It’s not working!

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How many of us have started a fitness or weight loss program, and after a few days or weeks of HARD WORK, we find ourselves saying these words…”It’s not working!”

Maybe we have dedicated ourselves to a new way of eating and working out.  We have planned, prepped, cleaned out, set everything out exactly as we are told.  Then for a few days we do really well with our new “diet” plan.  We are eating what we were “supposed” to eat, we are drinking our water, we are exercising regularly, and THEN we get on the scale……

The number staring back at us is NOT what we imagined it to be!  It didn’t drop!  Or at least it didn’t drop as much as we thought it would be at this point!

We put in the work, we followed the “rules” and now all we feel is that it just isn’t working.  We feel defeated.  We feel sad.  We feel frustrated.  We feel like we want to give up….again.

If you have ever been in this cycle – it’s time we change the way we are thinking, or we may just continue to be disappointed again and again.  This is no way to live.  Believe me, I have been there, I have done that, and it is frustrating!! Many times I have said those words out loud – “It is just not working!”.

Maybe it’s not with working out or our weight loss – but maybe it is with something in our jobs, or our home, or a relationship…we want to throw up our hands and say “it’s just not working!   We have all said it, thought it, or may be thinking it right now.

Take heart and let’s look to see what IS working in our lives!!  There is probably a lot more that IS working than isn’t working.

But here is what I have found in my own struggles, I usually need to look to see what may be going on at a deeper level!  Usually my “issue” I am trying to fix or work through is caused by another thing that I have got to work through!  Example – “I want to get in shape or lose weight or eat better”.  Therefore I start to workout, change how I am eating, clean out my pantry, and do all the “right” things.  However, a stressful situation happens, I stop going to workout, feel the need to want to stuff my face when I am stressed, etc and I proceed to self-sabotage and fall off my get in shape wagon.   Been there?  Now, if I will figure out the WHY behind wanting to stuff my face or run away and hide, or whatever it might be – I find that often there is a deeper emotional reason, then I can get somewhere.

I have to stop trying to bandage the problem, and instead I need to start to deal with the tough stuff!!  THAT is not always fun or easy, but I am telling you that it is the ONLY way to fix an “outside” problem.

So, what does this look like?  It looks like asking myself questions like:

“If I don’t go to workout, will I feel better or worse?”

“What is overeating food really doing for me?”

“What am I trying to accomplish by eating too much?”

“What am I feeling inside that is causing me to want to self-destruct?”

“Who am I and who do I want to be?”

“What is driving me to eat when I know I am not hungry?”

“Is this path of life working for me?”

“What am I focusing on that is causing me to get off track?”

“What can I do to make a new path instead of running into the same brick wall all of the time?”

Write down your answers, and think through what is really going on!  If you are like me – you may find that the answers to these questions can help you to fix some of the outside things you are trying to accomplish.

These things I mentioned are things that I have done in my life to find freedom in many of the areas I have struggled with in the past.  I am not a psychologist, but I will tell you that my struggles were REAL and this was the only way that I could get out of the pattern and bad cycles I found myself in for years!!!!  I can now feel freedom from learning more about myself and making better choices because I am seeing things differently!! Focusing up on Him instead of at the problem! 

So, if you are feeling like things aren’t “working” in your life, (whether it be your workout program, your weight loss, your food intake, or anything), instead of continuing to try things and getting frustrated when they aren’t working or bringing the results we want, let’s see if we can get a little deeper so that we can gladly say -“IT IS WORKING”!  Sound nice?  I think so!!!

–Rachel Curtis

P31 Fitness founder

 

Worth more than a number

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Have you ever had an AWFUL day because of a number on a scale?
Are you one of those women that weighs herself faithfully every day, wearing the same thing, weighing at the same time, and hoping for a different number every day?  If you are, you are not alone!

However, I need to ask you one question – what are you trying to prove?  What would happen if you hit that “magic” number that is floating around in your head?  Will you all of the sudden be satisfied?  Will that prove you are finally “it”?  Take a minute and re-evaluate.

The scale is just a number!  Sometimes we need to hear this because of our obsessive tendencies to do all we can to make that number different.

Start to think about other things:

1) Are you eating good quality foods?

2) How are your portions?
3) Are you eating for the right reasons?
4) Are you working out to improve your levels of fitness and health?
5) Are you sleeping enough?
6) Are you taking care of your emotional health?

7) How are your relationships in life?
These are the things we need to spend time focusing on each day!
So…we challenge you, STAY OFF THE SCALES…
You are WORTH more than a number!  

Do we REALLY need to take care of ourselves?

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Why is it important that we take care of ourselves?  Does it really matter?

As women, we tend to be givers.  Whatever we set our minds to, we usually try to give our best:  jobs, family, daily tasks, and much more.  However, sometimes, we don’t do the same for ourselves.
Maybe when it comes to your own health – you may just feel burned out, tired, or like you don’t want to give your best in this area. You may even feel that you want to quit, give up, stop in your tracks, and throw your hands in the air in surrender.  At some point, all women struggle with this battle inside.
The good news is there is always hope.  Hope in God, and in the life He has given to us. Hope that if we will take care of our “temples”, that it will be a blessing in the end.
Satan knows that if he can attack women in the area of their own health and wellness, we won’t be able to be who we need to be for others.
However, we have a DAILY CHOICE to fight, to be strong, and stand against the lies that sometimes creep in our minds.
Repeat after me, “I will be the best I can be for God’s purposes, and His ways.  I am here to live for Him, and be a blessing to others.  I am not going to sink into those feelings.  I will take care of myself and give 100% so as I can be 100%!”
Only when we are placing ourselves as a priority, can we be the best for those around us each day!
YOU ARE WORTH IT! 

We can’t fix a food issue with a food solution

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I often think about how we try to fix our “food” issues with another “food” solution.
It doesn’t work. 
What I mean is that if we are not happy with our weight or our food choices, we turn to another diet.  We try to control the food.  We then think about what we can and can’t eat all day long.  We log everything, we focus on what we can and can’t eat…all day long.
Is it working?  It didn’t for me!!  Oh, I tried….
I was a diet pro!  I had every book, every program, every food list…and guess what?
It didn’t work. 
I put 100% of my strength into fixing my food issue on my own – but it still didn’t work.  So…
  • I realized I couldn’t fix my food problem with food.
  • I needed to LOOK UP!
  • I needed to look elsewhere.
  • I needed to look at my emotional connection to what food was doing for me.
  • I needed a DIFFERENT solution.
The result?  Freedom!  Freedom from the guilt and the rules that I couldn’t follow for 10 years.  Instead, I started THINKING differently:
  • I would ask myself things like:
  • What is this food doing for me?
  • How is this food I am about to eat going to make me feel?
  • If I eat one of these (or 10) – will I feel guilt in an hour?
  • WHY am I wanting to stuff my face at this moment?
  • What is really going on that is driving me to want to eat the whole pantry and fridge and anything else I can find?
When I started being honest with those questions AND my answers – I started healing.  I realized my emotions were driving me to overeat or make crazy choices.  Therefore, when I started looking deeply into my emotions and working to fix those – I didn’t want to turn to food.  Because food didn’t work.
I believe that every woman has some sort of “food issue”.  We all think about it, we all work to control it, and we all want a fix.   I am here to tell you – our STRENGTH needs to be directed UP on HIM and on finding what is really behind the food struggle.
We can’t fix our food problem with a food solution. 
 
God can and will help us fix our food problem with focusing up on Him, and answering the tough questions that have gotten us where we are today.  Trust me.   It works.  It’s not a quick fix.  It can be tough to sort through some of the emotions.
However, the FREEDOM it brings is worth it.  

We can be the same in a year, or better – it is our decision!   We need to look for a new solution.   A solution NOT involving food!!

 
Read more about our Listen and Lose system on our website and various YouTube vidoes!!

Contentment in our very own boots….

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Tonight I watched my little girl try to put on my husband’s boots.  A cute and precious moment that quickly turned into a moment of frustration for her!  She would get one on, and then try to figure out how to lift her other foot high enough to get it in the other boot.

Then, she would attempt to lift her foot up and that would cause her to fall.  She started crying in frustration.  Now, before you think I am some bad mom watching this without helping, I wanted to see how this 19 month old would handle this situation.  Next, she decided to get back up and this time she set up the boots, scooted them over to the wall, grabbed onto the wall, and figured out how to get the boots on correctly.  Perseverance.   Now to attempt to walk.

She shuffled a few steps before falling yet again, and then she tried to get up.  Finally, she had had enough.  She got her feet out of the boots, she looked up at her daddy and I (who were watching her), and she RAN into her daddy’s arms!  It was like she felt so much freedom in her own feet.

This all got me thinking about how so many times we try to fit into someone else’s shoes (or boots).  We often step out of our own nice fitting shoes and we attempt to MAKE our feet fit somewhere else.  Somewhere they were never intended to fit.  We try, we push, we shove, we fall, and many times we keep up this pattern over and over again.

Do we ever do this?  Do we often try so hard to be like someone else or have what some has, that we end up in a heap of frustration?  Or maybe we just want to be different than we are.  Why?  Why do we sometimes go there?   Well… I think sometimes it is a lack of contentment that drives us to try to fit into another’s shoes, another’s job, another’s personality, another’s life.  Maybe we think that by trying on another’s “life” or a different life, that we will magically gain more peace with our current situation.

The problem with this thinking is that it is false.   Getting into someone else’s boots almost always leads to tears, frustration, and maybe even a fall or two.

The answer?

We need to get our feet out of the boots of others around us, and run free on our very own feet.

We need to stop trying to not be ourselves, and start appreciating the person we are!

We need to get back to finding out who we are, and being content with that person…all parts of her!

We need to be thankful for the boots we have, that fit us well, and wear those with confidence.

We need to remember that God made each of us unique and special.  From our personalities, to our appearances, to our situations…He is right in the center of it all.  He made us, and He loves us.  When we can start to acknowledge and appreciate that fact, we will stop trying to wear another person’s boots.  Hopefully this means we will not fall quite as often, not get quite as frustrated with how things may be in our lives, and hopefully, we will run this life with a bit more peace and freedom!!

Thankful for my sweet Reagan so vividly showing me this lesson today!!

Our boots fit us for a reason.  May we wear them with contentment and thankfulness today!

Stuck in the mud: A story of self-forgiveness and grace

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Yesterday was a perfect day to play in the mud. It had rained all morning, and the dirt was ready to jump in, get stuck in, and get nice and dirty in!  My kids LOVE to play in the mud.  The good part about the mud (for kids), is that it is fun, sticky, and messy.  The bad part about the mud, it is dirty, you can often get stuck, and it is messy!

As I stood there and watched them, I couldn’t help to think about how many times I have been “stuck in the mud.”

Sometimes I have chosen to get into the mud by my own doing, but other times I have turned around and found myself in the mud and didn’t even realize it until I was already knee deep.   Sometimes it is my own mud, and sometimes it is the mud of the world.

I see the “mud” as the hard times we face.  The struggles we go through.  The relationship issues that may come up in our lives.  The tough things at work.  The financial struggles, the parenting struggles, the marriage struggles, or even just a place of emotional turmoil.  We. Get. Stuck.

Now if you are like my kids in the mud, you often will try to throw the mud.  Sometimes at each other, and sometimes on yourself.  You also may push and wrestle and play until you find yourself covered in the mud.  Sometimes you stay down in the mud because it just seems easier than the slippery climb of getting up.

Wow – isn’t that life?  When we are doing through something, how often do we throw our “mud” on someone else or have their mud thrown on us.  I don’t mean intentionally, but we often find ourselves covered in other people’s problems, or we cover others in our own.  Maybe we put blame on others that have nothing to do with our situation, but we do it so that we won’t be in the mud alone.  Have you ever just sat down in the “mud” and stayed put because that is what you know?  Maybe getting out of the mud seems a bit too daunting or unsure?  We all do it.

We fear that we will mess up, or slip back in.  We fear that we are being judged.  We fear there is no grace.

Here is a key factor about this mud.  The  only way out of the mud is to REACH out.   You can’t just try to wiggle out and expect to get very far.  You have to get one foot or hand completely out of the mud and onto dry land to gain some traction.  You have to decide that you are done playing in the mud, and you are ready to get cleaned up.  Sometimes you need help out.  Sometimes you need someone to push you out.  Sometimes you need someone to pull you out.  BUT – Once one foot is on dry land, you have a better chance of taking another step to get your whole body out of the slippery slope.

Now my kids know the next step of getting out of the mud, and that is the cold, freezing, water from the HOSE!  They are not going in the house covered in mud, they have to first go through the painful “initial cleaning”.  It’s cold and rough, but it does the job.  Once they have their first wash down, now they can go into the warm, cozy, sudsy, clean bath inside!!

Getting out of the mud and getting cleaned up is not always pain-free.  In fact, it can hurt and be uncomfortable.  BUT once we are out of the mud and cleaned up a bit, we find that being stuck in the mud is not as fun as we thought.

Whatever your “mud” is today, I challenge you to reach out and step out.  You may need pushed out of the mud, or pulled out to get to dry ground.  Mud can be fun at first – but we always end up dirty.  The cleaning process is not always fun or easy – but when we choose to go a new direction in our life, ask forgiveness, forgive ourselves, then we can stop getting stuck in the mud, and start living again!

Will I let my kids play in the mud again?  Absolutely.

Will I get stuck in my own mud again – most likely.

However, each time, I hope that I learn a little bit more about how not to get quite as stuck as the last time!  Grace, forgiveness, and reaching out….one day at a time.

–Rachel Curtis, P31 Fitness Founder

The Splinter…

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“A splinter is a fragment of a larger object (especially wood), or a foreign body that penetrates or is purposely injected into a body. The foreign body must be lodged inside tissue to be considered a splinter.  It usually must be removed manually to relieve the pain.”

Yesterday, my 5 year old was swinging on our wooden playground and rubbed his foot on some wood, and got not one, not two, but THREE splinters in his foot!! At first, he was pretty tough about it, but as the day wore on, he was in a lot of pain.  We didn’t see the splinters clearly until they were already causing an infection in his foot.  Touching anywhere near the splinters sent him crying and grabbing his leg.

I pulled out the tweezers and the hydrogen peroxide and went to work.  As soon as he saw those tweezers he panicked and started crying.  The first round of this was really for me just to see what we had here.  I did a little work, but then eased off, bandaged it up, and let him play some more.  Then a few hours later, we went in again.  Each time we did this, I was making a little more progress.  But it hurt him.  So much so that he would just see the tweezers coming, and start crying.

How do you convince a 5 year old that although it hurts now, that this is actually making it better?  That once we get through this – the pain will go away?

Finally, at the last attempt, I iced it first (which was also a tough convince) and then went in.  I knew that this final time I had enough skin pulled away that I could grab each splinter.  I went for the longest one first, so he could see how cool it was that long of things was in his foot!!  When I showed him, he got a big smile.  Jaxon!! This was IN your foot buddy!! You are SO tough!!  Then, I went for the next, a little deeper, but small.  He made it through just fine.  But lastly, was the one I had been digging on the most.  It was deep.  I had his sisters talk to him, and I told him to hold his breath, and then I dug one more time and pulled it out!!

It was the biggest splinter I had ever seen!!!  And here he had gone the whole day like that!!  All because he didn’t want to face the pain of the tweezers.

It got me thinking….how many times do I leave painful things in my life because I don’t want to go through the pain of removing them?  Even though I know it will be better once it is gone, it HURTS!!  Maybe it’s a habit, maybe it’s a relationship, maybe it’s a situation…whatever it is that is bringing us pain, I often will leave buried in the skin because I don’t want to face getting it out.

So today, my 5 year old gave me the confidence I needed to stop doing some of the things in my life that are causing pain.  To stop allowing certain things in my life to cause me pain.  To stop accepting painful situations just because it is how it’s always been.  He taught me that you can get through it and you can smile on the other side.

How?  To look UP.  To be STILL and Know that God is in control.  To remember that sometimes pain gets us to where we need to be.  Lastly – to remember that pain often has a purpose.

Anything that brings humility in our lives, and points us to God…can be good.  Even if it hurts.  

Thank you Jaxon for teaching your mommy a very important lesson tonight!!  I will go start the painful process of removing some splinters from my life today – AND being thankful for the lessons they taught me while they were around.  Removing the pain will always be worth it… we just need to see the purpose!!

–Rachel Curtis

P31 Fitness Founder