new beginnings

Before I begin anything, I want to wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED: my mom.

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You’re the best and the day doesn’t deserve your greatness, although it should be celebrated anyway! Love you!

Welcome to 2017! I’ve been on break for the past ten days and it’s been wonderful being home, but after a lot of relaxation and eating, I’m ready to get back into my routine.

I don’t really have New Years resolutions, but I’m looking forward to being more mindful and present this year. I tend to be frantically go-go-going and I think it heightens my anxiety. Sometimes, you have to relax and watch the world around you. So let’s go!

I’ll start the first post of 2017 with a recap of my vacation. It started with a day of biking at the beach. The day was a bit dreary, but the wind kicked up as I hit the beach and it was hard to pedal. This is a little scary looking, no?

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By the time I got back and finished getting ready, it was time to get to the airport super early. Traveling around the holidays is no joke. And traveling overnight means no sleep for me who cannot sleep on planes. Oh well. I read Amy Schumer’s book instead. This is the view back to Boston.

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Cold!

It was Christmas Eve morning by the time I arrived and it was time to celebrate. Note: thanks for the early pick-up and drop-off from the airport mom and dad!

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Lots of quality times with family was enjoyed. (Without pictures, I guess).

As well as time with friends.

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Finished off the year the way I started it, with a run outside!

*On the brink of 2016. (So innocent, so naive).

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It was colder and snowier this year, but watching for ice just made it more adventurous…

*On the brink of 2017. (A little more weathered).

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My New Year’s smooch this year.

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And before I knew it, it was time to catch my flight back to LA.

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All I wanted to do was sleep when I got home, but I didn’t want to disrupt my routine, so instead, I cleaned and got organized. Felt good! I stopped at the gym to fit in some strength training before heading out for a hike.

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The sun was not awaiting my arrival.

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After grocery shopping, I meal prepped and made dinner. Ravioli atop chicken sausage, spinach, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Ah my Gah, delicious! And it so happens to make up my lunches for the week as well.

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Oh, and yeah, I should be more consistent with my blog.

Reflections

September has always felt like a fresh start thanks to countless years at school, but this one passed by in a blur thanks to my move. It strikes me how 2016 has been such a bizarre and impactful year in my life, both good and bad, from the very beginning. I lost my beloved cat and  aunt, both who I still can’t believe are gone. I became a personal trainer. Made new friends. Moved across the country. Started a new job. And I’m sure there are many other factors that have gone into this year. I’m not sure what’s to say about it other than a person’s ability to adapt is weird and empowering.

Tuesday’s most exciting part of the day was the fact that I mastered how to make a latte. My mom insists the foam makes a woman, but I was just focused on getting the milk to look like that. Yay me. Listen, it’s pertinent to my job.

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Breakfast was a yummy bowl of oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon. The picture makes me want to eat more right now.

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Lunch was another serving of quinoa and red beans with Brussels sprouts and spinach. No picture was snapped, but it looked just like it did yesterday.

Since it was National Taco Day, I decided to make more tacos for myself. This time, I grilled up some cod and served it over a medley of zucchini noodles and red pepper. Topped with soyaki and some hummus on the side.

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I’m doing pretty good for myself cooking. According to the scale at my new gym (that I don’t know if I trust or not), I’m down four pounds since I’ve moved. I’ve felt lighter and my clothes fit nicely, so I’ll roll with it.

I’ve remained solid in the exercise department even though it’s not my livelihood at the moment. Tuesday’s workout was a run/walk combination that ended with four minutes of HIIT that left me breathless. After a little yoga, I called it a night!

I already prefer working out in the evening to waking up before the sun, so long as I go to the gym before heading to my apartment. Routine, people. It’s a beautiful thing!

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week!

Life Is Full of Hills

Happy first day post-holiday season blues! It can be tough getting back into that sense of routine when it comes to work, eating, exercising, and all the other stuff life throws at you, but it can also be refreshing. I’m a believer in the idea that any time can be a good time to make changes, but if they are going to straight out give us a day, why not take advantage?

Whether you frame it like a resolution, fresh start, or way of life, be positive and stay positive during the ups and downs. Spoiler alert: we’re human, we make mistakes. Let’s not beat ourselves up because we all know there are plenty of other forces in this world already doing that.

For instance, I headed out for a run yesterday because it was so darn nice out, and yes chilly, and there were a ton of hills. There’s a metaphor tucked in there somewhere, but my point is, when I reached the bottom of a hill and looked up, I could have shrugged my shoulders and given up, found another route, or decided to walk, and that would have been okay too. But instead, I took a deep breath, found the right song to play me through, and I took it a stride at a time.

My post-run selfie looked a lot like this in my natural state. A little dazed, shell-shocked, tired, cold, but sweaty.

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But then I took another deep breath and smiled. Because I did it.

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For my New Year fresh start, I’m trying to up my confidence. I spend too much time worrying about what other people think about me or trying to close myself off in the fear of being judged, and I hate how that makes me feel. This journey is all about finding out about who we are, the good and the bad and all those grey areas, and I don’t want to be one of those people trying to stifle my inner fire.

Maybe that’s cliche, but hey! It’s my blog. Get your own!

Oh, but in addition to being kinder and more forgiving to myself, I should also try to give that appreciation to everyone else. Nice, calming breaths everyone!

I’m also very much on a healthy eating kick, which is all about control. It isn’t easy, especially when you come home from work and all you want is tortilla chips and cheese or waffles with butter and syrup. Sometimes I’ll have those, but I don’t need them all the time. I’m also trying to pay more attention to the actual physical art of eating so that I stop just stuffing things into my mouth and enjoy them.

This morning’s breakfast was on point.

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I’m still loving the egg-egg white scrambles/omelets. Whole wheat toast with a smear of butter. Yummy berries! More, more, more veggies are on tap for every meal just because they are nutrient-dense, filling, and versatile.

The good news is I’ve stayed steady with my exercising throughout the holidays- and if we’re being honest, the past four years now- so the only resolution I would make in that regard is to try some new things. I’m hoping to get a specialty certification or two to add-onto my personal training cert.

My final two goals of the year (and yes, I realize I’ve been interchanging my words for what these things are, other than an excuse for me to just babble) include reading more- because yay! not stuck in textbook land- and writing more- because hey! kinda my livelihood. I’ve got all these great ideas floating around in my head, now I just have to put them down on the page. My new favorite self-prescribed quote is, “I know I have a story within in me. I just have to find it in me to write it.”

Happy January and 2016!