“Nobody Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I came across this tonight and it was one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I’ve seen in a while. Warning – it will make you cry!

It puts things into perspective and reminds us just how fleeting life really is, so remember to treasure and appreciate every little thing. I for one am guilty of sometimes focusing on the negative and things I lack rather than realizing how lucky I am for everything I do have.

Oh, and every single woman out there is beautiful, no matter what. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. Another good reminder that I need every now and then, as I’m sure most of you do too.

http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2013/02/09/model-with-terminal-cancer-stuns-in-parisian-photo-shoot/

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I’m a Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

So remember how I went on that rant yesterday about not being able to touch my toes? Well guess what? I TOUCHED MY TOES!! And I got it all on video. I can seriously count the number of times I have been able to touch my toes on one hand. Once was after going to bikram yoga for 1 month straight at the end of class. The other time was actually for .5 seconds at Hip Hop Yoga the other day, but again, that was in a heated room and I was all warmed up from class. Today, though. I knocked out both the Level 2 of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, and did ZuzkaLight’s ZWOW 53 half-assed which had stretching components throughout the workout, and I noticed that I touched my toes while sitting on the ground with my feet straight out in front of me. Ecstatically, I jumped up and immediately attempted to touch my toes standing up and I did it! Several times! Usually if I do touch my toes, I cannot reciprocate it right afterwards to save my life, but I did it! Progress and change is possible everybody! It is a slow and frustrating process, but I am super excited about what this will bring and do for me in my fitness journey and especially in yoga! Yay!

I also made a Coconut Ginger Chicken dish in between studying for school a bit today from 1fitfoodie which consisted of 5 ingredients (coconut milk, chicken, sweet onions, ginger, and coconut oil). It was super easy, but it was a little bland, so I threw on some ground black pepper and chili flakes (I throw on spicy chili powder or flakes on EVERYTHING I eat regardless – I love my food SPICY!) and it made it slightly better. And I also threw together my friend’s homemade hummus recipe. Again, pretty easy with a few ingredients!

I’ll post up the hummus recipe some other time.

What did you do on this snowy day? (Which I’m affectionately calling “Captain Nemo, 20,000 Leagues Under the Snow” in a way to be original and classic. ;))

Oh and PS – my friends are signing up for the Boston’s Run to Remember half-marathon and they want me to do it with them. I did the 5 mile run last year (which was my very first race ever!) and I totally considered doing a half marathon this year as one of my new years’ resolutions but I am terrified. I am a very slow, terrible runner and I am absolutely miserable whenever I do run. But I feel like this would be an amazing challenge. Any tips and recommendations out there? Should I do it?!

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

So this quote has been a recurring theme throughout the week. It came up on instagram Monday, and I kept it close to me throughout the week whenever I went through something difficult. It applied a lot when I took my first hip hop yoga class Tuesday at 2 PM at Back Bay Yoga.

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I’ve actually kept up with a weekly yoga practice for a couple of months now. Honestly, I’ve never really loved yoga and it’s very difficult for me most of the time because I am extremely not flexible. And no, I am one of those people who exaggerate and claim to not be flexible, yet still be able to touch my toes. I cannot touch my toes to save my life. I think I have a straight lower spine and/or really immobile lower back muscles issue + tight hamstrings + tight hips, a deadly combo. I tried out hot yoga for 2 months one summer a number of years ago, and it definitely improved my flexibility, especially going everyday, but I still cannot ever touch my toes. Whenever I am in a yoga class, I listen to my body and only go to my limits. I know I will never be able to do some beautiful yoga poses due to my limited flexibility, and I’m okay with that. I have actually seen quite an improvement in my practice, especially the mental part where I fight through and try to hold a really difficult pose, going way past my comfort zone. In the past, I usually wimped out and went straight into child’s pose whenever something was hard, but nowadays I really see myself trying to hold on and stay with the class.

Back to Hip Hop Yoga. I had heard about this new Hip Hop Yoga craze going around Boston, and I had been wanting to try it out for some time. I saw that Back Bay yoga hosts a 2 PM Community Class every day for $5 cash. It was a great deal, and thanks to my exam schedule, I had the opportunity to go check it out (I usually have class from 9-4 or 8-4 every day so I normally wouldn’t be able to go). I thought it would be a nice, fun and interesting class and that it would count towards being more of an active rest day in between my Crossfit classes on Monday and Wednesday. Boy, was I wrong. It was actually held in a heated room, and some of the poses we had to hold were a lot more difficult that I had anticipated (I’m talking to you runner’s lunge). My yoga mat was also quite slippery and I was slipping like crazy during downward dog (my most hated pose in yoga), so I had to eventually use a stretch band on my mat to hold it. My hands and feet sweat like crazy during any yoga class and so it’s extremely hard for me to hold downward dog for a long time. The instructor was Kimberly Rajotte. She was great as she really took the time and made sure to ask about any injuries in the beginning of class. She walked around the room the entire time, but she didn’t do any hands-on adjustments for anybody. I personally am a fan of when instructors do that, but I understand that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea so it’s not a big deal that she didn’t. At the end during our savasana meditation, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep and woke up because I snored really loudly. Embarrassing… 😛

Every time I think yoga on a particular day is going to be nice and easy, it always ends up being the most challenging class. It’s probably also because I am always doing high intensity workouts usually a day or two before. So I would definitely consider yoga a workout as it manages to constantly surprise me with how challenging it is.

A number of weeks ago, I also managed to go to BeWell’s “Speaking Sam’s-crit” waterfront yoga class with a few friends from class. The instructor was Joanna Benevides and I personally loved her!

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Her class was structured extremely well and flowed very smoothly. I was again very tired and sore from Crossfit and pole classes (more on that later) from the week before, but I was inspired to push myself thanks to Joanna.

So thanks to many different stores and programs throughout Boston, there are always a ton of free yoga classes available throughout the city and I am grateful for it, as it is giving me the opportunity to have a consistent yoga practice going, and it’s opening my eyes more to how beneficial yoga is to all aspects of your life. And it also helps me work out in a different way and allows me to get a good stretch in between all the other types of workouts that I do.

For more information about all the many different free fitness classes offered throughout Boston, check out Jess’ blog Little Miss Runshine and look under Fitness – Free Bos Fitness. I love that she has organized all the different classes offered and I can go to one page to keep track of it all! She was also one of my inspirations to start a blog, so thank you Jess!

So again, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, out of your box, and try something challenging or scary to you. It’s a great way to grow!

Happy snow day to those in the New England area! Stay safe and warm out there.

CrossFit

So I officially joined Reebok Crossfit Back Bay a couple of weeks ago after trying out the On-Ramp program. I had experienced a few free trials last fall, and then I got into watching a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of CrossFit videos on Youtube, so I finally decided to try On-Ramp. I had initially though that’s where my CrossFit journey would end as it is quite expensive, but after the first week, I was hooked. Then the last day came and went and I was at quite a dilemma. I loved CrossFit and it was something completely different that could help me push my limits and help me reach new stages in my fitness, but I was painfully aware of how much money and time commitment it required (and being a full-time grad student, both are lacking in my life). So, I considered it over a weekend and I asked my mom to help me pay for the monthly 2x/week student rate as my birthday present. I figured it will be worth it and benefit me in the long run because I only have one body, and I should be treating it right and get into the best shape of my life in my 20s. It’s my 3rd week as an official member and I absolutely love it. I actually went through a break-up right before I started my membership, so it has been a good outlet for me to just throw myself into in order to help me get over my ex. I know, I know. That seems really weird. I just went through a break-up so what do I do? Do I sit there and eat ice cream and watch romantic movies and cry all night? (Which I might have done ONCE :-P) No, I joined CrossFit. But I’ve never been one to be “normal” in any sort of way anyways and I like that about myself 🙂

I know CrossFit has received both a lot of support and a lot of criticism. I’m personally a fan because It helps people of all fitness levels get out there to try and move and do their best, no matter where they are. Yes, it can be intimidating being a novice, but I think it’s inspiring to be surrounded by such amazing fit people. It helps you push and want to become a better, faster, stronger version of yourself.

The most interesting thing about CrossFit for me, is the “mental toughness” that it is slowly but surely building in me. It is tough to push yourself to the limits again and again; to fight through and make yourself do the last couple of reps when every cell in your body just wants you to give up. But I am doing my best, giving it my all, and I’m getting the workouts done. The mental part is half the battle. I’ve already improved by successfully doing my first ever double under last night, and managed to even do a handful throughout the night! I can’t wait to be able to rock them out continuously. I like that it’s not just about strength, it’s also about skills and agility. A jack-of-all-trades kind of workout program if you ask me.

I completely admit that I might have been predisposed to liking CrossFit because my favorite type of and go-to workouts are HIIT (high intensity interval training) already. After discovering BodyRock and Zuzana a couple of years ago, I fell in love with the quick, high-intensity, efficient, bodyweight strength format of it. (I am now dedicated to Zuzana and her new channel on YouTube – ZuzkaLight – check her out! I love her positivity and motivation. And it’s amazing that she offers all that she does completely free!! But I digress…)

So, doing the CrossFit style of workouts was more “natural” for me (it helped that I was at a pretty good level fitness-wise going in), but I am also new to the Olympic weight lifting component of it. I’ve never done any sort of real strength training or weight lifting before, and I was actually quite interested in starting it right before I tried CrossFit. So I’m very lucky that CrossFit has catered to my workout style perfectly. I am getting stronger and making gains every week!

If you’re even the slightest bit interested in trying it out, contact a CrossFit box near you. Almost all of them offer a free trial class catered to the newly curious. It’s free so it can’t hurt (well, actually, it probably will. During the workout and days after when you’re sore – but hey, it’s a good kind of pain 😉

I’m the kind of person who will try anything once (maybe even two or three times) just to experience it for myself and form my own opinions about something. It keeps things interesting, and keeps me challenged. It helps me grow as a person overall, and add’s to my life experiences, which are priceless. So go out and challenge yourself with something new or scary this week (CrossFit or not). I dare you 🙂

Check out the links below for my CrossFit box, and to Zuzka Light’s YouTube channel!

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Pilates Bootcamp with Jennifer Phelan Pilates!

Pilates Bootcamp with Jennifer Phelan Pilates!

This morning, I attended a complimentary Pilates Bootcamp class run by Jennifer Phelan of Jennifer Phelan Pilates! It was held inside Quincy Market and sponsored by Faneuil Hall. I think it’s awesome that such a historic, popular tourist visiting center opens its doors to hold a free workout class to support health and fitness awareness! I was feeling a little sore from Crossfit on Thursday (more on that later) but I pushed through as best as I could. Jennifer kicked my butt and I felt the burn, especially in my shoulders! She is a great instructor and I love her countdowns to help me hang on in there for just a few more counts! I hope to one day take one of her legendary classes (especially her “Best Exercise Class in Boston” Pilates Barre!) Click on the photo to be directed to her page and learn more about her!

Here We Go.

So I have been considering starting a blog for a little while now and I have decided it is time to take a leap and try something crazy like this and put myself out there. I’ve managed to become acquainted with quite a few Boston-based bloggers via various social media outlets and I wanted to see what all the hype was about! I am also aware of the platform of blogging and certain priceless opportunities to experience some wonderful things here in Boston and what better way to get involved and meet some awesome people along the way?!

I grew up writing in a journal every single night, and I found it to be a great source to just vent and release anything and everything that was pent up in me, whether it was happiness or anger. I am hoping this blog will offer something similar as I commemorate memories and experiences so that I can look back on those times and fondly remember everything I went through.

My life is currently extremely busy as I am in my most rigorous and demanding semester of dental school, but I make time to get my workouts in. I still consider myself a novice in the fitness world but I will always give my best to any workout I do, and I think that’s important in anyone’s fitness journey. Everybody started somewhere, and so this is still my beginning. Hopefully, I can continue to grow and challenge to push myself further and hopefully you can join along and share in that with me.

So please be patient with me as I am not the best writer, and I’m still trying to figure out how to customize and make my blog more aesthetically pleasing. But stay tuned because there’s a lot more posts to come!