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Fitness Fav on Friday | Inspiration

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of July already. Where did all the time go?! This marks the last of this month’s Fitness Fridays.

This week’s theme is on where (or what) we draw our inspiration from.

My first two years of undergrad were frighteningly unhealthy, mostly because of my course load (let’s just say that I had enough units to graduate by the end of my second year) and the fact that I didn’t know any better. Granted, I’m sure it could’ve been worse. I ate healthily (usually), but in large quantities. (Alright, fine. This really hasn’t changed too much. ._.) I didn’t drink alcohol, but I didn’t exercise very often. My second year was the worst. I was slaving through organic chemistry and very heavily questioning my life choices. A typical day consisted of many, many cups of green tea, Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey granola bars throughout the day (I consumed over 500 that academic year. I am unfortunately not exaggerating.), and some sort of hopefully healthy-ish dinner. To this day, I can’t eat those granola bars anymore because it reminds me of ochem.

If you’ve ever happened upon the “fitness” section of my frighteningly long “About” page (forgive me; I love to write), you’d know that once upon a time, I made the glorious decision to change my major from Biological Sciences to Exercise Biology. It was easily one of the best decisions of my life, and those last two years of undergrad still remain as some of the best times of my life.

I absolutely fell in love with the major, and also had a little more freedom with my schedule, so before I knew it, on top of the Tahitian + hula dancing I was already doing, I was also taking kickboxing classes, abs/back conditioning, archery, tumbling, learning to lift weights, running…I tried it all and loved most of it (I really did try with long-distance running, but my apparent lack of type I muscle fibers just makes weightlifting so much more appealing). One of my most recent pipe dreams would be to be able to compete for WBFF, but given the amount of time and dedication it would take (coupled with the current road I’m taking), I don’t think it’d be a viable option. :[

I love the way lifting weights/exercise makes me feel, and it’s great to set state records and be awesome and all that. I will admit that I draw part of my inspiration from my dreams of badassery…but what matters more to me goes beyond that.

I want to lead by example. My hope is to go into family medicine (possibly sub-specializing in sports medicine) and to really be able to show my patients what I mean when I counsel them on incorporating exercise into their life, or tell them to start or maintain a healthier diet. I’d like to be able to give them concrete examples and tailor it to their individual needs. (I basically did this throughout the last two years, even though all my patients were fake.) I learn best by doing, so the past two years of medical school were really difficult for me. Matters were not helped by the fact that we were the guinea pig class to the new curriculum, but what matters is that we made it through. (I like to refer to our class as the “spirited survivors.”)

I’m always the first to admit that I am definitely not a genius (nowhere close :[ ). I got to where I am today because of my persistence and determination. I hope that continues to pull me forward, but for now, LEMME BASK IN THE GLORY OF NEVER HAVING TO TAKE THIS MONSTROSITY AGAIN. <3

I get to start my clinical rotations and start seeing real patients on Monday! Words cannot express how ecstatic I am right now. :]


This marks the last of Fitness Fav on Friday–go check out jvkom next week for a Feature Friday!

JVKom Chronicles
Also, starting next week, I’m really excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with several other ladies from Girls Gone Sporty for a Foodie Friday linkup! Each week will be a separate theme, so feel free to join in! :D More details will be up later on this/next week!
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Mid Year Review | Start, Stop, Keep

July’s PDBA blog hop theme is a mid-year review on what’s been going on in our lives, whether it be from a personal, business, or poler’s viewpoint. I’m going with personal because my poling has become so sporadic. :[ Darn life for getting in the way. (I’m still devising a way to sneak my pole up 2 flights of stairs without anyone in my complex noticing it. ._.)

  • Start: being more proactive, studying every day, working out regularly
  • Stop: negative self-talk (I noticed how gifted I was at this during my 1.5-month long study hibernation; it’s horrible) + making excuses for myself/other people
  • Keep: on truckin’ (+ in touch with + maintain relationships with family/friends, volunteering, and venturing out of my comfort zone)!

There’s been a lot that’s happened over the past 6 months, although there’s really just one thing on my mind right now. Remember my 1.5-ish-month long study hibernation that pretty much sucked all the life and joy away from me?

I PASSED MY BOARDS!!!

I officially get to call myself a third-year medical student, which means I’m finally permitted to re-join the land of the living/interact with human beings again. I’m one step closer to finally becoming a physician, and I am absolutely overjoyed. <3 I can’t wait to start my rotations!

Here are highlights from the first half of this year!

January: Coping mechanism for the polar vortex

February: Raising money at the International Festival so PAX could bring more supplies/medications to the DR (see next month).

March: Volunteering in the Dominican Republic (we managed to raise >$5000 to buy supplies/meds to bring over!)

April: My unintentional half-move into the cat shelter that later became an official move

May: Snuck back to CA for a week to half-live at Twirly Girls and see my family/friends before disappearing into the catacombs forever

June: My life as a basement dweller

Fitness Fav on Friday (Places)

This week’s linkup is on our favorite places to get in our fitness, so here’s one of my favorite places ever!

My favorite gym in the world is the ARC (Activities & Recreation Center) back at Davis. I was massively spoiled there and no other gym I’ve ever been to since then has not compared. I also love being outside. If I could move a squat rack outside (and perhaps a giant truck tire!) to work out, it’d be awesome. :D!

Fridays have apparently become my time to provide life updates, so…I’ve moved, yet again. I’ve lived in …8(?) places since 2007. ._. This apartment complex is quite possibly the nicest place I’ve ever lived in. It’s also the most expensive, even with the $45/month discount my friend managed to get for me, but if I keep pinching pennies like nobody’s business, I should be okay.

I got to Kentucky on Sunday evening. As it is, I’m only about 1/3 of the way moved in because my Tetris-ing skills unfortunately have not transcended to unearthly levels. I’m currently leeching wireless from a network called, “get your own” (yepyep, very fitting), but hopefully by August, I’ll be done! I’m hoping I can share internet with Hira, and also may or may not have left a somewhat creeper-y message on my neighbor’s door. (…It was to ask if we could split the wifi bill if it didn’t work with Hira.) The creeper-y part is because I don’t actually know my neighbor, but…does it make it any better if he’s also a student, but a year above me?

Minimalist living. Mike found out I didn’t have a bed and loaned me his extra for the week (he’s returning it on the weekend).

Orientation was throughout this week. We had a wholeeee ton of information thrown at us on Monday, but I’m super grateful that we’re in this region. Our dean and site coordinator really seem like they care about us. :D

Our first ice-breaker involved “2 Truths & a Lie,” which I always find kinda fun. :D For people who know me, the lie is pretty easy to detect.

  1. I’ve been living at a cat shelter for the past 2 months.
  2. My favorite subject in high school was biology.
  3. I hold a state powerlifting record.

None of my non-friends suspected that bio was not one of my favorite subjects in high school. (English, journalism and treble ensemble!!!)

We got fed lunch and there was enough left, so I got dinner too!

We had a couple team-building exercises. One of them involved using the 6 pipecleaners we were given to create “something medically-related,” but we were only allowed to use our non-dominant hands. Our group immediately opted to make Borrelia burgdorferi.

It’s beautiful!

Most of the other teams made stethoscopes, and her dean has dubbed our class as the least creative group she’s had thus far. (Noooo! :'( ) Past classes have made an ambulance, a wheelchair, a bunch of teeth with braces…etc. She said she liked our Lyme disease creation though, but she can’t display it in the case or it’ll get smushed.


JVKom Chronicles

Pumpkin Vegetable Soup + Fitness 5 on Friday!

Here’s another recipe from 6F feasting (this one’s also pilfered from Jun)! I know the weather’s warming up in most parts of the world, and I tend to enjoy warm soups on cold nights, but I’ve been caught in severe thunderstorms for the past couple nights and it’s really making me want to just not leave my study room, since, I’ve pretty much moved in. (More on that later on in this post. In any case, hope you enjoy! :]

Pumpkin Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
-1/2 kabocha, chopped
-chicken stock, water or dashi stock
-carrots, chopped
-daikon, chopped
-ginger, sliced (~1-2 inches, thinly sliced, but it depends on how gingery you like things)
-sea salt, to taste
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-miso paste (optional)

Instructions:
1) Boil everything until cooked.
2) Add boy choy or Napa cabbage at the end if you want leafy greens!
3) If using miso, add it to your bowl when serving and not when boiling it, because it loses flavor if boiled for too long.
Here’s Round 2 of JVKom’s Fitness 5 on Friday! :]

1. What is your least favorite exercise and why?

Hands down, long-distance running. :[ It’s at least partially due to the fact that I suck at it, but for the most part, I just vastly prefer activity that calls for the utilization of my type II muscle fibers. They function a lot better than my type I’s. :P

2. What is your resting heart beats per minute? (to calculate count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4)

76. :[ This makes me sad because I’m pretty sure I was along the lines of 62 last year.

3. Do you prefer to exercise alone or with company?

If I’m lifting weights, I tend to like going it alone because it’s way more efficient. (My type A tendencies shine through here, har har.) I used to run/jog with Mekala and/or Sylvia while we caught up on life, before we effectively ended up in 3 different time zones (thanks, school/life). I miss that quite a bit. :[

4. What is your go to exercise outfit?

If I could have it my way, I’d exclusively wear workout clothing for pretty much every day of my life. That being said, on days where I don’t have to look nice, I can invariably/ideally (the latter is because winters here kinda suck) be found in a tank top and shorts. Depending on the activity, this may or may not include a pair of heels.

JUST KIDDING. I’m just modeling them (a girl at our studio blinged em’ out). I can’t walk in heels to save my life.

5. Think about this time last year. Are you more or less active than you were a year ago?

Ah, this also makes me very sad. :[ About this time last year, I was fresh out of my very first powerlifting competition and not feeling endless bouts of study guilt for being at the gym (“But Farrah, you should be studying! Get out of here!”), so I was definitely a lot more active. I sincerely hope that by mid-summer, I’ll be done with this madness forever.

I had a dream the other night that I asked my brother to punch me in the stomach (this is a regular occurrence when I’m home) and he did, but I no longer had the abs to block him like I usually do. It was fairly disheartening. He sent me a list of badass quotes, and I want this to be talking about me someday:

“Just remember, somewhere, a little Chinese girl is warming up with your max.” – Jim Conroy

This is what I mean when I say that I’ve “moved into my study room.”

…And this is what my current life has been reduced to, except multiply this by about 3 filled-up notebooks.


If you’d like to join in on the linkup, answer the following questions and link up your post on Friday (it goes live at 7 a.m. EST!). (On social media, the hashtag will be #F5onF. :)

JVKom Chronicles

The Body is Art | Self-Acceptance

June’s Pole Dancing Bloggers Association (PDBA) blog hop theme is on the body, and what it means to look and feel your best.

There are a whole host of different things I could write about here, and this will probably lead to a succession of different posts later on, but we’ll start with the concept of self-acceptance.

β€œThe curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

-Carl Rogers

As a child growing up, my closest friends were my brother and our family friends (all of which were dudes). In an effort to have common ground, I shunned anything that was perceived to be “girly.” These were poor life choices on my part, but I was young and impressionable at the time, and there’s really nothing I can do about it now, so let’s just move on.

Despite finally branching out into the world of dancing (hula/Tahitian, pole, salsa), I had a difficult time thinking of myself as a dancer. To me, dancers are graceful and possess this mesmerizing ability to make everything look effortlessly beautiful.

I trip over nothing and smash into doors/tables and apologize to inanimate objects on a semi-regular basis.

Suffice to say, the main problem I had when I first started pole wasn’t from not being able to do the move we were working on. Even if I couldn’t do it exactly right, I was still strong enough to muscle my way into whatever it was. Nope, the issue was with my apparent inability to make things look pretty and graceful. Long lines, fluid motion, the absence of a “resting bitchface” (I look kinda angry when I’m concentrating)…they were all things I had to work on accomplishing, and to this day, it’s still my greatest challenge. (Y’know, that and the issue of not having time to ever practice.)

I’ve always been my own greatest critic, which I attribute to my type A tendencies and my need to overachieve. I never want to become complacent, because I believe you can always be better than you were.

There’s a fine line between that and self-acceptance though, and if I took the above statement to the extreme, it would make for an extremely unhealthy mentality. I can’t say that I had very horrible self-esteem issues growing up, but within every Asian household (sweeping generalization, I know, but bear with me), therein lies a fair share of criticism. I like to joke that I’m somewhat full of it because my self-confidence is pretty high. I’m happy with myself and the way I am, but I also recognize that there are things I should probably work on. (My abnormal love for food/compulsive eating habits and cactus-like tendencies, for starters.)

That being said, physical activity (since it’s all-encompassing) made me way more aware of my body and what my strengths and weaknesses were. Lifting weights helps me to become stronger (not gonna lie, it usually makes me feel like a total badass). Running helped with building my patience (heh) and BJJ helped with my apparent lack of spatial awareness…but of all of them, dancing is what makes me feel beautiful.

I think that in order to really be happy–in life, in relationships, or just in a general state of being–you have to be able to accept your faults. Accept that you can’t know/do/be everything, and you’ll have a starting point. These are the five things (my life philosophies on this topic, if you will) I shall end with!

  • Know that you can’t be perfect, but that it doesn’t mean you can’t continually strive to be the best that you can be.
  • Be aware of your limits, but also know which of those limits are ones that you can push to better yourself as a person.
  • If you want something and you get the chance, go for it! Generally speaking, there’s more regret associated with the opportunities you pass up. (This may or may not be the reason behind why I continually try to do everything in the world simultaneously.)
  • Never allow someone to be your priority if you’re only an option to them. This is paraphrased from a Mark Twain quote, and summarizes how I learned to walk away from people that meant way too much to me, when I didn’t mean enough to them.
  • Believe in your self-worth. We all have different definitions of this–different values, habits and lifestyles–I feel at my best and happiest when I’m doing what I love and/or helping others, which thankfully, happens to go hand in hand most of the time.

What makes you feel and look your best?

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