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!

Motivation Station

...or lack thereof.
{my unmotivated face. cute, I know.}
Do you ever have those days where you just can't bring yourself to do anything? I feel like I have those days more often than I would like. I like to think I am able to keep a fairly positive attitude even when my motivation is absolutely lacking, but still. This morning, for example, I decided to do some HIIT and dance type Blogilates videos for my morning cardio. After getting through one video though, I just did not want to keep going which stinks because I thought I was motivated to work out!

Honestly, it has always been difficult for me to find my drive. I have loving parents who never pressured me or pushed me to be something I'm not. I found the most incredible man who loves me no matter what and has never had a complaint about the way I eat or look. I don't have any serious health concerns that I need to be helping. Believe me, I consider myself very blessed because of all of this. So where is the motivation?

Joining Tone It Up and transforming my life really has to come from inside me, and lately it's been getting harder and harder to know that I'm doing this for my own benefit. I don't want to say I feel guilty for putting so much energy into myself (I'm an only child, so this is nothing new! Kidding, kidding...kind of) but in a weird way I kind of do. Or shouldn't I be doing other things like reading, working, or helping out others more? It's also getting harder to resist comparing myself to others. All of the TIU girls who are able to fit in their workouts and then some every day make me wish I had the motivation and drive to do the same. I admire you all so much, but I just can't find it in myself to really challenge myself.

I think I'm just having one of those off days, but I find comfort in writing all of this out because I know I'm not the only one who loses their motivation now and then. For those of you reading this, where do you find your motivation? What pushes you to work hard when you feel like just laying in bed and watching tv?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oh, hi there! & Summer Bucket List

{gotta have that cliche beach picture ;)}

Well well well, it's been awhile, huh? I'm just going to throw this out there right now: I am the WORST at time management. As I type this, I'm thinking about all these other things I need to do and feel like it's just impossible. It's really challenging to find that balance in life and to make journaling/blogging a priority! Has anyone ever tried any of those programs that help you realize just how much time you're spending doing non-important things in order to make more time in your life for important things? I need to get on one of those, stat.

A little life update real quick: I'm taking 2 summer classes, keeping up with the Bikini Series, freaking out about how much wedding planning there still needs to be done, and freaking out about what I want to do with my life once I graduate in a few months. Oh, and then there's this whole thing called summer and being home with my parents for the last time as an unhitched lady and wanting to spend a ton of time doing fun things with them. It's crazy, I tell you! I really really really give all the credit in the world to people who can successfully manage their time well. The people who have a cool blog, a great marriage, 5 kids, are involved with their church and kids' school, and are writing a book on the side. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?! Share all your superhuman secrets with us please?

So far, this Bikini Series has just been incredible. I'm starting to see major changes in my body and I'm really feeling great. Right now my back is killing me from the new arm workout. I don't think my back has ever hurt this bad due to muscular's kinda cool! Anyways, I'm having a great time "getting to know" everyone through Instagram and Twitter which is so crazy because I really do feel like I have all these new little friends that if there was some huge Tone It Up convention, we'd all meet in person for the first time and it would be like we've known one another for ages! Does that make sense? There should totally be a Tone It Up convention. And of course I'm loving keeping in touch with my accountability partner. I feel like if we lived closer than a plane ride away, we would be real life besties. It's so cool connecting with someone like that, and I'm so glad TIU brought us together! /end cheesiness

Wow, look at me just rambling on! How about a very belated TIU Bucket List?! Okay! (Starting with the real wishy things, and ending with the things I know will happen but it's just fun to put them on there too!)

My TIU Summer 2013 Bucket List
1. Go to the beach. I haven't been to a beach in like, 2 summers. And I have a super cute new bathing suit I need to wear at a beach and not just a pool.
2. Get a massage or a facial. I've never gotten either and they just sound so luxurious  And with sites like Groupon, I feel like I could actually treat myself at a reasonable cost. 
3. Complete C25K/Run a 5K! Oh my gosh, I'm almost there. Pretty sure I'm going to cry the first time I run a 5K without stopping. Oh yeahhh.
4. Be confident in summer clothes. Shorts, tank tops, and bikinis! Heck yeah I'm going to feel good :)
5. Take a road trip to somewhere new and/or CAMPING. My fiance and I have been talking about going camping for so long now and we just haven't bit the bullet. But I want tooooooo.
6. Finish 3 books. I am notorious for going to a library, checking out 10 books, and then just letting them sit there until they're due. I want to love reading again and there's plenty of books that I know will help me to!
7. Plan this wedding! It'll come together, I know it.
8. GRADUATE. Still don't want to think too much about this until summer classes are over and I get my grades but please!

Whew! And one more thing... I want to say a ginormous thank you to everyone I've met through TIU. I know this has been said a lot by everyone, but I really and truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. Everyone's story is so inspiring and your kind words are just all that it takes to get me through a rough workout. I can't imagine being without this community. 

Love you all, goodnight from deep in the heart of Texas!