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Monthly Archives

July 2016

The baggage we carry…

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Have you ever felt weighed down in life?  Maybe you aren’t even really sure why, but you often feel you are just carrying around a lot of extra baggage in your life!  Well, I encourage you to read this article, for some encouragement today!

I recently went on a quick trip up to Wisconsin to work with the new P31 Fitness class there.  This was one of those trips where you are trying to keep everything in the carry on bag – so as not to have to pay the check in bag fee.

As I was packing, and stuffing those carry on bags full (yes I said bags, and not bag), I realized that I probably should reconsider my plan based on the weight and size of my bags!  I kept thinking, SURELY the items will fit in the overhead compartments and I won’t hit too many people walking down the airplane aisle as I make my way to my seat!   🙂

So, I show up at the airport, rolling a bag, carrying a large “purse” (that really was just another excuse for a bag to stuff more items in), and then I complete it with carrying my tennis shoes, book, and snacks.  I definitely was feeling like I was breaking the “TWO SMALL CARRY ON” rule.  But – I did not want to pay more money to check those bags on the Delta flight to Wisconsin!!

DFW airport is huge, and so here I am lugging these 2 “small bags” through the airport, through security, to the snack store to somehow get my coffee, and finally to the gate to wait for the flight.  It was awkward to carry all of that, and those bags started to get REALLY heavy!!  It was at the moment that I look over and see a lady walk in and sit down with ONLY her cell phone in hand, that I started getting envious.  Yes, envious over this free lady with no bags.  Imagine that!!!  I caught myself starring at her thinking – HOW DID SHE DO IT?  And more importantly – WHY didn’t I do that and just check these bags?!?

As I watch more and more people arriving at the gate, I start to get nervous.  You see, my ticket is in the back of the plane.  Normally I like that.  I like to sit at the back, and I like to sit by myself and just dream, or read, or rest.  But today – I started feeling this anxiety rise up in my chest.  I can just envision my long walk down the skinny aisle with not one carry on, but two carry ons…plus my little “extra” items.  I envision me having to apologize for whacking people accidentally, and then once getting to my seat – there probably won’t be any space left in my overhead compartment.  Oh dear.  This will not be good.

Then I look over at this free lady with no bags, and again – wish I was her!!

So, it is time to board, and the BEST thing happens to me, and I am saved from all my fears!!!!  As I walk down the gateway, there are men standing there with pink tickets to hand out in exchange for taking your bag down below during the flight!!  Since the flight is full, they are offering to pink tag the bags and check them right there for pick up after we land.  I am SO EXCITED (it doesn’t take much for me) – because now, I don’t have to try to lug my bags down the aisle and risk hurting someone with all my extra stuff as I walk by them!

The man handing out the pink ticket probably thought I was nuts, because I don’t just hand him my bag – I say  -“oh yes, PLEASE take these bags from me!!”.

Well, the good news is that on the way home, I only had one bag.  I was able to leave my other items with the lady in Wisconsin for P31 Fitness.  Needless to say, it was a much better experience.  I carried a real size carry on, and even at that, I found the pink tag men again on the gateway.  NOW, guess what – I get to walk on the plane home carrying ONLY my book and water.  WOW – what a difference!!!

Now, you may wonder what all of this has to do with nutrition, health, and you today?

EVERYTHING!!!  How much “extra” baggage are you carrying around?  Maybe not even physically, but how about emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually?  Baggage is anything that tends to drag us down, or feel healthy, or things that we feel burdened by in our daily lives.  We all have those things!!

  • Do you find yourself feeling guilty for not being this or that?  Baggage.
  • Do you find yourself not meeting other people’s expectations and feeling like a failure?  Baggage.
  • Do you find yourself beating yourself up for past mistakes?  Baggage.
  • Do you find yourself beating yourself up over your food choices, or lack of “good healthy” decisions in your life?  Baggage.
  • Do you find yourself carrying around the emotional burdens of others? Baggage.
  • Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others and never feeling like you measure up?  Baggage.

Yes, Yes, and Yes….we all do and we all have this baggage in our lives.

How GREAT would it feel just to drop off that baggage at with the man with the pink tag?  How good would it feel to be free from the extra weight we carry, and to just be US?  Real, raw, and free?

It would feel amazing!!! But what I have found over the years both with myself and others, is that we tend to hold onto that extra baggage for many reasons.  A few to name here:

  • We hold tight to our baggage because it is comfortable.
  • We hold tight to our baggage because it is what we know.
  • We hold tight to our baggage because we have a fear of what is on the other side.
  • We hold tight to our baggage sometimes because we don’t even know we are carrying it!
  • We may even hold tight because we have fear of the freedom letting go can bring!
  • Even though it is heavy, uncomfortable, burdensome, we hold on.
  • We may have even let it go, but picked it right back up!!

Well..it is time that we check that baggage in and don’t pick it up again!  

It is time that we realize that we don’t have to carry around the heavy burdens any longer.  It is time that we realize that we can give our cares, our burdens, our everything to the one that can carry it and give us FREEDOM!!!  God wants to carry our load.  He wants us to walk in freedom, and he wants us to have peace!!

So, no matter what you are carrying around today.  It is time to let it go.  It is time to acknowledge that the weight of the baggage we carry is TOO MUCH for us to carry alone.

God wants to hand us that “pink tag” and take our baggage away.

He wants to let us lean on Him.

He wants to help us with the burdens we face!!

He wants us to have FREEDOM!!!

You can and you will – only through HIM…But you have to learn to let it go and give it to Him today!

It is too heavy to carry alone!!  Hand it off and get your “pink tag of freedom” in return!

–Rachel Curtis

Founder, P31 Fitness



The Carnival ride

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carnival ride

It is interesting that on a week that we are focusing on PEACE, that the Curtis family decides to go to the small town carnival.  We pull up, I see kiddie rides, I get the kids their arm band, and expect to stand and watch them go round and round.

That is until my sweet 4 year old Jaxon decides that he needs to ride the one big kid ride out there.

Now, Madison (6 years old) is big enough to go without an adult, but Jaxon has to have my husband or I with him.  I look at my husband – give him the nudge, he nudges me back, and then Jaxon says to me – “mommy, please ride with me!”.

Now, a few years ago – I would have said – no big deal – YES, I will go with you.  But as I looked up at this rickety carnival ride, that has been traveling across TX in a TRUCK, and is spinning in little cars while going up and down and all around, I start to have some serious doubts! Here is this little 4 year old with bright eyes, ready to go…and I start to really wish my husband had been the lucky pick.

But, how can you resist a little boy?!?  So, I decide to go for it!!

We get into this metal car that about pinches my legs off and the carnival man says – “now, your only job is to make sure that your son doesn’t fall out”.  Really?!?!? What is that about?

So, we start and I am making the most of it…I am “woohooing” and laughing, and it is great….until he speeds us up.  Now, since I weigh about 3 times what Jaxon ways, our cart was lopsided…sending us spinning and spinning super fast.  We are spinning, the ride is spinning, the carts are going up and down and then we LURCH up and him and I bounce off of our seats.  I really thought we were about to fly out of that secure little metal car.

Oh – did I mention that the ride did NOT even have seat belts?!?  Yikes!

I scream, he laughs, and I felt my heart about bounce out of my chest.  When I realize we are all okay, the fear leaves, and I do my best to enjoy the rest of the ride.

When I got off, and my husband is just grinning.  You know that grin that is like – “I’m glad it was you and not me” type of grin?

So, after I stopped shaking, I realized what a funny coincidence that our focus was on PEACE this past week. I was anything but peaceful.  Not before, not during, and not after!!!

It made me realize how much I let my outside circumstances control the level of peace inside of me! Let’s be real for a minute – doesn’t your life feel like a carnival ride sometimes?!?  Can I get an amen?

I am sure you can relate!!!  Do you ever look at your life, and feel anything EXCEPT peace?  Probably!!

So, as we left the carnival, and I watch my kids with BIG smiles, and fired up about all they got to do, I realized that sometimes peace doesn’t mean everything is always ok in our minds.

What it meant that night to me, was that everything didn’t have to be in control.  That everything could feel chaotic and scary, but that I could follow my 4 year olds’ example and TRUST.  That I could have a little fear, and make it through!!!


So, no matter where you are in life, or what “ride” you may feel you are on – remember that GOD is holding you.  He can ease your fears and your panic.  He can make it okay!!  We just have to trust HIM through the carnival ride!!!  

–Rachel Curtis

Founder, P31 Fitness

Grace Grace Grace

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Have you ever messed up?  Like really messed up?  Or maybe just something that you were embarrassed about, and beat yourself up about for hours or days or months…. Yes….sadly we all have done so.  On the flip side – do we hold ourselves to a standard of grace?

Or ….have you found yourself justifying yourself or your actions when you didn’t even need to do so?

I heard it the other day in regard to food…my friend was handing her kids some snack and looked at me and said – “we normally don’t eat pop tarts, but I am letting them today”.  It was like she thought I was judging her or thinking that I couldn’t believe she was feeding them that.

I QUICKLY eased her fears and told her my kids had pop tarts for breakfast that day 🙂

A powerful verse in the bible – “Romans 12:1 – In view of God’s MERCY, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him.  This is your spiritual act of worship.”  WOW!! Did you catch all of that? God has mercy and grace on us…AND us taking care of our bodies and offering them to Him is actually a spiritual act!! So..self care and grace on yourself DOES matter!!

Now..back to the beating ourselves up…. We all do it.  We all try to measure up to a standard that we can’t reach.  We all try to justify ourselves when we don’t quite get there, and we all forget about the amazing thing called GRACE!!!!  When is the last time you said to yourself… “it’s okay!”?

Let’s talk about food for a minute.

What if I told you to go eat some chocolate right now?  It may make you happy, relieved, or wonder if I have lost my mind.  BUT it is also the key to our freedom.  You know why many people fail at weight loss or at their goals of getting into shape?  It is not for lack of knowledge, will-power, or ability, it is for lack of freedom.

The moment we tell ourselves we can’t have some food…chocolate for instance…guess what we want?  CHOCOLATE and lots of it 🙂  You know why?  Because that is bondage to rules that are almost impossible to follow.   Moderation and focus lead to balance and freedom.  The words “it’s okay” are powerful!!!

It is time that we all need to realize something very important in regards to our health and nutrition:  It is not the treats or the extremes, but the everyday habits that make our lives.  This is a powerful statement because we tend to focus on extremes and beat ourselves up over the extra circumstances, when it is really about the day in and day out way that we live.  Are we making good choices most of the time?  Are we doing better today than yesterday?  Are we having GRACE on ourselves?

Are we experiencing true FREEDOM as God has given to us each day?  Legalizing foods and eating things in moderation will make a huge difference in our health.  One (or two) piece of chocolate will not make us fat!  However, lots of chocolate every day will have very negative impacts on our health!  

So, we need a new approach!!

I have dedicated my life to helping women understand their worth is not tied to a number on the scale or a dress size.  Instead, worth is tied to their inner self.  Our outer self, weight, self-esteem, is all based on how we feel about ourself on the inside.  What we feel about ourselves shows on the outside.  Every time.

So, I ask this question:  Do you love yourself?  Do you feel that you are WORTH IT?  God tells us every day that we are worth it  – and it is our job to believe that with our whole heart.  MOST IMPORTANTLY – do you really understand that God has tremendous GRACE on us each day?

If you don’t feel worth it, may I ask why? What in your past has caused you to feel unworthy?  A person, a circumstance? I know for me it is often my own thoughts.  They come in when I least expect them, and they try to take over my daily life.  Maybe it it doubt, fear, or a self-confidence issue.  Whatever it is, I know that they have the power to make me feel unworthy in a heart beat.  When this happens, my daily goal is to stop those thoughts in their tracks and remind myself of what GOD has said about me.

HE SAYS WE ARE WORTH IT!  And He always speaks truth. 

So, what does all of this have to do with Grace?  EVERYTHING!  In order to be balanced and healthy in life, and experience true freedom, we have to place our foundation on God and the grace He provides.  When He is our center, our balance will fall into place.  He wants for us to experience freedom unlike we have ever known.  But we must come to Him for that freedom and GRACE!


You are enough

–Rachel Curtis

Founder, P31 Fitness