I AM Enough


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This is taken straight out of my journal/writing notebook. It is honest and not cleaned up. I felt compelled to share.

There are days when I look in the mirror and sigh. I see that frumpy and dumpy homeschooling housewife. I think of all the things I have not accomplished.

  • Am I thin yet?
  • Have I run that marathon?
  • Wrote that book?
  • Had more children?
  • Made more money?
  • Prepared those perfectly healthy meals?
  • Kept a perfectly tidy house?
  • Read all those books?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO.

I take a deep breath as I stare in the mirror and then I feel an arm come around my waist and I hear a sweet whisper of “I Love You.” I enjoy the moment. I give in. I then hear in my soul, “You ARE Enough!” It is then that I know that yes, I AM enough.  There is a lot I have not accomplished, but there is so much more that I have — things of eternal value.  I look away and I see my only son giggling as he reads his favorite books. I hear, “Hey Mom! Listen to this!!” We laugh together on the couch.

Then we gather at the table for dinner. They two loves of my life are eating and laughing. Even the dog is content as she rolls around on the carpet. We are happy. We are content.

At bedtime I can’t help but smile big as I walk by my son’s room and I see him and his Dad reading Scripture together. They both look up and smile.

After a little TV time with my Sweetheart, I slip into my boy’s room and I kiss his sleeping head — like I have every night since he was born–almost nine years now. I whisper, “I Love You.”  In that place between reality and dreams, he quietly says “I love you too. You are the best Mom EVER.”

My soul smiles as I go to bed. I take off my glasses and slip into bed. As I feel strong arms come around my waist again and we fall asleep in unison, I know. I am not perfect. But, I AM enough.

I sleep well.

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I AM Enough

Six Things I Regret Saying to My Son About Food


food regret son

It has been four years since I started my journey to better health through good nutrition and exercise.  In those four years I have learned a lot and I have changed a lot.  My family has been with me and supported me the whole way and through all kinds of crazy.  I have finally found a place of peace and contentment with my relationship with food. But, I know I have said and done things in the past that I am not proud of.  I have been thinking lately about things I have said to my son in regards to food that I regret.  I thank the good Lord that he has turned out okay and from what I can tell he doesn’t have a poor relationship with food.  But, I still look back and I think, “What was I thinking???”

Here are six things I regret saying to my son about food.

 “Oh Buddy. It is okay. Stop crying. Have some Goldfish/cookies/pudding/etc.”

This one hit me like a ton of bricks. I heard someone else doing it and all of a sudden it clicked in my head why so many of us go to food for comfort. How many times when we were children were we offered food when we were upset? Probably a lot. And then I do it with my own child. I am just as guilty as the next person. Why do we do it? Because it works. Eating something delicious helps us be distracted from what really hurts. For kids it really is just distraction and moving their attention from the bad thing to the delicious thing. For adults, it goes deeper because it means we are not dealing with our problems. We are pushing everything further and further down with each swallow.

What if instead of going straight to food for comfort we took a moment to feel the emotions and we take the time to figure out what’s wrong and then do the best we can to fix it? That way the problem is resolved instead of being pushed further and further down while just causing more issues by over-eating.

“You can’t watch any TV if you don’t eat the rest of your vegetables.”

This very quickly equates eating with something bad. Food ceases to be a pleasure. And to my child he sure as heck won’t want to eat any vegetables if it means something bad like losing TV.

“Eat your food. There are starving children in Africa.”

This one really makes me cringe. I haven’t used this one as much as the others because it has always made be cringe. But, I have said it out of desperation. That does not make it any better. We are blessed to live in a place where chances are good that you will never miss a meal . That is a good thing. But, we should not feel guilty for the situation we were born into. Guilt does not achieve anything. I do think my son should be made aware of the world and that many people do not live as we do. I pray his heart is moved to action and that goes on to serve those who are less fortunate than he is. As he matures we will teach him and show him the truth of this world but that does not mean he should carry a guilt that is not his to carry. Food is a joy and a blessing. It is not something to be consumed because you feel bad.

“If you are super duper good while we are out I will buy you a cookie.”

Overtime, in the mind of child this becomes, “Whenever I do something good I should be rewarded with something delicious.” Oh, what’s so wrong about that?? Children who seek food as a reward become adults who seek food as a reward. I am an adult who does just that. I am slowing working my way out of it.

Did you do super well on your diet this week? GREAT!! Cheat meal!! You deserve it!

Did you work hard on your workout today? Yes? Have a special treat. You deserve it!!

I confess I still find myself offering food as a reward to my child. It slips out and I am trying hard to fix that. Instead of offering food I just let him know the consequences of misbehavior and completely leave food out of it.

“You can’t get up until you are done with your dinner.”

The only thing this does is it teaches your child to ignore his or her hunger/satiety cues and then force food down just so he can move on to the next thing. It also causes undo stress as you battle it out. As I have learned more about my own hunger cues and when I am full I am respecting my son’s more as well. Now, he will say,, “Mom, I am satisfied. May I be excused?” I will respond by saying, “Yes you may, but be aware that I am not cooking anything else today. So this is your last chance to eat. Are you really satisfied or do you just want to get up?” At first he would be just trying to get up and would want food later. Now, more times than not he really is satisfied and does not want food later. Helping him learn what being satisfied truly feels like will set him up for a healthy lifestyle as an adult.

 “Dad and I are eating veggie soup. Do you want a sandwich?”

All this does is teach my son that he never has to venture out of his comfort zone when eating. I don’t want him to grow up to be an adult that has a very limited appetite because he never learned to try new things. Dinners are eaten in community as a family. Some meals are made for the adults (a.k.a veggie soup) and some meals are more to my son’s liking. When he doesn’t like the dinner he has a choice to eat it or not. But, I am not making a special meal for him. If he chooses to not eat then he chooses to be hungry. That is still his choice. Slowly, over time, he has started eating the food, albeit a little bit. But, he is slowly becoming more adventurous. We tell him, “It is not bad to not like a particular food. We all have foods we don’t like. But, you need to at least try it a few times before you decide if you like it or not. And you must be gracious to those who are serving you the food no matter what.”

As I learn more about how I relate to food, the more I want to make sure my son does not have the same problems I have had to fix.  The best way I can do that is by being mindful of how I talk about food to him and even around him.   The best thing I can do for my son is love my food and not fear it.

What are your thoughts?

What are some “Food Positive” things we can say to our children to help create a healthy relationship with food?

Blessings!!
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Six Things I Regret Saying to My Son About Food

May Your Children Be The Reason, Not The Excuse



yoga mom with baby1


Children.

We love them so.

We can’t remember life before them.

We can’t imagine life without them.

But, they sure do take up a lot of our time. Right?

How in the world is a woman supposed to get healthy and fit when her children are constantly needing her attention? Throw in taking care of the house and perhaps a job, and fitness seems like a far away dream to be achieved when the kids are grown up.

I get it. I totally do. I have a child of my own and I choose to stay home with him and homeschool him. So, I am Mom, Teacher, Wife, Housekeeper, Chef, Chauffeur, Social Secretary, and Doctor all wrapped into one giant burrito. It pretty much takes up my whole day from dawn to after dark.

Then how in the world do you have time to work out? I do it because I make my workouts on the same level as any other appointments. I don’t cancel doctor appointments or school activities unless I absolutely have to and I don’t cancel workouts unless I or my son are sick or something comes up that is of greater good than exercise (Yes, there are such times. Ha!).

But, my schedule and how I do it isn’t the point of this post. We’ll discuss strategies later.

The issue I want to address here today is the guilt that comes with taking the time to exercise. That time is often done apart from your children and I have found that many women feel some guilt over that. I have spoken with stay-at-home Moms with young children not in school yet, Moms with kids in school during the day, working Moms, and homeschool Moms.

I have heard quite often,

“I don’t workout because I just don’t have the time with all the stuff going on with the kids.”

Or,

“I don’t workout because I feel so bad about dropping them off in the childcare room.”

Or,

“I don’t workout because I can’t get away from the kids to workout.”

Okay, here’ s the thing. I totally understand your kids pretty much hung the moon in your book. I think my guy is awesome and pretty much rules the world of “almost seven year olds.”

I workout and focus on my fitness BECAUSE of my son. He is my REASON. I want to be around for his entire childhood and well into his adulthood. There are tons of things that can happen to cut my time short that are out of my control. I choose to not worry about those. But, I can do everything in my power to stay healthy so that I don’t succumb to the preventable, chronic diseases that permeate our society.

Exercise is good for my mental health. It truly helps level out my moods. For that reason, exercise makes me a better person and that makes me a better Mom. My son needs me to be available mentally and emotionally.

For too long I didn’t exercise because I felt guilty about putting my son into childcare or leaving him at home. I suffered greatly from that because my weight was too high, my health was bad, and my emotions were horrible. I was depressed and a bad Mom.

Now I do set aside time each day for ME so I can be that better person for HIM. I am healthier, happier, and more confident. I am a better Mom. Spending an hour or two each day focusing on me is worth it if I am more present the other hours of the day.

Please do not use your children as an excuse to not get healthier. You need to take control of your health so you can be around for many years for your kids. You need to take care of YOU so you have more to give to your children.

Now think about what you are teaching your children when you exercise. You are teaching them that taking responsibility for your health is important and they should do it too. Fitness becomes normal in their world. You want to model a healthy lifestyle and give them the tools to do it themselves. Living healthy is quite a legacy.

I know everyone has unique situations. My access to a gym and the fact I have one child makes it easier in some ways to exercise. I know other people have unique situations that make exercise more complicated. I get that. But, my job as YOUR COACH is to remind you that exercise is still very important. You can make it work. It just takes creativity. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Resolve and commit to make it happen.

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May Your Children Be The Reason, Not The Excuse

Consider Your Words: What Are We Teaching Our Children?





Today, I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart.

That is how we talk about our bodies…especially around our children.

Our children are sponges and they take in everything we say. That includes the good and the bad. They pick up on our attitudes and our opinions.

I know I am guilty of show discontent with my body around my son. I make a point to never say, “I really dislike X, Y, or Z about my body” straight to him. But, I know he has heard me make hard statements to other people. If he is around me he is going to pick up on what I say.

What is this teaching my son??

Mommy is not happy with her body. I wonder what is wrong with mine.

Not good.

My desire for my son is to love his body for the amazing creation that it is. I want him to see his body as a Temple. It is worthy of our care because God created it.

I want him to view exercise as a good thing because it keeps his amazing body healthy, strong, and active.

I don’t want him thinking we exercise to keep ourselves pretty, handsome, or to fix something he doesn’t like. At that point, exercise becomes a chore and a curse that will ultimately bear no fruit.

Why?

We will never be satisfied with our bodies. We live in an imperfect, fallen vessel. Amazing? Yes. But, still imperfect.

So, let’s consider our words.

Do we (me included) demonstrate discontent for our bodies around children?

Directly or indirectly?

If we do, we have got to change the family tree. We cannot pass the curse of bad body image onto our children.

It is hard to break that curse in ourselves. Let’s not pass it down.

Okay?

Let’s covenant together right here and right now that everyone reading this (or writing this) will STOP ALL poor body image talk around our children.

Let’s covenant that we will teach our children that their bodies are AMAZING POWERHOUSES that God created with a purpose.

Let’s covenant that we will teach our children that they can do whatever they darn well please with that AMAZING BODY with the proper training and diet.

We could really start a movement.

Join me?

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Consider Your Words: What Are We Teaching Our Children?

How My Jack Russell Terrier Makes My Life Very Difficult

It is true.

My ever sweet and adorable 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier makes my life very difficult.

First, let me introduce you….

This is Eowyn. She was my first baby. My husband got her for me as a way to put off baby fever. It worked…..for a few months. 😉 She is still my first-born baby and has always been a great second Mama to my son. She was your typical Jack Russell Terrier as a tight ball of energy. She has mellowed over the years and we seem to enjoy her more and more as the years go by. She chases squirrels and digs up moles.

Her number one activity is…. Well…..just look as I take you through a typical day for Eowyn.

The day begins with Eowyn being released from her room around 6 am to go potty outside, chase animals out of the yard, and bark at the lady on her morning walk. Upon coming inside she goes to her first station.

Before Breakfast
Before Breakfast


After breakfast she proceeds to station number two.

Her Bed.  No, wait, our bed.  Morning nap #1.
Her Bed. No, wait, our bed. Morning nap #1.


When the bed gets just too comfy for a working dog like her she goes to her third station.

Sometimes only the hard floor will do.
Sometimes only the hard floor will do.


But, wait…that bed really was super comfortable.

OH BOY!! Warm Laundry!

Nothing like warm laundry
Nothing like warm laundry


While I am trying to work on the computer at the Kitchen Table

This floor is nice and cool.
This floor is nice and cool.


And Finally, We end the day watching TV in the living room.

The end of a loooooooong day.
The end of a loooooooong day.


Do you see a trend?

It is so hard to get things done around the house when all I see of her is laziness and comfort. I just want to join her!!

How My Jack Russell Terrier Makes My Life Very Difficult

May Your Children Be the Reason, Not The Excuse

Children.

We love them so.

We can’t remember life before them.

We can’t imagine life without them.

But, they sure do take up a lot of our time. Right?

How in the world is a woman supposed to get healthy and fit when her children are constantly needing her attention? Throw in taking care of the house and perhaps a job, and fitness seems like a far away dream to be achieved when the kids are grown up.

I get it.  I totally do.  I have a child of my own and I choose to stay home with him and homeschool him.  So, I am Mom, Teacher, Wife, Housekeeper, Chef, Chauffeur, Social Secretary, and Doctor all wrapped into one giant burrito.  It pretty much takes up my whole day from dawn to after dark.

Then how in the world do you have time to work out?  I do it because I make my workouts on the same level as any other appointments.  I don’t cancel doctor appointments or school activities unless I absolutely have to and I don’t cancel workouts unless I or my son are sick or something comes up that is of greater good than exercise (Yes, there are such times. Ha!).

But, my schedule and how I do it isn’t the point of this post.  We’ll discuss strategies later.

The issue I want to address here today is the guilt that comes with taking the time to exercise.  That time is often done apart from your children and I have found that many women feel some guilt over that. I have spoken with stay-at-home Moms with young children not in school yet, Moms with kids in school during the day, working Moms,  and homeschool Moms.

I have heard quite often,

“I don’t workout because I just don’t have the time with all the stuff going on with the kids.”

Or,

“I don’t workout because I feel so bad about dropping them off  in the childcare room.”

Or,

“I don’t workout because I can’t get away from the kids to workout.”

Okay, here’ s the thing.  I totally understand your kids pretty much hung the moon in your book.  I think my guy is awesome and pretty much rules the world of “almost seven year olds.”

I workout and focus on my fitness BECAUSE of my son.  He is my REASON.  I want to be around for his entire childhood and well into his adulthood.  There are tons of things that can happen to cut my time short that are out of my control.  I choose to not worry about those.  But, I can do everything in my power to stay healthy so that I don’t succumb to the preventable, chronic diseases that permeate our society.

Exercise is good for my mental health.  It truly helps level out my moods.  For that reason, exercise makes me a better person and that makes me a better Mom.  My son needs me to be available mentally and emotionally.

For too long I didn’t exercise because I felt guilty about putting my son into childcare or leaving him at home.  I suffered greatly from that because my weight was too high, my health was bad, and my emotions were horrible.  I was depressed and a bad Mom.

Now I do set aside time each day for ME so I can be that better person for HIM.  I am healthier, happier, and more confident.  I am a better Mom. Spending an hour or two each day focusing on me is worth it if I am more present the other hours of the day.

Please do not use your children as an excuse to not get healthier.  You need to take control of your health so you can be around for many years for your kids.  You need to take care of YOU so you have more to give to your children.

Now think about what you are teaching your children when you exercise.  You are teaching them that taking responsibility for your health is important and they should do it too.  Fitness becomes normal in their world.  You want to model a healthy lifestyle and give them the tools to do it themselves.  Living healthy is quite a legacy.

I know everyone has unique situations.  My access to a gym and the fact I have one child makes it easier in some ways to exercise.  I know other people have unique situations that make exercise more complicated. I get that.  But, my job as “That Annoying Fit Girl” is remind you that exercise is still very important.  You can make it work.  It just takes creativity. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Resolve and commit to make it happen.

May Your Children Be the Reason, Not The Excuse