Fitness Midterms

I found this post in my drafts.  I never hit submit but just reading it, I’m brought back to this night and I can feel the happiness that I felt. It was like the feeling I felt the night of my midterms when I realized I did really well and people liked what I did. It was euphoric.

Old post—

My (“free”) fitness instructor training is mixed with people that want to teach bootcamp, strength training, chair fitness, yoga and dance cardio. Over the past 4 weeks we have been learning only about strength exercises and teaching exercise modifications. So I was shocked to learn that I have a midterm on Tuesday in my genre which is dance fitness! I have been waking up at 5am for the past 2 days,  doing choreography and I have 2 songs finished. The midterm involves teaching our class of 30 for no more than 15 mins, including a warm-up. I plan to create my warm up tonight before I go to a Zumba master class (I’m sleepy), and to create one more routine tomorrow morning. Then over the next 5 days I will work on cueing (saying right instead of left),  making sure that the choreography for the three songs is not repetitive and that I smile and say positive things. I’m also going to do a dress rehearsal on a coworker on Tuesday.

I must say that when I came home last night I was happy. Like truly happy. We broke up into small groups last night and I taught 2 women the dance I created yesterday morning and they were sweating a lot. They said it was good and I felt it was great, of course there were issues with direction, but it wasn’t that bad. I know it’s not brain surgery, but for once in my life I can say, my medical office manager job is not who I am. There is more to me than that and for once, I am starting to see that I have potential apart from working for a doctor and ordering his lunch. I am creative and I am a vault of fitness knowledge, correcting people that were doing the grapevine or squats incorrectly and making suggestions on updating their warmups for better transitions… I literally don’t know what is coming together, but universe, I AM READY!

 

I’m Back!!

Whew… Where have I been? Well I have been a mad woman these past few weeks, literally. Things are looking up, yet staying the same. I’m trying to navigate the waters and trying to decide what is the next step.

Fitness Instructor Training– The program was successfully completed this past Tuesday! I had a final last week which included teaching a class and multiple choice test. I was a nervous wreck. Over the past few months, I’ve really learned a lot about myself. I don’t handle stress too well. It affects my sleeping, I drink more and I am constantly on edge, probably due to the drinking and sleeping less. I get it done in the end but everything suffers, including my appearance. I passed the class, so I am officially in a 6 month internship starting in Jan/Feb. I will be teaching a class every Saturday which will be great for me because it will limit Friday night happy hours. I have my playlist down and about 75% done. I need to just fine tune it and clean it up but I still have…

Statistics– Yes. This beast is still on my back and I’m taking the final on Dec 17. I want to get a A- in the class, however to qualify for tuition reimbursement I think I need a C. I’m currently at B level if I get EVERY QUESTION RIGHT on the exam. I started studying. I’m giving myself more time to prepare than the midterm which should be better because I won’t have to prepare an exercise routine that’s due at the same time. It’s just a hard class for me, the theories seem convoluted, the class is online, but I need to focus. This is my last class in my program, I need to pull through and like Tim Gunn says.. Make it Work. Tomorrow is my job’s holiday party. After that, I’m not drinking until after the final so my mind is clear and all the wires are firing at 100%. I’m making cheat sheets as we speak and rereading all of the information.

Weight Loss– I’ve plateaued. I made a friend in my instructor training course and we have been working out a lot. I started taking dance classes, like Samba and belly dancing. I don’t think I’m overcompensating with calories by eating, but I’ve (honestly) increased my alcohol intake which was at zero when I was losing weight the fastest. I also stopped the extra lunch time cardio I was doing during my lunch hour because work became a mess. I just feel burnt out. I constantly feel in a state of mild exhaustion. When I don’t focus, I say stupid things, like the wrong day or that I don’t understand what reproachful means, or I’m smart enough to figure it out from the context.<—– see brains. I know it’s my fault because my self care has gone out the window. I need to focus on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water.

Work– Work, work work. What is there to say. My job is one that I can do and as of right now there is some level of security, but I dislike it a lot. I asked for an increase in bonus and my boss said yes. It was a crazy year with the drama with the hiring and firing of the assistant. This job is just so not what I want to do long term, if at all. I loved being in the instructor training program. Being with folks that cared about fitness, discussing it. I realized that even though I sound like an idiot sometimes at work, when it comes to fitness and exercising I am an encyclopedia. I love making up dances and teaching it and will definitely make that a side job once I get certified. But what about the full time job… I have a wellness job search going and I get notices when positions open up and there are so many great jobs out there. I think once I get my Public health certificate and start teaching, I can put that on my resume. That way employers can see that I am serious about this. The end goal of course is to be a Health Coach and helping people lose weight.

The struggle is real. I won’t even get into dating now. That will be a post for another day…

So my plan until next week to get back track is to

  1. Drink 11 glasses of water per day (it’s recommended that we drink half of our body weight in ounces per day. Since I am 185, that is 92.5 ounces which is 11.56 glasses. I rounded down for sanity purposes).
  2. 7 hours of sleep. At the beginning of the semester I was in bed at 10-10:30. Now it’s 11-12. I need to get up at 6am to have a productive day so I need to start getting ready for bed at 9:45 pm. Have my Epsom salt bath (I will do a post on this soon) at 10 pm, and lights out by 10:30 pm.
  3. Limit TV. Not sure how I found the time, but I’ve made it through 7 seasons of Criminal Minds this semester…. From now on I can only watch TV, movies or frivolous YouTube videos when I am beautifying myself or cooking, because if I’m not multitasking, I’m really wasting time. Plus it might give me some inspiration to paint my nails or twist my hair more often.
  4. Stick to my exercise and food plan. Studies show that deviating from a plan lowers yourself esteem and your ability to follow through in the future. Which is why missing 1 gym class in a week, can lead to missing 4 classes, or is that just me? They say it’s better to aim low and achieve it, than aim high and miss it.

So those are my 4 goals for next week really, but I’m starting now, because I don’t believe in waiting for tomorrow or Monday. I always say, when you decide to start something, start immediately at the next meal or even the next bite!

Happy Friday!!

The Annual Funk

A lot is going on in my life but over the past week two weeks, I have been down. Really down. Like I’ve had takeout 5 nights in a row last week. I have stopped my self-development and self-care routine, my gym routine and all things self-improvement.

I have been very busy:

  • I passed my fitness instructor midterm which involved me teaching my class a dance cardio routine. It was nerve wracking but my dance was great and you can’t go wrong with Pitbull…. DALE! 
  • Work has been STRESSFUL. We had to fire my medical secretary because he was not detailed oriented and just wasn’t a good match for the work. It has been weeks of write-ups, verbal warnings and corrections, awkward conversations, retraining him on basics then being irritated and towards the end waiting for the ax to drop. I’ve come to the conclusion that being a manager is not for me but now I have to step up. I’m actually OK with doing his job, if I’m getting paid more but last time I asked for more last year I was turned down. It was the exact same situation but the last secretary quit. I just don’t have the mental energy to hire and train someone now because of the third “stressor”…
  • This biostatistics class that I’ve been not really trying at. I’d rather work on my dance routines which is what I’ve been doing to the detriment of my weekly homework assignments. I’ve FINALLY started to open the books and study and I have a midterm this week.

But all of the things I mentioned, which  are really blessings of opportunity, isn’t why I’ve been eating donuts, Indian takeout and drinking a lot. My 34th birthday is Tuesday. It’s my yearly reminder to reevaluate my life to see what I don’t have yet and compare it to others. But instead of continuing this downward spiral, I’m stopping it now. No, I’m not exactly where I want to be BUT since last October I have:

  1. lost 34 lbs
  2. moved into my own apartment
  3. survived the death of a cat and sickness of another
  4. became a vegan
  5. cut down on excessive drinking
  6. applied and got accepted into a fitness instructor training program
  7. am finishing my last class in a public health certificate program
  8. am actively working on a personal development plan to get better

I am not perfect, I will never be, but there is nothing wrong with me and the progress that I’ve made so far in my life. Everything that I want: love, marriage and baby carriage: will come in due time. I just need to stay happy, positive and keep working on myself and getting better. Keep an attitude of gratitude no matter what.  And always say yes to invitations because you never know who you will meet!give-thanks-1024x848

Lunch Food Prep

I try to keep my food prep as simple as possible. I used to do intricate meals for lunch and dinner and automate my breakfast, but now I just focus on making dinner delicious. According to THE Dr Oz, we should automate as many meals as possible if we are trying to lose weight. That is the entire point of food prep, however so many people that I meet can’t imagine eating the same meal 2 days in a row. I was never like that thankfully, but the quality of my meals have improved from blueberry muffins and bagels daily to kale smoothies.

Lunch

My kitchen is small. Did I say small. It’s tiny, but I will take it since it’s my first solo space. To start my prep, I separate a large can of beans into 5 small containers. Then I divide a tomato, avocado, cucumber and red pepper, I add 1 Tsp of balsamic vinegar and 2 TBSP of Hummus. In the evening, or morning if I am too lazy the night before, I clean about 3 cups of lettuce and throw one of these bowls on top. That is it!

It is a super easy way to stay healthy during the week, you can change the ingredients to whatever you prefer or is local to you, and you can save a lot of money from not ordering takeout at lunch because salads can be really expensive . To make it special, you can throw a TBSP of dried cranberries or candied walnuts and be in salad heaven. I used to add half an avocado to my salads, but now that it’s $3 for one, I just divide it up. I might add some olives next week for some added healthy fat.

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is safe and is in good spirits. It’s hard to stay positive all the time with the state of the world and with challenges, but all we ever really have is this moment. Stay healthy!

High Stressed Times

I had a lot planned this weekend. It involved working on the blog, working out excessively and watching a whole bunch of fashion videos. Then my cat had a hairball at 9pm on Friday night and has been throwing up ever since and I’ve barely gotten any sleep. At least not a consistent block. On Saturday, I had plans to catch a movie with my friend so I did that. My cat was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was started on Methimazole. For some reason I thought my cat’s vomiting was in response to bad food or the fact that I was serving him water from a Brita filter that might have been overdue, so I continued giving him the medication. That was when his vomiting increased to every 20 mins since 1AM Sunday morning. I ended up taking him to the ER and my stress level was at its peak. I didn’t get to do much on my to do list. I washed my hair, did all of my food prep and laundry, took out my A.C. and wrote some posts. But looking into Pixie’s eyes now, I realize it’s worth it. Yes, I want to quit my job. Yes, I want to reach my goal weight this year. Yes, I want to be a health coach. But I can’t forget the basics. Like Pixie who has been with my for almost 9 years, my friends and family. Nourish those relationships too, because it is all about the journey, not the destination, so what is the point of going on the journey alone, when you don’t have to?

 

Instagram Food Pics?

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I think this is a great idea for weight loss, lifestyle changes and diet improvements. I’m just not sure how my current followers would feel about seeing my food pics all the time. My sister started a second Instagram which has a lot of followers, but some of them are from her main Instagram. When you create a second Instagram account using the same app, your new account is suggested to the followers of your old account. But thinking about it now, I guess there really isn’t anything wrong with it. My weight loss and fitness instructor journey is kind of a side project. I have been a secretive person in regards to my goals and what I do in my spare time, and no I’m not a drug dealer. I’m finding that even as I discuss my veganism with coworkers, I am becoming more articulate and my soundbites are becoming clear and have actual facts. In addition, discussing my goals will give me more accountability because people might ask  how things are going.

Speaking of which… My gym membership is $69.99 per month. I am setting a goal of 4 times per week or else I am cancelling the membership. I have another membership that I had to sign up for (6 months for $75!) in order to do my instructor training, so if I’m unable to follow my schedule, I’m canceling the pricey by the end of October.

Exercise, Inspiration and Excuses

 

My exercise plan is currently all over the place. I try to be semi-consistent, but it is difficult with work and my varying energy levels. I am the type of person that if I wake up and second guess for ANY reason, I cancel. If I have a flashing thought of “What if I sleep in today and watch Criminal Minds and eat cereal instead?”, that is all takes for my plans to derail. I use that as an excuse and I’ve missed many exercise classes and gym sessions . What helps me a lot is listening to motivational videos on YouTube or podcasts such as The Quote of the Day Show.  The best YouTube videos are the compilations of various speakers and I will admit I listen to a Les Brown morning motivation mix pretty much every morning. I posted some of my favorite videos below. I also have some issues with anxiety and I have been treating myself following the rules of Nike… JUST DO IT. Mel Robbins’  5 Second Rule has helped me leave the house when I didn’t want to leave, such as my first day of my exercise instructor training class. I didn’t actually read the book, but I heard her discuss it on The QOTD podcast. It is pretty much a 5 second countdown to get you to do any flipping thing. It’s funny that I want to be an exercise instructor and have anxiety but I know that after my first class, or my first incorrect cue I will be OK. You just have to be OK with laughing at yourself.

Speaking of being a teacher, it requires more stamina than just taking a class because you have to talk while you exercise! Like Beyonce, JLO or Gaga, singing and dancing at the same time requires A LOT of stamina, so I need to up my cardio. My plan is to do 45 minutes of the cardio machine during lunch 4/5  week days with one 60+ minute cardio session on the weekend. I need to do 2 dance classes per week because that is the type of class that I want to do and I want to learn moves, cues and jargon. I plan to do one additional strength class, in addition to my instruction training which should have quite a bit of strength. I will need to increase my food intake if I start losing weight too quickly. 

What about you? Is it easy to talk yourself out a gym session as well or are you the type of person that once it’s on the schedule, it’s getting done?

LINKS

Les Brown’s 15 Minute Morning Motivational Speech

When You Are About To Give Up

What Are You Becoming

RETRAIN YOUR MIND

The Quote of the Day Show