Why I’m quitting the 100 Happy Days Challenge

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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Day 34: Fake it and Pretend to be Fearless

 

Day 34: faking it and being fearless. I was taking with @ccartledge88 today about trying new things because today was @kmcc89’s bachelorette party and I have never gone to a tasting before. I thought about it and going to the Grecian Festival alone was a big step for me. I do things alone all the time: movies, dinner, gym, hiking, etc. I have never been in a crowd that large by myself. So here’s to trying new things and being brave in doing so. ‪#‎100happydays‬ ‪#‎happinessdoesntcomeinajar‬ ‪#‎greekfood‬ ‪#‎moremoussakaplease‬ ‪#‎omgdancing‬

100 Happy Days Update

 

 

 

 

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Day 31: state signs… On my way to the cape #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar

20140607-212832-77312101.jpgDay 32: sunrise over the cape on my way home #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar

 

20140607-212827-77307346.jpgDay 33: My neighbor has the most gorgeous flowers. Mother Nature has the best gifts! #nofilter #lovesummer

Here’s a few other photos I took the past few days!

20140607-212830-77310682.jpgThis price is the reason why I don’t go to movies much anymore. I can’t believe this is a price for the noon viewing. I remember when movies were less than $5!

20140607-212828-77308940.jpgNew magazine I saw in line at the grocery store. Some awesome recipes in here that I need to try, including some shrimp ones! It’s going to be a good summer for food :]

 

 

 

Reset Button

My friend posted on instagram that we she was going to start cutting out alcohol, soda and coffee from her diet; all at once. This is a big deal for her, and a big deal in general. Cutting things that we find to be vices can be difficult for anyone, no matter what it is. Lately, I’ve been on a coffee and alcohol kick: Iced Caramel Macchiato to Saranac Shandy brew. When I saw her post, I commented and said we should do it together. While alcohol hasn’t been a big part of her diet, she said that soda and coffee is something she’s drinking just to drink something, not because she’s craving it, but just because ‘why not’?

Not only are there a million things in these drinks that we can’t pronounce, there are a lot of empty calories that we have the ability to consume than if we were to just drink water with fruit or cucumber slices in it.

So here’s the challenge:

  1. 30 days of increased water intake
  2. No soda, coffee or alcohol of any kind- light beer means nothing here
  3. At least 60 ounces a day
  4. Report to each other throughout the challenge

I’m hoping this helps me reset from all the cream and sugar loaded drinks I’ve been consuming lately. I also am hopeful that it will help be de-bloat a bit. Other benefits from drinking water aside from hydration can be clearer skin, eating less, helps energize your muscles, help kidney function. I’m sure the list can continue on.

This brings me to today’s 100 Happy Days post. Day 29: friends who support you and who you can support. Body resetting with my college freshmen roommate. Ohio to Massachusetts, we’ve got this! #healthylifestyle #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #restyourgut

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Here’s yesterday’s post too. Day 28: fluffy pillows and comfortable bed after a long day! Not everyone has this luxury and I’m grateful for it.

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❤ Cristina

You’re only lost if you know where you’re suppose to end up

While I didn’t check everything off my list from my vacation, I got A LOT done! I did a few runs into the city/around my neighborhood. I lifted, yoga’d, didn’t zumba, but rowed, cooked, ate and slept a lot too. I saw friends and explored a little too. I got back to work Thursday and dove right in, HELLO, ALUMNI WEEKEND!

Here are my 100 Happy Days photos to recap a bit.

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Day 22: long distance relationships are my best relationships

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Day 23: Funny Faces at the end of a long day

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Day 24: gaining a little speed

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Day 25: Event weekends. We lose our minds, but it’s a damn good time.

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Day 26: new running applications and data

 

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Day 27: 3 years of June Alumni Weekend’s. Change happens, slowly but surely.

Out of all of these photos I have to say I’m most excited about the weightloss changes. I can’t wait to see next year’s comparison; hopefully bigger changes.


 

For Sunday Funday, I laid in bed for an hour or two, then ran some errands and then decided to go exploring. While running errands I stopped by Barnes and Noble, being on a budget, I didn’t buy anything, but I did take some pictures. These are the books I want to read this summer.

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With a full tank of gas, I got in the car, jumped on the highway and just started driving. Backroads, main roads, local ice cream shoppes. Two hours later, I turned on my GPS and headed home.

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It was good to have the music loud and the windows down. I think I’m prepared for a busy week at work. Tomorrow I have to work both jobs, so I’m going to try to get some cardio in during my lunch hour, with fingers crossed that I don’t tire myself out for my shift.

I hope you all had a great weekend !

 

❤ Cristina

Life has ups and downs: We need to find the balance

This weekend was amazing and upsetting all at the same time.

After work on Friday I went out to Boston for the night and met amazing people. Over the course of the night I became frustrated and happy all at once. I got to spend time with a pretty awesome person, who may have acted a little silly after a few drinks, but all in good fun. That’s what overall health is though, the balance. Have your cocktail and pretend to be an upstanding adult. With little sleep we ventured into Saturday, the downfall came much later in the night, but there’s no need to talk about it- it’s in the past. But it influenced my Day 19: be you.

Even though it was a great day, with an awesome person, I was still having some struggles with myself. I saw this last night when I was laying in bed. I need to learn this. I need to understand this. I need to love me first and hope that someone else can love me someday too; flaws and all. When I can understand this, I can truly be happy. #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #love #gettoknowme #ihavepersonility #immorethanmyflaws

Life is a moshposh of misunderstandings, over-communicating, running out our frustrations, under-communicating, eating healthy, binge eating pizza to heal our hearts, Jack Daniels, friends who listen to you cry on the phone, Lindt 50% off chocolate and Leo DiCaprio movies.

Day 20: friends who listen to you crying at 1030 am. Friends who let you leave voicemails at 1 am. Friends who bring you processed carbs and convince you pizza is a good idea for the night. Friends who will do shots with you and let you be a ridiculous mess because the world is too heavy for that day. Friends who remind you you’re a beautiful soul. Friends that remind you that you deserve the best. Friends that agree with you that Leo Di Caprio deserves an Oscar. #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar #love #friends #soulmates @samijimi @karinamoran_rn @kmcc89 @annranc @ccarync881

Sunday wasn’t much better, but I figured it couldn’t get worse and Monday would be better.

Well, hello it’s Monday and I’m doing what I do best to mend a cracked heart: run, sweat, eat, repeat.

 

Quick morning run around my neighborhood. Almost a solid mile, but holy hills!

As you all know, most places are closed for the holiday, and my gym has limited accessibility, so after my run I worked out with my free weights and did exercises that are effective, but take little or no equipment: squats, lunges, mountain climbers, etc. This is my Day 21: at home work outs prevent me from making excuses.

Day 21: post-run at home work out. The gym is closed today, but I have some weights at home and there are plenty of exercises that can be done without equipment. “Exercise gives you endorphins. endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t just shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”- Elle Woods #mouthsofbabes #endorphins #onthemend #sweatitout #100happydays #happinessdoesntcomeinajar

For the rest of the day, I’m cleaning up and working on mending this cracked heart of mine. I do believe a new recipe will come from this. What are some of your favorite health-ish things to pig out on when you’re down and out? Suggestions are always welcome!

 

❤ Cristina

Mini adventures and Map My Walk

There are so many applications and software programs out there to help us track our workouts, calories, and pretty much everything in between. One of the things on my “to-do” list was to take a walk downtown. I know it sounds silly, but in the two year’s since I’ve moved here I’ve never given myself the time to walk downtown and explore. I’m about 5 blocks away from city hall and downtown, but never felt comfortable going alone.

Here’s what I discovered on my walk:

  • There’s a Dunkin Donuts and a Honey Dew Donut Shop down the street, across from each other
  • There’s a bunch of sit down and take out restaurants
  • A few cafe’s
  • A park behind city hall, which I knew was there, but never realized how close

Now that I know there’s food closer to me, I will have to resist!

I also met a girl named Francesca, who is working with Planned Parenthood on a grassroots effort to educate the public about new laws that officials are trying to pass down south that will make it harder for women to have access to facilities that provide STD screenings, birth control, annual screenings and yes, abortions. As a supporter of Planned Parenthood- it is more than an abortion clinic, I stopped and talked with her. I already donate to the organization and had no intention of doing so again today, but I know how hard cold calling can be, and I’m sure this is a similar pain. She’s 19 and was scheduled for a 5-hour shift. I bought her an ice coffee from the Dunkin I discovered.

After an hour of walking around and seeing what I could see on foot, I headed home. Straight to my computer, I searched for a software to map what I had walked. I found Map my Walk, very fitting. The computer version allows you to draw your map out, which is really easy. The cell phone application tracks you like a GPS. I created an account with my Facebook profile and got started on today’s walk.

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Not too shabby if you ask me. And one thing to pull off the wall of things to accomplish this vacation. Here are some things I saw on my walk too!

This brings me to Day 18 of #100HappyDays: I love adventures. I’m big into sword fights, but obviously there are no pirates in Worcester, so I left my sword at home. I was armed with my cell phone camera though and a large ice coffee. Today’s adventure helped me see things that have been there all along, but I’ve never noticed.

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❤ Cristina

Vacation days and to-do lists

There’s a high possibility that I either developed allergies (I’ve never had them before) or I’m getting sick (I have body aches). Today was the first day of my 7-day vacation and I had a plan. It was an awesome plan. Laundry. Cleaning. Post Office. Zumba. I can tell you right now that other than getting my gym clothes on nothing on that list was accomplished. I did get some dishes done, but I feel like complete crap. So I napped almost all day. While that may not have been the best use of my time, I have 6 more days off to get stuff done and be on point.

After rolling out of bed for the 4th time, I made my bed. I’m less likely to nap in it if it’s made- I guess I’m weird like that. I worked on a second to-do list. This list is for my length of vacation. It includes all things healthy from making a new recipe to drop it like a squat and walking around my city. I live in within downtown limits, but I NEVER walk around, so I’m going to take advantage of these days off.

I made 25 cards with different tasks on them that I have to accomplish from now until next Thursday when I go back to work. I’m great with lists and I believe this will really keep me on track as well as give me something to motivate me to think outside of the box.

This is also my day 17. I love to-do lists. It just happens that mine is currently on my wall and not on a piece of paper :]

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What keeps you on track? Do lists help or hinder your day?

❤ Cristina