Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dominating in the Battle Against Discouragement

Discouragement can raise its ugly head any time.  It's, no doubt, the greatest enemy to your success.  We've all been there.  In fact, I had to stare down that beast today.  I gained a few extra pounds in the last couple of weeks and I need to kick start my plan of action again to get my momentum back. Many people might think to be discouraged over a few pounds,  when you've attained some measurable success, is down right silly.  But discouragement doesn't appeal to logic. Rather it wields a weapon that functions more like a video recorder, replaying all of your mistakes, taunting you with past failures in attempt to convince you to relinquish your hopes, ambitions and dreams.  If you're not careful, your very words will start to agree with it and you'll be singing the Broadway Blues of your own despair.

But you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve to beat discouragement back into its cave.  The first thing is to speak positive. Make affirmations about your journey and your success.  As a person of faith, I know that my Creator says that all things are possible if one believes.  Furthermore, faith grows stronger when you speak, whether you speak positive or negative.  So, why not speak good things about yourself and the success you desire?  Human nature often gravitates towards the negative, but fight that urge to beat yourself up and side with defeat.

Reassess your goals.  Write down your next steps of action.  It's powerful to see a plan on paper.  Even if you've written your plans before and failed to follow through, write them down again and don't give up. Bad habits will remain bad habits until you attack them step by step.   Make it a point to change a little bit at a time.  And give yourself credit for any accomplishments you make, no matter how small.

Surround yourself with positive people.  You want friends who are going to encourage you and help you when you fall, not kick you while you're down.  It doesn't mean everything that the people in your circle say is going to tickle your ears, but hopefully they care enough to tell you the truth in love.  And when those on the sidelines are cheering you towards your goals, don't take them for granted.  They are in your life for a purpose. Take heed and be thankful for them.

Even though discouragement is common and every person has felt its painful grip, you have the power to break free.  Don't allow it to linger.  The longer you let it consume your thoughts and emotions, the longer it will take you to get back to the business of being the best you that you can be!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eating Healthy Doesn't Have to Break Your Piggy Bank

"What can I eat that's cheap?"  Sounds familiar? In today's economy, money is a real determining factor of what's on the plate. Finances have to be juggled often and sometimes food choices aren't given a great deal of forethought under the pressure of making every cent count.  As a result, the Dollar Menu will probably never go out of style. And when a Five Dollar Pizza can feed a whole family, that's a bargain too good to pass up, right?  But is eating cheap, really saving money?

It's a known fact that impoverished communities suffer with the greatest epidemic of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  So even though years of cheap eating seems like the way to go to save money, later in life those doctor visits, prescriptions and surgeries creep their way into our pocketbooks and claim every dime that we were supposedly saving. 

So what's the answer?  Yes, there are some costly foods that are great quality and obviously  more expensive.  But not everything that's healthy has to be out of our price range. 

Can you say Beans?  Yes, beans are filled with protein and heart-healthy nutrients and the best thing of all is that they are very inexpensive.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors!  I recall my mom making beans growing up and I didn't particularly like them then, but my mother had some insight on what I'm sharing right now.   I've developed an interest in making new dishes and I've discovered quite a few recipes that are tasty and easy to prepare from bean soups to bean salads. 

Next there's the option of growing your own food.  Fresh veggies from your garden is another great way to save money and have organic produce.  And if you have kids, you can get them involved in the gardening process.  It's fun and educational at the same time.  

Also, I've discovered that shopping at markets that emphasize organic whole foods don't have to cost an arm and a leg.  Over the past several months, my grocery bill has gone down by shopping at Trader Joe's. The varieties of foods offer colors, flavors and spices that make cooking fun.  There may be similar markets that have a great produce section and may actually be less expensive than huge chain markets.  In addition, look for coupons and sale papers that offer deals on  whole foods, fish and organic meat.

I'm sure there are many ways to incorporate eating healthy on a budget, but they just require proper planning.   Love to hear what tips you have to offer!