nothing to do with you

Hey friend,

So you’re going through that thing. That thing has you questioning every fiber in your being of how it could’ve turned out this way. It was unexpected, I know. It hurts, I know. You’ve become quite consumed with it all. You’ve internalized every emotion. People ask, but no matter how many times they tell you that you’re not the culprit in this case, you can’t seem to rationalize any truth around the statement.

Of course it has something to do with you. If you had just, if you had been, if you had not, if you made, if you (fill in the blank with your own personal rationalization), you could’ve avoided the entire situation and you wouldn’t be in the position you are in right now. It only makes sense if you can determine there was fault in you. Side B to this tape has you feeling the way you do because your actions, or lack thereof, are the factors that the situation hinged on, you are the one to blame for the outcome of your situation.

If you’re nodding your head and thinking, “YES SISTER!”, take a deep breath, sit down, and get ready for this new revelation:

It’s easy to make it about you. You are the one being in this world that you know you can change and fix. If you make the poor outcome of the situation about you, then you have no doubt that you can remedy the situation. You take the blame, because if it’s simply a fault within you, you. got. this. You have the perfect solution. You will ace the test of ironing everything out because YOU, you can control!

But it’s not about you. Sure, we all have our faults, but faults or perfection have nothing to do with the situation at hand. You know deep down in your heart that nothing you could’ve done would’ve made someone else do differently, choose differently, or say differently.

Its a hard pill to swallow that this time, you can’t change you and get a better result.

But I can assure you in this: YOU have growing to do in life, but you (at your core), are enough. This isn’t coming from your mom, this isn’t coming from someone who is “supposed” to tell you these things. This is coming from me. You have your faults and ways about you that won’t sit well with everyone, but the people in your life who are, what I like to call “lifers”, they know you. At the end of the day, they will choose you, they will consider you, they will love you through it all.

Don’t mistake a guest on Episode 25 of your life for a main character. You talk to the Executive Director of all life, you develop a relationship with Him, and He will let you know who exits stage left.

My biggest prayer for you: Go with grace. If you allow bitterness and anger to swell in your heart over a temporary situation, you’re not hurting anyone but yourself. I pray that you understand that all exits aren’t malicious. I pray that you broaden your scope, you see more than just your life in this situation and realize that it really and truly has nothing to do with you.

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Year of Greater

We’re a week into 2019 and I’ve finally gotten around to writing my 2018 review, if you will.

At the end of 2017, God revealed my “word” for the year, “greater”. I would like to say that I entered the year eager and encouraged, but it was just the opposite. I entered the year on a very low note, I had regressed in a lot of areas of my emotions.

Things I thought I had conquered, I though I had overcome, welled up inside me – all. at. once. I was angry and bitter, insecure and doubtful, and I thought to myself “Day 1 of my year of ‘greater’ and THIS is what it has for me?!”.

Needless to say I was frustrated, but I will never regret stopping in that moment and turning to face God. There may have been tears and whining, but He deposited so much into my spirit that day through my sobbing worship. I had tried to carry myself through the last several months of 2017 and allowed my circumstances to shake my knowing of His promises.

On that day, January 1, 2018, I audibly said to God, “I believe what you’ve told me and no matter what happens this year, I will continue to believe it.”

2018 was full of SO many fun and amazing things, accomplishments and celebrations, that I dare not let the uncomfortable parts of the growth process overshadow the victories won.

I finished grad school, I got my mindfulness nutrition mentor certification, I traveled, I made new friends, I hit big business goals, I tried new things, I had one of the healthiest years of my life, and so many other things to name.

My year of greater wasn’t about the external, however. In the process of pruning, the gardener has to remove the things that will harm the plant. Pruning, when it comes to our relationship with God, isn’t comfortable, but very necessary. He wants our lives to be full and abundant in Him. God’s abundance isn’t the same as the world’s definition of abundance. We may have access to everything, but that doesn’t mean everything is for us.

Say what?! Yep. There were things inside of me that I didn’t need, things I had attached myself to that I didn’t need, things that were bringing death to me (in various ways). We have an enemy, and he doesn’t always come as a clearly bad idea or decision. It can be disguised as good or favorable, which is why we have to be aware of God’s plan for us, what our goal should be.

Just the same, as God was changing me to bring LIFE to my situations, relations, and decisions, the enemy disguised the removal as loss instead of gain. God was doing what He said, making me GREATER in Him, but there were days when it looked differently. However, I can boldly say that His promises to me never left my mind. Am I human? Yes. So there were times when I had to remind myself over and over what promise I made – I would continue to believe what God said, no matter what.

God’s intention was never to bring hurt to my life. The things I had to change or get rid of were my doing, He didn’t put them there. But He brought me out. When I lean into Him, I learn Him. The deeper my relationship, the more I trust. I only thought I trusted Him in the year prior, but when trust in Him was all I could hold on to, I really knew.

I’m thankful that he’s remained faithful to me, even when I wasn’t the most likely candidate. I am greater in Him because of Him, therefore, I am a greater me.

The road to greatness doesn’t stop with the end of 2018. It is only getting better.

 

 

More intentional, less microwaved

I will preface this by saying: after years of being on this journey, I have experienced first hand that not everything is for everyone. This post is only meant to report and shed light on what I have learned through my personal experience with my body and mind.

Over the past few years, my body and I have been through a lot of changes. By trial and error, I’ve learned how my body copes with various situations, how it reacts to different foods, and how my brain has formed opinions about the two.

The main thing I have learned is that it is very important for me to understand what is going on, feel the moment, and consciously change those unhealthy subconscious decisions that have been ingrained in my brain.

My goodness would it be SO much easier to do something different or to just ignore it all and stay the same. That would be easy for me.

However, in order for ME, Rachel Beach, to make a LASTING change in my life and in my body, I’ve got to actually change the MENTAL & resorting to (what I like to call) the “microwave choice” will not do that. You know, the choice to just quickly “fix” or suppress whatever is going on in my body and not having to change anything that I’m doing that probably caused the issue in the first place?

The method I use? I’m going to try all means possible to do something naturally and internally before I resort to something externally. Here’s example other than weight loss measures – if I begin to get a headache, I will rule out all possible causes – dehydration, lack of nutrients, etc. before I ever think about grabbing the Advil bottle. If I don’t have to take medicine, I’m not going to. And the same goes for my journey to a healthier life, healthier organs, and a side effect of that is weight loss. I will allow my body to do what it is designed to do, and use resources such as nutrients, water, etc. before I use other resources, and even surgery, to change the its current state.*****

Why? Because, like I said before, this is way more mental for me than it is physical. If you don’t have a mindset issue, then it may not make sense to you. But I have to train my brain to think differently when it comes to adverse situations. For SO long I resorted to using everything but what my body was created to do to change.

Trust me, sister, I’ve prayed about it, because feeeeelings haven’t always been my thing (conceal, don’t feel, can I get an ‘amen’, Elsa?). And every time God told me to do it this way & enjoy the process, live the journey, and not only that – document it.

Okay – that’s scary, because not only do I get to feel all these feelings and work though them, I need to tell other people about it and help them feel the feelings? Yeah, no. I think He got the wrong number…

Of course, I did what He said anyway. All went fantastic at first, people were really receptive and I thought to myself “ok this is super cool!” and it really was. People were inspired and I was so excited to see that others were learning from my errors and confidence was flying around like confetti with the women I got to talk to. I was convinced that I was doing exactly what God was telling me to.

As I stayed consistent and more people followed and reached out, the not-so-enjoyable messages began to arrive. The comments or suggestions of what I should or shouldn’t do. I get it – I get that people have opinions, and I get that I opened myself up to those opinions being shared. I’m not ignorant to that at all.

If you’re going to be a leader at anything, you have to know that standing in the front isn’t always as glamorous as it seems.

You also have to understand that peoples’ own insecurities often times will be thrown at you in the form of hate and doubt, but do not for one second allow that to change your thoughts about yourself or your assignment.

I’ve had questions like why I didn’t see if I was a candidate for surgery or why I didn’t do keto or why I didn’t count points and calories and etc., and when I gave my reasoning, some were upset because they automatically assumed that because chose to go a different route that I was judging them for their choices.

Absolutely not.

When I tell you that I eat lots of veggies, that I’ve become to understand what my body tolerates best and learned to visualize correct portions, that I make sure to get in all of my vitamins, that I drink half of my body weight in oz of water (most days), and that I make an intentional effort to exercise 5-6 days a week – that is not to shame you. That has nothing to do with you, because frankly, I didn’t make this decision because of you. I made it because it works for me.

And what works for me is being more intentional about my choices, and making less microwaved decisions.

*****I found it worth mentioning, that this is only for situations that are not life threatening. I’m not going to try drinking water if I fall down a hill and can visibly see my bones through my skin. I know that’s common sense, but….well there’s a reason I felt that it was worth mentioning. #trolls

4 Reasons Why We Fail

It seems as though people are more health conscious nowadays, and maybe that’s not true. Maybe we just have more access into other people’s lives and information about health-based things that create the sensation that its a “thing” now. Nonetheless, we or someone we know eats more salads than cakes.

I don’t know about you, but I tried all the ways I could think of to get skinny. Like everything short of hard core drugs – I was trying it. Nothing was working.

“Fasting” & only eating one meal a day (lol starving). Nope.
2 1/2 hours at the gym. Nope.
Military diet (lol starving, again). Nope.
Appetite suppressants. Yes – then no, no, no, please no.
Salads every meal. Nope (because I’d eat chicken nuggets after – hungry still).
Liquid diet. Nope.
Low carb. Nope.

Nothing. 

Now, on the other side of things – a little over a year of seriously finding what works for me and truly knowing how my body works – I’ve found the reasons why it didn’t work.

The methods I used to do things were pretty terrible, but there was more to it than that.

1. We’ve got a lifetime of habits to break.
When you decide to (and it isn’t easy) find out where your unhealthy habits stem from, you may find they appeared after a traumatic event where you’ve developed coping skills centered around food. Traumatic is a relative term and everyone applies it differently. It comes from the loss of a loved one, a divorce, high school heart break, ended friendship, stress of college classes, or when the sense of abandonment started to creep in. Don’t take that as absolute – these habits can very well be formed from the absence of learning how to fuel your body properly starting at a young age.

Whatever it may be – these habits developed over a period of time, not overnight. However, I (and maybe you too) tried to fix everything in a Sunday’s meal prep. Not gonna happen. I tried to end my addiction to food by simply not eating. Some people can quit their addictions cold turkey – but I obviously need food to survive, so when I got hungry enough the starvation caused me to go into a binging rage and I was back to square one.

It took time, figuring out how my body responded to certain foods – not just how they affected my weight, but my mood as well. I started by making small changes – adding more veggies into my meals. Finding what I liked and eating that. I hated having grilled chicken and broccoli every day – so I quit eating it.

I had to stop torturing myself and forcing myself to process out of the comfort I found in food. I had to break habits one by one – focusing my attention on completely eradicating it and then move on.

2. We over complicate the process.
This ties in with the first one a bit – but I think its worth it’s own section. Like I mentioned before, we have so many resources at our fingertips. We also have so many opinions to sift through to decide which ones we will accept as truth and believe for ourselves.

I often got overwhelmed with the fact that I needed to have organic everything. Organic meat. Organic veggies. Organic fruits. Organic shampoo. Organic shoes. (kidding, but not really) It was like everything in my world had to change at the blink of an eye. Yes – this is where the excuse that “its too expensive” comes into play. We think we have to have this full 180 degree about-face.

We completely change everything we do – we eat. If it has a single solitary sugar, we trash it. If it has half a carb, we burn it at the stake. We do too much.

Should we juice it? Should we only shop at the farmers market? O.M.G. pesticides. Actually, how about we make our own noodles from scratch? That’s it – I’m starting a vegetable garden today. Filtered water? Not good enough – we need it triple filtered, make sure its completely clean. <– UMMM – that’s exhausting.

CHILL. OUT. Gosh, I know I hate being told that – but seriously. You’re sending yourself into a tailspin of nonsense. A year+ later and I am still transitioning to more natural products (in general).

Don’t feel guilty shopping at your local grocery store. Don’t feel guilty about your tap water, frozen broccoli, and boxed whole wheat noodles. Are you making progress from last week? Heck, even yesterday? Good. Continue making progress and eventually you will make that 180 – stop making it so complicated.

3. We compare ourselves.
This probably should’ve been #1, but these weren’t written in any order – so just put it at number one in your heart. If you’re watching someone else’s journey and comparing yourself to them, you’ve already failed.

One size doesn’t fit all. One meal plan doesn’t fit all. Our bodies react differently to different foods and different exercises. Our bodies also hold on to weight differently and some people require more diligence and time to change than others. You have to figure out what works for you and that may take some trial and error – but what you can’t do is take it to heart when something doesn’t work for you.

Comparing yourself will only send you into a self doubt fit & may cause you to back track, which is not the point of this life. If you’re so wrapped up in someone else’s successes – its hard to define what success means for you.

For me, someone who has a food addiction, success (on some days) can mean eating exactly what I meal prepped and not accepting little snacks from other people. It doesn’t feel restrictive, it’s actually very empowering. But it’s all about perspective.

But I used to have the mindset that I needed abs, like, yesterday. I thought that if it wasn’t working in a week like it did for someone else, that it wouldn’t work for me. I remember wondering if I was even able to be healthy ever again, because my body wasn’t made like someone else’s.

Comparison kept me down for a long time – and it may be what is keeping you down as well, because you quit when it didn’t go like you thought it should.

4. We aren’t enjoying the process.
It can be frustrating – figuring out how your body works and how it reacts to foods. No one these days really enjoys hearing that it may take a year to get to the goal that they wanted (or needed) to reach in 2 months. I’m not ignorant to the fact that there are quick fixes, and losing 20 lbs in 2 weeks can happen – but its not sustainable. That’s something I’m pretty passionate (good word for makes me cringe) about so I’ll save my rant.

I heard a quote recently – “Positive people, positive weight loss” and I couldn’t have related to it more. When I started treating my body right because its what’s good for me and not because I wanted to prance around in a bikini (which is definitely a goal – but not ultimate) – I lost the weight.

I wasn’t stressing myself out (which causes you to hold on to weight anyway) with absolutely ridiculous standards anymore. I began to enjoy it. I read books that encourage and educate me at my weak points. I’ve grown in all areas – not just my health. But if I would’ve rushed through it all – I wouldn’t have learned a third of the things that I have over the past year.

That’s what its about – finding and understanding you and your body. Its so much fun to look back to see what has happened and look forward to see what can be, all because you decided to enjoy the journey that you’re on. Healthy isn’t a sprint, its a marathon. A life long one. So buckle in and enjoy the ride.