Wife and mom are my two most important titles. I’m a Dietitian by training and like to call myself a Battle Strategist because I firmly believe that we are all warriors! I want us to be empowered warriors with the good energy and health needed to fight our daily battles. We can do this Warrior Moms! We have an important job to do!
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You may not currently feel this way but you are a Warrior! It's there. It’s who you are meant to be. The daily struggles we face are a battle. And it feels like a battle doesn’t it?!? With “bullets” whizzing by us in the form of work demands, the stress of raising kids in a scary world and all the pressure from our current society. The burden of trying to see ahead to help your family navigate and avoid the hidden bombs that blow up and destroy everything. All the while, trying to keep a smile on your face, and upbeat attitude and create beautiful family memories. It is exhausting!!
As a Warrior, we want to feel strong, courageous, in control, confident and satisfied instead of we feel exactly the opposite. Take a look at this list of how we want to feel vs. how we really feel. Which ones on this list can you relate to??
How we want to Feel vs. How we really Feel
Thriving—————Declining & barely Surviving
Relaxed & able to Enjoy the Moment—————Stressed out
Fulfilled—————Disappointed & Incomplete
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Self love, self care….. these terms seem very, well, self focused! I think there is a world view of self love and self care and then there is God’s view. As someone who encourages others on their health journey, I have been thinking about these opposing views for some time.
On one hand, you have the “it’s all about me” mentality. A very selfish, self focused state. An all consuming obsession with looks and outward appearance; with little thought given to the heart and the soul.
On the other hand, you have the extreme opposite. Self care and self love are negative terms. A negligent approach is taken with regard to health and overall well being. A disdain when it comes to loving yourself.
So how do we reconcile these two extreme approaches?
As I grow in my relationship with God, I know that the answer is found in His word. Does the Bible have anything to say about self love? Sure it does! It starts by reminding us of who we are in our Creator, Jesus Christ. Psalm 139: 13-16 leaves no doubt that we are special…….
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be
He created us with a beautiful and intricate design. I love the part that says we are wonderfully made!! I think it’s pretty, crazy amazing how the Bible indicates that God cares about every, single detail of the body He created and our life. Luke 12:7 says even the hairs of your head are numbered! Now here is some detail!!! By the way, do you realize that that number changes daily?? If not, throughout the day?? All of us have a completely unique fingerprint. He created us and He loves us.
With all of this attention to detail, doesn’t it make sense that God would want us to take care of and love what He created? 1 Corinthians 3:19 clearly states that we are God’s temple and His spirit dwells in us. And then again in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are reminded that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, whom we have from God. It further goes on to say…..”You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
So here’s the deal. In my head, it makes complete sense! God created me. God loves me! He wants me to take care of the body that He gave me. And He wants me to see myself the way that He sees me. As a beautiful creation. But here is where the problem starts! Here is where I hear the lies in my head. The lies that tell me I’m not enough. The voice that convinces me to look around and compare myself to others. The lie that leads to the never ending cycle of looking to others for acceptance and approval. Suddenly, everything I know about being a creation of God Almighty flies out the window!
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It’s the LOVE Month! We are surrounded by all the marketing for the love holiday! It’s totally overboard, right?? As women, I think that we love easily. We love and sacrifice for our kids and our spouse. We support, encourage and give. But when it comes to “loving ourselves”, that is much more difficult! We find ourselves constantly seeking the approval of others and not measuring up. We look in the mirror and see all the flaws that we desperately want to change. We feel shame and end up hating ourselves for past mistakes. Most of us struggle yet not many want to admit it.
Sisters, we are missing out!!! First and foremost, I want to remind you that you are deeply LOVED by the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings and the Lord Almighty! You are Enough! And you are enough not because of what you do. You are enough because of who you are!! You are the daughter of the King, created in His image. How easy it is to forget this in this crazy, busy, self possessed world.
God uniquely designed you! You are equipped with special gifts, strengths, talents and abilities. It is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Did you know that no one has a fingerprint like you? You are that unique! And with that unique fingerprint comes this beautiful set of gifts and strengths! The world needs YOU! Your family needs YOU! And those gifts that you bring to the table. Believe in yourself. Be kind to yourself!! Forgive yourself!! And show yourself some grace! We have all messed up! And finally, allow your Heavenly Father to love you and forgive you. He knows you, He loves you and He paid the ultimate sacrifice for you.
So self love may not mean what the world tell us. It is not this extremely vain, total obsession with self! It is simply knowing your worth because you know your Creator. And understanding that He created you for a purpose. You are worthy. You are enough.
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Okay……Here’s the deal. I’m going to be talking about STRESS today. And I know if you are like me, just talking about stress makes you think about all the things that you have to STRESS out about!!
So let’s just take a deep breath. Seriously…….breathe in 1,2, 3,4 and breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4. There now! Let’s begin. This is a hot topic that is sooooo important to address. The bottom line is that stress is killing us! Our lives as a whole have become more stressful and our bodies reflect that stress. Let’s look at the top ways that stress affects the body……
Any of that sound familiar? Ugh! I know, right?!? And honestly, that’s not the worst part! Stress causes inflammation. We now know that inflammation is at the core of MOST of our diseases!! Research is showing that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate inflammation.
In addition, key research is identifying the affect that stress has on our microbiome (that balance of good and bad microbes) particularly in our gut. Stress damages that balance of bacteria. And there is a direct link between poor gut health and inflammation. So it is clear that we must manage stress so that we can prevent disease and live life to the fullest!
It’s important to recognize that the stress is not going to suddenly disappear. We must find a way to help our body cope with the stress so it doesn’t kill us! Here are some tips on managing stress………
2. Relax Your Muscles
3. Deep Breathing
4. Eat Well
5. Slow Down
6. Take a Break
7. Make Time for Hobbies
8. Talk About Your Problems
9. Go Easy On Yourself
10. Eliminate Your Triggers
It’s much easier said than done! Honestly, I struggle to even write about stress here because it is such a big struggle. But I’m tired of stress ruling my life and I know that I have to manage this stress. And no, it is not as easy as simply following the list above, right?!? But I’m learning to listen to my body and be aware and that’s a great first step. Also, identifying some triggers and changing my expectations can make a big difference as well. And on this journey, I’m learning that it’s okay to slow down, take a break and relax a little. I’m trying to let go of the ridiculous performance standards in my head and leave some time for self care. I have seen the importance of exercise for stress relief in addition to the value of sleep. Bottom line, I’m learning. I’m a work in progress! Do you feel to stressed out and overwhelmed? We are in this together! No one has it all figured out. Remember you are not on this wellness journey alone!! I am here to help you and encourage you!!