Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle

Welcome to Healthy Holidays!

We’re diving in by tackling one of the main causes of Holiday weight gain: emotional eating! Don’t let it claim you as a victim, just take a few steps to be prepared :)

 

 

What’s Your Relationship Status?

No, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life! The status I wonder about is your relationship with food. For some, this relationship is more sensitive than any other. Just as children learn how to treat members of the opposite sex from their parents, studies show that childrens’ relationship to food is also derived from parents. What does all this mean? Well, how you perceive food is more than likely a product of how you were raised. If you are raising children, you’re passing that relationship on as well. I hear a lot of people complain about the fact that they can’t get their food under control because their mom, dad, grandma, aunt, etc. always used food as a crutch. In their household food was used as a reward and at times also a punishment: “No desert if you don’t clean your room!” Getting the picture? Well, although this is very common in most families (especially those of the past 2 generations); it’s still just another excuse. And as you have heard me say time and time again, where excuses end progress begins.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute. You have no idea how I was raised and what a toll that had on me”, and you’re right: I don’t. I do however know how I was raised. Food was the center of our house. It was used to celebrate everything, but it was also used as a punishment and as a cure all for everything from night terrors to skinned knees to broken hearts. Food was always there in a very emotional way. I learned to become attached to it. I learned to need it. I had to have it. I was a bonafide, emotional, closet eater. GASP!
So, maybe I know more than you thought. What happened then? Well, it’s simple really. I’m an adult now. I am in charge of my decisions. I decided a few years ago to dig deeper into the nutrition aspect of my life. Here’s what I found out:
It’s not the food you eat, it’s your relationship to that food!
Food is nothing but calories. Calories are units of energy. Units of energy are what keep you alive. Plain and simple. The truth of the matter is that food has no feelings. Food doesn’t love you, nor does it feel your love (hello, chocolate, sigh…). It has NO feelings for you, about you, blah, blah, blah; it could care less basically.
So how do you break those bonds? First off, stop blaming mom and dad! They did the best they could and you know what? You’re alive now, so they didn’t screw up that bad! Everything you do is all on you now. You have the ability to be awesome lurking deep down, but you have to let go of every single excuse, take responsibility for you, accept your own mistakes and take that first step forward. You are in control now. Suck it up and stop handing me the old, “Well, my mom always….” Seriously? How old are you now? Does mom still have to remind you to wipe and wash your hands? Ok then. Make a commitment to yourself, for yourself and your family to be a healthy, fit person. A cycle is only a cycle if it’s repeated.

Now let’s talk about justification.

We ALL do it…….
Well, I can have this piece of cake because I work out so hard.
I deserve an extra helping.
It was bad, but I only ate a tiny portion.

All justifications. Bottom line, if you have to justify your food to yourself, it’s something you really shouldn’t be eating. That’s the part of your brain that’s trying to facilitate change. It’s really trying to help you.
If you feel stuck in a rut, get real! Just because you tell yourself you’re watching it doesn’t mean you’re not justifying several slip ups a week. And several slip ups equals a habit: one that must be changed.
Without a change in behavior there can be no permanent change of body. You have to be fully present in each moment that you fuel. If you start to throw out a justification (“I’ll work it off in class”), then pass it by, it’s not worth your time.

With the Holidays moving to a halt and the new year picking up steam, make a conscious decision to MOVE MORE! All it takes is a few 10 minute sessions 3 times per day top reap major results and benefits. These benefits start with your energy. Fuel all this movement with the pumpkin French toast recipe below and get ready for a new, energetic you by the time January 1st rolls around!

I’m listening,

Michelle

 

 

Pumpkin French toast
calories: 360
fat: 6
sugar: 1 (without any sweetener)
serving size: 2 slices

3 whole eggs
1/4 cup egg whites
1 scoop cinnamon protein powder
3 TBLS pumpkin pie puree (no sugar)
Pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon will do)
whole grain bread

Mix ingredients together with whisk until smooth
dip bread in until saturated and cook in non stick skillet (a little Pam goes a long way!)
Sprinkle with very little pumpkin pie spice
if you need something on it opt for a light drizzle of agave nectar and enjoy every fall tasting bite

Quiet Reflection

Quiet time is an essential part of our self care. I’m not talking about meditating or even the all important quiet Bible reading times (we’ll get to that too). I’m talking about time to disconnect and be completely still and quiet. If you are automatically thinking that you don’t have time for such frivolous non-activity, you may want to rethink your priorities just a bit. Quiet times are the most effective way to bring about wholeness and healing within our minds, emotions, and spirits.

Quiet times do not have to be very long. There actually is no required length of time for them and they can take place any day of the week. Quiet times are a means by which we unplug and decompress. You see, in the modern age we live in we are bombarded with facts and news 24/7. There is no break. You can log onto social networks anywhere and begin to express anxiety over situations that come up in other people’s lives. There is an over abundance of stimulation information and we must take heed and rest. My quiet times days happen to be Sundays since those are the easiest for me. I leave my phone at home and I give my email and social networking sites the day off. It helps me to be fully present and relax a little.

Often times when we are inundated with emails, texts, and the occasional call we feel it is our civic duty to respond right away. This is why many people spend more time on their smart phones and less time with their smart kids. The first step to an efficient quiet time is to give yourself permission NOT to get back with people right away. Is the situation life threatening? If the answer is no, then it can wait. You can even tell them you were going phone free that day (or hour) and they will eventually understand. Time with your own thoughts is very powerful, but not if it is spent worrying about others trivial requests and drama.

During a few minutes of peace, try to be still. Don’t fidget or try to distract yourself. This can be very difficult, but with time you can master it. Let whatever is coming up just come up. Notice what is happening in your head. We live at a lightening fast pace and don’t realize we even need help until we are truly at a breaking point. Regular quiet times tune us in to these little things before they grow out of our control. As things come up, notice what they are. If you find that you are harboring some deep seeded anger, deal with it. The Bible specifically tells us in Ephesians 4 that we are to deal with anger immediately and not dwell on it. Things like that can eat your spirit alive and make you feel as though your purpose has escaped you. What if intense joy is what comes up? FEEL IT! In our society we are expected to constantly live on an even keel so to speak. Too much joy and we must need medication. Too much anger and we must need more. I think these problems are due to too little time set aside to actually deal with the issues that arise.

So make it a point within this next week to just give quiet time a try. Just a moment or two when you can shut off the drama and focus on your own mind and spirit. This is not selfish, it’s survival. When we do not take the time to notice what is building then we become creatures who react all the time. We snap at the kids, get frustrated at work projects, and begrudge making dinner. Quiet times help to refresh so that we can live, truly free.

Michelle