time

It had been a long while since I had done 100 burpees for time, but I think it might have been one and a half years ago! I came across the 100 burpee challenge again on Krista’s blog, 12 Minute Athlete, so I thought it would be a good, fast workout to do in my dorm (since I slept in that morning). Plus, I ♥ burpees.

My PR in 2013 was 7:54, but this time I completed 100 burpees in 6:40! Just less than seven minutes, but I was feelin’ it for the rest of the morning.

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I broke up the burpees into sets of 30, 10, 10, 20, 15, and 15. Now if only I could run a mile in this time… Just the thought of that makes me cringe.

Friday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + three 10 min. AMRAP workouts

First 10 min. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) inspired by this one from The Blonde Ponytail:

Second 10 min. AMRAP:

Third 10 min. AMRAP:

I finished either 4 round or just under 4 rounds for each of the mini workouts. This was a really fun way of keeping me interested during my time at the gym!

Unfortunately though, I had a slight pain in my upper (inferior cervical, to be exact, yay anatomy) spine area that started before spring break, and the overhead motions in these workouts seemed to tweak that pain even more. Thus, I’m going to take it easy on my shoulders and neck, and I hope to do some yoga this week!

Saturday

Active rest

Some walking, air squats, pushups, sit-ups, burpees…

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I’ll talk to you all tomorrow! Hope you have a lovely Sunday. (Palm Sunday is in ONE WEEK and Easter is in TWO WEEKS!)

So tell me:

Have you ever tried the 100 burpee challenge?

What is one way you like to make your workout extra fun? Besides circuit workouts, I love pyramid workouts, dance, and ultimate frisbee!

Being Judgmental of Your Own Hunger Cues

I have concluded that video games/virtual worlds are not my cup o’ tea.

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“Oh I’m supposed to follow the arrow!”

My brother and I took our cousins to Disney Quest— Disney’s multi-floor arcade and video game attraction— for a fun “kids” day while our parents dined at a fancy restaurant. It was super fun spending time with the dudes, but I can only stare at colorful lights and crazy pixels for so long (ironic because I can look at a computer screen for quite a long time…but that’s different from looking at crashing cars and flashing neon lights).

I was literally saying Hail Mary’s before going into one of those virtual roller coaster things that require you to go into a capsule, be strapped in, and stare at a virtual roller coaster on a screen while you’re being tossed around inside the capsule. Bleccchhhhh.

It’s no wonder that I was perfectly content just drawing Minnie Mouse at the “Animation Academy” lesson.

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My cousin said she was a chubby Minnie. I call it baby Minnie.

Air hockey, giant Fruit Ninja, and Dance Dance Revolution were also pretty fun 🙂

We ended our night at Splitsville “Luxury Bowling” for dinner (even though we didn’t bowl). We shared fried calamari to start, and then I had the ahi tuna salad with Asian pear dressing. Tasty!

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Earlier yesterday morning, I ate a nice and filling breakfast that consisted of butt-end toasts with sunflower seed butter and peanut butter; plain Greek yogurt with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and banana slices; and some mango.

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I woke up at 8:30 after going to bed at 2:30 AM, so I actually went back to sleep for another hour after breakfast and some blog reading. When I re-awoke, I ate another banana and then tackled some moves. Yesterday was a 5 minute jump rope warmup, foam rolling, and this at-home chipper workout from Tina.

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{via}

This is a GREAT workout. Challenging, quick, and no equipment required! However, I did use a 36# barbell for 50 of the squats and an abmat for the sit-ups for a little bit of an extra challenge. I also did jump lunges instead of alternating lunges. My quads were Jell-O.

Lunch followed immediately after! I ate some bites of my mom’s leftover seafood mofongo from Tuesday night, and then I made myself avocado toast and two-egg scramble with spinach and feta. I also ate a clementine after this— they’re sweet and juicy this time of year!

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We ate outside because the weather was perfection. I expressed my love for this moment on Instagram 🙂

Now I want to put on my serious-ish face and talk to you about something. (Warning: some of the following content may be triggering to those struggling with eating disorders. Take care! ♥ )

judgmental hunger cues

Whenever I go on day-long outings with family and friends other than my immediate family, I tend to fall into the dreaded comparison trap when it comes to food (obviously not a fault of my family or friends whatsoever!). I’ve gotten over the comparison trap quite successfully in college, but new situations always seem to throw me right back into it.

For example, I love breakfast, so I’m going to eat a big and/or dense morning meal such as the one I ate yesterday. Then I’ll see that every other person is eating half a waffle with a glass of juice or just a bowl of cereal, and they’ll be completely satisfied. “Oh…”

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This is not to say that there is anything wrong with small breakfasts if that’s your jazz!

It’s easier for me to brush this off because I know I tend to have bigger breakfasts than most of my friends, but that’s what works and that’s what I love. However, three hours later I might be hungry for a snack while no one else is.

There are also times when I’ll be hungry, have a snack, but then at dinner be just as hungry as everyone else who did not eat a snack since lunch. And sometimes I’ve had a bigger lunch than them.

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“Is there something wrong with me? Am I just thinking of food too much? (possibly.) C’mon, Alison, you can’t be hungry right now. You shouldn’t be.”

Shouldn’t. The judgmental word that messes with my brain and results in me overcomplicating food even more.

When I start judging my hunger cues, I sometimes end up eating more than I usually would once mealtime comes, because I don’t want to feel snacky later when no one else feels snacky. I am tempted to restrict (on a much, much smaller scale than I did during my eating disorder) or “compensate”.

{Allow me to clearly say: I have thankfully come a long way from my eating disorder, and I believe that I am at a healthy place mentally and physically. However, I think I speak on behalf of many people who have experienced EDs when I say that there are occasionally residual struggles that never truly disappear.}

In realizing the harm of judging my own hunger cues, I have also come to realize that I do not have the right to judge others’ eating habits (of course, unless something was clearly concerning). I used to wonder why some of my friends weren’t as hungry during lunch in high school, and I would criticize them for not eating enough. In reality, I was insecure about my own eating habits, and I unfortunately took it out on others.

God has mercifully given me the strength to deal with the temptation of judgement of myself and others, and I have been able to trust my body’s hunger cues. I know what works for me. Some days it’s a lot of snacks, and some days it’s three square meals. Some days I eat every meal three hours later than “normal” meal times, and some days I have totally disorganized mealtimes.

Our bodies are smart cookies (or smart banana in my case 😉 ) that all work uniquely for each individual. Even then, the body works uniquely for a single individual on different days.

There’s no place for judgement.

I’d also like to reiterate here that I almost never show everything I eat throughout the day on the blog!

Alrighty, I’m done.

Hope you all have a beautiful day! Go easy on yourself.

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself judging your own eating habits?

Do you like visual-motion/simulator rides?

What is one delicious thing you ate yesterday?