Consistency Part 1. 

This word!  I honestly believe this is the key to success in anything you choose to do… but I have a love~hate relationship with this word. How do you feel when you hear the word consistency?  Does it have a Positive or negative connotation?   Is it a motivator or does it imply failure? 

I first encountered this word as a child.  “You must practice your accordion 30 minutes every day.”  (And yes, I played the accordion in grade school and let’s ramp it up… I played in a competitive accordion band.  All this until I realized going into junior high school that the accordion was a truly uncool instrument to play and switched to the piano. ūüėā).  However, with all my only child activities: ballet, cheerleading, accordion/ piano, kickball, etc.; I learned that to be good at whatever you were doing required consistent practice.  To be honest, as a kid I just wanted to go outside and play after my homework was completed.  I was frequently frustrated by the mandatory time required to improve my skills.  When it came to ballet, I loved dance so much that I never resented the time I spent practicing the craft.  But the rewards were minimal… it was more negative reinforcement than positive which was challenging.   So being honest… the word took on a negative connotation during my formative years.   

Then I encountered the word as a parent.   I learned the most difficult part of parenting a child was consistency.  Any knowledge or important lesson you needed to impart required consistency with the rules as well as the discipline.   I was shocked to learn though that disciplining your child actually punished yourself as much if not more and consistently reinforcing your expectations of their behavior was a relentless battle.  Children are more stubborn than adults.  In a battle of wills it’s a crazy close race.  They just wear you down and exhaust you and instinctively they just know when to go in for the kill.  Now you have to choose:   Do I do what I know I have to to reinforce the rules, that educate and instill the morals and values you want your children to exhibit throughout their lives?.  Or do I let it go just this once… because I don’t want to be stuck in the house with a miserable kid and I want to go to the pool?.  Or you took away the tv/ video game or phone and now they whine about how bored they are…   Who gets punished in this scenario more, parent or child?  Yet you know, if you let them get away with something once… it’s even more challenging to deal with them next time.  They sense you have a weakness and they can get away with it if they just push you enough.  The ongoing battle with them and yourself often leads to feeling like a failure when you don’t follow through because you learn that Successful parenting requires consistency.

Now I find that to be healthy in mind, body and spirit requires consistency as well.  That out of 30 days you should really practice good healthy decisions most of those days.  If you are like me… one day of eating what I want could destroy the previous 7 days of work.  And my question is, is it unrealistic to expect yourself to be perfectly consistent?

First Steps

I have chosen to take Baby Steps…. hoping that this time the changes I make become ingrained habits because I feel and see the results of them prior to initiating further changes and steps. ¬†The First Step and most difficult hurdle to overcome was me, myself and my mind-set. ¬† I had to get beyond the vicious cycle I was circling and break free to take the first Step of this journey.

I have to say it took me months. ¬†Months until I admitted there was a problem that needed fixing. ¬†Then Months to get the energy to decide to do something about it. ¬†Then, when I knew I needed to DO Something, Anything to make a change so I could just Feel Good again, the best version of me…… It took sooooo much energy to pick up my foot. ¬† ¬† And. ¬† ¬† ¬†Step.

So First Step Accomplished:  Act on the Decision to do something.

Now I think it’s fairly obvious my major issue is my mind and emotions. ¬†I’m a certified Health Coach, I know how to help others. ¬†I believe in holistic health…. ¬†mind, body and spirit.. treating one without the other truly doesn’t work. ¬† I knew I could make all the positive changes to my diet, exercise and faith regimen, but it wouldn’t stick if I didn’t truly change how I react to my negative thoughts and change how my emotions control my actions. ¬†So, my Second Step: ¬† a Christian Counselor.

A Christian Counselor is just my personal preference. ¬†I needed an objective, trained counselor that could help me exam why I was a yo-yo. ¬†Sounds crazy, but why did I lose, gain, lose, gain, exercise, slug out, exercise.???… I was either obsessed with eating and exercising correctly OR obsessed with eating and couch-potatoing. ¬†My faith was either blazing or it was a water-doused speck. ¬†I’m truly not trying to make light of it, but I’m an emotional eater, I have addictive behaviors and definitely don’t speak to myself the way I would speak to my own daughters. ¬†It took maybe 4 sessions before we actually started getting to the grit of why I act and behave like I do…and to be honest it royally ticked me off. ¬†(Not the word I wanted to use, mind you.) ¬† My counselor says it’s a good place to be, that anger is the emotion that’s going to drive the impetus to change.

So… the second step is completed…. just have a feeling this second baby step is actually going to be made up of thousands of minuscule steps… But that’s okay because interestingly enough she has encouraged my writing and feels that this will actually be very healing for me… and Ironically – that’s my third Step: ¬†Writing

Writing?! ¬†Why is this even considered a step? ¬†Well for me…. I believe it’s two-fold. ¬†There is accountability in maintaining this blog. ¬†I have given myself a responsibility to maintain this site and continue to update or write new blogs. ¬†The purpose of which is to document my current mind, body and spirit journey to well-being. ¬† But the other reason, which is much more personal is to get out everything I think and feel…. and for me, when I get too negative… It’s not acceptable. ¬†I have to find the way out. ¬†It’s almost like counseling myself. ¬†My counselor says I’m actually going to save myself money, because for me this seems to work so well. ¬† ¬†So I write these articles to encourage myself and I write poems… because for some unknown reason I am currently in the process of writing a second one. ¬†Don’t ask me… I’m just going with it. ¬†All I know… ¬†it is helping me focus, see what my heart truly feels, where my negativity reigns and maintain consistency, which is always key for my personal success.

Fourth Step:  Time with God.

This is for my spirit… my faith, my hope which I need. ¬† I attempt to spend time with a devotional in the morning and pray. ¬†It’s my time to get my head and heart right for the day. ¬†To lay my fears or concerns on God regarding myself and other. ¬†This works for me. ¬†He lays bible verses on my mind and honestly they are so appropriate for my needs and the reason I feel better. ¬†When I take this time whether it be 5 minutes or 20 minutes… it feels Good and Right and then I feel Good and Right. ¬†Like I can accomplish what I want this day.

Fourth Step:  Daily Time with God to Start my Day РImperative.

Fifth Step and Sixth Step: ¬†Smoothies and Meal Planning ( to be honest, I didn’t realize I had made so many baby steps). ¬†But being honest, these are small steps and I’m not consistent with them. ¬†They are my small, little token steps to the need to make dietary changes. ¬† I am allergic to wheat, buckwheat and bananas, so I know I need to eat a gluten-free diet. ¬†I know I feel much better when I don’t eat processed foods, but to be honest, I’m a carbaholic… so it’s a huge challenge. ¬†Give me a fresh loaf of bread… I give you an empty plate. ¬†Give me salty crunchy snacks, I give you kisses. ¬† Joking aside.. I am supplementing a meal… usually lunch with fresh smoothies I make myself and I meal plan. ¬†This is inconsistent and I don’t always stick to what I planned… so definitely a work in progress. ¬† But I truly plan out my meals and buy groceries according to that. ¬†The meals are healthy meals, without gluten, focused on fresh vegetables and protein. ¬† I do try to buy without added hormones, antibiotics, chemicals.. etc. ¬† ¬†I have found a beautiful farmers market this past weekend that I’m excited to visit routinely … but that’s another post for another day. ¬†ūüôā

So these are the initial baby steps of my Journey. ¬†I am focusing on being consistent, working hard to be successful with each of them and I’m taking the time to ensure that they truly make me feel good before I take any new steps. ¬†Realistically, I’ve been doing these steps for about 5 weeks now. ¬† It’s not just the small step itself that’s important, but determining these are changes in my life that I will enjoy maintaining throughout the years to come. ¬†I truly want a life of health and well-being… see I’m 50 and divorced… I’m middle-aged and single … I’m looking forward to what the second half of my life is going to bring. ¬†The baby steps are Working.

 

 

Baby Steps

Have you ever wanted to make changes in your life? ¬†IE. Decided you wanted to lose weight, be a better Christian, ¬†be a better friend. ¬†What were your expectations to achieve that goal? ¬† I know for me.. I expected it to happen immediately. ¬† If I wanted to lose weight, I went on a major overhaul of my diet and started exercising daily. ¬†I was consumed by the need to lose the weight as fast as possible and achieving that goal took over my entire life. ¬† ¬†Mind you, it worked; But the changes never lasted. ¬† So in time the exercising would stop, my diet would revert to my love of all things carbs, salty and crunchy and the weight would go up, up and up. ¬†So what do I do? ¬† How do I change this yo-yo-ing in my life. ¬† Well… I’ve decided to try baby steps.

Baby steps sounds funny, I know; but if you’ve ever been around children think about how they learn to walk. ¬†It takes approximately 9 to 14 months and it begins with learning to lift their head off the floor, proceeds to rolling over, then sitting, pushing up on all fours, and then the rocking on all fours to get the momentum to crawl and once they are mobile, then they pull themselves up to stand and finally with help take those first baby steps. ¬† These skills they learn are never lost. ¬†They use them only to gain more knowledge, conquer increasingly difficult challenges and achieve success in their lives.

So, I was thinking, instead of expecting immediate change and just diving in like I typically do.. why not try Baby Steps. ¬†Truly focus on incorporating behaviors into my current lifestyle that make a difference for me with my thinking, my emotions and obviously with my body. ¬† Take the time to truly determine that I will maintain this new habit because I enjoy the benefits and positive differences I’m seeing and feeling. No doubt it will take longer to achieve my goals, but wouldn’t it be awesome if those achievements were so ingrained that I didn’t have to fight myself to maintain them? ¬† See, if something doesn’t work when you take a baby step; you just change it and find the next little step that does work.

It’s a lot to think about and I have let myself go so far that it can be overwhelming, which is also why I need to do baby steps. ¬†I want the encouragement of successfully achieving the small, short-term goals .. the baby steps that will help me reach my long-term goals. ¬† ¬† ¬†And realistically, how fast I move through those baby steps is up to me and how well I feel they are working.

So what are my baby steps towards my general focus of a healthy well-balanced mind, body and spirit? ¬†That will be a discussion for another time. ¬†However, in all honesty, if I don’t get my spirit and mind in the game, anything I do to help my body isn’t going to last. ¬†In consideration of this, I decided to start seeing a Christian Counselor. ¬†HUGE Step! ¬†Not a baby step….. but I think the FIRST Step truly is a gargantuan, mind over matter hurdle. ¬† It’s the Beginning of the Journey…. it’s deciding you have to do something truly Monumental for yourself; making CHANGES in your lifestyle, your habits, your conditioned responses etc. ¬† ¬†Recognizing that your current behaviors and practices are NOT Working and Change is absolutely Necessary. ¬†But once you lift your head and recognize the need for the Journey… ¬†you have already Succeeded! ¬†You have made the biggest step that you really need to… the rest are small in comparison. ¬†Robin Sharma stated:

“Changes are HARD at First, MESSY in the Middle and Glorious at the End” ¬†¬†

I accomplished the First Step. ¬†Now for the Baby Steps. ¬†Slowing the Journey down to ensure long-lasting CHANGE… that’s my focus. ¬†Gosh that First step… deciding I needed to make changes was so challenging, not going to lie. ¬†However, once I decided I didn’t enjoy the life I was living and that as hard as it may be to do something about it.. it was the only decision that made sense; because Won’t the Glorious results be worth the Hard and the Messy?

Baby Steps… it’s the key for me to achieving the change I desire.


 

Food- Smoothies 

 

Everyone adores smoothies, right? ¬†Well for me that wasn’t the case, but I can say I’m a newbie BELIEVER now.

What changed my mind? ¬† My parents. ¬†Lol. ¬†Yes my 70 something parents have been drinking liquid fruits, vegetables, nuts… pretty much anything in the refrigerator for 6 months now for breakfast. ¬† And you know what? ¬† They no longer need to take the supplements they were using for arthritis, joint protection, heart health, additional vitamins etc.

I may be only 50, but years of dance and cheerleading and gym rat behavior took a toll on my joints.  Arthritis greets me every morning when I get out of bed and I literally walk to the bathroom bent over and hobbling.

So I became a believer in the power of natural, Whole Foods and their medicinal properties.  Bought myself a bullet and here I am working on getting it together.

I think the reason why I enjoy them now vs. before is My Smoothies are a bit different from what I used to ingest.

Why? ¬† Well…

1.  I bought them from the local gym or smoothie shack.  Now I actually make them myself.

2. ¬†They used premade mixes and loads of sugar. ¬†Now I use fresh vegetables… yes vegetables with fresh fruits and nuts with avocado or Greek yogurt to thicken and coconut water. ¬† ( I’m allergic to bananas.. weird I know… so that required me to be a bit inventive).

3. ¬†I always added protein powder, which can be good for you depending on the type. ¬†However for me, I ended up putting on bulky weight not lean muscle so I learned that protein powder doesn’t work for my body. ** So no protein powder for me which is why I add a healthy, natural protein and healthy fat.

4. ¬†I used to have smoothies as a snack, maybe after a workout or before picking the kids up from school. ¬† Now I drink one for lunch.. used as a meal, not a snack. ¬† Personally, I don’t enjoy it for breakfast. ¬†It doesn’t hold me to lunch and I miss starting the day chewing my food. ¬† So lunch it is.

I’m not an expert. ¬†Have only been doing them for a week but am very pleased with how I’m feeling thus far. ¬†I did buy a recipe guide to assist. ¬†One that indicates the medicinal and physical benefits of a particular smoothie. ¬†However, I’ve found at this point I just use what i have and sounds good.

The one pictured below is: ¬†fresh Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, cucumber, pineapple, strawberries, cashews, Greek yogurt, coconut nut water and frozen nectarines. ¬† Guess what?’ ¬† It was delicious, truly yummy- unexpectedly so. ¬† If you want it colder… I would add Ice but I’ve read the benefits to your body are better received when not a “frozen” smoothie.

I’m excited to see how I feel after a month and then three and then six. ¬†Will I wake up without pain in the morning? ¬† Will I have more energy? ¬† Will I not get sick as often?

Time will tell but so far so good for this new believer. ¬† Can’t wait for lunch and my latest smoothie creation!

**. ¬†Side note: ¬†everyone’s body makeup is different. ¬†You should really pay attention to what makes your body feel good and what doesn’t. ¬†This is something I’m still learning how to do but it’s how I figured out I am allergic to some foods: ¬† Wheat. Buckwheat. Bananas. ¬†The digestive issues and abdominal pain was not enjoyable for myself or anyone else.


 

50, Divorced and Getting IT Together

Hey, I’m Lisa. ¬†Obviously I’m 50, divorced and attempting to work through some enormous changes that have derailed “my plans” for my life.

To be honest I have attempted to get it together in the last 7 years.   I had a health coach and did a group program for about 6 months.  I was eating better, feeling better physically and mentally with the benefit of losing weight.  Then I went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and became a certified Health Coach.   I had visions of helping all women understand the importance of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being and balance in their lives.

However, towards the end of the 1 year program, I personally began to backtrack. ¬†I started emotionally eating through the stress of life. I put all the weight back on I lost and even more. ¬†I worked at a computer all day, at home for my job. ¬†Afterwards, I would play my online games. (Yes, I am a Game Geek – and proud of it. ¬†lol) ¬†Obviously, still sitting… in the house. ¬†I became a virtual hermit only socializing with my family outside of my game and only when I had to.

This is NOT HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE!!! ¬† It’s not living. ¬† I wrote a poem…. (mind you I have never written poetry; don’t even read it). ¬†IT was sad. ¬† But it made me realize that something had to give. ¬†I needed to stop hiding and start living again. ¬†I needed to live in a real world with tangible people and not a virtual world where I knew I couldn’t get hurt more than I was already hurting.

So… I’m taking action. ¬†I talk to a Christian Counselor to help me examine why I’m living as I am. ¬† I quit my online game and community and I’m focusing on what makes me feel better – not superficially feel better, but what truly encourages me spiritually: ¬†I’m doing my morning devotional with journal; emotionally: reading books that encourage me to examine myself and physical: ¬†meal planning, drinking water, smoothies. ¬† And for me: ¬†ACCOUNTABILITY is key. ¬† So I started this blog, because now I have to keep my shit together, right?! ¬† OR that is my hope.

So this is how I’m going to hold myself to Living a Life of Faith, Hope and Love… ¬†I may be 50 and divorced… but as cliche’ as it may sound… I intend to be 50, Fabulous, Fit and living a Ph(f)enomenal Life starting NOW!