Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What sets Team Beachbody apart...YOU & ME :)

It's true. Back in 2003 when I bought Power90 from an infomercial, I thought I was buying a program that could help me maybe lose some weight that had crept on. I thought I was buying a program that was an "easy bet" because of the money back guarantee. And while those things are true, what I got was something so much more valuable than what I could have ever imagined. I found lifelong friends. :) Friends I would have NEVER met because of where we lived, and the differences in our lifestyles, but they are treasures to me just the same!! HOW COOL IS THAT?? Let me share some of my friends with you :

Nina: I "met" Nina in 03 on the Beachbody message boards. I'd never been to a message board in my life, and haven't participated on any other boards since finding Beachbody's, and I just LOVED Nina right from the start. Going through a divorce at the time, selling her home, and taking important steps to improve her life in the midst of hardship, she was a strong woman, funny, sassy, told it like it is, and one of the most loyal friends a person could have. She chose not to have kids (see how different we are?? :)), and has 'adopted' my 6 to play the role of "Aunt Faux" to them; she sends them gifts, and fun little things in the mail to our family from time to time. She is like family to me, and I love her dearly. So much so that I had KC pull the van over on the side of I-5 just so I could hug her in the parking lot of her town's taco bell on our way up north! :) This Christmas, as we head to my parents, she may be coming up to join me for a day or so. :) (I know you'll read this Nina, so that is my strong admonition to COME!!!) :)

Dale: he and I met on the boards years ago and clicked from the start. Dale is an ER doc, and is a husband and father of four who lost a lot of weight on Power90 and ripped it up with P90X. Lucky enough for me, he has his own little plane that he likes to fly every chance he gets, and occasionally has flown to So. Cal just to spend some time with me and some of our friends here in LA. He has integrity to spare, and has become a very dear friend to me. We used to only email one another, but once we changed over to phone calling (once we realized that neither one of us were scary :)) we just talk away like you do with an old, close friend. :) I highly value his input, and he is a great encourager to me.

Judy: we met through the boards years ago and started corresponding through emails. Judy was a business woman with a husband and one daughter who was close in age to my youngest (at the time). She was looking to lose some weight like I had been, and we found a nice balance in one another. Judy is quiet, sweet, genuine, and intelligent. She's a great sport, and somewhat of an observer, who then always has valuable input on what she's observed. I on the other hand, am the opposite of Judy - I'm loud, gravitate toward the hub of the action, and make my observations from a close perspective. Whereas our personalities might not have brought us together in a room of people, getting to know one another through the boards and emails over the years, we've become great friends and work so well together as "yin and yang" and I wouldnt trade her quiet, stable support for anything.

Tammie: For years Tony (Horton) would tell me "Traci, You've GOT to meet Doug and Tammie - they are a GREAT couple and I think you'd be fast friends!" Now THERE'S a friend who knows you - when they know who you'd hit it off with. :) And he was more than right. Tammie and I have known one another for two short years but it feels like MUCH longer. She emails and calls just to encourage me and share some love! :) She is funny and so incredibly sincere; the world would be a better place if we just cloned her about a million times. She's my prayer partner, and is one of those friends that you know would do whatever she can do to help. She raises the bar for the example of servant leadership, and my life is all the better for being able to call her friend. Again....a friendship that was birthed from a connection to an online fitness company - amazing.

Anne: a message board friend for years, back when I hosted the MyBeachbody site, Anne was my right hand woman!! With TONS (and I mean TONS) of questions coming in to ME ALONE (this was prior to coaching) I was overwhelmed with trying to answer them all and Anne would answer as many as she could just to help me out. She lives in Nebraska with three sons and a great hubby, and has a HILARIOUS sense of humor! Her one liner emails to me make me laugh outloud oftentimes; we should all have a friend bringing to our life what Anne brings to mine. :)

Joey: he's young (late 20's), single, no kids, and going back to college to be a teacher. He was a pharmaceutical salesman for years who was a bit discouraged, and dare I say cynical by what he'd seen in his field. He's got that east coast edginess that I so appreciate (west coasters know what I'm talking about - east coasters are probably thinking "We're edgy?" :)) and is a guys guy: playing lacrosse and coaching it too. I doubt I've ever seen another dramatic change in a person as I've seen in Joey- he lost 49 lbs and in so doing got his purpose and excitement about life back! He is one of the most encouraging, fun, focused, excited, positive guys who wants to help and serve, that I've met, and if I cant find a way to marry him into my family, I may end up adopting him. :) (though I already have a Joey - this could pose a problem) ;o)
Yes, I am fit. Yes, I am as healthy as I've ever been. But its these friends; the RELATIONSHIPS I've built with people all over this country that make the Beachbody Experience truly unique and so special. :) They encourage me, love me, make me laugh, care about my kids, and know when its my birthday. They know who my favorite trainer is (its Tony :)) and know that I cant dance hip hop to save my soul, no matter how much fun it is to try. :) They know how tall I am, how old I am, my kids' names, and went through the whole process with me when we adopted our youngest kids. There are countless other people whom I've developed lasting, solid relationships with; I just wanted to give you a snippet of what being in Beachbody's community has brought me and so many others.

And I want that for YOU. Its WHY I'm a coach. Its why I answer emails (even though I oftentimes fall pathetically behind) and phone calls and encourage people! Cuz these workouts will get your body into shape, but hopefully you'll walk away with some lifelong friendships that will touch your life on a far deeper level than you can imagine! :) Its The Beachbody Way. :)

Do you know that these very people listed above, and many other people just like them hang out on those message boards? :) Every day (or nearly) they are posting - all these years later - seasoned customers and newbie's posting their first ever post - because in the midst of changing our lives, we were solidifying relationships with people. Still are. Relationships that will last. :)
***I, and those listed above, have started a 90 day fitness journey to March 14, 09 when there is a Team Beachbody Summit; where people will come from all over the country to gather, work out with the company's trainers, and learn what the company is doing to spread the word in a massive effort to reverse the trends of obesity!
Two things:
1. Join us as we post our daily accountability on a message board thread I started. Here's the link: http://forums.teambeachbody.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/5102991471/m/3251082051?r=5781013051#5781013051 Everyone is welcome, and the board is a safe, clean board. Check it out - its a GREAT motivator and easy way to connect to other likeminded people!
2. I'd love if you came to the Summit so we could meet as well! :) Coaches are the ones who buy the tickets, so if you want to come, just let me know and we can make arrangements for me to purchase your tickets for you!
JOIN US as we stir up a Team Beachbody Revolution...one relationship at a time! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Blog From Uganda, Africa

My niece (and namesake) Traci (24 y.o.) is in Uganda for 6 weeks visiting my brother and his family, and her younger sister Danielle (18 y.o.), who are all living and serving in Kampala. Traci sent a portion of her journaling this morning and I was so moved by the Spirit. As is to be expected on this continent, she had one of what I assume will be many "defining moments".

I was in tears. As I read it I was there. I saw what she described. I felt what she was overwhelmed with. I just cried that deep gut cry for the "forgotten" people who pray daily for God to SHOW HIMSELF.

Anyway, it got me to thinking. What if every day when we woke up, instead of thinking of our day, thinking of our worries, and what we "needed", and of me me me me me.....what if every day we woke up and asked God to show us where he can use us to be an answer to someone's prayer that day. What if every day we did that?

Now THAT would be change. POWERFUL change.
Read on.....I'm praying it moves you as it moved me.


Friends and Family,

I thought I would share some experiences and reflections I've had here in Africa. Thanks for everyone's prayers for safety and growth! I am having a blast adventuring and growing here!

Today was my second day volunteering at the orphanage. The sickness, dirtiness and seeming hopelessness of the children made me feel uncomfortable and I was not really even able to enjoy the experience the first time we went. So, before I went today, I prayed that I would be able to see the kids as God sees them, and that he would fill in where I lack knowledge and ability so that I could make a difference despite my imperfection.

I walked into the orphanage (Nysambia Baby's Home) and a child ran up to me and jumped into my arms. All anxiety or uneasiness left me completely and I immediately felt at home. It was little Patrick that found me first. He is one of the older children in the home (there are currently 26).

Next, I picked up a little boy they have not yet named, since he just arrived at the home on Saturday. This child is adorable. His face remains almost completely emotionless unless you gently toss him up in the air--then, he laughs or sends out a little squeal, then immediately reaches out for my neck and holds on tight. He is so sweet and as I sat on the wooden bench overlooking the filthy play yard, I held him tight and tried to squeeze any love I had in my body into his. It was then time for breakfast, and he was given his half of a white dinner roll with butter and a small cup of juice. I was sitting next to him at this point (the Mama (as the orphanage workers are called) asked me to put him down while he ate) and I couldn't help but keep my arm around him. Crumbs, butter, juice and dirt were smeared all over my pants, and his nose had run accross each of the tops of my shoulders, but I didn't care at all. What a precious gift to be able to sit there holding this small baby in my arms and watching his excited smile as he went flying up, then reached for me on his way back down.

Later on, I found a little girl named Audrey. She is often fussy and doesn't like to be held, but after playing with her a little, she would fuss and reach up towards me until I would pick her up. Before I knew it, I was holding her, walking around the play yard, stroking her back and head while she slept. As I paced the yard, I looked around. The yard is surrounded on one side by a small step up--maybe 6 feet up. Up on that little rise, gray smoke from a trash-burning pile rose into the air; clothes lines holding brightly covered fabric stood still against the pale blue-grey afternoon sky. I looked down at my shoes, stained red from the Ugandan dirt, and in that moment I felt like I was in a dream. I couldn't believe I was standing there in an orphanage in Uganda with this precious baby girl sleeping on my shoulder. I could never have imagined that that would be me if you asked me 5 years ago. If there is anything God isn't, its predictable.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to see and hold and love these children--if even for a few, short weeks. They are God's beloved, and I feel how much He treasures them as I look into each of their eyes. Working in this place feels like working on sacred ground. I feel so richly blessed with this experience.

Today, I read Psalm 42. As I read this Psalm I couldn't help but echo the cries of a Ugandan girl here, Monica. I, in my naiivety and hope borne not from personal suffering, I told her, "God loves the people in Uganda, and regardless of how hard things seem, He can bring change and restoration." Her eyes looked sad as she replied, "We pray for God to save our country. People are dying and are stuck in poverty. We pray that God will save our country, our people, but when?"

I believe there is a hope for these orphans that lies in our Almighty God, but still, my soul cries out with Monica's--"When?!"

One of the most precious moments in my life took place today when I was holding the baby that has not yet been named by man (though he is surely known by name by God). I laid him on my lap facing me, I held his head in my hands and I hummed "Jesus Loves Me" to him--just loud enough for him to hear. That moment was a gift, and I'll never forget it.

My love and blessings to you all!

Traci :)

Traci, with my nephew (her cousin) Graysen in Uganda at a local public pool
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
~James 1:27

Healthy Kids Snacks ~ from the Team Beachbody Newsletter

The two most important things to consider regarding snacks for kids (and for us adults, for that matter) are variety and portion size. A good rule of thumb is to try incorporating two different food groups into any snack and to keep the portion size between 100 and 200 calories. The required amount of calories will vary depending on your child's age and activity level, but a snack should ideally be a small energy booster to help him or her make it until the next meal—a snack should not be a meal in itself. Hopefully, it'll be a quick bite on the way outside to play and/or exercise, and not a side dish for a TV or video-game marathon.

Other things that make good snacks are foods high in nutrients, fiber, and protein and foods low in sugar, sodium, and saturated and trans fats. And bad news for the culinarily impaired: If it's prepackaged, processed food, it's unlikely that it will be a healthy choice for your "young 'un." But the good news is that children have simple tastes, which usually translates into food that's simple to prepare. Here are some ideas for when your munchkins get the munchies, plus, for the first time ever, my mom's nutritious pancake recipe!

Vegetables. I know what you're thinking—"Great! I get to force-feed my kids two more times a day!" It's true—vegetables are usually the diciest component of kid cuisine. But it's worth the effort because veggies give you more nutritional bang for your buck than any other food group. And if you get creative, you can usually find a way to get your kids to eat them without too much emotional scarring. Many dinner table disputes are about kids trying to assert their independence. You can get around this by letting your kids assist in the selection and preparation of the vegetables. If you take them to the farmers' market and let them pick out the vegetables, learn about how they're grown, etc., you're more likely to get more buy-in back home when it's time to eat the vegetables.

You can also give them choices, like celery sticks or baby carrots. But don't use dessert as a negotiating tool, as in the old standby, "No dessert until you eat all your vegetables." You just end up vilifying the vegetables and glamorizing empty calories—and those are values they'll take into adulthood. Talk up the veggies, and let kids know about all the health benefits they'll get from eating them. If you have a little extra time, try carving or arranging the vegetables on a plate to make faces or something more decorative and fun. You can also try serving veggies with a low-fat yogurt or cottage-cheese dip.

Fruits. Fruits are a marginally easier sell than vegetables. They're sweeter and appeal more to kids' palates. Although, one thing to watch out for is fruit juice. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a serving of fruit and a serving of juice are interchangeable. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice for kids to a couple of drinks a day, as juice is a contributing factor to dental cavities and gastrointestinal problems. Whole fruit, on the other hand, provides tons of fiber and other nutrients, and kids can partake of it quite freely, without any adverse effects. As with vegetables, if you have the patience and the knife skills, fruit can be carved into fun shapes or you can make fruit kabobs. You can also come up with low-fat healthy dips like yogurt that kids can dunk their fruit into. Try freezing some grapes or bananas as an alternative to a mid-afternoon Fudgesicle. With both fruits and vegetables, you might consider setting up a big "snack bowl" in the kitchen. Let the kids help choose which fruits and veggies go in the snack bowl, and then give them permission to grab what they want from the bowl whenever they're hungry. This will help them feel like they're in control of what they're eating, but without giving them carte blanche to hit the sugar or the chips.

Cereals. Kids love cereal, and the good news is that a lot of popular commercial cereals have made the switch to whole-grain flour. However, as nutritionist Marion Nestle said in a recent interview, whole wheat Cocoa Puffs are still Cocoa Puffs. If the whole grains are largely serving as a matrix to deliver a ton of sugar to your child, they're not worth eating. On the other hand, there are a lot of cereals, like Cheerios and the Kashi line, that have a lot of whole grains and not so much sugar. So check the label and try to choose cereals that have a high-fiber, low-sugar content. Cereals create another opportunity to reinforce good lifelong eating habits. Try to discourage your kids from eating directly from the box. In fact, here's a way you can replicate the convenience of prepackaged foods right in your own home!

Just get some resealable sandwich bags or a bunch of small sealable containers. When you buy a big box of cereal, pour snack-sized portions into the bags or containers. You can even stuff the bags back in the box for storage. This is great for last-minute lunch packing, or your kids can grab a cereal snack for themselves. This will help fight against the temptation for unlimited munching from the open cereal box. Plus, who knows where those little hands have been? When they're elbow-deep in the communal cereal, it's pretty gross when you think about it.

Peanut (or Almond - MY FAVORITE! :)) butter. One of the best protein sources is a kid favorite—peanut butter. With 8 grams of protein in a 2-tablespoon serving, peanut butter's a winner. Again, portion size is key since peanut butter is fairly high in calories (188 per 2 tablespoons) and fat (16 grams per 2 tablespoons)—2 tablespoons will usually suffice for a snack. Try making that old party favorite—ants on a log. Fill a stick of celery (the log) with peanut butter; then embed raisins (the ants) in the peanut butter. When choosing your peanut butter, try to find brands that only contain one ingredient—peanuts. Some stores even let you grind your own peanuts. Many brands contain so much sugar, you might as well be giving your kid frosting.

Protein. Lunch meat is a great snack, but don't be lured into the sinister den of the Lunchables. Sliced turkey and chicken are great lunch meats to have on hand. Stay away from processed meats, like bologna and salami, though. You never know what you're getting, and often you're getting a lot of fat and sodium. If you can't sell a sandwich on whole-grain bread, try making a turkey roll-up—stack a slice or two of turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a low-cal condiment like mustard and roll everything in a whole-grain lavash, stuff it into a pita, or skip the bread and roll it up on its own. Tuna and salmon are also really healthy and can be doctored in a salad with some yogurt instead of mayo. Check with your doctor about how much tuna and other types of seafood your child should consume. There is a greater risk of mercury poisoning for younger children, so some limits may need to be observed.

Trail mix. This is another great way to involve your children in their own diets. Gather a selection of healthy snacks, like unsalted peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, unsalted popcorn, raisins, dried berries, dried apricots, oats, healthy cereal, and anything else crunchy or chewy and healthy that you can think of that your kids will like. Despite their availability in commercial trail mixes, chocolate chips and marshmallows should probably be kept off the list. Put out the ingredients and let your kids choose which of their favorites they're mixing up. For younger kids, you can even present it as if they're making a magic potion or something. By letting them be involved in the creative stage, you'll hopefully get better results in the eating stage. After all, they made it—who are they going to complain to? Some store-bought trail mixes and granola bars are also pretty decent. Just check the labels carefully. Some less-scrupulous companies pack their "health" foods with sugar and saturated fats, like coconut and palm oils.

Pizza. While most delivery and frozen pizza is packed with fat and calories, pizza can actually be pretty healthy! It's basically a bit of bread, some tomato sauce, some cheese (*Tony Horton uses cheese as a spice for his healthy pizza! He doesnt cook it in, he uses parmesan cheese as your "spice" on top of the veggies), and healthy toppings. And yet again, it can be a meal and an activity for your child. If you don't have the time to make the full-on dough from scratch, you can make pizza with a lavash or a low-fat tortilla, or you can make mini pizzas with whole wheat English muffins. Add a dollop of sauce, and let your child choose toppings from a variety of healthy ingredients: mushrooms, peppers, onions, eggplant, and veggie or turkey pepperoni—the sky or the structural integrity of your crust's the limit. Sprinkle some low-fat mozzarella on top, and stick it in the oven or toaster oven until melted.

Smoothies. A lot of kids will refuse to eat any fruits or vegetables unless a massive amount of processing has been undertaken. Here's where the blender or food processor can be your best friend. By keeping a few bags of frozen fruit on hand, you and your little kitchen helper can make your own smoothies. Just pick a combination of your favorite fruits. Add a little plain, nonfat yogurt, some ice, some banana slices, or some peanut butter, and blend until smooth. It's a sweet, cool treat that gives your kids all the fiber and nutrients from fruit that a lot of fruit juices miss.

Healthily packed cooler. The holidays are approaching, which means it could be time for a road trip to spend the holidays with family. Hopefully, and especially for those of you with longer road trips, you'll have room in the car for a cooler packed with healthy snacks like the ones mentioned above, but occasionally, the siren song of the roadside mini-mart or vending machine is too much to resist. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently released a list of commercially available snack foods that are relatively decent. The list includes applesauce cups; Chex mix, traditional flavor; fruit cups; low-fat/low-sugar granola bars; and raisins. But save some money and save some calories. Pack a cooler.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lifestyle Changes Can Head Off Full-Blown Type 2 Diabetes

~Beachbody Momentum News

Kathy Smith's New Program is the Healthy Approach to Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Every 21 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. The good news is that Beachbody® has a fun, easy-to-use lifestyle approach that can help manage type 2 diabetes.
If you've been searching for a way to help get you and your family on the path towards a more active and healthy lifestyle and help reduce the risks of getting type 2 diabetes, keep reading.
Kathy Smith's Project:YOU! Type 2™ is a brand-new program from one of the most trusted names in health and fitness. This all-in-one healthy solution emphasizes lifestyle changes, including education on healthy eating coupled with regular physical activity. And it's designed to produce long-term health benefits while helping you lose weight. Did you know that being at your ideal weight can help reduce the risks of getting type 2 diabetes? And if you have type 2, it can make a big difference in managing your blood glucose.

Kathy Smith's Type 2 takes the guesswork out of how to help prevent and control type 2 diabetes by providing an easy-to-follow, step-by-step nutrition plan and exercise program that works for all fitness levels! It allows you to take charge of weight control, blood glucose man­agement, and carbohydrate counting with mouthwatering real food and fun exercise programs perfect for every level of fitness. The Good2Eat! Cookbook will teach you when to eat as well as what to eat. Choose from a preplanned menu, use the Good2Eat! Mix-and-Match Meal Cards to create your own daily menu from a selection of meals and snacks, or delve into some delicious new recipes for entertaining. The exercise program focuses on the three key elements of fitness—cardio, strength training, and flexibility/relaxation—to help you get moving and see results. Take control of your life back! And, most importantly, there's even a combined program guide and daily journal, where you can write down your meals, snacks, and workouts to help you stick with the program and track your progress everywhere you go.

CEO Carl Daikeler at the ADA Step out in LA; getting the crowd revved up
In fact, this amazing program was developed in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association® (ADA), the leading source of trusted information about diabetes. This is a major triumph for Beachbody in the fitness world.
Special guest speaker at the 2008 Coach Summit in Anaheim, CA, Francine Kaufman, M.D., former president of the ADA and director of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, stated some alarming statistics about type 2 diabetes, such as the fact that she "had to order new scales in order to weigh children over 300 pounds," and how "fat around your waist doesn't just sit there. It's metabolically active, secreting things into your systems that lead to all kinds of disease."

Yes, diabetes is a serious problem in this country. But even small actions taken each day have a cumulative effect, ultimately yielding big rewards. What's more, unlike most medications, the side effects that come with healthy living include a better body, more energy, and a reduced risk of getting many health conditions including type 2 diabetes—and the complications of diabetes, such as cardiovascular, kidney, and eye disease.

Kathy's quick tips for managing type 2 diabetes:

Get Active! Kathy Smith's Project:YOU! Type 2 can help you look and feel better, and help manage your glucose levels.

Get a Support System: You can't do it alone. (How about a Team Beachbody Coach, like say....TRACI MORROW?! ;) I added that part, can you tell? :)) Make sure you have a health care team, and surround yourself with encouraging support. Beachbody has an incredible online community of people who help each other stay motivated to succeed.

Milan Jensen, Kathy Smith, & Traci at the ADA Step Out in Los Angeles on Oct. 26
(notice my Halloween tights and skeleton earrings? With the walk being THIS close to Halloween, I figured some people would come in costume. NOPE. I was...the only one. :))

Track Your Progress Daily: Keep writing down your food, workouts, blood glucose readings, and moods in your personal Good2Go! Journal so you know what works for you. WOWY®, Beachbody's online gym, is full of great tools to help keep your workouts on track, too!

Carl and Kathy gettin' their groove on, & leading the masses to do the same!

Make Healthy Food Changes: Check with your health care team before changing your diet. The amount of carbs you eat affects your blood sugar more than anything else you eat, such as proteins or fats. You'll find out that our program is not about "no carbs" but eating "slow carbs." In fact, you will be eating small amounts of carbs throughout the day. That's why the Good2Eat! Cookbook and Mix-and-Match Meal Cards are so great. They have figured it all out for you.

Mark your calendars because this revolutionary program will be available in November!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You Really ARE What You Eat! :)

So many people struggle with the food part of their journey. Men and women want six pack abs, and though they work out faithfully, they just dont see them without proper lighting. ;) I get so many questions like that, I thought I'd post what a daily menu plan might look like for me. (yesterday's menu)

Eggwhite omelet with lots of veggies (see photo above)
black coffee
SUPPLEMENTS *see below*

Beachbody Peanut Butter Protein Bar
water with lemon and ice

leftover dinner (last night it was a serving of chicken and loaded with veggies, seasoned)
Whole grain rice made in organic chicken broth
water with lemon and ice

low fat cottage cheese with frozen blueberries

Beachbody Protein Shake
made with fat free milk, banana, some chunks of frozen mango, ice - blended in blender

I try to have veggies twice a day with my meals, and try to sub in a SHAKE for a meal every other day or so. They feel like a frozen treat - like a milkshake for dinner! :) And....I like to replace dinner with the shake because for lunch I need more food to help me have the energy to make it through the day. Thats just me, and everyone is different!

People also ask which supplements do I take:

P90X Peak Health Multi Vitamin
Omega 3
Joint Support
Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
P90X Protein Bars - my favs: blueberry and peanut butter. Kc loves Mocha. (That sounds about right for how we do things.....exact opposite, all the way across the board! ;))

I take these FAITHFULLY.
Yes, it is A LOT of pills to swallow, but I notice a BIG change on the days I forget - especially without my Peak Health. Energy DROP! :( If I am going to live an eXtremely busy and active life, I need to give myself all the advantages I can in the health and nutrition side of things. I had to really work to get to the point where I could take these supplements, because taking even ONE pill 'pre-Beachbody days' required me gearing up to gag it down. (and when I say gag, I was literally GAGGING: read: OVERLY DRAMATIC ;) I know - you're shocked that I'm dramatic ;)) But I'm proud of how far I've come. :) Its all about "MIND OVER MATTER"; if its good for you; no matter how uncomfortable: DO IT. :) Its called self discipline, and if I can do it - you can too! :) (course, I also pray for God to give me strength, and I dont believe that plays a small part in living a disciplined life, so I advise trying that too! ;))

I just started a new supplement that I am still waiting to see what the affects are, if any. If I end up giving it thumbs up, I'll post it here for you to give a try. (Its not a Beachbody Supplement)

I hope this helps you. It just takes A PLAN. (another one of Tony's Laws!) :)

Change your THINKING, (about food and supplements) and you'll have a better chance of changing your BODY!

Go gettum - YOU CAN DO IT!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finding Your SPORT :)

After my last blog, I thought it was worth mentioning a close friend who is choosing to plug his fitness into something both fun and exciting! :)

I heard from only 3 people after my last post, and thought I'd give them a public nod for doing so and for furthering their commitment, or recommitting to their health. :) Kathy, my sweet online friend was inspired to pick up her fitness again after some time off due to family and just LIFE. YAY Kathy!! :) Lori is playing gymnastics in the yard with her kids and working on her backovers! :) LOVE IT! Kelly is taking an adult tap class! :) How cool. I didnt know they HAD such a thing?! I'm so glad they do!

So yesterday I had a "play date" with my friend Scott Fifer. :) Both of our hearts were called to help Africa in the same year - his to open a NPO for orphans in Tanzania (see his blog on the side bar entitled TunaHAKI), and mine to adopt my boys from Ethiopia! His photos were the ones that God used to stir my heart to consider adoption back in February of 06! There we were - in some nice little outdoor restaurant and I'm having my 'burning bush' moment. :) I just love Scott, and think his heart is of the purest intention! :)

Back to the play date. :) Brad, Joey and I headed in to the Santa Monica Pier to see him in his trapeze class. I had NO IDEA this even existed until he started up back in May, so to go and see him and a couple other great ladies we know do this was a BLAST! The boys were loving watching him fly through the air with the greatest of ease ;), and I was too. Then we headed over after class to play in the sand. :) Well, the boys were digging while we talked. It was blue skies, slight breeze and warm sun - a GREAT day to sit and talk with a friend. :)

But the point is: he took a chance and tried something completely out of the norm for the typical adult thinking of what it is to be an adult, and I LOVE that! :) So, enjoy his photos, and may it inspire to you have a PLAY TIME of your own! :)
Scott, chalking up before heading up the ladder
The boys, eagerly anticipating his jump!

Waving to his 'fans', who were in awe :) (me included)

Scott and the Boys! :)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plugging Your Fitness into SPORT

One of the topics Tony speaks about in his 11 Laws of Health and Fitness is the law of SPORT. :) This is one of my favorite Laws, because its SO REAL and applicable.

When I was a kid, I played soccer, took gymnastics lessons, tried 8th grade basketball (I played center..... :) KIDDING), ran track, and was a cheerleader. (Please dont hold the latter against me :)) As a people person even back then, playing sports was about connecting with other people while we played. :)

Why is it when we step to adulthood, we lose that spirit? I dont ever want to stop "playing"; running, laughing, high fiving, cheering one another on, feeling ALIVE! :) It gets the endorphins pumping, and keeps my mind light and cheerful. Who wouldnt want to keep that part of life active? But the reality is, we lose it. We get married (or not), get immersed into our careers, get busy paying the bills and taking care of our house, coaching our kids' teams, etc. etc. The list goes on. We've somewhere along the line resigned ourselves to "Thats the way it is". I challenge you to think outside the box. When I was a kid, my dad was a runner and my mom jogged, or did a tv workout with Jack La Lanne or whoever was leading the television aerobics class, or worked out using this funny contraption that fit around the handle of a closed door. That's what was available and she did what it took to stay fit and healthy. Today, there are so many fun adult activities to get involved with: adult soccer, softball, bowling, dodgeball, rock wall climbing, adult tennis teams, all sorts of dancing classes, ...... There are so many places to plug your love of sport in to - its just a matter of choosing which one first. :)

Unfortunately, thats not what happens. Sadly, its still such a new thought that most adults dont even realize that its FOR THEM (read: FOR YOU!) to try. They tend to think its for those other people. The cool thing about Beachbody Programs is that it gets your body moving, flexible, agile, fit, shed of the unwanted pounds that crept on there, and ready to PLAY. :) The hard part is stepping out of old patterns and habits and starting something new.
Life is too short (wasnt that the theme of a post last month?) to not HAVE FUN! :) If there's something you've always wanted to try or play, or pick back up again - why not look into it today? We are a country who watches shows like American Idol, and So You Think You Can Dance, and Top Model, and Survivor and see these people living their dreams and trying new things. Why not go after your own? :) And grab a friend and ask them to join you!! (everything's more fun with a friend!)

Your "action step" after reading this blog is to leave me a comment. :) Tell me (and anyone else reading this) what it is you're going to try or have wanted to try. Sometimes just saying it gives you the accountability to follow through.

Here's mine: I'm finally signing up to do my Marathon. I told myself when I was in my 20's that I was going to do the LA Marathon before I turned 40. Well, the clock is ticking. :) I will be 40 in May of 2010, so why wait till the last minute, as is typical with me? :) The last time I started to train I blew out my knee....so this time I'm going to train slower, giving myself lots more time to do it well. Or at least finish. lol


Interesting Thinking Point: Chemotherapy and Vitamin C

If you have a loved one who is undergoing chemotherapy, I have an article that I think is worth putting out there for people who read this. I'm not saying necessarily that I agree with it, but I think when making the decision for chemo or not - one should have all the input possible. So I share it not to endorse it, but to put information into your hands for consideration. It was sent to me by another coach on my team who is a nurse and her husband (also a coach) is a doctor. I've attached all the references of the article and contact info to the author at the bottom.

Its worth a read.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 7, 2008

Chemotherapy Doesn't Work, So Blame Vitamin C

(OMNS, October 7, 2008) When Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announces that vitamin C may interfere with chemotherapy, the news media trumpet it far and wide. But before cancer patients throw away their vitamin C supplements, they need to know rest of the story.
Most of the media dutifully reported the researchers' claim that the equivalent of 2,000 mg of vitamin C "blunted the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs." But only some of the media included a study author's incredible statement that "If you take an oral dose even as low as 100 milligrams a day" even "that could be harmful" during chemotherapy (1)
100 mg "could be harmful"? That's the amount of vitamin C in a few glasses of orange juice. Something is very wrong here.

First of all, this research involved mice with implanted cancerous tumors; it was not a trial on cancer patients. A mouse study is a long way from a human clinical trial. This obvious difference was conceded by the study authors. However, there is a more subtle, and probably much more important factor they did not consider: all mice make their own vitamin C. Indeed, mice make quite a lot. Adjusted for body weight, mice synthesize the human body weight equivalent of approximately 10,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day. (2) Incredibly, sick mice make even more. Mice given transplanted tumors become sick mice.

Secondly, previous research has demonstrated that mice with cancer respond well to high-dose vitamin C therapy. One study found, "With an increase in the amount of ascorbic acid there is a highly significant decrease in the first-order rate constant for appearance of the first spontaneous mammary tumor. . . Striking differences were observed between the 0.076% ascorbic acid and the control groups, which synthesize the vitamin." (3) Another study concluded that: "A pronounced effect of vitamin C in decreasing the incidence and delaying the onset of malignant lesions was observed with high statistical significance. By 20 weeks, approximately five times as many mice had developed serious lesions in the zero-ascorbate as in the high-ascorbate group." (4) Interestingly enough, when this research was first publicized, the media discounted these findings saying that mouse studies were not particularly applicable to people.
Thirdly, a mouse's ability to make vitamin C, and a great deal of it, is an overlooked confounding factor that may well render the entire experiment invalid. If the Sloan-Kettering team had tried their experiment on Guinea pigs, their results might have been very different. Guinea pigs are more like human beings in that they cannot make their own vitamin C. As controls for comparison, the researchers also treated "no-added-vitamin C" mouse cancers with chemotherapy. Chemo worked just fine on those mice, by the researchers own admission. And each of those mice was internally synthesizing a body weight equivalent of 10,000 mg/day of vitamin C, even though given none supplementally.
So how come 10,000 mg of vitamin C does not interfere with chemo treatment, and 2,000 mg - or even 100 mg - supposedly does?

A sweeping recommendation warning cancer patients to not take supplemental vitamin C, not even 100 mg, is irresponsible. It is impossible to justify caution about taking 100 mg of vitamin C daily when your animal subjects made the equivalent of one hundred times that amount, and chemotherapy in them was still reported as effective. You cannot have it both ways. If a synthesized 10,000 mg of C does not interfere, there can be no real "interference" or "blunting" from a supplemental 2,000 mg. And most certainly not from 100 mg.

The study did report tumor shrinkage, in both groups of mice receiving chemo. That is not surprising. Chemotherapy's claimed success is based on tumor shrinkage. But tumor shrinkage, encouraging though it is, is not a reliable indicator of long-term cancer survival. As cancer research critic Philip Day puts it, many patients are "cured but dead" after five years, hardly a long-term survival. Day, noting that this is not because oncologists are not trying, explains the chemotherapy quandary: "You can be insincere, or you can be sincerely wrong." (5)
The Sloan-Kettering study team seems to have missed the essential point that vitamin C is not just an antioxidant. Inside cancer tumors, it also acts as a prooxidant, killing malignant cells. Comments Dr. Steve Hickey, of Manchester, UK: "Essentially, the paper seems to be rather misguided and shows a lack of understanding of the dual nature of vitamin C in tumors. Chemotherapy has been shown by over 40 years of clinical trials not to work in the majority of tumors, and its use is counterproductive."

Chemotherapy drugs have come and gone; the five year survival rate for cancer treated with chemo has remained virtually unchanged for decades. Unfortunately, just over 2% of all cancers respond to chemotherapy. Specifically, one scientific review concluded, "The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA . . . chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required." (6)

Perhaps this new, very well-publicized study results from an ever-growing realization that chemotherapy is largely ineffective, and the search is on for the reason why. Vitamin C should not be made the scapegoat.

Vitamin C, in doses well over 100 mg/day, is known to help prevent cancer. (7) Nearly 30 years ago, a review concluded that "Many factors involved in host resistance to neoplasia are significantly dependent upon the availability of ascorbate." (8) Beginning in the 1970s, many well-designed studies show that very large doses of vitamin C improve both quality and length of life for cancer patients since they invariably are "significantly depleted of ascorbic acid." When given intravenous vitamin C, "The mean survival time is more than 4.2 times as great for the ascorbate subjects . . . This simple and safe form of medication is of definite value in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer." (9) Additional clinical trials have confirmed this over the past several decades. (10)

Even more importantly, recent research indicates that in high doses, vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells. That means vitamin C can function very much like chemotherapy is supposed to, but without the severe side effects of chemotherapy. "A regimen of daily pharmacologic ascorbate treatment significantly decreased growth rates of ovarian, pancreatic, and glioblastoma tumors established in mice. Similar pharmacologic concentrations were readily achieved in humans given ascorbate intravenously." (11)

"Cautioning" the public to avoid taking any supplemental amount of vitamin C will decrease host resistance to cancer, increase the incidence of this dreaded disease, and shorten survival times. A cynic might say it will also create a larger market for chemotherapy.

Is vitamin C a commercial competitor for chemo? To answer this, one needs to consider what appears to be serious conflict of interest at Sloan-Kettering. Bristol-Myers-Squibb makes chemotherapeutic drugs. According to a DEF 14A SEC filing of March 22, 2006, the Chairman of the Board of Bristol-Myers-Squibb is also a director of the Coca-Cola Company, and Honorary Chairman of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
(http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://sec.edgar-online.com/2006/03/22/0001193125-06-060566/Section8.asp). A previous Bristol-Myers-Squibb Chairman of the Board was a director of the New York Times Company. He was also Vice Chairman of the Board of Overseers and the Board of Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Chairman of the Board of Managers of Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Resear ch. (http://www.o!%20rthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.secinfo.com/dsvrt.bC7.htm) Some sources say that there are even more Bristol-Myers-Squibb directors who have or held positions on the board at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (12)
Positive endorsements for vitamin C as a cancer fighter are not in the interests of any pharmaceutical company. Scaring the public away from vitamin C might be profitable. It appears that Sloan-Kettering is biased. So are media reports that attack vitamins.
If the Sloan-Kettering study authors' recommendations to not take 2,000 mg, or even 100 mg, of vitamin C are followed, there will definitely be an increase in the number of people that need chemotherapy.
(1) Doheny K. Vitamin C and chemotherapy: bad combo? Supplementing with vitamin C may reduce effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs, study shows. WebMD Health News. http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20081001/vitamin-c-chemotherapy-bad-combo (2) Chatterjee IB, Majumder AK, Nandi BK, Subramanian N. Synthesis and some major functions of vitamin C in animals. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1975 Sep 30;258:24-47. (3) Pauling L, Nixon JC, Stitt F et al. Effect of dietary ascorbic acid on the incidence of spontaneous mammary tumors in RIII mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Aug;82(15):5185-9. (4) Paulin g L. Effect of ascorbic acid on incidence of spontaneous mammary tumors and UV-light-induced skin tumors in mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Dec;54(6 Suppl):1252S-1255S. Read the full paper free of charge athttp://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/54/6/1252S (5) Day P. in the documentary film Food Matters, http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.foodmatters.tv See also: Day P. Cancer: why we're still dying to know the truth. Credence Publications, 1999. ISBN-10: 0953501248; SBN-13: 978-0953501243 (6) Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M. The contribution of cytotoxic chemother apy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):549-60. (7) Enstrom JE, Kanim LE, Klein MA. Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population. Epidemiology. 1992 May;3(3):194-202. (8) Cameron E, Pauling L, Leibovitz B. Ascorbic acid and cancer: a review. Cancer Res. 1979 Mar;39(3):663-81. (9) Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Oct;73(10):3685-9. Read the original paper athttp://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/MM/B/B/K/Z/_/mmbbkz.pdf <>(10) Murata A, Morishige F, and Yamaguchi H. Prolongation of survival times of terminal cancer patients by administration of large doses of ascorbate. International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 23, 1982. p. 103-113. And: Null G, Robins H, Tanenbaum, M, and Jennings P. Vitamin C and the treatment of cancer: abstracts and commentary from the scientific literature. The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 1997. April/May. And: Vitamin C and cancer revisited. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 12;105(32):11037-8. Also: Riordan HD, Riordan NH, Jackson JA et al. Intravenous vitamin C as a chemotherapy agent: a report on clinical cases. Puerto Rico Health Sciences J, June 2004, 23(2): 115-118. (11) Chen Q, Espey MG, Sun AY et al. Pharmacologic doses of ascorbate act as a prooxidant and decrease growth of aggressive tumor xenografts in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 12;105(32):11105-9. See also: Ch en Q, Espey MG, Sun AY et al. Ascorbate in pharmacologic concentrations selectively generates ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide in extracellular fluid in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 May 22;104(21):8749-54. And: Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20;102(38):13604-9. And: Padayatty et al. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2006. 174(7), March 28, p 937-942. http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/174/7/937. Also: Riordan NH et al. Intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent. Medical Hypotheses, 1995. 44(3). p 207-213, March. (12) Moss R. Questioning Chemotherapy. Equinox Press, 1995. ISBN-10: 188102525X; ISBN-13: 978-1881025252. See also: The Cancer Industry. Equinox Press, 1996. ISBN-10: 1881025098; ISBN-13: 978-1881025092.
For more information: Cameron E. and Pauling L. Cancer and vitamin C, revised edition. Philadelphia: Camino Books, 1993. Hickey S and Roberts H. Cancer: nutrition and survival. Lulu Press, 2005. ISBN: 141166339X. Hoffer A. Healing cancer: complementary vitamin and drug treatments. Ontario: CCNM Press, 2004. ISBN-10: 1897025114; ISBN-13: 978-1897025116. For free access to an online archive of peer-reviewed, full-text nutrition therapy papers:http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.orthomed.org/jom/jomlist.htm or http://www.orthomol%0d%0aecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine
Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:http://www.orthomolecular.org/12all/lt/t_go.php?i=93&e=MjIyNDM=&l=http://www.orthomolecular.org
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.
Editorial Review Board:
Damien Downing, M.D. Harold D. Foster, Ph.D. Steve Hickey, Ph.D. Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D. James A. Jackson, PhD Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. Erik Paterson, M.D. Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D.Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First Stop: Philly, Then: Dallas, Lastly: TONY HORTON FITNESS CAMP in Colorado

Its been a crazy busy month! I have had a blast, hitting a few different pit stops around this country, talking to people who's lives have been changed by Team Beachbody and who are interested in helping others find that change for their lives as well. :)

Extra bonus: all three stops highlighted or were centered around Tony Horton, and its always fun when he shows up!

Our first stop: (no photos dang it) Philly for QVC to promote P90X. We were on air for an hour, and sold nearly 4,000 programs! :) We had a great host; Dan something or other ;) and though I cant remember his last name, he was lots of fun! The day we were LIVE was his 10th day of the X, so next month when we go back (they're having us on about once a month) there should be some fun change. I'll be sure to post when we go back next so you can tune in and get some motivation. Tony is great LIVE, and makes the viewer WANT to work out!

Next stop: Dallas; for the Team Beachbody Opportunity Meeting. :) Got to spend some time with old friends, and meet new! LOTS of newbies! :) I love to see and meet new Team Beachbody coaches and faithfuls! You can tell a recent grad of a Beachbody program - they're the ones with the giddy smiles that never fade, and who cant stop talking about how much they love to workout now, and how their pants are smaller, and how people dont recognize them now! :)

Final Stop: Parker, Colorado for our final Tony Horton Fitness Camp of the year. We had 45 campers. It was intimate and fun, with lots of information, mixed with hilarity passed on from Tony. :) I have a really great job, if you can even call it that. :) Tony and I have a blast at every camp; and with our new administrative partner, JuliAnne Forrest - they run smoothy-smooth! (Hortonism) Tony and I keep waiting for the day when we get to host our own health and fitness show; where he is witty and charming and informative, and I laugh at all his jokes. :) Would YOU tune in to that!?? :o)~ lol We may just end up being our only viewers. ;o) However it turns out; we are a really good fit for a team, which makes it all the more FUN. I jokingly call him my "work husband", cuz we sort of feel parental about our camp attendees. :)
My REAL husband is a *STAR*; he encourages me to go and participate in these things while he stays home with our 6 kids! Not only that, but of the two nights I was gone, my kids were treated to the following: Friday night date night with Dad: he took our three daughters out to sushi for a gab session. But lets be honest: we can be certain that he did VERY LITTLE of the gabbing, as our girls CAN TALK! :) (Hmmm.....I wonder where they get that from? ;)) Then Saturday night was Guys Night Out with Dad: he took our three sons to Speedway for motorcycle races and stunts. :) He said the little boys eyes were as wide as saucers when the trick bikes came out. :) What a guy, right? Its funny how that seems just as romantic to me as bringing me flowers or taking ME out. :) We make a good team, me and my REAL husband. :)

So here are a few photos for you. If you have ANY desire to come to a Tony camp; the website is http://www.thfitnesscamp.com/ Up to date info will be posted as we ink our '09 camps so you can pick the one you want to attend and then PLAN ON IT. :) We'd love to meet you!!! :)

Keep Bringin It! And ***don't forget*** to email me your questions for answering in my coaching tips! Include your address so I can send you a present for "playing"! We're trying to make getting and staying fit and healthy FUN!! :)

In this with you!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Glancing Back - Looking Forward....

Life is busy and time is short, I will be the first to acknowledge that.

But as I look at some of our recent family photos from the summer, I am reminded of just how short time really is. The small snippet of time that is my childrens childhood is the same period of time where I grew from a young, inexperienced mom, to an older, seasoned mom of budding adults. For my older kids, I am in that final phase of helping them "become" who God made them to be, and letting them "fail forward" a little within the safety of family and parents, where we can tweak and adjust things that we taught that they may not have fully learned.

Being a parent is not a sissy job; it takes effort, PRAYER, thought, PRAYER, guidance from mentor parents, PRAYER, reading books, and developing each child as the individual, incredible creations they are. Did I mention prayer? ;o) I have good kids, but they are not cookie cutter kids. They all react differently, think differently, view situations differently, have different senses of humor, and their hearts are touched by very different things. One needs me to reprimand them firmly and LOUDLY, and one needs me to speak softly and calmly so as not to send "her" into an emotional meltdown. One needs the schedule for the next week of what we'll be having for dinner, and one forgets to actually eat because she's playing...until its bed time of course. One needs to know what we're doing 6 months from now, and one never seems to know whats happening in that very minute. Different. Every one of them. All created in God's image, all showing off different aspects of God's heart.

They do however, all have one thing in common. They're all being raised in the same house by the same parents; they're Morrows. All these kids, with all these different personality types need to be raised so as to learn to flourish in their uniqueness. I find that a fascinating role with great responsibility; as a woman, a mom, a follower of Jesus. I want my kids to enter adulthood with the wind at their back and sprinting towards their future. That takes EFFORT on my part and on their dad's part.

We do "check ins" with one another in the evenings when the little ones have gone to bed. We go for evening walks where we not only touch base as a team/couple, but we strategize, share what we see in the kids that we need to work on a little, share what (or whom!) we're struggling with, and then pray for our kids and for one another. When we walk back through that door, we are a united team going back into "the game" with our plan for that day, week, and sometimes just to get us through the next hour. LOL Hey - with teenagers, sometimes its an hour to hour basis. :)

I'm not saying we have it all down, and that we do it perfectly. NOT BY A LONG SHOT. There are some days when I dont feel I've done it well at all, but I never give up trying. There are days I feel like I had no patience, and kick myself that I didnt stop what I was doing to hear my quiet child tell me a funny part from Hannah Montana (the focused part of me has a HARD TIME stopping to listen to a recap of a tv show rerun - just keepin it real :) ), and days when I miss an appt. or phone conference, but God's mercies are new every morning. I ask forgiveness, receive it, and start my next day off with the intention of operating out of God's infinite grace and mercy. I love daily "second chances". :) Its what I always tell my kids: I dont have to be THE best, I just strive to be MY best.

I guess this isnt really a coaching post, but today I'm a bit introspective. My encouragement to you is that we're all human, doing our best to serve others from a place of abundance and not an empty tank. And sometimes it helps to hear that we're not the only one fighting the good fight! Not by a long shot!

I'm praying today for those who read this to be encouraged and find hope that you're not the only one who struggles with time, patience, and to keep up with the changes in our growing kids. We're in this together - and TOGETHER....we're BETTER!

Have a blessed rest of your week! From one busy parent to another!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunglasses; they do more than make your kids LOOK COOL

I dont know about you, but when my kids were big enough to start asking for sunglasses, I bought them for them because I thought it was so cute to see a little kid looking so adorable and hip at the same time. :) But with four of my six kids being blue eyed, I had no idea that my decision was the best thing I could do for them!

I was on Dr. Greene's website http://www.drgreene.com/43.html reading up on sunglasses and their important role in the protection of the eye from a young age, when irreversable damage is done to the eye; specifically lighter pigmented eyes. Dr. Greene states that unlike other cells of the body, "the cells of the lens of the eye are never replaced once damaged; the proteins of the lens are never replenished. The lens cannot repair itself; and damage accumulates over a lifetime." And that its in our youth is when our eyes are damaged the most BEFORE we think to put sunglasses on our kids for a purpose other than looking cute or cool.

Here's what he has to say on the subject, :

Excessive exposure to sunlight during early childhood is harmful to the eyes. Sunlight contains harmful UV radiation. The risk for retinal damage from the sun's rays is greatest in children less than 10 years old, although the consequences usually do not become apparent until well after they are adults.

Teaching your children to wear
sunglasses may be more important than giving them a college fund.

All children should be taught to wear sunglasses, especially between 10 AM and 2 PM, when ultraviolet exposure is the most dangerous. This is true even for children with darker eye colors, even though their darker pigments afford partial protection. Of course, children with light-colored eyes need sunglasses all the more. Ultraviolet exposure is at its peak when children are at high altitudes, snow-covered landscapes, bright sandy beaches, or near reflective bodies of water.

Most people wear sunglasses to reduce glare. This is trivial compared to the long-term protection they afford for the precious ability to see. Parents can set a good example for their children by wearing sunglasses at the appropriate times.

All sunglasses are not the same. Effective sunglasses should block both UVA and UVB radiation. Large lenses that fit close to the eyes are best. Those that block visible blue light are even safer. Thankfully, all sunglasses block UVB radiation. A great many sunglasses, however, do not afford UVA protection. Expensive brand names and polarizing lenses are no guarantee. The sunglasses must be measured to block 99% to 100% of UVA or UV400 (400 nm is the wavelength of UVA radiation).

Ordinary sunglasses make the situation WORSE! The dark lenses cause the pupils to dilate, allowing more of the dangerous UVA radiation to damage the lens and the retina.
This is a BIG WAKE UP CALL, fellow parents!! And the solution is quite simple. We all know that a toddler can demolish sunglasses in two seconds flat, so thats why its a blessing that childrens sunglasses are so inexpensive at places like Target or Wal Mart. You can get a pair for about $5 just about anywhere, and if you teach them to wear them from a young age, and model wearing them yourself, they are quick studies and as they will be a regular part of going outside, they'll leave them on after a few times. (I've got six kids, so I'm speaking from firsthand experience!) They may not like it at first, but they'll get the hang of it. :)
The long term dangers of life without sunglasses? Macular Degeneration and Cataracts are two common eye problems that have been linked directly to sun damage to the eye from childhood sun exposure. They damage the vision and without surgery to correct the problem, the vision is damaged. (see photo for an example of the vision of someone with macular degeneration)
So get some glasses on your kids (and of course, yourselves!!) :) You'll all look cool, and you can be proud for helping take care of the health of your kids' eyes!
Then email me some snapshots of you and your kids in sunglasses! :) I'd love to see them, and maybe put some on my blog. :) ABSoluteFitness@roadrunner.com
And send me any questions you have to the above email address for the chance of having your question answered on camera and a little something from me in the mail! Be sure you include your mailing address!
Blessings and Health!