My 2018 Accountability Partner is an App

“There’s an app for that” was the first thing my friend said after I told him I wished I could track my daily movements and meals better. After our workout, he encouraged me to download MyFitnessPal. I was determined to start logging my meals, tracking workouts, and setting weight goals.

This was last year, February 2017.

It didn’t take long  for me to get bored of my new shiny new toy. The “hassle” of having to keep up with the app and remembering to count calories became laborious and I grew more and more disinterested in it. A week later,  I deleted it without really giving the app a fair chance.

Fast forward to November 2017

FullSizeRender-6

I’ve been back on it for over a month now and I think I’ve figured out how to stay on it and be consistent. If you’re looking for a way to stick with your 2018 health and wellness resolutions, consider MyFitnessPal. Here are some tips and things to think about to get you started:

  1. Be intentional: Are you serious about your goals? I knew exactly what I wanted and needed from the app last year but because I wasn’t serious about my goals it resulted in me losing interest quickly. MyFitnessPal is a great accountability partner but no one and nothing can keep you accountable if you don’t want it 1000% – full stop.
  2. Make friends: I know this sounds silly, but consider making friends on this app if you plan on sticking with it long term. The first thing I did after re-downloading in November was going straight to the community board to find like minded people. I now have friends to  share workout ideas and questions with. I cheer people on and the love is reciprocated on days that I need it most. MFP fitfam will keep you going when you want to give up.
  3. Plan when to log and stick to it: DO. NOT. BE. THAT. ANNOYING. PERSON. LOGGING. FOOD. AT. THE DINNER. TABLE. Repeat that like 2 or 3 more times until you get me. When I first started logging my food again, I didn’t have a process so I’d log when the meal was in front of me. This may not work for everyone but I try and map out my meals at the beginning of the day and make adjustments in my free time or after the day is over. Whether you plan and log it in the AM,PM, or sporadically,  just don’t do it in front of your friends or family… they tend to get annoyed (which is totally fair).
  4. Don’t skimp on the calories: I always thought that counting calories was stupid until I realized that it truly works for my weight loss plan. The food library in MFP is pretty robust but the calorie count can be all over the place depending on how the food is prepared. Make  sure you give  details of the food, size, and how it’s cooked. This will help with a more accurate output of what the calorie amount should be.
  5. FullSizeRender-4Join Challenges and Win: If creating better lifestyle habits is not enough of an incentive to stick with this, there are challenges that anyone on MFP can join to win cool prizes. Currently, I’m enrolled in the Special K #FuelYourResolution and the White Claw Pure Start challenges. Each challenge tracks your progress by number of times you track workouts and foods logged and selects a winner at the end. It’s a cool way to compete with others and stay on track.
  6. Have fun!: This stuff is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you go over the calorie limit for the day, didn’t hit your step goal, or missed the gym. Go at your own pace and have fun doing it! The results will come. Here’s mine…

FullSizeRender-3

If you’re considering joining, my username is keepnguyening. Add me! Looking forward to seeing you on there 🙂

Back At It (Again)

Two years ago, I said I was going to start blogging again and come back to this site. TWO. YEARS. Time really flies by when life is busy happening. Every once in a while, I’d say to myself “I should get back to blogging at some point” but it just never became a priority.

Up until recently I’ve thought about blogging more and more. I started losing some weight and that became my motivation for writing because I wanted to document my journey. At my heaviest, I was 157 pounds. I knew I had to eventually do something about my weight gain, but like blogging, for some reason it never became a priority. I had gained 25+ pounds over the past year and a half, and I started to lose much of it in October 2017. 

At first, it happened pretty organically. I traveled to Vietnam for 2 weeks and came back almost 10 pounds lighter due to diet and mostly staying active every day – not to mention, it was hot as hell. It jumpstarted my fitness journey when I got back to the states and I’ve been working out and eating well consistently ever since. I’ve lost close to 20 pounds altogether and I’m determined to lose about 10 more to get to my weight goal.  

Getting my body back has been a life-changing and rewarding experience. I’m learning that it’s really not about the number on the scale. No matter what size I was, I was genuinely happy with all of my accomplishments and where I was in life. Focusing on me has made me realize how fulfilling it feels to work on the most important project in life that takes commitment and dedication. 

If there’s anything this past year has taught me, it’s that there’s no time like the present. It’s easy to push things off because we simply “don’t have time” or think too much about what we did in the past past or capable of in the future, but there’s always time and having the “right now, right here” mentality is the best attitude to tackle anything. Most importantly, if it means a great deal to you, you’ll always get back at it (again).

Good luck with all of your challenging resolutions for 2018. Oh, and Happy New Year!

Fit And Fabulous!

Looking beautiful on the outside is just as important as feeling beautiful on the inside. I’ve been paying more attention to my mind, body, and soul lately. That just means eating healthier, taking care of my body, and getting all the ‘me’ time I think I need. This year, I decided to set monthly goals instead of keeping to a yearly resolution (we all know those things never really work out all year round). For January, I wanted to start working out two days a week and yoga once a week. I have not really been able to get to a yoga class but have been doing intense workouts to make up for it.

It’s been about three weeks since I’ve set these goals for myself. Here’s an update of how I have been doing:

Leg Presses: I started out with 120 pounds for the first week, but now, I am able to do 210 pounds. I feel like it’s the most intense workout because my legs really feel like they’ve been through a beating afterwards. I actually hurt my tailbone last week from lifting too much. I’m being more careful this week because I’m no good at the gym if I’m injured. I’m hoping to max out at 280 pounds, double my weight. 

Biking: Biking is my favorite workout. I started out with 5 miles in 15 minutes, and can do a 5 mile ride in 10 minutes now. My goal is to be able to bike 5 miles in 8 minutes. 

Running: I HATE running. I used to be better on the treadmill but I’ve kind of fallen behind. My numbers are not great but I’m able to do a mile in 12 minutes now. I’m hoping to be able to do a mile in 10 minutes by the end of the month. 

Abs/Core: Did I tell you that my boyfriend has rock hard abs? He has been my trainer lately and I’m so jealous every time we work out together. I definitely look at my abs after every rep to see if my abs have formed yet. It’s kind of laughable, but I just really want a strong core. Oh, and I HATE planks. We’ve been doing a lot of sit-ups and one-minute planks. I’m so sore by the end of it all, but it will all be worth it when my first ab forms! 

I also told you in my previous post that I have decided I wanted to lose some weight as an incentive to push harder in my workouts. I weighed in at 123 then, I am at a healthy 120 pounds now. MY goal is to get to 118, so just two more pounds to go!

Here’s to being fit and fabulous in 2015!

What are your goals this year? Do you have any good workout suggestions you can offer? I’d love to hear them! Tell me in the comments section below. 

Not to be Cliche, But ‘New Year, New Me!’ is in Full Effect

I’m so sore today. Why did I do that to myself yesterday? Why did I do all those leg and abs exercises? Ugh. For someone who has not been to the gym in a while (2 months) I really felt like hurling after my workout yesterday. As much as I despise New Year’s resolutions, I think they are necessary if realistic. With each passing year, I’ve always set a goal for myself but it always falls through midyear. This year, in 2015, I’m going to try something new and only do monthly goals. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so here’s what the next three months will look like for me:

January 2015: This month’s goal is to hit the gym two days a week and yoga once a week. Yesterday was the first day back at the gym. My boyfriend, who is also training me, showed no mercy and I doubt he will go easy on me in any of our future workouts.

February 2015: February is all about eating healthy. I’ve started eating a salad a day, whether it be for my full meal or as a side, but this month will be all about fruits! I never eat enough, so I’m going to start eating an apple and a banana a day. Yum!

March 2015: This month, I think, will be the hardest. No eating out and no takeout. None whatsoever. I spent so much money in 2014 on dinning out and takeout when I could have made my own meal, so this month will be a big change in diet and finances. So just a heads up friends, don’t invite me out, we will be having dinner parties instead! 

For some motivation to tackle this month’s goal, I decided I want to lose 5 pounds. Weighing in at 123 pounds on Friday, January 9, I hope to be at a healthy 118 by February 1st. Hey 2015, let’s do this.

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

Fitness Gear for the ‘Not So Fit’ Girl

I’d like to think that I am “fit and healthy,” but the truth is that I’ll eat whatever I want, whenever I want. And working out? Forget about it. I got into a really good regimen months ago and was going about 3 times a week, but lately it’s been an average of once a week or once every two weeks. I do love working out, but I also love making up excuses so that I don’t have to go. Just ask my boyfriend. He goes to Planet Fitness religiously and always finds himself dragging me with him. Recently, he’s given up and just leaves me alone with my Netflix and cheese doodles. But I’m happy to announce that I think those days are over.

imageThis week, I received my first Influenster Vox Box and it was from Victoria’s Secret (side note: I worked at VS my freshman year of college. Go Angels!) Inside, a sports bra and Capri pants were beautifully wrapped in pink tissue paper. Immediately I put it on. Not to work out, obviously… But I just wanted to try it out. The first thing that came to mind was how comfortable it felt on my body. I was already imagining myself at the gym on the treadmill running like a badass. So that night, I dragged my boyfriend to the gym.


The bra advertises that it has:

  • Medium support
  • Padding lifts & shapes
  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Adjustable straps
  • Locking-zip front closure
  • Nylon performance fabric with four-way stretch
  • Body-Wick keeps you cool & dry

Translation: This bra pretty much does it all. It kept everything in place and felt like it was a part of my skin. The only thing I find a bit troubling is the front closure. It’s a zipper so it bounces a bit when running. It’s not uncomfortable or distracting, but it could/should be more discreet.

The Capri pants advertises that it has:

  • Smooth seams for total comfort
  • Lined, reinforced gusset
  • Hidden drawstring waist
  • Hidden waistband pocket
  • Nylon performance fabric with four-way stretch
  • Body-Wick keeps you cool and dry

Translation: These pants are better for yoga. Don’t even bother bringing these bad boys to the gym. I had to keep pulling them up every 4 minutes or so when I was on the treadmill. The lining around the pants to reinforce it to stay in place is thick so it’s annoying to run and feel it rubbing against my thighs. So, bad for running, but probably better for warrior poses. I’ll have to try it out next week.

I’ll definitely sport these items the next time I’m in the gym or yoga class… When I’m not busy making excuses not to go.

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.