Week 4 – 4.29.18 – 5.5.18

Training

*The schedule I post on a weekly basis is what I originally planned to do last week.

Two things this week: Missed a few sessions, and too ambitious.

I missed a few sessions here and there because of pole dancing timing. As discussed in my previous post, I could not plan my classes in advance. You can only book classes four days in advance and even then, some classes are not always available. Also, the classes are constantly late evenings, but not late enough for me to have a workout beforehand. Just an odd in-between, even location-wise. I decided to just not use the remaining credits or use it on rest days. I know it sounds privileged but if I’m going and not enjoying it, is it really worth spending time on it? It could be used towards training and building a routine. That to me is the biggest waste. Time is finite.

Second, I started out too ambitious with too much planned volume. Have to taper into high volume training or else you will experience fatigue and loss of motivation. Feel like a failure when I didn’t finish a workout and skipped a day. Will go for another round of Week 4’s schedule with slight adjustments.


Nutrition

Even when I increased the training volume slightly, I get pangs of hunger frequently. This week, I really loaded in on the snacks and volume in my lunch. It did not feel comfortable at all, especially when sitting in the office. The bloat was real.

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It got me curious as to how much I was actually eating in a day and how much it was attributed to snacks. My worst day was shy of 3,000 calories. THREE. THOUSAND. Half came from grazing on snack. I appreciate the insight that MyFitnessPal gave me, going to try using it on a day-to-day basis.

ME DAY – A date with me, myself, and I.

I had the biggest ME DAY without planning it this past Saturday.

  • Had pole dancing class
  • Went shopping
  • Ate lunch at a sit-down restaurant
  • Worked away on personal projects at a Starbucks

It felt great. Heck, it felt AMAZING. To be on my own agenda, without anyone telling me what to do and when to do it. Being able to spend my time and money wherever I dictated. Quite a liberating feeling, especially when you come from an environment that needs series of approvals, whether it is in the office or choosing a place to eat with friends. But, when you are by yourself, all you have to say is ‘Yup, doing it.” and it’s done!

The newest experience is probably eating by myself. At the beginning, you feel like you should be using this as a social time, or you would think that the waiter is judging you a bit. Then I thought: “Why can’t we eat out alone?” I mean, why limit it to just ordering take out and eating at home while binging on Netflix? I want to enjoy the restaurant ambiance too!

Never thought I would ever say: “Table for one, please.” But hey, now I would not even hesitate doing that again.

Week 3 – 4.22.18 – 4.28.18

Training

I realized because of my line of work, having the exact same schedule week over week proves to be next to impossible. Here is my new approach. Rather than focusing on the date on which I need to do the exercise, I should focus on how many times I should focus on X discipline. So, each week, I will plan ahead of time of when I will swim/cycle/run, with other events in mind.

Swim x 3
Cycling – 60 mins x 3
Walk & Run x 2
Resistance training – Upper body x 2
Resistance training – Lower body x 2

Side note: I can’t wait for the my pole dancing credits to run out, I don’t like the fact I have to book ahead of time individual classes instead of just have them booked in for me for a set number of weeks. So, classes are never consistent. This has contributed to my constantly changing routine.

This week was honestly a hodge-podge of activities and I desperately tried to fit in what I could in the meantime. Another training time that I should try to maximize is lunch hour. It’s hard to pull yourself away from the desk, because there is a fear that something will explode while you’re away or you appear unproductive.


Nutrition

I have a problem with sugar and snacking a lot. Whenever I put a restriction on myself, I find that it makes me even more prone to go against it.

Been trying to find healthier alternatives and go for water instead of snacking. Often times, it is because I just want to munch on something or stressed.

March 2018: What did I buy.

*Side note: I decided to not call this a ‘No buy’ as I am I still purchasing things. Maybe Low Buy? Yeah, that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Will update with a new title when I have a better name for it.

March has been one of the most stressful seasons I have ever encountered. I am thinking on putting a number of things I can buy in a month (excluding transportation passes) but still continue with a no clothing buy.

I’m going to try my best to decrease the number of purchases in April as I am aiming to build a good savings buffer before moving out in the summer.

What did I buy:

  • Brunch with family
  • Coach Chelsea boots
  • Lunch x 5
  • Uniqlo blouse x 2
  • Salsa dance lessons

What did I not buy:

  • Vince Camuto blouse ($40)

Week 1 – April 8th – 14th

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
AM Cross traing – Erg + Core (1hour) Weights –Upper Muscular Endurance Rest Rest
PM Weights – Upper Muscular Endurance Cycling – 60 mins Weights + Plyo (Lower Muscular Endurance) Swimming Swimming

Training

  • Rehabilitation and build foundation
  • Honestly I have no idea what I am doing or even know where to start.
  • This is what my week looks like and I’m trying it out

Running

Legs – Endurance and foundations

Resistance training:

Back Squats: 8×4
Hex Deadlifts: 8×4
Leg Press: 15×4
Lunges: 4 rounds
Calf Raises: 20×4
Leg Curls: 12×4
Leg Extensions: 12×4

PLYO circuit x 5
Leg-ups – 12 steps, each side
Sled push
Farmer’s walk
2 min rest


Cycling

Been using a Kaiser spin bike, but whenever I bike, I have knee pain during the session. Tried to adjust the seat here and there, while fixing the biomechanics of cycling, but still no Bueno. Thinking of asking the bike shop about what might be happening when I go window shopping this weekend. What I’ve been using as ‘training’ resources are GDN cycling videos on Youtube. It is incredibly annoying when commercials come on every 10 mins. Talk about a mood killer.


Swimming

1. Workout A

Warm-up

2x200M Freestyle, 1 min rest
8x50M medley, 25m drill/ 25m swim, 15 sec rest after 50m

Main set

8x100M Free, 30 secs rest after 100m

Aerobic

Speed set

4x25M, 15M max, 10M easy, 15 sec rest between 50M
1 – 2 Free, 3 – 4 Breast

Cooldown

100M choice

TOTAL: 1,600M

2. Workout B

Warm-up

400M, 100M Free, 100M Choice

Kick set

3x50M, Speed up to max pace
30 secs rest between each 50M

Main set

5x200M, 40 secs rest between each
1,3,5 Swim
2,4 Pull buoy

Cooldown

1x50M choice

TOTAL: 1,600M


Nutrition

It was a bad start. My co-worker brought my weakness to work, pastries, for two straight days. Then, she proceeded to put it on the shelf in front of my desk. I think the next time this happens, I need to reflect on how seriously I am taking this journey. Something more actionable would be simply to move away from my desk. Been really trying to incorporate a healthy breakfast to kick start the day, oatmeal and banana is my new favourite.

Going 100% with 65%

Since dislocating and breaking my ankle, I wanted to write a post about my recovery journey but couldn’t find the right words to describe it until today.

Every time I train, it didn’t feel like I pushed myself where my face would be flushed, sweat trickling down or doing the weights/reps/sets that I know I want to push myself towards. It feels like I didn’t work hard enough because I wasn’t performing to the intensity I use to train to.

But it hit me. I had to be kind to myself, because I WAS pushing myself. I am only 65% of what I use to be. But I am putting 100% effort of that percentage into training and getting better.

Yes, I am not progressing as fast as I want to in order get back to normal. In fact, some days feel like I am going backwards. It’s incredibly frustrating and hard to restrain yourself from going too hard for risk of reinjury.

I need to understand that I am only 65% of what I use to be but it does not mean I can’t put or am not putting 100% of it into getting better and stronger each day. Training focus may be different, but intention remains the same – being the best version of myself.

What I did to pay off $28,300 worth of student loans in less than 2 years.

Thank you, OSAP, for my education. I don’t think I could ever pay you back.” – Broke, unemployed 22-year old me, fresh out of university.

Here is the magic formula:

1. Switch to a low to no interest loan

You will never pay your principle amount if you keep accumulating interest and you would end up paying even more than your initial loan amount. This is where compound interest DOES NOT work in your favour. I was fortunate enough to have family help me pay off OSAP first, and then I would pay the full amount back to them. Effectively, having a zero interest loan. Thanks fam.

2. Budget, budget, budget

Never go to war without a plan.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

Joking. I don’t even know if the book said that. However, that does not change the point.

You are in this for the long run. Paying off your student debt is like a marathon where it requires patience, pacing, and a lot of stamina. It’ll be all motivating at the start like the first 2KM – 5KM, but afterwards, it is so easy to slip and fall to old habits, spending away what could be going towards your loan. Plan exactly where each dollar should go before every month, which leads me to my next point of execution…

3. Set an aggressive monthly minimum amount

My minimum amount was determined by calculating how long I want to realistically take to pay off this loan. (I.E Loan amount ÷ # of years ÷ 12 months) I averaged about $1,600 – $1,800 a month, depending on the month’s financial situation.

4. Decrease expenses

There are two parts to this: A) Reoccuring expenses and B) Other expenses.

A) These would be expenses that would repeat month over month. Living at home and commuting via public transit meant that I could save some money by paying a lower rent and transit rate. Then, I put the difference towards my loan.

B) Other expenses would consist of going out to eat, shopping for clothes, etc. I am guilty in this area where spent a bit more than I should. Going out with friends and clothes were weaknesses of mine. Looking back, there were many occasions that I said ‘yes’ to, but there were many more instances when I had to say ‘no’.

5. Little to no savings

Honestly, this is one of the dumber things that I did in order to dump more money into my loan. I only did this, because my landlords were my parents.

6. No vacations

Plain and simple. I have not traveled for leisure or gone on a vacation since graduating and started working at my first full-time job.

Stay-cations ALL THE WAY.

7. Delay major purchases

Sony Vaio & Samsung Galaxy SIII

My 6 year-old Sony Vaio and 7 year-old Samsung Galaxy SIII.

I staved off major purchases till I neared the end of my loan. Here, you see my 6-year old Sony VAIO laptop that kept blue screening and slow AF Galaxy SIII that constantly crashed, dropped calls and no longer connect to wifi, among a plethora of other issues. Despite these issues, I kept holding onto them, because my budget could not take the massive hit of new purchases.

And that’s it! The truth of the matter is, there is no magic solution to student debt.

Decrease spending, increase loan payment.

I admit that I could not have done it all on my own. I had help in terms of family giving me a lower rent rate, and giving me an interest free loan. This helped significantly. The rest was on my own when it came to planning and putting money aside to ensure that I was on track to pay everything off as quickly as I can.

Best of luck and I’ll see you on the other side!