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!).