The 5 Ds for weightloss

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I was thinking back over my weight loss history and discovered the 5 Ds to be the fastest and most unnatural ways that I have lost weight. Yes, I included “Diets” in this list because there’s absolutely nothing more unnatural than reducing your whole-person to fit into a weight loss formula that makes you focus on food. Diets, like divorce, death and disease are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting and destructive to our whole-person health. And, seriously, can we have a honest conversation about the history of weight loss drugs?

Think about this for a second, diet has the word die in it. Diets ask you to divorce yourself from your feelings, thoughts and anything that gets in the way of you obeying the formula. We have been conditioned to do whatever it takes to lose weight, even if that means taking drugs that have lethal side effects. Is dieting the cause of obesity and the epidemics of diet-related disease and sickness? Have diets destroyed our health by forcing us to focus on manipulating calories, instead of encouraging us to fill up on the best and most nutritious foods without rules?

We are not designed to diet just like we are not designed to experience death, divorce and disease, which is why these experiences are so devastating to our spirits, minds, hearts, bodies and relationships.

It’s time for the generations of women who have failed, succeeded and failed at dieting to tell the truth and help set generations of girls free from following in their weight loss obsession and free from the treadmill of disappointment and the formula for poor health.

Return to the basics of health and remember how you are designed to be healthy and whole. Life is hard enough, so stop focusing on food and depriving yourself of the nutrients you need to walk through the ups and downs of life. #vivealchemy#overit

Health is a Connection

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Three years ago, I was coming out of a very hard season that forced me to be honest about how I was treating my body and why I was practicing a different belief system physically than I was spiritually. As I have pursued health and wholeness, I have naturally been reconnected internally and externally to the relationship that I have with myself, others and the world. Health has become a transformative practice of choice, care, connection, compassion and concern for creature and creation. 

In this process, I have been led to men like Wendell Berry who are amazing witnesses and reminders to the design and connection of all things. 

Health, Hope and Happiness

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I want to plant seeds of truth in people’s hearts. I want to water them with love. It’s funny that I grew up on farm and I barely planted anything but I have this deep hunger to create a space of love and truth for people to become their best selves. I want us to remember what is really beautiful and good, and what deserves to be honored and celebrated. 

No offense, but I don’t want anymore advice or opinions. I don’t want access to your pics but no access or opportunity for a real relationship. There something extremely insane that we know so much about each other and yet we don’t know each other at all.  Vulnerability is not posting a pic and real connection only happens from sharing the truth that flows out of our spirits, hearts, minds and bodies. Why do we waste so much time and energy posting our opinions, fragments of ourselves  and photoshopping our lives, when we could be creating places to share our hopes, dreams, doubts and fears. I hunger for conversations where living how we are designed and being weak, needy, fragile, vulnerable, sensitive, desperate and dependent on love is courageous and giving our experience, strength and hope is a daily practice. I desperately want a chance to make friends and grow relationships that help me to become more of who I am designed to be and less of who I often times to pretend to be. 

I want so much more than a girls night out, another glass of wine, dessert and an empty night void of anything that would nourish my spirit, heart, mind and body. I find myself starving for conversations full of hope, joy, love and truth. I need living and breathing people who are just as desperate as me. Please give us a chance to know each other and let’s create a community of human beings who are committed to health, hope and healing.

Join me for a different conversation and an opportunity to participate in community who cultivate the love of ourselves and one another. Come Vive with me. Vivealchemy.com

Are your what-ifs keeping you from living?

img_0969Have you ever thought about how many what-ifs that you might be holding on to? There are what-ifs in our closets, “What if I lose 10lbs, then I can wear those clothes again?’. There are what-ifs in our garages, “What if I need a birdhouse lamp?”. There are what-ifs in our pantries, cabinets, storage units and there are what-ifs in our spirits, heart, minds, bodies, and relationships. Have you ever thought how what-ifs don’t really give us options or create opportunities to grow but keep us living in the past, unable to face the truth or set us free to live with open hearts, open minds, open spirits and open hands in the present? Could it be that all our what-ifs are not only wasting space, time, money, and energy but keeping us from living in a natural rhythm and flow to give and receive the love and truth we need to become our best selves?

I feel paralyzed by what-ifs. My closet is full of clothes that I haven’t worn in years and things in my garage now have 3 years of dust but what’s really holding me down are the what-ifs of my life, “What-if I had just stayed married, What-if I had spent more time with kids, What-if I had done more, done less or done something different”. What-ifs are at the root of my anxiety, fears, guilt and shame, and they rob me of everything I need to experience and enjoy my life right here and right now. They keep me hoarding things that will never produce peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. What-ifs keep me looking back, not trusting in the process of life or believing in the mystery and power of something greater than me. My what-ifs judge me and keep me perpetually looking back believing that I could have completely and perfectly controlled not only my life but the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.

What-ifs do not motivate us and they cannot create change. They can only clutter our present opportunities to live, love, dream, risk, grow and flourish; and live how we are designed.

It’s time to clean out the what-ifs. It’s time to be set free from guilt, shame, pain, and fear and be set free to receive forgiveness, mercy, truth, and love. We cannot live with what-ifs because they distract, clutter and prevent us from living right here and right now. How do we clean out the what-ifs? We can start by telling the truth about them and asking ourselves questions about what we need to live today. Are we holding onto to crumbs of the past? Are we scared to clear out anger, guilt, shame, and pain and create the space for vulnerability, uncertainty, and mystery? Will we trust the process of letting go to open the pathways to give and receive love, truth, hope, and joy? Today, I encourage you to clean out every space that keeps you hoarding the crumbs of what-if and open your heart, mind, spirit and hands to the gifts that are being given today to fill you up with love, beauty, strength, care and nourishment.

You can be healthy.

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Information alone will never give us what we need to be healthy. To be healthy is to be whole and to be whole requires the nourishment of our whole-person, which includes our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships. Correct information is just one piece of a process that we need to be whole-person healthy and it is necessary for educating but it is not education. Education informs us and creates a space for more. It helps to evolve our talents and skills while it flames the embers of imagination, creativity, passion and desire. Education helps to connect the internal and external pieces as it creates knowing. One result of education is knowledge but knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is the free gift that we give and receive as we move to give our time, talents and truth to love, encourage and educate others. Wisdom is what we all need to be whole-person healthy.

Stop reducing who you are and your health to diets and workouts. Rediscover how to open our spirits, hearts, minds and hands to truth and love to create the space for wisdom and become the healthy person you are designed to be. Join us in Vive Alchemy to remember that your health is not only in your hands but in your spirit, heart and mind.

We must take a stand for ourselves and our health.

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In VIVE Alchemy, we live every day as we are designed to breathe, listen, ask, look and move to nourish our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies as a Whole-Person.

*We refuse to disconnect ourselves in order to get results.
*We refuse to reduce ourselves to a body just to “feel good”.
*We refuse to ignore our emotions/control our emotions. We listen to how we feel.
*We refuse to be spoonfed fragmented information and fragmented truths. We ask questions.
*We refuse to be told who we are, how we feel how to think and what to do. Institutions and programs are not our God.
* We refuse to do another program or another formula that demands us to not think or feel but just do. We are whole-people.
* We refuse to reduce life to a competition or to a game. We help others, we don’t compete with them.

VIVE Alchemy invites you to Give-Up being told what to do and how to live. You have a design that will flourish and it will give you the best results when you nourish it.

Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health cannot fit into a program and whole-person health happens when you live each day to nourish (love) yourself and others.

If you’re tired of doing the same thing over and over and over and getting those results, then VIVE Alchemy is a space for you to rest and rediscover how you are designed to get AMAZING results without trying to get results.

They say the right program delivers, I say you’re not designed to be delivered by a program.

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Every day we are being diagnosed and every day we are being offered a delivery system.

You are overweight, here’s a diet. You are weak, here’s an insane exercise program. You are stressed, here’s a pill. You are wrinkly, here’s a cream. You are a bad mom, here’s a book.

Yes, there are literally thousands of delivery systems that promise to give us the perfect body, the perfect health, the perfect stress level, the perfect home, the perfect kids, the perfect marriage, the perfect skin, the perfect closet, the perfect vacation and ultimately, the perfect life. Given the availability of all these delivery systems, how many people have you met that actually have a perfect life or who completed the delivery system and was FINALLY delivered from ever doing the delivery system again?

Have you ever wondered why most delivery systems DO NOT work to deliver us? Perhaps it’s time we turned the tables and diagnosed these delivery programs. The reasons delivery programs do not deliver us:

  • They usually get the diagnosis wrong.
  • They try to deliver you through one part of yourself.
  • They try to deliver you from the outside in.
  • They are based on being fragmented and living a fragmented life.
  • You aren’t designed to be delivered by a delivery system.

First, delivery programs diagnosis is usually wrong. What we initially see is usually not the source of the problem. The most obvious issue is usually a result of the real problem. Stress, injury, pain, tiredness, weight issues, food issues, addictions and relationship problems are most often the “results” of deeper issues. If we spend all our time desperately trying to change the results, then the real problem causing those results is still there producing the same results

Second, programs that reduce you to a part of yourself—like a body, a mind, a spirit or a heart—can only deliver that part of you for a short period of time. Maybe you can get some control over your body by denying it, control your emotions by avoiding them, control your thoughts by distracting yourself with something else and maybe you’ll get control of your soul through religious practice. But when you spend all your time and energy trying to deliver yourself through one part of yourself, you are forcing parts of yourself to stop functioning as they are designed.

Let’s say you get some results like controlling your body with a diet, then what parts of yourself would you deny in order to continue using a diet to control your body. If you could get everything you wanted—like peace, joy, success, value and the love you always wanted—through a diet, then would you ever listen or get to know your heart, mind, body, and spirit? At the same time, if you were able to deliver yourself through your spirit or heart, would you ever listen to the needs of your mind and body?

Third, delivery programs fail because they are trying to deliver us from the outside-in. They give us solutions, hacks, formulas, programs, and ideas to manage (control) everything. 13 steps to manage your stress, 7 steps to manage your weight, 5 steps to manage your relationships, and thousands of other ways to control your kids, spouses, workplace, home, pets, clutter, car, health, emotions, spirit and on and on and on. These programs are based on us living fragmented lives and being a fragmented people where the mind, heart, spirit, body, and life are not only reduced to results but are operating independently from one another. Delivery programs do not take into account that we are a whole-people and we are mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally connected to create a balance, flow, and rhythm that enables us to experience and enjoy life. As long as we are trying to manage and control every aspect of our lives, then there’s no way we can properly care for our whole-person or enjoy ourselves or our lives.

So, what’s the real diagnosis? I don’t believe we have to be rocket scientists to see we have been trying to deliver ourselves for a long time and we are more exhausted, neurotic, overweight, obsessed, stressed, unhappy and lonely than we have ever been. Even if on the outside our lives and bodies appear to be manageable and under control, on the inside we are numb, sad, angry, insecure, lonely and tired. We are bingers but we are never full; we consume at the highest levels but it’s never enough. We are so busy controlling every aspect of our lives but we are falling apart.

The truth is that food, stress, kids, anxiety, spouses, homes, cars, power, fame, work, money, exercise and clutter are not the problems and they are not the solutions. It’s time we create the space to stop and rediscover who we are and how we are designed to live life in the present moment with hope, trust, peace, joy, and love with all our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies. It’s time we stopped asking to be delivered and started asking how we are designed to be.

The good news is that there are no delivery systems. There is just life and life was meant to be lived with the ups and downs, the good and bad, the challenges and successes with our whole-person feeling, thinking, moving and connecting as we are designed. The real problem is not that delivery systems don’t work but that we have forgotten how we are designed to not need delivery systems.  And we can be delivered from delivery systems by remembering how we are designed to breathe, listen, ask, look and move to nourish ourselves without expectations, results or using ourselves and all these amazing gifts that we have been given as a means to an end.

Aren’t we tired of being diagnosed? Did any of these programs, formulas, magic pills—and let’s not forget books, classes, seminars, retreats and lots of products deliver us? You are invited to give up using delivery systems to get control over things you can never get control over. You are invited to give up trying to control life and just live it, one crazy full day at a time and discover how you are designed to VIVE.

 

Vive’s Easter Message

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We are designed to be so much more than who we pretend to be. We are not what we buy. We are not we what we own, project or post. We are not our lifestyles, political stances, religions or socioeconomic levels. We are not what we eat or how we work out. We are not our jobs, hobbies, addictions, successes or failures.

Beneath the posturing, peacocking, protesting, pretending and posting, we are so much less but infinitely so much more than anything we do, say or believe. Can we all stop for a minute, take a deep breath and remind ourselves that every single one of us are human beings. We are givers and receivers of life, love, and truth. We are creators, builders, growers, and dreamers. Inside of every one of us lives an infinite source of hope, joy, peace, goodness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, courage,  kindness, truth and faith. And when we dig a little further, we discover that we all share the very same human design and we are vulnerable, sensitive, fragile, needy, weak, transparent, desperate and dependent on love to become the people we are designed to be.

But, we are never going to become the people we are designed to be by submerging ourselves into other people’s photos, post, opinions, and lives. We are never going to find the love that we need and live the way we are designed through our phones. There’s no doubt the internet offers us endless opportunities to connect and we need to be known and accepted to grow and flourish but a connection is not the same as community.

We are designed to live, work, play, talk, listen and study in places that are full of real people that we can touch, smell, see and hear. We are designed to live in a community where we can practice receiving and giving honor and respect to our voices, hearts, minds, bodies, truths, gifts and time. We need more than a platform to share our laughter, tears, fears, hopes, and dreams, we need real places where we can give our whole-self to others. By living out of our human being design, we can rediscover the truth about what really is good, beautiful, excellent and true. We can remember that vulnerability is not posting a makeup-free selfie but being able to live a life that is full of mystery, risk, fear, hurts, and messiness. Vulnerability is courageously sharing the deepest parts of ourselves.

If we don’t know who we are and how we are designed, then we will continue to look for life and love in places where we are forced to disconnect our real person from our truth, talents, time and presence. We cannot possibly fit our whole-person in a tweet, post or pic; and without the ability to be present, we will be disconnected from the love that lives within us and is unleashed in real time and in real relationships. There is Power in Presence and we desperately need people who are willing to put their phones down and be vulnerable, sensitive, weak, needy, transparent, fragile, desperate and dependent on love that only flows through real living, breathing, messy, smelly, truthful and imperfect people.

In other words, we need you and you need me to become the people we are designed to be and to a experience and enjoy lives that are full of so much more and than our likes and dislikes. We are human beings and we have a human being design that naturally creates a place for us to find ourselves and lose ourselves, to be filled up and emptied out, to be forgiven and justified, to be sad and happy, to be right and wrong, and to be more of who we are and less of who we are not.

Happy Easter friends. I hope this Easter is a beautiful time of rest and restoration for us individually and collectively. ❤️

What will stop the obesity epidemic?

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Ok, hold on a minute. Let’s give the medical industry a little break. It is true that doctors receive little to no formal education on nutrition and the prevention of disease has (in the past) had little support or interest in the medical community. But it’s not really their fault. Why? Maybe, because they didn’t go to medical school to prevent sickness and disease but to treat it. Come on, no one watches Grey’s Anatomy to see a bunch healthy plant-based people walking around talking to doctors about their good health.

Still, at some point, someone made a decision that it was more profitable to continue treating disease and sickness, and pills were a lot easier to prescribe than prevention. But, in so doing the medical community created a void of leadership, research and real authority that has since been filled up with thousands of self-proclaimed health and wellness “experts”. No doubt, there was a real demand. But our diet and fitness experts have since oversupplied the market with an endless amount of  formulas, programs, potions, and products that have completely fragmented our understanding and approach to health and wellness. What has been the results of our diet and fitness experts? Nothing less than an epidemic of extremely unhealthy results and an overload of confusing and contradicting misinformation.

In Knoxville and throughout our country, obesity and diet-related sickness and disease are at epidemic levels in youth and adults. Yet, how can this be when we live at a time with more access to information, diets, workouts, hacks, tips, technology, and diet foods than at any time in human history? In fact, our workouts or more insane than ever, diets come in all shapes and sizes and fitness experts are everywhere. Could it be that these experts and their extreme approaches to health have led us to believe that to be healthy means that we must spend all our time in the gym, make our workouts hurt, eat in extreme ways, always diet and be obsessed with both our bodies and food? Is it because health looks and feels so unnatural and requires so much time, energy, rules, restrictions, reps, sets, supplements and effort that people have just given up any hope of being healthy?

What if I told you that to be healthy, you must stop trying to control your body and trust its design? What if I said that spending all that time in the gym working on your body or your booty does not translate into good health? What if I told you that walking is enough? What if I told you that all this excessive training does not necessarily lead to a healthier or happier you? What if I told you that all these “experts and gurus”, who are telling you what to do, are just as confused about health as they need you to be in order to profit off your confusion? Seriously, I don’t know how a bodybuilder diet made its way into mainstream America or how in the world ketosis is even something a person would even consider before eating natural, whole foods.

It’s time we understood the difference between what it means to train for a sport, what it actually takes to build muscle to get a specific physique and what it takes to just be healthy. It’s time to set people free from a very unnatural and unrealistic idea of what “shape” and “fitness” looks like and set people free to practice a basic health routine that nourishes our whole-person. It’s also time to have an honest conversation about weight gain, obesity and inactivity without it shaming people.

Truth is to be healthy and fit:

  • You don’t have to lift weights.
  • You don’t have to go to the gym.
  • You don’t have to diet or exercise extremely hard.
  • You do have to stop using food as a means to end.
  • You do have to break-up with your bad relationship with food.
  • You might want to give the diet and fitness industry the middle finger and quit being told what to do.
  • You don’t have to do CrossFit, run a marathon or do a headstand.
  • You do have to start using your brain and listening to your body.

 

Health is the practice of truth and love. So, let’s tell the truth.

  • All these exercise programs are based on theories.
  • We have been led to believe in a very fragmented formula and out-dated training programs that break us down physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally.
  • Being in shape or skinny will not make all your dreams come true nor does it mean you are healthy.
  • Being overweight is not a joke and weight gain should be taken seriously.
  • Diets are based on weight loss theories.
  • In 2018, they are just now figuring out the importance of gut health and how we are destroying our health with a high protein/low carb diet.
  • Core training is a myth.
  • HIIT training is a scam.
  • Most diet and fitness “experts” are not telling you the truth about what they have to do on a daily basis to look and lift like they do.
  • Most doctors are uninformed when it comes to any type of understanding of nutrition and fitness.
  • Boot camps are an extreme and unnecessary way to burn a small number of calories while setting you up for short-term injury and long-term breakdown.
  • You aren’t burning as many calories as your fitness watch says.
  • Most supplements are useless and most likely dangerous.
  • That girl or guy, who you don’t know, but you follow on Instagram does extreme things, has the genetics, does the surgeries, uses photoshop, knows how to pose, takes the pills and has the time to do things that most people cannot do to look that way.
  • You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
  • Food won’t save you.
  • Information is powerless to change the real reasons that we are addicted to food.
  • Formulas and programs do not work for us living, breathing, feeling and thinking human beings.
  • You already have everything you need to be healthy.

There is a way to be healthy that does not require a lot of time, energy or money but does require your participation as a whole person. Your health is in your hands. Trust your design and stop trusting people, who you do not know and who just wants to sell you a diet, a to-do list, an exercise program and a formula that reduces you to a result. Rediscover how you are designed to VIVE.

 

10 ways to stop destroying your gut health

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  1. DO NOT go on a calorie restricted diet. You are probably not currently getting the volume or variety of fiber, starches and nutrients that you need to sustain good gut health. Don’t sacrifice your health by eliminating everything your body needs to do a million jobs a day, including treat, fight and prevent diet-related disease and sickness. Make sure that you don’t kill off more of your good bacteria by eliminating the foods that your gut needs to be healthy like beans, lentils, whole grains and potatoes.
  2. DO NOT replace real foods with highly processed shakes and supplements. Common sense and scientific research prove that real whole foods are exactly what the gut needs to be healthy. Don’t let anyone convince you that a highly processed food supplement or pills are better for you than natural whole foods.
  3. DO NOT avoid beans and lentils. Make sure that you are getting one of the most perfect foods ever designed. Your gut needs real food that can withstand the digestion process and make it down to your intestine. Science is just now discovering how natural whole foods are designed to nourish your body at various levels, including your lower intestines.
  4. DO NOT eat more protein than fiber. Fact one, protein doesn’t fill you up but fiber does. When you decide that protein is more important than fiber, then it’s likely that you will not get enough fiber to rid your body of toxins and waste; and you will be feeding your bad bacteria everything it needs to grow. Truth is, everyone is getting enough protein but hardly anyone is getting enough fiber.
  5. Cut way back on the alcohol. Just one binge drinking session is extremely harmful to your gut health.
  6. Eat resistant starches. Science has revealed that high resistant starches give your gut the nutrients to fight cancer, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and help your body lose weight, reverse disease and prevent sickness.
  7. Don’t eat “weight loss” foods. Please eliminate diet sodas and stop eating super small portions of highly processed diet foods.
  8. Don’t eat red meat and eggs. Do the research about TMAO and how it is produced in the gut from feeding on meat and eggs.
  9. Go vegan and by go vegan, I mean don’t avoid animal products and then fill up on highly processed vegan foods like french fries, chips, cookies, crackers and my favorite vegan butter. Just because you avoid one food group that harms your gut health doesn’t mean you should replace with a different kind of food void of nutrients.
  10. Don’t eat out very much. Research shows that eating out is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. We are talking machine contamination, food additives, oil, salt, sugar and fat perfectly combined to be the best-tasting meal that you have ever had that is void of nutrients, fiber and anything whole or natural.

STOP EATING TO LOSE WEIGHT AND START EATING TO NOURISH YOUR GUT. Trust your body’s design and refuse to be spoonfed any more misinformation. Your health is in your hands. Learn more at vivealchemy.com