Jan 20

Best Health & Fitness Decisions

This week’s [optional] theme for the Fit Dish link up (hosted by Jill Conyers @ JillConyers.com, &ย Jessicaย Joy @ TheFitSwitch.org) is…the Top 5 Best Health & Fitness Decisions. :] I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that it means the best health/fitness decisions I’ve made in my life.

Best Fitness & Health Decisions

  1. Changing my major to exercise biology
    I’ve gone on and on about this, but to date, I still think one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life was to switch my biology major to exercise biology. Back in sophomore year of undergrad, I worked in the music library, and because I have issues love to learn, I would sometimes read the course catalog for fun.

    I got to be close friends with the hydrostatic weighing tank. <3

    Shortly after dreaming that I was counting weeds in a vast field because in said dream, I was taking The Population Biology of Weeds (one of the class options for my general bio major), I knew I had to do something.

    Almost every class Exercise Biology had to offer sounded super interesting, so I decided to go for it! Ironically, I never got to take Nutrition for Physically Active Persons, which was actually the course that had made me want to make the switch the most. The professor went on sabbatical and it was only offered every other year. :'( Despite that, I still got to take a crap ton of super-awesome classes.

  2. Learning to dance
    I learned Tahitian and hula dancing in undergrad, where I spent 4 years as a dancer + 3 years as the secretary for Na Keiki O’ Hawai’i, a social cultural dance group, and took up recreational pole dancing at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness after I graduated from college and finished taking my MCAT. In between, I’ve taken a whole bunch of other dance classes (e.g. salsa <3), and I love it all. It’s one of my favorite outlets + forms of creativity/self-expression.

    The former also randomly gave me the chance to teach weekly dance classes to the community while I was in med school. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Lifting weights
    This originally started in an effort to be less of a disgrace to my major, which was filled with athletes and other rather-physically-fit human beings. (Not gonna lie, my major had lots of eye candy.) I wasn’t exactly unfit, but aside from dancing, I wasn’t very physically active either. My significant other at the time was an avid runner/fitness enthusiast, so I asked him to teach me to lift weights.Apparently, he taught me well, because in med school, one of the guys at the gym saw me lifting and told me I was a total badass and informed me about the existence of powerlifting competitions, so I decided to enter one!

    Here’s me unknowingly setting a state record! :O

  4. Learning to cook
    I didn’t learn how to cook until around my sophomore year of college, and only started cooking by myself when I went to grad school. (Back in undergrad, we’d take turns/tag team the cooking.)

    One of our tag team efforts included onigiri! <3

    It’s made a world of a difference in my life, both in terms of my health and with budgeting. Out here, there also isn’t too much in the realms of food diversity (I was super spoiled by that in the bay area/at Davis), so if I want to eat something more “exotic,” I usually have to make it.

  5. Transmuting this blog into a food/fitness/healthy living blog
    As some of you might have read from previous entries, this used to be an almost-private blog that I created because I’ve been journalling for most of my life, and thought it’d be a nice way to keep that going while simultaneously keeping a couple friends updated on my life after I moved across the country for grad school.Last spring, I busted out of my antisocial bubble and I’m super glad I did, because I love the blogging and fitness community. <3 The support, encouragement, motivation, inspiration, well wishes, accountability and overwhelming positivity that I get from all of you fills my life with joy! ๐Ÿ˜€


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  1. Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness

    Tahitian and hula dancing sounds so fun! I used to dance with a modern style dance company and I loved it! I learned cooking while abroad in college and now I can’t think why it took me so long…home cooked food tastes so much better! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness recently posted…3 Natural Ways to Wake Up Every Morning Without CoffeeMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      It definitely was/is! I’d love to join a halau at some point in my life. :]! Modern dance has always looked so cool to me! I don’t think I can move like that, haha.

      My feelings exactly on the cooking! I should have started earlier! ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. laura

    hula dancing sounds really fun! thanks for the follow.

    1. Farrah

      It’s definitely a lot of fun! I miss it so much!

  3. Erin

    Farrah, I love to watching hula dancing that’s so rad that you do it! Dancing is such a wonderful part of fitness. Oh, and, you’re totally awesome for choosing to study exercise biology – I admire the passion for learning so much, and this is coming from a gal who always struggled at school. Once I found something I was passionate about, I couldn’t wait to learn more.

    Thanks for sharing!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Erin recently posted…Top Five All Time Best Health and Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks! It’s definitely a lot of fun and throws in some variety in my life! ๐Ÿ˜›

      I’m so happy with my decision to study EXB! <3 I still regard the professors I had in that major as the best I've ever had. I struggled a lot in school too, but loving what I was studying made a huge, huge difference!

  4. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    I love the diversity of your fitness background. I know I say it all the time, but it is so cool.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Online Personal Training Services and ProcessMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Susie! It definitely keeps my life interesting! ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Mary Beth Jackson

    I think dancing makes a person feel good even if you aren’t good at it! I took belly dancing for about 3 months and can’t remember when I have giggled more! Great decision on the major change- I think exercise biology fits you well!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…My top 5 Best Health & Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Very much agreed! I took 4-ish belly dancing classes and it was super fun! Lots of likenesses to Tahitian, but I can’t get my upper body to move like that!

      Thank you! :]! There were definitely a ton of great memories associated with my last two years of undergrad! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. GiGi Eats

    I wanna start taking dance classes!!!! Sure I can dance, but not…. like the peeps on Dancing with the stars! LOL! I will leave that to the pros, but I just like to shake it ๐Ÿ˜‰
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Middle Earth DOES Exist!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Same! :] I wanna take salsa classes again! I’m definitely not dancing with the stars material, but it’d be so cool to learn!

      1. GiGi Eats

        Derek Hough needs to teach me to dance! LOL!
        GiGi Eats recently posted…Middle Earth DOES Exist!My Profile

        1. Farrah

          Yeahhhh, I definitely would not say no to lessons with him! ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Cassie

    I definitely think sometimes having a healthy lifestyle blog holds you accountable to keep making good health and fitness decision… and the community doesn’t hurt, either!
    Cassie recently posted…Five Easy Kitchen UpgradesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Definitely! :] I’m so happy that I’ve met [virtually, but hopefully someday IRL too] so many awesome people! :]

  8. Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    Blogging is definitely one of the best decisions I made as well. The connections you make alone are so worthwhile!
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Top 5 All Time Best Health & Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      For sure! I love how supportive and encouraging everyone is! :]!

  9. Shannon

    Exercise Biology sounds like a very interesting topic, plus it’s always great to learn about something you actually enjoy! So jealous of your dancing background…I always say if there is one thing I could do differently in my life, I would have been a dancer!

    Clothes & Quotes
    Shannon recently posted…Wide LegMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      It defintely made all the difference, so I’m glad I liked reading course catalogs for fun, hahaha.

      I wish I’d started at a younger age! My pipe dream would be to be a Cirque du Soleil performer, but alas! Hopefully, an alternate-universe me is taking care of that. ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    MAJOR yes to learning to cook! When you find cooking to be fun, you also find yourself eating in a lot more and eating healthier meals!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Healthier Dairy-Free Tuna MeltMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Exactly! ๐Ÿ˜€ It makes such a big difference when I know exactly what’s going into all the food I make!

  11. Pamela

    What a super fun undergrad. I’m sure it was hard work too, but that is an undergrad that I would love! Great job on your blog it looks great!
    Pamela recently posted…Mood Management Part 2 Stimulating OilsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Hehe, very true! I rarely ever had a spare moment of free time, but I loved almost every moment of it!

      Thank you! <3!

  12. jess meddows

    You know what I love Farrah? I love that you’re going to be a health & medical professional, who actually knows from education and experience about food, health and fitness. I find so many times I deal with medical people who don’t get exercise or food, or with trainer types who don’t necessarily understood food (though they think they do!!!) or medical issues. You’re getting such a wholistic approach that i really do love. ๐Ÿ™‚
    jess meddows recently posted…Gord Chiang Mai Guesthouse ThailandMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, thank you so much! <3 That really, really means a lot, as that is my ultimate goal! So often, I see that whole "check with your physician before starting a new exercise program/nutrition plan/etc." and there just don't seem to be a whole ton that really practice what they preach and lead by example. I definitely still have a world of knowledge to learn, but I hope to be able to do that by the time I'm a full-fledged doctor! :]!

  13. Gina

    I think lifting weights is so important! I want to work on my strength this year, so lifting and toning will be a good step to take! It’s so awesome that you were able to learn and enjoy dance! It sounds like such a fun fitness decision to make! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Gina recently posted…My Spring Semester College GoalsMy Profile

  14. Ariana

    I’m really happy you decided to open up your blog too! Otherwise we wouldn’t have had the chance to connect ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that you’re so into dancing! And you are SUCH a badass for competing in a powerlifting competition!!

    I think (actually I know) my best decision was to let go of my fears & insecurities and work towards becoming a personal trainer. My life is changing sooo much because of it!
    Ariana recently posted…Your Guide to Dine Out Vancouver 2015My Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m so glad I did too, and that we got the chance to connect! :]!

      I loved your post on letting go of fears! :] I’m glad you went for your passion and went into personal training! Lots of lives will be inspired! <3

  15. Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch

    Farrah, I love getting to know you! Look at all you have done! I love what a go-getter you are, what a avid learner. I am the same way, and I love it. Wish you coud teach me pole dancing. And, I didn’t know you did a powerlifting competition. Whoa! So impressed, proud and inspired by all you do. Thanks lady! You’re a rock star!
    Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch recently posted…Top 5 All Time Best Health and Fitness Decisions. The Fit Dish Link-Up.My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, thank you so much! <3 I used to TA for my friend's pole studio, so if I'm ever in the area and there's a pole somewhere, I'd totally teach you! :D!

  16. Jamie King

    The tahitian dancing looks like a BLAST! How fun!
    Jamie King recently posted…Butter beans & kale saladMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      It definitely was! ๐Ÿ˜€ We used to make our own costumes for all our performances and everything! I miss it lots. <3

  17. Danai @ Living, Learning, Eating

    I want to learn how to dance! I’m also trying to get more into (and more consistent about!) yoga!

    1. Farrah

      Ooo, yoga! That’s something I keep meaning to incorporate into my life. I gotta work it in somehow too! :]

  18. Shashi at Runninsrilankan

    I am still in awe that you used to read the course catalog just for fun! You go lady – just about every decision you mention seems to have been such a wonderful learning experience for you!

    1. Farrah

      Hahaha, if it makes it any better, I would really only read up on the subjects/majors that seemed interesting, so I promise I never reas the entire thing! ๐Ÿ˜› They were definitely awesome experiences that I really hope to always keep in my life in some way, shape or form! <3!

  19. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    Lifting weights and discovering yoga are for sure my biggest! As well as starting my own blog too!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Black Garlic Shishito Verde ChickenMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’d throw your super awesome recipe creations into that mix too! :]!

  20. Earl-Leigh

    Please come cook for me! I’ve never taken a dance class before but I would love to.
    Earl-Leigh recently posted…Sniffles and SoupMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I totally would if I could teleport! :O! I really miss taking dance classes! If I had the time, I’d learn everything (might be somewhat of an exaggeration, but close enough!). *-*

  21. Sharon

    So awesome that you do/did powerlifting competitions and even set a record! Awesome! I really need to get better at cooking! It’s really cool to read all of your best health/fitness decisions! I too am happy that I started my fitness blog! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sharon recently posted…My Top 5 All Time Health and Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thank you! I’m hoping my schedule will work out so I can do another one sometime–I really want to set national records someday! *-*

  22. Kimberly (Manifest Yourself)

    Lifting weights is such a good one. It’s changed my mind and my body. I have gained confidence from progressively being able to lift heavier weights!
    Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) recently posted…Drink Up with Mamma ChiaMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Same here! The progress definitely makes me super happy. ๐Ÿ˜€ Hooray for lifting heavy!

  23. Tiffany

    YOU SET A STATE RECORD?! What??? You’re just full of surprises. That’s absolutely INCREDIBLE! Super delayed congratulations on that. I would love to make dancing part of my regular workout routine. Actually, I would just like to GET a workout routine. I can’t seem to find a gym or classes or even a YouTube channel that gets me excited about working out and being healthy.
    Tiffany recently posted…3 Quick and Easy Hairstyles for Short Hair.My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ I managed to set a couple more for a different state at another one that I did later on! My hope is that I’ll someday be able to set national records, but we shall see! :O!

      What kind of things/dance are you interested in? Maybe I can dig something up! :] YouTube has to have something! I’m firmly convinced that it has everything, haha. ๐Ÿ˜›

  24. Erica

    These are great! I’m going to try pole dance for the first time this week! I’m hoping it will increase my upper body strength.

    1. Farrah

      Yay! That’s awesome! It most definitely ups your upper body strength like no other if you do it regularly! I hope you have a ton of fun! <3

  25. Montana Ross

    We’re glad that you busted out of the antisocial bubble too because I love your blog! And you write some really inspirational posts, so I’m glad I have the change to read it.

    I’m the same way- I used to read my history book for fun during school too! So I don’t think you have issues ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I love dancing and wish I could incorporate it more, but between my yoga and running, I don’t really have time to add another fitness activity. I still occasionally take dance fitness classes though!
    Montana Ross recently posted…Race Recap: St. Pete Beach Classic 10kMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, thank you so much! That means a lot to me, and I’m super glad I met you through the blogging world! <3

      hehehe, I'm glad I'm not the only one that likes to nerd it out! :]

      Dance fitness classes are super fun too! I have a major problem with liking and wanting to try/do [almost] everything in the world--I need your focus!

  26. Jess @hellotofit

    That’s awesome that you “opened” your blog to the public! You do such a great job with it, and definitely serve as an inspiration for the rest of us!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Link Love #1 and a zen-filled weekendMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, thank you so much! <3!! I feel like I have a definite tendency to ramble/be way too verbose (probably because I'm not very used to writing to/for an audience), so I'm really glad to hear that! ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Jenn

    Dancing is super cool! Lifting heavy weights and competing at it is awesome. Your body changes so much when you lift heavy! Great post!!
    Jenn recently posted…Top 5 Best Fitness Decisions โ€“ #DISHTHEFITMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Agreed! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love that it’s helped me to get so much stronger! :]

  28. Mar @ Mar on the Run

    oh I love this post! hula dancing sounds like so muchfun! and how interesting you majored in exercise biology.
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…What’s in a Linkup?! — Part 2My Profile

    1. Farrah

      It definitely was! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m still trying to find ways to keep incorporating it in my life! ๐Ÿ˜›

  29. Amy @ Life to the Full

    That dancing looks so fun! And I sure wish I would have learned to cook in college… I ate so unhealthy until I had graduated and got married. Then I needed to learn how to cook and now it’s actually really fun (most days)!

    I’m so glad you entered the non-private blogging world! It’s been fun to stop over for a visit and the community is awesome! #fitfam
    Amy @ Life to the Full recently posted…My 5 All-Time Best Health & Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I really wish I’d started earlier too, but I like to think that it’s better late than never!

      Agreed! I’m so grateful to have such an awesome community to chill with online! :]

  30. jill conyers

    I can see why all of those decisions made it in the top 5. Life is good isn’t it ๐Ÿ™‚

    jill conyers recently posted…Smoked Salmon and Brown Rice RollsMy Profile

  31. Gloria

    Look at you, setting a record for powerlifting! That is awesome. I used to do CrossFit and actually loved the Olympic lifting side of things way more than the short cardio circuits we’d do. I loved hitting higher numbers – it was so much fun!
    Gloria recently posted…ClassPass San Diego: My ExperienceMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ I really want to try out CrossFit someday! I feel like I’d like it a lot! ๐Ÿ˜›

  32. Bri @ Simple Delights

    Dancing is the BEST! I am taking a Samba lesson tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚ And way to go on busting out of the bubble last Spring. I have to say, I am thankful you did b/c I have enjoyed getting to know you through blogging for sure!
    Bri @ Simple Delights recently posted…Top 5 Health & Fitness DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I hope you had fun at your Samba lesson! I’ve taken one class for that and it was really fun!

      I’m super glad that we got to connect through blogging too! :]

  33. Amber@Eat2SaveYourLife

    These are so great! I love how you are constantly stepping outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself! Changing my major to nutrition and exercise science ranks right up their on my list of best life decissions too!
    Amber@Eat2SaveYourLife recently posted…The Top 5 Health Decisions You Will Ever MakeMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thank you, and yay for a fellow exercise science major! :]! I would’ve loved to do nutrition too, but my school was pretty much like, “You’ve taken way too many classes. Graduate in 4 or we’re kickin’ you out!” Sigh. :[ At least I got to kindasorta learn stuff on my own! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  34. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

    Hi Farrah! Awesome list!! I’m so glad you’ve found your calling, blogging voice, dancing abilities and love of weightlifting. My best health and fitness decision? That would be about five years ago when I became a group fitness instructor teaching Les Mills BODYPUMP. That morphed into a fitness career, which I have today. I LOVE working in fitness. I would also LOVE to learn to dance a fun style like you can. Keep it up, girl! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…The one thing I’ve always done to be healthyMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m so glad I have this blog in my life too! :]! I love the community and it keeps me motivated + gives me something to look back on. <3

      I've heard awesome things about BodyPump! ๐Ÿ˜€ If I ever get to go back home-home for good, I'll see if I can swing by to try one of your classes! <3

  35. Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes

    That’s so awesome that you hold a state record for deadlifting! WAY TO GO GIRL! That takes some guts to enter a weightlifting competition! I don’t think I could do that. All the boys lifting crazy heavy make me nervous!
    Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes recently posted…5 Things Friday โ€“ Lady Dates, Ewok Dogs and A Hole In My Heart!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thank you! :D! The people at powerlifting competitions (both the competitors/their coaches and the audience) are actually really awesome and incredibly encouraging! They make the environment super supportive! :]!

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