What One Month of PiYo Can Do

It wasn’t even a month ago that I walked into my first live PiYo class.


I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had heard a lot of people talking about it. And as you know, I instantly fell in love.

I’ve been going to the live classes at my local YMCA twice a week, and for the past two weeks I’ve been doing the at home DVD program almost daily. I’ve cleaned up my diet, and started drinking Shakeology every day. I decided to take some progress photos today, and quite frankly – the results surprised me.


Does that booty look different to you? It sure looks different to me.

I know that I FEEL different, and I know my old clothes are fitting better, but I didn’t expect to SEE these kinds of results.

I did have a BIG non-scale victory last week. I posted this on Instagram…



Yes, those are size SIX shorts that I put on the shelf in my closet a few months ago because there was NO way they were fitting anymore. I was so happy to be able to pull them back on!

I neeeded this. I have been trying for so long to jumpstart my healthy living journey. Things had been…stagnant. I’m feeling more like ME than I have in a long time. 

We are a week and a half into the 30 Day PiYo Challenge so it’s a little late to join this one, but I”m thinking about doing another one in September when this one ends. I love the accountability and encouragement in the Facebook group – it has been motivating me to do the workouts even when I’m not so sure I want to. Are you interested?

If you’ve been thinking about getting a jump start or a reboot on your health/fitness journey, send me an email at calliecowan (at) gmail.com and I’ll get you the info about the next challenge group. Don’t find yourself in a few months squeezing into your winter clothes, wishing you had made the change NOW. You can do this. We will do this together. 

I know that a lot of you might be gearing up you training for fall races. It’s my personal opinion that PiYo is a GREAT supplement to your training. The workout focuses on building strength and improving flexibility – two things runners often lack. Don’t let your training keep you from doing this – I think the two things will really complement each other. In fact, I’m toying with the idea of training for a half marathon in February, and working PiYo into my training. I’ll keep you posted on that idea too. :)

Thanks for being on this journey with me. Exciting things are happening. :)



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5th Anniversary Adventure – Trampoline Jumping and a Brewery Tour

Up until earlier this week, we had no idea what we were going to do for our anniversary. We had thrown around ides about taking a trip somewhere, but never really got planned out. We finally decided to just go up to St Petersburg, spend the day at the Don Cesar lounging on the beach, and then meeting up with some friends for dinner. It all sounded great until…we woke up Friday to a gloomy, stormy day. Not exactly a good day to spend at the beach! So…we punted.


First, we headed to our favorite St. Petersburg restaurant – Harvey’s 4th Street Grill. When we lived up that way, we went there EVERY Sunday for brunch. We got to know some of the wait staff – especially Marianne, our server EVERY Sunday. She has become a close family friend! But we also got to know the manager Jim who comped our meal on Friday as a gift for our anniversary. So sweet!

I had the absolutely delicious Florida Gold – a toasted sandwich with avocado, cheese, alfalfa sprouts and thousand island dressing.


We left Harvey’s and headed over to our spur of the moment adventure for our rainy day…

Airheads Trampoline Arena!


Yes, I took my husband to a trampoline park for our wedding anniversary. He was like a little kid jumping around in there!




I might have been too…



It wasn’t long before he started getting recruited by little kids for their dodgeball teams. Hilarious.




After our trampoline adventure, we met up with some old friends – Jim and KellyAnn! Jim and I were in law school together – we actually met during Orientation. It’s hard to believe that was 9 years ago! His wife KellyAnn started law school the following year and we have been friends ever since. They are both super active people – she recently completed her first Ironman!



We met up at one of their favorite places – Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company in Clearwater. It seems like there are a lot of these little craft breweries popping up lately – and most are located in the most random places, often in some industrial park. I tried their Oaked Cherry Chocolate Stout  - delicious!


When we left Pair O’ Dice, we headed over to Rapp Brewing Company in Seminole – I couldn’t resist trying their Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout. Doesn’t that sound amazing?


Like dessert in a glass.

We called it a night and headed back to Jim and KellyAnn’s to sleep. We had a date planned for the next morning…and it looked something like this.


Yes, we tried Crossfit for the first time. We got our game face on before the WOD began.


A few burpees, tire flips and thrusters later…we were all smiles. And more than a little bit sweaty. Oh and a little dirty too thanks to those tires.



I’m thinking about writing a post about our first Cross Fit experience – any questions? I was pretty clueless walking in the door!

We got cleaned up, and headed out to the next step on our brewery tour – t.he Dunedin Brewery (which is actually Florida’s Oldest Craft Brewery!)


They definitely know what they are doing. The food options are fabulous – I had some delicious blackened chicken tacos and my husband couldn’t stop raving about their chicken wings. And then I tried this beer which ended up being my favorite of the weekend – their Apricot Peach.



I’m not usually into “fruity” beers, but this one didn’t taste overly sweet. It finished so smooth and tasted so refreshing. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I decided I had to get some to take home.


We left Dunedin Brewery and walked over to our final spot – 7venth Sun Brewery.



I tried the Graffiti Orange-Creamsicle Wheat. Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. Could you tell I’ve really been in a “dessert” mood lately? I just realized that all of my beer choices for the weekend fell into the “sweets” category!

Speaking of “sweets”…



I loved spending the weekend with this sweet guy. Here’s to the next 50 years! :)








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Five Years His Bride

Five years ago, I vowed my love and my life to my husband. Some of you were there on that day. Some of you have read about it on my blog before. It ranks up there as one of the absolute best days of my life.


But a marriage really isn’t about the wedding day. It’s not about one day of being a bride – it’s about seeing yourself as his bride every day for the rest of your life.

Admittedly, I’m not always the best at it. It is easy to fall into routines. To take each other for granted. To get too…comfortable. After a while, it’s easy to start to see each other’s flaws. The things that once attracted you to that person start to annoy you. It’s easy to grow apart.

And that’s when it is so important to come back to the reasons why you stood in front of each other and in front of God and pledged your lives to each other. It’s about choosing love. Choosing commitment. Choosing each other.


It’s remembering the feeling that overwhelmed you as you walked down the aisle toward your groom. The way you felt in each others arms during your first dance. The smile that felt like it would break your face in half because you couldn’t stop grinning on the day you wore your wedding dress.

Today, my husband and I are celebrating five years of marriage. Five years – could it really be that long? And when I say “celebrate”, I mean it. Marriage isn’t always easy. As I’ve said before, marriage shouldn’t work. But marriage is something to be celebrated. To be honored. To be appreciated each and every day. Marriage is a journey – and it’s been the most amazing journey I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience.

I’ve shared our Pastor’s “script” from our wedding before, and I just might make it a tradition of sharing it every year. It’s THAT good. Read it. Enjoy it. Live it.


In the beginning, God created…. That’s what He does, He creates. The Bible says the Earth was formless and void, and the Holy Spirit hovered or brooded over the face the deep. It reads like the Holy Spirit was getting things ready for God’s creative word to be spoken. And in the creation account you’ll find it repeatedly stated… God said, let there be…… and it was. It’s God’s nature, it’s a part of His essence… He is THE CREATOR. So God’s first action was creation, and indeed today God’s first and foremost action in this formation of a new family… is creation. In Genesis He created out of nothing; but today He will take two people (the height of all His creation) He will take a man and a woman and create ONE. He does have two excellent parts of His creation to work, but today is no less miraculous that Day one of creation. The power of God, as the Holy Spirit is hovering over this gathering, is here to supernaturally created ONE out of two. And those two, recreated into ONE will together have a higher proclivity to bringing God glory together than they ever could apart. God’s first part in this wedding today is CREATION.

After God created, he gave man his assignment and it was centered around choice. The first man and woman had the privilege of choice. The could choose to follow God, honor God and fulfilled God’s plan for their lives together, or they could choose otherwise. Today, your part in the wedding is CHOICE. People in this room today will wipe away tears, they will laugh and they will experience a gamut of feelings and emotion… but your part today is not feeling or emotion… your first part to play in this wedding today is neither emotion nor feeling… it’s choice. In front of God and in front of this congregation of friends and family you will take solemn vows and make lifelong promises, and not one of those promises is built upon a feeling or an emotion… it’s about choice. No doubt feelings have been a big part of this relationship to date. You saw her and your feelings said… she looks good. You saw him and your feelings said.. that’s a handsome man. You talked with each other and your feelings were stirred as you laughed and your emotions were stoked as you spent time together. Both feeling and emotion are there, but the far more important part of both this wedding and this marriage is your CHOICE. When you chose God individually, it was powerful. As you choose God together there is strength and grandeur you never dreamed. 

Callie I know you have a passion to help people and a passion to make your life count. I remember conversations where you spoke with me about missionary causes that were close to your heart. I look forward to seeing that passion multiply into changed lives as you and your husband dream together and reach into a great future.

Nathan, I have watched you grow from a very small child, not even old enough to get into children’s church. And from the beginning you have had a reckless abandon about life that was a joy to watch. As a little boy, you were like a chiahuaua looking for a pit bull to tangle with. When everyone was learning to snow ski properly, as a little fellow you just squatted down on the skis and barreled down the mountain at break-neck speeds and God help the person who was in your way. You knew how to go fast, but you didn’t spend much time learning to turn or stop. 

I dare you both to do something dangerous and passionate with your marriage that leaves a mark on society that says “a family sold out to God traveled this way” and left a legacy of life and hope behind.


CHOOSE GOD, CHOOSE EACH OTHER. That’s what you’ll do today, and that’s what I pray you do for the rest of your lives. God’s first part is CREATION, your first part is CHOICE, but there is a second part that both you and God must play…. That part is commitment. 

God is the quintessential example of commitment. He’s kept His commitment to His people when they refused to even acknowledge Him, much less remain committed to Him. You can be sure that God will be faithful to you in total and complete commitment. But God’s commitment is just part of it, your commitment is equally vital. Commitment not only to God, but to one another. Choose to love, honor and be faithful to one another…. Regardless of emotion or feeling. 

God will create, You will make choices, and together in commitment a marriage and family will begin a journey full of love, surprises, as well as heights and depths you never dreamed. But you can walk knowing that God is committed to you and guiding your lives and He will cause all things to work together for good, no matter what the situation. 

Family, and friends, your presence here today is also very vital. You will witness their vows and you will witness the commitments they make, but you will also be endowed with a responsibility. You must pray, and help protect this new marriage. Husbands and wives, your life should be an encouragement to them. Should circumstances ever tempt these two to make a decision that is not honoring to the covenant they will enter into today…. Tell them to turn around, tell them they will get through this, tell them you’re praying and God will see them through. 

God will create, Nathan and Callie will choose, commitments will be made and a covenant will be formed that is eternal.

Happy Anniversary, sweet husband. I love you more with each passing year.

Love, Your Bride

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How I Became a “Shake Person” – Even Though I Swore I Never Would Be

I really appreciate all of your sweet comments on my post yesterday. THANK YOU. It means so much to me to hear that it’s okay to just be real.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve started drinking Shakeology. I’ve mentioned it here too I think. Please know that this post is NOT intended to be a sales pitch. Seriously. This is just me keeping it real. Just me sharing my life with you. And this is now part of my life.


I’ve been around people who drink Shakeology for a long time. My co-worker drinks it every morning, other friends drink it and have offered me samples to try. My response? “No thanks. I’m not a shake person.” And I meant it.

Well…then I saw someone post something about Shakeology helping with stomach issues. How it can help keep you regular. And here’s the TMI, keeping it real part of this post. I have been dealing with some crazy stomach issues lately. I’m talking sharp pains that interrupt my life. I’ve seen multiple doctors. I’ve had multiple tests done. Turns out there is a sharp turn in your colon where things can get “stuck” – and that can cause pain. It seemed like no matter how much fiber I ate, it didn’t help. I didn’t want to start taking medicine, but I was at the point I was willing to try anything. Then I saw the post about the shakes.

I figured…why not give it a try? A friend offered to let me have some of hers and I loved it. And I couldn’t believe how much BETTER it made me feel. After just a few days, my digestive track seemed to be working so much better. I had energy in the morning – so much so that my bad habit of stopping at Starbucks went away.

Is it a little expensive? Sure it is – about $4 per shake. But when I look at my Starbucks receipts, I realized I was spending at least that much on my skinny iced mocha most mornings. Why does it never seem like that much money when we’re in that magical place called Starbucks??

I decided to go all in. I’d give the shakes a try for a few months. They were having a deal that you could basically get the PiYo dvds for $10 more than what the Shakeology costs for a month. Perfect timing.


It gets better. I posted about Shakeology on IG one day and wondered how I could afford to pay for it. Madeline commented on the post, “Get it for free by becoming a Coach! That’s what I did!” Free? Hmm. I like the sound of that.

I started emailing back and forth with her to get the whole scoop on what it means to be a Beachbody coach. Again, something I never EVER thought I would do. EVER. I love my job. I’m not interested in doing “sales”. But over the past two weeks, I’ve realized it’s not like that at all. I’ll do another post sometime about being a Beachbody Coach, but she was right – I’ve been able to get my shakes (and PiYo dvds) for free this month, and already covered next month with some extra money left over.

If you’ve ever thought about trying Shakeology but the cost scared you, email me. I get it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you’ve never thought about trying Shakeology, but maybe you’ve dealt with some of the stomach issues I did, or maybe you’re like me and have a hard time grabbing a healthy breakfast in the morning while running out the door on your way to work – you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The nice thing about it is that if you order it, and don’t like it? You can send the bag back (even if it’s empty) and get your money back. Seriously.

I know it’s not for everyone. I’m not going to try to talk you into it. But I’m glad someone told me about it and I thought some of you might be too.

And so…I’ve become a “shake person” – even though I swore I never would be.

Have you ever done something you thought you never would? 

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Why Blogging (Sometimes) Stresses Me Out

The damn cursor is blinking at me again.

What should I write about? Do I have good photos to go with it? Oh crap, I need to make a pinable imagine. Something I can share on Instagram. Did I attribute everything properly? Don’t forget to share it on my Facebook page. Oh and on Twitter too. 

I remember when I first started blogging. It was so simple. I created a little blog on blogspot called “august15bride“. That was over five years ago. I just typed little posts as things popped in my head. This was before Pinterest, remember. I didn’t have to worry about making my photos “pinable” with lots of nice wording on the photos and links back to my post. I just shared my thoughts, my ideas. Simple. I made friendships through my blog then – some of you were some of those first friends.

After I got married, I missed blogging and struggled to find a new niche. I ended up with The Wannabe Athlete after putting on some post-wedding weight. In those early days, my posts were simple. Just giving you updates on my life. On my running. On my first triathlon.

I wrote about my two pregnancies. The births of my two children. About the two half marathons I ran.

And over time, blogging got more complicated. More…calculated.

Bloggers were told that we need to “build our brand.” Unwritten rules emerged about when to post, how often to post, what to post about, and how to get your posts to go viral. We began to get sponsored posts – and trust me, the paychecks from those posts have often come at much needed times. But then the questions start – how many sponsored posts is too many? Am I creating good content? Am I drawing people in? Am I talk about diversified topics? Am I conveying relevant information? Are my posts interesting? Visually appealing? Easily share-able?

I have to admit…sometimes it stresses me out.

And sometimes, it keeps me from writing.

Let’s keep blogging real. Let’s keep the relationships real. Let’s let eachother post too much about something one week, and too much about something the next. That’s life. That’s friendship. That’s grace.

Let’s let eachother be perfectly imperfect. To be ourselves. That’s what I’ve always loved about blogging. The diversity of the people I’ve met. And yet, our similarities. I love being able to spout off whatever is on my mind, and find people who agree (or even disagree) with me. I love reading posts that come from the heart, and finding myself nodding the whole way through in agreement.

I am hoping some of you can relate on this one.

And I’m going to break yet another unwritten rule – no photo in this post. (Gasp!) What a rebel.

What do you love about blogging? What stresses you out? Please share the link to YOUR blog in the comments so we can build more of those great friendships! 


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A Visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum

The first day of Staycation? A BIG SUCCESS! It’s wasn’t the most “relaxing” day, but oh we made some great memories.

The kids and I headed out early toward Tampa (about an hour away) for our first visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum. I had gotten a deal on Living Social a while back, and Staycation seemed like the perfect time to use it. We fell in love with this museum the moment we walked in the door!


The downstairs area has an amazing waterplay feature. The Mini Athlete especially loved rolling a ball down this track that went up and over a replica of the Sunshine Skyway. Another thing you’ll notice in the photo above is the FABULOUS windows in this place – so much sunlight!

They had all sorts of things set up that taught kids about how water flows – and the Mini Athlete couldn’t get enough of it.





We headed up stairs, and started in the “Design and Build” area – specifically designed for little ones 3 and under.


There were so many things to discover! I loved this little garden area they had set up…


And the Mini Athlete loved dressing up like a construction worker.


Everything in this area really engaged the kids’ imagination.

After a while, we moved on and explored the other areas. There were areas for art, a restaurant, a vet’s office, a firehouse, a doctor’s office…and PUBLIX!

The Mini Athlete absolutely lit UP in this area. He always goes grocery shopping with me and loved that everything was his size. He probably could have stayed in this area all day!



Another awesome area? The performance stage. They had music and lights and different draperies to set scenes. He loved dressing up and performing for us.


Almost everything in the museum was perfect for the Mini Athlete’s size. Little Miss enjoyed a lot of activities too, but it seemed prime age would be 3-5 years old.

They did have this awesome climbing apparatus that was just a little too big for the Mini Athlete – give him a few more months and he will be climbing all over it.


I could not be more impressed with this museum. If you have little kids in the area (or if you’ll be visiting Tampa soon) be sure to check it out! I’m even toying with the idea of getting an annual family membership – it’s only $100.

We left around 2:30pm – WAY past the kiddos naptimes. Little Miss fell asleep in the stroller and the Mini Athlete wanted to be carried. No big deal right? No big deal unless you forget where you parked and end up roaming up and down three parking garage ramps while holding a 3 year old and pushing a stroller. Oof.

Monday nights are our weekly running night – we meet up with some folks at the Daquiri Deck 5k each week. I honestly planned to walk last night. The 30 Day PiYo Challenge started yesterday so I knew I still had to get my DVD done when we got home. And running with an extra 60 pounds from two toddlers in the stroller isn’t easy.


But…let’s just say that the Mini Athlete might be a little competitive. He HATES walking when he sees people running in front of us. And so he SCREAMS at me the whole time to RUN. Walking breaks? Not an option. Unless you want an earful from Coach Mini. I turned around at the 1 mile mark (I’m not quite up for a full 5k pushing them yet) and headed back toward the start. This invoked more screams from the Mini Athlete. Apparently the kid already understand the importance of staying on the race course.

Thankfully, it’s an out and back course so my sweet husband took over on his way back.



I tried to stick with him for a while, but even when he is pushing the stroller, he is WAY faster than me.


And THEN…I came home and did my first PiYo DVD. The Challenge has begun! There are 13 of us in the group (almost all blog readers!) and I love the accountability already. Motivating and inspiring others is my favorite part about doing this - I’m already looking forward to creating more Challenge Groups in the future.

I have some folks who might be interested in starting another PiYo Challenge at the beginning of September, and there is some interest in doing one based around the T25 workouts (a great workout if you’re short on time since they are only 25 minutes). If you want me to keep you posted about those future groups, shoot me an email at calliecowan (at) gmail.com.

Speaking of accountability…it’s time for me to go do my PiYo DVD on this lazy day of Staycation. Or maybe I’ll take a nap first. :)

Speaking of motivation – I’ve been looking for some great fitness-related quotes to motivate the people in my PiYo Challenge. What’s a great one you’ve heard lately? 





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Staycation Suggestions

See that smile on my face?


That’s the smile of a girl who walked out the door of her office and into TWO straight weeks of vacation!

It’s actually my first vacation since I came back from maternity leave after having Little Miss. It’s been a long time coming! But when you work at a small non-profit, it’s hard to ever find the time. Finally, my Board basically gave me the ultimatum and told me I had no choice but to take at least two consecutive weeks off. I wasn’t going to fight them on it. :)

Instead of going away, I decided just to take a “staycation”. I live in paradise anyway (I’m about 5 minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico and beautiful beaches) so why not just take some time to enjoy it? I have a few things planned to do with the kids, and then plan to have some “me” days too.

That’s where I need your help. If you were able to have a “staycation”, what would you do? I don’t want to get to the end of two weeks and feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. But I also don’t want to schedule every minute. There are a few projects I’d like to do around the house, and I want to spend some time working on some recipes since I’m normally too busy to cook.

But I also want to spend some time reading at the beach. I’m planning to head to the library and find some good reads – what books are you loving lately? When it comes to fiction, I don’t like anything too dark, but too light sometimes bores me. I also really like non-fiction books, especially something motivational or inspiring.

Other than that, I’m not sure what these two weeks will hold. But I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation

What would you do if you were able to have a two-week “staycation”? Any book suggestions for me?



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Excited About a Fresh Start

Look what came in the mail last night!


We were both pretty excited.

I have been longing for a “plan” for so long. If you’ve ever trained for a race, there’s a sense of security in a training plan. You know what to do and when.

That’s why I get so excited looking at this – a plan!


It tells you which workout to do on which day – and includes rest days. The workouts are between 20-45 minutes in length…I have high hopes for being able to fit them into my busy schedule.

Oh and it comes with an eating plan too. Lots of suggestions for “eating clean.” Abs are made in the kitchen, right?


I’m excited to add Shakeology into my life. My mornings are SO crazy busy getting myself and both toddlers out the door on time for me to get to work. It will be nice to not have to give any thought to what I’m having for breakfast! Not to mention the nutritional value. Let’s just say there are more than a few days when I look back over the past 24 hours and realize that NO veggies have been consumed. Oops. No wonder I have digestive issues. That’s what made me even try Shakeology in the first place – the fact that it makes you “regular”. And I’m sure this is TMI, but this girl could sure use some help in that department if-you-know-what-i-mean.

But the part I’m probably most excited about? The fact that several blog readers have taken the plunge to join the “Back to School” PiYo Challenge Group. There is something inspiring about doing fitness journeys TOGETHER. That’s why the only time I stuck with a running plan is when I was running with my best friend and our running group. Life is meant to be lived TOGETHER. Fitness journeys are better when we do them TOGETHER. That’s why we all read healthy living blogs at all, right? I can’t wait to get to know these readers better and see their transformations over the next 30 days. I’ve said it time and time again – accountability is key!

And FYI…if you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh that sounds amazing. I want in on that…” Don’t worry! There are still a few spots left in the PiYo Challenge Group – email me at calliecowan {at} gmail.com  if you want more information. Just don’t put it off because this particular Challenge starts MONDAY!


Sidenote: Several readers have asked me if they have to buy Shakeology to do the Challenge. Nope! Do I think it will help you get the results you want? Absolutely. But it’s not a requirement. Email me…I’ll fill you in on all the details.

It feels good to be excited about something fitness-related again. It has re-energized me on so many levels…including blogging. I’ve actually joined a team of coaches that includes several bloggers, and being part of it has reinvigorate my desire to blog. It’s hard to have a blog called “The Wannabe Athlete” when you haven’t been doing a whole lot of “athletic” things. :) I can’t wait to get started on this program! I’m actually having some local friends over on Saturday so we can do one of the DVDs together…again, strength in numbers. You’re part of this journey too. I promise to share with you the good, the bad and the (non-TMI) ugly. :) Thanks for coming along for the ride!

What motivates you to get a fresh start when you hit a rut in your fitness journey? 


Disclosure: As I’ve mentioned, I am an Independent Team Beachbody Coach. This means that I am an independent distributor for Beachbody, and I make a 25% commission on any Beachbody product that you purchase through me or my blog. To find out more about how you can become an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and earn 25% commission on Beachbody products, not to mention the discount you receive on Beachbody products that you purchase, email me at calliecowan {at} gmail.com. Thanks!

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3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

Confession: I have terrible posture.

I think I have good posture – until I see a photo of myself. Can anyone relate?

Case in point:

posture1A friend took this picture a few weeks ago – and I have to say it kinda depressed me when I saw it. We were having an awesome time. But my slumped shoulders? My stomach sticking out? Not exactly the look I want to portray.

The first thing it did was inspire me to start getting my eating and fitness under control and I’m happy to report I’ve lost five pounds over the past three weeks. It’s amazing how much of a difference five pounds makes!

But there’s no diet plan for better posture.

So how can we improve it?

1) Strength

So many times, poor posture can be related to poor muscle tone. When our muscles are weak, we compensate in ways that often result in poor posture. Want to see something crazy? My shoulders are two different heights. See what I mean?



I have slight scoliosis, but a little research taught me that having an elevated shoulder is often a result of poor muscle strength, especially in the muscles below your chest – the ones that run from your ribs to your shoulder blades. Who knew? Yet another argument for strength training…

2) Flexibility 

When our muscles get tense, our posture can get out of whack. It’s so important to not just be strong, but stay strong AND flexible. Workouts like yoga, Pilates or PiYo, help increase flexibility while still building strength.

Even simple stretches will help. If you work in an office job like I do, it’s so easy to end up with slumped shoulders. There are so many stretches you can do, even at your desk, that will help with posture. This blog post shows a few, including this one which is one of my favorites:



Take a few minutes to stretch your back and shoulders. It will make a big difference in your posture!

3) Confidence

Have you ever noticed that people you perceive as “confident” and tend to have great posture? Presidents. Movie stars. Successful business people.

There is something about someone who walks into a room with her head held high. Conversely, someone with slumped shoulders doesn’t exactly exude confidence.

In fact, the Association for Psychological Science summarized it this way:

New research suggests that posture plays an important role in determining whether people act as though they are really in charge. The research finds that “posture expansiveness,” or positioning oneself in a way that opens up the body and takes up space, activates a sense of power that produces behavioral changes in a person independent of their actual rank or hierarchical role in an organization. (Source)

So before you walk into that next staff meeting, that next blind date, or that next job interview – straighten those shoulders. Exude confidence. Hold your head up high. Because I think this is a pretty true quote:


I know posture is something I need to work on, and I’m excited to see how doing this 30 Day PiYo Challenge is going to help with that. Because let me tell you, the “Before” photos I took yesterday showed that uneven shoulder, and slumped shoulders more than I ever realized. I’m thankful for the reality check – now to do something about it!

Do you struggle with poor posture? What ways have you found to improve it? 

PS: There is still time to get in on the PiYo Challenge – email me at calliecowan{at}gmail{dot}com if you’re interested!





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Easy One Pot Meal: Veggie Pasta


Fact: I am not a cook.

My thought process for “meal planning” usually goes something like this: I walk out the door of work, get in my minivan and realize, “Uhoh. I have no idea what we’re having for dinner.”

Can anyone relate?

I’ve seen some recipes for “one pot pasta” pop up on Pinterest so I decided to give my own version a try – using this one and this one for inspiration.

Shopping List:

  • Grape tomatoes (I had some fresh on hand, but canned would be fine)
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Onion
  • Garlic (4 cloves)
  • Spaghetti noodles (1 box)
  • Veggie broth (4 cups)

I enlisted the help of the Mini Athlete to break the spaghetti noodles in half and throw them in a pot. He loves to help me make dinner - and I love finding easy ways to include him.


I cut the grape tomatoes in half, threw in some frozen broccoli, chopped up some onion, minced some garlic, and poured in the veggie broth. Super easy. I added a little bit of black pepper and basil to the mix and put it on the stove.





I covered the pot and brought it to boiling – then reduced it to a simmer, stirring every 2 minutes or so for about 15-20 minutes. All the broth ended up being soaked up by the noodles.



I love that it didn’t require much attention. Basically just throw it all in and then BOOM! You have dinner!



Now that’s MY kind of meal!

I did find myself wishing I had some shrimp on hand to throw in. My husband doesn’t think a meal is complete without meat and that would have been an easy way to keep everyone happy.


The kids sure didn’t seem to mind though. They loved it! Especially Little Miss. Can you tell?


So the next time you’re wondering what to make for dinner, I highly recommend this quick and easy meal. You’re definitely not limited to the veggies I used – use whatever you have on hand.

What’s your favorite meal when you’re in a time crunch? 


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