Featured Essential Oil - Frankincense by Debra Ciapi

 

Often referenced as the gold of essential oils, frankincense has been sought after since ancient times and has been associated with many different religions over the years. Frankincense has been used for thousands of years and comes from the Boswellia tree; its name means “quality incense” in Old French, and it is still used today in many religious ceremonies. Frankincense has a fresh aromatic scent that is both sweet and spicy.

Frankincense is another versatile essential oil, and some of its amazing benefits include:

  • helping to strengthen the immune system

  • lessening appearance of stretch marks and scars

  • reducing pain and inflammation

  • boosting general cell health in the body

  • improving the look of your skin and helps slow down the aging process

  • helping protect from hair loss

  • helping wounds heal faster

  • may stabilize mood and promote relaxation

 

Frankincense can be used with a carrier oil (i.e., fractionated coconut oil, lotion, almond oil or jojoba oil) and applied directly to your skin or mixed with Epsom salt and added to a warm bath. It can also be inhaled by simply adding two to three drops to a cup of steaming water or in an essential oil diffuser.

When buying frankincense essential oil, remember that a little goes a long way and you want to be sure you are buying a high-quality brand that is a therapeutic and organic grade if you plan on using it topically. To learn more about the benefits of frankincense essential oil and living pure please visit bepure.ly/debraciapi or contact me at dciapi73@gmail.com.

 

168 Hours by Elea Faucheron

We get 168 hours a week. That’s it. With every new year come the decision to go for goals and the determination and commitment to reach them.

 

While you’re saying yes to your resolutions, here are 10 behaviors to say no to. Otherwise, they will devour time and prevent you from hitting your goals.  

 

1. Doing too much at once.

Release the valedictorian dream of multitasking. Trying to handle too many tasks at the same time turns your brain into a frozen blue screen. Task-switching leads to wasted time because our brains need more time than we think between switching gears to prepare for the next task.

 

2. Having unclear priorities.

Instead of tackling your to-do list in a prioritized way, you hit everything with all you’ve got. Decrease frantic behavior, which often comes from not knowing where to start! Increase proactive behavior. Invest 10 minutes out of your morning to design who you are going to be.

 

3. Letting people interrupt you all the time.

Set boundaries. If someone calls you, remember nine times out of 10, it can wait. Designate a time in the day to check email, return phone calls, send texts and take care of other minor-interruption tasks.

 

4. Being in love with “Yes, and…”

Practice delegating every day as if your life depends on it, because, frankly, it does. Pleasing everyone is impossible, but saying the word no can sometimes be hard too. If this is you, say, “Yes, and…” For example: “If I commit to doing this, I will need to remove something from my goal list. I can’t do that right now, but I will get back to you once I have space.”

 

5. Thinking BS thoughts that make you feel bad.

Every time you bust your brain allowing BS thoughts to prance across it – like all the reasons why you won’t hit your resolution – stop and put 50 cents in a piggy bank. After 30 days, donate the money to your least favorite organization. Then ask yourself, are you ready to stop punching yourself in the face? Ouch!

 

6. Hanging around people who exhaust you.

Bow out of long conversations with people who affect you in this way. Note: just because being in someone’s presence has you feeling exhausted doesn’t mean they are terrible people. It's simply important to know when you can and cannot be around their energy. Stop letting yourself be sucked dry.

 

7. Miscommunication. Misperception. Misbehavior. Messy Conflicts.

Manage other people’s expectations of you to the best of your ability and be humble. Just because you think you said something clearly, does not mean someone heard you clearly. Listen more, speak less and invest in the first conversation to save time in the following ones.

 

8. Allowing your cell phone to be a dominatrix.

Stop being a slave, an addict, a victim, a doormat or a loser when it comes to your devices. Train yourself to check digital dominatrixes periodically instead of constantly. If it’s at all humanly possible, set a timer to get your stuff done and then get out of the time vortex!

 

9. Being always on.

You need me at 10:30 p.m., of course, I’m free! What else would I be doing? Certainly, not sleeping! STOP. If you can’t stop, then you probably haven’t been beaten down enough to learn this valuable lesson. So take your beatings and call me in the morning. Then I will ask you again if you’re ready to locate the power button and shut yourself down for seven to eight hours.

 

10. Thinking you never have enough time.

I would exercise, but I’m too busy. Terminate the BS. You’re more powerful than that! Don’t fall for the drama your mind is drumming up. Recognize that what you are likely trying to say is: I don’t feel like that’s enough of a priority in my life to allocate my time for “that.”

 

You have 168 hours in the week to eat, sleep, work and do everything else. We can never get back minutes. If you want to reach your goals this year, know that time is on your side if you keep your distractions in check. Life is too beautiful, too big, too short to get devoured by empty minutia.

 

This year, you get another chance to claim who you want to be. When you declare this, you will make time for what is important and let all other details to find their proper place; perhaps they’ll even move right off your plate!

Have You Stayed the Course? by Elea Faucheron

You were born a badass, and you were not put here to fail. You were put here to succeed and make the world a better place. You were put here to have a positive impact and to share amazing experiences with others.

And here we are, already a few months into 2019. You started out with new goals, dreams and adventures you wanted to bring to life. Have you stayed the course? Or do you already feel yourself sliding?

If you’re sliding, it’s because your goal execution reversed. Here’s what most do: they list out each step and the results of their goal. But few spend time asking themselves who they need to be to achieve those goals.

Are you going to be resourceful, creative, dedicated, unstoppable, patient?

Look close. You choose goals because of how it will make you feel and who you will be once reaching them. And at the core of every want is the desire to feel good in the having of it.

But if the journey to the goal sucks, if you are fighting yourself the entire way, if you let old thoughts hold you back, if you aren’t being the kind of person who could reach that goal, then you will never achieve it or get that good feeling your searching for.

Instead focus on who you will be. The goals, resolutions, and commitments then get easier. In fact, doing this gives you more chance for success than anything else you do.

It is pretty safe to say whatever your goal is, it will likely feel tough once the initial motivation wears off. So you must do the counterintuitive thing: stay more committed to who you need to be than what you do. This will ensure you stay the course.

It’s tough to do new things from the mindset of the person who hasn’t reached the goal. So you must create a 2.0 badass version of yourself and operate from there.

You do this by:

  • Creating a mental image in your head of 2.0 badass you, and how that person looks and behaves.

  • Writing out how this person handles obstacles and successes.

  • Spending more time focused on who you need to be instead of what you are doing.


Each time you bump up against the old you that won’t get you to where you want say to yourself: That’s so 2018! And get back to being the new improved 2019 version of yourself.

Get reconnected to who you want to BE every day and get big shifts in your life.

And why connect every day?

Because you’ll get caught up in the minutia. You’ll have every opportunity to lose focus. You’ll play small, complain, and find a reason to quit.

Conditions are going to challenge you. And people will always offer advice. But watch yourself. You’ll say they don’t understand what you are facing. How hard it is. And it’s true, the crap in your life, no one will ever take it away from you. It is hard. It hurts. And, you have the right to keep it.

But the important thing is: Your struggles are irrelevant to who you want to be.


How does the saying go? There is always a way for the committed and a condition for those who are not. So ask yourself, how important is it that you feel good, no matter what life brings your way?

Look, you don’t get merit badges for pointing out all the things blocking you. If you want to break out, you need to focus on who you want to be in the face of those challenges.


And you don’t have to be perfect, a saint, or even talented to do it. Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Mike Tyson — all accomplished amazing things. And each was deeply flawed, not perfect in the slightest. But they knew who they needed to be to get the job done and further their cause.


To accomplish, to achieve, to prove yourself, be the badass you know you are with a mental motorcycle helmet that says NO to garbage and YES to what’s good.


This is your year: the year you turn your grit into greatness. It’s time to thank the old version of yourself for taking all the punches so you could now become this new you. Protect it. Nurture it. And don’t let any thought or person steal it from you!


 

 

Life Happens by Mike Campbell

If I have learned anything on my weight loss and fitness journey, it’s that life happens. When life happens it truly tests my journey. Hitting bumps in the road was something I prepared for the year I lost 150 pounds. Things like change in schedule, being at events that made eating right almost impossible, a bad cold and all those other little hiccups we have in life are bound to come up.

Life happening is all about those major events we have that hijack our journey. Last year (2018) was a year made to hijack my journey! I started off the year in the best fitness of my life with a solid routine, great mindset and low body fat and winning a transformation challenge with my nutrition team. But life started happening in March. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in late March; then in April my youngest brother and his family were hit head-on by a drunk driver. This led to many hours of sitting in hospitals and doctors’ offices over the next four months. I, like many of you, love my family very much and don’t hesitate to change what I’m doing to help them. So, routine went out of the window to some degree.

To top things off my right hip and leg started bothering me. I chalked it up to the sitting in the hospital with my family and the change in routine. Yet my hip and leg got progressively worse as the months went by. After numerous doctor visits of my own, Polly and I ended up staring at an X-ray of my lumbar spine that looked bad even to a layman. I learned I had multiple issues causing numbness and pain in my lower body.

All of this created the perfect storm of life happening in 2018. Did I get my journey highjacked? Yes. Did it bother me? Sure. While my journey got hijacked to a degree, I didn’t get so far out of bounds that I could not right the ship. I tell you this not so you feel sorry for me, but because life happens to us all. I tell you this because it is something I’ve learned to understand and work to manage.

I learned about life happening in 2010. It was shortly after losing my 150th pound when Polly called to say that the doctor told them her dad had three months to live. While it hurt our hearts deeply, we prepared to invest time in being with him in Pickens. We were blessed that her dad lived 10 months, but we spent much of that time traveling back and forth to Pickens from Charleston. It took a lot out of us. I began to realize that when life happens, I revert to my 53 years of bad lifestyle habits because it is what I am comfortable doing. I realized that some of my old lifestyle habits would always be hanging around in my mind and heart.

Since then, life has happened with the loss of my mother-in-law, my mom and my brother-in-law and getting hit by a car on the way to my mom’s funeral. Again, we all deal with life happening. How we deal with it is what defines our journey.

What did I learn from life happening? The most important lesson was coming to the realization that I’m in a much better place to help my family and myself minus the 150 pounds I lost in 2010. I could barely help myself in 2009 let alone help those I loved. That’s a thought to hang onto!

The thought that I’m in a much better place to handle life happening now helps me stay inbounds on my journey when life happens. I use some simple yet powerful reminders to help me focus on my journey. One is my mom’s gold cross that hangs around my neck and the other is a bracelet Polly gave me that simply says, “I Believe”.

My wish for you is when life happens, you’re healthy and fit enough to deal with it. You want to be the best you to help your family and friends, don’t you? I do, and I am!

Continue to join me on my journey with each issue!

Fatguydiary.com

You can also contact Mike @ 843.637.0723

 

Featured Yoga Pose of the Month with Nikki Patrick

Wellness or treatment? by Mike Campbell

 

I know that summertime is in the top of our minds as we head into May and June. We all want to get our bodies in shape to enjoy the rays and shed the clothes that have been covering up our winter pounds. I’ve never thought about this much because weight has been an issue my entire life. I never thought I could shed enough pounds to make a difference. My thoughts prior to 2009 were treatment focused. My thoughts since 2009 have been wellness focused.

Treatment was a way of life for me prior to 2009. I never thought I’d need so much help to have some sort of quality of life or to stay alive. I had a great relationship with my doctor for many years. He knew all about me and how to help me. He truly cared about me. As I approached 40, he said I needed something for my blood pressure, so he prescribed a blood pressure drug. I never liked to take drugs, not even an aspirin, so I begrudgingly took the pills. I didn’t think I could possibly change on my own. I discounted the casual conversations my doctor and I had about my weight. I don’t remember him directly telling me that I had to take off the weight. I may not have wanted to hear that message.

Over time my doctor’s message was that his job was to give me the meds I needed to maintain some quality of life into my 70s and 80s. I’m sure he figured a message about weight was futile. Then the drugs started piling up. He added drugs for cholesterol, sleep, asthma, migraines, allergies and anxiety. He also added a lovely CPAP machine because I had sleep apnea. The fat guy that wanted nothing to do with drugs was now a prescription drug addict!

In 2009, as I came to grips with my weight and started the journey of my life, I had no idea how much I could change. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted to take care of me and regain the ability to take care of others. When I committed to this journey in March 2009, I was excited. That excitement would carry on throughout that first year in a way I never expected.

I changed doctors, and she was happy to see me commit to my journey. I went in every three months to make sure I was doing the right things and making the correct choices to take care of me. As I shed pounds, I shed drugs! One by one, each drug was eliminated from my life. That excited me! I eliminated every drug over that first year — all because I changed my lifestyle. My blood pressure was fantastic, going from 145/95 on drugs to 110/70 without drugs. My cholesterol numbers and ratio were great. My asthma attacks and migraines disappeared. My allergies even lessened to where I came off prescription meds and went to an over-the-counter alternative. The drugs were going, going, gone!

Oh, and that pesky CPAP machine got put in storage and then given away! I know it was necessary, but I hated that thing.

As I lost my 150th pound, my attention turned toward maintenance and what my life needed to look like. I looked at my changes and realized how my weight loss had impacted my health and well-being. My focus became wellness and what I could do to take care of me, not how my doctor could medicate me to keep me alive longer. Now I look at my nutrition and fitness as the medications I need to live a healthy long life.

I’m living proof that you can change your life. Each of us has the steering wheel to our lives in our hands. We need to ask ourselves: Do we want to hand that steering wheel off? Or do we want to steer toward the wellness lane on our journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle?

As you think about shedding those winter pounds, why don’t you make the decision to choose wellness and ditch treatment. Do you really want to take meds for something that a healthy lifestyle will cure?

Continue to join me on my journey with each issue!

Fatguydiary.com

You can also contact Mike @ 843-637-0723

Forgiveness + Fun = Freedom 

 

How often has a thought about someone’s bad behavior made you feel trapped in your own mind? Resentment + misery = prison.

 

As Confucius said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” There is no escaping you. And while you can travel from place to place, your internal world will always be with you. Eventually, you will ask: how can I be free?

 

If you keep rehashing the past, wishing things could have been different, you’ll feel caged and powerless. We often think freedom is outside of us, like money or power. But freedom doesn’t arrive once you have this, that or the other in place.

 

Freedom is now. Today. In this moment. All around us.

 

Yet, no one but you can grant you this. Freedom is yours when you are willing to stop letting bitterness drain you.

 

The Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

 

Often we are mad at ourselves. We can’t stop hashing the situation out, over and over in our heads. And nine times out of 10 the person who is putting you in a prison of anxiety does not even see it the way you do.

 

Forgiveness asks you this powerful question: “Am I willing to see this another way?”

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital has done numerous studies on forgiveness and health. These studies have found a massive physical burden is placed on the body when we are chronically upset. This causes changes in our heart rate, blood pressure, and immune system. The stress will then increase our chances for depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among other problems.

 

Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, which leads to improved health.

 

While our culture can often send us messages that forgiveness is a sign of weakness or submission, it takes real strength, courage and boldness to forgive when you feel jilted.

 

This is when I must say to you loud and clear: stop giving everyone the power to destroy your health! Being good at suffering won’t get you any gold stars.

 

Forgiveness is the most tremendous gift you can provide yourself. If you want to have more FUN, it is the key to your kingdom! But many of us have no idea how to go about making forgiveness stick.

 

So here is a good place to start, ask yourself what you think forgiveness means.

 

  • I’m giving someone a pass for wronging me.

  • I’m being a doormat.

  • Giving up my grudge might help the other person hurt me again.

  • I have to pretend what happened wasn’t a big deal.

  • My emotions about the situation were unjustified, or I’m not entitled to them.

  • I have to force a false sense of peace on myself.  

 

Now you have a choice. Do you want to continue to believe that? Or would you like to be free?

 

If you want freedom, and you’re willing to see this another way, circle the options below that make you feel unchained.  

 

Forgiveness

 

  • lets me better allocate my valuable time and energy

  • creates restful nights and productive days

  • stops me from replaying past hurts

  • makes me healthier and happier

  • means I have a right to feel what I feel and so do others

  • is done for ME, not the other person

 

Remember you get to choose if you want to free or not.  

 

In a famous interview, former president Bill Clinton talked to Nelson Mandela about how he had forgiven those who had unjustly deprived him of his freedom for so long. Mandela told him he “didn’t want to be in prison anymore.”

 

And here is the best part, when you feel free, you are free to have fun. And isn’t that what you want? Having fun is not a luxury; it is a necessity, a human right and a powerful healer.

 

It’s time to bury the hatchet and unleash happiness back into the world. Plan a road trip out west, see a concert, have a food fight, dance at the rooftop bar, play Frisbee, learn a new water sport, watch a funny cat video, but most of all hang out with people who make you laugh out loud.

 

Because when you forgive and start having some fun, freedom blooms within you. And when that happens, you show up with more energy, more solutions and fewer problems. You do more in less time. You feel truly content. And suddenly, your life is firing on all cylinders once again!