Summer Fitness 2017 Goals

Greetings Daizies!

Last time I blogged, I was preparing for a deep condition before my first silk press (which I’ll do a blog post on soon). Since then, I finished finals and started a full-time internship in advertising.  After my first full 8 hour work day, I was so exhausted when I got home and was wondering how I would survive the whole summer. I was so tired coming home that all I wanted to do was sleep. I then started to incorporate going to the gym, in order to make my summer more fun and not simply working and sleeping every single day.

Fitness started to become part of my summer routine and now it is week 3 of my new life-style. I started going to the YMCA near my house and have participated in weekly Zumba, Pilates, and Strength & Conditioning classes. I enjoy group fitness classes because it’s structured and also pushes me to try keeping up with the instructor during class. So far I have successfully worked out at the gym 3 times each week which is a huge accomplishment for me considering going that often was always a goal during the school year. After going to one of the fitness classes or even working out individually on the elliptical or free weights, I noticed I have so much more energy.

My quantitative goals with becoming more active is to loose 1 pound a week until school starts (so about 15 pounds). When I came back from studying abroad, I had lost 11 pounds without even trying. I really liked my lifestyle I had when being abroad simply because I was always walking and ate way better than I did when I was home. I hoped to keep up the healthy eating but after a quarter of the year away from BBQ chips, Jimmy John’s, Charley’s Steakery and more, it was hard to not indulge in my favorite junk foods lol. Anyways, I kinda went overboard and combined with being less active during the school year and not counting on walking 10 miles each weekend for travelling, weight gain came back faster than I imagined. I realize that now and want to make a change. I can’t continue in my twenties eating 2 giant bowls of cocoapuffs every other day and wonder why I’m gaining more weight than normal lol.

A healthier diet is also important for my overall health goals.  I’ve cut out sugary drinks and replaced them with cucumber water. CUCUMBER WATER IS AMAZING! Like seriously I am having no trouble drinking 4+ bottles of water of day just by adding 3 cucumber slices. The extra flavor is everything. Some of the benefits are that it helps with weight loss (drinking more makes you feel full), its rich in antioxidants, and supports healthy skin. I’m adding more nutritional value to my diet by eating healthy snacks such as trail mix, granola bars, and bananas instead of hot Cheetos and Swiss Rolls lol. Just taking it step by step ….day by day literally. But every now in there I do give myself a treat 😉

My other healthy goals is to become stronger and  be able to lift heavier weights. Right now I stick to the 3lb weight during classes and I want to work my way up.  I’m learning more about health and fitness via other blogs and articles but all together it’s really fun being more active and having another goal to reach. I’m excited to make it to the finish line!

Xoxo,

-POP

Springin’ forward in 2017

Spring is upon us and its the perfect season for Daizies to blossom!

Although it feels like winter, the sunshine is starting to peak through. It’s hard to believe the year is already 1/4 of the way over. At the beginning of the year, I of course wrote down some goals and things I wanted to work on for the new year… resolutions if you want to call it that. I believe spring is the perfect time to look back at that list and revise, elaborate, delete, and/or reflect on my feelings towards what was originally written down. Even within 3 months, things can change and especially in college I am learning more and more about myself.

Revising for more effective goals

It’s easy to plan resolutions during relaxing times. For example, saying I want to go to the gym once a week and jog outside each week sounded realistic over winter break when I had absolutely nothing to do. But once school started it was less realistic considering my work days consisted of being at school and studying 10-12 hours a day with the gym an entire bus ride away (lol the bus ride is only like 8 minutes but still…). I still want to be more active because of all the health benefits that come with it. So how do I take the steps to get the results I want?

What are the obstacles preventing me?

Getting to root causes will help determine solutions. In this case its simple. I’m tired, the gym is too far away, and when it’s cold outside I would rather be under my covers watching Scandal and figuring out why Abby tried Olivia. With the root causes laid out I can now brainstorm solutions to some or most. Tired? Pick out time frames in which I have the most energy and days that are least exhausting. It’s probably not a good idea to plan going to the gym or exercising on class heavy days such as Mondays and Wednesdays. Even though I don’t start class until 1:30 pm, I always use my mornings to get a head start on homework and studying. Even Tuesdays and Thursdays can be busy with working in the late morning, one class in the afternoon, and followed by group project meetings. This leaves me with Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I have now found my ideal time frame to take action.

Why do I want to do this?

Reaffirming my motivations will help inspire and determine how your objectives have changed. If you can’t really come up with why YOU want to do something then maybe it’s someone else’s goal or not yours. Also, things can change and you may not be as interested in something as you were a few months ago and that’s okay. Asking questions like “Who am I doing this for and why?” are great questions to start with.

My example: Exercising has been found to reduce the effects of stress, and I want to have healthy stress management. Exercise makes you feel good (releases endorphins). I’m in my 20s now and want to set healthy habits so I can live a long life and have a strong heart, muscles, etc. It’s actually fun to push myself and do more than I thought I could .

Baby steps. What can I do THIS week to make my best effort?

I’m probably not going to jump up and become an active gym member anytime soon but I do want to use my school’s gym while my tuition is still automatically paying for it. So starting small I can point out activities held at the gym that I actually enjoy. Roller skating! It is a form of exercise and won’t be a huge jump. It is also on a Friday which I identified as an ideal day for exercising. If I have other plans, I could try yoga in the late mornings. I’m genuinely interested in going to a yoga class since I’ve been doing yoga independently for 10 years every morning. I’m interested in seeing what it’s like being in an actual class and improving my form. Don’t feel like signing up for the class? There is always Sunday and a park down the street where I can jog for 15-20 minutes. I have now given myself 3 detailed opportunities to begin baby steps of frequent exercising.

I used a simple example of exercising but using the framework can help with more  is complex and long-term goals. With longer-term goals of starting my career after graduating in a year and becoming an entrepreneur, this same evaluation can be used on a timescale of thinking 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 month increments. Reflecting and taking corrective action when necessary is essential to effective goal setting and goal reaching!

In the meantime, take the time do something that makes you life or smile and enjoy the sunshine ( depending on where you live this may be every now and then).

 

Halfway There! | Thoughts on my Experience Abroad

Can’t believe I am more than halfway done with my study abroad exchange!

This experience has already taught me so much about myself and has helped me grow to an even stronger and adaptable person. I’m proud of myself for taking this risk and pushing through my fears.”If you dreams don’t scare you then they aren’t big enough”

So how has it been?

The first few weeks in Milan were challenging. I did not immediately like Milan. I was comparing the speed of how fast I loved London with Milan and it just was not the same. After one week in London I had made a solid group of friends, didn’t miss home at all, and could navigate the city with no problem. Milan was completely different. I was not blown away by the dazzle of the city. After seeing the Duomo I was like “what else is there?”. It took a lot more effort to adjust to Italy.

The making friends part required more work than I expected. Since I wasn’t in the Italian crash course many people were in, there was no setting where I could mix and mingle. There were some awkward cocktail parties but everyone seemed to already know each other or hung out with people from their schools. It was just weird and I was exhausted from comparing myself to people who had a whole squad within two weeks lol. So I just chilled. I fell back. And took the pressure off myself of trying to find friends. If I had 2 people to hang out then oh well I just had 2 people to hang out. Patience is what I learned in the first month here. I would rather wait for people I actually like and would hang out with back home then to be annoyed and out of place in a circle of people just to say I have “friends”. So I waited. I was less stressed and developed a routine. I would go somewhere new each week. I took pictures and enjoyed the sun while it lasted. It took almost 6 weeks to feel acclimated and make friends I enjoyed being around. If I did not know how to have fun by myself it would’ve been a miserable first six weeks!

What am I going to do today that will make me happy?

YOU CAN’T DEPEND ON HAVING PEOPLE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY? What will you do when you’re miles away from the people that make you feel happy? I took it day by day (daibydai lol) and did things that would put a smile on my face. One day at a time is how I got through feeling lonely. And I soon liked it.

Always looking forward to something really helped me during the beginning stages homesickness. I would smile when thinking about an upcoming trip to Rome or finally going to Venice kept me in a positive mindset.Up until now I was literally going somewhere new every weekend. And that’s when I put things into perspective. This literally is my dream. I remember being at scholarship meetings for high school and going around saying what our goals were for college and I said “studying abroad”. My second week at UW I set a meeting up with my advisor to talk about studying abroad.  I always planned ahead and now I can live in the dream I had for over 5 years. I was seeing the big picture and I felt more joyful.

I’ve had to do so many new things on my own. Working though stressful situation and celebrating even the smallest victories are important.I think living here has helped me become proactive and confident in my problem solving skills. Getting lost, figuring out how to vote from abroad, paying rent, permit of stay procedures are all very taxing but I had to do it and did it on my own. Things like going to the grocery store would give me such anxiety. I would literally wait till I had nothing to eat because I hated the feeling of being asked something in Italian and feeling embarrassed to not know what they were saying. There was this one time when I held the whole line up because I brought non-food items to the checkout and they were having trouble scanning the notebooks. It took like 20 minutes to get it solved and after that I was just so over it. I was stressed and didn’t want to go through anything like that again but I eventually needed more food and had to try it again. How could I have known what to do on the first try? Not possible to know exactly what to do all of the time and that’s okay. Awkward moments happen. People are nice and I don’t need to be harsh on myself for not being a local, knowing the language, or making mistakes. Get your food and go on about you day because these people sure will!

With such a chill class schedule I realize this is the most stress free I’ve been since starting college. No club organization commitments, no interviews, no midterms, classes are easy, and just travelling to the places I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve worked so hard and constantly so this break is definitely something well deserved and appreciated. This was the feeling I was seeking when I applied. I had forgot why I wanted to do this, when the date to come to Italy approached. What was it that I wanted to experience again? The feeling of being free. The excitement. And new experiences that helped me grow. That is what I missed when I came back from London and immediately knew I wanted to leave again. Travelling is just so exhilarating and it is a blessing I am able to experience it.

Now that it is halfway over I guess what’s on my mind is how to take this carefree black girl feeling and transfer it back to when I’m in the States. I know I have a lot more responsibility when I am back home and I slightly don’t feel ready for it. So I am living in the moment and taking everything in. I said this last year but I do want to explore Seattle more. I want to explore it the same way I do the cities I go to in Europe. I think even though I am abroad, my mindset has changed and taking this mindset back home will make a difference in how I approach these responsibilities that can sometimes take a toll on me.

So the next time I have an interview, 3 group projects, and it’s dead week at school, I can think about how I made it through the obstacles abroad and that confidence will be with me through every new situation I encounter.