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Let’s set up a blog for topic discussions.  I created a “Topic Talk” category (seen on the right), and will link it to my “Topic” tab soon.  This will be used when registered users begin commenting on a blog, and it becomes a discussion.

You must register to offer comments, suggestions, or recommendations.  This helps reduce spam, and helps me block anyone who uses my site irresponsibly.

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6: Alternate realities – ready or not, here they come!

I’d like to believe that I am someone who is open to change.  During the month of March 2014, I had so many changes in my life that I realized I had clamped down and closed up.  Kind of like the retraction or scrunching down when you know you are going to get run over, but all you do is tense-up and prepare for the worst.  The events weren’t terrible, but they altered what I knew and was comfortable with.  I never thought I could handle the chaos as easily as I did.  However, the tensing-up definitely increased the stress I experienced – unnecessarily, I might add.  I was pleased that I was stronger than I gave myself credit for.

Consider this an add-on to my earlier post on change.  I now have a testimony that as we change, our ways of seeing reality will change.  Interestingly, I don’t think we know, or can trace, what action creates our new, alternate reality.   It’s all a chain of reactions coming from some action we have taken.  Every choice, even the simplest, everyday ones keep our future in motion.  Then, enough small things happen to create a bigger and more noticable difference.  By the time you recognize the change, it’s either already occuring or occured.  When you can identify what’s new, most of us seem to tense-up and wonder if we’re ready, or jump up and down in celebration or anger.

Body movement helps express a lot about where we are mentally and physically.  While I was worried, I noticed that I went to the gym less, and was more exhausted at the end of the day.  On the days I simply forced myself to go, for that sacred hour or two of just listening to music or visualizing my problems as “solved”, I left the gym in a better mood and energized.  My stress required physical movement to release.  Think about the times you get tense or stressed.  Did your body movement slow down or your mind felt like you were always rushed?  “I don’t have time to….”, “I have to get in and get out.”  That little bit of activity I made myself do had a very different effect than watching TV for relaxing.  I don’t know if it’s the body chemistry, or the process of teaching your mind to relax while being physically active that helps, but the difference exists.  That difference made the next day easier.  I can’t say that I felt any difference the day after watching “Bones” or “Castle”.

Richard Carlson wrote the book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and makes many good points.  Two of my favorites are #18 and #26.  Allow Yourself to Be Bored is 18; let yourself be bored for an hour, or even less, but don’t fight it.  Boredom is gradually replaced by peace and relaxation.  When your mind gets a break, it comes back stronger, sharper, more focused and creative.  Set Aside Quiet Time, Every Day is 26; the amount of time can be just a couple of minutes if that’s all you can find.  Sit in car before you leave a parking lot or enter the house, pull over to see the sun set, take a bath, but be alone and peaceful in order to balance the noise we hear all day.  This kind of quiet time relaxes you and the feeling of being rushed lessens.  The amount of time you have hasn’t changed; your reality altered.


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Gym intimidation factor – friendships and memberships

How was your Valentine’s Day?  Many of us are just recalling why we made our New Year’s resolutions, and hopefully decided to recommit.  For people trying to improve their health, going to the gym is a deal breaker – but why?  Most of us beginners are very self-conscious and feel more than a little intimidated by all the beautiful people (body builders, lean runners, etc.).  The stereotype of not going to the gym unless you absolutely HAVE to, or are maintaining a great shape, really doesn’t exist anymore.

I see all ages, body shapes and sizes, physical challenges, and huge variations in ability levels, so don’t worry about standing out in the crowd.  Another consideration is that everyone is focusing on improving their own body, not watching you and making a judgement.  I watch everyone, not for how much or how fast, but their techniques on how they do whatever I might be able to use.  I know from experience that people may be doing less because of an injury, or possibly our wonderful, winter weather causing an arthritis or carpal tunnel flare-up.  Judging others disappears after awhile and you judge yourself – using others’ abilities or inabilities to question if you could push yourself to do better.

When I see people who have good definition of a muscle group I’m working on, I’ll go ask “What exercises helped you develop your ___?”, and even ask for other advice.  Don’t be intimidated – these individuals worked hard to get to where they are at!  I have never had anyone get upset at me for asking.  Two words of gym etiquette here:  timing is one.  Wait until the person you want to speak to has paused between their sets (repetitions of an exercise).  Not only will they lose their focus (everyone is focusing on themselves, remember?), but it could be dangerous if you startle them.  I try to get eye contact during a pause to start my conversation.  Second word: brevity – muscles cool down and stiffen if you wait too long.  Even if people are willing to explain a lot, keep that thought in mind; I offer my name and ask if they would be open to any questions I might have later, and leave within 3 minutes.

Many of the people I have talked to are now friends and acquaintances.  Another person to trade smiles with and keep me motivated.  I have actually had times when I was bored and my first thought was to go to the gym for some relaxation.  Yes folks, when going to the gym becomes a habit that you simply don’t question IF you should go, it actually becomes something fun.  I enjoy taking up to 2 hours every day – just for me.  I made the time sacred.  No phone out on the floor; simply an ipod and my favorite, upbeat music.  

I enjoy working out next to someone, or teaching others what I know, but my true friendships understand that I’m not only there to socialize.  My gym membership reminds me of how important I am.  When going to the gym is an escape from your cares and reality, or a ladies’ night out, it gets easier to create a connection with fun and enjoyment.  Don’t ask if you should go to a gym – most us need to have time alone with ourselves.

I’ve caught myself thinking crazy things, creating multiple scenarios, then taking the outcome I wanted most and reinforcing my efforts towards it.  I let songs bring up thoughts and future goals, I’ve dedicated many to my husband and even some to my students, as I look back on my day or week.  It becomes very therapeutic for your physical and mental health to have that “alone” time.  What’s holding you back?  Find a gym that meets your needs (which will change as you learn more) and has people you can smile at.  If they see you smile, you’ll almost always get a smile back – especially in Texas!


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5: Motivation

I’m currently reading John Maxwell’s book “Failing Forward”.  He talks about our need to handle failure, as that is the only way we learn how to succeed.  I have to agree.  As a teacher, I see kids scared to offer up answers, but if I ask “Who can give me part of the answer to build on?”, I get many volunteers.  The risk of being wrong is taken away, so fear decreases significantly!  Without fear, we are more willing to motivate ourselves, and make an attempt in which we may not experience success by trying.

In his book, Maxwell describes a part of an article he read:

We have news for you.  Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning.  And motivation is not something that someone else-nurse, doctor, family member- can bestow or force on you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap.  Forget motivation.  Just do it.  Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever.  Do it without motivation and then guess what.  After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.

Motivation is like love and happiness.  It’s a by-product.  When you’re actively engaged in doing something, it sneaks up and zaps you when you least expect it.

As Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner says, “You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.”  So act!  Whatever it is you know you should do, do it.

I soooo agree with that statement!  How many of us asked ourselves “Do I really feel like doing _____?” and decided not to do it – just that one time of course!  I try to set a routine, do it, then ask myself afterward if it was worth it.  If I start getting more “it wasn’t worth it” responses, I re-evaluate the routine, but it isn’t optional for a period of time.  It’s too easy to lose motivation as time goes on.  Set smaller goals that keep you feeling good or give you a sense of achievement.  From a teacher perspective: homework or daily grades measure progress; a quiz makes sure you remember what you did; and a test evaluates the quality of how well you learned and recall the lessons.

Maxwell also points out: “You have to approach each day with reasonable expectations and not get your feelings hurt when everything doesn’t turn out perfectly.”  We have to make mistakes to recognize success, and as we have more success, we begin to recognize mistakes or less successful actions sooner.  Just keep trying something new.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome….

“Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”                                                           by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1 – I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in.  I am lost.  I am helpless.  It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2 – I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in again.  I can’t believe I’m in the same place, but it isn’t my fault.  It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3 – I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in.  I am lost.  It’s a habit.  My eyes are open.  I know where I am.  It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

Chapter 4 – I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.

Chapter 5 – I walk down another street.

Sometimes, it’s easy to recognize a mistake, and other times, we need to try a few variations of the same thing before coming to that conclusion.  Find goals to keep you motivated to keep trying, and make adjustments for success along the way!


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4: Resolutions

Is it already 2014?  This year will be a fresh start for me in so many ways! I’ve decided to start focusing on my potential.  I’m measuring this by accomplishing specific goals throughout the year.  I plan to “raise the bar” as I meet my goals.  If there are some I wasn’t able to meet, I need a better plan and intend to ask for some help.

  1. Get my website published and out there!  I’ve had it for almost 2 years and wasn’t sure about how I wanted to reach out to the community.
  2. Make more money.  I intend to get some serious networking connections going – maybe basic presentations on medical conditions and the best ways to deal with the situations that may occur.
  3. Create acceptance presentations.  I’d love to focus on discussions with middle and high school students about common medical conditions, our first impressions and myths, the best ways to help, and understanding our reactions in different situations.  I may do one that could be presented to adults or businesses if there is any interest.
  4. Lose weight and tone up.  I’m in decent shape, but I’m ready to sculpt those problem areas which means gaining muscle.  The scale won’t show my progress as much as a measuring tape, the weight I lift, or the various challenges from programs on the treadmill, so this will be all year – I can’t wait to see how far I can get!
  5. Eat healthier.  Being such a “sweet” person, I always end up eating carbs and sugar, so I’m counting on my husband to keep cooking his delicious meals.  It’s hard to not trade already prepared, convenient foods for the healthy ones as the year goes on.  This will require both of us.
  6. Get the house organized so both my husband and I can maintain the system.  I like a clean home with a “lived-in” feeling, but any organization is gone within 48 hours.  This will take a lot of trial and error to fail my way to success!

As of January 16, number one is ready to be completed – WOOO HOOOO!  I have faith that in doing what I love – helping and teaching others, I will find success with number two.  Perhaps not as much as I want, or potentially beyond my wildest expectations; only our heavenly father knows the answer to that for now.  Three will be ongoing.  I’ll get help with technology to create presentations, and keep making connections with people in specialty areas to draw on for information.  I want to open the door for guest speakers at my presentations since these people will be more up-to-date.

Numbers 4, 5, and 6 will require being consistent and persistent!  Number 4 I have the most control over and have the highest expectations for.  I want to be able to go from a 12.5 minute mile to 9 minutes; do planks for over 2 minutes, add another 25 pounds of lifting strength and keep the neck, shoulders, and carpal tunnels open and free!  Resolution 5 will be an ongoing struggle between enjoying my meals, and not letting myself be led astray by too many bad carbs and sugar along the way.  I will be limiting my carb/sugar intake by doing daily reviews, and modifying my diet the next day.  Number 6 is more of a prayer than a goal, but I have to have at least one lofty goal to shoot for.

What are some of your goals for 2014?  Can you make them measurable, even if the measurement is not an exact one?  As long as it allows you to identify progress, go for it!

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3: We change

I stress the point that our bodies aren’t static and unchanging – they adapt.  I’ve been using Slim (now Balance) for close to 3 years now, and gone through various phases when my body didn’t react, or stopped reacting, the way I wanted it to.  Some of this I chalked-up to growing older, but I knew that I could make some changes that would help – I usually wasn’t willing to at the time. The same thing happens with your mindset and choices.

AGE – We always hear about the body falling apart when you hit the age of 35-40, but I honestly think that’s based on today’s social norms.  America isn’t well known for healthy eating or exercise.  The freedoms we enjoy are letting us get a little spoiled and accepting of being “just a little out-of-shape”, whether that means exercise, choosing fast foods for their convenience, pushing through some pain that we have, or not using self-discipline to meet higher goals that we set for ourselves.  By the time most of us reach 35-40, our bodies have been totally abused and we are paying the price.  It’s happening at earlier and earlier ages, and children are now dealing with what used to be “adult problems” like cholesterol, heart disease, arthritis, and obesity.  Have faith that you can find ways to make changes, learn, then take action!

PHYSICAL CONDITION – When we decline or improve on things we do, with and to our bodies, the resulting changes make the old patterns less effective. My one of my strongest personal experiences has been with recurring medical issues.  Arthritis in my neck and spine has been manageable, but when it flares up on occasion, things start hurting and I feel depressed because I can’t do much. If I stop exercising, the unhealthy foods hit me harder, I get sick easier, then I begin to feel even worse; it’s a vicious cycle! As soon as you recognize these cycles, kick yourself out of it: talk to a friend for help, read inspirational books (quotes on the internet work too), play with your pets or kids, etc.  Anything that will distract you from the self-pity and hopeless feelings.

DEPRESSION – Your mental state greatly effects how your body responds to things that you do.  When you get depressed it’s harder to go out and do anything, let alone make new changes.  You think about it, wonder if you’re up to it, and more often than not, choose the easier way and talk yourself out of what you know you should do.  This hurts your self-esteem, and the inability to change is magnified because you do it over and over. When you finally decide to do it, you watch how little it helps versus encouraging yourself to keep going.  Look for how you have improved or notice when you’ve stabilized and aren’t doing any worse.

MONEY – I can’t tell you how many times I used to think “if I could afford that, I’d be doing better too”.  Working late hours that go unappreciated, or the job you love doesn’t pay well, shouldn’t totally block your way.  It definitely makes it harder…but working through it will make you a stronger person. That old saying actually has truth that you see when you move on.  I’ve learned from people I’ve met, that having money doesn’t mean you don’t work hard.  Many of them are on call 24/7 and can’t maintain a schedule for their personal lives.  There is another set of struggles to deal with when you have money, so skip the “if I had their money, it’d be easy” excuses.

Truly, I believe that when things come easy for us, gratitude is reduced.  When you obtain something of value, it means more, and you make an effort to care for it.  Don’t worry about all the what ifs.  Put your energy into thinking about what you need to do to make it happen and care for it.  A positive attitude = attitude of gratitude.  Keep finding something to be thankful for and the mind changes.

diamond pic2

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2: Success

I want to make a note on finding success.  We all want to find it, but what each person looks for is different.  Have you given yourself a real, measurable definition that allows you to at least feel a sense of progress?  I always thought of it as a feeling.  I would know when I felt successful – right?  Considering all the ups and downs life took me through, feelings weren’t the most reliable way to determine how I was doing!

It wasn’t until I had a goal I could measure that I began to see how close I was getting, or if I needed to try something different to make a positive change.  Once you have the goal, you have to find choices that help you obtain it as soon as possible, but with the skills to keep it.  That makes it a little harder…  There’s usually a quick and easy way to do things, but if you don’t develop a solid foundation, it won’t stick around long enough to enjoy those hard-earned results.  So what do you do?

Fail your way to success!  As you make attempts to meet your goal, something you try isn’t going to work right for you.  “Oh, it’s so easy to use this program!  It will help you do all the things you’re wanting to do.  You’ve got to try it!” are phrases that scare me.  My example has applied to everything from succeeding in weight loss, business, and learning to use new technology.  Sometimes it does work, but not always.  As long as I remember that I eliminated something that doesn’t work for me, and don’t think that “I failed again”, it’s soooo much easier to get up and move on.

I’m blessed to have several very successful people guiding and advising me as I learn about business.  These individuals reinforced my belief that if you don’t look further ahead, you can’t see the big picture.  I’m technologically challenged (my middle school students taught me to use my iphone!), yet I’m going to try and manage a website so I can help others find help that I didn’t get.  It’s scary, but the only way I could figure out how to reach people is if I create this centralized place, and then refine it along the way. I’m looking at a goal 5 years out.

In 5 years, I hope to be helping diabetics continue to get off insulin, get people off statins/cholesterol medications, and as a result helping with weight loss and all the issues that go with it!  Of course, I hope my Unicity business will cover all costs, and my website and substitute teaching can be the loves of my life (other than my husband) versus work.  However, I know this will only happen with a strong network of people coming together to offer ideas on improving life.  The general mindset needs to be one of positive strength – “kick butt”, high expectations for yourself and giving that belief to others.  If you aim high and fall short, you got farther than if you set your sights lower and made it!

i did it

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1: My Slim experience

How to begin my first blog…. I guess a quick overview of the product that gave me the ideas that lead to my website.  I’m a person who is always search for natural alternatives to drugs.  I have been given medicines that resulted in being almost 200 pounds, and I was resigned that nothing natural could change that.  I enjoy my carbs and sugar and am not willing to give them up entirely.  I’ve never been a person who could stay consistent at going to a gym either.  I figured I was doomed to keep gaining until a friend recommended Slim.

Slim is a non-gritty, soluble fiber powder that you shake up with about 8-10 oz of water (the size of a small water bottle is usually about 10).  It reminds me of an Orange Julius or Dreamsicle – an orange flavor without any highly acidic taste.  Drink it about 10 minutes before you eat the meal of your choice.  Slim is a natural product that works from the inside out.  It cleans out your blood vessels to safely transport any fat that needs to go.  Most people notice clothes fitting better before the scale changes, but it may take 2-4 months.  Blood work will show changes sooner, especially with blood sugar and lipids.  This is why diabetics often see changes in their daily sugars within a week or two.

When my husband started Slim, he was on 90-100 units of insulin a day and had to cut back on his doses at mealtime because he started “crashing”.  For those who don’t know the term, that means his body didn’t need the extra insulin he injected, and his sugar went too low.  In about a month he no longer needed it!  His next lipid panel (cholesterol test) was lower and meds were cut in half, then stopped.  He has also struggled with ulcerative colitis (UC) which had a diet totally opposite to a diabetic diet!  Diabetes needs high fiber and low carbs, but UC needs higher carbs and less fiber.  One condition always suffered.  His UC went dormant while taking Slim and it had a chance to heal.  I was surprised that Slim was that gentle on his body.

The results you get from Unicity’s products are reproducible and measurable by your doctor.  I will tell you that it is not a magic supplement to replace any effort to make adjustments, but it provides you with time to make corrections without drastic changes that are too hard to maintain.  I didn’t change my diet too much, but I lost my need to snack and have sugar as frequently.  I still enjoy some sweets, and simply have some extra Slim if I go “all out” with those snacks I couldn’t resist.  The choice to eat them is mine, now.  I learned to control my food when I stopped stress eating because I wouldn’t be able to have it tomorrow….

The psychology that goes along with change was the hardest part!  I learned to recognize my own behaviors and refocus my attention elsewhere.  Getting started on something to keep me busy and distract my thoughts got easier, and more effective, with practice.  It went like this:  What am I doing in the kitchen?  Am I really hungry, or just bored/trying to avoid something?  Try water or Matcha first, and go get started on ____.  If I remembered to go back over an hour later, I did it again.  Soon, I was easily doing the 4-4-12 meal spacing Unicity recommends.  Wait at least four hours between breakfast and lunch, wait at least another four before having dinner, and wait 12 hours until breakfast.  It doesn’t add up to 24, but those are minimum times between meals.  That technique is now easy to use, and I can substitute better choices than I used to.  Distracting yourself actually ends up teaching you how to focus and achieve goals – go figure!

This is how I became active in networking.  I needed to stay busy and people started asking me about my success.  I had to talk to people to share my information for any of the business to grow.  I made the common mistake of sharing with anyone who gave me the opportunity before I had practiced.  Not many of my friends were interested after my fumbling beginning, and I had to get out and share with strangers.  I took time to educate myself, and learn the skills I needed, while doing a lot of practicing on these poor people.  I learned a lot from the responses I got; the trick is to not take it personally and just keep going.  Slim is a product that sells itself, I just needed to find the right way for me to present it correctly!  During this process, I discovered the need to encourage others who felt hopeless too.

I was on a mission to help others who had similar issues to my husband and I.  We each lost over 50 pounds.  I exercised consistently (3 times a week) and was always fighting thoughts about what I shouldn’t eat.  I lost the 50 pounds; going from a 18/20 pant size, to a 10/12.  My husband never had a sweet tooth and didn’t exercise other than occasional walking.  He lost 65 pounds and went from a 46″ waist to a 38″!  That exercise part was soooo not fair, but the results benefited both of us.

We both enrolled in the Get Slim Now Transformation 13-week program which gave us the tools, coaching, education, fitness programs, and nutritional advice we needed to succeed.  Jessica kept making revisions if that week’s plan wasn’t working.  The education we got has continued to help us tweak what we do as life changes.  Outside the program, there are weekly phone calls and counsel available from Unicity, and their master herbalist, which have been priceless over the last two years.  If you are serious about wanting to create change, Transformation is the best, but Slim works on it’s own – as long as you follow the 4-4-12 and try to eat healthy.  

Slim was a tool I learned to use to help get started.  I know it can offer hope to others who feel restrained by medical conditions and the medicine they require.  As a natural supplement, I haven’t discovered any treatments it would interfere with over the last 2 years I have been looking.  Doctors can look it up in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) which is the book that helps them decide on which drugs to give us.  Slim has enough clinical studies to be listed as a clinical treatment.  Just don’t put your doctor’s license on the line by asking “Is this safe?” or “Can I take this?” – that makes them legally accountable for any response now-a-days.  Help them by asking “Would this supplement interfere with your treatment?” or “Do you see any counter-indications for me if I try this product?” which won’t put them on the spot.  They can look it up and give an opinion.  

Doctors have their favorite treatments, and don’t usually try new things, but about 30% of Unicity distributors are health care professionals!  I think it’s worth investigating and asking questions.  So many doctors don’t know about a natural option to try before insulin.  If more doctors knew about it, north Texas diabetics would be healthier.  I send medical professionals to our website:  http://www.pgdnewsdoctors.com/






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