Remember what I “gave up” for Lent? Summary: Whenever I think negatively about my body, I stop and pray! Body image can be all consuming and seriously take away from LIVING!! I was tired of it! It’s not fair to my husband, my friends, my family, and GOD! That my happiness is determined by my looks. What does a perfect body look like anyway. Secret: THERE’S NO SUCH THING!!! Everyone is beautiful in their own, unique, beautifully-created way. Isn’t diversity wonderful?! Imagine if we all looked like a celebrity–boring. Really…think about it!

Good news: My new perspective on my body has COMPLETELY renewed my spirit! I’m energized by my optimism and a focus that is less on ME and more on life! I’m also not comparing myself to other girls–a huge change for me. This can be a huge issue for me. Question: Is it fair to ourselves, and to God who intricately and carefully created us, to be unhappy with our body?

These issues of body image actually have led me to be so passionate about health!!! When I treat my body with care, I look at my body differently. I appreciate my body. I’m fascinated by my body. I’m FEEDING my body with energy and optimism. This all translates into a person who is accepting of her body and feels blessed to have one that allows her to run, to cuddle, to play soccer, to teach, to speak–living a HEALTHY life allows me to SEE the person who God sees. I AM BEAUTIFUL.

The purpose of this blog is to share with you how I live a healthy life in an attempt to be a better person. I love sharing things that give me a pieces of happiness. Which leads me to some more advice I would like to steal share. I got this from the fANNEtastic food blog. This blogger shares some advice of how she lives a healthy (HAPPY) life.

Some Healthy LIving Tips:

1. Eat REAL food. Throw away diet products, fake sweeteners, and processed food that will not make you feel full. Read the list of ingredients on a package. If you don’t understand all the ingredients… don’t buy it!

2. Eat foods that give you lots of volume and nutrients for fewer calories – for example, add lots of fresh veggies (spinach, grated carrots for crunch, etc.) to your sandwiches, or decrease the amount of pasta you eat and mix in fresh veggies instead to bulk up the volume. You won’t notice the difference I’m also a fan of plain yogurt with fresh cut up fruit instead of sweetened yogurt. More bulk is good!

3. Drink LOTS of water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere and sip from it all day. Being hydrated helps your body run better AND helps you feel more satisfied (thirst can often be mistaken for hunger!)

4. If you are hungry, EAT! Letting yourself get too hungry just sets you up to overeat at your next meal and will always make the candy jar look more appealing. On the other hand, if you are just bored, go take a walking break, have a chat with some coworkers, or distract yourself with a huge glass of water or some tea.

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare! I bring healthy snacks with me everywhere, and I always pack a big lunch for work with lots of different parts (makes it more fun to eat when there’s variety!). Then you’ve always got a healthy option on hand when hunger strikes – no vending machines necessary! I’m much more tempted to eat something junky if I don’t have a healthy option on hand.

6. Eat a variety of foods. Both within each meal (meals are more fun and filling when you have different components), and throughout the day. Aim for lots of color in each meal!

7. Ditch the sodas and sugary drinks. They add up to lots of calories and won’t keep you full. Wouldn’t you rather have some real food for the same amount of calories as a sugary drink? To wean yourself off soda, try mixing seltzer or fizzy water with a bit of natural, no sugar added fruit juice (like POM!).

8. Make healthy swaps. A favorite of mine is nonfat plain yogurt instead of mayo, as seen in my Autumn Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and Healthy Deviled Eggs recipes! I also use applesauce instead of oil when baking.

I’ve already incorporated a lot of these tips in my life during my HEALTH journey 🙂 If trying to make healthier choices is new for you, try picking one tip at a time to follow. Slowly but surely! Because it’s all about a life-style change. It’s not a fad diet…ick!

It’s sunny today!!! SPRING!!!!