Friday, August 23, 2013

Real Talk 
So life has been a bit weird lately. It's been full of good stuff...but it's also been full of kind of meh stuff. I *hate* the word "funk" and when people describe themselves/others as being "in a funk" but since I don't have a better alternative, that's what I'll go with. Hi my name is Kayla, and I'm officially in a funk.

I've got a lot going on right now. I graduated a week ago and am trying to balance finding a job with getting ready for the wedding with getting ready to move. These are all exciting things (getting married is definitely at the top of the exciting things list) but for some reason I just don't feel like my normal self. I think a lot of it is stemming from not knowing what the heck I want to do with my life now that I'm finally done with college. I've always had such clear career goals (they would change, but at least I always had something) and now I don't. I totally get that a lot of graduates feel this way, but it sucks and I just wish I could get some sort of answer. I feel like I need to do some serious soul-searching but haven't actually read any cool self help books or listened to any inspirational speeches. I'm 23 and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

And with the wedding, I just feel so overwhelmed with ideas and things to do and expectations and sometimes when I get that way, I just sort of shut down and don't do a darn thing. So here I am, the wedding less than a month and a half away, and I'm just casually visiting my parents and avoiding any sort of responsibility regarding wedding planning. It's just not as carefree as they make it seem in the movies. I truly can't put into words how happy I will be to be freaking MARRIED, get to see family and friends I haven't had the chance to see in ages, and celebrate this incredible day with everyone, but I wish the whole planning-a-party part of it would plan itself. (Please note: I am a control freak and everyone has been so generous with offering to help. I am not at the stage of acceptance yet. Talk to me in a month, though.)

Then the whole moving in 2 weeks thing. I just feel like I have to pack and organize and get rid of things and figure out what furniture we need and how to decorate and how we're going to actually make time to move everything up three flights of stairs (yes, watching an A&M game IS more important than moving in on the actual move-in date) and on and on. I want our first home together to be perfect!

And now let's get to my health. My eating and exercise habits have just been awful since graduation. I'm not even craving healthy foods...I'm starting to get to the point where I am so stressed that I'm not even that hungry to begin with, but when I am hungry please just give me a cookie and a coffee. I did exercise for the first time in over a week today and it felt darn good, but I really had to force myself. It didn't come as easy as it did a few months ago, and that bums me out. 

I guess the whole point of this is to say that I feel like I've taken some steps backward and am just standing there, unable to do what it takes to move forward again. Hopefully exercising tonight was a baby step in the right direction again. 

If anyone does have any suggestions on how you are able to get out of a "funk," feel free to share! Goodness knows I'd love to hear some success stories here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The End of the Bikini Series

Well guys, it's been quite the Bikini Series! I can't believe it ended on Friday. It was bittersweet, for sure. I feel like I progressed so much in the past what, 10 weeks?, than I have in the past 5 years. I can't wait to share my story!

As you can tell, the 7DSD ended early...mid-Day 5, to be exact. I've always had a hard time sticking to a strict eating plan, even if it's just for a short set amount of time. I can totally see myself giving it my all before my wedding but I just couldn't this time. I would have been disappointed in myself, but I accomplished some other incredible stuff this Bikini Series that really just meant so much more to me.

This past weekend I made a trip to see my fiance and man, did I fall off the wagon. The weekend was perfect but it involved a lot of non-TIU approved foods and no exercise whatsoever. Isn't it funny (but not funny at all) how everyone feels awful after they've been eating right and working out for weeks and then they have a bad long weekend and it's like all of their progress is gone? That's how I kind of feel right now. I know that's not true at all and I think realizing that in itself is really important. Knowing I can make myself a cup of mint tea tonight, set my alarm for an early morning BC tomorrow and start fresh is incredible. 10 weeks ago, I would've said 'so what, what good will that do?' But now I know that slip-ups are a part of life and being able to bounce back strong is the true test.

I have a week left of summer school and I'm turning the weekdays into a 9-5 job. What a thought, huh, living like the majority of the TIU girls out there?! I'll be waking up early for my BC's, "working" throughout the day, completing my PM workout and relaxing at night. I'm kind of looking forward to trying out this new routine, especially since I'm praying to be in the position of having a full-time job by the end of the summer!

This post is kind of all over the place, but I just wanted to check-in! Now excuse me while I go peruse the new TIU shop...!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

7DSD: Day 2 + Day 3

Oh hello again! I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I have to get to bed. #grandmastatus so I can wake up and start my day off right with a BC! Day 2 of the 7DSD was Sunday and it was pretty great. I logged a lot of miles and kept it LC&G! I added some almond butter to my banana at lunch but other than that, I think I stuck to the plan pretty well. Not too much to say! It was Father's Day so not eating the homemade apple crisp my momma made was hard, but I successfully resisted the temptation.
Day 3 of the 7DSD was yesterday, Monday, and man was it rough. It started off so well with a long walk, some of the daily challenges incorporated throughout my morning while doing homework, and healthy meals through M3. But after that, my stomach went crazy on me. I tried to nap it off because I was also exhausted but I couldn't even sleep I was having such bad pains. I had to get in the car and drive an hour away to take a test for my online class, and I ended up stopping to get ginger ale and crackers at a gas station. Neither really helped that I know of, and of course I should've made myself a mug of ginger tea or something instead! Anyways, my eating went out the window along with my exercise yesterday which was a bummer, but it didn't get me down...I let myself sleep in and then had a great day today :)

I'm hoping to get back to my 30 Day Push soon. School work completely took over and everything "extra" was kind of pushed aside these past few days. Yikes!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

7DSD, Day 1

Welllllll, this slim down was off to a rocky start. I kind of anticipated that, though, and I'm proud of how well I did considering! My best friend came into town to visit! I splurged a little when we went out to eat at a cajun restaurant last night (and my momma introduced me to a "Sloe Gin Fizz"...oh yes, I loved it) and then went to the movies and indulged in some candy. Does anyone else have those Wonka candy machines in their movie theaters or malls? They are so cool and gimmicky and suck me right in. Oh and we saw "This Is the End" which was hilarious, but probably only if you're obsessed with the Superbad cast (we are). 

Today we woke up and I made us some protein pancakes with unsweetened coconut and pineapple mixed in because I didn't have any berries to make the 7DSD ones yet. I made some mini ones to take with me as M2 and M4, and ate some grapefruit with coffee and a Bombshell Shot. Then, we hit up my town's downtown for some light shopping. I was even able to pass up candy and free samples (5 points for Kayla!). At lunch, I wanted to take her to my favorite downtown spot which I know has salads. I kind of figured there would be a tuna or other fish salad option, but there wasn't. And then I saw "vegetarian migas" and just had to get that instead, along with a soy capp. Oops! But I kept thinking, it could have been worse.

Afterwards, we headed to TJ's and Whole Foods to do some shopping...because I'm pretty sure we enjoy a little luxurious grocery shopping more than any other kind of shopping. They're kind of a drive from my parents' house so I don't get to go that often. Both places were packed! I picked up the new (to me) tropical Zico, eggplant hummus, tempeh ($2?!), and face moisturizer ($4?!?!?) at TJ's and then some bulk items, a locally made kombucha to try, and a mini packet of coconut butter to try at WF. We indulged in some Dunkin Donuts (we're both from the northeast where they were on every in Texas, it's a rare sight to behold) to pick up some 99 cent iced coffee, which we both ordered black. Oh yeah! 

For dinner, I ate a pre-made black bean burger and edamame. I'm planning on making the black bean burgers from the TIU plan tomorrow to have for the week, along with my tempeh, tofu, and Gardein chicken for protein. I went for a long walk as a study break tonight and it was just perfect. You know those walks/runs where you just feel like you're in that scene from (500) Days of Summer where everyone's so happy and dancing? It was just a glorious evening walk. Then, the song "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons came on my shuffle and I actually listened to the words for the first time and the second verse just clicked so hard...

"I've tried to cut these corners
Tried to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I could've gave up then but
Then again I couldn't have 'cause
I've traveled all this way for something"

Bear with me, because I realize this is starting to sound like an AIM profile circa 2005. But you know those songs that you hear in a whole new way, or actually listen to the lyrics, and you just feel like YES that is me, that's my life! I love music because of that. When it just clicks, it's perfection. 

Anyways, hearing that combined with the chorus was just so inspiring to me. For so long I really have been just trying to take the easiest road...whether that's because of pure laziness or just because I didn't believe in myself, who knows. There's so many times I have given up and given in to those negative feelings about what I made of myself and my life. But I'm so glad I never fully gave up because now I'm finally starting to get back to that determined girl I used to be, but even better than her, really. I'm starting to feel so darn good about where I'm at in life. I'm starting to worry less about what other people think and starting to worry more about myself and my goals. It's kinda great!

Okay /end mushiness. Like I said, it was a rocky day, but one that ended on a high note. Hope everyone else who is doing the 5DSD or 7DSD is rocking it, too!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

30 Day Push: Day 3

Today requires you to create a list of 10 goals that you want to accomplish within the next year. Here we go!

1. Head up an organization at church and truly live my faith.
2. Get down to 120 pounds.
3. Pay off half of my student loan debt.
4. Save/invest at least 20% of my paychecks.
5. Travel around the U.S. and to a few countries.
6. Build an incredibly strong relationship with my future husband.
7. Find a job that allows me to help others.
8. Start a successful blog.
9. Go back to school.
10. Maintain a strong relationship with my friends and family, and continue to make new friends!

My #1 goal that will help me achieve the rest is the second half of #1 up there. Oh yeah!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

30 Day Push: Day 2

The second day of this challenge is all about determining your priorities. Chalene says in the video that this is the day a lot of people kind of mess up on, or don't really understand. I watched the other video she recommends to learn more about what she thinks are the foundation points of your life. There is also a worksheet to fill out, with the first part being a "Priority Brainstorm." I decided to focus on the areas of my life I want to work on and exclude the ones I have a pretty good handle on at the time (what she calls, "intrinsic priorities"), such as my relationships and workouts (I think they've become a solid part of my daily routine).

1. Reading and learning everything possible about the local food movement, farmers markets, gardening, rooftop farms, etc. *
2. Reading and learning everything possible about health, nutrition, and fitness. *
3. Spending time daily with God, in prayer, reading the Bible, and in Adoration. *
4. Cooking and eating as clean as possible every single day. *
5. Searching and applying for postgrad jobs every day. *
6. Deciding if I want to go back to school within the next year or so and what I would want my concentration to be.

Next, you're asked to star the top 5 areas of importance (which I did above).

After that, you're asked to write down your top 3 priorities using kind of ambiguous language and in no particular order. I decided to mesh some of them together.

1. Read about the topics of food and health that interest me every day. Use what I learn to help me eat cleaner.
2. Spend time praising God every day.
3. Search for a job and make my future a priority.

Next, rewrite the list in order of importance to you.

1. Spend time praising God every day.
2. Search for a job and make my future a priority.
3. Read about the topics of food and health that interest me every day. Use what I learn to help me eat cleaner.

Take the number one priority and complete the following statements.

The reason why I have placed the greatest importance on this area of my life is because: I truly believe that God has a plan for me and will lead me in the right direction if I listen to Him and let Him.

I will honor my number one priority by vowing to do my best to always: remembering to pray and set time aside in my busy life to build a relationship with Him.

The following action(s) would be inconsistent with my commitment to my number one priority: Believing that I can do everything in my life by myself, without the help of God and others. Failing to thank God for my blessings, and failing to help others experience blessings of their own.

To honor my number on priority I will limit: pushing my beliefs to the back of my mind. I do this so much and they really should be the at the forefront.

To live my life according to my number one priority I need to make the following changes: I need to set aside even just 10 minutes a day for prayer and contemplation. I need to be willing to allow God to show me what I need to see, and stop being so reluctant to listen.

Finally, you're asked to create a "Top Priority Clarity Statement."

My number one priority is building my relationship with God. I believe that learning more about my faith as a Christian and my Church as a Catholic will allow me to strengthen other areas of my life, specifically how I see my body (and how I wish to treat it and take care of it) and my relationship with my future husband. My life is always so wonderful when I have spent a consistent amount of time on this in the past and I want to make it a permanent part of my life.

Whew! If you read through all of that, thanks! So far I'm really liking this program and can't wait to keep following it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

30 Day Push: Day 1

I seriously love the TIU Community. Everyone knows just the right thing to say in every situation, amiright? Anyways, a few girls recommended checking out Chalene Johnson's 30 Day Push in which you sign up for this free program to realize and achieve your dreams. Sounds great, count me in!

Day 1 requires jotting down what we want to be known for, what are values our, etc. Sidenote: love that this only takes 5-10 minutes a day. I hope I'm not reading too far into this challenge, but here is what I came up with:

1. I want to be seen as a role model for others in regards to health and fitness. I want to inspire others to take care of their bodies and families.
2. I want to be a strong woman who is fully capable of doing things for myself. Don't get me wrong, I am probably a bigger fan of chivalry than feminism (oops) but I don't want my future marriage to prevent me from learning all of those important things single women in their 20s need to know when living on their own!
3. I want to discover what it is that I want to do with my life. For so long now, the idea of doing something to fight childhood obesity (and adult obesity) has been lingering in my mind. But what do I do exactly? What kind of career allows me to do that?
4. I want to become an even greater woman of faith. I want to do more than just thank God for my blessings and go about my day. I want to really grow in a relationship with Him, and frankly that gets put on the back burner more often than it should.
5. (This should be more up towards the top but...) I want to be healthy. Learning to make exercise a part of my everyday life and choosing LC&G options over junk is something I just know I need to make a priority. If I'm happy and healthy, I will be able to help others around me, too.

Woohoo, Day 1 is complete!