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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Have you ever had a friend that just having a conversation with them refreshes your soul? We are finishing up our travels for Spring Break and I got to have dinner with my friend, Lori, last night. I love talking to her!! We were discussing how we struggle as women but how we all assume that no one else is struggling. She told me a story of taking a walk in a nice neighborhood and noticing how every single yard had weeds. No yard was exempt from weeds! The same can be said of struggles. We all have struggles just like all yards are going to have weeds!
As I have started this new venture. This prompting from God to encourage others in their health journey. I’ve thought so much about what I want this to be. I’ve prayed for God’s direction and I’m learning to trust in His timing. So here’s where I’m at……..
I want this to be for the weary and the overwhelmed. The wanna be healthy. The wanna be warrior. The tired of defeat and failure. The sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I’ve spent an entire career in this health arena. Want to know the main thing I’ve learned? We all walk around wearing masks! We allow ourselves to be defined by something that we are not supposed to be defined by!
We are searching. We are hurting. We are desperately looking for our identity. All the while, holding the mask firmly in place that we are coping! That we somehow have it all together!!
Ya’ll…….listen. No one has it all figured out. No one has it all together. We ALL have issues, struggles, fears and failures. I know I’m not the only one that has gotten depressed looking at social media. As a mom, I have struggled greatly with just feeling inadequate!! As a Dietitian and Wellness Coach, well, my goodness! Don’t even get me started. It feels like I will never measure up to this absolute ridiculous standard of perfect body and perfect health.
But you know what? That’s okay! I’m tired of wearing a mask and acting like I have it all together. That’s just plain stupid. No one has it all together. And I’m learning that more people relate to us in our struggles….NOT in our strengths. Not to mention, it is exhausting wearing a mask!!
Let’s get real with each other. Let’s recognize that we all struggle. That no one has it all together. No matter how it appears on social media!!
Let’s remember that we are worthy because HE is worthy. Our identity must be found in our Creator. We don’t have to be enough because HE is enough. This is a process. A journey. Let’s stick together and encourage each other on this journey! It’s okay to let down the mask! And warriors…..I don’t care how weary you feel right now. It’s a lot easier to fight your battles when you aren’t held back by keeping a mask in place!
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The feeling of exhaustion. Just being weary. Looking at my coffee mug that says “Warrior” and knowing I don’t feel anything like a warrior. I feel tired and defeated. Can you relate?
As women, we really want to do it all. And do it all well!! We fill our schedules and rush around. Trying to measure up. Trying to keep up with everyone else on social media who seems to have it all together.
I sit down for my quiet time feeling overwhelmed and distracted. Reading my devotion but with my mind going in a million different places. But these words I’m reading are powerful. They get my attention because it is exactly what I’m struggling with. So I decide to read the words again. And pay closer attention. The words on the page jump out at me. They pierce my weary soul.
“When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”
Is that what this weariness is? An underwhelmed soul? It becomes clearer. And these words on the devotional page speak to me……
“….so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I’m afraid of missing out or not measuring up.”
The author of this devotional, Lysa Terkuerst, gets it. I’m trying so hard to keep up because I want to measure up. I’m seeking the approval of others. Why do I so often fall into this trap? It so easily ensnares me that this trap becomes my norm! As I continue reading, I see the answer. It doesn’t always have to be this way. There is a reason that the Bible says…..”His mercies are new each morning.” There is a way to escape the trap!!! This is what I want. This is what I truly desire. A way out!! A solution for this feeling of weariness. I relate to these words in the devotional and they refresh me and give me hope.
“And I am discovering the source of much of the stress in my life is the constant need to keep up. But what if I’m chasing the wrong desires? Do I really want my life to look more like the others? Or to look more like God’s best for me? God’s best for me means engaging with life and the people in it.”
I truly want God’s best for me!! Clearly, I’m not doing a great job of figuring this all out on my own. And you know what?? I don’t have to figure it out on my own. God’s got this and He has got me!! I just need to learn to trust Him and take the time to truly seek Him.
And after suffering the loss of friends and loved ones, I realize so strongly that life is short!! I want to live it to the fullest. Living life to the fullest is being fully engaged, fully present and taking the time to enjoy the people that God has placed in my life. Reminding myself that I don’t have to keep up. All I have to do is keep looking up!
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“I”m craving……” These are words my mama would say when she came to visit in Texas. My mama always loved to eat and truly enjoyed food! We loved to tease her about it. So when she and my dad would travel from Alabama to Texas. I swear she would arrive hungry and looking forward to all the yummy food we would eat. She would tell us her cravings for certain restaurants that are only here and not in my home state. Of course, we paid a visit to said restaurants. And then, my husband, James, who loves to cook would listen to her cravings and requests. He would prepare exactly what she wanted. She just loved it! It made her happy! Those cravings!
It’s funny because when we talk about cravings. Our very first thought is food, right?!? As a Dietitian, I’ll have people tell me about their sugar cravings, their fast food cravings, their cravings for all things chocolate or their salty cravings. The list of food cravings goes on and on.
But as I allow God to reveal things to me in my life about my complete health. And by complete, I mean my total physical health, mental/emotional health and spiritual health. I have realized that I’ve taken such a one sided approach to my health. Do I ever consider the health of my soul and ask the question….”what does my soul crave?”
So let’s address that! What does our soul crave? Obviously we aren’t talking food anymore! Our soul, the very core of who we are. The spiritual part of us as human beings.
I started making a priority of spending time with my heavenly Father each day. Now, wouldn’t it be a great story to say that is all it took?!? This single act of quiet time each morning gave me exactly what I was looking for?? No. Oftentimes, I slip back into old habits and look to other things to fill my soul. Each time coming up empty handed or maybe I should say empty souled!
I’m learning that for my soul to be nourished, I need to constantly seek Him. Each and every day. My soul craves time with my Father! I don’t have to figure it all out right now. I don’t have to worry about next week, next month or next year. All I have to do is be willing. Be willing to make that time a priority. Be willing to put one foot in front of the other. Be willing to be open about what God reveals to me. And be willing to give control over to Him. God knows what my soul craves and He is the only one who can truly nourish my soul!!
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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!!
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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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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?