Making Ourselves



MAKING OURSELVES is our monthly series focused on finding and creating more time to nurture and prioritize ourselves, our passions, hobbies & health. You can read all the posts HERE.

This month I'm chatting about how a recent back injury led me on my journey to meditation and how I'm finding a new calm in both my personal and work life. 

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This month for Making Ourselves my focus has been on food. Not a diet, but healthy lifestyle changes. You see I hate to cook...most of the time. Realistically I would much rather be sewing or knitting! Let's face it - cooking eats up into the creative time that I enjoy best. But now that we moved into our house my hubby gets home later and guess who has to make dinner most nights? That's right - me. Insert sad face.

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When starting to write + plan the new series "Making Ourselves" for the blog I quickly realized how long it has really and truly been since I had prioritized some of my other hobbies and passions in life. I decided that it was time to carve out some special moments each week to allow myself a few indulgences.

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This year is all about changes and the search for BALANCE.

I find that sitting down at the start of each year and writing out some of my thoughts, goals, dreams etc for the upcoming year helps me to solidify my plans, keep me motivated in achieving them and also connecting with all of you.

"Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it."

This year I want to focus on the word BALANCE as much as possible. I keep promising myself I will work on it, practice it and live it but it just hasn't been successful. So this year I'm taking a different approach and holding myself accountable and putting it onto the blog. I'm going for it. I'm all in my friends. It's time to take back a bit of control over my life and to start to put some more effort/time back into "making" me a better version of myself.

I'll be using the hashtag #makingourselves (I explain this later on in the post) on instagram & twitter if you want to join in and also follow along with my journey.

BALANCE /// GOAL #1 - My Health

I've had health issues since I was in my twenties.

Long story short I've suffered from severe endometriosis (several surgeries and complications) and back issues. I'm tired of feeling not well and continually getting sick. My immune system is just shot. So I'm taking control of my body back this year. I'm putting my health and my overall well being ahead of all my other goals this year and so far it's been amazing! I'm hoping to get stronger and healthier and also lose some weight.

My hubby surprised me with a Fitbit for xmas (I got the Charge in case you're interested) and I've been really loving it. It's amazing how such a small gadget can wake you up to your unhealthy habits and motivate you to be so much better. Between seeing how HORRIBLE my sleep habits are (more on this later) and how much better my days are when I reach over my goal of 10,000 steps it sure is motivating.

I paired my Fitbit up with the awesome app My Fitness Pal. These 2 are my best friends. I've been logging my food daily now for over a month and I am really enjoying holding myself accountable. I'm also enjoying the community of friends/family on both the Fitbit and My Fitness Pal to cheer, encourage and have fun with the journey of getting healthy. Do any of you use these? Are you on Fitbit and MyFitnessPal?

I also took a VERY hard and long look at my exercise habits. Walking the kids to school and back (when it's not monsooning out) just isn't cutting it. I realized over the last few years I've tried a few different types of workouts (classes, etc) and nothing stuck. I'm social and love the gym but it doesn't work for our nutso schedule around here. So we bit the bullet and brought the gym to us. We're the proud owners of an Elliptical machine. I sounds so cliche to go buy an elliptical in January but dudes....I so need this. That bad boy is right beside my bed.....I can jump on and do my workout wearing whatever I want and watching Gilmore Girls (or whatever tv show I'm addicted to at the moment). Being able to easily fit it in when I get the chance that day is so easy. I even started rewarding myself. I can't do my night time knitting until I do my workout. And trust me, I love to knit so I will darn sure get my booty on the elliptical.

Getting the elliptical made me realize just how out of shape I really am. I thought I was going to jump on the elliptical and be a pro. LMAO!!!!! Seriously. Embarrassing. I thought I was going to die. I just barely made it through 15mins of the darn thing and almost puked...haha. And I was on level 1!!!!! Then the hubs proceeded to get on and do 30mins at a high level and was fine! How's that for motivation? I thought I was in way better shape than I was. So many muscles I haven't used in so long that are now having to be woken up again. I still can only do about 15mins but I'm working myself up and each time I do it I'm getting stronger and it's getting easier. My goal is 30-40 mins at obviously a better intensity level than 1. But I don't want to injure my back (I have a very bad back) so I have to take it slow and steady and keep on trucking along.

The most hilarious part is when I'm on the elliptical I get a side view of myself in the dresser mirror. I'm telling you...if you feel unmotivated put your elliptical near a mirror from this angle. HORRIFYING! It's like a weird mix of self doubt and motivation mixed in together. I look over and first go..."who is that, is that me? how did I get like this? since when I did I let it go this far? really is that me? are you sure? ok, let's do this. time to get rid of...."that thing" hanging.....darn pregnancy leftovers...time to work our ass off. time to reclaim my health and become strong again....but can I do it? will I fail? I'm tired. It's too hard. I can't do it. I should just give up. but I don't want to. I want to do it. I want to become a better me. Is that really me? how did I get like this?". And it repeats over and over again until I just get on with my workout and accept myself for who I am and make peace with it and enjoy my workout (well as much as one can whilst working out).

Why am I telling you all of this? Because. Because I'm not perfect. Because I spend so much time making throughout my days, everyday. I'm always making and creating and I love every crazy wild moment of it. I love to make things. I love to help you to make things. But the one thing I haven't been working on making that is the most important out of them all is myself. I haven't been making myself. I am important too and I need to continue to work on making me be the best version of myself I can be just as much as I make my knitting/sewing patterns the best they can be.

My priorities need to shift a bit. So while you may not see me blogging like a mad woman, I'm still here. I'm trying to keep the 9 loads of laundry on my bed under control, my dirty bathrooms cleaned, my floor mopped, the kids & hubby happy and fed, finish unpacking my new house, raise two little girls, keep on creating and making, and writing and spending time with all of you. But before most of that I now need to spend some time reflecting and working on myself. I can't wait to look back in 2016 at 2015 and see how far I have come. I can't wait to watch me finally succeed with some of the balance. To get more control over the battle between health, family and work. My family and my health are way too important and I've seen how unbalanced things have become and I know I need to keep on making changes.

Don't worry, I'm not turning Very Shannon into a fitness It will still be the same, I will just be popping in here and there throughout the year and writing some of my thoughts about my journey this year and my goals. I just shared Goal #1 above and I plan on sharing more of my goals as well that all correlate to the word "balance". I encourage you to join in too! I love seeing and hearing about what you're all doing creatively and I strongly feel that we as women are also important as well so fill me in. Write in the comments. Share your thoughts, goals and dreams for this year too. It means so much to me to hear from all of you as well.

Use hashtag #MAKINGOURSELVES to share your journey on social media.

I'd love to see your pics! Whether you are working out, working on a new goal....etc..whatever makes this your year to work on "YOU" feel free to share it with this hashtag. I also made us a fun pinterest board where I'll be pinning inspiring images, posts, sewing patterns for workout gear, workout clothes I love, exercises and more! You can follow along below.

So I'm declaring this year the year of "making ourselves". Get creative with and for YOU. What do you wish you could work on "making" better for YOUR happiness and goals this year? What's unbalanced in your life that you can work on "making" happen? What have you not prioritized enough in the past that you can change this year?