About Me!

Friday, May 29, 2015

FINDING ME!

I have been pondering the last week about my desires for writing...my desires for blogging...my dreams and passions...

I've been really reflecting even more about what creates joy for me....what makes me happy....and owning who I AM!!!

I am a woman who loves to read.
I am a woman who loves to learn.
I am a woman who loves to paint.
I am a woman who loves to write.
I am a woman who loves to spend time with my daughter.
I am a woman who loves and adores her husband.
I am a woman who loves to just be.

My health for the last 9 months has had me really reflecting on all the things I love.  It has also had me reflect on all the things that I don't necessarily love.

I have realized that somehow I have been slowly losing who I am?!  Kind of like Julia Roberts in "Run away Bride"....she didn't know what kind of eggs she liked.  She always changed with each man, each friend, she was lost with who she was.

As I have been trying to figure out what is going on with my health: fatigue, unexplained weight gain, extreme moods, can't sleep, can't move, and sooooo much more....my health issues have actually helped me FIND ME again.

Somehow over the last 5 years of amazing blessings, challenges, discoveries, growths....I started to please too much and not nurture me....this is not good for me and not a good example to my daughter.

I found a fabulous nutrition coach who is going to help me figure out things and be my advocate with doctors and I feel even with family and friends.

Why family and friends? When a person is trying to nurture and care for themselves, family and friends can be the hardest to please or they can be the most critical, especially if you are trying to figure things out in an unconventional way.

Which brings me to...I found an amazing doctor who even after reading over all my stuff that has been going on for the last 9 months or so....he took one look at me and said he strongly believes I have a thyroid issue.  He said sooo much more but the gist is here was a man who believed me...who is willing to fight with and for me to get to the root of my health so I can feel whole and complete again!

I have learned even through all this I AM ENOUGH.   I will not let my frustrations with self or others sway me to not listen to my gut brain, my inner wisdom, my soul!

There are things about aging that are normal...But I love what Dr. Christiane Northrup says....how if you are feeling so icky....if you have aches, pains, etc....it's not normal...we should feel alive....it is probably our hormones off...and there are many things we CAN do to help it...correct it....and heal it...

Thus as I am learning to heal...grow...and learn through all of this most recent challenge I have discovered I am going to be even truer to myself....

I will blog...write....when I want to...when it feels right....when it brings joy....not because of a sense of obligation....

I will get on facebook...twitter...pinterest....when I want to....when it feels right....when it's not taking away from me...or family....not because everyone else does it and I feel peer pressured to do it....

I will not feel guilty that I am not doing enough for my daughter...my family....because what we do works for our family....I will not compare...I do believe I AM ENOUGH!!

Some of the wonderful things I have been learning about my health....is that my spiritual fasting has actually been very healthy for me.  I have allowed others around me to influence me in thinking that it wasn't so good for me....so the last year or so I wasn't doing any absolutes.  And here I am finding how it has not only been beneficial for me spiritually but also nutritionally.  But again...no more feeling bullied by others opinions and thoughts...I AM AND WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME!

Women....the more you love, nurture, and care for you....the more you are able to love, nurture, and care for others!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dynamic Daughters: Ascending into Greatness...Glory...Girl Power!


I believe in God, the Father Almighty, 
Creator of Heaven and earth; 
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, 
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. 
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; 
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
 I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. 
Amen.



The Apostle's creed is one of the many prayers that reminds me how beautiful I am! Today we celebrate the Ascension  of Christ into Heaven.   As you have any struggles in your life lean on this amazing prayer to remind you that Christ did all He did for us so we too can ascend from the depths of our own sins, fears, weaknesses....and so much more!

Thus I wanted to follow up from last weeks posting about Dysmorphic Disorder.  I wanted to share with all of you why I am so passionate about it!

Dysmorphic Disorder is one of the many things that have molded me to be the WARRIOR WOMAN I am today!

Growing up I always knew my minds eye about my body wasn't quite right but I trusted and had faith that what I "saw" was not true.   I trusted that God doesn't make junk.  but....it hasn't always been easy.   Even with a great faith and great trust and belief...I still would have moments. 

And still do from time to time...the difference is now being 41....the moments are so far and few in-between than what they were when I was 13...15...17....21....25....30....

How have I survived it? 

 I trust...I constantly  rely on my faith.  
 I constantly am digging into my faith and growth to make my armor that much stronger. 

So what does it feel like for a person with dysmorphic disorder?

This is what it always has felt like for me....like I mentioned in previous post every person who has this has a different degree.  I am blessed and fortunate to not have it so severe that it prevents me from wanting to live life to its fullest.   But it does have is beautifully blessed challenges.  

I have always chosen to see the blessing behind it rather than the burden.   I believe it is how I have grown stronger in my faith.  It is truly a huge reason why I committed to never ever speaking negatively about myself or even think negative thoughts about self with having a daughter. Especially with knowing it is something we can pass on.

Some of my youngest/earliest childhood experiences formed my disorder. (Read this post for earliest memory)...

Always being objectified has formed me to be who I am. And I am grateful for it because it has made me committed to teaching young girls to be strong...love themselves...to guard themselves...to learn about the true freedom of chastity and modestly....and the beautiful freedom we obtain when we learn theology of the body. 

What does dysmorphia look like for me:
Knowing that I am beautiful...I am healthy...yet having moments of not feeling just right. 

Moments come on even stronger when someone gives my body attention that I find especially objectifying rather than being looked as a daughter of Christ.  There is a difference between a chaste compliment and feeling like a porter steak.  

I remember when I was in the military not enjoying the attention my curves would attract.  I lived in an area that the curvier you were the better.   Women could truly feel comfortable in their own skin yet the attention made me want to have the least amount of curves possible.  

I actually never felt uncomfortable in my skin when I was really having problems with my hormones (my pcos) and I was at my heaviest.  When I looked in the mirror I saw a daughter of Christ.  But I also know that I had 7 solid years of strengthening my spiritual armor and living a true love of self for my beautiful little growing girl.  

Then I figured out some health stuff through a spiritual journey and lost 30-32 pounds.  I started to receive lots of attention for it that made me very uncomfortable.  Yet I still felt strong in my faith.  I still felt strong in my self worth and body image. 

Then I had my miscarriage. Between healing from that mentally physically, spiritually I started to throw myself into my passion of research and biohacking my health, nutritionally and physically. (More on biohacking in the future).  The problem  is as I got excited about each biohack and personal challenge the more I wasn't guarding my self love as well.  I found myself starting to compare again and find value in the mirror and scale.  I pushed myself hard on my runs because it was a great mental and spiritual escape to heal from my loss. But it was also an easy way for me to unconsciously want to widdle away to nothing... to become that hanger for clothing.

As people would comment about how thin I was the more self conscious I became.  The more I wanted not be noticed.  After my hysterectomy I probably pushed myself my hardest  because after all if I couldn't have any more children what did it matter what I looked like.  I became so lean that I could have been in some of those competitions Maddy Moon did and talks about....but it wasn't what my body wanted to naturally be.  I may have looked "good"...but I wasn't healthy...Mind, Body, or Soul!!!

The stresses of the last 5 years are what led me on my journey of adrenal fatigue and on this... journey of being even stronger mind body and soul than I ever have been in my life.  

When I started doing exercises body weight training to specifically start rebuilding my bone density and muscle growth/strength I would have moments of not liking what I was seeing.  After all I got use to an unrealistic 97 pounds for my body.  I was born to lift heavy.  I was born to be strong.  I was born to be me...I was born to love myself in all sizes all shapes...all seasons of life.

This is where GIRLS GONE STRONG has been amazing for me!  Reminding me how beautiful we all are.  Reminding me to walk the walk I talk!

So what does my dysmorphic look like for me today at 41?

I look in the mirror and smile!   I ignore whatever chemical imbalance is trying to lie to me...If a negative image is conjured from a past hurt or comment I say I forgive and pray the Lord's Prayer with great compassion....

I think age and my spiritual life has given me a great gift to realize and know I am more than the sum on that scale or that distorted clown mirror that sometimes likes to rear its ugly head!   I am more!!!

With adrenal fatigue I have had to really learn how to nurture and love myself even more.  I have had to really tap into understanding that my mind body soul health is more important than looking as ripped as I possibly can.  That I am judging myself when no one else around me is.  It is truly in my head and I have let it go.  

As my beautiful daughter is budding into a young lady I am so grateful for God and His continual work on me.  

He shows me how to grow, learn, and heal.  

Therefore giving me the opportunity to be the best example to my daughter of what it means to be a wonderful warrior woman.  

ARMOR YOUR DYNAMIC DAUGHTER WITH FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE....TO FEED HER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL....TO BECOME THE WONDERFUL WARRIOR WOMAN....SHE IS DESTINED TO BE!

hugs, prayers, and lots of blessings,
~Kelly ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dynamic Daughters: Understanding Dysmorphic Disorder



Dys-what?

Okay so here is a summary of all I have learned....and I am going to highlight specific aspects and explain why....but if you want to understand this disorder even more there are lots of great resources out there.  And I will give you the the whole MIND, BODY, SOUL....connects at the end of this post.  But for now.....

Dysmorphic Disorder:

(follow the above link to get the full details....but below is a summary)

A type of chronic mental illness.  The individual has a perceived flaw that is either minor or totally imagined.  The point is they obsess over it.  They obsess over appearance and body image for hours a day.  This obsession impacts daily decisions.  There is never a satisfaction with their body.  They seek procedures: minor or major, to "fix" these flaws.  They may lean on excessive exercise.

Just some of the symptoms...

preoccupied by appearance
extreme self-consciousness
frequent examination of self in mirror or avoid mirrors
believe others notice you in a negative way
avoid social situations
excessive grooming
compares self to others
don't want to be in pictures
obsess over specific body parts: face, hair, skin, breasts, muscles...etc

Causes:
Brain differences (structure or neuro-chemistry)
Genes - more common in a person who has a family member who has this condition.
Environment - life experiences, culture

Risk Factors:
This is just a short, very slimmed down explanation....
Some of the factors that increase risk of developing or triggering condition include:

relatives with disorder
life experiences: childhood teasing, trauma
personality traits
societal pressures or expectations
having another mental disorder such as anxiety or depression.

***Dysmorphia usually starts in adolescents and it affects men and women.

Why does this all matter to me?

I see more and more young women being bombarded by social media's imagery of what a woman "looks like"....and how we "should" look like!

Even though we KNOW that there is airbrushing involved...there is some extreme things that are done.....and that the magazines, movies, shows, commercials....represent a very small percentage of the population....we are talking like less than 10%.

I recently read/heard that genetically speaking...there is only 1% of women who come by thigh gap naturally....born with it.

YET WE ARE OBSESSED WITH IT....all others who obtain in....do it at great costs.....

And further it is destroying the self-esteem and self-image in our young girls!

Which brings me back to Dysmorphic Disorder!

It is real...it has ranges, just like many other mental disorders.  Just like a person who may manage many other mental disorders, or a person who compensates with other mental "handicaps" of sorts....

Thus a person can have more severe cases than others....some may not have bouts come on all the time or infrequent.  Yet it is always there in the background.  It is how a young girl nurtures herself, and manages her daily stresses, daily influences that will make all the difference in my opinion.

Things that can help a young lady is to be in tuned with herself and admit when she needs help.

She needs to ask herself: how can I help myself?  Do I need to seek treatment? Or is this something I can manage with the help of a great confidant or support system?

Lifestyle/home remedies that can help:

Taking supplements/herbs that support the serotonin levels.
Learn more about the condition.
Pay attention to warning signs.
Avoid situations, even people that my trigger bad self talk.
Avoid: food, alcohol, drugs....substances that are going not support a nurturing mindset.
BE ACTIVE.  Yoga, walks, sprints, HIIT....are all great ways to keep the mind clear.

Other ways to support yourself/cope:

Write in a journal.
Don't isolate yourself.
Stay healthy.
Read self-help books.
Join support groups.
Stay focused on goals.
Learn relaxation/stress management.
Don't make important decisions when feeling despair/distress.

Prevention may not be possible but identifying if you are at risk and learning to truly love yourself early on can help.

Here are some great articles/self help/resources...
 to love self better:

Seriously, Let's End the War with our Bodies

Understanding Body Types: How our Genes are a factor

A strong/amazing Woman not caring what Society Says she should LOOK LIKE


Remember...
ARMOR YOUR DYNAMIC DAUGHTER WITH FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE....TO FEED HER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL....TO BECOME THE WONDERFUL WARRIOR WOMAN....SHE IS DESTINED TO BE!

hugs, prayers, and lots of blessings,
~Kelly ;)



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dynamic Daughters: In Need of Energy!

ADRENAL FATIGUE! This is not something to play with.  There is so much information out there but let me tell you it is real.

In January my doctor pretty much gave me strict orders to lower my stress and to be in bed by 9 and not be up before 6.  He also said to do restorative movement not running or HIIT kind of exercising. I needed to reduce my caffeine and alcohol.  Blah blah blah...I listened pretty strict for the first month and then we entered into lent and again I was able to keep to the dietary needs and sleep but I started allowing running and more intense workouts to creep back into my life.  After Easter more red meat...more coffee..more wine...pushing the bedtime...and I found myself hitting a wall again.  

I started reading Dr. Sara Gottfried newest book on the hormone reset and the more I read it the more I thought about my adrenals; I started researching again.  

I realized I must truly give my body the rest it is begging me for.  I continue to be en-flamed.  And all  I've been reading about how if I don't get my adrenals in full health before I enter menopause it will make that stage in life much more difficult. Thus I MUST not think of vanity right now but about health...true internal health!

Everything I've been learning about the symptoms and causes of adrenal fatigue make total sense to me.  It confirms for me that I did push myself too much  3 years ago. I can't take it back. What  I can do is accept that I must do the right thing for myself now and be healthy: mind body soul. 

It's the perfect opportunity for me to truly live a life of saying I love myself no matter what.  That I am still strong...still healthy...still amazing...even if I don't ever run again. 

My trying to recover from Adrenal Fatigue has brought out healing and facing body images issues that have been freeing.  (More on body image and it's relationship to Dysmorphic Disorder in a future post).

I know I am healthy.  I know I am beautiful.  I know I am amazing.  I have amazing strength.  I look great. 

I had to face the fact that between my bio-hacking experiments (more on that in another post) and my adrenal fatigue  has created a huge hormonal mess... I find myself not always feeling great about what I see.  

But this is where faith ...tapping into my spiritual life... is vitally important.  Because I don't let those negative voices sway me. I tell them to go away...I look myself in the mirror...I smile and I say: I am beautifully made!!!!!

And I am!!!!
God doesn't make junk!!!

Thus, I will continue to live up to the promise I made my dynamic daughter over 12 years ago while she was still in my womb...to never ever speak negatively about myself.  To always show her through my life and love that we are defined not by what we look like but by our heart.  

And you know what if I have to never run again, never have caffeine or wine again, never stay up late again, and weigh a bit more than my mind thinks I should than that's OK.  Because the picture of Health isn't always what it appears to be.  

I love what Maddy Moon shared about how she experienced being at her leanest and how it about destroyed her.

AS we raise dynamic daughters to become wonderful warrior women we must be willing to always evaluate our own self...
What are the things that we value:
vanity over virtue?!
Ascetics over health?!
Pain over purpose!?

So I again say...I am okay with if I can't ever run again.  And I will continue to show my daughter through my actions:
 I am a valuable amazing person just as I am!!!

I love my life....especially with all it's challenges....all its hurts, pains, struggles....because I continue  to grow and learn from each experience.  And I continue to experience God's amazing power through my weakness!

Ephesians 5:29


For no one ever hated his own flesh, 
but nourishes and cherishes it, 
just as Christ does the church.


ARMOR YOUR DYNAMIC DAUGHTER WITH FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE....TO FEED HER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL....TO BECOME THE WONDERFUL WARRIOR WOMAN....SHE IS DESTINED TO BE!

hugs, prayers, and lots of blessings,
~Kelly ;)