Tag Archives: goals

I’m a Size 0!

So, I’ve been shooting for getting back to 110 pounds since I was 15 years old and I am now 23. A few days ago, I just so happened to reach my goal right before a planned shopping excursion with my friend. Even though I had a pretty small spending budget, I decided to do something I have never done before: try on expensive dresses! The cheapest dress I tried on was $60, but that was the 30% sale price. The most expensive dress I tried on was $600 (I was almost too afraid to try it on after getting into the dressing room). Throughout the entire day, I tried on dresses from Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Theory, and Banana Republic.

Cute beaded dressAt Neiman Marcus, I tried on a beautiful Aidan Mattox dress in size 0. The 0 was the only size on the rack that wasn’t a 6 or 8 (sizes that I know are too big for me), so I decided that I would try it on. “This dress is so adorable,” I told my friend while waiting in line for the dressing room, “but it looks too small. I don’t think it’s going to fit me.” Imagine my shock when I slipped on the dress and it was not even a snug fit. There is extraordinary detail in the beading of the dress; it is absolutely stunning. Even though it hits just above the knee for me, I imagine the fit is intended for a few inches above the knee on a taller person. It’s tough being so short sometimes because mainstream clothes never seem to fit quite right!

Saks fifth ave dressAnother dress I really liked I found at the Saks Fifth Avenue store by the store brand Red in size small. The material was very flowy and comfortable, although I wondered if it was perhaps just slightly too big. If I purchased this dress, I would probably have to get it taken in a bit for it to fit me perfectly. Or perhaps it is supposed to fit exactly like this. It’s hard to tell, especially because this was not a petite-sized dress. I really like the design on the dress, the overall fit, the way it slims past my (wide) hips, and the blue, white, and black color combination. I’m also a big fan of the black sheer top part; nothing I currently own looks quite so unique. For some reason, I can imagine wearing this to a gallery opening or other similar evening event. I don’t remember the exact price, just over $100!

banana republic dressWe finally headed over to Banana Republic, which was our last stop of the day. I was overjoyed to find a small petite section with items that were really cute! 0P was the smallest dress, but there was a little extra material at my waist (notice the scrunched up fabric). There was no 00P to try on for comparison. I should note that this was my boyfriend’s favorite dress out of all of the ones I tried on, which is at least a little bit important. 😉 This dress was only $60 on sale and I probably would have bought it if I was not already purchasing a 0P black pencil skirt for work. $30 off the usual price is a significant discount!

Overall, I would say that I had an extremely successful day shopping at this brand new outlet mall in my brand new size. It felt amazing to try on dresses and just enjoy myself while hardly even glancing at the price tag. If nothing else, this helped me figure out what size I am in different brands, as well as give me more motivation than ever to become established in a career so that I can dress as well as I want!

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109.2

I am very excited to reveal that I have officially reached my goal BMI of 20.0 (it’s actually 19.9, but close enough). This is it! Now, all I have to do is maintain an active and healthy lifestyle to maintain my weight. If I gain a little, I will know that it is on account of my muscle mass and not new fat. I cannot explain how amazing this feels! 😀

I tried to take a picture of my feet on the scale with the number, but unfortunately my camera weighs about two pounds, so the picture wasn’t accurate.

Goals of Week 4

I had a little bit of a rough week because I discovered how hard it is to do it all. For example, when I’m working on job applications with tunnel vision, then I have no qualms about just grabbing whatever food I see that doesn’t take time to prepare. I also don’t prioritize exercise the same when I’m busy either socializing or working on my professional career. Any tips on how to actually do it all would be much appreciated!

1. HAIRCUT. (Beauty) Yeah, my hair still remains a little frizzy, wavy, long, and riddled with split ends. I have a weird thing with my hair where I don’t like getting it cut. I guess I’m pretty change averse about anything that’s out of the box. I’ve also never gotten a different haircut (except when I grew out my bangs in elementary school) and I’ve never died my hair. Hopefully this week will be the week to tackle this baby.

2. Brush twice and floss every day. (Health) It’s weird that this goal isn’t easier to relieve from my list. I brush every night without fail and I always floss now. This is a big improvement because I used to floss like twice a month (ew). I’ll work harder on establishing a morning brushing routine this week!

3. Lift weights regularly. (Health) I’m not ready to let this one go yet. I did weights three times, but I still don’t feel like I’m working myself hard enough. I will say that my last weight lifting session (if you can call that when I’m lifting FOUR pounds) was more productive than ever because I realized how much harder it was when I only waited 10-15 seconds between sets.

4. Read Game of Thrones. (Hobbies) I haven’t touched this book this week, but I have been reading Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace, a short story collection. I crossed off this goal because I think I need to re-define it into something more of a habit and less of a specific accomplishment. So…

4. Read every day. (Hobbies) I’m not talking about articles on yahoo! or Thought Catalog (no offense, TC). I’m talking about books, stories, and poems of literary significance.

5. Do not bite cuticles. (Bad Habits) This goal is officially my biggest fail of the week. The good news is that I have not bitten nine of my fingers’ cuticles in weeks. The bad news is that I have chewed the crap out of the skin next to my right finger nail. I mostly bite it because it’s sticking out, making it a big old ugly cycle.

6. Enter sweepstakes every day. (Novel Experiences) I’m not going to lie. This is, hands down, the most inane item on my list of goals. I know it’s stupid and silly and insignificant and a pretty bad use of my time. And yet… I entered to win several things last week, including tickets to Fiji, a Vitamix, an entry into the Chicago Half-Marathon, and an iPad Mini. All of these have been decided already and I didn’t win. I feel like I can’t take this off my list until I win, although if I really have made entering a habit, then maybe I should retire it. Let’s check in next week and decide!

7. Keep a food/exercise journal. (Health) I’m rocking this. I’m giving it one more week to make sure it’s a solid habit, then I can release it from my focus list. Sometimes I don’t have time to record the calories, but I definitely write down every single thing I put into my body, as well as all exercise.

8. Keep a positive things journal. (Personal) I’ve been going at this for ten days and I love it! For example, yesterday felt like a negative day because I lost my shirt on the stage at a school (long story). However, when I wrote in my positive things journal, I realized my day actually kicked ass (I volunteered at a south side school, received an incredible compliment from a volunteer, networked a TON at the volunteer event, bought five renowned hard cover books for $9 at a book sale, and explored a new neighborhood and new cuisine in the city with my friends).

9. Apply to every teaching job in the Chicago area you can find. (Professional) Now that I’ve gotten the hang of applying to jobs, it’s time to step it up. It’s getting to the point that schools are hardly putting up notices for jobs anymore. As a result, I need to make sure I apply to every single one I find.

10. Make inquiry calls about positions for which you applied. (Professional) This one is a little tough because there are a LOT of jobs I applied to weeks and even months ago. I have not had a single teaching interview or any feedback about positions being filled. Some employers specifically ask that you don’t call, but others don’t condemn it. I need to make inquiries to those schools that presumably allow phone calls.

11. Do not pick scabs or bite skin on lips. (Bad Habits) Okay, this is kind of like the cuticle one, so I figured I may as well focus on this bad habit, too. I’ve been doing decently the past few weeks without making a concerted effort, so hopefully I can knock this one off soon.

12. Establish a proper skincare routine. (Beauty) I’ve been winning with this in two ways since I started this: I always take off my makeup before bed and I wear sunblock almost every time I leave the house. I have not been winning at this in that I don’t really wash my face and I don’t use any skincare products (like moisturizer or exfoliating stuff).

Here are my accomplishment goals from the week!

1. When nail polish starts to chip, remove it and re-paint. (Beauty) I paint and re-paint my nails without dragging my feet now. I realize how incredibly easy it is to do, as long as I make a point to do it.

2. Early to bed, early to rise. (Health) I can’t believe I’m removing this from my list this early in the game, but this is really going well. Notice that in my “Health” goal tab, I specify that there is one exception to early to bed and early to rise: socializing. I broke my sleep schedule once this week and it’s because I went to my friend’s birthday party. I fell asleep at 4AM and then woke up at 6:45 AM to volunteer the next morning. You better believe I woke up at 10 AM this morning!

3. Write one-page journal entries. (Hobbies) You know what, I win. I’ve got this. My only exceptions to this are when I’ve stayed out late with friends and I do a quick quarter or half page. As long as I make up for it the next day or during the week, then I’m good to go.

4. Submit three job applications. (Professional) I applied to SEVEN jobs this week! Also in the professional realm of my goals, I did a two-day interview. Despite any lagging in the health department, I am proud of the solid job progress I made this week.

Have a fantastic week everyone! Be the best you. 🙂

Goals of Week 3

I can’t believe it’s been a full week already! Maintaining this blog has really helped to keep me motivated and held accountable for my goals, so I’m happy and very grateful to anyone who has liked or commented. You’re keeping me energized and I thank you. 🙂 If you’re curious, here is how I did last week.

1. HAIRCUT. (Beauty)I keep putting this one off because I’m very indecisive about what style I want. I usually just get a trim to get rid of dead ends with absolutely no styling. I also want to donate my hair to Locks of Love or Pantene, BUT I’m not sure my hair would be used because of those dead ends. Also, I would want to go to an expensive salon to get an awesome cut and styling, but I can’t afford that right now. Decisions, decisions.

2. When nail polish starts to chip, remove it and re-paint. (Beauty) I’m leaving this one on for one more week. I plan on re-painting tomorrow or latest Monday based on the faint traces of chipping now. I love painting my nails so much more now that I’ve grown out my nails more!

3. Early to bed, early to rise. (Health) I am seriously rocking this! Even though my summer job ended, I still go to bed by 11 PM and wake up at 7-something AM. This is going to stay on the list for at least one more week, though. This is a tricky one!

4. Brush twice and floss every day. (Health) I’ve made progress on this one, but I’m not ready to remove it from the list. I floss every day and I brush about every other morning (in addition to at night).

5. Write one-page journal entries. (Hobbies) I’m making progress on this, but I’m not quite there yet. My entries have been noticeably longer the past few days, but I still occasionally write and talk at the same time.

6. Submit three job applications. (Professional) I’ve been rocking this! I applied to a bunch of teaching jobs in one district, I was told I have an interview for next week that still needs to be scheduled, AND I went to a job fair. This one is probably not going to be removed until I actually get a job because applying always takes effort; it’s not second nature or a habit to apply. I’m upping the expectations here: three job apps!

7. Lift weights regularly. (Health) I did this three times last week with my five-pound weights. My arms are never sore the day after, but the most I’ve been able to do is fifteen reps at a time. I’ll go harder this week and report results!

8. Read Game of Thrones. (Hobbies) This is a book I started half a year ago, got to page 200, and put down because I was too busy with lesson plans. Now it’s time to finish it!

9. Do not bite cuticles. (Bad Habits) This one is going to be so tough, but I’m in it to win it. I’ve had this gross habit for way too many years!

10. Enter sweepstakes every day. (Novel Experiences) I should probably do this every day, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, if I want a shot at winning something by my birthday.

11. Keep a food/exercise journal. (Health) I found a moleskine journal in my desk and started recording my intake and outtake on Tuesday. Let’s see if I can make this a habit!

12. Keep a positive things journal. (Personal) I started this one a few days ago. I was originally going to do a jar, but I figured the journal would be more space-efficient. Also, I would like to be able to see that one positive thing for specific days in the future, I imagine.

(Drum roll): Here are the items I’m removing from my list!

1. Eat a multivitamin every day. (Health)

2. Remove all makeup before bed. (Beauty)

3. Drink LOTS of water. (Health)

4. Cook new, healthy recipes. (Health)

Note: Removing an item from my list means that doing the item has become a habit–almost something I don’t have to think about anymore. I just automatically do it. It certainly does not mean that I’m going to ignore doing those items anymore in lieu of new goals. If I slip up on any of the items I retired from my list, then they go right back onto my list the following week.

My Measurements

Today, July 19, 2013, I’m taking my measurements. I know that the scale doesn’t tell the full story. My ultimate goal is to have a BMI of 20.0, but BMI is calculated using weight and doesn’t take into account muscle. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to also look to my measurements for signs of progress! I decided I’d do this while the measuring tape was out because I was doing bra-fitting measurements. Side note: My band size was 29 and their smallest is 30; no wonder none of those Victoria Secret bras never fit me quite right!

Chest: 32 inches (I hope this doesn’t get any smaller!)
Waist: 25 inches (goal: 24)
Hips: 36.5 inches (goal: 34)
Thighs: 21.5 inches (goal: 19)
Upper arm: 9.5 inches (goal: 9)

Here is the website I used to help me find my measurements. I’m not trying to lose a ton of inches, but I do have a few goals in mind. If you’re curious to find your ideal measurements based on height, check out skinnythigh.com that tells you the ideal range. I have a small body frame, so my ideal would be the smallest measurements included. I don’t know how doable it is to reduce some of these (like hips), but I’m going to exercise and eat healthy. Any improvements will be superb!

I Ran the Whole Time

Every year since I can remember, my town has had an early morning 5K race right before the Fourth of July parade. Also every year since I can remember, I have slept in until about ten minutes into the start of the parade. I remember thinking, “How on earth can those people wake up so early? And how can they run, of all things, when the temperature is so high?” This year, I decided that I would find for myself by registering for the race the day before on a whim. I had already done The Color Run (see my entry here) and I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to level up!

stretch5kI woke up about an hour and fifteen minutes before the race so I could eat, drink, and use the bathroom. My biggest fear associated with running is having to go to the bathroom badly in the middle of a race! I ate a piece of cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter, which I thought sounded like a pretty good choice (I’m no expert on the best pre-race food). Next, my sister and I headed over to the start line, where we met up with our very dear family friend, Vanessa. This 17-year-old is a huge inspiration to me because she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about four years ago and today she’s cancer-free! What’s more, she joined the school’s cross country team and runs 5K races like no one’s business. Meeting up with her at the start of the race was the perfect thing to get my spirits extra high for the race. We stretched for a few minutes while chatting (from left: me, my sister, Vanessa). As you can see in the picture, I’m on the way to placing my palm flat on the ground for maximal stretch.

We joined the ~500 other people at the start line. Unlike The Color Run (which had ~50,000 people), there was only one wave. I knew to pace myself from the start because I had one main goal: not to be the last person finishing. My secondary “bonus” goal was to finish the whole 3.1 miles without stopping. I ran and I ran. My younger sister ran ahead of me after getting fifteen minutes into the race. I just kept chugging along, listening to my music, and fueling myself on bystanders who smiled, waved, clapped, and otherwise cheered me on. The water break was at the two-mile marker and I knew that I was nearing my record time for running without stopping. I kept going. Even though my jogging slowed down, I was not walking. I passed a few people. A few people passed me. I ignored the fit and trim mom pushing a jogging stroller past me on the left. I focused on me and my own internal rhythm. Toward the end, I had lost almost all of my energy, but I kept going on adrenaline. I felt fueled in a very unique way by the other people chugging along around me. I had thoughts, like “That woman has fat rolls in her thighs and she’s ahead of me!” and “That women looks like she’s 65 and she’s still plugging away!”

merunninggWhen I saw the finish line, I was overwhelmed by relief and triumph. I pumped my fist and yelled “Wooooo!” at my dad, who videotaped me as I crossed the finish line. At the last moment, I found strength inside of me that I didn’t know I had and I sprinted as fast as I could, passing up a woman who had been ahead of me for most of the race. After finishing, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment (and a little wave of nausea from pushing myself so hard). I did it! I actually did it! After reenacting crossing the finish line (my mom didn’t have my dSLR on the right function during the real thing) and grabbing a bagel and Gaterade, I revealed to my parents that I felt the challenge of running the whole 5K without stopping was one of the hardest things I had ever done in my entire life. I told them that getting a college degree was almost easier because I have never doubted in my life my intellectual ability to excel in academic classes. Running, on the other hand, was a whole different story. To me, this was the ultimate challenge of physical strength and stamina (even if it was “just” a 5K). And I conquered it! The first thing that came out of my mouth after finishing was, “I’m never doing this again!” but now I’m already thinking about when my next race will be. Now that I have overcome the major hurdle of the first big run, I’m ready for another round. Maybe next time I can even shave a minute or two off my time! What can I say? I’ve had a taste of running races and I’m hooked!

cross finishline

Goals of Week 2

Last week, I made a post about the specific goals that I would like to focus on that week. I was very successful in maintaining or completing several of them. Others, I still have not integrated into my routine (or I straight up did not do). Every week, I’m going to focus on certain aspects of my goals in working toward the “ideal me.” I know that some of these are really, really basic (“She doesn’t take off her makeup before bed? She doesn’t brush twice a day?”), but they’re little things that I need to improve upon.

1. Get. A. Haircut. 

2. When nail polish starts to chip, remove it and re-paint. Right now, I’m rocking purple nails with a nude pink  color on each ring finger. They’re still looking pretty sharp, but the latest I should get this done is Monday.

3. Eat a multivitamin every day. I’ve been doing really well on this, but I’m leaving it on the goals list for one more week to hopefully solidify the habit.

4. Remove all makeup before bed. I’ve been ROCKING this, but I’m also going to let this one stay on the list for one more week.

5. Early to bed, early to rise. This one is going to stay on the list for a while. Luckily, I never get to bed later than midnight and I wake up at 7 AM.

6. Brush twice and floss every day. I brush twice a day most days, not not every day. I floss every other day. Getting there!

7. Drink LOTS o’ water. I’m still getting there. I probably drink 2-3 bottles of water per day. I’ll continue to focus on this for at least one more week, probably more.

8. Write one-page journal entries. Okay, this one is really tough. I only wrote one one-page entry last week! This week, I will also focus on not talking on the phone to my boyfriend or skyping with a friend if I’m writing.

9. Submit one job application. I have no good excuses for this one. None at all. For me to get to this, I need to get over my frustration of having applied to so many jobs and not hearing back from any of them. I need to trust that I’m not wasting my time and that something will turn up for me. It has to. The first step is getting back into those applications!

10. Find a healthy recipe and cook something new. I’m really excited about this new goal that I’m adding this week! The rest of these are repeats.

11. Lift weights regularly. Because I have never really done this before, I don’t know if it’s possible to do every day or if I will get sore. This is also a new goal!

And, finally, here are the items that I can remove from last week’s list (drum roll):

1. Make and decorate cookies with royal icing. (Hobbies)

2. Study for two exams Saturday. (Professional)

3. Run a 5K. (Health)