My fitness journey started with a little Beyonce.

Wow, it’s Thursday already. On Monday I thought to myself, “Hmmm feels like this week is going to be kinda long.” Wrong.

Moves.

Tuesday – 100 burpees throughout the day + upper body workout

*10 burpees between each exercise

Wednesday – active recovery day

  • some walking
  • Blogilates’ extreme abs 3 (done virtually with my friend Dom!)
  • stretching and foam rolling
  • some dancing
some tulips from my walk

Beyonce and the start of my fitness journey. I started gaining interest in fitness as a sophomore in high school. My cardiovascular health was never really great, so I had very humble beginnings that started with 15 minutes on our basement elliptical. Running a mile was a sTrUgGLe for me at this time as well.

As I was still just starting out my training, if I was feeling spicy, I would do a few rounds of Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” music video dance (which is really fun btw) to get my heart rate up. Yesterday I wanted to do it just for fun on my active recovery day, and I just remembered how I used to be winded at the end of it when I was in high school.

Not that I’m super fit (especially cardiovascularly, which is still a weak point for me), but this is all to say that you should never be ashamed of where you are in your fitness journey. You are not pathetic if you can’t run a mile without stopping, do a pushup, do a squat, whatever. You are not pathetic if you get winded with 15 minutes of elliptical like I did in high school. There are benefits to increasing cardiovascular endurance, but start and build up safely and consistently from where you are. That’s perfect.

Johnnyswim. Do you guys know this artist? It’s a husband and wife who make sorta folksy-pop music that is really beautiful. Their new quarantine project is called “Songs with Strangers,” where they select a person on their Instagram Live each week. In ONE DAY, they write, produce, mix and release a new song with the help of that person (usually the person just contributes their story, which becomes the basis of the song lyrics), who ends up getting half of the rights to the song. And let me tell you, these songs are wonderful. Here’s one of my favorites:

It’s also awesome that they’ve been posting the full 7-8 hour Instagram live videos of the entire process. Musicians are amazing.

So tell me:

What do you like to do on rest days / active recovery days? (Sometimes I don’t walk or really do anything. Yesterday was still pretty active!)

Do you remember some things you found difficult at the beginning of your fitness journey?

Do you like Johnnyswim? Are there any cool celebrity quarantine projects that you fancy?

Life + Death

Moves. Sunday’s workout killed me. A pistol squat burpee ladder for the lower body and the cardiovascular system:

  • 10 pistol squats each leg
  • 10 burpees
  • 9 pistols each leg
  • 9 burpees
  • ….all the way down to 1 pistol squat each leg, 1 burpee

I didn’t do anything on Monday due to time constraints. On Tuesday after work though, I needed to move because I was going MAD. I’ve gotten better at “tolerating” lack of movement (whereas in the past I would need to get up ever 10 minutes to walk or squat or something), but sometimes after a long day ya girl just feels like she’s about to implode. So a 9pm trip to the gym for a 45-minute assault bike workout helped immensely. It helped that I was off work the next day too.

Yesterday I did an upper body workout involving:

  • 4 sets of pull-ups to failure (unassisted and assisted)
  • 3×10 dumbbell clean and press // 3×16 stability ball scorpions
  • 3×10-14 TRX rows // 3×10 TRX pike pushups
  • 2 sets of dips to failure
  • 3×35 double unders

Life. This past weekend I attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

My religious views are not a secret if you’ve been reading for a while or know me, and they inevitably and necessarily affect my political views as well. Politics aside though (I h a t e talking about politics), what I’ve reflected on personally this year during and after the march is that my chance to be pro-life is at every moment. On the one hand, to speak up for those who are the most vulnerable (e.g., the unborn, immigrants, victims of sex trafficking, people without homes, people who are non-verbal, to name a few) is a priority in the pro-life movement.

However, I do not think that anyone can be pro-life without putting in the physical, emotional, and spiritual work to love the most vulnerable people they encounter in their day-to-day. That may look different for every person depending on your job, geographic location, and circumstance in life. In essence though, my hope for every person at the March for Life, including myself, was that they were “walking the walk,” not just at the March for life (as important as that is) but for the person in front of them today.

Death. Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant, Gigi, and all others killed on the helicopter. BU’s chaplain, Fr. Barnes, had some beautiful words to say in light of the tragedy.

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“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” John 6:51 . RIP Kobe & Gianna Bryant. 🙏🏼 May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. . Kobe blessed and inspired so many people throughout his short life, on and off the court. The most loving thing you could possibly do in remembrance of him right now, is to continue to pray for the repose of his and Gianna’s soul (his daughter), and to continue lifting up in prayer, his wife and three girls who he leaves behind. . I’ve been weighed down by this terrible news all day. I think what got to me the most is thinking about his family. I have a wife and 4 kids... I can’t imagine what they’re experiencing right now. I also know that the truth is death will come for all of us some day. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. . So this tragic end to Kobe’s life is a blunt reminder for all of us to love God, family, and neighbor with that “mamba mentality” so that when it comes time for us to leave this life, we will be ready to meet God and give an account of our lives. Nothing is more important to prepare for than that moment. May he hear, and may we hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Matt. 25:21 . #mementomori #ripkobe #ripgigi

A post shared by PAUL J KIM (@heypjk) on

Meatballs. I bought and froze a pack of 80/20 (#FatIsPhat) ground beef the other week and put it to good use with this NYT meatball recipe that is superbly easy to execute. I was baking banana bread at the same time, so I decided to pan fry the meatballs instead, and that was a solid move.

Lunar New Year. Celebrated with lots of dim sum on Saturday with the fam and then hot pot with John and friends! It’s the year of the rat, and I was born in the year of the rat. Apparently in Chinese culture, that’s bad luck, but in Vietnamese culture, it’s good luck if it’s your year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Italian cooking music. It’s a playlist on Spotify that my friend Ben is playing currently, and I am loving it. So sweet and chill. My dentist last week was also playing a tango playlist on Pandora, and that was also something fun to which I could see myself cooking/working.

“Five” Survey + National Pancake Day!

This post has more pictures than words, I feel.
TODAY IS NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!
Can we just take a trip down memory lane to reminisce on some of the wonderful {mostly banana} pancakes that have been featured on Daily Moves and Grooves?
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green banana oatmeal pancakes via The Healthy Maven
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blueberry pancakes from a diner
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whole wheat banana pancakes via Sally’s Baking Addiction
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dining hall pancakes ♥︎ 
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Ebelskivers aka pancakes in puff form
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chunky monkey greek yogurt pancakes via Running with Spoons
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simple paleo pancake via Yeah…Imma Eat That
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egg white oatmeal protein pancake via Peanut Butter Fingers
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Catholic Center pancake brunch
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whole wheat banana pancakes via The Baker Mama
I just learned that I should be a self-proclaimed whole wheat banana pancake connoisseur. I’ll probably be celebrating this national pancake day with some leftover banana pancakes a la mode tonight 😀

Part two of this blog post…
Since I’m on spring break and have time to do leisurely things, I thought this would be prime time for a fun survey! This is the “Five” survey that Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers started.
Five Places I’m Dying to Visit:
  • Banff, Alberta
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Zion National Park
  • New Zealand
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
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[source] The water is really this color. See Jo’s blog for proof.
Five Foods I Eat Every Day:
  • banana
  • nut butter
  • spinach
  • bread
  • eggs
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Five Talents I Wish I Had:
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Five healthy living bloggers who I wish could cook for me every day:

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via Pinch of Yum

Five Favorite Instagram Accounts:
  • @kaisafit ➔ amazing athlete and holistic outlook on health and fitness
  • @docjenfit ➔ inspiring and talented athlete and physical therapist
  • @3bulldogges ➔ THREE BULL DOGGIES.
  • @torikelly ➔ she’s adorable
  • @zachking ➔ incredibly unique, creative, and double-take-inducing posts
Five things I wear almost every day:
  • my cross pinky ring (from my First Communion!)
  • rosary bracelet
  • athletic pants
  • comfy top
  • underwear..? (wear this one every day for sure)
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spot the ring and bracelet?
Five Songs on Repeat:
Five Beauty Products I Use Every Day:
Five movies I can watch on repeat:
  • The Parent Trap
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Help
  • Up 

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[source]

Five Books on My Current Reading List:
Five Random Things I Ate Yesterday:
  • cookie dough breakfast cereal
  • avocado and egg toast with sriracha
  • mango + clementines
  • a whole lot of roasted brussels sprouts!
  • dried figs with plain Greek yogurt

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Five Random Things I Did Yesterday (I added this section):

  • exercise physiology studying
  • have a spa day with Madre
  • roast brussels sprouts
  • move and groove
  • called some physical therapy clinics about a summer job

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real cute kneeling knees + dance feet + burpee wound from 1.5 years ago

So tell me:

Five places you’re dying to visit.

Five talents you wish you had.

Will you be celebrating national pancake day?

I Should Be Embarrassed About These Things…

…But I’m not.

I’ll get to the embarrassing things in a second. Firstly, Happy Columbus Day to my fellow Americans! If you have the day off, I hope it is relaxing and filled with good people. If you’re not American or you do not have the day off, I hope it is filled with productivity and good people.

I actually have a 2.5 hour Holocaust lecture tonight because my professor took a couple days off for high Jewish holidays these past couple weeks, so we’re catching up tonight. The first half of today will involve apple picking though! I even bought a flannel just for the occasion.

Anyway, let’s catch up by sharing some embarrassing antics and moments! That’s one of the best ways to catch up, in my opinion. Here’s my end of the conversation:

I should be embarrassed that I still don’t really know how to get around downtown Boston. Luckily, I have friends who do. “Independent” is what I call myself.

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shopping with my oh so beautiful and talented friend, Adrienne

I should be embarrassed that I trip on the sidewalk at least twice a day, despite wearing sneakers 90% of the time. I have a routine: trip ➔ nearly faceplant ➔ say in my head, “that didn’t happen” ➔ avoid eye contact with all other pedestrians ➔ move on.

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I should be embarrassed that I still want to take a photo of my lab partner and our matching breakfasts, even though I already did the exact same thing last weekBut c’mon, how cute?

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awkward handling of tea bag

I should be embarrassed that I have completely finished three Costco-sizes jars of peanut butter within two months. To be honest, I am slightly embarrassed, or maybe just dumbfounded. I don’t know how it goes so darn quickly! I’ve got talent.

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putting this third jar to rest the right way — with oats

I should be embarrassed that I can only hold my attention for two pages at a time when reading my Holocaust textbook. According to Rachel, I would have been a much better and faster reader if I read Harry Potter when I was younger. My human physiology textbook, on the other hand, I could read all day!

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I should be embarrassed that I spent $30 on dinner on Saturday night. I went out to dinner with some friends at a restaurant called The Barking Crab (does that not sound like it’s from a comedy show?), which had the ambiance of a dive but the prices of a Ritz restaurant. Rachel and I shared the salmon and scallops, which were both amazing, but my wallet felt a little betrayed.

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I should be embarrassed that I take a photo of this view every single time I work out outdoors. But it’s just so pretty!

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I should be embarrassed that I nearly cried listening to this song while studying. But there was a dude sitting across from me, so I couldn’t let my guard down.

Thanks for introducing me to Sleeping At Last, Adrienne. I’m OBSESSED.

I should be embarrassed that I eat Raisin Bran. Just kidding, I shouldn’t be. Sugar-coated raisins for life.

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I should be embarrassed that I was actually blogging while “hanging out with my friends”. But they were playing video games.

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Men.

That’s all from me today! I hope you all find the humor in your embarrassing moments this week ♥︎

So tell me:

I should be embarrassed that ____, but ______.

Thoughts on raisins?

What was the last song that made you cry? I actually love listening to beautiful songs that make me cry.

What are you doing today?

Currently

A few notable moments/things since I last posted (p.s. check out a day in the life here!):

  1. Lunar eclipse. There were some nerds in front of the honors college with telescopes and cameras staring at the blood moon…so I knew I could join them and fit in.Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset
  2. Temperatures cold enough to make me want a jacket heavier than a sweater.
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  4. I have a new lab partner/breakfast buddy who also brings her own peanut butter to the dining hall and allows me to eat some when I forget to bring my own. #friendship.

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Besides those things, I thought this would be a good time to share some other things that I’m diggin’ and feelin’ currently. [Love reading these kinds of posts from bloggers like Spoons!]

Current book: Human physiology textbook and I don’t hate it. Also, currently getting through lots of pages in my Holocaust textbook. Reading about history has always been difficult for me attention-wise, but this content is interesting and heavy.

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Current music: “Conrad” by Ben Howard. One of my friends kept talking about how excited he was to see Ben Howard at Boston Calling (an annual local concert that features a ton of rising/already huge artists), so I decided to check out his music. Verdict: in love.

Current guilty pleasure: Studying in the communal kitchen. This sounds hella weird, I know. It’s my guilty pleasure because there are so many study rooms from which I can choose, but I choose the kitchen because there usually isn’t anyone in there, so it’s quiet, and I can stand or sit at the countertop.

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Rachel was judging me so hard. I’m high maintenance, I get it.

Current nail color hair style: Straight (natural) or in a ponytail. My hair is stubborn, so I just let it be free most of the time. I kinda want to curl my hair, so I’m waiting for a special occasion to do so.

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Current drink: H2O. Still carry around my water bottle like a security blanket.

Current food: I’m really enjoying these burritos that PJ’s Organics so kindly sent me!* I found out a couple weeks ago that I actually don’t have the unlimited meal plan (even though I thought I did this whole time); I actually have the 14-meal plan (14 meals per week + other dining points). Thus, any food that I can eat outside the dining hall in my dorm/on the go that is nutritious and delicious…sign me up.

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I think this breakfast burrito had rosemary or sage in it. Fantastic.

Current obsession: My fuzzy red blanket. It gets chilly in our dorm at night these days, so the extra fluff and warmth is much appreciated.

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Current wish: That I could read more blogs. Studying and activities say nay many a time.

Current need: I would say a massage, but that’s not really need. I would not object a massage offer though.

Current triumph: Deciding on leading a Bible study. I was on the fence about it at first, but with the prayers and encouragement of my friends, I have decided to lead a Bible study for freshmen girls starting next week!

Current bane of my existence: “Bane of my existence” always sounds so melodramatic, but I guess mine would be the fact that nothing has happened in terms of my normal, feminine processes yet.

Current indulgence: A heck of a lot of sugar in general, which is something I want to talk about in another post this week. But for now, I’m just reflecting on how much I love dessert.

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Current procrastination: Studying for my human physiology exam and instead typing this post. (Don’t worry, mom and dad, it’s under control.)

Current blessing: Really good friends. Always a blessing.

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Current excitement: Catholic Center retreat in New Hampshire this weekend! In addition to spending some deep, quality time with God and friends, I’m SO EXCITED FOR STARS. Living in New York and Boston, I don’t see stars that often, but the New Hampshire skies seem to display the universe and it makes me want to cry of happiness.

Current mood: Content, anxious, excited.

Current link: Instead of a link, I have a few quote photos from Pope Francis’ address at the Festival of Families. Even if you’re not Catholic, I think it’s safe to say that Pope Francis’ words during his visit to the US hit every person’s heart in one way or another.

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[source]

Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

So tell me your current:

…guilty pleasure.

…obsession.

…wish.

…mood.

*PJ’s Organics sent me some of their products to try. Review coming soon! All opinions and content are my own.