Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas and Expectations......

Why, hello there!  It's Christmas Eve and I'm blogging.  It's been a whirlwind of a month here.  There have been Christmas parties, Christmas programs, and lots of extras this month.  Our "normal" life schedule is pretty full as it is, but adding a few extras this month meant some things didn't get done. Our Christmas gifts are not wrapped as of yet. Our Christmas letters did not go out this month.  I didn't get gifts purchased for everyone I would have liked to have had a gift for this year.  The sad reality is that everything on my "expectation list" didn't get completed.  And, ya know what?  I am so ok with that.  

In the beginning of the month, there was a lot of pressure I was putting on myself to get all of these things done.  Things that seemed so important and that HAD TO happen.  In honest reality, none of those things needed to happen and Christmas is still coming without those things being done.  Best of all, Christmas is still Christmas and the meaning of it is the same.  Not because of what we got done or didn't get done; not because of who we bought for, or who we didn't buy for; but because of Jesus.  He is the reason we celebrate this day.  All of the other stuff is just extra. 




About mid December, when the realization hit that all of these things wouldn't happen, a peace came over me.  I heard the voice of God say "treat people like it's Christmas year-round.  Don't just buy them a gift because it's Christmas and you feel like you have to.  Love them year round.  Don't make December a time to love and give, do that year round." 

That was such a relief to me!  See, it's so easy during this time to get caught up in what our expectations or what others expect of us during Christmas.  But, the main thing is what does Jesus expect of us?  I don't think He expects us to act differently around Christmas than we do during the year, does He?  My intention for 2016 is to live each day like it's Christmas.  To be generous year round.  To love others year round.  To share year round.  To care year round.  For me, it's not just doing to be about doing things in the Christmas season, but make it a way of life. Care to join me?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Gripe With the 21 Day Fix.....

After all the raving I've done about the 21 Day Fix, {you can read my story here} it might be surprising to hear me have a gripe with it, I bet?  Yes?  Well, I hope you know by now if you know me in person or have followed me, that I strive to be totally transparent.  I've sometimes been called direct, which I'm not sure if that is good or not, but I sure don't want to not be upfront and honest about anything, so here goes......

The 21 Day Fix is not a quick fix!  It is a 21 Day program, yes, but it is not intended or designed to be the end all be all after 21 days. It's merely meant to be a stepping stone to get you headed in the right direction.  A springboard, if you will.  It is nearly impossible to achieve and accomplish long term results in such a short 3 week period. My concern is for those who have done the program and either don't finish it {which has happened}, or who think they will meet all of their goals in those 3 weeks and be on their merry little way.  No, no, no, that is simply not the case.  

Let's say someone, hypothetically, does the 21 Day Fix and has great results at the end of their 3 weeks.  They drink their 30 day supply of Shakeology that came with their challenge pack, they have eaten approved foods from the clean eating list, used their portion control containers, drank their allotted amount of water per day and done the corresponding exercise videos as well.  They have followed the program!  As a result, they see and experience the results of feeling great, having more energy, and even lost a few pounds and/or inches.  They have such great success and feel so confident in their results that they go back to their pre 21 Day Fix lifestyle.  They aren't drinking Shakeology, they are not eating clean, they are not using the nutrition guide and eating the appropriate number of portions, they have slacked on their water intake and are not exercising anymore.  What do you think is going to happen?  They have just undone everything they did in those 3 weeks!  And, they might even say the program didn't work for them!  Yikes!

Or perhaps, they didn't see the results they wanted soon enough, so they decided to quit and throw in the towel.  Or, maybe they saw results, but those around them didn't at the end of the 3 weeks so they gave up. 

I'm not sure but I do know this.....our society has trained us to live in a quick fix society and if something doesn't happen as quickly as it things it does, we give up on the process.  We have somewhat lost the ability to see the process through.  In our world of microwave dinners, drive thrus, smart phones, wi-fi, we have been taught instant gratification.  The kicker is with weight loss, we didn't put it on in a day, so why do we expect it to come off in such a short amount of time?  Hmmmm......

I've been reading a number of great books lately.  Some of them include "The Compound Effect," "The Slight Edge," "The Miracle Morning"......all great reads.  And, they all have one thing in common.  They each talk about how it's the seemingly insignificant things we do day in and day out, compounded over time that have the biggest impact on our lives.  They use all sorts of examples from money {compound interest}, weight loss, personal growth/development, etc.  I think that is where so many folks get caught up.....either they don't see the consequences of those daily choices {think a soda pop habit, a smoking habit, a junk food habit, a spending habit, etc.} because they don't have INSTANT consequences.  If people would eat a hamburger and have a heart attack right afterwards, I bet the fast food business would take a dive.  But, see, that's not how it works. It's the having a hamburger every week over time that gets ya.  Yet, we don't have the ability to see that.  We don't understand that all of our choices are either adding up for our benefit or our detriment.  Does this make any sense?  If not, please read one or all of the books I've just listed.  They might possibly change your mindset, as they have mine.

So, back to the 21 Day Fix.....my gripe with it is that not everyone has the desire/ability/motivation/vision/not sure what else to say? to trust the process and continue it after the 21 days are over.  I'm not sure why, I wish I did.  Of course, I have some thoughts and ideas, but those are for another time......

If you have questions about the 21 Day Fix, please fire away!  Happy to help in any way I can.  This program can really be a game changer, if you continue and see it through.  It is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.  I believe in you and want you to be the best version of yourself possible!  You and your family are worth that!!!!

Love and belief,
Melissa


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Let's Talk About PTSD.....

Yup, I'm goin' there.  Have you ever seen something in passing and the thought crosses your mind "maybe I should do something with this?" Then life goes on, you get sidetracked and forget, then something similar shows up again?  And, again?  Then you KNOW you have to act on it, right?Well, thus this post.

Funny thing is I don't mind talking about PTSD.  In some ways it is therapeutic and if it can help others who might have or have had PTSD, so be it.  I'm all for sharing to help others! These are some things that have been on my heart for sometime and I'm finally getting them out there.  If you note the date, yes, I am writing this on my birthday.  I'm also ok with that.  They say you make time for what is important to you.  Well, this is important to me, or I wouldn't be taking time to write it now! Without further adieu......



A few days ago, a friend posted this picture on facebook.  Interesting, right?  Since I'm a processor, I've been thinking about this for a few days.....the saying "heal the gut, heal the brain came to mind." Which then made me think back to where that all started. Right before we moved to Sioux Falls from Champaign, Lauren was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder {SPD} and food intolerances to wheat and dairy.  When we got to Sioux Falls, we were connected with an awesome chiropractor who helped get us straightened out - got Lauren on a good probiotic, helped us make a few more dietary tweaks, helped us with some OT stuff, that kind of thing.  She is also the one who told me "heal the gut, heal the brain," and taught me about how our gut affects so much of our health.  This picture reflects that.

I then began my own stroll down memory lane, to when I was first diagnosed with PTSD.  The first step was meds.  Prozac to be honest. That lasted for a few days, maybe 2? It made me feel so much worse than I did before I was on it. Something was off, I knew it wasn't right. Since that didn't work, the next step was to meet with a holistic doctor. She was amazing!  She looked at everything....my blood, my oxygen, my saliva, my potty, you name it, it was looked at. She met with me for about 4 hours and did a comprehensive evaluation of EVERYTHING. We talked about how I felt, what made me angry, what seemed to "trigger" me, etc.  It was incredible!  I loved that she took time with me to look at the WHOLE picture, vs. saying "ok, you have PTSD, take this pill." She really got to know me, my history, my diet and exercise habits {lack thereof back then}, sleep, everything. She then went on to let me know I was pre-diabetic, my vitamin and mineral levels were completely depleted, my iron was off and I was a hot mess, basically. Of course she didn't say that to me, but wow, I was.  My diet consisted of carbs, pop, processed foods, candy, food dyes, etc.  Our meal rotation that I cooked consisted of frozen pizza, pigs in blankets with peas, tacos, take out and that's about it.  Yah, crap food city, friends.  Been there, done that.  So, I agreed to take the 20+ vitamins she recommended {not even kidding. Chad is saying several thousands of dollars worth!} And, ya know what?  I started to feel better - not only mentally but physically.  My diet was still in the ditch, but I was taking small steps to get better.

Fast forward to February 2014, enter the 21 Day Fix.  This was the major step for me, I believe.  Prior to this, I discovered I also had gluten and dairy issues, so had cut those out. I was also cutting out some processed foods, had cut out pop, but still wasn't doing as well as I could be.  The 21 Day Fix changed my life. That sounds dramatic, I realize, but it did. For the first time really in a LONG time, I felt alive again.  I had energy and could handle life and the situations that came my way....hello, I'm a parent!  I noticed my fog began to lift, my depression started to ease, my anger was fading, anxiety was going, I was a new person!  It was amazing!  I can only share my experiences and what clean eating and exercise have done for me.  I'm a believer!

It's interesting, with the roadtrips we have taken this year, I have splurged on them.  Ya know, Garrett's' caramel corn in Chicago, that sort of thing.  Every time we have taken a road trip and I have had sugar/gluten/dairy, I become a very angry person a few days later. That is the only common denominator with my anger is the food.  {You better believe I avoided this at Thanksgiving!!!  And, the ride home was much better!}  Once again, I am seeing the connection of how food affects our minds.

So, mind you, all this is going through my mind, then a friend posts this the other day. An article called "The Real Cause of
Depression May Have Nothing at All to Do With Your Mind" The link is here:

http://themindunleashed.org/2015/11/the-real-cause-of-depression-may-have-nothing-at-all-to-do-with-your-mind.html

Again, it makes the connection between food and our minds. Heal the gut, heal the brain. It's so true!  In fact, while we were away for Thanksgiving, I ran across this picture from when Lauren was a baby and wrote up some words that described how I felt at the time. Then, I did a more recent picture of the two of us with words of how I currently feel. 



 
                                                             
The changes ~ a supernatural touch from God and cleaning up my diet and incorporating exercise!  That's it!  So if you wanna know why I'm so passionate about this, now you know!  It's not about weight loss, it never has been for me! That's can be a by product, which some folks need, yes. But for me, this is about helping others be healthy, healed and whole, the way God made us to be.  He didn't intend for us to abuse our bodies and put all this junk into them that we do, friends. Please hear my heart here, if you are struggling and are looking for someone to come alongside you and help, I'd love to help.  You are worth it!  Your family is worth you being healthy and around to ENJOY them!  

Love and hugs,
Melissa

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

3 Day Refresh, Update!

After my last experience with the 3 Day Refresh, I decided to try it again, a year later. My thoughts going in were triple fold.

1. I wanted to see if us being in a more stable point in our lives would make a difference {last time I did the 3 Day Refresh, we were in a very uncertain point of life with an upcoming move, lots of unknowns, etc.}  It was important for me to know if the possibility of our situation swayed my outlook on the 3 Day Refresh.


2. We had just gotten off of a long weekend in Chicago where I over-indulged on all foods Chicago. You know, Giordino's Pizza, Garrett's popcorn, need I say more?  LOL :)

3. I had gotten into a slippery slope with sugar again and really just needed the freedom from it, so needed to see if this would affect me in that way.

Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the 3 Day Refresh this time while Chad was away. He was concerned about this, knowing how round 1 went last time.  But, me....I was more confident.  I started it on a Monday and continued until Wednesday, doing the full 3 days.  {Chad was gone Tuesday-Friday of this week}.

It makes me so happy to say that this experience was much much better!  I was a little more tired than normal on day 1, but day 2 and day 3, I would say my energy level was normal.  {Please note, I did not work out during this time!}  But, I did follow the program to a T, which was exciting for me.  I needed the challenge of knowing I could do it, especially with where my eating habits had been prior to the Refresh.  I felt great, I was in a good mood, energy level was good after the first day, my thinking was straight.  All went well the 3 days I did the refresh!

But, let me tell you what happened on day 1 AFTER the refresh.  Lauren had brought home some leftover Halloween candy from school.  Being the good mom that I am, I didn't let her have it, so I put it in my purse, knowing I was committed to the Refresh and not concerned that I would slip. However, Thursday, I slipped.  I ate all the chocolate candy in her bag {I think there were 3 pieces?} A few hours later, a headache appeared.  A few hours after that, a fit of rage hit.  I was way out of control, likely from the sugar and chemicals in the candy.  All that junk had been out of my system for 3 whole days and I felt great.  Emotionally, I felt very stable, then I ate the candy........


Was I upset with myself?  Somewhat.  Did I learn a HUGE lesson?  Yup, sure did.  It just reconfirmed that what we eat affects not only our minds, but our emotions as well.  What we put into and on our bodies affects us.  I am living proof.  Friends, I care about you so much.  I know first hand from myself and my children how foods affect our minds, and our behavior.  That's why I do what I do.  To educate.  To help.  To inform.  The holidays are coming up and maybe it's too much for you to start a program like the 21 Day Fix, or Cize, or something like that.  What about a 3 Day Refresh, coupled with drinking Shakeology every day?  That might be a great way to ease into making the changes you want and need to.

So, how can I help you?  Let me know.....I'm always here and ready to help.


{Note, I will add I did not take before or after pictures, measurements or weight before hand, as my motivation for doing this was not weight loss.  It was to feel better and get rid of some of the processed, "un clean" foods I had eaten over time.}

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It Isn't Really About Food, Is It?

I posted this on my facebook page the other day and am now going to expound upon it.  Here's the post, as well as picture.
"Another great email message from Christine Caine today. This picture was below, as well as this verse ~ "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)" I have been thinking about this a lot.


Church, aren't we called to be set apart? If we eat and drink for the glory of God, doesn't WHAT we eat and drink matter? Doesn't what we put in our bodies matter? I think it does. Our bodies are to be temples....so, how are you treating your temple? See, what gets me is that we are not TAUGHT how to eat right, or to eat well, or to read labels, or how much water to drink, or what type of exercises to do. We continue in this vicious cycle, which isn't healthy and quite honestly is killing us. Isn't it time to rise up, and be good stewards of what we have been given? You only have one body to live in, so why not treat it with love and respect?"  That concludes the post. I would now like to expound upon it.

This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend a conference for people in ministry.  It's always interesting to me to see what type of food and drink they serve at events, especially the faith based ones.  See, it seems to me as though this is an area where the devil has gotten us as believers ~ the area of being disciplined with what we eat and drink; the area of taking care of our temples; the area of self control; the area of gluttony, particularly around food.  "It's not drugs!," some may say.  Or, "it's not alcohol," say others.  Or "it's legal." Exactly.  That is why it is a trap, because it is legal.  There is nothing wrong, immoral, illegal, or even sinful about eating, is there?  Nope, sure isn't.  We need to eat to survive, yes? However, it is a HEART ISSUE.

See, when we are eating out of brokenness, or stress, or seeking "comfort food," that is a sin.  Why?  Because it is idolatry.  We are turning away from God and turning to something else.  Yet, the church continues to do it, day in and day out.  Sometimes it is even promoted within the church at various events.  All you-can-eat type events, potlucks, that sort of thing.  Again, I am not saying that these things are wrong or sinful, please don't hear me saying that.  Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but when we are encouraging or helping people to stumble, rather than helping them, we are part of the problem.  For example, a lot of events in the community revolve around food, yes? Pancake breakfasts, fish frys, cookouts, festivals, fairs, etc. You can always count on food that isn't good for us at those events.  It would be like taking an alcoholic to a bar, walking them around and expecting them to not be tempted.  It's not going to happen, is it?  So it is with us.  The exception is our addiction is legal.  It is accepted.  It is encouraged.  It is promoted.


So, back to the event this weekend.  The food. All in all, was not too bad.  There were cookies {more than once offered during the day}, soda/pop, whatever you call it, some protein and lots of carbs at lunch.  There were no fruits and not too much veggie-wise.  The problem, I see, is that it really isn't about the food, but how we are using the food and what the food is for.

See, I have learned on my journey that food is fuel.  Food is energy.  Food gives you what you need to be well fueled, prepared and ready to handle your day.  Food is not meant to be an idol, a comfort, a soother, a helper. That is what Jesus is.  So when we turn to food instead of Jesus for that, that's a problem.  From my personal experience, I had to have some inner healing take place before I was ready to tackle the food area of my life. Food was my comfort, my refuge, my solace, my comforter....anyone relate?  I was using food where I should have been turning to God.  So the problem, as I see it, is we are hurt and wounded and turning to the wrong source for healing.  Instead of turning to the One who can heal us, bind up our wounds and hurts, we are turning to something that is killing us.....both spiritually and physically.

The other problem I see is we can't give someone something we don't have.  Yes?  So, if we are ministering out of this unhealed part of us, turning to food to "help" us, aren't we teaching those we minister to to do the same? Instead of helping them be free and well, we are crippling them as well because of our own issues.  Is that why the church is so wounded? I don't know.  I'm just speculating.  From doing a quick Google search, the following caught my eye, published earlier this year

~"More than a third of American clergy are obese, according to a new study from Baylor University." Google it and see what you find.


From my own past with food and current experiences, there is a problem in the church. It's an area we either go after, repent from and transform our minds, or the devil continues to win in this area of the Bride.

What say you, church? Are you ready to rise up and take care of your temple the way we were intended to? I'm here and ready to help when you are. We already know who wins the battle, so why let the enemy keep picking on you?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Losing Your Voice?



Have you ever lost your voice?  Whether it be literally {like physically lost your voice}, or feel like you have lost your voice/presence, it stinks! While I'm not sure I have totally 100% ever physically lost my voice, I do feel like I have lost my voice/presence.  The sad thing is I'm not exactly sure when or how it happened. As a kid, I remember being pretty loud and probably obnoxious.  Then, it seemed like it was about attention, wanting and needing attention, so I did what would work to get it.

It seems as though this carried into college, but somewhere along the way, my voice got lost.  While I think I know when it may have happened, it's surprising how much of an impact that has had.  It's interesting, because I remember talking in groups and people saying "what?  I can't hear you," or "please speak up."  When Chad and I first started dating, he would say that a lot.  It wasn't that I was mumbling, but that I was quiet.  My voice was gone.  Almost like I didn't feel like I had any worth in what I said, or a lack of value, maybe?  It's interesting because growing up some of my dreams were to become a t.v. broadcaster, and aerobics instructor, things that required being up front, in front of people.  My freshman year of college, COM 114 {speech} was my favorite class because I loved public speaking!  Yet, somewhere during my 4 year college experience and even after that, my voice began to wither......

While I believe there are several contributing factors to this, it's interesting how I have not noticed it....until now.  It's an area that it seems as though God wants to work on in me. Honestly, that was part of the reason I didn't want to get certified in PiYo.  I talked about that for probably a year, but realized the fear with it, for me, was speaking into a microphone in front of people.  Hmmmm. So, I've been sitting here, afraid to do something and what does God do?  He keeps putting me in more situations that force me out of my comfort zone.   That force me to get up in front of people and speak with a microphone. {Like at church!  On the stage!  AAGGHH!}

When I made the decision to get certified in Cize, I knew that I had to do it.  The burning desire inside of me was too much to say no to. In fact, I didn't even let myself think about the microphone when I registered!  LOL.  Chad made the comment "it will be good for you." When I asked him what that meant, his reply was "I think it will take you out of your comfort zone."  Great, just what I want! The reality is I do want to grow, change and if the call on my life is to have a voice, then I need to step into that and be faithful and obedient. I don't wanna miss anything because of fear! If we do that, who wins?  Seriously.  


All this to say, God is a god of restoration. While I don't know what from your past has been lost, as my voice was, I do know He wants to restore that and use it for His good. If you're willing to let Him, it can be a wild, exhilarating ride friends!  Are you ready?  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saving Lives

Are you a "life saver?" I would have answered this question with a "no," a few years ago. But, today, the answer would be different. There was a situation recently where someone we are close to had a health issue. In a facebook group, we were talking about bringing meals for this person and their family. "So if any one has recipes or ideas please share so we can all learn to cook healthier," was part of the post. Well, if you know me or have been following me, you know there have been some recent health changes in our lives as well and I have become a huge proponent of healthy foods, meals, clean eating, etc. This is right up my alley! I have actually made an ebook of clean eating recipes that I was thinking of posting, BUT, didn't want to come across as salesy or trying to push something. I messaged the friend who started the conversation on facebook to see what they thought, and the reply was "We all need educated and maybe save a life!! Be a blessing." Ok, then. So, the recipe book was posted.

However, the following day, the "maybe save a life," is sticking with me. See, my perception of saving lives has always been in the spiritual. Sharing the Gospel, inviting people into relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. So, "saving," was a spiritual mindset for me. However, that transfers to the physical/natural realm as well. If we are physically dead, can we make a spiritual impact? I don't think so. Now it feels like God is calling me to save lives not only in the spiritual, but the physical as well. And, it's not about weight, folks. Anyone who thinks that is missing the boat. Did you know that the following diseases are related to foods: 

* Obesity 
* Diabetes 
* Cardiovascular disease 
* Osteoporosis

Just to name a few. Did you know that fast food increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes? Do we wonder why we as a nation are so sick? Look at our lifestyles. We are busy, we are not intentional about what we eat, we eat on the go, throwing fast food into our mouths more than we should be. We are eating for comfort, not to fuel our bodies. We are turning to food to pacify, comfort us, soothe us, when in reality we need to turn to the Comforter for that. "If you're comfortable, you don't need a Comforter," is something Todd White said 5 years ago that has stuck with me. We are seeking food for something it was never intended to be used for and it's making us sick. 


The other day on facebook, I posted about fatal conveniences. See, fatal conveniences are the abundances of food, but a lack of nutrients. We live in a society of fatal conveniences, folks. Look at our busy lifestyles...going here and there, but not giving our bodies the fuel they need.

If you don't think our nation is in a health crisis, I encourage you to go where people are. The zoo is where I had my "ah ha" moment. I saw parents who were unable to keep up with their kids because their weight was preventing them from doing so. As we have been out and about, I continue to see it ~ at the mall, at the pool, at churches, anywhere people are. Do you see parents able to keep up with their children? To run and play with them at the park? To keep up with them without getting out of breath? From what I have seen, those people are becoming the minority. And, it's not ok. I am not ok with kids not being played with or enjoying their parents because their parents don't know how to take care of themselves, or aren't willing to. Is that fair to the kids? Jesus came to give us life to the FULL, yet I see people not living in that fullness He died for because of food choices, and lack of exercise. Sounds like the devil's plan to steal, kill and destroy is winning, eh?
                                         

So, if being a life saver means helping people use food as medicine, vs. poison, then yes, I'm a life saver! If you'd like me to help you with this area of your life, or if you'd like to know more about Jesus, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!
Be a blessing today, friends!  Do good!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What Cize Means to Me......



I know it sounds odd, but I have been thinking about what the release of the new Cize program means to me.  {In case you're not familiar, Cize is a new program Beachbody released that is a dance program designed to help drop pounds!  Plus, it's super fun!  I am loving it!  It doesn't even feel like exercise to me! In fact, so much so, I signed up to become a Cize instructor!}  So, all that to say, I have been thinking about this new program and what it means to me.

See, all of my life, I have danced.  My mom put me in dance lessons at age 2.  I continued all the way through high school and was on the dance team in high school as well.  Once I hit college, my dancing consisted of fraternity parties and the Neon Cactus once in a while. {Um, not so much to either really.  It wasn't the same at all!}  Dancing is therapeutic for me.  It makes sense to me, I understand it, I get it.  It's how my body works.  Now, sports....not so much.  


I was cut from the volleyball team in middle school and to be honest, since that time, I have not considered myself an athlete.  When they say in some of the Beachbody videos I've done, "think of yourself as an athlete," that doesn't resonate with me, because in my mind, I'm still the girl who got cut from the volleyball team.  Sure, sports were part of my high school experience, but I don't feel like I was good at them.  I swam my senior year {who does that for 1 year?  Apparently, me.}  I also played tennis, which I wasn't great at either.  But, I did dance and that was my "jam," if you will. Running, ugh. Not so much. Part of me thought to be an athlete, I had to be a runner.  That's not me. It's not my thing, I don't enjoy it. One bit.  So there!


So since February of 2013, I have worked out consistently 4-6 times/week doing various Beachbody programs.  I've done 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, TurboFire, PiYo, Les Mills Pump, I have Insanity Max 30 but didn't complete the whole program, tried T25 {not my thing, too athletic, maybe?}  and now Cize. Since becoming a coach, I have heard of others talk about their "soul mate workout," and wondered what mine was.  Sure, I've enjoyed Turbo, PiYo and some of the 21 Day Fix ones, but to say they were my soulmate wouldn't have been totally true. I think Cize is it!  When I'm Cizing it up, I'm in my element. I feel confident, comfortable and know what I'm doing.  Plus, at the end, I'm a hot mess so I know it's a great workout too!


I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted to be "when I grew up."  When I was a kid, there were three things on my list;

1. Be a mom who drives a mini van {not sure why?} - 
2. Be a business owner - 

3. Be an aerobics instructor - soon, friends, soon!

It might sound funny to say but Cize has been healing in a way.  It brings back the good parts of my childhood that I seem to have forgotten.  One of my former dance teachers reached out on facebook when she saw I was going to be certified, so that was fun too!  It's nice to know there really are exercise programs available for everyone now.  If you're not an athlete, great!  Cize might be a great fit for you!  It has been for me and I'm really thankful for that.  It's awesome to feel like you're in the right place at the right time. What a blessing!

If you'd like more information on Cize, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you!  We can find a live class near you, or hook you up with the program to do at your own home too! If you're not currently working with a Beachbody coach, I'd love to work with you! {Whether it's with Cize, or another program.} To make me your coach, please go to the following:


https://www.teambeachbody.com/tbbsignup/-/tbbsignup/free?referringRepId=393567

I'd be honored to be a part of your health and wellness journey!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Communication, Or Lack Thereof

Communication.  Yes, it was my major in college.  Why?  Because I liked to talk. Seriously.  At one point, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, like Katie Couric. However, after doing a mentorship at the local t.v. station {WLFI}, I learned I would have to do my own hair and make-up and edit my own tapes.  That was kind of a deal breaker for me.  {Sound a bit like a primadona, eh?  It's ok, I was.}  So, back to communication.  It's interesting how we have so many ways of communicating these days ~ phone, texting, email, facebook, instagram and lots of other modes I'm not even aware of but have heard rumblings of.}  Yet, at the same time, we don't seem to know how to communicate with one another.  There have been a few interesting communication scenarios that have happened in the past week that have really surprised me.  The more time and reflection I gave it, the more I realized how flawed our communication really is with each other.  Which then leads me to wonder how that impacts relationships?

I'm the type of person who prefers to be told the truth.  I suspect most people don't like to be lied to, correct?   Or have information withheld from them?  Or have someone be dishonest with them?  Or not be told something upfront?  The whole beating around the bush scene?  Yeah, not so much. Yet, it seems like all of those things happened in these scenarios.  As I look back on them, if the person had been upfront, open and honest from the get go, a lot of frustration could have been avoided on both sides.  It seems like we are very good at burying how we really feel about something, yet, when that happens things "come out sideways."  This is exactly what happened.  It is perfectly acceptable to say to someone, "you really hurt me when you did xyz,  I was hoping you would have been upfront about the situation from the get go." Or "my feelings were hurt when abc happened." It is ok to have an open, honest conversation if/when someone has hurt you.  Or, if you think you have hurt someone to go to them and say "I am sorry if I have hurt you.  I'm under the impression that perhaps you are upset with me. Will you please forgive me?"  That solves things in such a healthier way than pushing it down, letting it come out sideways and being nasty at off times because you've buried the hurt and anger.  Eventually, it comes out, so why not deal with it from the get go? What would our world look like then?  Think we would have the anger issues?  The violence?  I don't know, just a thought here.  It seems like we aren't educated on how to communicate with one another in a healthy way.  How to process our feelings and work through them.  Why is that?


The other thing that I'm noticing is people doing things that affect others without saying something to them.  A good example would be someone borrowing your car without asking or without your knowledge, yet when you go to get into your car...it's not there!  Um, hello! Everything we do affects someone in a positive or negative way.  Please think through the ramifications of your actions and words and how they impact others.  A lot of times people don't intend to hurt people and I understand that, yet a lot of times that happens.  

Part of me wonders if this is due to the fact that we don't really know how we are feeling. We are so busy, so go, go, go, go that we don't take time to stop and think before responding. We simply react before thinking things through.  Is part of that is because we are so unsure of our own feelings/thoughts/etc. that we don't know how to handle our own, let alone others? Have we not taken time to work through and process our own issues?  Could that be part of it?  We respond to situations based on our own wounds and hurts?  Just some food for thought here as I've been processing some communication scenes that have impacted me recently.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why Freedom Isn't Free

The quick fix.  You know what I'm talking about right?  Oh, you know....just wanting everything to either "Poof! Disappear and go away!"  or "Magically get better."  It seems like lots of people want that, but they don't want to do the work it takes to get results.  I see it a lot with health, wellness, weight loss, but believe it's affecting us in other areas as well. Relationships, for example. Marriages. Relationships with our kids.  Our friends. Neighbors.  At church.  Anywhere, really.  Our lack of knowing how to work through things is affecting many many areas of our lives.  I see it daily.

What really gets me with this are a few things, really.  The mindset.  Do we think we are entitled to certain things because of who we are?  Is that a part of it?  Why do we think we deserve something we aren't willing to work for?  Chances are our actions have gotten us where we are and we don't like that so we want to snap our fingers and make it all better, or go away.  Why is that?  Why don't we realize our actions or lack of actions have led us to this point? that there are consequences, positive or negative, for what we do or don't do.  You know, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, right?


Or there is the victim mentality.  "I can't because __________."  "It wasn't my fault, it was so and so's fault." Basically saying "I'm not responsible for my own actions." Um ok. Since when is that the case?

What about the "I don't want to be rude/hurt feelings?"  This seems to be really prevalent with food.  "I ate something I shouldn't have because I didn't want to be rude to those serving me."  I understand that, I don't want to be rude either, but at what point are you in charge of your actions, choices, etc? If someone offered you a cigarette, would you feel rude saying no?  What about at the drive through when they ask you to Super Size it?  Is that rude to say no to those folks, too?  I don't think so.  Do you feel hurt when someone tells you "no thank you," and then think the rest of the day about how rude they were to you?  I don't.  So why do we do that with food or other things?


Now, I'm going to talk health/wellness/weight loss here.  I don't understand how people think they can eat like crap for 25 years, then all of a sudden think a pill will make them thin? How does that work?  Or other products on the market for weight loss {wraps, pills, oils, etc}  How does that change anything?  It doesn't.  It might give you short term results, but the sustainability isn't there.  You're not learning how to change your behavior.  You're not learning how to re-train your brain and your habits.  You are taking a quick fix that quite honestly I don't think makes sense.  I have tried so many things out there and none of them worked for me. None of them taught me how to eat, or why to eat that why.  I didn't learn how to exercise effectively.  I didn't learn anything, I just took/used the product, didn't change my behaviors and expected to see change.  I wanted a quick fix. It didn't work.  For sustainable change. you have to learn to change.  Change your mindset.  Change your habits.  Change your situation.  As you likely know for me, that change was a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. {You can read more here.}


The other area I see this a lot in is in freedom from the past. It's hard to work to admit where you've come from, what's happened, what you've done, etc.  And it's harder work to pursue healing for it.  A lot of people don't seem to want to do the work to get results, which just baffles my mind.  Yes, it's hard, I get that!  But it's harder to live in that place of bondage, paralysis, and the pit of the past. Believe me, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt as they say.  Has it been hard?  YES. Has it been worth it?  HECK YES!  Would I go back and change anything?  NO WAY JOSE.  


Freedom isn't free, it's worth fighting for though, friends. You are worth fighting for. So, what's holding YOU back?  Is it you?  Stop it!  Is it what others might think?  Stop giving them that much control over you!  Is it fear? That's False Evidence Appearing Real.  It's also a tactic of the devil to steal, kill and destroy, which is exactly what he's doing if you're not free.   So, if you're ready to do the work, freedom is waiting for you!  But, you do have to do the work.  It's not just going to come.  But, I promise you, it is SO worth it! Let me know if I can help.  God has given me freedom in many areas and I love to help others find freedom as well.




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why I Can't Stand the Word Busy!


Busy, busy, busy, busy!  We are all so busy, aren't we?  It's like we thrive on how busy we are, how much we can cram into our already full lives, schedules, just to see how busy we can be.  I really can't stand the word busy.  It makes me cringe.  Why?  I'm glad you asked :) There are a few reasons ~

1. For me, we were always busy!  I grew up in a very busy home.  That taught me to always be busy.  In fact, in high school, college and even for a bit after college, I THRIVED on being busy!  How much could I take on?  How much could I do?  Ya know what it led to? Burn out.  Adrenal fatigue.  Exhaustion. Crabbiness.  Lack of self care.  For me, being busy became a coping mechanism to not handle any of my "junk."  This may or may not be the case for you, but it certainly was for me.  When I was busy, I didn't have time to think about past pain, wounds, or things that needed healing in my life, because I was just too busy.  Being too busy denied me the opportunity to heal.


2. I believe we are all in charge of our days, our schedules our lives.  Granted, there are some things that are out of our control, but for the most part, we can say yes or we can say no.  I can hear it now "but my kids to this and this and this and this."  Ok, so, who's in charge of the kids schedules?  You or them? You can tell them no.  You might not want to, but as parents, it's our responsibility to set the boundaries for our kids.  You can say yes or no.  Setting boundaries for kids teaches them to set boundaries for them as adults too.  It's a great teaching opportunity too.


3. Finally, I heard someone in church say busy stands for:

Buried
Under

Satan's
Yoke


My eyes were open wide when I heard this.  At that time, I took off my "busyness badge," and decided to change my ways. 


I get it.  Our lives are full, we have responsibilities, families, commitments, etc. How we navigate those commitments is huge! What are we saying yes to?  What are we saying no to?WHY are we doing these things? I encourage you to ask WHY before signing up, saying yes, committing.  What is the reason behind it?  Do you have room in your life to add something new in?  Just some food for thought so you are not too busy!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Care Much?

I'm trying to figure out if part of what is going on with me is that I care too much? Am I too sensitive? Take things too personally? Have you ever been told or thought any of those things about yourself? Well, I have. And, right now, I'm trying to figure out what is going on! Maybe you have some insights, friends?

I get upset about things. Good things, meaningful things. Not things that don't matter like someone cutting me off in traffic, or honking at me, or something like that. I get upset when people believe lies. I get upset when they don't know the Word enough to combat the devil with the truth that is sharper than any double edged sword. I get upset when people lie. Stormie Omartian says in her book "The Power of a Praying Parent," something like when you lie, you align yourself with the devil. {On that note, please don't ever lie to me to "make me feel better," or to "not hurt my feelings." Lying hurts more than either of those.} I get upset when people don't take care of themselves by paying attention to what they put in and on their bodies. I get upset when people think they aren't worth it. I get upset when injustice occurs. I get upset when people don't follow through.

As I look at this list, there are a lot of opportunities to be upset, aren't there? Are these things personal? I don't know, sometimes they are. Sometimes they play into my wounds, past hurts, which is why they bother me. The other part of my being upset is we are in a battle and it seems like the devil is winning because we are unequipped and unprepared to handle him. If we don't know the Word, which is truth, how can we know what is a lie? In looking at this list, it seems a lot of these things that upset me are Biblical. We are to know the truth, and it will set us free {John 8;32} The Word is sharper than any double edged sword {Hebrews 4:12}. "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight." {Proverbs 12:22} "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" {1 Corinthians 6:19}  "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood......"  {Proverbs 6:16-17}  The whole issue of self worth is also Biblical, if you know WHOSE you are, you know that you have a delightful inheritance!  {Psalm 16:6}  The one that might not be Biblically based, is the follow through.  I think that is part of my woundedness.  I also think that it is part of is a lack of discipline, which the Bible does talk about.  We are to run the race with perseverance, right?  If we are disciplined, we can run and persevere, right? When a runner is training for a run, they are disciplined with their training.  So it is with us, we have to be disciplined with how we train in life.

So, what do you think?  Do I care too much? Take things too personally?  What's the deal? I wonder if part of it is I have lived wounded, beaten down and unvictorious for so long that I'm sick of others living there too.  There IS victory in Jesus, friends!  And, YOU are worth it!  You were bought with a cost, so I believe you are worth it, don't you?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day.....Then and Now

Ah, Mother's Day.  Another one has come to a close.  I have such mixed feelings about this day, which I will elaborate on here in a bit, but I found the picture above from Mother's Day 4 years ago and then, the one below, taken today.  Do you see a difference?  I do. The picture from today is more clear, whereas the one above is not as clear.  It's not blurry, but not as clear, I would say.  It's symbolic of life then and now, I think.

The Mother's Day picture from 4 years ago.....I was in a place where I didn't really enjoy my kids. For Mother's Day, I wanted to be left alone.  Honestly, I did.  Chad let me stay Friday night at a local hotel and have all day Saturday to myself.  I got coffee, shopped, had a "Melissa Day."  In fact, the dress in the picture, I bought that just for Mother's Day! As you may be able to tell, I wasn't in a great place then.  I'm not sure if I had been diagnosed with PTSD by that point, or if it was later, but I know that did occur while we were in IL, where the picture was taken.  I wasn't able to enjoy the blessings in my life, including my children.  I was crabby, angry, tired all the time, frustrated and really felt cruddy ~ physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It makes me sad to think about the place I was in when that picture was taken.  No wonder it's not as clear as the picture from today......BUT GOD!

But God.....intervened, interceded, rescued, healed and delivered that mama in the picture above and transformed her into the mama who is below.  The picture is more clear from today, isn't it?  I am more "real" in the picture below, more comfortable in my own skin today.  I don't feel like I have to be dressed up, in a perfect picture.....I can be me.  And, that is freeing.  Heck, look at what I'm wearing! Yoga pants :)  I will be honest with you, part of me had a bad attitude about today.  It was Mother's Day after all, the kids were supposed to be on their BEST behavior.  This is MY day, after all.  The one I get all year long! They are not supposed to fight, argue, chase each other, provoke one another, or even really speak.  I wanted them to be perfect quiet cherubs all day long. {Where's the mute button?}  RIGHT?  Um, not so much.  They are kids!  {Truth be told, I'm partially writing this so when I read this next year, my expectations are REALISTIC, not pie in the sky, as they started off today.}  Thankfully, I was able to turn it around before dinner time and not let the fact that they are kids ruin the whole day and evening and carry on into tomorrow and the week. {This would have happened in the above picture, by the way.}  I actually felt a huge sigh of relief when they went to bed, because the pressure was off. Isn't that silly?  Where is the pressure coming from?  Myself?  Hallmark?  Society?  I'm not sure, but it's an interesting observation I had at bedtime.


It's always fascinating to be in a place where you can see things as they are now, and how they were back then.  As hard as it was, I'm thankful for the then's, because they enable me to look back and see where God has brought me from.  And, truthfully, I have no desire to go back there whatsoever.  "My chains are gone, I've been set free."  It is amazing love, isn't it?  Happy Mother's Day, mama friends. Let your kids be kids and enjoy the ride, k?  {And this is for me to remember for next year!!!}

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Super Life ~ Being Your Best Self!

So, you may know if you've followed me on facebook, that I'm reading a book called "Super Life." This book has been life changing and really changed the way I feel/think/view food.




Let me share some of the powerful "nuggets" I have gotten from it:

"When we eat, we open our bodies wide and expose ourselves, every single cell, to whatever's out there in our environment.  It's how we turn the out there into the in here.  When we eat, those external things actually become us.  Our organs, bones, muscles, nerves, skin, blood and everything else are made from what we eat and drink ~ there's nothing else to work with.  Before we were born, we were completely created, cell by cell, by what our mothers ate and drank.  Today, it's no different, except now we're the ones doing the eating and drinking, inventing our bodies."

"Here's how dramatically food can change when we tamper with it.  A large-scale study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who ate fruit at least twice a week - especially apples, blueberries, and grapes - were up to 23% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate fruit no more than once a month.  But subjects who drank fruit juice once a day or more had an increased risk of developing diabetes, up to 21% higher than those who did not."


"We get calories - which we need to survive of course, but very little else.  None of the nutrition {talking about processed foods here}.  As Dr. Fuhrman puts it, we end up mechanically full, but nutritionally starved.  If we do that often enough, we will absolutely harm ourselves at the cellular level.  Over time, that may bring some chronic condition." 

"Eating is the single most important thing we can do to stay healthy.  If good, clean food isn't worth our money, what is?"

"The symptoms of acidosis ~ fatigue, lack of energy and motivation, moodiness, headaches, cramps, poor digestion, heartburn, dry skin and hair, and cold hands and feet ~ are the same minor complaints and everyday aches and pains that people suffer stoically, thinking they can't be helped.  Just normal adult life, right?  Wrong.  They're not minor problems, and they're not normal.  And the fact that lots of other people complain about the same things doesn't mean these conditions are acceptable, let alone inevitable.  These are all signs of an overly acidified internal environment, which could mean we're headed for something catastrophic."


"Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed drugs today, even though science has proven how strongly nutrition influences our mental and emotional states."

He also talks a lot about water and the quality of water.  How lack of water affects our brains, our moods, our attitudes.  This is powerful, friends.  

I love this part ~ "We have to take responsibility for what goes into our mouths.  No more autopilot. Take time to form new habits, and then it will be no big deal ~ and you will feel better because of it. It's work. But all good things are."



I hope you know I write this and share these types of things often because I love you and care about you.  I know what it feels like to be nutritionally starved.  I used to live off of sugar, diet soda, big pretzels and cheese!  I didn't eat vegetables or protein.  I was certainly not taking care of myself.  I think part of it was I didn't want to at the time and the other part was I just didn't know how to. That is why I am so passionate about helping others.  I know what it is like to be where you are.  Exhausted, depleted, your zeal for life is gone, because you are just getting by, slugging through the day.  It doesn't have to be this way!  If you are ready to make some changes, please let me help you.  You don't have to do this alone!  You are worth living a super life...don't you want that?  I want that for you! Please let me know how I can help you.  I want you to live a super life, friend!!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why I Prefer Being Called A Coach!

I get a little annoyed when I hear people say they know a Shakeology "rep," or a Beachbody "distributor," or a "sales person." Eck. Why? Because it's so much MORE than that to me. I feel like the words "rep," "distributor," "sales person," all imply sales. A "one and done" type thing. This is so NOT that for me. I'm a coach. And, I'm proud of that! What does the word coach mean? Well, glad you asked :) I found two definitions that were intriguing ~

1. a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team and makes decisions about how the team plays during games

2. a large usually closed four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage having doors in the sides and an elevated seat in front for the driver

The first one makes sense, right? Someone who teaches and trains. That's what I do in my online challenge {or accountability} groups. I teach and train. It's sharing information, education, motivation, support, recipes, ideas as well as offering accountability. I gotta tell you, I love the groups. Each one takes on it's own personality and they are so fun! It's like this huge cheering section of new friends encouraging and supporting one another for a common goal. They are simply awesome. No other word to describe it. Something super special happens in those groups for sure!

The second definition baffled me at first, but as I think about it, it also makes sense. In essence, definition two talks about a coach CARRYING people to a location, right? The driver is in an elevated seat up front. Why? To see what's ahead. Why? Because they have been on this road before. Ah ha, so that definition might ring a little more true now, eh? As a coach, I am simply someone who has been in my challengers shoes before and can help carry them to their goals. I provide a means of transportation, if you will, of getting there, of helping them reach their goals. Does that make sense?

So, back to why it irritates me to be called something other than a coach. This is SO not about sales for me. This is about changing lives. This is about helping people. This is about relationships. I'm not going to sell you something and disappear! {Drives me crazy when that happens, BTW. Or when I don't get a thank you note after I've bought something, but that's another topic. } I'm going to continue to support you on your journey, check in with you from time to time, add you to my graduates group where I continue to post things that will help you on your journey. I put my heart and soul into this and to be called a sales person just makes me feel icky, I gotta be honest with you.  I am not just here to sell you something.  Honestly, if I wanted to do that, there are lots of other opportunities out there to do that.  I'm here to support, encourage, motivate, inspire and help you be the best YOU that you can be! You are worth that, your family is worth that. Don't you want that for yourself? If you do and are ready to get in the game, I'd love to be your coach!  So, if it's your time to get off the sidelines and into the game, let me know.  I'd love to make it happen for you! Game on!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Yup, I'm Going There.....

Wow, has this week been a roller coaster! At the beginning of the week, I was hopeful, optimistic, ready to fight the good fight. Then, Wednesday hit and it was another story, LOL! It could have been the fact that Chad was traveling, the kids were both up the two nights he was gone and I was tired. I don't really know. I do know I did what I know is best for me - being in the Word, praying, eating well and exercising. That's how I take care of myself and honestly, what makes me the best I can be for my family. I think the tiredness was a fact, but also the fact that the more I learn about our food supply and the "state of the union" regarding food, if you will, it is discouraging! I feel like so many of us are unaware of what we put in our bodies, on our bodies, where it is coming from, what the ingredients really are and how they affect us and our kiddos. I feel like we are asleep and doing things because we believe it is safe, or because we are told to by someone in "authority." It's time to wake up friends! I love you and care about you and your family and that is why I'm so passionate about this!

I started reading the book "Super Life," by Darin Olien and wow, is that an eye opener! I was telling Chad some of what I was reading and his reply was "why aren't we told this? Why isn't this information known?" That is my point exactly. And, it frustrates me. I don't know if it is because we trust those who rule, regulate, create, etc. our food supply, medications, vaccines, etc.? I don't know if it is because we are too busy to do the research ourselves? I don't know if it is because we are uneducated? I truly don't know and that frustrates me. I am so passionate about this, guys! I feel like my eyes have been open to this and I want others to be too! I've been pretty transparent, I think, about sharing my food issues, as well as my children's and how that has affected us. So I can't personally deny the link between what we put in and on our bodies {and what's in the environment around us} and how that affects us. I was so discouraged and distraught earlier this week I felt like quitting! I really did. It seemed hopeless and like I was steering the Titanic {no thank you!} However, the more I pressed into God, the more I learned and read, I knew I had to be part of the solution and that quitting wouldn't accomplish that.

I was sharing some of my thoughts, feelings, etc. with my mentor who encouraged me to read the book of Lamentations in the Bible. I love the Word, believe it is sharper than any double edged sword and that it still applies to life today. So, in reading the book of Lamentations, here are some verses that stood out to me. Are ya ready? I am still kind of in shock as I type this.....here goes:

Lamentations 1:11 - "All her people groan as they search for bread;they barter their treasures for food to keep themselves alive. “Look, Lord, and consider, for I am despised.”

Lamentations 1:19b - "My priests and my elders perished in the city while they searched for food to keep themselves alive."

Lamentations 2:12 - "They say to their mothers,“Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their lives ebb away in their mothers’ arms."

Lamentations 2:19 - "Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner."

Lamentations 4:4 - "Because of thirst the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth;the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them."

Lamentations 4:9 - "Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field."

Lamentations 5:9-10 - "We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert. Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger."

Wow, so much depth here. Do you see it? In the first 2 verses that are bold and in red, those words are identical in the 2 passages. "Food to keep themselves alive." That tells me food keeps us alive, yes? As I keep digging into the passage though, I notice fainting from hunger, children begging for bread, racked with hunger, risking lives for food, feverish from hunger. It's bad, friends. It's not a pretty picture. Sadly, I see the same thing happening today. As I was reading, I didn't know if they were talking about a spiritual hunger, or a real hunger? I'd venture to say both. And, it's the same thing I see happening in our world today. We are physically hungry because our bodies aren't getting what they need due to the depletion in our food supply, the busyness of our lives causing us to eat more packaged, processed foods, and less foods that are "raw," or "live" that contain what we need. Did you know the physical hunger/depletion of vitamins, minerals and nutrients affects our minds? Yup, sure does. "Heal the gut, heal the brain," is a phrase one of our chiropractors said and it is so true. I've seen it with Lauren. When we healed her gut by taking out wheat, dairy, food dyes, sugars and adding probiotics and fish oil to her diet, she was a healthy kid. A vibrant, joyful, kid full of life, as she should be! Same goes for me, as I started to take care of myself by eating clean, drinking Shakeology, cutting out wheat and dairy, drinking enough water, etc., my brain fog went away, my anger and depression lifted. Guys, there is a for sure connection between what we eat and how it affects us not only physically, but mentally as well! These are our lives and our kids lives we are talking about here. What's more important than that?

I can't help but wonder too, if the writer in Lamentations is talking about a spiritual hunger? Which is also something I see today. The church needs to wake up and start standing on the promises of God and expecting Him to do what He said He can do - miracles, healings, things we can't even imagine! It's time to stop making Him who we think He is and let Him be who He is. He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow...so why aren't we letting Him?

Friends, I'm concerned about our society for these reasons! Will you please rise up with me? It's time to take a stand and become aware, educated and informed about what goes into our minds, as well as our bodies! Who's ready? I'm all in this and would love for others to join, as well! We're better together, right?

Love,
Melissa

Monday, April 13, 2015

Here's the Thing With the 21 Day Fix {Or Any Program for That Matter.}

I need to get something off of my chest and this seems like the best place to do it.  So, here's the thing with the 21 day fix program, or any program you do.  {Using the 21 day fix as an example}.  It is unrealistic to think you're going to do the program for the allotted amount of time, see some results, then at the end of the program, go back to what you were doing before the program and either 1. continue to see results, or 2. maintain what you achieved.  There were likely some habits/relationships with food that made you try the program, which is huge!  Yay for you! That is great that you got started!  I know how hard that is and I applaud you for that!  I know it's not easy! And, the fact that you completed the program is also huge!  Kudos to you for that!

However, I want you to be able to continue to see results if that is your goal, or maintain what you achieved if that is your goal.  So, how do we do that?  I've been thinking back on my experience with the 21 day fix a LOT lately.  What made me continue to see results once the group I was a part of was completed? I continue to follow the program.  I continue to eat clean.  I still, to this day, 14 months after doing it for the first time, use my portion control containers.  I still exercise 5 times/week.  I still drink my Shakeology daily. I still drink a lot of water each day.  The 21 day fix I did was a springboard to change my habits, which it did.  However, I continued and do continue to walk in those habits daily. I didn't say, "oh the 21 days are over, I'm done," and go back to the old habits/ways of eating.  No, I continue to do it to this day, more than a year later.  So, will doing the 21 day fix give you the same results it gave me? It can.  It all depends on what you do after the 21 days.  Are you willing to take what you've learned in the group, with the coaching and accountability, and apply it to life, of are you going to revert back to your old ways?  The choice is yours, friend.  I just want to be honest and realistic about what will give you the MOST success. It's not realistic to think you can do a program, complete it, and continue to see results if you're not willing to stick to the changes you learned on the program.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Real Life Example of Fear Hurting Me

God has really been addressing the issue of fear with me.  Has it been easy?  No.  Has it been fun? No.  Has it been painful? Sometimes, yet, at the same time, I'm thankful to be able to look back and see how far I've come as well.  That's the silver lining, I suppose.  I've been reflecting on my life and this concept of fear....when did it start?  How did it start?  How has it affected me?  While this isn't the most glamorous story at all, I feel compelled to share a real life example of how fear physically hurt me.

I was a young girl, maybe 7-10'ish when this happened?  I'm not sure of the exact age I was, but in elementary school for sure.  I was swimming in my babysitters above ground pool one summer day. I had just learned the art of diving, so was anxious to show off my new skills.  {This was after practicing sit dives, of course earlier in the summer and hitting my head on the wall a few times.  So, I was good to go by now!  Ha ha!}

Confidently, I took my place on the side of the above ground pool.  {With my water wings on, LOL! Just kidding!}  I got up and took my stance to dive in.  I dove off the edge, only to realize mid dive that my dive wasn't perfect and I was afraid of doing it incorrectly.  So, I did what any smart child would do.  I turned around mid-air and tried to get back onto the side of the pool to start the dive over.  I let fear and perfection get in my way.  And, ya know what happened?  I ended up getting a nice size gash in a place that's not the most appropriate to share about on the internet.  If you're familiar with above ground pools from that time, you'll know/remember that they have a metal edge that surrounds the part of the pool you walk on.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  So, ya, that metal edge cut me. Blood gushing everywhere, sitting on a towel to go to the doctor.....not exactly the highlight of my summer for sure.

The funny thing is I had completely forgotten about this memory.  Duh, why would I remember it? Lauren was taking swimming lessons and I saw her do something very similar and viola! The memory came back. She had finished her lesson and it was time for "fun!" where the teacher let them jump in the pool.  She wanted to jump in so badly. She was bold, confident and stood on the side of the pool, ready to go.  Until it was her turn. Then, she freaked out.  She'd start to jump. Then, she'd get scared.  We'd pep talk her up. She'd be ready.  Then, freak out again.  As I saw her sit there and flip flop between jumping and not jumping.  It hit me - we ALL do this.  We say we're going to do something. Then, we get scared.  We may even go past saying it and take a step.  Then, we get scared. We might even start.  Then, we get scared. The fascinating thing to me is that I knew nothing bad would happen to Lauren.  She was safe.  The teacher/lifeguard was there, I was there. There were no sharks in the water.  What was she afraid of?  To be honest, I don't know.  But, because I had been in her shoes and have jumped in the pool before, I knew it was safe.  BUT, Lauren didn't know it was safe.  Look at my story - I was ready to go, I went for it, but what happened?  I got scared and stopped mid way.  The result was pain. Serious pain and a physical injury.  So, what's holding you back?  What are you not jumping into because of fear?  Think on it today and ask yourself - "is there someone who has done this before me?"  Chances are the answer is yes.  How did it turn out for them?  Chances are it turned out well, on one of the attempts at least. Don't get caught up in fear and let it paralyze you.  JUST JUMP!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Self Sabotage: My Story

Self Sabotage.  Been there done that.  Just a few days ago, actually.  



So, if you've been reading my blog, following me on facebook, or anything....you likely know I've made some pretty big changes in regards to my health, wellness, fitness and nutrition.   If you're unfamiliar with my story, feel free to read it here.

Long story short, I was a food addict.  I used food, specifically sugar, to get my fix.  It would make me feel better.  It would sooth me.  It would comfort me.  It made me happy. Ice cream - check. I could eat 1/2 of a container in one sitting.  Not the whole thing, because I would really have a problem then! Brownies - check.  Again, 1/2 a pan gone, no problem!  Cookies - check.  Ate 'em by the handful.  Candy - check.  How many pieces could I fit into my mouth at once?  Done!  Or a whole bag of gummy peaches?  Sure!  Why not?  They're fat free, after all!  BUT, when I really wanted to be "healthy," I would have an organic dye free sucker.  I'm not sure why, but whatever.  Justification?  Likely.


When you've struggled with something for most of your life, you don't think it is a problem.  At least I didn't.  I just thought that was my "normal."  I mean everyone inhales sugar like cocaine, right? Um, no.  Over the past year, since I started changing my nutrition, I've noticed I've changed.  I don't crave sweets daily, like I used to.  I don't "need" food to feel good.  I don't "need" to stuff myself anymore. I don't eat dinner, then need to eat something sweet right afterwards. I don't "need" to get that high anymore that I used to get from eating too much crap food. Pardon my language, but it's true.  So, yes, I've MADE some changes and as a result, I have changed too.  My habits have changed, my tastebuds have changed, what I crave has changed.

So, this past weekend with it being Easter, I decided to "test" myself.  I'm not sure why I decided to, but I did.  Chocolate candy in the house - check.  Gluten free, dairy free, dye free cake in the house - check.  Tootsie rolls in the house {oh, don't get me started on how many of those I would eat when I worked at the bank.....no wonder my drawer wouldn't balance all those times.  Sheesh} - check.  I'm ready to go!  I ate a healthy lunch and had some cake.  Great, doing well.  The day ended, and I felt good about my eating choices.  So, let's test.  I ate a few pieces of chocolate.  It didn't even taste good to me.  And, I didn't get a sugar high like I used to get.  Ok, interesting.  Something must be wrong, I can't be free from my sugar addiction, let's try again tomorrow.  Is anyone thinking of the verse in Proverbs about a dog returning to it's vomit....I sure am!  {Proverbs 26:11 - "As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly."}  Nice, huh?  Monday, I'm going full force for the Reese cups. Yum!  Now, those taste good, but no high.  I better eat in excess to get that rush.  Um, no rush.  Ok, so they taste good, but no rush.  I better throw the rest away.  So, yes, I threw the rest of the blasted Easter candy away!  I'm sorry, Chad, you didn't get any....I was in self sabotage mode here!  Because I really needed to act like Gideon and test it one more time, I had some cake on Tuesday.  Same deal. It didn't taste that good and it certainly didn't do anything for me.  So, finally after doing this 3 days in a row I had to ask myself why?  Why did I keep going back and doing something I'd worked so hard to change?  Self sabotage came to mind.  I was trying to sabotage myself.  Why? I don't know. To see if I was still addicted? I'm not.  I haven't had any sugar for 2 days now and am doing great. Do I want any?  No.  Do I miss it?  No.  Does it do anything for me?  No, not anymore.  Was I trying to get readdicted? I don't know.  I just know the feeling I used to have when I ate sweets is gone. Gone. Gone. Was I looking for it?  Possibly.  But, it's dead and I don't care for it to be resurrected, thank you.  I'm pleased to say each time I see the bunny cake, I have no desire for it at all.  That, my friends, is a huge victory over bondage, right there!