Rushing in the door with groceries in hand and coaching my toddler in out of the heat, I set the bags down on the floor with a “Humph.” We had just returned from running errands. It always takes longer to run errands with a 2-year-old. I know this. But now, the time was slipping away and I needed to get her lunch fast, before a royal meltdown…
Never had I felt so helpless. But, never have I felt so relieved. My daughter was a newborn with colic. Our family lived away and my husband and I were on our own, learning how to care for this tiny baby girl. But, she wouldn’t stop crying. Holding her was about the only thing that would do the trick, and that wasn’t always reliable. It was in those early weeks that my husband embodied ‘hero.’
“Sugar is as addictive as heroin,” some claim.
There are many theories as to the cause of sugar cravings- reward pathways, hormonal changes, adrenal fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, maybe even allergies and more. While some of the reasons appear to be complex and unclear, I think everyone can agree- we don’t like them!
Sometimes gifts show up in unexpected packages.
An entire year…that’s 12 months… 365 days…That’s how long it took for me to lose every last pound of pregnancy weight. I had shed all but about 5 pounds, but those stubborn little guys clung to me like those little “hitch-hiker” seeds that used to cling to our socks. It was really very frustrating and in many ways made me question my self-discipline, knowledge, years of training and experience, motivation,…everything!
What I knew, coached, preached, lived… didn’t seem to be working.
Do you remember THAT gift? The one that will forever be etched in your heart and mind? The gift that exceeded thoughtful and spoke directly to a deep place in your soul? Well, I love giving those kinds of gifts. I get the biggest thrill knowing that I didn’t just give a gift that was practical, functional or even on someone’s list, but I found the perfect idea that would never be forgotten.
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. — Harriet Braiker
As the oldest child in my family and with a very real and innate desire to please and excel, I think perfectionism will always be a thorn in my side. As much as I would like to imagine I can overcome it and get rid of it, I think this desire to pursue, press on, go further and use my God-given gifts is a part of how I was created. The problem is when it becomes about me.
The twist is when doing good, excelling, and moving the bar higher becomes a self-serving action.
One click. It was gone. Gone. The Honors presentation I had spent long hours creating had vanished. I had closed out without saving my powerpoint and what remained was a rough skeleton of a presentation. Stunned, I couldn’t believe it. Didn’t want to believe it. It was less than 24 hours before my Honors Panel Presentation during the Spring semester of my senior year at TCU.
Independence Day was and is an extravagant celebration and monumental declaration of freedom. The Continental Congress engaged in heated debates, petitioned the English Crown and eventually rallied together in a unanimous vote to declare independence. The yearning desire for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was overwhelming and motivated action, actions that changed the destiny of the nation and the world.
But, the fight wasn’t over yet. In fact, the war was only brewing and no one truly knew the sacrifices, battles and resistance to come as the Revolutionary War grew to a climax.
What I find so fascinating is that independence was declared before it was fully embraced. Founding Fathers projected freedom before it was had- before it was reality.
As I have worked with hundreds of individuals in nutrition practice, I have found that many feel trapped, captive and dependent, unable to break free from chains and additive patterns that immobilize and terrorize. The deception is that freedom will never truly come, that all the fighting will be in vain. Discouraged and exhausted from past battles, it is difficult to keep hope alive. These emotions torment our mind catapulting our thoughts back into negative cycles that only strengthen the bonds further.
But our Forefathers drew upon supernatural courage. Courage that walked away from all that they had ever known and sought to redefine the life they wanted to live and the life they dreamed to give to their children, grandchildren and descendants. The gift they share far exceeds liberty- they demonstrated how to stand up and claim victory, even when it was not yet seen.
Maybe you feel chained to unhealthy food patterns and you don’t know how to break away. Maybe you feel imprisoned by untrue words that have been spoken over you. Maybe you feel paralyzed with fear and anxiety and unable to break loose. Whatever holds you back from a vibrant and fulfilled life of happiness and joy only has as much power as you give it.
How can you reclaim your freedom? It begins and ends with your response. Our Founding Fathers laid a foundation…
1. Identify What is Holding You Captive- The Declaration of Independence lists at least 30 facts about England’s violation of the colonists’ rights and unfair treatment. They clearly named the injustices, identifying reasons for independence from the English Crown. Similarly, we need to identify the cause of captivity and identify our God given rights in order to then determine a plan to break free. So often, we identify the symptoms without root cause. Symptoms can be similar among people but roots are personal. For example, overeating is a widespread issue but root causes are different and individual to each person.
2. Declare the Truth- The colonists exposed the truth, and made it plain for all to see. “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) The darkness of tyranny could not hide in the light of the truth. The same is true today, but, only once we know and meditate on truth can it begin to invade our hearts and minds. According to Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) You are empowered with the ability to speak life, but with this same tool, can actually produce death!! Maybe you have brought death to a dream by speaking discouragement, hopelessness and failure. Begin listening to the words of your mouth for “what is in the heart, the mouth will speak.” (Luke 6:45) Speak life.
3. Celebrate Your Victory- July 4th was hailed a day of “pomp and parade” directly after writing the Declaration, NOT after the Revolutionary war was won. Triumph was not in the final battle but in the decision to wholeheartedly embrace freedom. Often, it is easy to feel discouraged along the journey, when we are still facing battles, but if you have set your mind on freedom, YOU will prevail. You can’t not prevail. Victory is not IF. It is not IF I can get my blood glucose controlled. Victory is not IF I can improve my energy. Victory is not IF I can resist the ice cream. Celebrate that you can and will.
So, what does abundant life look like? How do you know if you are living a life in pursuit of true happiness? Where does liberty equal freedom from captivity?
Only you can truly answer these questions, but armed with TRUTH, you will always prevail. Join me in celebrating victory today.
Thank you to all our our service men and women, past and present, who honor God and country by demonstrating courage and sacrifice. We celebrate you today.
TRUTH: The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.