What I’ve Learned from My Attempt to Train for a Bikini Competition, Plus 6 Things an Aspiring Competitor Should Keep in Mind

This post was by no means easy to write. However, I believe that I need to share my experience with training for a bikini competition so that other women in a similar situation could make the right decision. I’ve recently learned a big life lesson: When you’re planning to have your life go in a certain direction for the next few months, life itself won’t necessarily oblige and go that way. Even if it does, it may not necessarily make you as happy in the process as you thought you would be. I know all this sounds vague, but here’s what happened in a nutshell: a few months ago, I announced in this blog post that I wanted to train for a bikini competition (‘bikini’ here is one of the bodybuilding divisions). But as I started training for it following a specially designed diet and workout plan, I realized that the … Read the rest of the post

Post-Marathon Blues, Why Commitment is Liberating, and My Next Big Goal

When I ran my first half marathon in 2011, nobody told me that afterwards I would experience the so-called post-(half)marathon blues. The big race day was over, life was moving on, and all I really wanted was to experience the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment again. I didn’t know what to do with myself – go for my next run? Give myself another day to recover? – so I chose to take it one day at a time. Within a month, I ran another half marathon, and within a year and a half, I did a total of seven half marathons and one full, all because running another race seemed like the next logical step. Here’s the deal: now that I’m done with my 3rd marathon, for the first time in my life I don’t feel that another running race is the next step on my fitness journey. Today I’ve finally … Read the rest of the post

This is 30: a Milestone Birthday, My Life Story until Now, and the Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in My Twenties

Hi all! The week since my last post has been a whirlwind: last Friday we flew to New York to spend the weekend with Rob’s family and attend our nephew’s christening, then came back to Washington on Monday just in time to celebrate my birthday the following day. The big 3-0 has finally caught up with me, and what’s a better way to celebrate it than with a giant vegan chocolate birthday cake?! You know how milestone birthdays have a tendency to stress us out because we assess our lives and what we’ve achieved so far? Well, I’m glad to admit that I enjoyed my 30th birthday way more than the previous couple ones. And I’m not just saying this because I want you to think that I’m oh so perfect (spoiler alert: I’m not), but because I embraced everything that happened to me in my 20s as a pretty crazy … Read the rest of the post

Rob’s Birthday, Our Trip to Pasado’s Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, and a Vegan Cooking Class!

Do you ever have a feeling like weekends fly by too quickly? I sure felt that way last weekend! Maybe we just had too much fun? It was Rob’s birthday last Saturday, and since we decided a while ago that experiences, not material things, are the best gifts, I was excited to find out that Pasado’s Safe Haven animal sanctuary was having a tour on its premises AND hosting a vegan cooking class by Fire and Earth Kitchen on that day. So I went on to book the tour as a birthday gift for Rob. On Saturday morning, we started Rob’s birthday weekend off right by having vegan chocolate cake for breakfast! I stayed up till 11 pm the night before making this beauty: A few days earlier, Rob requested a cake that would have chocolate sponge layers and the frosting based on the filling of his favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter … Read the rest of the post