The Climb

After ending the final week of Body Back I am left with a bittersweet feeling.  I can’t believe how quickly these weeks went and I am just amazed with what I accomplished.  It really has me craving more…

Looking back at the last 8 weeks I have become a stronger woman.  I have become a more patient mom and wife.  I know whatever I accomplish, I can push harder.  I know whatever I am battling, someone may be battling harder.  Things got put into perspective for me and I’m very thankful for that.

Friendships are formed and the support that will continue is priceless.  Such an inspiring group of women.


Sarah & Andrea were such a great rock.  Without there words of encouragement, advice, and motivation, I would not have realized my potential.


The last class was a vertical run up in San Elijo Hills.  Before we set off Sarah read us the lyrics to “The Climb.” They really hit the nail on the head.  I found myself repeating these lyrics as the run pushed on.

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb


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Home Stretch

I can’t believe Body Back is on its last two weeks.  As I look ahead, I hope that I will accomplish all of my goals.  I know that my endurance has improved (hoping the mile goes down) and the pre-pregger clothes are fitting looser.  Behind those “material” goals I hope to continue to prove to myself that I can do each workout a little harder, make food choices a little better, and stand a little taller.



These next two weeks I will remind myself of what brought me to Body Back.  This journey has brought me more self-reflection than I thought it would.  I am looking forward to the motivation from our instructors and the progress other Body Backers have shown in the next 2 wks.

Two quotes I saw and want to practice are…

imageCause why the heck not? And…





As week 5 concludes, I am starting to not only feel/see a change, but I know that I am part of a group that is also seeing a change too.  I feel so much support with these women.  Even though we only see each other a few times a week, our communication outside the workouts are building.  I’m forming new friends and building on existing ones.  It’s comforting to know that I am going through this challenge with others and that they too, have similar obstacles.


My family, friends and fellow Body Backers & instructors give me the support I need to keep going in workouts and beyond and for that, I thank you!


The Ocean Breeze

There’s something ever so peaceful about the ocean.  I often think it is the colors of the sky meeting the water or the sound of waves crashing along the shoreline.  This week’s Body Back workout brought us to Ponto Beach.  What started as a dark morning, quickly turned to this breath-taking view.

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Running the stairs or crab crawling along the sand was a reminder of how lucky I am to live here. Having the ocean along side of me was a good distraction of the challenge my body was facing.   I continue to give my all in these workouts, but found myself being able to push a little harder that morning.  Besides the encouragement of the instructors and women, I found my mind being more focused on the moment.  In the past four weeks, a goal I am finding myself able to get closer to is the ability to turn off my mind when it says stop.  I know my body can handle more and I am improving on it.  The outside cheers have not only helped with that, but have given me the confidence to keep GOING.

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With three weeks of this journey left, I am starting to feel that shift.  I know my body is stronger than my mind and I will continue to challenge that.  As I stood in tree pose watching the ocean, I was overcome by the strength and beauty it entails- it has the ability to change with the tide and weather, much like the ups and downs in my own life.

Thanks for a great morning BB…

What you think, you become…

Body Back wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing instructors – Sarah Surritt & Andrea Garro.  Both women are constantly inspiring and challenging me through this journey. Daily, they communicate with us on our Facebook page, whether it is “fit tip Friday” or “Wednesday’s weekly challenge” they are there for me.  A reminder to put in 110%- Never to regret later that I could push myself a little harder in a workout or day to day activities.

A simple “good job, Shannon” “nice form” or “keep going, you can do this,” goes a long way. Without their motivation it would be much harder to get moving in the AM.

partner day

During our cool down one day, Sarah brought up the qualities we all had written on the chalkboard about ourselves- she asked us to think about them (i.e thoughtful, confident, balanced), then to think about someone who has these qualities or someone we admire- once we thought of the person and qualities then take them– take those qualities.  Make them yours, own them.  This resonated in me.  It goes back to one of my mantras- What you think, you become (Buddha).  I am learning again the power of the mind and the ability it has on my body, my family, and friends.

The past few weeks I have thought about what I can do more of …more for my family, more for me…and I want end each day knowing I am the person I want to be, constantly improving and changing.

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Being a member of this group of mamas creates camaraderie, Body back creates a positive and supportive atmosphere (both in the workouts and on posting on fbook).  I love seeing pictures of what others are eating, doing with their kids, or need help with.  We are in this together- encouraging and hoping the best for one another.  Can’t wait to see what is to come!

Recap of Week 2

As my week 2 ends it doesn’t end with such gusto as my first.  The Body Back workouts were phenomenal, but my eating wasn’t my norm…which was OK with me.  Mid week our friends from out of town arrived…lots of catching up to do (which including more food and wine intake) was necessary.  Liam is having a blast with his friend Jack- one can only hope that the two of them will have as strong a friendship as their dad’s share (childhood friends).

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The word I choose at Body Back this week was BALANCE.  When I looked up the definition (webster) of balance, here’s what I found:

An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall: “a mug that she balanced on her knee”.

For me balance means prioritizing my family/work/me as equal as possible.  What I realize is that balance, in my mind, is time-management and a stress free feeling.  I accomplish this by creating daily to-do lists in a notebook so I can reference what I wrote to the days/weeks prior.  These to-do lists serve as a base- if I get most of it done, I feel balanced….if not, that stress creeps up.  I’m sure my Type A personality doesn’t help with this, but I like juggling it all.

So back to the week’s nitty gritty….

Body Back Workout & Workouts and Food & Supplements Journal

Body Back Workouts & Workouts

Monday– What a way to start the week.  Sarah’s circuit training had me feeling invigorated and ready to start the day.  About 12 circuits at 2 minutes each (for the first round)…some circuits include: burpees w/5 lb weights, step ups with 10 lb weights, mountain climbers, and about 9 others.  INTENSE.  We headed outside after that for some suicides/squats/bear crawls…heading back in we did the 12 circuits all over again at 30 seconds each.

Tuesday– biked at the gym for 30 min

Wednesday– Today consisted of “rounds.”  A series of 3-4 workouts done 2X each would be 1 round…I lost count at 5 rounds.  It was cardio, strenghtening and so much more.  We headed outside for a quick run and sprint back.

Thursday– day of rest 🙂

Friday– studio barre

Saturday– day of rest 🙂

Sunday– reformer pilates

Body back week 2

Food & Supplements Journal

I definitely didn’t have  a A+ week of eating (for me) and I’m okay with that- entertaining and having fun with visitors takes a priority over liquid meals 🙂

So here we go…

Monday- B smoothie, ½ five seed almond bar before BB, S-B other half of 5 seed almond bar, L salad-arugula, beets, tuna, pasta salad with goddess dressing, S-L handful of raspberries, vegan chocolate chip cookies with ½ cup of almond milk, D chicken soup, side of swiss chard, glass of wine

Tuesday- B egg/toast with avocado, coffee/almond milk, S-B grapes, almond bar, L salad-arugula, beets, tuna, pasta salad with goddess dressing, S-L olives, slice of Vermont cheddar cheese, D chicken soup, spinach salad from TJs, glass of wine

Wednesday- B smoothie, ½ five seed almond bar, S-B no snack, L Jersey Mike’s Turkey/Provolone regular sub, S-L Bitchin’ sauce and quinoa/black bean chips, skinny girl peach marg, D grilled chicken, sautéed veggies, brown rice, glass of wine, smore oops!

Thursday- B smoothie & egg, coffee/almond mlik, S-B no snack, L caesar salad with rotisserie chicken (sea world), S-L guacamole/ chips & piece of cheese, D salmon, chicken, asparagus, cucumber/tomato salad- all with a little dill (see pic below), glass of wine

Friday- B Vanilla Shakeology with banana & half Suja juice, S-B no snack, L stir fry with chicken (legoland), S-L cherries, D out at Pacific Coast Grille-Sushi Roll and green salad with skinny margaritas 🙂

Saturday- B egg/mini bagel/coffee with almond milk, S-B no snack, L small breakfast burrito (1 year old birthday party), S-L guacamole/ chips, D ahi tuna, tri tip, grilled veggies/artichokes, wine

Sunday- B quinoa/steel oat with raspberries, coffee with almond milk, S-B cherries, L Acai bowl (from Acai Cafe in Cardiff yumm)….the rest of day to be determined (probably bbq tonight with salad)

To reset this past week’s eating I am planning on doing a one or two day SUJA juice cleanse…


Recap of Week 1

Week 1 is officially complete!  This week was challenging.  I learned a lot about myself, both physically and mentally.  Body Back began on Monday morning at 5:30am, that alarm clock never sounded so horrible.  I was ready…and EXCITED.  What an amazing group of woman I will be going through this with- inspiring in so many ways.

I thought I would break down my week into two sections: Body Back Workout & Workouts and Food & Supplements Journal

Body Back Workout & Workouts

Monday– 1st BODY BACK workout-full body assessment that included timed mile, how many you can do in a minute of: push ups, sit ups, bicep curls, burpees, holding a forearm or straight arm plank.  I am not a runner so the mile was challenging the most to me.  What I learned in the assessment is that my body is strong, but my endurance/stamina is poo poo.  I will report my stats at the end so you can see the 1st week vs 8th week difference.

Tuesday– day of rest 🙂

Wednesday– 2nd BODY BACK workout- an outdoor running adventure (or torture).  Over the river and through the woods we went, stopping periodically for a circuit.  The circuits included jump squats, pull ups, sprint (up very steep hill), chair pose (for a ridiculously long time), and a wonderful savasana at that end (pic of me below, I’m pretty sure I passed out).  We all shared a word that we felt strongly about and could say to ourselves throughout the next 8 weeks.  The word I chose was POWERFUL.  I feel that this word can provide me with a little inspiration when the going gets tough up that hill or my arms have failed me.  I am learning the power of my mind (both the pros and the cons) and if I can trick my mind into allowing my body to keep pushing, I CAN keep going…

Thursday– reformer pilates

Friday– studio barre

Saturday– 1 mile run, chest press, chest fly, sit ups, push ups, and plank at gym

Sunday– reformer pilates

Body Back gals

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Food & Supplement Journal

To give a brief summary on how I eat about 75-80% of the time, check out  While I am not specifically on the program now I incorporate this way of eating (in a nut shell: gluten free, diary free, no refine sugar, little to no processed food, no red meat). The 21 day cleanse is something that I will do when I feel like I am in a funk with eating (and drinking:/).

I try to eat liquid meals for both breakfast & dinner 4-5X a week.

I typically cook a pot of soup on Sundays that will carry us through the week for dinners.

As for breakfast, a smoothie (made up of brown rice protein, flax seed, chia seed, almond milk, coconut milk, spinach, with a variety of any of the following avocado/apple/lemon/orange/pineapple/mango/blueberries/raspberries/acai/kale/mint/).

Daily supplements include: whole food multi vitamin, probiotic, omega, digestive enzyme, kyolic, grapefruit seed extract, vitamin C/E/D.

With that said, my food journal of this week is below.

(B is for breakfast, S-B snack after breakfast, L is for lunch, S-L snack after lunch, D is for dins)

Monday– B Smoothie & Coffee w/almond mlik, S-B 5 seed almond bar from Trader Joe’s (amazing) & Apple, L Brown rice pasta with marinara/turkey meatballs/chicken sausage, S-L Edamame & Watermelon, D Chicken Soup with a side of broccoli & glass of wine.  I am a water drinker so having 32 oz (at least) isn’t a difficult task for me.

Tuesday– B Smoothie, over easy egg & Coffee w/almond mlik, S-B none, L Brown rice pasta with marinara/turkey meatballs/chicken sausage, S-L homemade vegan chocolate chip cookie, sip of almond milk & mango slices, D Chicken Soup with a side of asparagus.

Wednesday– B Smoothie & Coffee w/almond mlk, S-B grapes, L Chipotle Chicken Salad from Rubios, S-L Slam Dunx (one of Liam’s snacks that he doesn’t eat), D Chicken Soup with a side of Trader Joe’s Spinach salad (added some mango slices), 2 glasses of wine (night out with friends).

Thursday– B Small smoothie, egg/slice of bread with avocado & apple, S-B Coffee w/almond mlik, edamame & 5 seed almond bar, L Brown rice pasta with marinara/turkey meatballs/chicken sausage, S-L Banana, met the hubby for a quick bite out (4th wedding anniversary) at Rimel’s- we split and ate off their happy hour menu: steamed broccoli, chicken/veg potstickers, fish sliders, and a cucumber cosmo.

Friday– B Vanilla Cloud Suja juice (8 oz) (so delicious) & soft boiled egg, coffee w/almond mlik, S-L Vanilla Cloud Suja juice (8 oz), L- FiJi Suja Juice & veggie burger, S-L 2 skinny pina coladas (made with coconut tequila, coconut water, and splash of pineapple) (FYI staycation at La Costa Resort began), D Mussels, Calamari, piece of chicken quesadilla and glass of wine.

Saturday– B 2 eggs, hash browns & coffee with almond milk, S-L bite of a rainbow sprinkle donut (how could I resist) & handful of edamame, L none (breakfast was super filling), S-L sprouted hummus with quinoa/black bean chips, D slice of homemade pizza (see pic) and sauteed greens.

Sunday– B Quinoa/Steel Cut Oatmeal from Trader Joe’s, Coffee with almond mlik, S-B none, L Shrimp Bowl from Wahoo Tacos, S-L watermelon/apple (planning on it), D BBQ with friends (burger with gluten free bun, corn of the cob, and salad)

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Until next week!!