5 Reasons I Chose to Start the Shift Shop Program

Okay real talk here….

Who willingly signs up for a fitness program that you know is going to be hard and is going to push your limits?? Well I did, and I know 26 or more amazing women who took the plunge with me!

Back in July I made a huge decision to take part in this crazy and amazing new fitness program called Shift Shop from Beachbody thanks to my amazing friend and coach Danielle! I followed her through her journey in the test group and I immediately fell in love with the program. I knew it was exactly what I needed in my life.

If you know anything about me at all you’re probably thinking to yourself “Ummm Shelby what do you mean you needed a fitness program?? You workout at the gym 5 days a week and teach 1 day a week so what more could you need??” WELL let me tell you the 5 reasons I decided to start this program…

 

 

1. I was in a major funk: I had a lot going on in my life this past year. I had several very important people to me pass away in a very short period of time. I hit a major slump in my life and I wasn’t willing to admit it to myself, even though people (and by people I mean my mom…sorry mom!) were trying to tell me that I was in a funk. I was still going to the gym but I was just there…I wasn’t really putting in the effort I usually did. I was just going through the motions and getting some type of workout in…and blowing that work in the kitchen…which leads me to my next reason for joining this challenge….

2. My eating was not on point: Let me just start off by saying I’m not perfect by any means when it comes to my eating habits. I am 100% down with a treat meal (yes I said TREAT not CHEAT…that’s another blog post though!) I was snacking at work, which I normally never did. A cookie here, some pretzels there, a piece of candy, or whatever it may be, and I had an excuse for doing it. My excuses were mostly “I’m working out later so I can totally have that” and I was OKAY with that! NO!! You can’t out run a bad diet! I knew that…but I didn’t care. To me that was not a good thing….

3. I needed a major change in my life: Once I was willing to recognize that I was in a major funk….(again sorry mom for not listening sooner….friends your parents are always right, listen to what they say!) I knew that I needed to do something majorly different in my life or I was going to continue on this downward spiral. I knew that was not an option for me because I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t let myself get back to where I was 6 years ago. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out my blog titled “6 years and 43 lbs later”)

4. I needed to change my mindset: Did you know that how you think is connected to everything else that happens in your life? I mean yeah I’ve heard that your mind can either hinder you or help you to reach your full potential but I never connected that to my health and fitness. The more I followed Danielle through her journey in the Shift Shop test group, I kept hearing her say that she was making this “mental shift” and I kept thinking to myself what in the world is she talking about? Then when we began this challenge group and I started reading the book I Am That Girl (book review will be coming once we finish the book so keep your eye out for that because I am loving this book and I already highly recommend it!), and I began to realize what she meant. I kept looking in the mirror and instead of focusing on the things I loved about myself, I would immediately jump to the things that I hated and that was so unhealthy! If your mind is not in the right place, you are just holding yourself back from reaching your goals. Positive thoughts render positive actions, negative thoughts render negative actions.

5. I needed motivation and accountability: For someone who genuinely likes working out, I never would’ve thought that I would need motivation. But after months of just going through the motions and not eating the right foods to fuel my body, I was finding it difficult to find my motivation on my own. A friend of mine recently told me “Sometimes a trainer need a trainer” (Thanks Tamiko!!) –> I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I realized that I needed some guidance. In the past I could bounce myself out of whatever funk I was in, but this one was different and I knew that I would need more than my normal motivation to get me going. For me, I can say “I’m gonna follow this meal plan and eat healthier foods” then I see French fries and that all goes out the door (hey I’m human and I like fries!). But when I have someone (or in this case a wonderful group of ladies keeping me accountable for following the meal plan and doing my exercises, well then things are different. I hate letting people down, so knowing that if I messed up or didn’t follow the plan that I would be letting other people down…that’s not okay with me. Now I’m not saying that I’m perfect, I still crave things that I shouldn’t but I am getting better at resisting those temptations and that is what counts! If you need motivation I highly recommend getting an accountability partner!

And guess what…I have a BONUS reason as to why I wanted to join this challenge…and I can say it all in one picture because we all know that pictures say 1,000 words! I mean just look at Danielle’s results…who wouldn’t want to see what their body could do after that! Shift Shop

 

Here’s to making the shift, both mentally and physically!

Xo’s Shelby

4 Stars for The Trespasser

 

The Trespasser, a novel by the New York Times best selling author, Tana French is book number six in her Dublin Murder Squad Series.

The Trespasser was the first book of French’s that I have ever read, and I will say that I was not disappointed one bit!

The Trespasser follows Detective Antoinette Conway and her partner Stephen Moran. Conway is learning quickly that being part of the Murder squad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact she’s convinced that the whole squad (aside from her partner), hates having her around. Her work life is nothing but pranks, harassment and pointless cases, but she tries to remain tough.

Conway and Moran land a new case that looks like another by-the-books lovers’ quarrel gone wrong. Aislinn Murray, a pretty, blond young woman, found dead in her perfect living room next to a romantic table-for-two dinner. What seems like an open and shut case, until Conway realizes that she’s seen this girl somewhere before.

Conway and Moran are doing everything that they can to solve this case, but in her gut Conway knows something isn’t right. Meanwhile, the other detectives on the squad are doing everything in their power to push them to make an arrest on Aislinn’s boyfriend, and they want it done fast. As if that isn’t suspicious enough, Aislinn’s friend continues to hint at the detectives that she knew Aislinn was in some kind of danger. As this case continues to unravel, Conway and Moran begin to think that Aislinn wasn’t exactly who they thought she was.

The constant harassment and pranks at work have gotten Conway a little more than paranoid with her every day life, and since taking this new case things have gotten worse. She’s spotted a shadowy figure at the end of her road, and she is starting to become unsure how far the squad would go to get her to leave. This case has her wondering, if it is just another step in their campaign to get rid of her, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface??

If you want to know what happened, because let me tell you, the ending will shock you, pick this book up! I highly recommend it and I will be reading more of her books in the near future!

Have you read any of Tana French’s other books? If so please leave it in a comment below! I would love recommendations!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Funny Kid Story

 

One of my favorite things about being a teacher is some of the things that I have heard my kiddos say…or in this case something one of them wrote on a homework assignment.

When I was in college and doing my student teaching, I was lucky enough to be back at my old High School working beside some of my favorite teachers. It was Spring Semester when I was doing my student teaching, which meant that part of my job was to help my Cooperating Teacher prep our kiddos for the OGT. Let me just start by saying this was no easy task. We had a limited amount of time to get in OGT prep, plus for me to teach my lessons and do everything that I needed to in order to graduate. I would be lying if I told you that there were no bumps in the road. I had an amazing CT to work with, and her motto was “there’s always another plan!” and let’s just say we had a lot of “other plans”! Between snow days and “cold” days and any other obstacle the universe wanted to throw at me, I was ready to cry a few times. But I managed to hold it together and I managed to make it out alive! But that’s besides the point….

My point is that during all of this craziness, we needed a fun (yet educational) activity for the kiddos to work on. My CT showed me a few different things that I could choose from and the activity that I decided to use was one on the Salem Witch Trials. It was a worksheet where they had to read through and answer the questions based on what they read. Seems easy right?? I thought so too, until I started grading them….

Working with high school kids (and knowing how they think…I mean I was only 4.5 years out of high school), you would think I would’ve been prepared for what I was about to read. But if we’re being honest here….I never laughed so hard in my life. In fact, I had to stop what I was doing, read it at least 3 times (you know to make sure that I wasn’t seeing things) and then I had to show it to my CT.

So as I’m grading, one of the questions read something like this….

“During the Salem Witch Trials, some of the girls began acting in strange ways and lashing out. Based on the reading can you name one thing that would could have caused this behavior?”

There was a specific answer that I was looking for…I cannot remember it off the top of my head, but I can tell you that what this one particular student said…was not the answer.

The students answer read something like this…..(I’m paraphrasing but I do have a picture that I will insert at the bottom of this post)… “I believe that what was causing the girls to have fits is that it could have been that time of the month. Sometimes when it’s that time of the month girls get moody and can have mood swings.”

IT WAS THAT TIME OF THE MONTH?!?!?!?!?! I mean don’t get me wrong I laughed for a good 10 minutes that that answer, but the actual answer was right in front of the kids. All they had to do was read the article!

Don’t get me wrong there were a few other kids that had…interesting answers for other questions from this assignment. However, none of them were as entertaining as this one!

Oh the joys of being a teacher!

To all my teacher friends…have you ever had something like this happen to you??
To all of my friends who are not teachers, do you ever remember leaving silly answers on a quiz or a test or an assignment because you didn’t know the answer?? If so leave them in the comments below. I would love to read them!!

Xo’s Shelby

6 Years and 43 Pounds Later

Have you ever been so comfortable with yourself and where you are in your life that you just didn’t really notice certain things that you probably should have?

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That was me back in 2011, I weighed about 220 pounds. I was in a relationship at the time, I was comfortable with who I was, I was happy (or so I thought) and I didn’t see the need to change anything about myself. At this point in my life I worked out occasionally, and when I did go to the gym, I hated it. It was honestly just not something I enjoyed doing. Until one day, something snapped inside of me, and I couldn’t stand the way I was feeling. I felt uncomfortable, I felt sluggish and I didn’t feel like myself. So with the help of my wonderful mom, and a gym membership, I began exercising regularly. The first 10 lbs or so came off relatively easy and I was super excited and encouraged. Then I started to realize that the pounds weren’t coming off as fast anymore and I didn’t feel like my body was changing. At this point I can honestly say I felt like giving up. But I started to slowly change my eating habits and slowly things started to change again.

Then one day at the gym there as a new fitness class going on, called Zumba. Little did I know how much this class would change my life. It easily became my favorite class. Why was it my favorite?? Because for exactly 1 hour I didn’t feel like I was working out! I was burning calories and I was sweating but I was having fun! At the gym!!! Who knew?!?! I was so glad that I had found an amazing class that I could take that would help me to motivate myself to become a healthier version of me, without actually feeling like I was working out!

I slowly started to incorporate other classes as well; like bootcamp, turbo kick, piyo, and yoga. Slowly over the course of time the pounds just started to melt away. I felt more energetic, I was a much happier person in general and I didn’t dread to look at myself in pictures. It took me about 3 years to lose 43 lbs pounds. During those 3 years I had ups and downs, I wanted to give up, but I didn’t.

I’m not going to lie, there have been times over these past six years that I have still wanted to give up. In fact this past year I was in a major funk. I had a lot of things happen in my life that made me just feel….blah. I didn’t feel like myself but I wasn’t willing to admit that either. I may not have stopped going to the gym, but my eating habits were not on point and to be completely honest when I was at the gym I was just there. I wasn’t putting my heart and soul into my workouts.

What did I do to fix that?? I joined a challenge group. I joined this group for a few reasons…

Accountability…I needed someone to help me be accountable for doing my workouts and for making good decisions in the kitchen.

Motivation…this group that I joined is not only helping me get back into the swing of things but we’re working on making a mental shift. If your mind isn’t in the right place you are holding your body back from getting optimal results. I never knew that until recently.

Change…I needed a major change in my life. I needed to get out of my comfort zone.

 

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This is me now. I honestly can’t tell you how much I weigh because I try to stay away from the scale…but we’ll talk about that more another time.

I’m not where I want to be, but I am also not where I was either. When I look at myself now, I still see things that I would love to change. But I also see a happier, healthier version of the girl that was in the first photograph.

My fitness journey has been going on for six yeas…but I can promise you that it’s not over yet! Health and fitness doesn’t have an end date. I will always strive to be better than the person that I was yesterday.

Follow me along this journey! I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

Xo’s Shelby

Why I Gave Good As Gone 5 Stars!

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry was my first book from my Book of the Month Club subscription (and no this post is NOT sponsored by Book of the Month – I pay for my subscription each month!).

When I heard about this subscription box I just knew I had to have it, and honestly I have not been disappointed yet!

Along with the book you receive a book mark and sometimes a card with a note from the judge that picked the book.

I received this book in October of 2016 and along with the book came a card from the judge, Liberty Hardy, the card said:
“Snuggle in and get cozy with this perfect mystery! Actually it’s more like mystery squared- it’s a mystery-in-a-mystery! There’s the question of what happened to Julie, but also has she returned?!? And if not, who is sleeping in her bed??? (Spoiler…NOT GOLDILOCKS!) This novel kept me guessing while repeatedly squeezing my heart! It’s so, so good!”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Review//Thoughts: 

I personally LOVED this book! I loved the way that Amy Gentry told the story of Julie backwards. I also loved the way that she focused in on each part of Julie and all of the different roles that she had to play over the years that she was gone. I feel that those “people” shaped her into the new person that she is now that she’s back home.

I’m not gonna like, I questioned at first if the woman standing on Anna’s doorstep was really Julie, even after learning a little bit about what happened at “their hold house” it never crossed my mind that Charlotte could’ve been the one that died. Part of me thought that Charlotte was posing as Julie for some reason. But as I continued to read and the story began to really unfold I realized that it really was Julie standing at their door and that she had been the one who escaped and finally made her way back home.

I loved reading this novel. I felt that the ending was absolutely perfect. It was amazing from beginning to end. I read some reviews online after I finished the book and read some of the comments in the discussion board on bookofthemonth.com and I noticed that some fellow readers were disappointed with the book. Some said that they were left wanting more about Jane (Julie’s sister) and her father. I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time I feel that the author told the story the way that she did for a reason. Yes, Jane and their father were an important part of Julie and Anna’s life but the were not a huge asset to the story. It was not her father’s “fault” that Julie ran away (nor was it her mothers). BUT I feel that Julie felt closed off from her mother, like the bond that a mother and a daughter are supposed to have was not there. I felt that she was trying to fill that void through conversations and her “relationship” with Maxwell/John David. That is why I feel we did not get more background on Jane and her father.

To be completely honest I am content with how the story ended and I am content with how the story was told. I did not feel cheated or disappointed because the fine details of two characters were left out. I felt like I got the complete story and I feel like the author did an amazing job telling it from start to finish.

I would highly recommend this book.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

The #1 Reason I Became A Teacher

 

I could sit here and list a lot more than just one reason as to why I became a teacher. But then we would be here all day and nobody wants that!

One of my favorite quotes can sum it all up…

“To teach is to touch a life forever”

I haven’t had that many years of experience, but I can tell you that I have worked with a large number of kiddos that have helped me to realize that I was meant to be a teacher and that working with kiddos is my passion.

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a teacher. I used to put my stuffed animals around a table, give them homework and then grade it. Yes…I just said I gave my stuffed animals homework and graded it! Hey I had to practice on someone right??

To be honest, I enjoy helping people in general but there is something so much more fulfilling about helping a child. The look on their face when they understand a concept or when they get a good grade…the look of pure joy…that is everything. All my fellow teacher friends out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. To all of my readers who are parents, I’m sure you’ve seen this look on your child’s face as well and you know how amazing it is to see them succeed.

Am I trying to tell you that teaching is all rainbows and unicorns? No way! Have there been rough days? Yes, of course. There have been days where I went in the bathroom and cried during my break. In fact there was one point in my first year out of college that I thought to myself…”What am I doing??” and wondered if I had made the right decision. Then one of my kiddos come up to me and give me a big hug and tell me how much they loved having me as a teacher. With each hug one of my kiddos gives me I am reminded why I love what I do and why I chose teaching as my profession. In my eyes the good times will always outweigh the bad times.

To all the first year teachers out there or to all of the college students working towards an education degree, keep going. If this is what makes you happy and this is your passion, don’t let anyone, and I mean anyone, take that away from you.

Xo’s Shelby

 

The Time I Started A Blog…

 

Where do I even begin??

Well I am so excited to be launching my blog! This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now but I was afraid that no one would read it or no one would care about the things that I wanted to write about. But guess what, this girl is tired of not doing things because she’s afraid of what people will think!

Think about it, if we all decided that we weren’t going to do something because we were afraid of what other people would think, how many things would you have missed out on in life?? If I thought that way every single time that I wanted to do something, I wouldn’t have gone to college and changed my major 3 times. I wouldn’t have become a fitness instructor. The opportunities that I would’ve missed out on are endless, but I made the choice to take the leap, and now I’m doing the same with this blog.

We’ve established why I’m here…let’s talk about how I got here and let me help you to know me a little better.

For those of you that don’t already know, my name is Shelby. I’m 25 years young. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!), where I still currently live. I grew up going to private Catholic schools my whole life and I loved every minute of it. The memories that were made those 13 years of my life were definitely some of the best.

After graduating high school I attended Ohio Dominican University (Go Panthers!!). When I got accepted into ODU I knew it was the perfect fit for me, it was a small campus that had that feeling of “home” and “family” which reminded me a lot of my high school. I went in as a pre-nursing major, after seeing many family members ill and seeing how some nurses and doctors treat their patients (bedside manner is important guys…), I felt that it was my duty to become a nurse and change the way patients were being treated. Well let me just tell you that didn’t last long. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work load, trust me I love science. I am the type of person that cannot physically, mentally or emotionally separate herself from her work. I get attached to people easily and letting go is never easy for me. Being part of the pre-nursing program we had to have a certain number of volunteer hours at the nursing home on campus. I greatly enjoyed going and visiting with the sisters and brothers; hearing their stories and just chatting. But when you get particularly attached to one sister, as I did, and she passes away…I couldn’t handle it. Cue the first change of my major! I knew that I still wanted to do something in the science field so that was a start. My next option was to work with animals, not a vet or anything like that; I considered working in a zoo. But after about a year I began to realize that this wasn’t my passion. Although working with animals seemed like so much fun, it wasn’t something I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. After several meetings with my guidance counselor and academic advisor (who by the way was a rock star for putting up with me for 5 years…shout out to you Dr. T, I know I was a pain sometimes!), I came to the conclusion that I should’ve come to my first year at ODU. I wanted to be a teacher! A science teacher to be exact. So I changed my major for the third and final time, adding one more year to my time at ODU, which stressed me out a little bit. I wanted to be graduating with the rest of my class. But I took a deep breath and realized that if I wanted to be happy with my career, this was how I had to do it. Adding this extra year gave me the opportunity to not only pursue a degree in a career that I love, but it gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

When people tell you that high school is the best and worst 4 years of your life….they’re not wrong…but they’re also not 100% accurate. Don’t get me wrong high school was both amazing and horrible at the same time, but nothing compares to college. The ups and downs that you go through…there’s no preparing for that. The number of all-nighters that I pulled writing a paper or studying for an exam, the number of tears shed when projects didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, or machines were down when we had to do our Organic Chemistry Unknowns….I still have nightmares about that! I’m kidding, I don’t actually have nightmares about Organic Chemistry but I remember that night and that lab like it happened just yesterday. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Why? Because it got me to where I am today, and I can honestly say that I love where I’m standing.

There is so much more that I could tell you in this post about how college changed me…but I’ll save that for another day!

Xo’s Shelby