Sir Barks-a-lot

Happy MLK Day everyone!

It’s been a little strange having an day off from school so soon into starting the new semester- I mean we’ve only been back a week… but hey I ain’t complaining.

Yesterday ended up being a very busy day and surprisingly productive! I deemed it as an “off day” from the gym since I hadn’t taken a break from the gym since last Sunday. This body needs rest- I always need to remind myself of that. I went to church with my two friends, Hannah and Kaitlyn then I turned into a cleaning machine! I deep cleaned my room- throwing out a ton of stuff that had been lying around for too long, cleaned countertops until they were shiny, and just all around spiffied up the place (probably not a word). The day was complete with a trip to Publix for essentials and bible study at my leaders house. She is getting her first round of chemo on Thursday so please keep her in your prayers!

Me and Norma!

Today, Noah and I slept in ’til about 9:30 or so and headed out into the cold to tackle a 25 minute walk around the neighborhood. I’ve really been enjoying walking Noah  before breakfast for 20 minutes or so on the mornings  I don’t have class (aka: Saturday and Sunday). As we began our walk I started thinking how peaceful it was outside and how calming it felt to walk- Noah was being so well behaved! Not for long… once we turned off of my street, one of my neighbors was taking her black lab outside for a walk as well which then caused Noah to bark his head off! As we continued on his walk he saw about 3 more things to bark at: another dog on a walk, a couple on a leisurely walk, and a trash can that looked like it was up to no good.

Let me tell you a little about Noah. He is just about the cutest dog you have ever seen and is truly a sweetheart! He will give you endless amounts of kisses and loves nothing more than to sit in your lap and cuddle. But man oh man does he bark!!! Especially when he is on his leash on a walk, we can’t pass another dog on a walk, college kid riding their bike, or old man getting in his daily walk (this is when I feel especially bad!) without barking insanely at them. Everyone must seriously think he is the meanest dog, and that I’m not being a good owner by controlling him but I am telling’ you- I wish I knew how to stop the barking. Sometimes I get so fed up that I’m yelling “NO!” loudly at him in the middle of the street- it does nothing. It probably bothers me more than it bothers others- it’s so embarrassing!

“But I’m so cute…..”

If anyone has any tips on how to stop this fur ball from barking at anything and everything he isn’t familiar with- please let me know. Also Noah if you are reading this, I love you little guy 🙂

Anyways after our eventful walk I was definitely hungry for breakfast. I ended up making my new “usual”- a cheese, egg, jelly bagel thin. I better start mixing things up soon cuz I don’t wanna burn out on those sammies but they are just so darn good. On the side I enjoyed a crisp fuji apple- so tasty!

Recycled Photo:

Following breakfast, I cleaned up my room a bit and headed to the gym for a good ole’ workout! I had really been wanting to do both weights and cardio but ended up getting too hungry by the end to fit in any cardio- there’s always tomorrow. A tough ab circuit was on the plan today followed by sporadic other abdominal moves- they were burning for sure just like I like! Shoulders ensued- two supersets for a total for 4 different exercises that include: single arm lateral raises, overhead press with barbell, upright row, and a lateral raise variation. I refueled with a fresh spinach salad that included deli ham, almonds, baby tomatoes, orange bell pepper, and simple italian dressing.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the home front- oh and watching the Bachelor of course with my roomie Emma! We always DVR it and start it late to skip the commercials… wow what a night on the Bachelor- so much drama! My favorite is by far Kaci B. I can’t stand Courtney- I really can’t figure her out but she doesn’t seem to be a very nice person and I feel like she has some problems with being socially awkward and inappropriate! Well it’s off to bed for little Noah and I. He’s gotta sleep up for a big haircut tomorrow and a day of class for me… night night!

How did you spend your MLK day?

Advertisements

Icicle Hands

Woo wee, it is chilly here in Athens today! Last night as I headed to the gym I could tell that the wind was picking up but it was actually not too cold (about 60 degrees or so) but I am tellin’ you, when I left- it was freezing! After my workout I drove to Publix to fill up on groceries since I was all out and the walk from the car to Publix was hardly bearable! I guess spandex shorts weren’t a good choice…

When I woke up this morning my iPhone filled me in on the fact that was freezing outside!

Needless to say, I was frigid! I guess I should have prefaced this with the fact that I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather. Growing up and living in Orlando my whole life has conditioned me to be that way I suppose- but you know what? I simply prefer warm weather! I would much rather be sweating outside than shivering I will tell you that… although it is fun to actually be able to wear boots outside. Anyways…. sorry to talk your ear off about that but this weather came out of nowhere!

Back to my workout from last night- it was cardio intensive for sure! Since the day was occupied by class until 3:15, followed by a play date for Noah and his furry friend down the street “Dallas”, I didn’t make it to the gym until about 6:45 or so. I decided to stick to simply cardio since I had done abs and a tricep/bicep weight workout on Wednesday. This interval workout was performed on an elliptical with a ramp that can be adjusted to different inclines. This workout is sort of a longer version of one I have posted before. Workout was as follows:

Elliptical Interval Workout (Long Version) 

  • 10 minutes- resistance 8, incline 10
  • 45 seconds mountain climbers, hold plank for 20 seconds following
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 12
  • 45 seconds high knees, followed by 15 seconds butt kicks
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 14
  • Run 1 lap inside the gym (may get funny looks, don’t forget to wave!)
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 12
  • 45 seconds mountain climbers, hold plank for 20 seconds following
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 10
  • 45 seconds high knees, followed by 15 second butt kicks
  • 5 minutes- resistance 9, incline 10; 5 minutes- resistance 8, incline 8.
  • Run 2 laps inside the gym
  • Pat yourself on the back- you had a great workout! 🙂

A quick note on running the laps inside the gym- no one actually looked at me funny, to be honest they probably weren’t surprised! Also, don’t be shy about doing this- I see trainers have their clients run laps around quite often.

I have a feeling this post is becoming a bit disorganized because I keep jumping around from one thing to another but hopefully you will forgive me. I just wanted to touch on how yummy breakfast this morning was- and has been for the past week or so! I have fallen in love with egg, cheese, and jelly “bagel thins” ever since I tried my first one a couple of weeks ago. I will admit, I thought this combination sounded kinda wacky when I first saw it on Julie’s blog a while ago but once I tried it, I understood the appeal- It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Even Noah want’s a bite (when does he not…)!

Luckily I already snuck my workout in after class today seeing as I only have one class in the mornings on Friday (yay). Todays workout consisted of the classic P90x ab ripper routine along with other ab moves and a rockin’ chest workout. I wanted to do cardio but was feeling my hunger start to kick in along with feeling guilty for little Noah all by himself at home! Looks like cardio is on the agenda for tomorrow’s workout along with… back maybe? We shall see. Hope y’all are having a great Friday and start to the weekend- I will leave you with a little something that made me smile yesterday:

He always knows the right thing to say… what a smooth talker! Hehe- Hi Cameron!

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?

What have you been enjoying for breakfast lately?

“Life Improvements”

First off, if you aren’t currently watching The Bachelor, you should be. I know, I know- it’s a trashy reality show but I just love it! So much drama, so little time. Anyways….

Is it too late to talk about “New Year’s resolutions” or did I miss my chance?

With the year recently coming to a close, it had me thinking about the goals I wanted to achieve in this coming year. More than that, I thought about what I wanted to change or improve upon in terms of life, health, fitness, school and so on. I’ve actually been pondering on this for a while and am very hesitant to refer to them as “New Year’s resolutions”. New Year’s resolutions have a tendency of slipping away almost as fast as they are made so instead, I’m  gonna call these “life improvements” (cheesy? oh well).

Life Improvement #1:

(source)

Eat Mindfully: Over Christmas Break I read a book called Intuitive Eating written by two dietitians (Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch). This book talks all about relearning how to listen to your body when it comes to eating- paying attention to hunger cues, satiety signals, and really enjoying what you are eating. They say that with being more in tune with your body- you will in turn enjoy your food more and actually end up eating less! You could say it is an anti-dieting book as they mention how  diets have rewired our brains to think in certain ways about foods- deeming them as either “bad” or “good”.

(Noah as a puppy, demonstrating the art of intuitive eating!)

By thinking of sweets as “off-limits” or “bad” foods for example you may begin to become too fixated on those foods which could lead to a variety of things such as binging and so on. When you learn to listen to your body, it will crave what it truly needs which is whole, healthy foods. What I am trying to get to is that I would like to implement these thoughts and ideas into my daily life. For instance, when I would sit down for a meal I would typically turn on the TV or read a magazine while I eat- I have now stopped doing that so I can fully focus on tasting every bite of my food, enjoying my meal, and being in touch with my hunger level (the most comfortable place to stop eating is when you are neither hungry nor full). 

Life Improvement #2: 

Break my “addiction” to sweets: Now when I say “addiction”, I don’t mean I think about them constantly or have a serious problem but I will tell you- I crave them much more often than is necessary! I do well throughout the day but it almost seems like every night after I finish dinner, I find myself craving something sweet to eat. I personally would not want to cut sweets out of my life entirely but I want them to be something special I can enjoy on occasion. That’s what makes them so spectacular! If I had them every day (which until a week or two ago was most certainly the case) it doesn’t feel like much of a “treat”. I used to pretty much reserve eating sweets for special occasions like birthday get-togethers or special dinners but they have become much too commonplace. I’m ready to break my strong craving of sweets and form a healthier relationship with them.

Life Improvement #3

“Youuuu can doooo ittttt!” (Waterboy… anyone?)

Keep on kicking’ my butt in the gym! Fitness is one area in which I don’t lack motivation although my goal is to continue pushing myself and getting stronger with each workout. I also really want to keep my workout varied- I never do the same workout two days in a row but I want to keep branching out and incorporating new moves and exercises. I want to get over to the student rec center as much as I can to swim laps or even try some new classes at the gym. I am so tempted to start running again but have a fear of it due to the early arthritis they found in my lower back a couple summers ago… trying to be smart! 

Life Improvement #4

(source)

Continue to strengthen my relationship with Christ! I find that the best way to approach this is to simply keep the Lord in my mind as I go throughout my day and just remember that with any situation or difficulty that may come my way- he is there to help me! I have a daily devotional book that Cameron’s sister Brittany gave me for Christmas I am planning to keep up with. Also, I am going to try my hardest to go to church every Sunday I am in Athens. I really want to make this a priority because I always feel so much better when I go! I have a great church here and also my roomie Emma wants to start coming to my church as well. 

Life Improvement #5:

So yeah this is kinda weird but this is what came up when I googled 4.0 gpa! hm…. (source)

Work my butt off in school. Seeing as this is my second to last (please Dear God…) semester in college, I want to make it a good one. This past semester I started slacking pretty hard and was not very pleased with how I made out grade-wise at the end of the semester. My goal this semester is to make a 4.0! I figure why not shoot for the best… plus I will be starting to prepare for the MCAT (yikes…) fairly soon and planning to take that this summer. I need to remember to keep a positive mindset when it comes to all of the work and know that when you work hard, it will pay off!

Life Improvement #6 (last one I promise….)

(source)

Read more books (textbooks of course…. ;-)) and blog more frequently! This Christmas break I finished the Intuitive Eating book as well as starting the Hunger Games (still reading… ahhh so good!!). Reading again made me remember how much I love to read! I need to continue by finding the time to dedicate to reading various books. Also, I most definitellyyyy want to blog much more frequently than I have. For some reason I get anxiety about it and get too many thoughts in my head that I procrastinate on posting. I’m hoping this goal will force me to post more often knowing I may be held accountable. 🙂

Sorry for the lengthy text, when I don’t post for a long time I have too much to say! Anyways, I hope everybody is having a great start to their new years already. I’m already back in Athens and just finished my second day of classes- I think it will be a good year 🙂

Do you have any goals or plans for the new year? If so, what are they? (Random Question alert) Did you watch the Bachelor last night and if so what were your thoughts?

Praying there’s a squirrel Heaven…

By the title of this post you may have already guessed it- yes, I ran over a squirrel this morning 😦 I went to the gym on the earlier side and as I was driving there a squirrel ran across the road… I was hoping I had missed him but then I looked back to see the poor guy laying there. I felt awful. What a horrible and helpless feeling! It was a hard face the fact that I had just caused this little guy pain- I wish there was something I could’ve done! All I can do now is just pray for a better life for him up in squirrel heaven- one where he can freely dart across traffic-free roads and snack on acorns all day. 

See, he’s happy (I’m still trying to get over actually hitting this little animal and make myself feel better)!

After quite a drive to the gym I completed 40 minutes on the stairmaster. I did the aerobic option on level 15- not gonna lie, I had to pause it quite a few times towards the end to catch my breath. That thing goes so fast sometimes! I followed the cardio up with the P90x ab series and some other ab moves of my own.

Since I had headed to the gym right when I woke up this morning I was super hungry by the time I got finished. Time for breakfast! Breakfast consisted of protein oatmeal and blueberries. The protein oatmeal was made with 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (the brand I use is ProNos).

The trick I have learned is to microwave the oats and water for 2 minutes then add in the protein powder, stir it around and microwave for one more minute. You may have to add a tiny bit more water depending on the desired consistancy. Very filling and satisfying.

I’m off to finish up getting ready for the day and meet two old friends for lunch- enjoy you’re afternoon!

Shrek the Halls

Happy Tuesday (by the time I published this post it’s already Tuesday night.. I’ve gotten so distracted)!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their weeks! Can you believe it- 5 sleeps til Christmas… It really is hard for me to believe. Especially because it is about 80 degrees and sunny outside. But I mean what do you expect- it’s Florida!

Sunday night Cameron was very spontaneous and took me to the Shrek the Halls ICE display at the Gaylord Palms hotel. I was shocked!

Being my typical self I still had no idea what this “Shrek the Halls ICE” was all about until they suited us up in blue thick jackets and we entered the world of Shrek!

Everything was made out of ice… it was incredible. It was also SO cold in there. It made us really feel like it was Christmas time. Goofy picture time.

Oh Cameron, so ‘hood.

I couldn’t resist putting this one on here… it’s so creepy. Cameron- the ghost of Christmas past….

I look like a hunchback due to my purse inside my jacket…. haha, anyways I took a picture with this sign because the “It’s snot” joke is one of my all time favorites- shout out to my sister Laura (she knows how much I love that one- hope you are having fun in China)!

Today’s Workout

I wasn’t really feelin’ the cardio machines today so I opted to incorporate cardio intervals within my weight workout. It felt great and really got my heart rate up in between strength training moves. For a while I have been doing full body weight workouts where I do one move or machine for each body part: biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders. I decided to change to 2-body part a day workouts. Today was shoulders and back!

Shoulders/Back Workout (+cardio intervals)

Warm up: 15 minutes treadmill speed:4.0 incline:3.5

Superset #1: assisted pullups (works upper back) + low row machine (one arm at a time). In between each superset I did 45-second mountain climbers. 4 supersets total.

Superset #2: reverse flies with dumbells (on the bench)+ arnold shoulder presses (instructional video: skip to about 1 minute in). In between each superset I did 20 jump squats. 4 supersets total.

Superset #3: lat raise machine + shoulder “trifecta” (10 straight arm side lat raises, 10 straight arm front lat raises, 10 bent arm side raises: all in a row!). In between sets I did 45 second high knees. 4 supersets total.

Turned out to be one great workout 🙂

Tonight I got to reunite with some old friends from high school- Jenny, Nikki, and Michelle. I got to see Jenny yesterday but Michelle I haven’t seen in so, so long! She has been doing an internship at a hotel in Los Angeles and actually got a job there for this next year! So proud of her. After hanging out at Michelle’s house for a little while we headed over to Press 101 for some din din. Here’s a picture of Michelle and I: 

I ordered the salmon salad- it was quite tasty! I also had a few pieces of Michelle’s “ratatouille” flatbread, . 

After we finished eating dinner the sweet cravings started kickin’ in- shocker of the year! I suggested we get Menchies frozen yogurt and the girls seemed pretty excited about it. I ended up sticking with the simple choices of milk chocolate and vanilla toppped with oreo peices and crushed up peanut butter cups- muy delicioso! 

It was very satisfying! I had a great time chatting and reminiscing about old times back in high school. Crazy to think that was 4 years ago!!

Anywho, I’m pretty worn out after a long day plus a 40 minute walk with Noah after I got home from dinner/dessert. Off to bed with this little guy-

Night night!

Breaking the habit

I am officially done with this fall semester! I took my last test at 8am yesterday morning… it feels great to be done with classes for a little while! I will admit, this has been a very light semester besides my dreadful computer programming class (I ended up with a C in it but am just thankful I passed). Actually a few minutes ago I received an email from my advisor… looks like theres a couple more classes I have to take in order to graduate which means my spring and fall semesters will be heavy. 😦 But hey, what’s the point in worrying about it now? I’m just happy its Christmas break!

To celebrate being done with finals, I mentioned to my roommates that we should cook dinner. So last night we had hamburgers on the grill (organic ground round), steamed brocolli, and sweet potato fries! It was all so good. The “fries” were made by peeling and chopping two yams (or sweet potatoes) into fry-like pieces and tossing them with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of chili powder. They were SO good! Preheat the oven to 425 and cook for 30 minutes once the oven is hot enough. Make sure to toss about 15 minutes in.

A look at my plate from last night….

Roomie Dinner

The dinner was delicious and I definitely cleaned my plate. I had realized once I was cooking that I had waited way too long to eat… I was so hungry that I devoured the food extremely fast. Still feeling hungry, I mentioned that we should make Funfetti cookies because Emma had the mix. The cookies only took about 10 minutes in total and tasted so yummy. Four cookies later…. I started to feel so uncomfortably full. Which led me to feelings of regret and frustration. I usually have such good self-control but for some reason when it comes to sweets sometimes I can’t stop myself!

The culprit…..

Breaking the habit

I truly feel that eating a balanced diet- one which is full of healthy foods but also allows room for reasonable indulgences- is extremely healthy both physically and mentally. The problem that I have been more frequently running into is when I just can’t seem to control myself with the amount of dessert I am having. For example last night- I was in the mood for something sweet but instead of just satisfying my sweet tooth with one simple cookie, I felt the need to have four of them! Even when I was eating them I knew I would be regretting it later but for some reason I couldn’t stop. This is something I have really been wanting to work on and I feel that some of you guys may feel the same way! If I were to give up sweets altogether it result in strong cravings and would probably end with me eating every sweet in sight (most likely). This will just be something I have to work on and be very mindful when I get that “sweet” cravin’! Cuz there is nothing wrong with treating yourself but I feel best when I don’t go overboard. Also think about it- it’s not really a “treat” if you have it everyday or when you eat 6 cookies in a row, right? Sorry if I just talked way too long- it had just been on my mind. 😉

Have any of y’all had a similar experience with a crazy “sweet” craving? How do you stop yourself from overdoing it?

Appreciate Every Day!

Last night, like every other Sunday night, I met with my small group at our leader Norma’s house. Since everyone is in the midst of studying for finals and some have already headed home to their families, only four of us could make it. Norma had mentioned in a text message earlier in the week that she had been having quite a hard week and would explain more when we met Sunday night. I was extremely surprised when she said the words “I have breast cancer.” She had just found out this past week which revealed why she had been going through such a tough time.

I was so shocked and saddened by this- Norma is one of the sweetest, most caring women I know, she’s honestly like a second mom to me (I call her my “Athen’s mom”). It’s so hard when someone you know and care about so deeply has to go through something so difficult. The amazing thing about Norma though is that despite how hard this is for her and how scared she may be- she is so tough! She has such a positive attitude and such a strong relationship with the Lord that she can handle anything that comes her way. With a large support group filled with family and friends- she will get through this.

I managed to keep myself together when she told us last night but when I got home I lost it. I was listening to a Christmas CD I had made and given her last night and something must’ve set me off. I was crying because I just wish she did not have to go through this. I cried it out for a little while and remembered what Norma had said earlier in the night- “I know this is hard but I also know that God would never give me anything that I could not handle.” Norma will be getting a mastectomy over Christmas break and will possibly be in the hospital on Christmas day. She will get through this tough time with the support of her sons- Blake and Mitchell, her amazing boyfriend- Phillip, her sisters, all of the kids she teaches (she is a 1st grade teacher), all of her friends, and most of all the Lord.

Me and Norma after small group last night 😉

I wanted to post about this because it was weighing heavy on my heart. It also reminds each and every one of us to never take a day for granted. Appreciate every day. Appreciate your health and everything God has given you. Love others and live every day to the fullest. I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell every one in my life how much I love them! I love you Norma and I will always be here for you. Praying for you every day!!! 😉