Willpower Begins the Journey But Discipline Helps You Stay on the Path!

It’s been some time since my last post and the many reasons fill my head now as just excuses. But time is of the essence, it’s fleeting, and there are just 24 hours in a day. The business is flourishing, and I’m writing curriculum which takes the place of writing about my health challenges…practices. Time is incremental when I look at the health of both us…myself and my husband. My health is like a rollercoaster lately running the gamut of hills and valleys – sunny days and cloudy disparity. While my husband turned his willpower into the discipline he needed to stay on the path.

Willpower, is it a power of wills? Is it a will of power? Do you have control of your will? Dictionary. com says willpower is the control of one’s impulses and will. Well, what it doesn’t say is that my husband has an abundance of it when he finally makes up his mind to do or not do something. Dictionary.com says this about discipline. It’s a training, activity or a regimen that develops or improves a skill. Well, this explains a lot of why the two nouns go together. You have to possess the willpower to discipline yourself so you can improve your life or a part of your life.

Starting Point

So what’s the point of talking about willpower and discipline?  You see, back in January of 2017 my husband had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, his left leg had a blood clot from his ankle to his groin. The doctors at the hospital told us how lucky he was because normally they don’t give this diagnoses to men over 50 – they find it in an autopsy. So, yes, he was lucky,  but I liked to think that he was blessed.

Over the last year and a half, we changed diets, we changed lifestyle and we changed our health outlook. My husband spent only 6 months on the meds and with my research help and finding the right naturopath he transitioned to supplements. But he had a strange inflammation issue in his left leg that would worsen if he moved or sat still. Nothing would work long term. Diuretics (prescription and natural) only work when you’re taking them, they don’t address the cause of the inflammation. So back to the research I went.

About three months ago, my research took me to a place I never thought about, but wow it’s changed our lives. Health research more precise alternative health research is my forte, in being a holistic life coach. I had exhausted every avenue I knew but I was coming up short on answers. I remember it was about 2 a.m. one morning back in March,  I laid it all out on my desk before God and asked God to direct me. I got an answer three days later when my husband was talking to our friend who’s a doctor. “Have you looked into the lymph system?” I had never thought about that. I was thinking food allergies, side effects of the meds, scar tissue from the damaged veins,  wrong exercises, not enough exercising, etc.

The lymph system

We have more lymph fluid in our bodies than we do blood. And the lymph nodes in our abdomen area control the lymph movement in our legs. The lymph nodes in our neck control the lymph movement in our chest and arms. (Organic Lifestyle Magazine) This is fascinating stuff to me, and I’m talking about it constantly to my husband but, as is his usual,  he just wants the cliff notes. To make a long story shorter, I found a lymph cleanse for my husband to do. I used my knowledge of intermittent fasting and combined a raw, plant-based, high-fat, low-carb, low protein, alkaline plan to help my husband lose the inflammation.

First Three Week Regimen

A gallon of Cranberry Cayenne Flush

He also ate one huge salad every day made with alkaline veggies especially the red ones: beets, red cabbage, red carrots (nightshades excluded because they cause inflammation). I make salad dressings for him with avocado oil, garlic, cucumbers, ginger, blackberries, lemon juice, avocados and Himalayan salt.

The calorie count during this the first two weeks was 300 and 400 calories every day.

During the third week, we added a veggie smoothie to his huge salad. It was filled with full-fat coconut milk (no gums added), kale, carrots, beets, celery, avocado, cucumbers, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries (I would alternate the fruit for him), maca powder, our favorite raw vegan protein powder (Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend has no sugar, soy, or grains in it, it’s raw and it’s our favorite) and some water.

Fourth week and Onward

We added raw organic nuts but only the high fat, low carb, and low protein varieties: macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. We also added coconut oil fat bombs. I make my own with coconut oil, coconut butter, sunflower butter, maca powder, and carob (recipe below) which my husband calls fudge chunks because of their texture. Coconut Mama has a pretty good recipe that I started with and then started tweaking to make my own recipe with ingredients we can eat.

And he continues this plan now at the 8-week mark.

As you can see he doesn’t eat much only about 600 – 800 calories a day. He cut out all sugar even high sugar fruits and veggies. He doesn’t eat any grains. He eats all raw veggies, nothing steamed. He drinks a gallon of lemon water daily. He walks about 3 miles a day and does about 50 squats a day (squats are great at getting our lymph fluid moving). He also spends time on his spinning bike when it’s raining out.

2-month stats:

  • 50 pounds lost
  • Down 4 pant sizes
  • Lost 6 inches off his waist
  • Demeanor changed, he’s calmer and happier
  • Tons more energy
  • He’s got laser focus now
  • He doesn’t get overheated anymore. He had an issue since he was a teenager (he was a runner and very fit then) where he would overheat when the temps rose above 70. It was 87 degrees a couple of weeks ago and he was fine, even had on a long sleeve shirt.
  • His recovery time from hikes and workouts is getting shorter and shorter. As a landscape photographer, he hikes all over the place on different types of terrain. His first hike of the season was last week where the grade was steep at 19%. Yes, he was sore and what used to take 3 – 4 days to recover only took 24 hours.

This plan is a cleanse that will clean up your lymph system and your whole body. It will balance your hormones. It will reset you on a health journey by cleaning out the toxins that not only clogged your arteries but your life. This plan is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have the willpower to start and the discipline to say “NO” to food that’s sitting right in front of you or all around you at your office and social gatherings then it’s not for you. It’s not for everyone. But, if you are at the end of your rope, and you need to make a change that’s going to save the quality of your life, then you may want to take a look at some of the links I’ve posted above.

My husband’s willpower led him to say yes to this journey but it’s his discipline that keeps getting stronger every time he says “NO” to food that’s not right for him.

He can say yes to these!

carob-fat-fudge-e1528995792940.jpg

Carob Fat Fudge

  • 1/2 cup each coconut oil, coconut butter, and sunbutter (no sugar or salt)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder or raw cacao (cocoa and cacao have caffeine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon organic maca powder

Melt the coconut oil and butters in a small saucepan over very low heat. You only want to melt it without boiling it. Stirring till melted. When totally melted, immediately remove from heat. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool. Then add the vanilla, almond extract, and stevia. Whisk till blended. While whisking, add in the carob powder, salt, and maca powder. Whisk until smooth and incorporated. Pour into a 2-cup glass measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour into small candy molds or a mini muffin pan with paper liners. Only pour to about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Refrigerate about two hours to set. Remove from molds or pan (I removed the paper liners.) These can be stored on the counter or in the fridge. Makes 20 pieces of fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Back Our Health

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last blog post. Why? The simple answer is I let one negative comment and subsequent email derail my writing. That one negative comment cut me to the core, and I began to question everything I did. I stopped writing openly. I stopped sharing my thoughts. I stopped my healthy life journey. I stopped being me. 

We live in such a negative world where people are constantly at odds with each other and themselves. We think it’s our civic responsibility to point out other people’s faults without taking consideration of our own. We see each other as competitors instead of brothers and sisters. We don’t make the world better by constantly correcting each other. 

Getting from there to here. 

The last year has been filled with hills and valleys. Making adjustments and accommodations as life threw me curve balls and granted me with abounding blessings. As my health took a self-made detour, the scale went up and has remained at the steady unsightly number I am too ashamed to say outside my bathroom walls. I’ve missed out on life changing moments only to eat away my pain in silence. Until only recently, when my husband’s life altering health challenge has shown both of us the dire need of getting back our health. 

Taking control of our health 

Most people don’t make changes to their health until the whistle blows and they’re lying in a hospital bed wondering “How did I get here?” Putting the pieces together in your mind, they really knew how they got there. Opting to sit in front of the TV instead of going for a walk, sleeping in that extra hour instead of working out, eating all the wrong foods thinking “It’s okay, it won’t hurt me!” Drinking everything else except water. Sitting, working, sleeping, eating too much. 

Now our quality of life depends on us making the necessary changes so we can get back to being as healthy as we can. It’s not just about food choices, it’s about quality of life choices. We’ll never know how healthy we could have been but we can make these changes now and be as healthy as we can be possibly reversing the damage we’ve done thus far. 

I know this journey will have its highs and lows…I hope we can travel this journey together, taking it one step at a time. All I ask is your love and understanding in hopes that we may turn this journey into a friendship. 

Life’s health

2014 FOCUSING ON THE JOURNEY

At last I left you, I was writing about the process of accomplishing a goal instead of just focusing all my efforts on the goal itself. From January to December this this year instead of focusing on all my goals all at once, I’m changing it up and focusing on the process. The process name is called my wellness journey. I’m sure you all have your own names for your process and you all have your own journeys you must walk. I cannot walk your journey for you and you cannot walk my journey for me.

We each come from different walks of life, we’re at different levels of health and wellness, we each understand differently, so it stands to reason that we must focus on our own journey. My journey is filled with self-imposed challenges and maybe some roadblocks (depending on what life throws at me).

Here are my self-imposed challenges for 2014:

January's Challenges

These are my challenges for the month of January. I don’t purpose they become yours. During the month of January I will delve into different aspects of these seven challenges and how I am doing throughout the challenge. 

Until tomorrow. Life is all about the choices we make, whether good or bad. The consequences of the choices  is what we call life. 

Focus on your own journey, your own process then your wellness goals will be achievable. 

IN THE MIDST OF THE JOURNEY

In listening to the memorial message of a good friend this last weekend. I’ve learned what the “Big Picture” is in my life. A big thank you goes to my friend Nina for sharing her words of wisdom about looking at the Big Picture in all that has occurred in her life. While I was listening to Nina’s loving words about her husband, I began to cry because I finally understood what the “Big Picture” meant for me. In the midst of the journey called life, it is focusing on the big picture that makes the seasons and changes in life all worth it.

It’s been 5 years since my husband and I made our way across our continent to settle in the most picturesque place we’ve been. It’s been 5 years since we left what we knew, what we loved, and what we missed to embark on a journey that has helped us grow farther than what we ever thought possible., Leaving family behind was one of the most difficult actions I’ve ever had to do. It was heart wrenching to know that my babies, even though they’re grown and on their own, would not be within driving distance away when either of us needed something. As a mother it was extremely difficult not to be a constant part of family’s life. As my children were spreading their wings and flying, I wan’t able to take part in it, but I knew they each had a firm foundation. And that foundation would help them to follow their dreams the way my husband and I had taught them.

HOPE

Sometimes as we’re sitting back and reminiscing about how life changed so rapidly, we are overtaken by the fact that God’s hand was in this. We didn’t know why at the time, but we felt comfortable knowing that God was working it all out for us. He is part of the big picture for us. Yes, 8 months after moving here, my husband lost his job. Everyone from his family told us to move back home. So we could be taken care of physically. After some thought, my husband and I decided that God moved us out here for a reason and we were going to follow through with staying out here to find out why.

Was it difficult? In a word, YES!

But we knew that God was working something out for us, we may not have known it then but we sure do now.

How does all of this pertain to wellness?

By staying the course and putting God first in our life, our marriage became stronger, and we’ve been able to make peace with the past; accepting fault where we needed to and apologizing for things we did wrong. Accepting fault, apologizing for wrong doings, showing emotions when needed are all a sign of strength not weakness. Our wellness began to flourish when all of this was brought to the surface, instead of hiding inside of us. There is more to big picture thinking than meets the eye.

By staying the course we both come to realize our passions, which we would not have known in our status quo life before. It’s interesting that we were able to teach our children to follow their passions and dreams but weren’t able to follow our own because we let the words of other people talk us out of them. Here is the crux of our big picture. By living out your dreams, you are living with the talents that you’ve been given. If you let the words of the people around you  (family, friends, coworkers), destroy your God-given talents you’re giving them permission to be in charge of your life and that’s not living.

In the midst of the journey, we became who God wanted us to be and where God wanted us to be.

“God first, Family second, Career third” ~Mary Kay Ash

JOURNEY INTO THE REAL YOU

Did you know that when you venture out of your comfort zone the real you emerges? We all have that comfortable spot on the couch like Sheldon does in the Big Bang Theory. Maybe we have a chair that’s only for us and everyone knows it. Each time I embrace life I venture out of my comfort zone only to find the real me.

JOURNEY

Five years ago my husband and I moved away from everything we knew, we left our adult children and the rest of our families to JOURNEY into the unknown of the Pacific Northwest. This was a career move since his field was drying up in the Midwest. I was terrified because I didn’t want to leave my sons even though they were grown and not living at home anymore. I didn’t want to be 2000 miles away from them, because I knew that we would grow apart and I didn’t want that. But I also knew that I needed to be a submissive and loving wife to my husband and follow him where ever his career took us.

Something happened to us when we moved out away. We opened up our hearts and brought more people in. We learned to stand on our own and lean on each other when times got tough. That was 2008 and we all know what happened then. My husband along with thousands of other people lost their jobs, companies collapsed and families who were separated by miles were also separated by lack of money to make trips back to see each other. What money we did have went to pay our bills because in our case my husband lost his job right when I was starting college.

Many times family told us to move back, at least we gave it a chance. But we decided to stick it out and find a way to continue where we were. Granted it’s been very difficult emotionally to be in a place where we don’t get to see family but once a year or once every two years.  It’s not easy, but as we journey on this road we are constantly finding out who we really are. We are closer to each other and closer to God.

Take the time to JOURNEY into the real you, get out of your comfort zone, learn to experience life instead of just going through on auto-pilot. Yes the story of our journey is not the most pleasant, all the time. Yes we don’t get to spend time with our family the way we’d like, but we’ve made friends who fit into our family and we’ve fit into someone else’s life who needs us most. We’ve journeyed into the unknown and found the adventure of a lifetime.

Do I still miss my sons, their wives, and their children? Words cannot express how badly I miss them, how much I think about them, and how much I pray for them.

DAY 16: JOURNEY OF MY HEART

A bit longer than my normal posts, but one that I think you’ll enjoy.

Journey of My Heart

Journey of My Heart

There are many pathways in life. The ones we choose to take and those we do not. There are paths that are well worn, with trampled grass and those without even a single footprint. Which path to take and which to abandon, we ask ourselves this every day with every decision we make. My heart feels the need to make this journey to find the real treasures of life

One such journey has taken me down the Acquisition Avenue. I thought that whoever had the most at the end of this life won a prize. I shopped with wild abandon. There is no prize worth acquiring things you “might someday use,” or clothes you bought in a size you want to wear, but don’t. I bought pictures that were never hung and art that sat in a closet. I was getting such a “good deal” I thought. I spent money I did not have. Acquisition Avenue was not where my treasure was kept, and all the things I acquired that were not needed I gave away.

My GPS unit took me to a bridge that I had not seen before, so I followed the voice and made my way to the Balanced Beam Bridge. This bridge was like no other, there was no traffic waiting to cross it. The beams were shiny and sparkling. Everything looked brand new. I wondered as I slowed down to take in this awesome structure, “What did this bridge connect to?”  “Where did it lead to?”  “Why hadn’t I seen this bridge before?” “Why is it void of traffic?” Then I saw the two red flashing stop signs on both sides of the bridge. I slowed down to a complete stop, and read the small words under the flashing lights, they read, “To get across bridge, middle of the road driving is recommended.” How did this pertain to my life? Is it like this when I go too far to the right I become fanatical about issues? Could it be when I swerve too far to the left I lose my equilibrium? Life is like this Balance Beam Bridge. I need to live in balance, in every situation. I now understand how to get to the other side of the bridge and cannot wait till I can see all the splendor the other side has to offer.

The next road is windy and dark; I have veered around its bends many times before. Depression Drive seems to call my name when trouble rears its ugly head.  It abounds in despair. The bones of faith, hope and love are scattered along its shoulders. This is such a discouraging place. It’s a selfish place. Caring for others on Depression Drive is not allowed because you would feel better when you aren’t  thinking the worst about yourself. I have deleted Depression Drive off the map of my heart journey, since having faith, hope and love leads you out of the darkness.

This brings us to the Faith Freeway. It is paved with prayers. Stepping out on this part of my journey is all about my faith. I ask myself, “Is this faith in myself, or someone or something else?” Some days I ask, “How much faith do I need?” I have to admit that there are those days that I need more faith, in myself, maybe, but most of all in my awesome Creator. Along of the Faith Freeway there are potholes of life that creates a slow down. These are the times I get down, and spend more time on my knees. The only way to make the pavement smooth again is to have that most important conversation of my day, in prayer.

On the left is an off ramp called Liars Lane. How many lies can a person tell? Most people including myself say they don’t lie. Does telling myself something that isn’t true count? Where does the lying stop? Liars Lane is an off ramp that leads to Chaos Circle, Depression Drive, and to anxiety and stress. The phrase “Fake it till you make it.” Should that be part of my repertoire on this heart journey to find my treasure? Is faking something the same as lying? The line has to be drawn and the words that I talk to myself need to be uplifting as they are when I talk to a friend. I need to speak the words of truth to myself. “I am beautiful.” “I can do anything I set my mind to.”  “I am a person of worth.” “My life means something.” “I am good for many things.” “I am a good person.”

The orange caution signs along this path tell me that there is construction up ahead. I must slow down and take a detour now. Come with me as I get on the Moodiness Mile. Some days that this mile goes on for hundreds, sometimes thousands more miles than it should. Do I change my mood when I change my shoes? Do I go from being in my favorite pair of tennis shoes and being outgoing and fun loving; to wearing my stilettos which make me be witchy and mean? Is there a way to get rid of all this moodiness? How often have I made people around me uncomfortable because of my mood? I have fought with this Moodiness Mile for quite some time now, and frankly I am tired of it. It has not brought me any closer to my treasure nor has it made my journey any easier. Not to mention all the people I truly need to apologize to for making them so uncomfortable.

“Oh good, this detour is over. But look what is coming next!”  This ongoing journey gets to take a break and breathe a little; I am in the Patience Parking Lot. Sometimes my vehicle needs to be parked and I need to get out and walk. My GPS tells me that the Patience Parking Lot runs parallel with the Faith Freeway. I must have faith in order to have patience. Patience gives me reasons to stop and smell the fragrant flowers growing along the paths that I did not see before because I was in such a hurry to get to my destination. I now have time to enjoy and take in the beauty of the spectacular sunrise that greets me every morning. I find myself living in the Patience Parking Lot more now than ever before. I am not alone here as many of my friends are here to keep me company. The Patience Parking Lot will never be empty.  Patience is one part of my life that I have not mastered yet, I know I will park here again as there will be times on this journey of mine where I will need to have more patience.

I decided to get out and walk a bit. I made a wrong turn onto the Stressed Out Sidewalk. It is seemed like a popular place to be as there were so many people on it.  I thought this was a party. I was wrong. Now I am getting stressed out with each step I take, and these people seem to be walking in circles instead of actually getting anywhere. There are people here that look somewhat familiar to me, but I am really not sure. The anxiety has caused their bodies to hunch over, they are nervously twitching. They seem to look right through me, yet their eyes never make contact with mine. I don’t like this sidewalk. I have been related to these people, and I have been these people, more times than I care to speak about.  Hastily I got back into my vehicle, drove one block to my destination.

My destination is right here in front me. I found my treasure. Its name is Relationship Road. It has been here all along.  It is the relationships in my life that are my true treasures. My most important one is the relationship I choose to have with God. I never miss to call on him every morning, noon and night. I cherish the time I get to spend with God and His Word. This relationship makes all the others possible. Relationship Road is paved with the memories of my bonds to my parents, my siblings, my husband, my sons, my family and my friends. Travel down this road under the posted speed limit: of one moment at a time.

Throughout my journey my heart has learned how acquiring things is not the same as having a treasure. Living in balance is the only way to get through life. Helping others gets us out of being depressed. Faith and patience work hand-in-hand, you can’t have one without the other.  Being moody and stressed out makes the journey so much harder.  The true treasures of life are the people whose hearts we touch.

Action Steps to Wellness

Action Steps to Wellness

Each of us are so unique that no one’s finger prints are the same. Regarding our wellness plans our uniqueness depends mostly on our likes and dislikes, on what we do for a living, how we spend our free time, and how we look at the world at large. Wellness is relative those likes, dislikes and every other facet of our lives. Its what makes us different yet, makes us the same. Wellness may be a destination but it is also a journey, and it is in that journey where the destination becomes clearer and clear with each step forward.  Action Steps to Wellness are ideas that propel you to making your own that will guide you toward your vision of wellness.