Throwing in the Towel

Have you ever felt like “throwing in the towel”, quitting, just plain giving up?  I have, more times than I can remember.

Like this week.  I started a 10 day shred with my team and wanted to quit really before I even got started good.  What person in their right mind, who gets up at 4:30 in the morning, quits drinking coffee?!?!?  Ok, so Monday I broke down and drank one cup, and really the goal is to give up caffeine and I already drink 1/2 caffeine anyway, so did it really count?  Tuesday I felt like I was in a fog at work so I drank a cup when I got to work.  But Tuesday night I got a package that I was hoping would help me give up the caffeine.  It was two different coffee substitutes that I had ordered to give it a try.

The first coffee substitute, Capomo,  was actually ground Maya nuts and you make it just like you would coffee.  In the ad it says its “a true superfood” and “better than the best coffee” and “it is loaded with nutrients”.  I guess if you just tell yourself that it’s really healthy, you may be able to get one cup down.  If you are a true coffee lover like I am, don’t buy it thinking it is going to taste ANYTHING like coffee, or that it is better than the best coffee.  I’m sorry, but it definitely is not.  I walked out of the house today with about a 1/4 of a cup left in my first cup….that wouldn’t have happened with coffee.  Oh, and the fact that I’m giving up dairy and sugar as well means you can’t add much to it to make it taste any better.

 

However, I am coffee free so far today, and I’m not miserable, so that’s a good sign.  The fact is that detoxing is a good idea for everyone.  Some of the people on my team detox once a month, although I haven’t reached that point yet.  Honestly, I really eat clean most of the time, and I have reduced the number of times I eat out drastically.  My tastes have changed so much that I honestly just don’t enjoy the food when I go out to eat, and I’ve never really liked greasy fast food, at least not since I was a kid.

My second coffee substitute, Teechino, actually tastes pretty good.  I wouldn’t say it actually tastes like coffee, but I can drink it instead.  You can buy it in a “tea” bag or in bulk, but I chose the tea bags. It is really simple to make and I like the taste of it without adding any cream or sugar to it.  Occasionally I add a little honey, but not much.  This ad claims that you get a natural energy boost from the nutrients instead of stimulants, and it says it supports a healthy population of beneficial micro-flora for good digestive health. In case you’re interested in trying either of these you can find them on Amazon.

 

I work at staying in shape, and eating healthy and taking care of myself spiritually, but some days I just feel like quitting.  It’s not because it’s difficult for me to eat right, I really love good food.  And it’s not because I hate to exercise, I’ve finally found some things I really love to do.  It’s because I feel like I have to do it alone so much.  And well, I really love my coffee, so giving that up really is hard.

But yesterday, my youngest son decided he wants to go to the gym.  I have been pestering him for a while now about getting out and doing something physical and I had pretty much given up.  I will pester someone for a while about taking care of themselves, but eventually you have to realize that it has to be their decision.  So, yesterday we went to the gym, and we’re going again today.  It’s days like yesterday that make all the work and the effort worthwhile.  It’s just one day so far, but it’s a start.  I know it’s not cool for a boy to go to the gym with his mom, but he gets his license in a couple weeks and I’m holding on to every chance I get to spend time with him.

From Me to You

marcia   March 3, 2017   1 Comment on From Me to You

If you are reading this, it’s because I care about you. I know sometimes when you hear someone say they care about you the first thing you think is, “I haven’t heard from them in months, and they say they care about me” or “She doesn’t even know me, how can she say she cares about me?”. Trust me, I get it, I have said the same thing. I struggle a lot with people saying “I love you” but you never really see any evidence. We all get busy with our daily lives. So many of us have full time jobs and families and at the end of the day, we just don’t have the time to express to people how we really feel.

This morning when my alarm went off at 4:30 am, as it does every morning M-F, I turned it off and said, “Ok God, I’m over this getting up at 4:30 am every day. I know it was my choice, but I’m so over it”.

My job is a good job. I’ve been here for twelve years, the longest I’ve ever been anywhere. The problem is that my job is not my calling. In the last few years I’ve learned more about myself and who I am than I have in a long time. Something that has always been important to me is my health and the health of my family. I have always tried to eat right and exercise and maintain a healthy weight, and for the most part I’ve done a pretty decent job.

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I turned 40 I can’t tell you how many people told me “It’s all down-hill from here”. I was told I would soon need glasses, I’d start gaining weight, get arthritis, high blood pressure and cholesterol and it was all inevitable, a part of getting old. I remember telling people even back then, “I don’t buy it. I don’t believe you have to fall apart just because you get older.”

My cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and overall health is just as good today, if not better, than it was when I was in my thirties. I will admit though, that over the years after I turned 40, and some even before that, I started to accept certain things as “normal” for someone my age. When my joints ached, or I had migraines three to four times a week, or when I was tired all day long and just didn’t have the energy to do much of anything, I figured it was all just inevitable.

After my dad died, I started really doing some soul searching. I decided that I was going to learn how to actually LIVE my life and get some enjoyment out of it, instead of just living to go to a job every day and wishing the week away in anticipation of the weekend. I prayed and asked God to show me what I could do that I would love doing and not wish the week away, not wish my life away. What I found was the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute where I got my Health Coach Certification. I found where I belonged. I have always loved health and wellness, and I’ve always naturally tried to share that with the people I spend time with, so it seemed like the most logical solution.

While learning from Dr. Sears I also came across Juice Plus. Juice Plus is fruit and vegetables in a capsule or a gummy and it has really changed my life in a lot of ways, not like Jesus, but in a really good way. I first ordered Juice Plus because Isaac does not eat fruit or vegetables. Once in a while I might get him to eat a vegetable or fruit, but never on a daily basis and never enough to really impact his health. So I got him on the child health study, because when I buy Juice Plus for me I get his free. The next step was getting him to eat it consistently.

It took a little while to get him in the habit of eating the Juice Plus every day, but once he did I started noticing subtle changes. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is that he did not have his fall asthma issues that he normally has. Usually in the fall he struggles with his asthma so much that we end up having to refill his inhaler several times. Right now we have two unopened inhalers on our kitchen counter, because he kept looking at his same inhaler and saying it was getting low. That inhaler is still “getting low”. This is huge for him. There are many other benefits I’m seeing with him, but that is the biggest one.

Oh, and me? I rarely get a migraine anymore. I used to carry two things with me everywhere I went: Excedrin Migraine and Ibuprofen. I didn’t leave the house without them. Now I don’t even have ibuprofen or Excedrin in the house and I threw away my mini bottles that I used to carry in my purse. I honestly can not even remember the last time I even bought either of them, it’s been at least six months. I haven’t had joint pain to speak of, my sciatica nerve has not given me any trouble, and I have energy to spare most of the time. That’s not to say that I never get tired, just that I am sleeping better at night, so I don’t feel like I’m dragging all day.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I’ve been having Salad in a Jar parties, and Wine and Wellness events and I’ve been trying my best to share Juice Plus and the path to good health in general with as many people as I can. Which brings me to why I’m writing this post today. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a little nervous about approaching people, even though I believe I have found something that really could help so many people. I am nervous because people don’t like it when their friends try to sell them something, and yeah, I am trying to sell you something. That’s just the truth. But it’s no different than when I first learned about grace. I wanted to share it with everyone I knew, and a lot of people weren’t ready to hear about it. A lot of people thought it was a phase and I would eventually “get over it”. I haven’t. I haven’t gotten over grace and I never will. I also will never “get over” learning how to heal myself naturally, or how to make sure I am taking the best care of myself that I possibly can, or trying to help other people learn that, too.

The bottom line is, if you’ve read this far I hope you hear my heart. I hope you hear that I just want to share something with you that I believe can change your health for the better and maybe even help you get off some medications.

I’ll finish with this. Juice Plus is not a miracle pill, and it’s not a quick fix. It is a lot like grace. It takes more time, and it takes some faith, but the results are lasting and real and visible. You can go to the doctor and get a shot or a pill that will help you feel better for a little while, but quite often it doesn’t address the underlying source of the problem, and it is rarely a cure. Good nutrition is the only thing that really addresses the source of most illnesses which is inflammation. I just felt like I needed to share this with you, I hope that it will help you if you are searching for answers about your health or if you just want to stay healthy as you age, or maybe like me you’re worried about your child who doesn’t eat well. I’m glad someone shared it with me.

If you want to learn more, you can email me, call me or whatever your favorite choice of communication is. If you find that what I write about is interesting and helpful you can subscribe to my newsletter, I try to write something at least once a week, but sometimes I get busy and it ends up being a lot less.   Just know that I care and that is why I do what I do.

Love, Marcia

lifestylemuse@yahoo.com

 

Faith without Work

marcia   February 24, 2017   No Comments on Faith without Work

If you have been in the church at all you have probably heard the quote, “Faith without works is dead.”  I have struggled with this quote for a long time, but this morning it was almost like a light bulb turned on in my mind.  To some it may seem elementary, but maybe you will realize the same things as I did while driving to work this morning.

I try not to write a lot about “religious” things in my blog, because I don’t want to come across as “religious”.  Religion has done more damage to people than probably any other single thing in my opinion.  I do not equate a relationship with God as religion by the way.  Religion is a set of rules, traditions and demands that pull you farther away from relationship and push you into becoming a robot that acts on commands and has no heart.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone who is religious has no heart, but I have found that if you focus on following a bunch of rules, you become more judgmental toward yourself and others and therefore have a harder time truly loving people.

What does all this have to do with faith and works?  A lot really.  When I was growing up in a really religious environment, I saw everything that I was taught as rules.  Everything, and I mean everything, was about obedience.  If you accidentally knocked over a lamp because you were horsing around in the living room, it was because you were not obeying the rule “no horsing around in the living room”.  A result of this was that as I grew up I related being a good Christian to being perfect.  There was no room for accidents or mistakes or miscalculations….it was all disobedience, and disobedience had to be punished.  When it comes to faith and works, I always looked at it as a punishment.  You have to work hard to be accepted, to be loved, to be good enough.    So when I would hear “faith without works is dead”, I heard “Your faith isn’t enough, because you’re not working hard enough.  You’re not getting anywhere in life because you’re not working hard enough to go along with your faith”. Everything seemed to be contingent on my working hard, because just having faith wasn’t enough, and well, my faith was pretty weak most of the time anyway.

How does this relate to health and wellness?  I know a lot of people in the Christian community who have “claimed their healing”.  They have prayed, cried, begged God, believed that they have received their healing and some have even fasted and gone without sleep, but they are still experiencing the symptoms of their illness.  Some may tell them that they just have to believe they are healed and rebuke the symptoms, have more faith.  I would say that maybe this is where the faith may need some works to live.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.  Let’s say there is a man who is struggling with diabetes and he really does want to be healed from it.  That may sound like a given, but I also believe there are people who don’t really want to be healed from their illnesses and diseases because it brings attention to them and they don’t want to lose that, but that’s another subject.  So, let’s call this man Sam.  Sam goes to the Doctor and the doctor tells him he needs to take a prescription to bring down his blood sugar.  Sam probably doesn’t doubt that the doctor is telling him the truth, so he goes to the pharmacy and he orders the prescription that the doctor prescribes.  He goes home and immediately starts taking the pills and checking his blood sugar the way his doctor instructed him to do.  I want to point out that the doctor has not told this man that the pills will cure his diabetes, only that it will control it, and keep his blood sugar regulated hopefully. I will give the benefit of the doubt to the doctor that he at least suggested that Sam go on a diet and try to lose some weight, maybe if he has a really good doctor he will have suggested changing his lifestyle altogether.  Unfortunately, Sam loves to eat the foods that are really bad for him and he really doesn’t want to change his eating habits, and exercise? Forget it!  Sunday morning rolls around and Sam goes to church and requests prayer for healing from his new diagnosis.  Many of the elders and other people in the church gather around him and pray for his healing.  Several of them rebuke the sickness in his body and all of them claim his healing.  Sam goes home from church that day and eats three biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy and several pieces of fried chicken for lunch, then he settles into his recliner with his 20 oz. Dr. Pepper and “rests” for the rest of the day.  I know what you may be thinking, God is not limited by our behavior, and I totally agree.  But God is limited by his own “laws” if you will.  God created our bodies to work a certain way and to use a certain fuel, but if we choose to misuse our bodies on a daily basis, what choice does God have but to allow us to suffer the consequences of our poor choices?  So even though Sam really does want to be healed, and he really doesn’t want to take pills for the rest of his life, there is something he must do in order for that to take place.  He must change his eating habits and add some exercise into his lifestyle in order for the healing to be lasting.  Hypothetically, God could have healed Sam the instant he asked for healing, but if he continues to abuse his body, will he not continue to suffer the consequences?  If you cut yourself, will you not bleed?  Although your body will heal eventually, if you continue to cut yourself, you will continue to bleed and God will not cause this process to change just because you ask him to.

I know this sounds kind of harsh, and I am only using this example to get a point across.  And I chose Type 2 Diabetes to use as an example because in the majority of cases, it is totally preventable.  My first husband was very similar to this man; he wanted to be healed, but he didn’t want to change his lifestyle.  This is where I believe that faith without works is dead.  You may have to do something, or stop doing something, for faith to live.    If you truly want to be healthy, you can believe you are healed all you want, but if you are doing something that is causing your illness to return, something that you have control over, you need to make that change.

I will give you another example.  I started my own business a little over a year ago and I have been trying to consistently work my business while still working a full time job.  It has been slow, but I am seeing some steady growth in my business.  If I were to just sit down and ask God to bless my business, but I do not talk to anyone about it, or show anyone what I’m doing or at least attempt to get some customers, is it sensible to believe that I am just going to get customers out of the woodwork?  While I recognize that God can and often does do many things that defy our own logic, there are many things that work a certain way.  Gravity is a good example of this; if you jump off a ten story building, you will fall and it will hurt and possibly kill you.  Some things simply are the way they are because of the master plan.

In the end, faith without works really is dead, but we don’t have to look at that as a punishment.  We don’t have to look at it as another inadequacy in ourselves.  That is how I’ve looked at it for much of my life, just one more way I don’t measure up.  Now I see it differently.  We don’t have to have huge faith to accomplish a lot, it’s just like when we teach our children to do new things.  The more they learn, and the more they succeed, the more they believe that they can do.  Faith is like that.  The more we have faith, then we do the things we believe can be done, then we succeed….the stronger our faith becomes. This is true in our spiritual lives as well as our physical lives.

I cannot promise you that if you take better care of your health that you will never get sick or that you will live forever.  What I can promise you is that if you take better care of your health that you will feel better and the life that you do live will be more abundant.  We’ve all heard that Jesus came to give us life and that more abundantly.  I believe that with my whole heart.  I believe that he has given all of us the ability to learn what we can do to be healthy both physically as well as spiritually, and sometimes that means learning some new things and unlearning some old things.  If you are want to learn more about how you can take better care of yourself please contact me, that’s what I’m here for.

 

Personal Growth

marcia   February 1, 2017   No Comments on Personal Growth

Have you ever been in a place where you think you’ve got it all figured out?  I’ve been there a few times.  Luckily when I’m in those places someone comes along or something happens to remind me I’ve still got a lot to learn.

During the last couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of reading for my own personal growth.  There are so many books out there and they are so easy to access anymore.  I love that I can go to Amazon and buy a book and have it downloaded in minutes.  There is only one drawback to being able to download a book so quickly…sometimes I buy a book and before I get started on it good I see another one that looks good.  Before I know it, I’ve got three books going and I can’t remember where I am on any of them.

Recently I finished reading The Cure For The Common Life by Max Lucado.  If there was ever a book that talks about where I’m at, this is it.  I have struggled for years with feeling like there is more to life than this, I’m meant for more, and questioning, “Why am I so dissatisfied?”  We are all meant for something, but we have all been brainwashed into believing we can’t make a living doing what we love.  There have been many times that I have said, “If I could make a living cooking, I would do it”.  Instead, I work at a job that pays the bills and wish I was doing something else.  Does this really make sense?

I know how hard it is to change your focus, especially as you get older.  It is easier to stay where you are and just accept things the way they are.  I used to think that comfort was the goal, but now I believe comfort may be the enemy.  Comfort can lead to stagnation and boredom and sometimes even laziness.  If you wish for excitement and spontaneity and a thrill once in a while, you have to do something that stretches you, tries you a little.  I have spent so many years working toward safety and comfort I forgot how to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

One of my goals for this year is to be more adventurous, to try more new things and to be spontaneous.  This is difficult for a planner like myself.  I like my details and having everything lined up neat and tidy, but neat and tidy doesn’t allow for much excitement.  Last summer, my husband and I went on a boat trip in the ocean.  We thought we were going to stay in the inlets, but ended up seven miles from shore.  This is a good example of my planning not exactly being neat and tidy, but we got some awesome pictures.  When we find that “sweet spot” as Max Lucado calls it, I think there is plenty of room for fun, excitement and spontaneity and loving what we do for a living, too!

 

Weight Loss Starts In Your Mind

I posted on Facebook and Twitter this week that I would like to invite some people to join me in a research project.  Specifically, I stated that I am going to research dieting and why we do it.  Of course the initial answer would be “to lose weight, duh!”, but I’m looking for more than that.  Really, I should say, “Why do we want to lose weight?”  That begs a different answer altogether.

I have spent most of my life working at losing or not gaining weight.  Most people who know me will tell you that other than when I’ve had my kids and a year or so surrounding that, I’ve pretty much stayed the same size.  I gain a pound here and lose a pound there, but mostly I stay the same.  This is by design, not by accident.

For me, up until around two years ago, being a certain weight has been an obsession and an attempt at perfection.  When I was a teenager, I wanted to look like someone else, not like me.  There are many reasons for this, but the strongest reason was because I didn’t think I was attractive.  Somewhere in my youth I heard that in order to have the perfect body your proportions had to be just right.  The numbers in my head right now are 36″, 26″, and 36″.  Those measurements are breast, waist, and hips respectively.  I think my hips were bigger than 36″ from the time I was 11 or 12, so what was I supposed to do with that?  I didn’t realize then that those numbers were not meant for every woman and not even attainable for some.  Something else I remember was a chart that said my optimal weight was 120 lb.  So, that is something else I tried to achieve for most of my adult life.  I’m sad to admit I went way below that a few times in pursuit of my picture of perfection.  It turned out that I was really pursuing looking like a skeleton, but I couldn’t see that.

For many people, but I think women especially, self-image has a lot to do with the reason they want to lose weight.  I know it was for me.  I thought if I looked better, people would love me more.  I thought if I weighed less I would somehow be more attractive and accepted by my peers.  I thought that what was on the outside was so much more important than who I was on the inside.  I was wrong.  About all of it.

I am starting a project and I would like as many people to join me as possible.  I want to find out why we want to lose weight, why it’s so important to us to fit into a size 6 (I don’t know what that “perfect” size is for men), and what we can do to lose weight for the right reasons if we need to lose weight at all.

If you have chased diet after diet, weight loss program after weight loss program and still struggle with your weight or your perception of your weight, please get in touch with me.  Let’s figure this out together and see if we can’t bring about a change in our perceptions and if necessary our bodies.

You can contact me by leaving a comment, emailing me at lifestylemuse@yahoo.com, or connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter.

A Challenge

marcia   January 12, 2017   No Comments on A Challenge
After talking to my son about my last blog post and asking him to read it, I have learned that I have another challenge.  How do you teach your child to work hard, do their best and try to excel at everything they do without helping them to feel like they have to perform for approval?
After my son read my blog post “Having fun”, he responded by saying this:”What I meant when I said no one wants to be healthy is that it’s easier said than done.  It’s easier for me to watch my favorite YouTuber play a game than it is for me to go spend the money to buy it.  It’s easier to watch someone else be healthy and work out than to spend time and not get the results you want.  See, it’s easier to quit than to fail because if you quit then you don’t feel like you can’t do anything or that everything you have done was for nothing.”
My kids have not always had the easiest life.  Hell, who has?  My life was no bed of roses growing up, and I really wanted things to be a little easier for my boys.  I worked really hard so they could have some of the things that I didn’t have, but in the end, we sacrificed in other areas that were so much more important.
Boys do not always express themselves the way a girl might.  Girls tend to let you know when you’ve let them down, or if they’re not happy with how things are going, but a lot of boys just stuff all that emotion, or at least that’s what mine do.  Every now and then, when something happens that just tips everything a little too far, I will get what they’ve been feeling for a long time.  Normally in a way that practically rips my heart out.  I have learned, though, not to be so sensitive and to let them vent and express themselves in those moments and try to really hear what they are saying.
The last time this happened, my youngest son expressed to me that he didn’t like me being gone so much and not being available for him when he needed me.  I stayed home after he was born until he was around 2, then I went back to work.  Mostly because I felt like I needed to, but partly because I wanted to.  Eventually, I had no choice.  I would have loved a job that I could work from home and be there when my kids got up in the morning and when they got home from school, but that isn’t how it worked out.  Now, my oldest son is 25 and my youngest is 17 and you would think that they would need me less, but that’s not necessarily true.
I could sit around and feel sorry for myself because I wasn’t able to be a stay at home mom, or because I made poor choices that affected my boys.  I could wallow in regret, and I have.  I choose to learn, and to find a way to go forward in a way that is constructive for not only myself, but for my boys and for their children.  I have learned so many things in the last few years and I’m not finished learning. We really never stop learning if we’re open to it.
So, I have a second challenge: figure out how to motivate a child to work at succeeding without controlling and manipulating and without guilt.  We all need to learn that it’s ok to fail, we don’t have to be perfect at everything, or anything, we can just enjoy the process of learning how to do things and be ok with not being great at them.

Having Fun

marcia   January 12, 2017   No Comments on Having Fun

I’m going to be real honest and transparent with you.  I don’t think of myself as fun.  Probably if you asked most people who know me, they would not describe me as fun either.  They may say I’m dependable, responsible, loyal, hard working and maybe compassionate and caring, in other words super boring, but not fun.

A few weeks ago, this reality hit me all of a sudden, “I’m not fun!”  I broke down in tears, because not only do I not think of myself as fun, but I really am not sure HOW to become fun.  Why is this important to me?  Because I realized that most of my life has been devoted to work.  I have been so concerned about working to pay bills, provide for my boys, have a vehicle to drive, and so many other things that I lost sight of actually enjoying life.

Something that brought this even more to light for me was a discussion that I had with my seventeen year old son last night.  He loves to watch youtube.  He spends hours watching other people play video games and make silly comments while they are doing it.  He watches people skateboarding, snow boarding, surfing, dancing, singing and God only knows what else.  He watches, he doesn’t participate.  He was telling me about one of his favorite youtubers (is that even a word?) and it kind of irritated me.  He was talking about how they basically make their living by recording themselves doing whatever they do, play video games, act silly, whatever.  I felt angry.

What I said to my son was, “Well, it must be nice to just have fun and get paid for it.  Some of us actually have to get a job so we can do mundane things like pay bills and raise kids.”  He said, “Yes, but some people can have fun and get paid for it.”  That realization threw me.  I told him that I am so used to being told that I have to produce something to be valuable, that I have to work hard whether I enjoy it or not, that I felt angry when I heard him talk about getting paid to have fun.

When I started on my journey to being a health coach, I was really excited.  I thought, “Finally, I can do something that I love and get paid to do it.”  The reality of it has been very discouraging.  It has been difficult to get started, and it has been even more difficult to realize that people don’t want to pay for you to teach them how to take care of themselves.

This is what my son told me last night.  “People don’t want to get healthy, it’s not fun.  You can’t make it fun.  Only some people want to exercise and eat right, most people just want to sit around and watch other people do things.”  Wow…is that what it’s come to?  So, the question becomes, “How do I make changing your lifestyle from unhealthy to healthy… fun?”

This has become my new challenge.

Together

marcia   January 10, 2017   No Comments on Together

We hear it all the time, “You can’t do this alone”.  Some people think they can do whatever they’re trying to do alone, but really in the end we all need someone.  Even if you work for yourself, you still need clients, or customers, or someone who needs your services in some way.  We’ve all heard the saying, “No man is an island unto himself”.  It’s true, and I keep learning that it’s true in so many different aspects of life.

There are times that I just want to do things by myself.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that I like some things a certain way.  I like the dishes in my kitchen exactly where I have them.  When someone else puts the dishes away, I try to appreciate their help, but most of the time I end up rearranging them.  I also like having my time in the mornings to myself.  I don’t always get that time, but I like it when I do.

One thing that I really don’t like doing alone is exercising.  I would rather have someone to work out with who is pushing me to my limit, encouraging me to do one more, and just knowing there’s someone else that wants the same things as me.  Some things I’d rather do alone in a way, because I’m embarrassed to admit I can do so few push ups or planks, but I think we grow more when we have someone working with us.

Often when we fall into bad habits it is because we are alone.  We get discouraged and think we can’t keep up with someone else, or we run up on an obstacle that we think is too big to overcome.  We forget that we need people to help us overcome obstacles sometimes and we need to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us to keep up.

Last summer, my husband and I had started mountain biking together and I ended up getting discouraged.  It was something he wanted us to do together and at first I really enjoyed it.  The only problem was that I had a terrible seat and I didn’t realize that you aren’t supposed to sit while going through all those bumps.  I ended up with a bruised tailbone and really didn’t even want to go again.  Eventually, after the pain went away, I got a better seat and tried again.  There was a group of guys that were all going the day we went and I felt very intimidated.  I didn’t want to ride with a bunch of guys, because I knew they were all more experienced than I was and they would be faster.  I also knew at least a few of them, including my husband, would feel like they had to stop and wait for me to catch up.  My perfectionist attitude has kept me from enjoying a lot of things in life.  If I can’t do it as well as everyone else, regardless of their level of experience I believe I have two options: work harder than anyone else to achieve more faster or quit.  That day I chose to quit.

One thing I have learned since that day on the bike course is that I need people in my life.  Sometimes I need them to wait for me to catch up so I’m not alone, sometimes I need to wait for someone else to catch up so they are not alone.  Most of my life I have believed I had to do everything myself and do it better than anyone else.  Today I believe that I just need to do my best, whatever that is and accept that the experience will come.  I also believe that I need to learn to enjoy what I’m doing instead of turning it into a competition, or making it seem like other people are annoyed with my lack of progress.

My husband wasn’t frustrated by me being slower than him, he was just happy to be out there.  The other guys that stopped and waited were not frustrate either, they were happy to be an encouragement to a new rider.  It was my perspective on how I thought I should be doing that kept me from enjoying the moment.

We all need someone to be an encouragement to us and we all need to be an encouragement to someone else.  We all have different gifts and we are all at different places on our journey.  Let’s all accept each other where we are and give a helping hand when we’re the one’s that are a little higher on the climb.

Today’s Tip: Accepting facts

Have you ever had someone tell you something that you didn’t like?  I think it happens to all of us at one time or another.  When we were kids we probably heard stuff we didn’t like all the time: you can’t eat candy or ice cream for dinner, go outside and play, stop hitting your brother/sister, slow down, speed up, there are just too many to remember.  The kind of things I’m talking about are a little different.  The kind of things some people don’t like to hear as adults are: you can’t move up in that company, you aren’t skinny enough, you aren’t pretty enough, you don’t make enough money, you don’t have a nice enough house, car, etc.  Those are just a few.

The things I talked about in the previous paragraph are things we don’t like to hear, but most of them are not facts.  You actually COULD eat candy or ice cream for dinner, you really don’t HAVE TO go outside and play, you could keep hitting someone if you really want to and lets face it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  There are some facts that people do need to accept though.  If you DO eat candy or ice cream for dinner, chances are you’re going to be sick.  If you don’t go outside to play, maybe there won’t be terrible consequences for that, but if you do keep hitting someone, you will end up on the receiving end sooner or later.

The truth, or facts if you will, is that we CAN do whatever we want.  The fact is, there will be consequences for whatever we do, good or bad.  Most of us are in the midst of consequences in some form or another right now.  If we went out and charged up credit cards to buy Christmas presents we are in the “after” phase now.  It was so exciting running around buying gifts we knew everyone would just love, now the truth comes to light, we will be paying on those cards possibly for the whole next year to pay them back.  That’s not such a good feeling.

We also might be experiencing the consequences of overindulging during Christmas, and God help us, New Year’s is coming up!  You’re probably thinking, “As soon as that New Year’s Eve party is over I’m going on a diet!”  The problem is that a significant number of New Year’s resolutions never become a reality.

When I was a kid, I remember a saying, “Garbage in, Garbage out”.  I’m sure that saying was referring to what we were putting in our minds, and I agree that is true.  The fact is, that if you are constantly putting garbage into your body, the results are not going to be pretty.  Some of the consequences of not eating properly and exercising are high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, high cholesterol, obesity, low energy, acne, and the list goes on.  The fact is that you are able to be in control of all these things if you want to be.  You can take back what is yours, your health care.

We have put way too much of our responsibilities as humans in the hands of someone else.  We should be taking care of our own selves, not expecting a doctor to put us back together when we have been careless and even intentionally harming our bodies.  Some people really don’t know how to care for themselves, they’ve never been taught. Other people know and make poor choices anyway.  There are some chronic illnesses that can be turned around by changing our habits from bad habits to good habits.  The fact is, some of us need to learn better ways.

So as you consider your New Year’s resolutions this year, think about this.  How about a New Life Resolution instead?  How about joining the Healthy Living Revolution?  I’ve already joined, so if you’re looking, that’s where you’ll find me.

Today’s Tip: Don’t wait

So it’s the day after Christmas and many people are on vacation.  We all probably ate more yesterday than we normally do, and may not be finished yet.  Most people think of January first as being the day of new beginnings, turning over a new leaf, or making new year’s resolutions.  I would say, don’t wait until January first to make a commitment to your own health.  Sometimes there are commitments that we have to renew every day; taking care of ourselves is one of those commitments.

Why tell yourself you’re just going to wait until January first to start working on that goal; losing weight, exercising more, drinking more water, or just trying to think more positive?  It doesn’t have to be drastic, but start today.  Even if you’ve still got holiday meals to go to you can watch what you eat.  Choose the lighter menu items, or just eat less of the ones that are not as good for you.  I love  a good Prime Rib, but I don’t eat them often.  When I do, I enjoy every bit of it and try to eat vegetables or a good salad with it.  Even if you have some parties to still attend, like New Year’s Eve, you can drink more water.  A good way to stay hydrated, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol, is to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink.  Even if it’s cold outside and you really don’t feel like doing anything other than wrapping up with a blanket and a good book, you can do isometrics.  This is just tensing your muscles (making a muscle) several times with each muscle group.  If you do ten reps of each muscle group, you will be surprised how much you feel it.

It really does just take one simple change to make bigger changes.  Don’t wait to get started, there are small ways to start today and by January first you’ll be ahead of the game!