Tag Archives: exercise

How I Self-Care

In my line of work, people talk a lot about self-care to ensure that you do not forget to take care of yourself while being so wrapped up in taking care of others. Now that I have worked at my job for over a month, I have started to notice changes in my self-care routine. My nightly journal entries are often rushed. Sometimes there are long lazy lines my pen made as I started to doze off mid-sentence. If I exercise twice in one week, then it’s considered a good week. I eat unhealthy food late at night. My body struggles to recover from staying up all night for work. I find that I spend most of my days off inside, behind a computer screen. It has been weeks since I have done something for fun with friends. My job is going great, but my self-care is not. 

All of the self-improvement goals I thought were firmly implemented into my life have been thrown off balance by my new employment. There are a little more than three months until I turn 24 and, by then, I want to be on the right track in terms of my mental and physical health, my social life, and my rate of creative output. Hence, I think it is fitting that I update my goals to reflect my self-care goals. I want to be able to work full-time and also really focus on my own well-being.

The following are preliminary ideas I have for a quality self-care routine:

1. Pack healthy food to bring for work. With my current schedule, there are five meals I have to eat at work per week (one lunch, three dinners, and one breakfast). The breakfast is pretty easy to skip or to get away with just eating a piece of fruit, so it’s really those three dinners and one lunch about which I’m concerned.
a. Bring a healthy entree, but also bring healthy snacks in case there isn’t time for a full-            blown meal.
b. Make a salad from the salad bar and eat a vegetable side dish to satisfy your appetite               long enough before you get a break.
c. If the dessert looks like it’ll be really worth it, then eat a few bites or half of it.

2. Make plans with people for your days off. Find the people in your social network who may be free at any time during your free days and make a plan. See a movie. Get coffee. Get lunch. Go bowling. See a play. Something.
a. If no one is free, plan out your day doing something that is productive. Clean your                    room. Go to the bank. Go to the doctor. Complete a task that has been looming over                your head.
b. Additionally, make plans to do something that just makes you feel good. This can be              watching a TV show or lying outside or going for a bike ride. You name it. There are                  ways to be absolutely happy and content that are not dependent upon others.

3. Exercise as often as you can. Something I have discovered about myself is that I feel so good after a workout. It gives my whole day a brand new, shiny outlook. Based on my current schedule, my exercise schedule should be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before lunch, and then Saturday during my break at work.
a. Sign up for a fitness class on your day off or before 1:30 on weekdays to meet new                   people and peer pressure yourself into the workout.

4. Leave work at work. In other words, be completely present in work while at work, but leave it behind during my days off. Beyond a few sentences on how my day at work was, it should be out of my mind so I can relax.
a. Check work email once a day, but not before bed! This should reduce the frequency                of work-related dreams.

5. Use overnights for creative output. I’ve already started a few experimental writing projects during my two overnights so far. I would love to continue this, as the overnight is a time when I’m not supposed to be doing anything else. I can’t exercise or go outside. It’s the perfect time to sit behind a screen and write something!

6. Use those 66 hours well. Sometimes, it feels like I’m working ALL the time, but it’s not true. I did some quick math and discovered that I have 66 awake hours per week that I can use in whatever way I want!

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Before Picture

I’m about to do the 30 Day Shred and I can’t wait to see what Jillian Michaels has in store for me! Even though I’m doing better than ever on eating healthy food, I still have a looooong way to go when it comes to fitness and strength training. Hopefully by the end by the end of this I’ll have some muscles to show off to all of you!

(A picture of me without a shirt on makes me a little self-conscious, but I’m going for it!)

Carolyn 110 Aug 18 2013

Health: Recommitment

Can you believe that I’ve barely started this self-improvement blog and I’m already failing on one of my main goals (health/fitness)?

Weather has been very hot where I live and my parents refuse to turn on the air conditioning unless the temperature is 90 degrees or higher three days in a row. So (even though I know this is awful), I have not been exercising. (It’s not an excuse; I faint easily in the heat.) After work, I lounge around the house feeling miserable from the humidity and I’m completely unproductive, but that’s another subject entirely.

The past few days, I have slowly started falling off the healthy eating bandwagon. Well, I’ve been falling off this wagon pretty much ever since I started eating dairy again. Today, I had 300 calories worth of dark chocolate-covered almonds, 600 calories worth of deep dish cheese pizza, and a 100-calorie chocolate fudge cookie. Altogether, that’s a whopping one thousand unhealthy calories. Obviously, there are going to be struggles on the weight loss/healthy eating journey. My issue, really, is caving in to all the crap just because I ate one unhealthy item. July 3rd I ate pizza and then I just…didn’t really stop since then. I don’t want to have a highly restrictive diet because I know that I cannot sustain that in the long run. Additionally, I would probably be miserable because I love food. A lot.

So, here is my game plan for the next month:

1. Exercise when temperature permits. If the air is turned on, then use the elliptical, as well as floor exercises and weights. If it’s very hot, consider waking up for a run before the sun goes up.
2. Drink 4 bottles of water per day. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Seriously.
3. Consume 1200-1300 calories per day. 1200 with no exercise and 1300 when I do  exercise.
4. Weigh-in on Saturday. As usual. There’s no need to record it because there’s no way I could forget how much I weighed the previous week.
5. Prepare and organize healthy food. Look up healthy dairy-free recipes, prepare carrots in advance stored in tupperware, and look up healthy dessert recipes. I could never survive a healthy lifestyle change with nothing sweet!

There is still a lot I need to learn about maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Sometimes, I wish I could see a nutritionist or dietitian so I could have personalized instructions on exactly how I should eat so I can be as healthy as possible. I think having a supportive fitness and health-minded community would be really helpful to me at the moment. I know that there are a lot of healthy supportive groups on tumblr and Instagram. How about you, WordPress? Follow me and I’ll follow you. Let’s do this together!

Healthy Diet Check-In #3

Happy 4th of July, everyone! Now, let’s take a look at the damages.

Raisin toast with peanut butter (140)
Trader Joe’s health bar (150)
Gaterade (50)
Tortilla chips with guacamole (200)
Tofurkey hot dog with whole wheat bun (300?)
1 piece watermelon (20)
Vegetable kabob (100?)
Strawberry lemonade (60)
Pound cake small piece (50)
Two spoonfuls chocolate ice cream (50)
Culver’s frozen custard with Andes mints (300?)
1 cookie (150)

Total: 1570
Exercise:
3.1 miles (5K)!
Comments: I ran a full 5K without stopping (except for six seconds to take a drink at the two-mile mark). I am so incredibly proud of myself. Even though it was “only” three miles, I now name this as one of my biggest accomplishments in my life so far. I ran the whole time! ^_^ Also, this was a holiday, so I’m just thankful that I didn’t get up to 2000. Can you tell I just had dessert for dinner? Oops.