Everything You Would Want To Know About My Fitness Lately

Apparently being “on track” was a hot topic early this week!

I posted my thoughts on “getting back on track” after vacation on Monday. Paige posted “How to Bounce Back After Falling Off Track” on Monday. Colby posted “Staying On Track” on Sunday. (p.s. loved both of their posts! go check ’em out!)

Also hot this week? The TEMPERATURES.

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…for some people this is light cheese, but this is steamy for me.

These temperatures are making me feel perpetually sweaty. Not to mention how much my face sweats during my workouts, especially if I take them outdoors.

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I’m not a cat person, but this fella here is my spirit animal of the summer.

And that was the drawn-out transition to the real topic of today: how my fitness has been looking lately!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been posting more fitness videos in the past few months, ever since I officially joined Fit University.

I could say, “A bunch of people have been asking me about my workouts,” but that would be a big, fat lie. I think only my aunt has actually asked, but I thought I’d give you all a detailed post about my fitness in case you were curious!


How often do I work out? 

Right now, 4-6 times per week. I try to move in some way or another every day, but complete rest days are definitely in there every week.

What is a typical week of workouts for me?

  • 2-4 days of HIIT workouts OR strength/conditioning
  • 2-4 active rest days/lower intensity workouts (yoga, pilates, skill work, etc.)
  • 1-2 full rest days

I rarely do solely strength days these days, mostly because I don’t have time, but I also don’t currently have access to a lot of good, heavy strength equipment (read: a squat rack). If I do strength, there’s always some cardio/circuit training involved.

For example, here are last week’s workouts:

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sorry for the weird formatting — these are all screenshots

How do I decide what to do?

My workout depends on:

  • how much time I have
  • what kind of equipment is available/if I get to the gym or not
  • what I’m feeling that day (the #1 factor)

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sometimes I feel like this before and/or after the gym

Sometimes I write my workouts the day before if I have an idea of what my body will want/what I would like to work on. More often than not though, I just go with the flow. I love to challenge myself in order to improve, but I don’t strictly hold myself to a certain workout/rep scheme/weight if I’m really not feelin’ it. I’ve really learned to embrace modification.

I also like to add a lot of compound movements (like burpees!) to my workouts. I don’t usually like to dedicate any more than one hour to a structured workout, so compound movements help me work a bunch of different muscle groups in a short period of time!

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rowing is the only cardio machine I like these days

Lastly, I draw inspiration from so many different people around the internet. My favorites:

I love to do their workouts, but for the most part, I’ve been writing my own workouts based on their formats. Or sometimes I just come up with something completely new.

P.S. Most of the time, I end with stretching.

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Do I have any fitness goals?

I’m mostly just aiming to be consistent and to continuously challenge myself, but if I had to point out specific goals (which I have not written down until now):

  • handstand walks
  • one arm handstand hold with my legs together (against a wall for now)
  • strict toes to bar
  • increase pull-up reps
  • explosiveness

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I need to get back to these stairs sometime soon too.

How do I get better at a skill/exercise?

Do it over and over and over again. Use progressions (!!!), do drills, and focus on good form, but just practice. Take good rest days and eat enough too!

How do I decide whether I want to work out or not?

I do not work out when:

  • I’m absolutely exhausted, to the point where walking is difficult and I know I need sleep.
  • I have other fun plans that I cannot pass up.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve taken a rest day.
  • I just don’t have time.

I might work out OR do an active rest day if:

  • I’m sore.
  • I’m really craving a stretch.
  • I just want to work on yoga, pilates, mobility or skills.
  • I’m sleepy.
  • Sweating a lot would be inconvenient.

I do work out (i.e. circuit/HIIT/strength) when none of the above apply.

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Why do I work out?

It makes me happy. (Don’t roll your eyes at me yet!)

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No, working out did not always make me happy in the past. Yes, workouts can totally suck while I’m doing them.

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me between every round of last Thursday’s workout

That’s why I’m such a proponent of working out depending on how you feel. It’s important to challenge yourself and push past comfort if you want to improve, this is true. But if you’re making yourself miserable day in and day out, you’re damaging your relationship with fitness (and probably damaging your body too).

I still get nervous before some of my workouts, because I know they’ll be difficult. I still think of giving up after the first round sometimes.

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It’s an awesome feeling to be 100% spent after completing a workout, but not every day!

The difference between now and the past (when I obsessively exercised in tandem with my disordered eating habits) is that I don’t lift a weight just because someone else lifted that weight. I appreciate the progress that I make, but realize that some days are better than others. I no longer work out with the pressure of burning a certain number of calories. I am no longer ashamed of modifying. I am no longer afraid to fail.

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throwback to when Sarah’s Cyc class absolutely kicked my ass

It took me a long time to be okay with those things, but time is a great healer. I thank God for the gift of movement and its healing/therapeutic/confidence-boosting powers. I guess that’s why physical therapy is so attractive to me!

How do I motivate myself to work out?

Before the workout: The more I listen to my body and allow myself to do the workout I’m craving, the more motivated I am. On harder workout days, it does take a little bit more mental effort, but knowing that there is an opportunity to move, improve, and take care of my body is enough to get me to at least start the workout.

During the workout: I used to think of badass athletes for motivation when I worked out, but ever since starting work at the rehab hospital, I actually think of the patients when I work out. In my head, I hear the therapists saying things like, “You said you couldn’t do one more step ten steps ago! One more, c’mon.” People who are fighting to walk inspire me to fight during my workouts, as cheeeeeeee-zeeeeee as that sounds.

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How do I know when to push through workouts/How do I push through?

It takes time to truly listen to your body. I think each individual has to find out how to do that through trial and error. I’ve learned some nuggets of wisdom from great fitness role models that have helped me though:

  • Complete a good warmup and see how you feel if you are on the fence about working out or not.
  • The beginning of the workout is always the hardest…
  • …BUT if your form is failing (on exercises that you can normally do well) and you feel miserable after the first round, you probably need to stop and take a day off OR modify. Working out can do more damage than good on some days.
  • Focus on one exercise at a time.
  • Form and safety are most important.
  • You don’t have to push to failure every time. I don’t even think you should push to failure every time.
  • BREATHE.
  • You can often do more than your mind initially thinks you can do. (And if your body can’t, then at least you tried!)

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So there ya have it! Everything about my fitness that you didn’t even ask for. 🙂 But seriously, I hope some of you found this helpful for your own fitness journeys. Please remember that these are all things that have worked for me personally through experience. Everyone is different! And although I do my best to learn from credible sources, I am not an expert in anything.


So tell me:

How do you like to move on a weekly basis?

Do you have any fitness goals?

How do you listen to your body when it comes to working out or not?

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Let Me Brag About My Friends Again

I’m currently sitting outside on this last day of spring break, and I’m feeling all kinds of emotions.

Sad that spring break is over, overjoyed that the weather has been beautiful, grateful for amazing friends, anxious for the second half of the semester, and excited for what’s to come.

But can I brag about these people in my life who I call my friends (I think they call me their friend too, but who really knows)? These last few days of spring break have been wonderful in every way, but mostly in how down-to-earth, fun, and faithful my friends are. I’ve said this so many times before, but they constantly inspire me to be better and grow closer to God.

Friday

Friday started with some homework, maybe? I don’t remember. Regardless, the important part of the day was Mass and lunch with my friend Katie!

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perfect weather

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We chatted about the very depths of our souls over some bomb salads from Sweetgreen. I forgot to take picture with her, so my type-A-blogger self is sad.

The rest of the day involved Kan-Jam, a trip to the gym (too many heavy squats ➔ sore for DAYS), homework, and early bedtime.

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Saturday

I worked from 10-3 before playing outside in the perfect weather (again). I also stopped by Whole Foods to buy a box of salad greens, Fage Greek yogurt (that was on sale!), fresh strawberries (also on sale) and Nature’s Path mixed berry buckwheat freezer waffles (also on sale #collegebudget). Those four things were my sustenance for the weekend.

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crumbs everywhere on my bed

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Yogurt, nut butter, waffles, berries, and leaves— nothing out of the ordinary for me anyway.

Saturday night brought some fun festivities! My friends and I went out for drinks…

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…and I was the only one in our group under 21, which explains my Shirley Temple pictured above.

*waitress taking orders*

Friend 1: Guinness, please.

Friend 2: I’ll also have a Guinness.

Friend 3: Guinness.

Friend 4: Guinness for me too.

Me: …Can I get a Shirley Temple?

Honestly, that’ll probably be me when I’m 21 anyway.

Nevertheless, ’twas a grand ol’ night, complete with live Irish music and dancing. I’m grateful for my older friends who let me have fun with them despite me being an infant.

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They went to another bar at 11, at which time I actually needed to go home. #NoFakeID

Sunday

That one hour loss, guys. IT GOT ME.

Nothing a good breakfast can’t fix though!

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Better yet— Mass with friends… and more perfect weather!

After Mass, I knew that I had to move and groove outside. It seemed like all of Boston was saying hello to the blue skies!

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I ran into more friends, who were willing to put up with my selfie shenanigans in the middle of their workout.

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We all burpee’d a lot.

Lunch was the rest of my salad greens, Snap Pea Crisps, and an almond butter Perfect Bar.

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I was planning on doing some more studying, but I didn’t need to do any work… So I went back outside 😀

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As soon as I whipped out my phone, this squirrel that was stuffing its face stared me down and looked like it was about to kill me.

More frisbee!

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It was also my friend Lauren’s birthday!!!

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four-eyed friends ♥︎ 

The dining halls opened last night (praaaaaise), so a few of us chowed down.

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Then I joined my saintly friends for Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen for a little while before coming back to do some work attempt to do work while waiting for RACHEL TO COME HOME!

She was on a mission trip in Guyana for spring break, so I had not talked to her/seen her/contacted her/known every detail of her life for what seemed like FOREVER. She shared her experiences from the mission trip, and I almost cried. God worked through her in such profound and incredible ways.

She also saw a lot of stars 🙂

Back to the grind today. Sophomore year will come to a close in just six weeks, help.

Hope you all have a kick-butt week! I’m going to need a couple kicks in the butt just to get out of bed.

So tell me:

Something you loved about this weekend.

Something you love about your friends.

Have you ever been “that” person under 21?

Have you ever been on a service or mission trip?

Back in Boston + Five Minute Friday #7

Dinner last night was leftover salad with hummus, Popcorners, a frozen banana, and two spoonfuls of cashew butter. Why did I come back to Boston when the dining halls aren’t open yet???

Well, despite the fact that dining halls aren’t open, I am both nourished and having a great time with friends.

Rewinding back to New York: On Tuesday night, my parents kindly took me out to dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for the best sushi ever.

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I came home and made myself some peanut butter banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended in a food processor with a splash of milk and peanut butter)— an old time fave. I ate it with a little Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granola. Fabulous.

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And then this beautiful person came to visit me after her class ended (at 10 pm!)!

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Daliza! ♥︎ I fed her a pancake with half peanut butter and half nutella + glass o’ milk. Her visit would be incomplete without me giving her something with peanut butter or nutella on it.

Wednesday morning involved overnight oats, packing, and some moves and grooves (handstand walks, pushups, and a 16 minute interval workout) before preparing brunch for my friends Joe and Louis.

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French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon

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“The bacon was very good, Alison. The whole brunch was very good, but the bacon was VERY good.” — Louis

It was my first time cooking bacon, so I’m glad it turned out well. I also blended up a green peanut butter banana smoothie (milk, greek yogurt, frozen banana, peanut butter, and spinach) and forced it down their throats convinced them to try it, since I knew for a fact that they would not be able to taste the spinach.

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They didn’t taste the spinach. #VICTORIOUS. (“There’s like a little bit of an aftertaste.” ← yeah, sure, believe what you want.)

I made myself an avocado, bacon, and egg toast + another egg + sriracha. I also ate my weight in leftover roasted brussels sprouts while I was cooking.

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This was amazing.

Joe, Louis and I hit the road for Boston and made it back in time to enjoy the FREAKING GORGEOUS weather. It hit 70 F — shorts and t-shirt weather! As soon as we arrived on campus, we joined more friends for Can-Jam until it got dark.

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Then we ate dinner at the food court on campus, chilled out on the dock, and played the Ellen Degeneres iPhone game, “Psych”, until we were all falling asleep. Good people, good times.

Yesterday’s activities included some quick moves and grooves (this ab workout), Mass, lunch at Tasty Burger, the Museum of Fine Art, and a special pre-screening of the new movie, The Young Messiah. It’s hard to pick out the best part of the day!

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This was a “dine-in” theater with the most luxurious seats I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

And today I’m going to Mass and lunch with a friend, maybe working out at the gym, and definitely doing lots of studying.

Now that we’re all caught up, how about some Five Minute Friday action? (This post probably took you five minutes to read already…sorry.) This week I’m talking about something very random: where I would want to live after I graduate!

link to the video!

Taking a video of myself on a tire swing in a park that I’d never visited before. Sounds about right for me.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried convincing someone that a smoothie with spinach does NOT taste gross?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

If you love where you live, why is that?

Weekly Moves and Grooves {Weekly Workouts}

Hey hey heyyyyyy!weekly moves and grooves

I want to blog more. I really, truly do. But as many of you can probably understand, college life is quite time-consuming, and if I’m not studying, I’m socializing. If I’m not socializing, I’m eating. If I’m not eating, I’m sleeping…

Well you get the point, but I will definitely try to have an update post on here soon! For now, I have my weekly college moves and grooves to share with you all, as promised.

Hope you’re all doing well!

Monday

5 minutes on the stair master, followed by Julie’s squat jump leg workout

I used the squat rack for the first time ever, kids. EVER. I mean, I have used the Smith squat machine before at my gym back in New York, but normally I would always just use the curling bars by clean-and-pressing them to get them on my shoulders. The squat rack is (obviously) more convenient, and hooray for adding more weight!

This workout left me sore for days, by the way.

Tuesday

Boot camp class!

I took a for-credit boot camp class on Tuesday, but I unfortunately had to drop that class due to some weird scheduling issues. I would have loved to stay in it because the old-school boxing instructor kicked our butts!

We did 22 minutes of running drills and then core work for the rest of the class, including planks— my fave.

Wednesday

Rest

Except for walking everywhere and carrying heavy backpacks and textbooks, which is a darn good workout anyway. I would actually be interested to see how many miles I walk on some days. I’d say a good 3-4 miles at least!

Thursday

5 min row warmup + upper body workout + lots of walking + dodgeball

The upper body workout that I decided to call “psych” because I was looking at my psychology textbook when I was writing it out (I dunno):

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I feel like I needed another rest day instead of this workout because at those very first burpees, I felt fatigued already. I still did it, but it was a tough push!

Friday

Rest

Saturday

5 min adaptive motion trainer + 5 rounds (instead of 10) of this functional workout + upper body weights + 8 min. ab tabata

I was still SUPER fatigued during that functional training workout! I felt weak. I was kind of confused and frustrated since I had taken a rest day, but then I realized that I had done quite a few high intensity workouts this week, and I had certainly done more than I have in past weeks. Thus, I’m going to try focusing more on strength workouts, and then throw in one or two circuit workouts during the week.

Exercising has definitely helped ease the stress of starting classes, so I’m thankful that I can manage to squeeze in workouts and walk A LOT.

Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday! The weather is finally cooling down here, and it is perfection today.

So tell me:

How have you been moving?

Do you find that you feel over-exerted when you do too much of one type of exercise?

I’m Okay With That

Hi!

I feel like I’ve been off my blogging groove since there were a million and one things going on last week. Senior scavenger hunt, prom, after prom, graduation, and graduation parties…Phew! I seriously cannot believe that all happened within a week. I haven’t cried yet, but I have to admit that I’m getting pretty sad that everything is over.

Once I start shopping for dorm bedding…that’s when it gets real.

Well this weekend has been all about celebration, which meant a heck of a lot of food! When I think about my mentality towards food and fitness, I’ve made enormous progress between last year and this year, and definitely between two years ago and this year. If I was surrounded by all this food in the midst of my eating disorder, I probably would have locked myself in my room. Maybe not actually, but I would have gone insane trying to avoid it all.

This weekend, I was so happy to think, “I’m okay with that” for so many things {some food- and fitness-related, some weird-Alison-related}.

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Partying this Monday morning with the lovely Katie!

Friday

I woke up near noon, and I’m {more than} okay with that. I added more sunflower seed butter on top of my overnight oats, even though there was some on the bottom already. I mean, why not? My moves: a brisk, peaceful four mile walk with mom at the park. Nothing intense, and I’m okay with that.

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I still can’t do a dead hang pull up, but I’m okay with that. ‘Cause that’s flippin’ difficult.

But I can do toes to bar now!

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I ate delicious fried hors d’oeuvres at Lauren’s graduation party, and I’m okay with that. (There were fried broccoli and cheese bites, whaaaaat??)

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I filled my plate with a LOT of food, and I finished nearly everything. I’m okay with that. Maybe not at that moment though, since I immediately started dancing afterwards…bleh.

I busted some moves and grooves in the middle of the dance floor, and I’m {obviously} okay with that. Not sure if others were though. 😉

Saturday

I woke up late again and ate a normal-sized breakfast, even though I knew I had a big graduation luncheon coming up at 1 PM. I’m okay with that because I need nut butter in my life.

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I embraced the rich, amazing food at Je’lyn’s lovely graduation party at Morton’s Steakhouse.

I was really okay with the huge, cheesy crouton on this Caesar salad. You would be okay with it too, trust me.

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Also okay with that fresh parm. Mmm.

I used a good amount of the mustard mayo that came on the side with these crab cakes, and I’m okay with that. It’s not pictured here, but there was a small gravy boat of the mayo that came later!

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I devoured most of this key lime pie {crust was the best part of course}, and I’m okay with that.

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Then I hopped on over to Kristi’s graduation party (’tis the season for grad parties)!

I was super full when I got there, but after a couple hours, I ate some chips and a piece of cake. Sugar high? YUP. But I was okay with that. That cake was stellar.

My only moves the whole day was jumping on Kristi’s trampoline, and I’m okay with that. I had a blast!

Even though I ate a lot of crap that day, I knew I never really had a proper dinner, so I ate a midnight snack of veggies, chicken, and an isolated spoonful of almond butter. I’m okay with that.

Sunday

I was somehow hungry for breakfast. Hey, I ♥ breakfast, I’m cool with that!

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cookie dough cereal from Fitnessista

I had a nectarine with my cookie dough cereal, just because it was ripe and I wanted it. Summer in a juicy fruit? Heck yeah, I’m okay with that.

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I went to Mass by myself since my parents and bro went Saturday night while I was party-hopping. Just thought I’d chuck that in there since it was an important part of my day.

Moves: Lori and Michelle’s 18 min. plank workout done in my room. It never seems to get easier, but I’m okay with that because it gives me something to work on.

In the afternoon we went to hang out with Victoria, her friend Eric, and her family in the city!

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Didn’t get a picture with Victoria and/or her family. Whoops.

We had an early dinner at Peking Roast Duck, which was okay with me because I had a wonky, light lunch.

I tried a little bit of everything, and it was all fantastic. Especially the duck.

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I had so much meat during that meal, but I’m okay with that. Putting my carnivore teeth to good use.

I had about ⅔ of my order of Moo Shu Chicken. ‘TWAS THE BOMB.

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Victoria’s dad had the awesome idea to order everything sans salt, and everything ended up tasting perfect! My fellow Asians tend to use a heavy hand with the salt.

I ate dried figs with Greek yogurt at 11 PM, because I love that stuff, and I’m okay with that.

So yes, I was definitely more than okay with this weekend. Not all my food choices were healthy, but that’s life. Sometimes ya just have to say, “Guatever.” 🙂

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

So tell me:

What is something you’re okay with now, but were not okay with in the past?

What has your exercise looked like recently?