SMILES

Today Cody and I hit the gym together! He agreed to go with me because he’s leaving to go Japan for 3 weeks tomorrow. We did an upper body workout and a little bit of HIIT!

4×10 triceps push downs

3×8 dips (assisted for me)

4×10 pull ups (but just AMRAP for me!)

3×10 DB curls

HIIT:

3x :30 ropes

3×10 burpees

3×20 TRX plank to crunch

It was a good workout and tomorrow morning I am going to go for a 3 mile run in the morning to start my day!!

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On to a different topic…

Yesterday on my way to the gym I saw a man asking for help sitting on the road with his dog. The only thing stopping me from pulling over and helping him was…well nothing. So I pulled into the mall parking lot, grabbed a few bucks out of my wallet and a granola bar from the box that I keep in my car and walked over to the man. I handed him the things that I brought for him and told him that I wanted to help. I squatted down, pet his dog, and he told me about himself. His dog’s name is Doyle, who was one of the cutest and friendliest dogs of life, and his was Wayne. He was so nice and it was really awesome chatting with him. I learned that he came from a family where alcoholism was apparent and he came out here to do some welding work. The company he was working for didn’t make it and he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. But now he is working to get back on his feet and will be going back to school with the help of the Washington Rehabilitation Center!

The point of this story was to remind myself and everybody else that there are so many people out there who have a story that we don’t know. I usually try and give to the people who are asking for help but I’ve never stayed and chatted with someone. It was really reminding of how much that I have and how thankful I am. Sometimes I get so frustrated over things but I just need to take a step back and be thankful for what I have. I have less than some people and more than some people, but everything that I do have is perfect for me.

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Have a great night and a great day tomorrow!

xoxo,

Shan

Body Love

Recently my best friend Amanda asked me to write about my journey with my body for her wonderful blog, thelittleladybug.weebly.com. Her blog is so wonderful and she has an amazing vision and wonderful goals.

I have struggled with body dysmorphia and loving my body for quite some time and have always kept my struggles silent. I figured that if my story can help even one person, then I might as well share it on here too! I write a lot about running, eating healthy, and exercising on here because I truly do love all of those things! I do them now because I want to and I love being healthy, but here is a little window into one of my biggest struggles.

ps if you have a minute please go check out thelittleladybug.weebly.com, you won’t regret it! 🙂

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Twisting this way and that way, trying to see what I look like from every angle, disgusted with what I see. Every day, I would spend an absurd amount of time in the bathroom or in front of a mirror scrutinizing my body, pulling and squeezing bulges of skin that were squishing out of my jeans or sports bra. I would use a mirror to visually measure the width of my body every night, and depending on what I ate that day or how much I exercised, I would always see something different. I spent years looking at myself like this in the mirror every morning, afternoon, and evening. Every time I went into the bathroom I would pull up my shirt and look at my stomach, always displeased with what I saw. Every time I was out with friends and would pass by a window I would glance at my reflection and my mood would shift. This is how I looked at myself Every. Single. Day.
I don’t need to bore anybody with the intricate details of my story but I will share a few things that I remember most.

My senior year in high school, I would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to workout before school. I would also workout after school in the school weight room. During sports seasons, I continued to workout and would sometimes go for a jog as late as 8pm because I felt that if I didn’t get those two miles in I would gain 5 pounds. In my mind, what I was doing was dedication. I thought that I was passionate about being healthy and getting fit and was dedicated to my goals. But I went too far. I was losing weight and feeling really good about how I looked! People were telling me that I looked great too, which just fueled my obsession with working out and eating less. I didn’t track my food but looking back now I know that I wasn’t eating nearly enough. I would eat a Quaker granola bar for breakfast, an iceberg salad with no dressing for lunch, maybe a few bites of other people’s lunch, and a small plate of whatever my parents made for dinner. I would weigh myself every day, sometimes twice a day. I never fell under an unhealthy weight, but what I was doing to myself mentally and physically was not healthy.

My love for exercising became an obsession and I was constantly thinking about when I could workout. If a trip was coming up, I would become anxious about both my ability to fit a workout into my schedule and what food would be available for me to eat. I was chained to the treadmill, forcing myself to take each step and pump out those five miles. I needed to workout.

And don’t even get me started on the thought of taking my clothes off.

Fast forward a couple of years and I am sitting in my new apartment in a new city making an iMovie of the past four years with my boyfriend. I am sorting through photos on my laptop and it hits me like a ton of bricks. It feels like my throat is swelling and tears begin to fall down my cheeks and onto my bedspread. I have memories from almost every photo of myself being upset with how I looked. I was worried that I looked fat or ugly and looking back I could see how it ruined so many of my days. The real kicker is that while I was looking at these photos…I thought that I looked just fine, good even. And then the realization came to me that I had spent years obsessing over my body and letting my self-image determine what kind of day I had. My boyfriend had sent me a link a few months earlier that I brushed off, but then went and found that night. That article was on Body Dysmorphia. I delved into that article and as I read on I cried harder. Finally, after years and years of anxiety over my body I could see what I was doing to myself.

From that night on I made a conscious decision to love myself. Every day. I began journaling and coming to terms with myself. For the most part this journey with myself has been kept quiet. Writing out my thoughts really opened my eyes.

It’s been hard this past year to love my body. I will forever struggle with my Body Dysmorphia and I still have some old habits that creep up on me, but I am working on myself everyday and am getting there. When I begin to tell myself that I look fat or that I gained weight, I take a step back from the mirror and really look at my body. I look at my legs and feel grateful for the ability to run. I look at my arms and think of the progress that I have been making in the weight room. I really take a minute and think about what my body is capable of and push those negative thoughts out of my head.

Now I exercise and eat healthy because I want to and it makes me feel good. I have support from my boyfriend and friends who are always there for me. I have learned to utilize the people in my life, not being scared to ask for help or to share my feelings. So many people in the world struggle with some sort of eating or body image disorder and it took me a long time to come to that realization. There is nothing wrong with me, this is just something that I have to deal with and work through and that’s the same for so many other people. I only get one life and when I am 80 years old I don’t want to look back and see how many opportunities I ruined because of my distorted self-image. I am becoming happy with what my body can do and I try to look at my body for what it truly is; a gift.

A Break!

It has been SO warm here in Seattle. Because of that, it was perfect timing to take a two week break from running after my half marathon! Running starts back up tomorrow! I’ve still been working out everyday, just not running. I love fitness and I love how there are so many different ways to stay active, healthy, and fit! After running, the next best way I love to get in a good workout is to lift! I love seeing and feeling myself getting stronger. Plus…I can do ONE un-assisted pull up now! How is that for improvement?! At least for me! 🙂

Also, who doesn’t like to get in a little cardio with the stairmonster? 😉 That machine is killer. But I always feel like a beast after I am done with it! Today in the gym I did some HIIT circuits and got this flattering picture of me 😉

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Also I ate this as part of my post workout snack…

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If you haven’t tried this I think that you should. They make  several different flavours and have about 6 readable and natural ingredients. Protein almond butter that is flavoured like dessert!? Yes please!

For lunch every day I have been having a smoothie, which I get to make at work for free. It is pretty awesome. I have been juicing brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green apple, carrot, lemon, and cucumber and then blending the juice with spinach and some sort of frozen berry or mango! It is so delicious!

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Also this past weekend Cody and I went out to lunch with his mom and little brother and I got this delectable salad…Oh yum.

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And since most of my pictures on here of me are sweaty…

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Moving on to yesterday, Cody and I went for a day hike and it was absolutely beautiful! We hiked up to a cliff that overlooked the lake, and then hiked down to the lake! It was so nice to walk into the water and cool off.

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I love hiking so much. It is a great workout plus you get to see amazing and beautiful sights. Nature is just so gosh darn pretty.

Have a great week and get in some good sweat sessions!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

Race Recap

Last Saturday was the Seattle Rock and Roll half marathon and it was a blast! It was so beautiful and really great weather. There were so many people that there were 36 waves before everybody was running, crazy! I was in wave 12 and started about 20 minutes after the first wave. Also, the space needle shot off fireworks to start the race!

I heard a lot of people say that this race was hilly but I really didn’t think that it was that bad! There were probably two hills, both near the end, that made me want to stop and walk but that’s it! It was a good amount of hills, especially for Seattle.

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I’ve lived here for 9 months and haven’t really explored Seattle much, so it was fun seeing the city and beautiful scenery while running. There was one section of the run that gave me goosebumps, and that was the memorial leg. While we were running along a path on Lake Washington there were stakes on either side with veterans pictures on them. After that there were people holding American flags and cheering us on for probably about 10 minutes. It was so amazing and I didn’t want it to end.

Running brings me so much joy and I can’t stop smiling when I am surrounded by thousands of people who have also logged hundreds of miles to get to a race.

There were two things that I didn’t like about this race…1. The tunnels. There were two tunnels that we had to run through and the second one was extra long. I did not enjoy those, they were dark and cramped and yucky. 2. My legs chaffed so badly. I have never heard of somebody’s legs chaffing as badly as mine did last Saturday. Wow.

Be back soon! Have a great Monday!

xoxo, Shan

2 days 7 hours and 5 minutes

In 2 days 7 hours and 5 minutes I will be running the Seattle Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon…I am slightly terrified. I have not been preparing/training as much as I should have been so I am actually considering ordering a wheel chair and having it waiting for me at the finish line. I am only kind of kidding.

Last November I ran the Seattle half marathon and it went really well, but I trained for that one..

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I am going to be so sore…

In just a tad I am going to go out and run 6 miles…multiply that by 2 and add a mile and you’ve got the half marathon! That’s what I keep telling myself.

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Yesterday was my last day in my third grade classroom and I got cards from all of the kiddos and they were so adorable I wanted to cry. Kids really know how to make you feel good about yourself 😉 Plus I got a gift card to Barnes and Nobles! I can’t wait to pick up some kid’s books!

And flashback to this weekend! It was MY BIRTHDAY!

Cody took me to the San Juans and we went on an orca whale kayaking tour! It was so amazing. We didn’t see any whales but it was still so so amazing.

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Plus I got a double scoop ice cream cone with birthday cake flavor and chocolate chip cookie dough. It was so amazing.

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And because I turned 21 my old roommate and best friend came down to see me…and she brought wine.

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It was a good night. She is one of the best friends that a girl could ask for and I love her dearly.

That’s all for now folks! On Saturday at approximately 10 am I will be laying on the couch icing my legs and don’t plan on getting up so I will write all about the race!

Have a great day!

Shan

Being a Runner

My whole life I have wanted to be a runner. Back when running a half mile around the track made me bend over my knees and hold my side, all I could think about was becoming a runner. When running 1 mile had me gasping for air, looking for excuses to stop I imagined myself as a runner. The first time that I ran 3 miles, when I was sitting on the sidewalk with sweat dripping down my face and pooling around me, I could only think about calling myself a runner.

I ran intermittently during high school, trying so hard to become a runner. I thought that I needed to run a certain amount of miles per week, run a certain pace, run a certain amount outside..etc etc etc.

The summer before college I ran on the treadmill almost everyday, usually between 3 and 5 miles. I would read Fitness magazine while I ran, specifically articles about women who ran half and full marathons. I thought that because I ran on the treadmill or because I never thought that I would run 13.1 miles, I wasn’t a runner.

Now, looking back at my running history, I can see that my passion for running has always been there and that I have always been a runner. I have always been committed to my running and I have loved the way it makes me feel. Whether I am running 2 miles or 10, at a 10 minute/mile pace or an 8 minute/mile pace, whether it is on the treadmill or outside, or whether I run without stopping or take a walk, I am a runner.

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Running is such an amazing thing because if you run, at all, you are a runner. If you walk during your run, you are still a runner. If you dread going for your run before you head out, you are still a runner. If you take a break from running because of an injury or just because, you are still a runner. If you only run on the treadmill, you are still a runner!

I have always been a runner, even during all of those years that I told myself I wasn’t. And you are too!

xoxo,

Shan

Beat the Bridge and Salt Water

Flashback to last weekend…I ran the Beat the Bridge to Diabetes race in Seattle! It was a blast and an easy 8k. I did it at an average 8:30 minutes/mile and I was pooped by the end!

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We ran for her cute little niece, Beckham. Hence the awesome red headbands!

After the race Cody and I did the usual weekend activities which included a trip to CostCo. I got this wonderful watermelon and it was so delicious.

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I sent the below photo to my best friend over at thelittleladybug.weebly.com

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What’s life without watermelon??

And one funny poem that I got from on of my students. It is too good not to share.

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The illustration of the pug is what really gets me!! It is so great.

And now flash forward to this past weekend. It is so great to have a long weekend and to give thanks to all of the men and women who fight and have fought for our freedom.

During our long weekend Cody and I made it over to the Washington coast. My favourite place in the whole entire world, Kalaloch.

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He is too cute.

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Kalaloch doesn’t let people reserve camp spots until June 11 so when Cody and I got there, the sites were full!!! We had to drive 1.5 hours along highway 101 and stopping at every campground until we found an available spot at 7:30 pm. It was sure an adventure! But during our search we found this awesome spot on the Hoh river and it was so beautiful that we went back the next day and spent quite some time there! We made some sweet rock stacks and just played around on the rocks. And then we headed over to Ruby Beach and Kalaloch where we searched for star fish and played in the water. It was such a great weekend!

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And now onto some of my workouts! Yesterday I met up with a couple people from my class and ran a few miles with them. It was so fun! I love running with people so much. Chatting makes the miles fly by. I ran a couple miles before meeting up with them and then had to run those miles back to my place and ended up with about 8 miles. It was a good time! And the weather was perfect, overcast and cool.

Today I did a biceps and triceps workout!

4×8 barbell curls

3×10 hammer db curls

3×8 preacher curls

3×10 close grip triceps bench press

3×8 triceps pull downs

3×8 push downs

And then I finished up with 15 minutes on the stairclimber.

Later tonight I a going to go back and get in about 45 minutes on the elliptical!

I hope that everybody had a great long weekend and made it through this long and rambling post!

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xoxo,

Shan

Snoopy and 6 Miles

This past week was great in so many ways! I had a lesson on Tuesday that I taught to my third graders about tables and graphs! When I started I asked the kiddos, “What can you tell me about tables?” And this student raised his hand and said, “I EAT DINNER ON THEM.” It was hilarious and really got the kids into the lesson! Kids have such funny senses of humor, I love it!

After my lesson one of my students told me that I was a really good teacher and gave me this “pocket snoopy”. My heart exploded into a million pieces from happiness.

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And this salad is still going on strong in my life.

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So delicious. I usually eat two bowls…No regrets.

Also I love sweet potatoes and have started eating them again! Last night I made them but sadly burnt them 😦 But that didn’t stop me from digging in.

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#ketchupforlife

And today I also tried out a chickpea cookie dough recipe. It was pretty good and I am more than happy to eat it because cookie dough and all of it’s buttery goodness is one of my favourite things to eat in the entire world.

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Of course I added in some dark chocolate chips…

And right after I ate this bowl of heaven Cody went off to an engineering awards dinner! He sure is handsome! However, I was sweaty and ugly so I hid behind him!! (Guests had to pay $75 to go…hence why I stayed home. But I am there in spirit).

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I am trying to run 4 days a week and doing other forms of cardio/weight lifting on the other days! Yesterday I got a solid 6 miles in plus a little time on the elliptical. It was glorious. I was a sweaty mess though! I ran down to Green Lake and back, but when I got back I was only at 5.76 miles…runners know that you can’t stop at a number like that…So I ran around my apartment complex until I hit a perfect 6! With a 9:15 average pace. I’ll take it!

Tomorrow I am going to get in 8 miles and a running in an 8k race on Sunday for Type 1 Diabetes!!

I hope that you all have a great weekend! Get outside!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

The Color Run and a Little Baseball

Sunday morning the boy and I started out our day with running in the Color Run! It sure was fun getting colored while I was running!

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Cody never runs with me but I persuaded him to do this race with me…finally!!

The race was fun but I don’t think that I will do it again. While we were going through the color stations we had to walk, plus there were just so many people in general…and a lot of walkers. Walking isn’t bad! I just prefer to run the entire time. I guess I am a snobby racer…

But, Cody and I passed everybody and were only passed by 2 people throughout the 3 miles…you bet we kept count!

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It was sure fun running with Cody! He never runs but he is still faster than me. He was nice and waited for me, even when he wanted to be a speedster and pass everybody in front of him.

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After the run we went to the Mariners game with Cody’s family and it was fun! We won and we got to see the King pitch. It sure is nice to see your team win!

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That’s all I have time for today…I have a lot of homework and a lesson plan that I need to work on! Teaching a lesson on math tomorrow morning!

Have a great Monday everybody!!

xoxo,

Shan

Stairs and More

Yesterday I went running through Discovery Park with a gal from my cohort and her dog. It was so fun! We went on a different loop that I don’t usually go on with LOTS of stairs! Bring on the heavy breathing and pounding heart. It was such a good workout! We went a little slower than I usually go but I love running with people so much. Running is just so good for you and running with other people brings you closer and creates lasting friendships! When I run I love talking, I can’t help it. It makes the run go by so fast and while talking you learn so much about yourself and the people you are with!

I am also starting a cohort running group (all of the people in my education class)! And so many people are interested! I cannot wait to see everybody love exercise and running/jogging/walking.

Flashback to last weekend! Cody and I went hiking at Rattlesnake Ridge and it was pretty sweet!

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We had a little chipmunk friend join us! He was so cute!

The view was so beautiful and it was awesome sitting on the cliff! Cody didn’t quite agree…:)

Also, random fact; My freshmen year at WWU I ate spinach salads almost everyday and when that year was over, I was also so over spinach. Even the thought of it made me gag. But then a few days ago I saw it in the salad bar and it just felt right again. So bring on the spinach! And kale! This is my new favorite salad! Lemon dressing, kale (or spinach), craisins, and feta!

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Oh man is it good.

And this has been my favorite breakfast!

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With a little bit of this on the side!

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Not to brag or anything, but I am quite proud of my latte art…;)

Also, I chopped off a little bit of my hair!

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And before I let you go, this the workout that I did last night after my run! It was pretty killer!

I did the elliptical type machine that doesn’t have arms…I don’t know the name of it but I’m sure you know what I am talking about!

Anyway, let’s call that machine the no arm elliptical.

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No arm elliptical 10 minutes

10 burpees

20 wide leg frog jumps

20 in and out jump squats

5 assisted pull ups

8 pushups

I did this 3 times which equaled out to just about 45 minutes. It was a sweat drenching workout! The things that I did between the elliptical sets changed a little bit every time and it was awesome. I love incorporating HIIT into my workouts.

Have a great Monday night/Tuesday everybody!

xoxo,

Shan ❤