New year and an old approach to food.

We are not designed to use food to lose weight. Even though food can be used to get temporary results, we will hurt the health of spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships by trying to piece together some crazy weight loss formula that offers us the fastest results possible. When we approach food to use as a means to an end, we will not only reduce ourselves but we will reduce our real issues with food. Food is not designed to be our personal saviour, best friend or a way to get love.

I can promise you that neither a cave man or Jesus Christ approached food to regulate their weight, control their emotions, sanctify their spirits or find comfort, security or health. They were not in a relationship with food. They didn’t eat ice cream, drink protein shakes or use weight loss supplements. They simply ate the natural and whole foods available to them and lived their lives.

Health does not start with food but with us remembering how we are designed to eat and live. Health is not a program but an ongoing process that happens when we practice the basics of nourishment. The more we practice, the stronger and healthier our bodies, spirits, hearts and minds should become.

It’s time to ask yourself some honest questions. Are you experiencing the cumulative effects of years of not breathing, listening, asking, looking and moving to nourish your body, spirit, heart and mind? Have you spent years  doing countless diets, programs and hacks to control your weight, hormones, emotions, fears, boredom, stress, anxiety and happiness?

The truth is that health is not just a food issue or a body issue, it is a whole-person issue. Yes, our bodies have a design that works when we give them the real foods they need to rid themselves of toxins, excess weight and fight, heal and prevent sickness and disease. But, how we approach food is determined by how we feel and how we feel is determined by us being full of truth and love.

It’s time for a different conversation that begins with you and not weight-loss or food. Join us to discover how you are easily and naturally designed to VIVE.

What are the results of living for results?

FB4786B8-FE2C-4042-84F2-A611B9B8E406We are not designed to live life to get results. Life is not a result. Life is living how we are designed to nourish our whole- person each and every day.

If we deprive the spirit, heart, mind or body to get a result, then we will make up for that deprivation somewhere, somehow and someway.

Trying to get results forces us to live in contradictions and deny satisfying our basic needs. The mind is starving for truth and we try to fill it up with and more information. The body is starving for nutrients and we try to fill it up with junk food. The heart is starving to be heard and we ignore it. The spirit is starving to be known and accepted. Yet, we stay in places and online where we can never be known.

But, what have been the real results of living to get results? We are constantly filling ourselves up but we’re always hungry. We are more connected but we’re completely disconnected. We are full of information but we are more confused than ever. We work harder but we still don’t have enough. Our kids are involved in more activities but they still don’t know who they are. We are busier and more entertained than anytime in history and we are bored out of our minds. We know more about more people and we don’t know them at all. We call more people friends but we are lonely for friendship. We have more drugs and healthcare but we are experiencing epidemic levels of disease and sickness. We have bigger houses, larger neighborhoods, massive churches and less community. We have more diets and exercise gyms but we have skyrocketing rates of obesity. We have more grocery stores and less local organic foods; more time to talk and less real conversation; more knowledge and less wisdom; more drinking and less real celebration; more religion and less hope, truth and love; more things to make us happy and less joy; more politics and greater divisions of wealth, power, resources and relationships; more schools and less learning; more platforms to communicate and yet no one hears our voice; more room to create and less creativity. We have so much more but we have so little of what really matters and makes life worth living.

WHY?

We are living to get bigger and better results to live bigger and better lives but our hearts, mind, bodies, spirits and relationships are dying to be loved. Results don’t fill us up with truth, love, hope, joy and peace. We may love results but they can’t love us back. It’s time for a different way. It’s time for you to be you and not a result.

You are invited to Give-Up living for results and learn how we are designed to be nourished as whole-people in Vive Alchemy.

We don’t need formulas.

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  • You don’t need to work harder.
  • You don’t need more discipline.
  • You don’t need more focus.
  • You don’t need tougher workouts.
  • You don’t need harder exercises.
  • You don’t need a diet.
  • You don’t need a better program.
  • You don’t need to be broken down.
  • You don’t need more reps or sets.
  • You don’t need f…ing motivation.

I want you to discover what you really need is love. I want you to discover love for who you are and how you are designed. You aren’t designed to “just do it” but you are designed to be a whole-person, who isn’t defined by what you can or cannot do.

When you know who you are and how you’re designed to love your spirit, heart, mind, body and relationships, then you WILL become emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally and mentally healthy- as a WHOLE-PERSON.

Do you want to be at a healthy weight?
Do you want to be less stressed?
Do you want to be less busy?
Do you want to be full?
Do you want a friend and community?

Of course, you do. We are designed for these things. However, we are not going to find any of these things in a program or a formula. We are not going to find anything that we are designed for, including health in some bullshit, fragmented formula that wants to separate our hearts, spirits, minds and bodies to get a result.

You know what I gave-up when I had six-pack abs? I gave-up loving my heart, mind, community and spirit to make sure I ate and worked out exactly how and when the formula told me. I trusted a formula that did not tell me the truth about the equal and opposite results of focusing so much time and energy on just my body. Nor did it warn me that the practice of reducing myself to a body and ignoring the other parts of myself would eventually break me down physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and relationally.

See, there is no room for whole people in formulas. To fit into the formula, we must reduce ourselves and our lives; and revolve our whole day around what we need to do to achieve results. We do formulas because we believe that we can change ourselves from the the outside-in; and we do the formula to get something that “feels” like love and “feels” like living (like attention, approval, worth, endorphins, comfort, security and happiness). Unfortunately, formulas are not just at the gym, they are everywhere.

We live in formulas to avoid anxiety, pain, fear, guilt, loneliness, hopelessness and shame; and we keep doing formulas even when they result in anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, pain, guilt and shame. What is social media other than a code, a formula for community; and even though it makes us more anxious and even lonelier, we keep logging on. Eating has resulted in sickness and disease but we keep using food to get results. Maybe it’s the formula for boredom, guilt or to avoid our feelings for some and for others it’s the formula for comfort and success. Shopping is no different. It has been sold as the formula for worth and value; and as we rack up debt, we also accumulate suffocating levels of anxiety. How can we continue to live with the equal and opposite results that formulas give when every time we win, we all lose even more.

Honestly, we can’t. We are not designed to live in formulas. We are amazing. We have a beautiful design. We need freedom to grow. We need failures and risk to pull and stretch us. We need our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships to become more. It’s time to rediscover how we are designed and the life that we are designed to live. Join me for a new way and new conversation about everything we are have already been given because we are deeply and truly loved. vivealchemy.com

Food is nothing less than a gift to nourish your whole-person.

nutrient-additives-medicine-pills-bless-you-47073How can you absolutely guarantee the misuse of something? By focusing all your time, energy, money and attention on it.

Any “diet” that makes you think about food all day, wants to talk about food all day and even wants to talk about food more than it wants talk about you is a bad “diet.”

A friend told me once about a girl she thought I should follow on Instagram. The girl once had a life-threatening eating disorder and now she talks about using food in a positive way. Sounds great, right? Here’s someone who had used food negatively and was now using food positively. Something about that story just rubbed me the wrong way. The next morning the question hit me, “Why is someone who had been so obsessed with food STILL dedicating her life to talking about food?”. It didn’t make sense to me that whether it was good talk or bad talk that she was still talking about food.

I do believe that anytime food becomes the focus of our daily lives and we think about it, we talk about it with friends and in “diet” groups, and we use hotlines, coaches and apps that focus on food, then we encourage food to have power over us that it was not designed to have. Food should not dominate our thoughts, words, feelings or lives. We are not designed to use food for anything other than nutrients that we can give and receive as nourishment.

I believe it’s time we had a different conversation about food. One that doesn’t start with food talk but with a conversation about how we are designed to be nourished by many things, including food. At VIVE, we think it is extremely important for us to have an honest conversation about food but we do not believe food should be the focus. No doubt, food keeps us alive and nourishes an internal connection, but wild blueberries or cupcakes don’t connect the heart to the mind or the mind to the spirit. Likewise, we are not in a relationship with food and it cannot be a relationship connector. Food may be something we share with a friend but food cannot be the foundation of any relationship.

Look around, we are seeing the results of a diet and fitness culture that has told us to focus on food all day long and not only did it not change our bodies but it hurt our hearts, minds, spirits and relationships. In Vive, we want to help you discover that food is not the problem or solution. Instead, it is a basic need that doesn’t require all our attention. By using more time and energy nourishing our whole-person, then we will develop a flow and rhythm that naturally regulates how we nourish ourselves and our lives with not just food, but all of life’s gifts.

Partner With Your Body

img_1819What is VIVE and how can you learn how to Partner with your Body to transform your health?

Vive is a return to the basics.
Vive is a return to human design.
Vive is a return to truth and love.
Vive is a return to nourishment.
Vive is a return to routines.
Vive is a return to trust.
Vive is a return to practice.
Vive is a return to mystery.
Vive is a return to health.
Vive is a return to living.

Vive Alchemy is a return to how we are designed to naturally and easily be whole-person healthy. It is creating the space to honor and respect our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and relational needs. In VIVE, we rediscover how we are designed to think, feel, move and connect as a whole-person and we remember that we have everything we need to nourish our design.

deep thoughts by DeeAnn

ViveShoot_May17-40.jpgIt’s ok to have failures. You don’t have to redefine it as anything other than a failure.
It’s ok to have pain and it not be anything but painful. Breaking your toe doesn’t produce a better toe, but just a lot of colorful language and a broken toe.
It’s ok to feel and not respond.
It’s ok to just be.

If you don’t start nourishing yourself, then you will never be able to nourish others.

If you are not full, then you will always operate out of emptiness. If you are not full, then you will use everything and everyone to fill yourself up.

There are some things and some people that you will never be enough for, because they are consuming you out of their own emptiness.

A healthy community is made up of individuals who are full of love, who know who they are and how they are designed to be, feel, think, move and relate as their true-selves. The first act of love is being who you are designed to be.

Only in a healthy community, do you discover yourself more which leads to the opportunity to love yourself more, to receive more love from others and give more love to others.

The failures that ripped me open, also ripped away a false-self that I was unknowingly suffocating  and dying in.

Listening and Looking is an exercise. How do people and circumstances expose you? How do you feel?

We have to be forced to be honest. Truth sets us free to love and to be loved. There is no such thing as truth without love and there is no such thing as love without truth.

People can’t respond to your truth, who don’t know how to respond to their own truth.

People can’t respond to your pain, who don’t know how to respond to their own pain.

Your truth and love will create places that people can trust are safe to be known and accepted.

You are a gift.

Diet is a 4 letter word.

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“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

It’s one of the biggest lies that we tell ourselves and others. The truth is that words do hurt and they can can devastate us. Words have the power to immediately expose our deepest fears, vulnerabilities, insecurities, guilt, shame or pride. Words can elicit a flurry of emotions and thoughts. In some cases, even if a spoken word has no ill-intention behind it, the word itself encompasses a complete story that can never be separated from the feelings, thoughts and experiences attached to it.

“Diet” has become just such a word.

Diet is not really a bad word; it actually refers to the kinds of food that we eat on a daily basis as a way of life. Unfortunately, it has been misused to mean denial, restriction, deprivation, pain, guilt, dread, failure and judgment. In this context, using the word “diet” must be avoided at all costs. The emotional and mental fallout from the misuse of “diet” starts us on the path of thinking and feeling that will end in failure most of the time. I believe it is a waste of time to redeem the word diet. So, let’s lose the word for now and not have a word to describe the way we eat. Instead, let’s just think about eating as a way of gifting our bodies with amazing nutrients that they enjoy, and that equips and enables our bodies to do a million jobs.

What is a bad diet?

A bad diet is:
*Anything called a diet
*Based on portion control
*Uses a reward or punishment system
*Requires accountability
*Has to constantly be managed and balanced
*Where food is your main focus or the main topic of conversation
*Anything from which you get an identity
*Anything that is not sustainable (You can’t do for the rest of your life)
*Anything that doesn’t tell the truth about foods or has little to no research behind the foods you are being told to eat
*Different from how you should eat every day of your life from childhood to old age
*Uses pride, guilt, shame or fear to “motivate”
*Allows the majority of your daily foods to be processed
*Limits all-natural, unprocessed whole foods
*Anything that is your connection in a relationship or community of people
*Makes you judge others and makes you judge yourself
*Is not based on common sense or not easily understood
*Uses denial and distraction as tools of success
*Doesn’t tell you there are some foods you absolutely should not eat
*Tells you to do what you are told and doesn’t allow for lots of questions
*Requires perfection
*Uses words like “motivate,” “compete,” “success” or “failure”
*Approaches the body to accomplish one result
*Approaches food as a means to an end to control your body

Give up diets and come Vive with us. Learn how you are designed to nourish your whole-person with food and be healthy. Vivealchemy.com

I gave up formula living and learned how I am designed to be healthy.

A344C9FA-81E1-4AF6-8B36-070A4D06828BWhat brings you to the point to make a decision to quit the very place that stored and displayed past achievements, a present job, the hope of a future career and a place where you have a program/ “the right formula” that gives you some measure of personal success, security, comfort and control? I had found the formula that I could plug myself into and achieve results. I did it for 15 years. In fact, I had just achieved the best results of my life at 40. I had a six-pack. I was stronger than I had ever been (just ask the guys in my gym). Most importantly, I had proven that my formula worked. At least, that’s what it looked like on the outside but what I felt, thought and believed was a different story

Growing up deeply religious and having just walked through the last 6 years of my life, I was very aware that I had given myself over to religion, family, coaches, sports, men, culture, people and even my own self to tell me who I was my entire life. It had been over the last few years that I had finally been set free of the religious rules that had reduced my heart, mind, spirit and body (for 40 years) to nothing more than results/obedience; and I had begun to see that everything that I thought, felt, did and believed was put into an If/ Then formula. If I did xyz, Then I would get the desired result.

The If/Then formula was not only the formula for my spirit, but it was the formula for my body, mind, heart and relationships. It was my formula of living. I took it everywhere, it was my precious. It seemed to work for me. I was successful at manipulating myself to fit into the formula anytime, anyplace and for anybody. It looked like the formula worked. I had received an athletic college scholarship. I was married. I had kids, friends, fit body and religion. From the outside at a very superficial level, it looked like the formula was achieving good results.

When you reduce yourself to fit into a formula to get results, then you should not be surprised when your formula works like a formula. By constantly manipulating myself to fit into a formula to get the desired results, (which was only an effort to control my life, myself and other’s response to me), the equal and opposite reaction that occurred was that I reduced myself and I was reduced to a non-person. I became just an object. Looking back, it’s easy to see my whole life had been reduced to how well I could just do it. (How well could I play a sport, get good grades, obey, be good, be pretty, be polite, be a wife, be a mom, be a christian, keep a clean house, work, get it done AND not feel, not think; and not be human but JUST DO the formula.)

See, the formula is attractive. The formula promises control. If we do the formula, then we can avoid pain, mistakes, sadness, loneliness, weaknesses, guilt, shame and fear. But the formula fails to list this disclaimer. Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I don’t know how in the heck it happened but I do know it happened. I got all the results that I had been accumulating from my formula living life and pain, sadness, loneliness, mistakes, guilt, shame, fear, and weaknesses came busting through my door. I mean come on, I had earned them! Trust me it was not pretty. Real life came crashing into my formula living life like a freaking tsunami and it smashed all my formulas and results to bits. When the water receded, I saw that I had been living a lie, because I had believed the lies that 1) Doing a formula is living. 2) That formulas can tell you who you are, how to feel, what to think and what to do. 3) That formulas can save you. 4) That formulas can get you love, joy, peace, patience, hope, goodness and build trust. 5) That you can reduce yourself to fit into a formula.

Because of the tsunami of results that destroyed my life, I was forced to be honest and I was set free from being just a body, from formula living, from being told I was a winner or loser based on my results and from being told to do better and try harder. Most importantly, I was freed To be human. I was freed to live how I was designed to be weak, sensitive, fragile, vulnerable, transparent, desperate and dependent on someone bigger than a formula to tell me who I was. I was freed to receive love and all the beautiful things that grow out of it. I was freed to know who I am, how I feel, to use my brain and to live (take risk, make mistakes, look messy, admit mistakes, be honest about my weaknesses and not pretend I was in control). The equal and opposite reaction of living loved and free was guilt, pain, shame, fear, loneliness and sadness had a place to go to be heard and be responded to with truth- not a formula.

When we try to avoid pain, loneliness, shame, guilt and fear we also don’t get to experience things like love, joy, hope and the fruits of love like peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. By living in a formula, we LOSE the very things that we need and are designed for to live; and we Lose our very own lives when all of life is lived to WIN or to get a result.

It’s funny, how my gym formula was the last go. I had successfully manipulated and controlled my body for years to look a certain way but the equal and opposite reaction was I was physically broken-down. Fifteen years in the gym on a daily basis had brought me to the point that I said out loud to myself, “If being in shape feels like this, then I don’t want to do it anymore” and I began to see that the gym was not just something that I thought I could use to remain in control of myself, but it was actually a system of rules that I had l given myself over to and it controlled me; and it had become a prison.

Because I was at the point where truth could not be denied, the formula had failed and I physically hurt so bad that I was forced to start asking questions. These questions led me deep within myself to discover why I was still killing myself in the gym. These questions brought me to the deeper truth that I was doing a formula to get value, acceptance, approval-aka love. This truth led me to what I feel is one of the main truths of life, which is “No matter what you look like, act like or do, you cannot earn love”. Old habits die hard and although I knew who I was and had been set free spiritually, I still believed there was something I could “do” to earn another person’s love. I do think at the root of everything that we DO is either a reflection of being loved or is a means to to get love- even workouts, diets and programs.

Anyway, truth always leads to more truth and the truth of what I was doing and why I was doing it led to the ultimate truth-YOU DON’T EARN LOVE. YOU CANNOT GET LOVE. LOVE IS A GIFT. IT CANNOT BE EARNED. IT CAN ONLY BE GIVEN AND RECEIVED.

YEP- that truth hit me when I was at the gym and I literally walked out and walked into more freedom to ask some more questions about exercise, food, design and whole-person health. VIVE Alchemy is the truth of what I learned after I realized I was loved for exactly who I was and not for what I do or look like. This truth led to more questions that led to more learning about human design and the truths of how we are designed to nourish ourselves with gifts like food and exercise and not use them as a means to an end to get a result. The results of me Giving up being a result is right before you. It is called VIVE Alchemy.

So, today I invite you to GIVE UP living for results, GIVE UP reducing yourself to fit into a formula, GIVE UP being told you are a winner or a loser based on your performance, GIVE UP winning and losing, because winning requires LOSING parts of yourself that can’t fit into that formula. I have “won” trophies and have had good results but nothing compares to the results I have received when I GAVE UP doing a formula and started living.

VIVE Alchemy is an invitation and a place where you can GIVE UP and discover that you can actually have the best results when you quit trying to get results and you live to nourish your heart, mind, body and spirit with the things they are designed to Be Whole.