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Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Category Archives: 100happydays

Many of you have heard of the 100 Happy Days challenge by now, if not learn about it here. I started it because I was having a rough few days at the beginning of May, but I didn’t want to stay stuck in sadness. I’ve realized there are so many things in my day that make me happy and there are many that make me sad. I don’t need to point out these things to everyone around me, just as long as I acknowledge how they make me feel that’s all that matters. So while many have finished the challenge, I think it’s better to not finish it.

I was using it as something to help me see what’s around me, and now I don’t.

My neighbors flowers put me in awe every time I go to my car, and finding new foods or a new place make me excited. My new workouts push me and I hate burpees, but I know it’s going to make me better, stronger and fitter. I know heartbreak and I know that one day I will find someone who won’t break my heart. But I don’t need a photo challenge to help me see all of this anymore. So here are the last few days of photos. I made it more than half way through.

Day 49: baby steps. By changing my eating again and changing my workouts, I’ve lost 4.5 pounds in 2 weeks. 19 weeks until the New England Championship. Here’s to losing another 35.5 by then! #npc #bikiniprep #progress #zumba #cardioday #changingitup

Day 51: I don’t always want to workout and I don’t always love the exercises I’m doing, but I know that the pain or cramping or fatigue will only last for a little while. At my heaviest I couldn’t be more ashamed of myself, but I would usually laugh it off. Even now I have a hard time when someone tells me I’m beautiful; wasn’t I beautiful before? This journey isn’t about the compliments, though they’re nice, it’s about a change I believe I need to lead a better life. I started losing weight so I could have better self-esteem. I started running to prove to myself that I could do it. I’m training hard and prepping for a bikini competition to give myself that last push I need out of my comfort zone to get one step closer to my goal. Even when my initial goals are met, my journey will not be over, this is a lifestyle change, not a “maybe for that dress” change or “maybe he’ll notice me more” change. #transformationtuesday #weightloss #weighttraining #fatloss #journey #doyouevenliftbro #earnyourbreakfast #aspiretoinspire #run #healthylifestyle

Day 52: I see some progress! Hey look at those shoulders! #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar

Day 53: Less sore than yesterday and ready to kill it in the gym. Today’s lunch hour session: chest, back and abdominals. Fingers crossed I can push through these new circuits! #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #gymlife #weighttraining #bikiniprep

I can’t wait to share with you my progress towards fat loss for the NPC New England Championship this fall and I can promise more than 100 Happy Days.

❤ Cristina

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Today was my second 5K run and I was so ready. Run or Dye here I come! Clothes laid out last night, bag packed, fun t-shirts made and drying. So ready. Here are some pictures from last night/ this morning.

 

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My shirt, front and back

 

I used Jerri Elle’s hash tag on the back of my shirt and I couldn’t believe how many people came up to me during the run to tell me they liked my shirt. It was unexpected, but made me feel really good as I was running.

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Running memes are completely necessary the morning of a run. Slightly serious and always funny, I feel like I’m going to crush it just by putting on my shoes.

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Waiting in line for the race to start. Now let me explain the shirt. I thought people would get it, but clearly I was wrong. It’s supposed to be like “Run, Forrest, Run”. Kristy, however, was confused and goes “I didn’t get it. I kept thinking Run Evergreen, Run Christmas tree.” Once I explained it, it made sense. So much for trying to be creative.

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Me and Kristy pre-race. I made her shirt say “Will run for wine.” I’m brilliant sometimes.

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More pre-race photos. There were 3,500 people running today. Not as many as the last one I did, but still a good number for the location of the race.

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Me and Kristy running by our offices. Our co-worker, Diane, came out to watch us run and she snapped some photos are we ran by! It was great having her support us!

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Post-race. Hey look at them shoulders forming. #progress #makinggains

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Me and Kristy post-race. I wish I had more color on me, but the color stations weren’t well manned. I think they had fewer volunteers than they wanted/needed.

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Last post-race photo!

run or dye

Here’s the route of the race… I will say this race was very unorganized. Worcester didn’t even block off streets for runners. Do you know how scary it is sharing the road with a truck that won’t move over in the lane designated for them? There weren’t enough cops guiding traffic or keeping us safe. At the beginning of the race, about a half mile in, we were stopped by a cop so he could let traffic threw. If you’re going to commit to hosting a race, then fully commit. 3,500 extra people in the city spending their money and time is probably worth it. Regardless, we ran farther than a 5K, so I’m super proud of Kristy and I for running a 15:24 mile pace with her back injury. I’m running at a 9:45 mile pace, but this was a fun run and after talking about what pace we would keep, we decided to stick together.

Today was a super busy day in Worcester. Not only was the Run or Dye 5K going on at Institute Park, The Food Truck Festival was going from 11 to 4 pm today a few blocks away. I went home and striped in the kitchen- the only place without carpet in my apartment, showered and scrubbed. Thankfully, almost all of the color came off my body and out of my hair. I did get pink powder up my nose, so I will not be using my nose spray today. Bring on the pink boogies! After I cleaned up and threw back some post-run protein, I packed up my lunch and headed to the Food Truck Festival.

Now, I know the point of the festival is to pig out on all sorts of goodies, but I’m clean eating and with 133 days until competition with a lot to lose, I’m not trying to cheat. My curiosity did get me hooked and that’s why I went. I stayed for about an hour and a half, mind you it’s probably about a third of a mile stretch, but I walked up and down a lot. I also took a bunch of pictures and tried to have some fun while not binging on the surrounding goodies.

Here are some of my favorite trucks.

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This truck is a family owned restaurant and primarily serves the Boston area, but they travel to various food truck festivals. They a variety from meatballs to mac and cheese.

 

 

 

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The Happy Taco truck is out of Gloucester and has a variety of tacos from your typical beef taco to smoked duck and baja fish tacos.

 

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Yep, a cookie truck. They had HUGE cookies and even had cookie ice cream sandwiches. You have no idea how hard it was to resist.

The Cookie Monstah truck look freakin’ awesome, and it made me realize that I need to find an alternative for cookie dough if I’m going to expect to last another 133 days. It was also giving me ideas for my cheat meal post competition.

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A festival wouldn’t be complete without empanadas :]

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Aside from cookies, I would’ve binged on a good old hot dog.

I grew up eating hot dogs and burgers, what kid doesn’t. But I grew up putting practically everything on them. Sauerkraut, relish, mustard, ketchup, onions, hell even mushrooms and peppers if it was kabasi. This truck had every kind of hot dog topping combination possible. It smelled awesome walking by.

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Does this one need an explanation?

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This truck is an extension of a restaurant that I’m going to have to visit!

There’s calamari, haddock sandwich, lobster roll… this list keeps going. Seafood goodness is in this truck. I may need to trip down to Wellesley to enjoy the restaurant.

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Yay ice cream truck, but it’s all about supporting local, fair trade and the best ingredients.

While I was walking around, I saw this woman, probably about my age with the most insane tattoo. I introduced myself and asked if I could take a picture because the tattoo was seriously the most awesome thing I had ever seen. She laughed and said I could and that most peope don’t ask they just do it. She said she went to Brooklyn over Easter and it took 9 hours in the chair to finish it.

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Since I wasn’t indulging in the food, I tried to find myself some fun and free stuff. Hood Cream had free coffee and ice coffee.I haven’t had coffee in over 2 weeks, but these were tiny 4 ounce cups and one cup wouldn’t kill me. Ok, I may have had two 4 ounce cups, with one cream each. While I was standing around I noticed they had a few things at their table: a free photo booth and a spin the wheel to get a prize.

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I’m a special kind of crazy.

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After spinning the wheel, I landed on a measuring spoon. Silly I know, but I don’t think you can ever have enough kitchen gadgets. I will say I was hopeful for the oven mitt, hhaha. What does that say about me? I can’t wait to use my little measuring spoon.

All in all, today was pretty awesome. I caught a bunch of sun too. I can’t wait to be able to enjoy the greasy goodness next year, but my $5 for walking around was well spent. This qualifies for Day 48 of 100 Happy Days.

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What kind of Saturday have you been having?

 

❤ Cristina

 


Day 47: It’s crazy to think that women who I’ve never met or had little interaction with have inspired me so much. I’m ready to crush it at the gym tonight. “Failure isn’t not succeeding, it’s not bothering to even try.” @nerdyfitchick @biggirlfitgirl @emma_fit @jerri_m0 #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #gymlife #bikiniprep #weightloss #fatloss #weighttraining

I FORGOT DAY 46.

Day 45: post work out view! #flowers #nature #roses #perfect #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #100happydays

Days 43 and 44: doing things I never thought I could or would do in my life. I’m taking it one day at a time. Focusing on hitting small goals that will ultimately lead I the bigger goal. No one will work hard for you, you have to be a beast and chase after what you want. #lift #gymlife #bikiniprep #weightloss #weighttraining #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #100happydays


Day 41: At my heaviest I wore an XL or a 2XL for comfort. This a medium too I wore 7 years ago when I was a freshmen in college. I never thought it would fit again. #littlethings #oldclothes #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar

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Day 42: calories burned since December 20, 2013. Resetting my tracker for #bikiniprep #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #100happydays

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This is the post where I state my goals for the next 16 weeks, but I know they will slightly change so here are my goals for right now (bikini competition is 20 weeks out).

  1. Use My Fitness Pal daily to track my carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios
  2. Work out 6 times a week and make it a priority
  3. Use weights more, and get over my fear of the weight room
  4. Take weekly photos to track progress, these will be Monday’s
  5. Weekly weigh-ins to track weight loss, these will be Monday’s
  6. Weekly measurements to track inches lost, these will also be on Monday’s
  7. Lose at least 10 pounds in the first month

So now that my goals are laid out pretty clearly, here’s where I’m starting.

Weight: 174 (according to my doctor last Monday, June 9, 2014)

Bust: 35″

Waist: 31.5″

Hips: 41.5″

I definitely gained back some of the weight I lost post tonsillectomy, but I’ve maintained a size 10, so I’m not complaining- completely. I have 16 weeks to get my butt in gear and become bikini competition ready.


 

I’ve changed my eating schedule to 6 times a day:

Breakfast- 7/8 am (depending on the day)

Snack- 10/11 am

Lunch- 1/2 pm

Dinner- 4/5 pm

Snack- 7/8 pm

Second Dinner- 10/11 pm

 

Here’s an example of what I’m eating. This is from today’s menu.

Breakfast: 2 corn tortillas, 2 eggs, steamed broccoli

Post workout snack: paleo protein shake with almond/coconut milk blend unsweetened

Lunch: Chicken breast with brown rice and basil pesto sauce

Snack: plain Greek Yogurt with Bear Naked granola and honey

Dinner: Gluten Free chicken sausage and Brussels sprouts, no salt added ketchup

Second dinner: Beef plain, small apple, 1 cup of watermelon

88 ounces of water/liquid

 

The ratios I’m trying to hit are 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. This breaks down to 256 grams of protein, 256 grams of carbohydrates and 57 grams of fat. My ratios were close with 40% protein, 31% carbohydrates and 29% fat, but I was no where near the grams needed. When I put my goals into My Fitness Pal it calculates what you need, but I know this first week will be the week I get used to eating differently. I’m still eating gluten free and as clean as possible like the paleo diet, but I’m incorporating some grains such as brown rice, quinoa and steel cut oats. Immy suggested rice cakes for low fat snack that can help add carbohydrates to my intake. She also said not to worry too much if my fat ratios are a little higher; especially if the fats are healthy fats from foods like avocado.

This is going to take some getting used to. Here are some pictures from today.

I made Brussels sprouts for the first time. I steamed them and that’s it. I wanted to make sure that I liked the taste and the texture. They remind me of cabbage, kinda. I had them with my chicken sausage, so they had some ketchup on them, which was pretty good.

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6 pieces is a serving

This morning I tried a new class. It’s called Intense Toning and was it ever. There’s no cardio at all, which is great because I wasn’t looking for cardio. The class works all the muscle groups and incorporates body weight, free weights and weighted bars. The instructor was pretty awesome and I will have to take this class again, just not next Saturday… It’s race day :]

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This evening had to work my part-time job  and I was curious about how much we burn by walking around the store, either helping customers, straightening or because there’s nothing to do. In 4 hours and 24 minutes I burned over 700 calories. The average person burned 70-85 calories an hour while watching TV. So I definitely think of this as exercise.

20140614-214623-78383283.jpgLastly, Day 40 of 100 Happy Days: my planner. This thing keeps me organized and I know it’ll be my best friend over the next 16 weeks.

 

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Are you getting ready for the new week? Do you have summer goals?

❤ Cristina


It has been a great week of workouts, conversations and new food; and hell am I sore! I officially announced on my Facebook page that I’m going to be prepping for the bikini competition in Boston this October. I know I have some fat to lose before I can really lean out, but I’m going to try my hardest. Looking at a calendar today, I have 16 weeks to get my body in shape and ready. I think I can do this, but at first I didn’t. Let’s back up to the beginning of my week.

First here’s my Transformation Tuesday picture. Halloween of my Senior Year of college in 2010 and June 10, 2014. Definitely visible changes, especially in my face.

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Day 36: fruit on sale. I love watermelon! #sweetsummertime

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I talked with my good friend Caryn on Tuesday and I mentioned that I was interested in taking two different classes at my gym that night, but wasn’t sure which one. They’re back to back so Caryn suggested I go to both. So I did. Zumba and then yoga. I forgot my heart rate monitor, but with my age, height and weight, I should’ve burned 754 between the two classes. I was definitely happy that I went. Below is a picture post classes. This was also my Day 37 of 100 Happy Days. I’m happy to be making more changes, and hopefully, my body will start reflecting them.

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I definitely think this quote is going to play a huge role over the next few months.

I had Wednesday night off, so I scheduled myself to take a small group training class at my gym. I signed up with a trainer named Matt. I’ve taken his classes before and I was skeptical I would be able to keep up, but I did. I recognized some of the women from the class I took with Tiana Ta and they all said if I could take her class, then I could handle this one. Holy circuits! We did all the workouts on the floor, which usually would make me feel awkward, but there were 8 of us doing them together. So I didn’t feel so bad about it. Below is a picture of my HRM post class. I couldn’t believe I survived this class, but I would definitely do again!

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Small group training with Matt

I had yesterday and today off from my full-time job (yay for vacation day hoarding!) so I tried to be as productive as possible! I did Bikram yoga in the morning and a class called “Kick and Flex” similar to cardio kick boxing with my friend Sarah. She’s seriously such a great person and she’s willing to try crazy classes with me! We’re taking “Body by Matt” this coming Wednesday. Matt is the same Matt that taught the group training class I said I took this past Wednesday. Oh yeah, we’re going to be dead! Since I’m taking this class with Sarah, I won’t be doing the small group training. The photo of Sarah and I was also used for my Day 38 of 100 Happy Days.

 

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Heading to Bikram Thursday morning

 

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Me and Sarah post Kick and Flex class Thursday night

After speaking with a childhood friend Glorianna, who has also been on her own weightloss journey and runs her own social media for it, about old clothing I decided to dig through a box of old tees I kept with the hopes they would fit again. Glorianna had shared a picture from when we were 12 and in the 6th grade for Throwback Thursday. She kept the shirt and now she swims in it! It’s crazy. Check out the photo she shared herees

This was my Throwback Thursday photo. The tee is from September 2007, my freshmen year of college. So while it wasn’t 13 years old like hers was, a 7-year-old shirt still feels pretty damn good.

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I took today off from the gym, but I’ll be back in the morning. I did have a productive day anyway though. I met with a woman my age, who has competed in two bikini competitions. Her name is Immy and she only lives 25 minutes from me. I couldn’t believe it because I found her on Instagram and then I found her Facebook page. Talking with her was awesome. It validated that my decision to try competing in a bikini competition is the right thing for me. It will give me a goal to help push me with my weight/fat loss, it will help me build confidence and it’s something I know I will be proud of in the end, no matter if I place or not. She told me about how she got started and how her past relationships effected her workouts. We talked about the mental aspect of working out and eating well. I’m so glad I found her and I’m glad I was daring enough to message her. I definitely think it’s going to be a great friendship and I’, so glad to have her support.


 

Along with new classes and new goals, I have new foods that I’m going to be incorporating in my diet as well as a new carrying case to do so. The beauty below is a 3 meal bag from 6 pack bags. It holds 3 meals, supplements and 4 full sized water bottles. It came with the food containers, supplement container and ice packs to keep it cold. It’s completely insulated like a cooler and I can’t wait to use it this week at work. Talk about a life saver.

 

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Before I started eating paleo, my friends Kristy had me try this granola and I thought it was fantastic, but I could never find it when I went to the store. When I started eating paleo, I cut all grains and gluten or most, out of my diet. Since my goals have changed for prepping for this competition I am adding some grains back into my diet, but trying to stay as gluten free as possible. I don’t have a gluten intolerance, but I feel less bloated when I don’t consume gluten or processed carbohydrates likes pastas and breads. I don’t eat dairy either, partly from the paleo diet and partly I’m lactose intolerant, but I do eat plain Greek yogurt. This is the only dairy that doesn’t bother my stomach and the enzymes help with gut health. So what does Greek yogurt have to do with the new grains I’m adding to my diet? I bought the granola just for my yogurt since I get plain.

This specific kind of Bare Naked has 130 calories, 5g of fat, 13g of carbohydrates (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugar)  and 10g of protein. This will help make my yogurt snack more rounded.

 

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I’ve tried quinoa one time and I was NOT a fan at all. After some conversations, I’m going to give it a try again. I found this blend at the store and I figure it might help with the texture issue I have with quinoa. I’m excited to pair this with some of my chicken meals.

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Brussels sprouts. One vegetable I’ve never tried before. They’re low in calories and fat, very high in Vitamin C, there’s also a little bit of carbs Band protein in there. I bought a bag from the frozen food aisle and I checked before buying it. It’s only ingredient are the Brussels sprouts; you’d be surprised at how many frozen veggies have salt or sugar added when it’s not necessary.

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All these food items were made into a collage for Day 39 of 100 Happy Days. I love trying new things, hopefully I figure out the best ways to cook these new items.

I’m super excited to get the ball rolling. I started using My Fitness Pal to help calculate how much food I’m consuming, mostly so I can keep my ratios of protein, carbs and fat. I’m trying to keep it at 40%, 40% and 20%. When I can get the hang of that and my weight routine down, I will change it to 50%, 30%, 20%.

I hope everyone else had a great week. Fingers crossed for a great weekend too!

❤ Cristina

 

 


Oh you know hanging out in the doctors office. They were running behind and I was getting hungry.

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