First Monthly Challenge Of 2018 (or Time To Be A Bit Selfish)

With the new year I’ve also got a new Volt Planner! They did some minor redesign work on the planner and I love how it looks! It’s so clean with lots of room to write things and decorate. But the redesign didn’t change a lot of the important stuff like the monthly challenges. So since it’s the beginning of a month it’s time for a new monthly challenge!

First, a quick recap on December’s challenge. I set that challenge to be to work on my handwriting. And for the first half of the month, that went really well! I got some new nice pens to use and found lots of free printable handwriting guides to use. I think my handwriting did get a bit better and I learned some new style ideas with writing. But for the second half of the month, I just didn’t work on it. There wasn’t really a good reason, I just didn’t. But I still worked on making my handwriting nice when I was writing anything. So I still want to work on this and I know I will. But I don’t know if it will be something I work on every day.

For my first challenge of this year, I really wanted to think about something that connected to my goals for the year and word of the year. I kept coming back to an idea for a challenge but then rejected it because it didn’t seem right. I felt a bit embarrassed that it would be my challenge and wouldn’t want to share it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this should be my challenge. I shouldn’t be fearful about what others think and that’s kind of exactly what this month’s challenge is all about.

This month, my challenge is to allow myself to be a bit selfish.

I know this sounds a bit weird, but I’ll explain myself. This does not mean that I’m only going to think of myself. I’m still going to consider others and be selfless more often than not. But I’m not going to be scared to be selfish and do what I know is the best thing for me even if someone else thinks that something else is better for me.

A perfect example of this was this past weekend. My brother and sister-in-law were going to be in LA visiting friends and wanted to know if I wanted to meet them for lunch. I of course said yes and was very excited to see them. But the day I was supposed to meet them, I was dealing with horrible nausea and pain because of my hormones. This was the worst I had ever felt and none of the medications I have were taking the edge off. But I was thinking I should still go to lunch because I told them that I would and I didn’t want to disappoint them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat and I would probably be in a lot of pain, but somehow I was more worried about bailing on plans than my health.

But then I realized how crazy that sounded. My brother and sister-in-law would totally understand if I couldn’t see them. It would have been so much better for me to stay home and try to take care of myself than to push myself and maybe make things worse for me. It felt like a selfish choice because I was putting myself first, but I knew I needed to do it. And it was fine. I texted them to let them know what was happening, they totally understood, and we figured we’d see each other another time. It wasn’t a big deal at all and they weren’t mad or upset with me. It’s silly how worried I was about it when it was fine.

After that, I realized that allowing myself to be a bit selfish is exactly what I need to challenge myself to do. I am very much a people pleaser and sometimes I do that to the point that it makes me unhappy. I want to focus on my happiness and sometimes that does mean being a bit selfish. If someone invites me to a party and I really feel like staying home, then I should stay home instead of going to a party and being miserable. If I want to prioritize myself, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

It seems so weird to make being selfish a challenge for the month, but at the same time it seems so perfect. There really isn’t a good way for me to judge if I’m successful in this challenge or not compared to some challenges in the past, but I think that I just want to give myself permission to be selfish and not feel bad about it. I know that if I’m selfish and feel bad that I can think about it and realize that most likely I’m not hurting anyone with my decision. And taking away that guilty feeling would be the biggest win in this challenge that I can think of.

My Word For 2018 (or Time To Be Fearless)

Most of my posts this week will be all about new year stuff. A new year brings a lot of new beginnings, and this is another one. This is all about my word for 2018! I’ve been doing a word of the year for a few years now and I always try to pick something that seems really positive and powerful. Those are attributes that I know I need to work on and the words I pick seems to be things that I feel like I was lacking the year before.

Last year, after I had picked my word for the year, I found a bracelet from MantraBand that had the word on it. This year, I knew I’d want a bracelet so I decided to use the MantraBand website as my inspiration for what words I wanted to consider. I had a few different ones that seemed to be really perfect for me and I took time to think about what they all meant to me and what seemed to represent what I wanted to accomplish in 2018. And I finally decided on one just before NYE.

There is so much that I am scared about and I want to work past that. And the word fearless works so well for so many different aspects of my life. I know that being fearful can hold me back so I want to make sure that I don’t use that as an excuse to not try. This is for sure something I struggle with and I know that working to get beyond it really will be life-changing for me.

I love the idea of being fearless and just going for what I want or what I love. I love the idea that I won’t be second guessing myself or worried that I might do something that can ruin something for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be scared to see what would happen if I take chances in my career, my recovery, or my life.

I know that this isn’t as easy as being a warrior or being strong, but that’s one of the reasons I picked this word. This not only means making a positive change but changing a negative one that I already have in my life. But because it is going to be more difficult to do, I think that means the results are going to be so much more powerful in the end for me. I have the little voices in the back of my head telling me I should be fearful of something or to hold back from trying something new and I need to find a way to make them be quiet. And once my fearlessness is louder than the voices telling me to be fearful, I think that so much will be possible.

I think that I have made a lot of steps in 2017 to being a bit more fearless already. Getting back into the dating word is a huge step and I put myself out there so much. I allowed myself to be hurt which is something I avoided for a long time. It’s tough for me to be fearless with dating and take chances since in my past someone told me that I would never be loved by anyone. I always have a fear that the date that I’m on might be the last date I have the rest of my life. I know that the chances of that happening are pretty slim, but it’s very tough to believe it when someone told me otherwise for so much of my life.

But if I didn’t put myself out there, I wouldn’t have had the positive things as well. And I know that I want more of that feeling in my life. It’s scary to have faith in yourself and believe that you are going to get good things to come your way, but I’ve finally started to experience that and I know that I am worthy of the good and that the bad are the rare things I have to deal with. I don’t deserve the bad, but sometimes I have to weed through those to find the good. And I’m no longer as fearful of the bad because I know the good is out there.

When I got my MantraBand bracelet, the packaging has a little blurb about what the word means. And I love the one that they have for fearless.

To be fearless is to do what scares you, to take a chance, to make a change. To love again. And to get back up after you fall. To be fearless is to know your fears, but never let them stop you.

This is so perfect. I know what scares me. It’s getting beyond that and doing things anyway that I need to work on. I’m really hoping that this year I can learn how to become more fearless so I can see what possibilities are really out there for me.

So here’s to what will hopefully be my year of being fearless and seeing what amazing things can happen to me when I stop being scared and start living without fear!

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My 2018 Goals (or Pushing Myself And Being Gentle With Myself)

I think that my goal setting for each year always takes an interesting twist. I get so ambitious with what I want to do and then I get so fearful that I won’t be able to accomplish them. I know that not succeeding at every goal is ok, but I do also like to set myself up for success. So when I was thinking about my goals for this year, I did a lot of reflection on what has worked in the past and what hasn’t worked as well. And I think I created a pretty good set of goals for the year.

My first goal for 2018 is a Orangetheory one. I like setting a workout goal for the year because it helps me stay on top of things. And when I have an annual goal, I can break it down and know what my monthly goal needs to be as well. Last year I did pretty amazing with my workout goal so I want to push that just a bit further. I want to do 199 workouts in 2018. I think it should be possible because I’m pretty much doing 4 workouts a week every week. I need to make sure that I do that again this year. And there’s a chance I might have to have a few 5 workout weeks to make up for things. But I know what I need to be doing each month to accomplish this so I can keep checking in with myself as the months go on this year.

My next goal is to find at least 1 5K race to do. Neither of my regular races are probably happening this year, and I don’t want to have a year that I don’t do at least one race. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had any races in a year and I don’t want to make that this year. It was weird enough only having 1 race last year. I would like to try to have 2 races, but I am picky on what races I do and since I have no clue what will connect with me I don’t want to set myself up too much for that to not work out. Hopefully I’ll have more than 1 race, but I’m going to make sure that there is at least 1.

The next goal could be related to either of the previous goals. I want to set a new PR with my mile time. It’s much more likely that it will happen at Orangetheory when we have a mile challenge than in a race where I need to pace myself, but you never know when it will happen. I know what my mile PR is and I know it will be very difficult to beat it. But I think that having that as a goal will help me work harder on my running so that the goal is much more possible at some point this year.

Next is something I also had last year. I want to get my debt down to a number that is a goal in my head. I missed hitting this goal last year but I also had some financial setbacks (mainly having my hours cut back significantly at one of my jobs) that I think really contributed to me missing the goal. But now with my current financial status I think I can hit that goal and maybe even get a bit further than that. It won’t be easy, but I’m really going to try. I know that no matter what, I will get my debt down more and that is always a victory. But I’d really like to hit this goal this year!

And finally, I set a recovery related goal. It’s always tough for me to pick a recovery related goal because this is where I can really set myself up to feel like I failed. As much as I’d like to say that I want to be in recovery by the end of 2018, that is not realistic. And the baby steps in recovery aren’t easy to measure (or at least, not easy for me to measure on my own). So when I was thinking about what I wanted to do in my eating disorder recovery this year, all I could think about is how I can’t just keep doing what I’m doing. I need to make changes to see changes. And that idea inspired my goal. I want to try new recovery methods and ideas this year. I don’t know what methods and ideas they may be, but I want to be more open to new ideas and see what sticks. Trying new recovery methods doesn’t mean that they will work, but I won’t know unless I try which is the idea of this goal.

So there are my goals for 2018. I think that I’ve set some things that I should be able to do and things I will need to strive for. And I can’t wait to see how these end up getting accomplished this year and I know that before I know it I will be writing my post updating you all on how it went!

The End Of My 2017 Workouts (or Finishing With A Whimper And Not A Bang)

This post isn’t going to be like my typical workout recaps. It was an interesting week of workouts for sure, but not at all what I thought it would be. But I am still proud on how I finished out my workouts for 2017!

My first workout of the week was Wednesday. Monday was Christmas so the studio was closed. And Tuesday they had a limited schedule and all the classes were during times that I worked that day. So Wednesday was my first workout since the Saturday before. That was a long break between workouts and I didn’t like it. I know that I’m going to work on not letting that happen again if I can help it.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we had 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor, with all blocks being 5 minutes. All the treadmill blocks were a similar format starting with a push to all out, then a walking recovery, and ending with a push, base, all out pace. For the first two blocks, I was able to run the push and all out paces and was very happy with that. But I got a bit tired and wasn’t feeling my best (a preview of things to come) and ended up walking the last two blocks.

On the floor we had 3 blocks on the floor and one block on the rower. For all the floor blocks we had 2 moves. The first block was power jacks with shoulder work and knee tucks. The next block was low rows on straps and knee tucks (technically they were supposed to be pikes but I can’t do those). And the last block was power pull ups on the straps and rotation sit ups. And when we went to the rowers we had the same pattern of what was done on the treadmill.

My other workouts this past week were on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (I’m also doing a workout today which will make 4 workouts in a row). But none of those 3 workouts went the way I thought they would. On Thursday, I started to experience some pretty horrible PMS symptoms. My body does not react well to hormone fluctuations and that is why I went on birth control when I was 18. But since I can’t have any hormonal birth control now, I have to deal with my natural cycles and the issues that come with them.

While I do have medications to take to manage these symptoms, those don’t always work. And from Thursday evening through now I have been dealing with some extreme nausea and debilitating cramps. I am so lucky I work from home because I don’t think I could go to a job right now. I’m going to keep working with my doctors to see what new medications I can take or what other options we can try, but I also know that this may be my reality from now on and I need to learn to deal with it. I can’t let 25% of my life be wasted.

So even though I was feeling pretty awful on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I still went to work out. I couldn’t walk on the treadmill because that made my nausea worse, so I stuck to the bike. Rowing was difficult and I couldn’t even work half as hard as I normally can. And the floor work was sometimes ok, but if I had to lay down or do something in a plank pose I couldn’t always do it.

I don’t really have a recap for any of these workouts because I don’t exactly remember what I did and I didn’t really do anything that great. I didn’t even really sweat at all on my workout on Sunday. But what I’m trying to focus on is that I was consistent and went to class. If this is what things will always be like each month (and I hope that isn’t the case), I need to learn how to deal with it.

But even though my workouts for most of this past week weren’t that great, I still ended 2017 on a great note! I managed to do 196 workouts for the year!

I love that I went beyond my goal for the year because I feel like things weren’t as good this year as they have been in the past. I dealt with a few different injuries plus all the hormonal issues I’ve been having. But this is proof that I did put hard work into my workouts! And even if my last workout of 2017 was not my best one, I’m glad that I was able to work out with some amazing coaches and other class members! Have great people in class with me helps me focus on something better than how I’m feeling and keeps me motivated.

And now I feel ready to start my 2018 workouts and see what those may bring!

Reflecting Back On 2017 (Kind Of Reaching My Goals)

I can’t believe this is my last blog post of 2017! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing my goals for the year. This year definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but that was mostly for the best. But because of things not being the way I thought they would, some of my goals didn’t end up happening the way I thought. For some goals I totally surpassed what I expected and for others they didn’t happen. But even with the non-successes (I don’t consider them failures), I learned a lot.

My first goal I had for 2017 was 181 workouts. When I set that goal, I expected to be out for a little while when I had surgery so I thought it might be a bit of a stretch. I tried to make up for the time I thought I would be missing by doing more weeks of 4 workouts a week. That ended up being my new normal which was pretty exciting. And then I didn’t have surgery so I didn’t have to take the time away that I thought I would. But that didn’t slow me down and as long as the last few days this month go as planned I will be ending the year with 196 workouts!

I was pretty shocked when I looked at my total and saw how far over my goal I had gone. I knew I was going to be doing more than I thought, but I didn’t think I’d be 15 workouts ahead of my goal. That’s pretty amazing and even if every workout wasn’t the best one, consistency is so important and I think I’ve proved to myself that I have that.

My next goal I had for the year was to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I’ve got a history of having an easy time with surgeries, but this was going to be the first time I would have to stay overnight at the hospital and it was a much more extreme surgery than any I’ve had before. Well, as you all probably know from all of my posts about it, I didn’t have surgery. So technically there was no way for me to accomplish this goal. But I reframed it in my mind to be more about getting through this entire situation about my liver with less stress. And I think I did accomplish that. I think that I will always be a little nervous before going in for an MRI because I don’t want the tumors to grow, but beyond that time I really don’t think about my tumors that much at all. I do think about them once a day when I do visualization, but after that I try to not focus on it.

Next was to work on my recovery and hopefully reduce my binge episodes. I’m torn on how I did on this goal. I think that I have made some big strides in my recovery and there was some time where my binges were the most infrequent they have ever been, but that didn’t last. I don’t know what I need to do to keep that momentum, but my awareness is higher than ever and I consider that a win. I think this past year I’ve also become more aware of how long this recovery journey may take and that even if it doesn’t feel like I’m taking steps forward I am. I wish that some of my progress was more obvious and the results could be seen, but I think I’ll just have to wait a bit on that. But it’s a good thing that there isn’t a deadline to be recovered.

Next was a money related goal. I wanted to reduce my debt to be at a number that I had in my head. That reduction would have been about 25% of the debt I have and would have been amazing. I didn’t quite make it to that number, but I did get my debt down about 19% which is better than I have done before. This is also after getting a major reduction in my hours at one of my jobs. I went from 12-15 hours a week to 4 which cut my income down a lot. So to be able to reduce my debt that much and re-budget my life with the reduced money coming in is a big step. I wish I could have done more, but I also know that the circumstances weren’t easy and to reduce the debt at all took a lot of work.

I also set a goal to have a new PR in my 5K race. That worked out pretty well for me since I had a new PR at the one 5K I did this year. I had that PR on the course with the hills which usually slows me down. But because I had my running intervals longer that made up for any decrease in speed I had on my hills. To PR is awesome and I’m so happy that I was able to do that. But I was sad that I only had 1 race this year and that I didn’t have another chance to try to improve on that PR. Next year will be weird because neither of the 5Ks I usually do will be happening, but at least I know that I hit my 2017 goal for my races!

And my final goal for this year was to have more fun. I think I totally succeeded in this! I had so many Disney and Universal adventures with friends. I went to a lot of fun parties and just tried to have a lot of fun with the random things of life. And even though dating can be crazy and stressful at times, I’ve been having fun with that too. It does help that I’ve been turning all the bad stories into stories for my book so whenever I have a bad date I think about how funny it will be when someone else reads it. I haven’t gotten serious about anyone yet, but to have fun with dating is something that hasn’t really been in my past before and I’m glad that’s kind of my experience now.

Overall, I think I had more wins than non-successes with my goals. I might not have achieved everything I wanted, but that’s not really what goals are about. If they were all easy to reach then I didn’t set them high enough. I need to be striving for things and not reaching my goals does motivate me to do better. Look at my workouts as an example. I missed my goal in 2016 but far surpassed it in 2017. Missing that goal last year motivated me to do even better this year.

My next few posts will all be about what I’ve got in mind for 2018. I’ve got some big goals again that I’m thinking about and I’m excited to share them next week. But for now, I guess that’s a wrap on posts for 2017! It was a great year for me and I’m so grateful for you all following me on my journey! Have an awesome NYE (and please don’t drink and drive!) and hopefully we all have an incredible start to 2018!

Making My House Look Fancy (or Doing Some Upgrades For The New Year)

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I’ve been on a big cleaning and organizing spree. Maybe it’s because so many of my friends posted photos of their holiday decorations and I thought their homes looked much nicer and more grown-up than mine. Also, I know that things have gotten a bit cluttered lately and I know how easily that can get out of control. But mainly, I just wanted to upgrade some stuff around my house because it was time to do so.

Things started pretty basic with getting a new shower organizer (my old one was starting to rust) and I got some baskets I could hang off of towel racks in my bathroom (I have a serious lack of storage in there). I also wanted to do some better organizing in my kitchen. I had won a blender at Orangetheory a while ago but hadn’t organized my kitchen to fit it in there. I had my old blender still in there and I knew that it was time to get rid of that. So I started to clean and move things around in my kitchen to find a space for the new blender and that got me to move things around more.

And of course when I started moving things around I realized that I needed to do some more shopping and organizing. My parents gave me a set of knifes over 10 years ago that I never opened because I already had a knife set. But since I was doing so many upgrades I decided to switch knife sets. And since the new knife set didn’t have a knife block, I had to get one. I ended up finding a really compact one that didn’t have pre-cut slots so I could use it with any knife set. I also found a new dish drying rack that was much smaller than my old one. Since my kitchen counter space is limited, it’s nice to have more space now that I’ve switched things up.

And the most recent upgrade was inspired by my first one. The new shower organizer was nice but since I could put more things it in I wanted it to look nicer. The variety of bottles in there made things seem more cluttered than it really was and I wanted to fix that. I’ve used nicer containers for soap before since the giant bottles don’t fit where I use them. So I decided to look into new containers for my shampoo and conditioner. I ended up finding glass bottles that looked almost identical to the face wash bottle I already had. I got those (I realized that I could have just gotten more face wash bottles, but it was much cheaper to get the new bottles).

I also had learned from past mistakes about decanting one liquid into a new container and got some funnels too. And while it was a bit slower than I thought to move everything into the new containers, the end result looks so nice!

I’m thinking about maybe getting more containers like this for other things I have around my house like lotions or my body wash (which is still in the original bottle in my shower). It really does look so much nicer this way when the containers are out and I don’t have somewhere to store them away. And I can get the bigger sizes of things now and then pour them into the smaller containers (which should save me a little money).

Of course, all of these upgrades did cost me money which wasn’t the best. I really wanted to save money, but once I got started on these projects I wasn’t really able to stop. I’ve got a few more projects in mind that I want to do, but I’m hoping that I can do them without buying more stuff. A lot of this organization has been trying to minimize what I have in my house. I’m aware that I have too much stuff at times and I need to work on that. But when I’m getting rid of stuff, it helps to also make the stuff that I’m keeping in my house look nicer.

My organization and upgrade project is an ongoing thing. But it’s nice to know that I’m going to be starting 2018 in a much nicer looking place that feels much more grown-up to me.

A Very Low-Key Christmas (or Not Spending My Day Off Doing My Usual Stuff)

I really didn’t do much at all this year on Christmas. It was a bit unfortunate that it fell on my day off of work because it didn’t feel like much of a break. In fact, it was a bit annoying at times because I would think of an errand that I would want to run like I do on a normal day off but couldn’t do it because everything was closed. Since I couldn’t do my normal day off stuff, I tried to not really focus on doing much at all.

Originally I was thinking about hanging out with some friends for the day with watching movies and getting Chinese food. I do that a lot and it is always a fun way to spend Christmas. But as it got closer to Christmas, my friends weren’t able to meet up. Some ended up having something to do with relatives that weren’t that far out of town. Others didn’t feel like doing anything that day and didn’t want to get dressed to leave their house (I don’t blame them). And other friends ended up getting the nasty cold bug that has been going around and I was happy that they weren’t going to come over to expose me to getting sick.

But spending Christmas alone isn’t that big of a deal to me. It would have been fun hanging out with friends, but I was able to just be lazy for the entire day and do everything that I wanted to without worrying about anything. It’s award screeners season and I’ve got access to all my digital screeners (the DVDs haven’t started arriving yet). So I spent a bit of my day watching some of the screeners so I don’t feel like there is a crazy rush to watch them all before I vote for the SAG Awards.

I also hadn’t had a chance to catch up on shows that I have been recording on my DVR or streaming so I started to watch some of those. And I love to read and wanted to get through some of my library books so I spent a lot of time doing that. And of course, I got my Chinese food. It was just delivery food since I was on my own, but I made sure not to overdo things. And once I was done eating, I didn’t want to keep the leftovers in my house because I didn’t want to keep eating when I knew I didn’t need to. So all my leftovers went in the trash as soon as I was done. It did feel like a bit of a waste of money for what I spent on food, but the wasted money is fine when it is helping me. Plus, I figure I save a ton of money on other things by having free movie screeners or getting books from the library so I didn’t have to feel too guilty.

I didn’t see anyone besides the food delivery guy the entire time. I spent the day in sweats with no makeup on and my hair up in a top knot. I was kind of a basic white girl for the day, but that worked for me. I didn’t feel like making an effort if I was just going to be home alone for the day and it is nice to not worry about things.

I know I need to do some of my regular errands during this week after work to make up for not getting them done on my day off, but I didn’t have a ton that I had to do anyway. And with my next day off being New Years Day, at least I know that most stores like grocery stores are open so I don’t have to put things off for another day.

I’m sure that for some people reading what I did for Christmas is a bit depressing. But Christmas isn’t really a holiday I’ve ever celebrated. It feels like just another day to me. And yes, I would have loved spending time with friends seeing movies and going out for dinner but I can also do that other nights. I like that I have my traditions on Christmas that can be done on my own or with my friends. But whether or not I’m celebrating the day with others I always seem to have a good time.

Holiday Workouts (or Getting Some Confidence Back)

This past week of workouts ended up being one of the better ones I’ve had lately. I didn’t expect that at all, but I love when my workouts end up surprising me and I have some great accomplishment! Things didn’t really get awesome until the end of the week, but the entire week was still a good one.

Monday’s workout was a 2 group workout instead of the 3 group that we usually have on Mondays. There was a focus on endurance, strength, and power but for me I did most of the treadmill work the same way. I did my normal walking speed and my base pace incline was 4% and my push pace and all out pace inclines were at 6%. The endurance block was longer push paces with the pushes increasing throughout the block. The strength block was supposed to be hills, but I just used my 2 inclines. And the power block was 6 rounds of 30 second all out paces and 30 second walking recoveries. That last block was so tempting to try to run, but I chickened out because I knew I’d be going to San Diego right after my workout and I didn’t want to be in pain if running was going to hurt my toe.

On the floor, we started with upper cuts with weights, Y raises on the straps, and heel touch abs. The next block was upright rows with weights, bicep curls with weights, and skaters. I’m getting a lot better with the skaters and that surprises me since so much of it has to do with balance on one leg. I struggle with most single leg stuff, but somehow I’m not having as much trouble with the skaters as I do with the other stuff. And the last block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and going down 100 meters each round. And between each row we had frogger squats. None of my rows were amazing times, but they were all pretty decent and within the range I like to be in.

Wednesday was a strength and endurance day. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and 2 blocks on the floor and we switched between each block. Both of the treadmill blocks were similar with 4 rounds of 90 second push paces followed by 45 second base paces. Both blocks also ended with a 1 minute push pace to a 30 second all out. But in the first block we were supposed to increase the incline each round and on the second block we were supposed to start at a higher incline and decrease it each round. But I kept my same plan with just 4 and 6% inclines. I did try 8% for a bit but it felt a bit too high for me. It’s been a while since I’ve had the higher incline so I think I need to start working toward that.

On the floor the first block had single arm chest presses, bicep curls on the straps, plank low rows, and tricep pushups. The second block had tricep work, shoulders, double crunches, toe touches, and a 300 meter row. I tried to make up for my lack of strength (aka incline) work on the treadmill by going a little bit heavier on my weights on the floor. I hate that I feel like I’m not pushing myself, but I also know that recovering from an injury is always frustrating for me because I always mentally feel ready to be back to normal before I’m physically ready.

But after feeling a bit let down on Wednesday, I totally made up for it on Friday! First of all, I was very excited for this workout because I knew my coach, Bruce, would be wearing the Santa hat I got him 3 years ago. This was the 4th year of a Santa Bruce workout and I feel so happy seeing him wear the hat that I randomly got for him my first year at Orangetheory.

But the festive outfit was only the start to my awesome workout. We had a run/row endurance day which started with a 1 mile run. I knew that there was no way I would be getting a PR on my mile, but I decided to use this opportunity to see if I could get back into running. The goal was to do the mile with 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals but I didn’t know if I could do that or maintain it for the entire mile. But I wanted to see what could happen so I went for it.

It wasn’t an easy or pretty mile, but I think I did pretty decent. I was able to keep the intervals for the entire time except at the end I just kept running instead of adding in any walking. And I bumped up the speed at the very end because I wanted to see if I could be close to 14 minutes. Of course, after seeing what I got I was kicking myself that I didn’t bump up the speed sooner or went a little faster.

But considering that I hadn’t run in about a month it was a huge accomplishment to do any running at all, let alone do run/walk intervals for the entire mile! This wasn’t a PR, but it was one of my faster mile times so I was pretty excited about that! After the mile run, we had a 400 meter row. I was still catching my breath when I was rowing, so it wasn’t the best time. And because my mile took so long, I only was working on the next treadmill interval (which I did as a walk) before it was time to switch to the floor.

The first block on the floor was goblet squats, hop overs, and seated knee tucks. And the second block was lunges, pullovers, pushups, high rows on the straps, and running men. It was a tough floor block because each move was hard and the blocks were long. But I was trying to do the best that I could after the longer run and I think I was pretty successful on the floor work too.

After a really successful Friday, my Saturday wasn’t as great. It was a combination of factors including having some pain which was likely caused by the running as well as only getting about 2 hours of sleep (when I hurt I don’t sleep as well). It was a 3 group workout which did help because I wasn’t anywhere for too long. Each section had 2 blocks and we switched between each block.

I started on the treadmill and realized that it wasn’t going to be the best option for me. So within a few minutes I stopped the treadmill and headed to the bike to do that for my cardio. When I’m on the bike, I’m not as focused on the intervals but instead just trying to be consistent with my cadence. I know I didn’t get as much of a cardio workout as I would have gotten on the treadmill, but I also knew that if I had been on the treadmill it would have caused me to be in a lot more pain so I’m glad I avoided that.

On the floor, the first block was plank work, squats, and burpees. And the second block was arm swings with weights, mountain climbers, and lunge hops on the straps. And on the rower the first block had all out rows with recoveries. And the second block was timed rows with squats using medicine balls between each row. I wanted my rowing to be great, but it just wasn’t my day for that. I know that my workouts suffer a lot when I’m tired, but sometimes it’s not my choice to be tired and I just have to do the best I can.

This week of workouts will be a bit weird with my schedule, but I’m still getting them in. I’m excited to know that I’ve really done amazing with my workouts in 2017 and can’t wait to see what the last few workouts of the year have in store for me!

Just A Quick Christmas Hello! (or Back To Normal Blogging Tomorrow)

I know that my Monday posts are normally my workout recap, but since today is Christmas I just wanted to do a quick post to say that I hope you are all celebrating Christmas however you like to celebrate! I will be doing Jewish Christmas (more on that later this week) and will be enjoying a relaxing Monday!

It is weird to think that today is a holiday for everyone when for me it just feels like a normal Monday off. The only difference for me is that I don’t have a workout today and nothing is open. I usually do all my errands on my Mondays off, but this time I don’t know if I’ll even really be leaving my house to do anything.

My workout recap will be coming tomorrow, but I just wanted to have a quick message today to say that I hope you are having an awesome day doing whatever you love to do! And if reading my workout recaps is how you wanted to spend Christmas, I’m sorry. But I guess having that tomorrow will make your Christmas 1 day longer.

 

I Have To Be Political (or Hoping My Healthcare Stays The Same)

If you follow me on social media, you probably have seen that I tweet a lot about politics. I’m a Democrat, and I don’t always agree 100% with what Democrats say. But in a political climate like what we are in now, I feel more in line with my political party than ever.

It seems like politics are in the news more than ever now. That may be because things seem to be crazier than they ever have been. Also, the president seems to like to tweet out ridiculous things every now and then to make sure that he’s still in the news. Some of these tweets I feel are just to cover up something else that isn’t going to be reported, but I also feel like he just wants to make sure that there isn’t a lag in his press coverage.

I’ve become more politically active in the past year. Partially this is due to the last election, but I also feel more involved to the issues that are being discussed. I think some of feeling more involved is just being more educated by listening to a lot of political podcasts. But also it seems like so many things are personally affecting me in a way that they haven’t before.

When Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was terrified. It’s because of the ACA that I have health insurance that is 1/3 of the cost that it was before. Before the ACA, I was only eligible for insurance that was created for people with pre-existed conditions. Now that pre-existing conditions can’t be used to turn you away from insurance, I’m getting normal insurance that has better benefits and lower monthly premiums. I do still miss when I was on my dad’s insurance because everything was free then, but what I have now is much better than what I had when I started to have to pay for it.

I was so relieved when the repeal of the ACA didn’t pass. I know how important my health insurance is for me. I don’t have the simplest health issues and I need insurance. If I didn’t have insurance, I can’t imagine where I’d be now. If I hadn’t found out about my tumors and continued to take hormonal birth control, the tumors would have continued to grow and they could have ruptured. And I know I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor when I did if I had to pay thousands of dollars to be seen. But because I had insurance, it was $50 for that appointment.

I’m aware that there are problems in the healthcare system and I’m not denying it. But so many problems were solved when the ACA passed and I’m so grateful for that. But with the recent tax bill that will likely be signed by the president, the ACA might not exist the way it has. The president seemed pretty pleased to announce that the tax bill pretty much ended the ACA. And that’s not false. They removed the mandate that required people to have health insurance in this bill. And if people aren’t required to have insurance, healthy people won’t necessarily get it. And that only leaves sicker people (like me) using it and that makes everything more expensive. If there aren’t people paying monthly premiums who don’t use their insurance that often, there’s nobody to offset the costs of those who use it a lot.

As far as healthcare goes for next year, I think I should be ok. I already have the letter from my insurance saying what my monthly premium will be and my benefits are pretty similar as they were this year. Some of my benefits are actually going to be better. But I’m worried about what will happen in 2019 when there is a chance that fewer people will have insurance. I don’t want to think about how expensive things can get. I’m lucky because my parents help me pay my insurance (it’s still too expensive for me to afford on my own right now) so if the price goes up they will still help me. But it still is making me think about trying to prepare for having worse insurance again.

Fortunately, my IUD is still good for another 9 years so I don’t have to worry about that for a while. And hopefully my tumors will continue to shrink so I don’t need surgery. But the idea of having bad insurance again has made me wonder if I should have surgery to remove the tumors next year. I don’t think I would do that because I’d rather not have surgery, but it’s still a thought in my head. If I needed it no matter what, I would do it without thinking too much about it. But since it’s still a gray area, I don’t know what the right move would be for me. I won’t be making a decision until I see my surgeon again in October unless something crazy happens to me, but I know I’ll be thinking about it until then.

I’m really hoping that my fears about my health insurance don’t come true. Maybe a lot of people are going to be so happy that they have any insurance when they didn’t have it before that they will keep it. The enrollment numbers are showing that healthcare enrollment is close to what it was last time despite the enrollment period being cut in half and almost all the advertising money to tell people to sign up was taken away. People have been pretty good about sharing online to remind others to sign up and that seems to be working. I don’t know if the president really wanted people to forget to sign up so he could say that people don’t like insurance or what, but if the numbers are almost the same as the last year they won’t be able to say that people are unhappy.

I know that this is a bit of a rambling post. I think I’m still in shock about a lot of what is happening in politics now. There are some people who didn’t understand that there was something in the new tax bill designed to take down the ACA until the president was sharing how happy he was about that. The new tax bill hasn’t been signed by the president so maybe there is still hope that things can change. But no matter what happens, I know that I have to continue to be political and to share my voice. If someone wants to tell me that healthcare doesn’t matter, I want them to know my story and why it matters to me. I won’t stay silent on an issue that I feel is important. I know I have done that for far too long and I can’t keep doing it.