Fit MOM Friday

I’ve received some very positive messages regarding my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, and some requests to share more of this journey.  I appreciate all the encouragement!  I don’t know of many people who strive to make dramatic changes in their lives that will say it was easy.  I am nearing the completion of my first month working out three times a week with a personal trainer.  My goal was not just to lose this extra weight that I’ve been carrying around for the past few years, but to get stronger and make a lifestyle change.  The number on the scale does not mean as much to me as the way I feel in my own skin.  While recovering from an ass ton of surgeries the past several years, I had to spend a lot of time lying around recovering.  As a result I gained a good deal of weight.  My self-esteem tanked.  I have always been somewhat vain, and not only did my physical appearance change dramatically, my personality changed as well.  I battled with depression–hard–and turned into someone I did not particularly care for.  I have struggled to remain optimistic.  I know how lucky I am in my life, trust me.  But when you are caught in something so completely all-consuming as depression and self-loathing, it affects everything (and everyone) around you.

A turning point came when I could no longer fit into my “fat” jeans.  They were a size 13.  After that, I wore nothing but yoga pants.  After the mastectomy and subsequent surgeries, I wore a lot of cami tops.  They were one of the more comfortable options that were recommended to me, as there would be no more underwire bras, which I’d worn all my life.  Sports bras became my best friend.  I even had to sleep in them.  Clothing became all about my comfort, and I suddenly disliked how I felt in shirts with sleeves.  I don’t know what it is, but I cannot stand sleeved shirts now.  Despite the large areas of numbness that exists not only on my breasts but under and behind my arms, shirts with sleeves–particularly short sleeves–became irritating as hell.  I rarely wear anything but tank tops and yoga pants, and frankly, I’m sick of it.

On the first day, the trainer asked me what my goals were.  Where would I like to see myself at the end of my fitness journey?  I showed him this photo:

Ernestine Shepherd, World’s Oldest Competitive Bodybuilder


This is Ernestine Shepherd.  She holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest female competitive bodybuilder.

She is 79 years old.




I am decades younger and she could whip my ass.

I watched a short video of her story, and was instantly ashamed of myself.  She didn’t begin working out until she was 55 years old, battling depression, anxiety, acid reflux and high blood pressure.  At the age of 71, she decided to enter the world of competitive bodybuilding.  As I listened to her tell her story, I realized it was time.  It was time for me to get off of my ass and do what I needed to do.

I know where I want to be; I just need to master the steps to get there.  There is no doubt that exercise improves not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.  Even after struggling to get through a workout that for many people would be fairly easy, I left the gym feeling exhausted but accomplished.  I look forward to working out.  I may throw around several F bombs and call for my mommy while I’m there, but I still look forward to it.  I look at each session as a stepping stone to where I want to be.  Each session brings me closer.

At that first session I was also given a nutrition guide.  For the first month I was to stay in the first column of the guide, which is strictly lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats.  I will not bullshit you by telling you that I have stuck by that list 100% of the time.  I’ve slipped up a few times.  I have, however, made sure that I did some form of exercise if I were to eat or drink something not on the list.  Lattes, for example.  Good night how I love lattes.  The trainer told me that he would rather me taper down than to try and stop everything cold turkey.  I went from a latte every day to one twice per week.  I purchased a cappuccino/espresso machine so that I could froth almond milk at home and make my own, “healthier” lattes.  I have done well sticking with the guide, though, and am proud that I have been able to do as well as I’ve done with it.

Some time ago I’d begun using stevia in an effort to cut down my sugar intake.  I am not a big eater of fried foods, cakes, cookies, etc.  What I do love is carbs.  If I could marry sourdough bread, I would.  I stopped eating it a long time ago, but every single time I smell bread, I want to eat it.  All of it.  It would not be a lie to tell you that I want to get in fabulous shape largely so that I can eat sourdough bread from Boudins on my trips to San Francisco and not want to hurl myself off of the Golden Gate afterward because of the guilt.

After nearly a month, I do notice a difference.  In my body and in the way I feel.  We are not focusing on weight right now, but on inches lost.  We measured at beginning of my journey, and soon we will measure again, to see what improvements I have made and in what areas.  I have already been warned that things I love are going to have to start dropping away.  That’s ok, because that means this fat and all of the bullshit that comes with it will also start dropping away.  There’s no question which I’d rather live with.

It was also brought to my attention recently that I don’t post that many pictures of myself.  When I went to the BlogPaws conference in Nashville recently, I met quite a few others who are similar in that their blogs have so many photos of their pets but few if any of themselves.  I am a visual person, so I can appreciate that this whole physical transformation journey I’m on might be a bit more impactful with some photos of myself.  So, here is a photo of me feeling particularly feisty as I headed out to the gym:



I promise I’ll get better with posting more photos of myself, especially the Before and After shots!  You know the After shots will be SUPER AWESOME!  This will also allow me to be in better shape for all the trails I hope to do with the dogs this coming year.   Yay for Fit MOM!


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  1. Ann August 28, 2015 at 9:34 am

    You’ve got it! I wish you well and thank you for sharing your journey. Didn’t see a new picture though. Stay safe in this upcoming weather.

  2. Ann August 28, 2015 at 9:36 am

    My mistake. I didn’t recognize the current you!!

  3. Emma August 28, 2015 at 10:49 am

    You are on the right track looking for a change in lifestyle, not just a quick fix. It all takes time and the longer you stick with working out and eating healthy, the more normal it will become. Treat yourself to something you love to eat, but promise yourself to work it off either before or after. My mom always promises herself a concrete mixer from Culvers when she is on a long tough run and it gets her through, but the funny thing is, once she is home, showered, etc, she forgets all about it. You will develop your own tricks and you will feel a little bit better each day. Good for you!

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you so much! I am struggling with some parts of it, but I definitely feel better. A concrete mixer? What will Mom do with a concrete mixer? 🙂

  4. Diane @ To Dog With Love August 28, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Yay, Fit Mom is right! You’re off to a great start! And I agree on the people photo thing. I’d like to see more pics of people with our pups! I’m usually the one taking all the photos so I suspect that’s why you don’t see me much either. You’re looking great and doing great! Rock on!

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you so much for the support! Yes, I’m on the other side of the camera, too. It’s tough to get myself in a shot. I have a whole bunch of rejected shots. I should publish those, lol.

  5. Dachshund Nola August 28, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    That is fantastic for you!!! I cut out sugars in December, and while the first month was brutal, I haven’t once regretted it. The changes cutting that from your diet is astounding; my skin, which has been awful since I was 13, is completely clear, no more bloating, no more awful cravings and binges. I’ve started running every day in addition to yoga, and while I don’t enjoy it, I do feel better.
    You look amazing!

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Oh wow, you cut them out completely? That’s HARD. I have been tapering down, but it’s not out of my diet completely. I would love to be able to eliminate it. That is so awesome! Great job!

  6. Earl Lover August 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Brilliant! Good on you! Keep it up, I’m sure you will!

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you! I feel at this point that I really don’t have an alternative. I can’t keep looking and feeling the way I have been the past several years. Gah. Time to make things better!

  7. Slimdoggy August 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Congratulations on making the decision and following through – that’s half the battle. The important thing is to reward each milestone with something you love. You will also find the more you exercise the better you will feel and without exercise in your day, you will feel let down. Good luck.

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks so much! I will definitely be rewarding myself. I look forward to each workout, even though I complain all the way through them, lol! I can’t wait until I start seeing some more results!

  8. DZ Dogs August 28, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Looking like a sexy mama! I love that hair color on you!

    Keep up the good work girl!

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Thank you! I love it, too. It fades quickly, though. But I’m enjoying it. 🙂

  9. Barbara Rivers August 29, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    You go, Fit Mom! I decided I needed to lose 20 lb after seeing my wedding pics and not loving the woman I saw in the pictures. That was 5 years ago and the weight has stayed off. I now love being more active and I have the greatest personal fitness trainers ever…my pups Missy & Buzz, who remind me every day to start the day on the right paw with a morning walk 😉
    P.S. I still have days where I have to have chocolate, but it’s ok now because of how much I walk in my capacity as a dog walker.

    1. Shannon Adams September 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Those are AWESOME personal trainers! Congrats on your weight loss and in keeping it off! Chocolate is a must every now and then! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the encouragement!

  10. Amber August 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Wow. I hope I look like that at 79!