The Writer’s Prompt Challenge- 03/2017

“Death Date”

Victoria peered outside as the rain and wind crashed against her window. A storm raged on across the landscape as she sat in her desolate room on top of a high citadel. She begins to reflect on the past 6 months. This is so silly.   I have been up here since that fateful day. Nothing of consequence has happened to me. Who came up with this grim practice anyway? Predicting the day you were meant to die and marking you for life? Apparently, everyone believed them, whoever they are. She stared at her arm. Her “death date” was 6 months ago. She was truly dying. But, not in the true term of the word. She was dying slowly on the inside. Each day she becomes more bored and withdrawn from the world’s wonders since her parents locked her away to protect her.

She peered down at her necklace: a pendant imbued with an orange gem linked to a gold chain. It was a gift from her mother. “We will never forget about you. We will come get you when we are sure your “death date” has come and gone. When you are safe.” That was the final words her mother said. No messages. No letters. No visitors. Since that day.

I have had enough of this, Victoria thinks. What sense is life if you never live? What kind of life occurs when you are always afraid to die? She was done with it all: the tower, her tattoo, waiting until the “danger” was past. It never passes! I must rise above drivel predictions and what others want for me. I need to get out of here. Victoria grabbed her heavy cloak, raced down the steps, and burst out the door. She set out on her way and never looked back.

Help Me Out

Hello friends!  I hope this message finds you well and that your new year is going the way you dreamed it would be!  I need your help.  I would like to learn more about you as my readers.  I would like to know about your likes and dislikes. I would like to know more about your interests and learning needs.  Therefore, I have created a SHORT survey.  This survey will take less than 5 MINUTES.  Please consider taking a moment to give me your feedback.  It will only help your experience get better.  Your feedback will be invaluable in making this blog the best it can be.  Thank you!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MC6H3HD

Eat Meat

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“Avoid fried meats, which angry up the blood”  -Satchel Paige

“I love lean meats like chicken and turkey. I am obsessed with fish and sushi in general.  I eat a lot of veggies and hummus” -Shawn Johnson


Disclaimer: I have a handful of friends and who have decided to choose a vegetarian/ vegan lifestyle.  I have several friends and family members who share a passion for animal rights and refuse to eat meat. While I respect and value their opinions, I do not follow the same belief system and lifestyle they do The following post is in no way an attack on those lifestyle choices.  I am simply expressing my belief and expert opinion using the knowledge I have on the subject.  I am open to discussing this topic further in person, in the comments below, or through direct messaging!  Thank you for reading. End disclaimer


It’s not a secret that protein is a crucial component to a sustainable and healthy weight loss plan.  Protein performs many beneficial bodily functions that I will discuss below. What becomes confusing is what kind of protein and how much is adequate for weight loss.  Protein comes in many foods such as lean meats, fatty meats, grains, dairy products, meat alternatives, and even some nuts.  There are so many protein options available, where do you start?  If you’re a meat eater (like me), consider lean meat products.


Definition of Lean Meat:  You may ask, what’s the difference?  Isn’t all meat that come from animals the same?  On the surface, it may seem so, but each and every meat product is unique in its own way.  They are all different in taste, texture, smell, salt content, protein content, and fat content.  When lean meat is mentioned, it points toward a specific group of good for you choices.  Lean meats are the choices lowest in fat and most of the time in calories.


What Lean Meat Does for the Body: You may ask, what’s the big deal?  What will lean meat do over my favorite meat, bacon, for me? In fact, lean meats have several advantages to you and your body.  First, lean meats contain the highest ratio of protein compared to fat and calories. Because of that, people get satisfied quicker and eat less.  Protein helps build muscle that burns calories faster than fat.  In turn, weight loss is achieved easier.  Lean meats are low in fat.  This makes them lower in calories than other fatty meats.  This aids in weight loss and preventing heart diseases.  In fact, protein even helps heal the body efficiently.  It is known as the body’s building block, after all!


Examples of Lean Meat:  As I mentioned earlier, there are MANY choices in the store for meats.  It’s important to choose lean meats when checking out. A serving of lean meat is typically 3 ounces at a time (or the size of the pam of your hand). Also, keep in mind that these meats become HIGH FAT meats when fried or eaten with the skin.  Any cooking technique that does not use fat is okay.  This list is not a comprehensive list, but the most common options:

-chicken breast
-turkey breast
– fish
-lean pork
-lean beef
-game meat
-shellfish

-lean ham


Alternatives to Meat:  If you choose not to eat meat, there are still plentyy of protien choices you can make.  Non animal and vegetable proteins exist and have as much or close to the amount of protein animal meats provide.  However, they are less available for your body to absorb.  You may need more non meat proteins to get the same effect.  Meat alternatives include:

 
-eggs
-milk
-greek yogurt
-beans
-lentils
-whole grains
-nuts

-nut butters


Bottom line:  Lean protein sources are important for any weight loss journey to be successful. Find what you like and stick to those lean meats.  There are plenty of recipes out there to change up the protein sources you choose.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Play Your Power Songs

This week, I want to do something different.  Instead of writing a long and in depth post, I want to expand on my latest post “Get in the Zone” https://eatm0veimpr0ve.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/get-in-the-zone/.

Most of the time, I listen to music that puts me into a motivated, high energy mood.  Music let’s me tap into my “zone” and stay focused.  Below are some songs that I listen to when I need an extra push!


“If You’re going Through Hell” by Rodney Atkins
“Drive it Like you Stole it” by Hudson Thames
“Turnin” by Young Rising Sons
“Happiness” by needtobreathe
“Heart of a champion” by Nelly
 
“Anything” by Hedley
“Impossible” by Hedley
“Made” by Hawk Nelson
“Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson
“Fight song” by Rachel platton
 
“Headphones” by Hedley

“Hall of Fame” by The Script


These 12 songs are only the tip of the iceberg and just the beginning for you and me.  There are literally thousands of songs out there that can empower and energize you.  I urge you to find and collect songs that put you into “flow”!  Which songs get you focused for you to tackle your day?  Share below!

As Always, Eat, Move, Improve!

 

 

Indulge with Intention

 

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“I usually treat myself to one meal on Sundays when I can have whatever I want.  It’s usually pizza.  That’s my favorite indulgence” -Beyonce

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for people; it does for me” -Audrey Hepburn

“Live less out of habit and more out of intent” -Unknown

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.” -Mary Anne Radmacher

I have a weak spot for sweets.  If I can get my hands on sweets, I eat them aimlessly.  They are so easy to eat and taste so darn good.  I find myself wandering into the cookie or candy jar whenever I am bored and grab a few pieces.  This is definitely one aspect of my eating habits I win or lose with over time.  I know in my heart these mindless Indulgences don’t help my weight and where I want to go with my goals.

I know your struggle!  The best tasting foods are usually indulgent and taste amazing!  However, we must realize they move us away form becoming who we are meant to be.  Sweets, fast foods, sodas, fried foods, etc.  are high in calories, fat, and sugar and do not normally contribute to a healthy diet.  Therefore, why are they so rampant/ abundant in our lives??  The answer is that they are ADDICTIVE!  Sweets and other indulgent foods usually contain sugar, fat, and/ or salt which have an addictive effect on our brains.  When we have some, we want more.

So what are we to do?  If these indulgences have such a powerful addictive effect, how can we possibly overcome it?  I suggest that we INDULGE WITH INTENTION.  Indulging is OK as long as we do it in a mindful and strategic way.  These indulgences usually give us stress relief and a good feeling in the moment.  Breaking the mindless snacking on sweets and such is most important.  Instead of seeing sweets as a reward or normal part of your day, aim to change your perspective.  Reserve eating sweet foods at special times.  For example, eat a slice of cake at your friend’s wedding.  Eat a piece of pie on your favorite holiday.  And of course, eat your birthday cake!  These moments and times are meant for celebration.  And, these are the true opportunities when we can truly enjoy these indulgences.

I know what you’re thinking: “but, I can’t even think of giving up my daily candy bar.” Yes, from the surface, it looks difficult.  How can we break a habit that has been rooted in our daily routines for so long?  I’ve always found that building a habit in place of an old one is easier than breaking one by itself. When looking to limit your indulgent, mindless snacking, try these:

-call a friend
-take a walk
-do some exercise
-write in a journal
-pull out a book
-listen to your favorite music
-play a game or app on your phone
 

At the same time, remember to be realistic.  Don’t expect to break the habit right away.  Give yourself some wiggle room.  Aim to limit your bad habit to less than before.  As time goes on, limit it some more.  Before you know it, your mindless snacking habit will be for special occasions only!  As always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

You Owe You

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“You matter.  What you do and who you are matters.  Don’t ever go to that job thinking you’re insignificant or not important.  Don’t think you’re not valued or that your work is not valuable.” -Eric Thomas

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”   -Jen Sincero, “You are A Badass”

“You are loved. You are valuable. You are crafted with beauty and purpose. I treasure you and this world needs you. There is no one like you. You don’t need to look like the rest or talk like the rest or be like the rest. This world needs you as you are. There is no truth in the lie that you don’t matter. You are loved. You were put here for a reason. You were not an accident. You are not a mistake” -Curt Mega

“What’s most important is to always be yourself.  Unless you can be Batman.  Always be Batman” -Unknown

This is one of the toughest lessons I have had to learn in my life.  Growing up as a 4th child, my say didn’t matter most of the time.  I didn’t get many opportunities to voice my thoughts, ideas, or concerns.  All I could do was listen to my parents and siblings and go with the flow.  As I went through high school, I still didn’t realize that I am unique and have value. I tried to fit in with the popular crowd. I even tried to change myself into something I wasn’t. I even tolerated getting bullied just to be seen with the in crowd. Still, I was not happy.  I thought I would become more like those people and be their friends.  What I did not realize was I was letting them erode my value, and my own self worth.

We learn early in life that we are special and unique.  Our parents and family showers us with love, compliments, and encouragement.  People pay attention to us.  We make friends easily.  We dream, create, and imagine.  Unfortunately, the world teaches us otherwise.  It teaches that if you don’t look like a celebrity, you are ugly.  It shows us that if you don’t fit into a size two, you’re fat.  It shows that if you do not have money, you don’t deserve great things.  The media, strangers, and society have a skewed perception of who you should be.  Negative messages bog us down and kill our own self-perceptions.

I used to feel like a victim and a loser.  I used to believe no one wanted to hang out with me.  I used to stay quiet because I felt people wouldn’t listen.  These beliefs definitely hurt me mentally and spiritually.  I was not the joyful boy I used to be.  Until NOW. I have decided that I will respect myself enough to disallow the outside world to mold me.  I decided that if someone does not like me or make me a priority, I will not waste time and effort on them.  I decided to block myself from negative people and influences.  And, you can too!

Remember, you matter!  You are reading this because you want to make a change in your life.  You want things to get better and get results.  You have to realize you are special AND you have value.  With that being said, you do have a voice and opinion. You have the power to make decisions and communicate them to others.  Always remember, speak up if you notice something wrong.  Spend time with people who WANT to spend time with you. WALK away from anyone who does not recognize how special you are.  STAND up if you get tempted to do something that you know will hurt your results.  I promise, your confidence will skyrocket!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

Weather the Storms

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“You’re either headed to a storm, in a storm, or going out of one” -Eric Thomas
 
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain” -Vivian Greene
 
“Its stormy now but the sun’s gonna shine again
Even the worst storms gotta end
We’re better if we weather it all “
 -Storms by Hedley
 
One lesson I have learned in the past year is that everyone has challenges.  Obstacles in every shape and form develop as we try to achieve our goals.  However, these challenges are not there to scare us away or stop us.  They are there to strengthen our resolve.  How we handle these challenges is what matters most.  Our decisions will move us toward or away our goal.  Therefore, it is important to consider and determine the steps we take in the face of challenges.
 
For example, I received a call a few weeks ago from a larger account that my team and I call on.  Without warning, they had decided to stop any representative activity in their clinics.  That includes major opportunities to help their staff and patients with samples, education, and resources.  I could have easily grown angry and threw my hands up in frustration.  However, I see this as an obstacle to overcome.  At this point, my team and I are planing to find other ways we can regain access or influence our customs in other ways.  Since then, we have found out that we can still help them in some ways.  Therefore, the obstacles are not as bad as we thought they would be!
 
When it comes to nutrition, fitness, and behavior change, obstacles occur all the time,  Remember, they are not there to scare you away. These challenges strengthen you and prepare you for more challenges down the road.  Consider you are looking to exercise consistently by running outside.  What happens if it rains on the day you have a run planned?  Most people would wait for a better day.  What if it rains four days straight?  Then, the rain becomes an excuse for not exercising.  Instead, understand that the rain is an obstacle and look for another way to get your exercise in.  You can choose to go to a gym or do a workout at home.  OR, consider that you have young children and all they want is unhealthy food.  Some parents may give in and cook unhealthy foods for the whole family.  Instead, it is important to stick to your guns and cook what you know will be healthy for everyone.  The children will grow to know how to eat well despite not getting what they want all the time.
 
In conclusion, storms happen in life.  I have outlined some insignificant storms that can occur.  There are many other worse challenging situations people find themselves in.  Whatever challenge you find yourself against, remember that there are there to make you better, not bitter. It is critical to face challenges head on with enthusiasm and confidence.  You will be glad you did!  As Always, Eat Move, and Improve!