Posts Tagged With: reducing stress

Healthy Living-Choose Health!

One of the greatest things about Whole30 was seeing a change in my waistline and skin. The photo above was taken after 3.5 rounds of Whole30. It has not been modified. It just is a selfie taken at a weird angle. The dress I have on I could not wear for a long time. Now it fits.

I guess it would help to show you where I started in 2017. The photo below is of me and my friend in Phoenix this May. I had already started Whole30 and dropped about 7 pounds. I was quite uncomfortable as clothes were becoming more challenging to fit.

I made a choice I wanted to be healthier.

Being healthier or healthy for me was not about dropping 4-5 sizes, which I did. Nor was it about being skinny or meeting a number on a scale. It was about becoming a healthier person.

Healthy is about living a better life and being a healthier person.

Whole30 changed the way I view food and health. I tried other plans, worked out like a crazy person and saw slow unsustained change. I worked hard for any progress.

Whole30 brought about change that I can see lasting a long time. It was only challenging at first. Afterwards, it became a blessing. Once my body adjusted to the plan, foods off the plan tasted not so good to me. They were too greasy, too salty, and more food was needed to be satisfied.

No more slavery to the gym…

I did not workout while doing Whole30, other than just walking. I can not imagine how the results would be if I hit the gym like crazy.

What does it mean to be healthy…

  • To love thy self. Loving me is vital to loving anyone else.
  • To cease the busy. It’s so easy to be busy. Busy can lead to stress. Stress can lead to weight gain or poor food choices.
  • To cease investment in one sided or toxic relationships. I chose January 1rst to stop investing in one sided relationships; best decision ever.
  • To cease using food for comfort. Food is fuel.
  • To cease the fast food and out to lunch habit while working. Whole30 forced me to buy groceries, pack lunch, and forgo fast food options.
  • To give thanks. Lots of great things happened this year. Lots of hard things too. Giving thanks re-calibrates things for us.
  • To look up and around more. There is beauty in God and nature.
  • To pursue the best option. Candy, cake, chips are not the best steady options. Fruit, veggies, and lean protein are steady options.
  • To think of what will be a blessing to my body, soul, and spirit. Asking the question, “Will this help or hurt?,” was and is beneficial.
  • Rest is a weapon. Going all the time is hard on the body and soul. A wise person takes time to rest. Inhale, exhale.
  • Meditation/Prayer are vital to thriving. As a person of faith, part of thriving is the ability to focus on God, listen, and not simply ask for things-give thanks and meditate on the goodness of God.
  • Meal Prep is for my health, not a mundane task. Healthy meals make for an energetic week. Taking the time to prep meals is vital to healthy living. So the time spent doing something else needs redirected to what is the most beneficial.
  • To let go. I love the serenity prayer which leads us to let go of the things we can not change and to acquire wisdom for the things we can change. Some things we simply must lay at the feet of God and let it go!

My encouragement to you is pursue health. So many people make New Year’s Resolutions. How about starting today? How about choosing health today? How about moving towards a healthier you today? It takes one decision, followed by another healthy decision, that brings about a healthier you!

If I can do it, so can you. What’s stopping you?

To your health…you can do this!!

Erin

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Focus on Being Healthy

Often I run across women in the grocery store, clothing store, and they are putting themselves down. I mean they are really digging in for the kill, “I am so fat. I am so ugly. I hate my body. Do you see this one wrinkle on my face. Oh man I am a troll. I wish I were skinnier. I wish I had her body. I wish I could be just like…(fill in some unrealistic expectation).

There is such a push in our society to be an airbrushed version of ourselves. I wonder often where the obsession with skinny and enhanced body parts came from. It’s okay if you are naturally thin. It’s also okay if you are not.

No one at our funerals will say, “They sure could have lost those last ten pounds.” It’s ludicrous to keep allowing the scale or a preconceived idea of beauty to stop you from enjoying life.

Love the body you are in and celebrate it. Say it with me, “I love my body.”

I was talking to a young lady who has always hated being a girl. Then she developed breast cancer. I told her, “You know hating yourself impacts your soul and your soul health impacts your natural (body) health.”

The body, soul, and spirit are connected. Sickness in one area impacts the others.

I knew of another lady who hated being female and she developed ovarian cancer. She hated being a girl. She died last year. She cursed her feminity with her words and cursed the gender given her at birth. Her self hatred manifested in her body.

Is all cancer the result of self hatred, no. Can our lack of love for who we are impact our bodies, absolutely.

There can also be copious amounts of time wasted on trying to be thin, skinny, get the last 10 pounds off that the joy of life is removed. I read an article a few weeks ago of a mom who died because she overdid it with protein consumption. Her pursuit of the “Perfect” body led her to the grave. What good is her “Perfect” body 6 feet under? Underground her body is rotting and decaying. Nothing but bones will lay in that grave. Her children will grow up without her. What good is skinny if you are dead?

Life is a gift! It may not always feel that way with the challenges, pressure, and pains of life. Yet life is a gift. Some people did not wake up this morning, or they have lost everything, or they are hanging on for dear life. What are we doing to enjoy life, really enjoy it! How are we focusing on being healthy…

Let’s talk about healthy life focus…

Healthy is more than meal plans and exercise. Healthy is taking care of ourselves, emotionally, and having our priorities straight.

What S.M.A.R.T (A SMART goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) goals are you setting for yourself? What are you doing to get closer to your personal goals?

This year I stated I wanted to focus on some of my own goals. I have. I have lost 25 pounds. I traveled to the Grand Canyon (bucket list item). I finished the manuscript for my second book. I stopped investing in one sided relationships. I limit time with toxic people. I am working on my third book and hope to get in the recording studio in the next 12 months. I spoke at a regional women’s conference for the first time ever. I quit some volunteer jobs that were killing me.

I realized in most situations I am the responsible person. If someone needs help and it’s legitimate, I will try to help. I tend to put others first. Yet life requires balance. If you are putting others first and they are putting themselves first, guess what, you will be left depleted. They will leave you cleaning up messes, handling situations, and they will ride off into the sunset on holiday. They will have no problem telling you no, quitting, dropping the ball, yet you will be left a wreck with only yourself to blame. Boundaries baby boundaries.

Relationships were meant to be mutual blessings, not one sided blessings. Who constantly has their hand out and deposits nothing? That is not your friend.

We need to focus as much on our own goals as we do on the goals of others.

If you are that person always putting yourself first, this does not apply to you. If you are a giver and try to invest in others, this applies to you. Are you sacrificing your own health (mental, emotional, and spiritual) for others and ending up burned out? If so, reeval your priorities. Reassess your boundaries. You are not responsible for other people, unless it’s a small child, your child. Adults are to take care of their own lives.

“Selfishness is placing your wants above others needs. Self care is placing your needs above another’s wants.”

Who are you investing your time in for relationships? Why? Do those people even try to match your effort? Relationships are not about what we can gain. There is a problem if everyone connected to us has their hand out.

What things have you wanted to do that you put off doing? Can you pick those up again?

What is toxic in your life? What are you doing about it? Ask yourself is what you are doing today getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow? Then move in the direction of the best yes.

My hope is you pursue health. Pursue healthy in every facet of life.

To your health…

Erin L Lamb

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Mental & Emotional Health 101

Today's post tackles emotional and mental health.

We live in a world of dysfunctional people; they are people who hate themselves and have no clue who they are. Their internal turmoil is often projected outward to those around them. You can choose to be offended or understand the battle is inside the other person and has nothing to do with you.

How people behave is an outward manifestation of their inner reality.

Key Things to Note:

People who hate themselves cannot love you. It is impossible to give away what we do not possess.

If you asked me for 10 million dollars, I could give you nothing. Why? I do not have 10 million dollars.

I have seen people go bananas over the lack of love, respect, and honor from others. People cam not give what they do not possess.

I encourage not allowing broken, unhappy people to rob you of joy! Joy is a weapon. Why give others that much power over you? The battle is ongoing inside of them, do not let their battle disrupt and discourage you.

I know it's easier said than done! Right?! Yet I will tell you that some of my greatest regrets have come from wasting time thinking about the negative energy of other people. They exposed me to their negativity and instead of ignoring, I internalized their crazy. Just say no to crazy!!

There is a story that I heard about Gandhi that helped me. I would like to share it with you.

There was a man who saught Gandhi out to berate him daily. He hurled insults, acted ugly, behaved poorly. Gandhi never responded or acknowledged his poor treatment. Finally the man said, "What is wrong with you? Can you not hear me, what I have said of you?" Gandhi replied, "If I give you a gift and you refuse to receive it, who does the gift belong to." The man replied, "It still belongs to you." "Exactly," Gandhi replied "You brought me insults and hostility yet I refused them, therefore they still belong to you."

Sometimes people insult me, try to put me down or make me look bad, etc…I have been called names, etc…I choose not to respond to what is not my name nor do I accept what they offer. Their lack of character, good sense, integrity, and love is between them and God. Their "gift of insult," still belongs to them. I maintain who I am which is someone who desires to represent the heart of God. I move right along maintaining joy.

Bless those who persecute you. Honor the dishonorable. Why? You represent something higher!!

My hope and encouragement is to stay the path of peace, love, joy and wellness. Refuse the toxicity of those around you. Sometimes we must speak up instead of ignore, yet my hope is we cease allowing small minds and broken people to steal from us!

Forgive them and move along!

To your health!

Erin Lamb

Photo sources: Pinterest, Tiny Buddha, Jill Conyers

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Say No to Body Shaming

Aloha fitness and wellness friends, 

Today I wanted to talk about something that I believe impacts lots of people. It is body shaming. 

Body shaming is refusing to love your body or trying to make others feel bad about their body. 

You see it on the internet. People troll others social media and make nasty comments. You see people trying to change what they look like through plastic surgery. You see people go to extremes to fit some mold that I am not sure who created. What is perfection? 

We have apps to airbrush away anything we see as an imperfection. 

Let me tell you, perfectionism is self abuse.

Perfectionism is rooted in the fear of not being good enough. It is a fruit of insecurity. It is a lie that if a person tries hard enough to be perfect they will not be rejected. It is a painful way to live. 


Yesterday I went shopping for clothes for a missionary friend (I do not enjoy shopping-unless it’s online-or gift for someone). Anywho, the ladies in the store spent 20 minutes talking about how they hated their bodies. Both were slim/average, yet they went on and on and on…

I noticed this trend with some women of not feeling good enough, beautiful enough, perfect enough, body shaming, hating something about themselves. 
I told them both I liked my body. They looked at me like I was some super wacko. Then they went on to talk about hating certain body parts that well I have more than they do in that area. 

My body not perfect, yet it gets the job done. It’s strong, man is it strong. It can box, kick box, krav maga, hold plank for several minutes, do push ups…it is healthy. I am healthy. Yet over the course of my life I have had people project body shame on me. 

One, I developed a curvy body pretty early on, maybe 14. I hated the way men looked at me. I grew ashamed of my curves, my coca cola shape and extra abundance in areas. I hated being sexualized. I was still a little girl, yet grown men were creepy and it made me want to hide my body. Even today, I hate being sexualized by men. 

I am an engineer/Research Scientist. I did an expo for my job a few weeks ago. I wore a dress, it covered everything up, it was professional. There were still men who came by and held conversations with my chest. They (my chest) do not talk. Some say men are wired this way. Yet I firmly believe it’s a lack of respect, self control, and viewing women as sex objects-our culture promotes it. 

I had to move past hating my body because men were being creepy. I also had to move past feeling less than from being around insecure women. You know the woman who is always insulting herself and you have the thing she is insulting herself about. She’s a size 4, you are a size 8 and she goes on for days about how fat she is. Gimmie a break!! It’s exhausting to deal with people who hate themselves. You have that one friend who has an inch of fat she keeps pinching and you want to scream, “Knock it off!!” 

Women talk about weight and appearance FAR, far, far more than men do. Why? Men can look like a train wreck and still think they are hot. Why are women constantly putting themselves down? Who started this trend? How can we kill it? 

God said I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Who argues with God? Jesus cannot lie. 

Ladies, that one inch of fat does not make you ugly

The ladies in the magazines, some, do not look like the photos. Photoshop and makeup are powerful. Trust me, I worked for Limited Brands. You can make anyone look amazing. Tools baby tools. 

I also work in a male environment, even when they don’t look good they are boasting about how awesome they are. They talk about how awesome they are. 

Some women put themselves down, while men (some) over exaggerate their qualities. Both need healthy confidence. Putting ourselves down and thinking more highly of ourselves than we should are both pride problems (extreme self focus). Both are vanity. 

Think of how much time is wasted criticizing oneself. What if we loved the bodies we are in and sought to make them as healthy as possible? How radical would that be! What if the focus was, “I love myself, therefore I eat healthy and workout“?

I will tell you shame does not produce a healthy life. It produces self destruction. Shame is hatred turned inwards. We were not created to hate ourselves or our bodies. We were created by God for love. Love sees the best. 

My encouragement is stop the body shaming. Ladies and gentlemen you are beautiful (handsome) right where you are. 

Homework: write on your bathroom mirror 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Make positive body and self confessions. If you hear yourself degrading yourself or someone else, course correct and switch to love. Don’t worry about feelings. Feelings are not an indication of truth. Focus on feeding your mind truth and professing truth. Your feelings will catch up later! 

#saynotobodyshaming #loveyourself 

Photos pulled from Pinterest. 

Xoxo, 

Erin Lamb 

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Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 


Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 

XO, 

Erin 

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Staying Motivated!

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Hello my fitness friends! I hope you are enjoying a great start to the week. It is a beautiful, sunny day here. Thankful winter is over. Tonight’s topic of choice is, “Why did you start?” Feel free to post a comment with your reasons for starting on a wellness journey. I posted my reasons when I started this blog, but wanted to share some reasons again.

I work a full-time job that is normally high stress. I also juggle tons of outside work activities. As a young person, I should have had tons of energy! I didn’t. I was exhausted all the time. I heard someone say in a movie I was watching, “Are you living or just existing?” There is a difference between living (enjoying life) and existing (taking up space). I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was also tired of the hideous pictures my associates would post of me on Facebook. One in particular I remember was from a wedding I was in; I looked like I was pregnant.

It’s easy once you start the journey to get tired. It’s in those moments you must go back and look at why you started. I don’t want to go back to being tired all the time. I don’t want to return to the relationships that left me drained, stressed out, and unhappy. I don’t want to return to doing nothing but eating and sleeping after work. I don’t want to ever be mistaken for being pregnant without actually being pregnant. It’s been a year since I decided to embark on this journey….I FEEL great! I have far more energy. I dropped three dress sizes. My skin looks better. I enjoy life more. This journey for me was about improving my life, not fitting into a social mold of beauty. My life has improved: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s about changing our lives!

So when you feel like it’s too challenging, remember why you started!

When you feel like giving up and going back to old habits, remember why you started!

When you feel like the progress is slow and tedious, remember why you started!

When everyone else is indulging and over indulging, remember why you started!

Lastly, I wanted to say I run an at work Biggest Loser contest. We have done it multiple years, and we have some of the same people each time. Weight is lost for the competition and for some, drastic measures are taken. The problem is those drastic changes cannot be maintained for life, so the weight comes back on. This year I am pushing lifestyle changes! It’s about changing your life. If we can start for the right reason, to change our lives, then we can stick with those changes. Say no to obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, increased risks of cancer or diabetes….say yes to HEALTH! You can do this!

The Four Food Groups

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Happy New Year!

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Hello friends. Happy New Year! Since it’s the first day of 2013 (well at least for my part of the world), I wanted to recap some of the highlights from the year. Hopefully, they will motivate you to keep up the good work throughout the year.

Nutrition Tips:

Diet is crucial. Garbage in=garbage out. If you don’t eat quality food, your body won’t perform well. Most people fail in the diet area and expect good results on the scale. Not going to happen. I read somewhere it’s 70% diet, 30% exercise. I used to eat a rather unhealthy diet and work out like machine. My results were minimal.

Whole Foods. Eat whole foods. What are whole foods? Fruits, vegetables, unprocessed foods. Check back to early posts on healing foods. https://restoremindbodysoul.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/eating-healthy-healing-foods/. I recommend checking labels. Some foods say whole food and they contain tons of preservatives, additives, sugar, and salt.

Sugar and excess salt are not your friend. The melting of my belly fat came from giving up added sugar. I tried many other things and giving up sugar was the only thing that was effective. See post on fat loss. https://restoremindbodysoul.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/detox-from-sugar-fat-loss/.

Fitness Tips:

Drink Water! A dehydrated body is like a car running without gasoline. It’s imperative to stay hydrated if you want to be healthy and lose weight. Water helps flush the toxins from your body.

Hit the Weights/Resistance Train. Cardio alone,unless you are working your entire body, is not enough to change the shape of your body. Muscle also burns more calories than fat. I used to avoid the weights thinking I would look bulky. The opposite occurred. Resistance training is good for our bones and to change the shape of our bodies.

Train hard-get better results. I used to think walking or the elliptical was enough. I am not against those activities if you cannot do other exercises. However, I have seen the best results from challenging my body (no abusing it).

Be consistent (work out regularly) and change it up. Our bodies are smart. They adapt to what we are doing. Sporadic workouts mean minimal results. Doing the same things over and over leads to diminished results. Every 6 weeks switch it up. Once your body adapts to a routine it becomes more efficient at using less energy or burning fewer calories doing the same things.

Emotional/Mental/Spiritual Health:

Stress hurts your health. I found out some of my bodies resistance to losing weight was due to excessive amounts of stress. Find your stress triggers and figure out ways to adapt.

My Tips for Reducing Stress

1. Start the day positive. I start the day with prayer. If you’re not a person of faith, try to find a positive way to start the day.

2. Workout instead of eating when you’ve had a stressful day.

3. Try to plan ahead. One of my greatest stressors was misplacing things. Now I make time to plan, put things away, etc…

4. Limit time with people who stress you out, if you can.

5. Find positive people and spend time with them. Everyone needs cheerleaders. The world has given us enough critics. If you surround yourself with people who don’t love, respect, or treat you with dignity, you will be stressed out!

6. Give up trying to change things you can’t or expecting people to be someone they are not. I’ve found rude people are everywhere. I can let them stress me out, or I can say, “You’re unhappy and I refuse to let you make me unhappy.”

7. Be your own cheerleader, celebrate successes.

8. Ditch perfectionism. You’re human which means you will not be perfect. Embrace being human. Accept yourself with flaws and all. The goal is to become a better person, not a perfect person.

9. Take time to relax. I’m a pretty busy person. I work full-time, write for three blogs, and I am working on my second book. I have to take time to do nothing.

10. Limit what you allow in your mind. Just like with food. Garbage in=garbage out. I limit time with people who gossip, never have anything positive to say, or are critical or negative. Where the mind goes, the body follows.

11. Give and help others. There’s something great that happens when our lives aren’t just about us. What we do for ourselves, dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains after we are gone.

Well, that’s all for today! I hope this motivates you to keep going. You can do it. I believe in you! I am excited for another year to Carpe Diem. Hope you are too.

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Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health, Nutrition, Spiritual Health | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Beginning

It all started with exhaustion…

You know you are tired when no amount of sleep helps. You go to bed tired. You wake up tired. You live tired. I tried running because maybe my body needed a more strenuous workout to prep it for slumber. Epic failure! I was simply exhausted. The doctor’s said, “You’re fine. Your blood work is normal. There is nothing physically wrong with you.” Well, there was something wrong. Here’s the list of the culprits that were draining my life of energy. Maybe you will see the same issues in your life.

1. My high stress job. I won’t complain, as I am thankful to be employed. However, stress if not managed will cause damage to your health and immune system.

2. Poor nutrition. Yes, I was one of those people who ate what was quick and felt lousy because of poor choices with food.

3. Lack of relaxation. Along with my job, I was also hosting and leading a women’s group, volunteering in the community, working on writing books, and not taking time for myself. I rarely had time alone, and there was no real chill time. And my body was ticked off about it.

4. Toxic relationships. Some people we can not get away from, like family. Other’s we have to pick and choose. If you surround yourself with people who are negative, pessimistic, doom and gloom, continually gossip about people, are hot-tempered, etc…your body will respond to it as stress.

5. Lack of water. I am a Researcher. I don’t have the liberty all the time to run out to the ladies room. It’s not possible. So, dehydration became a way of life. We need water to live and survive.

How do you get out of the rut? It starts with a decision. Do you want the best life possible? Are you willing to do what it takes to have that life? If so, then make a decision to change. The change starts with you. You can’t force other people to change, but you can change yourself.

How did I do it? I started with taking things off my schedule and my plate. I resigned from my women’s group. Attendance had diminished, and I was putting far more effort into than I should. I started drinking water. Seventy Five (75) days ago I gave up sugar, processed foods, white bread, white rice, high glycemic foods, and switched to whole foods. I started arranging my work schedule so there were breaks, and I could eat every 4 hours. I started taking classes such as Krav Maga, boxing, and even going to a massage therapist. I stopped spending time with people who were dragging my spirit into the dumps or treating me like a garbage can (i.e. gossiping about others). I surrendered busyness, and set firm boundaries with people. Sometimes, you have to say no! Do you hear me? NO! No, I can not help you. No, I cannot be there for you. No, I cannot add another activity to my plate. It feels selfish, but if you don’t learn balance, you will kill yourself. You’ll die, everyone else will keep on living.

Dear friends, the world is an amazing place waiting to be explored. What on earth are you waiting for? Ask yourself, “What am I doing to live the best life possible?” The choice is up to you. No one can live life for you. You have to make a decision, and set your eyes on the prize! Be kind to yourself. You cannot love your neighbor as yourself, if you don’t love yourself.

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