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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One Day at a Time and Lots of Pumpkin!

I have always known that I get stressed very easily, and this past year, that fact has become more evident. If there is something that is out of my control, if there is something that I need to get done but haven’t yet, money, tests, scheduling my days, or as Cody likes to say “things that you know, and things that you don’t know stress you out.” So pretty much everything. But something really important that I have learned about myself is that if I just take one day at a time, and not look too far ahead, then my levels of stress drastically decrease.

Often times I find myself becoming stressed about the unknown, or my ability to handle future situations that aren’t even in my line of sight.

This really relates to my running because sometimes during longer runs (or just when I am on the treadmill 🙂 I can only think about how much further I have to go and it makes me anxious. But if I just focus on completing each quarter mile and my times for each, then my run is more relaxing and enjoyable. When I am running in the present mile, I am running in the moment. And this is the same in life! When I live in the moment and don’t focus on everything that could stress me out, I enjoy my days just a little more!

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(photo by my cute friend http://www.xothelittleladybug.com/index.html)

And on a different note, whoohoo! I sure do love the weekend “a latte” (see what I did there?;)

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Yesterday I went running with a friend and she took me to this really awesome trail. It kind of kicked my butt because there were so many hills over a short distance…my legs were on fire!

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And Cody and I painted our pumpkins this weekend! His is still in progress, but mine is complete! I painted some bears because they are my favourite. And then we hit up Trader Joe’s and I went pumpkin crazy. You could say it was a pumpkin filled weekend!

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And right now the Codester and I are watching the Seahawks game and then we are heading out to go play a little football ourselves with a HIIT workout added in there!

Also I posted my workout from this morning below! I did shoulders and glutes because they are my favourite 🙂

4×15 weighted cable kickbacks

4×10 barbell thrusts

4×10 db side raise above head

3×10 side lateral raises

3×10 barbell shoulder press

3×20 weighed step ups

Have a great day everybody!

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…

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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!)!

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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.

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Have a good day everybody!

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Do any of you do yoga?

What was the best part of your day today?

Quality Vs Quantity

Well this weekend was a blast! I got to see my old roomies from good ‘ole Bellingham and boy oh boy do I miss them on a daily basis. It always surprises me that, with the best of friends, you can go weeks without seeing each other but nothing changes.

Call me cheesy, but I have always looked for quality rather than quantity with my friendships. I enjoy friendships that contain laughter and silly conversations but also friendships that are built with honesty and loyalty.

Sometimes I feel that people are constantly looking for acceptance, myself included, but I have found that I am more confident with myself and don’t need validation from others when I find peace with where I am at.

I think that these things can really relate to running because in order to meet your race or running goals you need to have quality runs. Quantity isn’t always the answer. And when you have an awesome run that means that you are doing something right! It’s important to acknowledge what you are doing in your life to help you achieve these runs, such as enough sleep, nourishing your body the right way, recovery/rest days, incorporating strength training, etc. It’s important to run for yourself and not base your happiness or confidence on comparisons with other people.

As my half-marathon training approaches I am constantly thinking about my reasons for running and how to make those 10 weeks of training my best yet. If you have any great reasons for running or tips feel free to share!

dtyh

Have a great day!

Shan 🙂

PS. The above photo was taken by my cute best friend, Amanda Hoffmann xothelittleladybug.com

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.