Life Lately & Women’s Day! 3.8.17

Happy Wednesday!

I have had this in my drafts to send out for a few days now, and I haven’t gotten around to writing anything in it. It’s just a blog full of pictures πŸ™‚ So now I have some time.

How have I been lately?! Well I’ve been doing a LOT of yoga challenges on Instagram, so my apologies if your feed is bombarded with pictures of me in every kind of pigeon pose ever πŸ™‚ I love joining challenges, because they help me think more creatively about my own expression of poses, how to get in and out of them, and how to flow from one pose to the next. It’s really fun for me, and I really enjoy doing them!

Of course I still have my favorite inversions and arm balances included too πŸ˜‰

I was just musing to Patrick last night about how lucky and fortunate (and frankly, awesome) we are that we cook fresh food every night for dinner. If we aren’t eating fresh, we’re eating leftovers from the previous day or two, and we go out to eat probably once per week, almost always on a weekend.

We have our staple foods that we love to go out for, and SUSHI is one of them πŸ˜‰ Duh.

If it’s a homecooked meal, it’s almost always some kind of veggie/meal/rice concoction, a homemade pizza on Angelic Bakery dough, or, more recently, Patrick’s homemade pasta sauce with whole grain noodles (and of course lots of veggies).

This food warms my heart, warms my body, and is so incredibly nourishing. I am a hugeeeee veggie lover, and any meal we have is covered in peppers, mushrooms, onions, at the minimum πŸ™‚

We celebrated Baymax’s 1st birthday last week too. He’s the best puppy in the world. The best puppy we could ask for. He sleeps with us, eats with us, and snuggles better than any human. We are so grateful for that little guy.

His own puppy ice cream πŸ™‚

Half marathon training is still happening. And it’s still going really well. I have finally found my “happy pace” when I get on the treadmill every morning before work. Pushing through those first few miles and coasting through to the end. My outdoor runs have been just as wonderful (just slower, of course, and longer distances). I am in a good spot, and I’m so grateful for my body to be so forgiving πŸ˜‰

I also just have to mention that this lady below and I (and our men) sang Bohemian Rhapsody for karaoke night last Friday. And we didn’t fail. And it was really fun. And I actually enjoyed myself. πŸ™‚ Definitely doing that again ❀

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a blurb about International Women’s Day, which is today, March 8th. I know there has been a lot of turmoil around the idea of “feminism” and “equal rights” etc. lately, especially among just the female population.

It’s my sincere hope that all women can find this time to work together for the common goal of being an equal and being heard and being treated fairly. I know that people can sometimes scoff at the word feminist, and if that happens, then I personally believe they are misunderstanding the meaning. Whereas some women will burn bras and riot and yell and scream to make a statement, there are SCORES of other women who silently protest; who work as hard as they can to get a promotion; who get high-level educations. Neither way is wrong or right; it all depends on YOU. The woman who is choosing to educate herself and exercise her freedom of speech and equality.

I am a feminist, because I want women to feel empowered and strong and not unfairly treated. I believe women should be 100% equal to any other human being on the planet, no questions asked. There is no difference between us and men. I have been surrounded by strong women my entire life, namely my mom and my sister. But even my grandmothers and aunts prove to me that we have a voice and we should not sit around and let others make decisions pertaining to our rights without vocalizing what’s important to us.

Thank you for reading this, if you did, and I appreciate your trust and respect and opinions too! πŸ™‚

I hope you all have a fantastic day πŸ™‚ I know I will!

Mantra:


Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.22.17

Hey friends πŸ™‚

I hope everybody is loving this warm Wisconsin weather – it is pretty refreshing and exciting isn’t it?? I have tried to spend as much time as possible outside, before we get back down in the 30’s and 40’s again this weekend. Β oh Spring, hurry up!

Just a quick life lately update. Essentially? Things are pretty amazingly terrific right now. Patrick and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with tacos. How perfect that it fell on TACO TUESDAY ❀ If there’s a heaven, we found it.

My yoga practice is becoming more and more influential in my life. I get on my mat every single day now, whereas I used to only jump on once or twice a week. I am trying new flows, new ways of getting into poses, and even achieving poses I’ve never hit before! (See mermaid below).

Half marathon training is going swimmingly too. I haven’t ACTUALLY trained for a half marathon in a really long time – I would just sort of throw together some “long runs” and a few mid-week runs until the race date, and HOPE that I could survive it. This season, I’m way more focused. And definitely determined to hit my mileage goals. I have been running every day for a month now, except Sundays πŸ™‚ Those are my rest/yoga days usually.

I even signed up for a full marathon this October. Pretty stoked! Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee is my favorite, and I’m so excited to train again this summer and fall. I had some crazy FOMO last season when I saw my friends and others training and running in this race! Can’t wait to be part of this community again.

My sweet sweet puppy Baymax turns 1 next week. Yes, he’s spoiled every single day of his puppy life, but YES we will spoil him even more on his special day. We tell him every day he’s the best puppy ever, he’s a REALLY good boy, and all the other mushy jibber jabber that a puppy could probably want to hear from his mommy and daddy πŸ˜‰

I’ve entered into a new mindset for the last couple months. One that focuses on self love, self care, and truly understanding and knowing my body. I want to know exactly what I am putting into my system, and always breathe, eat, speak, and move with intention ❀ My stress levels have dramatically decreased, my sleeping has been incredible, and I feel more vibrant than ever during the day and during my workouts. I think I’m onto something here πŸ™‚

Did I mention how completely in love I am with this guy? Every single day we enjoy another adventure, and create the best memories. So crazy grateful ❀

And yes, we celebrated National Wine Day over the weekend πŸ™‚ Because life is short, so let’s enjoy it! ❀

I hope everybody has an amazing week.

xoxo,

Shannon

Instagram: @fitnesbyshannon

Life Lately 2.12.17

Sunday is here πŸ™‚ For me, that includes yoga, brunch, cleaning, and meal prepping. With lots of relaxing on the couch, stretching on my yoga mat, and playing around with Baymax ❀ Probably my favorite day of the week, since it’s always been my day of rest; but also because I am always excited for the week ahead. Anxious to see what it will present to me.

I have been working so hard on handstand pressing lately, and it.is.not.easy. I have found my core strength is not where it should be, so that’s been a focus of mine since I started this challenge. I keep practicing everyday, and there’s always plenty of room for me to improve and grow. It’s actually an awesome journey, because there isn’t as much pride/ excitement in hitting a pose on your first try. Yes, it feels really good, but then I always look for the next level of difficulty to learn more. Ever-engaged student – that’s me. πŸ™‚

This week I also have cut out gluten – not for any particular reason, but I struggle with GI issues (for the last 10 years) and I’ve never gotten really gotten a straight answer on what the problem is. I just know my symptoms, know my pains and my frustrations, so I’m trying something new to see if it helps. I haven’t felt bloated this entire week, so that’s a big plus! πŸ™‚ I also haven’t had coffee in almost a month, and yesterday I broke that when we visited some friends, and it wasn’t too big of a deal. The break from extra acid is always welcome to my stomach πŸ™‚ And I’ve been dairy free since the beginning of the year – THAT has been the best change I’ve made in a long time.

The sun is bright and shining today, and the winds are blowing hard. But I can sense spring coming, and it’s such a beautiful feeling. ❀ Half marathon training is going really well, and it’s always so awesome to be able to run outside without freezing or dreading it. My legs are feeling much stronger and my lungs are acclimating to the endurance-length running I’ve been subjecting them to. It’s so awesome to feel my body change and react so cleanly and smoothly when I start training again. And even with new yoga poses. Pretty cool ❀

I hope everyone has an awesome Valentines Day coming up, if you celebrate that. Love needs to be celebrated every day, in my opinion πŸ˜‰

Peace, xoxo,

Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.6.17

Back to the cold Wisconsin weather again. My family, boyfriend, and I were just in Orlando Florida this past weekend for four days of sun, Disney, and relaxation. It was badly needed by all and I am so grateful for the family time we had there.

Patrick and I also celebrated our two year anniversary of dating on Saturday ❀ My heart swells and smiles so brightly when I see him. I can’t believe its only been two years – I was convinced it was closer to 5 but was immediately corrected πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to spending our whole lives together, so 2 is just a drop in our love bucket πŸ™‚

Focusing my energy this week on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating simply, and getting back into the groove of my workout plan. Vacations always make my life topsy turvy, switching around my workouts and eating foods I raaaaarely would agree to eat. But moderation is what life is all about – and that’s how we can continue living happy lives, while loving our bodies simultaneously. It’s not easy to come back home and swing back to healthy eating and waking up at 4:40am to workout before work, but I know that my body craves the attention and the care it deserves. Dedication and consistent care. That’s what my body loves and what I will always focus on giving it.

While on our trip together, I tried to only use my phone for pictures. I miss the old school 35 mm cameras and the camcorders my dad used to carry around on our trips to capture precious family moments, but those times are slowly easing away, introducing cell phones as the new “moment-captor”. I’m becoming slowly okay with this, although on vacation, I really do love not touching my phone for hours at a time. It’s a detox in its own right, and I need to have more of these detoxes around the house and through my regular day-to-day as well. It feels good to feel light, not carrying the weight of the world and the sadness and arguments that could come with checking my phone every hour. I don’t need that. No one needs that. Let’s tech detox more πŸ™‚
Also living in gratitude for the opportunity to travel as much as I/we do. We obviously value travel over spending our money in other ways, but the fact that we have flexible work schedules and always have a puppy babysitter (thanks Mom!) gives us way more peace of mind ❀ Seeing the world has always been a huge goal of mine – I have wanted to see every single corner of the earth since I was a kid! My dad instilled the wander lust deep in me since he took us to all kinds of states and countries growing up – the newness and excitement and exploration that comes with seeing a new city is mesmerizing. And I’m totally addicted to the journey and the destination simultaneously πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful Monday my friends, Peace to you!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Sunday Musings 1.29.17

Good morning Sunday πŸ™‚

This morning, I got up early, took Baymax out, made some black chai tea, and sat down with our LED fireplace on… and journaled. Handwritten in this new beautiful notebook I got. For the first time in years. Probably since just before dating Patrick – which will be two years in 6 days by the way!

It felt so wonderful, so freeing, and I didn’t worry about punctuation or misspelling or even super legible writing. I kept thinking of my Grandma, who recently passed away – she always told us that when she wrote letters or typed on her typewriter, she didn’t care about any of those “unnecessary things” like spelling and grammar and punctuation. I wrote from my heart, about whatever came to mind. Similar to how I write in my blogs but more free-flowing, uninhibited.

After sipping some tea and journaling, I went to my yoga class I’ve grown to love so much. I’ve gone 3 Sundays in a row, and I am learning so much about the flow of my body and re-aligning and figuring out what works best for me. I’m learning to transition! That is such an awesome feeling, learning to flow from one pose to another, instead of just sticking random poses and stretching in my home practice. Probably one of my absolute favorite parts of being part of a class and community lately. Yoga is really becoming an amazing outlet for me to appreciate my body, feel it move, and learn how to push it slightly further but still listening to its restraints ❀

I also have been coloring in my new coloring book, as I’m sure many of you have noticed πŸ™‚ Another incredible creative outlet that I’ve always loved to do. Just me and 50 sharpened colored pencils, with blank pages with outlines of flowers, nature scenes, and motivational quotes. ❀

I also started half marathon training this week! I ran 5 days this week, 3 miles a day. The first day was ROUGH. I am still learning to re-listen to my body, trying to recall muscle memory and re-build my stamina since my last half in August 2016. I’m actually very excited for this part of training; it’s such an incredible journey watching your body grow and your heart rate stay steady and your muscles get stronger with each training run. My first half of this year is the first weekend in April, then I have another the 2nd weekend in April, and finally the 3rd weekend in May. Here we go! πŸ™‚

I also just bought the greatest new book, Eating withΒ  Intention by Cassandra Bodzak. This is exactly the mantra I have set for myself for this year. Doing everything in my life with intention – – moving, eating, recovering – everything that my body needs to do, I’m learning to do it with purpose. I just started reading the book, and it’s incredible already. She includes meditations and recipes for eating to love your body. Mostly vegan/vegetarian recipes too. Learning to fuel your body with nutrients instead of just convenient foods or giving in to the guilty pleasures that we ALL have. Having a craving is not a bad thing; it happens to every single person. Acting on every craving and giving in to all desires does not bode well for your body, and we must live with some discipline and love for our temples instead. I’ll keep you posted on what else I learn πŸ™‚

I hope everybody is having a fantastic 2017 thus far! Patrick, my sister Mandaline, and I all take off this coming Thursday morning early for 4 beautiful days in Orlando Florida with our family for a little weekend getaway. Can’t wait for some sun and Epcot and relaxation ❀

Have a beautiful Sunday loves!

Peace, xoxo

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Sunday Musings 1.22.17

Good morning beauties! 

Since the beginning of this year, my plans have changed. I am focusing on re-focusing. 

My yoga practice, my running schedule, my goals with lifting weights. 

My work schedule, how I can grow in my job, what I can do to improve our company.

The layout of our apartment, what I do in my spare time, purging our rooms of unnecessary clutter.

My diet and eating schedule, focusing on cleaner and nutrient-rich foods, lessening the empty-calorie snacking.

All of these parts of my life have been recently revamped, and I am thrilled to continue with my new plan to achieve my goals this way. Every single day, I try and focus on what I can do this day only, and how I can move one inch closer to my goals. Every day is different and everything is personal. Find your way, and keep that as your way. 

Having a daily practice for all aspects of my life has grounded me and given me the opportunity to shed stress and rejuvenate my spirit and drive for the week to come. Don’t get down without knowing and planning on climbing back up. ❀️

Have you written your goals? Have you rid yourself of unnecessary baggage? What do you want to accomplish just today, only today?

Until next time, friends. ✌️

Xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

New Blog Face!

Good morning friends and long-lost bloggers!

It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve blogged. (Again). But this time around, I have a new face, a new goal, and a new vision for my blog. πŸ™‚ New name too! @fitnessbyshannon. Everything is re-named and branded to match that, so I hope you love it just as much as I do!

I’ll be posting weekly about workout ideas, writing/ journal topics I’ve come across, awesome recipes, etc. Similar to @apples2absfitness but a little more refined I think? We’ll see where it takes me.

I hope you’re ready for the ride! Thanks for reading! ❀

Peace and Love, xoxo!

In the meantime – check out my Instagram! @fitnessbyshannon

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