Do you ever have days when you get up, get ready, and then get settled in to get some work done and realize that everything on your list just doesn’t look fun, seems like it will be a long process and will probably make you completely uncomfortable or stressed? No?! You don’t have those days?! Oh my goodness, we should trade “to do” lists! Ha ha!
Today was one of those days. I sat down, I looked at my list and because of the feeling it gave me in my gut, I stared at my computer, I practiced procrastination by scrolling through Facebook and then stared some more. So what am I doing blogging then? You might think I’m avoiding my list since I’m blogging. It could appear that way, but actually, I decided to write because it takes me back to the reason why I do what I do. It revives my passion and fans my flames. If I can stir up that “why”, then I can get to the “what”, even if it seems challenging, overwhelming or stressful.
What in the world does this have to do with the price of beans in China?! Because I want to encourage the girl who feels that way about her health today. The one who feels like she knows what she needs to do, but when she thinks about it, she feels like it’s going to be a long process, be uncomfortable, maybe stressful and very challenging.
If you’re paralyzed by these feelings, get overwhelmed just reading this and have feelings of defeat, then stop and take time to go back to your reason “why” you want to make the changes. Maybe you need to go play with your kids and think about how it will feel to play with them with full energy, no inhibitions and fully present. Maybe you need to journal some thoughts while you’re experiencing some emotion. What will it feel like this summer to wear shorts confidently again? Maybe you need to dream and think about what it will be like when all of it seems easy instead of difficult! Maybe you need to line up your resources with your plan and take one brave step at a time. You think? I mean, how long can we be paralyzed by feelings and stories we tell ourselves? Unfreeze.
Just writing this has given me a little spark. Thinking of the face on the other side of this blog post, thinking of the fear you might be feeling, and empathizing with feelings of discouragement and defeat…it’s making me pull up my big girl panties, ladies. I have a mission. I have a purpose. I have a reason “why” for every task on that hard “to do” list. Ok, signing off because I have some things to do.
What is one step you can take today that takes you closer to where you want to be?
Why is it important you take that step?
If you keep taking small steps everyday, where will you be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year?
How will that change things for you and for those that matter most to you?
I want to be at my “pre-baby” weight. I want to be the size I was in college. I want to feel as good as I did when I was in my 30′s. Seriously??! Why? I’m not trying to a brat. I’m actually quite good at being a brat, but I reserve my brattyness usually for the ones I love the most. Isn’t that nice of me? What I want to say to you today is this. I learned something this last year. I lost something this last year. I lost weight, I lost confidence, I lost dreams, I lost years of time, effort, dedication and commitment…I didn’t lose hope (completely) and I didn’t lose faith. And because of that, I gained a new perspective on so many things. Here’s what I want to tell you today. You don’t want the old you, you can’t HAVE the old you…Elsa says it best, “the past is in the past.” How about believing for the best version of you that you have ever seen?!
How about being healthier than you were before your pregnancy? How about feeling better in your 40′s than you did in your 30′s? Uh, yes! We spend too much time trying to go back to something and holding on to something from our past that we can’t receive the greater things waiting in our future. You have to quit reading the last chapter if you want to move on to the next one!
I started this blog series “Gettin’ Naked Series: The Truth about Getting My Pre-Baby Body Back” a week after I had my baby (exactly a year ago today.) At that time, I had lost little in comparison to what I was about to lose. I thought I was going to set out to get back what I had, to get back to the old me. I was happy there. I was comfortable there. I was not everything I was made to be then either.
Losing things allowed me to receive things that I never could have dreamed up myself. That is just the way that God works. He thinks way better than we do. Best gift giver EVER right there. I can’t WAIT to share more with you, but I want you to come WITH me. Let go of the old you. Quit striving for what you thought was good in your past and reach out for what could be the best yet in your future. It’s scary, I know. I had days were I wondered if I would ever like my life again. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose faith. The best is yet to come.
I watched it finally. The Fault in our Stars. Good thing I was interrupted a few times otherwise, I would’ve been sucked in farther and taken to a place of uncontrollable, slobbery, snotty crying. Being interrupted allowed for silent tears instead.
I love a good romantic movie, but there was something else that really stood out to me. Well, there were several things that stood out to me, but one thing in particular that I can’t get out of my head. Maybe it’s because there’s some truth in it for me. Ok, if I’m honest, there’s a LOT of truth in it for me. I also think it’s because I’ve had enough conversations lately with other women that prompted me to write about it.
I’ve asked this question often partly because of the nature of my work, but also because it always fascinates me to hear the answers. “What are your dreams? What would you want more than anything in this life? At the end of life, what would you want people to say about you and your life?” You know what surprises me? My kids’ answers to these questions are more fun than most adults. I am always surprised by the lack of dreaming that adults do. It almost hurts to think that somewhere in their life, dreaming stopped and fear, doubt and unbelief took over. Maybe it’s cynicism or maybe it’s lack of confidence in themselves or both. I think it has to do with what our beliefs are about purpose in life, success in life and our value. The world has fed us some “truths” that are far from the truth about these things and I think we believe it!
When we say “I don’t really have dreams” or “I’m just a mom” or “I don’t really know my purpose”, that’s an insult. To who? Well, first to the One who made us ON purpose and WITH purpose. Our life was not an afterthought and there’s something we’re here for that ONLY we can do. But, it’s also an insult to the one, two, three or 10 people that have crossed our paths and we made a difference in their life. There is someone in your life that can’t imagine their life without you in it.
In the movie, we fall in love with the character named Augustus. Funny, light-hearted, compassionate, loving, courageous and inspirational…this kid’s perspective on life (even while battling cancer) is beautiful and touching. When he faces death in the end, his human nature settles in. He professes that he wanted to live an extraordinary life, one where it was worth writing about and one where he was remembered. He felt that because he was losing his battle to cancer, that he was disappointed that his dream of the kind of life he wanted didn’t come true. The love of his life says this to him:
He had made a difference in her life and she would never be the same because of him. Why do we measure our value by the size of the splash we make? What if the size of the splash doesn’t matter as much as the ripple effect it makes?
Maybe you and I need to be more open to dreaming again and thinking on what we’re wired to be and do. Maybe you and I should stop measuring our value to what the world around us values. If you look in the news at all or follow celebrities, I don’t think we really want our world to define our value do we? Maybe you and I should start to look at the pond in front of us and make the best splash we know how to make and stop comparing our splash to someone else’s.
There is someone in our life that can’t imagine their life without us. That makes us special and extraordinary. That splash has a ripple effect that will indirectly touch lives even after we’re gone. Stop saying you’re nothing or you’re “just a…”. That’s an insult.
This is a guest post by a very special friend. She and I met through Facebook almost 2 years ago and if there’s an almost perfect match for someone who feels passionate about the things that I feel passionate about, it’s Janet. I love her heart, her wisdom, her wittiness. If you follow her page, Fit4HisGlory, on Facebook, she spends her days lifting up and cheering up hearts. Love her! I’ve noticed that in the last year, she’s been learning a lot…we’ve been on a similar journey, but just a different path. I asked if she’d share some of what she’s been learning with you all. I think you’ll really be challenged by what she has to say.
How to reduce the toxicity in your food:
You really are what you eat. Whether it’s hormones in your meat and dairy, chemical sweeteners in your beverages, highly processed ingredients in your protein powder, cereals and snack bars, your body is constantly in fight or flight mode. Although your body has an incredible immune system designed to adapt to your environment, there is no need to constantly put it to the test by placing toxic, foreign and man-made ingredients in your system. A raw, whole foods diet is by far the best approach to your overall health, wellness and beauty. Would you like to know why? Because you can control the list of ingredients. How many ingredients are in an apple and almonds versus the packaged so-called healthy snack bar on the shelves? More than half of your hunger pangs you experience are from malnourishment. You have constant cravings because your body does not have the nutrients it needs.
How to reduce the toxicity in your home:
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and things placed on your skin’s surface take less than a minute to enter your bloodstream. Check out your toothpaste label and see if it tells you not to ingest it. What? I put it in my mouth yet it’s harmful if I swallow it or my two year old decides to have it as a snack? Do not put anything on your body that you would not put in your mouth. This means you have to seriously consider EVERY single item in your household from toothpaste to deodorant to countertop spray to laundry detergent. The pores in your feet are the largest on your body. Mopping with Pine Sol and walking around on it with bare feet is just like drinking it. Did you know that if a product has fragrance in its list of ingredients that fragrance is allowed to have over 200 chemicals in it of which formaldehyde is the most common? Yes, your Glade Plug-in is pumping the most common form of carcinogen into the air in your home. You may find this task completely overwhelming but as you do a cleaning supply closet overhaul, you will find that you will feel better, have more energy and reduce illness because your immune system does not have to fight off so many foreign substances.
How to reduce the toxicity in your mind:
Your soul/mind is made up of two parts: Your will and your emotions. If your emotions make most of your decisions rather than your will, you are going to be very unhappy and continue to run to food (or many other things) for comfort or when you are stressed. It is commonly referred to as being weak-willed. Eph 4:22 tells us, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”There is a direct correlation with what goes in our ear and eye gates and our thought life. It’s as simple as the law of harvest. You reap what you sow. If we are constantly feeding our minds far-from-ever-being-reality TV, celebrity magazines, R-rated movies and trashy music, we are polluting ourselves and guess what comes out when we are under duress, attack, or stress of any sort? Foul language, anger, violence, jealousy, envy, pride, lust, depression, discontentment, entitlement, unforgiveness, and the list goes on. We must renew our minds so our will wins the battle over our emotions. We make decisions based on what we know is right and just, not because it is what feels good or tastes good or is the path of least resistance.
How to reduce the toxicity in your heart:
Comparison is a JOY thief. You may want her body or her hair or her skin or her husband or her kids or her money but I promise, you don’t want her problems or struggles. We are fearfully and wonderfully made which means God took His time when He created each of us. We are all different but a part of the body of Christ each with our own distinct purpose. When we compare our lives or our beauty to others, we are basically telling God that He messed up. God doesn’t make junk! There is harsh truth here in Matthew but Jesus is talking to those of us that spend countless hours in the gym or in the mirror and countless dollars on the hottest clothes, purse or shoes but yet, we are sad, lonely and or empty on the inside. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matt 23:25-28. There was a time in my life when I would say on the outside, I looked my healthiest but on the inside, I was completely toxic, malnourished in mind, body, and spirit and searching for significance and love in all the wrong places. Once you make the commitment to work on your inward beauty, your outward beauty will just naturally begin to show.
Thanks for sharing, Janet. I am certainly challenged. There was a time not too long ago, when these kinds of words struck a cord of fear in me, placed a large load of “overwhelming” on my shoulders and poked an “annoyance” nerve in me. I didn’t want to hear that I was inundating myself or my family with “TOXINS.” That just sounded so dramatic and extreme. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s true, we are surrounded by “junk” or “foreign invaders” and it’s a whole lot for our bodies (and minds) to deal with. We can’t eliminate toxins, but we can limit them and give our body a head start doing what it’s meant to do naturally…detox. I made a “baby steps” checklist to give myself and others a place to start. You don’t have to tackle the checklist all today. Find the ones you all ready do and check them off! That will give you a sense of satisfaction! Then, find ones that are EASY to do. Implement those first and you’ll feel like you’re really making headway. Become AWARE of the others on the list and learn as you go. You won’t die tomorrow if you drink a glass of non-organic milk, but maybe by having the checklist handy, you’ll think twice about it, learn more about it and eventually make a change. One step at a time. Baby steps. Every step counts. A journey is thousands of steps taken one at a time. I love hearing tips from others and success stories. So please, share. Making these changes has drastically improved the health of my family…I know it can in yours too.
If you’d like more help, please let me know. I’d be happy to lead you in the right direction for you to learn more and get more out of your life.