Last Undergraduate Days

Classes are OVER.

The title is correct— I’m done with undergraduate classes! But I’m not graduating yet. I’m in the 6-year physical therapy program, so now that we’re done with three years of our undergraduate classes, it’s time to move on to the graduate portion of the program for another three years (but we still walk with the Class of 2018).

Halfway done!!

Here are some scenes from my last undergraduate days, which look quite similar to some of my freshman days…

As I did freshman year, I am once again hoarding bananas from both the grocery store and the dining hall, so there are many frozen bananas and banana-pb breakfasts (surprise!). You’d think I lived through a banana famine in the past.

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plain Greek yogurt mixed with apple sauce (I have a big jar that needs to be used, so it’s going into everything), cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, strawberries, banana, granola, pb

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strawberry banana overnight oats with granola and sunflower seed butter

This is me doing laundry when things are getting desperate (read: I have no more pants to wear and almost no underwear left). I don’t know if this is reminiscent of freshman year, but it seems like something a freshman would do. And apparently a junior.

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This is me taking my vitamins (basically candy, which is the only way I will take vitamins daily), opening up my laptop to do work, and then taking a nap instead.

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In this post from freshman year, I stated, “I still need naptime and snacktime, so I’m basically in preschool.” ← still true.

Snacktime in class, exhibit A:

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I’ve had many dining hall meals to use up these past couple of weeks, so it’s been fun feeling like freshman/sophomore me, going to the ol’ d-hall every day.

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The server gave me, like, three servings of barley on that plate, but I ate it all because I was so hungry. It was one of times when I could feeeeel the glucose nourishing my brain.

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Zoe put her cookies in there on purpose

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pepperjack mac and cheese!!!

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look at all our salads + mac and cheeses

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snickerdoodle cookie x2 because they were that good

I would say that the dining hall draws me to eat more desserts, but we all know that’s not true.

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a cup of two different kinds of gelato that I bought on sale before Easter 🙂

It’s been nice not having to buy as many groceries as the semester closes out and I have dining hall meals to use, but that means that when I do eat at the apartment, it’s usually eggs or canned fish of some sort.

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egg sandwich with sun-dried tomato butter

The weather has been very mild and quite nice recently. The trees are bloomin’ and beautiful!

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But just like freshman year around finals week, my allergies are up the wazoo! I can’t stop sneezing and crying.

Some days I go to the gym or work out outdoors, and other days, I take it back to dorm workouts on the mat. Like this 30 minute yoga from Fightmaster Yoga!

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Ya know how I don’t love running? Or at least how I always say I don’t love running? Well I’ve been running with my friends once or twice a week for these past few weeks, and I can dig it.

Convo with Sarah:

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Just like freshman year when I started running 4-5 miles for a few weeks randomly, even though I claimed to not like running. Well it had been over two years since I had run 5 miles, and I did just that with Sarah yesterday morning. ‘Twas glorious!

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perfect running weather

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I do like running. I do. I think I like it more now because I don’t pressure myself to hold a certain pace, I enjoy running with friends, and I play it by ear. If I wanna run, I will. If I don’t want to, I won’t. NOVEL CONCEPTS.

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We also discovered that we got matching blisters after our run.

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I thought it was necessary to show you all that we got a blister in the exact same spot on our feet (the spot is innervated by the medial plantar nerve in case you were wondering #GrossAnatomyStudyingALLTHETIME).

And now I should continue studying. Blogging was a great break as always. My friends Domenica and Nico did Uptown Funk Zumba with me for 5 minutes just now too. Keeping life zesty.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Good luck to my fellow college students who are facing finals. Forge on!

p.s. I think I lost my early bird streak the night after I posted my last blog post lol.

So tell me:

Have you been running outside recently?

College friends: What’s life looking like for ya?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? That mac and cheese wins.

Joyful Exhaustion

So I cried on Sunday night.

Crying is pretty much a weekly occurrence just to let out all the emotions that have built up from the week, which might sound like there’s a problem that I need to fix, but crying is a very normal and therapeutic thing for me. Sometimes I cry by myself, and sometimes my parents kindly let me cry irrelevantly in the middle of our conversation (love you, Madre and Pop).

Needless to say, it’s been a long week. I started developing a very “woe is me” mentality by the end of the weekend, but the more I pray and talk about what I’m feeling with others, the more I realize that I have been given nothing but love through the people and circumstances God has placed in my life.

9 hours of sleep on Sunday night wasn’t a bad thing either.

Besides keeping up with school, here are some other things that have kept me joyfully exhausted lately:

1) Grabbing a cheeseburger with Fr. Barnes (the priest at our Catholic Center) for lunch on Thursday.

2) Gearing up for Holy Week!

3) Making time to spend with friends, even if only at the dining hall. This dining hall dinner involved double the carbs, which meant double the fun.

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seafood and sausage paella, so fancy!

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cheese ravioli

4) Cooking allllll the things at work, which gets so tiring after 5+ hours! I have so much respect for chefs and stay-at-home mothers/fathers. Yeesh.

5) Colby from You Make You (@be.happyhealthyfit) came to Beantown this weekend!! She crashed at my (now roach-free!) place, which meant a lot of quality time together 🙂

Some scenes from our foodie/fit/fun adventures:

Salads + corn bread at the food court on Friday night, followed by some bona fide college comedy.

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We had some study sessions. This one featured a Quest cinnamon roll cereal bar that Colby gave me. It totally brought me back to the cereal bars of my childhood.

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Friends who sweat together…

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 (even though we were both really sore this day)

Nothing some good pho can’t fix! This was my first time at Le’s, and it crushed the game.

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We split an XL bowl of chicken pho…

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…and a pork/shrimp vermicelli bowl, all for a grand total of $20! College wallets rejoice!

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We finished almost all of it.

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But our dessert stomachs were ready for [vegan] ice cream. Colby is sadly allergic to gluten and dairy, so FoMu was a Godsend.

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FoMu serves vegan, coconut milk-based ice cream. I got strawberry (per the server’s recommendation) and “f’oreo” in a waffle cone.

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Verdict? Delicious, rich, and creamy! But you have to be okay with coconut, because you can definitely taste the coconut in all the flavors.

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Colby got peanut butter (made with Teddie’s pb!) and strawberry

Then Colby spotted this gluten-free, vegan ice cream cookie sandwich and, being allergic to dairy/gluten and being deprived of places like FoMu at her school, she said, “when in Boston…”

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So we split it 🙂 (’twas a whopping $7+ though, what the freak!?)

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We took an Uber home because a) very full; b) raining.

Ugh, it was so fun spending the weekend with Colby. She is such a kind and genuine soul, and she has a refreshing presence in the healthy living social media world. I love you and am so honored to have spent this time with you, Colby!

6) This is the opposite of exhaustion, but shoutout to Megan for being the best roommate and always cleaning up our apartment without complaining or really saying anything. I see ya and appreciate you greatly, girl.

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egg in a hole on my Rainforest Cafe plate // Megan: “you have to see the logo if we want to be endorsed”

7) Workout/Bible study on Sunday mornings! This week, we had a great conversation about combatting the fear of living with our own selves.

8) Brunch with my fellow future PT friend, Selena! We went to Tatte on Sunday, and it was glorious.

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I recommended that Selena get the shakshuka, which is what I got last year. She loved it!

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And I got the turkey B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), which was fan-freaking-tastic. Thick cut applewood bacon, chipotle mayo, toasted and buttered multigrain bread MMM. Finished every last bite!

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Of course, we finished our meals with a pastry from the bakery. She got the creme brûlée croissant (!!!), and I got the pear almond muffin. Both were incredible.

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8) Lots of gross anatomy studying. We already have another exam next week?

9) Giving tours in the snow and the sunshine. This spring weather is sloooooooooooowly but surely coming along.

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10) Keeping up with relationships with friends, family, and God. I often take advantage of one or the other, but I am constantly reminded of how precious these relationships are.

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So my exhaustion is mostly first-world-induced, I know. But fast-paced, privileged lives can be surprisingly threatening to true peace and joy, which can best be found in the silence and simplicity of God’s Love.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Have you felt super busy/exhausted recently?

Have you ever tried vegan ice cream? 

Two things you’re grateful for!

 

 

Day in the Life: Internship Abroad

There are only a couple weeks left of my Dublin study abroad experience, can you believe it!?

I shared a day in the life post a couple months ago when we still had classes all day, but now we are well into the internship phase of the program, which involves a full day (more or less) of work Monday through Thursday.

I intern at a private physiotherapy clinic that focuses on dry needling, manual therapy, massage, and Pilates classes. I am loving it! The people are wonderful, the patients are so kind, and I am learning a lot about the international physiotherapy scene. I even get to massage patients who are willing to let a li’l student knead them out.

Here’s what Monday looked like this week. This was actually an unusual day because we had a conference in the evening, which threw off the work hours a bit, but it’s still a general idea of what goes on.

7:55 AM – First alarm goes off. Snooze.

8:04 AM – Second alarm goes off. “I could get up now. But I don’t have to and I could use more sleep.” Reset alarm for 8:30.

8:30 AM – THIRD alarm goes off. Drag butt out of bed. Go to the bathroom, brush teeth, say morning prayer.

8:50 AM – Head to the kitchen for breakfast. There is never a day when I am not excited for overnight oats.

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so ugly, but the value is within.

9:05 AM – Decide that I should roast my broccoli that’s been sitting in the fridge for days. I get home late on Mondays (and especially this particular day), so I know I’ll be happy to have it already roasted when I get back at night.

9:30 AM – Start typing this blog post as I wait for my broccoli. (Somewhat unrelated: Ever since I read Paige’s post on her productivity secret, I’ve been using the “Pomodoro Method” to get work done this past week, and I am a believer! Definitely check out Paige’s post if you’re interested.)

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I use this pomodoro method app

9:45 AM – Broccoli is out of the oven. I taste test as always, no matter how hot it is.

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olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper at 400F for ~30 min

9:50 AM – Let the broccoli cool for a bit, pack it up, wash the dishes.

10:10 AM – Squeeze in a very quick warmup + workout. I was feeling energetic and willing to sprint, but you know me. I don’t actually run (plus I have my bursitis as an excuse), so I sprinted in the form of burpees with Lori and Michelle’s 100 burpee challenge. It’s one of my favorite workouts of all time!

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10:35 AM – Stretch and figure that I would be cutting it too close to shower before I need to leave to catch the bus. I’m not sweating that much…

10:40 AM – Comb hair, put on makeup, pack my bag, and put on a good dose of deodorant (I promise I am a hygienic person).

11:00 AM – Leave the dorm to catch the bus. I walk to a farther bus stop because the bus would take a little while to get to the closer stop anyway, so I might as well meet it farther down.

11:20 AM – Hop on the bus and pull out this honker of a book.

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People probably think I’m actually 12 years old, but HP is worth it ♥︎

11:40 AM – Hop off the bus and walk a couple blocks to work.

11:50 AM – Arrive at work. My bosses didn’t have too many patients in for the day since they were preparing for the conference, so my day involved helping them with the prep, researching for my paper on trigger points, and the usual desk duties.

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I also snacked on these “milk & cereals” flavored BelVita biscuits throughout the early afternoon. They kind of taste like coconut biscuits, which is a-okay with me.

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3:30 PM – The biscuits held me over quite well, so I had a very late lunch. ‘Twas this ugly-looking egg and sausage scramble that I had made the night before. It tasted like stuffing since I used the same sausage and herbs I used for Thanksgiving, so in other words, it was delicious.

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pork and apple sausage + one egg + egg white + sautéed onion + spinach + thyme + sage possibly?

I followed this with a big, juicy orange.

4:20 PM – Leave with one of the physiotherapists for the conference at a hotel in Dún Laoghaire (pronounced “Dunleary”).

4:40 PM – Arrive at the hotel and help set up and sort through all the logistics of the night. I ate a Cadbury caramel chocolate at some point. My supervisor told me, “This is the only kind of chocolate. America does sweets well, but they don’t do chocolate well.”

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I must admit that this stuff is LUSCIOUS

6:00 PM – Head downstairs to the exhibition tables for tea and biscuit hour (a fine practice which I’ve come to love in Ireland).

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I put milk in my tea and I don’t know why. It does nothing.

7:00 PM – Conference begins! It was hosted by a woman from Parliament with the Migraine Association of Ireland, and our physiotherapy company gave a presentation about myofascial trigger points as a potential source of migraines, which can be relieved through massage and dry needling.

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7:30 PM – We give our presentation to the first session. When I say “we” and “our”, I mean the owner presented and I was the guinea pig for dry needling. It was fun having a couple dozen people staring at my trap muscles twitching like crazy.

8:15 PM – Second session presentation.

9:00 PM – The therapists stick around to answer questions before we clean up everything and head back to the clinic to drop it off.

10:00 PM – Back at the clinic, where we unload everything. They kindly call me a taxi to get home.

10:20 PM – Get home ready for FOOD. I warm up my pre-roasted broccoli (*ding*) + leftover pizza from Sunday night.

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11:00 PM – Shower after reading blogs for a bit.

11:30 PM – Pray and head to bed.

So this might not be a true “day in the life,” because I don’t usually have work until 10 pm, but it was still an exciting day of interning!

So tell me: 

Three things in your daily routine. 

What is your favorite chocolate brand? 

Have you ever heard about trigger points as a cause of migraines?

25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

You know what hurts a lot?

Stubbing your toes. I get bruises, cuts, bumps, and scrapes all the time, but nothing hurts quite like when your poor little piggies get assaulted by a coffee table’s leg.

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I bring that up because I just collapsed on the couch wailing at the world after stubbing my toe, while my brother and dad were watching the Democratic National Convention. They didn’t pay any attention to me, so I’m pleading for belated consolation.

On a happier note, today I’m doing a light-hearted survey that I found on Hayley’s blog a while ago. I’ve had deep thoughts for the past few posts, so this is a little break for me (and you). And who doesn’t love a good survey!?

25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Emphasis on “probably”, because Lord knows that I share about 90% of my life and thoughts on this blog.

1. I’m happiest when I’m praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament…

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photo credit to my friend, Bobby

 2. especially if it’s on retreat. Truly a glimpse of Heaven.

3. I’ve always wanted to lay outside somewhere quiet and dark and stare at the stars with someone I love. Also to see the Northern Lights.

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via Michael Shainblum Photography

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via Michael Shainblum Photography ➔ visit this guy’s Instagram!! I’m obsessed.

4. My family and I have a tradition of “the family hug”, in which we say “one, two, three, SQUEEZE”, subsequently squeezing each other in a four-way hug. Repeat for a total of three squeezes and then kiss one another on the cheek.

5. I was a terrible thrower. Still can’t really aim/follow through with any sort of projectile object.

6. My first job was searching and entering addresses into a spreadsheet for my dad.

7. I could probably eat (besides peanut butter and bananas) a sandwich every day.

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8. I wish I could bring all my Boston friends to Dublin with me this fall. </3

9. I was born on the same day as Brooke Shields.

10. My all time favorite films are Anne of Green Gables, The Help, and The Princess Diaries.

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11. I do a pretty mean British accent (but not on the spot, so don’t ask me to do it if you see me in person).

12. I’m still mad that I didn’t keep up my rigorous stretching after figure skating and high school dance.

13. I met my husband…  Did I!?

14. I always knew I wanted to pursue a job related to human movement. I wanted to be a dance choreographer (among other things) before gaining interest in physical therapy.

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15. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I wasn’t always unafraid of vulnerability though! I credit a lot of good people at college for changing me.

16. I make the best overnight oats, yogurt bowls, and avocado egg toast (because I can’t actually come up with my own recipes for much).

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17. I have absolutely no patience for rudeness toward anyone who is genuinely trying his/her best to provide good customer service.

18. I always cry when there is a sky full of stars (cue Coldplay).

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via Michael Shainblum Photography (but I’ve never seen a sky full of stars like THIS)

19. I’m overwhelmed by the possible ways by which I can finish this sentence.

20. I spent 2 years playing lead roles in my middle school musicals. I was Molly in Annie, Jr. in 7th grade and Jasmine in Aladdin, Jr in 8th grade.

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too small to fill out the scandalous “belly shirt” = wrinkly Jasmine

 21. I wish that every person had sufficient and convenient access to fresh water. (Ya know what, I’ll say what Hayley said: “I wish…everyone in the world had enough food, water, and shelter. And love.”)

22. At age 5, I was deeply in love with my Sailor Moon CD. I would sing and dance to the songs in my parents’ gigantic bathroom in Kansas, and Ben would film me. Video evidence is strictly confidential.

23. I believe if people took time to learn the complete truth before making judgements, the world would be a better place. Seeking truth will lead to Truth (aka God), and there would be a greater sense of understanding and peace in the world.

24. I can’t stand port-a-potties. I choose the woods over a port-a-potty any day.

25. Whenever “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by JT or “Let It Go” by James Bay is on the radio, I listen (changed this one, because I don’t really watch TV, but I listen to music like it’s my job).


And this isn’t a fun post without some recent food photos!

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peanut butter banana soft serve with Pop on Sunday night

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Sunday lunch: lettuce wraps with steamed lemongrass salmon, Thai basil, cilantro, fresh backyard mint, and sriracha

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Tuesday breakfast: leftover banana pancakes with butter and blueberries + two eggs scrambled with lots of veggies

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Monday dinner a la Madre: honey sriracha chicken drumsticks (she used this spice blend!) + sautéed mushrooms and onions over greens (+ unpictured salad roll)

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Wednesday breakfast: blueberry muffin overnight oats inspired by Fit Foodie Finds’ recipe

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the best

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tried this new bar

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it looks more gross than my cuticles, but it tastes fine

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and lastly, here is Ben doing post-dislocation shoulder exercises using bananas #TheWorldisYourGym

Happy pre-Friday already!

So tell me:

You’ve always wanted to…

You do a pretty mean…

You can’t stand…

Or any of the other questions you want to answer!

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?