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When Exercise Does More Harm Than Good

Exercise is good for you, right? Usually. But, there are times when it's far better to skip your workout. But how do you know when exercise does more harm than good? 

It wasn't until my post-baby years that I started intentionally working out. As a competitive athlete through college, I relied on practices and games to keep my body moving. 

After my first 10 pound baby arrived, followed 15 months later by my second nearly 10 pound baby (he missed it by half an ounce), I barely recognized my body. I was forced to make more conscious choices about food and exercise and now, over 20 years later, working out is a habit.  

But, I still don't love it. And it's not loving me back. 

Years of athletic competition, body misalignment, and intense workout programs have left me with a lot of aches and pains. Not the good kind.

It's gotten me thinking a lot about exercise. For me and for you. I'm realizing there are...

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The Only Thing You Should Measure Daily

Do you get on the scale daily? Are you loving (or hating) your day based on the number glaring back at you from that little platform on your bathroom floor? It's time to be set free. 

I'm sure you've heard a lot of mixed advice about daily weigh-ins. In truth, I've GIVEN varied advice at different times working as a health coach. I understand both sides of the argument.

Here are a few pros and cons of daily weigh-ins:

PROS:

  • Keeps you "accountable" for your daily food choices.
  • Helps you understand the normal flux of the scale based on hormonal shifts, food choices, and exercise intensity.
  • Gives you a point of reference as you pursue better health
  • Can be rewarding and motivational if the scale moves in the "right" direction.

CONS:

  • Scale inconsistency is common since digital scales recalibrate when moved or placed on an uneven surface.
  • Weight ebbs and flows based on hormones, food choices, and exercise intensity... and we forget that.
  • ...
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A Healthy Life Begins in Your Mind

Have you ever thought about what you think about? Funny question, but think about it. Do you know what occupies the time and energy of your mind? Chances are your life reflects it, whether you’re aware of it or not. 

A healthy life begins in your mind.

Our emotional, spiritual, and physical health flourishes or flounders behind the curtains of our inner world. Specifically, our thought life. What happens far out of reach and out of sight of everyone else determines the choices we make in our outer world.

Our mindset matters.

When we feed our mind a steady diet of truth, we are much more likely to make decisions that reflect this state. If your life is on an upward path, it’s likely your thought life is grounded in life-giving truths.

Your mind speaks. Your body listens.

You are what you think.

My own inner ramblings lately are a good example. I'm hitting the season of life that all women inevitable face and struggling with the challenges caused by...

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How To Choose a Mattress [and Diet?] That's Best For You

Have you ever gone mattress shopping? If your answer is no, it may be time (hello inherited bed and everything that comes with that...ewww). If you have, did you choose a mattress that was best for you?

Depending on the study you read, anywhere between one-third to one-half of Americans report not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to a host of health issues for the body and the brain, including high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, mood disorders, digestive issues, weight gain and so much more. 

The purpose of this post is not to do a deep dive into the implications of poor sleep. Rather, it's to highlight how challenging it is to choose a mattress that's best for you and provide some tips to make it easier. Surprisingly, they apply to how we choose the best diet, too.

Since the quality and duration of our sleep (and what we eat) is so important to our health, shouldn't we make this choice wisely? Unfortunately, we often apply the...

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You May Be At-Risk for Metabolic Syndrome (And Not Know It)

Have you ever looked at a thin person and thought, "wow, they're healthy!"? Or looked at someone heavier and decided they're not? If we're honest, we've all done it. But this dangerous judgment means you, or someone you love, may be at-risk for metabolic syndrome and not know it.  

Appearances lie.

I'm not talking about the Photoshop kind of deceit that's commonplace these days. No, this truth is far more critical than that. Despite what we do so instinctively, we can't determine sickness or health by external appearances.

Yes, there are visual signs of some of our health story. We see the tell-tale wrinkles of a smoker, bald heads of cancer patients, and dark circles under the eyes of a sleep deprived new mother. But just as often, we miss the rest of the story that's lurking beneath our skin.  

It's easy to be seduced into believing that skinny = healthy and fat = sick....

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How to Express Your Emotions for Better Health

How well do you express your emotions? If your answer's "not so well," have you considered how this might be sabotaging your pursuit of better health?  

I understand the struggle. Since I was a young girl, I’ve had a hard time verbally expressing emotions. When conflict arises, controversy stirs, or feelings escalate, I withdraw. My audible voice escapes me. If it wasn’t for relational etiquette preventing me from doing so, I’d run far, far away.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. My husband will tell you that most days I have plenty!

But with intense emotions, words become a swirling tornado that taunt me and hide behind my pressed lips.  

Sometime during my teen years when conflict was inevitable and I had to express my emotions more often, I discovered writing. Written words organized the jumbled mess in my head. 

Emotions found an outlet through writing.

When I was lonely and...

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What's On Your Playlist?

Listen. Do you hear it? There's a soundtrack in your life. It follows you wherever you go streaming just below the surface. Can you name that tune?

Maybe you’ve become so accustomed to it, or so busy, you don’t notice it. It's elevator music. Or maybe it’s a deafening rock band screaming its angst at full tilt.

Whatever the volume, you recognize the lyrics the minute you catch a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror. And you start to hum along. 

Let's see if I can name that tune.

“I’m fat.”

“I need to lose weight.”

"I hate my ______."

“If only I could change _____, then _____.”

"What happened to my _____?" 

"No wonder I'm alone."

Sound familiar?

If this is your soundtrack, you're not alone. It's a familiar tune. Though the exact phrasing and notes may be uniquely yours, the chords are the same.   

It's spinning a sad, sad song.

But we're hooked. It's on...

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The Real Reason Getting Healthy Is So Hard (And How To Overcome It)

Have you ever blamed yourself for not eating well, exercising consistently, or having a body you just can’t seem to love? Me too. And, there’s a reason we share this struggle.

Getting healthy is hard. 

But it’s not because we lack willpower or haven’t found the right diet plan. It’s not because we haven’t mastered good habits or broken bad ones. The truth is, we were born into this fight. Our struggle began long before we were born...  

Our story started with Earth’s first inhabitants, Adam & Eve, a beautiful garden, a serpent, and a piece of fruit. One small not-so-great decision has impacted everything since. Everything.

Including our health.

Even if you’ve never been a regular church-goer, you’re probably familiar with the story that unfolded in the Garden of Eden. Whether or not you believe the Genesis account to be an accurate reflection of history, I...

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The Power of Community (or Why It Takes a Village)

Community. This singular thing for which we were created evokes a strange mixture of complicated joy, fear, and pain. But, when you harness it’s power, you can do the unimaginable. 

Most of you probably know by now that I recently released my first book

But what you may not know is I didn’t do it alone. 

Even the first draft wasn’t really a solo act. I relied on the teaching and wisdom of trusted pastors, leaders, and friends. Notes I’d collected over a series of months and learnings of a lifetime.

I wrote the words, but I was fed by others. Many collaborators who were unaware of their critical contribution to a God-driven project. 

I sat alone in front of the screen. But we “wrote” together. 

The power of community.

With a deep breath, I shared the first draft with a few trusted friends. People I knew would tell me the truth and, hopefully, make my words better.

They did.

Not only did I strengthen the message...

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The Secret to Losing Weight Isn’t What You Think

Weight loss is a simple math game. Eat less, exercise more. If you just take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Right? Then why doesn’t it work?

Because it’s not about math. At least not completely.

In the past 5 months, I estimate I’ve had nearly 300 coaching conversations with people regarding their nutrition. Almost all of them have had a primary goal of weight loss, ranging from 5 pounds to over 100 pounds. Motivations have varied from performance enhancement (i.e. Boston Marathon training) to disease prevention and/or reversal (i.e. diabetes or heart disease).

During all of these sessions, I discovered one, surprising, similarity.

Most people are not eating enough.

That’s worth repeating. Most people are not eating enough.

We associate effective weight loss with eating as little as possible while killing ourselves in the gym. Let me tell you assuredly after all of those conversations…

It doesn’t work.

Yes, overindulgence...

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