Monday, May 11, 2015

My Reflection Post

    This 20 Time project has brought on so much work for me, but good work. All in all, I feel that this project for me was a success. I really dedicated myself to learning how to live a healthier lifestyle. It took some time though. In order to create or break a habit you must do that certain thing for 3 straight weeks. Creating that habit was the toughest part. I went  about the whole first semester without staying true to my project. I would go strong with working out for a week, but then I would get lazy the next week and go to the gym only two or three times. Same with my nutrition, I would eat extremely healthy for one day, then the next day I would pig out.

    Getting into the habit was hard. Around the beginning of the second semester though I finally created the habit, the habit of living a healthy lifestyle. I am really proud of myself for creating a nutrition plan for myself and for really being dedicated to going to the gym. I was involved in a lot of school activities this year so some weeks were very inconsistent, but the good thing about that was that I actually would MISS going to the gym! I would hate not being able to go.

   Because of the habits I have made I have decided that this is going to be my main focus this summer. And the thing is, Im really excited about it! I WANT to do this, I don't feel as if it is a chore anymore.

    Even though I may not have achieved the physique goals I intended on making, I achieved an even greater goal being that I have made a habit of being healthy. And that really excites me. I started watching a ton of fitness youtubers and their vlogs really helped me. I loved watching these guys having fun at the gym. I like how that is where they are happy and how they just want to achieve a healthy life.

    As I am writing this blog I decided I am going to change my topic of my speech for the TedX audition, it's going to be about "Habits." I think that is what perfectly embodies the idea of my project, making habits. I have learned so much from this project. Some people just gave up or didn't get much out of it, but I am happy to say that this project has affected my life in a positive way. Time to take on the summer!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thinking about TedX Blog post #11

    This post is going to be geared more towards the planning and ideas for my 20 Time speech/possible TedX speech. I would really like to speak at the TedX event coming up soon, but I have to organize all of my ideas. So, we have been told to gear our speech towards more of a research based speech. With that, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the obesity problem in america. My original idea was about being your own motivator. As that is more motivational and inspirational, I might incorporate that into my speech, but not make it the main focus. Many people try to find other things to motivate them to become healthy and active such as TV shows. Yes, the TV shows do help others, but only you can help yourself. So I am going to try to incorporate that into a speech about the problems with obesity in America. I'm going to try and set aside a little bit of time each day to organize. I would really like to give more time to this speech right now, but I am going to have many late nights this eek due to the musical.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A New Lifestyle: Blog Post #10

    A lot has gone on the past 2 weeks! But first, I want to address something. Many people have been coming up to me and asking, "What exactly is your project?" or "What is the goal in your project?" So as you know, my project is improving my health and fitness. Now that is a little broad so let me explain a little better. I have been following a strict (with exceptions because of extracurriculars) training and eating schedule. I have cleaned up my diet immensely. It's unbelievable how different I eat compared to the beginning of the year. Its just so hard to explain what exactly my project is other than saying I am changing my lifestyle. Now the goal, there have been little goals here and there but the reason why there isn't a huge goal is because I am going to be continuing everything I have been doing even after this year. Especially this summer. Half the reason I am to sailing is so that I can dedicate my time to getting stronger and healthier. But there have been some goals here and there like the 8k I just recently ran and how I want to lower my cholesterol by May. So I hope that cleared some things up for people.

    So the 8k, it as great! I ran it in about 47 minutes without stopping! I was so happy after because I have never done something like that. So that was last weekend, this past week has been  complete grind. I worked out every day intensely leaving myself sorer and sorer every single day. I've hit so many personal records in my strength training. The progress that I am seeing is great! Makes me want to keep on going. Eating has been good. I don't even crave junk food anymore which is really interesting. So one of my friends (a freshmen) has started training with me and he is fairly new to lifting. It has been fun showing him everything and teaching him form and how he needs to perfect form before upping the weight. We plan on training together this summer.

     So thats the update on everything! The next two weeks I may not be working out as intensely because the musical rehearsals are starting to get really busy, but I will try my best. Can't wait to see what progress I will see in the next 2 weeks!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog Post #9

     So it has been 2 weeks since I have blogged and there honestly is not as much to share as there was in the last blog post. So over the past 2 weeks I have been training for the 8k (nothing new). I can  do 4 miles straight with out stopping but could hit 4.5 miles if I really tried. So by Thursday I have to have the 5 miles down pat! The race is this Saturday too. I am a little nervous to be honest...I have never been a good runner so I hope this turns out well!
     My eating is going really well. I have been eating my healthy meals that I make on Sunday and I haven't been eating crap! Lent is also helping this case. This weekend was my hour competition, and even with the traveling I stuck to my nutrition and brought meals in a cooler. I did have pizza the last night, but I had to celebrate because of our victory. And you also can't deprive yourself of those unhealthy foods. That's what I have learned, its not about dieting, its about moderation.
     Can't wait to see how this 8k turns out and I'm excited to blog about it!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Progress! Blog Post #8

    The past few weeks i think may have been the best weeks this year in regards to my project. I am so incredibly happy with the progress I have been making. So here's the low down:

    I have been intensely training of my 8k coming up in 3 weeks (March 14th). Now that is 5 miles. Some may think that is just a simple run, but this 5 mules is about to be a milestone in my athletics. I have never been a runner but slowly and surely I am becoming a runner. Over break I gave increased my distance of running straight without stop by 2 miles! So far I am at 3.5 miles running straight. But as many know running on the treadmill is much today I moved outside. I ran the 3.5 miles outside! The next two days I am going to run 3.5 miles, but then I am going to move to 4. And I will go up from there until the big day. I love the progress that is being made.

   NEXT, my eating habits are becoming better and better! Sometimes it is hard to resist those little treats, but every once in a  while that is okay.

 Here is a common smoothie I will make as either a snack, after workout drink, or breakfast: (contains banana, strawberries (optional), spinach/kale, milk, chocolate  protein powder and a tiny scoop of peanut butter for extra flavor)

This is the usual every day lunch: (Chicken, rice, broccoli)

   Now in regards to weight lifting, the past week I have stepped back a little from it because this 8k is way higher on the list of importance. Once I have completed the 8k I am going to get right back into weight lifting again, but for now I am going to step back a little. I will still lift a little, but I have to devote my time to running.
   Everything is going extremely well at the moment though! I do have to say though I am really excited for the summer for when I will have even more time to devote my time to my health and fitness. This isn't ending at the end of the school year, it's a life long deal!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blog Post #7

    As you may know from my last post, I started a new "split" and it is going really well. I am going onto my third week of it and I have stuck to my diet the majority of the time (except weekends). I kind of realized something, most people eat healthy so they can be "skinny" and "thin" but they really don't realize the true benefits from eating healthy. After doing some research on different foods and their benefits, I realized that there are so many foods that benefit your brain, and your heart more than trying to shed off the extra tummy fat. I believe that eating for your heart is the most important way to eat. The reason why it is the most important way to eat is because eating for your heart keeps you alive much longer and is a better way to eat than just starving yourself to look good. With the way I have been eating I have noticed that my face has been looking much better. Before this split my acne was definitely coming out (also due to stress), but my face is almost completely clear! I love seeing these little things with my project.

     Even though I had to skip a few days of working out  because of choir, my achievements in working out are tremendous! I have noticed so many improvements since the beginning of the year strength wise. That is always motivating.

   Soon lent is coming up and I have made the decision to go vegetarian, but with one exception, I will still be eating chicken because it is my best source of protein. But the only time I can eat chicken is at lunch. Im excited to explore the different meals I can create with being a vegetarian. Plus it will really help lower my cholesterol levels.

   So everything so far is going well! Im ready to take on the next few busy weeks ahead!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Semester, New Split: Blog Post #6

     The past 2 weeks I have seen so much progress physically! I have made a huge improvement in benching, being able to max out with 145 lbs. My Squatting has also improved tremendously, I haven't moved the weight too much but my form is really improving, so soon I will up the weight more than I have lately. These are the two main exercises where I have seen a great improvement in. There are several other exercises where I have seen improvement too but I am not going to name all of them. In conclusion, physically I have seen improvements that are very motivating to keep moving forward.

     In other news, my brother and I are signed up to run the 8k in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day. Today marked the beginning of my training for that race. This is a 5 mile race which makes me very nervous, but with training it will be a piece of cake. Today I started my training out with running 1.75 miles with out stopping. I will be running 4 days a week and each week I will be increasing the distance. I have about 2 months till the race so I do have a small time crunch (for not being a runner).

   With the new semester comes a new split. This "Split" (diet and workout schedule) began today and will last to May 25th. This split is basically going to the end of this project right in time to start writing my speech. I had a "come to jesus" moment when planning this out. I realized that I only have one semester left for this, so I am determined to work harder than I have previously. Because I have cheated with my nutrition, but there is no time for that. I have made goals that I will achieve by may 25th. These two goals include: body fat % down to 15% and Cholesterol at a normal level. With my new split I am increasing my protein intake and weeding out any type of sweets. In the morning I will be having a protein shake with either oatmeal or eggs. My lunches will be made for the entire week and they will be consisting of: chicken, rice, broccoli or rice and salmon. I will be switching off with those meals so I don't get sick of them. Im really excited for this because I am thinking of this as the last chance. Plus I have things to train for so I need to stick to it!

  I'm starting to get really excited for the upcoming weeks and this new split. Choir is about to get very very busy so my working out might be inconsistent, but I am really getting my nutrition together. Can't wait to see more improvements!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Blog Post #5

     So it has been about a month since my last blog post and a lot of planning and thinking has happened throughout that time! Over Christmas break I was unfortunately sick so I did not workout as much as I was planning, but I was able to really plan a lot of stuff out. And I also realized that I am going to have to add another aspect to my project, and that will be "Time Management and Commitment."

     Over the holidays I had a very tough decision and that was whether to do the musical or not. I took part in the musical last year and it was a blast, but it was the busiest I have ever been in my life. For a solid month I wouldn't get home from school until 9pm. So this year I really contemplated whether I would do it or not solely because of this project and how much time I have to put into his project. With thinking, my Mom really stressed a certain idea on me. She said that yes this project is mainly about changing my health, but it can also be made into showing everyone that I can still do this project even with the crazy schedule that I have, with the simple idea of time management. So I  am taking the challenge and will be participating in the musical with the intention of really learning how I can make this work.

    I have to be honest, this project isn't necessarily physically hard, but mentally difficult. And it's been incredibly hard to stick to my healthy nutrition. And at many points I have not and that really mentally stresses me out. It is SO difficult for me to come home and not snack on the crappy foods. And it also mentally stresses me out when I can't go to the gym because of the things I have going on after school. This makes it incredibly difficult to keep my weekly goals going because there are some weeks where I can't workout at all because of my after school activities. So my problem here is consistency. And consistency is key with this project. I feel as if I'm not going to be able to do anything at all once the musical rehearsals kick in, but I'm going to make it work. I HAVE to make it work.

   Last week I made a shift for what I eat for lunch. I started making lunches with more protein, such as chicken. And my breakfast's have been either eggs and veggies, yogurt with walnuts, or simply a power bar. And dinner is whatever my mom makes! My meals are really healthy and very good BUT its the snacking that is killing me. That's really going to have to be an obstacle I will have to conquer during the next few weeks.

   All I can say is that I'm still incredibly motivated because I am noticing many physical improvements. I am also just very motivated to keep on going. Even though there have been many faults in the road I'm still ready to keep on going. This may not make sense to some people, but honestly, failure is the key to success.