One Step

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I am going to state something that is pretty bold.  I would say that generally speaking, most people know on some level what is good for them, and what is not.  There is general knowledge out there, that is absorbed from all parts of life.  Fried bad, fresh veggies good.  So, when a person gets to the point where he or she is just tired of being sick and tired.  Tired of being overweight and not feeling the best.  Often times a person just isn’t sure where to start, or how to start.  A lifetime of habits can prove to be a real struggle to change.  I like the story of David Faires from Utah.  He found one change that he could make, that would turn his health around.  He took out of his daily diet, his slurpee.  As time went on, he started incorporating more changes, eating healthier, and exercising.  Faires stated, “You just can’t think about what you should do to lose weight, you have to actually do it.”

Watch this short video about his inspiring story.  I have been holding onto this video for about 5 years, because when I saw it, it inspired me to realize that I do not have to change everything at once.  I just have to make the next right decision to benefit my health.

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Since there is so much confusion out there about health and weight loss, it is so important, to educate ourselves.  You can make good changes, but if you do not understand why you are doing it, then you are less likely to continue with those changes.  It is easier to give up when your first or tenth craving hits!  Your continued health depends on it!

What is one step that you can take, starting today, that will take you that much further toward your health goals?

For me?  It is finally saying no to dairy, peanuts, and gluten.  It certainly won’t be easy.

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Emotional Eating

It is not uncommon for a person to crave certain foods when dealing with different emotions. I would go as far to say that a great many people turn to foods to cope with life. Stress, depression, frustration, boredom, and trauma can all be triggers. What matters is noticing the triggers and learning to cope.

If you are feeling like you really struggle to cope without consuming unhealthy foods, you can turn to most addiction 12 step programs for guidance, as the principles are the same. It is so important to understand that you are using foods to cope and to start paying attention as to how you are feeling when you eat and when you crave food.

This is why keeping a food journal is so important. Tracking the times you eat and crave food can really help you pin point a certain time of day where you might get tired and down, resulting in a craving for something less healthy. Let’s face it. Toward the end of the day, sometimes we get tired, and the desire to take time out to prepare a healthy meal gets weak. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just thrown in the towel and gone for fast food. Yes, it is convenient, and it usually feels good to eat, but I always feel horrible soon after.

Stress is another common trigger for many. For me, when I’m stressed, I tend to not eat much. I lose my appetite, but when I do get hungry, it is usually not fruit carbs that I turn to, because it’s quick and easy.

When I’m feeling down, it is pretty much everything on my “should not eat list” that I crave.

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I doubt it. Let me share with you the tips that I have learned over the years. Some of these are tips that I have covered recently, but they are that important, to repeat.

When I’m feeling down, I am usually missing some primary foods in my life. Since I struggle with “perfection” and what I should be doing, when I make a mistake, it is easy for me to get down about it. So, I take some time in the morning to write out my thoughts. Getting them all out is very freeing. I drink a tall glass of water, and I allow myself a break. Processing why I feel I failed really helps me understand and realize that it’s ok, and I can try again. Often times, I am missing some scripture study, prayer, or exercise, so I make a point to get each one into my day, along with plenty of water.

If I am stressed, I tend to shut down. I stop eating and doing. So, to cope with this, I first spend as much time as I need, writing or journaling why I am stressed. Doing this helps to clear my mind, so I can make a comprehensive action list. This journaling can be done in the morning and at night. Getting exercise certainly helps me to clear my mind and focus on the most important or time sensitive tasks, and don’t forget about drinking lots of water.

Hopefully, you see a pattern. Emotional eating can be linked to a missing primary food. So when you find yourself struggling with cravings due to emotions, take a step back, and assess those primary foods in your life. What is missing? Then go from there, seeing what you need to change.

Are you stuck experiencing the same cravings from similar emotions? These can be released and eliminated from your life. Ask me how.

Success after the challenge

Eating healthy and exercising regularly are not hard when you have a group of people doing it with you, when you have points to keep track of, and especially when prize money is at stake!  But what do you do when the challenge is over?  When the support group has dissipated?  It is so easy to go back to the way things were before the support group entered your life.  Believe me, I know.  It can be disheartening to have that support gone…it can be quiet, leaving you to think, “Now what?”

So, let’s talk about how to create success after the challenge.  Here’s 8 tips to set yourself up for success.

1. It is so important to get an accountability partner.  It can be a friend, relative, someone you met during your challenge, but you need someone who is going to be supportive, yet they are going to call you out when you need it.

2.  You need to have your why firmly in place, and you need to have it written down, like I mentioned here.  If you are not reminding yourself regularly why you want to get healthy, it will be even easier to slip back into old habits.

3.  You need to set goals.  Specific goals, some long-term, some short-term, but make sure you take the time out to figure out at least 1 step you can take right now, to achieve that goal.  Those little steps will get you there!  Make sure you write out your goals where you will see them regularly, because not writing them down, is showing a lack of commitment.

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This website has great tips on setting and achieving goals.

4.  Keep track of your progress.  If you want to make a cool graph on the computer track it on myfitnesspal, or if you just want to write it down in your journal, make sure you are seeing the progress that you are making.  Not matter how big or small, your progress is, its progress!  It’s a win!

5. Be nice to yourself!  Positive self talk is HUGELY important!  If you are saying things to put yourself down, your subconscious will take that to be the truth, and it will greatly limit your full potential.

6. Regularly let go of emotions that are clogging up your progress.  Sometimes you might feel stuck, like you just can’t get past a certain milestone, or you just can’t bring yourself to continue toward you goal or goals.  This is common, and it is most commonly due to past experiences, that made you decide something that was not true about yourself.  It is so freeing to rid our bodies of these emotions, and to allow healing and growth to continue.  If you feel like this is something you need guidance for, please contact me, and I can walk you through it.  It is something I am becoming certified in.

7. Forgive yourself!  Make sure that you are not holding onto your past mistakes.  I cannot stress this enough.  When you make a mistake…and it is bound to happen, then you need to let it go and continue.  Tomorrow is another day.  The next hour is another hour.  Your future is not written based on your past.  Your future will be determined by what you choose right now, in this moment.  Pick yourself back up and try again.  I like this thought from Sandy over at Sandycadamy said:  “failing a quiz is better than getting a 0 for not even trying.”  Failure is the sign that you are willing to do what is hard to reach your goals.

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8.  Learn from your mistakes.  Life is full of mistakes.  That is how we learn, and that is how we gain wisdom.  What you do after you make the mistake determines how you are going to progress.  I like the quote, “Make a mistake once and it becomes a lesson.  Make a mistake twice and it becomes a choice.”  There are quite a few variations to this quote, so I cannot tell you who said it… but it still rings of truth.

Primary Foods

This topic might surprise you a little bit.  When we are looking at changing our lifestyle to be more healthy, losing unwanted weight, and reversing disease through diet, we need to consider other factors in our environment that might play a key role in our success.

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Primary foods aren’t foods at all, at least, not in the sense that you might first think.  These foods are more so the relationships in our lives, career, physical activity and spirituality.  Many times, we are experiencing unwanted cravings when we are not nourishing these aspects of our lives.  Not only might we experience cravings, but we will also find ourselves feeling down, because we are lacking the fulfillment from one of those areas.

So when you are feeling like something is missing, take a personal inventory.  What is missing from your life?  Are you giving everything from your relationships that you could be?  Are you nurturing those important relationships with others?  How about your physical activity?  Are you exercising regularly to strengthen your body and release those endorphins that are so important to feeling great and feeling happy?  How about your career?  Are you fulfilling your purpose?  Is your career fulfilling?  Are you connecting with your higher power daily?  Is that relationship strengthening daily, or is there something lacking?

When we neglect these vital parts of our well-being, we begin to feel down, or even depressed.  We need to ensure that we are taking care of our own immediate needs regularly, in order to be available to help others.  Your to-do list should consist of nurturing the body, heart, mind, and soul every single day.  Doing this will automatically put you in a frame of mind to take the necessary steps to nourish your body through food as well.

Have you noticed a time in your life when focusing on your primary foods benefited your whole well-being?

Your Why

With any goal that you have set for ourselves, you need to know what steps to take to achieve it. It is just as important to know why you want to achieve it.

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Photo and great information on figuring out your why here.

In focusing specifically on health goals:

Let’s talk about figuring out your “why”. Do you want to lose weight, prevent disease, heal from sickness, or reverse disease? Be clear, and be specific. For me, I want to lose weight and reverse polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). How does that look for me? Eating a low glycemic diet, exercising regularly, taking daily supplements, learning to cope with hormonal changes.  I might write on a piece of paper, “BE FREE OF PCOS!” and hang it on the mirror.

How about you? What is your “why” to achieve a healthier life?

After you figure out your why, write it on a piece of paper (or multiple) and hang it on your bathroom mirror, by your bed, in your car, on your fridge and/or on your cabinets.

If you are struggling to remember to exercise, put it on your mirror, or put it in your alarm clock notes (if you use a smart device for that).

For struggling with cravings, put the note on the cupboard and/or on your fridge with a reminder to drink water first.

Lastly, make sure you purposefully look at, read, and internalize your “why” daily. The more we see what we want to achieve or become, the more out brains accept the idea and then begin actually bring about the change necessary. Note, this process takes time to see results.

Don’t give up! You’ve got this!

Ultimately, achieving our goals

Never Give Up!

I thought that today would be a good day to get a dose of motivation. Basically, whatever you put your mind to, you can accomplish. This video is one of my favorites. I know what it feels likes to be told you won’t ever run. I like to go against the grain…I want to prove everyone wrong. That is why I love this video.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Try.

Routine

Having an daily routine is so important to establishing healthy habits, and helping you reach your goals.  I didn’t always believe that it was such a big deal.  When my two oldest children were younger, they seemed to do relatively well without a strict daily routine.  After the two younger kids came, I realized how lacking my life was in this area.  Over the first handful of years, I developed some poor habits that have proven very hard to break.

Unbeknownst to me, the lack of schedule caught up to us.  Years of not planning ahead for meals, and not taking time out to exercise took its toll on our family.  The change began to happen after we moved out into the country.

If we have a daily routine, not only can we plan out our meals and know when we are going to eat them, we get to work other things into our lives that will be for our benefit.

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Here are FOUR things to consider working into your daily routine for a more fulfilling and healthful life.

 

1. Plan.  Not having a meal plan will set anyone up for failure.  Especially if you are trying to change eating habits.  This meal plan should even include times that you plan to eat.  Waiting too long between meals, can cause cravings that will sabotage health goals, and could be a factor in binge eating.  Knowing what you eat and when is a major factor in losing weight and getting healthy.  Ultimately, the way we eat is the most important aspect of weight loss.  Exercise, while important is useless if we are not eating in a way that will encourage proper nutrition and fuel for our bodies without causing a major blood sugar spike and crash roller coaster.

 

2.  Exercise.  Diet is the most important thing to change when seeking to lose weight and or get healthy, but exercise really maximizes the process.  Every single person is different in the rate that they release excess weight, but by including both of these two aspects into a daily routine will prove to be optimal.  Remember that when first making these changes, it is not necessary to go all out with you exercise.  In fact, it will be easier on your body if you ease into it by starting with walks, light jogs, yoga, and other gentle forms of exercise.  As your endurance increases, harder more challenging exercises can be added in to suit your needs.  If you are already used to heavy exercise, then I say, keep on!

 

3. Meditation.  Setting time aside each day for you to reflect on your goals, desires, pray to God, study scriptures, and state your positive affirmations is a powerful tool in your life.  Not only will you develop a closer relationship to God, but you will also develop a healthier love for yourself.  Quiet reflection can ease stress, and help prepare yourself for the day, or for bed.

 

4. You time.  If you are anything like my husband and I, you are very devoted to the jobs, tasks, and events that you have going on every single day.  This can wear on a person greatly.  It is important that you take time for yourself, doing something that will bring you inner peace and joy.  As a stay at home, homeschooling mother of four children, I find that I really need something for myself.  It can be challenging to get some “me time” in every single day, but focusing on at least one day a week can do great things.  Don’t know  what to do for “me time?”  compile a list of things that bring you joy, and think of ways you can add those things into your life more often.

 

None of this is an exact science.  Since we are all so different, we will all find different results as we seek to better our lives and our health.  All in all, establishing a regular routine, focusing on some of these things will greatly improve your life, and your health!

Remember, trying to change everything at once can be very hard and discouraging.  I used to try to do it all at once, and I never lasted very long.  be patient with yourself and just keep trying.  Add in something new when you feel ready to do so!

What will you be adding to your daily routine?

The Health Equation

When people talk about getting fit and losing weight, we mostly hear about eating habits and exercise.  These are so important; however, there is one element of the equation missing.  Supplementation.

So many people are starving to death.  You wouldn’t think that, looking at them (especially with the rate of over weight people), but it is the truth.  Without proper nutrition, people are starving at the cellular level!  When our body needs fuel, it sends a signal to our brains that we need food.  Our tummy growls, and we then proceed to feed the hunger.  The question is, what are we feeding our bodies?  When we eat highly processed foods, our bodies are getting little to no nutrition from the food–thus sending the body the signal AGAIN, for food.  In doing this, we are eating empty calories that wind up getting stored as fat.  It is a vicious cycle.  Someone eating the same old, dead and empty foods – spiking blood sugar, storing fat, and maxing out the pancreas.

In the Standard American Diet (SAD), majority of people are just not getting sufficient nutrition to maintain their health.  Even the soil that our produce is grown in is leached of proper nutrition, leaving our good vibrant foods lacking in the full nutritional value they should be able to provide for us.

Not to mention that approximately 85% of the food found in a grocery store is highly processed and loaded with sugars.  Add the fact that in order to buy fresh produce, and healthier food options, it costs so much more than the alternative.  This just sets us up to fail.

So, for all of those missing nutrients, we need to turn to supplements to help provide what we are lacking.  Even those who are eating a healthy whole food diet, they too, need supplements to get everything that they need.

Here’s the thing.  Choosing the right supplement and company is a challenge.  There are so many options.  You might ask, are they all created equal?  The short answer to that is, NO.

But luckily, one man wanted to be able to compare brands, in order to choose the very best!  Lyle MacWilliam was the man.  He did the research and published this book, Comparitive Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

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I happen to have this book.  If you are local, I would be more than willing to let you look through it.  If you are not local, then I would be very willing to look up any supplement for you.  Just contact me.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

To inquire about the supplements that I take, please contact me.

The Uniqueness of Progress

The first week of starting a new lifestyle is usually very fulfilling, in terms of weight released.  As we rid our bodies of processed sugars and begin to drink more water, our body automatically sheds quite a bit of weight.  Everyone is different in this regard.  My first week of eating low glycemic, I released 12 pounds!  I was thrilled, but I knew enough to not expect the same results the next week.

It is so important to realize that we need to be measuring progress in other areas besides just weight.  In fact, in my experience, I see more results when I have been keeping track of measurements, or even just paying attention to how I feel in my clothes.  While you might not release any weight during a week, you more than likely released inches.

If you feel like you aren’t getting to where you want to be, try measuring your upper arms, thighs, waist, bust, hips, and even your neck.  You will likely see changes there!

Other ways to measure progress.  How long is it taking you to walk/run a mile?  Are you getting quicker?  Are you able to do more push ups or sit ups than before?  What about your ability  to keep up with the pace of something that you struggled with in the past?

Ultimately, weighing yourself is not the only way to gauge your progress.  In fact, it becomes one of the most psychologically draining forms of tracking weight loss for many people.  It is too easy to put your life on hold until that magical number has been reached.

So pat yourself on the back for you progress, big or small.  Progress is progress.  It is a new day.  Set your goals for the day and week.  Don’t minimize it.  Watch for other, more fulfilling fruits of your hard work in the future.

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The Power of Choice: 6 ways to harness the power of choice

Choice.  We all have it.  No one can make you do anything, because you are in control of you, and there is always a choice to be made.  The argument that “McDonalds made me fat” is one of those that frustrates me.  No one forced you to walk into the restaurant, and certainly no one forced you to order or eat the food you bought.  When it comes to our health, we HAVE to take accountability for the situation that we are in.

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Choice is a very powerful and often overlooked tool that what will get us to the point of not only achieving our goals, but surpassing them and going far beyond.

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One person might call it “will power,” or resisting something desirable for something great and ultimately beneficial to their health, whether mental or physical.

So how do you rise above the temptations that face you every single day?  How do you tap into that power of choice to launch you toward your goals?

I cannot express this enough, that progress is made through making the right choices; small and simple choices for the long term, that lead to your end goal.

So, here are 6 ways to harness the power of choice to benefit your life.

 

1. Seek the guidance of God.  This is my number one in all aspects of my life.  I have

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learned the hard way that I can’t do it without Divine help.  I can do it for a while, but to make lasting change, I HAVE to turn to my Savior, because my mortal body is weak, and I sometimes forget how or why I need to be using choice to become a better person.  You can do this by contemplating the things that you need or desire to change.  Be realistic.  If you are wishing to change the shape of your body or your nose, that is a totally different topic–you ultimately need to learn how to love yourself the way God made you; this process is also done through God.  But, if you are trying to stop smoking, eating sugar, drinking alcohol, or if you are merely trying to change some habits, this is your huckleberry! — After coming to a realization of what needs changing, you then go to God in prayer, however that looks for you.

 

2. Promptings Presented.  As you pray for guidance and help, you will be given promptings, thoughts, or opportunities to weigh your options.  Often times, when I have been praying for help in changing habits, I am usually presented with the temptation, but I am also presented with an alternate option.. one prompted by God through the Holy Ghost.  A choice.  Whether I follow the guidance from God, now that is up to me.  Sometimes, it takes learning the hard way to actually recognize the prompting.  I will tell you that the more and more you consciously choose to reject temptations for whatever we are struggling with, the easier it will be to just walk away and eventually, the temptation will be gone.  Although, there are some addictions that are a lifelong battle.  The temptations if you are addicted to pornography, alcohol or drugs can crop up in our lives in the least expected ways.  Even sugar could be included here.  It is very important to always be praying, developing a close relationship with God in order to be protected from those temptations.  In short, you have the power to CHOOSE.

 

3. Preemptive Action.  Get rid of anything in your house that is going to tempt you to cheat.  Clear out your fridge, freezer, and cupboards of processed or high-glycemic foods.  Preemptive action will drastically reduce how many times you are tempted.  Your house should be a safe haven for you to feel comfortable and supported in your life, so make it that way!  This is half the battle of changing your eating habits!  I find that I am much more successful if I bring my family along for the journey as well.  Chances are, they need to make changes too.  If you are eating your new meal plan, and they are eating the same ole’, you can bet that you won’t last as long.

 

4. Plan ahead!  Put together a meal plan with detailed menus for each day, and make your shopping list to coincide.  I like to do this at the end of the week around Friday or Saturday to work around pay day.  Spend one day at the beginning of the week (or whenever works best for you) to prepare meats, fruits and vegetables for you meals.  If you don’t have a plan, you will fail.  It is as simple as that.  I find that if I do not have a plan, I wind up turning toward the easy way out.  Fast food.  I always regret it.

 

5. Be prepared!  When you have to leave the house for work or other outings, be prepared!  Pack your lunch, or know where you can go to get the foods that are going to fit your new lifestyle (a simple google search can help you find a restaurant that will be friendly to your new lifestyle).  We live out in the country approximately 30 minutes away from the town we spend quite a lot of time in.  We travel there at least twice a week.  That is where we go to church, take piano lessons, and  do the bulk of our grocery shopping.  So, in order to not get caught in a compromising situation, I pack a lunch and/or snacks, and I know where we can go to get an approved meal for everyone.  Packing your own food will generally save you money too!

 

6. Stay positive!  Making changes like this can be hard.  You might do really well for an

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extended amount of time and then find yourself slipping back into old habits.  Just know, that you can regroup and get back on board always.  Making one mistake isn’t going to ruin your journey back to good health.  Love yourself.  Forgive yourself, and start noticing the good things you are accomplishing!  Write down  or state out loud the good things every day, if it helps to keep your mind right.

 

All in all, you can do anything that you put your mind to.  You just need to have the desire to do so.  Then, then rest will come.

Good luck!  You can do it!

NOTE:  These tips can be applied to any addiction, although for more serious addictions, you are likely to need more help and support to overcome!  But know that you can do it!  All it starts with is a desire to do so!