Saturday, March 28, 2015

I'd Like to Introduce You to My Dad, Jerry.....

I'm not really sure how or where to start this. As I've been thinking about it in my head, I've had a couple of different angles come to mind, so we will see where this goes.  I assume that most of you have had the pleasure of knowing both of your birth parents.  You've known who they were, what they were like, what qualities of theirs you had, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I'm guessing. Your parents might be divorced, but you still have likely known where {or who} you've come from. However, I didn't have that privilege/honor/situation {not sure what to call it} growing up.

See, my "real" dad died when I was 2.  And it wasn't a death to cancer, a terrible disease, a car crash, etc.  It was a murder. My father was murdered when I was 2.  There was lots of speculation, I'm told around his death, but that's not what I'm writing about.  However, due to the speculation, I didn't grow up with a very clear picture of who my father was.

To be honest with you, I'm not sure I ever wanted to know who he was. I'm not sure why, it just didn't occur to me, I suppose? But, with us moving back to Indiana, being close to where he grew up, where he went to school, and having a great friend and mentor encouraging me to find out who he was, I decided to go for it.  I think, to be honest, I was scared. I was scared of what I would hear. Or wouldn't hear.  What people would say he was like, or wasn't like.  I was afraid to know who my dad was.  I suppose it was more comfortable to keep things the way they were, ya know?  But, I eventually decided to go for it.

Where to start, that was the question?  With my dad being an only child and his parents being gone, there weren't a lot of family contacts to start with.  I did, however, have his fraternity paddle from his days at Franklin.  Being a sorority girl myself, and that was comfortable, I decided to start there. I sent an email to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity headquarters and explained I was looking for information on my father, who was a brother and has passed away.  I was thrilled when less than 24 hours later I got the most kind email from someone from their office.  She included several email addresses for me as well!  YES! My search was off to a great start!  I then sent emails to those I had emails for from Lambda Chi and started to get responses!  All of the brothers were very sorry to hear of my dads passing, and again, were very helpful in providing information about who my dad was. I reached out to a few more contacts and here is what I've learned about my dad. Based on those kind, generous and compassionate folks, my dad, Jerry Hurley was:

* Jovial
* Friendly
* Reasonably smart
* Easy to be around
* Happy

* Proud of his family and his business
* Loved people
* Willing to help
* Smiled a lot

* Caring
* Everyone liked him
* Good hearted
* Very involved
* Popular
* Well respected
* Kind
* Always tried to do the right thing
* A good man
* A great friend
* An entrepreneur

Huh.  Who does that sound like?  To be honest, I see a lot of myself in that list.  Do you have any idea what that is like? See, growing up, I always thought I was a certain way because that was the opposite of how I was raised.  For example, I'm a perfectionist. My mom is not.  I thought I was a perfectionist because I went the other way. Does that make sense? However, after this journey of self discovery about my dad, I realized that isn't the case at all!  I'm ME because I'm like my dad, who I never had the pleasure of knowing.  See, he's a part of me!  I just didn't know it because I never tried to find out who he was, what he was like, or what qualities of his I have.  The interesting thing is my dad is left handed.  Guess who else is left handed?  Not me!  Lauren is. When we discovered that, I knew where it came from!  I think it is so great that part of him lives on in me and in her!  I find that super redemptive! Thanks for taking time to hear more about my dad, Jerry.  I wish you could have had the opportunity to have known him, too.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Price of Shakeology

Shakeology.  It's something I've been drinking every day for over a year.  At first, I intended to drink it until my bag was emptied, but I found that I felt so stinking amazing on it that I had to continue. True story - before I did the 21 Day Fix last February, Chad would come home from work and I would curl up in fetal position on the couch for at least 30 minutes to "recover" from the day.  Since cleaning up my diet, drinking Shakeology and taking care of myself, I don't have to do that anymore. There was one day recently, where I forgot to drink my Shakeo {as I call it} and after dinner, I landed on the couch to recover.  It took me back in time. Then, I realized why - I forgot my shake that day!   I was on a call yesterday where the speaker shared some of her story with weight loss, including hcg drops.  Long story short, shortly after going on the drops, she discovered a lump in her breast.  She researched and discovered there is a link between hcg and cancer, so she stopped taking it immediately.  She continued to research what she was putting in and on her body.  In her research, she discovered Shakeology.  She shared several benefits and reasons to love Shakeology and encouraged us to do the same. As a result, I found this handy chart that shows several of the benefits that Shakeology provides.

One thing I hear sometimes is the cost is too high.  I agree, I thought the cost was high too. However, today, I went through and found what is in Shakeology and compared it with another high quality company that provides supplements and totaled up what it would cost to get everything in Shakeology from this company at the DISCOUNT price.  Here is what I discovered {based on a 30 day supply of each of these ingredients, found in Shakeo}:

Amino acids - 17.25
Chia - 26.75
Amaranth - 33.50
Bilberry - 20.10
Ashwagandha {which helps adrenals, btw} - 19.55
Goji - 59.50
Maca root - 17
Reishi - 34.25
Flax - 22.50
Acai - 26.25
Acerola - 25.95
Chlorella - 25.50
Spinach - 18.25
Kale - 16.25
Astragulus - 13.15
Ginko - 21.60
Maitake - 17.95
Holy Basil - 41.95
Chicory - 33.50
Lacto - 24.95
Amylase - 17.50
Cellulose - 17.95
Lactase - 29.75
Glucoamylase - 20.75
Alpha-Galactosidase - 30.25
Invertase - 20.75
Total:  $652.65  

AND 28 different pills to take/day.  

So, your daily Shakeology serving is worth $21.75/day, {based on 30 days/month}, BUT you pay no where NEAR that!  For about the price of a Starbucks coffee, less than you pay for a fast food lunch, less than a Jamba Juice, you could have your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics and all that your body needs!

See, Shakeology bridges the gap in our food supply.  Even the most clean eater would be lacking vitamins and minerals because of the depletion of these in our food supply, so our bodies are lacking as well.  Shakeology bridges that gap and gives our bodies what they need, but aren't getting from other sources.

You WILL NOT FIND the following in Shakeology:

* Soy
* Artificial flavors
* Artificial sweeteners

It's NOT a protein drink.  It's NOT a weight loss drink.  Those are side benefits, but not the focus of Shakeology.  So, why wouldn't you drink it every day?  I don't really know, to be honest with you. You have one life, one body and one chance.  Don't you want to make the best of it and do the best you can with what you have? I know I sure do.  Don't take the least expensive route on your health, friends. It's your LIFE. There are no do-overs.

If you're curious about Shakeology, please let me know.  I'd love to tell you more about it.  If you'd like some samples, please click here for our sampler pack.  I'd love to be your Beachbody coach if you don't already have one! To make me your coach, please click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Experience with PTSD

Yes, I had PTSD. Do I still have it? I don't know. Does it go away? I don't really know, but I do know that some healing has taken place in me over the years. I'd like to share my story with you now, regarding PTSD. I didn't have the most wonderful childhood, due to a variety of reasons that really aren't necessary to get into now. As a result, I had PTSD.

I didn't realize I had PTSD until we were living in Illinois. I had just started life coaching with a gal who also happened to be a counselor {hello, God!}. We started with life coaching, but as she learned more about me, my history, etc. we went from life coaching to counseling, when she diagnosed me with PTSD. I remember telling her "I don't have PTSD, I wasn't in the war." Duh, shows what I knew, huh? Thankfully, she equipped me with lots of resources about PTSD. I eventually came to the conclusion that I did have PTSD and was willing to be counseled for it. Long story short, I wanted to try counseling, no meds, so we went that route for a few weeks. Then, one day, I knew I needed to try meds. {Little behind the scenes info - Chad was traveling frequently for work during this time. Landon was a newborn and Lauren was 2. She also had undiagnosed food allergies and sensory processing disorder at this time. Add a mom with anger issues and you can see the tornadic state our home was in!} So, I tried the meds for 2 days. They made me crazy. Like worse than I already was. By my own admission, I was pretty unstable, so for me to say that is pretty bold and accurate.

So, take 2....enter a holistic doctor and lots of testing. At this time, I was not taking care of myself at all. Stress eating junk all day. Think package of Oreos in one sitting. No exercise. Multiple diet sodas/day. I was not taking care of myself at all. I didn't want to. But, that's another story. So, the holistic doc takes all these tests - blood, saliva, etc. I learned I was borderline diabetic. No surprise, to be honest with the way I was eating and drinking pop, coffee drinks, etc. I remember leaving that appointment feeling encouraged and like I had a lot of vitamins and supplements to take! But I felt like I had some knowledge and a plan of attack, which I liked!

I started taking the vitamins and supplements, and slowly started to notice some changes. Around that time, we had a speaker come to our church, Todd White. If you don't know who Todd White is, I encourage you to check him out. He is amazingly powerful and shared some things I knew but in a way that made it "click" for me. God used Todd White to set a new fire in me, more so in the area of identity. Our church was also offering healing prayer rooms around that time, so I went and asked for prayer for my PTSD. I don't remember specifics of the prayer time, but they did pray that the chains of PTSD would be broken. I believe they were loosened, for sure, if not broken that night during prayer. I was doing well, trucking along, feeling better than I had before, which was encouraging. I also knew that around that time, we needed to move. Chad couldn't keep traveling with the way our family situation was. So, being the head hunter that I am, I began to look for jobs for him! I was on a mission. Specifically, for somewhere warm, but God had other plans! Sioux Falls, SD is warm, but NOT in the winter!

We ended up moving to Sioux Falls,where Chad would not travel for work and built in bonus - his family was there! His family is very stable and there was something comforting about being around family. While we were there, God hooked us up with an awesome mentor couple who came alongside us and helped us work out some kinks in our personal lives, our marriage and our parenting. A very great and deep healing happened in Sioux Falls and we are so grateful for that! Looking back, I believe our purpose in Sioux Falls was for that deeper healing.

As you know {likely}, we didn't stay in Sioux Falls long, because God had other plans for us and brought us to West Lafayette, IN. Ironically enough, this is my "turf," where I grew up, went to college, etc. We are actually attending the church I attended while I was raising support to go on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Madison, WI. While I was at this church, God spoke Isaiah 61 over me as my life verse, in regards to the calling on my life. After I finished raising support, I moved to Madison to serve fraternity & sorority students at the UW-Madison through InterVarsity. I was on staff, completely unaware of the PTSD. It was during that time that the Lord brought things to mind that needed healing. Then, we moved to Illinois, where the PTSD diagnosis was made and healing started. Then, we moved to Sioux Falls for deeper healing and now we are here. What I have struggled with the most being home is that the reason I have PTSD isn't because of choices I made, or things I did. Frustrating! A few weeks ago, our church had a healing conference. They talked about physical healing, of course, but also emotional healing. I went forward for prayer and the speaker prayed Isaiah 61 over me and explained the difference between a prisoner and a captive and it all made sense!  A prisoner is someone who has been punished for their own choices. However, a captive is someone who is in bondage because of other's choices.  Do you know how freeing that was for me?  That was what I needed to hear!  I loved it.  God gave the speaker a word of knowledge for me.  And, I received it.  Love it how God works!  This is just a short part of my journey, I'm sure I will share more as I continue down this road.....but, for now, that's a wrap!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thoughts on 21 Day Fix Extreme.....

Ah, here it is....the awaited thoughts on the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  Let me give you a little backgrounder before I dive in.  I did the original 21 Day Fix last February and LOVED it!  I learned so much about clean eating, proper portion control, how much of what type of food my body needed, how to exercise effectively, etc.  It was truly life changing for me!  I have continued to eat this way since doing the program last February.  {Yes, I still use the containers even!}  I have modified my workouts to do other programs like TurboFire, PiYo, Insanity Max 30, etc., but my nutrition has followed the 21 Day Fix eating plan for the most part.

I was excited when the new 21 Day Fix Extreme came out, since I had such an affinity for the original program!  I was supposed to start it a week earlier than I actually did, because I got sick. Had my original plan worked out to start the program on February 9, I might have had a bit more motivation with it.  See, Chad had the Boilermaker Ball, for his work that we were to attend on February 28.  My hope was to be a good two weeks into the program before going to the ball, to be in tip top shape.  But, alas, that plan went astray due to sickness.

Going into the Extreme, I didn't want to lose weight or inches.  I was actually content with where I was, for the first time in my life, I believe!  So, I wasn't going into it with a goal of losing anything. Rather, I wanted to get rid of some foods I had let "grip" me & try a more intense workout.  That was my plan going on. The months and weeks prior to the Extreme, I had been under a lot of stress and quite frankly, think I was headed into adrenal burnout.  {I have had adrenal fatigue due to PTSD, but have never been aware or in touch with how my body responded.}  So, keep in mind, that going in, I wasn't in peak condition, adrenal wise ;)

I started the Extreme and was super excited! It felt good to be pressing myself, challenging my body and trying something new.  I loved it!  I conquered the first week, no problems!  I weighed myself at the end of the week and the number on the scale was a number I haven't seen since my anorexic days, so I'm sure that triggered something in me.  Red flag, red flag, red flag!  Plus, when I would sit down, I would feel a little more boney in my toosh than I have before and I didn't like that.  So, I think right there, I kind of decided it was ok to go off plan a bit since I wasn't in it to lose weight. I did follow the nutrition 80-90%, I would say and I was getting the workouts in daily.  I was feeling the difference in my body, I looked more toned and felt good.  All in all, it was going well.   Again, not doing it to lose weight or inches, but change a few habits......

About two weeks into the fix, after doing very well at the Boilermaker Ball, thank you!, I started to think about what I was doing. What was my goal?  What was the point of this?  To get a 6 pack?  Um, no, because, honestly, even if I had one or ever get one, I'm not one to show my midriff off, so my family would be the only ones to see it!  That seems silly!  Why am I depriving myself for this?  I really had to ask.  Not going for a 6 pack, not trying to lose weight or inches, so what's the point?  By this time, I only had a week in, so I knew I had to finish.

Week three comes into the scene and so does PMS.  So I might have lost it a little one day, blaming the hormones, LOL!  But, back on track the next day, I went.  By the end of the 21 days, I could tell my body was headed into an adrenal crash.  See, with adrenal fatigue, excessive exercise isn't good for you.  At least in the phase of it I was in at the time {remember the sickness and stress I mentioned before?  Yup, took it's toll on me and my body.}  So, with me being in the "Wired and Tired" phase of adrenal fatigue, excessive exercise does more harm than good. But, I finished.  Not sure how strong I finished, but I did complete the program. Sadly, I didn't take measurements before I started {coach fail, since I tell all my customers to do that before!, but again, not my goal}. so I'm not sure if I lost inches.  I didn't lose any weight, but I maintained where I was {which was the goal} and those pesky foods that had a "grip" on me, lost their grip.  So, all in all, my goal was achieved.

My honest thoughts on the 21 Day Fix Extreme?  It's extreme!  It would be a great program for someone who had a short window of time to get ready for a big event - a wedding, vacation, class reunion, etc. However, for the normal person like moi who didn't really have a "reason," I don't think it is the best option.  I much prefer the original 21 Day Fix, which allows you more freedom with your food choices in terms of treats, coffee, etc.  It's more manageable, I believe, for this current season of life I'm in.  I think the Extreme is a great program, hands down, but I think a lot of it also depends on the goal of the person doing it. Also, where they are at in life - is it manageable with a family?  Lots of events you're going out to eat for?  And, where you are at hormonally, can make a difference as well.  I like the 21 Day Fix Extreme, I'm not saying that I don't.  I just don't think it is as viable long term as the original 21 Day Fix is. Any questions?  Hit me up, hopefully you know by now, I'm an open book!  And, back to PiYo I go!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Connected, Yet Detached?

In today's world of technology, we are more "connected" than ever, right?  After all, we have email, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, skype, linked in and so forth.  It is easy to feel very connected with all of these means of technology.  BUT, my two questions about this are:

1. WHO are we connected to?


2. Are we more detached than ever as a result?

So, let's dive in here......WHO are we connected to?  I don't know about you, but I do know that when I am on my computer, phone, etc. I am NOT connected with those around me.  That can be my kids, Chad, a friend I'm meeting, etc.  You get the point. When we are CONNECTED we can also be detached.  This is what I see happening with technology more and more.  I remember when my grandpa died, the pastor who did his funereal said that my grandpa noticed people socializing less when certain things happened. There were three, I believe, but I only remember two.  Those two things were the invention of television and the invention of air conditioning.  Before those two conveniences, people used to sit outside, engage and build relationships with one another.  Then, once television and AC came along, people were inside more, and interacting less.  Interesting, isn't it?  I see that happening more and more in today's society with the more technology that keeps getting thrown our way.  We are engaging more with technology and less with each other.  It is sad.  There have been some nights, in all honesty, when Chad and I have both been on the couch, together, looking at our phones.  {We have ended that though, thank you.}  But, who are we connected to?  If we aren't connected with our family and friends, who should be our priorities after God, who are we connected to?  Which is another topic.  {Are we crowding God out because of our techno use?  Some extra food for thought.....}

I think you can kind of see where I am going with the second point here.  So if we are attached to our devices, are we detached from those around us?  I think so.  I think sometimes it is easier to live in a virtual world, than a real one.  In the virtual world, things are almost instant.  No waiting.  When you IM someone, you will likely get a reply right back.  When you message someone on facebook, you can tell if they have read the message or not.  It's easier to keep tabs on people and not have to wait, right?  BUT do we live in a society where we don't have to wait?  Is that what we want?  I don't.  I don't know about you, but I still have to wait at stop lights.  I still have to wait in lines at the grocery store.  I still have to wait on God's timing, not my own.  Are we creating more tension on teaching kids how to wait in this virtual world?  I don't know, just some things I'm pondering lately.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this too, friends.

I'm not saying we should get rid of technology at all, but I think that like anything, having boundaries is key to this.  Teaching our kids how to wait and that life isn't a virtual world is also important.  We need to separate virtual from reality, for them as well as ourselves. Love to hear your insights too, please!