Feeling the Fear; and Loving it!!!

Change can be scary, it can be uncertain and it can be paralyzing at times. What’s the saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway?”

How often has this rang true in your life? I know that it’s been almost a constant and some of the decisions were my own; but many were just where God wanted me to go.

Fear is something we all experience. You may look at someone who is very successful and think they are completely fearless, but I guarantee you they have their own share of fear.

I have fear all the time. What if I fail? What will someone think of me? What if I’m not good enough? The past few years were full of fears and experiences that were not guaranteed to turn out the way I wanted. In fact, many of the experiences didn’t go how I would have chosen; but I have faith that God lead me exactly where I needed to be and where I am today. How can anyone argue with that?

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I competed in my first fitness competition and received many negative remarks that I went into it as an “un-Godly” woman and that really shook my life. I had to question my motives and if I was truly looking at it for my ego or something else. And you know what? Once I did it, it felt amazing.   I then decided to run my very first marathon…that’s 26.2 miles, in case you weren’t paying attention! That’s a LOT of miles for someone who doesn’t even enjoy running. True story.  But I did it. And the feeling of accomplishment overrode all of the sacrifices I had made to reach both of these achievements. Our family sold everything and moved overseas to another country. Talk about fear!!! It was scary, it was hard, it was awesome and it was ultimately a blessing.

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My whole life is full of blessings. Some were tough to go through but what came out later was something I could never have accomplished or experienced without it.

 

This year, I have taken on another huge and super scary goal. You know the kind of goals that make you a little weak in the knees and kind of wanting to throw up?

Ya, that’s the type of goal I set for this year. I don’t believe if I hadn’t gone through all the challenges before, that I would even consider working towards this type of commitment. Whatever brings you passion and yet keeps your top priorities in place, is the key to your success and happiness.

 

A key difference between being successful and not, is either letting the fear stop you from reaching your goals or feeling the fear and going for it anyway. The moment we can learn to embrace fear then we open ourselves up to so many opportunities. The moment you let fear take hold and stop you from doing things, then you shut yourself off from reaching your true potential.

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What will this year bring? Stay tuned….I’m just getting warmed up!

Dessert/ No Bake Choc, PB, Oat Clusters

OMG!! Who else just loves everything that includes the words, “No bake”, “chocolate”, “peanut butter” and “oats”??

It’s like a perfect world of foods!! Right?? 😉

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Chocolate And Peanut Butter Oat Clusters

YIELD: 16 CLUSTERS

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES CHILL TIME
TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Create a double boiler using a saucepot and glass bowl.

Place chocolate chips, milk, and peanut butter in the bowl and stir a few times until it has all melted together. Remove from heat and add oats and salt.

Stir until the oats are completely coated in the chocolate mixture.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and use a tablespoon to drop the oat mixture into clusters.

Pop in the fridge until set (at least 30 minutes). Enjoy!!

Makes 16 clusters.

Nutritional Analysis

Nutrients per cluster: Calories: 88; Total Fat: 4.6g; Saturated Fat: 1.7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 10.5g; Dietary Fiber: 1.4g; Sugars: 4.3g; Protein: 2.3g

Curbing Emotional Eating Attacks

Have you ever been attacked by a craving?

Like, you are not sure what just happened but one minute you are sitting there minding your own business and the next part is fuzzy and unclear…

but once you “come to”, you have crumbs on your shirt and chocolate dripping from your chin and your fingertips.

What just happened here? 

This is something that I had suffered through for so many years and instead of looking into the reasons why it was happening, I was under the impression that working on my sheer “willpower” would help me to conquer this beast.

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not so much…

Let’s take a look at what happens when we are in the midst of a craving attack;  the cravings are driven by the chemical in our brain, dopamine. The brain seeks that rush again and again…and again! It works like a drug addiction…and “willpower” has no power over this at all.

But what do we do if we are trying to lose weight? What if we are focusing on replacing these attacks with healthier habits?  How do we stop these attacks and start to control their power over our brains?

Knowing our trigger points can help us understand the signs so we can work on creating a successful plan to offset the problem.

Here are some common areas that bring on the sudden attacks:

*Being under a lot of stress (ummmm…excuse me, LIFE???)

*Skipping meals and/or undereating (a big no-no but so many women practice it in hopes of losing weight)

*Not drinking enough water (seriously, who even drinks enough these days??)

*Boredom

*Lack of sleep

*Stuck in a rut

Start by learning to identify the feelings in a given moment and understand to separate those feelings from food. I will never forget one of my Weight Watcher leaders when I was just 15 years old, when I was obsessed with finding the cause of my struggles. She told us repeatedly, almost like our mantra, “if you find yourself standing in front of an open refrigerator or pantry and you don’t know what you are ‘hungry’ for; shut the door, go sit down and figure out what it is you are hungry for. Because it has nothing to do with food.’

This saying brought me so much relief through many painful times as I worked on conquering this massive and powerful beast.

So, how do we finally get control of these times? It’s all about understanding the emotions first and then having a game plan set up so we are set up for success. Here are some tips.

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1. Plan a workout schedule and stick to it. You wouldn’t cancel on a meeting or appointment that was important to you, why would you not stick to a workout program that would benefit your body and your mind? I like to plan out my workout time on my calendar in pen and I don’t let myself get off track with anything or anyone else at that time. If you have difficulty during your day or evening, get up an hour earlier and just get it done. If you are thinking that isn’t fair because you want to sleep that extra hour; then go to sleep earlier if you must. But the bottom line is you that we all have 2 decisions on our goals. Either we don’t stick to it and we move further from our goals; or we just do it and the magic happens. You are just as important as anyone else that you value in your life.

2. Let’s talk about your water intake, your stress levels and the amount of sleep you’re getting. Now, don’t get me started on the fact that most of us are lacking in all 3 of these areas…let’s find out why we need to pay attention here. Our will power is lowered dramatically when we are sleep deprived, stressed out and dehydrated. Do you think that’s BS? Think about a time of known weight gain for most…’the college years’.  Crappy food is everywhere, sleep is a second thought and stress levels are through the roof…and water? Who drinks water? There are much less hydrating beverages to be had instead. Those or us who are more active, need at least 1 gallon of water every day. We also need at least 7 hours of sleep per night…and I don’t care if you can tell me that you are “good” to go after just 4 hours. That lack of sleep will catch up with you. These will create major food cravings all on their own.

3. I know I mentioned stress above but I believe it’s important enough to hold it’s own title.  I know we all deal with stresses. It is ‘life’ for goodness sake. But think about the times when you are stressed more than normal, these times make us so much more vulnerable to food cravings. Stress may not be something you can always control, but you can help your body handle it as best as possible. Exercise is a proven method to eliminate the negativity caused by stress; in fact, you feel immediately better after you are done. Ever hear of those “happy endorphins”?  Some basic activities that bring upon a feeling of euphoria are yoga, meditation and simple stretching. Plan to attend yoga classes twice a week when you are under extra stress, or just in general. Even if you only have a few minutes to relax; just breathing in a quiet place with your eyes closed for 10 minutes will lower stress levels dramatically.  Hence my Weight Watcher leader’s quote about “go sit down and figure out what you’re hungry for”, just sit and breathe…

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4. Stop the cravings! When you think of the food culprit, day or night, just firmly think “STOP!” Then picture a healthy and fit “you” instead. Do this repeatedly, even if you feel silly. It’s really sillier to NOT work on these areas so suit yourself…lol  If you make this a habit, your brain will soon begin to dismiss the foods and the cravings will begin to lessen.

5. Sometimes you just gotta have one. Diets don’t work because they focus on depriving ourselves of what we enjoy most. Every so often, go ahead and indulge in your favorite sweet treat. But instead of gorging on it in the privacy of your home, go out and eat it with a fork and a spoon in front of other people…with dignity. Enjoy the flavors and the richness of the dessert. I bet you are satisfied before you even finish it.