Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

I have been wanting to write this post for so long now!  I’m soooo excited to love on y’all today with these words.  So grab a warm cup of your favorite winter drink, cuddle up on the couch and get ready to accept this giant virtual hug!  

I LOVE Pinterest, anyone else?  I love saving recipes for that day the kiddos tell me they don’t know what they want for dinner.  And shower-throwing went next level with being able to SHARE boards with your fellow hostess!  SO MUCH FUN!  

BUT, one click on a healthy recipe or new workout plan and watch out for the hailstorm of weight loss posts, beating me just like a real hailstorm, making me want to duck and hide. Covering my body to protect it! Posts begin to look something like this…   a picture on the left of the post is of a woman grabbing something, her “armpit fat”, her cellulite, or maybe her “muffin top”, with a look of disappointment or disgust on her face, and on the right side is a woman with about 10% body fat, very visible abs, 20-year-old breasts, and a tan looking like she’s got her whole world under control (well, at least that’s what I assume, because she MUST have EVERYTHING together to look like THAT!).  Under the pictures, in all caps and a fancy font, I read, “LOSE YOUR MUFFIN TOP IN 2 WEEKS!”, or “HOW TO TURN CELLULITE INTO MUSCLE WITH THIS WORKOUT PLAN," oh, and one of my faves, “4 STEPS TO GET A BETTER BUTT.”  I’m a sucker for that one. 

At this point I can feel one of two ways.  Either I feel shame and embarrassment, or I start to feel motivated.  It depends on the day.  On days when I feel the shame it usually ends with me spending the rest of the day eating anything I can get my hands on, and therefore, only piling more shame upon shame upon shame.  Not a good place to be.  I know what you're thinking - “So how do we make sure to feel motivated by these posts instead of shamed?” - but getting your motivation from these posts is as destructive as feeling shame.  Hear me out.

Regardless of how posts like the ones I described settle with you, you have to remember that no matter who you are, what your size is, or how many rolls and divots you wear on your skin, that YOU ARE LOVED, and that your worth does not come from your appearance.  You are a child of THE MOST HIGH!  You knew I was going there, didn’t you?  Well, we’ve all heard it before, but when will you begin to accept and BELIEVE it?  Until you wholeheartedly begin to believe and live in the truth of God’s word, no amount of shame for motivation will ever create a lasting change in your life.

If you are ready to make a change, one that will take hold and not let go, the first step is to turn back to God and accept His love.   You have to choose to believe that you are loved by Him, now, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.  Today, not next week after you have “cleaned up a little.”  He does not love us because of our works.  He loves us because we are His.  

Once you know you are loved unconditionally, everything changes.  This is when lasting motivation kicks in, the real stuff!  You may not like where you are physically today, but knowing that you cannot be rejected by the ONLY one who matters makes the journey to a better you much easier to take; “perfect love drives out fear.”  And if we are honest with ourselves, fear is what holds us back.  Fear of failing, not being loved or accepted, fear of making changes and not losing a pound.  That sounds terrible from a state of fear, but from a place of love, none of it matters anymore.  “So what if I don’t lose a pound? GOD LOVES ME.”  “So what if that guy leaves me, GOD LOVES ME, and has someone better planned for me.”  “So what if I can’t trade cellulite for smooth legs, GOD LOVES ME, and I still have working legs to take me outside spreading His love to others.”  You start to forget what you’re NOT and start to see what you are! 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it thousands more times, YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF INTO SOMETHING YOU LOVE!!!  

Lasting change starts with LOVE.  

Here’s a little tip to get you moving in the right direction.  Start with removing from your social media accounts any and all messages that make you feel less than.  I mean it, ALL of them.  I am willing to bet you know how to eat healthy and get some exercise.  You do not need to be chasing down the newest pop star’s trendy diet to finally lose the pounds.  Aren’t you tired of trying to be someone you’re not?!?  I am.  God made me with an oval face, big feet, and a not-so-round bottom, and I am ok with me just like this.  Life is so much better when you are striving to be the best version of YOURSELF.  You’ll never become anyone else anyway.  Embrace you, and LOVE YOU!  Once you master this, ALL of the negative self talk disappears because you no longer believe those lies.  You have replaced them with truths.  The truth of God's love for you, everlasting and unconditional.

Here are a couple of Bible verses for you take with you to meditate on.  THEY ARE TRUTH!  Replace your negative-self tag with these. Feel the love begin to grow within you.

Psalm 86:15

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 

 

Zephaniah 3:17

“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” NLT

 

The Comparison Trap

 

    Recently God has been pressing upon my heart the need to release myself from the life-stealing habit of comparison.  I’m embarrassed to even admit it, but I did it all of the time!  I’d see someone and thoughts popped into my head about their age, hair color, outfit, size, kids, spouse… nothing was off limits.  They may be better than me in some areas, and lacking compared to me in others.  At least, that was my opinion, but the truth is that I have no idea who they person are, what they are capable of, or even what kind of day they may have had causing them to act a certain manner in that moment.  I wouldn't even given them a chance to defend themselves against my silent attack.  Whew, it’s a little hard to put that out there for you all to read, but it is the truth.  I am now happy to share that I am in recovery from this unfair and self-debilitating nasty little habit.  That may seem overboard to some of youth call it “recovery,” but it feels right on to say it.  Comparison is self-destructive.  I had to change, and I had to do it immediately.  When God speaks I have learned that you obey, and you do it NOW.  When I first read the words from Pastor and Author Mark Batterson, “Delayed obedience is just simply disobedience," I was immediately convicted to quit putting off till tomorrow what I could do today.  

    I began to realize that by comparing and judging others, I was not only being unfair to them, but also to myself.  Everything I felt about them would only make my own thoughts and actions much worse.  The comparisons I put toward others were nothing close to what I say and think about myself.  So how did I stop? How can you stop? The first step was recognizing that I was doing it.  There are things that happen in our minds so automatically that we don’t even recognize them.  Comparison and judgement have been set to autopilot.  We have been conditioned to compare ourselves to others since our earliest years.  Doctors begin measuring us on a scale, telling our parents what “percentile” we rank under at our very 1st visits to see them.  God does not rank you, you are ALL worthy of his love.

    The world has made a list of things, lifestyles, and appearances we should have or should be like.  Satan uses this to shine a light on others who have the things we don’t, stirring up feelings of envy and discontentment.  We have fallen into his trap, but God’s Word can shine a light into this darkness to rescue us.  Hallelujah!  His word clearly tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  We are His great creation, made exactly to his specifications.  If we say we believe His word then we must live like it.  I know when I am feeling confident and full of love for myself, the comparison game my mind likes to play is shut down.  I choose to believe God’s truth in Psalm 139:14.  There is no need to compare myself to another, because I am never going to match up, nor am I supposed to.  I no longer want to be someone else’s version of perfect.  Chances are they are trying to chase someone else’s perfect!  I have a new goal, to reach God’s perfect, and He is at work in me now and every day.  He will finish!  

    Scripture also tells us in James 3:16, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”  The Message version says it this way, “Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.”  Both of these versions paint a picture of disaster.  God’s word is ALIVE!  We must make a habit of getting into the word, so that the word gets into us.  Every time I recognize the comparisons beginning, I am able to stop and replace the thoughts with scripture.  The more I practice, the less I have to.  The truth of God takes over my thoughts and I can begin to love others more naturally, without thought.

    

    Give this a fighting chance in your own life.  When you begin to pour your love on others, rather than measuring them up, the love you begin to feel for yourself starts to multiply, which in turn circles back around to others because you are a happier, healthier version of yourself. 

Outrage, With a Call to Prayer

A friend contacted me the other day to talk about something disturbing.  Long story short, a medical doctor told the mother of a 140 lb., 5’9” tall 14-year-old girl (while the young girl was present) that her daughter “was a breath away from being overweight.”  He continued to tell the mother what to do about the “problem” by suggesting she feed her less and hide the food in the house, because the daughter will get hungry and most likely search it out.  Let me say again, this advice came from a Doctor.  My mouth dropped open, and I was left speechless for a moment.  Then, I felt very uncomfortable inside, scared, sad, and confused.  How could anyone be so highly educated and so ignorant at the same time?  Is there nowhere safe from the debilitating degradation of our bodies by un-educated people?  Get with the times, Mr. Doctor!  I, personally, would have wanted to know exactly what chart he was using to label my daughter as overweight.  My guess is he was using the, ever so popular, antiquated BMI chart.  I found this article written by David Belk on the Huffington Post I feel explains why the body mass index charts should be thrown out the window.  I will let you read his article for more information on that point, as I want to continue my rant on the mixed up world our children are growing up in. 

Another story of young people getting the wrong message from a trusted adult is from a 2nd grade classroom, during a Valentine's Day celebration.  The teacher told the children she could eat none of the treats at the party, because she didn’t want to get fat again.  Why even bring this up?  It is crazy to think our kids, at this very impressionable age, can already hear messages that convince them they must be of a certain weight to be loved.  Then, just this morning, I heard on the radio a story about Amy Schumer being labeled as “Plus-Sized” in Glamour magazine.  Amy is a size 8! ( Here is the link to an article about this story on Today.)   All three of these stories are examples of how we are programed to think we are too big and being big is not ok.  What’s not ok is my kids hearing these stories, thinking a size 8 is plus sized, or about just the term “plus sized.”  What does that even mean?  Why does there need to be a label for someone over a certain size, anyway?  Are they not still just a human, like the rest of us?  Do we need to call them something different?  No!  Amy Schumer should be called Amy Schumer.  Period.  We have to stop labeling, and start loving all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities.  I have tried my hardest to protect my kids from stereotypes and other evils of the world, but I cannot keep them in my little 18-acre bubble forever.  Society has taken its toll on my family, just like yours, and it saddens me.  I don’t think I fully understood the heaviness of the toll until I had children of my own.  The love I have for my babies is unconditional, and the thought of someone thinking they are any less than perfect every single day of their precious lives is heartbreaking .  We are all someone’s children and deserve to be thought of as perfect, as is.  We are all perfect in The Lord our God’s eyes.  The word “perfect” is also troublesome for some, but can you see that my use of the word here doesn’t require you to change yourself to achieve it?  We are perfect now, already.  The next level of perfect will only be achieved when God rescues and restores us to His perfect,  which we will never reach by spending our time, here on Earth, judging others and ourselves, instead of spreading love and peace.    

OK, OK, I know that I am hypersensitive to this topic.  I struggled with an eating disorder for much of my young adult life, but I hate the thought of anyone else ever falling into that pit of despair because of what we are told we should look like or what shape we should be.  Stop “shoulding” on yourself!  I believe in a life full of enjoyment of food, while striving for a balance of healthy eating and chocolate.  Funny, but I mean it.  If you have ever struggled with a full blown eating disorder, or just disordered eating, you know the minute you make something off limits to yourself, it becomes the center of your universe.  Dieting is a word I would like stricken from all of our memories.  I will just say it; diets DON’T work.  I know there will many of you who will disagree with this statement, but I will not back down on this one.  Sure, people have benefitted from reducing and/or improving their food intake.  However, unless they also went through some inner psychological or spiritual change, along with the new “diet,” I would bet the results did not stick.  The word “diet," has a negative connotation, which is punishment.  There must be a bigger, more significant change in someone’s life to make it a lasting change.  During my courses with The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, I learned many great life changing lessons.  One was that anything done from a place of hate or distress in the attempt to create something better is counterproductive.  You cannot hate your body into one you love.  You cannot hate your husband into a man you love.  You cannot hate your job into one you love.  You will never reach that happy place, because you are already there. You only need to recognize it.  I read this quote the other day, and it is too good not to share.  

 

“Beware of Destination addiction-a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner.  Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are”

-Robert Holden

 

This is where I start with all of my clients.  Find your “happy” right where you are, with what you have, and who you are with, now, not tomorrow.  In my work as an eating psychology coach, my 1st act of business is my client must let go of ALL diet mentality.  Once we do that, we can get started on the good stuff. 

I don’t know what the best answer is to change the world’s viewbut I believe in God and the power of prayer.  Change is possible.  So, I will continue to encourage my children with all the love I can give them, and I will pray for all of us struggling with finding our true “happy.”  I’ll also be praying for those who are lost, believing the lies so wholeheartedly that they cannot see the beauty on the other side, such as the doctor, teacher, and the writers of Glamour, amongst many others. I will pray every day, unceasingly, until I see change.  If we all do this, the love will spread further than our minds can imagine.  Will you join me?   

“10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:10-13

 

Many Blessings, 

Shellie Divin

Eating Psychology and Nutrition Coach

Be Still

This morning, as I was driving my kids to school, I realized I am not very good at sitting still.  As I was driving, I was thinking of all sorts of things in my head.  “What will I feed Cole for breakfast, what will I eat for breakfast, how many people will make it to prayer group this morning, where will we have group this morning, when will I work out today, I can work out at home, what’s the weather going to be like today?” …This is where I went to reach for my phone and check the weather.  Then the light turned green, and I was annoyed that I would have to wait for another red light to find out whether or not I could workout outside today.  I realized, at that moment, how “busy” I am all of the time.  By busy, I am referring to my mind needing constant stimulation.  I cannot sit and just be still or keep my mind still.  Maybe even worse than that is the instant gratification I expect.  I was annoyed this morning that I should have to wait another 5 minutes to check the weather.  I mean, how in the heck did we ever make it until the 10 o’clock news to know the weather report?!?!  That would be pure torture!  My phone has helped make me impatient.  I have screens full of apps that help to fulfill my constant need for action.  I can search for information, order anything from groceries to school party supplies, and even check on anyone I’ve ever met just to see what they are eating for lunch if I can’t think of anything better to search for or buy.  It is madness!  Yet, it is the norm today.  Now what happens when I do not have this little gem of an invention?  I get anxious during down time.  I get restless.  I wander and search for something, anything, to feed my overstimulated brain.  The trouble is, for me, the only thing I feed is my mouth to numb my brain.  Food is my go-to.  Others have TV, cleaning, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, or other habits.  I believe we are doing too much, too often, and it will destroy us.  I don’t think we understand the chain of events we are setting in motion.  There will be consequences for all this busyness as with any unwanted action we take.  It rolls over to our family life as a short temper with your children and spouse.  We get road rage, because someone wants to be let in during a traffic jam, and we think we cannot wait for even ONE more car to go ahead of us.  Where’s the fire; what is the rush?  We aren’t taking care of ourselves; we are running ourselves ragged.    We need down time with prayer, music, or the beautiful sounds of nature.  Stillness to reboot, refresh, and energize or bodies, mind, and most importantly our spirits.  

    I get that our phones, computers, and TVs are useful.  I’m just saying we are over using them, and are too dependent on them to make us happy (as fast as possible).  I have ideas how to recover from our addiction to stimulation and immediate gratification.  I challenge you to pick a few, or all, and give them a fair chance to change your life.  1 week won’t be enough; I need you to commit for a month, minimum.  Watch your life calm down.  Watch your productivity skyrocket, because you will no longer be constantly exhausted, but energized!  Notice your children relax in your presence and enjoy being with you more.  I am sure that some of these ideas I am about to suggest will instantly make some of you feel uncomfortable at the mere thought of trying them.  To that, I say, those will be the ones you will need to start with.  

 

Isaiah 40:29

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

 

  • Time with God spent worshiping and praying.  This is the most important part of my day and the most refreshing and rewarding. At first, it was easy to get wrapped up in my day and push aside this time if I didn’t do it first thing.  I carved out a time every day, so I wouldn’t forget.  Now I can’t wait to go to bed, so I can get up and spend that time with Him.  I suggest starting with 5 minutes and doubling it every week.  Get a prayer journal, read from the Bible, or listen to worship music.  Anything that connects you to Him. 
  • Go for a walk.  Somewhere quiet and calming.  The point is to slow down.  Do not turn it into a workout.  You can do that another time.  Make this a time for relaxation and reflection.
  • Get in the slow lane on Friday afternoon on your way home from a long week.  If you are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, do not pull out your phone to entertain you while you wait. 
  • Pick the longest line at the grocery store and wait.  No phone!
  • Sit outside on the porch and just listen to the sounds around you.  Again, no electronics!
  • Practice breathing exercises.  Slow breathing is more beneficial than you think.  Oxygen is the wonderful medicine for tension, anger, digestion, muscle tightness, and so much more.  Bonus: it’s free!
  • Remove social media from your mobile devices.  I know that social media is now a huge part of many of your businesses.  I am not suggesting that you delete, and remove them from your lives completely.  I am suggesting that you distance yourself from them.  You do not need them at your fingertips 24/7.  Take a break.  See what is going on around you.  How about actually visiting a friend for lunch instead of swapping pictures and comments about what you are having?  We are so disconnected from real life because we are constantly lost in the virtual one. 

 

Each of these exercises will help you slow down and recover from your dependence on constant movement.  Like I mentioned earlier, give one or all of these a fair shot to make a difference in your life.  

 

    

No Regrets

Good Morning Beautiful!

When you are at the end of your time here on Earth, what will you be proud of and what will you regret?  I believe we will regret things we didn’t do more than the things we did.  How many family pictures are you behind the camera, instead of next to your sweet babies?  Were you running around that water park during summer vacation like a kid with your family, having a blast, or were you hiding out under the cabana with a book?  How much time will we waste being scared of not pleasing others, thinking we are not good enough to be in their presence?  What about never publishing your book or opening your own store to sell your handmade furniture?  These examples may not seem devastating to you now, but I strongly feel that they’ll have a profound saddening effect on us later in life, especially when they involve time with loved ones.  Time is precious, and you won’t be getting any extra. There is no bonus round in our life here.  When our time is up, it’s up. How will you be remembered? 

People pleasing can be a destructive, time sucking waste of time.  Always trying to be what you think people want to see or what will impress them is exhausting, and in most cases, without reward.  Let me give you some examples of how people please me.  I am pleased when my kids do chores without my reminding them.  I love when my husband picks up the kids from school for me on my day off, allowing me more time at home alone, or when someone at the store with a basket full of stuff lets me go ahead in line, because I am only buying leggings for my daughter who forgot hers at home, causing us to be late, again, to dance.  Oh, and one of my favorite things is when someone brings me cupcakes!  Now, when I look at all of these things, not one of them has anything to do with the way the person looks or their ability to perform to a certain level.  They are just simple acts of kindness that, most days, will lead to a boost in my mood and a desire to pay it forward.  What pleases you?  I bet you will think of similar situations.  I cannot think of a time that I felt happier or uplifted because someone near me looked like someone on the cover of an Oxygen magazine.  I might briefly think to myself, they look nice, and even share the compliment.  Then I continue on my day, but I don’t feel like their appearance was for me or to please me.  If we are going to people please, let’s do it by being good, not looking good.  Giving always feels right and good.  I can guarantee you will not regret being kind.

If we can let go of the pressure to perform or feeling like we always have to be put together, we are free to enjoy the life we have been given as it was intended.  We can be free to share our gifts with our family, friends, and the world.  If you are withholding your time with your loved ones, you are cheating them out of your love.  Don’t waste this life worrying if your butt jiggles too much when you are playing tag with your kids.  Don’t spend another minute tensed up, because you’re sucking in your soft, comfortable tummy.  You’re not pleasing or fooling anyone; you’re only hurting yourself.  Let all of your love hang out for the world to enjoy.     

John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Who is stealing your joy?  Live the life God gave you with so much joy and love, that it overflows on to everyone whose path you cross.  God didn’t intend for you to hide, you have a purpose.

 

Letting Go of Judgments, A Confidence Builder

I have a challenge for you.  This will seem strange to most, but I am here to tell you if you succeed in this your life will forever change for the better. Your self-confidence will begin to climb to new heights.  Here it is; stop judging others.  Stop any and all judgment you have that comes to mind when you walk into a room full of people, be it friends, family, or strangers.  It usually sounds like “I cannot believe she is wearing that”, “Why won’t they shut that kid up”, “Wow, that hair color is ridiculous”, “Do they really think they are burning calories doing that”, or “Fast food again huh, go ahead and supersize it while you’re there”.  Harsh, right?  I could go on and on, and you want to know why?  Well, I am ashamed to admit this, but because those are things I have said.  I think most of us have, and it’s so automatic.  We have been so brainwashed by the media about what's right or wrong, and what is considered pretty or ugly.  It's like our brains are on autopilot and it might even seem ok since everyone else is doing it, it must be right, right?  I am writing today to help you understand just how self-destructive these thoughts are.  I’m sure you were thinking that I was going to preach how it is wrong to do this because of how it hurts the person you are talking about, but that’s not the main point today.  I think you all know how hurtful your judgments can be to someone else.  Are you aware, though, how hurtful they are to you?  By constantly picking someone apart in your head you are creating measurements or standards that you will later use against yourself.  

       What happens when we feel we feel we are getting judged by someone else for something we are or are doing?  We become hurt, angered, scared, or insecure.  All bad, and we then begin to want to change or hide away altogether.  What if these types of judgments didn’t exist?  Things would be so different.  Without the negative comparisons, we would have no measurements of the way things should or shouldn’t be, any size or shape would be ok.  You can begin to create a life with less pain of rejection or ridicule simply by letting go of judging others.  This can help free your mind of wondering what others are saying about you, because it will no longer be something you practice and, therefore, you will not be thinking of negative judgments as a thing that anyone does.  It will take some time to retrain your brain, the auto-pilot has been left on for far too long.  Each time you begin to have a judgment about someone immediately stop and turn it into a compliment for that person.  You don’t even have to say anything out loud, just change your internal conversation.  Of course, a nice comment to a friend or stranger is always a good thing, and speaking a kind word will also help you in your journey.  You might even, with time, begin to think others are complimenting you in their head, not judging.  Wouldn’t that be a good day, the day you walk around with so much confidence that you see others as allies rather than someone to hide from! You have power over your mind, therefore, you have the ability to choose to believe what you want.  I beg you to take this advice and run with it.  It is a simple act of love.  You could say that the opposite of judgment here is love, and the love you will be pouring out in your mind will benefit others and yourself.  Stop judging others for a while and see how your life begins to change for the better.  

      Ephesians 4:29 says

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I have recently begun thinking more about what God thinks of me and less of others.  I don't want to hurt Him by speaking ill of others.  I still fail a lot, but I am quick to ask forgiveness, and He pours out HIs love.  I am a work in progress, so I look to God and His word for guidance each day.  This is where my thoughts and ideas stem from, His truth. 

The Goal Is No Resolutions

The New Year is upon us, and with that comes a sense of responsibility to create a new beginning.  How many New Year Resolutions have you made?  How many have you kept up with and succeeded at?  How many lost importance and became a failed good intention only to make next year’s list of resolutions?  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh start, another chance, and feeling so motivated.  Motivation and a little will power are all you need to succeed with this year’s list of challenges, right?  I’m not so sure.  Making a stiff pledge of absolute change that must be made in a short amount of time is usually unsuccessful.  According to a list on statisticbrain.com, only 8% of us that actually make resolutions will be successful in accomplishing them.  I know Iv’e failed year after year at different tasks I put upon myself. One of the biggest reasons I fail is the pressure of performing the task in an all or nothing fashion.  This year, I think I’ll try something new.  I am going to create a list of goals for my life.  One that includes anything from books I want to read, to lifetime goals like wanting to learn to carry a tune and sing in front of a crowd.  (Those of you that know me know that will be a sight to see.  I’ve only had two singing debuts, both with my bestie Audra, and both were huge fails.  However, they both bring me lots of joy and giggles when I think of them.)

 

 Anyway, back to goals over resolutions.  Here are a couple definitions of resolutions, the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.; a firm decision to do or not to do something.  Now, here is one for a goal, the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.  And here is the definition of goal setting; it is the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes.

 

The most important difference between resolution and goal, in my opinion, is a firm decision in resolution, and in goal, achievement toward.  Carrying out life changes with a firm all or nothing mentality is doomed for failure.  We need to work toward achievement, making a steady ascension.  We are only human and can never be perfect, whatever that means anyway.  We will have set backs and fail.  This is where trouble can set in if we let it.  We can begin to think we lack willpower and will never fully succeed.  This is not the case if we are striving to be a little better each day toward goals we have set for ourselves.  So, regardless of if we stumble a few steps back, we can look ahead toward our goals and continue along our path to reach them in the next moment.  Getting better every time we try rather than giving up till next year’s round of resolutions.  You have not failed at a task until you give up attempting to reach it, no matter how many tries it takes.

 

This leads me to another thought, which is that we exaggerate what we are capable of doing in a year’s time, and do not give much thought to what we can accomplish in a number of years’ time.  I read about these over and under estimations in one of my favorite books, The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson.  He says we need to “think long”.  His book is about the power of prayer.  It is a truly inspiring book and I suggest each and every one of you and everyone you know pick it up and read it!   A year is a long time, but not in the grand scheme of things.  Not when you plan on being here for 80 plus of them.  Why plan for a mere year, so why not plan for the rest of your life?  Set BIG goals and go after them, and do not put such a tight timeline on them.  Some life changing goals will require a much longer commitment.  By making something a lifetime goal and not a resolution that needs to happen ASAP, the disappointment of not accomplishing it in that exact year is minimized.  This is not meant to sound like I’m pushing goals to the side, like they have no importance, as there is a balance to be found.  I won’t lose my drive to achieve, but I will look at failures or shortcomings as lessons learned and opportunities for new beginnings. 

 

Here is an excerpt from The Circle Maker about goal setting:

The brain is a goal-seeking organism.  Setting a goal creates structural tensioning in your brain, which will seek to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, who you are and who you want to become.  If you don’t set goals, your mind will become stagnant.  Goal setting is good stewardship of your right-brain imagination.  It’s also great for your prayer life.”

 

 If you add daily prayer to your life and include your goals in those prayers, you will begin to see changes.  In fact, you will notice changes in all aspects of your life.  God gets all the glory for the achievements in my life.  I look forward to adding my goals into my prayer life.  It is so wonderfully exciting to anticipate what He will make happen.  

 

I will be including a short list of some of my goals in today’s blog.  While this can be a little frightening, it is an important step toward achievement.  I know some of mine will sound silly and maybe even impossible, but by sharing them, I feel a stronger desire to reach them.  I plan to add to my list of goals throughout each year, not only each January.  I encourage you to shift your focus this year from resolutions to heart felt life changing goals.  Then take them to God and see what changes.

 

Goals 2016

 

  1. Celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary
  2. Celebrate an anniversary in Rio
  3. Take each child on a mission trip
  4. Go on a mission trip with the whole family
  5. Finish reading the Bible
  6. Celebrate our grandchildren's graduation 
  7. Get a college degree
  8. Help 1,000 people love their bodies without changing them
  9. Create a Women’s support group to end body hate that grows nationwide
  10. Start a mentoring group for high school girls
  11. Raise $50,000 for Alzheimer’s research in one year 
  12. Help us become debt free by 55
  13. Dead lift 350 pounds 
  14. Be able to do 10 unassisted pull ups
  15. Attend a superbowl
  16. Learn to play an instrument (Piano)
  17. Learn to sing
  18. Sing with the worship team at church
  19. Visit Germany at least a dozen times
  20. Learn to drive our boat in and out of water

Cotton Candy Grapes???

 

    So, the other day I was checking out at the grocery store and I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation happening between the lady in front of me checking out and the checker.  They were discussing a new breed of grapes that had arrived on the shelves.  Cotton Candy flavored grapes!  This is no lie, grapes, that are supposed to taste like the tooth achingly sweet spun sugar treat every kid on the planet adores.  The customer had a bag of said grapes, and the checker wanted to know what they tasted like.  She offered a sample to the girl ringing up her groceries.  So she happily took one and down the hatch it went.  They continued to talk about how amazing they were, and what I heard next was what troubled me so much.  The lady buying the grapes said, “I don’t know how they make them, but who cares?!”.  Wow, who cares, well I sure care about what’s going into my body.  The thought that someone could actually just consume products while not knowing anything about them is mind boggling to me. Now before I continue to go on about the importance of clean eating, I will be honest and tell you that I do not eat clean all of the time.  Following a strict whole foods only 100% of the time type of diet is unrealistic for my life.  I love my chocolate and Mexican food on a weekly basis.  However, I am aware of what is going into my body, as well as the benefits or consequences to follow.  I do not live with an all or nothing mentality.  My goal is to be aware and make good choices for myself and my family more often than not.  I read every label on the items I am purchasing.  If I see more than 5 ingredients on the label, most times that item will not make it in my cart.  If I am unsure about a food item, I will do a quick search on my phone and get the facts before deciding.  If I am still unsure, I will use the “phone a friend” life line and call a trainer or nutrition guru friend to get more answers. 

So many of us have gotten off track when it comes to filling our bodies with delicious nourishing foods.  The aisles of grocery stores are littered with processed, trashy, junk food.  There are several that I won’t even venture down because none of the foods I will find would be allowed in my house.  Education is needed.  So many of my clients, friends, and family honestly have no idea of the poison they are consuming on a daily basis.  They really think they are doing good by buying the newest “skinny” version of their favorite snacks.  There is a low fat version of every chip, cracker, cookie, and dairy product on the shelves.  The thing you may not know is that to get back the flavor that was lost from taking the fat out, companies load the products with sugar instead.  Processed poison.  This is just one little fact about the foods marketed as “better for you”. I could go into the need for fats in a diet, and how eating “low fat” versions of foods will more than likely hinder your ability to lose weight than help it,  but I will save that for another day (you’ll just have to trust me for now). There is a very good and educational film on the dangers of sugar, and more food industry secrets called FED UP.  The film is very much worthy of your time.  Here is the link. 

    So what are you supposed to do? How about getting back to basics, with real food?  The best way to do this is to shop the perimeter of the store.  Simply starting with the produce aisle, moving around to the meat counter, and across to the dairy and eggs.  That is it, the basics, real whole food closest to its most natural form.  Even better than that is finding a local farmers market.  This way you are guaranteed to get your food at its freshest, and supporting a local farmer is a bonus.  

    Then there is always the importance of buying organic.  If you’re not ready to give up all of your junk food, at least buy an organic version.  Organic food tastes better, can prevent pre-mature aging and cancer, ensures a safe and healthy world for future generations, as well as many more benefits.  (The first three I listed there are enough for me to buy in.)  This is one way I compromise with my kiddos.  You’ve got to pick your battles right?  Hey, I am a momma, so I know how it goes.  Do I want to argue about doing homework and potato chips?  Nope.  By giving them choices they end up starting to follow my example and make wise choices on their own rather than rebel against me. 

    In conclusion, let’s make a commitment to be more aware.  Aware of the ingredients in our foods, aware of where our foods are coming from, and, at the very least, stop not even considering these things.  I know I can do better, and I will.  I am just as guilty of “falling off the wagon” as the next person.  

    Oh, it wouldn’t be fair for me not to tell you about the research I did on the cotton candy grapes.  As it turns out, they are made from cross pollinating two types of grapes in order to get a new flavor.  So they are not some genetically engineered mutant from a lab.  As far as I know, there is not an organic version available, but they are not as bad as what I had imagined in my head.  It’s a pretty neat idea actually.  Look them up and find out for yourself.  It is time to start taking an interest in what you are consuming.

Many Blessings,

Shellie

Compliments

Good Morning Beautiful!

This morning my thoughts stirred as I read a very chilling and saddening story about a woman of 49 who died from complications associated with anorexia.  The whole story grabbed me and not only tugged at my heart strings, but choked the very air from my chest.  Where does it begin, the struggle and the hate for oneself that ends in death?  Something seemingly small caught my attention that made me think, “Is this it, where it began?”  The words, “She could never take a compliment.”  A compliment, isn’t this what we are all striving to hear, and the reason we do all we can to “look the part”?  It is the reason we have imaginary measurements for the perfect size in our heads.  However, do we ever accept these expressions of praise and admiration with blushed cheeks and smiles?  Most of the time no, not whole heartedly at least.  I know I have struggled with this most of my life.  I was the one that would always respond to the admirer with a criticism to counter the affection.  If they came back with more love, I would turn the compliment to someone else who I deemed more worthy of such praise.  I remember the day my therapist picked up on this habit of mine.  She said to me, “Shellie, just say ‘Thank you’”.  Easy right?  

What if we started to accept the approval of others?  What if we let the warmth of belonging soak in and feel the love that comes from it?  I believe what would happen is the end of self destruction, and the beginning of healing, self-acceptance, and full lives.  Does it still sound too difficult?  Maybe thinking of the incoming compliments as the work of God in you will help.  Are they seeing His work in you shining through; yes I think so.  This turns the moment into an opportunity to praise Him.  Giving God the glory for your beauty will please Him and bring you closer to Him.  God loves to hear our thanks to Him.  When a stranger praises you, they are in turn praising His work.  We can take the opportunity to acknowledge them and say, “Thank you”.

It is such a simple step towards freedom.  I began to, with great doubt and bitterness, accept the compliments with a quiet and shy “Thank you".  Just like with speaking to myself in the mirror and learning to not hate on what appeared in the reflection, it took practice to start believing what I was hearing.  It happened though.  There are still times when I will fall back into old habits, and catch myself dodging or otherwise avoiding the compliments.  This is always a reminder that something is awry in my life.  I need to take a look at what is causing me to feel unworthy.  

 

If you never start to take steps toward freedom you will never find it.  Little baby steps such as accepting the compliments of loved ones and strangers is but one tiny step in the right direction.  After all, like I mentioned before, it is what we all are looking for anyway.  So, the next time someone praises you for anything, just say “Thank you”.  Each time you say those simple words, you will get closer to the day that you wake and start praising yourself, and thanking God for what He created in you as you pass by the reflection in your mirror. 

 

Many Blessings, 

Shellie

 

 

Find the story here that got me thinking today.

 

 

Find photo here

Scientific Mind Cookies

Good Morning Beautiful…

 

    OK, so this morning, I feel like feeding you some “scientific mind cookies.”  I am borrowing this term from my teacher, Marc David.  Marc founded The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where I received my Eating Psychology Coach certification.  He is a genius and played a major role in the changes in my life that led to my healing and recovery.  Scientific mind cookies are bits of information to feed the left side of your brain, the side that handles organization and logic.  You say your number one goal is to lose weight with a specific diet and exercise plan.  Yet, you hear me talk about letting that go in order to get just that.  Wait, what?  At that moment, I tend to lose people.  Just wait!  I have your best interest in mind, and I will do whatever it takes to reach your goals.  Together, we will work with both the physical and emotional sides of your eating life to reach your highest goals.  So, I start with these scientific mind cookies to quench your hunger for facts and quick results.  

    I am going to start with something easy, something so simple you won’t argue you “can’t” do it. Slow down at meal time.  Society, as a whole, is in motion at warp speed. We want what we want, and we want it now.  How will slowing down improve your health?  First, slowing down means activating the relaxation response and turning off the stress response.  Second, adding slow, controlled deep breathing will help jumpstart the digestion process.  Third, it enables you to be aware and present at meal time, which satiates not just your body, but your mind.

    Now, what does all of this mean?  I’m so glad you asked!  Let me start with the stress response.   I’m not talking about full on fight or flight here; I am talking about the constant low level stress we all deal with daily.  We are anxious about work, kids, finances, and our relationships all at once.  Can you remember the last time you sat down to a calm, relaxing meal without a care in the world?  There is too much to be done, so we quickly shovel food into our mouths to get to the next task, therefore, living in a constant low level stress response.  Scientific mind cookies…

    There is a portion of our central nervous system, CNS, called the autonomic nervous system, ANS.  The ANS is the part of our nervous system most responsible for our gastrointestinal functions.  It gets our stomach churning, keeping digestion moving.  There are two parts of the ANS, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems.  “The parasympathetic relaxes the body and activates digestion,” states Marc David in his book, The Slow Down Diet.  The sympathetic activates the stress response. You want to activate the parasympathetic before and during your meal time.  If you fail to do this, your body remains in a stress response and digestion is suppressed, like an off switch, so to speak.  If we can relax, we turn on digestion.  Marc says it best: “You can eat the healthiest meal in the solar system, but if you eat it in an anxious state, your digestion is dramatically diminished - your mood has affected your food.  Salivary enzyme content in the mouth is reduced, the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrate macromolecules in the stomach is impaired, and blood flow to the small intestines is decreased as much as fourfold, which translates into decreased assimilation of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.  It is not only important what we eat, then, but the mental state we are in when we eat it.”  Wow!  That is a lot to take in.  The bottom line is that stress wreaks havoc on our bodies.  You probably already knew that, but now, you know how it affects you from a nutritional stand point.  

    What can you do to activate a relaxation response?  That’s easy, and it brings me to the second bullet point in this post.  Oxygen, yes, good old vitamin O, just breathe.  Before each meal, sit down with your food and take 5-10 slow deep breaths.  As you are eating, about every 2-3 bites, put your utensil down and take another 3.  This will help your body start and continue to relax.  Have you ever been able to calmly breathe while you were stressed?  No, the two cannot exist together.  You can either be freaking out or be calm.  By slowing down to actually sit for your meal and breathing deeply, you begin to pull yourself out of stress.  If only for the 20 minutes on your lunch break, it is a start.  Oxygen equals metabolic burning power, and metabolic burning power is the ability to burn calories.  Think about a fire.  What is absolutely necessary for a fire to burn?  You need wood (fuel) and oxygen.  In our bodies, food (fuel) is useless without oxygen to burn it off.  A note from Marc again, “It’s amazing how the breath is such a vital yet overlooked part of your diet.”  The more you breathe, the more you burn.  And a little thankfulness can’t hurt.  As you are taking those first relaxation breaths, use the time to thank God for the blessing of the meal before you.  He is, after all, the reason your plate is full.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31.  Getting into the habit of thanking God and giving Him the glory is a good practice.  Adding this simple act of worship can do nothing but improve your quality of living.  Along with the physical benefits, you will begin to feel more connected and appreciative of all things in your life.  

    That brings me to awareness. Being present and fully aware while you are eating is just as important as the food you are eating.  From the Slow Down Diet, I learned the term, cephalic phase digestive response (CPDR).  This is a fancy way of describing the brain’s pleasure in the appearance, aroma, and taste of our food.  Think about your favorite food.  I am thinking of a fresh, piping hot, molten dark chocolate cake with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream drizzled with hot fudge.  Is your mouth watering yet?  That is CPDR in action, being fully aware of what you are eating.  Researchers have found this reaction is estimated to be responsible for 30 to 40 percent of the total digestive response(SA.Giduck, “Cephalic Reflexes: Their role in Digestion and Possible Roles in Absorption and Metabolism,” Journal of Nutrition 117, no. 7 (July 1987).  If you ask me, that is huge!  If all I have to do is pay attention to my food and enjoy the aromas and flavors to improve digestion, you bet I’m all in.  

    Being aware when you are eating is as easy as adding oxygen to your diet.  As a matter of fact, as you are taking in your breaths before you eat, you are already becoming more aware, breathing in the mouthwatering smells and enjoying the colors on your plate.  One goes hand in hand with the other.  This can also help with any overeating issues you may have.  The brain needs the satisfaction of eating the meal, not “falling asleep at the wheel,” if you will.  

    During the day, if you continue to mindlessly eat, your brain will not remember any of it, because it was mindless.  Therefore, your brain now wants to satisfy its cravings and will signal you to eat again.  This will most likely lead to overeating throughout the day and, most definitely, night binges.

    These 3 simple ideas are just the beginning to enjoying all of the benefits of a full healthy meal plan.  If you try these techniques and still find yourself having trouble with your digestion, overeating, and/or cravings I can still help!  To learn more contact me directly for a complimentary evaluation.

Many Blessings

Shellie Divin 

Eating Psychology & Nutrition Coach

Good Morning Beautiful!

Good Morning Beautiful

   The title of this message is a reminder.  I am writing today to share a beautiful idea that came to me this morning.  I believe it is the magic you have all been looking for, and it is the truth we have been dying to find.  

    Have you ever been in a room filled with people when that one woman enters… The one everyone notices? The air in the room lightens; the light in the room brightens.  She is always smiling, and her movements are balanced and poised.  (Notice, I didn’t mention her appearance because, well, it doesn’t matter.)  She owns herself.  She might have just crawled out of bed, yet you don’t even notice because her being is beautiful in all states. She’s the one everyone wants to be.  They long for her self-loving acceptance and confidence.  Right?  I know I do…

    I am convinced that the way to peace is lying within you.  It is in your own heart and it is waiting to be discovered.  I know, I know… It’s easier said than done. But, has anything you have ever been really good at or proud of ever come easy?  It has been said that if you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. 

    There is work to be done if you are to find the peace you long for. Here’s the work: You have to love yourself a hundred times each day if necessary.  Every time a self-destructive thought creeps into your mind it has to be stopped, even if you don’t think you can or even want to fight them off.  In fact, those times are actually the most important.  It’s like those last two reps or sets at the gym.  Your body is spent, and you feel like there is nothing left to give, but those last ones are the ones that make the difference.  That extra bit of effort is where your new strength will come from.  In those moments of despair when you hardly feel like getting dressed in the morning, LOVE your self up.  Stop the thoughts by thinking of something, anything that brings a smile you your face.  Your kids, your love, or, in my case, my Great Grandmother’s smile. Then take 10 long slow deep breaths holding them in on the inhale for about 3 seconds. Start to challenge the negative thought that is torturing you by replacing it with a new beautiful truth about your self.  I like to have little mantras, if you will, that I use during times like these.  Repeat again and again until you begin to feel love, or even just a glimmer of hope for good to come.  

    “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

    Even stronger than our own love, is the love God has for us.  When you cannot muster your own strength, go to God and ask him for help.  He will deliver.  He already sees you as perfect, and without flaws. Hesees only the child that He created.  “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”(Genesis 1:27)  What can be more perfect or beautiful than that which is created by our Father?  Who are we to hate something He created?

    So, sit.  Give yourself 10 minutes to ask Father to pour His love in and all over your heart and soul.  Try to envision yourself through His eyes, and then go about your day holding onto His love.  Pay attention to all things good, and also those that are not so good in your day… Give thanks to Him for ALL things, for there is good in everything. If you do this, your perception will change. You will be open to seeing yourself as the beautiful, perfect woman you are, and open to loving your body.  Your body, after all, is the vessel God gave you to live out His plans for you in this life. Who you are resides inside your body.  Your love and caring and gifts… they all come from the inside.  As you begin to grow stronger, and tuning into your heart for love given by the Father, the bad days become fewer, and farther apart.  

    No one else's perception of you matters.  If someone doesn't like you because of your dress size, hairstyle, or outfit, then guess what?  They just did you a huge favor.  Cross them off the list of people you care about.  Those people do not belong in your life.  You no longer have to worry about them.  Done.  The people in your life who love you do not want you wasting your time and energy, trying to change.  They have already accepted you.  You’ve already got what you need.  When you act like you are not enough and are unworthy of love, that is exactly what you create.  You put up a wall with a sign on it that says, “UNDER CONSTRUCTION, STAY BACK!”.  No one likes construction!  It’s chaos.  So, it is time to pull yourself together and tear down those walls.  Let God and your loved ones in to enjoy your gifts and the love you have to give.  Just as you are, right now, today.  

    I am choosing a life of love and abundance, and I want you to join me. Here is my new mantra. It replaces the nasty thoughts that I have allowed space for too long:

“Good Morning Beautiful!  I no longer accept the lie that I am not good enough.  Today I choose to believe in God’s love for me.  I accept myself right now, today, in this body.  I am to be adored and will treat myself as such.  I will spoil myself with love and kindness because I deserve it.” 

 

Love and Many Blessings,

Shellie