30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 17

Today, I did day 17 of the DO YOU YOGA 30 Day Challenge. It was called “Light Yoga Backbends.” Since my back causes me the most pain, this video was especially beneficial. Additionally, I’ve been trying to do wheel pose and bow pose every day to help strengthen my back. Today was the first day I was able to get my hips off the ground in bow pose! That made me incredibly happy.

I also spent thirty minutes on the elliptical today and upped both the resistance and the incline. I felt so energized when I was finished.

As far as food today, I had oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. For lunch, I had the veggie and rice bowl at work. When I got home, I had some leftover beef and vegetables for a snack. For dinner, I had a big salad with some pinto beans for protein. I also had a little bit of hazelnut chocolate as a treat.

I spent some time coloring in my adult coloring book and listening to music. I don’t think I could go a day without music; it is incredibly important for my sanity and helps me to relax. Today, I’ve been listening to the Cure, New Order, and Coheed and Cambria.

What kind of music do you listen to?

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 2

Today, I did the second day of the DO YOU YOGA 30 Day Challenge. It was called “Happy Hamstrings” and focused on (you guessed it) hamstring flexibility! This video was also about 12 minutes long. I really like the instructor so far; her name is Jessica Rose. It’s also been a really long time since I’ve actively stretched and I’m feeling very positive this morning.

I don’t have work until 2:30 this afternoon, so I think my mom and I might be going to get new cell phones. I’m really excited because mine keeps shutting down randomly and it’s really frustrating – especially when I need to set my alarm to get up early.

Anyway, here’s some food stuff. I’ll fill in the blanks as the day progresses.

Breakfast: strawberry smoothie with almond milk, small piece of Greek new year’s bread.

Lunch: Leftover chicken stir fry, one oatmeal cookie.

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 1

Today, I did the first day of the DO YOU YOGA 30 Day Challenge. It was called “Let’s Get Started” and focused on hip openers. The video was only 12 minutes long, but I completed it comfortably and I feel really good about it – especially since I spent 8.5 hours on my feet at work today!

I think I’m also going to use these yoga posts to chronicle my eating habits for the next 30 days as well. So, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: Tofu and veggie scramble made with one egg

Lunch: Zesty black bean and chicken salad (from Starbucks)

Snack: Leftover eggroll (no sauce)

Dinner: Chicken stir fry with white rice, Kevita mango/coconut probiotic drink

I also drank two venti iced green teas at work.

Who else is making an effort to be healthier in 2017? Feel free to share!

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I’ve written last; I’ve been quite busy with work over the holidays. However, I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year, reflect on 2016, and share some of my goals for 2017.

This time last year, I was living and working in Korea which is, at this point, surreal to me. I was living a completely different life. There are still many things I miss about living abroad, but things are going much better for me where I am right now. I enjoy my job and my coworkers, and I have a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend Matt.

For 2017, I am making it a goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. I have wanted to lose  weight in the past for vanity’s sake, but I know I will be happier in the future if I make long term changes to my diet and exercise routines. For example, I am planning on starting a yoga challenge and seeing where that goes. I did yoga for a while in college, but stopped when I couldn’t afford to go to a studio anymore.

Additionally, Matt and I are going to make a conscious effort to cut back on things like fatty foods and alcohol. Since we are doing it together, I think we will be able to keep each other on track and hold ourselves accountable.

Finally, I’m hoping to move up at Starbucks this year. I’d really like to become a shift manager. It’s more responsibility, but a better paycheck – which I could definitely use.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Feel free to share!

My Mandatory Medical Exam: Or the Time I Got Called Obese

Today, I have experienced the reality of culture shock and (what felt like) complete and utter despair.

I was scheduled to go to the hospital for my mandatory medical exam. This is necessary in order for me to get my Alien Registration Card (ARC). I went with one of my native co-workers, a male.

As soon as we got there, we had to fill out paperwork. Then, I was shuffled off to get some blood work done. Side note: doctors in America can never find my veins and it’s difficult to communicate that fact to them, let alone trying to do it in a foreign country. The tech tried my right arm, no luck. I tried to get my co-worker to tell her to take it from my hand, but he didn’t understand. Then, she tried my left arm. After an arduous attempt at wiggling the needle around in my arm, there was finally blood. Hallelujah.

Next, I moved to another area where they took my blood pressure, height, and weight. Then, I had to go into a changing room and remove my clothes from the waist up for the next series of tests. I absolutely abhor that shit. I had to lay down on a table and they stuck these weird cuffs on my ankles and wrists as well as (I think they were some sort of clamps?) on my boobs. And then they gave me little electric shocks. What the fuck could this have even been for? Save for my personal humiliation?

They also tested my hearing and eyesight.

Finally, I was brought to a room to speak to a counselor. He looked at the chart that they gave him, he looked at me, and said “Obese. You. Overweight. Diet.” I couldn’t say a word. I looked at my co-worker. He exclaimed “obesity!” Then, the counselor said again, matter-of-factly, “You. Obese.”

I was reduced to tears in the middle of a doctor’s office in a foreign country. A sadness like I have never experienced flooded every part of me as my coworker rushed me out of the room and told me to go to the bathroom.

I was in shock. I knew coming here that Koreans are particularly blunt as well as the fact that thinness is important within their culture. However, I know that as a 5’9″ Caucasian woman, I am not obese. My mind is still boggled. It was excruciating to hear those words.

Afterwards, my coworker and I walked back to school. I suppose he told the director what happened, as he asked to speak with me shortly after. In an attempt to make me feel better (I think), he told me that doctors are here to make sure we take care of ourselves and maybe I should listen to him and watch what I eat.

Didn’t help. More tears.

Then, the bell rang and I bolted to class, eyeliner a mess. Whatever. My adorable students cheered me up.

Thanks for the self-esteem boost, Korea!

This is me. Not being obese.

This is me. Not being obese.