“If I Figured It All Out Today…..Tomorrow Would Be Rather Boring.”

“If I figured it all out today…..tomorrow would be rather boring.”

This is something that I kind of just rattled off while in the middle of a heartfelt conversation with a new, and I must say now a VERY good friend of mine, on my drive home from church this morning.  Yesterday I posted a quote on my Facebook page regarding having new foundation, learning to trust the fact that things happen for a reason, and that what you have gone through in life was not meant to hurt you, but to help you grow. Painful as it may seemingly be, these things are meant to help encourage us to learn, grow, and develop into the best of ourselves. My friend replied to my post and lo and behold we ended up on the phone this morning for 59 minutes.

Everything does happen for a reason.  Whether it’s a painful lesson to learn by experiencing a health issue, a relationship that ends, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one…..these things do, in fact, happen for a reason. Trying to figure it out only adds to the stress of the situation. That has been my experience. The loss of a business and the loss of my marriage, which both happened within months of each other, had my head spinning. These were both very stressful situations in my life, both of which were extremely difficult to let go of. I truly believed my business and my marriage to be my lifeline. And so you can understand that there was a feeling of suffocation at letting them both go.

I was more concerned with making sure that the business and the marriage was taken care of and forgot to truly, on a deep level, take care of myself. It always seemed like I had. I exercised every day. I ate extremely healthy foods.  I remained social. But the stress was so overwhelming that I had developed some health issues with my thyroid and my bones. I became extremely exhausted and doing the day to day activities that normally would come so easy to me became yet another stressor for me.  Feeling sicker and growing more distant I knew something had to give. And it did. In a way that would be the beginning of truly my first life altering experiencing.

We all have little bursts of amazing little things that happen to us in our lives. They truly are blessings. We invite them in and pray for more. The birth of a child. A promotion. A trophy. A new car. Achieving the weight loss we’ve been striving for. Winning $5 at the 7-11 lotto. All these things are blessings and truly do put bounce in our step. Yet, when upsets and chaos happen in our lives, we run from them. We suddenly become angry with the same God who gave us our little blessings. We get depressed, scared, anxious, fearful, and ultimately withdrawn because we cannot face what “might” happen in the future.

I’ve been learning through my spiritual studies  and readings that it’s true, in fact, that everything really does happen for a reason. Whatever you experienced in your life was intended for you to grow from. And if it’s a painful situation, invite it into your life as if it were joyful. Let the Universe work it’s wonders and turn that bad boy around. And just stay the course. Don’t let the hard times stop you. Let them empower you. You don’t have to have all the answers today. If we did, tomorrow would be boring.  Life was meant to be lived day to day, moment to moment, year to year. And to truly experience these precious moments, whether they are pleasurable or painful, is to truly live.

Life may not be easy for me right now, but it is in fact happening for a reason. Where I will end up is based entirely upon my openness to allow this to happen and be receptive to the messages I am receiving. If it were easy and always joyful, it wouldn’t be worth all that much.  Remember that exam that you studied your butt off for in college. You put weeks and weeks into preparing for your finals. You stayed up all night long. Skipped parties with your friends. Gave up that hot Saturday night date because you knew that you had to stay the course, study, and ace the test. And that’s what happened. All that hard work and patience got you your “A”. That “A” got you into your graduate program. That graduate program got you the job of your dreams which lead to all the more blessings that you now have. But it wasn’t easy. It was hard. Now you reap the rewards.

Take your hardships as blessings. Be patient. Learn. And make those changes necessary to have the life that you love living. If you are struggling, ask for the answers. If you are unhappy, make the conscious choice to change that. If you are struggling in relationships, careers, love, spirituality, depression or whatever else “plagues”  you……know that these things are truly happening for a reason. Acknowledge it. Own it. And make the changes necessary……day by day, week by week, year by year, but most importantly, moment by moment.

You have to come first in your life. If you are not happy then you cannot put happiness into your work and your family. It’s not being selfish to take care of yourself. Ultimately your friends, family, colleagues, and boss will appreciate you that much more.  And during this time, be patient and loving with yourself. You don’t have to figure it all out today or tomorrow. If it helps you to connect spiritually, which it has me, then do it. If getting healthy is what you need….start exercising and eating healthy. If you are zonked, take a vacation.  Make the choice that you want a better life for yourself. And do it for yourself so that you can be the best you that you can be.

Blessings!!

TLR

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The Get Rich Quick Fix….I Ain’t Buying It!!

Today I had the opportunity to sit in on a huge MLM [multi-level marketing] meeting. Now before I even go into this meeting, I have to say that I was mislead regarding this event and lead to believe that I would actually be on an actual job interview. When I showed up at the Hilton to meet with this “team”, I saw a line of people out the door waiting to get into the next Herbal Life Pump ‘Em Up To Make Money Seminar. My first thought was to slip out. The crowd was huge and nobody would ever even know I was there. But before I could go invisible, I heard my name being called. So naturally I put a huge smile on my face and made it seem like I was happy to be there.

Initially, like a good salesman, the man who  was supposed to be “interviewing” me had a great pitch going. Talking about how the product is top of the line ingredients and that they are changing lives. Hey, I like changing lives. But I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to products and I’m even a bigger skeptic when these products have more than a handful of ingredients in them. But I made the trip and really felt I should at least listen to what they had to say. I sat in on an hour of the meeting listening to those who have been with the company boast about their progress with the products. Some women had claimed to be struggling with fertility and after being on Herbal Life Foundational Nutrition Plan got pregnant in 6 months. Impressive? Not really. It could very well have been the result of just losing weight and balancing their hormones which can be achieved by eating real whole foods. But they were getting results and that’s what matters.

The part that really turned me off, as everyone in the crowd is ooohing and aaahhhing as if a bunny had just been pulled out of a hat, was the remarkable fitness results that these people, coaches rather, were achieving. Rapid weight loss. Losing significant percentages of body fat and gaining the upwards of 6 pounds of muscle in a 4 week period. That’s where I started to shake my head and twitch in my chair.  Suddenly everyone was having the same results….

“I lost 57 pounds in 3 months, 10 inches off my waist, and I gained 10 pounds of lean body mass in 3 months”

“I was underweight and so skinny. After being on the program for 4 weeks I gained 12 pounds for my ideal body  weight….and none of it was fat.”

“My skin cleared up.”

“After 25 years of Irritable Bowel Syndrome I have NO problems whatsoever.”

and the best of all……

“I loved the product so much, I had to work for the company. Within 4 weeks I was making over 6 figures.”

That’s some chunky change to make in such a short period of time. And hey, I’d love to get rich quick. I’d love to be an over night success. But I won’t do it in a way that doesn’t feel right for me. After coming home and looking at the Herbal Life website, I was anything but impressed with the product labels.  Their new line of Sports Performance Protein Powders called Herbal Life 24 has fructose, sugar, soy lecithin and only has 9 grams of protein and 9 grams of sugar. Not really what I would call a protein shake. Their protein bars again are based with milk protein concentrates, glucose syrup, fructose, sugar, artificial flavor, caramel coloring and have only 10 grams of protein and have 10 grams of sugar. Once again, not really balanced.

The big pitch was to get rich quick while helping people. And again, as I squirm in my chair, it just didn’t sit well with me. I understand that there are those out there where something is better than nothing. But in my personal view, setting people up with a lifestyle vs a product is what should be the foundational nutrition plan. Give a man a fish and he eats for a meal. Teach a man to fish and he eats for his lifetime. If you teach people how to feed themselves, products are not necessary.

Now I do use protein powders. I do take supplements. I’m not knocking the supplement industry at all. But it’s the whole hype on the multilevel marketing that gets me. This company, from what I can tell, is not truly about helping people get healthy. You can lose weight eating a lower calorie diet…but that doesn’t create health. And the ingredients that make up the products will often dictate the end result. Real whole foods with MINIMALLY processed products and supplements will take you a lot further than a system that’s designed to fatten up someone else’s wallet. Pun intended.

I do believe that there are certain products out there that really do help people lose weight, lose excess body fat, and optimize their health and well being. I’m not debating that. But the approach I experienced today was not truly in the best interest of the clients and customers.  This line might work well for someone who truly needs a rapid weight loss program because their health is at risk…again, something is better than nothing. But long term I can see damage being done. You may lose weight quickly. Yes you may even increase your lean body mass. But what are these artificial ingredients doing to your body long term. I did not see one ingredient on their label that possessed an antioxidant property. Perhaps that’s the vitamin department.  I didn’t stay for that part. But all I know, after working with USANA and Metagenics for a number of years…..a product can only take you so far. It’s the lifestyle that carries you through.

Use supplements wisely and for their intended use…..to SUPPLEMENT. They are not to feed your body. Yes, have your protein shakes. I do. But try to keep your diet as wholesome and real as possible. Don’t fall for quick fixes. Health can take a long time to achieve. If you haven’t been on that path for very long, be patient. Don’t invest all your hard earned money into cupboards full of powders, pills, and potions. I can personally attest to the fact that it simply doesn’t work.  Sound nutrition and fitness routine with the proper rest and supplementation for your body will take you a lot further.

I found these coaches really great at inspiring their colleagues. But I found them to be inspiring them to make money. And granted, that was their intent today. But as far as being health and wellness coaches, we all know that true health comes from lifestyle AND nutrition. Not just one or the other.

Shop smart and be well.

TLR