So you can learn more about me:

A. Age: 20
B. Bed size: full — at home and school (below is my bed at school–I do everything on it including eating and homework)
C. Chore you hate: scrubbing the shower. It never seems to get clean!
D. Dogs: like ’em, but I wouldn’t be a primary caregiver.
E. Essential start to your day: I always stagger out of bed and eat gummy vitamins and a calcium chew
F. Favorite color: pink ❤
G. Gold or silver: silver probably looks better on me
H. Height: 5’8
I. Instruments you play: none. I played percussion (ie bells/xylophone) from 4th to 12th grade. I was so bad at it! My sister told me that I was the joke of the marching band even two years after I graduated high school
J. Job title: student
K. Kids: definitely want them someday!
L. Live: keeping that private for now
M. Mom’s name: Beth
N. Nicknames: Shoj, Shan, Non (my floor freshman year called me this because there was a girl on our floor named Chantel whose nickname was Chan…it was so weird!)
O. Overnight hospital stays: once (it’s a long story–maybe someday)
P. Pet peeve: people who don’t re-rack the weights at the gym–I swear, half my workout comes from using a machine after the guy who can leg-press 360
Q. Quote from a movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off–one of my favorites!R. Right or left handed: righty

S. Siblings: I have a younger sister Heather who’s a freshman in college. We’re very close and I consider her one of my best friends.
T. Time you wake up: literally anywhere from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’ll let you guess which end of the spectrum I prefer!
U. Underwear: preferably matching my bra–I try!
V. Vegetables you dislike: mushrooms and olives
W. What makes you run late: EVERYTHING! haha I am seriously late about 80% of the time…it’s probably my biggest weakness
X. X-Rays you’ve had: not sure…I think just on my teeth
Y. Yummy food you make: man-catcher brownies from this recipe. They are so decadent! (But haven’t caught me a man yet…)
Z. Zoo animal- hands-down koalas. My dream is to hold one.

>Why A Blog?

>Hi everyone! My name is Shannon and I’m a 20 year old college junior studying finance and economics. This is my very first post 🙂

I discovered the world of healthy living blogs about a year and a half ago, and have since then toyed around with the idea of starting my own. I’ve always been passionate about health, fitness, and writing, so starting a blog seemed like a natural extension. But it wasn’t until recently that I finally decided to bite the bullet and go for it, and I wanted to share with you guys my reasons:

1. I want to join your ranks

The very first healthy-living blog I read was The Fitnessista back in September 2009. I was instantly enraptured. Gina at The Fitnessista seemed to have her life so together! She was fit, she was healthy, she was happy; she had a wonderful husband, fulfilling career, and enriching personal life. I saw the same qualities in the writers of other blogs that I read–like Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers or Sarah at Skinny Runner. These are things that I want for myself, and these women–most of whom are 3-5 years older than me–are people that I want to emulate. If it takes eating greek yogurt or running a half-marathon (two pasttimes that seem to pop up all over the blog world, amirite?) to “join the ranks,” then so be it!

In all seriousness though, I don’t have my life figured out yet (career, relationships, body image, etc), and I’m hoping that writing about my experience–and following the experiences of people who may have been in my shoes a couple years ago–will help me grow and develop as I figure out who I am and where I am going. And I hope that anyone who follows my journey can benefit from my experiences as well.

2. I want to practice and improve my writing skills

I always used to say that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. Well, reality set in and here I am majoring in finance and economics instead of creative writing! Don’t get me wrong–I love finance too, but my classes don’t afford much opportunity for creativity or self-expression. I’m hoping that starting this blog and committing to posting on a regular basis will give me the opportunity to do something I love while sharing my voice and improving my communication skills.

3. I want to eat more varied and interesting foods

A few weeks ago, I was reading an article in which some celebrity was talking about what she ate everyday: eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, salad with a protein for lunch, and fish and vegetables for dinner. That sounds like what I eat! I thought. A moment later, I corrected myself: that sounds like what I wish I ate. The sad reality is that 50% of my meals are protein bars–or at least it feels that way!

In my defense, I’m a busy college student and I’m often on the go for up to eight hours at a time. I used to make the effort to shop for and prepare more elaborate and healthy meals, but it seemed like I’d always end up wasting money on produce that went bad before I could eat it or wasting time on meals that were much more time-intensive and much less tasty than what I envisioned in my head. So I always seem to default to foods that require zero prep time and can be thrown in a bag. But these are hardly the most healthy, satisfying, or mouth-watering choices, so I’m hoping that this blog will force me to expand my culinary horizons and start making some real food! Because, really, who wants to read about protein bars?

4. I want to share my food, fitness, and health philosophies

Protein bar overload notwithstanding, I’m not a complete novice when it comes to eating and exercising right. I’m a huge advocate of a high-protein, limited-carbohydrate diet with plenty of fruits and veggies and lots of healthy fats.

Unfortunately this is a complete antithesis to what many Americans see as healthy eating. I get frustrated when I see the “unhealthy” label slapped on many amazing-for-you foods like whole eggs, full-fat cheese, avocados, nuts, and olive oil. It makes me sad when people deprive themselves of the healthy fats and proteins that they crave and enjoy and that their body needs–especially when restricting these foods often hurts, not helps their weight and fitness goals! I’m hoping that blogging about my food choices will show people that it is possible to look and feel great while eating this way.

5. I want to share…well, everything! 

Okay c’mon…I’m not just going to talk about food here! I like talking about myself–who doesn’t? I think that this blog will be a fun outlet to share my thoughts, opinions, outfits, etc. I hope to post about books I’ve read, clothes I’ve bought, places I’m going (crossing my fingers that a study abroad trip is in my future!), my input on current events, and so on.

6. I want to use my camera more

After almost two years of being camera-less and relying on my friends to take pictures for me, I’m excited to start utilizing my new Nikon coolpix:

Because seriously, how much fun is it to take pictures of everything?

6. I want to join your ranks, part 2

Everything I’ve seen within the blog community has led me to believe that it is an amazing network to be part of. The health and fitness blogsphere is full of strong, confident, and fun women, and it holds many opportunities for conferences, fundraisers, networking events, and meet-ups. As a junior in college, I have no clue where I’ll be living or what I’ll be doing in a year and a half from now. I’m hoping that participating in the blog world will enable me to develop a network of like-minded friends and acquaintances throughout the country, and increase my odds of knowing familiar faces wherever I end up!

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Now that you know my reasons behind the blog, I hope you’ll stick around and get to know me and see what’s going on in my day-to-day life. I’m so excited to embark on this journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes me!
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