Multi-Week Recap: ToneItUp #BikiniSeries

The countdown keeps on coming — only 2 weeks now to the first day of summer! The sun’s come early though, with warm weather that I usually only see in late July! All the more reason to keep up with my training and healthy eating with Tone It Up’s Bikini Series. The past month of Tone It Up workouts have been less constant and more roller coaster, so I’m trying to keep up the good habits and turn off the voice in my head that always wants to sleep in or veg out.

Oh man, what can I say? Week 2 was such a disappointment that I got I started doubting myself, and my ability to even keep a fitness regimen up for several weeks. I mean by the end of Week 2, I was already caving. Thankfully, I stumbled on an article by Tina of Carrots n Cake, where she compiled a big list of tips to stick with your workout, all from her favorite health and fitness bloggers! Hey if these bloggers can find ways to keep moving and keep finding the joy in it, why couldn’t I? While many of the tips are things I’ve heard before (schedule your workout like a meeting, change it up to keep things fresh, work out with a friend, etc.), there were some ideas I hadn’t considered and it was so great to see how people who actually make exercising a priority make it work for them. It’s definitely worth checking out: How to Stick With Your Workouts: Tips from Consistent Exercisers

Then, as if Karena & Katrina at ToneItUp.com were reading my mind, this week they wrote about keeping motivated and what to do if you slip up (read: don’t sweat it, keep going forward, eyes on the prize). It helped me remember that just because I stalled didn’t mean I had to walk away from the whole thing. I mean, how would anyone get anywhere if that was the status quo?

Week 3 was much stronger, a model week in the Bikini Series – 4 weekday morning workouts and evening toning workouts almost every evening! I was eating fairly well and pushing myself, and it felt GOOD. Yet when Week 4 rolled around, I literally didn’t work out after Monday. No activity, eating more than I wanted to (though still mostly healthy fare), exhausted ALL the time, no matter how much sleep I got. I got a weird skin allergy to something (I still don’t know what, possibly dairy or maybe it was a reaction to stress…) and my face and neck broke out in hives. Instead of trying to blow off some steam, by Friday I was in tears, utterly defeated. I felt ready to throw in the towel yet again, ready to put up a sign that read, “pity party, this way,” with an arrow pointing at my red and itchy sad face.

Thank goodness for two of the best men in my life for pulling me out of that slump. Avery helped me get soothing face moisturizer and soap for super sensitive skin, and kept trying to make me laugh. He even semi-serenaded me with John Legend’s “All of Me” until we were both cracking up (because my lovely bf is more goofball than crooner, and I adore him for it). The next day, my little brother came over (he’s the family’s fitness expert since he’s going to school for exercise science) and brought A) an adorable dog named Bella that he was watching for a friend, and B) a dose of #RealTalk. His pep-talk wasn’t the tender, kind encouragement I was expecting, but straight forward and logical. His words stung a little, and I had to stop myself from getting defensive or yelling at him to stop lecturing his older sister. Still, it stayed with me for a while, and he helped me see things from a different perspective, one which reminded me that I’m in charge of my results, and that you either do something good for yourself or you don’t (there’s no try, to paraphrase Yoda). Plus, playing with Bella made it easy for me to forget how bad I was feeling, and it was the first time in a few days that smiling came easily to me. I also (finally!) worked out that day with the bf and the bro, which helped shake off any residual sluggishness. By Memorial Day, I felt like a better, super-capable version of myself, grilling up vegetables and laughing with friends in our backyard.

The rest of Week 5 was good, and this week is looking pretty balanced as well. I still have trouble with morning workouts, despite how great I feel afterwards, so it’s a work in progress. But this up & down experience made me realize that I wasn’t setting myself up for success, and in some ways I even sabotaged my health & fitness by:

  • Not scheduling when to workout or planning what workouts to do: While this requires about 10-15 minutes of upfront work at the start of each week, knowing exactly what to do when I wake up (or when I get home, tired and hungry) and having the link to a workout video already queued up is the difference between hitting the snooze button (or just collapsing on my couch after work) and actually getting a quick workout in. Plus, scheduling ahead of time would force me to plan realistically — when I have plans after work that I know will go late, that’s not exactly the right day to schedule 3 circuits of arms, 3 circuits of abs and 3 circuits of booty workouts. Planning my workouts allows me to make my fitness a real and non-negotiable part of my day.
  • Not having a meal plan: Speaking of getting home from work, tired and hungry, that was a hurdle all its own. Sure, the meal planning is good to do anyway, but for several nights in Weeks 2 & 4, I wasted time rummaging through my cupboards and going back and forth with my bf about what to eat for dinner. By the time we decided on something and made it, I’d feel too tired to even pick up a 5 lbs. dumbbell.
  • Not enough sleep: Whether it was a morning or evening workout, I think the lack of proper sleep affected me the most. I realized after a few weeks that Tuesdays on the Tone It Up Bikini Series are especially difficult and/or last longer, since it’s the day new workout videos come out. But after those tough Tuesdays, instead of getting more sleep to help my body recover, I often stayed up looking at Instagram or reading until after midnight. On those days, I woke up with eyes so puffy that it felt like I couldn’t physically open them, let alone get up and go for a 2-3 mile run. Sure, I already know how important sleep is, but the lesson really hits home after you’re physically feeling it.
  • Not eating for energy: I think that if I were eating the right kinds of foods to give me energy, even with less sleep I would have gotten at least one more workout last week in. On my off weeks, I would often eat pastries for breakfast or have a heavy, meat-filled lunch (and I don’t typically eat lots of meat, so I think it was hard on my body to digest). Foods like fruits, green vegetables, green smoothies and trail mix at work would have helped me stay peppy and ready to move when I got home from work.

Now that I’ve figured out these weak points and how to get around them, I feel much more confident about not only completing the Bikini Series by June 21st, but I’m starting to feel more confident about myself. This fitness challenge may not bring me to where I originally wanted to be on the first day of summer, but it’s taught me a lot about how to make a healthy lifestyle work for me personally. Sure I’m really looking forward to being able to rock a bikini this summer, but for the next 2 weeks, I’m going to focus more on me and becoming as healthy as I can be.

Week 1 Review: ToneItUp #BikiniSeries

Week 1 of the Toneitup.com #BIKINISERIES is already over, which means it’s less than 7 weeks to summer!

In a moment that is both nerve-wracking (7 weeks, yikes!) and exciting (summer is still my FAVORITE season), here’s a quick look back at the stats of my first week with Tone It Up:

Week 1 calories burned -- and yes I consider a long night of dancing as exercise ;-)

Week 1 calories burned — and yes that huge spike on 5/3 was a night of awesome dancing =)

Workouts:
Monday: a.m. – yoga; toning – upper back TIU circuits (3x)
Tuesday: a.m. – missed; toning – missed (wah, wahhh)
Wednesday: a.m. – yoga; toning – Malibooty TIU circuits (2x – felt really tough at the end because of the 90+ degree heat in my house)
Thursday: a.m. – missed; toning – Cowabunga total body TUI workout (3x – this was a tough one!)
Friday: a.m. – missed; toning – Sunkissed Abs TIU circuits (3x)
Saturday: dancing all night!
Sunday: sleeping all day…

Nutrition:
- mostly green smoothies and different takes on a chocolate avocado protein smoothie because I’m still healing from my wisdom teeth extraction
- Some easy to eat / softly chew foods at the end of the week. I tried to focus on getting enough protein (I normally am lower on that front) via dishes like chicken avocado soup and grilled mahi mahi.
- For the record, I had a linguine with clams dish on Saturday before going out dancing with friends. Clams are not easy to chew and it was difficult to eat dinner. I was just thankful that they were mostly small enough to swallow whole.
- I’ve been craving salads and salsa!

Week 2 Goals:
The morning workouts were hard to get out of bed for, so this week I’m planning ahead of time exactly what workouts to do, whether it’s a yoga video, running or even some barre-style cardio videos I spotted last week. Aside from the dinner plans on Tuesday night that interfered with my workout, the evening toning workouts assigned by ToneItUp were easy to follow, but definitely still challenging. My Week 2 goal is do at least 3-4 morning BootyCall workouts while still maintaining the evening toning workouts. 

Nutrition wise, I have to keep up my protein intake now that I’m working out more, as well as my complex carbs. I’m actually really happy to crave good-for-you foods like salad and salsa, so my Week 2 nutrition goal is to incorporate salads back into my meals. This might be a slow transition since the left side of my mouth still hurts from getting my wisdom teeth out, but I’m taking advantage of the rare healthy craving. If for some reason salad and crunchy foods still aren’t in the cards, my alternate goal is to try 2 NEW green smoothies. My cousin just finished a 30-day green smoothie challenge just posted some awesome variations here.

I hope to also post more photos here, either of my workout check-ins or some healthy recipes to share as well. In the meantime, I’m off to plan out my workouts for the week and figure out some semblance of a meal plan.

Cheers from a TIU Beach Babe in the making!

 

Day 5: ToneItUp #BikiniSeries

This post should really be called the time I almost showed you a photo of my tummy. No not a full body, typical “before” or “in progress” photo, just a weird mega-cropped photo of my tummy. Why?

Well, I’m 5 days in on the #BIKINESERIES & unless it’s just wishful thinking, I believe I already have the makings of a tiny two-pack. Yup, tiny victories are what keeps me going.

Seriously though, I just finished 3 rounds of Karena & Katrina’s Sunkissed Abs routine, and I swear I can see a little more definition in my upper abs. That cropped tummy photo that I decided to scrap didn’t show my lower abs mostly because they don’t really exist yet (those are still harboring a few extra cookies hah!). Still, I’m really excited to already see the beginnings of change in my body. Also, even though these toning workouts are surprisingly tough to complete, I’m feeling stronger and more capable with each round of exercises. That’s just such a good feeling that I had to share.

As for the scrapped photo, I also realized that I’m more than just the change I see in my abs, and so is my health. I want to record my progress, sure but I also want my blog to reflect my overall health goals.

I’m not against publishing a pre- or post-workout shot (my personal Instagram can attest to that) but for now, I’m more than happy just seeing the results in my own mirror and feeling it in my own body.

<3

Day 3: ToneItUp #BikiniSeries

Tuesday ended up being a dud of a day, at least in relation to the Tone It Up #BIKINISERIES. Well, ok no. It was my fault. I forgot to set my alarm, so there went my morning workout, aka BootyCall. Then after work, I had dinner plans with my aunt that went long, so by the time I got home it was already bed time. Still, Tuesday wasn’t a total loss. I had just enough time after work and before dinner to prep two huge green smoothies for Wednesday, and having a light dinner and tea with my aunt was so fulfilling — we haven’t spent time together since we ran a half-marathon together in early February, and the time catching up with her was so necessary for my heart & soul.

Wednesday was a slam dunk workout-wise. My morning BootyCall was a 30-min yoga class with Elena Brower called Tap Into Your Divine Energy. Elena’s message about embracing sisterhood and all the ladies in your life was a nice reminder after the previous night’s chat with my aunt, an intuitive and intelligent spiritual warrior herself. The class itself wasn’t necessarily made for taking first thing in the morning (as my screaming hamstrings can attest to) but with a lot of hip-opening & leg stretches PLUS some sneaky (and other not-so-sneaky) core work, I ended the class feeling strong with a quiet jolt of energy to get me through the day.

I had Huge Green Smoothie 1 & 2 as my breakfast and morning snack, and lunch was the last bit of spring pea and basil soup I made over the weekend. By now (assuming nothing bad like an infection or dry socket happens) most people are probably fine to eat normally, but I’m still sloooowly trying to chew very small bites of food after I got my wisdom teeth removed last week. I did cave a little at the grocery store – which is always the worst place when you’re extremely hungry — and I bought a tiny dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s. I spent the whole drive home attempting to bite and chew the chocolate bar but most gave up and would just let the pieces melt in my mouth.  By the time I finished my evening workout, I decided to just have another big chocolate avocado protein smoothie — but this time I added a cup of spinach in it, and some ground cinnamon. The spinach turned it from chocolate milkshake color to a gross greenish brown (obviously, yet this was an oversight at the time…). Fortunately, it tasted deliciously filling, and you wouldn’t have known spinach was even there if it weren’t for the weird color. Whatever, I still downed the whole thing; it was so good and refreshing!

In any case, without dinner plans to lead me astray, last night’s workout was the TUI Malibooty toning workout, done in 2 circuits. The plan was 3 rounds, but the weather turned freakishly warm (more than 90 degrees inside my house, AFTER the sun went down!) and I started getting light-headed, so I decided some cold water and a super-frosty protein smoothie was a better option.

This morning unfolded much like Tuesday morning, but this time I planned to sleep in. Maybe it’s the warm weather or maybe the whole wisdom teeth thing (plus antibiotics and meds), but I was EXHAUSTED last night and decided to get a tad more sleep. I hope K&K and all the ToneItUp members won’t hold it against me. Tonight I’m looking forward to another toning/circuit training workout, so I’m trying not to sweat the missed one this morning.

Given that it’s the first week, my goal is to do as many workouts as I can handle. Since I’m starting over after a prolonged period of sloth, my mantra for this week is Consistency. Consistency over intensity. It’s not that the TIU workouts aren’t intense — you can make them as challenging as you want depending on how heavy your free weights are and how many rounds you do — but I’m less about pushing myself over the edge and more about setting up a good and lasting habit. This week, I’m working up a good sweat but not burning myself out so I can ramp up in the weeks ahead.

Summer is less than 8 weeks away – any of you out there working on your summer fitness goals? What are your short- and long-term goals?

Day 1: Tone It Up! #BikiniSeries

It’s officially 8 weeks until the first day of summer, so the awesome trainers Karena & Katrina of ToneItUp.com kicked off this year’s Bikini Series. After 2 years of half-heartedly “looking into it,” I’m finally diving head first into this challenge.

First, K&K asked everyone participating to #CreateYourSummer: what we want our summer to be like this year – so here’s my list of important goals, events & fun times.

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There are two facets of the Toneitup challenge that have tripped me up in the past: the morning BootyCall, or a.m. workout, and the nutrition. The BootyCall is typically the cardio you do every morning, and they really encourage you to go for it first thing, even if you’re not a morning person. For me, getting in a morning workout (especially after not exercising for more than 2 months) was all about convenience and ease. So I decided my BootyCalls would be yoga mostly, with some runs thrown in once I built up the stamina to head out on the road again. I have a membership with YogaGlo, and with streaming online yoga videos plus a range of different class lengths, that morning BootyCall is as simple as getting out of bed & unrolling my yoga mat. While I usually have a more vigorous vinyasa practice, I’m trying to ease into this challenge, so I chose a 30-min hatha class that stretched my back, hips, & hamstrings. It gave me enough juice to feel super alert before breakfast — something that never happens!

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The evening workout was a short upper back toning circuit workout. What it lacked in length it made up for in giving my arms and upper back a focused burn. I ended each round with a plank exercise for bonus core work.

This year, the Bikini Series came at a weirdly perfect time in terms of nutrition. I actually just got my wisdom teeth out for days ago, so while the lack of chewing and solid foods is a bit challenging, I spent all weekend trying out new soups and smoothies. After my evening workout, I had my new favorite: chocolate avocado protein smoothie.

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It’s from Vega’s blog, and if you stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few extra minutes to make it extra cold, it tastes really similar to a chocolate milkshake. I made it with half a scoop so the protein powder flavor wasn’t too strong, and I added a sprinkling of ground cinnamon on top. It’s fairly thick, so in my post oral surgery recovery state, I ate it with a spoon. SO good :-)

There you have it, now that Day 1 is complete, I feel oddly accomplished. Here’s to Day 2 & beyond!

I’m So Tired of Starting Over

It’s time, officially, to give up the cycle. Give up the go-beast-mode-for-2-weeks-then-fail-then-eat-cookies-then-hate-myself. Give up the positive / negative roller coaster. Give up the body hate. Give up the excuses.

I’m so tired of it. Seriously, in looking at my posts on this blog, most of them are about starting over, or refreshing and beginning anew in some way. Most of these I wrote to give myself accountability, and space to breathe and a way to start from scratch so I can go forward. Yet I never went forward. My journey towards health and regaining my fitness (and confidence in my body again) has been a series of false starts and terrible bounce-backs into binge eating and no exercise. I kept waiting for the right moment, when the world could slow down for just a second so that I could start over.

However, I’m slowly learning life doesn’t just stop so you can start from scratch. It’s something so simple, that I’ve known all along, but it didn’t truly resonate with me until the past week, after months of giving up and self-loathing. All the self-hate I could muster won’t make me healthy again, or able to jump like I did in high school, or give me the strength and arm definition I had as a competitive dancer. All the negative thoughts won’t make me stop eating chips and lots of free pizza and too many snacks at work. All the angry words I told myself won’t make me a disciplined yoga student or a faster, more dedicated runner. All the giving up won’t stop the world from turning, just so I could start over.

So here it is: I’m SO tired of starting over. I’m tired of giving up. So, now… I won’t. I won’t give up. I won’t get angry when I falter, I’ll just pick myself up and keep going. I won’t let one bad day ruin weeks or months of progress. I won’t be a part of this healthy-unhealthy cycle anymore. I won’t start over again and again because I won’t give up in the first place.

I WILL be healthy. I WILL be strong in mind while slowly becoming strong in body. I WILL find ways to nourish myself. I WILL be patient, knowing progress isn’t always linear but it’s still happening. I WILL look for inspiration and motivation everywhere.

motivational_quote_zig_zigler

I WILL go at it with a plan. In an effort to make this change easy, so that it sticks, I’m looking again to my girls at ToneItUp.com — the trainers Karena + Katrina are not only beautiful and strong but extremely encouraging. While they give free workouts on their site multiple times a week, they also know how important nutrition is to get to your health and fitness goals. Plus, they seem really fun and they have a huge community of followers, which means I’m not doing this alone.

So, I’ve signed up for their 8-week Bikini Series challenge. I’m not a member of their Nutrition plan, so I won’t get a specific food plan, but after following their blog (passively) for a few years, I’m pretty familiar with what’s ToneItUp approved — basically whole, non-processed foods. Heavy on the greens. Lean protein is a must. Fruits for your sweet tooth. And yes, the *occasional* indulgence. OK, so I have to re-evaluate what my definition of “occasional” is, but the fact is, I’ve eaten this way before and loved when I did. So this time, I just have to keep at it, and make a plan so that it’s easy to do so. As for not buying their specific nutrition plan, I like looking at recipes for inspiration, but I actually prefer to not be on a set food plan — I don’t want this to feel like a diet, but like a way to guide me towards better eating habits.

The Bikini Series starts next week and goes until the first day of summer, and it’s a fun, TUI community-wide fitness and health challenge to help get beach-ready. It’s just the right amount of structure that I need so I can make fitness a priority. I’m not going to lie, some of my short-term goals are very superficial: I want my stomach and legs to look good when I’m in a bikini on the beach. I don’t want my beast-mode little bro being the only one in the family with a 6-pack this summer. I want to look good in photos again and rock a skimpy dress in a nightclub knowing my arms look stellar. But it’s more than that. I just want to start feeling good about myself again. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again. And I know what I need to do to make that happen.

So it’s T-10 days until the TUI challenge officially begins. I won’t start over; this time, I’ll just start: start moving my body ever-so-slowly and start to feed myself for all the great things I’m doing. I’ll check in here as often as I can. Eventually my choices will become my behaviors, and my behaviors will become healthy habits. The world won’t wait for me to do anything; it’ll just show up every day and go, like always. And this time, so will I.

<3

 

Winter races 2013

Last month I signed up for 3 races to round out the year. Part of it was so I could stay motivated because now that is gets dark before I even leave work, it’s even harder to convince myself for an after-work run. Part of it was knowing I need to do something to offset the holiday feasting that will no doubt take place. Most of it is because I’m running a half-marathon the first weekend of February. Damn, February is so far away! But if I didn’t have a few smaller goals to work towards leading up to this race, I know my inner laziness would get the best of me. I wouldn’t train until after New Year’s Day, I’d freak out over how close the race is, and I’d probably injure myself. Yeah, I’d like to avoid that.

So here’s my very light-race schedule for the end of the year:

Sat, Nov 23rd: The Cooking Light & Healthy Fit Foodie 5k – I’m running with an old j-school friend of mine who enjoys food and running as much as I do! The 5k is held in conjunction with the San Diego Food & Wine Festival, so the Finisher’s Village will include Stella Artois beer tasting, Cupcake Vineyards wine tasting, and more than 15 food tastings and demos. Running so I can eat? Yes please! This run was made for me & I’m really excited about running it with my buddy.

Thurs, Nov 28th: 7th Annual Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot 12k – Speaking of running so I can eat, this will be my first year running a Turkey Trot. I’m a tad nervous about this because I signed up for the 12k distance instead of the 5k. Why you ask? The trail we’re running used to be the old railroad tracks to bring supplies to build the Hoover Dam. They’ve since removed the tracks, but the 12k route brings you through all 6 tunnels to a turnaround point with a view of the dam (hence the name). The shorter route is on the same trail, but your turnaround point is earlier, thus no Hoover Dam views :-( I figure if I’m running a turkey trot with Hoover Dam in the name, I have to see it right? Plus, those extra couple miles mean more turkey and pie for me afterwards, yum…

Sun, Dec 8th: Athleta Iron Girl Del Mar Women’s 10K – Another trail run hot on the heels of Thanksgiving. What am I thinking? Still, I’m looking forward to this one, and it gives me an excuse to get out of my bubble. I’m running this one alone unless I can convince some friends to join in. Either way, I’ve wanted to run an Iron Girl event for a while because I love their mission to empower women towards a healthy lifestyle.

These races are all coming up pretty fast, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t run much since my last half marathon in October, so logging relatively high mileage (5+ miles) per session may be an issue. At this point, consistency will be my only friend until the 5k. I’ll try to post my training log next week, but until then, stay balanced!

 

Yogi tea is sending me signs…

Earlier today, I killed time at the DMV by looking up potential universities and resources about a particular master’s degree. I’m a little shy to give many details about it, as it’s pretty speculative at this point and I like to hold things pretty close to my chest until all deals are sealed and loose ends tied. I knew even while earning my bachelor’s that I wanted to return to grad school, but for what exactly? I went to J-school, changed my minor countless times and still couldn’t make up my mind, resorting to a double minor. If I had learned about fields like cultural anthropology any time earlier than my senior year, I would’ve double majored in that as well. What can I say? I’ve always had a little trouble with focus.

I assumed I would get my MBA, not because I wanted to really, but because I thought it the pertinent thing to do. When I graduated only a few years ago, the job market was dismal, especially in the journalism/communications/PR fields — I considered even then jumping straight into grad school. Yet, I convinced myself that jumping into an MBA (or any master’s) program with no plan or focus on what I wanted to do with it when I got out would be an ill-advised investment. Instead I hit the job market running and put any graduate education plans on the sidelines.

As you may imagine, however, I don’t really want an MBA. (Who really does *want* to study for an MBA? The motivation typically stems from a desire to succeed or move up in one’s career, not from an actual desire of learning the material, right? …OK obviously I’m biased and that’s just my opinion…) I certainly see the immense value it would provide should I continue down this current career path. But as I looked on my phone this morning, at the various universities offering the particular program I have in mind now, I got a bit hopeful. Yet, I was also scared, so I didn’t want to let myself feel hopeful. So I saved the links and moved on.

I left the DMV and got to work. I made myself a cup of tea. Then this little gem presented itself:

this is not my actual tea, I drank mine too quickly and tossed it before I remembered to snap a photo (image c/o http://integrativenutrition.tumblr.com)

this is not my actual tea, I drank mine too quickly and tossed it before I remembered to snap a photo (image c/o http://integrativenutrition.tumblr.com)

Maybe it’s not really a sign, but the little note on the end of my ginger herbal tea bag left an impression on me all the same. I can trust my intuition, if I only listen. I read it, again and again, and it put a smile on my face. I let the thought sink in: maybe I really do know what I want for my future.

2013 Goals – Yes this is still valid in May!

I posted this a tad late (MAJOR understatement), but this year started with one goal only to grow into many. Some are related, some are similar to my 2012 Goals, and some have come up after the many events of this challenging and wonderful year.

At the start of the year, I declared 2013 the year of health! It tied in with my resolution, which is to cultivate a daily yoga practice, but the focus for me was purely physical: I wanted to be fit to look good. I wanted to be happy with the person I saw in the mirror everyday. Fast forward some months, and those desires still hold true. However, after seeing what this year has had in store for me already, I think it’s more accurate to declare this the year of love. This year means love for my family, love for my craft, love for the future that I’m creating, and most importantly, love for myself. This may not happen in the blink of an eye that years typically turn out to be, but this year can make all the difference. It has already taught me that there is room in my heart to grow and that yes, there is a capacity to love even more.

With an open heart, here is my list of goals for 2013. Last year I was 2 for 12, and I kept  my resolution (to pay off my credit card with the highest APR!), so let’s see how the rest of this year fares:

  • Cultivate a daily yoga practice.
  • Eat clean 80/20.
  • Be active every day, even if it’s a 10 min walk to the coffee shop or a much-needed time to stretch #enjoytheworld
  • Now that I’ve paid for all transportation, save at least $2,000 for living, eating, and entertainment expenses for my European adventure this summer!
  • Pay off my second credit card & be 100% credit card debt free by Nov 5th, 2013!
  • Earn more money this year. Create other avenues that fuel my passion and my bank account if that’s what it takes!
  • Learn more about cooking (I just bought a TON of cookbooks to help me with this particular goal).
  • Write for a food-related publication (other blog, site, magazine?!)
  • Find the strength during mile 11 of the Long Beach Half Marathon run through it and not walk.

I keep running into a quote or thought really since the exact words vary each time, but the aim is simple: Focus on how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go. With that in mind, here’s a few things I’ve already accomplished this year:

  • I’ve saved up enough money for a 2.5 week trip to Europe across 5 cities. I will celebrate a wedding, see so many of my closest friends, go to new places and see one of my favorite cities in the summer for the first time! I’m doing all of this because I was disciplined enough to save my hard-earned cash!
  • I earned a merit raise at my job. I guess this technically resulted from the work I did in 2012, but it still counts ;-)
  • I started to actually take my overall health seriously. My body deserves the best I can give it, so that’s exactly what I’m doing #fitforlife #healthyeveryday
  • I ran my SECOND half marathon – the OC Half – and despite an old knee / ITB injury, I did it in a much faster time than I ever expected.
  • I traveled with my dad and sister to the Philippines for the first time in 23 years. It was the greatest experience of my life to spend so much time with my family who is so far away.
  • Oh, and yesterday I won a friendly plank competition against my siblings. Held it for 2 minutes, and while that might be a small victory, it’s still a personal record!

Oh 2013, you’ve treated me well and taught me so much already, I’m looking forward to what the rest of the year brings!