10 Ways to Make Peace With Your Mirror

This week, I babysat a friend’s granddaughter and I overheard a conversation between her and my youngest which left me nearly bent over with laughter.

This red-headed cutie asked, “When’s your mom gonna get bigger?”

My daughter quickly responded, “She’s not. She’s as big as she can get. Now she’s just gonna get shorter, fatter, and uglier.” I don’t know where she got that notion, but I clearly have much to look forward to in her 9-year-old opinion :-).

I couldn’t help but consider though that, sadly, many of us see ourselves in just such a negative light, calling “ugly” what God called “very good”. As a result, we often pass this same skewed perspective to our children. Whether we find fault with our skin, hair, weight, or other feature, it seems we’re never truly happy with what we see in the mirror, so we work feverishly to color over, cut into, or cover-up every perceived flaw, never attaining the contentment we hope it will bring.ID-100254378

Believe it or not, it is possible to break free from a negative self-perception and make peace with your mirror image! It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight–for me it was a long one but somewhere along the journey from age 15 to nearly 45, I became comfortable with my 5 foot stature, unruly hair (and matching eyebrows), freckled skin, and extra curves.

Mamas, you are beautiful because God didn’t carelessly or mistakenly create you. When you are tempted to believe otherwise, please choose instead to:

1- Stop seeking perfection, which doesn’t exist, and start seeking health which is vital. A healthy body, mind, and spirit converge to create genuine beauty that others are drawn to.

2- Eat well, exercise, rest, and play. A healthy routine means a healthy mindset which generates a more accurate perception of yourself.

3- Refuse to buy into media-defined ideals of beauty which are fluid and cultural. Instead, set a personal standard that is based on truth and reality rather than shifting public opinion.

4- Stop comparing—it either makes you feel inferior which is unattractive, or it makes you feel superior which is also unattractive.

5- Break the tie between beauty and self-worth. Internalize once and for all this statement, “I am not the sum total of my body parts.” Period.

6- Count blessings, not flaws. Keeping a grateful journal will truly transform your perspective and your life. Thankful people are happier people. (See Gratitude, Not “Attitude”– 7 Ways to Teach Thankfulness).

7- Get rid of everything anyone but God says about you. It doesn’t matter who said you were too fat or too skinny, too short or too tall. God, who never changes and is not fickle, says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

8- Surround yourself with positive people. It’s contagious.

9- Recognize that your body is an instrument, not an ornament. It is meant to be used to bring hope, healing, and love to those around you, not to be draped and put on display.

10- Celebrate aging and the future rather than live in the past which you likely weren’t happy with anyway. I’m not a 20-year-old size 2, but I wasn’t happy with myself when I was. Nearly 25 years later and so not a size 2, I look back and wonder what my problem was. But then, in another 25 years, I’m likely to look back and wish for what I have today. So why not just enjoy where I am right now and look forward to where I’m going?

I’m grateful to have made peace with the mirror, although I occasionally have to remind myself that the lines around my eyes are evidence of years of laughter. My wrinkled brow is a reminder of unnecessary worry as God has brought me through every trial that caused those deep furrows. Each scar and bump on my body tells a story of hard work or hard play. My hair is graying quickly, but then, my eyesight is fading just as quickly which means I can’t tell what’s blond and what’s gray anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t matter :-).

How about you? Is the mirror still your enemy or have you called a truce? What do you do to remind yourself that you are a treasure no matter what your reflection says? 

 

*image courtesy of Aleksa D at freedigitalphotos.net

 

Ditch or Do?–Fueling a Lean, Healthy You

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

I’ve been dragging my feet on this post. I guess it’a because I’m really dragging my feet on getting started with new habits, and publishing makes me more accountable. Whew! That’s scary :-).

I hope you’ve thought about my last post and decided with me that the best you ever starts with fitness from head to toe–body, mind, and spirit. They are all interconnected and all contribute to wholeness and health. You were put here for great things, so please don’t underestimate the value of your health in living a fulfilled and abundant life.

If this is all new, don’t be overwhelmed. Start small and remember the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is still the same, “One bite at a time.” Approach health habits the same. Start with what is do-able to you and when you’ve mastered it, move on to the next. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to quit altogether.

So today, start small and move on when you’re ready. You’ll be glad you did.

1-Ditch sugar and especially sugar substitutes. Do choose more nutritional sweeteners like raw honey or stevia, keeping in mind that less is still more.

courtesy of papaija2008 at freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy of papaija2008 at freedigitalphotos.net

Not only is sugar highly addictive and a leading cause of obesity, it is also linked to a number of illnesses in the body. This is not new evidence so you can find a great deal of information on this, but one of the simplest sites I found was http://authoritynutrition.com/10-disturbing-reasons-why-sugar-is-bad. Beware also of hidden sugar. Search the labels for dextrin, dextrose or other “ose” words, syrups (especially high fructose corn syrup) and malts.

Sugar substitutes are not an option. These are chemicals, not food, and highly toxic to the body. They are linked to tumors, cancer, and surprisingly obesity as they inhibit the body’s ability to determine when it’s full.

2. Ditch all processed foods. Do choose instead real food, a.k.a. whole food. When you read a food label, you should see food. Crazy idea isn’t it? One of the best sites I’ve found regarding healthy food choices is http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php. It’s a non-commercial site with a wealth of info. Avoid so-called diet foods such as those labeled “low fat” and “low carb”. These are most often filled with chemicals. Our bodies were meant to burn energy, not detox after every meal.

3. Ditch refined carbs. Do good carbs. No carbs are no good. Our bodies need healthy carbohydrates to function properly, so just stick with those that come from fruits, veggies, and whole grains and you will not have the spikes and crashes that come from junk carbs.

courtesy Suat Eman at freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy Suat Eman at freedigitalphotos.net

4. Ditch high-sugar drinks (which we talked about). Do drink more water. No argument from any health experts here. Our bodies need water–typically half your body weight in ounces daily. Don’t budge on this. Not only does it rid waste, but it carries necessary nutrients through the body, metabolizes fat and so much more.

5. Ditch hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Do choose butter and unprocessed oils like coconut and olive. This is a hard one to fully implement because these processed oils are everywhere, but they are incredibly toxic to the body and cause us to pack on the pounds. They are in virtually all baked goods and snacks on the supermarket shelves as well as refrigerated doughs and fried foods like yummy restaurant french fries. So, while it’s great to avoid them entirely, even efforts to limit them from our own cupboards will go a long way. To understand why, go to: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/07/ban-artificial-trans-fat.aspx

6. Ditch all processed meats. Do opt instead for grass-fed meat and wild fish. Of course, I’m a firm believer that wild salmon is the world’s perfect protein–and that is only partially because it’s what I sell for a living :-). All protein is not created equal. Again, processed meats are filled with all kinds of chemicals that keep our bodies from functioning properly while grass-fed and wild meats offer lean, healthy, Omega-3 rich protein. Want to lose fat and build lean muscle? This is a sure way to do it. And don’t forget other healthy protein sources like raw nuts and organic eggs. For easy, readable charts on this, please click this link from a site I love,  http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

7. Ditch the idea that you have to spend hours in the gym to be lean. Do what you enjoy instead. Just DO. We were created to live life, not watch someone else’s on TV, so keep moving. Play with your kids, enjoy outdoor games, go to the park, take long walks alone to think or a jog through the neighborhood. Don’t complicate it. Just move and move every day.

You are well on your way to a healthier, happier you. You are not only shaping your own health, but little eyes are watching and you are shaping theirs as well. Give your children not only tools for a healthy life, but an example of it as well.

I’m in this for the long haul and I hope you are too. Contact me anytime and let me know how it’s going for you.

 

 

 

 

Your Best You is a Healthy You

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

Congratulations! If you are reading this, I know you are on your way to a healthier you and I am coming right along beside you, kicking my butt in gear to do what I know I should but haven’t for too long. A healthy mama is a mama who has more energy and more passion about all she does. That’s what I want for myself and that’s what I want for you.

So with so much information out there, how do you know what to do? There are promises everywhere that this trick or that pill guarantees weight loss or this miracle ingredient will supercharge your life. As someone who has studied the body and health since I was a teenager in hopes of fighting off the multiple diseases and obesity that I’m genetically predisposed to, I’ve learned two things:

One, there is no substitute for hard work.

And two, when money is a motivator, be wary of the integrity of information being given. There are definitely reputable companies passing on great info, but it’s wise to determine if truth or profit is ruling.ID-1006315

That being said, there are absolutely tried and true ways to boost health, increase energy, and be your personal best. Our bodies are the most amazing machines in the world and when they are fueled and exercised properly, we will look and feel our best.

Before we get to the do’s and don’ts of healthy living though, we first must start with the right perspective. Our attitude determines our success in just about every arena in life and our health is no different.

The right attitude will lead to greater success as well as greater joy in the journey to that success, so let’s get that right first.

1- Decide you can! It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve started and quit. It doesn’t matter how many pounds you’ve lost and gained. Today is a new day and a new start and I know you can do it.

Courtesy Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2- Grab hold of the right goal. Toss the “Get skinny quick” notion in the trash and never dig it out again. Optimal weight is important but optimal health is the goal and when that is achieved, optimal weight follows. So set your sights on the long haul and don’t quit if you don’t see instant success.

3- Be accountable to someone. Accountability is a vital key to every new behavior. Consider this. Suppose your children are learning to play piano. No matter how much they desire to be great, no matter how determined they are to play their favorite song, they will soon lose heart with no one stirring their passion or ensuring they make the effort to keep trying. Tell someone today. I’m telling all of you on the other side of this screen. YIKES!!!

4- Remember, you are uniquely you. I can’t say it enough. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone but you. You are no cookie-cutter creation. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Seek your best body, mind, and heart. It is more than enough.

You are not here by accident. You were made for great things. Your children were made for great things. And I want you to have the strength and confidence to walk in all that you were purposed for.

So here we go. Next time I’ll try to simplify all the info and pick a starting place of great foods to put in your body and some junk to toss out. It’s been said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I’m taking my single step right now. I’d love your company.

 

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