Words Matter

Ladies, when was the first time you remember that someone mentioned your weight and how it affected your appearance? Do you replay these words said to you in your youth? If you’re anything like me, the answer tends to be yes more often than you like. Not all the comments are negative in nature but they tend to still be influential to our beliefs about our own beauty and value.

The way we view our own health, beauty, and yes, even value has been molded by the words we’ve heard said to us by both well and ill meaning family members, friends, bullies, and yes even strangers. Our society is all convoluted about where the value of our ladies is found and the pressure to conform to that image is large and heavy to our young people.

I had two separate conversations with young girls where they both told me they had either been called fat or their nickname was “chubby.” My heart broke for these two beautiful girls. One, probably ten or eleven told me she was on a “diet” and that people sometimes call her “fat.” These words, unless combatted with love and deliberate attention will follow these girls into adulthood, just like it has you and me.

We as grown men and women have a chance to help mold our young ladies opinions of their own bodies by how we treat and speak to them. Please understand that I’m not an advocate for turning a blind eye to the health needs of children at risk for obesity, but that we handle it with care and carefully choose our words. Sometimes it is tricky because we want our kids to be healthy and make good nutritional choices.

I’ve spent some time working with grown women and young teen ladies about their own health and fitness and along the way I’ve come up with some general guidelines of what to say when it comes to addressing health and nutrition with not only our young people, but also to our selves.

Kick the word “diet” out of your vocabulary.
It has no place. It creates tension and dread. Instead use the words “meal plan” It holds intention and does not hold a negative connotation.

Avoid the words “I have to lose weight.”
Unless there is a medical necessity to lose weight this phase needs to follow diet to the garbage can. Instead choose phrases like “I want to be healthier.”

Do not use the words “skinny, thin, fat, chubby etc” in relation to your self or others.
Those words hold the weight of value or condemnation in reference to outer appearance. They also stay in someone’s inner dialogue if not combated. Our value is not based on how we look but from who we are. Using these terms tend to change that perspective in our beliefs.

Encourage using phrase with positive messages.
Try making healthy and balanced choices and getting stronger, and choosing good nutrition the majority of the time.

Indulge in treats.
Yep, I said indulge in treats. But view them only as treats and not a staple in your regular nutrition. Attempt to build a healthy view of food with a balance.

We need to retrain our own brains to choose the words we allow to run through our own inner dialogues with intention and practice.  But can help stop the negativity from ever beginning in our young by how we speak to them as they are growing. Choosing the words we speak is incredibly important and we have a responsibility to choose wisely.

What’s the easiest way to reduce carbs?

Well, the short answer is super simple and comes off a bit snarky… you just stop eating them. But you know as well as I do that our food choices don’t always follow this clear and simple directive. So, let’s explore this a bit.

Let’s back it up a few years ago. I followed a meal and exercise plan called Body for Life. Honestly, I still use some of the foundational strategies I learned during this program. The basic idea is that for each meal you have a serving of protein, a serving of veggies, and a carb. It was the first time I had to choose one kind of carb. Did I want to eat the roll or the fruit? This very simple choice became profound in the way I choose what kind of carb to eat. When I started this journey, I didn’t know there was a good carb, bad carb battle going on in the world. I just knew that I enjoyed the taste and how I felt after eating the fruit instead of the bread. I naturally started choosing a more complex carb without knowing what I was doing.

So, what is the difference between carbs and what does it matter?
According to Brent Brannen of gotswag.com…

First, to understand what makes a good carb “good” and a bad carb “bad,” you have to understand what a carb is. Carbs are one of the three macronutrients (along with protein and fat), all of which break down into the body’s primary source of energy known as glucose. After eating carbs, your body either uses the energy immediately, or stores it in your muscles and liver as glycogen for later use.

So, what in the world is the difference between simple and complex carbs? At the risk of oversimplifying the science, simple carbs such as breads, pastas, and baked goods, cause a quick spike in blood sugar and insulin response, creating a quick energy burst, also known as a sugar rush but because the fuel burns hot and fast the energy leads to a crash. This is why we often experience a let down and need more sugar to keep our energy level up. 

Complex carbs like fruits and veggies have more fiber and therefore take longer to digest, allowing the energy to have a more sustained release and less chance of crash. They allow us to have more energy over a longer period of time.

At this point, if you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering how all of this matters in reducing your carb intake. Well, I have found that the easiest way of reducing carbs is to replace their spot in my meals with other carbs. Yep, that’s what I said I replace carbs with carbs!

It all starts with that little question, do I want the roll or the fruit? For me, I found that eating a serving of fruit or veggie greatly increased how good my body felt and functioned. Also, when we just cut something drastically out of our meal plans we tend to focus on our loss instead of how good we are feeling. 

So, the bottom line here is to choose the healthier version of carbohydrate. over time the habit of choosing a more complex carb over a simple one will reduce your overall intake of carbs.
Some simple examples…

Instead of spaghetti…
serve zoodles or roasted veggies covered in meat sauce.

Instead of a flour tortilla…
use a corn or spinach tortilla

Instead of the bread…
pick the fruit.

What’s love got to do with it?

Love. We use the word for so many different reasons…

I love summer.
I love Star Wars.
I love reading.
I love my family.
I love tacos.

We use the word love so often I feel we have become over familiar with the term. We often misinterpret or miss the full meaning of the word, especially when we hear it said to us. “I love you” is a phrase we all long to hear, but often doubt the authenticity of the meaning. We live our lives wanting to be filled with love but often doubting the giver. What about loving ourselves?

In scripture we are often commanded to love others, neighbors, and even our enemies but we often gloss over the phrase hidden in Mark 12:31:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.

Whoa! How many of us love ourselves? I know that my inner dialogue most days includes a plethora of phrases loaded with anything but love regarding myself. How often do we come into our health and fitness journeys because of something we hate about ourselves or find disgusting? I started my own personal health and fitness journey because I loathed what I had let myself become and for a while that was a good motivator.

Being tired of being sick and tired can be a good jumping off point, but it does not provide lasting motivation to pursue a healthy lifestyle. In fact, if we still feel disgust and hatred toward ourselves then we will speak negatively into our inner dialogue and continue believing we are failures, disappointments, and unable to succeed. 

What if we began from a heart place of self love instead of disgust or disappointment? What if we learned to care for our bodies because we loved them? Let that sink in for a minute. Don’t we treat other people we love with much more care and respect than we do ourselves? Would you ever speak to your spouse, child, or friend like you do yourself?

How do we do this? How do we learn to love ourselves? Positive mantras and “surfacey” platitudes will not create a new heart perspective toward ourselves. In fact, the Bible says in 1 John 4:19 that we “love because He first loved us.” My friend we must inundate ourselves with God’s love before we can learn to love anybody else well, especially ourselves. We must sit with Him, ask for his love, read about his love, and choose to believe and receive his love. This is the heart of our health and fitness journey. We cannot be healthy without Him.

Monday October 1st we are going to start on a 30 day journey of discovering how to love ourselves well by exploring scripture, our own personal beliefs, and moving our bodies out of thankfulness and gratitude. Are you interested in going on this adventure with us? Join us today!

Start Something and Finish It

Summer has officially begun here! There is a whiff of “what-ifs” and I think I cans swirling around. We talked about staying motivated the other day, but what should we be motivated to do? Only you can decide what is important to you but the greatest thing is that you actually have the ability to choose! So, how about making a plan to fit your goals? Here are a few steps to create your own plan.

Decide what it is you want to accomplish
Do you want to feel healthier or get in shape for the swimsuit season? (Nothing like the glare of fluorescent lights bouncing off dressing room mirrors to motivate you onto a new meal plan!) Do you want to be able to swim across the lake or hike through the trails this summer? Decide what is important as a priority to you, not just “oh it would be nice if…” kind of thing, but something that really hits you deep that you would love to accomplish.

Reverse Engineer Your Goal
Take whatever it is that you decided was your priority and figure out the things you would need to do to be able to reach that goal. Make a list of the necessary things and steps. Your list may include things like buy new hiking boots or invest in a set of weights or Beachbody On Demand.

Create your Plan
You can create a plan on your own or seek the help of someone who has experience in your particular goal. If you don’t know how to swim, you would obviously start with finding an instructor to teach you lessons. If you want to become more healthy and fit you could ask the help of a coach, like me, to help create the plan that would provide the best path to reach your personal goal. This is a great step because coaches also provide accountability which is part of the next step!

Share your goal with someone who will help you be accountable.
Accountability really works! Find someone or join a group that understands your goal and will help keep you motivated and on track. Having to “check in” or tell someone else how you are doing creates a sense of consequence to go with your choices, both good and bad.

Start your plan and follow through to the Finish!
Start strong. Take each day one step at a time. Focus on your desired outcome, not the obstacles and you will find that you are fully capable of reaching your goal!

The Intentional Habit of Solitude and Devotion

Welcome to the fourth week in our series The Habits of the IntentionallyFit. I hope you have begun implementing new habits in your lives that will propel you toward becoming more healthy and fit. This week our habit deals with our spiritual health, which is something that many of us tend to neglect as part of a healthy and fulfilling life or we keep it in a category entirely on its own. The problem with this is that our Spiritual health affects every aspect of our overall health. While we can be “physically” fit we can be completely unhealthy spiritually. I hope to encourage you to consider this important aspect of your health.

Spend time daily in quiet solitude, reading, and prayer according to your spiritual beliefs and values.

Growing up I remember finding my mom reading her Bible in the morning, every morning. Her quiet time was always consistent and she modeled this throughout my life. She was always busy, being the mom of four highly active children, but this was a constant habit as long as I can remember.

I learned through her example to spend time daily with Jesus. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned for myself that I am a better wife, mother, and friend after I have had quiet time with Jesus. The benefits of being spiritually healthy overflow into all aspects of our lives. These are available to you as well. So, what does a quiet time or solitude look like in practical life? Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t feel lost and wandering.

Spend time in grateful reflection

Quietness allows the noise of the world and daily life to subside. Reflecting on what we have been given and cultivating gratitude changes our perspective in life. Being grateful for our lives and the things we’ve been given helps us maintain a positive mindset which allows us to view difficulties with hope and promise instead of despair.

Study Scriptures and Inspirational Stories

Reading and studying scripture educates us in the path that God wants us to take. We will become what we put in our minds, reading the Bible and books that teach us how to study it teaches us to be more like Jesus and that is a fantastic goal which changes us from the inside out.

Prayer

Prayer is deliberate discussion with God. Taking time to tell God you are grateful and actively voicing our gratitude to the One who has given us all we have reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but are cared for by its Creator. Listening for His voice will also help you know what you are called to do and what He wants to tell you about yourself.

Prayer is also a place where we can release our burdens. Handing over our stress, confessing our failures or mistakes, and asking for help can all be done through the quiet habit of prayer. When we give these things to God we acknowledge that we need His help and I promise you, He is faithful to provide it!

 

The Intentional Habit of Tracking

Welcome to the third week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! So far we’ve talked about goals and using meal plans. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit with an organizational tactic that has changed my own personal health and fitness.

Keep a log or journal of your food and workouts.

Writing everything that you eat into a journal changes your perspective on what you put into your mouth. I’m not exactly sure how it does this, but seeing your food choices on paper really causes you to think of what your goals are and contemplate the consequences for your choices. I hate having to write down poor food choices on my log!

There is accountability in writing down your food choices and workouts. If you don’t see the progress that you desire, you can look back over what you have been doing and tweak changes where necessary.

Writing or logging your food and workouts can be motivating! You can make goals like being able to write down 3 workouts this week or getting enough water in every day. This will help you keep your goals in the front of your mind and help you make choices that move you towards them.

Your journal or log can be on paper or even your phone. There are even apps that help you keep track of everything like myfitnesspal or LoseIt! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to work for you.

Whatever you choose to use as your log, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. Be specific. Write down everything you eat, including condiments, cooking oils, and drinks. Include the amount you use, not just what the food item is.
  2. Write down how you feel at the end of each day. Are you tired, hungry, and do you have enough energy to make it through your workout?
  3. Be consistent. It will take time and you will get better at it, but it does take work!

Becoming IntentionallyFit through Healthy Habits:

The Intentional Habit of Creating Goals

Welcome to the first week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it takes to become healthy and fit. In fact I’ve been working at it for over eleven years! So, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of the things I have learned over the years. Over the next ten weeks we will explore the habits or fundamental activities that successfully healthy people incorporate into their lives. Please do not think of this list as an exhaustive blueprint, but more of a helpful guideline.

The first Habit of the IntentionallyFit is to create measureable goals to challenge yourself and create a plan for the life you want to live. Goals give you a road map to help make decisions about what is valuable and important to you and those you love.

Goals should have a time limit on them. I once heard someone say that goals without a completion date are just wishes. Break them down into “Long Range Goals” and “Short Range Goals.”

Jim Rohn gives the following questions in his book 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness, as a way to start figuring out what you want.

  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to see?
  • What do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What would I like to share?

All these lead into the primary question he states is, “What do I want within the next one to ten years?”

Have you thought about that question? Chances are somewhere at sometime you played around with the idea, but did you really dig in and think it through? Honestly, I had not until I read this and I’m still weeding through the possibilities, but can you see where this could create a habit of success? If you know what you want to do or experience within the next ten years you can devise a roadmap to follow straight towards achieving those specific things!

Budget Friendly (and healthy) Carb Choices

Hey everyone! If you have just joined us, you are just in time. We have been talking about budget friendly ways of filling our 21 Day/Portion Fix colored buckets. I’ve saved everyone’s favorite yellow bucket for last! Most people I talk to have no difficulties getting all their yellow buckets in, but I still want to help you find the most economic way possible. So onward to the yellow bucket!

Corn tortilla
Tortillas are a staple in my home, in fact they have replaced bread entirely. Whole wheat ones, while they are not extremely pricey, do tend to creep up in price when you only get 8-10 in a pack. Corn tortillas can come in stacks of thirty while being under $2 and even at two per serving that’s quite a bargain.

Beans
There are so many varieties of beans out there and they are full of fiber! It is so good to add these little carbs into your meal plan. You can find cans of beans for under seventy cents, but the real budget cutting ones come dry and in a bag. They require a little extra work but if you are serious about cutting costs this is a big help!

Brown Rice
Another cost saving gem is brown rice. You don’t have to pick the fancy stuff, the unbranded or store brand works just as well for a side of rice, unless of course you’re making sushi, but that just doesn’t fit with the cost cutting budget.

Lentils
Another great “dry good” that saves you money! Small batches really last and you could easily have a bag that lasts two to four weeks that costs you under $3!

Potatoes
Okay, I might be pushing it here, but based on the size of the yellow bucket, I feel like you can get a lot of servings depending on the type of potato and the season. My favorite is a sweet potato, but those little red new potatoes can be pretty cost effective during the right season.

Budget Friendly Veggies

Hello! We are on our third bucket in our budget friendly options for the 21 Day Fix series. I hope this is helping you see that you can totally eat well on a budget. This week’s bucket is the GREEN one, the one you fill with veggies. This is the bucket most people tell me that they don’t always get in during the day. I understand completely seeing as it is normally the bucket you have the most times per day, especially if you are on one of the higher brackets. The great news is that there are a plethora of choices out there that are super budget friendly!

Remember, just as with the purple bucket, eating in season will always give your budget a little more wiggle room!

Kale/Collards/Spinach
I know, there’s three listed in one, but all three of them are fairly budget friendly and you tend to get a lot of bang for your buck! Look for bright colored leaves without funky colors around the edges.

Squash
There are so many varieties to choose from within the squash family. I typically choose zucchini, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Remember in season choices will be the most economical.

Carrots
Sold in almost any way you would like them, whole, baby, sliced, and shredded! Whole will be the cheapest since you would do the work of cleaning and cutting. Also, don’t forget to keep the peels and ends to make homemade stock and broth.

Onions
Adding onions to your food is an easy way to get your greens in and add flavor at the same time! Chopping them up into small fine bits you can “hide” them in your meat for those of you who aren’t particularly happy with their texture.

Cucumbers
Great in salads and sandwiches, cucumbers are always readily available and friendly to your budget.

Bonus: Cabbage and Romaine
These leafy veggies are great as salad “stuffers.” One full head of romaine is typically about three full greens! So those bags that contain three sets of them, hold nine total green buckets full! So nine buckets for about two bucks is quite the deal!

Core de Force Results

My Total Results: 60 days of Core de Force and the 3 Day Refresh

 BeforeAfter
Hips36"34"
Waist34"30.5"
Right Arm11.25"12"
Left Arm11"11.5"

 

The picture above is 30 days. The left side picture was taken after the 3 Day Refresh and is at 125 pounds. The picture on the right side is me 35 days later, but also at 125 pounds! See, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.

I would love to help you have your own transformation! Our challenge group will provide recipes, tips, how to set yourself up for meal prep success, accountability, motivation, and daily support. We all do better when we have people cheering us on, let me be your personal cheerleader!

Let’s do this together!

Sign up for the 30 Day Accountability Group