Shannon’s Journey…one of the new writers at The Journey!

have you heardWe said that we had a big secret…and it has been in the works for about a year.  Cori and I have been looking…and reading…and watching…and have been patiently waiting for the next writer to come on board at The Journey.

Today is the day.  🙂  And guess what…we have even more secrets up our sleeves…and they will be announced soon!  

With big, open arms…we welcome Shannon!  Thank you, Shannon, for joining us here at The Journey!

Let’s take a second to get to know her just a bit more…here is her story.

Shannon Fujimura

Shannon Fujimura

Name: Shannon Fujimura

Age: 36

what you enjoy doing…in and outside of workouts: I love to run (when I can); I am starting to really enjoy my strength workouts, yoga, Pilates.  Outside of workouts I like to read, knit (I will admit I am a loom knitter though and not a needle knitter), do crafts with the kiddos, dance around with my mini me, and I am really starting to enjoy cooking.

Family info: I am blessed to have an amazing husband and 2 beautiful, strong, smart, healthy daughters.  My oldest is 12 and plays soccer (on 2 teams) and also does horseback riding.  My youngest (aka the mini me) is in tap/ballet/acro this year, plays soccer and is currently taking swim lessons (mush to her dismay).  They are why I get up every morning…and why I can’t wait to hit the pillow at night, I mean, let’s be honest…kids are exhausting. :  We also have 3 fur babies, our dog Genevieve, and 2 cats Wilson and Nelson.  Oh, and of course the 5 fish although I think we may be down to 4 L and their names seems to change weekly…right now they are Brad, Gabby, Splish, Splash and fish.

Your Favorite Food: hmmmm that one is tough.  MY hubby makes an AH-MAY-ZING bruschetta and I think that is my fav.  Although ice cream is good (basically any flavor of frozen goodness), but I have been known to ask for a big bowl of his bruschetta and crostini for my birthday dinners more than once.

Something you are thinking about trying: I want to branch out my fitness experiences to include more classes.  I have taken Zumba and REALLY liked it; I would like to incorporate more Barre fitness though too.  As a former dancer (WAY back in my younger years) I think I would really enjoy Barre fitness.  Outside of the fitness realm, I would like to learn how to sew.  My mom is a certified master sewwer and despite her mant efforts, it just doesn’t stick in my brain.  I think I may take a class and see if that helps.  She always made me such great Halloween costumes; I want to do the same for my kiddos.  I also want to learn more about cooking.

What is a goal that you had for yourself that you accomplished that made you proud: Being a mom.  There was a period in my life (while in college) that I thought I wouldn’t want to do it….more so that I wouldn’t be good at it.  When I met my hubby he already had our oldest (divorce stinks by the way) but it all seemed to fall into place.  She was young enough that she has always known me in her life and she taught me as much (if not more) then I have taught her so far on our journey.  With my mini me…it’s been fun and crazy and amazing.  The hubs and I have both realized how much we missed with the first because of split households so there was so much that was new.  I look at how my girls are turning out and I am nothing but proud.  I mean, they could be really screwed up right?  Hahaha  But I feel they are my biggest successes!

What specific goals do you have for yourself now that you are working on: I have been saying for years that I wanted to run a 5K. I have even trained for them and been ready and then something or other comes up and I end up not doing it.  The last time was the most legit as I had to have surgery on my foot.  But this is the year.  2014 is going to be the year of the run for me.  I am hoping that a 5K is a door opener to bigger (read longer) races.  I just have to do it right?  I know that part of it is mental, but as my hubby keeps saying, I can do anything I set my mind to.  J

Why are you working on getting healthier? Genetics are not going to be my friend; at least I assume they won’t.  My mom’s side of the family has a history of various types of cancer; my dad’s side brings diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.  I am lucky to have both my parents still (although there was a close call with my dad when I was in high school b/c of his heart and another just out of college due to a car accident), but they both lost their parents early and I didn’t really have grandparents.  I NEED my kids to have grandparents!  I also need them to have parents…so the healthier my hubby and I can be the better right?  I mean, who else with hound them forever in the most loving way possible) if I’m not around?  I need to be present but also an example so they can do the same thing.
What is your biggest struggle?. Time.  Time is and always has been a struggle for me.  I can do the research and find what I should eat and why.  But to have enough free time to actually prepare the healthy meals is not always an option, hence the cheeseburgers and french fries that cross our table too frequently.  Also time to make sure I get in enough of a workout.  Some days after working all day, driving to and from work, chauffeuring the kids to their activities and any errands that needed to be done (laundry, bath time, etc)…sometimes after all that I curl up in bed with the 4 year old for stories and fall asleep with her at 830pm.  No workout.  I have to make more time which is easier said than done.

you are worth itWhat would you tell someone that is a beginner in their journey to get healthier? Do it because it is worth it!  Do it because YOU are worth it. We, as a society, put so much pressure on people to be perfect but we don’t praise ourselves enough for what we already are.  It has taken me along time to figure that out.  Am I perfect, no…but for my age and having had a kiddo…I feel like I am looking pretty darn good. J  Are there things I want to improve?  OF COURSE!!  SO I am working on it and THAT feels pretty good in and of itself.

My story:

I was an extremely athletic kid.  I danced (6 days a week), I played soccer (both high school and travel), I ran track.  I had the thighs of speed skater which was my only real complaint of my physique and really, even that wasn’t terrible to me because I knew it was solid muscle.  I didn’t give any real thought to food or what I needed to do to look good, because I was active and healthy.  When I reached my senior year, I quit dancing.  I was burned out and just didn’t want to do it anymore.  I noticed my weight change, but never really thought much of it.  I mean, I was still playing soccer and running so I bought clothes a size bigger and as okay with that.  Looking back I think it helped that we didn’t own a scale.

When I started college in the fall, I was working as a manager at McDonalds (read: not so great meals at least twice a day) and discovered the fun of drinking.  That’s what college was all about right?  Freshman year gained (at least) the freshmen 15 and still didn’t really seem to notice or care I guess.  When I started my second year, I started to notice how much bigger I seemed compared to others my height.  I mean, I was majoring in theatre…how I looked suddenly became VERY important.  I wasn’t the right “look” for some of the directors for the young lead because I was more of a comical character build. I reached a point while doing a summer stock production where I wore a backless dress and a kid was pinching me during a rehearsal one day.  I ignored it because I was “in character” and then I heard a small little wake up call, I heard the kid say “See, she’s can’t even fee us pinch her back fat there is so much.”  Wow.  I mean, wow.

That started me in a different direction.  I started taking classes at my college rec and working out, I got involved in the dance department and got back into dancing…which was like finding an old boyfriend.  I slowly started to see the weight come off and I was so happy. It wasn’t as fast as I had wanted it to, but at least it was happening.

By the time I graduated from college I was down more than half the weight I had gained, had found a niche in technical theatre that allowed me to audition for film work still and make good money with a steady job and came with a free gym membership.  I was feeling pretty good.  It was at this point too that my metabolism seemed to jump start.  I mean seriously jump start.  The weight melted off and it didn’t seem to matter what I ate or drank (we did a lot of after work cocktails); the weight just came off and stayed off.  I stopped going to the gym…no problemo.  It was like I made some sort of Jenny Craig God happy and I was back to the no need to think about it life.  Ahh the joys of youth.

It was in this “metabolism high” when I met my hubby, a chronic yo-yoer.   It always infuriated him how I could out eat him and not gain weight.  Together we started a running program, which lead to gym memberships.  With only having our oldest around half the week, we had lots of time to work out and do our own thing.  It was the best of both worlds.  I have pictures of us on a vacation where he is at his happiest weight. I have pictures from my wedding day where I am at MY happiest weight.   It is a constant struggle in his life. I have noticed that since I had mini me and crossed the threshold of 35 that my joyful run has started to dwindle.  I need to work more to keep my shape/weight where I want it, but I don’t mind because I really do enjoy working out.  My hubby is MUCH better about making time then I am, and he struggles so much.  He has been told he has a thyroid issue but isn’t t a point where he needs medication so he has an even harder time despite all his good work.

Like everyone, we go through our ups and downs with working out and what we are eating.  I even started a blog (http://waitsandmeasurements.blogspot.com/) of my own just over 2 years ago to try and document my progress and make myself accountable.  I decided about 3 months ago to try scaling WAY back on gluten and I have seen a dramatic difference in how I feel and look, so for me that is a new way of life.  My real wakeup call came back around the same time after the hubs and I found some workout DVD’s to try at home.  Se we have done P90X (loved it), Insanity (hubs loves it) but we don’t see the results that the talk about in the videos…part of it comes back to time.  Is Tony Horton’s yoga awesome, absolutely, but I don’t’ always have an extra 90 minutes to do it.  We also don’t do the Shakeology and I think that may be part of it. So we decided to try The Biggest Loser workouts.  They rock!  Its people struggling to get in shape (just like us) so it is motivating, it can be done in a reasonable amount of time (so it’s more doable) and it’s just fun.  So wakeup call…right, back on track, after we started these we had a night where one of the workouts was really intense.  I was sore, achy, grumpy…and where I was grumpy my hubby was elated.  I asked how he felt and he said ALIVE!  That was my wake up call.  He felt ALIVE and the more I thought about it the more I realized he was right.  He started to talk about his fear of not living to 40, of not seeing the girls grow up, and I tell you what, that made things get real.

We are dedicated in a new way now. We know the results are instant, we now we will backslide, but whereas in the past it was the idea of “Oh I missed a workout now I have to start all over” now it is “Well, I misses a workout so I should try and push a little more today.”  The punishment aspect is gone.  The guilt is gone.  Somehow in that moment, in that one word it all changed and we have become accepting and ok with things.  We can’t get it all in every day, but we can try and with each non-success (as failure is no longer an option) we are given another chance at being successful.  Little victories, step by step. It all boils done to not just being but feeling alive!

 

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