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!

DSC_0877

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!

21729288_1653358721362664_398283175_n

  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!

DSC_0084

Have a great week!

 

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

(PC: http://www.xothelittleladybug.com/)

Keep on Climbing

13161178_1029817573721752_828511951_o

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.

13161517_1029817383721771_2116877598_o13170742_1029817707055072_926733928_o13199099_1029817130388463_1829274417_o13199203_1029817683721741_1468439639_o

Wow and A Little Rest

Wow guys! I think that maybe I should get an award for most inconsistent blogger of life. It’s been almost ONE MONTH since I last posted. That is too long.

From now on I want to write once a week and publish my posts on Saturdays. I still might do random posts throughout the week but you can count on there being at least one post every Saturday! Try and contain your excitement, please…

12064257_1037821046249771_915212394_n

Okay, I wanted to talk a little bit about rest. I know that rest is important. I’ve read countless articles about it, I tell people how important taking rest days is, and I tell myself I need it. However, since I started consistently working out in 2012, the longest that I have gone without working out was 2 days in a row…I am kind of ashamed to even write that. And that lack of rest caught up to me and bit me in booty. Seriously. It is so important to give your body long periods of rest (longer than 2 days) every once in a while.

So, my point of sharing this is that last week I was running on empty. On Wednesday, I drove to the gym and was going to work out before class…and I fell asleep in the parking lot. I jolted awake, came to my senses, and drove home to lay on the couch until it was time to head out to class. I realized that night after talking to a friend that I don’t need to constantly push myself, I can take a break! Which is exactly what I did. I took the following 5 days off from exercising and it felt amazing. I realized that my workouts were becoming chores, not something that I genuinely looked forward to doing. I have so many things in my life right now that are requirements, chores, tasks, burdens, and I do not want running/lifting/exercising to turn into that.

Over my few days of relaxation (which was amazing) I remembered that working out is part of my life because I choose it. It is not forced upon me by anyone. I love running and lifting and I do those things because they make me feel good.

I have decided to push my half marathon off for a couple of months so that I can run care-free. I want to love running and not run purely because I feel like I have to, which is what the race was making me feel like. I am still going to continue running several days a week, because I love it and keep you all updated, so don’t you worry! I really want to work on getting fast! I am going to get tickets because I am so speedy! Bad joke?

Another thing that lack of rest was causing me to do was not eat consistently the way that I like to and usually do and this made me feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

I am ready to be back to my normal self, eating clean foods and loving exercising!! I wrote out a list of goals for myself to help me feel my best! I am also tracking my food because I know that when I eat my best, I feel my best (plus I have goals!)!

12063928_1037817242916818_1005114444_n

12165680_1037820909583118_537101804_n

And one more picture that I hope makes your day a little better. This is my cat Whiskers and he very much resembles grumpy cat in this picture. Hahahah! Makes me laugh every time I look at it.

12165870_1037820939583115_348705474_n

Have a good day everybody!

—————————————————————————————————

Do any of you do yoga?

What was the best part of your day today?

Pumpkin Season and A Good Shoulder Workout

Hey everybody!

Now I know that it’s only August, but anybody else have cravings for pumpkin? I do! I love pumpkin everything so I decided to share my favourite pumpkin cookie recipe with you! I got it from Pinterest but changed it a little bit to make it my own! It’s not the healthiest recipe, but it’s also not the worst!

IMAG1694

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Nutmeg

1  Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (But I really I just dump the bag upside down until the amount looks good to me 😉

1/2 Cup Oil

1 tsp Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

  1. Set oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix oil, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and egg in one bowl until smooth.
  3. Mix flour and all spices together in a bowl. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with the milk. Add both the dry flour mixture and the wet baking soda mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add chocolate chips (as many your little heart desires 😉
  5. Using a spoon (cookie scooper if you have one) to scoop equal mounds of cookie dough onto baking sheet.
  6. Cook for 8-10 minutes!

These cookies should come out big and fluffy! They are so delicious! Last time I made them Cody ate 8 in one night…

11880957_1010300159001860_852657264_n 11903278_1010300142335195_457491108_n

I hope that you all love ’em as much as I do! Maybe eating pumpkin flavoured things will bring Fall faster!!

————————————————————————————–

And on a different note, I had a great shoulder and ab workout today and I thought that i would share it!

Superset –> Barbell Press & Barbell Raises 4×8

Arnold Press 4×6

DB Shoulder Press 4×8

One Arm DB Side Raise 4×10

ABS x3

50 Russian Twist with 10 lbs Medicine Ball

12 V-Ups with Med Ball

30 Plank Hip turns

Shoulder Burnout with Band x3

Side raises 10

Front Raises 10

Press 10

Have a fit day everybody!!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

Taking a Walk

Today I went for a run that I was looking forward to all day. I started running and it felt so great, my legs felt good and my breathing was great! But then all of the sudden, a little bit more than half way through my run I just wasn’t feelin it anymore.

Something that I almost never do during my runs is walk. I feel like walking (for me) is defeat. But today it just felt so good to walk, so I kept on walking! I walked for about a mile at a fast pace to keep my heart rate up and it was so great! I walked for about a mile and then started jogging again. I didn’t have any pace or goals set for the run so walking didn’t mess anything up. As I was walking I was thinking that sometimes it’s nice to just slow things down and take it all in, things don’t always have to go fast paced and plans can be changed!

And some random rambles —>

1. Does anybody else leave their race tags on their shoes? Well I do! It’s a nice reminder of my hard work when I am running 🙂 Anyway, today when I was at the grocery store waiting in line a fellow runner asked about my race tag and it started a whole conversation on races! It was really awesome!

2. Today I bought this yogurt:

11721200_991451827553360_703624952_n

I don’t drink cow milk and thought that I would try this non-dairy yogurt. Consensus—SO GOOD! I will definitely buy it again. I usually prefer to eat yogurt that is higher in protein but this is good for a snack too!

Tomorrow I’ve got a great shoulder workout planned along with some on the stairmonster…wish me luck.

Have a great Monday tomorrow!

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! 🙂

————————————————————————————————————————

11537811_980906105274599_1791160518600610853_n

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.