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October 2015

Prioritizing Our Health ~ Tip #4 Leave Margin in Your Schedule

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This is the fourth & final tip in our series, Prioritizing our Health in a busy season of life.  If you missed any of these tips you can read them herehere, and here.

Today is Halloween, the official kick off to one of the busiest times of the year.  In our first Tip, we talked about making a list of priorities, and then saying NO to those commitments that don’t line up with your list of priorities.  I sure hope you spent some time making this list, because it will be key in helping you find margin in your schedule.

God created us as Human Beings….not Human Doings.  We need down time.  We can’t schedule and commit  every single minute of every single day.  We are not robots…we are not wired to be continually “On”…yet so many of us are.

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I purposely leave plenty of margin (time) in my schedule from 5pm – 7pm.  I don’t schedule appointments, I don’t plan routine activities like marketing, or errands for this time of day.  I reboot during this time, unwind, and reconnect with my family after a day of being away from one another.  I normally get home before my hubby, and I spend this time relaxing.  Now that’s not to say I never make an afternoon appointment…or stop for an errand, but I don’t make it a habit, and it certainly isn’t the norm for me.

I function best, and can give my best to those I love and care about when I have some time for me.  I am more focused and perform better in all my tasks when I am not over-committed in my schedule.  My guess is so would you, but this won’t happen by accident.  You must plan.  You must prioritize.

To me over commitment = overwhelmed.  An overwhelmed Michelle is not a good thing.  Just trust me on this one!

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November is going to be an extremely busy month for my family & I.  We have 2 out of town trips planned, as well as business and work commitments.  Throw in Thanksgiving right in the middle of the mix, and if I am not careful, those activities I’ve planned and prepared  for won’t be the fun and relaxing time I have hoped for.  Here is my plan for limiting over commitment and creating margin.

  • Simple Easy Meals – We will eat from meals I have prepared ahead and have in the freezer.  My meal plan will also consist of meals that will allow for left overs.  Cook once…eat twice.  If you don’t have any prepared meals to choose from, consider making a double batch of an evening meal and freeze part of it for a future meal.  Do that once every week, and you have four meals fully prepared for the month of December.  That would give you one night a week off from cooking during one of the busiest months of the year, or 4 nights off from a really super busy week!!!!
  • No more commitments – If something gets added to the schedule~something must come off.
  • I am hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year.  Within the next few days I will make the menu.  Each family will bring a dish, and I will plan my grocery list around those dishes that I will be making.  I will purchase a few items each week so the task is not so overwhelming.  I have some left over apples and will prepare crockpot applesauce this week and put it in the freezer.  I will also do that with the butternut squash.  Two dishes down!!!
  • I use a Day planner that has daily/monthly sections.  I will utilize this to the max.  Every Sunday afternoon I will look at the monthly section and then the weekly section.  I prepare a daily list of tasks for each day of the week according to the current weeks list of commitments.  I do not rely on my memory.  I write everything down.  My husband and I follow the Dave Ramsey budgeting method so we have bi-weekly budget meetings!  We function on a zero based budget, meaning every dollar has a home.  We use the envelope system, and this has allowed us to become debt free with the exception of our Mortgage!  You can bet budget meetings are on the Calendar!  So are date nights!!!

These are just a few of the tips I use to keep balance in what I know will be a very busy time.  I hope I have encouraged you to make a list of priorities and limit over-committing your schedule.  Just like coming to the place called “DONE” in our weight and diet, we can also come to a place called “DONE” with our crazy over-committed schedules.  Just like finding food freedom, we can find time freedom too!

Next Week we start our new Series:  Surviving the Holidays THM Style!!

~Blessings~

Michelle

 

No room for Perfection on THM~ Tip #3 Don’t Compare

 

 

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We’ve all been there.  You’re scanning Facebook, probably for the 10th time today…(Just making it real), and you’re reading all the Testimony’s of everyone’s weight loss progress.  You’re looking at their before & afters, and they look amazing!!!  Some have been on plan less time than you.  They’ve mastered the plan, they are posting amazing recipes, wearing clothes they haven’t worn in years, and well…you haven’t even finished the first chapter, and you have had the book 6 months.  You log off…feeling Defeated. Discouraged. Overwhelmed. Frustrated.  The negative mind chatter starts.  “I’m never gonna get this, Why bother?”, “Your not going to stick to it anyway, you never stick to anything”, “It’s too hard”…You fill in the blank____________________.   You know what I’m talking about.

 

“but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

2 Corinthians 10:12b KJV

 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a great deal of encouragement on the THM FB pages.  In fact our Journey FB page is all about encouragement.  I think that most Trim Healthy Mama’s are believers, and there is an overwhelming sense of grace and support.  But the struggle is in our flesh, and if we are not careful, we are on somebody else’s journey, and not our own.

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We have to be mindful that the goal does not become doing THM Perfectly.  Focusing more on the plan itself, rather than learning and implementing our new found food freedom.  The end goal can easily become the scale, and we can lose sight of the journey.  The plan is a tool, not a task master.  Everyone is starting in a different place, with different circumstances, and different goals.  Comparison on this journey to health and wellness, will steal your Joy.  The goal is finding Joy in Your Journey.

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Give yourself Grace Mama.  You are doing the best you can.  Celebrate each success along the way.  Take it in small steps.  This is not a race!  This is a Journey…..Your journey.  You are so worth investing in.  THM is one of the most forgiving meal plans ever.  No matter the mess up, you are only 3 hours away from a fresh start.  It is not surprising that the plan is based on the same book of the greatest story ever told!!

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You’ve sooooo got this!!!

Blessings ~N~ Hugs

~Michelle~

What Sandy Loves About THM…

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This is me in 2013…

 

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I am the first one on the left…along with my 3 sisters at the funeral of my 4th sister who died at the age of 51 instantly of a heart attack…talk about an eye opener…March 2014

 

What I LOVE about Trim Healthy Mama is that it ONLY takes 3 hours to get back on plan…did you hear that???  There is no room for discouragement!!!  Yep…you heard me right…when in doubt, re-read line one.  What a relief to me.  I was so discouraged when my doctors told me to eat 1200 calories per day because that meant that I would be hungry most of the time and couldn’t eat some of my most favorite foods without being derailed…I am completely “S”atisfied and “E”nergized with the variety and quantity of foods that I can eat along with the simplicity of not having to make multiple items at one meal.

I also believe my metabolism is KICKIN’ because of this meal plan…let’s be realistic chickies, as a single mama, life gets in the way!!!  When I eat off plan (which is a few times per week), I find that I do not gain but a few ounces…therefore I am not SABOTAGED…as long as I get right back on plan (if you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail).  With the Trim Healthy Mama meal plan, I have lost over 27 lbs. in just 8 short months…

I have regained my youthful active life which is just a bonus to the new found food freedom THM has to offer (click HERE to learn more).

I thank God that he rescued me just when I needed it most…oh and the other bonus is…He gave me a wonderful group of local ladies to continue on this marvelous Journey 2 Trim ‘n’ Healthy 🙂

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8 MONTHS ON PLAN
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AND FEELING AMAZING!!!

JUST KEEP TRIMMIN’ OFF…

We Are More in Control Than We Think

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Today was a particularly difficult day.  As a Nurse, it is difficult to see people suffer and in pain.  To watch families worry and stress over their loved one’s illness is difficult.  But, of this I am convinced, some of this suffering is absolutely avoidable.

As a Critical Care Vascular Nurse, I see first hand every day, the result of the choices that people make.  I am not talking about the choice of where they live, or attend work or school.  I am not talking about the choice of the car they drive or the type or location of the house they live in.  Although these choices play a role in who and what they are, these are not the choices I am referring to.

I am talking about the choices that they make every single day of their lives.  They make this choice several times a day, every day of the week, every week of the year.  Year after year, and these choices have a cumulative effect on their bodies for good or bad.

I am talking about the daily choice of what they put in their mouth, meal after meal, day after day.  Please don’t fool yourself into thinking that what we eat doesn’t matter.  It matters significantly, and in a very profound way!!!

So many of the health issues that people suffer from today are avoidable, completely avoidable.  Many of these diseases are directly related to the SAD (Standard American Diet) diet.  So many people don’t want to hear that, but it is the absolute Truth.  Some suffer greatly and some of their suffering is so unnecessary.  Sometimes we are fooled into thinking we have no say in our health, but that is absolutely not true.  We have choices and plenty of them.

Please do not get me wrong.  Disease can happen to very healthy people, sometimes with no rhyme or reason, but those are not the cases I am referring to.  I am talking about overall health & wellness, and the very basis of that is rooted in the daily choices we make in the form of what we eat.  Day in and Day out.

I don’t know where you are on your journey to health & wellness…but if you are here reading this, then you are on the right path!  There is no doubt, a learning curve with this plan, but I promise you with each new principal, and new knowledge that you gain, it will help you start making better choices as to what you eat.  Don’t underestimate those choices Mama, they have a profound affect on your health…for good or bad!!!!  The choice is ours!!!  Choose well Mamas!!!  Stick with it, push through the learning curve, persevere, make good choices every meal, and it won’t be long and you will have made a profound impact on your health…to be the absolute best you can be!!!  What you eat every single day matters……….

YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!!!!

Prioritizing Our Health During Busy Seasons of Life ~ Tip # 2

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Last week we started a series regarding ways to prioritize our health & wellness.  A new Tip will be posted each Saturday over the next several weeks.  We thought this was perfect timing as we are moving into one of the busiest seasons of the year!!

Our first tip was on making a list of our personal priorities and goals, then learning to say “NO” to activities and commitments that do not line up with our priorities.  If you missed that first post, you can read it here.

Today I would like to share another Tip that I used to struggle with, and while I’m not perfect in achieving balance, I have made great improvement in this area.  Tip #2: Make getting enough Sleep a priority!!

There has been an enormous amount of medical research over the last few years on the importance of sleep in our health & well being.  Sleep just doesn’t effect our mood or cognitive abilities, like once thought.  In fact, in the area where I live, we have a dedicated “Sleep Lab” where patients go and are tested and evaluated for the amount and quality of sleep they get.  It is super duper important.  OK probably not a medical term, but you know what I mean!  Getting proper quality and correct amount of sleep is one of the keys to wellness.  Lack of sleep is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and a host of undesirable negative effects on these amazing machines called our bodies.

So if you are struggling with getting enough……quality sleep, Here are a few pointers:

Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Dark:  Make sure the Temp in your bedroom isn’t too warm.  A few years ago, we also placed heavy duty shades in our bedroom to help keep out early morning light.  They were fairly inexpensive at Lowe’s.  We also have a fan in our room year round, compliments of menopause.

Put away/turn off all Electronic Devices 1-2 hours before retiring to bed:  This is a HUGE one.  I strive to turn off all media by 8:00 pm every night, as I usually am in bed between 9:30-10:00.  I do not watch TV with the exception of the news, but my electronic devices can be sleep inhibitors.  There is a two fold reason for this. Writing a blog, building a business, and living life in general requires creative flow.  The problem is sometimes the creative flow doesn’t stop when I go to bed, and I lay awake “thinking” all night.  I need to “turn off” my mind before I can go to sleep and get a deep restful sleep that allows my mind and cells to rest & relax.  Secondly, and this is my personal opinion, I think Social Media has it’s place and has sure kept people connected.  I just don’t want to be connected 24/7.  My life is busy and committed enough, this is also the time that my Husband & I can reconnect after both being away at work, and I fiercely protect this time.

If you are sensitive to Caffiene stop drinking by early afternoon:  This may take some experimentation but it will be worth it if you are sensitive.  Caffeine is a stimulant and it’s effects can linger several hours after you consume it.  If you are having trouble getting to sleep, and are drinking Caffeine late in the afternoon, try foregoing the cup of Joe.  It never used to bother me, but it does now.  I also didn’t start drinking coffee until age 30, after I was married.  But I love me a good cup of Joe now!  Yup my hubby has me fully addicted to the brew:)  Since menopause I am much more sensitive to the effects. Oolong Tea doesn’t seem to have the same effects on my sleep so I will drink that or decaffeinated Herbal Tea in the evening.

Skip late afternoon Naps:  I love afternoon naps, always have. Research has shown a 15-20 min afternoon powernap or even just resting does have huge benefits, but sleeping too late or long can effect you falling asleep and staying asleep at night.  I don’t usually nap during the week…but giving up my Sunday afternoon nap…probably isn’t going to happen!!

Stick to a regular bedtime/wake schedule time everyday including Days off & Weekends:  We all have internal clocks, it is called Circadian rhythm, and is a fascinating study if you’re a science geek.  Lots of study has been done regarding this rhythm especially for those who work the night shift.  We usually do sleep in a bit on Saturday but we are usually up at 7:30, at the latest…Which is sleeping in when you consider we are up between 5-5:30 daily.  I need more sleep than my hubby does, so occasionally I may go to bed earlier or sleep in a bit later than he does, depending on what busy season I’m in.

The Key is determining what your body’s sleep needs and requirements are and strive to meet them.  We all know there are seasons when our sleep is interrupted for several weeks at a time, and Life happens, but sleep deprivation shouldn’t be the norm.

National Geographic also has a great You Tube video  Sleepless in America 

I hope I have encouraged you to make sleep a priority, because Mama you are so worth it!!!

Healthy

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DEFINITION OF HEALTHY:  well…in good health…fine…fit…in good trim or shape…in tip-top shape…enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit.

What I am enjoying the most about my journey is the new leash on life and energy achieved by eating the Trim Healthy Mama meal plan (click here to find out more).  By feeling well, it helps you to have more happiness.  Chickies…keep on keepin’ on…put one foot in front of the other and SOON you’ll be on your journey too!

Heads Up Spice Coupon

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Heads Up Mama’s…If you love a good coupon like me, or just  happen to love saving  money, I wanted to share this with you all.  PLUS – if you’re a Super Target shopper, you can  head on over here to save a 25% off McCormick Grinders Cartwheel offer (valid through 10/31).  These Grinders are priced at $1.99, so just $1.24 each after the 25% off Cartwheel and $0.50/2 McCormick Herb or Spice coupon!

If you are not familiar with the Target Cart Wheel App, it is a great way to save extra!  Target is an extremely friendly coupon store, and they allow you to stack coupons.  Meaning you can use a printable coupon or one you clipped from the paper, a Target coupon that you can print off the target.com site, and a Cart Wheel App offer (from your Droid or Apple phone) all on one item!!  You can score some incredible savings at Target!

I love the Pepper Grinder and usually get several when they are on sale.  I’ll be stocking up on this deal!  I also thought it might be a great offer for Pumpkin Pie Spice for the Shrinker!

Thanks, Hip2Save

Balance ~ THM

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Photo Credit:ccriley.com

BALANCE…….The struggle is real.  Finding balance in one’s life.  Sometimes balance feels elusive.  Balance the budget.  Finding balance in our work/life schedules.  Balancing our time amongst friends and family.  Balancing our priorities.  The list goes on and on…..

Yet you know what I love about THM??????  There is complete balance!  Serene & Pearl, stress over and over the balancing of S, E, and FP.

I am loving the new book Keep it Simple, Keep it Sane.  I toyed with not getting it…(my frugal minded self had a split second thought not to buy it) who am I kidding, I stalked UPS for a week until I got my copy.

While recently reading on the E meal, I love what the girls refer to in regards to balance.  They use the object lesson of a twin-engine plane.  Why would you fly on one propeller (S) meals…when you would be more efficient and much safer with both engines (E) meals!!  Brilliant, and of course I’m paraphrasing, but the truth is amazing.  I love their object illustrations!

Actually I can wholeheartedly say that THM has brought a new balance to my Life in the area of food.  The girls share that balance has 7 letters and 7 is the number of perfection:)!!!!!!

I absolutely adore that I don’t have to give up fats or carbs in my diet and that coordinating those fuels brings balance to my health & weight!

If you haven’t dove into the new book yet…It’s totally worth the read!

Peace Out…Chickies

 

P.S. I chose the above image because I adore Scrabble.  Any THM scrabble players out there???  If so, what was your highest scoring word?  Mine was Zoom for 72 points!!

 

Prioritizing Our Health & Well Being ~ During Busy Seasons of Life

Some days, Let’s face it…Life is downright busy.

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Fall is often a very busy season for most families.  The Kids have returned to school.  After school activities often flow into extra curricular weekend activities, and the start of the busy Holiday season is right around the corner.  Life can get very overwhelming.  Add with the start of cold and flu season,  all the above is a recipe for a worn out…run down, tired Mama!

I know in my own life, one of the first things I do when this happens to me, is I look for shortcuts.  Often times those shortcuts come in the form of  “I’ll take care of everyone and everything else first, then I’ll take care of me” and  you know what?…by the time Me comes around, there is nothing left!  I stay up late, get up early, and sacrifice precious sleep to get more done.  I don’t eat the wholesome on plan foods (that often require me to be in the kitchen and the grocery store) that fuel my body and strengthen my Immune system.  I let stress jump in the driver seat and feel like I am the passive passenger being led by an out of control driver!!

Trim Healthy Mama has taught me to prioritize my health & well being!!  That may be one of the greatest lessons I have learned from this plan.  I would like to start posting weekly Tips to help you navigate an over committed schedule, and help find balance to make our health & wellness a priority.  It has taken me a long time to figure some of these tips out, and while I am not perfect at complete balance,  I have come a long way from the harried Mama I once was!

I will post a new tip Each Saturday for the Next several weeks!  I would love for you all to jump on board and share any and all tips that have worked for you!  Mama’s we are all in this thing together!!

  • Tip #1  It is Ok to say NO!   I wrote a post awhile ago about choosing Good…Better…Best in regards to choosing the right on plan foods, but that also directly applies to Tip #1.  Often times, we have to say No to good and better…to achieve Best. This has been hard for me.  I like to be involved and have often times found myself overwhelmed with outside obligations.  Those obligations were not bad things.  Church obligations…Hospital Committees, and Community events.  I served…and served them well.  However, often times, giving my family what was left over…a spent overwhelmed Mama 🙁

I say NO much more frequently than I ever have, and I feel so much more energized and balanced.  At one point, my family was committed 4-5 nights a week with outside obligations!!  If you are someone, who like me has a hard time saying No…You might have to practice a few times.  First, it is important to start with setting a list of priorities and boundaries that are important to you.  If you have a husband, enlist his help.  Mine often times can see a storm coming long before I even see the clouds.  He knows me best and often times knows my limits better than me (After all he has to live with this harried stressed out mess!)!  He has been a huge help in regards to me setting limits and boundaries for myself.  Before you commit to any new obligations, ask yourself if they line up with your priorities.  “Will this obligation hinder or help me obtain my new priorities?”  Only you can determine your priorities.  Believe me it is totally worth it to sit down and develop a list for yourself.  Take your time.  Think, Pray, and listen to what is best for you and your family.  Then every new commitment is filtered through your priority list.  It takes a lot of the guess work out!

I Started with letting small obligations that could be easily filled by someone else go.  I told whomever I was  responsible to that I had realigned my family’s priorities, and I could no longer fill that particular obligation.  You know what, they found someone else!  The world didn’t come to an end, and I didn’t feel nearly as guilty as I thought I would.  The first few times will probably not be easy.  I know it was not for me, but  you will be amazed  at the weight that is lifted with even one obligation off your plate.  If your a young Mama with lots of littles…then you have to be so very wise with saying Yes!  Truth is…the majority of your responses should be NO!!  Every Season has different challenges and priorities.  The key to success in balancing our lives is finding what those priorities are and living within those!!

And Mama don’t feel guilty!!!

We live in a go..go..instant everything society.  We must determine the pace that is best for ourselves and our families.  It was in saying No that I have been able to say Yes to those things that are most important to me…

Please leave your comments to what has worked best for you!

~Blessings~

Michelle