The Gratitude Formula.

IMG_1004“BE Thankful”- Isn’t that something that we not only want ourselves to be, but we want our kids, spouses, siblings, children, parents, employees, employers and basically everyone that we share an interaction with to be too? We tell ourselves to be thankful. We tell our families, friends and even strangers to “be thankful” believing that thankfulness can change them and how they treat others (cough, cough us).

It seems that entitlement and being thankful go hand in hand. The more we are given, the more we expect ourselves to “be thankful”; and the more we are thankful, then the more we are entitled to be given. Likewise, the more we give to people, then the more we are entitled for them to “be thankful”. We have been led to believe that if we could just be thankful enough, then it would transform our spirits, hearts, minds and relationships. In other words, it would get us something.

Because we have forgotten who we are and how we are designed to live, we are attracted to formulas that promise results and we easily buy into a thankfulness formula that tells us, “If we are thankful (enough), then gratitude will transform us from the inside-out”. What do we do with our gratitude formula? Like all our other formulas, we force ourselves to be thankful, even when we are not. We grind out thankfulness and if telling ourselves and others to “be thankful” doesn’t work, then we resort to the usual “motivators” of fear, guilt and shame. Who hasn’t been a victim of “If you are not thankful, then there’s a chance you could lose it” or “If God took away everything you didn’t say thanks for today, then what would you have tomorrow?” Don’t forget the classic,  “How can you not be thankful, when people are starving all over the world?”.

Out of fear of reaping the consequences of not being thankful enough, we say, “Thank you” and we do what needs to be done to prove we are thankful. But, are we really thankful? Motivation usually motivates me to “do” something to prove that I am thankful, say “Thank you” and make a list of everything I am thankful for, but does motivation really have the power to create the heart change needed to BE THANKFUL.

Have you ever really thought about thankfulness? Is thankfulness just a formula that we use to get more? Is it just an act? Is it something we should reward or praise someone for? Is thankfulness simply a means to end?

As a nice southern girl, I was raised to “do thankful”.  Yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, no thank you, thank you notes, prayers and regular old southern politeness were more than enough to prove thankfulness when you are being judged on thankfulness. Forty-two years later, I can honestly admit I was kind of good at “doing thankful” but I wasn’t thankful. Honestly, I didn’t really know there was a difference, until I experienced what real love looked like, tasted like, sounded like, smelled like and felt liked. You might know the kind of love that I am talking about. It’s the kind of love that moves in, sleeps on your couch, knits you a sweater, makes you meals, pursues you relentlessly and kisses you nonstop when you are covered with the mess of your own life.

It was this love that set me free from doing many things, including trying to prove that I was thankful and just be loved for who I was. See, inside-out transformation happens when love invites you to be known and accepted; and live as you are designed without fear of being rejected. When I discovered this kind of love, I discovered a thankfulness that overflowed from the depths of my soul. The AMAZING result of being loved so deeply and freely was that I wanted to give that love away. In fact, when I looked around, I saw this love (that was filled with truth, hope, joy, kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control) was already overflowing into many areas of my life and relationships. It’s crazy to see what this kind of love does to heal and help you, and then flow through you to heal and help others. It creates these beautiful spaces in our hearts and lives where we can just sit with each other, just be ourselves, find rest and be thankful.

See, thankfulness and gratitude isn’t something you do, it is who you are, when you know that you are loved. So, today I invite you to Give-Up the gratitude formula. Instead, I hope you find love. Love that’s there for you to both receive and give. Love that must be discovered in you first, before you can give it away. Let’s start our gratitude journey by not trying to conjure up thankfulness and force thankfulness down people’s throats, but by just trying to be honest about all the ways we do and we don’t, we have and we have not loved ourselves and others well. It is only truth that can set us free to love and be loved for who we are and not for what we do or don’t do.

I have discovered it’s this place of honesty that invites us to be known, accepted and loved; and it is only love that creates tables, hearts and lives that overflow with thankfulness. So, today and every day fight the good fight to remember you are loved, love yourself and love others.

 

Stop selling our kids a broken health formula.

A photo by frank mckenna. unsplash.com/photos/EgB1uSU5tRA

I live in one of the most unhealthy cities in the country. My home state is first in youth obesity and sixth in adult obesity in the U.S. We are not just an unhealthy state but we are an extremely unhealthy nation and we all live in the wild wild West of health and wellness. In this environment of overwhelming information, nonsense and poor health, we have been easily captured by the loudest and most extreme products or programs promising fast results, despite their proven inability to transform health.

Case in point, I recently set up a VIVE table at a local elementary’s health and wellness fair. I kid you not, I had not finished setting up my table before I heard the words “macro and micro nutrients”. Literally, these words make the hair on the back of my neck stand up and of all places to pimp protein shakes, why in the world would you do it to a bunch of 5 to 10 year olds. But why not, when across the gym a “certified personal trainer” was timing kids doing burpees. Thank God, on my left the local nonprofit gym brought hula hoops and jump ropes, because the other tables were signing kids up to participate in organized sports (and we all know organized sports are not free and not just for fun). Sidenote: I am all about sports but these are elementary kids and they deserve to have a chance to enjoy exercise and be encouraged to play. Seriously, give them a freaking chance to develop naturally and learn to just play a sport for fun and enjoy exercise.

Here we had a perfect opportunity to differentiate health and wellness from sports and to introduce kids to a different way to think about and do health and wellness, but well intentioned adults subjected kids to the same fragmented diet and exercise formula that has failed at least 70% of them. (70% of adults are overweight and obese) Instead of setting kids free to practice health at the most basic level, we squandered an opportunity to teach curious minds and open hearts, by trying to sell products and programs. Unfortunately, we (once again) reduced health and wellness to results, shakes, competition, heavily processed “health foods”, technology and sports; and we did it without any structured classroom teaching.

I am not going to say I was surprised by the scene. Well, maybe the protein shakes surprised me but with a $137.00 worth of Vive health cards, I was ready to plant seeds of free health truths. In all, I spoke to about 50-60 kids. Honestly, it was super fun and the kids were sweet and attentive. Yet, here is a public school that serves a middle to upper middle class community and these kids have plenty of access to fruits, vegetables and healthy foods but only 2 kids knew what foods had fiber, 2 associated fiber with fiber bars, at least 10 wore fitbits and none knew a basic health routine that included the synergistic effect of sleep, sun, play, water, laughter, fiber, walking and laughter.

Seriously, the whole thing made me upset. I believe kids and adults deserve a fighting chance to experience a new approach to health that understands the importance of being known and accepted, the necessity of being given the truth that sets one free to know who they are and trust how they are designed, and the encouragment to practice daily routines and exercises that honor and respect their design (and the same design that their neighbors share). But, the only way kids are ever going to be healthy is if they are surrounded by truth, love and healthy adults, who are practicing healthy routines with them.

Think about it, what if every station was filled with healthy adults, who were practicing the same basic health routine and encouraging an understanding of health that included the spirit, heart, mind and body as a whole. What if we actually taught kids that health is not a program but a daily practice of nourishment? What if kids began to see that healthy communities need the presence of healthy people, who know rest, love, peace, emotional awareness, truth, art, music, passion and imagination more than they know how to do burpees and drink a protein shake? What if we stopped talking about workouts and diets and started practicing healthy routines that teaches kids that being healthy and practicing health gives us results that cannot be measured, timed, calculated or scored? Truth is that we are never going to out-exercise and out-diet poor health with the same programs, formulas and understanding that has created the epidemic results of disconnection, confusion and apathy that we are currently experiencing.

Yet, it is not too late. We can start over and we can move to restore a common sense approach to health that teaches us that no one in history has uttered the words “macro and micro nutrients”, until we started selling something to people, who had forgotten how they are designed. It’s time that we returned to a whole-person approach to health and addressed a missing foundation of truth that has allowed a fragmented approach of health and wellness to reduce people to results and health to a diet and exercise program. We don’t have to squeeze ourselves or our kids into a one size fits all fragmented weight loss formula. We can bring common sense and basic understanding back to health; and set people free to be healthy by practicing the most basic routines that saturate their spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships with the nutrients that they need to live. Together, we can help create a community that sets kids and adults free to be healthy (fitbits not needed or required).

Schools Should Not Be Places of Tragedies But A Home Away From Home

school.jpgIt is unfortunate that the art, music and movies reflecting the values of our society are blamed for the behavior of kids and adults, when the behavior of kids and adults are also reflecting the values of our society. Our children do not spend the majority of their time listening to music and watching movies. Instead, our children spend the majority of their waking hours in schools learning what we as a culture believe is vital to human development and the development of our culture. It’s not music or movies that are a home away from home, it is schools and they are funded by a government that is failing to provide the funds, structure, support and freedom that schools and their staff need to take great care of the people being raised there.

We don’t need more money for metal detectors, we need teachers to be our best and brightest; and to be extremely well paid. We don’t need schools to be protected from the outside world, we need schools to be at the center of our communities connecting past, present and future generations. We don’t need core curriculum, standardized testing and a strict grading scale, we need physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health and development to be at the heart of every class, every activity, every sport, every meal and every adult on school grounds.  We need schools to be a safe place where kids are learning who they are and how they are designed to take care of themselves, others, their community and their world; and how to develop and give away their time, talents and truth. Schools are our greatest opportunities to right many wrongs and to heal, help and protect our most vulnerable.

If the only place kids can go for 900- 1000 hours a year is void of nutrition, imagination, nature, outside play, exercise classes, art classes, music classes, inspiration creativity, personal and relational development, love, encouragement and teaching that creates thinkers, then we are going to have art, music, movies, TV shows, social media, careers, businesses, men, women, politicians and government embodying and reflecting what they learned as kids. We are going to have leaders who can easily divide and control us with our pocketbooks, pharmaceuticals, addictions, handouts, fears and hate. The results of which would lead to epidemics of depression, suicide, poverty, obesity, diet related sickness and disease, stress, loneliness, addiction, disconnection, relationship breakdown, crime and low self-esteem.

  1. Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults are obese and 70 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese.
  2. Obesity is also plaguing 18.5% of America’s youth. By the age of 10, 100% of kids raised on the Standard American Diet are in the first stage of atherosclerosis.
  3. Diet-related disease and sickness, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, are the leading causes of death in the U.S.
  4. One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication and one in four women in their 40s and 50s
  5. We are a nation in despair. U.S. suicide rates have reached a 30-year high.
  6. We are a nation in pain, 2 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.
  7. We are a lonely nation, 20 to 43 percent of American adults over age 60 experienced “frequent or intense” loneliness and as a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity.
  8. We are a nation leaving organized religion, 65 percent of churches have plateaued or declining in attendance.
  9. We are a nation unhappy in our workplaces, Employee unhappiness and disengagement costs companies in the U.S. $450-550 billion a year.

It’s time to stop blaming and start rebuilding an educational foundation that sets teachers free to teach and kids free to learn. It’s time to create spaces that are full of truth and love; and places where kids can be known, accepted and encouraged to become who they are designed to be. It’s time to focus more on imagination, inspiration and encouragement than testing. I do believe where there is truth and love there is hope for change and transformation; and where there is truth and love there is protection from being harmed by selfishness, greed, pride, anger, guilt, shame, pain and fear.

 

 

 

 

Give up the grind.

3DD968F6-C3CC-4792-92B7-63A8584E1725You 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 to focus on change.
You don’t need more reps or sets.
You don’t need f…ing motivation.

I want you to discover what real health feels and looks like; and how you are naturally designed to “be” healthy. 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 eat, sleep, drink, sleep, breathe, listen, ask, look and move to nourish your spirit, heart, mind, body and relationships, then you WILL become emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally and mentally healthier as 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 healthier?
Do you want real friends and community?

Of course you do. We are naturally designed to become our best selves. However, we are not going to find ourselves doing a program or a formula. We are not going to find heath/wholeness in anything 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, my mind, my community and my spirit to make sure I ate and worked out when I was supposed to. The more I focused on my body, the more obsessed I became with my body. Thankfully, I was brought to a point that I had to admit that I had joined in the practice of reducing myself to a body to get results that told me who I was and what to do.

I didn’t understand how I was designed and we don’t understand the way we are designed to be healthy, when our whole day revolves around what we eat, how we exercise, what we buy and what we do. Instead, we live as bodies and we live as consumers, when we attempt to fill ourselves up and change ourselves from the the outside-in. We live as bodies and surrender living to do whatever is “guaranteed” to “change our lives and get results”; and we grind it out regardless of the anxiety, pain, fear, guilt, loneliness, hopelessness or shame that results from what we are doing.

For example, social media has resulted in increasing levels of anxiety and loneliness but we keep logging on for more. Eating has resulted in sickness and disease but we keep eating whatever makes us “feel good”. We eat, don’t eat, exercise, don’t exercise, watch, scroll, work and worship to get results, even when those results are hurting our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships.

Have you ever stopped to think that grinding it out keeps us from being known and accepted by keeping us disconnected from ourselves, others and the world. Perhaps, it is not your effort or lack of effort but these formulas and programs that are producing an epidemic of unhealthy results. It’s time to remember that we are not designed to eat, exercise, drink, worship, work, play and consume our way out of shame, guilt, fear or pain and into love, joy, hope, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control.

It’s time to step away from beating yourself up and having others beat you up to do better/ try harder. It’s time to give-up the grind and listen, learn, live and love. I don’t know where this process will take you but I can promise that it will be better than being reduced and using the hell out of one part of yourself to “get” a result.

You are amazing. You have a beautiful design. It’s time to rediscover your design and the life you are designed to live. Join me for a new way and new conversation about everything we do to get everything we already have been given at vivealchemy.com

The Beginning of Health is Rest.

IMG_1003Health doesn’t start with food, weight-loss or exercise. There is no way that blueberries, burpees, miles, calories, points, strength, six-packs, bikini bodies, diets, programs, formulas or a system can deliver us, save us, satisfy our deep needs or answer our real fears. Health does not start with information, mindfulness, meditation or anything that we physically “do”. Health and wellness starts with being who we are designed to be and being able to rest physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.

What we physically do reflects our internal reality. If we cannot physically rest, then we are not experiencing internal rest. Until we know who we are and how we are designed, then we will be unable to discover the rest that we are designed for. As a result, everything that we do will be a quest to get the love that we need to rest. Without the fullness of love, we will try to fill ourselves up with anything that “feels” good and we will be controlled by anything or anyone that promises rest.  Emptiness reduces us to be consumers and trying to fill ourselves up with food, alcohol, exercise, sex, money, work, hobbies, experiences, relationships, drugs and whatever we can get our hands on, in order to find the only thing that can give us rest…love.

If you are tired of consuming and being consumed and you want rest, then just say it. Be willing to tell the truth. Be willing to courageously ask for more and discover who you are and how you are designed to naturally and easily receive and give love and rest. When we are full of love, we will move in amazing ways to give ourselves and others the things we need to flourish. We will be healthy. We will be able to experience and enjoy ourselves, our lives, others, life’s gifts and our world. We will be creators of truth, beauty and goodness, because we will be full of truth, beauty and goodness. We will know deep rest.

Discover how you are designed to Vive at vivealchemy.com and let’s start a new conversation about food, exercise, weight loss and health.

Return to what health looks and feels like.

img_0416Who doesn’t want to lose weight, look better, feel better move better?

Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed and confused by the overload of diet and exercise information available today?

Are you tired of the latest and greatest body transformation programs?

Can you really change your life by changing your body?

Are you tired of dieting yet?

Should you really have to kill yourself with exercise to lose weight?

OF COURSE, we all want to lose weight. I haven’t met one person who doesn’t want to look, feel and move better.

Yes! There is so much information being dumped on you that you should feel confused and overwhelmed.

Seriously, I don’t think you want your life to be one endless body transformation program, diet or to do list.

Yes, you should be tired of dieting because dieting does not work physically, mentally or emotionally.

The biggest lie being manufactured is “You eat and exercise to lose weight”. On top of that lie/philosophy, an entire industry has built a billion dollar industry that sells you the most extreme, most insane, greatest intensity, hottest, fastest and most intense diet and workouts programs.

Not only are most diets unsustainable, but the moment you go on a “diet” to deprive and restrict yourself, your brain kicks in to protect you from you; and it will somehow, somewhere and someway makeup for you depriving yourself. Dieting does not work because there is a mental, emotional and physical response to being deprived, “feeling” deprived and even thinking you might be deprived.

Your body is naturally trying to establish a rhythm and a flow that brings balance and healing. You can definitely try to deprive yourself and force yourself into a weight loss program but you should know, ” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Your body listens and it listens to not only itself, but to what the mind and heart are saying. You are (physically, mentally, emotionally, spirituality and relationally) designed to counterbalance any restriction or deprivation.

Bottom line, unless your name is Michael Phelps and you swim many hours a day, seven days a week then EXERCISE will not be your means for weight loss. In fact, exercise (even for Michael Phelps) isn’t about weight loss at all.

Exercise should strengthen movement and whole-person connection. It should encourage growth, development and optimal function of your body to enable you to enjoy YOUR life and YOUR activities.

Not only is your body meant to be free from rules and restrictions, but your spirit, mind and heart are fighters for freedom too. Your body wasn’t designed to tell your heart, mind, spirit what to think or how feel. Instead, your body reflects whether a person is healthy and well nourished as a whole-person. You can Give-UP exercising to lose weight, it doesn’t happen unless you’re fully nourished. You can GIVE-UP dieting because it isn’t how you are designed.

You can Give-Up telling your body what to do and start listening to your body.

You can help supply your body with the nourishment it needs to do millions of jobs a day and quit getting into your body’s way of doing what it does naturally. Your bodies biggest enemy or biggest ally is you.

Give your body what it needs to do it’s job and function how it is designed.

You can do this, you can Give-Up fighting against your design and GIVE-IN to caring for your design to look and feel your best.

We are not going to find health in a gym or on a diet.

img_1686Because the medical industry was created to treat disease and sickness and at some point made a decision that it was more profitable to treat disease rather than prevent it, they created a space for thousands of self-proclaimed “experts” to sell fragmented formulas, programs, and products that have produced an epidemic of extremely unhealthy results. 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, technology, and food 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 approach to health have made people believe that to be healthy means that we have to spend all our time in the gym, make our workouts hurt, eat in extreme ways and be obsessed with 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 to achieve that people have just given up any hope of being healthy?

What if I told you that to be healthy, then 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 lead to a healthier or happier you but a more disconnected and neurotic you? What if I told you that the health and wellness industry is like the wild west and all these “experts and gurus”, who are telling you what to do, are just as confused about health as they need you to be (to profit off your confusion)? 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 consider before eating natural, whole foods.

It’s time we separated what it means to train for a sport, what it 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.

 

Truth is:

  • All these exercise programs are based on theories.
  • Most trainers teach a very fragmented formula or out-dated training program that breaks you 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 like they do.
  • Most doctors are useless 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.

 

Diet is a dirty word.

fullsizeoutput_2543“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” is 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 and 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 use the word “eat” to describe the way we eat; and let’s 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

You don’t have to ever do another bootcamp again.

IMG_1133Boot camps are the result of the complete fragmentation of self, the misunderstanding of exercise and a genius marketing campaign built on making money off your confusion.

Okay, maybe I have a little anger towards boot camps. Why, you may ask?
First, a “specific exercise program” is not something that should break you down. Instead, an exercise program should be well thought out and based on your daily life. It should include specific goals to carefully work you through a full range of motion with thoughtfully chosen exercises that strengthen and stretch the entire body. The right exercises will help your daily movement become better and more efficient, because these exercises will help correct movement, posture and alignment.

Second, the fitness industry is flooded with “trainers” who don’t know how to create the right program for you, because they only know what they experienced from their own high school sports careers. When you have an industry flooded with people who need to make money, then their boot camp must be “different, insane and only the toughest, most dedicated people can handle”. These trainers are ignorantly promoting and making money off men and women that think that “muscle confusion” is a real thing.

Third, boot camps are based on the idea that you CAN out-exercise a bad diet and the more you kill yourself, then the more you don’t have to watch what you eat. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “I did my boot camp today so I’m ok to eat this crappy food”, I’d be ridiculously wealthy. Every trainer knows that exercises really don’t make a difference in weight-loss and if you really want to help your low back pain and give your knees a break, then quit eating crap; and for the love of Nikes, quit doing burpees, planks and jump squats when you have serious weight to lose.
Fourth, boot camps do the right exercises wrong and the really dumb exercises wrong too (burpees, anyone?).

Fifth, boot camps never address or train a base-level of strength, posture or alignment. Putting Mary, the stay-at-home mom who can’t sit, stand or walk correctly and Phil, who sits behind a desk for eight hours a day, through complex moves and strenuous exercises like burpees, box jumps, overhead presses, deadlifts and bar squats that is nothing short of insanity.
Sixth, boot camps breed an atmosphere and mentality that is all about “killing yourself.” Who cares if your form sucks during a 100 rep bicep-curl challenge or if your knee or back are compromised in your max-out deadlift competition? In this atmosphere, your body should hurt, because pain is no longer a signal that something is wrong. Instead, pain means that exercise is working. When in the real world, pain is a really good indicator that something is wrong.

Seventh, boot camps don’t teach you how to take care of your body. How could you learn to listen to your body and understand how it works when boot camps aren’t concerned with those things? How can you tell if you’re learning to do an exercise with proper breathing, posture and alignment, if you have a different routine every day? Bootcamps are about mental confusion to keep you believing that really stupid exercises are a good and necessary part of a daily workout routine.

Exercise should never be something that sets you up for injury. Boot camps are not how you are designed to exercise and should never be part of a daily, weekly or monthly exercise routine.

The VIVE Workout, on the other hand, should be part of your daily life because it is a base-level workout that builds a solid foundation of strength and flexibility to correct posture, alignment and incorrect movement. VIVE workout builds you up to walk, sit, stand, jump and run the way you were designed to look and feel your best.

Refuse to use and be used

img_1691In 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 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 give you the best results,  when you nourish it.

Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health cannot fit into a program. 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 discover the way you are designed to get AMAZING results without trying to get results.