What 2013 Taught Me

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How fitting that on New Years Eve 2013 I'm writing my 100th Post! I would've reached this milestone months ago had I kept writing during school as I did during the summer but oh well, here we are!

What a year 2013 has been! I turned 23 years old, cared for the elderly in a worthwhile but grueling job, got engaged to my best friend of almost seven years, started medical school, planned a wedding, lost 20 pounds, made amazing new friends, moved to an entirely new city, and started this blog!

Here are five of the best lessons I learned in 2013: 

Medical school was absolutely the right decision for me. 
There were some many times during college, during the application process, and during the past semester, that I wanted to give up & do something else. Why am I doing all this while everyone else is living their lives, making money, and having fun? I've learned that all that hard work really does pay off. I just need to keep going!

Don't waste your time on people you don't respect.
This year I realized that it's time to remove the toxic people from my life. Everyone has those certain people who seem to leech energy and happiness from a others. Instead of constantly feeling awful about yourself when you're around these people, kick them out! Stop talking to this person, texting them when your bored (or intoxicated!), and move on. I know I'm way better off without people in myself who are rude, inconsiderate, or treat me poorly. 

But also forgive people who are worth keeping in your life.
I wouldn't advocate kicking people out of your life just because you've had a disagreement with them or you've lost touch. One of my biggest realizations and a resolution for 2014 is to learn to forgive people and move on. Stop focusing on negative events that happened with someone years ago, accept them for who they are today, and make tomorrow better. If you can't accept them and forgive them, then it's time to revaluate and see the lesson above. Life is too short to hold grudges and be miserable over things you cannot control.

I am way stronger than I ever imagined & I am capable of far more than I hold myself accountable for.
This time last year, I had no clue that I could run a mile, let alone 6 miles or even the 13.1 I'm preparing to run in May. I didn't think I could do hot yoga or lift heavy weights or even go to the gym looking the way I do because people would judge me. I didn't think I was worthy of being healthy, happy, or strong. I was dead wrong. I am capable of so much more than I've ever held myself accountable for.

This realization extends far beyond fitness. So much of my life has been based on what I can do naturally. I never really pushed myself to be excellent. I've always done well in school but I never went the extra mile. I always stopped when I felt uncomfortable... That leads me to another lesson.

Being uncomfortable is a good thing!
Being uncomfortable leads to growth. If you consistently stay in your little comfort zone, you'll never achieve more than what you've always achieved. You'll never known what you're truly capable of until you push yourself.

I hope everyone has a safe & happy New Year. I've never been so excited for a year to start - tomorrow I'll share with you what's in store for me and my goals for the year ahead.

See you all in 2014!
What was the highlight of your 2013?

Enough with the excuses...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Remember that time I said that i would start posting again once break started and I didn't have school to worry about? Well....it's been over a week and still nothing. I've found an excuse not to write every single day and I finally figured out why.

I don't enjoy blogging.

I don't feel like I'm doing it for myself. I feel like I have to be extra funny or cater to a certain audience with my posts. I don't want to seem whiny or too sarcastic or put something out here that will offend or otherwise draw negative attention to myself. So that pretty much sucks all the joy out of writing... (and let's face it, it's more work than a twitter post or an instagram)

I care too much about what others think. I always have.

I've seen so many bloggers be affected by negative comments and judgements from others. From small bloggers to the large, well-known Pinterest goddesses of the blogosphere...I haven't been affected yet but I know I will take it personally when it does happen. 

On the other hand, I know I want to have this blog to look back on throughout my medical education. I want to see the growth. I want to see how my life changes. In order to do that, I gotta write.

From now on...I have to be Heather. Just Heather. I'll write when I want, about whatever sounds good at the moment. I hope you all will still be around to read it! 

I'm done with worrying about numbers, social media, sponsorships, and anything else extra. I just can't take it! It makes me miserable. I want to write and interact with you all and be done with it.

Enough with the excuses...if you don't like how things are going, you have to change it or you'll keep getting the same results! This goes with everything else in my life too: school, getting healthy, relationships, etc. 

I have lots of updates for you all in the next couple days. I just wanted to get this off my chest and start fresh.  Here's to a year filled with more blogging and progress!

Shameless selfie :)

Weigh In Wednesday: Dec. 18

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

Not much to say today. Two exams today & one more on Friday...then I'm FREEEEEEEE! Hang in there, I'll be updating a lot over Christmas Break and getting back to a normal place.

Still maintaining with no gain. I'm sleep-deprived and feeling quite awful, though. I really hate drinking coffee but it's the only thing that can give me the jolt I need to keep studying.

 I hope you all had great weeks though! I can't wait to catch up on all your posts over break :) 

My life in pictures:

This is the only thing getting me through these long study sessions.

Snowy snow at school.

Study time!

Here's a sneak peak at my engagement photos! More to come soon.

Have a great Weigh In Wednesday!
What are you strategies for staying on track during the holidays and stressful times?

Weigh In Wednesday: Dec. 11

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

1.5 weeks of school left and then I'll be a normal human and able to update you all about my life! 4 more exams to go - two written, one practical, and one OSCE (playing doctor for a grade). So far, I've passed THREE classes in med school - three more to go! 

Weigh in today: a measly 0.2 pounds! Whenever I have an exam on Monday, I never get workouts in and I've been eating less than stellar. A certain roommate (along with our two friends) convinced me to grab Taco Bell last night after we got our Hematology Exam grades back (I actually did a lot better than my previous exam...and I studied less! Weird.). I can't wait to get a few weeks off to reset and work on creating better habits. 

The goal these last few weeks is to maintain, maintain, maintain! If I can just get through the holidays and exam week without gaining and making the best choices possible, I'll be happy.  

Some updates on the wedding planning front. Nick and I finally took our engagement pictures after having to postpone them twice because of weather. On Friday it snowed so we had beautifully snowy pictures on Saturday. Hopefully we will get them back soon and I'll share! I hope they turned out well...Nick and I both hate getting our photos taken. 

Sample Gates - The perfect Bloomington 

I have a bunch of appointments set up over Winter Break to meet with photographers, caterers, DJs, etc. so I'm counting on break to do the bulk of the planning since we have less than 7 months to go! 

I'm going dress shopping on Dec. 30! 

Thanks all!

Weigh In Wednesday: Dec. 4

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

AAAAnd the box code still doesn't work. I know. I suck at html. 

Post to follow later after class is over - I wanted to make sure you could link up this morning :)


Ok - well this took me longer than expect. The life of a med student....

Surprisingly, I'm literally at the same weight as last week which I'm chalking up to the running and not completely gorging myself like usual at Thanksgiving. 

I'm giving myself a break from running for a few more days but in the mean time, one of the hospitals my school is affiliated with was nice enough to give us two free weeks of gym membership during December! Needless to say, I love to take advantage of FREE fitness classes so yesterday I went to Body Pump and tonight I went to Turbo Kick!

Body Pump wasn't all the great last night - there were only three others in the class and I prefer to do circuit training for strength - not whatever that was. I guess it's high rep but I barely broke a sweat! 

Turbo Kick, on the other hand, was NUTS! I've done Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire many times before but our instructor was off the wall cray cray. I pretty much hated the entire experience but was so happy to get my butt kicked HARD! Sometimes you just need to be PUSHED even if every bone in your body wants out of there. I also took advantage of my friend's yoga session during lunch at school today. I love getting to relax my mind in the middle of the day and hang out with a few classmates and faculty! 

I'm slowly cleaning up my eating, as well! Tomorrow I desperately need to go grocery shopping for produce, eggs, etc. I'm trying to make it the rest of the semester on the food I already have (lots of tuna, organic soups, turkey burgers, and quinoa) and just supplement with fruits and veggies! Loan money is running LOW.

That's all I've got for now! I feel like I don't know what to write about anymore because I don't take pictures as much anymore.  I need to do any update on school soon so look out for that!

How are you doing post-Thanksgiving?
Any tips for the holidays?

Race Recap: My First 10K

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy (late) Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all had a terrific holiday with family and friends! 

I survived my two exams today! Now five more to go in 3 weeks and I'll finally be freeeeeee! 

I made a quick trip home Wednesday afternoon, studied until dinner time, and had dinner with my family. On Thanksgiving morning, I had my big race! That's right - 6 WHOLE MILES! (6.2, to be exact!)

When I woke up for the race, it was COLD. Like 19 degrees cold. I layered up accordingly and then my aunt drove me downtown to meet up with some other people we knew who would be running. 

Eventually I made it to the start line and I was ready to get this thing over with! I love training for races and I love signing up for them but I'm never very excited once I get there (really, just waking up early is rough!) 

Ready to go!
The race began with a healthy hill followed by a pretty flat stretch. Speaking of hills - that is the BIGGEST difference between Indianapolis and Cincinnati - it's so hilly in Cincy! I definitely wasn't prepared for the amount of hills and bridges that I encountered. In the future, when I start doing my training runs again I'm going to seek out some less flat courses around here...

As far as how the race went, I knew I would be able to finish because of my run last week (at least mentally) but I wasn't anticipating all those darn hills! I started to struggle probably around mile 4.5-5. I started to get those thoughts about walking. (But I didn't give in!) Surprisingly, my foot didn't hurt me much at all the entire time. I had a twinge or two of pain here and there but I was fine throughout the race.

One BIG problem I noticed is that my GPS on my phone is WAYYYY off. I used the RunKeeper app for this race and at the end it said I had run 7.18 miles (at a 9:38 minute/mile pace). Imagine my surprise when I thought I had almost reached my goal and still had another mile to go! GRRRR...anyone know how to fix this or calibrate the GPS? 

 Going into the race, I really didn't have a specific timing goal in mind - I just wanted to finish and not walk! I ended up running it in 1:09:07 - 11:09 mi/min which is right on par with my last 5K (11 min mile). Slow and steady, right?  I was pretty sore after the race - mostly my left foot. It never seems to bother me until about 30 minutes after a run. This time it was my ankle that didn't want to bend for about 2-3 days - just very stiff and painful. Not sure what's up but I'm hoping I can rest it for a few days and then start strengthening it again.

Nick & my aunt met me at the finish! 

The rest of turkey day proceeded as usual - Nick and I ate with my family for lunch and then we went to his family Thanksgiving for dinner. I'm glad I ran to make up for having two meals!

 Other than getting to see friends and family, it was nice to take a little break from studying and be a "real" person again. I didn't allow myself to study at all on Thursday...not that it took much to persuade me otherwise. Plus, there really wasn't time. We will soon see whether that was good idea or not in a few days when I get my grades back...

Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving are the leftovers!  Stuffing balls are a family favorite!

So what's next?
Now that my first 10K race is over, it begs the question: What next? For starters, it's back to eating clean and really focusing on weight loss after the holidays. Right now I'm just trying to maintain my weight and get through these last few weeks of the semester. After the New Year, I start MINI MARATHON training. I've decided I'm going to join a running group here in Indy so I will have people to train with - specifically the long run portion. Just like with studying, I don't really need someone to "talk" to while I run but it helps to have someone THERE. It can be really lonely and unmotivating to plug along on your own - especially when I starting getting up there in the mileage. 

I have to admit - I'm really scared about this goal! I was scared about the 5K and the 10K but there's something that seems really "elite" and intimidating about running 13 miles. And 26 miles. (although I have a hard time picturing myself EVER running 26.2 miles). At the same time, it just seems really bad-ass! I know I'm not fast or particularly athletic but I feel like I've finally found a sport that I can keep improving in and strengthen myself in many different areas. I've found something that I enjoy and that no one has to push me to do - unlike all the other things I've ever done (softball, soccer, basketball, etc.). I actually want to keep improving and getting better

May 4, 2014 is the next BIG date I'm shooting towards (Nick's birthday and followed soon after by an ever bigger date - June 13, 2014!) A few of my bridesmaids might even run it with me which I'm uber excited about!!!

Stay tuned and don't forget to meet back here on Wednesday for another Weigh In Wednesday (guessing I gained after exam week pizza and Thanksgiving!). 

Weigh In Wednesday - November 27

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & say hi!

I'm doing something completely out of character today - I wrote this post on Tuesday instead of 5 minutes before anatomy lecture like most Wednesdays. That said, the code box still doesn't work so add that to my list of offenses in the blogging word.

To say my life has been a whirlwind would be an understatement - I'm floating in the middle of the ocean, trying to keep my head above water and I only took a week of swim lessons. Yeah...something like that. 

I knew med school was going to be hard. 
I knew I was going to be tired and I knew what to expect based on what other people said but knowing what to expect and actually experiencing something are two totally different things. 

I find myself cycling between intense emotions of love and hate with school - 
I hate that I don't have time to do a lot of the things I love
I hate that I can't see my family and friends
I hate that I don't feel like I can give 100% to all the areas of my life. 
I love learning! 
I love being (somewhat) knowledgable about the human body. 
I love that my classmates have already become a family
I love how freaking cool medicine and science are! 
Most of all, I love that I am finally taking real steps towards being a physician.

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that I chose this life. If I didn't want to put the time and energy in, I shouldn't have chosen this profession. 

The next month is going to be hellish - the Monday after Thanksgiving I have two exams (Anatomy and Hematology). The next Monday I have a Heme final and my final for Intro to Clinical Medicine (history and physical on a standardized patient). The last week I have an OMM written, practical, and Skeletal Muscle final. So - 7 exams in three weeks. I die. (I'll update you all on school later this week - I will blog!)

Anyway, weigh in things. I've been pretty bad at keeping track of things lately. Being swamped is no excuse but weight loss just hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. I'm hoping to get through the holiday season without gaining (maybe losing some) and then start fresh at the New Year with my mini marathon training. As of today, I'm still where I was last week. :/ 

Speaking of running...Thursday I will be running my very first 10K race in Cincinnati! At least I'm still working out a fair amount...

This past weekend I was a little concerned about being able to run 6.2 miles since I've never done it. I know you aren't supposed to do the full distance before a race (I never understood that...I can't just pull a mile out of nowhere without practicing first!) but something got ahold of me and I ended up doing 6.2 anyway! I planned to do 5 but I was in a groove so why not?

My left foot is still bothering me a little after long runs so I'm sure it will be a problem on Thursday but I'm doing it anyway. I think I just need to strengthen it since my left ankle has always been kind of lame. 

Oh, by the way,  it was FREEZING! Helpful hint - bring tissues when you run in the cold! I had to resort to using my glove as a tissue and it was nasty!

So Thanksgiving - I'm going home today, studying, running my 10K, going to Thanksgiving festivities and driving back to school Friday morning to study all weekend before my two exams. No time for wedding planning, no time for relaxation. It's going to be...thrilling. So let's do this!

To the person who asked last week, yes - I will still be updating but no, I'm not going to sacrifice study time to write. Passing classes >>> blog. Obviously I can't balance everything but I hope to catch up on EVERYTHING over Christmas Break!

Hope you all have a fantastic week and thanks for sticking with me! I'll get my stuff together here eventually!

What are you thankful for this year?
Any special Thanksgiving plans?

Weigh In Wednesday - Nov. 20

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!

Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment!

Post to come later today! 

Weigh In Wednesday - November 13

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!

Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment!

Whoops...got to school today and realized I forgot to post! Sounds like a pretty regular event for me so I'm sure ya'll aren't surprised. Thank you for sticking with me over the past few months - I haven't been as interactive or up-to-date as I should be. I'm slowly getting into a good routine with school so I hope to be more active next semester! 

The weeks are flying by! First, the weigh-in. It's week three of boot camp and I've officially lost the 5 lbs I've be cycling up and down with for the past two months ..hopefully by next week I'll be at a number I haven't seen since before my 21st birthday! (which I will be sharing!) That brings the grand total to 21.4 lbs lost!

In other news, on Monday I had my first "Final Exam" for Scientific Foundations. No more basic science classes (provided I passed...)!!!  We are starting our Hematology systems course which will include EVERYTHING about the blood and associated structures - pathology, histology, physiology, etc. I AM SO EXCITED! I'm ready to put the science I've learned into a clinical context and actually know "doctor things" instead of cell signaling pathways with little to no context. I'm ready to attack this material and kill it because Foundations was a struggle. (More about med school in a future post).

Anyway, last week was pretty much spent like this:

or this.

Can you say "struggle bus?" And now I'm in recovery mode. I took Monday evening off after the exam and now I'm back to the grind! I'm really sad because I'm officially three weeks behind on American Horror Story & The Walking Dead. Also behind on Grey's Anatomy and Scandal...#smh Any idea where I can find AHS or TWD online?

Despite the shambly life I lead, I did manage to get some great workouts in last week - boot camp on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, a couple beautiful runs, and two yoga classes.

This was my long run from last week. This week I need to bust out 5 miles so I know I'll be ready for Thanksgiving! I was super slow that day but I had to do some walking. My left foot has been bothering me lately - I'm thinking extensor tendontitis - mostly my 2nd metatarsal. It usually only bothers me on longer runs - at boot camp I'm typically fine, even during sprints. I'm hoping that with ice and rest, it'll be fine for the race! 

I wish I would've taken pictures of yoga but I went to two classes last week! One of our classmates teaches yoga on Wednesday afternoons (fo free!) which is a great study break and way to relax - a few of the professors and other staff of the med school do it with us! I also tried a yoga studio in downtown Indy with a few classmates on Sunday. Unfortunately the hot yoga class was full so we just did the express un-heated class. I DEFINITELY prefer hot yoga but it was still a great experience and I'll be going back again for sure! 

Eating is probably my biggest obstacle - I try to eat as well as possible but sometimes it gets hard. I feel like when I study, I'm ALWAYS hungry. Plus, I usually look forward to meals because I don't make myself study during meal breaks so I want ALL the food. Haha - I'm in no danger of starving so I need to calm it down.

Homeade Apple Cinnamon Walnut oatmeal!

Salmon and Orzo from Trader Joe's

A treat after the exam! (I didn't eat all the PB cups in one sitting...over three days, don't worry!)

Nothing new to report for Wedding Wednesday - just continuing to work hard and hopefully be ready for dress shopping in a month or so!

Have you ever had foot issues while running?

Weigh In Wednesday - November 6th

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!

Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment!

Whew, these weeks are going quickly! I don't know where to begin! I'm in week 2 of bootcamp and things are going well! I've gotten used to waking up at 4:45 am three days a week. On Monday, my phone updated during the night and my alarm didn't go off. I ended up waking at 5:15 am which meant I wasn't going to make it to boot camp in time - instead of going back to bed, I marched my butt to the school gym for a 2 mile run and some weights! (and then I went to boot camp Tuesday to make up for it). I call that a personal victory!

Weigh In time: Down about 2 lbs from last week! But still stuck in the same 5 lbs that I've been losing and gaining for the last two months. Hopefully this is the start of something new...

My eating has been SOOOO much better lately - I've really been trying to reign it in this week. (but I still make room for my chocolate milk treat after boot camp!)

I forgot to mention, a couple weeks ago I ran my third 5K! My last 5k was July 4th which I ran in 35:45. This time, even in the cold & rain, I managed to reduce my time by 1:39! Slow and steady progress, right?


Ready to Run!

My next race is the Thanksgiving Day Race 10K! I hope I will survive it! I haven't run over 4 miles yet so I definitely need to be getting those long runs in the next three weeks! Hopefully this Boot Camp business will help me get through it! I'm really nervous.

Now it's wedding time! (I think I need to change this to Matrimony Monday or something! This is too much for one post). 

I made a quick trip back to Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon because Nick and I had plans to meet with the priest and go to mass at the church we are looking at for the wedding. We'll probably be putting a deposit down there this week! 

It's a very historic, gorgeous church at the top of a hill that overlooks the whole city! Perfect for us. I love how traditional Catholic churches are - I can't wait to start planning our Mass and doing our marriage prep! That will be the fun stuff :)

As for all other details, those will wait until Christmas Break! 

The view of Cincinnati - from Mt. Adams!

Weigh In & Wedding Wednesday - October 30

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weigh IN Wednesday

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!

Please go check out my awesome co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

If you're new to the link-up, please leave a comment & introduce yourself!

I'm not even sure where to start with this post! I don't remember how to blog since it's been about a month since I've made a proper post.

I guess I should start with an apology! I totally forgot about WIW last week. I apologize to all of you that missed out with no communication from me. Last week I had an anatomy exam and a science exam - both of which kicked my butt and caused me to forget how to do basic life skills like grocery shop, do laundry, and bathe. This week, I had an exam Monday and I have a practical exam on Thursday. Then, I get to two weeks to study and another exam. I'm literally drowning. 

That's med school, right? I really enjoy learning. I love the human body, I love my school, classmates, etc. The one part I hate is learning a bunch of stuff that I can't fit together to create a whole picture - I feel like I have tons of tidbits of information but I have no clue what to do with it. It's overwhelming but I'm sure we'll get to the big picture soon enough!

So, Weigh In Wednesday: I've been stuck losing and gaining the same 5 lbs for the past month or two and I knew it was time to switch things up! My friend from school convinced me to join a boot camp this month to avoid becoming marshmallows this winter!  We are doing Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays at 5:30 am before class for a month and then we'll see how things go from there! I'll probably freeze my gym membership in downtown Indy and rely on boot camp/the med school gym. I really only kept this membership so I could run downtown and get "free" parking. 

I have a few exciting updates regarding the wedding! The most important being the date: June 13, 2014! (Yes, that's a Friday!) We also have a venue picked out & we will hopefully be finalizing the church this weekend when we meet with the priest! I have lots of ideas but I probably won't be doing much other wedding work until Christmas Break. We also have engagement pictures scheduled for mid-November! Whew! 

These are pictures of the venue! We're going for a very rustic, vintage, slightly country feel (think burlap, lace, twine, chalkboards, DIY, shabby chic...Pinterest). Very laid-back and down to earth like us! I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions (I'm not a fan of these chairs, one bit!)