Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 27, 2018

Shaklee 180 Testimonials

by healthybydesignblog

jacqui-180.pngFormer Extreme Make Over – Weight Loss Edition star, Jacqui McCoy (someone I also know personally) also uses these products now to maintain a healthier weight. AND, although she was told she could not conceive a child, she now has TWO!!! She conceived the first one only months after starting the Shaklee 180 program!

I think pictures are worth a thousand words. These are not models or celebrities obviously, but friends and family that I have helped personally.

karen-composite-2016

Karen has since gotten down to a size 2, AND although doctors told her that she would never be able to have children, because of a chemotherapy treatment she had at age 17 for her MS symptoms, she is now PREGNANT and due to have her first child in August of 2018!!! What if she had used something toxic to lose this weight? Her MS symptoms could have been exacerbated and it could have harmed her child. (Even one diet coke can send her into a 3-day migraine.) Karen also did a video with me on YouTube. (I’m heavier in that video because it’s in 2016, during the time my father is dying and my marriage is falling apart.)

Dale-before-after-2017

Dale Baker is a dear friend of mine, she also did a video with me on YouTube,
check it out!

Tim-composite-2014

Tim Hines is 6’4″ tall and was surprised that he was never hungry while on the program.

lynnw-comp-2017

Lynn Woodard was a college friend who had a tremendous transformation!

180 pics Tammy

Tammy Taylor Phelps: And of course, here are my own pics. Note that I look younger in 2015 than I did in 2011. And I still look better in 2018, 7 years older, than I did in 2011. That’s because I healed from the inside out!

To learn more about the Shaklee 180 program, please check out this video on YouTube.com.

If you’d like to order, please check out my website. Thank you!

 

(If this information has been helpful to you, I’d love it if you’d follow me on Facebook and YouTube! Thank you!)

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June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… How about I get all real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph? Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits and honestly, it seems to help me process my pain. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article,  and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, but this is a topic – how our heart fits into this diet thing – that I don’t think most of us who have struggled with our weight understand enough about. If we understand it at all.

Now, I do have a healthy weight loss story prior to this, but that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I have struggled myself and might know a little bit about this topic of weight and of how our heart impacts it.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation for her to lose weight, but as she found out, it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight. Once you lose the weight, motivation is not enough to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a friend’s party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She could have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. She did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her “drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin = Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing? Here is a recent post from Jacqui’s facebook page:

Jacqui's post

Trauma & Heart Break: The Missing Piece

Do not wave this off as insignificant. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what Jacqui McCoy and I both chose to lose and maintain our weight, and literally heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN ALSO HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren. These unresolved traumas keep causing us to make poor choices, and not just in boyfriends and husbands, but in our diets.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and everything – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my my YouTube channel. I’m just starting to upload videos on YouTube.com, so stay tuned or a lot more.)

June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 1

by healthybydesignblog

180 pics TammyFirst of all, there is more to losing weight than exercise and counting calories! There are three major components to healthy and effective weight loss, in my opinion and in my own personal experience:

  1. Learning about REAL nutrition, not just counting calories,
    and putting REAL nutrition IN your diet
  2. Learning about FAKE food, and keeping as much
    FAKE food OUT of your diet as possible
  3. Stress, Emotional Triggers, and Dealing With Trauma

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think I’ve told this story too much, only to find out that others are still struggling so much, and still could benefit from it. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures above, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months! And, this transformation did NOT include regular visits to the gym! It was entirely about changing my diet (keeping junk OUT) and properly supplementing my diet (putting more good, pure nutrition IN).

My Weight Loss Actually Started With My Daughter’s Diagnosis

The pictures above only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. That’s PAIN FREE FOR SEVEN YEARS so far. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

Love fueled the changes in my diet. Not love for myself, love for my daughter. Then I got to feeling SO MUCH BETTER, and looking so much better, that I decided I had to keep this new lifestyle up, just to be able to keep up with life!

However, as you can see in 2016-2017, I gained a lot of weight back, due to heart break. Although I was newly married in February of 2016 and very happy initially, my father was declining rapidly with Parkinson’s and I lost him in August of 2016. My marriage also started to unravel around that time. Also, my only daughter decided in July of that year, that she’d rather live with her father than with me and my new husband. Ugh!!! I was not just sad, I was DEVASTATED. I was also stressed, exhausted, depressed, broken-hearted, disappointed, grieving, etc and etc. You name it, I was feeling it. I talk about trauma and heart break and what that has to do with weight more here. Perhaps you can relate. I don’t think people understand how important this is to a healthy weight and a healthy mental state. I honestly believe that all the knowledge of healthy eating and other good habits can be undone, in an INSTANT, either by a new trauma, or by an event, or a trigger in your current situation that triggers an old heart break.

So, that being said, I leave it to you to do some investigating about how to heal past trauma. If you google that topic, I suspect you will find tons of information on that. Both in Christian and secular circles, they are all saying the same thing. Heal the trauma, heal your life. Heal the trauma, deal with the rejection, the abandonment, the disappointment or whatever it is from your childhood, and replace that, I believe, with the TRUTH of God’s word, the TRUTH of God’s love for you, with the FORGIVENESS of others and yourself, and the pieces begin to fall into place. Then attaining a healthier LIFE in general, and a happier, more peaceful life starts to emerge from the ashes. You simply have to LOVE YOURSELF HEALTHIER, or thinner, or more successful.

I have only recently begun to learn this myself. I maintained my weight with just the first two items I spoke about at the beginning of this article for a about five years: Putting good stuff IN, and keeping bad stuff OUT. Then a recent heart break hit me out of left field and for the first time in my life, my heart was so broken I began to LOSE weight. That has been a first. The anxiety attacks that rocked me after this recent heart break is what DROVE me to find relief, to find healing, and that’s how I began to learn more about this whole heart issue and how it’s tied to EVERYTHING.

Guess what? If you’re overweight, it has a lot to do with what you’re eating, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart. You may just be self-medicating.

If you’re broke, you need to learn a few basic financial principles, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart.

Keep making bad choices in boyfriends and husbands? It has a lot to do with the state of your heart and what you believe about yourself and your worth.

I call this a “broken spiritual GPS”. You keep doing what you think is the right things, you’re following the map you’ve got, but there’s something wrong with that map and although you are making all the turns that appear to be correct, you’re still ending up at the painful destination. Overweight, broken hearted, and / or possibly addicted or broke. Remember, you can be addicted to sugar as easily as cocaine or heroine. You can be addicted to the praise of man!

So, I really planned for this article to be more about nutrition. I guess I will start another post about that. It IS a very important subject. So let’s go there next!

May 28, 2016

My God Is Jealous For Me

by healthybydesignblog

… I have heard somewhere that it was this concept – the concept of God being jealous – that caused Oprah Winfrey to turn away from Christianity, but I don’t know this for certain.

… Have you ever held your new born baby and hoped that the child would prefer you to everyone else, even the child’s father? Does this seem odd to you? Is it just me?

I had experienced infertility for a number of years. I was 34, almost 35,  when I had my first and only child, a daughter. I named her Rachel. When I would rock her to sleep and look down into her sweet little face, I knew that no one else in the universe was loved as much as this child was loved by me. I wanted her to love her father, her grandparents, her step-brother and sister, but most of all I wanted her to love me as much as I loved her, and I love her immensely. I wanted her to prefer my company as I preferred hers, above anyone else in the world.

That’s when God spoke to me and reminded me that He was jealous. Not as an insecure and selfish lover is jealous. He was jealous FOR me. He loved me so very much, that it would break His heart for me to prefer another’s company to His. He wanted me to prefer to spend my time with Him. To tell my secrets to Him first. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that lovely? I began to better understand Him as a Good Father, and what a Father’s heart was all about.

Recently, I was married for the second time. I had been a single mom for over nine years after my divorce. My first marriage pales in comparison to this one. My first husband was emotionally absent, and I am convinced that he never loved me. I have NO IDEA why someone would get married if they were not in love, but I believe that’s what happened. My second husband literally ADORES me. In fact it blows my mind how much this man loves me. And once again, I am reminded about a jealous God. God could not use my previous husband as a way to parallel His love for me, because all that man did was hurt me. But my current husband shows me in a million different small thoughtful ways how much he loves me – in the way he looks at me, the way he speaks to me, the way he can’t sleep unless his arms are around me, etc. It’s easy to see that his thoughts are always about me. I am continuously thrilled that His love is just as intensely felt now as when he first declared it to me. It has not waned.

Don’t ask me! I have NO IDEA why He loves me so much. But I KNOW he does. It’s very obvious and it’s absolutely wonderful. And again, God says to me that my husband’s love for me is a small fraction of His own love for me. This level of intimacy, and I’m talking about KNOWING someone, is what our God desires with us. Over and over the Bible speaks of a Groom and His bride. Over and over the wedding and consummation of a great love story is used to help illustrate who Jesus wants to be to us. He delights in us. His thoughts are always about us. He is jealous for us!

But what about the parts of the Bible that don’t seem so romantic? Beloved, realize that we are in the time of the NEW Covenant. Our Groom has paid our bride’s price. There is no more debt to be paid, if you have accepted His proposal. He has taken your debt on as His own. He has promised to take care of you for ever and ever, and to never leave your side. He has even promised to love you when your youth fades and your strength is gone. He is Faithful and True.

Our culture has few examples of anything so pure and lovely these days. I have to search back in my mind to childhood thoughts of a handsome prince, or a shining knight on a white horse. Images that seem kinda corny nowadays to us skeptical, hard-hearted, broken and battered folks. But in our heart of hearts, back before the world – or rather, before our enemy shattered our hopes and dreams, the hope of that sort of unselfish, courageous love lives on. We may have forgotten, but it’s still there, buried under lies and hurts.

Have you noticed that I have only bragged on my husband’s love for me? Not my love for him? Does it seem unfair? Is our love one sided? Not at all. Too often as Christians, we brag on our love for Jesus, all the time having other lovers that we prefer, at least for a time, if we’re honest. We brag on how much we do to prove our love to Him, but even our Groom has said our righteousness is as filthy rags. This is nothing more than a religion of works people. It is much more appropriate to brag on His love for us, and all that HE has done to prove His love for us. If we are going to boast, we simply boast about Him.

Grace is an amazing thing. It is the word used for the greatest love there ever was. The greatest love story ever told. He ADORES us, and has done everything necessary to provide for you, to have you and to hold you. He will not remind you of your former lovers, of your past mistakes. He will simply love you and that love makes you as pure as if you had never messed up at all. All your weaknesses, all your mistakes, all your faults, all your less-than-perfectness is forgotten after His proposal is accepted. Your are forever His, and He is yours. And He will always be just as jealous for you as He was in the beginning of time. He is for you friend, and not against you. He is not like your ex-husband.  🙂

Exodus 34:14
–for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God–
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
April 1, 2014

Jesus Sent Me Roses For My Birthday

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.25.56 AMToday is April 1st, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke! As my birthday falls in this month, I was reminded of a very special gift.

Several years ago, I had just had a house fire, lost my home and it’s contents and was recently divorced. Although I had a new house, twice as nice as the one I lost, I could not enjoy it because I just felt like such a failure. A vague but persistent condemnation was always hanging over my head, and at that time, I thought those feelings were telling me how God felt about me. I was worried that perhaps I did not deserve such a nice house, that somehow I had been selfish, and I just didn’t really deserve anything nice. It FELT so real. It was SO oppressive; it was suffocating my hope and I had little expectation for a better tomorrow. Really and truly, I had little desire to live. I was not suicidal so much as just exhausted from disappointment. I felt unloved, unattractive, unsuccessful, unintelligent, unprepared, unworthy, etc. and etc.

One morning as I was getting ready for the day, I thought about my upcoming birthday. I had recently studied about the story of Gideon in the Bible, and he had asked God for a sign, and not just one, but two. I thought to myself, “If I could just know that I was not out of God’s favor, that He still loved me, and that I had not done anything to sever our relationship, I can handle the rest.” So I thought about asking God for a sign. I thought what kind of sign should I ask for? I decided to ask for something that would be highly unlikely to happen, that way, I would KNOW it was God.

Just so you know, I’ve also received more “holy” type answers to prayer. I wanted a baby in spite of a doctor’s report, and I was blessed with one. I was sick with fibromyalgia and given no hope of a cure, but Jesus healed me. I gave money to a missionary when I really needed it myself, and got a ten times bigger return on that gift within a week’s time. I have all kinds of stories!

So I decided to ask for cut flowers for my birthday. I really don’t care if any religious types think this was silly, that’s what I asked for! 🙂 I knew my mom would most likely get me hanging baskets for my birthday, or something to plant in my yard, but cut flowers are something generally reserved for boyfriends, husbands, etc and I had neither. I also didn’t want to just ask for flowers, and then have the devil steal my blessing, when it could be easily said, “Your mama gets you flowers every birthday.” It was also a somewhat frivolous expense, and I didn’t know anyone who would do such a thing. I thought maybe I’d get one of those roses in plastic that you see at a gas station or something. Maybe my young daughter would ask someone to help her pay for it, so that she could give it to me. That was pretty much my expectation, nothing fabulous, just any cut flower would do.

Well a few days passed and I completely forgot about this request, in fact, within minutes of the request I had forgotten all about it. I have gone into a bit of explanation about all this, but honestly, the thought process probably only took a few seconds at the most, and as I’ve already said, I completely forgot about it almost as soon as I prayed for it.

In fact, my birthday came and went, and my mom brought me some hanging baskets, and I still hadn’t thought about my request for a sign that God and I were on good terms, that He wasn’t mad at me. The day AFTER my birthday, I woke up at 4am with a friend from church on my heart who was struggling with a diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I got up to write her a letter of encouragement. It was still dark outside when I started the letter, but about the crack of dawn, I walked from my home office to my living room for something. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something propped up on my front door, which is mostly panes of glass. Strange, it was a skinny long rectangular cardboard box.  As soon as I open the door, I see the FTD symbol, and recalled my prayer request!

I was shocked! I had forgotten, but the Lord had not. I crumpled on the floor and began to bawl. “OMG, He remembered! He cares, and He’s not mad at me!” My emotions were all over the place– extreme joy, disbelief, and OMG! This was an outrageous, silly, off the wall request, and when I made it, I couldn’t imagine who might send me flowers, but He had remembered my desperate need to know that our relationship was intact.

Then I opened the box…….. oh my! I would have been happy with a wilted, pitiful flower from a gas station, but what I had in front of me, was a bouquet of 40 miniature roses of all kinds of colors! (I turned 40 that year.) Roses are my favorite flower by the way, and not only for how they look, but for how they smell. The friend who sent them to me had no idea, but God did. I took in a deep breath, expecting them to be pretty, but maybe not really have much smell, because sometimes they just don’t. My lungs were full of rose perfume and tears streamed down my face. They even smelled good!

A creative director at a local advertising agency had sent them! I hadn’t known her that long or all that well at the time, but she did it just because she felt like it. Little did she know, that Jesus had set up that whole thing! The flowers HAD arrived on my birthday, I just hadn’t seen them until the next morning!

This answered prayer blessed a deep place in my heart, because it answered a deep need to know that I wasn’t just loved a little bit, that I wasn’t just a faceless girl in the crowd, but that I was ADORED by the creator of the universe and that He delighted in blessing my heart. Our heart aches really matter to Him, and the need to know that we are truly and deeply loved matters to him. I am still trying to grasp that, and need a lot of reminding, so I adore the Word of God and my church who gives me regular doses of the Good News, the “almost too good to be true good news”. He ADORES us! And what’s more, He adores me and knows me personally and intimately. He knows what I like!

My birthday is coming around again, and this year, I am more secure in that love now than I was then. However, I am so hungry for more! As a single mom, it blesses me to read that He is not only my Savior and my Healer, but He is also my Husband and I am His Bride. It also says that He delights in me. Imagine that!

You may need your mortgage paid this month, heck you may need groceries, or a child healed, or you may need hope and strength to just keep going one more day. Know this, that He is FOR YOU! Anything that says otherwise is a lie. When the enemy tries to tell me that I don’t matter to God, remembering that bouquet tells me not only that I matter, but that He’s actually pretty crazy about me. How awesome is that? I hope you know, that because God is “no respecter of persons”, that means if He’s crazy about me, He’s crazy about you, too. Hard to believe, I know, but maybe you need to ask the Lord to show you just how crazy He is about you someday soon. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it.

January 16, 2014

“It’s All Right.”

by healthybydesignblog

Couldn’t sleep tonight, and just opened my Bible kinda randomly. I began reading and the first words I saw was, “It’s all right.” This was a mother’s response, called the Shunamite, to her son’s death. But that’s not the end! In 2nd Kings Chapter 4, beginning with verse 8, we begin reading this woman’s story, she had been kind to the prophet Elisha, so he wanted to bless her, and his servant suggested that he pray for her to have a son, as she was childless. So that’s exactly what happened. However, one day the boy was in the field with his father and complained that his head hurt, so a servant carried him to his mother. She held him in her lap, and there he died.

What would I have done? Freaked completely out, maybe passed out, stopped breathing myself from grief and shock??? What did she do? She asked her husband to have a servant prepare a donkey for her to go see the man of God. He said why, it’s not Sunday? She said, “It’s alright.” This is not to say that the woman was not in great distress, but she still had hope, and did not agree with the facts, the circumstances, what she could see with her eyes.

As she got closer to where the prophet was, he recognized her from a distance and sent his servant ahead to ask if everything was alright at home. She answered his servant, “Everything is all right.” When she came before Elisha however, she got down on her knees, grabbed his feet, and said, “Did I ask you for a son? Didn’t I tell you not to get my hopes up?” (paraphrased)

The story ends with Elisha going to her home to find her son dead. He prayed, and then laid on top of the boy twice, the boy sneezed and woke up and was restored to his mother. I have learned a lot recently about agreeing with the Lord’s report and not the enemy’s. I am thinking had the woman reacted to what she knew to be fact, and gave into her feelings, perhaps she would not have gotten this miracle, because she would have already have agreed with the world’s report, with the evidence that presented itself.

A preacher I know of, Andrew Womack raised his own son from the dead in very similar circumstances. His younger son called him to tell him his oldest son was dead, and had been dead several hours. They had a long drive to where his son’s body lay in a morgue. But he never gave into his grief, never agreed with his son’s report, and when he got to the morgue, he raised his son from the dead. He’s raised others as well, but my point is how important it is to first shut our mouths when we get a diagnosis, or distressful news of any kind. Yes, you may be presented with FACTS, but hey, facts can change! In the presence of the Almighty God who loves you, who is FOR YOU, miracles can abound. But right now, TODAY, we need to decide whose report we will agree with, the God who loves us, or the enemy whose sole purpose is to kill, steal and destroy.

As is often the case, I am writing this for my own benefit, as well as for anyone else who may stumble along and find it. Your words have power. Agree with the God who is FOR YOU, who loves you, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. The enemy’s favorite weapon is to convince you that the disaster that just fell in your lap was authored by God. He gets to do the crime and blame the Father, and way too often we buy this crap and AGREE WITH THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS!!  We are under condemnation for this or that, and we think that’s God as well. If we ever understood, really truly, that God is good, and that he ADORES us, then we’d be like a royal prince, who when abducted by crooks, knows if he could just get word to his powerful, loving Father, that all would be well. That heaven and earth would be moved, all his Father’s resources put behind the effort to save him. He would need only rest and wait for him to come.

Christ bore IT ALL on the cross. Past, present & future. He knew there was nothing you could do, so he did it all. #heisforyou

August 17, 2013

Fear Is The Enemy

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 12.50.08 PMOur health is not only affected by what we eat and drink, what we’re exposed to, and the DNA we may have inherited from our parents, but it is also very much affected by what we think, and in particular what we fear. Fear is like a web of invisible chains on our mind and our heart. It causes certain chemicals to be released that contribute to disease. However, I want to talk to you today about the root of fear.

I went to Russia on a couple of mission trips and during my time there, I wrote these words in great big letters in the front cover of my Bible: “KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST!” The Lord also made the verse Joshua 1:9 really jump out at me, and has continually used that verse up until today. This verse says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This verse really jumped out at me then, because I had been terrified of making this trip, flying over an ocean, and going into a country where my rights could be snatched away at any time. It means as much to me today as it did then, but my understanding of it has grown deeper, as has the knowledge of who I am in Christ.

As a single mom, I have been fearful of many things. First I was afraid to get divorced, but more afraid of losing my mind if I didn’t. I was afraid of what people would think of me after the divorce. I didn’t even believe in divorce! I was fearful of how the bills would be paid in a big way, because I had gone from career woman to stay at home mom and had not done anything but freelance for four years. Back when I had fibromyalgia, I was afraid I’d be a walking zombie the rest of my life, because all the life had literally been sucked out of me. When I had the house fire, I was afraid of being called stupid for hiring a man who I now believe is responsible for burning it down.  I was also afraid of condemnation and humiliation. I was first in my class in high school, and went to college on scholarships, moved far away and got a cool job doing cool things. Then I moved home and it seemed as if my life disintegrated in front of family and friends. My belief in myself and hope for a happier future evaporated after the failed marriage and the house fire. I was simply surviving, simply existing.

My confidence was completely gone. Somehow, I had crossed over into thinking that truly, I was nothing special. In fact I was a failure. After the house fire, I would fall in bed completely exhausted from the day of trying to figure out how to put my life back together, then I’d wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air as if I’d been held under water. I was working just as hard in my sleep trying to figure out how to survive as I was during the day and I was exhausted. I had no hope. I felt like the universe had spit me out as rejected, and that somehow I must’ve done something bad to bring this on me. Perhaps I had been too proud? Too confident earlier?

Shame and condemnation ruled the thoughts in my head. I gained even more weight. I didn’t know how to pray at this point. Sometimes I would just sit in God’s presence and cry, not saying a word.  How had I gone to feeling like I was one of His favorites, to feeling so ashamed and burdened? I had begun to think the circumstances in my life were indications of how much He loved me. Instead of seeing that these attacks were from the enemy of my soul, I had attributed them to my Father! That’s why I couldn’t really pray for help, because I thought I was being punished by my Father. Had I realized I was being attacked by the enemy of my soul, I could have risen up in indignation, called on my Father, and given the enemy a black eye!!! Yeah!!!!

Then I began to get more of a glimpse of the true nature of God. I had so many misconceptions of Him. I was giving him human traits from people I knew on earth. I was equating weaknesses in my own parents with Him. I also thought of Him as passive and generally disapproving. But the more I began to see the TRUE nature of God, the more I understood that he is the hero on the white horse, not the task master. I began to understand that my Father BANKRUPTED Heaven when Jesus died on the cross for us. I have since been told that if I had been kidnapped, and the ransom had been $10,000, that Jesus paid ONE BILLION for me, because he declared my value much more than my enemy had, and he paid over and above my ransom. Isn’t that an awesome illustration?

What was the first thing Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden after they disobeyed? It was FEAR. But let’s back up just a moment. How did the enemy get them to consider disobeying God in the first place? He got them to question God’s character! He told them that God was keeping the best for Himself, and that it was out of selfishness that He had advised them not to eat from that particular tree. That tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They already had much knowledge of good, they had seen the Father face to face, had been created in His Image, they even resembled Him. When they were confused and deceived by the enemy, all they received new was the Knowledge of Evil, and with that came fear.

So, I believe that much of the stress we experience in this world, is due to our mistaken idea about the true character of our Heavenly Father and how he truly feels about us. Think of a cancer diagnosis. The first thing you experience is fear, right? If you KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God really loved you, and was not mad at you, and that this in no way came from Him, couldn’t you pray with a little more boldness for healing? But if you feel somehow whispered in the back of your mind, and deep in your heart, that you must’ve failed somehow and that God was punishing you, how do you pray for healing and truly expect to be healed? (I have been miraculously healed of fibromyalgia, so it still happens today!)

We all say we know God loves us, but do we BELIEVE it in our hearts? I know I didn’t for a long time. It kept me in bondage to an eating addiction to comfort my broken heart, it kept me in isolation because I began to expect to be rejected, it kept me in a sea of condemnation and confusion and chaos, and here’s a big one, trying to EARN my approval from God. Oh Lord, was I a workaholic, and still struggle with this. God is not mad at us. Earlier in the same chapter of Joshua 1, it talks about how God GAVE the Israelites houses that they did not build, vineyards that they did not plant. He GAVE it to them and did not require them to toil at all for these things. The earlier generation had not been allowed to experience this, and had wandered for forty years in the desert. And why was this? They did not believe God. They agreed with the enemy, and WERE AFRAID! After all the miracles they had seen, including the parting of the Red Sea, they were afraid to go TAKE what the Lord had already declared was theirs.

So I believe fear in His children, breaks the heart of God. Because when we are fearful, we are literally choosing to stand on the side of the enemy and agree with him in saying, “You’re right, He doesn’t really love me.” and to say this, after He gave the best that heaven had to offer in the person of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine your child, choosing to believe a drug dealer had their best interests at heart, rather than you? I think if we can conquer fear, we can conquer the world and everything in it. But we cannot conquer fear, until we can clearly see the true nature and character of our Father.

I do not feel that I have written this anywhere near as eloquently as I had hoped. But if you could imagine God the way He is described in Psalm 18 the next time you feel alone and desperate, I will have accomplished giving the devil a black eye today:

Psalm 18: 6–19:

“In my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before Him into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostril; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. he made darkness his covering, his canopy around Him – the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightening. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightening and routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

This Psalm was written by David prior to what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Our enemy is no longer powerful, but has BEEN DEFEATED!!! We are no longer powerless but powerful because the Holy Spirit of God lives on the inside of us! Ask God, as I have to do often, to help me focus more on His love for me and it’s abundance, rather than on how often I fail in my efforts at loving Him as He deserves.  What could you accomplish, knowing that the God of the universe was putting His every resource at your disposal? Who would you be afraid of if you truly understood who you were in Christ? So kick fear in the teeth today, and declare the victory that has already been GIVEN to you. You can’t defend property or territory or possessions that you don’t realize is yours, so figure out what’s yours in the Lord and when the enemy tries to claim it as his, rise up!! You have EVERYTHING you need in Christ, once you realize that you are his Beloved, precious in His eyes. His death assured you that you’d never have to wear the garment of condemnation again. He paid it ALL. Now step into your rightful place! Be BOLD AND COURAGEOUS and believe God for your health, your family and your future. Believe God and His report, not the report of the enemy of your soul.

In closing, here is another verse from Joshua 24: 15, “…, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” You serve the one you AGREE WITH, so agree with God. He has a plan and a purpose for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) You can do it!

November 10, 2012

What You May Not Know About Tuna, Generic Brands of Fish Oil, & More

by healthybydesignblog

Everyday companies dump tons of pollution into our oceans. You may think, as I used to, “The oceans are so large, I’m sure it’s so diluted that it doesn’t make THAT big a difference.” I was wrong. Did you know that the Polar Bear is suffering from the contamination in our oceans? Even though he’s way out in the middle of nowhere, few if any factories, few if any cars, scientists tell us that polar bears are one of the animals suffering the most due to pollution. And it’s because of his diet of ocean fish, who are swimming around in toxic waters.

Chemicals like PCBs don’t just dilute and go away:

“PCB’s have been used since 1929 as insulating fluids in transformers and capacitors, as hydraulic oils, lubricants, softeners, heat exchange fluids, additives in plastics, casting oils etc.,and are still in use today. Most of the PCB’s were produced during the period 1950 to 1983. Total world production has been estimated to be more than 1 million metric tonnes.

PCB’s were first detected in environmental samples in 1966 (S.Jensen,1966). Subsequent research has shown PCB’s to be ubiquitously present, both in human beings and the environment. This is due to their persistence in the environment, their ability to be distributed over large distances (even to areas where they have never been produced or used), their potential for bioaccumulation in organisms and biomagnification in the foodchain.Their harmful effects to man and the environment are well documented in a number of reviews (WHO,1976; IARC,1978; OECD,1982; Lorenz & Neumeier,1983; Kimbrough,1987; IARC,1987; DFG,1988; ATSDR,1989;WHO,1989; WHO,1993; ATSDR,1996;).”  http://www.chem.unep.ch/pops/POPs_Inc/proceedings/slovenia/neumeier2.html

How my lunch inspired this post

Since my daughter’s diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), we have made numerous changes in our diets for the better. Because of the training I am now receiving through Shaklee, I know there’s mercury in tuna, but I had a craving so I bought one pack while grocery shopping yesterday, and as a single mom, it’s a budget friendly item. Today in a pinch for a quick meal, wanting a quick source of protein (I was out of my protein shakes –EGAD!), I reached for the tuna.

So, I’m looking at the packaging and it says in a red heart on the top right, “Natural Source of Omega-3”. Well this is true, but it’s also an unnatural source of MERCURY. Tuna are swimming around in these polluted oceans as well. I have now permanently lost my taste for tuna, until I can find out how to get it without the toxins – how about you?

So here’s my soapbox: People are TRYING TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES FOR THEIR HEALTH, but lack on information makes them vulnerable. In fact, children are especially at risk for mercury poisoning from eating tuna.  I guess that could be more frightening if it was something more kids were begging for, like macaroni n’ cheese. The fact remains, however, that a mother who is just learning that nutrition can make a big difference in her child’s health might be encouraging him / her  to eat tuna, thinking it’s full of Omega-3s and better for him / her  than baloney. Now baloney has it’s own issues, that’s a story for another post. My point is that the mothers is trying to give her child what advertising has told her is a good source of Omega-3s, but advertising left out the mercury and PCB contamination. Moms, you cannot believe the adveritising you see on TV!! It’s usually only half truths.

So What About The Fish Oil You’re Taking For Your Heart or Arthritis?

The same reason the polar bear is suffering, the same reason your tuna is contaminated, is the same reason you should be concerned about what brand of fish oil you consume. In fact, a handful of companies have been sued because of the contamination of the fish oil they were selling the unassuming public. Again, people trying to make good decisions and good choices about what they put in their bodies, trying to do things the natural way, but because they only know half the story, they end of doing as much harm as good. This makes me CRAZY!

This is also one of the reasons I’m so passionate about Shaklee. Their distillation process takes longer and costs more, but when they’re through, they have pharmaceutical grade fish oil, with no lead, mercury, arsenic, or PCBs in it – GUARANTEED. In fact, as far as I know as a lay person, it’s the only company that can say that AND back it up with scientific documentation to prove it. Shaklee’s standards are higher than the FDA’s, which I have mentioned in other articles.

So, A Few Extra Chemicals Won’t Hurt Me That Much Will It?

As a culture, as a nation, we are swimming in a cess pool of toxins and don’t even know it. In fact, most people I know are not only oblivious to it, but apathetic about it. To be honest, until every member of my own family was diagnosed with life-changing and life-threatening illnesses, I was the same way. Recently, I read the following paragraph in a book entitled The Toxic Sandbox,  by Libby McDonald, who became interested in all this information herself when her son was diagnosed with lead poisoning:

“In 2004 the Red Cross decided to take a look at umbilical cord blood and figure out what chemicals were pumped across the placenta to our children in the womb, the most vulnerable time of their development. By analyzing the cord blood of ten newborns, the researchers learned that the babies in utero had an average of two hundred industrial chemicals and pollutants running through their veins. In total 287 toxins were identified in the ten babies tested, pollutants that are found in pesticides, stain repellents, flame retardents, waste from coal-burning power plants, gasoline and garbage. Of these chemicals 180 are known to cause cancer, 217 are poisonous to the brain and nervous system, and 208 have been linked to birth defects in animal studies.”

If a baby, supposedly and hopefully safe in it’s mother’s womb has been exposed to this many toxins, how about the rest of us? I can’t remember where I read this, so remember you’re reading an article by a lay person and concerned mother, but I read if we were only exposed to one toxic chemical at a time, that’s really not so bad, as our bodies have been so amazingly designed by God, we can handle one relatively okay. However, by adding just ONE MORE TOXIN to the mix in our environment, the negative effects are multiplied exponentially. It makes me think of a friend of mine who was cleaning her bathroom. As long as she was using only one type of cleaner at the time and had the fan on or a window open, she might have difficulty breathing, but in a few moments seemed to recover. The minute she used a 2nd cleaning product containing bleach, and the chemicals from the two products combined, she was breathing a toxic gas that sent her to the emergency room. 90% of the carcinogenic chemicals we are exposing our families to everyday are in our cleaning baskets. (You might want to check out Shaklee’s non-toxic cleaners, but again, that’s a story for another post.)

Still not alarmed yet?

Well, consider this. Today’s generation of children are expected to live a lifespan 17 YEARS shorter than their parents, and researchers believe it has everything to do with their diets. See an earlier article I wrote on this recently. Our children are suffering from ADD/ADHD, Autism, Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma and Cancer at alarming rates. Just because you don’t realize the more immediate effects of these toxins on your body as they occur, you need to know that over time, the long-term exposure to toxins in our environment has a devastating effect on our long-term health, and even shortens lives.

Will you remain oblivious or apathetic after reading this? Determine to make one small change in your diet every few weeks. Over time, these small changes for the better will have very big results, even disease-preventing results. Need a suggestion as to where to start? Eliminate soda from your diet, both regular and diet sodas. Drink water instead! Don’t think that I don’t know that you just gasped in amazement! It took me and my daughter six months to stop craving the stuff, but once we broke our addiction to it, we have never looked back. You can do it!

I will write another article soon about detoxification. Your liver is filtering much of this stuff for you, and there are ways to help clean your liver and eliminate some of these toxins from your system. Keep in mind that when your body doesn’t know what to do with a toxin, it will stuff it in a fat cell. More to come!

Stay tuned.

August 25, 2012

ADD/ADHD: What you don’t know may surprise you.

by healthybydesignblog

One of the most fascinating things I have learned since my involvement with Shaklee is in regards to this thing called ADD or ADHD. First of all, if you are a parent of a kid who has had this label put on them, let me tell you that this kid is most likely very bright, and highly intelligent. In fact, the analogy has been made to me, that their brains are like high performance race car engines. So what’s the problem then? Nutrition! When we feed these high performance engines sugary cereals and soda, processed meats, etc., it’s like putting gasoline that has water in it, in one of these race car engines. What will happen? Major behavioral problems.

So what does the medical community want to do, but put your kids on Ritalin. Most people, including me, thought that these drugs slowed kids down, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Ritalin is nothing but amphetamines, that’s right, it’s SPEED. I was so shocked. Why does it work? It works because that high powered engine of a mind, whose intellectual capacity is up there, has just had his physical capacity sped up by the amphetamine. So now, the physical and the intellectual are on the same plane, so to speak.

The good news, is that you can accomplish the exact same thing with nutrition. That means cutting out the junk, and putting in fruits and vegetables, and vitamin supplementation. In fact, one of the most common comments I get from new adult customers who begin taking the multi-vitamin is that they’ve never had so much energy. Now don’t freak out, if your kid is already a handful in regards to physical activity. Really and truly, it’s mental clarity as much as anything, more so than physical energy. When your mind is clear, it’s easier to get motivated, to get things done.

So what happens when you put “the good gas”, not the cheap gas, in the high performance engine? You win! Ditch the hot dogs, the chicken nuggets, the frozen food, and replace with fruits, vegetables and Shaklee Incredavites multi-vitamins for kids, and prepare to be amazed.

Now, do plan to give this a little bit of time. Don’t expect change to be over night, and don’t try to accomplish all these goals in a few days. You and your family have developed eating habits over a period of many years, and it will take some time not only to change your kid’s habits, but your own as well. Try limiting or cutting out soda first and encourage them to drink water. Are YOU drinking water? Step by step, one day at at a time, work towards your goal of healthier eating for your family.

By the way, nutrition has also been shown to help children with Austism as well! There is an amazing connection between your intestinal tract and your mind.

One frightening statistic regarding kids today, is that 1 out of 3 kids today WILL NOT LIVE AS LONG AS THEIR PARENTS!!!. This is talking about AMERICAN kids! It’s because of all these hot dogs and chicken nuggets – the preservatives in them, the steroids, antibiotics, and growth hormones that are in them, and the vitamins that are NOT in them. I know we’re all busier than ever, but your child’s health, quality of life, and even lifespan are greatly affected by what you serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I can hear it now. “My kids won’t eat vegetables!” Your kids will eat what they’re exposed to. You keep putting vegetables in front of them, and encourage them to try it each time, they will develop a taste for them. The best thing is to start small children out on healthy food from the very beginning. This is too important to wimp out on. Suck it up, put your “big girl panties on”, do whatever it takes to get real food, not just stuff that looks like food but has no nutrient content, in your kids!!! And don’t forget the Shaklee Incredivites, or Vita Lea Ocean Wonders multi-vitamins. That’s the EASY part! There’s your big red EASY BUTTON right there. Contact me and I’ll answer any questions you may have. Our kids deserve our best efforts!