Monday, June 24, 2013

June's Challenge" Accepting Ourselves

Can you believe it, we have come to the last week of June's Challenge, already. How time flies.

The last week's challenge for June is about leaning to accept ourselves, our bodies, who we are, what we have and stop making excuses. I do not mean this to be passive, my body will never change, I cannot get out of my situation, I will always be at the bottom, nothing good will happen, I do not need to do anything. This kind of attitude is not accepting ourselves, truly loving ourselves. This month we have been learning to love ourselves first so we can make the changes we need to to become healthy, in body and mind. In so doing, we also need to learn to accept ourselves, what we cannot change, but change what we can.

One of the things we see in people who have lost weight rapidly, through surgery of some type or have not learned to love themselves first before losing weight, is they continue to see themselves as the overweight person they were before. Yes they are healthier because they lost the weight. But, emotionally and mentally they are not any healthier than before. They did not learn to love themselves first, accept who they are and then make life style changes. Remember that the reason you  should be making the changes to a healthy lifestyle is to improve your health and life, not for fear or a stigma. Then as the weight comes off and/or physical changes happen in your body, you will be able to see yourself in a more positive light and enjoy your success.

It is also about not using excuses any longer such as:
  • I have the same body shape and build as one of my parents, and I cannot change that. Yes, we do tend to put on weight the same way our parents do and we look like them, that is what genes do. However, you inherited their eating and lifestyle habits, that is why you are over weight like them. Own your eating habits and choices. We can change the expression of our genetics by our food, environment and thoughts.
  • I do not have time. We have time for what we make time for.
  • I have an injury, bad knees, hips, back, arthritis, whatever it is. Unless you are a quadriplegic, you can move your body, of course, check with your doctor first. Movement is very good for us and helps keep joints moving and fluid and a better outlook on life. Also, if you change your eating habits and begin eating healthy, real food, you will lose weight, less pressure on the joints. By avoiding processed junk food that promotes inflammation,  you will have less inflammation in the body, which equates to less pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • I do not have the money. You might be on a very limited income, but that does not mean you cannot choose healthy food. If you are not buying the junk, pseudo food, you will have more money to buy healthy food. Purchase in season foods. Grow a garden. Most of the time, purchasing a larger quantity of meat from a local farmer will be cheaper than the grocery store. Look around for what is available, be resourceful. Also, when we eat whole foods, we are full for longer periods of time and need less because our body is being nourished. 
  • Input your excuse here.
All of our excuses are signs that we do not think we deserve to be healthy and live a good life. This shows we are settling and need to work on our self esteem.

It is about being as healthy as you can be for your body, not any one else. It is about enjoying what you have, not envious of what others have, they might be envious of you. Always striving to be a better person, not settling and accepting whatever, but remembering you are an amazing person who deserves to be healthy and happy.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
You have to love yourself first before you can make any lasting changes.
God's abundant blessing,

Monday, June 17, 2013

June's Challenge, Confronting Fear

If you were not afraid, what would you do?

I know, it seems very strange to be talking about fear with body image issues. But I promise, they do go hand in hand. Most of us fear change, success, failure, not being good enough, or the great what if....?  We allow this fear to overwhelm or consume us. When fear takes a hold of us, it can begin to control every aspect of our life and grow into something larger.

I am not saying fear does not play a healthy role in our lives sometimes, because it can. It can stop us from doing really stupid things. However, fear is like other aspects in our lives, we need to find a balance between a healthy fear and the unrealistic fear keeping you from loving your amazing self and accomplishing your dreams.

You might have very good reasons to be afraid of your body. Maybe you were abused sometime in your life. Maybe you already tried something and it did not work out. Maybe there was some tragedy. I do not know what your reason is, but you do. These are all good reasons to be afraid, not like yourself. But, no reason is a good reason to allow fear to consume you, keep you from moving forward, from loving yourself.

What specific steps are you going to take to move on?
What do you need to let go of?
Put a name, face, place, something tangible to your fears. We fear the unknown, past, present or future. Until we can put something tangible with it, fear is even scarier. Once we have a grasp on it, we can begin to work through our fear, chisel away at it little by little and build confidence. Once we begin doing this, we begin to realize, it was not as scary as we thought it was, we build confidence and begin putting it behind us.

The first step is always the scariest, but I know you can do it. You do not want to sit on the side lines any longer. You want to go on and love yourself.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
Love yourself enough to change.
God bless,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June's Challenge, Body Image and Loving Yourself

How has your first week of June's challenge gone for you? Body image issues and learning to love yourself is no easy task to undertake. Living in a world where beauty can be fake, you are never good enough, just get by in life, allowing fear to control our lives, is very difficult. Finding your true beauty and worth can be a battle and one that lasts a lifetime. This is part of the reason I am doing this challenge, it is something we all need to work on and need help in.

I hope you have taken the time to at least think about how low self-esteem, dislike of your self, maybe hatred of yourself is holding you back from becoming the person you want to be. To tackle these issues, we might have to go a long way back into our past, maybe into some territory that is very painful and I know that is scary. However, until we can see where it is coming from, we can not fix the root cause of our problem. Once we find the root, we can begin to heal and work on building confidence and love of self.

The next step in this journey I would like you to try is mirroring.
Mirroring is pretty simple, but very effective. It is usually the most simple things that are the most effective, we just think to work and be right, it has to be very complicated. To do mirroring, all you need to do is, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself what you like about you. What you think is beautiful about yourself, about your body. Find at least one thing that you like about yourself. When the negative thoughts begin to pour in, remind yourself of the thing(s) you found beautiful about yourself. Looking in the mirror, tell yourself that you love you. You are worthwhile, you are amazing, have many great things to offer the world.

I know at first this seems ridiculous, but I promise it works. At first, this might be very difficult for you, painful. Go through the emotions, go through the pain, allow it to come through. The raw pain and emotions need a place, they need to be felt and allowed to flow. Over time this will become easier and you will find beauty and confidence in yourself. As always, I am here for you.

You have to love yourself before you can change.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's peace and blessings,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mediterranean Meatzza

I know I usually post recipes on Tuesday, but hey what difference does it make when you can have a recipe for meatzza! Any day is a good day for that.

Most people enjoy their pizza, tends to be a favorite food. But, for those of us who do not do grain for whatever reason, we were missing a favorite food. Thus was born meatzza. You can find many different variations of this yumminess on Primal/Paleo blog. This is mine.

1 lb lean ground beef*
1 lb lean ground pork*
1 large egg
1/2 diced onion
6-7 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Asiago, optional
2-3 TBS oregano
2-3 TBS basil
2-3 TBS dill
Several good shakes of Worcestershire sauce or Balsamic vinegar, a combination also works well
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
*I use lean meat for this recipe. Otherwise it shrinks to nothing.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place all the above ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Press the mixture into a baking dish with deeper sides. Make sure there are no holes and the "crust" is even. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Take the cooked crust out of the oven and remove any excess liquid from the pan.

Top with your favorite toppings and put back into the oven. Mediterranean below.

Allow to cook about another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted, if using. Allow to cool about 5 minutes. Cut, serve and enjoy!

Mediterranean toppings:
Red onion thinly sliced
A combination of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, I usually dice
Kalamative olives sliced
Dried tomatoes, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Artichoke hearts
Feta cheese
Cheddar cheese
Tomato sauce/pizza sauce, I usually make my own

For the veggies, I do saute them before putting them on, you do not have too, but they will not be very cooked beings they will only in the oven about 10 minutes.

Other toppings I have done that were tasty:
Mixed veggie

Like with any other pizza, let your imagination run wild. Have fun with it and enjoy!

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings,

Monday, June 3, 2013

June's Challenge: Body Image

Learning to love ourselves 
June is already upon us, can you believe it?! That being said, it is warming up, the kiddos will be out of school, if they are not already and the summer months are upon us. Which is a great lead into our next challenge, Body Image Issues. The warmer it is, the less clothing we tend to wear, or maybe you are too self conscious of your body. This is a perfect time to begin working on the way you see yourself and begin to love yourself, inside and out. It is also a good break from food challenges.

Body image issues are rampant in today's society, nothing new. Ways of working on some of the "out of our control" issues, like magazines, TV adds, models, are dealt with by others. This is not one I am going to take up other than to say they are not out of our control. Do not purchase these. If it is magazines, clothing, watching the TV shows, whatever it is, do not give them your money. Money talks. If you stop purchasing, they are gong to change. More so than by saying they need to and how upset you are with their "ideal body" but you continue to buy. All that says to them, is you really do not mean it and they can keep going the way the are. Once the money stops, then there will be change.

I want to focus this month on how you see yourself. Begin working on loving yourself, not in some self centered, your better than everyone else way. True love of yourself. Because, until you truly love yourself, you cannot make lasting change. We have to love ourselves enough to change.

This first week's mini challenge, is to begin working on loving and accepting yourself from the inside out.

This is not going to take a week and all with be well and wonderful. This takes time, especially if you have not liked or even hated yourself for any length of time. This is a life long processes as we go through the different stages of life. As with any journey though, we have to begin somewhere. So, begin. It is really that simple.

Some ideas to help you start:

  • When you begin to talk/think negatively about yourself, stop the thoughts, comments and say three positive things about yourself. You have to recognize the behavior, stop it and then change it into something positive.
  • Limit your time looking at pictures of really fit, unnaturally skinny, photo shopped images. Even pages like Pintrest, can be bad. Scrolling through image after image of "perfect" in-shape bodies, and comparing yourself to them, wishing you had that body are damaging. This could be unhealthy for your body type and even for them. Remember it is about real health, not destroying your body
  • Begin removing the triggers that send you down of path of self hatred, body loathing and replace these with positives for you.
  • Enjoy the beauty around you.
  • Be around others who have self confidence and love of self. Being around others who constantly talk about how much they hate themselves or their body, will rub off on you. Share this challenge with them and all of you begin working on a better self image, or maybe it is time to find a new group of friends. 

These are just a few ideas. You know where you need the most "love of self". Take the time to reflect on where these emotions and feelings came from, other underlying factors and work through them. Until you work through the hurt and pain, you will walk the same path. I know you do not want to walk it any longer. Let change together.

Love yourself enough to change.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings and Love,