Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cozi Time!

The Cozi app is awesome! We appreciate it so much!

I just had to take a few minutes to share an app with you that has literally helped my family in so many ways – I can’t even express the thankfulness for this app.

You all have calendars right?  I did too – I had the monster “MOM” desk calendar that opened all the way up.  It had all of our main appointments on it, as well as some work deadlines, and photography sessions…   For the most part it worked well for me, but we couldn’t seem to stay on track of when my husband had important meetings or even reminders of when things were before they were “BLAM!” that day.

Lots of conversations were had of, “I didn’t know you had that appt…” or “was that even ON the calendar yesterday?”  We were… becoming a BIT disorganized, and things were about to get even crazier this fall.

I will say before 16 little hands and feet were in the mix, I used to be pretty organized and timely…  I actually was KNOWN for being on time.  Ironically, I’m pretty sure I’m known for almost always being late.   But, in my defense – with a few little people working against you on road we call life, sometimes things get a little mixed up in our minds each week.

I subscribe to FLYLADY on Facebook, and she often has great encouragement and suggestions for staying on track in organizing and decluttering your home…  we like to call it “blessing our home”…    This past spring she shared an app for your smart phone called “Cozi” and it has been a HUGE blessing to us!

AND the bonus is … it’s FREE!  Love that!  (You can get the version with no ads for a small fee as well)

So how does this tie into being healthy for Him and staying on track?  Well, along with the calendar part of the app, and the reminders you can set it up with, it has shopping lists, by store – that you can set up to keep you organized as well!  It helps to make sure I’m not missing any produce, or key grocery items whenever I’m in town to pick up a few things.  (Which is often a reason people make POOR decisions, lack of planning ahead!)   You can also email the lists to any other phone or to your computer… and it’s always with you!  Perfect!

Now you don’t need a special app for this, but I often set alarms to remind myself it’s snack time, or to remind myself to plan for dinner that night, or breakfast the next day.  It’s SO great!  Thanks Flylady!

Smart phones are one of the major reasons I love technology!  (The other is internet shopping in the peace and quiet of my home!)  So download the app – let me know what you think, and if you already have it – tell me how you make it work for you!

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5

 

Are YOU a MAMIL??

What IS that you say?

Let me preface this by saying my husband gets to buy some sporting goods for a few retail stores…  we get all sorts of great information of trends and such.  Well our last issue of “Sports Insight” had a great cover and lead story about “The Mamil Movement”….

The MAMIL movement demographic shown here...

MAMIL = Middle-Aged Men (and women) in Lycra.

Before you start laughing…  it actually made so much sense!

This demographic as been BOOMING in the industry… and despite the poor economy, the numbers have continued to go up and people desire MORE for their health.  Food awareness, and shows like “The Biggest Loser” have pushed people around the country to take a long hard look at the consequences their food consumption and activity levels have made.  Many of the women are at an age where they have a bit more time to actually focus on some of the aspects they’ve put off… either due to children, work or schedules.  It’s highly likely you, or someone you know is part of that movement… It goes beyond middle age, but there is definitely a large increase in health awareness in this country.

I’ve shared that I enjoy doing my DVDs at home… that’s just my personality, and it works with my lifestyle of lots of little ones and not a whole lot of extra time.

BUT – a MAJORITY of people in this movement for getting healthy are big into gyms, personal trainers, triathlons,  marathons, half-marathons… and things like the Couch to 5K races.  Maybe it’s just on their “bucket list”, but it’s great to see a trend in the right direction… It’s also awesome to know that so many people are realizing how important it is to eat right and move to feel good!

The downside of this can be the long-term goals and lasting motivation.  Often times I read on Facebook that someone did a huge race – followed up by some comment regarding the worst meal they could ever eat from McDonald’s…  They check something off of that bucket list and then leave fitness and nutrition by the wayside for the next best thing, or short-term satisfaction.

Our goals to live and be healthy are larger than ONLY short-term race training or just trying to look like a fitness model.  We want to transform our minds so that when that race is over…  we keep running, and set MORE goals.

We are works of progress in all areas of life.  Whatever way you choose to move – just move more today than yesterday!  Look at ways you can change things up to make your food choices the best they can be.  It doesn’t have to be an over night thing, in fact – slow and steady wins the race.  Look to Jesus for your strength in all things…  When you’re tired, worn out and don’t feel like it – look UP!  He is every reason you’ll ever need.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 -Hebrews 12:1-2

Are you WORTH It?

Maybe you have a low self-worth…

Maybe you’re lacking GOD esteem.

Have we forgotten the One who created us for His purpose?

Sometimes in my self centeredness, I would forget who “my health” was about.  It really wasn’t about me…

I had been blessed with so much.

Each day we wake up – we have just “that day” to conquer…  We can choose what we eat… choose how we move…

Are we going to make excuses on why we will “start tomorrow”, why today isn’t a good day to make a positive change to be healthy for Him?

I did that…  for a long time.

I would focus on the short-term satisfaction… forgetting God wanted to see me maximizing my blessings for His glory.

Once I truly realized my health was a witness… it completely changed my heart on the issue.  When people are able to see you’re different – in multiple ways… and in ways that you’re able to bring glory to God… then they ask questions.

They want to know how THEY can look and feel amazing…

Then ….  it’s as if a door opens.

We can choose to say something WE have done… changes WE have made…

OR

We can turn the glory and focus to God …. who deserves the glory, and honor for what He has done.

Thank you God for your prompting me to listen…. and thank you for helping me realize *I AM* worth dying for.

(You are too!  Now get out and encourage someone else to get healthyforhim! There is a share button at the bottom of this page just waiting for you to CLICK it! Try it out!)

That’s It! Have me Committed!

Let's talk vending machines... WHY don't they have any decent options? What would you pick if these were your only options?

That’s right, I’m turning myself in!

In a world that takes commitment and sacrifice to others lightly, the Bible contrasts that with a God who is full of grace, mercy, and never-ending love.  The statistics for marriage are grim, including in the church… and I believe a lot of it has to do with lack of TRUE commitment.

One must ask – WHO is your commitment in life to?  Who is your Authority and Creator?

If you think you’re committed to yourself… or someone else alone – that’s not going to get you very far.  Marriages and commitments in general fail miserably when the joint commitment is to anything other than God.  Whatever that other “thing”, be it a friend, spouse, program or whatever can become your idol.  Most of the time it’s actually self…  as in SELFISHNESS, pride, and the like.  We want to “believe in ourselves”… do what “makes us happy”… you’ve heard it all before…

Maybe you’ve believed it and didn’t even realize what you were being sold.  Often times we think it’s harmless or a catch phrase.

WRONG.  It’s an idol – and if we’re not careful we believe it.

When it came to my health… it was certainly going to  have to be an iron clad commitment.  I had to be convicted that it would be a commitment worth making to God… just like in a marriage.

After all, without a commitment to God…  was going to be too easy to cheat, or fall of the wagon…

Times are going to be tough.  Things are going to challenge you to look another way… (Mmmm… that extra cookie looks good, who is it going to hurt – right?)  You’re going to have to fight to stay on the narrow path of righteousness for the sake of your commitment…  and know in your heart the Truth of the consequences of your choices.

That’s right.  The only way this is going to work is if you commit your way unto the Lord.

I mentioned I attended a photography seminar this past weekend.  A lot of what I learned was marketing information, and I just eat that stuff up.  I love being able to apply what I learn to so many different areas of life – and share with others, and other businesses little nuggets of inspiration to help them thrive as well.  I truly get excited about seeing others succeed in Him too.  Well, one of the areas that was discussed, was in regards to goals.  There were some statistics shared from the American Society for Training and Development that stated the following in regards to succeeding in your goals.  Watch how the number changes based on what is done with your goals.

1) DECIDE to make a goal – 25% success rate

2) SETTING A TIMEFRAME to complete your goal – 40% success rate

3) DEVELOP A PLAN by writing it down and how to get there – 50% success rate

4) COMMIT the goal to someone – 65% success rate

5) ACCOUNTABILITY appointment with someone – 95% success rate

Whoa!!   Do you SEE that??

So you can see your odds increase in being SUCCESSFUL in your goals the more you invest in that commitment.  If your commitment and your accountability is to God… do you think He is going to be on your side?  Of course!!  He wants what is best for us!!

“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.”  Psalm 37:5

Please. Drink Responsibly….

My "Hydracoach bottle" is a water coach that keeps me on task with drinking my H2O!

Water that is.

I’m not sure where you live – but it’s kinda warm out lately.

Scratch that.  It’s CRAZY hot out.

The hotter it is, the more we sweat… even when we’re not trying to sweat, we need that water to flush our systems.  In July, in Kansas, I can almost look out the window and bead up!  Normally I refer to my sweating as “glistening”… as I’m usually not a person who sweats a lot.  However… lately I have been sweating a ton.

How about you?  Are you drinking enough water?  Add in a workout or other external factors, nursing, pregnant, sick, climate, altitude (and if you’re drinking other things like alcoholic or other diuretic drinks) you need even MORE water for your body to stay hydrated.

Your body is 60% water.  So what do you think affects the scale the most day-to-day?  Do you think you really lose and gain pounds of FAT that quickly?  It’s more likely the shift of water in your system.

Did you know that when you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated of the water its needing?  Sometimes people even mistake thinking they’re hungry, for their body actually being thirsty.  This is ONE of the reasons drinking more water will help you lose weight!!

I’m thankful we live in a country where access to clean water isn’t an issue!  We really don’t have good excuses.

I’ve often heard other people say they “don’t like” water or forget to drink it enough.  They fill the void with other drinks that will dehydrate their bodies and contain, sugar, chemicals, caf­feine, and alcohol.

We can do the same thing with God.  We can just “forget” to spend time with Him… and slack off thinking it’s really not that big of a deal.  Just like we can drink the wrong things…  we can often fill our lives with things that pull us away from the very One who we need most.

We need to be purposeful in drinking our water and stay committed, as we continue growing in Him, through His Word.

I drink about 20-30 ounces of water with breakfast, the same for lunch and dinner.  I drink some before I work out, while I workout and before bed.  My goal is about 80-100 ounces of water for my body size, and external factors.

A thoughtful friend even got me a “HYDRACOACH” water bottle for my birthday to help me track how much water I was needing each day.  It’s pretty fun because you program it with your weight, and it tracks the percentage of what you’ve had… to help you get a handle on it and monitor that you’re not falling behind!  The children love letting me know what my “percentage” is for the day.

Share some of the ways you remember to drink H2O throughout the day!  How’s the Truth Pack coming along??  Nope… I’m not letting it go that easy!

“As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.”

Psalm 42:1

And the List Goes On…

A few years back, I heard a song at a mother/daughter tea….  it was called “the List Goes On”.  My MIL talked me into singing it for a women’s conference being held at our church.  The point of the song was a mother singing about how the list is never done… (it goes on, and on and on….) and the children chime in every few words with the reality that children often do…

“I have to go potty….”

“Someone needs a diaper…”

“We’re late for the Dr…”

It was a perfect song for me to sing – and I often cried when I practiced it because it was so real, it spoke volumes of how I felt mostly each day.

Well Steven Curtis Chapman recently came out with a song that has a similar “speak to me” feel…only this one is more of a reminder of how EVERYTHING we do matters to God.  It’s called “Do Everything…”

It talks about the things we think are “little”, and how they  DO matter to Him.

How we respond, speak, think and act.  Our job, our mission field – whether it’s in your house… or in another country.  It ALL matters to Him.

Oh….

And how we eat take care of our bodies is also very important to God.

YEP – that totally matters too!

It. ALL. Matters.

Your health is a witnessing tool.  It’s an outward example of how God is working inside out!  Utilize it for His glory!!

What changes are you making right now – and where do you need encouragement most?  Who has started their “truth pack”?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17

Feeling Guilty for YOU Time?

This is a fantastic book by Elizabeth Elliot on being a Proverbs 31 woman. Growing in Him should be body, soul and spirit! What great books have grown you the most?

I used to think people who were super fit, did it for vanity.  After all, when I worked out in highschool and college, it was because I wanted to maintain a certain shape, to look a certain way.  I didn’t consider helping my body to perform at it’s best…

When I was in college, I took HORRIBLE care of my body.  I ate terrible, kept terrible hours… and put my health in last place when it came to feeding my body and nurturing it some sleep.  BUT,  I did go to the rec center a lot…  I did the stepper, the treadmill, played some ball… pretended to be a runner.  (Major fail)

I can still picture this one evening in my mind…

I’m working out on the stepper… I have my headset cranked way up to some pumping music and out of the corner of my eye I see this girl walk in…. poured into a workout outfit that was rarely seen at this establishment.  (Maybe most of the girls were modest, but I’m guessing most people wouldn’t have felt comfortable showing any part of their body they didn’t care for in a spandex suit back in the late 90s.)  This girl had the most fit little figure I had ever seen… and in the words of Jillian “you could have bounced a quarter off of her behind.”

I’m sure my mouth was hanging open… not only at her outfit but her ability to wear it so well.  I wondered WHY she was there.  In my mind, people worked out when they wanted to look good – they didn’t work out if they already looked good.

What I didn’t do back then, was consider ALL she was doing to look and feel like that, probably on a daily basis… obviously people aren’t just born that way.  She was taking the maintence steps to take care of her body.  I, on the other hand, was just focusing on what I saw, the outer shell – but who knew what was underneath… and her motivation.  It was rather presumptuous of me to look at judge her or be jealous of her… for any reason.  After all, what was *I* doing to work on what God had given to me?

It was people “like her” – that made me believe the lie that maybe working out was for vanity only and was to achieve a goal (looking good), then you didn’t have to “do it” anymore.   Feeling good wasn’t really in the equation.

As I grew older, and bigger, and had more children…  that whole “me time” factor is what turned me away from exercising.  I had become comfortable in the fact that I was out of shape, because I didn’t have time to exercise, and besides…  it was a great excuse to not make the time, THAT would be selfish.

Did God’s word say that?

No, in fact He tells us to take care of our bodies, as they are a temple of the Holy Spirit in us. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Could it be another message the world puts on us?  A lie we believe and feel guilty about?

Even now – several of my workout DVDs say all sorts of mumbo-jumbo like “focus on YOU…. this is YOU TIME…  celebrate what YOU have done…YOU. YOU. YOU…”

If you don’t watch out – you can be bombarded with so many messages everywhere that are quick to remind you life is “all about you“… and “what you want to make YOU happy”…  forgetting the most important factor in your relationship with God and all things.  God Himself.

As the world pushes their message on you…  you may start to believe the lie in other areas of your life – that working out and eating right is selfish…  or on the other end of the spectrum, be consumed with the ideal that it IS all about you.

Unless of course…. you remember the Truth.

When I hear those messages now… I just combat them in my head with the Truth that I’ve worked on memorizing.  I focus on the Scriptures that God presents as His desires for me.  I remember who I’m doing this for.

I remember that I’m worth it – because He says I am.

So then, it’s not JUST for me.  It’s not JUST for my husband and role modeling for my kids… It’s not just to avoid gaining weight that will weigh me down in all areas of my health…

Most importantly it’s for God.

It’s taking what He has blessed me with … a healthy body that moves, and giving him the best return on His investment.

It took a long while of God transforming my mind on the issues at hand.  Looking good can be part of the equation… but it’s secondary to feeling good…

We’re not talking about hours upon hours.  We’re talking about 15 minutes a day to an hour.  How much tv time could you give up…. or computer time.  *gulp*

Don’t feel guilty.  Just get movin’ for Him!

“For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Pride… and HOPE!

God created SO many awesome, colorful foods! Here is my typical lunch - green leaf lettuce salad, peppers, cucumbers, shredded chicken, cottage cheese and sunflower seeds. Delish!

I tend to avoid things I don’t want to deal with.  Do you ever do this?

I know it’s not a good answer, or even a righteous one…  but I’m aware that sometimes it’s the cop-out I take.

WHY do I do that?

Pride.

When it came to educating myself Biblically on matters that just MIGHT convict me… or, rather… I knew would convict me… well… I avoided those things all the more.

When my husband came home from a business trip 7 years ago, and told me he thought homeschooling would be the best decision for our family.  I thought he had lost his mind (again).

Nope.  I *knew* God wasn’t going to lead me to do that…. (because I didn’t want to do it…) I avoided this book he suggested I read, and prayed my husband would come to his senses!

Well you know God…  When He wants something out of you – He hunts you down.  He’s relentless and doesn’t let you go on the matter.

He sets you on fire.

Suddenly every Scripture you read – blares whatever conviction He’s throwing at you.  Everyone you talk to seems to bring up this “random” topic… and you start realizing… maybe – just maaaaybe… you should listen up and pay attention!!

I realize most people know what they’re supposed to be doing when it comes to their health.  They just choose not to do it.

I was the same way.

Pride.

They tell me this all the time… “oh yeah, I know that… I just don’t do it.”

Okay great… so we KNOW what to do… God just isn’t important enough to make the change?  Is that what we’re saying?

We know we’d feel better if considered more closely what we put into our mouths.

We know we’d feel better if  we made it a point to exercise regularly each day.

We know quality of food and drink matters to how we feel and function.

So basically…

We’re comfortable being uncomfortable and do not wish to change?

Fabulous… we know SO much…. that we know the outcome!  When we aim at nothing – we’ll hit it every time!!

Just a reminder that when we put God in front of ourselves on this journey…   When we stop being selfish for short-term satisfaction, and prideful of already knowing it all but not acting when being prompted – God has some wonderful blessings in store we won’t want to miss!

Lay all of your frustrations at His feet.  He promises to be right there every step (and bite) of the way! 🙂

Share some of the blessings of HOPE He has given you along the way… as you strive to be healthy for Him!

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  – Romans 5:3-5

Move it or Lose it!

Let’s talk about this work out thing a little more…

Let me preface this by saying I DID NOT start out doing one hour hard-core work outs.  It doesn’t work that way.  At the point my body was at when I began this battle for my health, I would be on the phone with my husband… walking up the stairs and he would ask, “Honey… are YOU ok??” as I gasped for air when I reached the top.  Heavy breathing… he just KNEW I was being attacked.

NO.

I wasn’t ok.

I wasn’t in shape and I’m sure my heart was struggling to keep up with the excess fat I was carrying around on my smallish frame.  My knees ached at night, my back hurt often, and I was SO tired.

Sure I had heard, “oh exercise gives you energy….  exercise will help your back…”

Buuuuuut what if I didn’t have the energy to START exercising?  What if I was SO tired from working until the wee hours of the morning and schooling kids all day long.  How was this going to happen??  Remember – God knew I was tired… I’m sure He understood.

That wasn’t the Truth.  I knew it in my heart… but I proceeded to tell myself the lie because then, I wouldn’t have to change.  I might not have been aware of that at first, but I can see it now… clear as day.

The experts are right – exercise does give you energy more, it helps your stress level, it helps me rest better, makes your back feel better, it’s good for your heart…. what was I waiting for??

So I started with walking tapes and DVDs, workouts with an exercise ball, and I eventually a friend turned me onto the “30 Day Shred” work out video, (circuit training) by Jillian Micheals.  I figured if I could do each level for 30 days, instead of trying to complete it in 30 days, I would be making progress and… THAT would be better than doing nothing.  It hurt though, and I think I started with 3 lb weights.  The hopping, the weights, the movement… it wasn’t easy for me at the time and I didn’t always look forward to it at the end of the day – but I had my reasons for getting healthy – and posted it to remind me of my goals.

One of my favorite quotes she says is... "Think of all of the reasons you want to be fit and healthy...Think of THAT when you're hurting!"

I enjoy working out now because I love how I feel… I know in my heart that my body was made to move.  I like knowing that I’m doing the best I can for my heart – physically and spiritually.  My goal is always 30 minutes of some type of workout and I love to rotate them, but if I have time for an hour or so – I do that instead.

So tell me about your workouts – what fun stuff do you do?  If you’re NOT moving… then find some things you like.  If it’s not DVDs, do you like the accountability of a trainer or a gym?  Do you prefer to be outside and exercise?

I liked to make excuses before on why *I* couldn’t exercise.

I think it was Danna Demetre that said – “all excuses are equal – they are equally worthless.”

Point taken.

This wasn’t about ME anymore.  This was all about God.  What could I do to serve Him in my body, this precious gift?

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:13

It’s a Curl… It’s a Press…Where’s My Weights?

Love me some Bob Harper! This is one of my favorite workout DVDs from amazon.com.

My husband and I have done enough Bob Harper videos, his voice often rings in our ears … and we find ourselves saying “Bob-isms” often, as well as giggling during workouts when we know what part is coming next.

Yes.

I said giggling… While working out.

Working out can actually be FUN.  It can be something you look forward to.  I actually think my body craves it now…

THAT.  Is crazy to me.

I have always enjoyed working out really, but my perspective is definitely been revamped over the years.  It wasn’t as easy to move when I got so big.  It hurt my knees, and I got out of breath quickly.  As I chipped away at my excess weight, I focused on what God was doing to my heart – spiritually and physically.

In one of Bob’s “Super Strength” workouts he mentions that the heart is the most important muscle of the body.  God also says a lot in His word about our spiritual heart… together, I knew BOTH needed a good workout – daily.

I didn’t want to be working out to bulk up or just be working out to hit some short-term goal though… I work out because I CAN and  I know God made this body to move!  I want to see what it can do, to bring Him glory.

If you’ve ever not been able to move, or struggled with health issues that have been a set back, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s a blessing to be able to move.  Each day – I try to consider that for what a gift it is, and put that movement into a workout.

Sure, I take a day or two off a week, but…

I don’t schedule it in to “look forward” to a break.  Rather, I embrace each day that I wake up thinking – awesome, TODAY I can move… what am I going to do to workout??

I don’t think “I have to work out 5 days this week…”  I actually don’t keep track as far as each week, but rather focus on each day.  If I have day that I didn’t get enough sleep or we have a busy day, I just make an extra effort the next day… It ends up being about 6 days a week, some weeks 5.

I don’t hold onto guilt if every week doesn’t look the same, or I get sick, or we have to travel, or my workout wasn’t as long… or, or, or…  That’s all a part of life.  I pick back up where I can, and I do what I can… remembering WHO I’m doing it for.

I love that I can work out with my husband, and even if we don’t always work out together, that we can encourage one another as we strive to be healthy for Him.   Sometimes that extra push, (or SHOVE) from a workout partner, a child, or friend is that extra encouragement we need to get moving on any given day.  It’s good to have someone to share with, to laugh with, and celebrate with…

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  – Psalm 139:23-24

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