Saturday Thoughts

A couple years ago I wrote a blog post for my friend, Amanda. I wrote about how I dealt with body dysmorphia and how it affected my life.

I still struggle with this everyday on some level, and I always will. It’s not something that just disappears, but something that has changed, is my acceptance of my struggles.

And something that becomes more evident with each year is that you truly need to love yourself at every stage. It’s okay to have goals for yourself, but what’s not okay is thinking less of yourself because those goals haven’t quite been reached yet.

You can be kind to everybody you come in contact with, but the most important person you need to be kind to, is yourself.

Our purpose on this earth isn’t to be perfect, or to live under a cloud or in a society that is constantly telling us we are not good enough. Our purpose is to find our calling and pursue that with a clear mind.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror and I only see the things I don’t like, I think about who I am as a person, and the qualities that make me who I am. I focus on what I can do every day to reach my goals, both physical and emotional. I often find myself so fixated on what I ate, or what I look like in my clothes, or how much I weigh but all of that energy I use being mean to myself could be used in a different, more positive way.

This post was a little off track and with no clear reason or direction. It’s just been on my mind so I wrote it down. I hope that if anybody struggles with body image issues, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, know that you are not alone. ❤

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Shan

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5 Things I Do Each Week!

Life has sure been busy these last couple of months but I feel like I’m finally catching my breath. I feel like I am finally getting this teaching thing down (which basically means I only feel like I’m kind of drowning…), I have found some good paths around our house to let Sparty run off leash (technically he’s not allowed off leash but…eh), we got a dog walker, our house is slowly but surely coming together, and Cody and I have been working out together and that is one of our favourite things to do with each other!

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With this busy life, I have a tendency to get overwhelmed easily…and with the move and the new job I’ve had to figure out how to slow things down!

So, with this new path of life that Cody and I are embarking on together, I thought I would share the top 5 things I do to help my frazzled brain. Some of these Cody and I do together and some are on my own. These also may seem silly, but they really help!

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  1. Set a bedtime. Now, you’re probably laughing, but getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical health! Cody and I go to sleep at the same (embarrassingly early) time each night  and when the alarm clock goes off in the morning we (well I, Cody will never be a morning person) feel so well rested!
  2. We set 5 weekly goals to help us accomplish what we need to get done! They are simple goals but it makes us feel really good when we actually can put a check next to something we followed through with! One of them being tidying the house each night for 15 minutes before we head to bed!
  3. When I have a lot of things to do, I choose just a couple of those things to focus on at a time. When I have 15 things on my to do list I can feel my blood pressure rising, but when I choose the 2 most important tasks and I only focus on those first, I feel so much better. When I do this, whatever I am trying to accomplish usually gets done quicker, and the end result is much better!
  4. I take Sparty for a walk in the mornings (almost every morning). This makes me feel like a better dog-mom, it wakes me up and I feel like I have so much more clarity for the day ahead. It’s only about a 30 minute walk but it feels good to be outside and not have the temperature above 100! I usually take him between 5:30 and 5:50 so I have enough time to quickly eat something and get out the door for work!
  5. I head to work early. If anybody knows me they know that I’m late for everything. We were an hour late getting to our own venue the morning of our wedding… Leaving my house early and getting to work 30 minutes before I’m supposed to ensures that I have plenty of time to get everything ready for the day. Then if I need to chat with another teacher, the principal, or any other staff I have time in my classroom and I don’t feel like I’m the frantic new teacher running around looking crazy!

So, there you have it! Just a few things that we/I do throughout the week. Hopefully this wasn’t too boring!

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Have a great week!

 

Shan

 

 

A Month of Change

I started this blog about two years ago in an attempt to write about my fitness goals, workouts, and accomplishments. I loved doing that, but although fitness and health are huge, there is more to my life, and I want to transition this space! Between being a newlywed, being a first year teacher, moving to a new state and into a new house, working out is not the only important aspect in my life! Starting now I want to fill this space with all of the different parts of my life, and among that, how I manage to make it to the gym; which I’m still trying to figure out!!

 

So, until next weekend, I thought that I would reintroduce myself!

 

  1. On July 30, 2017 I married my best friend and high school sweetheart! The day went incredibly fast and we talk all the time about how we wish we could relive it.

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2. The day after our wedding, Cody, Sparty, my best friend, and I got into my Subaru, which was packed to the brim, and hit the road. We dropped Cody off at the airport and Amanda and I headed for Tucson. Not your typical honeymoon but I had the best time driving 1800 miles with my Maid of Honor. We drove along the coast and stopped in Eureka, Glass Beach, San Francisco, Anaheim, and Santa Monica; it was a blast!

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3. We arrived in Tucson very early on Friday morning! We tried to get my house together (which was a disaster and completely void of any furniture).

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4. And last but not least, I started my new job the following Monday. I am now a 4th grade teacher here in Tucson! It was a whirl wind only having three days at the school before the kiddos arrived but I managed to get the majority of things together with the help of my coworkers!

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The past few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least. But it is the type of overwhelming feeling that fills my heart with gratitude.

 

Until next time!

 

Shan 🙂

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These energy balls are something that I have been making since I was a freshmen in college and have always been my go to snack for hiking, traveling, or really just anytime of the day! I have tweaked several different recipes that I have used and created my own that I am in love with! I thought that I would share it with all of you! If you like peanut butter, you will love these. I promise.

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Ingredients:

1 Cup Peanut Butter

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup Agave or Honey (I personally prefer agave)

1/3 Cup Flaxseed

1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup Craisins

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Refrigerating is optional but it makes rolling the peanut butter mix into balls much easier!

Next, all you do is roll the mix into balls using your hands (or a cookie scooper would work too if you’ve got one!). This will be messy…You’ve been warned! Store the energy balls in the refrigerator and enjoy!

You can also add in coconut, dried cherries, almond slices, M&Ms (if you want them extra sweet!), or really anything that you think is delicous!

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I sure hope that everybody loves these as much as I do! They are a great source of energy, fats, carbs, and protein!

 

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XOXO,

Shan

 

Plant Based

img_6804I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis. However, this year my Fiance and I are trying a new nutrition regimen!  We have entered into the plant-based world!

Like I said, I’ve always eaten a nutrient dense diet, but I have found it hard to get in enough vegetables. Eating vegetables doesn’t come naturally, although I wish it would!

There are so many benefits to eating plant-based, it is amazing! Plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean vegetarian or vegan, it just means that the majority of your meals come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, and whole grains while minimizing the intake of meats and dairy products and eliminating refined sugar, high processed foods, and bleached flour.

The benefits of a more plant-based and whole-food diet are endless! Just to name a few:

  1. Intake of saturated fats are reduced.
  2. Fiber intake is increased! We all know what fiber is good for, plus diets high in fiber help fight against colon cancer. Whoohoo!
  3. Eating plant-based will naturally aid in a larger consumption of vitamins and nutrients such as potassium, folate, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. Potassium  aids in better muscle function,  lowers your risk of heart problems,  maintains fluid balance, and helps reduce stress levels. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells. Just a few benefits from some of the great vitamins and nutrients that will be consumed by eating plant based.
  4. A common misconception that people have about eating a plant-based or vegetarian diet is lacking an adequate amount of protein. However, most American’s get their protein from unhealthy sources, such as red meat. Beans, soy products, nuts, seeds, and lentils are a great source of protein!
  5. Disease prevention is a huge plus! Eating a healthy plant-based diet has been shown to prevent a number of diseases including colon cancer, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and more!
  6. You will find your energy to be much higher! Along with that, you will find that vitamins, such as A and E, that are being consumed from nuts and vegetables will aid in good skin health!

Sparty loves the idea of all of these benefits!

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I have loved this life-style switch and I found that I have more energy and feel better about myself in all aspects!I have found so many yummy recipes that I have enjoyed making and eating!

We’ve only got one body, let’s treat it with respect!

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XOXO,

Shan 🙂

A Different Light

IMG_7423Most people who know me know that I LOVE exercising. It’s part of my life! I don’t eat to diet, I eat to fuel my body (ice cream is the best fuel;)

But my exercise and eating habits have changed drastically over the last few years. Just a few years ago I would only go to the gym because I felt that if I didn’t go I would reverse all of my progress. I could imagine the pounds plopping themselves on my body, which is just ridiculous. I worked out 7 days a week and ate 1200-1300 calories a day, which were meticulously logged. Going out to dinner put me into a cold sweat, and the thought of going on vacation and not having access to a gym caused extreme anxiety. People would compliment me on my weight and I would smile, but inside I truly thought that it wasn’t enough. No matter what I did I was never happy with what I weighed or how I looked.

I honestly did not see any problem with how I was treating myself back then. The only thing I could think about was being “skinny”. Important people in my life would constantly tell me that I wasn’t “fat” and that I was beautiful but their words would go in one ear and out the other. A link was sent to me once about body dysmorphia and I read through it scoffing, not wanting to believe that it sounded like a description of myself.

Fast forward to today and I am the happiest that I have ever been with my health, fitness, and body. I look in the mirror and a true smile appears on my face. I spent years consistently logging my meals and calculating what and how much I was eating. The last year I have taught myself a lot about nutrition and I see food in a completely different light. I don’t do hours of cardio a day, instead I workout for about an hour a day and don’t cry if I miss a workout. I lift weights, do HIIT, add in shorter increments of cardio and I now see myself as strong. I have gained muscle, along with confidence. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and energy that was spent agonizing over my body is now being spent on the relationships in my life, things that truly make me happy. I still have moments and days that are rough, but it is night and day compared to where I once was.

I am 15 pounds heavier than I was at my lowest, but I feel my lightest. IMG_7373IMG_7392

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Oh Well…And an Introduction!

Obviously I never follow through on my blog posting plans, so I will never make a promise about the frequency of my posts again!! Hah! I will just go with the flow…suits me better… 🙂

Some exciting news has been happening over here, though! I will just start by introducing the new love of my life (sorry, Code), my best friend, new running buddy…Sparticus! (Sparty for short)

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I have been wanting to adopt a dog for YEARS! And we finally did it! We went to the pound a few days before my birthday back in June and we fell in love with this little guy. We had actually picked up his papers as well as another dogs (don’t tell Sparty) but were told the alternative dog probably wouldn’t be the best for first time dog owners.

We submitted our application and were told that one other couple had applied for Sparty as well and we would get a call the following morning about whether or not we got him. We tried not to get too excited…but then we got the call! Whoohoo!

We went to go meet him and fell in love all over again. However, he had some stomach problems and had to remain in the pound’s care for a couple more days to get checked out by the vet. He had been transported up from Texas the night before we met him because we was going to be put down. They believed that all of these events and stress caused the problems with Spart’s tummy.

 

And then the best day of my life (exaggerating a little…but not by much), on my favourite day of the year (my BIRTHDAY), we went to go pick him up to bring him to his forever home!

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He is seriously the best dog and we sure lucked out! He loves EVERYBODY and EVERY DOG! It is the best. He is becoming a very good running partner and he knows how to sit very well 😉 Really though, he is the best and I didn’t know that a dog could steal my heart like Sparty has ❤

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We even take naps together…

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He obviously likes to sleep! He gets bursts of energy and whenever we take him to the dog park or for a run he has a blast, but then as soon as we get home he is knocked out! It is the cutest!

He sure has made himself at home…

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So that is one thing that is going on around here! I figured since he will be making multiple appearances on here I would come back from my blogging leave by introducing him all to you! I have so many more things that I want to share and a list of topics that I want to talk about but will share them on a later date!

Hope everybody has a great day!

 

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

Keep on Climbing

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Today while I was hiking, I really just kept thinking about my bed. I mean seriously. This hike kicked my butt. I was sweating within the first 10 minutes and was panting like a dog.

Halfway up, I was still thinking about being at the bottom of the mountain and eating froyo, but the closer I got to the top the better I felt. The hike was still a tough one, but I was feeling better about it with each mile.

Not to be cheesy (but I guess yeah, I’m being cheesy) this hike reminded me that life is hard. There are moments in life where you just feel defeated and you want to throw in that metaphorical towel but you can’t. While I was hiking I continued to remind myself that I was going to feel like a badass at the top, that I was thankful to be hiking with my best friend by my side, and how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place. While I was sweating and sounding like I was having an asthma attack, I continued to remind myself these things and when I got to the top, I was so grateful. The view was beautiful and my favourite hiking partner was right by my side.

I love hiking and always feel that the greatest views are achieved from the more strenuous hikes. I keep going back for more because I love the feeling of reaching the top and taking in everything around me.

I was reminded to appreciate the climb even when it’s hard, because once you reach the top there’s really nothing like it. Sometimes it feels like the climb will never come to an end, and that’s when you’ve really got to live in the present, take it all in, and try your best.

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Drop the Plans

Oh boy, how long has it been? I definitely took a hiatus but I am back! I am back to posting once a week and am done taking 4 month long (yes FOUR month long) breaks!

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Something that has been on my mind as of late is how often plans change. I spend so much of my time planning; planning my week out, planning my weekend, planning what my wedding will be like, planning what my life will be like when both my man and I are in our careers. And I love thinking of the future, but I don’t want to spend all of my time in my head day dreaming and planning for things that are far away. Cody and I had made plans to live in Seattle once he graduated from UW because we had planned on him getting a job here! Alas, he did not and will be flying away to Arizona in August to work with an amazing company while I stay here and finish school. Now that is a plan that definitely did not work out. But I am okay with that! When plans don’t work out, we are challenged and that’s when our dreams are really put to the test.

So lately, something that I have been doing is living in the moment. Appreciating the time that I get to spend with Cody in the next few months before we live apart, my last few quarters in school and how much I am learning, where I am at in my health and fitness journey, and much, much more. I don’t want to fast forward through my life trying to get to the future.

 

Live in the moment, appreciate what’s around you, and love yourself at every stage.

 

xoxo,

 

Shan

“I’m going to start my diet on Monday”

First, as always, I want to talk a little about what I’ve been up to! And then after that I am going to share a little thing I wrote about nutrition!

I hope that everybody had a fantastic holiday season! It’s always nice to spend time with family and recognize what’s really important in life 🙂

A couple weekends ago my main squeeze and I went and saw the Nutcracker and it was so fun! Those are some serious athletes! I can hardly do a tuck jump and those dancers are jumping all over the place for 3 hours! And they look amazing doing it!

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And I spent the last few days hanging out with my cat and reading Harry Potter! He likes to hold my page for me 😉

I did 3 merry miles with my big bro on Christmas morning!

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And here is a little thing that I wrote about nutrition and diet…even though what I really wish is that my entire diet could be made up of coffee…that would make life easier 😉

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There are a lot of diets out there and some people can find it overwhelming, what with all of the information buzzing around the internet. People claiming that the “Whole-30” and the “Paleo” diet are the ways to go and others claiming that a low fat diet is good because of course, “fat makes you fat.” Because that makes sense…  I’ve heard people make absurd comments about nutrition that makes me question them. Someone once said to me that you shouldn’t eat carbs because they’re bad for you…what?

Up until a couple of years ago I didn’t know much about nutrition which really put a block in my attempt to see changes with my body. Between then and now I have done a lot of research and reading and have learned quite a bit! (I am in no way a nutritionist, so all of this is just my opinion!) Whether it’s losing weight, gaining weight, building muscle, losing fat, all of it requires certain/different amounts of nutrients. Each person needs a different amount of macronutrients, which are the nutrients that the body needs in large amounts including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram and fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Fats don’t make you fat, in fact, people need a certain amount of fat every day to support certain hormone regularities within the body, especially women! Fat is a source of energy, aids in absorbing certain vitamins, and is needed for normal growth and development. The USDA says that 20%-35% of a person’s calories should come from fat. Carbohydrates are used for energy and support our bodies throughout the day and in our workouts! Protein is so important and helps build lean muscle, makes important hormones and enzymes, and gives energy to your body when carbs are not available. If a person is eating too small amount of protein then their bodies cannot build muscle, so all of the hard work that’s being done in the gym and the weights that are being lifted, will not lead to anything. Your body can only do so much with inadequate amount of protein. If a woman is trying to build muscle, or trying to just eat an adequate amount of protein, then they should be eating .8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

A person can workout like a boss (heheh) but if their body is not being properly fueled then the changes they are looking for won’t happen. The term, “abs are made in the kitchen,” is 100% accurate.

For myself, eating clean makes my body feel best and I follow a certain macronutrient plan based on how many calories I burn a day and what my own fitness goals are. Besides the fact that my body feels best with clean foods, there are health benefits that can only be gained from the foods found on the perimeter of the grocery store.

There is no perfect diet for anybody. Certain things work for individuals while those same things don’t work for others. It’s important for people to research and when trying out new things trial and error is important to learn what works best for your body. I believe that the most important aspect of nutrition is finding something that you can stick with and that you enjoy, otherwise the results won’t last and the process will be un-enjoyable.

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I hope that everybody has a great New Years! I have some workouts that I’ve been doing that I am going to share tomorrow!!

Have a great night!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

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