I’ve Got News!

I know, I know I’ve been away for far too long, but it was grind time for study time. No fear, it all paid off and now I am proud to say I’m officially an NASM-certified personal trainer.

No idea where those past six months went, from deciding to leave my previous job, buying my study package and all that of studying , but it all came to a head starting last night as I finally memorized the muscles and didn’t sleep- too much nervous energy!

I’m so glad I took my test early this morning. Throughout the entire thing, I was shaking and super nervous, and apparently sweating to excess, but I kept a steady breath and took my time.

Now that I’ve got my cert, I’m excited to get started and really get a handle on this career. Promise blogging will once again be a part of that!

Coming soon: my Star Wars reaction. I will mark it will spoiler alerts, I promise!

Who Runs the World? Me!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a true blog post, so let’s catch up!

We have to go all the way back to Wednesday, which included a veggie scramble, fruit, and waffles for breakfast.

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My obsession for the week was a Thai chopped salad. Romaine and spinach mix, with peppers, carrots, cucumber, tomato, and chicken mixed with feta and a sesame ginger dressing that was oh so good! Some pickles on top for something a little different.

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My workout on Wednesday was a four mile run in the rain. I’ve been digging running lately and it’s making me very excited to see how far I can go with it. I finished with a body strength circuit of squats, lunges, push ups, hip lifts, and sit ups. Whew.

For dinner, I enjoyed grilled shrimp, spinach rice, and a vegetable medley of cauliflower, asparagus, and red peppers.

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I woke up Thursday ready for a pancake breakfast. Peanut butter makes the world go round.

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Lunch was another delicious Thai chopped salad with the same ingredients. A few chips on the side for crunch.

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Thursday’s workout started with a mile swim. I’ve been keeping pace and feeling strong! I also fit in a kettlebell strength circuit along with some core work.

Dinner was a spinach salad with chicken and a side of leftover rice.

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I was still hungry when I finished, so I made myself half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate for a treat!

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Friday morning, I made quite a feast for myself and it’s a good thing I did because I had something big to fuel up for. First, a whole wheat waffle with berries and then, scrambled egg whites with cheese.

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When I headed out for a run on Friday, I expected to do about 2-3 miles before a strength workout I had planned. Instead, I was feeling strong and decided to go for as long as I could. 10 miles later and I was finally heading in the direction of home. I ran 10 miles! Just a few weeks ago, I feel like I was complaining about how it was hard to run 5 and now I’ve busted past that plateau. Hard work and determination does pay off, friends!

My recovery lunch was a ton of water, an english muffin with peanut butter, and most of this salad. The bad part about running include my lack of desire for vegetables and all the cuts along my panty and bra line. I need to figure out what to do about that problem in particular.

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On Saturday, I started off with an egg, cheese, and chicken sausage sandwich on an english muffin before opening at work. That afternoon, my college roommate Stephanie and I headed out to an amusement park for the day. We decided to leave our phones in the car, so there is no documentation of our adventures. Including all the rides- I love roller coasters!!- we split a chicken finger and waffle fry dish for lunch, slurped down ice cream, then went through the haunted houses the park offered after dark. I won’t be rushing back to those anytime soon, but I did love the rides.

Once we got back, we shared a pizza and salad while watching The Grudge, since neither of us saw it before. It was tame as far as scary movies go, but still fun.

On Sunday, I made my pumpkin waffles for a nice fall breakfast.

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For my workout, I headed out for another run and went 6.25 miles, the length of a ten k. I was feeling so good once again, except my foot kept falling asleep. This happened a few runs ago too, but luckily it doesn’t seem to be consistent. It’s quite the nuisance though when you’re trying to hit your stride!

My sister and her husband came over for dinner that consisted of barbecue chicken, ribs, Brussel sprouts, baked beans, and banana bread. I forgot to take a picture, but it was a masterpiece! I had higher hopes for the Brussel sprouts as it was a recipe of my own creation, but I think I got heavy handed with the maple syrup and everything turned gooey. It included sprouts, chopped apple, chopped walnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Yummy, but gooey.

And here we are to today! For breakfast, I chowed down on scrambled egg whites with cheese and a chicken sausage and grilled up a piece of banana-zucchini bread with butter and a smear of jelly. It hit the spot!

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Now I’m ready for a workout and for the rest of the day!

Celebrating the Small Things

After breakfast yesterday, I got started on my workout. Up first was a dumbbell circuit that included bicep curls, standing tricep extensions, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, alternating front raises, and inverted rows. I performed each move in 6 sets of 8 reps and felt strong after my rest day on Sunday. For something a little extra, I went through a plyometrics/cardio circuit of box jumps, jump rope, rope swings, push ups, and sit up twists.

To top things off for the day, I hopped in the pool for a swim. I’ve learned the hard way that my watch does not track swimming, so I still have to count laps to make sure I’m staying on track. It can be a pain, but I break the laps down into groups of twelve, as each set is 1/3 of a mile. When I started, it took me a good 17 minutes to finish each round of 12 laps, which totaled approximately a 51 minute mile. Swimming is slow, especially for me, but I’ve been growing stronger and faster as I practice and learn good form. Yesterday, I swam a consistent 13 minute 1/3 mile swim and put in a little extra effort that last bit to make up a 39 minute mile. That is three year’s dedication right there! I think, when you put in effort and determination, we’re allowed to celebrate the small things as much as the big.

Whether in swimming, running, or lifting as of late, I’ve been noticing myself growing stronger and I take a lot of pride in that. For exercise to be effective and consistent, you have to find what works for you, what you enjoy, and be mindful of how it takes care of your body!

This should be the motto for anything we do in life. It’s hit me lately that if I put as much work, consistency, and determination into other things in my life as I do exercise, I can really make things happen. I consider myself lucky that the greatest challenger to myself and what I do in life, is myself. Not everyone can say that.

To recover from my workout, I enjoyed a lunch of leftover whole wheat spaghetti with peppers, mushrooms, and spinach along with a piece of parmesan crusted tilapia I had prepared the day before. I will share that recipe soon!

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While grocery shopping on Sunday, I checked out the sushi section and decided to try something different. I’m new and unadventurous to the sushi world, but I went with the spicy tuna roll and thought it was delicious! For an extra hit of veggies and protein, I enjoyed a side of carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter for dipping.

Breakfast this morning was a one-egg, two egg-white omelet with spinach, peppers, tomato, and jalapeño and some cheese. I paired the delicacy with two pieces of buttered whole wheat toast and a side of fresh blueberries and raspberries.

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With a little blogging and digesting, I’m off to the gym to fit in another great workout!