Monday, February 25, 2013

How strong are your muscles?

The last few weeks have been rather challenging for me when it comes to stress and how that effects emotional eating. However, the last several months of wise choice making has reshaped how I think, and it has opened the door to healthier options. The cravings are not gone, the desire to comfort hurts with food is not gone, BUT the mental strength to make better choices is more beefed up than ever. 

So, this makes me think today about strength. It comes as no surprise that mental and physical strength both need to be tested and pushed to their max and beyond in order to grow. Yet, at the same time, you must know yourself and STOP pushing those boundaries before lasting damage is done. And, we all need to take the right steps to protect the health of our mental and physical strength after it is greatly tested.

Here are a few nuggets to ponder as I explore these thoughts for myself today. I hope they help you too.

When life throws us things that hurt us emotionally it is tough. Those hurts are rarely seen by the outside world but they reflect in our reaction to the stimuli, they are seen in our day to day behaviors with others, and they shape the way we think. It can cause us to push good people away, hold ourselves aloof, laugh at things that aren’t funny, etc. It can also push us to many bad behaviors such as emotional eating, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, and even turn good behaviors bad – one for example is over exercising.

If we are wise we will focus on the after effects of an emotionally stressful day. We will create healthy habits for stress relief such as reasonable exercise patterns, trusted confidants for venting that goes no further than that person it just lets us get the poison out, or best of all prayer and Bible reading. God is the best listener, He has provided the best advice, and He loves you more than anyone else ever has or ever will.

We also must evaluate relationships with people that cause great stress in our lives. Sometimes the people that cause you the most emotional pain are the ones closest to you. Memory lane for me is filled with words that caused me to doubt my own self worth. Yet, as time has gone by, the main person behind the words that cut so deep has drifted further and further out of my life. This drifting away is painful even now, but NOW too, I am in such a better place mentally because I don’t constantly see a person that I know views me as lacking in many ways because I am overweight. However, the lesson I have learned from this is words hurt, they cause lasting pain, and I need to be careful with my own words with others. And, when I do fail and hurt another with words I really need to be more humble and apologize sincerely…I am a work in progress!!!
We MUST view ourselves with the value God places on us and that my friend it is HIGH!!! The price God placed on us cost the life of His very own Son!
Yes, God wants us to be healthy. We can’t get away from that when we read the old laws in the Old Testament. Many of the laws God had in place from how to properly dispose of body waste to cleaning up after the slaughter of animals we now understand was to protect the life of His people from unsanitary conditions. And we can see the results of the sin of gluttony running rampant in the streets of America today!

Any athlete knows to build physical muscle you need proper nutrition. You must fuel your body with a healthy diet of good proteins and carbohydrates. You need fuel prior to exercise, during exercise, and after exercise. Imagine your car. It must have fuel in it to start, in it to run, and if you want it to start up again it needs fuel when it is at rest. Our bodies unlike a car never shut off. We are always burning a little fuel just to maintain breathing, circulation, and waste processing. Proper fuel is vital to use and build muscle.

Many women in particular are not interested in working on building muscle but let me encourage you to rethink that if it is you. Muscle weighs more than fat, but it also takes up less space. Muscles aid in movement of your body while fat slows a body down and inhibits proper movement. Muscle BURNS calories even at rest, fat does not it is the storage unit. Muscles in your core (abdomen/back areas) help stabilize your spine to prevent back injury. The list of healthy strong muscle benefit is long! So if you are not trying to build a little muscle or maintain your muscle strength I encourage you to really think about it. I don't know the woman pictured here but the photo speaks for itself and muscle vs. fat WINS! Awesome job Ma'am!!! 

My top three favorite products in the AdvoCare line to help get my body ready, willing and able to work out and build stronger muscles is the Pro20 which gives me a great boost of energy and protein to work out on, Post Recovery Workout which helps me refuel while getting right to work aiding in muscle repair, and Night Time Recovery which allows my muscles to have some great building blocks to repair away while I sleep. Oh, I just can’t tell you how thankful I am to have found some great products that are aiding me in the journey to a Healthier ME!

Strength of mind and body are vital. God tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Our emotions can control us if we don’t control them. Our feelings once hurt, may never heal if we don’t properly nourish them with good things. And sometimes, even when it hurts we must cut out the bad things in life that keep us from being strong body, mind and soul.

I rambled today I know, but I hope you garnered some encouragement for yourself on your own journey to a healthier you. Keep at it! Don’t let anything stay in your way!

As always, I thank you for your encouragement and appreciate you all so much. Leah

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

STRESS! Has it got YOU in a mess?

We have a lot of ways to verbalize “STRESS”. Some that pop to mind are: wound tight, about to explode, tighter than a bow string, etc., I think you get the picture. Stress comes at us from many directions in life. It happens in relationships even good ones from time to time, and most especially in ones that are in rocky patches. It comes at us when we or a loved one is sick or injured. It comes when there is not enough money at the end of the month or week. It comes when we least expect it, and it is usually a mess of trouble too.
Personally, I think that it is the devil trying to knock us down. Poor Job, just imagine the stress he was under. He lost all of his children, all of his wealth, and his health in the same day. Following that his closest friends and his wife failed to support him with godly wisdom in those darkest days. Yet, we don’t remember Job for his misery, but for his perseverance and his patience and his faith. I hope I get better at dealing with stress so that my light can really shine for the Lord. I have some work to do in that area.
We all need to learn to deal with stress in a positive manner. I want to share with you a few tips that work for me and that help me deal with emotional eating during times of stress so I don't make a mess out of my goals to get to a Healthier Me.
My number one weapon is sound friendships that God has so abundantly blessed me with in life. I am very thankful to have close family members and friends who love and care about me. When I need wise counsel I have go to people. They know that I am dealing with emotional eating issues. They can be trusted to NOT be so harsh it cuts me deeply, but sharp enough to not allow me to NOT deal with the problems by being in denial. These are key elements in my strategy against emotional eating.
I am also very grateful for the Internet and the connections it provides for sources of quick encouragement to fight off different things. For example, if you can’t get to a “live” friend but are feeling down just go to Google and type in “Images”. Once there type in anything that makes you smile. Let’s say babies. It is hard not to smile at pictures of laughing babies. Or type in sunset and just let your mind be blown away by the setting of God’s awesome sun. I won’t even discuss YouTube and my LOVE for “FUNNY PRANKS”. I have cried so many times from that search. You know the “HAPPY” tears. After spending some time blowing off steam with Internet humor I can often avoid a crisis with my food intake.
I also love to exercise. Swimming is my favorite activity, and I am one of those people who simply cannot eat and swim or I will see that meal again. I often go all day with tiny little meals, sometimes just bites of food here and there when out on the water to prevent the stomach from becoming unhappy. I also love hiking. Who wants to haul extra food on a day hike…reasonable snacks, but not too much! I also find that doing my Can You 24 DVD when the belly is too full is misery! So it helps to avoid over eating if I know one of these activities is on the horizon for me!
Have you ever thought about what God has to say about stress in life? How many times in life is your stress related to emotional issues with a loved one? How many times do you bite your tongue to keep the peace, when what you should do is go to that person for a heart to heart conversation?
It brings to mind Ephesians 4:26. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath.”
If we apply this verse to life think of the difference it would make. We would spend less time worrying about what others thought about a matter, because we would face them in the moment. We would spend less time imagining the next meeting with a person because it would all be cleared up, or we would at least know better where we stood in a situation. And, if we could just remember that when our emotions are running high that we should still act as a Christian should we would be so much better off as individuals and the impact that that in itself would have on our world would be amazing!!!
Life is going to be stressful. However, we can fight it. We can fill our tool box with good things to handle it. I never want to take God out of my arsenal. His guidance to handle the stress of life is without words to describe as far as value. I also pray that I never have to endure stressful things in life without good family and friends nearby. I am getting better with the daily exercise, and I am so very grateful for the AdvoCare products that are now part of my tool box too.
There are two very good products that AdvoCare has created that help with calming the nerves and helping deal with stress. Clear Mood and Oasis. My friend Sally Brown says, “Oh, I use Clear Mood daily! Don’t know what I’d do without it! It has helped me eliminate the use of anti-anxiety medicine and keeps me feeling balanced all day. LOVE IT!”
Another friend, Meredith Tate, says, “I could not do any public speaking without it. It’s what keeps me in the game so to speak. It calms the butterflies in my stomach when I get anxious. Oasis helps me to unwind during stressful situations. And I’ll add Formula W as the bomb when it comes to balancing mood swings during certain times of the month.”

Like always I thank you for your encouragement as I make these Steps To a Healthier Me. I am so grateful for your shared stories and suggestions. It keeps me motivated.

If there is anything I can do to encourage you on your own journey or if you have questions about something I am trying please do not hesitate to get in touch. Knowledge has the most power where shared after all!

May God bless you this week, and may YOUR JOURNEY be one to a HEALTHIER YOU!!!

If you find that the above graphic concerning stress applies to you, then you may find this page very informative:

If you would like to learn more about Clear Mood or Oasis please feel free to visit:

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