The art of choosing

pray.

The past several days have been challenging with some unforeseen things that have popped up with my job situation, but I have hope that it will all work out for the best.

In light of all the decisions I have been making, I have asked God a lot these days: “What should I do, Lord? I don’t know what to do.” There’s no thunderous or clear answer that comes to my heart (usually), but what has been giving me consolation through this week is the Lord saying, “You will make a decision, Alison. I am taking care of you in all of this. Where you go, I will be with you.”

There is no force from God to make a certain decision. There is also no promise that any one decision will be easy or perfect. He just promises that He will be with us, and that is everything.

My friend Elayne reassured me the other day that sometimes there is no right or wrong decision; we make our choices based on our values and the information that we have, not necessarily knowing what is on the other side of that choice. Those choices lead to more necessary decision-making, over and over again. We choose, we live with the consequences, we learn from those experiences, and we keep on keeping on.

eat.

Two dishes have ROCKED my world this past week. One was peach cobbler a la mode, but not just ANY a la mode…Tillamook’s Oregon Dark Cherry ice cream 😀

Second was toasted multigrain sourdough (from Trader Joe’s) with canned sardines and a homemade spicy tomato sauce. I thought of making this dish a couple weeks ago when I spotted a can of sardines and a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry, and last Friday I finally made it happen. Mmmm mmm mmm it was such lovely a Mediterranean-inspired meal.

move.

Monday and Tuesday’s workouts have made me quite sore everywhere.

Monday was a lower body workout that involved a LOT of concentration:

  • 3×5 weighted pistol squats each leg
  • 3×8 squat to toe tap backs
  • 3×12-15 deficit stationary lunges each leg
  • 2×10 staggered good mornings each side
  • 3×10 kneel to squat jumps

Yesterday involved some upper body circuits:

5 rounds:

  • 5 double pushup burpees
  • 1 wall walk + 20 shoulder taps
  • 12 hollow rocks

4 rounds:

  • 8 tuck handstand to kick through
  • 5-6 Russian pushups
  • 15 plank hip dips each side

3 rounds:

  • 2-3 neutral grip pull-ups
  • 10 KB hang cleans each side
  • 10 tabletop sit throughs

All the demos can be found on my “moves and grooves part 4” Instagram highlights!

groove.

I went for a quick “glamping” (glam + camping) getaway in New Hampshire with some (masked) pals this weekend! Sleeping in tents outside but also having access to a kitchen and indoor plumbing as needed (although I still peed in the woods usually; it’s honestly just so much easier).

We swam, hiked, bonfire’d, ate, and shared in some bonafide fellowship. The best parts were the company and also looking at the sky full of stars (and the Milky Way faintly!) two nights in a row. Seeing a sky full of stars is one of my most favorite things in the entire world, and I don’t get it often being a city girl.

Literal words from my mouth: “I don’t usually consider myself a city girl, but it really comes out when I’m here in the nature.”

THE nature???

So tell me:

Are you a confident decision maker? What was the last decision that you made that caused further challenges (can be as big as marriage / having kids or as small as choosing to stay up late)?

What is the best dessert you’ve eaten recently?

What is your favorite part about outdoorsy types of trips?

Patience, young Padawan.

Tropical Storm Isaias (how do you say this name? eye-ZAY-uhs or ee-sah-EE-ahs?) showed mercy on my area in New York, and I hope that’s the case for you too, wherever you are!

pray.

Definitely praying for healing, restoration, and peace in Beirut after the massive explosion that left dozens dead and thousands injured.

On a personal level, I am praying for a lot of patience as I try to open doors of opportunity and then see many of them close after the attempt… or at least close temporarily due to circumstances. In no way is my situation dire or hopeless, and I for that I consider myself very blessed, but my trust in the process and God’s plan during this time is being tested for sure.

As Yoda would say: “Patience, young Padawan.”

eat.

My favorite way to eat is with my hands. It’s a big part of Laotian (my mom’s ethnicity) food culture to eat things with your hands while sitting on the floor. The rice is so sticky that you HAVE to eat it with your hands. *heart eyes*

So yesterday, my lunch and dinner included things I could eat with my hands (at least partially).

Lunch/Snack: lettuce cups / crackers with tuna salad + a nectarine + dried pineapple + pistachios

Dinner: leftover roasted broccoli (yeah I eat that with my fingers cold and right out of the tupperware) + turkey cheese and spinach rollups + lots of roasted fries with mayo-ketchup sauce

Disclaimer: This particular day sounds kinda like a rabbit food type of day, but I ate a hefty amount of everything and also ate more than just this 🙂

move.

My legs were a little tired and sore, so my moves yesterday included a couple walks (before and after the storm) and some upper body training.

  • 3×2-3 pull-up negatives (8-10 seconds lowering)
  • 3 sets:
    • 12 lateral delt raises
    • 15 KB chest press + leg raise
  • 3×5 pushup negatives (4 seconds lower + 1 second hold)
  • a few sets of an exercise that I got from @daniellegertner

These were all fun and challenging to do!

groove.

I passed the National Physical Therapy Exam! Which means I am now a licensed physical therapist who can practice, baby!

What. a. relief. Now to secure a job 😀

So tell me:

What are some things you need extra patience for these days?

Do you like eating with your hands? Or are you a “use utensils whenever possible” type of person?

Little Things to Say “Yes” to Today

Moves. This week has been a very fun week of workouts so far. It started off with smashing a whole bag of white cheddar Popcorners, what? an outdoor HIIT workout at an empty park on Monday morning. I made sure I didn’t have to touch any public equipment for the workout.

Monday: 3 rounds (30 sec on / 30 sec off)

  • Double unders
  • Kneel to tuck jump
  • Alternating side shuffles
  • Fast feet to crossover (do whatever agility exercise you want!)
  • Broad jumps

Tuesday: Run (~2 miles) + H I L L S (5x up a massive hill) with my friend, Henok. He crushed it, and I mostly died. Is it weird, though, that I prefer to do hills because it’s more of an excuse to take breaks and not run for as long?

I also did a virtual Zumba workout with some pals at night, which was hilarious and so fun. *shoulder shimmy*

#distanced

Wednesday: Some walking, a couple 10-minute yoga flows in between study sessions, and a brief upper body workout with attempts to mix it up a bit.

Happy Triduum! Although these days leading up to Easter and Easter itself are looking quite different this year, perhaps this is an opportune time to see and experience God in His Death and Resurrection unlike any other time before. Allow Him to enter into the recesses of your own home and room. My friend Kelsey wrote a beautiful reflection on this image on her blog.

I just ran into maybe eight friends at a local parish all lined up (6 feet apart), receiving the sacrament of confession through a window, which was pretty sweet.

Bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Boi, you best get some if they are on sale at your supermarket. I had forgotten about the juicy glory of chicken thighs. And the skin! Honestly, I didn’t get the skin as crispy as I wanted, but the flavor still provided. I used an eyeballed seasoning mix of paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper on the skin AND underneath the skin. Give it some love.

Yes. I have been reflecting a lot on little ways of promoting self-discipline, self-betterment, obedience to God, whatever you want to call it. There are thousands of ways we can say yes to becoming the men and women we are created to be today. Because what if this is my last day? Not to be morbid, just to be real.

Here are some ideas (mostly for myself, but perhaps for you as well) of how to say little yes’s to the true, the good, and the beautiful:

  1. Sitting with my roommate in the kitchen for dinner instead of by myself with my technology in my room
  2. Taking out the recycling / trash now, not later
  3. Taking 60 seconds to think about what else I need to do before immediately picking up my phone to check notifications / Words with Friends (haha)
  4. Likewise taking 60 seconds to think about whether I’m actually hungry or just bored before picking up a snack
  5. Stretching or doing a little yoga instead of going on phone during my work break, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes
  6. Getting out of bed when my first alarm goes off, not 20 minutes later
  7. Listening to a wholesome / educational podcast instead of just music during a walk (or just not listening to music at all and listening to the sounds of the world around me [not much right now though] or my own thoughts)
  8. Actually stick to the to-do list I made last night
  9. Send that text message to the person who I said I would stay in touch with
  10. Pray for that person who I said I would pray for, now, before I forget

Just some examples! And please know that I have only tried implementing these in real life with maybe 50% success rate. Always a work in progress.

Hope you have a blessed Thursday!

So tell me:

What are some ways you can say “yes” today to be a better vision of yourself?

Have you been able to get any moves and grooves in these days?

How are you overall?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXV {When School Gets Crazy}

This weather has me OFF THE WALLS right now.

In a good way! I’ll gush about it more tomorrow, but today I’m coming at you with a recap of weekly moves and grooves from the past two weeks since I skipped last Sunday for Easter!

I’ve gone to the gym three times in the past two weeks just due to a hectic schedule. But I always feel better when I exercise, so I fit it in when I can!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

jog to the gym + leg workout

My butt and hamstrings were sore for THREE DAYS after this. Oh my word.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + circuit workout a la dorm

4 rounds:

  • 10 modified handstand pushups
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 modified v-ups
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 20 straight leg tricep dips
  • 15 supermans
  • 10 side crunches each side

This took about 23 minutes. I wanted to do a quick workout focused on upper body and core exercises to give my sore posterior chain some more rest. Oof.

Wednesday

sun salutations (lots of down dogs, planks, pushups) + bodyweight circuit + random burpees

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 16 jump lunges
  • 20 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 40 air squats

This was another workout in the dorm. I usually go to the gym with my buddy PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I skipped it this week because I needed an extra half-hour of sleep and extra time to study.

I still enjoy working up a sweat and getting my blood flowing before sitting in class for three hours straight though, so I did another bodyweight circuit workout. The pushups are what got me on this one! I finished in 15:00 flat.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Active rest/bodyweight workouts

I really don’t remember what I did on these days because Holy Week festivities are dominating any other memories of those three days.

{Easter} Sunday

Tabata workout in the dorm

4 rounds of each // 20 seconds hard work: 10 seconds rest

It was a glorious Easter morning! I slept in didn’t have much time to spare before choir practice, so I got the blood flowing in the dorm.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + 100 burpee challenge

I PR’d again!

IMG_4548

Wiped.

This time I broke it up into sets of 35, 15, 20, and 30. I had to dig deep to do 30 in a row for that last set.

Tuesday

circuit workout in the dorm

3 rounds:

A great, quick workout! This took about 18 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + upper body workout + rowing thruster workout

The upper body workout consisted of assisted pull-ups, arnold presses, bent over barbell rows, decline pushups, seated rows, and lat pull downs.

The rowing thruster workout was 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on the rower with 8 thrusters (40#) between each set.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

12 minute HIIT from Purely Twins + 8 minute ab tabata

I had approximately twenty minutes to fit in a workout [before showering] before class, so I went for it! The 8 minute ab tabata included v-ups, ankle taps, cross body mountain climbers, and spiderman planks.

20 minutes is all it takes these days!

Saturday

dynamic warmup + lower body + 8 minute ab tabata + squats and burpees

I went to the gym with my friend Christine (who has a blog too!) yesterday!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

We started off doing our own workouts first. So I did some lower body weights:

  • 4×12 lunges each leg (50#) (two sets reverse lunges, two sets front lunges) // 30 side jump lunges between each set
  • angled leg press: 1×10 (180#), 1×8 (200#), 1×6 (210#), 1×5 (220#) // 10 pushup burpees between each set

Then we met up for an 8 minute ab tabata:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spiderman planks

And Christine requested that we do squats and burpees, so we ended with 3 rounds of 15 goblet squats + 10 burpees.

We were both sweaty beasts beauties. 😉

__________________________________________

Off to do homework and stuff. I’ve been using the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate all day ahh!

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout/way you moved this weekend?

Have you recently had a workout that made you sore for DAYS?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XX {Minimal Time to Work Out}

OHHH MY GOODNESS.

I cannot believe how crazy last week was, but obviously it was crazy enough for me to not post again after Monday. And yes, I have a billion and one things to share with you all. I don’t how y’all feel, but I certainly missed YOU. As always though, I love catching up during the week and leaving Sundays for Weekly Moves and Grooves!

Since last week was so busy, I only made it to the gym twice, and the rest of the days involved short dorm workouts or active rest. Making it to the gym just wasn’t my priority, and that’s okay. My body has enough to do throughout the day even without the formal workout!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

random burpees // rest

Monday

hotel room workout tabata from Fit Foodie Finds

tabata

{via}

Those squat jumps and jump lunges killed my quads! I also had to start doing pushups on my knees because tabata pushups = “about to fall on my face because I can’t push back up anymore”

Tuesday

100 jumping jacks + gymnastics warmup20 min. AMRAP workout from Purely Twins

I think I got through 6 rounds + 14 reps of the workout.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

gymnastics warmup + weighted (backup) pushups and tricep dips + 16 minute interval workout

I had fun finding objects in my dorm room to add resistance to some exercises! I put my anatomy textbook into my backpack (seriously the only way I’ve used that textbook) and…I even used my large Costco-sized jar of peanut butter for the interval workout. See how versatile peanut butter is? Reason #19849 to love it.

Friday

upper body workout + 8 minute ab tabata

I don’t remember exactly how many reps and sets I did for my upper body workout, but the workout definitely involved:

The 8 minute ab tabata was 4 rounds of 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds work of:

My whole upper body was surely sore the next day.

Saturday

5 min. row warmup + circuit workout

For the circuit workout, I did 5 rounds of:

100 high knees // 15 goblet squats // 10 burpees

then straight into 5 rounds of:

100 high knees // 20 hamstring ball curls // 10 burpees

This left me red in the face and not wanting to wear my winter jacket when I walked back to my dorm!

Alrighty. Tomorrow. Post. Look out for it. Love you.

Happy Sunday!

So tell me:

How was your week?

What was your favorite workout of the week?