Fitness-Workout Schedule

When I came back from Europe I was dead set on getting myself in a consistent workout schedule. It’s difficult with my schedule sometimes, but this has been the gist of it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 8.49.37 PM

I plan four days of weightlifting in case I miss one, and there’s nothing wrong with a bonus day if I hit them all!

I am always curious about the details of peoples’ transformations and schedules. No mystery here!

Saturday is left for flexibility. I went for a hike one Saturday and may do so again. This past Saturday I hosted a brunch (and ate way way too much). I may go for runs over the weekend. There’s room for change/flexibility. I wanted a template of some sorts, and no more planning things over working out.

Maybe I’ll move weightlifting to Tuesday and Thursday?

We’ll keep keeping on and see how this goes.

Advertisements

Faith-Will power, grit, and decisions

There have been studies showing that willpower depletes over periods of time. I experienced this on a day to day when my eating habits are harder to control at night and on a longer term stent when I started spending a lot after I paid off my debts.

The debate I find myself in is whether to completely cut things out (i.e. never buy ice cream) or if it’s ok to have ice cream in the house and practice your willpower.

Tonight I spent almost two hours meal prepping. Then I ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and was ready to unwind before bed.  Thus begins the debate. Can I have a glass of wine? I already snacked a little before dinner. What about some gelato? I’ll only have a couple scoops.

I resolved to have some gelato and did only have four or five spoonfuls out of the container. I’ve had to develop that portion control and it’s still not easy. The only way I have developed it, though, is by having it in the house.

Scenario A: You are in the grocery store and remember that gelato you’ve been meaning to try. You don’t buy it because it’s expensive and unhealthy, and you go home. You’re home, you’re unwinding from your day, and you could really go for some gelato, but there is none! So you start eating other things. Pretzels, celery with peanut butter, apple…nothing quite like that cold, chocolate gelato. You go to bed with more calories than if you had gelato and end up buying gelato the next day.

Scenario B: You are in the grocery store and remember the gelato you’ve been meaning to try. You buy it, because you know it’ll bring you some temporary satisfaction later, it reminds you of Rome, and it’s something that you can afford because you work hard. You’re home, you’re unwinding from your day, and you go and eat a few spoonfuls of the gelato. You feel satisfied and head to bed.

I’ve been through both scenarios. I’ve found scenario B to be a lot more realistic and self-image improving than scenario A. In an ideal world, there will be a scenario C where I don’t even want gelato, but who knows when that day will be and it’s unrealistic for me to expect that until then. There’s also scenario A2 where I don’t buy the gelato and end up figuring out how to manage the craving/feeling without indulging. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes I figure it out. Ergo, internal debate.

This applies to many areas of my life, namely boys. I have deleted multiple boys’ numbers out of my phone so as to not text them because I couldn’t resist the urge when I’m my most vulnerable. I know they’re not right for me, but the loneliness gets to me sometimes. I know gelato isn’t right for me, but that sugar high gets to me. I did it tonight, deleted a number, and although I know I’ll get over it, it’s still hard.

With that I’ll leave you this quote from my favorite movie:

“I may dissect each little thing and put myself out there so much but at least that means that I still care. Oh! You’ve think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don’t fall in love that way either. You have not won. You’re alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I’m still a lot closer to love than you are.” Gigi

Finance and Faith-Affordable living

There are two ways to get more positive cash flow. Make more money or reduce expenses. I decided to tackle both.

I live and work in the Boston area. They don’t lie, it is expensive to live here. Groceries, gas, car maintenance, everything. I lived in a four bedroom apartment right in Boston for a year after I graduated for $800/mth not including utilities or parking. After that year, an opportunity opened up in a suburb (about 30 mins away from the city) for a spot in a house with three girls. The rent was $150/mth cheaper and as you would imagine so was mostly everything else.

This was about when I started getting serious about paying off my debt. I started working at the YMCA there and getting diligent about extra expenditures. A year and a half into that living situation the roommates changed and I was very unhappy. I left that lease with six months to go and moved into another place close by.

This place I found off of craigslist. It was a woman with an extra bedroom in her house and who wanted help with her dog for reduced rent. I believe the rent ended up being about the same at this next place, maybe $750, but this time only sharing with one other person and I was supposed to have my own bathroom once it was finished.

The first month I was there she had a boyfriend and they were having very loud sex. Thank God they broke up. There was one time she told me she was annoyed I wouldn’t put her dirty coffee cup into the dishwasher. Almost a year after I moved in, I still didn’t have a bathroom, it turns out the dog was very aggressive and not well behaved (he bit a dog walker before I got there), and she asked me to lie about taxes but wouldn’t give me rent back to leave early.

It was getting ugly pretty fast toward the end, so I had to find something quickly. I turned to Craigslist again. This time, I went out on faith and asked for exactly what I wanted and believed God for it. I posted an ad looking for a room with rent for $400-600 a month. The first time I had a pervert answer. The second time, no one. The third time, which was only a three weeks before I had to leave, I had four people respond. One of which was EXACTLY what I was looking for. It was a spare bedroom in a woman’s house in Framingham for $450 a month, no strings attached. While I was there I paid off the rest of my loans. She was a God send, literally. I had the whole upstairs to myself. She had a dog and a cat and was gone virtually all summer up to NH. I will be forever grateful for her help and kind heart.

She had a huge house, she inherited it from her family, but she was all by herself. She decided to sell it, and here I was again looking for a house. I posted on different forums (craigslits, my Catholic Young Adult groups have housing google sheets) and looked high and low. I was looking for something in Newton, not entirely sure why, mostly because I liked working at the JCC and it’s not too far from work.

While perusing I found an ad for a caretaker in Newton on one of the Catholic Young Adult groups social sites. They were looking for someone to watch a 92 year old woman in her house in Somerville. I contacted the guy. It turns out he had found someone, but there was a spare bedroom if I wanted to stay (see a trend?). The rent? $400 a month. Do you know what is unheard of? Finding a room in Somerville with laundry and a driveway for $400. All just to live with an old lady? Absolutely. (Disclaimer-I was very anti-Somerville. Not sure why).

I found my next living space. I moved in on Sunday and then that following Wednesday the 92 year old dies. Yup, you read that right, dies.

The family comforted me and was great the whole time, letting me know I could stay. As the family is figuring things out, it comes to light that they’ll be keeping the house. I end up agreeing to stay living there with one of her grandson’s and his friend. My first time ever living with men! My rent is $800 a month again, but this time I have parking, have been promoted twice, and don’t have student loan debt. My commute is 20-25 minutes to work. Much more manageable.

Living with men has been great so far. Almost the same as living with women, except sometimes when I go to the bathroom the seat is up. They are more into gaming/tech/sports than any of my previous roommates, but that’s not *necessarily* gender specific. I contemplate other things like, do they get annoyed with my fallen out hair all over the place? Can I walk around with a t-shit and no bra?

This living situation will do for now. Someday I’ll be able to live on my own or with my husband. I am still stuck between that rock and hard place of saving for a downpayment on a house. I believed for the room with cheap rent, but now I need to believe for that downpayment/multi-family house. I’ll keep sowing and asking and believing.

I’ve learned a lot about what I like and what I don’t like in a house and location. I’ve learned a lot about how to negotiate living situations and what to ask when trading my money for services. I’ve learned my lesson to ask a lot more questions instead of rushing into an agreement. It has been a pain to change my address so many times, but I’ve learned a lot. Made mistakes. Now I’m in a good place to make better decisions, and that’s what life’s all about.

Fitness, Finance and Faith-InnerCity Weightlifting

ICW

Meet Dan. Father, fitness coach, Patriot’s fan, rap lover, reader, and ex-convict. He works at InnerCity Weightlifting, a non-profit organization which employs ex-convicts to help train clients at a gym.

Here’s a blurb from the InnerCity Weightlifting website:

InnerCity Weightlifting reduces youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new networks and opportunities, including meaningful career tracks in and beyond personal fitness. We use the gym to replace segregation and isolation with economic mobility and social inclusion, disrupting the system that leads to urban street violence.

In Boston, 1% of youth are responsible for 50% of gun violence and homicides. Within that 1% there are approximately 400 young people who have been identified as high impact players, young people most likely to shoot or get shot.

These are the young people we work with. Most of our students come from Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. Most have been shot. All, except for a couple, have done significant jail time and come from family incomes of less than $10K per year. Our students are at the highest-risk; we screen out those who are not. By reaching a relatively small number of people, we can have incredible impact in reducing violence and homicides.

I found them out of sheer happenstance. I was reading a Whole Foods newsletter and one of the managers trains at the gym in Dorchester so there was a whole article on it. To give myself more of an incentive to get into weightlifting I gave it a try. It was AWESOME. They have such a cool atmosphere, the trainers are outstanding and are supported by certified coaches. The one I go to is in Kendall Square. Individual sessions cost $25 (You really can’t beat that for individualized attention) and you can buy packages that include a coaching tune up. They also do corporate visits.

They use very bare bones workouts (no fancy machines) which I like. I stopped going for a while to pay off my student debt and because I lived far away. Now I’m close by again and going once a week. That’s my other trainer, Angel, who I will be with while Dan stays around Dorchester.

img_3903.png

I love making a lot of money so I can support causes like this. It’s great that I can manage my money and spend it on things that bring real value to myself and the community. I love being proactive about changing our society instead of being like a majority of people and complaining about it.

I started right when they opened their Kendall Square location and I am excited to see them expand and grow again (more centers are in the works).

Please consider donating/checking them out!

Fitness-Three Three Challenge

I hate loathe weightlifting with every fiber of my being. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a culmination of reasons including not knowing exactly what to do, not seeing progress fast enough, not being stimulated enough, etc. etc.

After I came back from Europe (post about my trip coming eventually), I was feeling really gross. In fact, before I left for Europe I was also feeling really gross (despite being incredibly active boxing, running, spinning, etc.)

My trip was great, but I definitely ate a lot. By the end I was ready to come back to my routine, and I didn’t enjoy the last few days of the trip because I wasn’t feeling healthy from not working out. Sure we walked, but it wasn’t the same. And yet again, I was thinking to myself how beautiful and fit some of the girls were on the trip and wishing I was more like them (that darn nasty comparison voice I can’t quiet).

Have you ever heard people say that until you get so fed up with the way things are you won’t change? Well, that’s where I got to.
Have you also heard that if you stick to something long enough you’ll end up not wanting to stop?

Enter- Three three challenge. I commit to weightlifting three days a week for three months. If after that amount of time I **still** don’t want to stick with lifting and **still** hate it, I don’t have to do it.

Tomorrow starts week 4. I started in the middle of September, so while it’s for “three months”, I count it as weeks into it, culminating in the final results right before Christmas.

Weeks go from Monday to Sunday (one week day 3 fell on a Sunday, so that’s why that happened).

Here are some beginning pics.

IMG_3768

Jab!

IMG_3903

Assisted pull-up

IMG_9208

Kettle Bell Deadlift

I have been known to do experiments in the past that have been pretty fun (Not spending money on food for a month (post to come), minimalist game). This one, way more of a struggle.

I am eager to see the results. I can already feel a difference, but am annoyed with my weight increase progression. Who knew adding five pounds lifting something would be so hard.

I had a conversation with someone about how my results would be so much better if I ate better. I have heard that so many times, but to get my psychology to change it has to come from within. (This is why I have stopped lecturing people to change. More data doesn’t change psychology). Well, that tide is finally turning. I get so frustrated when day after day I’m KILLING IT at the gym (sometimes boxing for an hour in the morning then weightlifting, sometimes running then lifting) and I know I am sabotaging myself when I eat those extra carbs or sugary snacks.

It hasn’t completely worked yet, but I can feel myself getting more and more mad for not eating well. Let’s see what this three months does for me. Stay tuned!

What experiment could you try in the next week? Month? Three months? Something small to get you moving in a different, better direction than the same old?

Faith-Sowing and reaping and loneliness

There’s an immense pressure to take advantage of every single weekend in the summer. If it’s not jam packed with a BBQ, hiking, the beach, and at least one pool party you’re not living.

Last weekend I didn’t have a lot planned. Ok, basically nothing. Friday night was a Yankees vs. Sox game through Northeastern Alumni. Saturday was bootcamp then a house “cooling” party at night (great idea, by the way! She was moving out). Sunday was literally nothing.

At the YMCA I was consistently friendly with everyone. I had my moments, as it was customer service, but I did pretty well. There was one woman who would come in with Red Sox gear like she worked there. Turns out her husband does. She brought up that they have extra tickets, so we exchanged numbers and I said on the off chance you do call me!

Sunday rolls around, I’m thinking about what to do with my life, and I get a call from her. It’s an hour before the game starts, do you want two tickets? I tell her to give me time to call to friends to find someone to go.

I start texting/calling people and no one can go. In my head I’m thinking “I’m such a loser, I have no friends, should I go anyway because I have nothing else to do? Take advantage of it? Ugh.”

I call her back and accept the tickets. I’m on the train to the game messaging people including people from my dating apps. One offered to come if I’d make a bet with him that if they win we’d have victory sex. Yeah no.

I get brave and post on Facebook about the tickets. What’s everyone going to think? I’m a loser because I have to use Facebook to find someone? Whatever, I guess it’s better than going it alone.

I’m thinking to myself what a loser I am, I should’ve stayed home, why am I on this train, I’ll just go for a couple innings and if I hate it I’ll leave. I can’t believe I was sucked into the peer pressure of needing to take advantage of every moment of the summer.

I get to the park, find the tickets, find my seat. They’re awesome. Behind first base. I sit for a little and keep checking my phone. Now I’m that loser at a baseball game not living in the moment. But alas! A Facebook message. My mentor told me that a couple of our mentors were at the game and that a mutual friend was looking for them in Boston all weekend. So I call him, and he’s almost in NH, about 45 minutes away. In my head I am begging him to turn around, but I try not to show it. He does! He comes to the game and he tracks down our mentors that he has been trying to find ALL weekend.

Because I dared to be lonely, to go and do even when everything was screaming at me not to, I made his dream come true. It was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.

IMG_2473

Faith-Rollercoaster Wednesday

There are more times than not lately that I’ve asked “God, are you listening at all?”

He has come to answer that in a big way.

My driveway is being worked on and the roommates upstairs have an average of four cars in the driveway (they are only supposed to have one). There’s not a lot of space as it is and it’s easy to get blocked in. So out of courtesy and mostly because I would get very emotionally agitated if I woke up and was blocked in I parked on the street last night. Street cleaning is a thing in the city, but since I’ve lived in one it’s always been during the day (i.e. 9am, when I’m not there). So I didn’t think to check. Well, turns out Somerville is from midnight to 1am on what day? Wednesday. My car had a $50 parking ticket. Thankfully, it didn’t get towed, which happens in many cities.

Finances have not been where I want them to be lately. It’s been a sore spot, mostly because I haven’t been diligent and disciplined. I’m still saving more than I’m spending, but not at the rate I’d like.

I get to work and login to Amazon. For some strange reason, my Husky email has defaulted as my login and my password worked. I go to buy a pair of shoes and Amazon automatically applies Prime (which is free for students, and a $99 value). This also saves me on shipping ($14?). Ok, God, thank you.

Work is going swell and I ended up getting promoted. Yay! CAD III, $5,000 raise.

I stepped on the scale yesterday, and even though I feel SO much stronger and fit at Title boxing, I’m up 5lbs since ending my food study. I have mixed emotions.

I leave work, am exhausted, so I come home and nap. I leave to go get groceries and am having a really difficult time managing my emotions around eating.

I come home and there’s these two young young kids and their grandmother, Spanish, looking through garbages for cans. My heart breaks for them. I walk in the door and God says go give them money. And I thought “That’s really weird, what will they think, will they accept it, I don’t have cash”. And God is like GO. So I find a $50 VISA card I got from work for being their five years, whoopie! And I walk to find them. They’re stopped out front of this guy’s house who has a garden and he gives them veggies. I hand her the card and explain in Spanish that there is $50, and she thanks me. He then gives me some veggies!

I’ve been listening to Gary Keesee’s podcast about prosperity. It’s been awesome. This was part of the inspiration for following this request from God. It was hard! But I knew I’d be more upset with myself for not following it.

That was the highlight of my day. Even though getting a promotion and amazon prime for free was great, I wouldn’t have traded giving them the VISA card for the world. As I was walking back to my house I thought to myself “who am I to care about those 5lbs? Things could be so much worse. You could have such bigger problems. Thank God that’s your only problem.”

This post isn’t well edited or thought out, but I had to get this day down before I forgot. And I haven’t posted in a while.

Fitness-Title Boxing

Time to get serious about my upper body/core strength. I’ve dabbled in boxing before, but have yet to attempt a Title Boxing workout. That is until yesterday.

They offer one free class, but you have to buy the $10 hand wraps.

It was an hour long. 15 minutes warm up, 8 rounds of 3 minutes of punching, 1 minute rest in between, 15 minutes abs.

They have a 45minute and 85 minute class. Of course I’m getting on that when I can.

Pros-

  • Engaging, I didn’t feel like checking the clock for time endured but mostly for that “when is this round over I’m exhausted” check.
  • Cute men.
  • Early class times (5:30am M+F)
  • Core, core and core
  • Community seems ok
  • I would definitely stick with it

Cons-

  • Form not really emphasized or taught during class.
  • Groupies-there are some people that seem all-in. I guess that’s not terrible, but sometimes I roll my eyes and say they have you hook, line and sinker
  • E-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. I think we’re talking $119 a month.
  • I felt dizzy at one point 😦 I think I need to gauge my effort better
  • Not sure if it’s enough to get me to a pull up.

I thought I’d walk out of there 100% sold but I wasn’t. I was ready to buy a membership, but when they didn’t really teach form and a lot of people I saw were there doing it haphazard I kinda lost faith.

I had a really good discussion with the assistant manager about this and we had real talk. I told her I was a personal trainer and spin instructor, she told me she became involved with boxing after her boyfriend died and she stopped powerlifting and gained weight (yeah, for some reason people confess this stuff to me often). She made me feel better and told me I get a complimentary 30 minute form training session with my membership.

After thinking about things more I emailed her asking about getting something to cover me now until Sept. 1st. I figure that’ll give me a month to get settled, get form, and really experience the gym before I commit. Then I go on vacation for two weeks, then I’ll come back and make a long term commitment in mid September if that’s what I decide is right.

I get $150 reimbursement from my health insurance and maybe I can ask my parents to give this to me as my Christmas gift this year.

Of course, all I naturally do is beat myself up for not making more money for this to not be an issue. Then I beat myself up for not wanting to spend money on my health. Sigh, what a catch-22. My rent is going up by $300 a month and my income is going down because I’m not working my side gigs as much (by choice). I’m really beating myself up about my finances. Need to start to get educated and organized again. My thoughts are all over the place. I could work more side gig to make up for it. But I don’t know if I want to.

I need to analyze my budget is what I need to do. I’m going to wait until August because of a cool reason which I will let you on about as soon as I hear officially. 😉

God, what do you think?

Faith-Weddings are hard

What a crazy couple weeks it’s been! Re-cap: WI-MA-CO-RI.

I’ll be doing more posts about my adventures, but I wanted to start with last night’s-my friend’s wedding.

IMG_2349

This picture was taken before the reception and after the ceremony. Yes, I look beautiful (despite the few things I could point out I don’t like) and genuinely happy.

What you don’t see is me fifteen minutes earlier crying in the car ride because I was going to another wedding that wasn’t mine. Crying because my friend has miraculously found her soulmate and I’m being bitter about it. Crying because I’m so mad at myself for being bitter. Praying desperately to release this hurt to God, only to feel like He isn’t listening. Yelling at God about my frustrations.

I don’t know what to do to get out of this funk. I’m trying a lot of different things, like keeping busy, reading God is a Matchmaker, reminding myself of all the couples I know who met later in life, listening to John and Lisa Bevere’s most recent (and appropriately timed) podcast about desolation, being active on dating apps, and conversing with my friend Steph.

I was about to say healing takes time and I should have more patience, but I’m not really healing from anything. Loneliness was the only hurt Adam experienced before sin entered the world.

Steph and I share a lot of the same struggles. We’re both very driven and have our life together. We’re used to having control the ability to go and get what we want and make things happen. This is the one area in our lives that we really can’t do anything but sit back and wait.

God has proven so many times in my life that he will make things happen as they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Why am I so discouraged in this?

Honestly I know I could be married tomorrow if I really wanted. Ok, not tomorrow, but within the year. I could settle for some guy who isn’t a man and live the rest of my life in misery over it. My self image is too high for that.

Listening to Ed Sheeran somehow gives me all kinds of comfort. There’s something about his energy and lyricism that brings me great pleasure. Maybe it’s because I live vicariously through his love life. One lyric, in “New Man” stands out to me:

“When you’re with him, I know you’re lonely”

My friend who was married yesterday reminds me that you can be in a relationship and be lonely, too. I learned that with my last relationship. It still doesn’t help what I’m feeling.

I know I need to resign this to God and stop putting so much pressure on the things I am doing-like going out on dates and conversations on dating apps.

While I was at my business conference in WI the leader said “What question are you afraid to ask God because you want your plan to be the answer?” That for me is marriage. Maybe I’m not supposed to get married.

Then I listen to “ask and you shall receive.” Is that only applicable to certain things? Or am I asking the wrong questions? Is it about my desires or is it about asking for God’s will?

So many unanswered questions. So much more to learn.

Pray for me and my future husband, please.

Finance and Fitness-Side hustle number 6, Spin teacher

My journey to teaching spin began when I started working at the front desk of the YMCA. My fitness game needed a boost and I was able to attend classes because they’re included in membership and all employees get memberships. I had heard great things about spin, so I tried it out.

I fell in LOVE. The instructor, Jenna, had a lot to do with it. She was really organized and motivational. I still use a lot of programs she used.

I asked the group exercise director if I was certified could we add more classes. She said she’d have to see about the budget, but get certified first. On that small hope I went and certified.

I was certified through Madd Dogg, which has been rebranded to Spinning.  The course is all day and there are four one hour rides scheduled. We only did three, thank goodness. It was intense! Especially for someone who had only been spinning for three months. I also learned a lot about technical skills like proper form and bike setup.

Jenna ended up leaving that fall and thus began my permanent class at the Y. I was terrible at first. Learning how is one thing, applying is totally different! I had some friends come and support me for my first couple classes which was really great of them, I’m sure I was terrible. Over time I grew my skills and this morning when I subbed there was a woman who attended simply because she saw my name on the schedule. If that doesn’t warm an instructor’s heart, I don’t know what will.

Getting certified in spin was a no-brainer. I almost doubled my hourly pay at the YMCA, going from $10/hr to $19. Then I was recruited to another gym, the JCC, by the wellness director. They pay $40/hr. That’s a more typical pay rate. I would sub as often as I could while I was paying off my debts. Sometimes I’d work 5 classes in a week, $200 extra that week for working out. I get a workout and get paid at the same time. It keeps me accountable to staying in shape. I highly recommend to anyone to get certified.

However, I will say that I put myself in a good position to get experience. Had I not started by working the front desk at the Y, I would not have built a relationship with the group exercise manager. She was thankfully willing to give me a chance to build my skills at the YMCA. Not all gyms would give newbies a shot. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to start somewhere fresh from getting certified if it weren’t for that.

This shows how valuable taking a low paying job can be. You never know where it can take you!