3 Responses to Stress and Simple Solutions

food&stress

This week I’ve been posting on various social media channels about this concept of Temple vs Trash Can.  It’s not an original idea.  You’ll hear it on several faith and fitness platforms.  But the idea here is how do we treat our bodies?  Do we treat them like the temple that they are?  Or do we treat them like a trash can?  

 

Let’s talk about food intake for a minute.  And more importantly how we use food to deal with stress.  I find that in those times when we are stressed and need our bodies to function even better is when we treat them the worst.  

To be sure, stress happens.  We have deadlines to meet.  We have to be at school and work on time.  We lift weights or run marathons.  These things, and countless others, cause stress in some form or another.  It doesn’t necessarily indicate something bad.   You can’t live life and make decisions without some stress.  When we let it take over is when it becomes a negative thing.  And it seems that more times than not, the way we deal with stress is food.  

 

3 responses to stress and simple solutions

  • We get in a hurry.  Stress makes us feel rushed.  And one of the first things that suffers is our mealtimes and the quality of food we consume.      

Solution:  Plan ahead.  Make meals you can freeze.  Have protein bars available.  Drink a superfood shake.

  • We wear ourselves out.  We get tired.  We lose sleep.  We grab something like sugar or extra caffeine to give us a jolt of energy.

Solution:  Make rest a priority.  Stick with a bedtime and wake up routine.  Consume foods like nuts and lean protein that will give energy that sustains.  

  • We lose our focus.  We become mindless when it comes to what we put into our bodies.  We grab ‘n go.  

Solution:  Take time to breathe.  Take five minutes in the morning to focus your day and pray and meditate.  Take another five in the evening to count your blessings or read a devotion.  

 

When we rush and grab or load up on sugar and energy supplements, we trash our bodies.  And when we trash our bodies, the stress on them only becomes worse.  Not only are we dealing with stressors outside but now our bodies are fatigued and low on energy, our mindset is negative and we lose confidence in the task at hand.   

But when we take some time to plan, get some rest, get our focus, we treat our bodies like the temples they were meant to be.  We honor them by filling them with good things.  We honor them with rest and time to breathe.  And when we do this, then those things that are demanding our time and our attention…..our schedules, projects, family, sporting events, etc…..we can show up for them healthy and present and ready to give our best and face the challenge before us.  

 

How do you deal with stress?  

Have you ever considered the concept that your body can be a temple or a trash can?

 

Be sure you’re signed up for my weekly emails.  I go more in depth with tips and personal experiences on how to live fit and free!

How to Have a Bad Day Without Letting it Define You

bad day

We all have a bad days.  They’re a guarantee.  (I know, not the way to start a Monday.  But keep reading….it gets better!  🙂 )

Humid weather = Bad hair.  

Daylight Savings Time but someone (certainly the husband!) forgot to set the clock forward an hour = Running late all day.

Spring thunderstorm + Power failure = Fridge full of spoiled food.  

PMS strikes = Bag of chocolates inhaled before you know what happened.  

Enough already!  I think you get the point.  We all have bad days.  They happen.  It’s life.  But it’s how we deal with them that determines the next day and the next time that same thing happens.  

 

Let me share a story with you…..  (This was a recent Friday)  

Early trip to Target (my favorite place on earth!  lol!).  Starbucks coffee (my favorite drink!).  Beautiful sunny day.  No traffic issues.  Got home a little before noon.  My plan was to make my shake as soon as I got in the door, because I was hungry.  Well, I got involved in unloading, putting things away, and then I opened one container of trail mix (and I KNOW trail mix is not good for me, because I can’t stop at one serving!).  And then I snacked on something else I got.  Then I opened something else to try.  And then I opened the Reese peanut butter footballs.  (Because you have to have Reese peanut butter footballs for Super Bowl, right??) And an hour later, I’m regretting every bite of everything I had just had.  And then the negative talk comes in. The feelings of guilt and remorse.  Why did I do that?  What kind of example am I?  But, I shook the thoughts (for the moment), fixed my shake (because I knew I still needed that boost of superfood nutrition), and I did fine the rest of the day…..with the eating…..

Then there was the evening.  

I was out and about.  I noticed EVERY person.  I began comparing bodies in my head.  “I wish I looked like that.”  “I bet she didn’t stuff her face with trail mix and chocolates today.”  “Why can’t I get a grip?”  Negative talk.  Comparisons.  Insecurities.  

And what?  

I made a few bad choices in the middle of one day.  But I allowed that to take over my entire thought life.  (Oh, and I won’t bore you with the small argument with my husband all because I was feeling bad about myself and took it out on him.)

 

It all went south after eating a bit too much trail mix.  I could’ve righted the ship immediately after, but I didn’t.  I indulged a couple more times, but then it seemed things were getting better.  BUT, my mind, my self-discipline had been exhausted by the fight I had with myself that day, so I had nothing to fight off the negative thoughts later that day and then took it all out on my husband too.  

Ugh!  Day wasted.  BUT, was it really?  Here is where we can still take back control.  

Yes, a lot of that day went south, but I learned some things.  (And I doubt I need to mention that I learned not to bring trail mix into my house! lol!)  

That day didn’t have to define me.  When I laid my head down on my pillow, I took inventory and determined the next day would be better.  It was Friday, I could’ve said, “Heck it’s the weekend!  Let’s just throw caution to the wind and start a diet of restriction on Monday.”  Nope!  I don’t operate like that anymore!  I wasn’t going to sulk and feel sorry for myself or beat myself up.  I wasn’t going to name myself as a loser or failure or quitter or fat or undisciplined.  

The day just was.  Now, what can I learn from it?  I had to take some time to go back over the day and notice where I could make changes.  It was not going to define me.  I would let it REfine me.  What could I learn and how could I handle things differently the next time?  

And in the midst of all of it, trail mix and Reese footballs in hand, I was always a loved daughter of the King who didn’t look at me any differently than He did when I woke up that morning.

On the journey…

Always learning and growing…..

 

Tell me….

Have you had a bad day recently?  What did you learn from it?  

Turn Your Why into Action

How

We talked about finding your Why on Monday.  I firmly believe that this is the key to success in any endeavor…..health, fitness, business, etc.  (For our purposes, we’re focusing on living a healthy lifestyle.)  Still once you’ve figured that out, you need to figure out how.  

How am I going to exercise?

How am I going to fit it into my schedule?

How am I going to find the right workout for me?  

How am I going to structure my eating habits?

 

Your motivation is found in your Why.  You know exactly WHY you are choosing to get fit and healthy.  You have something deep within that is moving you towards health and fitness…..and it’s not a number on a scale or a pant size….it has to be more than that, because YOU are more than a number!   (If you still need help working through that, contact me.  I’d love to help you figure out your Why.)

 

The first step in the how, is to find what you like to do.  If you hate to run, then running isn’t for you.  Even if you think that’s the quickest way to weight loss.  You’ll never stick with it.  Even though getting a gym membership and a trainer seems like the right thing to do, if you can’t afford that or don’t have time to meet a trainer 3 times a week for an hour, then that’s not how to meet your goals.  So, what do you like to do?  

Do you like to be outside?  How about walking, running, or biking?  

Do you like to dance?  Ever thought of turning the radio on and just moving around for 20 minutes?  If you want more structure like a class or DVD, there are zumba classes everywhere and DVDs that can lead you in some dancing.  

Do you want to get strong?  Maybe you have a gym membership where you can go lift some weights or get hooked up with a trainer.  Or there are great DVD and online workouts like BeFit and Metabolic Effect that incorporate strength training.  

 

Once you figure out what you like to do the next step is to decide if you want to workout in the morning, lunch hour, or evening.  You can read all kinds of things that tell you working out in the morning is better than evening or vice versa.  But again, bottom line is you need to pick a time that you’ll stick with.  If you’re not a morning person, then exercising in the morning is likely not the best plan for you.  

 

If you still need help figuring this all out, you don’t have to do this alone.  Contact me.  I’d love to come alongside you and help you find your motivation and your soulmate workout.  Let’s do this!  

And to keep the encouragement coming, be sure to sign up for my email to be sent straight to your inbox each week.  I give even more tips and encouragement on following your why and sticking with the plan that is right for you.  When you sign up, I’ll send you my go-to scriptures and prayers that will get you started on that path to being Fit & Free.  

 

Tell me……

When do you workout?

Have you found your soulmate workout?  If so, what is it?

 

Your Motivation Can Be Found in Your Why

motivation

Let’s face it….it’s hard to do the right thing.  It’s hard to eat right.  It’s hard to exercise.  It’s hard to refrain from gossip.  It’s hard to smile and wave at the driver who cuts you off.  It’s hard to save money.  Life can just be hard sometimes.  Even a lot of the time.  We all have our areas of struggle and weakness.  Given that this is primarily a health and fitness blog, I’m going to focus on that part in the “life is hard” scenario.  

Why should I get up 15-30 minutes early so I can work out?  Why should I pass on a second helping?  Why should I strength train?  Why should I limit my sugar intake?  

 

Well, I don’t know, but in the question lies the answer.  The answer is “Why”.  It’s YOUR “Why”.

You see, all these things that are hard….. They aren’t necessarily things we HAVE to do.  I mean, you don’t HAVE to exercise.  You don’t HAVE to skip dessert.  You don’t HAVE to save money.  You don’t HAVE to be nice.  

But we want to do those things.  We desire to be fit and healthy.  We want to have enough money.  We want to be nice.  

So back to your health and fitness.  The key to doing these things and sticking to them is finding your WHY as it relates to that area in your life.  

 

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?

WHY do you want to exercise?

WHY do you want to limit sugar intake?

 

You may have a history of illness in your family.  You may have small children you want to be able to play with.  You may currently have a health issue that needs to get in check.  You may have a wedding coming up.  

 

I don’t know what it is for you, but until you figure out your WHY, you won’t stick to the plan long term.  You won’t develop a healthy sustainable lifestyle.  

 

On my next blog post, we’ll talk a bit more about the HOW to of a fit and healthy lifestyle, but until then…..

 

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?  

WHY do you want to be free from outside noises and distractions in this area of your life?  

 

 

Product Review and Giveaway!

Befit

As part of my affiliation with @fitapproach and #sweatpink I was given the chance to review the following products.  As always you can be sure that my opinions are all my own.  

befitproducts

I received a bundle of products from BeFit including BeFit Pre, BeFit Whey Protein, and BeFit Burn.  These were to be used along with BeFit workouts that can be accessed via YouTube video following a 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar.  

 

Supplement Review….

BeFit Pre is a fruit punch flavored powder that is to be mixed with water and taken 15 minutes prior to your workout.  The powder mixes very well.  I just put a scoop in a water bottle with 6-8 oz of water, shook gently a couple of times, and it was ready.  Taste was fine.  

 

BeFit Whey Protein comes in vanilla or chocolate flavor.  I received chocolate.  (Yay!)  Just like the Pre, this powder mixes well and tastes fine.  I didn’t notice that icky protein aftertaste that you get sometimes.  I actually stirred it into my coffee most days after my workout.   I also used the powder to make some protein balls, and they were quite yummy.  Made for a healthy afternoon snack.  

 

BeFit Burn is a supplement that is supposed to be taken about 30 minutes prior to your largest meal.  It claims to help metabolize or burn fat.  I always took mine before breakfast, because I didn’t want to risk any of the “stimulating” effect that may cause me not to sleep well.  (In general I don’t do caffeine or anything like that 11:00AM or so, because I’m quite sensitive to it.  Having said that, I didn’t ever feel like it caused any jitters or any negative side effects.  

 

Do the products work?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I have been using a Pre and Post Workout supplement for quite some time.  Therefore I can’t say if the Pre really gave me an extra boost or the Post helped in my recovery.  All I can say is that they tasted fine and mixed well.  I have no complaints.  If you don’t currently use a product, these may be something you want to try.  As for the Burn, I was conflicted in even taking it.  I don’t advocate for “weight loss support” pills.  I didn’t see any weight loss as a result of using them nor did I experience any change in my cravings as again I already have a nutrition plan that keeps me on track in these areas.  If you are beginning your weight loss journey and need support in curbing your cravings, this product may be helpful.  

 

Workouts Review….

The 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar includes 10 different workouts that can be found on YouTube that are 10 minutes in length.  The calendar lays out a schedule to follow and then about 2 weeks into the program, you double up and do 2 workouts on some days.  There are also rest days included.  Some workouts require weights, others do not.  A simple pair of 3, 5, or 10lb weights would work fine.  befitdvd

 

Following is a summary of each workout:

Dynamic Strength:  I was sore the following day!  14 exercises, 30 seconds each.  This is a kettebell inspired workout.  

Cardio Extreme:  This workout paired well with Total Body Shred the 3rd week of the program.  Cardio Extreme utilizes weights.  Great full body workout!  

Legs and Butt Shaper:  Nothing needed for this workout.  Killer on the lower body.  

Metabolic Booster:  No weights needed for this workout.  4 rounds of 4 exercises for 30 seconds but each time they get a little more advanced.  

Total Body Shred:  Need a set of 3-10lb weights.  The workout is 30 seconds of a body sculpting move followed by 30 seconds of power move.  Killer workout!

Cardio Burn:  Burn is key! I was super sweaty after this one.  45 seconds of weight training and 30 seconds of cardio.

Lower Body Blast:  This one is not even 10 minutes long, but it still kicks the booty.  45 seconds of low body move plus 45 seconds of a cardio push.  

Toned Abs and Arms:  This one resulted in some sore abs and arms the next day.  

Maximum HIIT:  Big focus on jumping jacks.  They come between strength moves.  

Cardio Crush:  This is basically an abs and cardio workout.  No equipment necessary.  

Summary:  I really liked the workouts!  The gals do a great job of showing modifications.  Nothing is difficult to follow.  Since the workouts are short, you could even view them before actually doing them just so you’ll be a bit more familiar with them.  I could easily see myself choosing a couple that I really like and working them in on days when I’m short on time.  I definitely felt like I was getting a good workout.  I felt it when I was doing it, and on some occasions I felt it the next day!  

 

So often we think if we don’t have an hour to spend working out then we shouldn’t do it at all.  But these workouts prove that with as little as 10 minutes, you can make a difference in your health and fitness.  I would suggest doing these even 3 times a week and adding in some daily walks.  I believe you would see and feel the difference.  

 

Now it’s time for you to get a chance to try these products.  This giveaway will go through Sunday night.  But don’t wait for the products, head over to YouTube and view the videos and give them a try. Let me know what you think!  

Click here to go to giveaway!

Giveaway restrictions:
  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from BeFit through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.
Let me know…..

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to exercise?  Finding something you like to do?  Finding time?  Lack of energy or motivation?

Or….do you love to workout and never miss?

How To View Your Setback as an Opportunity

SETBACK

Recently I was sidelined from my running routine. A freakish pain happened in my big toe during a Saturday training run that forced me to walk the last mile of the run and led to a couple of weeks on the sidelines, walking and riding my trainer.  

Should’ve been no big deal. Thankful nothing like a stress fracture. A week or two of not running. How bad can that be? Well, ask any “runner”, and any day you’re told you CAN’T run is a bad day. And for someone who has struggled with tying her self-worth to how much she’s running and working out, this is very difficult.  I mean, first question people always ask me when they see me is “You run this morning?”  Or when I see family it’s, “You still running?  What big race do you have coming up?”  My identity is tied to my running.  

And so back to what do you do when you have a setback or encounter a roadblock? The first thing is we quickly revert to old thoughts and habits. At least I know I do. In this case, I was finding myself gravitating towards new weight loss schemes and quick fixes. I was fighting the urge to compare and let negative self-talk enter my mind.

BUT, I had to recognize what was going on. When I start down that path that only leads to destruction of all that God has done in my life, I pause, and remember I’m supposed to turn north! I had to be thankful for what I had.  I had to be thankful that I could still move everyday. I was able to lift some heavy weight and I tore it up on my trainer doing intervals.  I walked.  I surrounded myself with a community of women for 40 Days of Faith and Fitness.

In the end, maybe this wasn’t a setback or a roadblock. Maybe this was an opportunity to live out my verse of the year “throw off everything that hinders and run…” I had some time to take inventory and identify some of the hindrances I need to get rid of to run the race.

 

Do you feel like you’re facing a setback or a roadblock today?  May I suggest that it could be an opportunity?  

  • Is there a lesson to be learned?  
    • For me, I still need to learn that my identity and my worth has nothing to do with what my physical body does or how it looks.  
  • Do you need to make a change in your life?
    • I’m learning more and more about exercise and its affects on me as a “40-something”.  This gave me some time to explore some different ways to exercise.  
  • Do your priorities need to be adjusted?
    • In times like these, I’m reminded how “things”, whether they are activities or possessions, to do lists or relationships, they can become idols in my life that takes my focus off of the One who matters most.

 

Tell me about a time you’ve had a setback that proved to be an opportunity.

When it comes to sports, do you prefer to be on the sidelines cheering or would you rather be out there playing?

Never Leave Home Without It

Hemp Bar

As part of my #sweatpink ambassadorship, I was given these products to review.  Be sure that all opinions are my own.

 

I’m a bar girl.  No, not the kind that goes drinking and dancing!  The kind who likes a good protein bar for a snack or even for breakfast with my shake.  I’ve tried all kinds.  Some leave you wanting something else.  Some are super sweet.  Some are loaded with so many chemicals that a candy bar might be a better choice.  Some leave an aftertaste that makes me looking for more food.  The shelves are overcome with bars of all types and flavors.  So when I had the chance to try a new bar, I jumped on it.  

 

I received 2 bars in the mail.  I had never had these bars prior to this.  hemp_bar

 

I was super excited to get a chocolate one, and it was the first one I tried.  Surprisingly, it was not my favorite.  I felt the flavor was bland.  My favorite was definitely the apple cinnamon.  It had a really good cinnamon taste (and I love cinnamon!).  

 

I liked the texture of the bars.  It’s sorta grainy.  The limited ingredients and way they are made, make them a great bar to stash in the car or in my purse.  They don’t have a chocolate coating or chips in them that would melt.  hemp_bars

 

After eating the bar, I felt satisfied. It made for a good afternoon snack.  

 

And to be fair, I gave it the kid test.  I let my 12-year-old son taste of it, and as you can see, he declined to finish it off.  He appreciates “health food” to a certain extent, I guess.  Maybe we’ll try again at another time!  

hempbar

To sum it up, I’m all about being prepared.  Sometimes my day gets crazy, either at home or out and about.  I like to have things available at all times that will give me an energy boost or hold me over until the next meal.  These bars fit the bill on something that is nutritional, transportable, and tasty.  I’ll be stashing some in my purse and my car!

 

What is something you never leave home without?

 

Manitoba Harvest is running a photo contest. (Details here)
Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
A winner will be chosen each month!
Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents
The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off!
Expires 3/31/2016