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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Heavy Heart and Running

The last several weeks my family has been dealing with a sickness in the family. I have never, fortunately, had to personally deal with death or serious illness before, and it sure has left my heart heavy. My uncle is one of the kindest and most loving people that I know and it breaks my heart to see him fighting this battle with brain cancer. He has miraculously pulled through some tough patches over the past couple of months and I have high hopes that he will be that 2% that is a miracle.

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My dad and I took a trip up to Canada to visit my family and it was heart wrenching, but good for my dad, and good for me too. On the way up there my dad stopped at all of the old places we used to stop at while taking trips up there, all the while with my Uncle Bill in our hearts. It warmed my heart to see all of these places with my loving father.

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I think about my uncle everyday and am hoping with all of my might that this cancer takes a turn for the better.

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While we were up there my dad took me to an old trail that he let me run on to let me stretch out my legs…and my emotions. Running is probably the last thing that a lot of people think about when dealing with stressful or emotional situations, but it always has a way of making me feel better. It relaxes me and lets me sort out my emotions with each step. It lets me let go of certain pent up feelings and come to terms with things that are dragging me down. The run on this beautiful trail was just the thing I needed.

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And then on the ferry ride back, my dad and I got to see a grey whale jumping out of the water, which is both of our favourite thing on this planet. It sounds small, but it was the perfect thing to see after this heavy trip.

I hope that everybody has a great weekend. If you have anything heavy on your heart, take some time to yourself and pound out your emotions on the pavement. It will help, I promise.

Hugs,

Shan 🙂

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?