I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Archive for the ‘Healthier Choices’ Category

My Tribe

Spent some time doing some reflecting and self-evaluating lately.  That time was focused on my “word for the year” which is the word “alignment”.  It has been my goal this year to focus in, with laser-like intensity, on what it is I am most passionate about.  Once I was clear on my focus, it became obvious where I should – and should not – be spending my time.  And it has becoming INCREASINGLY clear that some people do not get to have access to that time or that passion.  This doesn’t mean I won’t interact with them in my particular area(s) of passion.  I’m just going to keep a healthy distance between us so that my purpose stays clear and clearly mine.  Some people, sadly, cannot find it in themselves to support others or let them shine if it means that they must step to the side for a moment.  Others will scream their goodwill in your direction and do everything they can to help you achieve your dreams, even if it means they are unseen when you reach the mountaintop.

That second group?  That is your tribe.  Those people who aren’t threatened by your achievements or success because they know you will be there for them when it’s their turn.

So to those that are my tribe – I hope you know who you are!  And thank you for the support, the positive words, and the encouragement.

find your tribe

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The Power of a Compliment

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I love this quote.  Mostly because I’ve seen time and time again that it’s true.

I did something on a whim recently.  There are a number of people using an app that allows people to anonymously tell you what they think of you.  I haven’t been brave enough to try it myself.  In the midst of all the friends that were posting their links for this app, I saw another post that intrigued me.  It was a picture that simply said, “Comment your name & I’ll tell you one thing I like about you.”  Now, I didn’t limit it to one thing in some cases.  And I intentionally avoided things like “you’re pretty” or “you have a good fashion sense”.  I tried to focus on character qualities I admired.

I posted it and the names slowly but surely started showing up.  It was actually quite fun to respond to each person!  Some of them I’ve known for years, some were family, some were students from my Michigan years, some were current FDSH students, . . . you get the idea.

What really struck me was some of the responses I got in return.  Some told me that they needed the boost, others said they had been having a bad day and my comment made it better.

But let’s be clear – there is nothing unique about what I did.  The compliments I gave were honest assessments of the best in those who I was speaking to. If others had given them, their power would not have been diminished a bit.  Anyone can see the best in another and call it out.

I didn’t expect the impact it’s had on me.  As I said before, some of those I was complimenting, I’ve known for years.  Others?  Not long at all.  In some cases, just over a year.  For those, it took a bit more careful thinking.  All in all, I responded to 57 people.  I had to spend time looking for the best in 57 individuals.  Not a huge number, I’ll grant you, but it took time.  And during that time, it kept my mind focused on finding the best in others.

So I cannot help but wonder – what would happen if we started giving just one sincere compliment to one person every day? What would it do for those around us?  What would it do for our own attitudes and perspective?  I would certainly love to find out!

Aside

The Long Haul

The beginning of a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt says “Nothing in this world is having or worth doing unless it means effort.”

But we humans want quick fixes and fast solutions.  I’m four weeks into a new workout routine and have made some pretty significant changes to my eating habits as well as being much more intentional about my water consumption.  My eating habits aren’t perfect – I still “cheat” now and then – but I’m learning and doing a little bit better each day.  I’m doing LOTS better than I was four weeks ago!

But I’d love to see big changes and fast!  In my head I know that quick, radical changes usually don’t last.  When it comes to healthy weight loss, slow and steady is the route to success.

So I have to choose to focus on the positives –

– My sleeping pattern is better and more restful.

– My energy level is great!

– There have been small changes in all of the “measurements” and the scale has nudged a bit in a healthier direction.

– My legs feel stronger and my arms are starting to do the same.

I say these things not to brag but to remind myself that my commitment to living healthier was never going to be a short term thing.  If I want these healthy changes to “stick”, I need to remember that I signed up for the long haul and just keep taking baby steps forward.

Reading Challenges, Healthy Changes and More

I’m still actively working on the Reading Challenge for 2016.  I have 18 books completed.  Some were old favorites I knew I would love, others have become new favorites – The Martian and Saturn Run come to mind – and some . . .  Let’s just say I tried a new genre and leave it at that!  Currently working on the “A book and it’s prequel” – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Magician’s Nephew.

Today started week four of the Cize workout.  First day of the week = new workout video.  I am SO glad I’m doing these in my own home where no one else can see my lack of coordination early in the week!  As of yesterday, I was down 4 1/2 pounds and a total of about 13 inches from various critical places.  The food choices have been much healthier, the water consumption is at healthy levels and – as a consequence – much of the junk food craving has vanished.

The school year is winding up which means that preparations are already underway for next school year.  

I’m really starting to find joy in my strengths.   I might even dare to say that I’m starting to like myself.  And I’ve learned that this is a crucial step for continuing to work on my weaknesses.  After all, we don’t invest time and energy in those we don’t like.  

First, the Truth

Most human beings don’t like to admit that they need to make changes.  Sure, most of us can privately beat ourselves up about our flaws and shortcomings pretty well.  But publicly, many of us (most of us? all of us?) put on a brave front that says we have it all together and know just what to do with it.  And just to show that we are still slightly humble, we’ll mention some minor habit – biting our nails, chewing on pencils, etc. – that we know we should change.

But if there are BIG changes that need to happen, the very first thing we have to do is admit the truth to ourselves.

So I started with the truth – my weight was beginning to affect my health.  While I think that the current BMI standards are ridiculous (and should NEVER be shared with teenagers as many schools currently do!), carrying around an extra 100 pounds (more, at my heaviest) and being really inactive just wasn’t healthy.  For my health and energy level, I needed to radically change some habits – I needed to eat differently and get moving more.

I used every excuse in the book – can’t find a work out that I can do at my weight, can’t afford a personal trainer, too much conflicting nutritional information out there . . . I was REALLY good at giving you “reasons” for why I wasn’t doing anything different.   But they were not legitimate reasons.  They were excuses.  And I had to stop using them and get brutally honest with myself – I needed to start moving more and eating healthier.

I kept looking for a work out that would push me but that I could still complete.  And I found it!  If you’ve seen the infomercials for Cize, let me tell you this: those workouts are every bit as fun as they look and every bit as tough as you need!  I’m into week three of six and I’m still a little in shock that I can actually do these workouts.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m a sweaty, out of breath mess at the end.  But I do it!  I love the increased energy, the ability to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath, the muscles that are getting stronger . . . I’m already thinking about what workout I’m going to do next (I have the rest of this week then three more before I’m done with Cize).  I actually LOOK FORWARD to working out each day and that is SOOOOOO not like me.

And the nutrition piece?  I finally took the jump and dumped caffeinated soda for starters.  I also purchased a package of clean eating cookbooks and began choosing recipes that have allowed me to try new foods or old favorites prepared in healthier ways (ask me sometime about the ranch dressing substitute that uses pureed cashews as the base of the dressing!).  My eating habits still aren’t perfect but I’ve cut out virtually all junk food and have increased my intake of fruits and veggies for my snacks.

I don’t say this to brag.  I still eat more starches than I probably should and could stand to eat even more veggies but I’ve started making healthier choices and I’m liking the payoff.

But I would not have made ANY changes if I didn’t start by telling myself the truth.  It wasn’t pleasant to admit and it’s a truth that is still hard to say, but I can’t fix a problem if I won’t admit it exists.

 

Inspired

Week 2, day 5 of my new workout plan.  No, that doesn’t sound very long to most people.  But for me?  It’s about a week and 4 days longer than I’ve ever stuck with anything before!  I’m pretty sure that the difference this time around is the fact that I’m not depending on weight loss or a new dress size to make me happier or make me like myself better.  I have flaws, yes.  But there are also things I do well and people that I love fiercely.  To continue to love those people well, I need to be the healthiest I can be.

So here is some of the inspiration I’m using to keep myself motivated.  Thought I’d share these with you –

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