Goals for the Week…

Plan. Execute. Repeat.

So I am finally back to my regularly scheduled program. Vacation was an absolute blast –  I sincerely needed it.  I had really missed my friends and just that silly interaction and back and forth that our group is just so wonderful at maintaining. Many of us had not really “rampaged” together since Summer. So like I said – it was a fun departure from my routine – but now it is back to GRIND TIME.

I have 40 days until my “Stage Day”, which is a goal that I have been building towards for some time now.  I also wanted to make some general changes to my life by an arbitrary deadline that I set – the Spring Equinox.  I like to start my seasons anew – so like I said…Spring is approaching so it is grind time. I spent part of the past weekend mapping out my short-term and long-term goals – and creating an execution plan.

This is the time of year when a lot of people give up – March rolls around and many of the “Resolutioners” start to fade away and slack off.  March seems like the longest month of the year to me. January is full of holidays. February has a holiday and is only 28 days. Then March comes and there are no holidays – and for some it seems cold, it seems long, and it just drags.

I take a different approach to March. For me – March is a “One More Chance” month.  Leap Years excluded – March follows the same date pattern as February, but you get 3 more days.  March is another chance – to keep working and building and executing – it is a chance to perfect whatever goal you began the year with and may have began to slowly falter in February. March is a chance to keep chiseling away at whatever old habits have thwarted you before.

So I woke up this morning – full of energy and ready to conquer the next 40 days.

Goals for the Week:

Mind: I have slacked on my mind training the past couple of weeks. I have been reading, but I have not been meditating and putting in the same amount of effort on my mental as with my physical. So this week I am diving right in – catching up with all my lectures, finishing up my reading, and most importantly spending some quiet time in between my thoughts.

Body: Go hard! I’m at the half way point of my contest prep so it is time to finish strong.  I have switched up my entire routine to avoid hitting a wall – so this week is about continuing my steady climb.

Balance: Continue to find time for friends and family. There is nothing like some time well spent laughing with loved ones to remind you of that essential element of your balance.  Next trip is a mini-vacation in April – so I just have to hang in there and squeeze in my social interaction when I can – post workout.

Goals for the Week…

Chain me down in silver...I NEED A REST DAY!

Chain me down in silver…I NEED A REST DAY!

Last week’s goals were pretty successful – with the exception of making it to a museum or gallery – the weather was dreadful on the day that I planned to go to the museum.

I must admit that I have to be more stern with myself about getting adequate rest and recuperation time – I enjoy what I am doing and so I find it hard to take breaks – but breaks are HEALTHY and the body and mind require downtime to heal.

So to facilitate meeting my “rest requirements” I brought back my bedtime rule (11 pm LIGHTS OUT) AND re-instituted Sunday Shutdown (no phone, social media, or gym – only rest, relaxation, and preparation for the week on Sunday). I had to all but chain myself down in silver – like a true Blood vampire – but I accomplished “resting” and I awoke this morning at 6AM rejuvenated, ready to workout, and mentally prepared to conquer Monday.

Goals for the Week:

Mind: Follow my bedtime rule. Without adequate sleep – I cannot maintain a balanced mind.

Body: Maybe it is the Arctic Chill and Wintry Mix that we have been getting lately – but I really desire a Bikram yoga class .  I am going to find a way to sneak one in – and it is going to hurt like hell since I haven’t practiced since September!

Balance: Get myself to a museum and honor my next rest day…which is Super Bowl Sunday – yikes.

Goals for the Week…

Time to put in WORK...continuous WORK!

Time to put in WORK…continuous WORK!

So it is that time again – for weekly goals and accountability.  The first week of the 2013 was BUSY! I preemptively began my training program which was scheduled to start today – but my final cheat treat for a loooong time was last night at my grandmother’s 88th Birthday Party.  I am not the biggest fan of cake or ice cream – but I do not mind ice cream cake. I couldn’t pass up fully celebrating with her and now I am officially 12 weeks out from my goal. So it is time to turn it up!

Goals for the Week:

Mind: Focus on my goals for the year and focus on my “bhavana” – which can basically be summarized as your brain’s version of “you are what your eat.”  So on my free time I will aim to put in some mental work rather than kill my time with television or other distractions…ahemm Facebook.

Body: I thought I was working hard before – but now it is time to put in work in the gym and in the kitchen. Six days this week. Strict diet. Strict workout regiment. No excuses. We are going Postal for twelve weeks:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays [me] from the swift completion of [my] appointed [workout].

Balance: Continue working on my Spanish – found some great refresher Podcasts.  Also, make some time for post gym social interaction –  just because I am not drinking alcohol and have a very strict diet doesn’t mean that I have to chain myself to my bed.

Goals for the Week

Just keep planting seeds of good intent that are aligned with your goals…

So far this week has started off exceptionally well. This morning I once again climbed out of bed at 6:30 while it was still cold and dark out, had my pre-workout matrix and got myself into the gym for a 500 rep back (lats and traps) workout – which took a little over 1.5 hours.

Last night, despite being incredibly jet-lagged, I managed to be present and attentive during my class, which dealt with psychological karma. When class was over at 9pm despite wanting to go home  and crash (or just sleep in my chair) - I dragged myself to Trader Joe’s, grabbed some groceries, went home, prepared my food for the rest of the week, and managed to get to bed by midnight.

Goals for the Week…

Mind: Focus on last night’s teaching on karma and catch up with the instruction that I missed last week. Really commit to absorbing all of the material so that I can live it and be more present and mindful when helping others within my sphere of influence.

Body: I am already at 4 gym/fitness hours for the week and have 5 workout days left in addition to basketball Thursday (I begin my week on Monday) – so I guess I will aim for a lofty 12-15 gym hours…after all I have Dutch Pancakes, beer, and spaetzle (German mac and cheese) to burn.

Balance: I have some great college friends coming into town this weekend whom I have not seen since April. I am insanely excited to see them; however, they have been forewarned that I am all for hanging out but they would have to pretty much water-board me with booze to get me to drink.

Goals for the Week…

20120909-231905.jpg

Autumn’s Somewhat Here: Falling into a New Routine

Last week went pretty much as planned – spent quality time with a few friends inside and outside of the gym. Although I allow myself three cocktails a week – initially I planned not to drink at all but then made an exception when my best friend was available for a spontaneous “Yo, I have babysitting, breast pumped for the night, and can finally have a night out in the City after being pregnant forever” drink. In all actuality, it was a great idea and necessary training/dry run for my upcoming vacation – where the final leg of my trip is at Oktoberfest in Munich.

I also had my first basketball try-out in about 15 years – luckily I still have my handle and jump shot and I made the team. My first game is tomorrow, so I am really looking forward to tomorrow night. The plan is that by incorporating basketball – my first love – into my conditioning and social interaction I will get to shake things up and allow me to do something that I truly miss…unless we lose because then I will just be angry and remember why I stopped playing when I got to college hahaha.

This week my schedule is jam packed! Therefore maintaining my new routine, which has been working for me thus far, is going to be put to the test.  So the plan is…JUST DO IT! THEN DO IT AGAIN!  I would also  like to enforce a bedtime rule – much of last week I managed to wake up on time but I was incredibly exhausted due to not falling asleep until after 1 or 2 am.

Goals for the Week:

Mind: Find time to breathe between all of my social obligations and personal endeavors. Be fully present and brighten the day of the children whom I volunteer with at the hospital*.

Body: Variety! Continue my AM workouts (this week I am going for 500 reps of that day’s muscle group – this morning I had Delts/Shoulders…rough but satisfying) and in the evening attend yoga, spin, basketball, or just relax/friend time if I accomplished my full AM workout. Try and finish out the week as strongly as possible.

Balance: I hate feeling like I haven’t seen people who are important to me in ages. So, this week I will squeeze in as much time with my friends and family – luckily some will be present at my social functions throughout the week.

*If you are looking for a great organization to volunteer with – check out Project Sunshine. About a year and a half ago I assembled a group of my good friends and we made our own chapter. I cannot say enough positive things about this organization and the fact that many of the volunteers benefit just as much, if not more, than the children. Check it out!

Why…

Excerpt from “The Iron” by Henry Rollins

I was recently watching an Eric Thomas speech (embedded below) to the Miami Dolphins rookie class about successful people having a “WHY”. No matter how calm my demeanor – Eric Thomas gets me fired up and ready to execute – so hopefully you will enjoy him as much as I do.

Interestingly enough, earlier that day I had conversation with a friend, marathoner, and fellow fitness blogger about “Why I work out the way that I do.” I constantly have to stay motivated, I have always been goal oriented and my “WHY” for why I am in the gym 10-12 hours a week and make sacrifices such as eating clean and cutting or limiting alcohol keeps me motivated.

Since January, my “Why” has become permanent. A year ago I had become complacent. I hardly even realized that I was  physically, mentally and spiritually out of shape.  I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds before an event and then right after I would go back to partying like everyday was Mardi Gras and eating like the government was going to ban the dual use of carbohydrates and cheese tomorrow. My car accident and subsequent physical therapy woke me up. Being unable to have full use of my body made me more appreciative and I promised that once I was well enough I would honor my body like never before.

Simultaneously, my grandmother, a woman who has always loved her freedom and mobility, becoming confined to a wheelchair makes me more cognizant of the fact that a strong body is a blessing, but may eventually break down with age, so enjoy it while you can. When I am feeling lazy or I don’t want to hit the gym – I think about how many people would love to be able to hop on and off a treadmill during a Tabata or walk up a few flights of stairs or even just take a casual walk throughout the City. I think about how becoming fit again and rededicating my purpose to balance through a healthy mind and body has increased my happiness in immeasurable bounds. The gym coupled with meditation is definitely the greatest antidepressant that I have ever known – my mind and body have awakened to their true potential and there really is no turning back. Why would I possibly abandon all of this happiness?

Sure, it is great to look in the mirror and admire how far I have come, but when your purpose is solely aesthetic or superficial – some time down the road you will lose your purpose.

If your purpose for being fit is to look great for a wedding – what happens a year after your wedding when you no longer have a purpose.

If your purpose is to get fit to get a boyfriend or girlfriend – once you get one then you may nest and revert to your old ways. Not to mention you are basing your value and health on someone else’s acceptance and perception of your beauty.

You have to find a deeper “WHY” if you really want this lifestyle to work. Maybe heart disease or a chronic, but preventable, illness runs in your family and your aim is to have it stop with you.

Maybe the endorphins from working out alleviate depression and anxiety and you can finally stop taking anti-depressants.

Try to find a purpose – a WHY – that is not superficial because you may not want to hear it but no matter how beautiful you are right now or how beautiful you make your body – one day (and it may be sooner than you think) your beauty will fade but if you have a deep enough WHY you will still have a purpose. Not to mention that it takes time to see results – so if you are solely working out to see results you can and most likely will lose interest or become discouraged…a six pack or a nice inguinal crease (that v-shape at your lower abdominal region near your hip-flexors) is not going to happen over night – it may not even happen in one year.

Find a better WHY and then one day, after months of hard work and dedication maybe you will look in the mirror and have that developed inguinal crease or the coveted six-pack …and truth be told since it is not your ONLY WHY – you will probably have no idea when it happened; however, perhaps you will be able to  pinpoint when your happiness and changes to your overall mental and physical health began.

What’s your Why:

Goal for the Week…

I was travelling down Right Way road – hit this intersection and made a sharp left.

“Goal” for the Week is not a typo – I most definitely have just one goal this week - DISCIPLINE.  Lately, I have been crushing it all week and then on Saturday the sun seeps into my skin, I remember that it is still Summer, and then I run rampant around this City like it is NYU Freshman Orientation.  Last week by Thursday I was already past 11 gym hours…and then the weekend rolled around and I have to give myself a “D” in Discipline.  I could blame part of the problem on the fact that I have so many people who I don’t get to see on a regular basis (and some who I do – but just love hanging out with) and it is nearing the end of summer so everyone is trying to cram in as much fun as possible – but truth be told my post gym discipline is just lacking in the summer months. Next thing you know my Saturday evening cheat meal becomes a cheat day, my budget becomes nonexistent, and my maniacal laughter litters the City streets until the wee hours of the morning.

So this Week’s Goal: DISCIPLINE – which encompasses body, balance, and mind.

Body – I will stick to my 12 gym hours and go sweat out my weekend transgressions at Bikram tonight.

Balance – Enjoy my friend’s birthday celebration but remember that it is not MY birthday celebration.

Mind – Don’t allow other people’s lunacy and lofty expectations influence my happiness.

Okay, I lied – I have another goal.  Now that I am all organized and have developed a system which works for me…it has been an absolute bummer that my computer is in ICU.  I have not been able to post much the past couple of weeks – so this week it is my goal to post a workout and hopefully drop some knowledge about dealing with difficult people – which was one of my goals last week.

So Happy Monday – hope you started your week right and for me – this week is all about ending it right as well. DISCIPLINE! 

Goals for the Week…

So…last week went somewhat according to plan. I only managed to completed 10 gym hours (aimed for 12) due to being left incredibly sore for nearly a week from CrossFit. I spent five of those days trying to reassure myself that I was not injured and rubbing my trapezius muscles (or as my mother stated: “you mean what regular people call the back of their neck and shoulders”) with my Costa Rican miracle drug combination of Cofal Fuerte and Arnica Tincture. Today, I am officially no longer sore.

In terms of balance…that went somewhat according to plan. A few weeks ago, I created a 3 alcoholic beverages per week rule (no rollover drinks) until the end of Summer. Although I have not been going out much or taking advantage of the rule, on Saturday I met up with one of my best friends and celebrated our friend Brian’s birthday…without Brian, who is currently living in Brazil. This resulted in clever loophole – Sunday (midnight) began a new week – so I dipped into this week’s cheat drinks. But if you ever want a low cal, low carb, refreshing summer cocktail – try my signature Hendricks Gin, Cucumber, and splash of club soda – 73 calories and zero sugar depending on the size of your cocktail.  Also, I want to meet the 1% of people who “eat” gin for breakfast – according to the pie chart contained in the link above – they sound fun.

Mind: This week, in an effort to really put my balance to a test –  I am meeting with people who I have found vexatious in the past to smooth things over.  This is an effort to purify any negative karma that I may have accrued – so things should definitely get interesting.

Body: Aiming for 12 gym hours. No CrossFit. A Bikram class and my typical 1.5-3 hours of Spin are on schedule. This week, weather and schedule permitting, I will be hitting the track with a parachute for some sprints with a trainer/buddy of mine.

Balance: Continue to enjoy these last weeks of summer – but maintain my goals and take care of business, body, and mind before play…so the name of the game is “discipline” for the next few weeks.

Time to Stay Focused – Exactly 12 Weeks away from my goal!

After 5 years, it would also appear as though my MacBook has finally died. So pardon any extreme typos – blogging from an iPad is not easy!

Goals for the Week…

Time to act like “people” again…

Rise and shine! After two weeks of what could best be described as Birthday and Visitor Induced Rumspringa, I have survived and now it is time to return to the normalcy of my regular routine. Nothing was thrown at me over the past 2 weeks that I did not see coming and did not absolutely love – with the exception of accidentally eating macaroni and cheese –  but we all deserve a cheat meal ever so often.  Now it is time to return to meditation, gym, and fiscal responsibility – which can be just as fun as Rumpringa, right?

Last week’s goals were accomplished, not necessarily with ease, but nonetheless accomplished.  I have restored equilibrium to my mind, I have gotten my eating back on track, and the gym has been good to me – although I am still exceptionally sore from Friday’s workout.

This week is all about drying out and training the mind and body. As always I will still be around and out and about, but the odds of catching me acting like the bar gremlin in pink leg warmers are slim to none.

Goals For the Week:

1. Mind: attend meditation, continue to work through the Lam Rim, and focus on living the Brahmavihara/Four Immeasurables: 1) Loving-Kindness 2) Compassion 3) Sympathetic-Joy and 4) Equanimity. More importantly, this week I will shift my focus to being present and seeing inside of people rather than through them - loved ones, strangers, and enemies alike.

2. Body: switching back to hours as opposed to days. So, 10 gym hours with emphasis on altering my leg routine.

3. Balance: just focus on reintegrating myself into polite society lol…juuust kidding. I have been doing well with balancing work and play – so I would like to maintain that balance and continue to enjoy my summer, family, friends, and myself.

It is a new week – start fresh and end strong.

Early Bird Gets the Fitness

Early Bird Gets the Six Pack

I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON! Once upon a time I was and it must have been adorable; however,  for the past 20 years I prefer to be dragged out of bed kicking and screaming. I am a three alarms scattered throughout my bedroom type of girl. So when I went to sleep last night at 1:30am, after an evening Bikram session and an extended dinner (I ate like “people” again – salad with grilled salmon…no tasting menus) with my friend John, the thought of an AM workout seemed impossible. But at 5:30 when my alarm went off I knew that I had to get up…but I didn’t. Then at 5:37 when it went off again – I just thought “WHYYYY.” Finally, at 5:45 when the final alarm sounded (fyi – these alarms are away from my bed and all the way across the room) I sent this series text messages to my friend Lauren from Hermosa Beach who arrived in NYC  last night:

Me: Call me (5:45 AM)

Lauren: What’s up….still have 10 min of sleep left! (5:47 AM)

Me: Just confirming that I’m meeting you before I drag my ass out of bed and on the train (5:48 AM)

Lauren: Yeees (5:48 AM)

Lauren wanted to work out before her adorable kids woke up and she has been one of the most supportive people during this fitness journey, so of course I will drag myself out of bed for her…and then subsequently punish her with a grueling workout.

I introduced her to tabata intervals (9mph) and suicide sprints (11mph/1 minute). Then we did my current biceps giant set routine. We then ran out of time for our second tabata and suicide sprint set (she had a family to get back to) and then did one of my ab routines and ended with push-ups.

For over thirteen years we have had an ongoing competition with each other that we both really cherish (well, I cherish it lol). In the middle of her last ab set Lauren said “I know what I am better than you in…beach volleyball” and I laughed and slyly said “well…I am from New York City.”  Truth be told – she is a great competitior and is in tremendous shape after having 2 kids.   I owe a lot of fitness my success as an adult to her  -  she trained me out in LA after four years of college partying had its way with my body. Throughout high school she was my back-up point guard and was always willing to play one-on-one with me – sometimes to a 100 point game (1 point baskets – game would start at 21 but every time I would win she would up the final score to another 20 points) and was a relentless defender.

So a huge thanks to her for ripping me from my comfortable bed this morning with only four hours of sleep. I probably enjoyed our workout more than she did – Bikram with John last night and working out with Lauren this morning definitely got me back on track after my 5 day weekend AND helped break the monotony and isolation of working out alone 5-6 days a week.

I have not successfully talked her (or myself for that matter) into a second workout this evening before dinner and Girls’ Night Out – but on four hours of sleep – perhaps nap time will be more appropriate.

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