wellness by little

Stewarding Your Body Well Throughout Busy Seasons

"Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Tis' the season for holiday parties, celebrations, feasting and enjoying lots of delicious (let's be real, adult) beverages... Christmas is such a rich, joyful and celebrated time of year but I also know the flip side of so much celebrating can lead to feeling crappy, gaining weight and feeling like you're running on E. 

The truth is, we can say no to our desires and feelings and emotions in the moment and we can say yes to something greater. True courage, freedom and bravery are found in saying yes to something greater than ourselves and our momentary, fleeting desires and feelings. I've messed this up plenty but the moments where I did have discipline around food and fitness (or anything in life, really) have lent itself to greater joy and satisfaction spiritually and emotionally than taking the easy or convenient route. There are examples of this kind of discipline written all throughout the Bible. God didn't "feel" like watching his only Son be crucified on the cross, but he did and Jesus certainly didn't "feel" like going to the cross, but he did for us. 

God gives us a spirit of power and of self control. My hope for myself and people reading is that this holiday season would be a time where we choose to tend to our temples by honoring our bodies so that we may be led closer to God, to people and to our purpose. It might be hard but I bet it'd be 100% worth it ❤️

Balancing Physical & Spiritual Health

God cares about our physical health but he cares for our souls a million times more. Keeping these things in balance means we understand that God is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than the way we look on the outside. This truth is something I need to come back to often and find rest in knowing my soul is of highest importance to God. 📷: @beckahueth

Navigating Beauty

I've worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years now and been thinking on how we as women are faced with a lot of pressure around physical beauty. The fashion, ideal body shape, diets and workouts have all changed and I can't really think of a time when women did not define themselves by some ideal of physical beauty. Though the definition of beauty changes over time one thing remains constant - it is always a definition of beauty that is just beyond our reach. We want what we cannot have. If curvy is hard, we want curvy. If thin is hard, we want to be thin and this expectation of physical perfection hits us early on in life and often. 

I was reminded as I sat in a Hawaiian church last Sunday that God loves us exactly where we are. For real! He Does! Not the skinnier version. Not the stronger version. We are image bearers of God. He made us just the way we are, in His image and likeness. This truth is so much more powerful, hopeful and encouraging than any worldly, societal pressure making me think some definition of physical perfection will bring ultimate happiness. That's a lie. Beauty is fleeting and our health will not last forever.

In this as in all things, there is hope and good news for the believer: one day we will enter Heaven and be free from our self-loathings and live in harmony with our physical looks. In the meantime we should absolutely steward the gifts of our physical bodies but for the sake of health and wellness not beauty. 

A New Approach to Fitness: Aligning Behavior Change Around Fitness to Your Personal Values

Have you ever set a New Years resolution to get in shape or trained for an event like a triathlon or wedding? Did you succeed in accomplishing your goals because you devised a plan and maintained a routine schedule?

In the world of fitness, there is more information at our fingertips then ever. There are fitness experts, Instagram Fitness Guru’s, ample Crossfit gyms, yoga studios and a variety of classes taught at athletic clubs. While all of this seems to make exercising incredibly convenient for us, we still have difficulty reaching and maintaining our goals.

Rather than sharing a list of exercises you should do to get in shape or posting a photo of some abs you someday hope to have, we believe that when you align your behaviors with your deeper values, true lasting change can occur. This requires a more personal, introspective approach to your health:

1.) List out 3 goals you’re currently working on in order of importance (These can be any health goals. For example: smoking cessation, lose 15lbs, gain 15lbs muscle mass, prepping meals, etc). After each goal, reflect on what has worked in the past and what made it harder to achieve that goal.

2.) Visioning. If you could create a vision statement centered around the ideal person you’d like to be someday, what would it be? Vision statements are intended to be long term being statements that start with “I am.” When you’re done writing your vision give yourself a % of completion for today’s date. 0%= not this person at all 100%= I am this person
Sample Vision Statement: I am a person who stewards my body well by eating in moderation and exercising regularly45% completion on 07/30/15

3.) In the next 7 days what are 3 baby steps you can take to work towards your vision/goals? These goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-oriented (or SMART). If I were to take the vision statement from above, a few goals might be:
- I will do in-home strength training workouts on M/W/S for 60 minutes with my trainer.
- On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this upcoming week. 
- I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners.  

4.) Lastly, rate your goals on % confidence and % of importance. 
- I will do in home strength training workouts on M/W/S for 60 minutes with my trainer.
            85% confidence / 100% importance 

- On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this upcoming week. 
           90% confidence / 80% importance 
- I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners. 
          95% confidence / 100% importance  

If you’re below a 70% confidence, how might you alter that goal to raise your confidence? These goals are designed to be SMART so that you experience small weekly successes that empower you to move closer towards your vision.

Our professional recommendation is to track your progress for 6 weeks. Every week, reflect on your previous weeks goals and reset new weekly goals. At the end of week 6, rate your overall % of completion towards your vision statement. Have you made progress? If so, how does that feel? If not, what were the barriers to change?

Creating your own pathway to success has proven to work for many of our clients. It’s often easier to look at a magazine or the internet and hear how someone else was successful but we are not all the same people, with the same circumstances, with the same goals. Embrace your uniqueness by doing what you know will lead you to personal success when you dig a little deeper!  

4 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

Starting the Day in a Healthy Way
By Ellyn Erving

If you are thinking about making some healthy enhancements to your life, starting small can be a great way to find and maintain motivation.  Here are four healthy habits to incorporate into your morning routine. You can pick one that resonates with you and ignore the rest, or you can add all into your morning starting tomorrow.

1.     Drinking 16oz of Water

Drinking water right when you wake up has multiple health benefits such as kick-starting your metabolism, waking up your gut for smooth bowel movements, and helping your body to flush out toxins.  Hydrating in the morning will help your skin to glow and encourage your body and brain to wake up for a productive day.

2.     60 Seconds of Morning Stretches

Ever notice how your body just wants to be stretched right after waking up? Try reaching your arms up overhead and bending forward into a hamstring stretch. Doing some light stretching in the morning helps to wake your body up and provides an energizing feeling.

3.     Set the Alarm 5 Minutes Earlier

Although it might feel amazing at the time, hitting the snooze button and getting those extra 5 minutes of sleep is not worth the rush it creates when you realize how little time you have to get ready for the day.  Try setting an intention to wake up 5 minutes earlier than normal so you can go through your morning routine at a leisurely pace to reduce morning stress.

4.     Invest in Breakfast

You have heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but sometimes despite your best efforts this meal just doesn’t fit into your morning.  One solution is to cook when you do have time and have a breakfast ready to go.  Try cooking a veggie frittata in a cupcake tray so you can grab one serving for your morning commute.  You can also purchase healthy breakfast bars at PCC, Whole Foods, or your local health food store.  Be sure to check the sugar content and make sure it is below 10g per serving to avoid a mid-morning energy crash.