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August in Review

Hey there! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic Thursday ūüôā

If you remember, I set some goals for myself at the beginning of the month. Now that it’s September (holy crap), I figured it’s time to take a look back and see how I did! Won’t you join me?

Fitness 

  • Stick to half-marathon pre-training plan. Check! I only missed a few runs here and there, which is 100 percent okay in my book. I need a plan that allows flexibility, and this definitely does. Plus, I’m only in pre-training mode right now. Official training begins Monday, so I aced this goal with ease.

  • Incorporate more strength training.¬†Eh…not so good. I only did strength training twice, maybe three times this whole month. That’s so sad. I used to lift three to four days a week. I’m definitely going to make this a goal again in September, but break it down a little more so that it’s attainable. I think if I write it in my actual half-marathon training plan, that’ll help.
  • Push myself on speed.¬†Win! I have definitely been pushing myself to run at both faster and more consistent speeds. I used to average a 10:00/mile pace and now I steadily stay at a 9:30/mile pace when I’m running at a comfortable pace. When I do a speed workout, I range between 7:30 and 9:00, depending on the distance and how much I’m pushing. I want to continue this into September and increase my speed even more.
  • Continue spinning and incorporate more yoga. Half-check. I definitely kept up with spinning – I go once a week, per my plan. I also did a lot more yoga. I wanted to do it once a week, but that didn’t always happen. I say I made it three out of the five weekends in August. So maybe I get a three-quarters check? Yes? Maybe?

Nutrition & Health

  • Cook dinner.¬†Hahahaha. Unless we count last night’s extravaganza, this was a total fail. I don’t think I cooked a legitimate meal the whole month. Unless you’re like me, and consider pasta in a bowl a legit meal. Whatever, it’s excellent carb-loading and I’m not fancy. I would say I’ll make a conscious effort to drastically increase this next month, but Dustin’s moving in soon, so I know it’s not gonna happen. He’s the cook in this relationship. Perhaps I’ll consider cooking once every other week. That’d be progress!
  • Sleep more.¬†Excluding this week, I get a check! I’ve been putting my computer away at 11p.m. nearly every night, which is exactly what I wanted to do. This week was really busy on the work front, so it wasn’t feasible. I still get a check. I said so ūüėõ

  • Take my daily vitamin. 100 percent yes! I have taken it every. single. day! I put it on my vanity where I get ready in the morning so I see it and just take it while I’m putting myself together for work.

Life

  • Get a full-time job.¬†Umm, fail. I’m still working on a freelance basis and still searching for something more permanent because like I said, I need that health insurance. I did just have an interview for a part-time job though that I’m really hoping pans out. Fingers crossed!
  • Buy my personal training certification books.¬†Check! I have all three books in my possession and I’m ready to start studying! I have to tell a little story here though: after I posted my August goals, one of my creative writing professors from college, Donna, messaged me on Facebook and told me she wanted to send me an Amazon gift card to help purchase one of my books. She said she was proud of me and told me to consider it an investment in my future. How sweet is that?! She already influenced my future so much because of everything she taught me, and now she’s allowing me to expand my knowledge even more. My heart swells at her generosity and it just goes to show how wonderful my school is. You don’t always get professors who care about you even after you’ve left with diploma in hand. I’m so thankful for them. Thank you again, Donna! ‚̧

  • Establish a blogging schedule. Mehh. As August moved along, I realized this wasn’t a feasible goal and basically gave up. Right now, my work schedule is too busy for me to try to blog any other time of the day. I work out in the morning, work all day (most of the time I eat lunch while at my desk), attend events for work or blogging in the evening, blog, then sleep. There’s not too much wiggle room. Perhaps there will be later on, but for now I have to stick to the late-night posting. Fresh stuff for you to read in the morning!

That’s it! I think I did pretty well and I had a pretty fantastic August. I’ll be back tomorrow with my new goals for September!

What goals did you have last month? Did you meet them? Tell me!

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Fitness Passions

Fellow blogger Julie, over at Peanut Butter Fingers, posted a fun survey pertaining to things you’re passionate about. I decided to answer the survey, but make mine all about fitness! Drum roll, please…

Four TV shows I watch during cardio:

  1. The Biggest Loser
  2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  3. Dancing with the Stars or America’s Best Dance Crew
  4. America’s Next Top Model

Four things I’m passionate about:

  1. Testing new workouts.
  2. Outdoor activities (hiking is my favorite!).
  3. Training and helping others reach their fitness goals.
  4. Fighting cancer.

Beautiful survivor cake from RFL 2010.

Four things I’ve learned in the past:

  1. Don’t let the past hold you back. Who you were back then doesn’t define who you are today.
  2. Always be open to change. You never know what amazing things will happen.
  3. Communication is key. You need to know your limits and clients need to communicate with me to help me determine theirs.
  4. Find your reason. No matter what it is or who it is that motivates you, your passion is what’s going to push you past what you thought was possible.

Four things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Graduating in May and looking for jobs to moonlight as a personal trainer.
  2. The half-marathon I’m going to run in April.
  3. The triathlon I’m going to compete in this spring.
  4. Relay for Life at Oswego State to raise money all night to fight cancer.

Four things I love about winter:

This one’s tough for me because I’m not a huge fan of winter, but here’s what comes to mind…

  1. Ice skating.
  2. No humidity.
  3. Snow shoeing.
  4. Kisses under the mistletoe. (Did you know kissing for one minute burns 26 calories?)

It’s your turn! What fitness things are you passionate about?

Learning from November’s Magazines

As an obsessed magazine subscriber and purchaser, I constantly forage through as many as I can get my hands on to study layout, design, and of course, look for good content. While¬† I read about 15 different titles a month, there are a few favorites that I always make sure to read cover-to-cover. Of course, they’re all health and fitness related! So, what did we learn this month? Here are three top¬†things I picked up, one from each issue.

1. We have the right to bare arms.

If you couldn’t tell yet, I’m a huge fan of Bob Harper, a personal trainer on The Biggest Loser. I love his personality, the way he connects with clients, and the workouts are sheer torture. I have all of his latest workout DVDs and each one is a doozy. FITNESS created an awesome upper body workout from various moves on Bob’s DVDs, and many of them I never would’ve thought of doing on my own. I’ve done it myself a few times and ran my clients through it, and so far they all love it! No hiding my arms in bulky sweaters this winter!

Added bonus: FITNESS’ Karla Walsh interviewed Bob to get the scoop on his vegan lifestyle and shared healthy eating tips with us!

2. The average smoker inhales 425 cigarettes a month, according to Self.

Wow. And¬†ew.¬†That’s all I can really say. Luckily, Self had a lot more to say.¬†Catherine Ryan wrote a great article that digs into a person’s “smoking personality,” gave them tips to quit, and provided some myth busters. Did you know that the average smoker spends $1,408 a year on smoking? In today’s economy,¬†the cost of cigarettes alone should be reason enough to quit.

Self also gave 10 reasons to quit, most of which I didn’t know before. If you don’t¬†want to quit for you, do it for your favorite pets! Secondhand smoke can lead to them¬†developing cancer.¬†Want to have kids someday? Smokers have a greater risk for infertility. This article is full¬†of interesting information — I immediately texted my smoker friends and told them to go buy it.

3. The average supermarket carries 46,852 items, and Women’s Health scoured the aisles to find 125 of the best packaged food for women. Now I don’t have to search through everything! I don’t know about you, but I hate the fact that grocery shopping takes me about two hours to complete whenever I’m buying a lot of stuff. There are so many labels to read and prices to compare. And I’m still a college student — I have homework to finish, meetings to attend, and work to do! Women’s Health did a great job of narrowing things down for me so I know which packages to not even give a second glance.

The categories are broken¬†into “sweets & treats,” “breads & cereals,”¬†“condiments,” “pasta & rice,” “snacks, crackers & chips,”¬†“frozen meals,” “drinks,” “fruits & veggies,” “soups,” “dairy,” and “meat & seafood.”¬†Phew, I think¬†they’ve got it all covered! I’m not going to list everything they have, but let me just say, I’m glad they have Emerald’s Trail Mix – Tropical Blend¬†and Campbell’s Select Harvest Light Italian-Style Vegetable Soup — they’re both staples in my house. Now that I have this list, I bet I’ll be able to transition my boyfriend over to some healthier meals!

Each magazine has a ton of other great articles (FITNESS’ “Power Surge,” Self‘s “Lose weight like a guy” and Women’s Health‘s “Is your health on the line?”), so make sure you go out and snag a copy!

Have you read these issues yet? What did you like about them?