Gratitude Friday: I’ve Survived the First Decade of Adulthood Edition


My Timehop app recently displayed an awesome picture of me at the ripe age of 17 (about to turn 18) after my last spring ice show before I graduated high school (remember how I used to be a figure skater?!). I skated my solo to Material Girl by Madonna in a show featuring the top music from the last 30 years.


This was one of the first pictures I posted to Facebook… ever. I was shocked to see on Timehop that the photo was taken 10 years ago because that day doesn’t feel like so long ago, but then I think about how much I’ve grown and changed over the years and can’t believe merely a decade has passed. On Sunday, I will turn 28. In my mind, I’ve been 28 for months now, but I suppose I shall enjoy the tail end of being 27 🙂

Turning 28 on Sunday means that I have been an adult since 2006. Four years of that time was spent in college, then in a job I wasn’t fond of, then three years in graduate school, and now over a year of working full-time in my dream career path (mental health counseling). That, in a nutshell, is my first decade of being a “grown up.” A lot of this time was spent figuring out who I am and how I want to spend my life. A lot of this time was spent cultivating a life I want with the people I want to spend it with. I’ve worked hard and am forever grateful that I was born with a serious work ethic.


I have my own little office with a painting that I created in it. Pretty cool, right?

I’m grateful for 27. As a 27-year-old, I learned what it’s like to be a therapist on a full-time basis. This part of my career journey has been incredibly anxiety-provoking, but I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it and I believe I am REALLY helping people <3 I moved in with my boyfriend, Andy. I traveled to Minnesota and Boston. I ran my second marathon. At 27, my life was in a full-on transition mode, but the dust has been settling and I’ve been taking great care of myself these last few months. This year was hard, but it was worth it.


Andy and I in Minnesota

I’m grateful that my first decade went the way it did. Life is a one-way street and I believe this part of mine was spent the way it needed to be spent. I had the wrong relationships, the wrong career, the wrong college major, the wrong diets, etc. These were all a part of the lessons I needed to learn in order to make it to where I am today. I know who I am a lot more at this point than I did at ages 18, 19, 20, or even 26 and I think that’s awesome 🙂

Sometimes I still don’t make the best drink choices. This one gave me a serious stomach ache even though it was delicious:


I know that I’m not 30 yet, which is when people tend to celebrate a milestone decade. However, I know for a fact that 28 important. It means I’ve been (sort of?) responsible for myself for TEN YEARS. It also means that I’ve still got a long way to go in life. As I’ve learned while studying psychology in undergrad and grad school, we are constantly developing and changing – even into our eighties. Who knows where the next decade of life will take me? I’m excited to find out.

As always, I’m grateful for another year!

What are you grateful for today?

When is your birthday? – Mine is May 29th!

Boston + Vacation Fitness

Sticking to my fitness goals was pretty challenging last week because I traveled to Boston to visit my cousin/BFF, Kat! Oksana and I left Chicago bright and early Friday morning. Prior to our trip, I tried to squeeze in 3 workouts and was successful in doing so.  I definitely have fitness goals, but I’ve just GOT TO prioritize having fun when I’m on a much-needed vacation. Life is a one-way street and sometimes splitting two different cannolis (mint chocolate chip and Oreo) from Mike’s with Dan (Katerina’s boyfriend, who happens to have really good taste in cannolis) is absolutely necessary.


We ate some seriously good vegetarian food at Veggie Galaxy, had dinner at Five Horses Tavern, and lunches at Boloco and Amsterdam Falafelshop. Eating really good food is really important to me when I go on vacation. I’ve gotta try it all!


We did some beautification, like putting on these TONYMOLY bubble face masques and having Oksana do our makeup, since she’s a beauty expert 🙂


The most exciting fitness-related thing we did was find the Boston Marathon finish line!


I got a little bit too excited 😛

While Kat was at work on Saturday morning, Oksana and I ran 5 miles alone a lovely trail in Arlington, MA, which is where we were staying. More on that below:

Last Week’s Workouts

Monday: 1 hour yoga practice

Tuesday: Running warmup + weights with Oksana

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 mile run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5 mile run in Massachusetts!


Photo stolen from Oksana

Sunday: No official workout, but we walked A LOT in Boston while shopping/eating 🙂 My Fitbit claims I got 14,031 steps!

I had so much fun on my trip! Even though I didn’t stick with the healthiest diet, I’m quite sure that I achieved a balance of health and indulgence while visiting the East Coast. That’s what vacations are all about, right?!

How do you fit in exercise while on vacation? Or is that even a priority for you?

SWORKIT + Vanity Talk

Happy Workout Wednesday!

I switched up my workouts quite a bit last week because I wanted to try my new app called SWORKIT.


As a person who is chronically late, sometimes it’s hard for me to squeeze in a gym session (because I need to drive 10-15 minutes both there and back, AND THEN get ready for work/bed/whatever I’m going to do afterwards). SWORKIT allows me to work out at home. You get to pick from the 4 workouts above AND how long you would like to do them – starting from 5 minutes!

Because I want to focus on strength training before I start my marathon plan in June, SWORKIT is especially helpful. I’ve felt sore almost all week, which (to me) is the sign of a good workout. Switching up my usual running for something else feels fantastic. Running is my all-time favorite exercise, but I think my body got too used to it. (This is not a sponsored post for SWORKIT. I just really enjoy the app and I think you should all download it!)

Before I share my workouts from last week, I also wanted to talk about vanity (when it comes to weight). I’ve been very focused on losing weight/eating healthier/switching up my exercise routine these days. Some of this behavior is not very healthy, I am beginning to realize. I’ve never had an eating disorder (and I really don’t want to develop one now), mostly because I was always naturally thin. I used to be able to eat what I wanted and as much as I wanted without gaining a single pound. That all changed just over a year ago.

Since starting my internship in September 2014, I’ve been super stressed. The stress never ended and I think that is a big contributor of my weight gain. Starting a new career ain’t easy! On top of that, I’m getting older and I think my metabolism is slowing down. OK, so more about the VANITY part now. I think for me, weight loss isn’t ALL about looking better, though that has been a large part of it, heh.

I think wanting to lose these 7 pounds is also because I’m comparing myself to who I was at age 22, which I am NOT and never will be again. I can’t compare and I don’t want to live my life bound by some sort of “diet.” Instead, I want to make healthier choices and be more mindful of what I’m eating. I honestly think that whatever we put into our body is due to how we FEEL. I think stress impacted my desire to care for and nourish my body, but I’ve been feeling calmer and more confident in myself lately. Finally, I feel ready to really commit to a healthy lifestyle again – not just because I want to LOOK GOOD/for vanity reasons, but because I want to live a long and healthy life.

To emphasize my point, please watch this video by Cassey Ho, of Blogilates fame, about dieting and why she will never do it again. I totally get this message because too much restriction has lead me to “cheat” often and binge eat a bunch of junk food. Intuitive/mindful eating is where it’s AT. Here’s to a long and healthy life, regardless of what the scale says 🙂


Instead of refueling with a Frappuccino (true life: I used to do this ALL THE TIME), I had a green smoothie after going to the gym the other day. AND it was delicious. This is what I’m talking about: I just want to make healthier food choices on a regular basis 🙂

Last Week’s Workouts

Monday: 60 minute yoga class

Tuesday: 1 mile run around my neighborhood and then 25 minutes of strength with SWORKIT -> probably my favorite day of exercise in a long time. I loved the variety!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Ran a speedy 2 miles on the treadmill and then lifted some weights.

Friday: Cardio SWORKIT for 25 minutes

Saturday: Strength SWORKIT for 25 minutes

Sunday: Oksana‘s graduation in Wisconsin! We had such a lovely day. So proud of Oksana for earning her bachelor’s degree!


My uncle, my aunt, Oksana, and your’s truly 🙂


I ate whatever I wanted on this day because I believe in celebrating/enjoying delicious things when I want to 🙂

Thank you for reading about my thoughts on vanity/dieting and all about SWORKIT! Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

How do you make sure you’re eating healthy foods?

Have you ever tried SWORKIT?