Music and Travel

Michael Kiwanuka – THANK YOU to whoever signed him and brought his music to the masses! 
It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed music. I left living in the music capitol aka Los Angeles and somehow lost touch with good music, non-mainstream music, artists barely getting off the ground, etc. Thanks to Big Little Lies on HBO, I fell in love with Michael Kiwanuka – his track Cold Little Heart is the theme song.
I’m not a big itunes purchaser because it hogs space on my phone and I’m so lazy that I don’t delete it. Anyway, I like when music makes my ears really perk up and Michael Kiwanuka does that for me – as much as the stuff I’ve listened to thus far.
What does music have to do this blog? Music colludes with life’s emotions. Plus, I’m about to hop on a long flight. I know I’m going to be bored and uptight and it’s good to discover good music that helps me relax. This is not that pop music I might need for a run. This is clear my mind of all things stressful. It’s a little coffeeshop, but I think they pick certain music for a reason.
I like flights that are an hour. Anything more than three and I’m so annoyed and want to get on the ground as fast as possible. But that’s all out of my control, so I need cheap entertainment.
A Kindle was handed down to me and although it’s one of the first editions, I really enjoy reading off of it. The battery life is still great too! Taking too many books is a packing nightmare. Kindle with 3 books should do the trick. My mind tends to want to switch it up in flight. Plus, with the change in time, I don’t want to be that person who keeps the light on while my neighbor is trying to sleep.
Music: wrote enough about that earlier.
Movies: Long flights generally have great entertainment. I say generally because I was once on a 5 hour flight (beginning of the long flight zone, IMO) and they didnt have televisions. Myself and other passengers were rather shocked and disappointed.
Adult coloring book: Their name for it, not mine. I went to Costco and bought a 42 piece coloring pencil set for like $8 one day. Coloring is something to do when getting restless.
I fly coach or business. I may upgrade when I get to the airport, but I’m also trying to keep on my budget. As long as I get to my destination all should be well with coach!
I plan on writing a blog on how to pack light for travel in a separate blog coming up soon!


Small Goals of a Singleton

I used to be the type that would try to tackle everything at once and then got “bored” which was really a sign that I had no clue how to tackle all of those goals I had planned on tackling. Multitasking wasn’t necessarily the problem; more like not understanding how to achieve goals I’d never accomplished before. So, I became highly overwhelmed when I tried. 
My 2017 started with one big goal of not drinking alcohol for an entire year. I am doing well in that I don’t dwell on the goal and it’s now become quite natural to just say no when offered or skip the aisle at the store. With that set aside, I started focusing on three areas that I felt like improving over the course of the year: health, finance, and travel. God is already in the plan. 

Health: I hated who I had become. I grew up as an athlete and put that on the back burner around 2010. I had slowly let a lifestyle of partying become my priority and I got stuck there. Then I hit rock bottom and I saw the choices I made so clear. After that night, it was so easy to quit that lifestyle. I gave myself a month to work out any would be cravings for fun and then began my journey. It’s taken me almost three months to enjoy working out again and now I absolutely love it. Running and lifting weights has definitely replaced the party lifestyle. I’m so okay with that. I also have enjoyed paying attention to how my body feels when I fill it with healthy food.

Finance: I looked back at my life and wondered why I never got anywhere financially. The highs and the lows and the stupid financial mistakes. I’ll always remember a former co-worker who had parents who set her up for financial success. She followed those footsteps and made sound decisions too. She would always say, “I don’t have any money” and then one day she bought a house, got married, and had a couple of kids. NO MONEY MY ASS! She was smart and saved and saved and saved. The “no money” line was part of her budget. The truth came out about that later. People’s financial truths come out eventually. Even the ones who seem well off. So, I guess it’s best to budget for one’s own goals instead of keeping up appearances. 

Travel: Who doesn’t want to get away? Who doesn’t want to explore?   This can be packed in a budget. $100 per month at the end of the year is $1,200 for travel or whatever. Getting away for 3 days or more can really reset the mind, in my opinion. Being able to travel just to a neighboring town for the day or weekend and explore could be a jump start to resetting goals and values. I love to just take a drive sometimes so I can clear my thoughts and just to shake up a routine. 

Lastly, I speak as a single person. I have time and freedom to achieve the above goals of improvement. It’s taken some time to embrace the singlehood. I used to be caught up in trying to be un-single. All of my energy went there. Whether it be from the stress of people telling me to find someone, get on a dating site, etc. or societal norms of starting a family. I am just going to focus on my goals because it feels good to do that. It feels good to be happy with me for once. It feels good to not be held accountable for people’s expectations of me. Besides, they say “love finds you when you least expect it.” Whoever wrote that quote, I don’t know. But, I’d rather have someone find me when I’m happy and enjoying life! 

Five Pounds Down!

My first 5 pounds is shed off! I feel really good! I’ve also made working out my priority! I don’t text in the middle of my workouts or waiver on the time I’ve dedicated to do them. I’ve been doing runs on the weekend and alternating days of HIIT during the week – they are short yet powerful, make me feel good, and work with my schedule. I started this way because I’m a former athlete and enjoy active routine. I’m trying to build myself up to 6 miles like I used to do, but I’ve only been able to achieve 4 miles at a time. It’s all a process. I forget that I haven’t exercised and consumed healthy food in quite some time so I’m forgiving myself and starting fresh. I’ll probably incorporate some p90x moves next month – decided to not do p90x as a starting point! One month at a time = one step at a time. March will be dedicated to just running, HIIT exercises, and continuing to eat healthy (and saving money of course!). 

Above from left to right: egg whites, baby kale, salsa, shredded cheese, and ground beef; corn tortillas, baby kale, ground beef, salsa, and shredded cheese; kidney beans, baby kale, salsa, and cheese; cucumbers with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Let’s taco ’bout it! Don’t ever take away my Taco Tuesdays, Taco Twednesdays, or Taco Thursdays, etc! I count calories and YEEEEES tacos are still doable! However!, I noticed a pretty big difference in how my body felt after eating tortillas after not having eaten them for a while. Not that I felt entirely sluggish, but more like I’d eaten a brick. 
I just ate: 2 eggs, ground beef, kidney beans, and salsa for breakfast while writing a portion of this blog. 590 calories feels so full. I wanted a substantial breakfast because I’m running today and need fuel!
I’m thinking I’m going to lessen my meat intake and do more tofu and fish. I already have a lot of that in my fridge and freezer.
My go to lunch has been: 2 cups of baby kale with some sort of protein (meat, fish, tofu) with a balsamic vinaigrette AND a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 210 calories of nuts = 395 to 555 calories depending on the source of protein. This is hands down the most powerful lunch I’ve ever eaten (and cheeeaaaap!). I feel ZERO burn out after this type of lunch. I feel so good, my mood is elevated. I cannot go back to greasy food for lunch especially because I just feel SO good eating this way! It’s an amazing feeling! Part of packing on the 40 pounds I gained back at the end of grad school was a terrible feeling. However, I like feeling good now, so why not. 
I’ve got a goal to lose 2 pounds this week and an overall 10 by the start of April. The overall 40 by July and maintaining/setting new fitness goals then.
My goal is to be at a genuine strength.
Oh yeaaaah…almost forgot about stretching! I dedicated a day (and plan on continuing this) to stretching and only stretching. I’m talking 30ish minutes of making my body feel recovered. Fitness Blender has a good one! I love their videos!!
Until next week, roughly!