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48 Days – “Ah Ha Moments”

48 Days – “Ah Ha Moments”

48Days-3“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I call them Ah Ha Moments – like a light bulb appearing over a cartoon head on TV – all of a sudden that moment of realization hits you – that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the 5th row of seats at church.  We were a few minutes early and made it in time for the on-screen announcements.   To my surprise Dave Ramsey appeared on the jumbo screen.  Everything in life paused for a moment and my face lit up like a candle!  I caught myself instantly being filled with an overwhelming sense of longing to Dave’s energy and passion for what he does.  I’ve always liked Dave Ramsey – his personality, his passion, his energy, his drive, his overall message, his love for the Lord – all of it.  He even reminds me of my dad and I catch myself calling him “Uncle Dave” – even though I don’t have any relation to him at all (deep down I really wish I did though).

Dan says in his book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, that everyone has a vocation or a calling and you need to take notice of Ah Ha Moments in your life – this may give you a strong indication of your calling.  Those moments of deep longing, or when you are doing something and realize in that moment that you are doing exactly what you were born to do.  A calling is not something reserved just for pastors, priests and monks.  God places a calling inside each one of us with special gifts and talents reserved just for us as individuals.  We fulfill our calling simply by being exactly what God created us to be and by being excellent at it.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  I’ve struggled with this idea for such a long time – trying to figure out my true calling in life and never really understanding what it is.  Half the time I always felt like people are “called” into ministry – but rarely  do you hear someone say, I’m called to be a mom or an IT professional.  Seems like you can only be “called” when it has to do with devoting your life to full-time ministry, but that’s flawed thinking – 100% flawed.  Think about it – God created everything and everyone and each has a unique purpose – God created trees to be trees and by that tree being a tree it gives glory to God.  The same is true for us – God created each of us unique and by being ourselves and doing to the best of our ability exactly what God intended for us to do, we will find ultimate fulfillment.  Whoa!  That was profound – even for me!

So, how in the world do we figure out our calling?  According to Dan it starts with understanding the difference between your vocation, your career, and your job.  I’d have to say I used the words vocation and career interchangeably – they seemed like the same thing, where in fact, they are not, and this understanding has again lifted a burden off me.  Your vocation is the big picture of your life – the overall direction and purpose, the thing you do in life that gives you meaning and leaves a legacy for generations to come.

The Dictionary defines Vocation as:

  1. a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
  2. a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
  3. a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
  4. a function or station in life to which one is called by God.

I define vocation as the overall direction of your life, your calling – that unique path for your life that only God could put you on – that “thing” that you were put on this earth to do.

Your career is an entirely different thing – it’s a line of work that you do for a certain amount of time and you can have many different careers in your lifetime.

The Dictionary defines Career as:

  1. an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework.
  2. a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.
  3. success in a profession, occupation, etc.
  4. a course, especially a swift one.

My favorite definition is #2 –  a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.  “Through a phase of life” – this perfectly explains a career to me.  A phase of life – think on that.

When I figure out my vocation and the overall big picture of what I want to do with my life, then there will be many careers that I may choose to do that still fulfill my overall vocation, especially if I decide that the career path I choose when I was 18 is no longer the career I want today.  Take for example the vocation of “helping people” – that can translate into many different careers such as being a teacher, doctor, pastor, writer, entertainer, etc.  And that also translates into many different jobs within a chosen career path.  If you started out helping people by being a special education teacher in an elementary and then decided that teaching kids was not your thing at all, then you could change your career path by going on to teach college students instead or start a ministry where you are helping homeless people.  All of these careers still fall within the vocation of “helping people.”

I hope I haven’t lost you yet!  All of this is a like gold to me!  I feel like I’m learning about myself and living backwards – oh to go back to my younger years and do all of this in the correct order!  Oh well, I’m sure if I could go back in time, none of this would seem so profound.  Right?!  I’m hoping my journey can somehow offer hope to someone else in my shoes who is struggling with their calling as well.

Let’s also define a Job – the Dictionary defines Job as:

  1. a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price.
  2. a post of employment; full-time or part-time position.
  3. anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility.

A job is a job.  It can be big or small.  It can be fun, or awful.  It can be the best choice you ever made or the worst.  It’s all up to you!  And the best part, it’s just a job – so if you hate it, change it.  If you love it, turn it into your career and if it’s fulfilling to you, then most likely it’s right in line with your vocation and you can truly say it’s your calling in life!  I think most people live their entire lives never finding their true vocation or calling – not because they haven’t tried, but because they let life and circumstances get in the way.  There were bills to pay and kids to take care of and they took the first job they could make money doing so that their kids were taken care of.  Next thing they know, it’s 20 years down the road and they are wondering what happened to their life.  Maybe, it never occurred to them to look at their life’s purpose and seek to understand what is God’s best for them.  Please Lord, don’t ever let that be me!  I don’t want to be scared to dream, to wonder, to take a leap!

Dan says, “Jobs will come and go, but they should never derail you from the fulfillment of your calling.”

I think I’ve made it too hard for me to see my calling.  It’s probably right in front of me and has been all this time.   I must be making it complicated – as if my calling is not enough – like it must be more, or harder, or it’s not worthy of being the calling of my life.  Funny, when I consider who placed that calling on my life – who is the Master and Creator of ALL that I am?

“You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” – Psalm 139:16

Lord, help me see it – help me see my calling, my vocation, the overall direction of what you want me to be and do with my life.  Make it clear to me and give me a sense of Peace when it’s resonated in my heart.

I’m still working on this one you guys…. I’m thinking and praying about it and will be back with my thoughts soon.

48Days-3

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September 19, 20170 commentsRead More
My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

48Days-2“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

As I dive into the 48 Days to Work You Love book by Dan Miller I’m struck with many “um hmmm” and “yes” and “oh you tell ‘em Dan” mumblings out of my mouth.  I read a page or two and wanted to highlight most of the words!  He has so many one-line truths that make me feel very hopeful and validated.  I even feel validated in my confusion of what I’m doing with my life, which is very encouraging.  I think I’ve always felt that your job is what defines your success in life – if you climb the corporate ladder just high enough, or if you start your own business and have a bunch of employees, or if you join a network marketing business and build your team to the top level, then that means you were successful in life.  With each of these, there would also be a big stream of money that came along with it.  Big fancy job, high level career, top earner and lots of money – to me, that was being successful.

I hate that I even put that on paper, I feel like it makes me sound shallow.  Yes, I had dreams too, and yes having money sure seems to be the best solution to a lot of life’s hardships.  How many times have you taken a job just because of the money?  Or better yet, how many times have you tried a job because of the promise of BIG money?  You know what I’m talking about.  We all have the one friend who is in a network marketing business – not too long ago I was also in one myself.  My husband and I got into the business because we loved the products and we wanted to share them with everyone!  Naturally, I assumed that every person in my life would want to try them, and I also assumed that the products would literally sell themselves.

At the beginning, lots of friends and family did support us and they gave the products a try.  Our business declined as soon as I ran out of friends and family to talk to.  I desperatlely wanted our business to succeed because we both wanted that promise of money, more time with the kids, and the cool car that came along with the higher levels of achievement (we did need a new car at the time, so this seemed like a win-win).  We stuck with it for two solid years.  We went to all the local meetings, and traveled to the BIG meetings out of state, and held our own meetings out of our house.

I wrote ebooks, blogged about the products, shared the products on all forms of social media, messaged and called all my contacts, and as time went on I started to notice a shift in my attitude.  I no longer saw people as people – they were a target.  I would consider every possible angle I could think of to somehow bring up how my products or business could fix any problems they had.  I no longer saw people for who they were – my friends, my family, people God placed in my path on a daily basis that needed His love – they were all possible business associates that could take us to our next level.  Ick!!! When I finally realized this I was ashamed of who I had become.  That’s not who I am.  I love being around people and being there for them when they need something.

I realized my new business that I started with the best intentions had turned into something that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.   And you know what?  I didn’t see God’s blessing in it either – it was like  we were spinning our wheels and never getting any traction.  After the second year of trying to fit a square peg into a circle we finally walked away, and I’m not sorry we did.  Let me tell you, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I could finally love on my friends again without seeing a dollar sign.  For me the big selling part to joining a network marketing business was the amount of money and success you could achieve – all depending on how hard you work – I wanted to experience the American Dream of having lots of money, toys, and time.  While I think this business model is legit, it’s super hard, and so many of us try and don’t last very long.  For those that make it and enjoy it, I applaud you, but for me, I sure hated how much I thought about money and the constant push for more time, more meetings, more people, more…more..more…more.

In the pursuit of my dream, I was sacrificing so many other parts of my life.  I was focused too much on money and forgot about caring for people.  My good intentions of having a better and more fulfilling life were pushed way off to the side and eventually I lost myself.  I toiled so hard in working our business that I didn’t make physical exercise a daily habit, and I quit eating healthy because it took up too much time to prepare healthy food.  I only made coffee dates with potential clients instead of just meeting up with a friend to see how they were doing.  I stopped volunteering to make dinners for neighbors in need because I was “too busy working”.  I quit doing a lot of the things that God put me here on earth, in my state, in my neighborhood, on my street, to do for others.   Like I said, it was a big learning experience!

My journey of being a part of a network marketing company taught me many things about myself.  I don’t want to sell – period.  The funny thing about that is I totally can.  I have a personality for days – I can talk to just about anyone, but I hate the feeling of having to “sell” to someone or convince someone they need what I have.  It’s not who I am and I’m so glad I found Dan’s book because one thing I’ve learned is that just because I have the skills to do something really well, like selling, it doesn’t mean I have to do that for my job.

Until I figure out what I want to do for my “work” I’m happy that there is more to life than just job success.  I saw so many people in my network marketing business that seemed happy on the outside because of their top level achievement, but behind the scenes when no one was looking, they were over-worked, stressed out, and quite possibly unfulfilled.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who spent all my time, efforts and energies working on my business and neglected all other parts of my life.

I won’t ever take a job again where I have to convince people to buy something – it just feels wrong to me.  For those of you out there who are in a network marketing business and love it – ROCK ON!!!  Stick with it if you are loving it and can’t wait to get up every morning to work on it.  For me, I’m glad I now know that my job success is not the only piece to a successful life.  There are so many other parts to who we are as human beings, and the key is to keep it all in balance and to make deposits into all areas of your life – not just work.

Dan’s book has a whole new take on what really is a successful life.  A successful life is so much more than a job or a career.  Your work is only a small part of your overall life success, or at least it should be.  That’s the key.  In Dan’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love he says, “Work cannot be the only component of a successful, fulfilling life, but it is a very useful tool.”  God made us to work and it’s a part of life, but why not have work that is fulfilling both physically, mentally, and spiritually? Yes!!

How in the world do you even figure this out?  That’s what I want, a J-O-B that earns money, is fun, exciting, fulfills my spiritual gifts, helps people, and doesn’t feel like work.  That’s what I’m looking for.  But I have to remind myself that work is not the only part of having a fulfilled life.  We need to stop being defined by what we do, but instead by who we are.   There are 6 areas of your life that need constant deposits made into them to keep them running – Work, Family, Personal Development, Community, Church, and Recreation.  If you spend all your waking hours working, then your family and kids suffer.  If you spend all your time with your friends in community – staying out too late then your job suffers and your home life falls apart.  If you spend too much time working on personal development by reading books and watching YouTube seminars never leaving your couch, then your health suffers.  If you give and give and give to your kids and family always meeting their needs first, then your health and personal development suffer.  It’s a nasty cycle of give and take.  You give too much to one thing, than everything else suffers.  I think a successful life is all about balance – which is so much easier said than done.  Am I right?!  Success cannot be defined by work alone.  Mind-blowing!!!

So…wrap it up Katrina…what do you mean?!  For right now, I feel like Dan has just lifted a burden off of me.  Work and money are not everything!  In our crazy, success-driven American lives, we give our souls to our work and there are lots of other areas of life that are worthy and are part of a successful and fulfilling life.  Just dwell on that for a few days…until I have more.

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September 7, 20170 commentsRead More
Time To Tidy Up: Hello 2017

Time To Tidy Up: Hello 2017

TimeToTidyUpI’m happier than I should be that 2016 is over.  I have no regrets about leaving that year behind me.  It wasn’t a horrible year, it wasn’t a great year, it was just a year and I’m over it.  I’m happy to welcome 2017 and have high hopes that it’s going to be epic!  While I’m trying not to get ahead of myself or of what the Lord has in store for me this upcoming year, I’m still feeling very intrigued about what lays ahead.  Last year was an “off” year for me.  I struggled a lot with my emotions, my overall body contentment, and mostly with my sense of overall purpose and direction in my life.  Heavy stuff huh?  Yeah, I know, and it was hard to wallow through it all.  I feel like dreams I had built, toiled over, and angrily suffered through were laid to rest, friendships were built and lost, days of pounding my body in the gym were accomplished with not much gain, and I registered defeat in more ways that I want to count.  I learned that God doesn’t always write out His plans for your life on a neon sign, clear as can be, so you don’t mistake it – He just asks that you trust Him even when you have no idea what is going on.  I was in that space so many days this year that I found myself doubting who God is and if He really is there for me – and in all my days on this earth, I have never doubted God’s love for me.  Now do you see why I’m read for this year to be over?

I learned something else about myself that I’ve never seen before – I don’t function well in chaos.  I get stressed out really easy and it doesn’t take much for me to go from “good mommy” to “crazy-stressed-angry mommy” when the situation becomes overly chaotic.  When I get stressed, I instantly go into overdrive of trying to de-stress – I clean my environment, I yell, I get mad at my kids, I start making lists, little things out of place make me yell even louder, I demand that my kids pitch in and help me clean, I just turn into a crazy person trying to tidy up and ultimately calm down.  A classic example is everyday when my older kids get home from school.  They come in the door and set their backpacks in the middle of the floor of the kitchen and start unpacking them, wanting to show me everything inside – the craft they made in class, their math test, the art project they are working on, their spelling homework, etc.  All while my youngest (who has been home with me all day) is vying for my attention as well, wanting a snack, drink and to show me anything he can find at that moment to show me, plus he is usually singing a silly song about stinky farts at the same time (lovely – huh?).  While all this is going on, I usually have music playing in the background (yep, because I’m crazy) and am trying to prepare a snack so we all can re-fuel before starting homework.

This mom does not smile through all of this, nor do I patiently listen as they show me items, or do I calmly ask them all to sit at the table so we can eat a snack.  I try to take a deep breath, then my heart starts to beat faster as I get more and more stressed by all the chaos of kids, dishes, dinner prep, laundry, homework, shoes in the middle of the floor, backpacks not hung up, etc and I end up yelling and throwing a mommy tantrum trying to get everything back to a normal stress level.  This is so dumb.  It usually puts the kids in a bad mood and me too and then we all spend more time trying to repair our attitudes towards each other.  By this time, it’s 5pm, and I’m stressed and starving and all I want to fix my sour mood and chaotic feelings running through me is a brownie.  Yep, I love brownies – but you all know that.  I’ll make dinner and simultaneously whip up a batch of brownies.  You see where I’m going??  It’s a horrible downward spiral.  Chaos and stress are detrimental to me and where I’m going in life.   I know I can’t eliminate all the stress in my life, I mean seriously, I have 3 kids, life is going to be stressful, but I can help identify the stress triggers and work at fixing them.

A very dear friend of mine told me about a book she is reading, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.  This book caught my attention because I love to organize and I love the feeling of a tidy house.  I love to discard stuff, sell it, and move on.  My house is usually very tidy – but it could be so much more simplified.  I’m totally hooked on this book.  I’m only about 40 pages in, but I’m hooked!  I’m going to spend the next couple months reading this book, doing what it says and tidying up my home, heart, and my life, and I plan to blog about as I go.

In her book, Marie asks “Why do you want to tidy?”  When you can answer that question you can begin.  For me, I want to tidy to because I want to have a clean and orderly house so that I don’t feel stressed out by my environment.  If I’m not feeling stressed out by my environment I can pay more attention to trying new things, having more fun with my family, eating healthier foods, getting better sleep, and overall being a better wife and mom.  I do believe that all of these things can be accomplished by having a tidy home, because your home is so much more than just the place to lay your head at night.  As a mom, it’s my work – it’s where I put my time and energy, it’s how I make money, it’s how I prove my worth, it’s who I am at this point in my life.

I’m hopeful that God teaches me a lot about myself and the deep-rooted reasons why I do some of the same things over and over and expect a different result.  I want change, which is really hard to say, because I HATE change, but I’m ready for it.

Have you read Marie Kondo’s book?  What did you think?  What did you learn?

TimeToTidyUp

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January 3, 20170 commentsRead More
Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

GiveUpSideGigAre you worn out and exhausted and wondering why in the world you keep trying to make money with your side gig when it’s the millionth time that you have hosted a home meeting, brewed the coffee, baked the cookies, spent hours practicing your presentation, prepared handouts, creatively displayed your products, sent out tons of invites, received a long list of RSVP’s, only to have your phone ring over and over with cancellations 10 minutes before the meeting, and then no one shows up at all?

Or here, let me set a different scene – have you spent hours and hours waking up super early each morning to work on your blog – day after day – you are writing for hours and hours and usually that is between a child or two that decide to get up early too?  You write, photograph, design beautiful “pin-worthy” images for every blog post, create catchy slogans, read every book by the famous bloggers who have made it, go to blog conventions, rub shoulders with celebrity bloggers, all to have your latest blog giveaway of a free lunch only have 3 people comments (and it’s a FREE lunch people…free…and you still can’t even get people to enter).

Both of these scenarios are in addition to everything else that is added on top of your regular daily jobs as a mom of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, soccer practice, grocery shopping, school carpool, etc. – and somehow you are also trying to carve out time to be an entrepreneur and be successful because you have lofty dreams of one day being one of the celebrity bloggers you read devotedly each day, or one of the top level earners who just got a new car!

I’ve been there.  I’m there now.  I’ve been on the upside and have looked down and I’ve been at the very bottom.  It’s all hard.  There are pluses and minuses to both sides.  But I think the biggest thing to remember in all of it is your attitude and how you look at your present circumstances.  These are my top 5 tips on how I stay motivated to keep working towards my dreams:

  1. Remember that being broke is a state of mind.  If you are an entrepreneur and already have a side gig, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of most people – broke people.
  2. Consistency is key – keep at it.  Don’t give up.  Hold on to the reason that you started your side gig to begin with.
  3. Identify your “why” and write it on a sticky note and paste it up on different places in your house to remind you of why you choose the struggle to have a side gig.  If you don’t have a “why” then stop everything and identify it right now.  Focus on it, and keep going.
  4. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to reach your goals – if they don’t get super excited when you are winning than they are not your friends.
  5. Your success is up to you.  If you want to grow your business, it’s up to you – not anyone else.  If you want your blog to be amazing, write amazing blog posts.  If you want to take your business to the next level, then hustle and make it happen.

And finally, moms, give yourself some grace.  If you don’t get it all done in one day, that’s ok.  Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Give yourself grace, go to bed, and get up and try again.  Just don’t ever stop trying!

We can do this together – plus I’m praying for you and would love you to pray for me too!  Please feel free to send me an email with how I can be praying for you and your side gig!  If you want to pray for me, please pray that God would direct my side gigs to be whatever He wants them to be and that I would humbly follow His direction.  Hugs momma!

DoYouFeelLikeGivingUpYourSideGig

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March 30, 20162 commentsRead More
Life Is All About Perspective

Life Is All About Perspective

landscape-nature-hand-fieldPerspective is really hard for me. I’m terrible at envisioning the future. I’m not a “dreamer,” I dwell in the present and rather than looking forward to the future I have this awful way of digging up the past.  For example, I love people and I have a God-given ability to meet and get to know people.  God has given me a gift of being able to bring people together – I like to call it “I’ll introduce you to your next best friend.”  I loathe this gift, but am trying very hard to find God’s blessing in it.  Instead of being happy for the people I’m able to help and blessed by the time (no matter how short) I was able to enjoy with them, I end up feeling lonely and that a piece of my heart has been sacrificed on the altar of “friendship.”  I’ve never understood this gift, but am praying for wisdom on how God intends me to use it.  It’s all about perspective, which I’m still working on.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering what the Lord wants me to be doing at this time in my life.  I’ve had a rough year and I realize now that it’s all been about my skewed perspective.  I’ve spent a whole year beating myself up for all sorts of reasons, mostly my failures as a mom, wife, friend and business owner.  And the longer I beat myself up, I felt so lost and frustrated, that I wanted to give up on everything.  I was spending so much time dwelling on just how much I had failed rather than looking at just how much I had accomplished!  Seriously why does one single failure out-weigh a hundred victories?  And why do we keep score on ourselves anyway?  Perspective.  It’s all about perspective.

Then I came across an awesome quote, “God never sends you into a situation alone.  He goes before you, He stands beside you, He walks behind you.  Whatever your situation, be confident, God is with you!” Knowing that God is with me when I winning, when I’m failing, when I’m lonely, and when I’m totally lost is like having a burden lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t have to know or understand what the Lord is currently doing, or what He plans to do with my life in the future, my sole job is to live each day in the full confidence of the Lord, and to just keep pursuing my dreams, to keep trying, until God closes a door.  My first priority is God, then my spouse, then my family, and lastly my business.  When my perspective is on the wrong thing, all of these tend to get out of order.  In Joyce Meyer’s book, Get Your Hopes Up (which is an AMAZING book – highly recommend that everyone reads this book) she says, “You don’t have to sit back, just waiting for an answer to fall from the sky.  You can take your hopes to God, ask Him for His wisdom, guidance, and direction, and then take real practical steps toward your goal…..you can aggressively thank God that He is working in your life.”

In what ways do you need to change your perspective?

 

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December 2, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – 5 Month Update

Health Quest – 5 Month Update

20150806_081743I thought I would take a few minutes to give you all a quick update on my Health Quest!  I posted a personal status update yesterday after a trip to the doc and it generated a lot of buzz, so I figured I better let you all know the same great news.  I went to my general practitioner yesterday for my yearly physical and the sweet nurse who did my vitals gave me some great news.  You all know what’s is like to walk down the dreaded long hallway to the scale…right?? Well, I hopped right on that scale and she told me that I’d lost 20.5lbs since March!  WAHOO!!!  I had been in to the doc in March when I had a terrible head cold that I could not shake – which was right before we started our Whole30 journey!  So, I’m happy to say that in as little as 5 months I’ve lost 20.5lbs and I’m stoked!  Pretty cool I think!  We are still sticking with a lot of ideas we learned during our Whole30 journey and it’s clearly working out great for us!  We are not nearly as strict, but I’ve learned a lot of things about my body in the last couple years and even just in the last 5 months that I know are truths for me.  If I do one thing I will achieve the same result – every time.  For example, even though I love a crusty piece of sourdough bread, I know without a doubt now that if I eat it I will get a headache and it will add weight to my body.  I don’t always make the best choices, but at least I know going in what my consequences will be.

Besides eating better, I’m making strides with my feet issues.  Lately I have been able to run a lot more, which I can tell is increasing my metabolism – and we all know that the more you run or exercise the easier it becomes and the more SA_cover_295x448enjoyable it is.  I love running – but it’s hard to do – it’s not easy and even though I love it, I hate it just as much – especially when I’m smack dab in the middle of a workout and it’s 90 degrees outside (it’s been really hot here lately).  But I love how it makes me feel afterwards – even if it’s only 2 miles!  I also love the all-natural, sugar-free products I’m using now – AXIO for energy and Protandim for overall body function and recovery – both make a HUGE difference in being able to go for a 2-3mile run EVERY day!  Before I started using these products I could not run every day – my body hurt too bad after a run to keep up – I would need a day in between to recover (even from a small run).  Now, I’m good to go every day and sometimes even twice a day.  I’m feeling a HUGE energy increase – which if you have read my blog for awhile, you know the biggest issue I faced a couple years ago was being so incredibly tired all the time.  In fact, if you are interested and in learning more about Protandim and how it activates Nrf2 and helps to slow the natural aging process in your body, you should read an eBook I wrote all about it – it’s pretty cool stuff!  I’m giving away this eBook FREE to all my loyal readers.  You can download it here, now.  Let me know what you think of it!

Someone asked me recently to put up my Top 10 List of Getting Healthy tips, so here you go:

Katrina’s Top 10 List to Get Healthy:

  1. Do a Whole30 Challenge – (you can read all my posts about my Whole30 challenge – read now).
  2. Limit white flour and refined sugar.
  3. Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Find a form of exercise you love and get MOVING! (running, dancing, yoga, spinning, biking, walking..etc).
  5. Take an all-natural Nrf2 activating supplement – like Protandim.
  6. Limit your sugary drinks – replace with an all-natural Nrf2 activating drink like AXIO.  (I still drink AXIO first thing each morning and it does so much more for my mood and mental focus than coffee ever did! – BUT, I still have a cup of coffee with my girlfriends every now and then).
  7. Enter an exercise challenge group – sign up for a race, or enter a losing weight challenge at your gym – anything to boost your motivation to get moving.
  8. Exercise with your kids – play with them at the park, go for walks and bike rides, sign up for a family race!
  9. Create a list of go-to, easy, healthy recipes and keep those staples on hand so you always have what you need to create a quick, healthy family dinner.
  10. Find an amazing chiropractor, use them regularly, and give acupuncture a try! I love mine – Dr. Carrie Wolf of Wolf Chiropractic in Parker, CO!  If you go see her, tell her I sent you!

My big bad medical degree told me to tell you all of that!  :)  Kidding (no medical degree for me – I have an art degree), that’s just what I’ve learned lately.

Well, that’s about it!  Hugs!

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August 13, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – I Lost Another 2lbs!

Health Quest – I Lost Another 2lbs!

16lbsDownHi all!  Well, it’s a few weeks past our Whole30 challenge and I thought I’d give an update to you all on how things are going.  Just because we finished our challenge, we have not gone right back to our old habits.   Instead, we have adopted a lot of the ideas and techniques we learned in our challenge.  I can honestly say I’m feeling amazing!  I’ve not had any bread (which, you all know I LOVE) for the last 9 weeks, nor have a I brewed a cup of coffee.  I have lost a total of 16lbs since we began our challenge and I don’t feel starved, hungry, or deprived, in fact, I feel totally satisfied.  I have enjoyed some yummy treats in the past few weeks too – Mother’s Day we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and I enjoyed a few tortillas, chips and salsa, and cheese!!  It was heavenly, but I really noticed that a little bit went a long way.  We also had company over last week and since you all know my obsession with brownies – I did find a flourless brownie recipe that tasted amazing – you must check it out here from the blog, Running With Spoons: Flourless Double Chocolate Brownies  I’m hoping to lose another 14lbs in the coming weeks and months – that is my goal, but for now I’m loving how I feel!

For the  most part, we are still eating Whole30 – at least 80% of the time.  I’ve allowed a little more flexibility for the kids while trying to keep my diet stricter.  We are still very limited with our sugar intake, but a few snacks have made their way back into our rotation.  When the kids have special occasions at school or birthday partiesFitBit to attend, they can now partake, we just don’t eat sugary treats at home on a consistent basis anymore.  A great friend of mine gave me a spiralizer and I love it!  It makes preparing veggies super quick and easy!

My husband, and I, have started working out 4-5 times a week doing T25 and are loving that early morning time together before the kids get up!  I now own a FitBit and LOVE it!  I challenge myself daily as I try to get at least 10,000 steps in and today am proud because I’ve already put up 15,000 thanks to the lovely weather and 3 mile run I was able to do with my youngest son!  If you don’t own a FitBit or any sort of exercise/activity tracker, consider one, they are fun and a great way to stay motivated!

I know another huge part of my health success is due to the supplement that I take on a daily basis.  If you are looking for a high quality supplement, then make sure you find one that activates Nrf2 and is reducing your oxidative stress levels, while repairing your body on the cellular level.  Ok, so who has heard of Nrf2?  I promise I’m not crazy and that if you have not heard of Nrf2 yet, you will soon!  It’s something that you absolutely need to look into and do something about.  I have written an ebook all about Nrf2 that you can download if you want to axioknow more – plus I plan to write a post about it soon!  Download my Nrf2 eBook NOW.

Now back to what I was saying about supplements.  I take Protandim (I love the science behind  Protandim and the personal results that I’ve had with it, that I’m also an Independent Distributor for all the LifeVantage Products), and I love knowing that I’m not only reducing my oxidative stress by 40%, but that I’m also repairing all the years of cellular damage that I’ve caused my body with all the over-the-counter pain medications I used to take for the migraines and headaches I would get every day.  Protandim has helped me sleep better and preform better with all of my athletic workouts I do.  Today I went for a 3 mile run and I love how Protandim helps me recover quickly orthodicsand reduces overall inflammation in my body.  I’ve combined my healthy eating with AXIO, an all natural energy drink, and love the guilt-free energy boost!  I’ve even replaced my morning coffee with AXIO and love it!  I know it’s not the same as that warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but after all this work I’ve done, I love knowing that AXIO is actually helping me in the long run – there are studies to show it helps with cognitive brain function and it really does give me a mental clarity for the day, as well as an energy boost.  The best part of AXIO is there is never a caffeine/sugar crash!

Another great part of my overall health success is the continued support from my favorite chiropractor – Dr. Carrie Wolf from Wolf Chiropractic.  If you live near Parker, Colorado, she is AWESOME!  Carrie has not only helped align my spine from recurrent adjustments, but she has continued to do acupuncture treatments on my leg muscles and feet and along with using RockTape to hold my feet in place, has really helped make the nerve pain in my feet to disappear.  Carrie has helped me find custom orthodics that we are working hard to make perfect for my stubborn mechanical feet and today after my 3 mile run I finally feel like we are getting my orthodics right!  The doc who is making my orthodics is wonderful and between him and Dr. Wolf, they have FinishedRunnot given up on me and have continued to refine and fix my orthodics.  My orthodics look hilarious actually!  They are nothing alike – having a normal foot and a mechanical foot make for some crazy differences, but I love that my docs won’t give up on me!  Today I was able to run with minor nerve pain and my toes did NOT fall asleep!  This is awesome!

I’m planning to stick with my new routine and continue on with the awesome success I’m having!  If you have any questions on anything I’ve learned in my journey to better health, please let me know!  I’d love to know what you have tried and what has worked for you as well!

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May 21, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest Part 3 – Big Changes Ahead

Health Quest Part 3 – Big Changes Ahead

As you read from the previous post I suffered greatly running my 2nd half marathon – my attempt to try to feel normal again and pretend that my body was healthy again after all. WRONG! After that race I took it easy and gave my body a chance to recover – I didn’t run or exercise at all for a couple weeks, but I noticed that my feet were still really hurting, even when I’d just go for a walk around the block.  I decided to take it easy and give my feet time to heal.

accupunctureA couple months later, I was introduced to an all-natural supplement that reduces oxidative stress by 40% after taking it for only 30 days. I had no idea what oxidative stress was at the time, but I started taking it and have seen some cool things happen with my health. When I first started taking it I was really hoping that this supplement would give me back my energy, and although that is not what happened, I did start sleeping much better at night (which I really needed) and my everyday headache was gone. This really helped my mood each day – having struggled with my sleep and every day, annoying migraines for years, this was huge for me! Ok, so great, now I’m sleeping better and my headaches are gone, why am I still so tired? And why are my feet and back so sore? And why can’t I lose any weight? The day I had thyroid surgery my surgeon warned me that for the rest of my life I would have to work 10 times harder than the average person at losing weight or keeping it off – even if my blood levels say the half of my thyroid I have left is functioning at its optimum level. Yippee.

A few months ago I met a chiropractor, by accident. I never considered that a chiropractor could actually help me with anything; I just thought if I ever had a stiff neck then I would call a chiropractor. Well, after talking more with her, she told me that she’s had some great results helping people who have foot pain through the use of acupuncture. I decided to give it a try – that one acupuncture treatment has completely changed my view on my health. I’m sure you all are thinking – uh, sure Katrina, acupuncture? Really? How could that possibly change your life? Well, over the next 5 weeks of being treated I’ve had a remarkable change in my foot pain (also she introduced me to Rock Tape – stuff is amazing!), no more numbness in my toes and I’ve begun to dream again of all the races that me and my husband will get to run in the futurrocktapee.

She’s also been treating my whole body – checking all my aches in pains in my back and shins, and neck (mostly from running) but just overall from not taking care of myself. She’s helped me understand that the body is a whole unit – God designed it to be intricately connected and that each part has its purpose. I’ve heard this so many times before, but never really saw it play out in my own life. We need all our body parts to work together correctly, and function the way God designed them to, in order to feel good. She has helped me understand that something as small as foot pain can just be a symptom of a bigger problem, and it’s representing itself as a glimpse into the larger picture of your body’s overall health.

I truly do have a foot pain, but it’s a side effect of my foot surgery and the lack of proper healing, which contributes to my back pain, excess weight, shin splinwhole30Gheets, fatigue, headaches, etc that I experience when I’m trying to run and get healthy again. It’s a terrible vicious cycle that I’m stuck in. I love to run (and I know I’ve said that a million times already), but it’s doing more damage than good because my feet needed help and my body needs to be nourished with the correct healthy foods from the inside out.

My chiropractor has helped me feel so much better, not only in my feet, but my whole body. She’s opened my eyes to the big picture – that you can’t just fix the little thing, like toe numbness, that is bothering you, it’s just a small piece of the big picture and you need to see the whole picture to really get healthy. I’m more thankful than I can possibly write in words, and it’s just made me think about my health and how something as trivial as toe numbness, is connected to my entire body – not just my toe.

I now so badly want to get off medications, even simple pain relievers and simply heal my body naturally with use of supplements and whole foods, and even some essential oils when necessary. I want so badly to feel well all over and work on my preventative health – not just fix stuff when it’s broken. I want to examine my whole body and get to the bottom of the things that cause me pain and fatigue and change them – finally. I’ve continued taking my supplement through all of this and am so thankful – I feel like it’s the only thing that is keeping me going right now, but I know if I want to see some major changes in my life and my health then I need to get an entire body overhaul. It’s a little over 2 years post surgeries and I’m sick of feeling fatigued, fat, and tired all the time. I’m ready for a total change and it starts tomorrow.

I have decided to do the Whole30 challenge and thankfully my entire family is on board with me as well. My husband is ready for a change as well and is happy to see me, working on me, and hoping that I’ll be “me” again soon. My kids may not love this next 30 days, but besides me needing to get healthy, so do my kids. We really eat too much sugar. I don’t even like sugar that much, but am shocked just how much we are eating each day – it’s in everything! So we are doing the Whole30 and I’m hoping to see these changes:

For Me:

  • Weight lossshoppingcartwhole30
  • Increased energy
  • Decrease in my seasonal allergies
  • Decrease in my overall aches and pains
  • Continued healing in my foot pains and numbness
  • Increased athletic ability and stamina in my running
  • Decrease in illnesses and colds

For My Kids:

  • Increased attention span and focus
  • Decrease in illnesses and colds
  • Easier to fall asleep at night
  • Overall increase in mood

Stay tuned…I’ve read the book It Starts With Food, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig and have purchased and spent hours prepping my food for this first week … I’ll be blogging often about how it’s going, what I’m learning and just how hard it really is. Who knew getting healthy was such a journey huh, and I’m only at the beginning…oh jeez..this is going to be quite a journey!

 

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April 5, 20152 commentsRead More
How Long Do Your Resolutions Stick?

How Long Do Your Resolutions Stick?

In the spirit of the new year, setting goals, and making resolutions, I’ve taken a moment to reflect. In years past I’ve noticed that my resolutions don’t stick very long, so here recently I haven’t made any. Last year I decided not to make any resolutions at all – mostly because they remind of goals that I don’t ever seem to accomplish. I think my problem is that the resolutions I would make were way too hard to fulfill, even for Superwoman (and deep down I really am Superwoman). I remember one year I resolved to make a million dollars by the time I was 30, seriously. Granted, I was 17 (going on like 25), I was in my senior year of high school, President of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), running our school’s store, and I thought I success_aheadwas going to be the most amazing business-woman alive. I had huge goals, huge dreams, and I had no idea how to accomplish them, but I resolved that they would come true. Well, I grew up, I turned 30 a few years back without my million dollars and somehow my Superwoman cape missing. I came to the realization that resolutions are just words with good intentions behind them.   They seem great and inspiring when you make them, but as time goes on and they are not coming true they are like a weight strapped to your ankle dragging you down. Talk about failure…yep, I feel like a failure to my own made-up dreams.

I’m older and I’d like to think I’m wiser now too, and the reality of feeling like a flop with my own dreams and goals has hit me hard this year. I went to an amazing Bible Study this morning and the speaker had a great devotional on resolutions. She talked about how she always sets New Year’s Resolutions that would cause her to strive for great stuff in her life, but she finds herself, year after year, failing at just about every resolution she sets. Striving and Failing. Think about both of those. I looked up both words in Webster’s Dictionary and below are the definitions.

Striveto struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance

Fail: to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved

To struggle vigorously – that perfectly describes how I feel about a lot of my resolutions. I feel like I struggle a lot, I try to put in some effort to change behaviors, and then when I’m at my wits end, I just give up and find myself in the exact same spot I was the year before. It’s terribly frustrating and ever so futile.  I think the answer lies in my perspective. Rather than setting myself up to fall short this year, I’m going to change my perspective on my resolutions.

Instead of a making Resolutions: the act of resolving or determining upon an action, – I’m changing them to Goals: - the result or achievement toward which effort is directed. To me, a goal is something you achieve when effort is placed toward it. A resolution is just making up your mind to change, or willing something to happen, but you are missing the action. When you make a conscience effort to work toward a goal, you absolutely achieve every time. Part of changing your perspective is not getting so wrapped up in the “what” or the “how much” you achieve, but celebrating that you have achieved something toward your goal, and to keep on achieving.

I’m also choosing to make a list of Aspirations: a goal or objective that is strongly desired that are more lofty and harder to reach, but are something I do wish to attain, but won’t feel like a failure if I don’t reach them.

So, what are you goals and aspirations this upcoming year? I’d love to hear some. Want to hear mine? My top business goals this upcoming year are to reach 500 followers on my facebook.com/MomKatrinasWorld page, publish 3 ebooks, and grow my business by 3 levels.  One of my aspirations is to finally go on a fancy vacation with my hubby – somewhere with a nice warm beach.  Tell me yours!  Dave Ramsey says, “If you aim at nothing, you will reach it every time.” Aim high and then go get it!

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January 9, 20150 commentsRead More