New Year New Me, Final Insanity Workout Recap

I'm not sure that I could put into writing just how incredible this journey has been for here are my words.

To sum up this journey in one word, I have a few.


I am so grateful to all of you for your undying love and support. Getting through Insanity is absolutely the most difficult thing that I have ever done, but it was so incredibly worth it and has given me a new outlook on who I am.

Top - Insanity Week 1 (day3), Bottom - Insanity Day62

I am strong
I am fit
I am me

And I embrace it. Every inch lost, every inch remaining. I love it and I am so excited to continue on this journey, even bringing new elements into it by embracing my new outward image and bringing who I am on the inside {that funky creative artist that you know and love} to the outside.

Starting Weight: 171lbs
Ending Weight: 159lbs

Staring measurements:
Waist 34"
Hips 45"
Bust 40"
Thigh 26"
Bicep 15"

Ending measurements:
Waist 30.5"
Hips 40.5"
Bust 36"
Thigh 21"
Bicep 11.5"

That's a total of 20.5" LOST people!

High fives all around. We did it!

*This post contains affiliate links to my coach Dara's Beachbody website. I was not compensated for this, I just want to give her props for motivating me and keeping me on track.


New Year New Me, Final Week!

I am absolutely OVERJOYED to be on my final week of Insanity as I write out this recap. Today, I finished day57. I've taken to not taking the rest day when it is scheduled, mainly because I want to push and get through all of this.

What happens?

Well 7 days of constant Insanity is about all I can handle. I'm struggling to get through the 59minute routines, and am pretty gassed when I get to about 40minutes I push really hard and limit my breaks. When doing things like ski abs, jack push ups, in/out abs and oblique push ups I do them quickly. It's no wonder that after these routines I'm tired!

But, I continue to push. A few things that have given me motivation this week are seeing these types of quotes and reflecting on how far I have come.

I'm at the point of this journey that hearing excuses, even within myself, is just not acceptable anymore. If I can find time in my busy day to fit in a 32-59 minute workout, then anyone can It might take a while to get into a routine, but you can so completely do it and you will feel amazing about yourself once you do.

When I started Insanity, it was moreso to see if I could do it. I was pretty sure that my husband didn't think I would be able to stick with it, but look at me now! Day57 in the books, building muscle, leaning out, and having others notice the changes. It's really incredible, and I would encourage anyone who is thinking about doing a home fitness program to go for it.

My favourite exercise in month two is the One Two Three Jab. It's a nice break in the Max Interval Circuit when you are pushing your body really hard, and I find it alot of fun!

There's a little skip hop jump move and then a jab on one side. I just love it! And I love that I now have the coordination to do them!

Only a few days left and then I will be able to reveal my before and after, and results!

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me: Renewed Determination

10 day rut be gone!! After meeting up for coffee with two of my fitness pals, Natasha and Michelle, last friday night, I took a look at my motivation.

What was happening to me!? I only had {then} 16 or so days left...why was I so stuck at Day47?

We chatted at length, and I talk to Dara, and we boiled it down to the fact that I was bored. Yep...I was finding Insanity boring {who says that!?}. But...I am determined to finish, so very much determined.

After spending last Saturday with so many empowering women, I took a long hard look at myself. I am so proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I know that I can finish! I absolutely can!

So what did I do? I worked. HARD.

See that determination? I write this today, after having completed Day50 and skipping the Day49 rest day. Yep! I didn't rest, that's just how determined I am. Instead of taking a rest day and risking falling into a slump, I did my first test.

Do you know what that means?? If you've done Insanity or heard about it, you probably know exactly who I'm talking about when I say the name Tanya. Well, on Wednesday I beat Ms. Tanya in Low Plank Obliques and PushUp Jacks, and matched her in Power Jumps.


For the first time if my entire life, I feel like me. I feel proud of what I have accomplished, and I see the end in sight. And I even took a video of part of my workout from today, Day50.


If I can push through fifty days of this craziness, you can absolutely do something...30 Day Shred, Weight Watchers, MediFast, Les Mills, Shakeology, Hip Hop Abs.

Something. Anything. Let's set a positive and glowing example for our kids to get up and move!

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Week 6

Ladies and gentlemen, the healthy weight loss challenge is back ON! I am not at 100% health just yet, but I have been working my tail off to eat clean, snack smart and train to the best of my ability with Insanity, while listening to my body.

Switch kicks, hi-low jabs, and diamond jumps
How am I feeling? Well...I am having a hard time getting through a workout right now without wheezing since I have been sick for the past week and a half, but at the end...holy endorphin rush. I have to say, the sense of achievement...the rush that I just kicked butt and even if I'm on the floor in a pile of sweat...I did it. It feels absolutely amazing and I am so much happier after I've done an Insanity circuit.

Insanity is hard. Eating clean {as clean as I can, while still allowing myself to have certain things here and there....I wouldn't be working this hard if I wasn't allowing myself a chunk of chocolate here and there!} is hard. But how I feel is awesome!
Week 1 Wednesday Challenge - planks
Yesterday, I met with Kristine Cook to finalize all of my clothes for BlogHer, and as soon as she saw me she said that we were going to have to remeasure and asked if I've had to go out get all new clothes. Do you know how great it is to see someone and have them notice your body changes immediately? Again...I feel awesome! It validates all of this hard work and shows me that it's not just me seeing these changes, it's the whole darn world!

Stretch it out, warrior
  My Beachbody Coach, Dara, shared with me an awesome app this week that you can use on your iPhone and it will take timed photos. Yay! Now I can share actual realtime photos of my working out with TimerCam and doing the moves!

She has also started a weekly Wednesday fitness challenge in my Facebook motivation and accountability group - this week was planks. Oh how I love me some planks! They're difficult {especially after having a baby!} but they are SO rewarding! Follow me on Instagram and get in on the challenges every week!

Stay tuned for next week when I share some yummy Shakeology snack recipes from Dara!

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel, after Shakeology
*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me...Week Off

It's been a full week now since I've worked out and done an Insanity circuit. Between taking care of a very sick toddler over the weekend, and doing what I can to help my Husband mend from his chest cold, it was only a matter of time before I too got sick.

I've really been listening to my body, and have given myself a break. Do I feel bad? No. What good would it be to push myself through a 59 minute Insanity interval, when I can barely catch my breath after blowing my nose?


I have, however, kept drinking my Shakeology and it has really been helping me to have more energy in having to chase around a toddler while sick, and kept a full blown flu at bay.


It's all the holistic nutrition behind Shakeology.

Seriously, the stuff is that good for you. I choose to have it as my first meal of the day. My favourite is to mix it up in the blender with water, almond milk and some frozen strawberries. It makes me feel good about what I am putting into my body, which sets me up for making healthier food choices throughout the rest of the day.

It also promotes healthy weight loss, and I found it interesting that while I haven't done Insanity in a week now, I still have lost another 2lbs. Shakeology is helping me achieve my goals, feel good about myself, and I love knowing that there are zero chemicals {not even fructose or sucralose!} going in my body as I start a new day.

Can you say the same about your breakfast?

Beachbody coach Dara distel, before and after Shakeology

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me...and I'm sick

That's right folks, I'm sick. Hubs came down with a nasty chest cough over the weekend, and I started to feel sniffly and gross on Saturday. I plowed through my Insanity Max Recovery on the weekend, which was really frustrating to me {will explain in a moment...}, and by Sunday exhaustion had set it.

Thank goodness for the healthy nutrition in Shakeology!
Month 2 of Insanity is so much harder than the first. How in the world am I going to get through this?

One word: determination.

Yes, I'm sick and my sinuses are disgusting, but my Shakeology is is helping my immune system and helping me to have the energy to push through. The healthy ingredients in the shakes are like no other product on the market. I love that it is holistic and allows me to start my day on a healthy foot, which means that I can push through whatever is in may way, sickness or not. I get up, I take care of Bear and do studio work, and I workout during his nap. Every day.


Because of that. He sees what I'm doing, the choices that I'm making, and getting a high-five from him when I'm done and sweaty and gross is the best feeling in the world.

Now, last week I mentioned that I would share some of my favourite healthy eating recipes. I've already told you what my healthy breakfasts are with Shakeology, so now we need to cover off Dinners.

Top R clockwise: Chicken meatballs w/longgrain rice and broccoli, chicken/swiss chard/muffins, roasted veggie muffins,
spinach and swiss omelette
Spinach and Swiss Omelette - 1 egg, 3tbsp egg white substitute, 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach, 1 slide light swiss cheese cut into tiny pieces

Chicken Meatballs with Long Grain Rice and Broccoli - lean ground chicken, onion flakes, garlic powder, crushed pita chips. Bake at 425 for 20mins.

Chicken with Swiss Chard and Roasted Veggie Cornmeal Mufins - cook chicken in the crockpot with whatever spices you like (I used lemon pepper and onion flakes)

My favourite are these tiny little mini Roasted Veggie Cornmeal Muffins. They have roasted antipasto veggies in them, and are small enough for toddler hands; Owen LOVES them!

1 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. skim milk
1 c. roasted vegetable puree (aka homemade baby food...roasted antipasto veggies - zucchini, red and yellow pepper)
2 tbsp. oil

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into paper lined muffin cups (2/3 full) and
bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes for full sized muffins or 15mins for mini muffins

Now, my frustrating moment this past week was during Max Recovery. I had made it through the crazy fit test and max interval circuit, but when max recovery hit, for some reason it felt like my body had shut down. I had done so well with keeping up in these 43-59 minute circuits that I was really disappointed in myself when I struggled doing the high-low plank during Max Recovery.

I actually sat on the floor and cried a little. Then I took a moment, picked myself up and kept trying.

I kept pushing.
I kept trying.

While I still can't do them, I learned alot about myself and the high expectations I have on myself. I chatted with my coach Dara about this, and what she said really resonated with me. We as women expect so much from ourselves and when we struggle with something, we get really down on ourselves. Why? What's the point? There's zero reason for it.

The only thing that matters is that I got up, and I tried again.

And when you try again, you leave room for amazing achievements like this.

The day I did REAL pushups!
How are you doing with your journey? Are you struggling? Let me know in the comments!

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Recovery Week

Oh Recovery Week...I thought that it was going to be easier than the rest. One thing that I have definitely learned in this whole BeachBody Challenge and doing Insanity is that it never gets easier, you only push your body harder.

While the moves on recovery week were a little slower, more focused on the core and strengthening your balance and centre, it was still really difficult! By the end of the week, I could get through the hip burners with only having to stop once, but my oh my! If you've had a baby and had your hips spread, be prepared for them to almost seize when you're doing the hip burners! It did not feel good, but nevertheless, I pushed through.

Another thing I learned this week was about fueling my body properly. Going into month two (Day37 today! woot!) I knew that I was going to need more fuel, but I didn't realize just how much. {ps: I'll share some of my favourite meals next week to fuel your body for these crazy workouts}

That's right...on Day36 of Insanity, I faced not only the fit test (450cal) but also my first max interval circuit (800+cal). Insanity sure lives up to its name! Pushing through was incredibly difficult, and I may have ended up in a pile of sweat on the kitchen floor, but I am SO happy with my fit test results!! I even beat Tanya the Machine (if you've done or are doing Insanity, you know exactly who I'm talking about...and have a love/hate relationship with her as well) on one of the moves! Even my coach Dara was impressed!

See!? You CAN do it! It's totally possible to get better, to focus and to challenge yourself. This isn't about anyone but me, and I know that I can do it; I'm already over halfway there!

Oh and the -3lbs weight loss over the week isn't too shabby either.

How are YOU challenging yourself to get fit and focus? Link me up in the comments!

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel
*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year New Me, Week 3

Well, this week was not without its challenges and I am so thankful for my coach Dara for being there to chat with when I was feeling down.

All in all, it went great. I've had more energy since starting Shakeology, and have definitely felt a difference in how my body functions after having a shake. I have alot more focus, and feel....strong and powerful. I'm not sure that will make sense, but truly after I have a shake for breakfast, I feel like I just poured so much good nutrition into my body that I feel strong and like anything is possible in that brand new day.

Top r - coffee cubes, banana-choco shake, enjoyment and fulfillment,  new ingredients!, choco-strawberry, cherry-choco

In tears on Day19

Then, mental and emotional exhaustion hit me on Day 19. Was I nuts for doing this? I'd noticed a few changes over the past week, like a lifted bum, less of a double chin, and slender shoulders...but was focusing on my flaws. It didn't help that it's that hormonal time of the month, but on Day 19, I found myself having to stop my workout twice, and sit and cry.

Then I wrote to Dara and her Beachbody support group that I was having a hard time with the mental aspect of things, and my team rallied to make me feel so much better.

In three weeks, I have improved my nutrition with Shakeology every day, have lost a crazy amount of inches, have size10 shorts that are too big, and have had to get new underwear and a new bathing suit. I know that the number on the scale doesn't matter a whole lot, so why was the mental game so difficult this week?

Slender shoulders and lifted bum, working out with a toddler,
Week1 to Week 3 comparison, exhaustion, heismans and
feeling accomplished

Post-Partum Depression. That's why. I am still struggling 2.5 years later since PPD from time to time, and having a  moment to cry and reflect on the past three weeks was actually a good thing for me. I was able to take stock in my accomplishments and look at my new coping strategies. Shakeology has provided so much mental clarity for me, alot more focus and I'm able to push through my very busy schedule without sacrificing my health. Insanity helps with the focus, and sense of achievement when I push through ever day and finish a workout.

How do you deal with the mental aspects of being a busy, exhausted and mentally drained mom? Shakeology and Insanity are my answer, along with the support of my awesome coach Dara.

Beachbody Coach, Dara Distel, after Shakeology - can you believe she has a 17month old!?

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.


New Year, New Me...Week 2!

So how did Week 2 of the Beachbody challenge go?

Well, I can absolutely say that I have seen huge changes in my body. The top left photo is a comparison of week 1 and week 2. The inches are coming off and I am so much stronger already!

What I learned....I've learned that I don't always have to keep up with everyone on the workout. This is about my limits and my boundaries, and me pushing them. I've learned that I love working out in my yoga tights and a sports bra {never ever ever thought I'd say that!} and I've learned that I need new bras and underwear as mine are TOO BIG!

Day 1 Fit Test (left), Day 15 Fit Test (right)

I've also learned that I love the Heisman, football drills, sprints, hurdle jumps and still really hate burpees. I'm not sure that I will ever love them. And I learned on Day15 that I have made some serious progress in terms of my strength, speed and overall cardio health.

My proudest moments over the past week were getting through Plyometric Cardio without tears (see b/w photo of me smiling in the first collage) and having Owen run up to me after a workout yelling "Good Job, Mommy!" It also felt pretty darn good to be complimented and hear the words "thin", "lost alot of weight", "you look great" and "hello, skinny Shannon!"

I know that I still have alot of work to do, and it's only Day 15 of Insanity as I write this. I know that I will have some challenges ahead - like facing the scale and it's dirty mind tricks (even though there is a drop in weight -3lbs since Christmas) - but I also know what I see in the mirror, and what I feel in my heart; positive change.

I also started on Tuesday with Shakeology, which I will be having each and every morning as breakfast for the next 30 days, and the incorporating into my daily routine to remain healthy, get the proper nutrition to set up for an excellent day, and curb the cravings that have plagued me for most of my life {hello, chocolate and bread! I'm talking to you!}

I also have learned that even with the amount of determination and motivation that I have, I still fall every now and then, and my emotions can get the best of me. This is when having a coach like Dara is so important. I am so thankful to be able to send her a quick message saying Ok, so I don't feel so great about myself today and for her to remind me just why I am doing this, and how much I have accomplished in just two short weeks.

Next week, I'm going to experiment with some Shakeology recipes and test the waters to see what I like. So far, it's a such rich and yummy chocolate shake that I absolutely love starting the day with - it's seriously like having a milkshake and getting a chocolate fix all at once. My craving is satisfied, and I know that I'm putting incredible ingredients into my body to help fuel it for a busy day. Stay tuned!! Next week is all about Shakeology and how it can help you attain optimal health, without chemicals, and embracing positive change into your life!

On your own health journey? Setting positive examples for your kids? Let me know in the comments!!

Beachbody coach Dara Distel, before and after Shakeoloy

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.