COLLAGEN: 7 Ways to PUMP it back UP!

download-1While I can’t tell exactly how much collagen I’ve lost over my 48 years of life, I sure can tell you that it’s decreasing. How do I know? Well, I checked off several of the most common symptoms of decreased collagen according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Wrinkles and crepey skin (check!)

  • Stiffer, less flexible tendons and ligaments (check!)
• Shrinking, weakening muscles (fighting this!)
• Joint pain or osteoarthritis due to worn cartilage (check!)
• Gastrointestinal problems due to thinning of the lining in digestive tract

Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine explained in one of Cleveland Clinic’s articles on collagen, the importance of eating the right foods too. “Aside from aging, the top reason people don’t have enough collagen is poor diet,” Dr. Bradley says. “Your body can’t make collagen if it doesn’t have the necessary elements.”

Unfortunately, collagen levels in the skin begin to decline in the mid-to-late 20’s. And, here is the scary part. The the rate of depletion is pretty aggressive, with an overall reduction in collagen level of about 1% per year.

The good news is there are a lot of ways to increase collagen in our skin (besides going to the doctor for collagen injections! LOL).

1. Massage

Massaging the skin can stimulate collagen production and boost muscle memory. It also will stimulate nourishing blood flow to the skin. Don’t worry though. You don’t need to go to an expert. Just massage your skin and facial muscles with moderate pressure when washing your face and applying products.

download-22. Eat foods rich in collagen-supporting nutrients

After doing some research, Vitamin C, Copper, Zinc and Sulfur were some of the suggested vitamins and minerals to help support collagen production. Including foods like red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, spinach, shellfish, nuts, whole grains and beans are a few foods with some of these nutrients. However, I have to admit, taking a really good vitamin pack not only fills the gaps but takes the pressure off of us to have our diet perfect.

broth3. Drink and Cook with Bone Broth

Dr. Bradley said her favorite collagen-boosting brew was bone broth! She went on to explain that bone broth draws collagen out of beef, chicken or fish bones. I guess I’ve been living under a rock. I knew bone broth was good for you but I didn’t know about the collagen in it! YAY! I just ordered a brand new collagen bone broth with Vitamin C so now I am REALLY stoked!! I will have to do a review once I try it but I hear it’s amazing!

4. Drink water.

Hydration is HUGE in providing a better environment for collagen to thrive. Plus, our skin contains about 64% water so it is easy to understand how water can affect our skin’s function and appearance.

Old-Lady-Friends-Talk-Smoking-Smoke-Free-Image-Cig-48775. Quit SSS – Smoking, Sun and Sugar.

I think we all understand how sunburns literally destroys and damages the skin. And, we can even see how smoking affects the skin because a smoker’s skin always looks so much older. Smoking actually actually kills collagen but did you know sugar can damage the skin too? It (glucose) permanently attaches to collagen, weighing it down until it becomes rigid and inflexible. Who would have thunk it?! LOL!

“It is more important to change what we put IN our body
than what we put ON our body.”

skincare 6. Supplement with Collagen Peptides.

A Cosmo Online Beauty Editor had her skin measured by a Dermascan and found taking a collagen supplement (rich in vitamin C) increased her collagen levels by a whopping 25%. That’s CRAZY! Considering the rate of collagen loss after your 20s, this could shave off 25 years of collagen depletion!

While some experts online also recommended using collagen creams, Dr. Bradley says, “it may work” and goes on to explain “it will add a film-like layer to your skin to reduce water loss and act as a barrier from environmental elements. But using skin cream is probably not as effective as healthy eating”. So, basically, she says it is more important to change what we put IN our body than what we put ON our body.

 “Your skin is your body’s largest organ,” she says. “The same way you nourish collagen stores throughout your body will nourish your skin too.”

facialWhat are collagen peptides? Collagen peptides are a form of collagen that is rapidly absorbed and highly bioavailable, effectively delivering collagen’s benefits throughout the body. While ordinary foods like meat, poultry, and fish contain collagen, it’s mainly in the form of long collagen fibers. This form of collagen is difficult to digest and offers few benefits. Collagen peptides are created through an enzymatic process that breaks long collagen fibers into short collagen peptides that are quickly absorbed and easy for the body to use.

7. Healthy Digestion

digestionOne expert explained one of the things we take for granted is digestion. We think if we don’t have any noticeable digestive issues, we don’t need digestive support. Wrong! Getting the right nutrients may be the key to fixing a lot of problems, like deteriorating collagen, but ingesting nutrients isn’t the only obstacle. We must actually absorb the nutrients to cash in on the benefits.

As we age, our body may no longer absorb nutrients as well as it used to so we may need to help our body along by taking quality digestive enzymes and probiotics to support our gut microbiome and better digestive health for maximum absorption of all nutrients. Most of us work way too hard to eat healthy and take care of our body to ignore our gut health.


The moral of the story is the more we take care of our health and invest in pouring in quality nutrition like quality vitamins, supplements, nutritious foods and plenty of water, the better our body will function and look! And, it also reminds me to go take my vitamins!

WEIGHT LOSS: Are You Blind to Your Own Success?

Let’s see if you can relate to this little scenario. Let’s say you are on a weight loss journey and you check the scale day after day but it just seems like your success is slower than you want.

You think “I work so hard. I feel like all I do is diet and exercise. When will I reap the harvest of all my labor? Is it worth it? Can I ever reach my goal? Should I just give up or is there still hope?”

Does this sound familiar? Maybe you are looking at it all wrong.


8cea23ddf5c4eacbe415abbbc138a83aSo many of my clients have shared victories with me and their peers, only to turn around and have a bad moment, bad weigh-in or bad thought rip through all of the victories and send them spiralling down, down, down. It’s an epidemic.

Oftentimes, your spouse notices your changes, your kids notice you have more energy, your coworkers see you shrinking but sometimes you are completely blind to your own progress or you are quick to forget yesterday’s victory because of today’s trials.

How many times will you experience something awesome and have a really positive moment only to complain a few hours later after having a complete mind-shift because you over-ate, skipped a workout or tried on an outfit you didn’t feel fit you just right. It’s SO easy to get side-tracked and you aren’t alone.


Non-scale VictoriesLife Coach, RodHairston, reminds his clients, “what you focus on, you find” – and it’s so true. Think about it. As soon as you buy a new blue car (one that you feel like you have never seen before), all you see after you drive off the lot are all the other blue cars just like yours. It’s like they are suddenly everywhere! LOL!

It applies to everything. If you look for drama, you’ll find it and if you look for failures you will find those too. However, we can practice looking for the positive things in our life, including health victories.

We can look for improved sleep and energy. We can look for improvements in performance and strength. We can look for changes in the mirror and in how we fit in our clothes. We can look for confidence, excitement and all the other perks of being with like-minded friends who are on the same mission as you.

Is it time to change your focus? Sure, the scale is a big help to hold you accountable, but your health goes WAY beyond a few numbers on a scale. In order to live a healthy, consistent lifestyle, you MUST define, recognize and embrace all the many perks of living a healthy life.

What are some of the benefits to your healthy lifestyle that you are already experiencing? I’d love to hear them! Comment below! Let’s encourage each other – and LIFT each other up!

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8


Pain Relief for Tech Head

“A new study suggests that looking down at a cell phone is the equivalent of placing a 60-pound weight on one’s neck.” – 

One of the biggest issues we have these days is neck and shoulder pain due to sitting at a computer too long or being sucked into our phone. One health article I read in The Atlantic showed how much looking down at our phone or computer can affect our posture. Check it out! No WONDER we can have a pain in the neck!


Pain Relief For Tech Head

I had the privilege to do a product review on this neck massager. A lot of our pain can be simply from maintaining a constant stretch on muscles, causing muscle spasms, knots and pain, self-massagers. Having a good massager, like the Naipo massager, can help improve circulation in the muscles and as relieve muscle spasms.


Check out all the Naipo products including the new Naipo oCuddle Massager!

Get Your NAIPO Neck Massager

50% off code: VG4CB9Y2
After code: $25
Valid through: October 31, 2019


Why Am I’m Not Losing Weight?

Weight Loss Encouragement

Do you know what I’m holding up right now? It’s 5 pounds of fat (left) and 5 pounds of muscle (right).

Notice the size difference? This is why, after starting a new diet and fitness program, you can look and feel smaller but still weigh the same or have a smaller drop in weight than you feel you deserve.

We work SO HARD, especially in the beginning. We want BIG numbers. We want that reward! And, this is exactly why so many people quit within the first few weeks they start a new program. The goal seems too big and the reward seems too small.

You aren’t alone.

Slow Start

Destroy the ScaleWhen we start to exercise, we not only build muscle but we hold more water and glycogen in the muscle cell, causing the muscle to weigh more. It’s not like we will gain 5 pounds of new muscle tissue, but we will gain muscle weight as our muscle stores more energy in the muscle cells so it’s fueled up (like a gas tank) for the next workout.

It is very common for people to have this initial weight gain in the muscle, which is also what causes our muscle (and body) to look and feel more firm. WIN! While we are gaining that small amount of initial muscle weight, we may also be losing body fat but those initial changes are not something you can see on a traditional scale – giving you a false sense of failure.

This is why we have an InBody machine at our gym so people can see exactly what is going on beyond the scale. People are so tempted give up, even though they are making hidden progress, simply because they don’t see their hard work reflected on the scale.

Time Will Tell

Eventually, your initial boost in muscle will level out and you should start to see the scale go down. If not, then you know you are likely eating more calories than you are burning and maybe it’s time to start counting calories in an app like LoseIt and tweak your diet. I find a lot of people eat healthy, but just eat too much.

While you need to understand your body’s changes go far beyond a number on a scale, you also don’t want to use that principle as an “out” either, and assume you are just exchanging fat weight for muscle weight for the next 2 years LOL. That won’t happen. But, it can explain why you may feel like you are getting a slow start.

Look Beyond the Scale

Lose weight nowThe moral of the story is this: don’t JUST look at the scale. I am a big believer in the accountability a scale gives my clients. The scale is a great way to see how your body is trending (it will tell on you!) but there is SOOOO much MORE going on than just weight loss.

If you want to go the distance, and have a real lifestyle change, you need to force yourself to look at other non-scale victories like going down a belt notch, more energy, improved blood work, confidence, better performance, better mood, less pain and all the other amazing benefits to getting healthy. 

It’s easy to be fixated on a weight loss goal so much you miss out on this incredible journey filled with many victories along the way to your the new healthier you!

Motivation For Those “I Don’t Feel Like It” Days

“if If I only did things when i felt like it, I wouldn’t do many things that benefited me”. – Pastor Ron, WaterStone Church

If you want to succeed with fitness, in relationships, at work and in life, there is one thing you will have to learn to do: Don’t live a life led by emotions.

Big Girl Panties 2016People who are led my emotions make horrible decisions. They are completely out of control and on a road to disaster. Emotions are so up and down. They are unreliable and oftentimes unrealistic. They are responsible for divorces, weight gain, getting into debt, arguments, quitting jobs, hurting others and hurting ourself. This is why we must decide to completely die to flesh every day.

What do I mean? I mean we are more than just a body. Our body wants one thing, our mind wants another and our spirit desires another. In order to stay on the right path, we have to determine who the boss really is. Are you really going to let your emotions be the boss of you?

If you want to be a success in pretty much anything in life, you have to practice (yes, it takes daily practice) to deny the body what it wants. Sometimes the body will want to sleep more, eat more, lust more, quit more – but you have to “pull up your big girl panties” and ignore those feelings to do what it takes to reach your goal.

Our cousin’s pastor said it best, “if If I only did things when i felt like it, I wouldn’t do many things that benefited me”. That really hit me, and it is so true.

If you want to make good decisions and change your life, you are going to have to do the right thing when you don’t feel like it. So decide right now! Pull up your big girl panties and do it – whether you feel like it or not!! And watch your life radically change!

Before You Shop for Protein

Protein ShakesOne of the first things people add to their shopping list when they start a health and fitness program is protein. But, what is a “protein shake”? If I were to randomly ask people in a grocery store what defines a protein shake, most people would have no clue where to even begin.

How many calories should a protein shake have? How many grams of protein should it have in it? Should it have carbs and fat? What type of protein should it have; egg, whey, soy, pea, rice, milk concentrate? These are common questions most people don’t have the answers to.

My goal today is to help eliminate confusion, point out common mistakes and help you understand what to look for when shopping protein shakes so you don’t waste your time or money.

Shopping Protein Shakes

lose weight1. Know your goal. Your goal is a big determining factor when it comes to choosing the best protein shake for you. Not all protein products are equal. There are different protein powders for different goals.

Do you want to lose weight or gain weight? How do you plan on adding protein to your meal plan? Will you be doing a shake in place of a meal or will you be doing protein as a snack? Are you taking it post workout, before bed or between meals?  These are all super important questions that will result in a different suggested products to help you reach your goals.

2. Know how to read nutrition facts. How do you know how many calories is too much or too little? This is easy! If there are 4 calories in every gram of protein, then a 20 gram shake will have 80 calories just from protein alone. Anything over that will be extra calories from other ingredients. While it’s ok to have a few extra calories from a little fat and sugar, a low calorie 20gm protein shake should be around 90-120 calories. If you need extra calories because you are an athlete and need more energy to perform or to replace calories, then a higher calorie shake would be best. Again, it goes back to what supports your goal. I personally look for natural ingredients, low sugar (1-2gms), low calories and around 20gms of protein or more.

protein powders3. Know what type of protein to get. While I don’t have room in this blog to break this topic down in detail, study after study has proven that whey protein is the most superior protein for muscle repair. Egg protein is also very good, probably second to whey. However, soy protein is a protein you should completely avoid since it’s been linked to increased risk of cancer and hormonal issues.

Plant based proteins are okay, but rarely compete with whey simply because they often lack some amino acids, reducing efficacy. Finally, undenatured whey protein is the highest quality whey protein because it is the least processed protein. While most companies use high heat, acid, alcohol or other methods to extract the protein, undenatured whey protein is the healthiest whey protein.

64351448_1107796879410988_6355103731106368422_n4. Know trustworthy brands. Unfortunately, most companies care more about their bank account than your health. Label lying is real and the vast majority of protein on the shelves are packed with fillers and false advertising. Sadly, just because it says it has 20 grams of protein on the label, doesn’t mean you are actually eating, absorbing and using 20 grams of protein. In order for you to get the most out of protein, the amino acid profile needs to include all 9 amino acids. It’s amazing how many protein powders out there do not have quality complete protein that your body can actually use.

The only way to really know if you can trust the label is to find a company you can trust. A company that puts your health first and has a no-compromise policy. Another way to trust your label is to find products that are certified by 3rd party companies hired to test the product. For instance, my protein is Informed Sports Certified, which guarantees the quality and accuracy of the product. This costs money, so most companies will not take extra measures for quality control.

quality5. Never settle. If you are trying to improve your health, why would you compromise when it comes to healthy ingredients? Too often people focus so much on protein that they ignore all the mysterious ingredients on the label. What value is it to gain muscle and lose your health. I learned this the hard way. Demand quality. Demand natural healthy ingredients. Get informed and make informed decisions. You are worth it.

Remember, protein isn’t just for bodybuilders. We lose muscle as we age and we must be proactive to give our body the nutrients it needs to fight muscle deterioration to remain strong, vibrant and youthful – plus it helps stave off hunger and makes dieting a lot easier!


“Where’s the Beef?” The Demand for Evidence

where's the beef?Remember the 1980’s Wendy’s commercial? 81 year old Clara Peller inspects the burger from the fictitious fast food chain “Home of the Big Bun.” While the other ladies marveled over how big and fluffy the bun was, Clara clearly was not impressed and croaked the iconic words “where’s the beef?”

It was a reminder that a good burger should include a hefty portion of beef. The campaign was a complete hit! There were even T-shirt’s, bumper stickers, frisbees and even a board game centered around the humorous slogan. People loved it.

Prove It!

In many ways, like Clara, people are looking at Christians and they aren’t impressed, saying “where’s the love?” If Christians are supposed to be like Christ, then there should be proof. They should have a good portion of love in them – and people are looking for it.

It begs the questions, are we just an oversized fluffy bun, looking like the real deal on the outside but with the bare minimum in the inside? Or, is our love popping out of us, like a big juicy burger patty that’s bigger than the bun holding it?

Oswald Chambers reminds us that what God pours in us shouldn’t be contained saying,

“it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts.”

Notice he said “through” us.. We live in an age where we desire to be filled up. Many of us are looking for personal development. We desire to improve, learn, grow and mature, but Oswald reminds us that this is not God’s end goal. God’s goal is for us to be overflowing – everything that God pours in us should literally be spilling over like a big juicy burger with all the toppings. You shouldn’t be able to contain it.

show meHe goes on to compare us to fruit, as Scripture often refers to the fruits of the spirit; that we should bear fruit (noticeable proof) of the spirit of God in our lives. Just as an orange tree is of no benefit if it doesn’t actually bear oranges (or a hamburger isn’t a burger without the beef), we are not a benefit to others if we do not bear the fruits, or evidence, of Christ in our life.

Chambers goes on to say,

“God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.”

I love this reminder that it’s not about me. While I can’t give what I don’t have and will need to continue to pursue God’s love, it’s of no real value if it’s not flowing out of me and on to others.

HamburgerThe ingredients for the typical hamburger are typically a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and a bun. God gives us an ingredient list for a spirit filled life and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Those all sound so pretty and almost poetic until you really think about it and look at each word closely. Love and joy sounds fun until you realize you have to love the unlovable and have joy in all circumstances. Patience is also not easy and let’s not even get started on longsuffering (defined as patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship).

While we have the right to skip some of the hamburger toppings and “have it your way”, we can’t pick and choose what fruits of the spirit we like and skip the ones we don’t like. They should all be noticeable traits developing in us daily if we want to have it His way.

He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow… —John 7:38

Low Carb, Low Fat Brussel Sprout Chowder

I don’t know whatever made me decide to get creative and try making a chowder out of brussel sprouts but I’m sure glad I did. It was a hit at the Pfiester’s! After having 2 of my wisdom teeth removed this week (YUCK!), I decided to pull out some of my favorite mushy meals and this chowder was top on my list!

Steve came home from lunch, and while I had food prepped ground turkey and chicken, he went for the chowder and gobbled it up, bragging on how amazing it was so I thought I’d share the recipe!

Cook Up Some Low Carb High Protein Chowder!

brussel sprout chowderIngredients:
5 1/2 Cups Brussel Sprouts (fresh whole bag)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
4 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
1 Cup white sweet frozen corn
2 Cups Shredded Seasoned Cooked Chicken
1 Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoons Garlic
1 Tablespoon Stevia
A Few Dashes of Cayenne Pepper for a kick
Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

Chop brussel sprouts in halves and boil them in the Chicken Broth. Add salt and half the stevia (which cuts any bitterness of the brussel sprouts. Depending on how chunky you want your chowder, take some or most of the cooked sprouts out, with a little of the brotm, from the pot and put it in a food processor and blend until you get the consistency you desire. I like it smooth with chunks still in it.


chowderAdd the pureed goodness back into the main pot and mix it in with the broth and remaining brussel sprouts. Add all the other ingredients and let it cook on low until all the flavors are evenly distributed. Stir everything really good, working to get the greek yogurt blended. (It normally takes a bit for the greek yogurt to blend evenly with everything).

Add more or less of the broth and/or almond milk to make it thicker or soupier. I like for it to simmer for an hour or so for full flavor.

The end result should be a semi-sweet and creamy chowder with a slight kick. You can also turn this soup into a curry delight by using the same recipe and adding yellow curry. YUM!! Have fun!


Powercore Workout Work Your Core & More

If you are a IMG_5542member of Lift, you might have seen the POWERCORE F.I.T. Bags at the gym. They weigh 20lbs and have 5 handles so you can hold it several different ways. For example, you can hold it in the middle with both hands to do a high pull for shoulders. You can hold it with each hand on the side handles to do shoulder presses. You can clean it by holding the middle handles, which is similar placement to a clean with a barbell.

I put a little workout together so you could give it a try. These POWERCORE sequences (complex movements) start with a pull over, which works the back, chest and triceps as you pull forward and the front delts (shoulders) on the return. Then, you will start adding exercises, building upon the first exercise and end in one big functional movement where all exercises are synergistically combined. This will be the format of all 3 of these complex movements.

Watch the video demonstration to see each progression.


Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseThis first functional complex exercise targets the core, abs and shoulders. It also will improve flexibility and range of motion in the shoulders.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups + Shoulder Press
X 3

Tip: Be sure to keep your back straight and push bag up directly overhead. Most people will want to keep the bag slightly in front of them due to limited flexibility in the shoulders. Push your self to complete good form. I have SUPER tight hamstrings and a hurt back – if I can do it, anyone can. lol It’s a stretch for me, but it was really good for me too! I struggled through it, but I can tell it is exactly what I needed!! 


Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseNow we take things up a notch, with more core and chest work.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + (Sit Ups + Roll Up) combined
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Plank
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Plank + Push Up
5 X 3

TIP: If you try this and aren’t able to roll up, keep trying. Try moving your feet further out to give you more leverage and playing with resistance – or just try it with no weight at all. You’ll be surprised how quick you improve if you keep trying. 


Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseNow we bring the legs and glutes into the mix by adding The next exercise works the full body.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + (Sit Ups + Roll Up) combined
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans + Squat
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans + Squat + Press
5 X 3

TIP: I’m not too happy with how my form looked in the video, but I had done it so many times by this point I was exhausted. lol However, you really can’t go wrong with this exercise. Each movement is a functional movement you do throughout the day. We sit up out of bed, we roll up off the ground, we squat down to sit and put objects up on high shelves. This exercise is a great for improving the quality of life and keeping you in a full range of motion. Beginners, just try the steps with no tools. Try to go as fast as you can. If you have to cheat (on the roll up part), cheat! You are still working out – and you’ll get stronger! 


This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Everlast FIT.

Is Social Media Bad For Your Health?

Reality Check

laundryHere I am standing in the gap between where I really am and where I want to be. That is the reality. I can post my best photos and my best moments, but those are just highlights in between the average, mundane reality.

Sure, I am constantly working on my health, my nutrition, my marriage, my spiritual life and my own personal development but I am still so far away from my goal. And, in reality, the bulk of the day is not filled with non-stop blissful victories and photo opps. It’s far from glamorous.

Actually, most days would look more like those moments when you open your phone and it’s still on the forward facing camera, where your nose looks twice as big as it is and you have three chins.

Accidental selfie cam viewThe fact is, my life is filled with multiple failures (like the scary self-cam moments) between my tiny successful proud moments that are few and far between.

Most days I have to rack my brain for anything interesting to post. Quite honestly, most days there is NOTHING interesting to post. My days are simply filled with daunting tasks like washing dishes, paying bills, checking emails and just living all the not-so-interesting moments we all live day after day.

Not that this would shock anyone because I’m no celebrity or anything, but I think we forget that even our coolest most admired Facebook and Instagram friends have very messy imperfect lives just like we do and they are still very much a work in progress.

The Curse of Comparison


“The fastest way to kill something is to compare it to something else.” — Craig Groeschel

social media pressureSadly, with social media, blog sites and the ability to create a perfect image online, we are constantly surrounded by opportunities to compare ourselves to everyone around us; people who appear fitter, happier, richer, freer, holier, stronger, better.

That is not reality and we even know it. What we see online is just a “highlight ree;” of their reality, yet we still compare ourselves away. No wonder so many of us are stressed out and depressed.

The pressure to keep up and to post something interesting every day can be overwhelming. In addition, we have the added pressure of our post being “graded” with likes and comments. A post you worked really hard on can seem to bomb and not get the “approval rating” you had hoped, only to add to your list of daily fails.

Bonnie’s Bloopers

My norm is filled with so many “oh crap” moments and those “dang it! I did it again” times. Between diet fails and meaningless petty arguments with my better half, I typically have many more fails than victories most days.

IMG_0933That is the reality behind my InstaLife and it’s the reality of everyone’s life, no matter how picture perfect it seems.

Even as a “fitness expert”, I fail time after time. I struggle to get to the gym, I don’t want to diet and I have countless grumpy, ugly moments. I may post my daily devotion but I don’t post those times I desperately want to skip church and hide out at home. I don’t share how I hit the snooze button 9 times before I finally got up (literally happened this morning). I want to do what is right, yet often find myself doing what I don’t want to do. (Sound familiar? Romans 7:15-20)

Most of us don’t post our dirty dishes or bathroom sink that is caked with soap scum, dust and hair. No way! We make sure we only post photos that are taken in the clean areas and we make darn sure we approve all photos posted online. Only the BEST gets posted right?

I think we need more blooper reels and less highlight reels. We shouldn’t be afraid to post failures. Just think of all the famous failures that inspire us today; from Henry Ford to Walt Disney. If we didn’t know their failures, we couldn’t appreciate their successes. And, more importantly, it would be better for our health.

We can eat healthy, exercise and even get enough sleep, and still be stressed to the max and completely unhealthy if we aren’t aware of how social media affects our mind and mental health.

Perceived Perfection

photoshopped celebritiesIt is a difficult time we live in where everything is photoshopped and filtered. We even apply fun filters to our candid shots to improve the way we look or to make the scene more appealing. Filters are just part of our life now.

Magazines were once the only main source of photoshopped images but now all images are improved so much you can hardly stand the way you look in the mirror because you are seeing the REAL YOU with all your flaws, as if we have forgotten what the real you looks like.

We need to make a change. We can’t change what is going on around us, but we sure as heck can change how we react to it. We need a mind shift. We need a massive reframing – a new way of looking at our world and a new way of looking at ourselves. We need it, our family needs it, our coworkers need it. We ALL need it because we are all subject to comparisons.

Reframing for Your Health

reframe your life“Reframing your perspective when you’re looking at social media can also help your mental well being. It’s helpful to remember that the updates and the photos you see only tell one side of the story”, explains Dr. Craig Dike explains in his article How to Cope with Social Media Anxiety.

Steve and I actually have been studying reframing and just finished Craig Groeschel’s Mastermind series that teaches on this important life-changing technique. (Aaaah-mazing! I posted one of the videos below if you want to learn more!)

What is reframing?

Phycology Today says to reframe is defined as “placing something in a new frame.” When we change our point of view on any given situation, the facts remain the same, but a deliberate shift is made in how we see it.

This is something we ALL need to practice. Yes, practice. It’s not something we can just change overnight, like putting on rose colored glasses and forevermore seeing things differently. It will take regular practice and won’t be easy. However, if we can master this, I believe it can radically improve our life and health.

8 Ways to Have a Healthy Social Media Life

1. FIND YOUR SOUL PURPOSE – Follow people who are dedicated to helping you to be more beautiful on the inside, not just on the outside. Surround yourself, in real life and online, with the kind of person you want to be.

2. BE MINDFUL – Follow and engage with knowledgeable people who share educated guidance that makes you think, not just hot trainers or fitness enthusiasts showing off ridiculous exercises you could never do in a million years. It’s never healthy to constantly see something that is not within reach.

3. BE INSPIRED – Find like-minded REAL people you can relate to who inspire you to reach your goals. It’s the “average Joe” who has conquered all obstacles, not the genetically gifted ones, who can remind you of your true potential.

4. BE REAL – The more real you are online, the more real people you will attract. People will appreciate your authentic feed and you will attract people who aren’t scared toe be vulnerable and honest with you.

5. TAKE OUT THE TRASH - Maybe it’s time to start unfollowing unhealthy or negative feeds. Learn to recognize the signs of unhealthy thoughts following seeing certain people or posts. Click “unfriend”, “unfollow” or “hide” to clean up your feed.

6. GET SUPPORT – Join private support groups dedicated to providing high quality content to enhance your life. There are support groups for every passion. Explore them! You never know what you will find!

7. TAKE A BREAK – Don’t be afraid to go off the air. You can even let everyone know you are taking a social media break. People will understand. I just encourage you to word it in a way everyone reading it doesn’t think you are acting self-righteous, as if everyone else staying online is a loser. Be sensitive to how you come across but also be an example. Someone else may need to follow your lead and take a break too.

8. LESS IS MORE – Do you have too many social media platforms to manage? Are you in too many facebook groups? Do you check your feeds too often? Something’s gotta give. Maybe it’s time to find tune your social media responsibilities. Social Media is not unhealthy. In fact, it can simply be amazing! Many people’s lives have been radically enhanced and changed with the help of social media. It’s how we manage social media that can be unhealthy. Turn off notifications so you aren’t constantly getting updates and limit your time online. Maybe it’s even time to decide which platforms are most important to you and table the rest.


Change Your Filter

Check out Part 3 of Mastermind, where Pastor Craig Groeschel will show you how to reframe your situation, your story, and your relationships to thank God for what didn’t happen, pre-frame future experiences, and look for God’s goodness in every moment of your life. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you frame it.


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