Dynamic Daughters: In Need of Energy!

ADRENAL FATIGUE! This is not something to play with.  There is so much information out there but let me tell you it is real.

In January my doctor pretty much gave me strict orders to lower my stress and to be in bed by 9 and not be up before 6.  He also said to do restorative movement not running or HIIT kind of exercising. I needed to reduce my caffeine and alcohol.  Blah blah blah…I listened pretty strict for the first month and then we entered into lent and again I was able to keep to the dietary needs and sleep but I started allowing running and more intense workouts to creep back into my life.  After Easter more red meat…more coffee..more wine…pushing the bedtime…and I found myself hitting a wall again.  
I started reading Dr. Sara Gottfried newest book on the hormone reset and the more I read it the more I thought about my adrenals; I started researching again.  
I realized I must truly give my body the rest it is begging me for.  I continue to be en-flamed.  And all  I’ve been reading about how if I don’t get my adrenals in full health before I enter menopause it will make that stage in life much more difficult. Thus I MUST not think of vanity right now but about health…true internal health!
Everything I’ve been learning about the symptoms and causes of adrenal fatigue make total sense to me.  It confirms for me that I did push myself too much  3 years ago. I can’t take it back. What  I can do is accept that I must do the right thing for myself now and be healthy: mind body soul. 
It’s the perfect opportunity for me to truly live a life of saying I love myself no matter what.  That I am still strong…still healthy…still amazing…even if I don’t ever run again. 
My trying to recover from Adrenal Fatigue has brought out healing and facing body images issues that have been freeing.  (More on body image and it’s relationship to Dysmorphic Disorder in a future post).

I know I am healthy.  I know I am beautiful.  I know I am amazing.  I have amazing strength.  I look great. 
I had to face the fact that between my bio-hacking experiments (more on that in another post) and my adrenal fatigue  has created a huge hormonal mess… I find myself not always feeling great about what I see.  
But this is where faith …tapping into my spiritual life… is vitally important.  Because I don’t let those negative voices sway me. I tell them to go away…I look myself in the mirror…I smile and I say: I am beautifully made!!!!!
And I am!!!!
God doesn’t make junk!!!
Thus, I will continue to live up to the promise I made my dynamic daughter over 12 years ago while she was still in my womb…to never ever speak negatively about myself.  To always show her through my life and love that we are defined not by what we look like but by our heart.  
And you know what if I have to never run again, never have caffeine or wine again, never stay up late again, and weigh a bit more than my mind thinks I should than that’s OK.  Because the picture of Health isn’t always what it appears to be.  
I love what Maddy Moon shared about how she experienced being at her leanest and how it about destroyed her.

AS we raise dynamic daughters to become wonderful warrior women we must be willing to always evaluate our own self…
What are the things that we value:
vanity over virtue?!
Ascetics over health?!
Pain over purpose!?

So I again say…I am okay with if I can’t ever run again.  And I will continue to show my daughter through my actions:
 I am a valuable amazing person just as I am!!!

I love my life….especially with all it’s challenges….all its hurts, pains, struggles….because I continue  to grow and learn from each experience.  And I continue to experience God’s amazing power through my weakness!

Ephesians 5:29


For no one ever hated his own flesh, 
but nourishes and cherishes it, 
just as Christ does the church.

ARMOR YOUR DYNAMIC DAUGHTER WITH FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE….TO FEED HER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL….TO BECOME THE WONDERFUL WARRIOR WOMAN….SHE IS DESTINED TO BE!

hugs, prayers, and lots of blessings,
~Kelly 😉

  

Hormones: The Mind, Body and Soul connection!

As I have been reading Sara Gottfried’s book “The Hormone Cure”, I reflect and think….ugh..

Why did I not have this book when I was a young adult not understanding why my periods were more painful than all my other friends would describe…!?

Why did I not have this book when I was going through all my infertility issues?!

Why did I not have this book when I would look in the mirror and my past self would tear myself apart even when my body was perfectly normal, perfectly healthy?

Why did I not have this book when I just didn’t understand how my heart knows one things, my mind is thinking another, and my body is totally doing it’s own dance!?

BUT….I do have this book now….and it has given me great insight on how to continue to manage my hormones.  Really how to help my mind, body and soul travel through this amazing journey of life!

I really loved how when I looked up some of the hormonal issues I have endured with for years, such as PCOS, the book really explained some of what my mind was doing because of my hormones!  One of the really eye opening and freeing revelations was how one of the side effects of PCOS is a distortion of body image.  That even when a person looks in the mirror and knows they are beautiful because God made them…..that even when a girl, a woman, is feeling great about herself….that her hormones will betray her by sending signals to the brain trying to convince your heart that you are less than….that you are not beautifully made!  

It was interesting reading how the studies and years of recording/researching has been able to support this information.

Thus, my point is girls, women, who find themselves being overly critical of themselves….being unloving of self…should evaluate if they are possibly dealing with some hormonal issues that are influencing their negative self-talk!

For me, this realization is freeing because even as I have always tried to have loving self-talk, it has been a wonderful journey to get to where I am at, but I still have days or moments.  Reading the science behind it helps put just one more plate of armor up to ward off dark thoughts.

After all dark thoughts are NOT from God….He loves us EXACTLY AS WE ARE.   Thus, when you find yourself being negative about yourself….stop….shout out “Go away Devil…there is no room for you in this ‘home’….only GOD can reside here!”

I believe that everything is connected: mind, body, soul!  Therefore in this situation, this string of thoughts, as I am sharing about hormones….some may say well it is just about my hormones, what does my soul…God have to do with it?  I say everything!  I say we can’t have one without the other.  Thus if there is light in this world…there is dark…but that’s a conversation for another day…..today I will stay with hormones…with loving self….with making the connection between the two in a whole…mind, body, soul perspective!

Do you think my thoughts are extreme? Overzealous? Over exaggerated?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  

Til next time….remember life is an amazing journey….love EVERY aspect of it!  Love every challenge,   Love EVERYTHING about YOU!

Blessings,
~Kelly 🙂

FRUMPY ON FRIDAY? OR WALKING AROUND NAKED!



Awhile back I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts.  One of the topics was on self-image.  It seems to be a topic that has actually been covered on many of my favorite podcasts recently!
It was mentioned how in the past, going to the gym, meant in baggy sweats and a t-shirt.  The purpose was to sweat not to look fashionable.
The dawn of great engineering to make materials lightweight, breathable, and keep the sweat away from our skin has been wonderful but it has a price.  the material is tight, form fitting, and leaves nothing to the imagination.
     
 This has me pondering…could our attire be contributing to a lack of self-worth?  Self image issues? Lack of respect for our own beauty?  Our incessant need to compare ourselves?
    I have always been pretty modest.   For as long as I can remember, I have never really liked summer attire, especially swimming gear!  Maybe as a teen and young adult it had to do with what I saw in the mirror, and poor self-image.  But I am physically and mentally the healthiest I have ever been as I have entered 40’s door.  And personally I don’t care what others think of me anymore.  
I have learned how destructive self loathing, self criticism, and comparing can truly be.  It is not productive!  It is not from God!
What I have learned over the years is it doesn’t matter how confident I am in my self-image:  I do not like swim suites!  I do not like clothing that plunges too much!  I do not like skirts that reveal too much leg!  
Take the bathing suit as an example.   There is something fundamentally wrong with walking around in something that might cover the essential spots to maintain privacy, “modesty”, but really how much more of a leap does it take for the mind to “uncover” the rest.
The moment I had a little girl I knew I wanted to instill in her a dignity in dress; a strength and pride in her sexuality; a beautiful respect and love for the body God gifted her with.
We have entered the pre-teen years with her; I noticed a shift in some of her outfit choices last year.  She is still very modest and aware of covering herself.  Yet she was becoming more comfortable with walking out the house in leggings, with skirts shorter than she wore in the past rather than longer, and sleeves falling off the shoulders.
It had me reflecting on where her fashion influences were coming from.  There were some TV shows she watched that definitely covered all these attire issues I was having.  There is definitely an influence from stores, media, everywhere….
But I also needed to reflect on my clothing.  I am a large influence in her life.  After all, our first examples for anything in life is from our parents.  So, I had to ponder: was I possibly doing or wearing something that could be creating a mixed message?
I was still covering myself from head to toe.  I don’t like plunging necklines.  I don’t make it a habit to allow shoulders to show in church.   I wear leggings under skirts but never by themselves.  The list goes on.  
I am not a prude….I am not patting myself on the back..I am just stating the facts!
Point is:  I am very aware of how, we as women, have a responsibility in our attire.  I am aware of how we can lead a man into the near occasion of sin through our attire and our actions. 
 I am very aware of, whether we as women like it or not, must dress with dignity, with modesty, with respect….not just to help the mind and soul of the opposite sex, but to also protect our own self-worth and dignity!
Thus, I started to reflect on my own attire. I realized many cloths are becoming easier to wash and not iron, not becoming worn out as much because of the awesome materials, they are made of.  They are becoming easier to wear, due to stretchy material to lend to all body types.  BUT, this comes with a price.
I realized even though I may work out in leggings and tank tops at home..I wouldn’t want to leave out in public that way.  That is walking around naked.  
But…I have other cloths that maybe aren’t far removed from that same look.  
Take my yoga pants for example.  They may flare at the bottom but they are form fitting from the waist to knee.  they are great to workout in, comfy to throw on for quick errands, and many more reasons to wear them! 
BUT….am I being modest enough to just go out in them?  Maybe a way I can make a more conscience effort is if I do go out in yoga pants I layer them with a cute little wrap skirt, or tennis skirt.  I can even use this same layering concept with the workout leggings if I am in a hurry to run an errand real quick!  
Maybe I can use one of the extra long yoga shirts that cover and hang to about mid thigh or longer?  Maybe with some of my dresses I can make sure they are layered  with a light sweater, if they are more form fitting?
 I can show and teach my daughter that we can be feminine and fashionable, have fun with our style, without revealing or sacrificing our true sexuality, self worth, dignity.
***Just think of jeggings!  What are their purpose?  In reality they are leaving NO imagination!  they may cover but they still “reveal” all!
I’ve been reading and learning more in this topic because it is near and dear to me.  I believe it has a huge impact and backing behind so many of the immorality issues  in our society today.  In addition to all the self-worth issues!
Through some of the books and and things I have been reading it has given me the opportunity to dig deeper and examine my own attire.  Just because I may be “modest” doesn’t mean I can’t continually learn, improve, and grow!  Every topic, issue, situation in life needs continual growth, and layering of learning! Think of an onion!!!
This topic is probably more important to me than so many more….I think it is more important than most people give it credit or time!
I think it is an area we can ALL continually learn and grow from.
We all want to look and feel attractive.  But what are we willing to sacrifice.  And at what cost!?
It reminds me of a story a friend shared with me.
A man told her once that he enjoys attending mass at a particular parish because during communion time he is able to watch all the “little” girls go up for communion with their little skirts showing all sorts of things.
IS THIS WHAT HE IS THINKING ABOUT INSTEAD OF…..I JUST RECEIVED CHRIST!
If a man is willing to “undress” our daughters during mass, during the most profound moment of the sacrifice of our Mass, what is he willing to do outside of Mass?
What can we do better, as women to lead men toward Christ?
What can we do better to show we truly love ourselves as Christ wants us to?
To trust God…to believe we are worth more than we are giving, than we are settling for!
Empower yourself…empower your daughter…empower another young girl in your life by constantly striving to love yourself through your thoughts and your actions and your prayer!!! 
Empower yourself…by respecting your beautifully made body!
Faith is love…
love is lasting…
It is true power in faith and love!
________________________________________________________________

As always….I would love your feedback, your engaging conversation….comments!
And remember to checkout all the above links.  I always add links throughout the blog to share with you some of my favorite places and/or resources!  
Learning is living…
living is loving…
loving is learning…
Blessings always,
~K 🙂

Femininity on Friday

What has happened to the day of doors being opened for a woman?

What has happened to women gathering in sewing circles to support each other through fellowship and faith?

When did women become more and more insecure with their bodies?

…More obsessed with the “perfect” life, body, faith?

How did we get here?

I listen to  many podcasts….watch many nutritional and spiritual webinars….read as many books I can get my hands on….

And it appears to me there is an overall theme recently:  self-image issues, distortions….lack of self-love…and a serious obsession of focusing on the “perfect” life, body, soul!

WE ARE NOT PERFECT!  We were not created to be perfect.  We ARE flawed….AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES US BEAUTIFUL!

Here is a side bar before I get back to my point!

Last year I had a personal goal of training for a 10k.   Just to do it.  I had never really ran that long before without pain.   Years before my daughter, I had gotten up to 7 miles which I know is just a bit under a 10 k. It had always left me feeling depleted and plus I didn’t know near as much 10 years ago, as I know now, about health and nutrition.

Thus, I embarked on this fun challenge.  The result: I actually did it with ease, effortlessly.  I was running about 2-3 times a week and got up to running 8 miles 1-2 of those days.  I did this in about 2 months time, if not less.  It wasn’t too difficult since I had been learning the art of Chi-running, mixed with the whole foot concept.  Plus my nutrition was really dialed with being a real food pursuer verses lots of refined stuff.  I knew exactly what were clean fuel choices….yada yada yada!

There were many things I noticed:
It was freeing to go for a run and listen to a podcast for forever!
It was fun seeing the city in a different perspective not just my block.
I got super super skinny and lean.
I felt the lightest (mentally and physically) I had ever felt in my life!
I finally truly understood the saying “a runners high!”

BUT….
Was I harming myself?  Was it right for me?

My right hip socket started to feel like it was ripping.  Even with doing all the “right” things with my running.
I was too thin for my body type and frame. It was not a weight I could naturally maintain and expect to truly be healthy.
I WAS losing muscle tone….and becoming what is dubbed as a “skinny fat”.
I would think about only the long runs not the short or even the sprint work.
I obsessed on how to get the right fuel without overloading on starches/carbs.

 Not everyone has the same experiences,  I am only sharing what and how I felt.  And how this impacted my personal physical and mental health.

What was interesting….what really made me re-evaluate my running was not only the information I was listening to and reading about running and our bodies but my hip, my mental health, and my feeling old!

I was the “healthiest” I have ever been yet I actually felt old and stiff.  And only 6 months before I felt my healthiest and mobile.

What was the difference?
I realized I was grinding my joints…pushing for a “perfection” that didn’t need to be done!
Just because I could do something didn’t mean I should.
Just because I proved to myself I could run this amount….didn’t mean I should maintain it.

The downfall ripples:

Over the following months I chose to back off my running and start focusing on my muscle, joint and bone health.  Knowing that I was knocking on 40’s door….I needed to really think about these factors if I wanted to continue to be exceptionally mobile and flexible.   After all the last 4 years I had learned all this to a beautiful art….yet I was allowing a few months of an obsession undue all my great health and progress for the longevity!

Mentally:
This was the hard part,  I knew I needed to be patient with the repair my body needed.  I knew I needed to refocus on strength.  I knew my body was going to rebel as I tweaked my nutrition and life.  I knew my body would be inflamed as I healed.  I knew I would start to regain weight.  I knew I needed to ensure the weight was healthy muscle.  And I knew I needed to think of the long term not the right now.

YET….being a woman :)….I became moody, hormonal, self conscience, and dissatisfied with what I was seeing and feeling.  I found myself feeling obsessed again…..

“oh no!  I put on 5lbs….oh no put on almost 10!”……never mind that my pants still fit and fit even better….never mind knowing what I know that MUSCLE DOES WEIGH MORE THAN FAT!!!!  Never mind that I WAS building some great muscle.  And never mind that I was looking and feeling my healthiest!

Instead, I became focused on what I have always deemed as my weakness rather than my asset!  My hips, my behind!

I saw them creating curves again.  I viewed these curves as the enemy rather than strong, wonderful muscle. I wasn’t “twiggy” anymore…even though it had been a short “life” of being twiggy….it had changed my view of how I saw my beauty, my strength, my health.

I had forgotten the simple fact that when you are dialed in to your nutrition, your health, then your body is going to have a natural setting point.  I need, I must, respect that setting point because that set is going to be the most natural, comfortable to maintain and be respectful of for the rest of my life; rather than an up and down, broken approach.

Months months and months later….I am finally back to my old self….being a typical hormonal, complex, emotional….BEAUTIFUL….fantastically feminine woman.

A woman who knows that my curves ARE beautiful.
A woman who knows she is not unhealthy…not “too big”….
A woman who loves deeply…
A woman who is strong: physically, mentally, emotionally….SPIRITUALLY!

A woman who doesn’t compare but admires and respects others.
A woman who loves deeply.
A woman not afraid to say I LOVE YOU to friends.

A woman who is not afraid to be vulnerable.
A woman who will be patient with others and especially with oneself.
A woman who wants to be the BEST example possible on health of mind body and soul for her daughter.

A woman who is passionate about her faith.

A woman who is NOT PERFECT…and proud of it!!!!

This brings me back to the beginning of all this…

What has happened to the day of doors being opened for a woman?
What has happened to women gathering in sewing circles to support each other through fellowship and faith?
When did women become more and more insecure with their bodies?
…More obsessed with the “perfect” life, body, faith?
How did we get here?

I think they are all tied together.

There was a time we dressed without revealing. Thus not giving us the opportunity to not only compare ourselves nearly as severely as present day, but also maintaining respect for the mans eyes.  There was a time when we blushed if a man looked at us as if we were a steak rather than a heart.  There was a time when women knew strong bodies could do more work during the day.  There was a time when we viewed our true femininity, our design, as a beautiful gift not a curse.

Women need to take back their desire to be a woman.
Women need to be proud of everything about who they are.
Women need to remember that when you desire something of others you are desiring not only the “good” but also the bad.  We ALL have strengths and weaknesses.

Women MUST look in the mirror each day, smile, say…
 I AM A BEAUTIFUL WONDERFULLY MADE WOMAN!!!

We must not let life pass us by by focusing on what we don’t have, what we wish we could change, or dwell on past pains….

EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF LIFE RIGHT NOW….THE BEAUTY OF YOU….YOUR TRUE FEMININITY!

If we all make a concerted effort to do this we can change minds, hearts, souls….one smile at a time….one kind word at a time….one moment of self love at a time!

HOW?

By loving yourself, you are open to God’s love.  You KNOW He loves you.  Thus when you know He loves you, you love and respect yourself even greater.   When you love yourself even greater, you can love others greater.  You start to focus on others needs and loving others rather than your obsessions.  By loving others greater is one the greatest gifts of self love you can give yourself because you began to love yourself even greater when you are doing for others.  
It becomes the glorious cycle of love….ripples of love….love: AGAPE!!!

Do this for you….do this for the women in your life….do this for the young, impressionable girls in your life….do this for LOVE!

STOP focusing on the “flaws”….start focusing the the beauty!

I LOVE THE WOMAN I SEE STARING BACK AT ME EACH MORNING….



I LOVE SEEING GOD’S LOVE REFLECTING BACK IN MY EYES AND ALL OVER ME!…

HOW ABOUT YOU?
 
Do you love yourself….do you see the beauty He created in you?

Take a moment to write and reflect on this….and start making changes today….right now….

I WANT YOU TO FEEL AS AMAZING AS I DO ABOUT YOURSELF…
ABOUT LIFE…
ABOUT LOVE…

Drop me a line to share your thoughts!

Many blessings always,
~K 😉

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