Friday, March 24, 2017

4 Ways to Add Prayerful Movements

I have been in Arizona visiting my dad and step mom. It's been relaxing and I have had some time to read and reflect on the upcoming women's conference. While reading, I came across this quote,
"When movement is experienced as joy, it adorns our lives, makes our days go better, and gives us something to look forward to. When movement is joyful and meaningful, it may even inspire us to do things we never thought possible." - Scott Kretchmar, Penn State University Professor of Excercise and Sports Science


According to Rick Warren D. MIN, we can experience devotion and motion together even on busy days. Here are a few ideas that he mentions in "The Daniel Plan. 40 Days to a Healthier Life."

1. Stretch your shoulders and arms, but close your eyes to worship God in silence.

2. Stand up for 1 to 2 minutes while thanking God for your blessings.

3. Turn on the music and dance to your favorite worship music.

4. Spend some time taking deep breathes while focusing on his mercy. Inhale God's goodness and strength. With each exhale picture your worries and release them to him with each breathe.


What are some more ways that you can add prayer movements in your day?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

7 Things I am Loving

It's Spring Break here, but the weather is anything but Springy. As I type this, it is snowing and below freezing! It will warm up a bit next week but I will be in Arizona visiting my dad  and enjoying a break and warmer weather!

My poor kids. This week is also catch up week for me. I am putting the finishing touches on my material for the women's conference coming up on April 8th (which happens to be the day before my 36th birthday). All three kids have eye and dentist appointments. My oldest still has track practice this week. Oh and I am getting caught up with laundry. The kids are putting away a lot of clothes to make next week an easier transition to school for them and daddy while I am gone. Two different school schedules, Awana's, track every day, Tae Kwon Do for all the kids, and soccer for my son is just a few things of the things he will have to juggle. My husband is going to need a vacation from next week, he has no idea! Me, I will be resting and visiting with my daddy!

I am just not looking forward to the 7 hour layover on the way there and the 11 1/2 hour lay over on the way back!

Anyways, I wanted to take a brief moment and share with you 7 things I am loving right now.


1. My new Zensah bra: Its amazing! It is my first Zensah bra and I wasn't sure what to think at first. I ordered the same size that I wear in other bras but it didn't feel as snug. I was worried that there would be too much bouncing going on. The Racerback straps were comfortable. The description said that the bra is "body mapped." Maybe that is why things stayed in place with out the extra tightness. And FYI, it is easier to change out of than other sweaty bras. It felt light weight and not wet after a hard workout. Oh and it has anti-odor properties that really do work. I  kept wearing it before washing it and it never did have that nasty lingering odor. I tried it out on a longer run, an HITT workout, and sprints on the treadmill. It still doesn't stink, but no worries, I will be washing it. Finally a bra that won't have any nasty sweat stains and a lingering odor! Oh, and I have yet to have any chafing issues.


2. Matching calf sleeves: Zensah calf sleeves are the only compression sleeves I wear. But I have never had a pair matching my sports bra. Not that anyone would know, but I do, and its the little things that count in life. Calf sleeves are great for hard workouts or long runs. You can even wear them afterwards for recovery. The compression and design works by improving circulation, supports calf muscle to relieve fatigue, relieves shin splits, and stabilizes muscles. Just like the bra, the sleeves are anti odor.


3. Cherry Lime BCAAs: The new flavor of Momsanity BCAAs is my favorite. There is so many great things to say about them that I will leave that for a separate post. But the flavors are yum!



4. My new coffee pot: One look at my Hamilton Beach coffee pot and you will see why I love it! And if you run out of k-cups, it comes with a single serving size basket. It is great to have several options on busy days, and there is no more wasting of coffee when I am the only one home. The kids love it because they can have their herbal tea in K-cup form verses having to microwave water. Like my other coffee pots, it is programmable so that I can have coffee already made for me in the morning.

5. Quick workouts: As a mother of three, a pastor's wife, chauffeur, maid, kid referee, a Mom's Run This Town chapter leader, and a solopreneur to name a few, my days can get hectic. I spend so much time helping others that my own time to fit in exercise can get very limited or go into family time. On those days I turn to HIIT workouts that can be done in 15-20 minutes. I make up my own or workout to Fitness Blender, Pop Sugar, Revelation Wellness, etc on YouTube. They have been a big life changer.

What about you? What are some things that have been life changing for you? What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Running as Therapy - Ivanna Marie

Running is not only good for your physical health but is also great for your mental health as well. With permission, I am sharing my friend and lifestyle/wellness blogger Ivanna's story, how running helps her deal with stress. You can read more from her over at Ivanna Marie. 

I have been running for quite a while now. I love running I love the feeling that I get about mid-way and after a good run. When I first started experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety, running to reduce anxiety would be my method of choice. I ran just about every day during my deployment in Afghanistan it really helped me to let off steam and try to forget about my stressful environment.

I USE RUNNING AS A TIME I CAN SPEND ALONE WITH JUST ME, GOD AND NATURE.



The funny thing about running is it can mimic the same physiological responses that anxiety can bring on. Elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, trouble breathing. Over time, I found that experiencing these things during a run made them less scary when I felt them during times of anxiety or panic.
I know that after I am done running that my heart rate will return to normal, as will my breathing. When I run, I feel alive as corny as that may sound its true. When I run I can feel every part of my body working, my heart, my lungs, my legs, everything. How can you not feel alive when all those things are working together.
Using running to reduce anxiety is probably one of the best things I could do for myself and my mental health. When I feel stress, or overwhelm I schedule a run. I find that running 3-4 times a week really helps me to feel less stressed and happier overall. Once I am in a running routine I can tell the difference in my mood if I miss running for a few days so I try to stay consistent. 
My running prescription looks like this: I run 4-7 days a week depending on how I feel and what my schedule is like. These aren't always straight non-stop runs. Sometimes they are run/walk, run/cry, run/pray, run/stop. They were basically anything I need them to be depending on how I feel physically and emotionally.
Running has really helped me through a lot. I am grateful for the physical ability to run and I don't want to take it for granted. I guess that is why running is always my #1 sport of choice.
How about you?
Do you run?
Has running helped you make it through any rough patches in your life?
Ivanna
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." - Hebrews 12:1

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Making Time for Faith and Fitness

Mom life can be stressful! Here is how De from FaithFueled Moms combines faith and fitness to cope with stress.



It’s been one of those days with three girls taking you in three different directions, and your life can seem like a blur.  It can also become stressful and overwhelming, and that is when I take my anxieties, unrest, and chaos to the gym.  A good hour away with nothing but focusing on reps and rest is what I need to be the best I can be. It hasn’t always been the case that I have justified taking an hour to myself for anything until I began using other things to deal with the life.  Things like cupcakes and brownies or sitting and watching an entire season of my favorite show. Even a glass of wine just after I put the last Lil diva to bed.  All my coping mechanisms for stress never worked. It was temporary distractions for moments of time. It wasn’t until I found a physical outlet that I needed to stay sane.  


Lately, my life has been more busy than usual, and life has continued to go on, so the day to day responsibilities still exist.  Although, I cling to God, often these are the times that we do one of two things. Try to go it on your own or rely on God to see you through. I have been both and the girl who tried to go it on her own. Made unhealthy choices, used food for comfort instead of God and sat around indulging in the drama of television or social media instead of doing things to better the situation.  Now I cope differently, despite my busyness I have some priorities that must happen in my life to make sure that I honor God and my temple which helps me serve my family.




How I cope with stress:

1. Daily Devotion- If I don’t have time for God than I have my priorities messed up.  Whether it is 15 minutes or 2 hours, I need, crave, and desire that time to grow in my faith and find His peace every day. It has been an amazing way for me to cope with overwhelming concerns or anticipation of crazy days.  Each day brings a lesson that I can apply some way some how.


But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33


2. Eat Right- If I feel bad and eat bad it doesn’t make me feel better, so than why?  I came to that realization as I was half way through a bag of potato chips one day.  The chips were good, don’t get me wrong, but I could have found a better option that makes me physically feel better later that doesn’t include the automatic thought responses of negative or guilty feelings.  Grace and guilt can’t live in the same house.  When I eat the things that God has given to fuel my body I never feel bad afterwards, so I really try to do that as often as I can. Although, I may fall from grace some days, the more I make the right decision the easier it is to do it the next time. God gives a very detailed list of what we can eat (found in Genesis and Leviticus)  and I am almost positive chips weren’t on it.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.  You shall have them for food." Genesis 1:29


"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." Genesis 9:3


3. Move- For me I love to lift weights, some people love to dance, others love to run, there’s bowling, skating, surfing, swimming, tennis, basketball, or softball. I really can’t think of any more, but there are so many things that you can do that interest you, so do that.  Find a really fun hobby that allows you to get your heart beating and become a part time passion.  


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." Romans 12:1

4. Chill Daily- for 30 minutes.  Have some time where you can be you for a moment in peace and rest in Christ.  I know it’s hard for mom’s, but ask for help. Ask someone in your life to give you 30 minutes of peace daily so that you can be the best mom you can be.  You can even include your family and go for a leisurely stroll.  Taking time to unwind healthily will reduce stress hormones in your body and help you to feel better and do better in all that you do.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28


5. Pray- I first thought to leave this out because it is a given, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you’re in the moment and the last thing you WANT to do is pray but that is when you need to most.  

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

This world is hard and that is why God has given us the support we need.  He has given us the permission to give Him our worries and problems.  Taking time daily to honor Him and the walking temple He has given us is a way that I have found peace in stressful times.  


I am so honored to have De on my blog today! I hope that you will check her out and show her some love!

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Check out De's blog FaithFueled Moms.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Inspirational Runner Spotlight

I love hearing stories about people who don't let their health issues or life struggles define who they are as a person, or what they are capable of! Reading about how they overcome those obstacles and fight rather than be beaten down is so inspirational and encouraging.

Today, I want to tell you about my older sister, Christina Walters. She is an Army wife, mom to two handsome boys,  half marathon runner, Spartan Beast, and gym junkie. She is one tough cookie and a fighter. I always joke that even if she was dying or had a foot barely hanging on, she would still run circles around me. Seriously, that women has ran races where she was sick and injured and still manages to beat my time!



It's not luck. She works hard. She works her butt off in the gym and on the trail. For as long as I remember, she has been running. In fact, I was always known as "Christina's sister" in Track and Cross Country. 

Most days are hard for her. They don't come easy. As a Army wive, a lot of times she has to act as a single parent, and she has a lot on her plate. If she doesn't have enough stress already in her life, her health issues complicate things, but her motto is to never give up! Keep on fighting!




Life may get her down but she refuses to stay down and to be limited. 
"I've got arthritis, damaged tendons, scoliosis , a heart murmur, an autoimmune disease that makes my heart race, bones and muscles ache, and causes exhaustion. I could use them to give up, but I'm not. Modify your workout, go to bed earlier , have the proper equipment,walk or rest if necessary. Never give up! We are stronger than any illness, disease, or physical impairment!"
Compared to her, my excuses sometimes seem weak and pitiful. I have a lot to learn from my sister, She inspires me everyday! Do you have someone who inspires you to never give up?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life Lessons from a 50k

In November, I ran my first 50k. Throughout the training I was taught a lot of valuable lessons which can be applied to everyone even if you don't run. Have you trained or worked for something that required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears? Started your own business? Are you just trying to make it day to day? Then this blog post applies to you as well.


Courage

Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Great things happen when we step outside our comfort zone. Having the courage to set and try to accomplish something crazy such as running a 50k, allowed me to grow as a person in so many ways. By having courage, we can learn a lot about ourselves and what we are actually capable of. Are we limiting our potential because of the fear of failure, or not being able to see things through when times gets hard. Are we looking at the amount of time and work we may have to put into something and it seems impossible or difficult so we often times throw in the towel.

Determination

Determination can take us far in life,  vowing that no matter what,  we will accomplish what we set out to do. That yes, there will be road blocks and obstacles to overcome. It may take time but we will see it through. We are resolved to run the race set before us. Training for an ultra takes a lot of determination. When others were out spending their afternoons doing something fun and my weekends were filled with long runs, determination got me through. And it was all worth it in the long run.

Perseverance

Perseverance and determination go hand in hand. You can't really have one without the other. Times will get tough. You will run out of energy or be completely exhausted. Training was long. Back to back long runs were sometimes difficult. My body was tired, and sore, but I kept on hitting the trails. Sometimes, I wanted so bad to just sleep in and I craved my Sunday afternoon naps. My feet hurt. During the race when both knees started hurting  and it was hard to run,  I could have not finished. And I am sure nobody would have blamed me.  But I was determined to perserver, so I took each step at a time. I may have slowed down in order to do so, but I still made progress towards the finish line. And that is true in life too. No matter how slow we have to go, or when we just have to just take it day by day, forward motion is movement. Progress is progress.

Life is sometimes more of a mental game than anything else. When we let our mental capacity become clouded with doubts, we start believing them. I remember the 18 mile run that I did where everything was going wrong.  The camel pack was too hot and heavy. It chaffed and moved around too much. My music wasn't working and the Spotify app wouldn't load. We were not running in the trails at that time, so I was not distracted by beautiful scenery. I had discarded the pack after about mile 4 or 5 with Amber's niece. I had no back up water. It was hot, I was thirsty, and the sun was beating down on us. Those next  13-14 miles where filled with negative thoughts, and self doubt. Every little problem was amplified because I had nothing to distract myself from me. But I kept going. I wanted to quit, I wanted to throw in the towel. What was I thinking? Who do I think I am?

Isn't that a lot like life? Maybe your health or fitness journey? Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel? Give up on a dream or a career? Have you ever lost faith or blamed God? Friends, we have all been there before. Falling down is not failure if we get back up. Baby steps are still steps in the right direecton. Discouragement will come and there may be days where we just throw our hands up.

Remember, life is like training for an ultra not a sprint. It doesn't matter how long it takes you, just keep your eyes on the finish line.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Change Can Be Terrifying

Change is terrifying for me. It the fear of the unknown. Not knowing how things will turn out, leaves me feeling like I have no control. I know I have some control to steer the chain of events the way I think they should go, but it still scares me.



That is where faith comes in. And to be honest, some things seem as though they take a mountain load of faith. I wonder if the time spent  working hard and praying about something will “pay off” or will I fall flat on my face.

Being called to do something by God that is out of your comfort zone can be intimidating. I am going to just call myself an omnivert. Not sure if that is a real word, but I am going with it. As a pastor’s wive, I can be an extrovert. Sometimes it comes naturally, other times not so much. When I really need to be outgoing and confident, I have to fight my introvert side. Speaking to large groups of people can be exhilarating  but inside my adrenaline is kicking into high gear. 

2017 is going to be the year of a lot of changes. Some may turn out good and others not so good. My faith is going to be put to the test a lot. But I serve a big God! Some things have arose in my family’s live, causing the need for several changes. I am going to have to juggle a lot more and learn to let some things go. But it is also a year of potential growth as a Christian and an individual. I can’t get into details yet, as some things are still up in the year. There is no telling how this year is going to play out, and I have to just have faith. 




What about you? Does change terrify you too? Are you going through some changes in your life right now? How do you cope?