When The People You Love Don’t Support You

Listen to Episode 52 of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast: When the People You Love Don’t Support You

     When four of my children decided that they wanted to move from our home in Ohio to Texas, the momma in me wanted to try to stop them from going. I worried about their safety and wondered when I was going to see my grandsons. I thought to myself, why in the world would you move in the middle of a pandemic. I had a whole host of reasons why they should not move, but I did not share one of them. Not, because I was selfless but because I know how it feels when the people who love you do not support your dreams.

    Growing up I dreamt of becoming a dancer and a model. I studied ballet and modern dance. I couldn’t always afford dance classes, so a lot of what I learned was self-taught. I got modeling gigs in local department stores and had convinced myself that after high school, I was going to move to New York and try my luck. My mother and grandmother hit the roof. My mother said I was too short to model. At 5’6″, I thought she may be right. It was the same reaction I got when I won a summer scholarship to M.I.T.   My grandmother told my mother she should not let me go, and my mom worried about my safety and not wanting to be separated from her only daughter would not sign the parental consent forms for me to go. I let my dreams go way too quickly. I did not trust that I would make the right decision, and I didn’t have anyone in my corner to push me out of my comfort zone.

     Consider this your kick to move out of your comfort zone.  You have decided to finally create a plan to reach that goal that has been nudging at your heart.  You have packed up your kids and your belongings and decided to end a relationship that is long past its due date.  Your doctor has just diagnosed you with a chronic illness, curable, but it will require that you make some drastic lifestyle changes.  Would you agree with me that these are all positive endeavors?  Yes! They are, you have decided to become proactive and take control of your life.

     With all this positive action, you would think that the people you love would jump on the bandwagon and become your biggest cheerleaders.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  So, what do you do when the people who love you do not support you? If you find that finding support for your dream is few and far between.  It may be time to eliminate the dead weight in your life and start fresh, filling your circle with folks who love and support you.

     When I start to work with a new client, one of the first things I like for them to identify is their support system. When you try to do something that you have never done before, you do not need to be pulled away from your focus by family and friends who do not support your vision for your life.

That is not to say that they must agree with you completely, but they should refrain from throwing water on your dreams by reminding you of all the times you did not quite hit the mark in the past. Sometimes, they might think they are helpful with comments like:

 “You can lose the weight on your own.”

 “You left him before, remember.”

 “Are you even trying? Try harder.”

 “He is a good provider. Are you sure you cannot work it out?  No one will blame you if you stay.”

 “Just eat less and work out more.”

 “Shouldn’t you be thinking of retiring instead of starting a new career?”.

 “People your age don’t run marathons.”

 “Is the pain that bad or is it in your head.”

 “Your time has passed; it’s time to let the younger folks have a turn.

 These are just a few of the comments my clients and I have heard when we confided to our closest confidants about our plans to make changes in our lives. Unfortunately, when they recall these conversations, many clients break down in tears. Because the truth is it can be heartbreaking to find that the foundation you have built your life on will not support the new you.

Whether it is losing weight, ending a relationship, starting a new career path, or pursuing your purpose, and maybe like me, your new career path is your purpose. You must create a support system that supports you unconditionally, holds you accountable when you do not believe you can do it and loves you no matter how many times you must start over.

If you have found yourself facing this type of resistance, you have probably asked why?  Why wouldn’t the people who claimed to love me not want me to do better, be better, live better?  The answer is fear.  They could be afraid that you will reach a goal and realize that you have outgrown them, or they might be worried that they will lose you to a new group of friends.  It could be that they are afraid that you might fail, and they want to spare you the pain of failing.  But failure is a lesson in itself.  That is a lesson for another day.

Whatever their fear, you cannot let it stop you from moving forward.  It is time to create a new inner circle.  Anyone who does not fall in step with your plans is dead weight, and you should eliminate them immediately.  I know that deadweight is a harsh term.  I am using it on purpose to trigger just how dire this situation is for your success.  This will probably be one of the most challenging tasks you will ever have to do, but ask yourself how you will feel next week, next month, or next year if you are in the same spot you are in now. 

If it makes you feel better, you do not have to cut them out of your life entirely; just keep them out of your inner circle. I love this quote by fellow blogger Jeri Clay, host of the “Shine your Life-Make your Life Shine Blog. “With like-minded people, you feel comfortable in sharing your dreams without judgment. You can express ideas freely with others who understand the hustle. Everyone will have different dreams and goals but will have the same drive towards the achievement.” 

Ready to get started:  Make a list of three people you can count on to support your journey towards a new you.  It is time to create your village. These folks can be professional supports such as a pastor, coach or therapist, or natural supports, including your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, or favorite church member.

If you want real success in your life, you must surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you empower your mindset and lend you the emotional fuel you need to keep going when you feel like you are running on empty.  You can do this; I believe in you.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Download this month’s book selection, the Courageous Woman’s Bible Discover Journal; if you are looking to connect or reconnect with God in a powerful way, this journal is for you.  Plus, I show you how to incorporate your daily time with God in as little as 15 minutes a day.  Start or end your day with the word of God,  and empower yourself to move through any obstacle life throws your way.  $1 of your purchase will go to help the Atlanta Mission continue its mission of supporting, clothing, and feeding homeless mothers and their children.  Click here to download your copy today!

I Will Show Myself Compassion and Open Myself Up to Growth

Introduction:

     We are often quick to show compassion to others, we give them grace when they make mistakes or hurt us, but we do not allow ourselves this same compassion.  True growth has a learning curve, and as we learn, we will make mistakes; it is okay to make mistakes; instead of running away from them, we need to acknowledge these mistakes to give ourselves room to grow. 

     This week show yourself some compassion as you pursue your dreams, as you face challenges head-on when you fall-lift yourself back up and ask yourself, what did I learn?   Will you give yourself room to grow?

The Affirmation

I am a work in progress. I give myself room to learn and grow.

I will try new things.   I will keep an open mind and move beyond my comfort zone. My new adventures might include skydiving or writing poetry.

Whatever I choose, I will allow myself the grace to enjoy it.

I will try new things like listening to country music, rap, and jazz. I will replace my usual morning run with a yoga class.

I will seek out challenges. I will volunteer for challenging assignments at work. I will talk about sensitive subjects with my family and friends.

I will not be afraid to ask questions. I will gratify my curiosity.

I will welcome feedback. I invite colleagues and clients to let me know what they think about my performance. I thank my loved ones for helpful reminders. I will use their input to make positive changes.

I will let my light shine as I teach others. I can use my knowledge to teach students and mentor newcomers in my field.

I will expand my mind by reading books I love and new works of fiction and nonfiction.

I will take classes. I will push past fear, sign up for courses at my local university, and subscribe to e-learning platforms.

I will make learning fun. I will visit my local library to browse for free audiobooks, movies, and events.

I will travel to other countries or explore new places in my neighborhood or town.

 I will practice speaking foreign languages at ethnic restaurants and grocery stores.

Today, I train my mind to think. I add to my knowledge and skills. I pursue my passion for learning.  I will remind myself that my mind is powerful and capable of accomplishing the goals and dreams I have for my life.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What is one new skill that would help me to advance my career?
  2. What is the difference between working hard and working smart?
  3. Why is it important to adopt a growth mindset?
  4. What is one way I can show myself compassion this week?
  5. What feelings arise in me as I answer these questions?

With Peace and Love,

Renee

PS

Whenever you are ready, I can help you create the future you’ve always wanted:

Join the private Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women this is your village a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

You Can Create a Life That Is Balanced and Joyful

Listen to Episode 49 of Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast: You Can Create a Life That Is Balanced and Joyful

(Download The Best Self-Care Journal Heal your body and soul through self-love and mindfulness. )

Today we are talking about how to create and live a balanced life.  I know that that can be difficult to achieve considering the times we live in now.  But I hope that today’s post will give you some insight into how to accomplish this.  Now, if you can listen with a pen and piece of paper close by, that would be very helpful, as I will be asking you to answer some reflective questions to create a picture to determine how balanced your life is now.

Why am I talking about living a balanced life?  Because we spend so much time compartmentalizing the various areas of our lives, trying to ensure that everything has its own place.  Our relationships, career, money, exercise, health, but we all know that our whole lives will be affected if one area is out of whack.

Imagine having tons of money, the house, and the career you want. But not being able to enjoy it because your health is failing.  That is not an exaggeration.  I had my dream job and was at least 30 pounds overweight and trying to reverse diabetes and prehypertension.  When a part of your life is not in line with your life’s other aspects, you will begin to enjoy your lifeless and less as you struggle to get it back on track.

It is crucial to think of your life as one holistic pie and decide to put your energy into making every piece of that pie as yummy as possible.  Forgive the pie metaphor, but I am giving up sweets for Lent.

What would creating a life that is balanced and enjoyable look like? 

Your first step would be to take a real and honest look at your life in every area.  So many times, we let the fear of change stop us from making moves in our lives that we know will set us free.

Fear of change is real and can be the number one reason that we stay stuck in unhealthy and unhappy areas of our lives.  We convince ourselves that it is easier to keep the familiar mess we know rather than finding the creativity and energy to make the changes we need to be happy.

My job as your coach is to help you begin the process of imagining what your life would be like if you gathered your courage and made the necessary changes you need to make to create a happy and balanced life.  Before you ask, yes, you can have a happy and balanced life because this is not available for lucky people or blessed people. 

Now, this is where your pen and paper will come in handy?  The self-reflective questions I am about to ask you will help you to decide if you need to make changes in your life.

Are you getting things done on your own, but could use some report?

Do you want to build a healthier relationship with food?

Do you eat when you are bored, angry, sad, or stressed out?

Do you want to develop a deeper connection to yourself and others?

Do you want to be empowered to be your own health expert?

Do you want more confidence, energy, and self-acceptance?

Do you want to be held accountable to show up for yourself?

Are you looking outside of yourself for love, support, and acceptance?

I want you to take the time to answer these questions because this is the first step towards reducing your stress and healing your emotional health. 

Once you have answered the questions, I want you to use your answers to create a plan that will help you begin nurturing yourself.  This is something we can not turn over to the hands of others.  I am talking to all my romantics out there; believe me, I know how you feel.  I spent the whole day recently watching Hallmark romantic comedies and saying to myself, if my husband would just be like the characters in these movies, I would feel fantastic, and our marriage would be excellent.

Nurturing must begin with us; this is how we teach others how to treat us.

Your next step is to create priorities.  Have you ever woken up in the morning, dreading the start of your day?  You have so many things pulling at your time and energy you want to turn off the alarm and remove the cover over your head. 

Prioritizing your life will help you reduce you overwhelm and focus on the items in your day that must get done, bringing you joy.

I know that some days would be impossible to find balance, but that cannot be our daily existence.  It might be that it has been years since your life appeared to be in a healthy balance, but that does not mean that with the right action, you cannot make things right.

It is time for you to embrace and create the best life you can now!  You can decide where to put energies each day and make the life you want to live, so you do not get stuck living the life you have.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Download The Best Self-Care Journal Heal your body and soul through self-love and mindfulness. 

My Inner Voice is Kind to Me

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Listen to Episode 48 Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier My Inner Voice Is Kind To Me

I speak to myself with much love and compassion. I think positive. My inner voice builds up my confidence and self-esteem.  

I choose gentle words and stick to the facts. I ask myself open-ended questions that help me view situations from a different perspective and clarify my purpose.

I practice daily. Doubts and assumptions can be stubborn. I am patient. I strengthen my new beliefs each time I think about them or say them out loud.

I repeat positive affirmations. I use empowering statements to guide my thoughts and actions.

I give myself a pep talk before challenging tasks. I take a few deep breaths and remember my achievements. I tell myself that I am strong and competent. I visualize myself delivering an effective presentation or negotiating a raise.

I comfort myself when I am under pressure. I validate my feelings and my experiences. I motivate myself to persevere and move forward.

I praise myself for making an effort. I give myself credit for trying, regardless of the outcomes. I can learn from successes and setbacks.

I let myself cry and make myself laugh. I love and accept myself for who I am. I observe my thoughts and feelings without making judgments. I look for the reasons behind them, so I can understand my reactions and make conscious decisions.

Today, I appreciate the power of my inner voice. I talk to myself like a dear friend.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. How can writing in a journal help me to become more aware of my self-talk?
  2. How can my self-talk help me to deal with stress?
  3. What is one positive thing I want to tell myself each morning?

Share this affirmation with someone you love! Until next week

With Peace and Love,

Renee

PS If you want to tap into some midlife love and support, join The Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Facebook group. In this group, there are extra trainings, resources, and support from midlife women just like you. Click here to join!

Creating Peace on Demand! Using Meditation to Enhance Your Self-Care


Javier Snchez Mingorance / Getty Images

Click here to Listen to Episode 41 of the Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

I have been rallying the self-care flag since April.  Like no other time in our lives, we need to focus on our well-being, or we will be swallowed by doubt and overwhelm.  So, for August, I will continue to share a new tip that will enhance your self-care and bring you some peace.  Midlife is not always the most secure time of our lives, but if we are intentional about taking care of our needs, it can be more comfortable.

So, what if you could create peace in your day on demand.  I know it sounds a little woo woo, but with a little bit of planning, you can make it happen using meditation. “Meditation provides you with that quality “me time” that’s so key to refiling your cup at the end of the day. It’s not only me time in terms of being alone and being away from others but being away from your day to day thoughts.”

     According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” You can create your own meditation by sitting in a quiet place, using a memory that helps you feel more confident, happy, or brings you peace.  Focus on memory and breath.    You can also use a meditation app like Headspace or Calm.

Meditation is something you can do whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.   As with anything, meditation takes practice, so do not be upset if you cannot settle down on your first couple of tries.  Acknowledge the thoughts you are having and keep practicing. Do not worry about being perfect; be intentional on spending this time with yourself.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

Join the private Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women this is your village a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

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How to Create the New Life You Have Always Wanted

I get it, this was going to be your year.  2020 was the year you were going to lose weight, get a new job, disconnect from distracting or destructive relationships.  Find your soul mate, really take hold of your self-care, and make it a regular thing. Maybe, you were well on your way to making this happen, and then the world fell apart, and you with it.  I am here to tell you and myself that it is not too late to make your new life happen.  You can still make significant changes to your mind, body, and spirit. Guess what! I have a plan to help us do it.

This plan is going to require us to take some baby steps every day because real change does not happen in a day; it occurs when we make small shifts towards what we want.  Make sure that you hit the follow button so that you do not miss a post because, over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you 30 easy to implement life-changing tools and tips that will help you to transform your life.  Real self-care is more than just getting a manicure or a massage. It is the culmination of everything you do for yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially. 

Some of these tips may sound unnecessary, but hey do them anyway, remember it is the culmination of our efforts that creates real change.

So, let us start. Today, I want you to take out that massive goal list that you prepared at the beginning of the year, focus on one area, and create three smaller goals that will help you to complete the task.  For example, if you want to work out every day instead of focusing on an hour’s workout, try 20 minutes. “Every time you set and achieve a goal, your confidence and sense of competence increases.”  If you have been struggling to get your two-hour writing session done, then opt for 15 minutes a day, in a week you will have written 105 minutes that’s a blog, book chapter, short story, or podcast episode. 

Setting smaller goals will reduce overwhelm and keep your life balanced. So, what do you say what area of your life will you focus on with your three tiny goals? I would love to hear about your success.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Are tired of banging your head against the wall and you need help to figure out your next steps.  Schedule your Soul Transformational call with me, it is completely free, and during our time together we will figure out what barriers are keeping you from the life you want. 

Self-Care is Your Superpower

Self-care and self-love are so intertwined that, to me, they are the same. It’s hard to love yourself when you are not taking care of yourself.  I know that we must take care of others, but real self-care is a conscious desire to take care of our own physical and emotional needs.  We are about to start a new month.  This would be an excellent time for you to set your intention and start or restart your self-care plan.  Self-care is your superpower; without it, we are only half showing up for the people and things we love.

Your self-care can show up in many ways, journaling, meditation, exercising regularly, scheduling your medical appointments. The point is to ensure that your physical and mental well-being is at the top of your crowded “to do” list. When you do this, you can genuinely help others with an open heart. Otherwise, resentment will rise, and you will feel guilty for the genuine feelings emanating from your spirit. Because, self-care is your superpower!

So, take some time today and make a list of all the things you need to feel happy and whole. To have peace and live courageously and connected to the spaces you inhabit. You deserve it-give yourself permission to have it.

We start May 10th are you in!   Let me help you lose your next 10 pounds join the 5k Walking and Clean Eating program get healthy, lose weight, and increase your energy.  Everyone who signs up has the chance to earn a medal during our 5K virtual  walk/run,  and you can bring a friend for free that’s right your registration comes with a free guest pass.

 $5 of your registration will be donated to the Atlanta Mission to help them provide safe housing and meals for homeless mothers and their children:  SIGN UP YOU’RE YOUR MEDAL IS WAITING:        

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The Anniversary of Loss: Three Ways to Get Through the Day

    If you have made it to midlife, you know what it means to lose someone you love.  April 17th would have been my younger brother’s 59th birthday.  Every year, on that day, I am reminded that there is a very noticeable gap between my youngest brother and myself.  David died from the same disease that took our dad, heart disease.  Of course, he was not the first death I’d experienced.  I have buried both of my parents, two grandmothers, and a beloved aunt.  But this is different. David and I were born 11 months apart.  I told people we were twins because between April and June, our respective birth months, we were the same age. 

     David was the balance between my youngest brother and me, he was calm, funny, a gifted artist who loved comic books, sci-fi, and he was the first tech nerd I ever knew.  As the pandemic rages around us, my heart goes out to the families who will celebrate their own anniversaries of loss next year.   Let me share with you three ways that I have found to get through the day.

  1. Cry:  This is not the day to stay in control of your emotions; if you feel like crying, let the waterworks go.  If possible, don’t spend the whole day crying that can be so draining.   Deal with your emotions unapologetically.
  2. Do something in remembrance:  My brother and I shared a love of all things sci-fi.  This year I watched the new Picard series in his honor.  You will never forget the person you lost, you can “empower yourself by proactively anticipating the anniversary and incorporating his or her memory into your plans.”
  3. Connect with others, the first couple of years after David passed away, I admit I shut myself off, worked long hours, or busied myself with my kids.  This year, I shared with them how I was feeling, told stories about when we were growing up, and how I would fight anyone who tried to bully him. Sharing with them helped me to remember David and gave them some insight on our childhood, a topic they tell me I don’t share enough.  My daughter-in-law dropped off a nice bottle of wine, and chocolates her kindness gave me a new memory to add to this anniversary.  On your anniversary, connect with others, share stories and memories.  Start a new tradition to honor your loved one and celebrate their contribution to you and to the world.

     Grief is one of those emotions that never really goes away, a smell, a song, a photo can bring back all the raw feelings of loss.  Take the time to care for yourself and tap into your inner strength.  Take a long walk, write your thoughts in a journal, take a yoga class, or talk to a therapist or coach, don’t suffer in silence.  That is the one thing I am sure your loved one would not want you to do. 

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

#grief #midlife #midlifecrisis #midlifeaffirmation #midlifewellness #midlifeselflove #midlifepower

What Are the Dangers of Being Skinny Fat? Four Strategies to Getting Healthy

What does it means to be skinny fat? How dangerous is it for you? How can you learn to protect yourself?

I found this topic really interesting because, as a health coach I encounter women in midlife who are so proud of the fact that they’ve never had a weight problem their whole lives. “I am already at my ideal weight,” they love to tell me.

I know that we live in a culture that bombards us with diet plans designed to help us lose weight and finally live the magical lives waiting on the other side. Because we have been brainwashed to think that the skinnier we are, the healthier we are- and that is simply not true.

While so many women between the ages of 40-59 look absolutely fabulous in their clothes, they could still have a high percentage of body fat compared to lean muscle, which can lead to osteoporosis the weakening of the bones, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

The medical term for being skinny fat is metabolically obese normal weight or MONW or normal weight obesity, it occurs when women who are normal weight or underweight, are inactive, have an imbalanced fat to muscle ratio, or who partake of a diet high in fat and sugar.

These women could have a higher percentage of visceral fat, which is extremely dangerous, it can settle around organs and the abdominal cavity. 

Dr. Mark Hyman, the author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10 Day Detox Diet, defines the phenomenon this way, “Skinny-fat means just what it sounds like: You look thin but inside you are fat. You’ve got organ fat (the more dangerous type of fat) coating your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You are under-lean but over-fat, meaning not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).”

How can you tell if you are skinny fat ?  Ask yourself the following question:

  • Is weight training part of your exercise routine?
  • Are you getting 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio each week?
  • Is your daily food consumption high in processed foods, sugar, carbs, and low in protein-rich foods?
  • Do you suffer from fatigue, the inability to focused, or concentrate for long periods?
  • Do you suffer from inflammation?
  • Do you have excess fat around your middle?

If you answered yes, to one or all of these questions, you could be suffering from MONW.  The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.  Make sure that in addition to checking your glucose level and cholesterol that he/she checks your percentage of body fat to ensure that your body fat percentage is within the acceptable range.

As I mentioned before, some of the dangers of being skinny fat are osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones, heart disease, and diabetes.  Some other risks include muscle deterioration; if you are not strength training a minimum of three times per week, ladies you should be weight training.  Remember building lean muscle will help us to burn more calories and get us to our wellness goals.  If you are not sure where to start, shoot me an email at wtylwellness@gmail.com.  I would happy to help you get started.

The other thing I want you to watch out for is not visible to the naked eye; it is the decline of your mental health.  While being skinny does not automatically mean you are in good health, it also does not automatically mean that you are happy.  If you are not physically active, you’re subjecting yourself to a poor diet, and combating health issues, in time this could affect your mental health.  Depression and anxiety are just two of the diagnoses that I’ve seen in the past ten years as a mental health practitioner, health coach, and women’s health advocate.

So, what can you do to turn MONW around?  First, schedule an appointment to see your doctor today.  A little tip, because we know that doctors do not have a lot of time to sit with us to discuss our concerns be prepared.  Write down what you would like to discuss, mention it to the nurse when she takes your vitals so that she can put it in your medical chart.  The other four tips I have for you are:

  • Exercise regularly- according to the Centers for Disease Control, you should be getting 150 minutes of heart-pumping exercise each week.  That’s just 30 minutes five times per week.  Lace-up your trainers that’s what they call sneakers in the UK, can you tell I have been watching a lot of Britbox.  Put on your favorite podcast, which is this one of course, and go for a walk around your neighborhood, on your lunch break, or at the gym on the treadmill.
  • Include weight training:  your exercise routine should include three days of weight training.  Make sure that you are lifting weights that are heavy enough to break down the muscle tissue.  If you can do three sets of ten with ease, its time to lift heavier weights.
  • Plan your meals:  I’m not talking about dieting but planning what you will eat each day.  Making sure that your menu includes servings of fruit and fresh vegetables, lean proteins such as salmon, chicken, for you vegans/vegetarians, your protein choices can consist of beans, lentils, and whole grains, just to name a few.
  • Manage your stress:  high levels of stress are not suitable for your mental or physical health.  Physically it produces chemicals that force your body to hang on to visceral fat, remember that is the bad fat that clings to your organs and deposits itself into your belly. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mental health, as is meditation or prayer which can be done anytime throughout the day.  And if at all possible, simply avoid stressful situations.  You do not have to provide the answer to everyone’s problem.

The good news is that just by making simple lifestyle changes, you can change your life and live the life you deserve.  You have control!

The first step to getting healthy is merely acknowledging that there is a need. Too many of us are walking around with undiagnosed ailments, and that has to stop if we want to meet/exceed our wellness goals.

Share this post with someone you love, and don’t forget to check out our free Facebook group, The Courageous Women’s Network, to get the love and support you need to maintain the faith and keep you moving forward. 

I will talk to you guys soon; remember you are stronger than you give yourself credit and more blessed than you know. 

Join the group: https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB

If you are looking for a group of women who understand what it’s like to struggle through hot flashes, hormonal surges, and hard to lose belly fat.  Join the Courageous Women’s Network our free Facebook group, in this group, you will receive love, support, and a little kick in the pants when you needed.  Plus, you’ll get outstanding training from me that will help you cut out the guesswork and get to your wellness goals.

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Save the Date! November 24th, I will be opening the doors to join the Courageous Women’s Network Academy.  You can work with me and learn how to exponentially increase your self-love and self-care because losing weight is only half the battle. 

Talk soon,

Renee

Using Prayer to Recover Life’s Joy

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Today is Faith Friday. We are delving into how to use our spiritual weapons to regain our joy. This is the first part of our four-part series, Recovering Life’s Joy -Using Our Spiritual Weapons to Reach Out to God series. Joy is a small but powerful word, being joyful doesn’t mean that we walk around without a care, it means that we have made a conscious decision to lean on the word of God and follow his lead. Christ told us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” This scripture is not new to us, but it can still be hard for strong minded women who are used to solving their own problems or living with their problems in silence to let go and let God handle it. So today we are going to talk about why joy is important and look at our first spiritual weapon is prayer, keep reading to see how having a strong prayer life can help us recover our joy.
How many of us dread getting out of bed in the morning. Facing the same old problems that don’t seem to have a solution. You can’t see me, but I am raising my hand. Mornings for me use to be the worse. I knew nothing in my closet was going to fit me, and I would end up wearing the same black yoga pants and one of my four oversize shirts. I knew that I did not have the money to pay all of the bills sitting in the little tray in my office, and I knew that traffic was going to be horrible going to work, and that would ruin my entire day. I was broke, overweight, and un-happy and I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. Now, mind you at the time I was teaching women’s bible study at my church, And I have to say it is still one my most favorite memory. Teaching those women every month gave me the gave me the boost I needed to keep going. The problem was, that while I teaching these marvelous lessons on faith, love, and casting our cares on the Lord. I wasn’t really living it.

prayerI was still trying to save myself as my grandmother use to say. There were places in my life where I did not let God in and because of that I had lost my joy. Just to be clear, Now I am not talking about depression, sadness or loss of joy is an emotion, and even though we may feel that our sadness is overwhelming and has taken over our life. We should still be able to find moments of joy in our families , friends, or work. Depression on the other hand is a mental illness, and if you have feelings of sadness that has caused you to change the way eat, withdraw from activities you use to love, if you have trouble sleeping, or if you are constantly irritable. Please see your primary physician or a licensed therapist.
Feeling sad is a human emotion that everyone feels at certain times in our lives. We lose our joy for a number of reasons, I mean the world can be cold, scary, and just plain sucky at times. But, I think at the foundation of all of that is that we feel helpless. Nothing zaps your joy like the feeling that you do not possess the tools or resources to help your current situation get better. We can sit on our church pews Sunday after Sunday and leave still feeling helpless and hopeless. That’s because we are focused on the circumstances of our situation and not on the holy solution. But, why is joy so important you might be asking yourself, my can’t I just mine my own business and let other people do the same.
The eyes of the world are on the Christian woman, and they are not interested in what we wear or how we style our hair. They are watching our actions, reactions, and associations. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (NIV) More than the crosses and bumper stickers we display it is our attitude that attracts the unbeliever first. Our daily attitude is a true indication of how much we believe in what we preach. How can we win souls for Christ, if all people see when they look at us is an unhappy woman being defeated by the trouble and strife in her life? A woman who is so filled with condemnation over her past that she spews out anger and bitterness to everyone she meets. Who would want to be part of that?
It is imperative that we safeguard our joy the same way that we guard our designer bags. Joy is a powerful weapon. In the natural, it conveys to our observers that our faith is strong even if the truth is we are afraid. In the spiritual, it connects us to God, defeats the enemy, and gives us peace in the midst of a world gone mad. If we maintain our joy during trouble, and humbly accept conviction from the Holy Spirit then we will attract the unbeliever to the Christ that lives within us.
Being joyful does not mean that we are immune to hurt, disappointment, or anger. We are human. The good news is that our joy does not come from a natural source. We derive our joy from the innate knowledge, that in Christ, we are victorious. James 1:12 reads, “blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (NIV) Sisters, don’t let the enemy steal one more day of joy from you. Remember, “in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8: 37 (NIV)
What is joy? The dictionary defines it as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune.” We do not have to look far these days to know that joy or a feeling of well-being remains an elusive part of life for many people even Christians. It is very difficult to remain joyful in a toxic climate. . To avoid the feelings of anxieties that when we lose control, many of us spend our days using a variety of remedies to create joy, self-medicating in an attempt to eliminate the pain.
. To avoid the feelings of anxieties that when we lose control, many of us spend our days using a variety of remedies to create joy, self-medicating in an attempt to eliminate the pain.
. Or, We place the burden of our joy on the shoulders of mere mortals who are unable to withstand the weight of our request. They will inevitably fail us. What we need to realize is that finding and maintaining joy is our responsibility, no one else’s, not even God. God has already made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our joy. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement (needful to obtain) peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with his stripes (that wounded) Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53: 5 (Amplified) Sisters, it is time for us to stop sitting around waiting to be rescu While God intended for us to be happy, He also knew that we would encounter some difficult times while we are here on earth. Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted) For I have overcome the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you).” (Amplified) The world may be crumbling around us, but we were meant to have peace in our spirits as we wait for Christ to return.

You will not find a scripture in the bible that says you will not have trouble, while we wait for His return. Hundreds of scriptures tell us we that have the power to endure, to have peace, and to succeed. Many of us make the mistake of running from God when we are in pain. When in fact, we should be reaching out to Him and making Him our number one priority.
How can I regain and maintain control of my joy? Well, I am glad you asked. You do not have to complete some arduous plan to be joyful. But, it does require work on a consistent basis. You may have to give up some behaviors that in your mind brought you comfort. You are going to have to reach out to God and perfect the use of your spiritual weapons. They include prayer, meditating on God’s word, praise, and fasting. Today we are going to dive into prayer. These interrelated tools or spiritual weapons enable us to maintain our joy and claim victory. Each one will assist you with reaching out and connecting to God as never before, to hear His voice, and reclaim your joyfulness. You cannot have real deliverance from what ails you by just embracing one or two you must embrace them all.
The first thing we need to do when we find our joy levels floundering is to check our prayer life. Ask yourself is my prayer life strong and consistent or is it just a task I check off my daily to do list? Prayer is an open communication with God and when pray we can tell him what is bothering us and know that he hears us. He promised. In Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Praying God’s word is not only a powerful weapon, but also a powerful joy tool. When I submitted to God and stopped trying to fight the enemy with my own power I gained peace in my spirit and the enemy had to flee. (Read James 4:7)
If you are serious about maintaining joy in the midst of trouble you must have a vibrant prayer life. We do not fight against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 reads, “we war not against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities, against the rules of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV) Knowing that our enemy is not flesh or blood we must realize that conventional weapons will not work. No amount of yelling, crying, or cussing, has the power to make the enemy flee like the power of God. Prayer should be our weapon of choice. So, why is something as simple as talking to God so difficult to do on a daily basis?
To check the depth of your prayer life ask yourself these questions. Do you wait until lightning strikes before you activate your eternal life line to the Lord? Is your prayer life an ongoing dialogue with God or is it something you run through so that you can check it off your daily list? Your truthful answers will gauge your relationship with the Father.
James 5:16b “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (NKJV) Our prayers are not effective if we do them once in a while. But when we are fervent, avid, enthusiastic, and persistence about the time we spend with God we become powerful adversaries.
Prayer is a powerful weapon. It connects us to the Lord and allows us to hear from Him, to enter into His presence and get to know Him personally. Not as the God of the Old and New Testaments, or as our grandma’s God, but as OUR GOD! However, the Lord is not going to fight through the chaos of our lives to speak to us and if we are not careful we could miss His voice. When speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV) In 1 Kings 19:11-13 when the Lord spoke to the prophet Elijah he did not come to him in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still small voice. Can you recognize the voice of God when He speaks?
If you are a little rusty with your prayers than do what I did create a string prayer and Pray God’s word back to him. I wrote down three scriptures to string together and pray to the Lord. My string prayer included Romans 8:37, 2 Chronicles 20:15, and Philippians 4:6.
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.” The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
There will come a time when you have to be your own prayer warrior, when you are in the thick of battle and cannot wait to get to church on Sunday to have the mothers pray for you. Building a relationship with God through prayer will diminish the time we spend worrying, and our own doing or due to the enemy’s attacks, we will commence to praying. Having established a relationship with God through our prayers this will be as natural as breathing.

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