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Secret To Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

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Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge with the stress that comes from rushing here and there as well as increased social events with late night parties. It can also be difficult to fit in exercise during the holidays and even more difficult to know how to lose weight during the holidays. The #1 tip that I have found helpful during the holidays to stay fit and healthy is to get plenty of rest.

Make sleep a priority!

Sleep helps your brain work properly. It’s when you are sleeping that your body is getting ready for the challenges of the next day. Your brain is actually creating new pathways for learning and storing memories which helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative.

Sleep is also important for your health because when you are sleeping your body is healing and repairing itself. It can be very easy to neglect sleep during the holidays. It’s important to avoid prolonged sleep deficiency as it is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

For those of you that have a weight loss goal this holiday season be aware that sleep deficiency can also increases the risk of obesity, therefore sabotaging your weight loss effort. While you sleep your body produces hormones: ghrelin and leptin. The hormones that make you feel satisfied when you eat and if you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier even when you have eaten. Another hormone that reacts to sleep is insulin. This is the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Most important during the holiday season is boosting your immune system which relies on sleep to stay healthy. Your immune system is your first defense against the flu and viruses. If you are not getting enough sleep it can change the way in which your immune system responds. This is why some people can be more resistant to disease than others.

Studies have shown that the best time to sleep for optimal health is between 11pm and 4am with 8 hours being ideal. So when you are out with friends celebrating this holiday season remember to take care of yourself and hit the pillow as early as possible.

A Fit Mind starts at home | Ways to create a Healthy Home

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The space you live and the environment you create can have a huge impact on your daily well-being in so many ways!

I have found these 6 ways to be helpful in providing your mind, body and soul with just the right balance it needs to function at your BEST!

1  Create a Sleep Sanctuary

This can be done easy with soft colors, relaxing essential oils – my favorite is It Works Chill or Lavender.  You can diffuse it or dab a couple drops directly on your pillow!  You will also want to eliminate tv and computers or phones right before bed as these can stimulate your mind and make a sound sleep difficult to find.

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2  Set a Soothing Tone

In a high tech world this is as easy as downloading your favorite iTunes of relaxing music or setting pandora to the Spa Channel.  One of my favorites!

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3  Live Plants

There are several plants that are easy to care for indoors!  Plants help clean the air naturally and give a feeling of piece of natural surrounding.

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4  Reduce Toxins

Choose organic cleaners and also consider essential oils as a cleaning solution.  A great idea is to use scents such as Lemon and Eucalyptus, they really help mask odors and give your house a fresh clean scent!  Try one of these recipes below!

 Cleaning

5  Improve Physical Health

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Just 30 minutes a day of your favorite activity can count as exercise!! The key is to get moving and keep moving!   Get up!  Jog in place, put on some fun music and dance around the kitchen!  Also, start to eliminate some of the bad foods and replace with smarter choices.  When you go to grab for a snack, grab something easy like an almond, raisin, dried cranberry, walnut and pumpkin seed mix you keep in a container in the pantry, for easy access!

6  Meaningful Relationships

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I love to have friends over to eat and play old fashion board games!  There is just something special about gathering around a table for fun and food!  Another great option is setting up coffee dates with your friends to just catch up!  Here are some of my friends and team members, working on our new DREAM BOARDS!

Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals? | Self Sabotage

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Have you ever spoken these famous last words “I can’t,” or “this is too hard,” then simply gave up on your goal?  Perhaps you are one that is more afraid of what would happen if you did lose those last 10 pounds.  Then what?  You may have to commit to keeping it off or make permanent changes to your comfortable lifestyle.

To understand how easy it is to sabotage your success in anything you must first understand the root is fear.

Second, it’s important to identify where the fear is coming from. The two main areas of fear are Fear of Success and Fear of Failure.  If you are not where you want to be you are battling one or both of them.  Acts of sabotage are merely the outward symptom, action or inaction that stems from either a fear of success or fear of failure.  Fear is real and can be valid reason you have developed an unhealthy relationship to food.

Isaiah 41:10 tells us

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Has self-sabatoge been stopping you from achieving your goals?

It is possible to discover clues that you may be allowing this fear of sabotaging your weight loss goals.

It’s important to learn how to notice and transform even the most subtle behaviors.

Have you ever said this to yourself..

  • all fat is bad?
  • Carbs are either good or bad?
  • Salt and sugar will eventually kill you?
  • Skipping meals will help you lose weight
  • Certain foods will make you fat?
  • If I lift weights I will bulk up
  • I am so busy I don’t have time to exercise
  • I will never eat …… again!
  • My Moms family had heavy thighs that’s why I do
  • My children are overweight because it runs in our family

All of the above are beliefs you may have created because you heard it somewhere, believed it and made it a subconscious view. These are all examples of how you may be sabotaging your success. Your beliefs will pull you in one direction or another and affects all areas of your life, not just food.

New Years Resolution | Why Wait?

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“After New Year’s, I’ll…” 

I hear this all the time, and it is concerning to me. There are so many opportunities to overindulge during the holiday season, and so many sources of stress, that it’s too easy to give yourself a pass and think, “I’ll eat right starting after the new year.”

Instead of spending the next couple of weeks over-indulging and then wanting to hit the reset button to get back on the health track, make the committment now and start your New Year’s resolutions today.

This will also help with the issue many face kicking off the New Year with incredible enthusiasm and falling back into old habits as the end of January nears. Make it a point this year to avoid this by declaring and starting your resolutions today!

I leave you with these powerful words from King Solomon, one of the wisest men in history.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is He.”

Proverbs 23:7

Foolish Fears Have The Power to Control You

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction”

Proverbs 1:7

When I read this verse as a young child it had a completely different tone than when I read it today. I think as children we can see the word fear as a threat or something that is bad based on how we first heard that word. We grow up “fearful” of “things” as we are conditioned to believe that somehow we can control the world around us so when we can’t we become afraid. Our “foolish” fears often operate out of our own selfish desires and disrespect for authority. Basically, we surrender to our ego/flesh rather than the spirit of Christ that was given to all that accepts it.

The truth is, fear simply means to surrender to or be completely overtaken. Think about a fear you have and the power it has over you. God wants us to not be afraid of Him or anything! He wants us fully surrender to Him. Any fear you have in your flesh has the power to control your thoughts and actions; how foolish to allow anything that is not from God to control you. A fool prefers to listen to the ego and tries to live each day in their own earthly strength, rejecting authority.  When you are completely surrendered to God He has the power to begin to fill your spirit with knowledge and His power to accomplish any task. As you surrender your flesh you begin to walk in the spirit of truth which is the beginning of knowledge and as you remain open to instruction His divine plan for your life can begin to manifest. There is no fear when we realize God is only good, His plans will never harm you…to fear the Lord is to completely trust Him with everything.

Affirmation

I am complete in Christ alone. His Wisdom whispers to my spirit “all is well “ and with Knowledge I am guided to my highest good.”

How To Create Wholeness and a Balanced FIT life!

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Being FIT is so much more than just the food we eat and the exercise we chose. To create wholeness there are actually 3 areas that need to be FIT; your mind, your body and your soul. If one of these areas is off you will be out of balance and not living totally FIT. My mission as a Fitcoach is to educate you on how to create wholeness and a balanced FIT life!

The body is actually the easiest!  You are programmed from birth to eat, sleep and breathe, this is natural to you. The imbalance occurs when you over indulge, develop limiting beliefs or false truths and create harmful patterns around what is supposed to be a harmonious cycle. Think about how your Father created you! Our bodies are amazing. From your circulatory system to every last hair on your head, God had a perfect design that He intended you to care for. When you understand the processes that give your body life, you can learn to take care of the body you have been blessed with on this earth.

Your mind! “As a man thinks, so is he” spoken by one of the most powerful men in history, King Solomon. Think about that. How powerful your mind and thoughts are! You actually become who you say you are, as a self-fulfilling prophesy YOU create balance or imbalance simply by how you chose to think and respond. In this life there will be circumstances you will face yet it is your attitude or how you perceive in your mind the situation that will affect the outcome.

Your soul is your true identity. It’s who you were created to be in Gods design! It’s not the person you pretend to be in front of others, it’s who you are when you are all alone staring at yourself in the mirror. It’s who you are when you dream and allow your passion and purpose to become your way of life! The time you have on this planet is a journey. You have been given this life to fulfill a specific destiny and contribute to mankind with love, honesty and respect. Imbalance occurs when comparison begins; you cannot love, respect and be true to yourself if you are comparing yourself to someone else.

How to OVERCOME FEAR!

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I am so excited to share what the Lord has put on my heart regarding fear!  Throughout 2015, I took on the challenge of helping you overcome fears through Bible study, team adventures and coaching. We had some amazing breakthroughs and many of you have achieved incredible things in areas where fear once held you back! This is SO exciting and encouraging to me! However, I felt there was still a missing piece.

That missing piece was revealed to me in the following scripture

23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Mathew 14:22-33

The disciples had JUST left a crowd of thousands that Jesus fed miraculously before their own eyes! Jesus then dismissed them and sent them out ahead of Him in the boat, while He went to be alone on the mountain. Not only were they were a long way from land when the wind and waves began to rock them, it seems the storm lasted most of the night.

The text tells us that it was almost dawn before Jesus started to walk out toward them… ON the water!? Can you imagine the thoughts running through their minds… What the what?!? We read that they saw Him coming and were afraid. They actually believed He was a ghost and were terrified!

A few things are happening here that we can apply to our own lives. The disciples had just been through a storm. How many storms of life have you faced? They knew who Jesus was and the miracles he preformed, yet they did not recognize him. They did not recognize Jesus because “fear distorts your perception, it is an emotional response based on past circumstances.”

The disciples chose to react in FEAR… still shaken from the storm rather than standing in FAITH from the previous day’s miracles. How many times do we replay events and make up lies in our minds that cause us to chose fear over faith? Fears are toxic thoughts and keep you from your highest good.

For example, consider the following questions Dr. Leaf asks to determine if your brain is holding toxic thoughts:

  1. How many “could-have”, “would-have”, or “should-have” statements have you made today?
  2. How many “if only’s” were part of your inner vocabulary today?
  3. How many times have you replayed in your head a conversation or situation that pained you, or one that hasn’t even occurred yet?
  4. How many scenarios have you created of the unpredictable future?
  5. How much is speculation taking out of your day?
  6. How passive is your mind?
  7. How honest are you with yourself?
  8. Are you at cross-purposes with yourself – going through the motions, but not really committed to the goal, saying one thing but meaning another?
  9. How distorted is your thinking? Are you forming a personal identity around for example, a disease? Do you speak about “my arthritis”, “my multiple sclerosis”, or “my heart problem?”
  10. Do you ever make comments like “nothing ever goes right for me”; “everything I touch fails”; or “I always mess up?”

Have you heard the saying “blinded by fear?” There is scientific proof today that the reaction of the disciples caused a LITERAL BLINDNESS!

But here’s the good news! Jesus immediately said to them “Take courage!! IT IS I!! Don’t be afraid.” Often, we spend hours, days and even years battling a fear that the Lord wants to remove immediately. We simply must trust as Peter did when he replied “Lord if it’s you, tell me to come to you.” Does this not sound so typical of us?? Peter was not quite sure, but he was willing to step out in faith if Jesus would just confirm his doubts.

When you take a step of faith, a couple important things happen. First, you lay aside the fear that causes you to doubt and replace it with that trusting faith that God HAS you. Second, if your faith is not fully secure in whose you are, brand new circumstances can arise! For Peter, he began to walk on the water, but when he saw the waves, he began to sink. The wind sent a signal to his brain that reminded him of his fearful experience throughout the night in the storm. In that moment, Peter CHOSE that thought and began to sink! How you REACT to any given circumstance will determine your outcome. You get to choose! You can call out at any time to Jesus as Peter did and he will reach out his hand.

Jesus knows we will have trouble and face fear. He is not so much concerned with the emotional reaction rather the choice you make in how you react. “You of little faith” he said “why did you doubt?”

In the presence of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit and authority of the Kingdom, Peter walked on water. Can you imagine what is possible when we choose to trust in every circumstance??

Can You “Think” Yourself Thin?

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Is it possible that there is a brain-stomach connection? How awesome would it be to simply wake up each day and say “I think I am thin, I think I am thin”! Remember the little engine that could? What I am about to suggest may seem crazy to some however science has proven the power of our minds effect on our body with the simple placebo.  How you “think” directly effects your internal bio chemistry! My conclusion is YES.

Every stimulus and reaction that happens in your body is first started by a signal to your brain. This then starts a cascade of reactions and production of hormones that activate everything from sneezing to feeling pain. When you laugh your body produces serotonin the “feel good” hormone. So what comes first? The laughter or the thought of something funny that sends the signal to your brain that makes you feel happy? It’s fascinating to imagine how complex yet how wonderfully made we are.

We humans are created in God’s image! We have a piece of Him in us and the same power he used to create the world has been given to us as well if we would only have faith. He has given us everything we need to heal our bodies, the intuition to discern and free will to make right choices. Consider the verse “as a man thinks in his mind..so is he” ! If the creator of the universe said that how I think will directly affect who I am who am I to disagree? Or for the mainstream you may have heard this… “you’re only as old as you think you are” hmmm… perhaps our ancestors where on to something?

How can you think yourself thin?

It’s simple; our body was uniquely and wonderfully made to keep us in perfect balance. Cortisol for example is a stress hormone that is secreted when you’re in danger. It quickens your heartbeat, feeds your brain extra oxygen, and unleashes energy from your fat and glucose stores. However, studies show too much stress can produce excess cortisol which causes excess abdominal fat, poor use of insulin, and high blood pressure to name a few. Managing stress is the answer to reverse this cascade effect. This is where the “thinking” comes in. Visualizing and meditating on good health, peaceful and loving statements about yourself and relaxing breathing exercise ALL directly affect your stress and cortisol levels. These are mindful practices that can also directly affect your weight loss goals. Can you “think” yourself thin?

Go ahead! Give it a try..what have you got to lose?

I am healthy, happy and whole!

FORGIVENESS | The heart of the matter

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Why is forgiveness so much easier to extend to others than it is ourselves?

The Bible tells us if we do not forgive, He will not forgive us.

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mathew 6:15

That’s pretty harsh, which tells me God takes it very serious and so should we.  WHY?

If the enemy can keep you from forgiving yourself, he has you right where he wants you. When you don’t forgive yourself, a door is open to self-destructive beliefs and behaviors that can literally lead to death. Not just a physical death, but a death of dreams, relationships, purpose, and even your mind. There is NOTHING you have done that wasn’t nailed to the cross. Nothing so great that the Father will hold against you. Release yourself today and lay whatever it is under His feet so you can move into the victory you were created and redeemed for!

This message on Love and Forgiveness has quite literally changed my life. I once believed that my sins were too great to be forgiven. I held onto the lie that I had to “DO” something to earn my way to heaven or worse yet… that it was too late and no matter what I did now, it wouldn’t be enough.  This led to all kinds of fears, competition, jealousy, bitterness, and worst of all feelings of unworthiness. After hearing the truth in this message of what Jesus did on the cross, it became so clear to me that I was able to rebuke all the lies I once believed and I have never looked back since. Talk about peace!!!!


This is a great podcast for you if you are looking for a deeper teaching on this subject!

Leon Fontaine - Podcast photo