Sunday, December 28, 2014

Back, Back Again

And here I am again, with another month off from blogging. It’s turned out to be much more difficult than I thought – holding down a full time job AND keeping up with my blog. It has clearly been neglected, but I really am going to try and have more regularity with it in this new year. It’s just hard because I’ll have some free time, and the last thing I want to do is stare at a computer, for fear that I’ll start doing something school-related, as opposed to doing something for myself. But I am going to try.

Anyway, it would be much too difficult to sum up the past month for you, but can you guys believe that I have a whole semester of teaching under my belt? Sometimes I still can’t believe I get paid to do this, because while it’s very difficult, it just doesn’t feel like real work. That might not make any sense to you, but until you’ve been in the situation, you probably just think I’m talking nonsense. Maybe the 15-year-olds are getting to me. Anyway, it was a wonderful semester, full of learning experiences and frustration and humility and laughter and yes, a few tears, and reassurance that I’m in the right place and lots of support and growing up a lot more than I thought I would. I have much more appreciation for my former teachers, as I am sure that I have mentioned before, and I wish I could go back and individually thank each one of them for not only teaching me something, but for caring about me as an individual. As much as I want to love each one of my students, some of them make it very hard. But then I remember that each one of them has a different story, and that it matters, and that my greatest goal is to be a bright spot in each one of their days. Talk about philosophical, huh?

I love Bellaire and again, I am so thankful for this sweet opportunity that I have been given. What a place to start my teaching career!

And because it’s Sunday, let’s do a little survey action. Because I can’t think of any better way to get back in my blogging game. I am sure you have learned by now that you can’t necessarily trust me when I say this, but here’s to getting back into the food and fitness writing sooner rather than later! There’s a strong possibility that I’ve done this survey before, but I’m sure the answers have changed a little bit.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
On school days, I always take some scrambled egg whites with spinach and salsa (yes, this breakfast is still around!) with me to school, but on weekends, and holiday breaks, I tend to eat yogurt and granola or fruit, or some of my banana-oatmeal-almond butter muffin “dough.” Or sometimes I sleep in so late that breakfast becomes lunch. So sue me!

2. How much water do you drink a day?
I drink a LOT of water, especially at school. Which probably accounts for the fact that I often have to squeeze in a bathroom trip between every single class! But dehydration is a very real thing, so I almost always have a CamelBak water bottle on hand.
3. What is your current favorite workout?
Right now, with this cooler weather, I’m enjoying running (which is a good thing because I am running a half marathon in exactly three weeks from today), biking (because this girl got herself a new bike), and rollerblading (though I did take a nasty fall a couple of weeks ago. Lots of cardio, as per usual. Maybe I should try and do some more strength training with this new year.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?
I have never counted calories, but with all of the exercise that I do, I don’t typically feel as though I overeat very often. And if I do, I try not to dwell on it. Easier said than done, of course.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Luna Minis (especially Chocolate Peppermint Stick and Chocolate Dipped Coconut), Apple Cinnamon Chobani Yogurt, grapes, Cuties, carrots and hummus, are among a few of my go-to snacks these days.
6. What do you usually eat for lunch?
I’m so boring, but I take the same spring mix salad with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, Spanish olives, and Kosher Snack’mms Pickles to school for lunch each and every day. And so far, it has not gotten old. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
Probably my legs. From years of volleyball, they are fairly strong, and I can do things with a little less.. struggle!

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
Probably my triceps. Or any part of my arms, really. Which is probably why I neglect to do so much of the time!

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
I love all things chocolate, and I have a hard time resisting it. Sometimes I think it’s a good thing that I can’t have dairy, because it’s my excuse for saying no!
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
I mean, okay, I take gummy vitamins each morning, and who knows how much they really do, but I take them nonetheless!

11. How often do you eat out?
Honestly, not that much. Moreso this break when I am catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and I ate out MUCH more when I was in Austin than I do now, but I try not to make it a habit.

12. Do you eat fast food?
No, I do not. I’ll occasionally eat a Subway sandwich, grab Chick-Fil-A, or the super occasional Panda Express (guilty pleasure, okay?), but it often makes me feel horrible after I eat it, so I stay away as often as possible.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?
My parents, for sure. They never discourage any of my crazy ideas or dreams, and support me every single step of the way, making sure to remind me how proud they are of me.

14. Do you have a gym membership?
I do. I actually currently have TWO gym memberships – the Memorial Athletic Club right up the street, and 24 Hour Fitness, because there is one right next to Bellaire, and I would go workout after volleyball practice instead of battling traffic home. I should probably cancel that, but it’s not outrageously expensive, so we will see!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Over this break? 9-10. On a regular school day? 7-8. Which is enough, but I am loving this little bit of extra sleep I’ve been getting!

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
Nope. I have some sort of sweet (usually dark chocolate) each and every day. Some days are better than others, and I’ve learned to be okay with that.

17. Do you drink alcohol?
I do. I actually just last night discovered that there IS some wine that I like! I really enjoy champagne, and of course, the fruity cocktails, but I still think beer is horrendous. But maybe it will grow on me.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?
I don’t, but stay tuned for a 2015 exercise goal that kind of, sort of includes an exercise buddy. A workout buddy could either be really good or really bad – I’m ultra-competitive, so it would push me, but it might not be good for our friendship!

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
I’ve always been active – I played sports my entire life, and as soon as my volleyball career ended I found new ways to stay fit, but mainly the happiness that it brings me. I truly understand the “runner’s high,” and the feeling that one good workout can completely change the course of a day. I know some people might disagree with this statement, but exercise is a huge stress reliever for me, and it is something that I hope will always be a part of my life. I have also discovered a plethora of healthy (and delicious) recipes that I am constantly pinning to my “kitchen fun” board.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
I swam this afternoon, and then I followed it up with a fresh salad from Salata. And then promptly sat on my behind and watched Harry Potter with my friends. It balances itself out!

And on that note, I hope the rest of your Sunday is a really wonderful one. It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost to an end. There are lots of things that have changed – both good and bad – lots of things that have been learned, lots of things to be thankful for, and I am so glad that even though the year may change, and who knows what will come with this new year, my many blessings will remain the same.

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