Good evening fitfam!

I hope you all had a great and productive Monday! This morning when I woke up I was reflecting on the past week and setting goals for this new week. I couldn’t help but to think of the negative criticism that I faced over the past week and I wanted to share it with you all. For those who follow me on IG, this post will go more in depth about how I really feel about it.

Situation #1: A Vietnamese man at Costco told me that I looked like a marathon runner. I came from the gym and was in my work out attire, I told him that I am not a runner and that I lifted weights. He replied “I didn’t know women could actually do that.” His reply to me bothered me but at the same time it did not surprise me because the people in my community are unfamiliar with the idea of a female lifting weights. Instead of getting upset at his comment, I chose to educate him about it. The more I talked to him, the more surprised he was about the whole concept. He even joked and said that I was stronger than him, I laughed and said yes. This incident wasn’t too much of a biggie.

Situation #2: I was at home in the kitchen with my Mom and I was stretching because my upper body was sore from my workouts. I caught my Mom looking at me stretching so I decided to hit her with a bicep flex. Her exact reaction: “Li (my Vietnamese house name) stop that. Your muscles look so gross. Why do you work out so much? It’s not ladylike.” I smiled at her and told her that it’s something that I love to do and it makes me happy. She went on to tell me that it’s good that I work out but she doesn’t understand why I need to do it so much and have muscles. I told her I was going to change the way Vietnamese people looked at women, strength and muscles. She didn’t look too pleased but I had to remind myself that’s she’s old fashioned. This situation stung a bit.

Situation #3: Similar situation to the number 2, my nephew knows I am into working out so he asked me to flex and I did. His reaction: “Your arms are manly.” I told him thank you and that he needed to catch up. The thing with kids is that they are honest which means that’s what he really thinks. At the same time, kids are young and do not know different forms of beauty yet. I can’t be mad at the kid, he’s only 10! Haha. This situation I just had to smile.

As positive as I was with every situation that happened, I would be lying if I told you that it did not hurt my feelings. We are all human and words do hurt especially if they are coming from a loved one. What all three of these situations had in common was the lack of knowledge and acceptance. I know that fitness is rather main stream now especially with IG, FB, etc but my Asian community especially the older generations do not understand it. They are not used to seeing women with muscles, women lifting heavy objects, women who are passionate about health and fitness. Instead of being upset with them, I know that I need to educate them on my lifestyle. Growing up I had the same views about women with muscles, I thought it was weird and did not see the beauty of it. I didn’t appreciate the hard work and dedication until I myself put in the time and effort to have this lifestyle. I didn’t have any Asian female role models to look up to regarding health and fitness. All I saw were skinny women and that was defined to me as what beautiful is and what I should be. The more educated I became about health, fitness, body types, etc, the more open minded and appreciate I became of people and their bodies. I am thankful that I no longer feel the need to fit anyone’s beauty standards, not even my Mom’s. She supports and loves me, that I do not doubt. She just rather me not have muscles, which will not happen. I will help her learn to love my muscles, just wait and see! I have high hopes for me and I know if I stay positive and work at it, it will happen! :) 

When I look at the picture above, it makes me happy because I was able to share my love and passion to my community. Weightlifting is stereotyped as a masculine thing to do and I know I turned a lot of heads by doing it at my pageant. If I could go back, I would absolutely do it again! Whether I won the pageant or not, I wanted to leave a mark on this pageant and my community. I truly want to change the way Asian people look at health and fitness, I want young girls to have someone to look up to and go to for help.  Be the change you want to see in the world right? Well I am on a mission to do that and leave my mark on this world!

With any journey that you go through in life, there will be obstacles and challenges. There will be people who support you and there will be those who will doubt you, what you need to remember is to stay true to yourself and never give up! This is your life, your body, your journey. <3


Swolemate Stories I : My journey to the weights

Hi everyone! I am excited to share with you the new segment of my blog: swolemate stories! :) My boyfriend Robby is a tremendous part of my fitness journey and I honestly wouldn’t be where I am in my journey if he wasn’t there to guide and support me. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them. It’s like taking a trip down memory lane every time<3

When I first started using the weight room at CSUF, I seriously had no idea what I was doing! So what did I do? I did what most girls do, go to the cardio area and use the machines with the weights. I rarely went to the weight room area: 1) I didn’t know what exercises to do 2) There are nothing but guys 3) I thought lifting weights would make me look buff/manly 4) I was intimidated. Does that sound like any of you? Do not feel alone, I felt that way before. 

We had our first workout together over 2 years ago :) Dang I have been using IG for a long time. Lol.

When I met my boyfriend Robby he always asked me the same thing when we went to the gym “Why do you only do cardio and legs?” I told him that it was because I only wanted nice abs, legs and butt. He would encourage me to work out on my upper body but I always said no. For the first year of our relationship he did his thing at the gym and I did mine. Last March was the first time I truly worked out my upper body and I remembered exactly what we did: back and triceps. 

Oh mannnnnnnn was I scrawny!!! Lol. Little did I know that lifting that day would turn into such an amazing love and passion. :) It was weird at first because it was all brand new to me and because society had my mind trained to think that if I lifted weights I would look like a heavyweight body builder. Let me just tell you that it is all WRONG! In order for a woman to look “buff”, she would need to put in years of training and dedication. You can’t develop a muscular physique after a week or two of lifting. I will go into details about women and weight lifting in a future post or you can check out my previous post I wrote a few months ago regarding it.

With every workout together, I felt myself becoming stronger and more knowledgeable about weight training. When we are not training together, I still feel comfortable going into the weight area by myself. That is something I am definitely grateful for: the knowledge that he has helped me gained. I am no longer the female who is clueless and intimidated by weights. It took time, hard work, and patience but eventually I was able to feel comfortable. It wasn’t always easy but it has definitely been worth it. There were times where I didn’t want to do certain exercises, times where I didn’t finish a set, times were I complained and even got mad at him for pushing me too hard. (Lol sorry babe) But through it all, he was still there for me and supported me through my tough times. 

Through struggles you are able to appreciate your success. Nowadays when we go to the gym together we are working out side by side. Our schedules are different so we do not work out together as often but when we do I love it so much and am down for whatever we are hitting that day, even chest and biceps day! Lol. When I use the word success, it’s about appreciating the successes we made together such as increasing our weight or reps, finishing each set, seeing progress in our physique, appreciating the time we have together at the gym and more. Though these successes may seem minuscule, I appreciate each and every gain we make together whether they are big or small.

I never dated someone who was into living a fit lifestyle or someone who cared about my health the way that Robby does. I mean, for my first birthday together in 2011 he bought me multivitamins! Hehe. It really is nice to have someone to share health and fitness with; I love that we talk about supplements, shop for gym clothes, surprise each other with new protein, get excited about fitness expos, watch sports together, push another to our limits, and keep each other on track with eating to name a few. We are approaching our 3rd anniversary together this August and I am looking forward to more years of healthy living together. I always knew I would meet my soulmate one day, I was even luckier that night on August 24th, 2011 for I also met… my swolemate<3

Every *Swolemate Stories* post is dedicated to Robby Rodriguez. Thank you babe for all that you have done for me throughout my life and fitness journey! I love you more than I love having abs ;) 

Always and forever,

It is important for me to be fit mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. Living a healthy and fit lifestyle does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money. I feel that it is one of the biggest misconceptions. I see people spend a lot of money on unnecessary supplements, gadgets, cleanses, apparel, and more. At the end of the day it is not what you own that will give you a healthier life, it is the hard work, dedication and patience you put into having and living a healthier life.

I enjoy having new workout clothes, who doesn’t? But I make sure that I shop smart when purchasing my attire as well as groceries. Pictured are new Nike sportsbras to my collection, each retail at $25 and $35. I only paid $4.97 each! :) How you may ask? I shop at Nike outlets, Nordstrom Rack, etc and make sure to always look at the clearance racks. You cannot imagine how many amazing deals I have found! I have been able to purchase Nike Flyknits for $85, normally retailed at $160+ tax. I love saving money!

I wanted to blog about this to help people realize that there is much more to fitness than what you wear and what you own. Yes it looks really cute to have the latest outfits but at the end of the day you have to put in the work in order to reach your goals. If you notice on my IG I tend to wear the same things often, lol. It’s because I literally just put on whatever’s clean and head out. I’m not the girl who goes to the gym to look cute, I’m the girl who goes to the gym to better herself and who doesn’t care if she’s color coordinated or not. Side note, ladies please tie up your hair when you work out. :)

I don’t care for the newest trends such as cleanses or tea diets or diets in general. I feel like those are great marketing techniques because they know how much people are willing to pay for them. But think about this, what happens when you finish that diet or that cleanse? You will need to purchase more unless you have truly been able to transition. Living a healthy lifestyle is not for a few weeks or a month until you need to be in a bikini, it is a life long journey. Do not think of it as dieting and exercising, instead think of it as eating and training. I feel like the term diet and exercise have turned into a negative connotation and people feel like it is a chore. “Ugh I have to go to the gym today.” When you transition and want to live a healthier life you will say “I want to go to the gym today.” It really is a mental and emotional transition more than anything, it will take time but if you stay persistent and will happen.

At the end of it all, do it for yourself and do it for your health. It truly is your biggest form of wealth.

Live well,


Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great Thursday and first day of May! After my workout I went to Costco to get some groceries. Costco is having a sale on the Magic Bullet! Only $34.99. I have wanted one for the longest time but they were always so expensive! When I saw them at Target/Walmart they were $69.99-$99.99. I am definitely glad I waited :)

My grocery list was simple: salad mix, romaine lettuce, chia seeds, eggs, bananas, chicken, cereal and milk. What I encourage you all to do while shopping for groceries is to learn to look/read/understand the nutritional labels. They are there for a reason! Two years ago you would never see me reading it or caring what the total grams of fat/sugars were. Nowadays I look at every single nutritional label for every product that I buy (minus fresh fruits of course.) Many times we are quick to grab items because they are “healthy” but fail to realize what’s inside. I buy items that are low in fat, sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fat. There is a picture above of two cheerio boxes. Even though the honey nut cheerios tastes better, I bought the original one because it was higher in potassium and protein and 8 grams less in sugar. Take that extra time to see what you are about to purchase to put inside your body. I am trying to do the best I can to live a long and healthy life, little things like reading nutritional labels helps.

I made some salads and snacks. I was short on time so I bought the rotisserie chicken and shredded it when I got home. The chicken was $5 and the bag of baby kale/chard/spinach mix was $4.97. I was able to make the above pictured and still have left overs. Eating healthier does not have to be expensive, do not get too crazy with it in the beginning and over shop. Buy the basics and start from there, see what’s best for you to start adjusting your eating habits. Sometimes people stop eating healthier because it adds up and it honestly can when you buy things that you don’t need. Or people do not make the time to meal prep so they buy healthy dishes which are overpriced. Fast food is quick, easy and cheap which is why people tend to eat it. Just remember, you cannot obtain your million dollar body by eating off of the dollar menu. You can make it work with your budget, make the effort to figure it all out. :)

Lastly, I got a new protein shaker thanks to my boyfriend! :) I have been needing a new one and he got it for me. Hehe. It is the newest design from Blender Ball. The first version was just the cup with the ball, the second one had two compartments but was too bulky. This third one is more compact and efficient, there is room for your protein powder and a smaller compartment in between for your vitamins. I absolutely love it! I have gone through a handful of protein shakers and Blender Ball is my favorite. It mixes my protein well. 

Thank you all so much for your continuous support via Tumblr/IG! I am happy to share my love of fitness, health and wellness to you all! Take care and talk soon!


Beauty Marks

The past few months I have noticed that my stretch marks have been getting more visible to me and have even noticed that I have stretch marks in places that I never had before. I didn’t think too much about them because I’ve had stretch marks for years now but two weeks ago I was sitting in my car after the gym and literally looked at them for minutes. I even took pictures of it. Haha. I know that I got stretch marks from lifting heavy with my squats and leg exercises. With gaining mass in my ass, I am also gaining stretch marks along the way. I mean, my body is growing therefore causing my skin to stretch to make room for the new assets. (Pun intended. Haha) When I was younger I was definitely more self conscious about it, now that I am older and more knowledgeable about my body I understand that it is a part of the process. Whether you gain or lose weight, stretch marks are inevitable. I learned to take pride in these marks because I worked for them, I earned them.


I have stretch marks on my inner and upper thighs, on the side of my glutes, on the side of my knees where it bends, on my lower hips. In the picture above I took a measuring tape at home and measured it, 5 inches was the longest stretch mark I had. Learning to accept them made it easier for me to not be embarrassed by it. I even talk openly to Robby about it, it wasn’t easy and I hesitated at first but I knew that if I didn’t make a big deal about it then it wouldn’t be a big deal. Things are truly what you make of it.

Last night I was sitting with my twin nephews and one asked me “Who scratched you?” I replied “What are you talking about?” He then pointed at the stretch marks on my thighs. I told him they were my beauty marks. The reason why I chose to call them that is because I wanted him to see it as something beautiful and not something negative. He is only 5 years old, the age where children’s minds take in everything around them. If I instill in him at a young age the ability to see the beauty in things that are not socially viewed as beautiful, he will have the advantage of growing up with an open mind.

Whether you have stretch marks from gaining weight, losing weight, having a baby, and so forth..I hope you know that they are beautiful and that you are beautiful. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of them, for these marks carry a story and are a part of your journey. 

With love,

Happy Friday everyone!!!

It is pouring here in SoCal, it’s been raining nonstop since 10pm last night and expected to rain until tomorrow.

It’s cold, it’s raining and TOM (time of the month) decided to arrive this morning. Sure I could turn these into excuses, stay in bed cuddled up in my blankets watching HIMYM and eat everything I’m craving but instead I am taking myself to the gym! :) When I said that every day is a day to better yourself, I meant it. I don’t wake up everyday wanting to work out but I do wake up everyday wanting to make my day count. Transition your mindset into living a healthier life, LOVE your body enough to give it the attention and care that it deserves.

Rain or shine, every day is a good day to be active and healthy.

Have a great day, stay safe everyone!


Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great past week and weekend! Can you believe Monday is already over and Tuesday is already upon us? Time seriously flies so please make sure that you are making the best of every day. We are not getting any younger! With that said, lately I have been thinking about my age for some reason. Maybe I am having a mid mid-twenties life crisis! Haha I am kidding! I am happy. :) It is just crazy to me that I am 25 going on 26 in a few months. I mean, I am getting close to 30 here people! Not that 30 is old but it just amazes me how fast time flies by. It feels like just yesterday it was August 2006, I was 17 and getting ready for my first year of college at CSUF. Now it’s April 2014 and I am 25 and pursing my love for fitness. I have been getting questions regarding college/majors which I will discuss further in a future post. It’s almost graduation season and I am happy and excited for all of the graduates. Life is definitely going to get more serious and I hope that everyone is ready for their future.

So this past weekend I went stand up paddle boarding and kayaking with my good girlfriend and sorority sister Chary. You should check out her blog, it’s filled with great life blogs about love/career/growing up and everything in between. I love her work and I am not just saying this because I love her, promise! ;) So we went to sup (stand up paddle boarding) and I told her I would turn back to grab my phone to take pictures out in the bay and what do you know? I freaking fell into the water!!! Must I say, Newport Bay is COLD AF right now despite the sun being out. I haven’t sup since I went to Hawaii last year so I am a bit rusty, I leaned too much on one side and yep, ya girl fell and took a cold shower. It was definitely a sign from God to not get my cell phone. (Thank you God!) I wanted to share this experience with you to show you that I enjoy doing other physical activities rather than just lifting and to show you my beautiful friend. Kayaking is definitely a great upper body workout, if you want to do something fun and active; I would highly recommend this! 

This weekend I also had ice cream twice. Why? Because I tend to crave ice cream when I am approaching/on my period. I normally do not crave ice cream or will eat desserts but when Tom comes to town, I do. Haha. Did I feel guilty? No. I learned to not beat myself up over food. If I am going to eat it, I am going to eat it. I eat healthy 90% of the time so days where I want to eat something not so healthy, I just do. Being healthy truly is a lifestyle. I no longer feel like I am dieting or I have to eat healthy/clean. I eat this way because I want to and because I enjoy it. It’s been a part of my life for the past year now and I honestly can never see myself going back to eating fast food/fried/oily foods all the time ever again. For those who think you can’t, trust me, you CAN. 

Anyhow, definitely will catch you guys soon. My goal is to blog more often. I have a lot on my mind, I just need to make the time to write it all down for you all. Take care!!

Stay active,

When I first started my fitness journey, I did it as a journal for myself. I had hopes of being able to inspire people but I never thought I would be able to reach people from all over the world. From different states in the US to Asia, England, Southern America and more; I have been able to connect with people who share the same love and interest as me. I am so grateful for all of the kind people via social media that have been supportive of me. You will never know how much I appreciate you! I really hope to inspire the world with my passion and challenge myself personally to show everyone that anything is possible. I read and appreciate every message and will do my best to update my journey as much as possible. Thank you for your support not only with my fitness journey but also my life journey with my family, boyfriends and loved ones!<3

Thankful beyond words,