Tag Archive | exercise

Reflections

Happy (belated) New Year! What a whirlwind the holidays are. Each year, it feels like they go by faster and faster. Anybody else feel that way? The last time I blogged, I had just finished finals, Brandon was about to come home, and Christmas was about to occur.
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Fast forward to today and suddenly I’m back in classes, Brandon has returned to Australia and Christmas is over. Where does the time go? Anyway, I was looking through my phone (and my nearly 3,000 photos…yikes) and I started to reflect on this past year. I love  how that’s so easy to do with pictures! I’ve never been one to state so-called ‘resolutions’ for the new year, but I do believe in goals, so I thought I’d state my reflections on the year instead, along with a goal to go along with each of them too.

Reflections 2013
-Personal growth happens when we least expect it
Looking back, I think I grew more as a person this past year than ever before in my life, but I never really thought so at the time. For all of last year, I was mostly just a basket of nerves. I was nervous to move beyond my comfort zone, nervous to change career paths, nervous to head back to school, move internationally, live with my boyfriend, make new friends and nervous to think about what direction my life would go in next. All of these things pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow. Yes it was scary, but I undoubtedly grew from it, without even expecting it.
Goal: Do one thing every month that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
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-Australia was a blessing
Moving across the world was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the greatest thing I’ve ever done too. It forced me to grow, ignited my love of traveling, introduced  me to things and new friends, and gave me a lifetime of lasting memories, too . As hard as it was to be away from home, for me it’s harder to be away from the one I love, so everyday has its challenges. That being said, I know (now) that I made the right decision for our future, but it sure wasn’t easy at the time.
Goal: Travel to Australia with Brandon again one day.
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Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Truth is, I didn’t always believe this, but I am a whole-hearted believer now. Long distance relationships, like any relationship are based on commitment and trust, but with long-distance, I feel the belief you have in your relationship and in one another is a key component, too.   With this commitment and belief forms an unbreakable bond, and if this year has proved anything to me, it’s this. I’m thrilled to say that as soon as April hits, the long distance will be over and Brandon will be home!
Goal: Date nights once a week, minimum!
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-A week off from exercise is actually GOOD for my body
If you told me this a few years ago I would have cringed at the thought. I took a 5-7 days off from exercise at a time a couple of times this year, and it truly helped me both mentally and physically. I am so happy to be past my exercise addiction habits and ways of thinking. Rest does the body good.
Goal: Take breaks from exercise, whether needed or not needed

-I need to sleep more
I have been guilty of being sleep deprived for as long as I can remember, and this year was no exception. I need to remember how good I feel after an 8-hour sleep compared to a 5-hour sleep. My energy levels are better, my concentration is better, my mood is better…everything is just better.
Goal: 7-8 hours of sleep a night
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-I ran a lot but I’d like to run more
Since I stopped playing basketball at age 18, I haven’t felt like I’ve had a ‘sport’. This year, I really connected with running and now it kind-of feels like ‘my sport’. I’m not running a marathon anytime soon, but a second half marathon may be in my future, and it’s just so nice to look forward to running.
Goal: ‘3’ has always been my average number, so I’d like to increase my average running route from 3-4 miles to 4-5 miles by the spring-time.
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-Group exercise is addicting
I can thank Australia for this reflection. It’s there that I fell in love with bootcamps and Les Mills workout classes, and I looked forward to them almost daily. They were addicting, but in a good way. I miss them everyday.
Goal: First purchase when I move back to city/Boston area living is a gym membership…can’t wait!
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-Age is just a number
The thought of turning 28 this year sort-of makes me want to cry. ‘Late-20’s’ oh my. I kick myself just writing those words, but I can’t help thinking it!  When I look at my Mom and Dad I just hope I am just like them in my 60’s, not looking or acting a bit like ‘60’ at all, since age really is just a number.
Goal: STOP thinking of aging as a sad thing and start thinking of it as exciting part of life.
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-As you age, you learn who your friends are
Moving away was truly telling about my friendships. Oddly enough, I felt moving away brought me even closer together to a few of my best friends. Even though I’m not in the same city or state as them right now, I couldn’t love them more.
Goal: Have a girls weekend once a month.
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-Family is a precious gift
My family means everything to me, and this year, more than ever, their support was crucial to my well-being. I can’t say thank you to them enough.
Goal: Make togetherness a priority this year and every year.
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And on a less serious note:
-I have a cookie butter problem
I’m not seeking help for it since it’s too delicious, but I just wanted to acknowledge that I eat far too much of it.
Goal:  Try new nut butters….there has to be others that I like just as much, right?

-Puppies are a key to my happiness.
This might sound sappy, stupid, whatever…I am a true believer in this. Puppies always make me smile, no matter what. My sister’s puppies actually lick my tears. Sometimes I fake cry just so they’ll do it (truth).
Goal: Puppy by year end (NO MATTER WHAT!)
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I’m thankful for a wonderful 2013 and looking forward to a bright 2014.

Do you have any reflections this year?
Anyone else  have  a goal of getting a new puppy, or a pet in general?

I love Cori’s new puppy!

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When in doubt…

Today marks exactly one week that I’ve been home, and one week sure brings about a world of difference. From home, to school, to work, it’s all fresh and new again.  Trust me, I LOVE being home and can say for certain that American soil never felt so good. However, I won’t lie…moving back was emotionally,  physically, and mentally draining.

Did I do the right thing?

Make the right choice?

Choose the right path?

Only time will tell….so when in doubt, I’m:

Laughing
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Crying
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Remembering
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Smiling
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Praying
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Hugging

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Leaning on family and friends
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Exercising
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Baking
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Indulging (i.e. eating ice-cream / drinking copious amounts of iced coffee)
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…and remembering everything happens for a reason

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How do you deal with doubts?
I do all the things I love above, try to think positive, and eat WAY more ice-cream than necessary : –)

This week, In a nutshell

This week, in a nutshell, I’ve been quite an emotional basket-case. It’s my last few days here, which means it’s crunch-time. Time to cancel contracts (gym, phone, etc.), deal with the last of my university withdrawal paperwork, order books for classes back home, and above all else, say goodbyes. UGH, I dread goodbyes. Oh and I should probably start packing too, but I despise packing. Clearly this means I’ll likely be doing this right up until the morning I leave #likemotherlikedaughter  (kidding, kind-of…haha love you, Mom!)

Anyway, in other news this week:
-I’ve had quite possibly the sorest throat of my life (maybe this is my body’s way of telling me it doesn’t want to leave Australia?) Either way, it’s been fun to soothe it with pretty coffees, tea, and  and lots of gelato and fro-yo:
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Sue and I on a cappuccino date : –)

-I’ve had to say goodbye to some of my closest girlfriends here:
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Love you girls! Please come visit in the U.S.A.!!!

(Side-note: I wore my new high-low dress, and although I was a bit scared to buy this and not-so-sure about this trend, I’m loving it! #tjmaxx4life)
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-I’ve drank my favorite sparkling wine every night with Sue to celebrate/mourn the last of vacation and this beautiful place:
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-I’ve taken advantage of outdoor workouts and walks daily, to soak up this view as much as possible:
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-I’ve done a lot of cooking because I’m really going to miss this kitchen and the view:
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-I may not have started packing…but I did find the perfect suitcase:

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hehehe thanks to Brandon’s Dad for posing. Look how big that thing is!

-Any other last-minute packers like me out there?
-Do you have a high-low dress/what do you think of this trend?
-What’s your week been like in a nutshell?

Friday favorites-australia edition

Hey friends, happy Friday! I started the day off by waking up at the awful hour of 5 a.m. to finish studying for 3 hours before FINALLY completing an anatomy quiz I’ve been preparing for all week. (Professors who think that it’s possible to complete 20 questions about the bones, muscles, and systems of the human body in 20 minutes are NOT my friends today!) It was not fun but I did well in the end so the extra studying was worth it! To celebrate, I headed to the spin class that I love but don’t usually get to go to given the random 9:15 a.m. class-time. I followed it up with a short jog to cool-down. It felt great to sweat, as always.
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Side-note: Thank you all for the kind comments about my new job. The first week went well, and I’m really enjoying it!

Anyway, since it’s Friday and I haven’t done an “Australia Favorites”( or “favourites” as it’s spelled here) post in far too long, I figured I’d share some of my newest favorites down-under today. 

1) Koala ice-cube trays: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved fun-shaped ice-cubes. These koala shapes took my love to a whole new level! I found these in Sydney and had to have them. They were TOTALLY worth the $14 in my opinion…totally. And while we’re on the subject of ice-cubes, coffee ice-cubes just may be the best invention ever. Brandon and I have been freezing our left-over coffee into ice-cubes at night and it makes our glasses of iced-coffee last so much longer. Genius!
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2) Sugar Free and fruity alcoholic beverages: I don’t drink that often, but when I do I like to  enjoy the taste of what I drink! I am a big fan of twisted teas and hard lemonades back home, so I was hoping to find something similar over here for a treat every now and then.  I was introduced to these “Sugar Free Cruisers” by a friend and I’m really enjoying them. They come in a variety of different flavors and they don’t leave an acidic feeling in my stomach like many other fruity drinks do. Right now, I’m loving the mixed berry.
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3) Veggie Burgers and sweet potato fries: I have lost count of the number of nights that I’ve consumed packaged veggie burgers and sweet potato fries in the last month, but I’m okay with that. These are an easy, healthy option when I’m in a time-crunch or don’t feel like cooking and it’s much more affordable and healthier than the fast-food alternative. Plus, if I can’t have my Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burgers, then I’ll take these!
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4) Blue Ribbon 3-in 1 Light Ice-Cream: I remember enjoying Neapolitan ice-cream (chocolate/vanilla/strawberry flavor) as a child, but I don’t ever remember seeing it made with other flavor combinations…until I moved to Australia that is. This.is.awesome. Light vanilla/caramel/honeycomb ice-cream, all-in-one. I am hooked!
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5) Sun-shields for cars: Nearly everyone I see parked around town or at the University has a sun-shield for their car, except for me. It’s important because it saves the interior of the car from fading and keeps it cooled off from the constant glare of the sun.  I’ve been waiting to find the perfect one, and I think I found it:
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Hehehe…just kidding!  I laughed SO hard when I saw that.

6) The “cooler” weather: It’s autumn here now which means the humidity is gone. Bring on the scarves and sweaters! I had been dying to wear the new scarf and bracelet Brandon’s brother and sister-in-law had given me for Christmas. I finally had the chance!
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7) Outdoor stair work-outs and outdoor exercise in general: To me, it never gets old exercising outside since I was only able to do it about 4 or 5 months out of the year in New England. Where we are now, exercising outdoors is even better with the cooler weather. Just look at these stairs!
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8) Weet-Bix Bites: My favorite cereal just got even better with a brand new flavor. This combination is made with wholegrain wheat, oats, chunky shredded coconut, and golden syrup. I’m literally shipping boxes to America when we move home…I have an addiction!
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9) Sunrises and sunsets: I’ll always love them, especially in Australia. Look at the pink skies I saw one night on my ride home from class!

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10) Seeing these little boys: I know they aren’t in Australia, but seeing my nephews ALWAYS puts a smile on my face. I hope they make you smile, too!
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Have a great Friday!

What are you up to this weekend?
On Sunday, I’m planning on running in a Mother’s Day 5K with some friends. Since I can’t be with my Mom, I’ll run it in her honor : – ) Love you, Mom!
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When homesickness hits

I have to admit, being so far away from home is not easy. It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions all the time. Up and down, up and down, it’s never-ending. Some weeks are better than others and this week wasn’t one of them. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t shake it this week. I feel like this:

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Since I figure I’m probably not the only person who struggles with missing home, I thought I’d share some tips of things that I do when homesickness hits.
When homesickness hits I:

1) Skype and/or Face-time , text message, and email with family and friends: Technology has been my saving grace these last few months. Actually being able to see AND hear the people you love does wonders for helping with homesickness. Starting my day with a text from my Mom, or a video message from a friend makes me so happy.
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yes, I Face-time with my sister’s dogs!

2) Send cards home: I adore receiving mail, and I love sending it, too. Writing is therapeutic for me, so I like to send cards to the people I’m thinking about. In some ways, it makes me feel like I’m talking to them!
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3) Keep busy: Being bored just increases homesickness. I’m thankful classes keep me super busy because it helps keep my mind off of how far away I am.  If I don’t have class or studying to do, I’ll clean the house, get a pedicure, or go for a run. Whatever you do, just keep busy!

4) Exercise: Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights or taking a fitness class, exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy (thanks Legally Blonde!) I always feel 100% better after exercising, and it keeps my mind off of missing home.
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5) Do something you love: Doing things you love help you to smile, right? Things on the top of my list involve anything with baking, shopping, walking, exercising, reading, or going to the beach.
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6) Surround yourself with people: Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly helps me. Being surrounded by girlfriends instantly lifts my spirits. I’ve even found going to a group exercise class helps because of the social element.
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7) Watch your favorite show or movie: I know I have an addiction, but I make it a point to not miss an episode of the Real Housewives of  Beverly Hills (or Atlanta, Miami, NYC, etc). Watching them makes me feel right at home!

8) Put up pictures of your loved ones and “reminders” of home: I have covered our apartment with pictures, magnets, and things to make it feel more home-y.
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9) Don’t keep it in: I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions bottled up inside, which isn’t a good thing! Talking about who you miss or what you miss will help. You might shed a tear or two, but you’ll more than likely feel better after. Hugs help, too!

10) Get an ice-cream cone: Alright, this one might just apply to me, but I’m sticking with it. Ice-cream is my go-to remedy. Ice cream=smiles, always!

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Does anyone else have any homesick remedies? Please share!

P.S. My twin sister got engaged today!!! I have NEVER been more excited for two people in my life! I love this beautiful couple, and I’m obsessed with her gorgeous ring. Love you guys!!
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Facing exercise fears

Hey there! In just 2.5 short hours this morning, I feel like I’ve gotten many things accomplished. I’ve:
Exercised…
Showered…
Eaten Breakfast…
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Made Iced Coffee…
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Reviewed my notes for class…
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Packed my lunch and snacks…
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IMG_1541…all before 8 a.m.

I’m proud of that, but mostly I’m proud of an exercise fear of mine I faced today: swimming. Since moving to Australia, I’ve really changed-up my workout routine for the better. Instead of just running, I’ve tried new things. To challenge myself, step out of my comfort zone  and meet new people, I joined a gym and signed up for boot-camp classes along with participating in the group fitness and spin classes on a regular basis. Boot-camp beings at 5:30 in the morning 3 days a week, and while it’s difficult to get up, I always feel 100% afterwards. It is intense! Circuits, hill sprints, burpees, squats, boxing, you name it, we do it. And since we live on the ocean, sometimes we swim. I have to be honest, I have always chickened out at the swimming. The ocean at 5:30 a.m. just isn’t appealing to me. I’d rather run! But today, I faced my fears and swam here:

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As you can see, I was a happy girl to finish:

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(Please excuse my sweaty face!!)
I’m so glad I challenged myself, because I got through it, and felt great afterwards. What a great arm and leg work-out I had from that swim! Next time we have this challenge in bootcamp, I won’t be so afraid!

Have you faced any fears lately?