March 23, 2015

One Year Later...

A little over a year ago I began my journey with Beachbody.  I had no idea what to expect, I didn't know a whole lot about the business, I wasn't planning on growing a team.  I just wanted to try T25.  I wasn't in it for the money.  In fact my first paycheck was like $32.  That didn't even cover the cost of my Shakeology every month.  

Once I started T25 and shared my results people started getting interested too.  I got emails and comments daily about the program and how could they order it.  I was shocked!  I was making a difference!!  People were being inspired by me.  That gave me so much fuel to keep going.  To keep pushing.  To not give up, ever.  And then the same became true when I started {and fell in love with} PiYo.  

I knew as a coach people were relying on me. People were looking to me for results and I couldn't let them down.  I loved that because so many times I wanted to give up but I couldn't because I couldn't not have something to show for all the talk I'd talked.  

So I kept going.  

Along the way people caught wind of this amazing opportunity and wanted in on my team.  Each new coach I signed up was another person who was going to be changing lives.  I loved when I logged into my back office and saw "You have one new personally sponsored coach".  It was like, "YES!!!  Lives are changing!!  People are getting healthy!!!" 

Our team is so supportive and motivating.  It's a really cool thing to be a part of.  No one is looking out for numero uno, in fact the opposite is true.  We want each other to succeed.  We love seeing our fellow coaches grow and reach their own personal goals.  It's mind-blowing to see, it really is.  

I love it when people email me and say, "OMG I love this program!  I'm down ___lbs already and feeling even better!!"  It's the most rewarding part of this "job".  Watching other people succeed and do things they never thought they could is so emotional.  

Weight loss journeys are so personal.  Everyone has their own reason why they are overweight/out of shape and everyone has their own reason why they want to change.  Some are more emotional than others but when someone shares their story with me I feel privileged.  
I've made my own journey over the past year and I'm not finished yet. When I started I was almost 7 months post-partum.  I hadn't really done much to change my diet/exercise.  I was tracking calories here and there and doing the treadmill, mainly, for workouts.   Over the past year I've lost 30+lbs and gained so much more. I'm in the best shape of my adult life.  I am stronger, leaner, more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever been.  But I'm not done yet.  This journey is still not finished and in some ways I don't know that it ever will be. I feel as though I'm always a work in progress.  

All this to say, I'm so grateful for taking a leap of faith over a year ago.  I didn't know where this journey was going to take me and I was OK with that.  But over the past year I've made so many changes, physically and mentally, all while watching others do the same.  It's really, pretty damn cool.  

I love sharing this opportunity with others.  I love getting emails and comments from others who are inspired by my journey and want more information.  I love watching YOUR journey and I'm thankful when you let me be a part of it.  I love watching my team grow because it just means more and more people are changing their lives and helping others change theirs.  Coaches change lives, people.  

So thank you for following my journey this year.  Thank you for all your kind words when I post before/after pictures. Thank you for cheering ME on.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey.  Thank you for giving me the push when I need it and keeping me motivated.  

If you think this is something that might be a good fit for you, shoot me an email, I'd love to talk to you in more detail.  If you'd like to find a program to fit your fitness needs I'd love to help you find the perfect one!  Comment below or email me at shannon.r.dew@gmail.com.

February 25, 2015

Easy Peasy Stromboli

This past weekend, much like the rest of the Midwest, we were snowed in.

Yay!

Not.

But we made the most of it. We had lots of family time, went sledding in our back yard, played on the swing set {in the snow}, Jimmy and I got to finally watch SNL40, and most of all I made lots of yummy food.  My waistline wasn't happy but my husband was.

I posted this delicious chili mac on my FB page Sunday and it was really good and made plenty for Jimmy to take for lunch all week.  I call that a win.  But the star of the weekend was my first time ever making stromboli.

In my family when it's your birthday you get to pick what you want for dinner and someone, mom, aunt, grandma, will make it for our family birthday dinner.  Normally I pick stromboli.  I make no secret of my love for pizza but stromboli classes it up a bit, right?  Ha! But I'd never actually made one myself.  I guess I thought it would be too complicated and too time consuming.

Enter Pinterest.

I found this recipe and thought, "store bought pizza dough?  I can do this!".

And boy oh boy, was it a hit!  I think Jimmy and I fought over the last piece and I won because it's my birthday week and I love pizza the most.  The latter he cannot argue with, ever.  I can eat more pizza than him any day.  So I always get the last piece.

INGREDIENTS
  • a can of refrigerated pizza dough
  • 8-10 slices ham
  • 8-10 slices salami
  • 8-10 slices pepperoni
  • 4-6 slices provolone cheese
  • 4-6 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • marinara sauce to dip in
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Roll out a pizza dough to form a thin rectangular crust, about 11"x13", and place the crust on a baking pan lined with a parchment paper.
  3. Layer slices of ham, salami, and pepperoni as a single row in the center of crust. Layer cheeses over meats and place basil leaves on top.
  4. Using a knife or a pair of scissor, cut either sides of crust next to the meat & cheese filling to make several 1" wide strips. Fold-in the each end part of the crust toward the filling. Using one strip at a time criss-cross each strip to cover the filling.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the crust and sprinkle oregano.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
  7. Cool down a little and slice
  8. Serve hot with warm marinara sauce to dip in.

February 23, 2015

Birthday Week

Today officially kicks off my birthday week.

What?  You don't celebrate your birthday all week?

On Saturday I turn 32.

I think?  Anyone else have a hard time remembering their age?

As I approach my 2nd year in my thirties I do not dread it, I'm not lying about my age {yet}, but rather I am looking forward it.  I don't look forward to getting older, don't get me wrong, but I am looking forward to my 32nd birthday.

That sounds confusing.

Miss Carrie Bradshaw said it best, “Enjoy yourself. That’s what your 20s are for. Your 30s are to learn the lessons. Your 40s are to pay for the drinks.”  However, I didn't enjoy my 20s like I should have and I kinda sorta regret that.  I didn't go on a girls only trip with my closest friends, I didn't party the nights away, I didn't travel abroad or pursue a hobby.  Instead I was in a weird place, bad relationships, trying to find myself, looking for love in all the wrong places, insecure.  I wasn't enjoying myself,  I was always trying to fast forward to the good stuff so I wasted those "fun years".  

If there's one thing I teach Kendall it will be to enjoy life the moment it happens.  Stop waiting for the pot at the end of the rainbow because you're going to miss THIS.  And life is too short to miss out on any of it, listen to your mama.

So now that I'm in my thirties I feel like I've got a lot to do.  I need to make up for all that fun I missed out on in my twenties AND those lessons.  It's OK though, really.

I feel more confident now than I ever have.  I'm in the best shape of my life.  I eat {relatively} well.  I take care of myself.  I am more adventurous with my "style".  I don't care so much about what other people think.  I challenge myself more.  I have lots of love in my life.  I finally have a hobby and goals.  And, most importantly, I am happy and I feel like I am right where I'm supposed to be. It's really a great feeling. 

I can remember reading magazines in my teens and twenties and I'd always see articles about women in their thirties feeling this same way.  I always thought, I can't wait to feel that way, it sounded so freeing.  Imagine, to finally feel like you are where you're supposed to be and to be HAPPY? Who wouldn't want that?  

Well it took thirty-some years but I'm finally there.  

You know, "they" say, "you're only as old as you feel"?  Well I'm glad because I feel younger and more alive now than I ever did in my twenties. So bring it on, thirty-two, I'm ready for you.

February 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday

As I sit here, freezing cold, hating winter, dreading that I have to take two sick babies out in negative temperatures, I am overcome by a feeling of gratitude.

Here me out, this is not an "I realized winter ain't so bad" post.  Never.

I am thankful for healthy babies.

When I was pregnant with Kendall I remember reading through some blogs, women who were also pregnant, and some of them had not such great pregnancies/births.  I couldn't bring myself to read some posts because the reality was I had no idea what kind of pregnancy I would have and what the outcome of labor and delivery would be.  I couldn't bear the thought of something awful happening and no one should ever have to experience such tragedy.  

Fast forward, two healthy pregnancies, births and babies later.  

I am pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've taken Kendall in for a sick visit.  She' s got a great immune system and even preschool germs don't affect her.  When we go in for her, now yearly, well checks her pediatrician is always so surprised that there are no blue slips in her file {indicating a sick visit}.  

James hasn't been as fortunate, however.  He's had more ear infections in 18 months than she's had in 4 years.  He got RSV/bronchialitis right at Christmas time. We've probably had just as many sick visits as we've had well checks with him.

Today they are both sick.  They both have this nasty, nasty cough.  Kendall is fever-ish.  Last night, around 10:30, James woke up coughing so hard he couldn't catch his breath, completely freaked Jimmy and I out.  His eyes were watering, his face was so red, he kept looking at me like, "Mom, I feel awful".  After sitting in the steamy bathroom, hot water on full blast, we got the coughing to stop and he was able to fall back asleep with no more issues through the night.  

But I don't think either of us felt at ease sending him back to bed so we turned the motion detector back on on the Angelcare monitor, something we turned off months ago.  He didn't wake up again and seemed to sleep pretty good.  But, needless to say, we are going to the pediatrician today.  

Today I was feeling bad for myself. I have to drag both of them out in this winter wonderland {our high today is 3 degrees}.  Why are they both sick?  Why is it so cold?  Where is spring?!  Wah wah wah.  

But then I realized how minute my "problem" is in comparison to kids who have terminal illnesses, spend their days in the hospital, and parents who wish their biggest "problem" was a sick visit to the pediatrician.  

So, reality check, I'll stop my complaining, bundle the kids up, get them to the doctor, pick up a Starbucks along the way, and get them better.  It's really not that bad.  

I'm thankful for their health, for an amazing doctors office where I love all the pediatricians, for a warm car with remote start so I don't even have to brave the elements much, for warm clothes, a warm house, and hot chocolate/coffee to warm us when we come home. 

That is what I'm thankful for today.


February 18, 2015

SO WHAT! Wednesday

Oh hey! Look at me! Participating in my own "link up".  

Can I even call it that anymore?

Anywho...I want to start getting back into a somewhat regular blogging schedule so here goes nothing.

Today I'm saying SO WHAT if...

I kinda, sorta, really want to move out of Ohio.  

So if you've read this blog for any length of time you know that summer is my favorite.  The hotter the better!  I love being warm. I love summer clothes.  I hate cold, snow, ice, pretty much everything that comes with winter.  I've always been this way but since becoming a SAHM it's gotten worse. It's HARD to entertain little kids indoors.  I would take them outside and play in the snow but it's SO DAMN COLD here we can't even do that much.  So yeah, we're bored.

They called last winter, "the year that nearly killed all moms" and I don't think this  one is shaping up to be much different.  Although we started off pretty mild we are FRIGID these days.  I keep checking the farmer's almanac and holding a lot of faith that it's correct because if so we should start seeing spring as early as April and lasting through September into October this year.  Hell to the yeah!

I have been looking at houses in North and South Carolina because ultimately that's where I'd love to be. I don't need Florida and their crazy crazy hot days and my husband is too conservative to live in California but the Carolinas we could do.  Charleston was in the top 100 places to live in 2015 after all.  Their standard of living doesn't seem to be much different than what we are used to so,  why not?  
If only I could get my husband on board.

He needs the seasons changing, he obviously needs to hunt in the fall, he has an amazing family all very close to us, his job is secure in the family business and he likes having friends to hang out with.  And I agree, I like all of those things too.

I don't think I could actually ever do it, pack our whole family up and leave everything that's familiar to us, but God would I love to.  I really would.  My mom would kill me {hi, mom!} but she'd have a great place to come on vacation!  Do you think it would be too hard to convince both of our families and close group of friends to follow us?!  I kid, sort of.  

I blame this entire post on Katie for making it look so damn easy and hella fun!

February 9, 2015

32 While 32

It's my birthday month.  On the 28th I'll turn 32.  I'm still not sure how because, I tell you, I still feel like I'm 25.  Actually I feel better than I did at 25.  I'm healthier.  I'm happier.  I'm in better shape.  I'm more confident.  I'm secure with who I am. And I have love.  What more could you ask for?

While I was sitting in the hall of preschool, waiting for my turn at parent-teacher conferences, an idea popped into my head.  I want to do 32 things this year.  32 things I've never done before.  I want to be more adventurous, try new things, and get out of my comfort zone a little. Think of this as a bucket list, of sorts. 

Here goes:
  1. Go zip-lining
  2. Let go of a floating lantern 
  3. Learn how to water ski
  4. Stand up paddling
  5. Adopt a family at Christmas
  6. Take my kids to the beach
  7. Go camping {at least one time}
  8. Attend {at least}one outdoor concert
  9. Learn how to shoot a gun
  10. Take a trip with friends
  11. Get a full body massage
  12. Ride in a hot air balloon
  13. Make homemade ice cream
  14. Go fishing with Jimmy
  15. Go to a baseball game {eat a hot dog, drink a beer}
  16. Take one of those wine/painting classes
  17. Go 24 hours media free
  18. Buy a stranger lunch
  19. Feel great in a bikini
  20. Hit a bucket of balls at the golf range
  21. Take a trip with Jimmy
  22. Go to my first OSU game
  23. Get another tattoo
  24. Go to a water park as a family
  25. Go on an all day mommy-daughter date
  26. Take parents out to dinner AND PAY
  27. See a drive-in movie
  28. Get rid of credit card debt
  29. Try a new fitness class
  30. Surprise my husband
  31. Reinvent my style/have a wardrobe I love
  32. Read a "classic" novel
I know some people might read this and think, "LAME" but these are {mostly} things I have never done or have been wanting to do.  You may notice that most of them are summer-ish, that comes as no surprise to me.  I love warm weather, sunshine, carefree summer days.  Looks like this summer will be full of fun new adventures.

Here's to thirty-two!

February 3, 2015

It's Not What I Expected...

As a little girl I dreamed of being a mom.  I played "house" longer than any of my friends.  My favorite movies were ones with babies in them {Three Men and a Baby, Baby Boom}.  I wanted to hold any and all babies at family functions.  I would look through the JCP catalog-baby section and pick out my baby and then go through all the clothes and gear and chose which ones I would pick for said baby.  I was a bit obsessed.

After Jimmy and I got married, like on the plane ride home from our honeymoon, I wanted to be pregnant.  Most people like to be married for a week before getting knocked up but I secretly hoped it had happened in Mexico.  My husband even said to me, "let's wait a little bit, once we're parents we're always going to be parents, let's be husband and wife for a while".

I remember sobbing when he told me that.  In that moment he may as well have said, "I DON'T EVER WANT KIDS EVER WITH YOU EVER!!!", because that's how I took it.

Go ahead and call me crazy. I would agree with you.

I had all these thoughts and feelings about motherhood.  What I had seen in movies and magazines, fake portrayals of the hardest job in world, made it all look so fun and easy.  Certainly I would be the same way when I became a mother.  Obviously I would greet my children with a smile and open arms when they woke up every day.  I would definitely keep up on house work with minimal complaints.  Dinner would be hot n' ready by 5 o'clock and the children would go to bed {and sleep all night} with no complaints.  Right?

Wrong.

This "job" is nothing like I had imagined and maybe that's because I'm not the mother I had imagined I would be.

I lose my temper.  I say things that I would DIE if I heard other parents say to their kids.  I am preoccupied.  I don't serve the healthiest meals.  I am selfish.  I don't play enough.  I want more "me time".  I complain too much.  The list goes on.

I wanted nothing more than to be at mom, a stay-at-home-mom, and here I am, with two insanely gorgeous children and I can even fulfill my role. I let them down day after day.  And before you say I'm being too hard on myself, trust me when I say I'm not.

Call it cabin fever, call it selfish, call it what you will but I am not always the best mom I can be.

There, I said it.

I don't always make them my number one priority.  I tell them, "just give me 5 minutes" multiple times throughout the day. I'm constantly distracted.  And very rarely do they get all of me.  It seems as though I'm always in a bad mood or always irritated and there's only one person to blame for that.

ME.

They are just children. They didn't ask to be brought into this world and they certainly didn't ask to be made second best by the person who brought them in.  They just want me, all of me. They want to follow me to the bathroom, to the kitchen while I'm cooking, just because they want to be with me.  Today I was cleaning up one of the 492 messes and I said, "SEE!  THIS is what I'm talking about!" Meaning, "THIS is what drives me crazy!" And Jimmy just started singing that, "you're gonna miss this" song...you know the one.

And while I can honestly say I do not think I will ever miss cleaning up the same thing I already cleaned 3, 4, 5 times that day, I will miss this stage of life.  The stage where they want to be with me 24/7. Everything they do they include me.  They think I'm the coolest person in their world.  It won't be like that for long.  And, if you think about it, it's kinda cool to be number one right now.

I'm the only one who can make boo-boos feel better.  I'm the only one who can find "Blankie" when she's missing.  I am the one they run to when they cry.  I make the best pancakes.  I tuck them in every night.  I have kitchen dance parties with them, every day.  ME. Jimmy if I'm not around but for the most part they want me. And that's pretty cool because one day that won't be the case.

One day they are going to say, "I hate you!" and slam their door in my face.  One day they will be embarrassed to be seen in public with me.  One day the last person they'll want to be in the same room with will be me.   One day some other girl will be number one in James's life and as much as I want him to find happiness in a wife I will be sad when I'm replaced.  I will miss these days.

My kids are the most important people in my life.  I have been feeling "in limbo" lately, what's next,  and it's giving me the itch to do something drastic.  Like move out of state.  I know that it will probably never happen and I know that it would be extremely hard for me to leave our families but I also know that as long as I have them, my babies, and my baby daddy that is where "home" is.

I don't know where I'm going with this other than to say this gig is not what I expected.  It's not what I had dreamed of since I was a little girl.  I wasn't prepared for it.  If you are a mom, you get it.

Thankful for grace and a chance to start new tomorrow.  
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