Self Love

Beautiful

“Beautiful”

[Spoken] Don’t look at me

Every day is so wonderful Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe. Now and then I get insecure From all the pain, I’m so ashamed. I am beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way. Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no. So don’t you bring me down today.

As sung By Christina Aguilera

If you….like me…have undervalued yourself for far too long and have allowed other people’s opinions of you to mean more than your own opinion of yourself. THAT is a hard truth you must come to grips with. You must recognize that you are truly the only real constant in your life. Everyone else can come and will come and go. Whether they are dear friends, beloved family members or your chosen mate, they can be gone from your life between one breath and the next. We are the blood we cannot walk away from. We should be our own support systems. We ourselves are the friends we must not ignore.  And yet we are our own worst critics when we should become our own best cheer leaders. Not just in word but in deed.

A while back I saw a trailer for a movie called “The Incredible Mr. Ripley” with my best friend. It was about a young man that completely made himself over in order to assume a lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed. As we watched it we became fascinate with the idea of making ourselves over. Not in order to usurp someone else’s life but to improve upon our own. After the movie, over dinner we designed our new lives. Our “look”, or lifestyle, how we would walk, talk, shop, dress, everything about ourselves. We were going to work on that. Set time tables, toasted our future selves but like many other plans we’d made, life got in the way.

 I submit to you that we were not going to impersonate anyone else. Many of us HAVE been impersonating someone else all this time. WE have been impersonating the women our parents groomed us to be, circumstances bullied us into being, or that life coerced us into being. Ding! They won round one. Round two belongs to us!

Our commitments must be to ourselves. We must be answerable to our own highest purposes, our own deepest desires and our own best interests. Only THE MOST HIGH’s purposes, desires and interests should supersede them. If fear is holding you back then recall that much quoted poem:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Wear these words as a breast plate and shield and prepare to do battle with your own demons, in spite of the obstacles whether real or imagined. I understand those obstacles in you because I recognize them in me. But I am making a concerted effort to see “Nia” as my client, my first priority from a coaching standpoint. I say to myself…would you accept this kind of “run for cover” from a client? Wouldn’t you expect and therefore push a client to be her best, brightest, highest version of herself? Well the answer to that is yes. So I force myself to look in the mirror. And I force myself to see the reflection looking back at me. I can’t always do it for long but I do it. The demons of uncertainty and doubt blink back at me. Confused because they no longer have the power over me they once did. I’m making peace with the “me” that I am in order to embrace the “me” I am choosing to become.

And everywhere we go (and everywhere we go)

The sun will always shine (the sun will always, always shine)

And tomorrow we might wake on the other side

We are beautiful no matter what they say

Yes, words won’t bring us down, no, no

We are beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can’t bring us down, oh, no

So don’t you bring me down today

Oh, yeah, don’t you bring me down today, yeah, ooh

Don’t you bring me down ooh… today

 

http://www.be-well-lioness.com

http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl

 

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Body

Let’s Sweat!

Sweat

“Come on let’s sweat, baby Let the music take control Let the rhythm move you Sweat, sweat Let the music take control Let the rhythm move you

Everybody dance now …”

*Chorus from Everybody Dance Now by C+C Music factory*

Everywhere you turn these days people are offering better health and touting the benefits of a detox or a cleanse, including Be Well Lioness! We offer a number of detox options for our clients and for several good reasons. Some are meant to prep for weight loss programs or other lifestyle changes. Others are meant to eliminate foods or behaviors that are problematic for the client. Detox has become an all encompassing catch phrase that sells any number of “health-related” programs, products or packages. By definition a detox is a metabolic process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances in order to allow toxins to become less toxic or more easily eliminated from the body.

From a nutritional standpoint detoxes may include herbal supplements to help with digestion and (ahem) elimination of the offending substances from the body. Ideally, they also include ingestion of a very clean diet made up primarily of dark leafy greens and other organic (not chemically treated fresh produce) eaten or liquefied into smoothies or juices. Breaking down the toxins in your body is one part of the process. Elimination is another. If you don’t pass them through they would simply be re-absorbed. Numerous trips to the bathroom may be annoying but they are necessary.

Some coaches, and other health care professionals suggest sauna or steam bath to get you to sweat. If you’re going to be on a cleanse or detox your goal is to eliminate toxins. Your skin is the largest organ in your body & the largest outlet for toxins. It makes sense to sweat it out.

Light to moderate exercise will do that as well in addition to burning calories (If you’re interested in that sort of thing.) and according to the CDC 35% of adults could stand to lose a few extra pounds with another 33% defined as obese. But not to digress. Exercise will help you sweat.

And after a good work out or sauna or whatever it is you do to work up that sweat you probably drool at the thought of a good bath or shower, which is a great way to shower away all those purged toxins. But what good does it do to eliminate all those toxic substances from your system if you’re just going to put more in by means of chemically laden, synthetic hormone filled personal hygiene products?

Several companies have come up with less toxic and therefore less offending options. I urge you to check out the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group’s) website at www.ewg.org and do a bit of research on their Cosmetics database. They call it skin deep and it is well worth bookmarking it!

Another option is making your own personal hygiene products using essential oils and other natural ingredients that will care for, nourish and moisturize your skin without adding to your toxic load. It’s simple and surprisingly inexpensive.

Here… let me get you started:

Mane2Tale Moisturizing Body Wash

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup liquid castile soap
  • 2 teaspoons oil – avocado, jojoba, sweet almond
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 50 drops essential oils (I use a combo of lavender, rose, geranium and frankincense.)*
  • 10 drops of optional essential oils (I’m using a combo of grapefruit, lemon and wild orange)*

 

Directions

The product will last longer if no water is added but I tend to make mine in smaller batches and add some water because the thicker it is the more water it takes to wash it all off and I prefer a lighter lather. Squirt top bottles work best. Shake gently before each use.

Checkout this site to purchase your essential oils http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl/

 

 

  1. be-well-lioness.com

http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl/

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General Thoughts, Lioness Lessons Series, Toxin Free

90 Day Ready 2 Roar!

I woke up this morning humming “Happy” by Pharrell. Reached over and turned off my alarm clock and searched my ipad for my motivation playlist so that Pharrell could sing it to me while I slithered into my leggings and struggled to get my sports bra over the girls. I was prepared for an incline workout on my treadmill. No need for speed with this workout. This was purely about increasing my endurance, building my strength and…ahem…building my booty. Now I have to tell you that for the last few weeks I’ve worked out in my pajamas without much enthusiasm. Just enough energy expended to say I did it… if anybody asked.

 

But this morning, Friday, August 1st is a momentous occasion for me and for my coaching practice. The Be Well Lioness! 90 Day Ready2Roar  Beta test starts today!

 

I piloted a similar program the last year and it was quite successful with every one of my clients seeing real results. But I’ve learned so much more since then and I felt there was more work to be done. So I tightened it up. Added additional modules to the group sessions and made it more interactive. Yes. We’ll discuss nutrition. Yes. We’ll discuss exercise but we’ll work on stress reduction, the importance of positive relationships and the role toxins play in affecting health as well.

 

Be Well Lioness! 90 Day Ready2Roar looks like this:

It’s a 12 week program that consists of a cleanse to get everyone started. Followed by a clean eating, plant based meal plan which eliminates dairy, gluten and sugar in order to balance blood glucose, cool the body’s inflammatory responses, increase energy and as a side effect, promotes weight loss.

Group coaching occurs twice monthly and each group coaching session will deal with a different aspect of wellness.

  1. Clean Eating
  2. Goal Setting – Managing Expectations
  3. Physical Activity
  4. Avoiding Toxins
  5. Stress Management
  6. Identifying Toxic Relationships

It includes a Farmer’s Market tour, a quick and easy cooking demo and a discussion of budget friendly ways to live healthfully.

 

Generally  this program is directed at clients who are dealing with weight issues of 30lbs or more or a chronic health issue that can be addressed by life style adjustments ie Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity.

 

So far my PRIDE is excited and motivated. But I know this is only day one and change for them and for me isn’t always pretty, or fun, or easy. Wish us success. I’ll keep you posted!

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Body, Toxin Free

Pardon the Interruption…Uh Disruption

Many of the chemicals in our personal environments have been proven to be endocrine disruptors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences defines endocrine disruptors as “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.” This system literally affects every aspect of a human’s existence and should be of particular importance to those raising children.

The WHO (World Health Organization) informs us that pregnant women and small children are the most vulnerable members of society to environmental toxins and anything that stands between us and the proper functioning of our hormones. Affecting healthy growth, neurodevelopment and maybe even causing them to be more susceptible to non-communicable diseases. http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehemerging2/en/#

Last Saturday I woke up in a potion making mood. There was cleaning that needed to be done but I don’t ever want to add to the toxic load in my household. I desperately want to protect my growing nieces, my elderly dad and my adult offspring whenever and where ever possible.

My nieces are six years old and still have a lot of growing to do. I feel compelled to do all I can to make their home as toxin free as possible. Insulin, leptin and ghrelin are all hormones that affect appetite and metabolism. We have a family history of diabetes and obesity. I don’t want history to repeat itself.

My adult daughters may want to reproduce at some point. I don’t want to contribute to the toxic load they may already be dealing with and I know that one of the key ways to “DE-tox” is to prevent or hinder as many new toxins as possible from entering them and causing road blocks to their wellness.

Environmental toxins are also a danger to my sons and son-in-law. According to the Men’s Journal, prostate cancer may be triggered by the chemical BPA which is probably the most well known endocrine disruptor. In addition to cancer causing BPA, other toxins have been shown to affect male reproduction. Before you decide reproduction is only a female issue…think again. In 40% of those couples dealing with fertility issues it is a joint problem or the man’s fertility is the primary dysfunction. http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/toxins-the-environment-and-your-health-20140319

And then there’s my dad. He’ll be 78 in August. The website for Centre for Studies on Human Stress states “Older adults’ bodies contain a lifetime’s worth of environmental contaminants, many of which can remain in their systems for decades. Elderly people are highly vulnerable to these toxins, because their brain has a reduced capacity to compensate for impairment, and because they have been longer exposed than younger adults.”http://www.humanstress.ca/stress-and-you/elders-and-stress/environmental-toxins.html

I know I can’t protect them from every chemical they may come in contact but I can certainly do more to control what toxins are in our home. So Saturday I went to the kitchen with my potion making supplies in hand. And with one twin on each side of me I made up a batch of Pride Lands All Purpose Cleaner. In addition to being a cleaner non-toxic product, making my own gives me an opportunity to use essential oils that lift my mood and energize me which is just what I need when I’m cleaning since it’s not my favorite thing to do. Come to think of it just knowing I’m protecting my loved ones, my Pride, improves my mood too!

Pride Lands All Purpose Cleaner

1 tsp borax

1/2 tsp washing soda

1 tsp liquid castille soap

Essential oils* – (I find that citrus oils work best…lemon, orange, grapefruit or some combo)…14 drops plus 4 if you like your clean scented.

2 cups of purified warm water

Add to spray bottle (preferably glass as citrus reacts to plastic over time).

Cover bottle and shake well.

Use as needed.

Works well in bathrooms, kitchens and other solid non-porous surfaces.

 

 

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Body

First Do No Harm

The words translated “First do no harm” have been attributed to Hippocrates but there has been much debate as to whether this quote came from him, from his “Hippocratic Oath” or from some other source. Quite frankly, as a Wellness professional, it matters very little to me when, where or who spoke the words. The concept is sound. And it is for that reason I am a proponent of Holistic wellness, natural and integrative approaches to health care.

Most prescription pharmaceuticals and OTC (over the counter) products have a host of side effects and contraindications while taking the drugs and another set that may occur as you try to wean yourself from them. Some cause symptoms that may require you to take yet another drug to deal with the symptoms caused by the first drug.

Dr. Mercola’s website lists these 26 “terrifying” side effects:

  1. Drainage, crusting, or oozing of your eyes or eyelids
  2. Swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue
  3. Changes in the shape or location of body fat
  4. Decrease in testicle size
  5. Sores or swelling in your rectal or genital area
  6. Blue lips or fingernails
  7. Purple spots on your skin
  8. White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  9. Irregular back-and- forth movements of your eyes
  10. Enlarged breasts in males.
  11. Unusual risk-taking behavior, no fear of danger
  12. Extreme fear
  13. Hallucinations, fainting, coma
  14. Fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer
  15. Paralysis
  16. Thoracic Hematoma (bleeding into your chest)
  17. A blood clot in your lung
  18. Liver damage
  19. Kidney damage
  20. A lump in your breast
  21. Decreased bone marrow function
  22. Congestive heart failure
  23. Shingles
  24. Nerve pain lasting for several weeks or months
  25. Bleeding that will not stop
  26. Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/12/the-terrifying-side-effects-of-prescription-drugs.aspx

Let’s take depression for example. This is a condition that is becoming more commonplace in our fast-paced and stressful lives. Most folk feel a little blue now and again and some suffer from depression. Many doctors will prescribe depression meds for what may be relatively mild cases. A common drug prescribed is Cymbalta®. Possible side effects from the drug are:

Worsening depression, other psychiatric conditions, suicidal thoughts or actions, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile actions, impulsivity, severe restlessness.

Admittedly depression can be very debilitating and it isn’t something anyone would want to deal with in the long term. It can be a chronic condition not just an occasional mood disturbance. We are talking about more than the blues. And in many cases an allopathic medical intervention is called for but there are much more natural, holistic approaches that can be considered to lessen the need for or the amount of medication taken.

  • Exercise is a tremendous help and it doesn’t have to be strenuous Iron man type training. Regular aerobic type for 20 minutes per day at least 3 times per week will do the trick.
  • Meditation activities including Tai Chi, guided or mindful meditation, yoga or repetitive prayer.
  • A personal spiritual practice has been found to reduce stress that may cause or exacerbate depression.
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Body

When To Do It Yourself and When to Call For Back Up

I try to keep a real balance in my life. I eat as cleanly as possible most days. I work out moderately (although I plan to step that up in preparation for completing my 3rd half marathon at the end of the year). I try to adjust my schedule in order to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. 8 would be optimum for me but until someone develops a 30 hour day I don’t see that happening.

In an effort to increase my chances of reaching the optimal health I’ve been working toward I have also begun decreasing my exposure to chemical toxins such as the ones in the class called obesogens and other hormone disruptors. Obesogens are a class of toxins which affect us in such a way as to make weight loss more difficult or that may contribute in some part to weight gain in the first place. Hormone disruptors are chemicals which prevent the normal functioning of hormones within the human body.

Hormones are responsible for most of the functions within you. They are the keys that unlock and the messengers that tell your body’s functions when to start and when to stop. Puberty, reproduction, metabolism, growth and sex either would not or could not take place without “go” orders from your hormones.

The changes I have made so far have been modest:

I still transport my “away from home meals” in plastic containers for safety but I don’t microwave in those containers. (I’ll leave the microwave discussion for another time). Instead I use glass bowls or paper plates.

I have begun the switch to more hormone friendly versions of toiletries and personal care items. I make the switch as current products with questionable chemical foundations run out. While I would prefer to just toss what I already have I admit to being on a budget like most of the country. The non-stick pots & pans are going the way of the dinosaur as fast as I can get rid of them.

Many of the changes I have made in the course of my wellness journey have been things I was taught by others such as my growing knowledge of environmental toxins courtesy of Ms. Lara Adler http://www.laraadler.com/ or they have been outsourced outright to someone else such as my little urban farm courtesy of Meredith Sheperd and Love & Carrots www.loveandcarrots.com. But some things require something else.

Sometimes it’s good to call for backup. I do this in areas where I know a little something but despite my best efforts I just can’t seem to wrap my mind or my body around it enough to make to reach the goals I have set for myself. In this case I’m talking about designing a physical fitness routine. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my treadmill, my hand weights, resistance bands and yoga mat. And DVDs are my friends but I don’t have the expertise to design a cohesive plan to get me to where I want to be. I just don’t. But…I know who does, a Personal trainer. 

 

Personal trainers can design, help you implement and hold you accountable if need be to the goals you set for yourself. A personal trainer can jump start you or help you over the hump of an annoying plateau. You can find them in gyms and fitness centers or catch one that freelances to get truly “personal” training. 

 

When choosing a trainer for yourself, keep these things in mind:

  • Education: A personal trainer should be certified through a reputable personal training organization. An exercise science or other related college degree isn’t necessary, but the more education your trainer has, the better your workouts will be.
  • CPR: your trainer should have an updated certification in CPR and/or first aid.
  • Experience: Make sure your trainer has experience, especially in relation to your goals. For example, if you’re a bodybuilder, you want someone knowledgeable in that area.
  • Specifics: If you have a specific medical problem, injury or condition (such as being pregnant, difficulty getting pregnant, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) make sure your trainer has education in these areas and will work with your doctor.
  • A good listener: A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure he understands your goals.
  • Attention: A good trainer will be focused only on you during your sessions.
  • Tracking progress: A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.

Excerpt from: http://exercise.about.com/cs/forprofessionals/a/choosetrainer.htm

Yes. I have learned a lot since I turned my attention to my own personal wellness and since I trained to be a Certified Health Coach and I intend to learn even more but I don’t feel any burning need to become a PT myself (at least for now). So I’ll work on the toxins, nutrition, hormones etc and when it comes to physical training for my bod…I’ll call for backup.

Keep Up With The Pride at www.Be-Well-Lioness.com or www.BeWellLioness.com

FaceBook www.facebook.com/BeWellLioness

Twitter@GoLioness

Pinterest Be Well Lioness

Contact me at CoachNia@Be-Well-Lioness.com

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General Thoughts

Moving Past The Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to — The Outer Limits.

Business plans, marketing plans and thoughts of fill my head as I finally drift off to sleep…when I sleep. I am building a business…two of them in fact. Running a household, finishing up school and holding down a full time job all while trying to optimize my own mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. And I admit that sometimes I feel as though I am losing my tenuous hold on my mind. But such is life in the 21st century for many of us. We want so much. Family, social life and career or in my case the entrepreneur in me wants a thriving business of my own.

As a single mother it has been about the paycheck. The J.O.B, as a mentor of mine used to day… the Just Over Broke. I didn’t have the luxury of taking the time to find my passion and then following it. A hole opened up beneath me and I found myself free falling into an industry I felt no fire for. I got up. I went in. They gave me a check. I was a sleep walker doing tasks that I could quite frankly accomplish in a daze. My rent was paid. My children ate. And so it went. Yes there were times when I genuinely enjoyed those tasks. More than a decade as a trainer and supervisor of customer service reps was the highlight. I like training people. Teaching them. Mentoring them.

But then came the lay-offs. And it was over. 2 weeks after moving my children from my parents’ home to a place of my own I was told I no longer had a means of producing food, clothing or shelter. In desperation I took a position that I was qualified for and good at. But it brought me no joy offered little or no challenge and so the sleepwalking began again. And again I had no control. So much about my life has been beyond my control for so long that I had almost forgotten what I wanted out of life. Almost. And then everything shifted. An opportunity to study and build a business that gives me energy, fuels my passion and combines so many of the things I love in one nice package. Health & Wellness Coaching gives me the opportunity to teach and mentor. My planned “Wellness Retreats” offer the opportunity to travel and run my travel business. I have the hope of a glorious and entrepreneurial future that gives me back control of my life. That is a future I can embrace with gusto. That is a control I am willing to work hard to attain.

We now return control of your television set to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to — The Outer Limits.

I don’t think so! That next week will never come! Keep your hands off my remote!

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