light shining through clouds in open sea

all is well (part I)

Even with the recent turn of world events, I’d still like to think that all is well. ⚡

I’m not a fan of regurgitating stories unless I can tell them in a way that’s beneficial. My coming to terms with the initial shock of the global pandemic became a brilliant jumping-off point for my glorious expansion.

My fabulous backstory

Three weekends ago, I text one of my mentors at the incubator because I knew he lived alone in Chicago and wanted to see how he was doing. (This was after working remotely for four days straight and hearing about the madness that was already happening in the city on the news.) He told me he just saw two guys getting into a fight over the last ribeye at Trader Joe’s just now. I swear, you don’t make this stuff up! 😮😟

Later that Saturday night, I walked into my local Target store and saw huge merchandise gaps everywhere. Empty meat, dairy, and milk sections. I’ve never seen anything like it. My first thought was: PANDEMONIUM. HAS. STRUCK. THE. SUBURBS. 😱

Then, I walked through the different sections of the stores and saw signs up for limits on toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer. I thought to myself:

Oh sh!t, really?! People are hoarding toilet paper? I’d be hoarding canned goods! 

I walked out of Target SHOOK but incredibly appreciative that I was able to secure 95% of my shopping list that night. (The only thing I held off on was zucchini b/c they only had four there and I needed close to 10-15 for a one week supply of zoodles depending on how big they are.)

The next day, I walked into the local Mexican produce market and found my zucchini. For the first time in my life, I blew $20 on zucchini but that’s another story for another day. I was just happy I found everything I needed and went about my merry way.

I walked into Lifetime and as I checked in, I asked the front desk associate if they planned on shutting down the gym due to COVID-19. He told me they were taking extra precautions but hasn’t heard anything about closures at the moment. Okie dokie, thanks man. ✌

It was the first day of my second week of custom hypertrophy training templates from my coach. I was so excited to finally nail down the weights for each exercise based on reps to fail. I thought to myself: At least I got the gym going for me. I can work remotely, go to the gym, and the whole world will get through this 💪一 or so I thought.

Two days later, I heard that all the gyms were shut down until further notice. 😭 At first, I was super pissed because I had just gotten started on a cut and used to my new lifting program and then COVID-19.

BUT 一

I’m very excited to report that me feeling super pissed only lasted a couple hours on Tuesday because get ready for this,

I believe the Stream of Wellness can flow freely and easily towards anyone who allows it. 🌊

I took the bounce and realized on the flip-side of all this is an equal and opposite reaction and outcome as long as I’m willing to line up with it. ⚡

That’s right. While the entire world is posting memes on the gaining weight, losing gains, being bored, and how COVID-19 is the worst thing ever, I’ve decided I’m going to be the light. ✨

This post will be the first of a series of posts on how I’m staying well (both physically and mentally) while capitalizing on this golden opportunity to chase greatness on my own terms. Now more than ever is a #meversusme. 

Here some things I’ve been doing in order to stay well:

  • Sticking to *my normal* eating schedule. Everyone is different. I know I like front-loading my day with more calories in the morning compared to the 2pm-8pm mark. That’s just me, do what works for you. 😋
  • Scheduling work breaks. Not gonna lie, I struggle with taking them because I want to muscle through and be done. I’m going to try to take them consistently this week understanding that my work will never be done and that I should actually pace myself. ✨
  • Adjusting my daily step goal from 10k to 7.5k and doing burpees whenever I can. Point blank –– burpees are the most badass of exercises because they *literally* work everything and require ZERO equipment. Funny, Vernon actually asked me the night before they closed shut down the gyms what I would do if all the gyms closed and I told him “Burpees.” Guess I’ll just have to put my money where my mouth is. 😂

    If you’re curious about how to do *a burpee*, here’s how I explained it to him:
screenshot of me explaining how to do burpees
Burpees explained. Make sure you *clap* at the top or else it’s a no-rep.
  • Picking up the phone and actually calling people. This one’s big. (Thank you Vernon and Darryl for laughing at my jokes.)
  • Do the things I’ve always wanted to do but never made the time for. (i.e. YouTube-ing K-pop dance tutorials, haha!) 🙈

Silver linings

I’ve had a chance to reconnect with my parents and take more time for self-care.

Last night, I had dinner on the table at 5pm. Since when have I ever had a homecooked meal with my PARENTS at 5pm? SINCE NEVER. Some of you guys have already seen this on my Instagram but it’s worth a share here along with a back story that I didn’t include in the caption. 

I was smart b/c I snapped a pic of the finished product *before* calling them upstairs to eat dinner. :):)

classic dish, chinese tomato and egg
Chinese tomato and egg. This is super easy and macro-friendly. It’s also a classic Chinese dish that most people make at home and isn’t common in restaurants.

I managed to get dinner on the table at 5pm last night and ripped them from the TV to come upstairs. My mom was pretty set on eating last night’s left overs but my dad said something to her in Vietnamese and she instantly changed her mind.

The backstory behind the backstory

My parents are Chinese-born Vietnamese refugees. They grew up in Vietnam and picked up the language there. Growing up, when they spoke Vietnamese to each other, it was basically about me or my brother without us knowing. But we knew and I knew especially in that instance. My dad can read me well but who’s reading who here?) HA! 💕

Save yourself first

I’m really appreciating the time I have to dedicate to self-care these days. I can’t help anyone else in my misalignment. I’ve used the following analogy in the past:

When you listen to the safety lecture on a flight, they will tell you to put your oxygen mask on first BEFORE you help the person next to you. 

Think about it. 

Self-care isn’t selfish. You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.

Full of ideas

Other ideas for thriving during quarantine: 

Write a letter to your future self.

I learned of the idea from a Facebook group that I’m a part of and you can do it too. Learn more about it here: https://www.futureme.org/

Some questions you can ask yourself in order to guide the love letter to yourself:

How do I want to look and feel coming out of quarantine?

What will I have accomplished by the time all this is over?


What words or phrases come to mind when the world is veiled in Wellness once again? 

Visualization is powerful. There is no right or wrong and because the Universe is abundant, what you achieve doesn’t take away from the pie. Most important of all, make sure you have fun with it. 💖💖💖

Make a list and check it twice.

I miss traveling and going to the mall. I need to have a list of destinations ready because sooner or later, it’ll be safe to travel again. So far, I have the following destinations on my mind:

Hawaii with my parents. As it turns out, my mom has a classmate whose son is a tour guide in Hawaii. There’s nothing better than a local who’s in the business of showing you around. My heart is on the black sand beaches in Maui:

black sand beach in Maui
How good would all my Free People look here?!

Oh mylanta. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds! 🖤🌊

A 2-week tour of La Jolla, Malibu, and Downtown LA. I have a designer wetsuit, all the bikinis and Free People dresses to romp down multiple beaches in during the day and all the fancy dresses/shoes to turn heads and break necks (and hearts) in at night. So far, my list of to-dos there include getting a designer latte at Carrera Cafe and a wine safari in Malibu. 

Can you imagine?

Latte art in the shape of the YSL logo plus a feature on Instagram? 🤩

AND

Drunken giraffe petting, lolol! 😻🦒

Anyway, putting all of that out there was fun. Thanks for being an excellent soundboard. Let me know in the comments how you’re thriving these days. 

My heart is full and I’m complete.  ✨

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