Be the Change You Want To See

I love the gym. Not the floofy classes or the cushy easy-glide equipment, but the plate weights and the dumbbells and the free bars. I love the ‘real’ stuff – the stuff that I grew up with. The stuff that I know… that I understand… that I am comfortable with.

I got out of bed early this morning and hit the gym for the first time in weeks. The reality of my life is this: if I don’t steal the time for myself before the house wakes, I don’t make it happen.

I get tired.

I get lazy.

The ‘things’ of the day begin to suck at my skin and I just can’t get my mind right to put for the energy for a workout.

So, when a morning begins like it did today… me awake, the house asleep, iPod full of the best tunes, lots of sweat, 64 ounces of water before 7:30am, and tingling in my muscles, I am sooo thankful for my early years:

  • I’m thankful that working out wasn’t an option – it just was.
  • I’m thankful that my dad didn’t talk fitness… he lived fitness.
  • I’m thankful that my parents raised me so my body would never be a burden; I was raised to be in control of my physical being.
  • I am thankful the gym was home to me and, no matter how much time passes between my visits, I always return with comfort and ease.

That’s what growing up in bodybuilding did for me: it built a foundation of health. No, I’m not a bodybuilder – and, no, I have no desire to spend four hours a day in the gym… even if I had that kind of time in my day. BUT – growing up in bodybuilding grew a foundational desire in me to never let my body get away from me.

I learned from eating and breathing bodybuilding, day in and day out, that my body will be exactly what I feed it and train it to be. Period.

The funny thing is I’m positive my dad wasn’t intentionally training me all those years. He never pulled out a notebook with goals and milestones and ‘things I must teach my daughter before she’s 18’. He never sat me down and delivered bodybuilding sermons, or pontificated on the value of multiple reps and sets for each muscle group. No – my dad just was who he was and I learned by simply walking through life by his side.

Proverbs 22:6 promises that what we teach our children in their youth is what will stay with them:

“Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.” (The Message Bible)

Or, another way it’s said is: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (NIV)

Today, just as I am reminded of the importance of the example I am living for my kids, I hope you’re reminded of the same.

Who WE are is who are children will become.

  • Our view of food will be their view of food.
  • How we handle trials will be how they handle trials.
  • How we value our bodies will be how they value their bodies.
  • How we love our spouse will be how they love their spouse.
  • How we respect ourselves will be how they respect themselves.

What WE do and who WE are matters far more than what we say.

  • We can’t preach ‘be kind’ if we ourselves are unkind.
  • We can’t preach ‘be healthy’ if we ourselves are unhealthy.
  • We can’t preach ‘be modest’ if we ourselves are immodest.
  • We can’t preach ‘be humble’ if we ourselves are full of ourselves and puffed up with pride.
  • We can’t preach ‘have faith’ if we ourselves are faith-less.

So today, mamas, let’s walk strong with eyes wide open. Let’s be the women we hope our girls will become.

Let’s be kind so they will learn kindness.

Let’s be generous so they will learn generosity.

Let’s be forgiving so they will learn forgiveness.

Let’s be patient so they will learn patience.

Let’s be bold so they will learn boldness.

Let’s be joyful so they will learn joy.

Let’s be thankful so they will learn thankfulness.

May our homes be where our children eat and breathe life and love and Truth, day in and day out…. so when they grow old, they will not depart from it.

Why I Eat Quinoa.

I eat quinoa in practically every meal. Truly.

I eat it because it’s easy. It takes me seconds to put on the stove and it cooks by itself while I’m making breakfast or dinner. Then, I just store the big batch of it for an instant meal when I’m ready.

I eat it because it’s versatile.  I can eat it warm, or cold. I can put it with my greek yogurt and fruit, or I can make it savory with eggs and spinach. I can replace noodles in my soups with it, thicken vegetable stews with it, and turn it into the base for a phenomenal salad with every vegetable imaginable.

I eat it because it satisfies my appetite. It is filling, sustaining… it satiates me for hours.

I eat it because it makes me feel amazing. I feel light, energized, CLEAN.

Yes, I eat it because it’s ‘healthy’… but ‘healthy’ is hard to swallow if ‘healthy’ brings burden and frustration and confusion. And that’s what most ‘healthy’ trends do these days: burden people with dos and don’ts, calorie counts and carbohydrate components. Most ‘healthy’ talk these days goes against real food and, instead, tangles our mind in the pit of nutritionism, categories, and diet trends.

Quinoa is simple; it’s ancient. It causes me no burden, frustration or confusion.

Eating quinoa is like pulling out my favorite pair of blue jeans and dressing up or dressing down depending on my mood. It’s one of nature’s true superfoods; it was fed to Inca warriors as they headed out to battle thousands of years ago… and it is a prized food of endurance athletes around the world today.

No, I may not be a warrior with armor on, and I may not be running an organized marathon this afternoon. But, as a partner to my husband, a mom of three, a business owner, and a woman who never takes one breath for granted- I am a runner, a warrior, an athlete… and my calling requires physical strength, mental focus, and endurance.

That’s why I eat quinoa.

So this world can keep its diet trends, calorie counts, nutritionism talk, and confusion… I’ll have none of it. Instead, I’ll stick with my best friend, quinoa… and, I’ll be free, and powerful, and fit… and ready to take on the world.

Anyone care to join me?

Rebel on,

-e.

 

The Scale Is Not Your Friend

Yesterday my 11 year old daughter said, “Mom, we need a scale”.

“A scale,” I asked?

“Yeah – so and so has a scale and when I weighed myself I weighed more than I thought I would. I want a scale so I can keep track of what I weigh.”

“Honey,” I said, “what has you worried about how much you weigh? Do you feel good and strong?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Can you do what you want to with your body without struggle?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Then that’s all that matters. Having the scale’s opinion doesn’t help you feel better or perform stronger – it just gives you a number that means nothing for who you are.”

_____

We don’t own a scale – and, although we have constant conversations about fitness, we don’t talk about weight in our home.

Weight doesn’t matter to me because it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. What does matter to me is that my kids understand their bodies are a reflection of what they are putting in.  I always tell them that our body gives us physical cues on whether or not we are making the right choices: if our bodies are saying something to us (like with clothes that are fitting to snug, or with sickness, or with fatigue and lack of strength), that’s when we know we aren’t doing something right.

Does the scale help us feel better? No. As I told my girl, the scale does nothing but give us a number that fits (or doesn’t fit) someone else’s arbitrary weight grid. The number doesn’t measure the quality of food we are intaking, how much muscle we have, or whether or not we are comfortable in our skin.

And that’s one of my foundational goals: to raise children that are 100% comfortable in their skin.

I want my children to love good food, love who they were created to be, and are empowered with the understanding their bodies are speaking to them every day. 

It’s not fat grams and calories we have to count, and/or the number on the scale we have to pay attention to… it’s simply making sure that we are in control of our bodies – and that our body isn’t in control of us.