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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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 too feel 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!!
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Defeat, time and time again!!! It’s so frustrating!! Another January come and gone. That New Year’s resolution tossed to the side. You feel guilty and ashamed that you have failed again. Girls, let me tell you something………
You can’t move forward until you identify what has been holding you back!! (Again) YOU CAN’T MOVE FORWARD UNTIL YOU IDENTIFY WHAT HAS BEEN HOLDING YOU BACK! This most certainly applies to your health. Every January, it’s the same. We all want a meal plan and the grocery list and we will start on Monday. But hasn’t that failed us before?? Time and time again? Twenty two years of experience and my own personal health journey has taught me the importance of identifying obstacles. To lose weight, gain energy and improve our health; we need to take the time to identify the barriers that have held us captive in the past. Once we have identified those obstacles, then we can put a strategy in place to work around those obstacles or overcome them completely! THIS my friends is the way to move forward!!
Aren’t you ready to do something different?? January is just a month. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not
a short term goal. Show yourself some grace, forgive yourself and determine to move forward. Need some help identifying the obstacles that have defeated you in the past? That’s what Im here for! I’m a Dietitian but this Warrior Mom calls herself a Battle Strategist!! I would love to help you overcome those obstacles! Let’s do this together!
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On this day, 6 years ago, I lost my sweet mama. God fully healed her body and she experienced total restoration as she saw her Savior face to face. Death is painful and brings so many emotions. There is an emptiness. Yet, for the believer, there is Hope, tremendous, beautiful and gracious Hope!
My mama taught me what it looks like to be a woman. She was a feisty woman!!! You knew exactly what she was thinking! She was funny and a little crazy with a great sense of humor! She loved to throw parties and give gifts! She adored encouraging others! She didn’t like to cook but dang if her table scape didn’t look like something out of Pottery Barn! She taught me to put my faith in HIM and not men. I learned to trust in Jesus and get fulfillment from my relationship with God.
My mama taught me I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up! She taught me to work
hard and "go for it!" She was my biggest cheerleader.
My mom lived out what it looks like to be "others focused" and not focused on self. She loved helping others and bringing a smile to their face!!! My sweet, crazy mama taught me to HAVE FUN and ENJOY LIFE!!!! She taught me to dance, sing and laugh!!! Even though I'm not much of a singer, I can dance!!! Well, kinda! Mama taught me to look for the Lord in his beautiful creation! I got my love for planting flowers from her!
She taught me that being a mom is the most important job there is!! She taught me to be a strong woman! I am a strong woman but most importantly I am a daughter of the King of Kings!! The reality is I'm an absolute mess, but because of His never ending Grace, I'm forgiven and I'm fulfilled!!! I do not fear what the future holds, because I know WHO holds the future. I will guide my son and daughter as my mama guided me. As I daily get confused and overwhelmed, I'll simply turn to His word, the Bible. It's the best guidebook there is!!
So today, instead of wallowing in grief; I'm going to buy some flowers. I'm going to put on some good music and dance! And I'm going to keep chasing my dreams!!!! And I'm going to keep making my mama proud!!!!
Here are some words to remember that mama wrote. We included this in the program for her
funeral service. I love the line....If the mountain was smooth, you would never reach the top!
Hope these words of hers are an encouragement to you do. I know they are for me!
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Ugh, the pressure!! If it isn’t resolutions, it is the one word for the year trend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like this. I really do and I think it is important! But coming up with that one word! Man! That can be problematic, right?!? So I started praying about it. God, what do you want to do with my life in 2019? How can I grow closer to you, Lord? I don’t want to go through the motions. I want real growth! I want Christ evidenced in me! What do I need to address in my life that is holding me back from being fully devoted to you, Lord?
Those were some of my prayers and I felt like He answered. But let me tell you, I didn’t like the word that I was “hearing!” I didn’t like it at all!! I mean, last year my word was DETERMINATION. I want an empowering word like that!! Instead, God in His infinite wisdom gave me the word REVEAL. What?!? Reveal?!?
The more I thought about it, the more it just made sense. Everyday, I help people deal with the junk that has been holding them back so that they can move forward on their health journey. Yet when it comes to my own body, mind and soul health journey; I would rather just move forward at a quick pace. Pushing away the difficult stuff, shoving it deep down inside and not wanting to face it or deal with it. This is my habit, this is my tendency, this is what I am used to doing. I mean I do this by default!!!
But I know. Deep down, I truly know that there are things I need to face. Past hurts, struggles and fears that I need to face. So I need God to reveal these things to me. I don’t want anything holding me back from being fully committed, fully devoted to my Lord and Savior. I don’t want to be a surface Christian and just go through the dang motions!!! I want more for my life and the life of my family. I know God has more for me! So for me to move forward, I need Him to reveal the things that have held me back.
I’m curious if you have a word for this year. What is it?
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Balance is a myth. It’s like a mythical creature, a unicorn! Something we want to see and never experience! Just hearing the word balance makes us feel stressed. It makes us take a look at our life and feel the opposite of balance…..UNBALANCED! This desire to get evenness across all areas of life leaves us feeling inadequate, incapable and simply depleted. Ditch the balancing act! You are not a circus performer! Give yourself a healthy dose of grace. What if we started changing our mindset? Let’s change our “tune" and focus on HARMONY instead! (LOL, see what I did there?!?) Harmony is defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts. When those parts or components are in agreement, in accord with one another! Another way to define harmony is an internal calm, tranquility. There we go!!! Now we are talking! That’s exactly what we want!!! We want harmony!
Doesn’t that sound better to you?
I think I know why I love the word “harmony” so much. It brings back beautiful memories of my childhood. My mom’s side of the family was a musical family. Her dad and five brothers had a family band called the Harmonica Bradley’s and my mom and her two sisters sang. And man, could they sing!! (I’m smiling as a I write this) I just loved listening to them perform. They would preform at October Fest, church functions, social gatherings, family get togethers and nursing homes to name a few. Each of their voices had a part and those voices blended together in perfect and beautiful harmony! I would love to continue here and tell you that I’m musically gifted and can play an instrument like my grandfather or sing in harmony like my mother.
Ummmm well……somehow the musical gene skipped me altogether and I was not gifted with the same talents as my mom and her family! But that doesn’t change the fact that I grew up adoring music and how the different parts blend together in perfect harmony.
Having spent my entire adult life working with people to help them achieve a healthier lifestyle has made me realize that we are looking for the same thing with our health and our music! A beautiful, pleasing arrangement of parts. Not an unrealistic ideal of balance but simple harmony that carries over across all aspects of our health including our physical health, mental and emotional health and spiritual health. Let’s take this journey together. Let’s turn down the complicated noise, ditch the extreme health approaches and instead combine simple informational parts, a positive mindset and spiritual growth so we can work to achieve beautiful, healthy harmony. Together, we can motivate change and celebrate life!
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January already?? Really?? And all the pressure of making New Year’s resolutions?!? Please
STOP!!! I’m just trying to recover from the holidays!! I learned something this holiday season.
We did way too much. The saying “You can’t do it all” really rings true here. I tried. We did
Christmas BIG at home in Texas and then loaded up the next day and headed to both Louisiana
and Alabama. Too much! It’s hard having family out of state and still wanting to be home with
my little family to celebrate. So this just means I need to figure out something different next
year. Live and learn, right?!?
So yeah, I’m coming into January like a run down hot mess!! I’m showing myself some grace
and allowing myself some time to recover and rest. And this is NOT easy!! I have all these
expectations swirling around me. I’m a health coach for goodness sake!!! January I need to be
ON IT!! But I’m not and that’s okay. The more I learn about health, the more I understand
whole body, holistic health. Body, mind and soul it all goes together, baby!!! But knowing and
doing are two different things. So I’m trying. I’m trying to let go of the expectations and give
myself a moment. January is just a month! I’ll set some goals and plan for the year ahead. I’ll
finalize my “word for the year.” But for right now, I need to recover and rest. Peace out ya’ll, this
chica is going to take a nap!