Monday, May 13, 2019

How I Stay Consistent With Fitness

One of my resolutions in 2019 was to become more consistent with my diet and exercise.  I'm proud to say that I've made exercise a steady habit in my life.  I now incorporate movement 3 to 6 times a week (unless I'm out of town or sick)!  If you're anything like me, getting into the gym is a chore.  For me, the hardest part of fitness lies in actually starting my workouts.  If I can make myself go, then I can do the work!  So I had to ask myself . . .

What can I do to stay consistent with working out?

1.  Get a membership or sign up for a class.  

I was in a spin class once where the instructor urged us, "PUSH IT AND GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH!"  I once thought I would workout at home or run, but exercising was the last thing I wanted to do after a long day.  Last August, I caved and got a membership to a gym down the street because the best workout is the one that you do.  Putting my money down keeps me accountable because fitness isn't cheap.  Think of it this way: the more you use your membership, the more it drives down the cost per use!

2.  Always have a plan. 

I plan my workouts like a bulleted list.  You know that satisfaction you get when checking things off?  Same thing applies to exercise!  Planning also means you waste less time figuring out what to do at the gym.  I also use these plans as an opportunity to work out more intelligently.

3.  Keep exercise clothes within easy reach. 

Every Sunday, I pack a bag of gym clothes to bring in to work.  I keep the clothing and my sneakers under my desk, along with a water bottle.  If the clothes are right there, it's easy to change and exercise!  I know several other people at my work who also do this.

4.  Exercise for an energy and mood boost. 

I focus on how great I'll feel after versus the thought of doing physical work.  I tend to go to the gym during my mid-afternoon slump, in lieu of coffee or a nap.  Exercise gives you endorphins and energy!  It's a great way for me to elevate my mood and also to take a meditative hour to be in tune with my body and its movements.

5.  Move with a buddy. 

I recently met some great gals at the gym after almost a year of working out alone.   We've been doing workouts together and it's a lot of fun!  Having buddies means you have the camaraderie of a team when it's rough.  You are also each other's cheerleaders!  There are countless times that my buddies have pushed me not to give up or counted down reps in a set.

What do you do to stay consistent?
Please share in the comments! :)

Sunday, May 12, 2019


For a famous city, Seattle is actually a pretty small world, especially within the network of creatives and photographers.  I met Aiko late last year at a photography gig and immediately recognized her from Olivia's photography work.  We've been in touch ever since (she's a lovely person!) and finally got around to shooting this March.  We'd been talking about working together for ages and finally got to do it in Pioneer Square!  I plan to work with here again -- she's fun, easygoing, and very creative. 

The first location we stopped in was Cherry Street Public House which had the most beautiful lighting and aesthetic.  We grabbed some apple cider (Aiko is holding it!) and delicious pastries before getting to work.  Pro Tip: if you ask establishments nicely, they're more than happy to let you shoot in their space!  It never hurts to be courteous and kind.  While we were there, I managed to get a photograph of her from behind the glass window.  This is a photo I've always wanted to try.  Afterwards, Aiko did an outfit change and we walked around the streets of Pioneer Square to find new locations.

All in all, I'd say this was a successful and fun photoshoot.  I sent the photos off to Aiko yesterday so that's another collaboration in the books.  Something I tried to do this time around was change the way I edit.  I focused on enhancing the darks and shadows, and to shied away from overexposing to make images brighter.

Let me know what you think in the comments! :)  

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Sunday #74: Bonjour Avril

Hello, April!  I am not sure where the time went, but I've now lived in Seattle for a full year!  I remember how lonely it felt when I initially moved here, but I've settled into a routine, like my apartment, found my gym, and made friends.  With the exception that my partner is still far away, it's decent here.  I'm also stoked about breaking through the Seattle Freeze to meet so many wonderful people!

I.  My partner came to visit me at the end of March.  We saw Captain Marvel (highly recommend) and went to visit the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle.  It's been awhile since I've photographed plants or trees so I decided to bring my camera.  I am experimenting with different floral shots that aren't just "zoom in on this flower and create bokeh."  For a long time, I sought to create images that are bright and full of light (both consciously and subconsciously leaning towards the Instagram-friendly aesthetic), but I've been purposefully including more shadows and darks in my images.  I like the starkness of contrast.

II.  When I decompress, I alternate between watching brainless TV or cerebral shows.  I am a huge fan of the show The OA.  Season 2 premiered on Netflix in March.  I've been rewatching it in the evenings to see what details I've missed because the show is so complex.  I like science fiction that is within the realm of believability (though we can argue that aspects of this show are a stretch of the imagination).  Quantum superposition + many-worlds interpretation?  Sign me up.  Do you have recommendations for shows that are similar to The OA?

III.  In the past few months, I've improved my relationship with exercise.  Exercising has become a way for me to take time to myself, the 45 to 90 minutes in a day I get to focus solely on moving and improving my body.  Anyone who brings up exercising with me gets an earful because I'm so excited to talk about it.  I have been doing workouts with some friends.  It's rewarding and fun!  I'm so enthusiastic talking about it that recently someone asked if I wanted to train clients for several hours a week at a wellness company.  Alas, I am not a certified trainer, but this got me thinking about getting certification from NASM.  It's expensive, though, and I already have a lot of other hobbies and interests (not to mention a full-time job).  Maybe somewhere down the line?  However, expect to see fitness-themed content here very soon!

IV.  Speaking of full-time work, I've been doubling down on learning biology recently.  I work in both chemistry and biology groups.  Now that I've largely wrapped up my chemistry work, I want to dedicate all my focus on biology.  There's a steep learning curve with biology (or any branch of science) so I have been making it a goal to read more, aiming for 3 to 5 scientific journal articles a day.  I figure if I'm not leisure reading, I should read academically.  My goal is just to read every single day.  Good for the soul, good for the brain.

V.  Setting some goals for this week: not eating out or spending money with the exception of a Friday night dinner.  I've been noticing how much I eat out which is neither good for my health or wallet.  I have plans to get ramen with coworkers later this evening.  After that, I'm going to meal prep and work for the rest of the evening to prepare for Monday.  My other intentions this week are to exercise 5X, read 10 to 15 new academic articles, and to gain traction on my biology work.  Let's make this a productive week!


•  Natalie's guide on how to henna your hair.
•  Michelle's 4 Ways to Keep A Blog (from a few weeks ago) that the community found useful!
•  Downtown by Majical Cloudz which is the most calming song on earth.

What are your intentions for the week ahead?