Tag Archives: healthy

SUMMER RECAP: Fitspiration

Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)

I think it’s about time I make a confession – something I haven’t been fully honest about to even some of my closest friends. During my senior year of college I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia, brought on by my already existing generalized anxiety disorder and mild obsessive compulsive disorder. 80% of the time, I look in the mirror and see myself anywhere from 20 to 60 lbs heavier. Some nights, I will still spend hours at a time poring over my facial imperfections in photos uploaded on Facebook. It’s only under very rare and specific conditions that I see myself accurately. And when I do, I end up spending the whole night crying.

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With that said, over the past few summer months a friend introduced me to the concept of fitspiration. It became popular after pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs started getting banned from Tumblr. The idea is to see “fitness” as the goal, not “skinny”. Since then, I’ve been eating a lot cleaner, and focusing more on toning. And although the number on the scale has remained the same, I can definitely see the change in my body. Most importantly, I’ve learned that being fit is not a fad that you do temporarily until you’re happy with yourself; it’s an entire lifestyle change.

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Three things I’ve recently added into my regimen are: oatmeal, biking, and light weight training. Every morning for breakfast, I used to have yogurt with granola. And while it’s a fantastic option, it doesn’t fill me up. And because I can’t take a break for a small snack on busy work days, I would always end up overeating during my lunch break. Oatmeal is plenty filling and contains soluble fiber, of which I otherwise don’t get much of throughout the rest of the day. It’s great for your heart and digestive system, and tastes so good with some fruit, walnuts, and a dash of brown sugar! But personally, I prefer the texture of the old-fashioned rolled oats over the all-too-mushy instant oatmeal.

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As for biking, my boyfriend and I go for about 5 or 6 miles every Sunday morning – usually in a local scenic spot like Alley Pond Park or Bayside Marina near Fort Totten. It’s a great addition to our weekly schedule, and it’s so much easier to get motivated to exercise when you have a workout buddy. Unfortunately, my old bicycle that I used to cruise around my college campus with is now a dilapidated mess. Not fit for riding anymore, I’ve been borrowing my brother’s. I plan to invest in a speedy new one in the near future, though. :)

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And last, but not least, is light weight training. It all started when my regular Zumba instructor was out for the whole month of August. The substitute incorporated dumbbells into our dance moves, and you can really feel the resistance and burn in your arms after a few minutes! I was able to score a weight set on Amazon for an amazing deal, so every other night I do a bunch of reps for a more toned upper body. And in the relatively short time I’ve been doing it, I can already see more defined biceps! I really want to keep this up, since it takes more work to get rid of the dreaded “bra bulge”. Wish me luck!
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Finals are killing me. DX

For the past couple of days, I’ve barely eaten. I spend about five or six hours straight each day looking over lecture slides and taking notes. I have trouble sleeping. Someone save me! D; On top of this, I have 18+ hours of office work this week and next. This is pretty much how I feel right now:

I can’t wait for my summer vacation to arrive! >.<; Thankfully, I only have two more exams left. I didn’t do as well as I was hoping to in my physics course – hopefully, Queens College will still accept my grade and let me take a summer session. In better news, I received a call for a followup interview for that waitressing position that I applied for last month! :D Oh, and I have a new header at the top of my page. It’s a little rushed, but I like it better than the last one. : )

Pictured above is the cutest Hello Kitty card that two of my residents wrote to me. They’re going to be living in a different building next semester, and just wanted to thank me for being an awesome RA. It really made my day when I found it taped onto my door last week. :’)

Since I really don’t have time anymore to eat on campus, I’ve just been making myself really quick snacks inside my building. I know this might sound really strange, but I absolutely LOVE eating sliced cucumbers in white vinegar. Just add a little (or a lot) of salt and pepper, and you’re good to go. It never occurred to me how few calories  are in this every time I make myself a bowl – only ~35! :o

In other news, I ran out of lotion the other day and had to quickly go out and buy a new bottle. I spotted a new product in the St. Ives section, and ended up buying it. :P Their new Naturally Indulgent lotion is so creamy! You can’t go wrong with the scent of coconut milk and orchid extract, either. ; ) The formula is non-greasy, too, so it’s perfectly safe to moisturize my acne prone and oily face with it in the morning. :D

While I was there, I also purchased two E.L.F. makeup brushes because they were so inexpensive – their Foundation Brush and Eyeshadow C Brush. I’m pretty satisfied with both. The foundation brush applies smoothly and evenly, while not leaving me streaky. And the eyeshadow brush is the perfect size for a light wash of color on my lids – I wish it picked up more pigment, though.

Anyway, I’ll leave you guys with this almost-too-adorable-for-words photo of a puppy that I found on one of my resident’s Facebook. It always makes me smile. : ) Until next time! ^o^

Healthier Choices

Before I get into my post, you guys should check out my boyfriend’s food blog – he just updated with the beer pancakes and Jack Daniel’s syrup that he and his friend Chris made the other morning! Click here to read it. :D

Anyway, since it’s the end of the month, it’s one of my responsibilities as a Resident Assistant to create a new bulletin board on my floor. This time, my theme was nutrition! Using fun facts and healthier alternatives to common foods, I think I successfuly got my point across. Unfortunately, there were no color printers available over the weekend, so I had to settle with putting up my beautiful photos in black and white. :'(

If you guys are interested in the information that I posted, click here to download the .pdf file! It’s just a lot of basic information that most people should know, nothing too in-depth. : ) My favorite part of the bulletin board, though, has to be the purple elephant cutouts that I made in the resource room!

Speaking of nutrition, I’ve officially lost 15 lbs since starting my Lose it! diet. : ) I feel great, and plan to keep on shedding the weight in order to be swimsuit-ready this summer! To be honest, it wasn’t all that difficult to get this far, but I know that it will get harder once my daily calorie budget shrinks even more. I may even start going to the gym again if I actually feel like I need to eat more than the 770 suggested calories per day. Lately, though, I’ve been content with just eating oatmeal. I bought two boxes at Target the other day, and am completely in love with the Peaches and Cream flavor!

One of the dining centers on my campus also sells various oatmeal variety packs, so for the past week or so that all I’ve been living off of. Not only are they delicious, but the fiber content is great, too! I don’t even need to take my fiber supplements anymore. : ) And for 130-160 calories per packet, I can’t complain.

McDonald’s Offers Healthier Options?

When I think of McDonald’s, I immediately have flashbacks to three things:
1) The role of Happy Meals (and the toys that came with them) in my childhood.
2) Going on long road trips and stopping by one to eat and use the restroom.
3) Watching Super Size Me in my high school health class, and feeling disgusted.

It’s no secret that McDonald’s has earned a reputation over the years for being the most unhealthy (although most popular) fast food chain in the country. To be honest, I haven’t really eaten at one since middle school. Since then, I must have missed all the changes they’ve undergone. Apparently, they’re targeting a more health-conscious audience now.

Yesterday, Michael and I had lunch at the local McDonald’s – I was very surprised with how many healthy options they offer now, compared to what the menu was like in my childhood! I ordered their new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal and Strawberry Banana Smoothie, both of which tasted better than I expected – they were actually really good! At first I was skeptical, but the nutrition information on their website convinced me that it was legitimate. Their marketing team does a great job at advertising their new direction, too.

I still try to maintain my Lose it! diet, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to stay under 790 calories every day. And although I’m not as strict with it anymore, it does make me feel great to choose healthier alternatives. I may actually consider becoming a pescatarian while I’m a school – mostly because they serve low-quality chicken & beef on my campus. What do you guys think?

Food Update! (via Instagram)

Some of you guys may not remember, but I once mentioned an app that I downloaded a few months ago called Instagram. It gives photos a nice vintage look. Most importantly of all, the app is completely free! They’ve since added some new filters now, too. Which effectively masks the fact that the front-facing camera of the iPod Touch sucks. >.<;

So I thought it would be nice to share some of what I’ve been eating both on and off campus using Instagram! I’ve really been watching my weight lately, despite already losing 12-13 lbs since starting the Lose it! program. My current daily calorie intake has been whittled down to a mere 790 calories. :'( Which I was shocked to see at first, but it’s been getting easier. Since I walk around campus every day for a total of at least 90 minutes, I earn myself an extra 200-250 calories to eat!

Something I’ve really been making a conscious effort to do is eat fish instead of any other meat, since they contain “good” fats and oils. Thus, I’ve been enjoying sushi pretty often on campus! The plate pictured above isn’t my favorite combination, though. I usually ask one of the sushi chefs to make me a fresh eel-tuna-cucumber roll topped with spicy mayo, along with 3 pieces of salmon sashimi. SO DELICIOUS!! <3

I’ve also been avoiding heavy carbs as much as possible. Although I firmly believe that eating ordinary salads is both boring and torturous, I find nothing wrong with eating a more interesting alternative! Pictured on the left is my shrimp taco salad that I had for lunch the other day. ; ) I never eat the tostada shell, though!

Of course, I still like to indulge in the finer things in life once in a while. For example, I went out to dinner tonight at Ruby Tuesday! Although I did order the healthy Creole Shrimp Salad as my entrée, Michael and I shared the 909-calorie Double Chocolate Cake afterwards. ; )

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Emergency Denim Run

Since I successfully lost ten pounds over winter break, half of my jeans were about a size too loose on me by the time I came back to school. And because of the weather, I’ve been wearing jeans daily. So I decided to buy a new pair last night! :D Of course, I was on the hunt for my most recent favorite trend: denim leggings. The bad news: my budget was only about $25 or less. Luckily, Aéropostale was having a sale and a promotion – 50% off all denim, and an additional 25% off if you donated an old pair to homeless teenagers through Teens for Jeans. But when I arrived at the store, they were all sold out. :'( I donated my old jeans anyway, because I’m a good person. :P

Luckily, I found a nice pair of denim leggings at Forever 21 for only $8.50!!! I dropped from a size 29 to a 27. : ) The waistband is elastic, instead of button-and-zipper, which I don’t really mind. Most of my shirts and tops fall below that point, so it won’t really be visible. The shade is very dark, almost black, and I really hope it won’t fade or shrink in the wash. >.<;

I then went to Target and spent the money that I just saved on deep conditioner and bleach for my hair. Since my roots are getting longer, I plan to lighten my hair sometime this week, so I might as well prepare with some sort of treatment. Since I’ve heard great things about the Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask, I decided to try it out.

When I got back to my room, I immediately took a shower just to sample it. ; ) It made my hair feel so incredibly soft and healthy afterwards! <3 Which is a huge deal, since the ends are pretty damaged. I plan on only using it two or three times a week, though. I would definitely recommend, especially since it’s so cheap (about $4).

Michael and I were also planning on eating at TGI Friday’s or Chili’s, too, but both were really packed. So we ate dinner at Lake Grove Diner instead! This was definitely the best turkey burger I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. The portions were huge! It was a great way to start of the semester with him, since we both love eating at diners. : )

Stay tuned for my next hair dye post this week! ^o^

Lose It!


For the past four weeks, I’ve been using an app on my iPod touch called Lose it! I wanted to wait and see if there were any results before posting about it, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve already lost about 7 or 8 pounds since starting the program. : )

As you guys may or may not know, I used to be clinically “obese” during high school – according to my doctor’s BMI chart, that is. The main reason for this was because I was diagnosed with PCOS. Over the years, I have learned to control it. I’ve since lost about 25 lbs, moving me into the “overweight” category. My goal is to move down one more BMI category to “normal weight”.

The premise of the app is simple: to log the foods you eat every day. Using their database, you can get a pretty accurate estimate of how many calories you’ve consumed. They even include the most popular restaurants, fast food chains, and supermarket brands! I even got my boyfriend to download this app, so we can diet together. :P

Lose it! claims that if I keep following their plan, I should lose another 25 lbs. by March 16th, 2011. : ) By that time, I may finally be able to menstruate regularly instead of this ‘every two or three months’ business. Here’s to hoping.