April 25, 2017

A Perfect Diet and Exercise Program

weightsLast week, I shared how WE, (me included) as women, can feel we have to be perfect to be “good” enough.   Then when perfection is not acccomplished, feelings of failure, guilt, and insecurity can happen.  One of the areas that can be a struggle is the desire to be Healthy and Fit.  There is the mindset that if you are going to be healthy and fit, you must have a perfect diet and exercise program all of the time.

I have seen and worked with many women to create a fitness and food design who feel they must look, exercise, and eat perfectly 100% of the time.  Then when they feel they “slip up”—they quickly give up. It is an ‘all or nothing’ attitude but it is important to remember three things:

  • Failure teaches how to train, prepare, or eat differently the next time.  Have you ever said, “I blew it, so what is the use?” Instead of giving up, stop and assess how you might do things differently the next time. That would be progress. Learning how to manage food is a process.
  • If you feel the need to ALWAYS do it perfectly, you may miss out on a memory. Being so consumed with diet and exercise may keep you from enjoying those special times for an occasional ice cream with a child. Skipping YOUR workout to go for a light walk with a girlfriend may be more important that day for you emotional well-being than your physical well-being.

zach and icecream

  • It does not have to be perfect to be healthy.  Have you ever said, “I only have 20 minutes today and can’t go to the gym, why bother with exercise?”  What could you do in 20 minutes? Some of my best workouts have been in my living room when short on time.

ball and weights

What about feeling like you can’t cook everything fresh or “organic” so you opt to eat out?  Do you really believe it would be better to eat out than make a semi-homemade meal at home?  And who said EVERYTHING had to ALWAYS be FRESH and organic?

Quitting when you think you have not lost enough weight, or your workouts and diet are less than perfect is failure. Picking yourself back after a “slip up,” learning from it, and staying consistent will give you results. It is about BALANCE.  Striving to have a perfect diet and exercise program all of the time only leads to frustration.

In Good Health,

Crystal

 

Confessions from a Control Freak to Avoid Holiday Stress

With the holidays right around the corner, I can quickly go into my “control mode” to have everything perfect for the next 8 weeks. I will have the perfect holiday menu, plan numerous activities, make elaborate crafts for my kids to take to school, despite not having a creative bone in my body, and please EVERYONE’S wishes to attend every holiday function. Yes, I confess, by nature, I am a CONTROL FREAK. I will attempt to do it all which is not a way to avoid the holiday stress that can happen during Thanksgiving and Christmas time.

For me, I have learned that I can’t do it all and maintain my sanity. I know I have to make exercise a priority when all of the hustle and bustle kicks into high gear.  It may not be with the time and intensity I have at other times of the year, but it is the key to avoid the stressful holiday demands, not to mention the extra pounds. When I am tempted to forego a workout because of everything I HAVE to do, it is usually more about what I THINK I have to do or undue pressure I have put on myself.

Have you ever felt or done this?

  • Added tasks to your plate without taking something off
  • Said yes to someone or something before evaluating your schedule or responsibilities
  • Skip exercise because you think you do not have time

Have you tried this?

  • Before agreeing to take on something new, put something else on hold that does not need to be a priority.
  • Instead of quickly saying ‘yes.’ respond with “Can I get back to you on that?”
  • Stick with your favorite family traditions that are special and memorable and don’t add more.
  • Forget thinking you have to spend a lot of time exercising.  Get a “holiday” modified workout.  The key is maintenance for the next couple of months.

Decide today that exercise will be a priority and schedule it each week, even if is 20 minutes each day. Remember that you are no good if you are not taking care of yourself.  Focus on what is really important and ask God to direct your time with all you have to do.

When this “control freak” slips into thinking all plans have to go according to my time frame and way of doing things, I stop and say this simple prayer to our Heavenly Father.

Psalms 31:14-15
But I trust you, O Lord,
I say, You are my God,
my TIMES are in your Hands.

Think about it.  Is it stressful or do you bring it on yourself?  Take some time to evaluate your plans this season with a little walk.  Get some exercise and avoid the holiday stress.

In Good Health,

Your Wellness Coach and Control Freak,

Crystal

 

 

One Way to Stick to an Exercise Program #10 – Make it a Part of Your Lifestyle

Are you tired of feeling guilty on Monday for your weekend?  Do you ever feel you should give up because you have not exercised in a week?   Then it is time to change the way you think and make exercise a part of your lifestyle.

To stick to an exercise program, we have to think of exercise as a part of our life.  That is why I am always skeptical when I hear about crazy workout programs or unrealistic times/places women attempt to exercise.  If it does not fit into your lifestyle, it simply will not work.

Let me share my personal example.  Before children, I worked out 6 days a week 1-1.5 hours a day.  However, there is no way with two children, a job, after school activities, volunteer work, and my desire to be a good wife that I am able to do that today.  If I thought I had to do that, I would definitely give up and quit. But because exercise is a part of who I am, I had to change my expectations and develop a program that works for me and my schedule.  I am able to stick to it because it is a part of my lifestyle and I make it fit for me.

I have such a passion for working with women to create a personal exercise and eating program that work with their lifestyle because I see so many give up when they feel hopeless.  It can work no matter how busy life gets.  There just has to be a change in thinking.

Number 10  in our top ten ways to stick to an exercise program:

Make it a part of your lifestyle

In Good Health,

Crystal

10 Ways to Stick to an Exercise Program – #3 Set Specific and Realistic Goals

When I am tempted to quit or lose focus, I find encouragement from one of the greatest men in the Bible who demonstrated determination and a passion to complete a job—Nehemiah.  He had a vision to rebuild a wall of protection around the city of Jerusalem and set specific and realistic goals to get it done.  He did not roam around aimlessly, but took his time to get a clear and realistic plan, as described in one of my favorite books by Andy Stanley, Visioneering.

My favorite verse that so well describes Nehemiah’s determination is his response when others tried to distract him from his vision of rebuilding the wall.  “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down (Nehemiah 6:3).   He was completely focused on the end result and not ready to give up.

A Vision

Before setting specific and realistic goals, the first step is to create a vision for your health. A vision is something you are continually working toward…not a check off.  Without it, you will be tempted to fall off course by letting other things distract you and you will eventually quit.  Let me give you a personal example.

My Wellness vision states:

“I am feeling and looking fit (not perfect) by exercising 4-5 days a week and spending daily quiet time with God and my family.”

By having this as a statement for my life, it is easy for me to say yes or no to certain things that support my vision.  My vision is a priority and focus for me.

Set Specific Goals

Just like Nehemiah’s plan, specific goals must be set that support your vision. When I hear someone say, “I am going to exercise more,” I reply with the following questions:

  • “How much more exercise?”
  • “What type of exercise?”
  • “How many times?”

Without knowing the answers to these questions, it is like roaming around in the wilderness with your eyes closed thinking you will eventually get out. It won’t happen. Your exercise goals must be defined specifically, for example:  “I will walk for 30 minutes three days a week.”

Be Realistic

Let’s not forget goals have to be realistic and fit your busy lifestyle.  My husband loves bike riding and trains for a couple of biking events a year. During training season, it usually consists of several hours each Saturday morning. I have been asked why I do not train with him.  The reason is it does not fit within my vision nor is it realistic for me and the schedule I want to keep.  Trying to bike would only cause me frustration, which would lead to quitting because of an unrealistic fitness goal.  Maybe one day when my life has a different schedule and a different vision, I will ride with him.  For now I will concentrate on other goals and be his biggest cheerleader.

MS 150

 What is Your Vision?

If you want to stick to an exercise program, take a few minutes to create a vision of what you want to be, look and feel like.  Once you have that vision, set specific and realistic goals around it that fits your busy lifestyle.

I believe you can do it.

In Good Health,

Crystal

One Step to a Consistent Healthy Lifestyle

We have been talking about starting an exercise program. However getting started with any new way of eating or exercise program is not the hard part.  It’s consistency, which is evident since 60% of Americans drop out of a program within the first six months.  So how do you stick to it with so many distractions in a busy world? One step to a Consistent Healthy Lifestyle is to create a healthy vision for yourself.

Follow me for one minute.

Think about something in your life that you really wanted and worked hard to get.  It may have been a college degree, savings for a home, promotion in a job, or respectful children.  Did those things just happen?  I would guess not.  You had a vision of what you wanted.  And, because it was very clear, you took the appropriate steps to make it happen.

Why do we think being fit physically, mentally, and spiritually will just happen?

It doesn’t.  We must have a vision of what we want for health.  A personal vision will allow us to:

  • Stop trying to do what everyone else does
  • Know the specific and realistic actions to take
  • Give assurance and peace that the right steps for a healthy diet and exercise are being done

I love the Bible story in Nehemiah 6.

Nehemiah had a vision to build the wall of Jerusalem and nothing would stop him.  He was clear on what needed to be done.  He was not chasing the latest trend or trying to do whatever one else was doing.  He had a vision and nothing could stop him as he clearly states in verse 3.

“I am carrying on a great project and cannot come down.”

 

My Personal Healthy Vision

When I think of myself at my best physically, mentally, and spiritually, this is what I see:

  • I am looking and feeling healthy
  • exercising 4-5 times a week
  • spending daily quiet time with God and my family

To fulfill that vision, which is an ongoing process not a check off, I know there are certain steps I need to take each day. I need to say “no” to certain things and let go of unrealistic expectations.  Having that vision helps me be consistent because:

  • I am motivated to have it which makes it a priority.
  • I want to look and feel healthy, not perfect. Comparing myself to others would only leave me feeling like a failure and giving up.
  • Allows me to realize that I cannot attempt unrealistic exercise regimens at THIS time in my life because it may interfere with family time. I choose exercise programs that work for my family.
  • Reminds me that I have to spend time with God and He will show me the right path to take.

You can be consistent

You can consistently exercise and follow a healthy diet no matter how busy you are at this time of your life. It starts by having a healthy vision of what you want for your life.  Once you have that vision, you can have a clear design with the steps to take in a consistent exercise program and a healthy diet.

To Your Health,

Coach Crystal

AskCrystal.jpg

GCH: What’s on Your Plate? – Food For Thought…..

Today, I want to take a little different approach to this blog, and share some food for thought for this holiday season.  I know the holidays can be a trying and lonely time for some, and I pray that my message today will speak right to your heart!  <3

Image from
www.bibleverses.com

Isaiah 26:3

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

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John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  [Stop allowing yourself to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

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Proverbs 16:7

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”

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2 Thessalonians 3:16

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace (the peace of His kingdom) at all times and in all ways [under all circumstances and conditions, whatever comes.]”

We can clearly see here that the Lord instructs us to live in peace, in all circumstances and conditions.  But what about times when “life” happens, and you just don’t feel like living in peace?  Or it’s hard to walk in peace because of the circumstances?

Sometimes we have things happen in our lives that are devastating.  They rip the rug right out from under us.  They cause much stress, anger, bitterness, and more.  How in the world are we to walk in peace during those times?

First, we have to recognize who or what is causing the stress, anger, bitterness, and lack of peace in our life.

John 10:10

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows.

The “thief” is satan.  (I refuse to capitalize his name!).  His job is to cause destruction, steal and kill my life, and my joy.  He is the god of the world (for now).  He is a fallen angel that has set his ways against God and all that God stands for.  Anything he can do to turn us from God, or cause those who are not yet walking with God to think that God’s love is not real, he will. It’s his pleasure to try to ruin the children of God!

Cancer, adultery, rape, molestation, divorce, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and more, are just a few of the tactics that satan uses to destroy God’s children!

But what about hatred, grumpiness, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, depression?  How do we enjoy life, as God wants us to, if our hearts are filled with these things?

You wake up in the morning and you just feel this heaviness that has set its sites on you.  You just can’t shake it.  You feel numb.  You feel like a zombie.  Nothing looks or tastes good.  Even the sunshine outside looks miserable to you!

You feel fat, ugly, mean, nasty, miserable.  You don’t want to talk to anyone.  You just want to be left alone to work through this, if you can.

How do you get past these feelings?  How do you live beyond these things?

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I will say right here that I am absolutely NO expert in this area, but I have learned a few things over the last few years, that I would like to share with you.

I have a tendency to suffer from depression.  Moderate depression.  I’m not talking about clinical depression here, which is far worse and more serious than mild to moderate depression.  If you suffer from clinical depression, please seek counsel from your doctor and/or your pastor.

I do not have any degrees in counseling or psychology.

I am just a person who has struggled with these types of things in my life, and the Lord has brought me through it.  That is what I want to share with you today.  The how’s…..

People used to tell me “Christi, you just need to get over it.”  Yes, I could clearly see that.  But what I didn’t know was HOW!  How was I suppose to just “get over it”?  How do I get past the anger, bitterness, depression, unforgiveness, and even more emotions that sometimes can toy with people’s emotions and hearts?

Stay in the Word.  Stay in the Word.  Stay in the Word.

It can’t be that simple, can it?

When people would tell me this in the beginning, I would think “Right! I’m in the Word every single day! I’m still struggling!”  But you know what?  I had to keep on keepin’ on, as the expression goes.  My “cure” wasn’t going to happen overnight!  I had to learn how to be at peace with who I was and what God was doing in my life!  Without His peace, I struggled every day!!!

 I could only learn about His peace through His word!  

Staying in the word doesn’t always been reading the bible all the time!  It can also include good books by Christian authors.  Watching DVD’s from Christian evangelists.  Turning on praise and worship music to allow your mind to be filled with the word through music!  There is so much more to it than just reading the bible!

You will also notice that in order to suffocate the negativity in our lives, means that you actually have to get up and do something!

 Do something to fight the negativity!

You can’t just sit there and expect it to just go away on its own!  You have to actually do something to fight these emotions daily!  To read the bible, you have to get up, go get your bible, and turn the pages, correct?  To listen to music, you actually have to get up, go to the stereo, choose the music and then turn the stereo on, correct?  You have to ­do something first!!!

James 1:22 — “But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it…”

To be a “Doer”…

means you have to DO SOMETHING!

So what are some things that we can do to remove the negativity out of our lives?  Below I have listed some tips that have helped me over the years.  If you have other tips, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.  The tips below are listed in no particular order.

  • Read the Word
  • Pray
  • Listen to Praise Music
  • Go for a walk
  • Go outside barefoot
  • Call a friend
  • Go to lunch with a friend
  • Take a warm soothing bath
  • Find a hobby that will take your mind off of problems
  • Seek Counsel
  • Go for a massage
  • Get a new haircut
  • AVOIDS NEGATIVE PEOPLE!
  • Try to find the GOOD in your situation
  • Stop saying negative things to yourself
  • Practice breathing slowly
  • Read a positive book curled up in bed
  • Ask someone to be your “vent partner”
  • Practice grace under pressure
  • Be responsible for your feelings
  • Learn to meet your own needs
  • Exercise every day
  • Learn the words to a new song
  • Write a note to a far away friend
  • Keep a journal
  • Practice a monster smile
  • Quit trying to “fix” other people
  • Get enough sleep
  • Talk less and listen more
  • Volunteer at a Shelter or Food Pantry
  • Freely praise other people
  • Have a support network of people, places and things

These are just a few tips on how to get past a negative attitude and walk in peace and joy!  But truthfully, it all starts with YOU!  What will YOU do to change your circumstances?  Choosing to do something means that you give God Glory for what happens in your life, and you have put satan in his place and he does not win!  He learns that you will not tolerate the weapons that he puts in your life, to keep you down!

I will also say that these tips are not for just a quick-fix.  These are not things you get from a drive-thru window!  They are things that you need to do on a consistent basis!  You can’t just expect life to change overnight, especially if you are dealing with some pretty tough situations!

Don’t just do something….Give it time to work!  Whatever you do, don’t give up!!  Let Jesus set you free!!!!

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I pray this message reaches at least one person!  I know for myself, things did not change overnight.  I had to be patient and allow God to do what He needed in my life.  I am here to tell you that the steps I have shared with you here today, WORK!!  But YOU have to put some effort behind them first!

Be Blessed & Be a Blessing to Others,

Christi