New Year’s Goal Setting: 2017

How could I allow an entire MONTH to pass by without updating this blog? Bad Eva. Fortunately, however, we are about to embark on another year– and keeping this blog updated at least once every two weeks (until I get into the swing of things) is in order. My husband Justin and I had an awesome holiday with his little brother and my aunt. Since Christmas, I have been studying Spanish intensely and haven’t had time for much else. I could make an entire Christmas break-themed post, but I rather focus on the task at hand: New Year’s Goal Setting for 2017.

  1. Become fluent in Spanish – I’ve allowed 27 years to pass without really being able to speak Spanish. Considering I am Latina and from South Texas, where Spanish is basically the “unofficial” language, this is unacceptable. Enough is enough. Not knowing Spanish is inconvenient on so many levels, and knowing the language fluently will make me more marketable in my career. There is no excuse not to! I plan to achieve this goal by finishing Barbara Bregstein’s Easy Spanish Step-by-Step, then progressing to her advanced level book; using the Duolingo and Memrise apps on a daily basis; listening to Spanish music and watching Spanish films; conversing with my husband and coworkers in Spanish as much as possible.
  2. Re-dedicate myself to fitness – This is always on my list, and to be fair, I do maintain a fairly healthy eating and moderate exercise regimen throughout the year. Since this will most likely be my last year without a baby, this year will be a little different. I plan to complete the RIPT90 workout DVD set Justin purchased for me and continue eating 85-90% clean. I do not have a weight goal, but I am shooting for 19% body fat. I am currently just under 24%.
  3. Earn my principal certification – This January I will be starting a principal certification program while Justin begins his Master’s program in Educational Administration. I am due to complete the program in September, then take the certification exam to make it official. This is another goal I want to accomplish before we start a family!
  4. Be more consistent with blogging – Blogging used to be such an important part of my life, and I dumped it to the wayside when I moved to Houston and started my career. That is going to change. Blogging is therapeutic and allows me hold myself accountable and preserve precious memories over time. For 2017, I want to focus on being more consistent with my blog while gradually seeking to increase traffic on this site.
  5. Be financially healthy – Like fitness, this is something I aspire to every year, and for the most part – I was true to this resolution last year. We paid off our car, more than $30k, in less than one year! That was a huge accomplishment. This year I want to focus more on building up our retirement accounts, paying off our mortgage more aggressively, and saving money for our nest egg.
  6. Learn Microsoft Excel – I am trying to learn a lot of things at once, so Microsoft Excel is going to take a backseat until I am more conversational with Spanish. I intend to treat learning Excel as a major summer project while I continue my ESL and principal certification studies. This is simply too useful of a skill to not learn/master and add to my resume.
  7. Travel more – Justin and I travel as much as our schedule allows, taking road trips to various national parks and making the occasional trek to Puerto Rico to visit my aunt. This year, I would like to see some new places– preferably Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, maybe even Cuba? As I progress in my Spanish prowess, I would love to go to Spain and a few countries in South America… but that will be later down the road. We have not decided whether we will go camping up north this Spring Break, so we shall see!
  8. Last but not least, I want to be better about maximizing my time so I can be the most productive self I can be. Normally, I am pretty good at this, but there are definitely times where I get sucked into social media or websurfing meaningless topics. This is exactly what I want to avoid. The way I see it, every minute is precious– it could be spent achieving my goals, whether that is learning Spanish, excel, dedicating time to fitness, etc. Life is simply too short to waste time.

Well folks, there you have it. GOALS, not simply resolutions, for the new year. I intend to achieve each and every one of these and update this blog on my progress. What are your goals for 2017?

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The Evolution of Eva

Hello and welcome to my blog! It has been more than five years since I left the blogosphere, but I am so happy that I’m back! Let me give you some background:

I blogged for several years as an adolescent, documenting just about everything that happened to me from the ages of 14 to 22– even working as a student blogger for the University of Texas during my college years. Blogging was very much a big part of my life. At the age of 20, I had the life-changing experience of studying abroad in China. When we returned from the trip, friends began tagging me in Facebook photos, and I couldn’t help but stare at them in disbelief of how overweight I looked.

Mind you, I had never been a “fat” girl. My parents might have nicknamed me “Chubby Dubby,” but I always just considered myself to have a little extra meat on my bones — never fat. This time was different:

bigevabigeva2

Many people who read this might be thinking, so what? I’m about the size of the “average” American woman, according to current national standards. That might be true, but for me, this was a big moment. The moment I realized that I didn’t like the way I looked and now was the time to do something about it. That’s when something started to click.

I immediately started adopting a more healthy diet– chicken, vegetables, brown rice, fruit– that kind of thing. I coupled that with about 30 minutes of light exercise a few times a week, and the pounds just started melting off. People kept asking how I was managing such rapid weight loss, as if they had no idea how weight loss worked. The formula is simple: just use more calories than what you put in. Create a calorie deficit. I lost the first 25 lbs in less than 3 months by sticking to this principle.

This formula worked… up to a point. This is when I hit a plateau and started increasing my work-out intensity. Unfortunately, I did not know how to increase work-out intensity the way I should have. During my first year teaching is when I reached an almost unhealthy obsession with exercise. I was running nearly 7-8 miles every single day and only taking in around 1,200 or so calories. Even though I was the slimmest I’d ever been, I was no more stronger at 110 lbs than I was at 160+ lbs.

smallevaShortly after this period, I met and got engaged to my now-husband, who encouraged me to live a more healthy, moderate lifestyle. He also helped me stay more consistent with weight training, which has allowed me to increase my muscle mass, so my body fan burn fat more efficiently and keep me relatively slim. I’ve learned that true fitness is not measured on a scale, but in visual appearance! I am still far from perfect, but that is the fun of being on this fitness journey!

currentevaEvery day I learn more than I knew the day before about what it means to be healthy and fit. The purpose of this blog is to allow myself — along with help others — maintain accountability, set and attain goals, etc. Thank you for taking this journey with me!

 

Love,

Eva

 

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