Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful and a challenge

Hi Friends.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is amazing the amount of work that goes into preparing and how quickly the day actually goes. Same thing with most holidays.
I decided to make this post about thankfulness instead of all the things I think I should change about myself, my actions, the amount of food I ate, yada yada.

I find I am so quick to get mad at myself for my actions. I have such a hard time forgiving myself for the actions which I think are wrong. My goal for myself is to make me the best me I can be. Incuding the most fit, in shape and healthy me I can be. I am very quick to judge myself based off of mistakes I have made instead of praising myself for how far I have come. Anyone else do this??

I have a challenge for everyone. Try and be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Be thankful for what you can do and how far you have come. I am going to try and follow this challenge too.

I am thankful for how far I have come in my life. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my ability to run, dance, sing, etc. I am thankful for my job and my friends. I am thankful to be able to wake up each day and start over with a new beginning.

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not but rejoices for those which he has" - Epictatus

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have a lot to be thankful for. This is what I will focus on today... everything I am Thankful for and lucky to have in my life. Not all the things I want to make better, change, improve on, etc. Whether it be the people I share my day with, my family, my friends, my job, my ability to run, a warm meal on the table, etc. There are so many things we may take for granted without realizing it.

I am thankful for all the little things in my life.

Now it is time to go run a turkey trot!!

What are you guys all thankful for?!?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To count or not to count?

To count or not to count...
I find I have been asking myself this question a lot lately. Should I, or shouldn't I count my daily calories. Some days I think it helps keep me on track and accountable.. and other days I feel like it brings my positivity down and sets me up for failure. I have been counting calories since high school when I joined weight watchers. The now habit has been stuck with me for 12 years... going on 13. I honestly think I do it purely out of habit at this point. I have decided to try from now until January 1st with NO counting. No thinking of the calories in my head, on an application or in a note pad. I am going to try my best to stick to clean foods and listen to my body. I am hoping the hungry days even out with the not so hungry days. I want to see how my mind and body respond. I will keep you all updated!

I am finally feeling better... took long enough! My already limited patience was pretty much down to nothing. I feel like I got a pretty decent workout in today too. Todays workout was:

AMRAP in 20 minutes of:

- 20 kb swings

- 10 burpees

- 20 sumo squat high pulls

- 20 air squats

I got in 5 rounds + 40 reps

I also did 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of body pump. I finally feel like I can breathe while working out! Whoo hoo!!

What are everyones plans for tomorrow? Any workout and nutritional goals?? It is always so hard on the holidays.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This cold's a fighter.

Happy Sunday everyone!!  I must say I am in a good mood because my cowboys won today. Was not so sure they were going to pull it off.. but they did.

On a not so happy note- I am still not feeling well. A week of not feeling well is starting to get to me. I can usually be pretty patient with these type things but when it starts to interfere with my workouts I can get cranky. My attempted workout today was a circuit. Each group had 2 exercises which I repeated 3 times until moving to the next group:

Group 1:

-      Single arm kb swings- 25 reps each arm (20lb kb)

-      Back row- 15 reps each arm (25lb kb)

Group 2:

-      Walking plank- 15 reps

-      Inverted v pushups (alt leg up)- 16 reps (8 each leg)

Group 3:

-      Barbell push-press- 15 reps

-      Barbell back row (underhand close grip)

Cashout- 2 sets of lawnmowers 25 reps each arm, 15 arnold presses

I wanted to do another whole group but I just was not feeling it. I could tell by my lack of strength it was not going to happen. Funny thing is I still have been fueling my body. I tend to over-eat on the weekends (not exactly sure why) and be sick did not stop me from eating my fair share of food. Even with that my body did not have the strength to workout at its full potential. This cold is hanging on and not leaving without a fight. I’ll kick its butt eventually.

I went to the grocery store this morning for some cold medicine. I try not to take medicine but since my body is not kicking this on its own I figured I would give it a shot. Of course I gravitated over to the nut butter area and found a new flavor of Better n’ Butter- chocolate!! So of course I had to buy some to try. Anyone ever have it??

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Short week this week! Yay!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How much is too much?

Happy Saturday everyone! It is only 5:45pm and I already feel like the weekend is going too fast. 2 days off from work just does not seem to be enough for me sometimes. Weekends always fly by.. and for some reason I never seem to finish everything I wanted to do.

Today I have been lazy.. for the most part. I am still not feeling my best and I was reminded of that during my 2 hour spin today. I was going to run 5 miles today too but decided against it. I think my body needs a bit of a rest. Regardless of feeling a bit sick.. I can still eat like the best of them. This tends to be even more true on long cardio days. 2 hours of cycling today = me constantly eating. I try to turn to clean foods to eat but I still feel like I eat them in massive quantities. Anyone else experience this on really hard workout days?? So I ask the question… how much food is too much food?? I find myself struggling to figure the answer out. I want to eat enough to build and maintain lean muscle mass but also not eat too much so I lose the extra fat my body does not seem to want to let go of. I still have not figured out what the right amount for me is.

I found a new obsession today too. Not feeling well has left me laying in my bed watching Netflix all day. I went with the TV show Revenge. I saw some friends post about it on facebook so I figured I would give it a shot. It’s not too bad. What are all your thoughts on this show?

Tonight there is a UFC fight on and my favorite fighter is fighting. Heck yes!!

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh for the love of grapes!

Ah Friday. There is just something about leaving work on a Friday afternoon that feels so right. Anyone else feel that way??

After work I went to go work out with a group of people and a trainer (only one of the best trainers ever!)… She put us through a pretty intense 45 minute workout. Box jumps included. Now I have to let you in on a little secret. I am TERRIFIED of box jumps. A few years back I was doing some and ended up face planting… let’s just say it was not pretty. I can’t seem to get over the fear. I love crossfit and even at my old crossfit box I could not do them. I felt like such a failure (still do!). It is just a fear I need to face… eventually… just not today. So I got to use her stairs instead. Which apparently was the same height.. so why couldn’t I just use the darn plyo box?!? Oh the troubles in life!!

Yesterday I bought some organic grapes at the local grocery store. I do not buy grapes often because I eat them all at once.. yes, all at once. I love them. Well today I proved myself right and ate the whole bag when I got home from working out (that plus my dinner of course). I really like freezing grapes during the summer as a summer snack.. that seems to help me with my portion control. In the winter it’s just too cold for me… and hence the end to the grapes in a day. I realized lifting today that my cardio vusion class kicked my shoulders butt. They were sore today. Somewhere during all the kettlebell swings, pushups, rope jumping jacks and mountain climbers I realized that. I do not think I can ever get sick of that feeling. Where you know you have pushed yourself to the limit. Just awesome!

Tomorrow’s workout will be a nice 2 hour spin and a 5 mile run. I signed up for a virtual run where the proceeds go to the red cross to help rebuild my shore (yes, my shore as apparently I think I own it). The good thing about this is my competitive side won’t come out and I can run it at a nice easy pace (who am I kidding?!?!?). I am sure by tomorrow night my legs will be dead.

“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Better late then Never!

Soooo I ended up not having enough hours in the day yesterday to write. Well…. I went to bed at 8pm (my grandma bedtime I call it) so that could be why.

I thought I would follow the same trend as the ladies who inspired me to start my own blog (STUFT mama, Vanilla Bean Lean, Little Bs Healthy Habits, Livefit Journey.. just to name a few) and do a WIAW or “What I ate Wednesday” post. I do have to admit I am writing it at 4:50am on Thursday but better late then never right?!?

So I started my day with a French toast coffee with almond milk and stevia, some greek yogurt, chocolate pb2 and a honeycrisp apple. I LOVE honeycrisp apples. Something about the sweet crunchiness always puts me in a fall mood (and pumpkin!). I also love how big they can be. No matter how big they are they are always still so sweet and juicy which isn’t usually the case.

Lunch at work consisted of a spinach salad with turkey breast and Braggberry ACV dressing and a honeycrisp apple. I love this stuff!! Today was my first time trying it and I really like it. Inspired me to make my salad today with strawberries added. I also satisfied my sweet tooth by eating 2 hersheys kisses and 2 peppermint patties (small). I try not to keep sweets around because I have no willpower when it comes to them. That and carbohydrates.. but I digress. I don’t mind as much if I can get on with the rest of my day guilt free and not letting it lead to bad choices later on. Thankfully today it did not.

For dinner (which was rushed) I had 1 cup greek yogurt mixed with some Kashi go lean cereal and chocolate pb2. Right after eating I got myself ready and headed to the gym for an hour spin class. I really love mixing it up with my instructors. Being a spin instructor myself it is nice to see the variety of styles and music used. Always good for ideas of what to do!!

Happy Thursday! 2 more “wake-ups” until the weekend.. but whose counting??

“Everyone is unique. Compare not yourself to anyone else.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Epic Fail and Moving on.

*If you are sensitive to binging/purging this post may be a trigger for you. You can read ahead or chose to skip this post. I do not want my feelings or things that happen in my day impact you in a negative way :)
I wasn’t going to say anything.. but I am using this blog as documentation of my journey.. both the positive and negative. Well today is a day I would label an “epic fail”. It ended up being a day where I reverted back to my old ways and let myself consume way too much food.. or better known as a binge. According to the “professionals” a person has “binge triggers” or things that may cause a binge to happen. This can be anything from a negative feeling, being bored, feeling lonely, someone saying something causing you to be upset, etc. I am honestly not 100% sure what mine are. I think a big one is “feeling fat”. I also have not been feeling well the last 2 days making my workouts non existant and I have felt guilty over it.. (another thing I have to work on). Another thing I have noticed for myself is if I eat something I do not want to allow into my nutrition plan it ends up leading to a binge. All 3 of those things happened to me today. My mother made banana bread recently and I had a piece at breakfast and some when I came home from work. Big no-no in my book. Especially since I have not worked out. I think this and my feeling of “being fat” lead to my binge today. I need to look at it as a “slip up”, stand up, dust myself off and get right back on the healthy train. I can not let these moments define me.. only help me learn and grow for the better. If these things ever happen to you do not dwell in them. Do not let yourself feel guilty. Healing takes a long time and the road is never an easy one.. but we are all strong enough to make it to the end!

Besides this my day was an OK one. I had some breaks in my day today and spent that time looking at HIIT workouts to do even though I know I still do not feel up to it. I found some new moves to incorporate into my workouts including: bridge push ups R and L and shoulder glides. So starting tomorrow when I work out again (regardless of how I feel) I will try out some of these new moves in my HIIT workouts and let you know what I think of them. The one I wrote out for today (when I was wishful thinking) was a tabata workout:

8 rounds: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

·        Thrusters (with 25lb plate)

·        Burpees

·        One Leg- shoulder press

·        Jump squat + bicep curl (10lb db)

·        Tricep dips

·        Plank row

·        Lawn mower- right arm (15lb)

·        Lawn mower- left (15lb)

Didn’t happen but I will save it for another day and post my time when it happens. I think I need to invest in 12lb and 20lb dumbells. I have 2 20lb kbs but I am not a fan of using them yet. I do.. but I end up with some crazy bruises on my wrists. I need to perfect the "punch forward" movement with them to avoid the brusing.

Funny.. when leaving work today I heard a lot of “Is it Friday yet?” and “Is it June 21st yet?”. Haha oh well! Tomorrow is a new day. Lets make it a good one!

“Self forgiveness is essential for self healing”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back to work and a little Barre work

First day back to work in 2 weeks since my school was out of power from hurricane Sandy’s anger. It was tough.. not only being back at work and getting used to the 4am wake up again.. but I felt awful! Headache, stomach ache, throat hurting… ugh yuck! Maybe this means I am allergic to work?!? This also means I come home and miss one of my favorite, FAVORITE and did I mention favorite workouts!!! I feel that awful.. for me to miss a workout you know I must not be feeling well. What is the workout you ask? Cardio Vusion. It is based off of the “V method”. Here is the link to check it out:

I love this class. It is a combination of ballet, light weight work, yoga and pilates. So awesome. It is amazing how 3-4lb weights kill my shoulders.. and I have pretty strong shoulders. If something similar to this is offered in your area I say give it a shot… I think similar classes are Barre and physique 57. Not sure if there are any others. Barre classes are becoming popular. Recently I found this printable workout from

Cardio vusion has barre work incorporated into the class however not all of the time is spent at the barre. Best butt workout! Trust me ladies!! As I sit here talking about it I think I am going to get dressed and go to the gym anyway. Suck it up and just workout feeling like junk… we will see what happens. I can not take it easy… I don’t think it is in my genes.

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

“If you are brave enough to say GOODBYE life will reward you with a new HELLO” Paulo Coelho

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rest days and learning to forgive

Sunday’s are usually my rest days. A day where I really do no cardio, no lifting, and really just nothing in general. I also have been allowing myself to “cheat” on Sunday’s by eating things I normally wouldn’t. I still need to find the balance in these “cheat” days. I find since I do nothing on Sunday’s but sit around, watch football and yell at my TV when my team is not doing so well.. I eat. And I mean A LOT. So not only is it a cheat day but I eat wayyyyyy too much. Probably equivalent to what a man should eat in a day.

What I want to be able to do is just say to myself “Ok, I ate too much today but I enjoyed it. Tomorrow is a new day.” However I find my inner dialogue going something like this “why did you just eat that? It tasted so good.. go have another bowl of that awful cereal. You already messed up. How did that other bowl taste? Now you ate way too much today. You probably did a lot of damage to your body and you are going to have to do x-y-z to make up for it… blah blah blah”. It is awful. I need to learn to enjoy life and forgive myself. What is so wrong with over eating one day?? (even if it is one day a week)… Nothing! Life is too short to worry about silly nonsense like eating out of what I think my calorie range should be. There is so much sadness and devastation in my state right now and I am worrying and mad at myself for eating too much on a rest day. Really puts things in perspective. So my new goal for myself is to try and stop being so hard on myself for things like this.. and begin to forgive myself.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sundays! I am sitting here (feeling super full I might add!..) watching my boys play on TV. I am a Cowboys fan :)

Enjoy the rest of your night! Tomorrow is a new day!!!
"You can't live a positive life with a negative mind."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday's = lonnggg cardio days

Ahh Saturday. Really, the only day of the week where most of us feel like we are “off” from work and can rest. Unless you have to run all the errands you did not have time to do during the week, catch up on everything from work, don’t forget about family/friend gatherings and Oh yes. A nice 2 hour spin class. I start my Saturdays (after waking up early enough for breakfast) in a 2 hour spin class. I usually would not have it any other way.. but today I am tired… and sore… and tired.. and did I mention sore???

Hurricane Sandy hit my part of the US hard. I live in NJ. Leaving the school I work in out of power for 2 weeks. So in all honesty I have no reason to be tired. My usual 4am work wake up was at earliest 6:30 for 2 weeks. An improvement! But Sandy left a lot of us fitness/health inspired people with wayyyy too much time to sit around, be lazy and EAT EAT EAT. And I don’t mean roasting yourself some healthy veggies and chicken (not for me.. I am trying to steer clear of meat) but easy to grab and will not go bad.. boxed. Processed. Garbage. Yuck!! I can feel how sluggish my body has felt getting back to working out and how my body is craving sugar and white flour because I let it have some for 2 weeks.

All kidding aside. Sandy hit me hard. The NJ shore is my second home. Lavallette, NJ to be exact. So besides dealing with no gym (I did a lot of out door running and HIIT home workouts) and eating crap.. excuse my French… I found myself in a state of depression. Mourning the loss of my beach, ocean, favorite places and the place where my family gets together every summer and has no cares, worries, fears, anxieties, etc. This also opened up the door for me to over eat to make myself feel better. At least for the 10 seconds I am stuffing cookies into my mouth. Ugh!

Now I am done feeling sorry for myself. I have always tried to be a positive person and focus on all the good things in situations and in life in general. Sometimes it is hard. But I am back at it! No more feeling sorry for myself and letting myself sit around and hurt my body by putting chemicals in it. That just doesn’t help anyone!!

Well, I digress. That is not where I was going with this! Oops!! What I wanted to say a few paragraphs back was… my gym re-opened and allowed for me to take some group classes with my all time favorite instructor. She is an inspiration to so many people. In amazing shape, is so encouraging and positive and she is totally humble. Everyone in the gym admires her, wants to be more like her, and looks up to her as an inspiration. She is definitely mine! So I took an intensity class and spin class with her yesterday. Picture Shawn-T just 10000 times harder.. that was my workout yesterday. So I am sore today but for a good reason. Now I am dragging my butt back to the gym for 2 hours of spin. We shall see how it goes! Wish me luck!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A history lesson

Not really a history lesson… just a description of my past which has gotten me right where I am today. I come from an amazing family. I mean AMAZING. We are very tight.. my cousins are like my brothers/sisters, my aunts and uncles are like my second parents. I even lived with my Aunt, Uncle and 2 cousins (who really are my second parents and sisters) for years while I was attending college. That’s right. They had to put up with me. My poor Uncle too… 6 women (my granny lived upstairs) and him. Tough life! Anyway, you get the point.. amazing family. When I started middle school my father suffered his first heart attack and my mother was diagnosed with a tumor. Nothing too serious she was just going to have to have surgery. I felt like school was getting harder, everyone was getting sick and I was an emotional mess without realizing it. Hormones were raging and I felt like my parents were always telling me no. So what did I turn to for comfort?? Food. I snuck food, hid food in my room, etc. I have always been a petite girl so the over eating had my short self at 180lbs at my highest weight. Picture of Christmas 1999 and one from a vacation in 2000:

I held onto the weight through middle school and into high school where the bullying and name calling was awful. I never had a boyfriend (I had many crushes though!) and was always “the fat friend”. I even found out later on in life that people who I considered my friends referred to me as “fat Shanon”. How nice right? I was always the friend left out of being invited places… I even got left out of the limo for my prom. All of my “friends” got a limo but they could only fit5 couples.. I would be 6. So I had to make other arrangements. That is something that has stuck with me to this day. But I would not change it. All of these things made me the person I am today. (Picture of me before my prom.. oh the style then)

My senior year of high school my Mom brought up joining weight watchers. She was smart in her wording and told me she wanted to lose some weight but did not want to join herself. This push, coupled with my doctor telling me I was obese and was going to following in my fathers heart disease footsteps was all I needed. I joined weight watchers and ended up losing 40ish lbs. I spent most of college maintaining this weight. I would work out and eat.. sometimes over eat.. and I did my fair share of partying. I enjoyed college but I still did not feel right about myself. I met my best friend and she turned me onto running. And my love affair with running began! It grew while I was in graduate school and I really began increasing my miles and decreasing the amount of food I was eating. A bit too much.. right after graduating with my masters I was restricting calories so much I weighed about 100lbs. At this point I still thought I needed to lose weight and focused on all the negative things I saw in my mind when I looked in the mirror. I began marathon training.

Well, when you are training for a marathon you become hungry. Just not a little bit hungry.. but a lot a bit hungry. To the point where I was polishing off a whole box of cereal at a time on my own after my 10 mile runs. Ugh that awful feeling!! Well this ended up turning into binging and purging. During the next few years my life was am emotional roller coaster with loved ones passing away, my relationship with my ex coming to an end and job insecurities. My weight ballooned back up to 135lbs.

As I said in my first post eating disorders take over your life. I am not letting this happen anymore. I continue to exercise (I LOVE exercising) but I am on a journey to find a healthy relationship with my body, mind and food.

Sorry about the long post! I know I left a whole butt-load of things out but I felt this post was long enough!! I wanted you all to know a little bit about my past and the journey I am on to find health and happiness.

Happy Friday :)

New Beginnings

Hey friends!

As the year is coming to an end I decided it was time for some changes in my life (start of a new year... isn't that when everyone decides to make changes which end up lasting a few weeks???...). Changes that will make me a better, healthier and happier me!

Time to let you all in on a secret. I have an eating disorder. I have been suffering with one since a young age (since 6th grade).. even though I did not know it at the time. I now, at 28 years old, have a bachelors and masters degree. So, needless to say.. it has ruled my life for a long time. I have covered all the bases from just binging to restricting food to binging and purging. I found my eating was directly related to my emotions and "feeling fat". How can someone feel fat?? It is not even a feeling?!? Well, anyway, I have let this eating disorder control my life. Not anymore! I have decided it is time for me to take back my life from my ED. Don't get me wrong.. I am "healthy" in the terms of enjoying exercising. Some might say I am even at the extreme end as I truely LOVE running, spinning, high intensity training and weight lifting. However all of the running in the world does not counter act the damage and destruction an eating disorder causes. It also stops me from reaching my fitness goals.

This blog is a way to keep me accountable. I want to share my journey to health and fitness with everyone and hopefully inspire others along the way.

“Love yourself. Accept yourself. Forgive yourself and be good to yourself. Because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” Dr. Leonardo Buscaglia