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Salt and Clay

…because life gets salty, and we're shaped as clay.

Ex- er- cise

I know, I know. It’s the dreaded word. Exercise. It seems to be the answer for everything these days. Want to have more energy? Exercise. Want to sleep better at night? Exercise. Want to look hot? Exercise. The truth is, we typically have 9 million reasons why we can’t or don’t or shouldn’t. The reality is, movement is extremely important to living well and that’s why we’re here.

So, let’s set a goal. We’ll do as the experts recommend and make it a SMART goal. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. So, I mentioned that movement is important for living well. I’m not asking you to go out and spend $100/month on a gym membership. I’m not even asking you to go for a walk after dinner (… although it is a great time of year to pick up that habit). I’m simply asking you to move. Maybe start with some stretches. When was the last time you tried to touch your toes? When was the last time you were successful in touching your toes? I rest my case.

Every woman reading this blog is in a totally different place. Some are professional athletes; some are stay at home moms. Others are working moms and wives. This is a judgement free zone. We all have something in common… humanity. The professional athlete wants to live just as well as the working mom. So, let’s get started. I’m going to post my goal… I encourage you to post yours as well so we can be a community building each other up and encouraging each other to live well.

Goal: Exercise 6 days a week. (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday are my run days. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday are my strength training days. Every day earns a good stretch.)

Still having trouble mustering the courage to set a goal? Here are some simple, yet very important movements. Click on the links for demonstrations of some movements.

Neck

5 Minutes for Mobility

The Air Squat

For your entertainment

Abs– because it will have you laughing…

SDG

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Tick, Tick, Tick… Time is slipping away

Have you realized there are only 59 days left in 2016? Which means there are 1,440 hours left. (Really, there’s less than that by the time you actually read this.) If you’re lucky enough to get 8 hours of shut eye, you can subtract 472 hours. And if you hold down a full-time job, subtract another 320 hours. Therefore, you can estimate 648 hours to live out 2016. How do you choose to spend your 648 hours? Have you reached your New Year’s resolution goals you set back in December 2015? What’s holding you back? What have you accomplished? What are you most proud of? What have you been most surprised by?

We get one life to live, and we’re not promised tomorrow. So, let’s get busy living life surrounded by the people we love the most and striving towards the goals set before us. Let us not waste any more time and let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

  1. Identify your priorities
  2. Plan accordingly
  3. Express gratitude daily

I’ll get vulnerable and share with you my top priorities just to get your thought juices flowing… 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Health 4. Work. Therefore, I want to schedule my quiet time in first, then time with my hubby, then kiddos, parents, siblings, cousins, etc. Finally, express gratitude. Gratitude gives us a moment to remember the times we spent and harvest all of the joy we can reap from the experiences and memories. And who doesn’t love getting a little thank you note every once in a while from someone they love remembering a really great time they had with you. That’s my challenge for you. Relive a memorable moment and take a few minutes to send a hand written note to whomever you spent that time with and let them know how grateful you are for them.

Thank you for spending some of your most precious asset with me! I am so grateful for you.

SDG

What are you so afraid of?

What is it that scares the wits out of you? Is it a bug? A slithering creepy crawly? Loud noises? Heights? Falling? Pain? Death? Suffering? Illness? When you experience fear, what is your initial response? Is it a scream or are you so scared you are robbed of the very breath of life to squeak past your vocal cords? Do you run or are you paralyzed?

Let’s shift gears ever so slightly to those things we fear that don’t create an immediate physiological response, but a slow, tantalizing one that distracts us from really living life well. People pleasing. Success. Money. Happy children. Obedient children. Swim suit season. These are the things that create in some of us anxiety that could elicit the aforementioned symptoms plus stomach ulcers, headaches, joint pain, inflammation, hormone changes, weight gain, and on and on.

These anxious toils wrap their scathing little nooses around our necks and our hearts. They strive to bind us and root us into the soil of the world. Ladies, we MUST. BREAK. FREE. These fears and anxieties have already been defeated by our maker and creator. THE ONE who formed our very frame. THE ONE who knows us more intimately than we could possibly know ourselves. THE ONE who defeated the father of anxiety and has broken the grip of the noose.

Rest, sister. Give up the ghost of anxiety. He has been defeated by the lover of your soul. Rest and live well.

SDG

And just in case you needed to lighten up…

The Root of the Problem

Where does all of this negativity come from? I feel so physically drained and worn out and I can’t decide which came first, the negative self-talk or the exhaustion. They seem to be interchangeable and no matter what I pursue to correct, I am still defeated by the end of the day. Where does all of this come from? What’s a practical application?

Do you believe you can change some of these thoughts and exhaustion in the kitchen? You really are exactly what you eat. Trash in, trash out. Optimal in, optimal out. So, what does your kitchen workout look like? It really is a practice, just like working out, just like identifying your negative self-talk and rewriting the tapes. Cooking REAL food takes practice, confidence, and courage. It’s time to take chances… you’re worth it.

So, let’s get to the ROOT of the problem. There are many reasons people don’t eat well. Convenience. Finances. Time. Courage. Knowledge. Intimidation. Where do you start? What are those ingredients? How do I prepare that?

Well, let’s start by talking ROOTs. It seems fitting.

There are lots of different roots out there… turnip roots, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, jicama, yam, sweet potato, yucca, etc. etc. etc. Yeah, they sound intimidating. And yeah, they’re intimidating to cut up. The easiest and best way to get roots into your diet is to just roast them and enjoy them as a side dish.

To prepare roots, use a vegetable peeler to remove the “skin”. (Although, you don’t HAVE to peel ‘em. You could just give them a quick rinse.) Then cut these veggies into similar size pieces. Put a mix of the roots of your choice into a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and whatever spices you want… I rather enjoy just S+P and garlic powder or onion powder. Toss them around in the oil and spices. Spread them out over a parchment lined baking pan and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30-40 minutes… this will vary depending on what size you cut your veggies. I tend to like mine pretty crispy. I LOVE TEXTURE. But remember… roots are high carb. This would be a great replacement for French fries with homemade burgers. More is not necessarily better. ALWAYS exercise moderation in ALL AREAS of life.

SDG

No Bull

So, we talked about the tapes. You know the one. It plays over and over. It tears you down with words so sharp they cut through to your very core. And you’ve heard them so much you begin to live up to only the potential they allude to. How do we break the tapes? Let’s talk about the lies… we’ll call them “BULL”. These are the words and phrases that are so nasty we would never say them out loud, nor would we EVER say them about another human being. What are they? What are your tapes telling you? I battle tapes that tell me, “You’re not smart enough to take on that project.” “Your ideas will never work.” “You’re not strong enough to lift that.” “Well, you’ve already gained 10 pounds, you might as well eat that cake.” “No one REALLY cares what you have to say.” “You don’t have anything to contribute here.” “Your goals aren’t important.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Now that we’ve identified some tapes, let’s record over them. We’ll call this segment NO BULL. “I am smart enough and what I don’t know, I’ll research until I know more. I am capable.” “You never know if your ideas will or won’t work unless you try.” As my Grandpa used to say, “If you don’t go you won’t know.” “You can only get stronger by lifting more, so go for it!!” “That cake will be enjoyable for about 5 minutes—you will feel stronger having made the decision to JUST SAY NO. You’re worth it.” “No one else can offer what you can, so through your ideas out there. Take a risk.” “Your goals might change the world….ok, they may change YOUR world, but ‘if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the…CHANGE.”

This idea is very much like the “put on, put off” principle. If you’re a Christian, you may know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, well… google it. If you’re a Christian, try to put off your BULL list with scripture in your NO BULL list. This practice will help you take captive your thoughts and remind you who you really are. Or better yet, whose you really are.

I struggle ALL THE TIME with these very thoughts. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.

I was hanging out with my girlfriend who oozes confidence. She’s a fitness model, sponsored athlete, wife, mom, and most important of all, a Christian. I want to hang out with her all the time in hopes some of her ooze sticks onto me. OK, that sounds super creepy and a little gross… I digress. Anyway, she had just purchased a new pair of gym shoes and we were lacing them up. I noticed the brand… NOBULL. That’s exactly what I needed to remember in the gym, NO BULL. I asked her about the shoes and she confessed of her addiction.

Shortly thereafter I started seeing more and more athletes sporting the brand. When I asked another girlfriend what she thought about her floral pair, she said, “I absolutely love mine! I’m not sure I will ever buy [N@^0$] ever again!! I highly recommend them. The down side is that they are not mass produced and it’s hard to get a pair. I preordered mine at midnight on the release night and then the next morning they were already sold out.”

Most people simply say, “I love them!!” Even the dudes

So, weather you’re in the gym or in the office, listen to the tape, stop it, and rewrite over it… and if you need a reminder in the gym, there’s a rockin’ shoe out there that’s got your name written all over it.

SDG

Baby, Baby I’m Worth It!

If you’re anything like me you’re first thoughts when you read that headline or heard that song are, “hell yeah!” quickly trailed by thoughts of guilt for taking that time to focus on yourself or singing that song All. Day. Long. It’s like the tapes in your head are just stuck on repeat, “If I just do ___, I’ll be more attractive.” Or “If I just work harder, they’ll think ____.” Or “What’s the point in working hard, you’re just going to fail anyway.”

Ladies, I’m here to tell you, it’s high time we wage war on these tapes! These are lies from the hot, putrid pits of hades. Would you ever talk to another human being like that, ever?

The truth is, you were created in the image of the Almighty, living God, Creator of the universe. You were formed from the dust of the earth. HE came and intimately breathed the breath of life into your lungs. HE personally knit you together in your mother’s womb. YOU were FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. No one can be more you than you. No one can offer that husband or those children anything that you can. You are uniquely you. So, QUIT TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT.

Oh yeah, as an FYI… this blog is probably more for me than it is for you. This is not some expert who has these concepts so ingrained she couldn’t possibly understand. I am a real woman, a Christian woman, battling the world and the flesh DAILY. This is a place where we’re going to talk about personal tapes, self-discovery, self-worth, nutrition, and exercise.

So, let’s put on our big girl bloomers and WAGE WAR! After all, we’re worth it.

SDG

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