control

What Can I Control?

In this season of singleness in my life, I have had many things to rejoice over. The opportunity to pursue an education in a field I am passionate about. Traveling the world. Having deep friendships.  I enjoy the freedom to watch a movie when I want to, get deeply involved in a good book all day if I so choose, go spend my money on deals at the mall without having to answer to anyone. This season also presents many obstacles. Sometimes, the array of choices can be overwhelming. I worry about messing up. I am also prone to worry and loneliness. I secretly sometimes wonder if I will ever settle down and get married and have a family of my own. And to be honest, the thought of being single forever scares me.

This is where I have to stop and remind myself that there are a lot of unknowns not only in the life of a single woman, but in the life of every woman. Instead of fretting over what I cannot control, why not take a proactive stance on what I can control? Isn’t this what God wants for me?

First of all, God loves me with an everlasting love, and he has not forgotten about me. My self-esteem must flow from what he says is true about me, not whether my needs are being met in any human relationship. Second, I cannot mess up his plan for me. The latter part of Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” What an amazing truth by which I can set my mind at ease!

I am single, and I desire a relationship, but I refuse to settle for less than what I truly desire.  Can I control the fact that what I want to happen right now isn’t happening? Not really, but I can sure make a mess of myself worrying about what the future holds. A better choice would be to focus on what I can control. I can control my attitude. I can work on myself during this season of life in a way that no other season can match, because I am not hindered by pleasing someone else. I can fulfill my dreams of traveling, learning foreign languages, and working with kids.

Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” No matter what the future holds, I pray that by the power of Christ in me, I will learn to control the things I can, and what I cannot control, will be left in his hands.

 

 

My name is Jordan Starling and I live in Jefferson City, TN. I am studying to be a teacher and I plan to graduate in December 2013. I enjoy cooking, backpacking, reading, writing, and going on mission trips. I recently returned from a mission trip to Africa, where I had the opportunity to do church planting in remote villages.

 

 

What's the Hottest Diet and Does it Work?

In a recent episode of 20/20, Losing the Big Fat Trap, several fad diets were highlighted including the most recent and ludicrous of all:  The Tube in Your Nose Diet. The show started by examining several celebrity diets that we all have read about or seen. What was the most interesting to me were the big bucks these celebs were being paid to lose weight as a spokesperson for a particular diet program.  What a motivation!  I think we could all stick to a diet long-term if were being paid big bucks. 

The truth is all of these fad diets work “temporarily,” but most of them can’t be done long term.  Aren’t we, as women, tired of the back and forth dieting? I don’t know about you, but I am too busy to follow a restricted food plan and keep up with all of the diet trends.

For just a minute, can you stop wondering if the latest diet will work for you?  Can you throw out the hope that “this diet” is the answer for your quick weight loss?  Let’s focus on what really matters with our body and eating. 

 Control and Confidence

In working with many women to create a fitness and food design for their lifestyle, I have learned that most women are tired of letting their weight and food control their mind.  Many women feel it keeps them from focusing on what really matters in life.  They have missed out on opportunities with friends and family because of the lack of confidence in their body. They do not want to be imprisoned to a “diet.” What they want is to have control and confidence in what they are eating.

 Peace and Contentment

Can we really be at peace struggling to keep up with celebrity bodies or the latest diet?  When asked if a diet works, my response is, “Can you do it for the rest of your life?”  “If not, it will not work?” True joy comes when we are at peace with food and content with our body, a body that is a living example of health, not perfection.

 As a busy woman do you have time to try and live by these restricted diets?  To lose and maintain your weight, a Clear Design for your lifestyle is what is needed to stop the yoyo dieting.

 If you are ready to gain control and finally be at peace by knowing how to really eat healthy, including the foods you love, I would love to help you.  Contact me for a consultation at crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com and simply add consultation to the email subject line.

 

What Can you Control?

My friend Linda, who is a strong independent woman, has spent the last 20 years of her life building a career in marketing for a college university. Very goal driven and structured, she worked hard to get ahead while providing a good home for her husband and two daughters. However, her plans and goals were interrupted the day she heard the words “it’s cancer”. At age 43, after discovering a cist in her breast, she was given the news that she may only have one year to live. She was “mortified” and knew this was a situation that she could not control no matter how hard she tried.  After picking herself up and turning to God, she knew she could not control the news that was given to her but there were things that she could control. Her first plan of action was to completely release it to God and become proactive in her treatment. By not accepting the recommendation of the first physician, she became proactive and found a new Doctor who was able to relieve some of her fears of and provide comfort with a treatment plan that worked for her.

After battling her weight for many years and yoyo dieting, she realized that it was time for her to take control of her health. Although Linda had been very successful in other areas of her life, eating healthy and exercise were never something that made it to her priority list. Fast food three times a day, working long hours, and rushing her daughters to dance rehearsals each day was a way of life.  She gave no thought to what she ate and usually used food to deal with her emotions.

When introduced to a healthy weight loss program, she decided to take control of her weight and join.  In the past, her motivation to lose weight was for looks only and tended to last only for a short time. It was different this time.  She wanted to be healthy for herself and be an example to her family.  She realized that her disease and lifestyle, not only affected her, but her friends and family.”

Linda is a success story.  Thankfully, the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes, a miracle according to her Doctors. With a full mastectomy and successful reconstructive surgery she is cancer free.

Today, ten years later, Linda is gracious to God and believes he saved her for a reason. She knows she was given a second chance and should use it to the very best of her abilities. Her purpose is to live a healthy lifestyle and to set an example to others. She believes that life is a journey with twists, turns and bumps in the road and how she takes them are up to her and will make a difference in her success or failure.

In her journey to healthy eating and overcoming her emotional triggers, she has come to understand a piece of chocolate cake is comforting until 30 minutes later when her sugars are out of control, she’s hungry again and has little energy to exercise! She chooses to eat healthy and exercise so that she can feel better, stronger and more powerful.

She makes a conscious effort each day to take control of her health.

“I know”, says Linda , “there are things I can do”.

  • “I can choose to eat when I am hungry, not emotional”
  • “I can make the right food choices”
  • “I can choose to be more active”
  • “I can choose to make a lifestyle change”

Linda is an inspiration and example of how to stay strong when hit with things that are out of your control even being faced with health issues. She has shown how to be proactive and take charge of your health.  She is a reminder to stop focusing on what you can’t change and have courage to take control of what you can change.

 

 

 

Beauty Essentials: your fall make-up bag

I don't know about you but my make-up bag can get a little out of control from time to time! At least every few months I like to clear out the clutter and add in a few "must-haves". There are so many great products out there sometimes it's hard to choose which items are right for you. After researching, trying on, and reading reviews here is my list beauty essentials that may be a great addition to YOUR make-up bag!

  • Moisturizer is a must as we move into the chillier months - La Mer is an incredible face cream (if you can afford it)...if not, Oil of Olay Regenerist and Oil of Olay Age Defying, and the ROC series have received great reviews!

  • Fragrance - Burbberry Brit Limited Edition is a perfect fall choice with citrus, pink pepper, baked apple and plum (pomarose), cinnamon, peony, cedar, sandalwood, amber and tonka bean. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison is another great choice with notes of jasmine, heliotrope, bitter almond, caraway, tuberose, ylang ylang, orange blossom, green stems and leaves, vanilla orchid, sandalwood and musk.
  • Deep blue/teal/burgandy nail polish is great to include in your bag for any quick touch-ups - stick with OPI for a long-lasting finish.

  • Cream blush is a more favorable choice to powder during the fall/winter when skin tends to be dryer - Smashbox Skin Tint is an amazing product!!
  • Lilac Purple and Metallic eye shadows can brighten up your face while not overdoing it  - MAC Seedy Pearl, Plum Dressing, and White Gold are all great fall picks that have a smooth finish.
  • Berry Lipscomplement any skin-tone - try Benefit Full Finish Lipstick in Espionage or Sassy-Frass.

Looks like it's time for a little shopping trip...:)

The Road to Love.

"Romantic love is one with unjust pressure. We must be willing to admit to those weak sides and want to change them. At its best, it is all forms of love wrapped up in one unbreakable union." I have held onto this magazine clip for five years now. Long before I met my fiance Kristian. I suppose I clipped it with that same flutter that little girls are born with, that love bug. The fascination that begins with dress up and playing wedding. It grows into high school sweethearts and college heartbreak. However, I think I held onto this clip not because of a typical fascination with love but because of my fascination with how people love. I grew up seeing love as control and dominance with my mother's abusive boyfriend. Then the other end of the spectrum, absolute loss of control, as I watched my mother spin into an alcoholic frenzy. I had never dated through high school or college. The idea of romance put me in a tailspin. Then after many years of wondering what love is, how it feels, who determines it, I met the most marvelous personification. Enter, Kristian. Don't worry, I haven't completely transformed into some gooshy lovebird who fawns over her significant other.. well not yet anyway. But knowing Kristian has absolutely opened my eyes to love.

Stumbling Into Love

In the usual way romances begin we were first friends and classmates. As friends, I was a chain smoking hippie and Kristian was more of a mischievous little brother. We'll nevermind the fact that he is older than me. The point is we were most definitely just friends and neither of us thought anything more about it. After a couple of years things seemed to fall into place. Our relationship just sort of  happened. We realized one day that we were only spending time with each other... and actually enjoyed it. Soon after we started dating I quit smoking. This would be the first of many weaknesses I would resolve to work on. He changed too. He started working on the one thing that bothered me most; his snap judgments of people he knew nothing about. For the first time in my life I felt stable. Being with Kristian made me feel normal.

So now, after two and a half years of dating, we are engaged! We have resolved to love each other daily the best we can, forever. We are planning our wedding in New Orleans, which is where I am from, and I cannot wait. I never thought I would meet someone who I wouldn't get sick of spending time with. Not to say we don't get under each other's skin, but I can hardly wait to start my life with Kristian and I can't wait to share each step here! My emotions are all over the place. I'm intimidated, ecstatic, nervous, overwhelmed, a little bit of everything and I'm just hoping I overtake the wedding process before it gets the best of me. I so look forward to every little DIY project and am just hoping I don't turn into a Bridezilla in the process!

Make Your Mark

Each generation unlocks the door for those that follow. Mrs. Louis McGregor began teaching in the 1950's when schools were still segregated. By the 1960's she was a special education teacher in Virginia. "Back then, all the kids in Special Education were labeled MR (mentally retarded)," she said casually. "Later on, they started identifying kids as learning disabled, and I got the lowest of the low to work with." Mrs. McGregor remembers when white children with special needs were bussed to her all-black school and how she was uncertain how the "white parents" would feel about having their child taught by a black teacher. She made her mark by doing what was right by each of her students.

I worked with students that made it out of Special Education and were successful in General Education. Sometimes the principal would come to my room and ask me to accompany him to another teacher's room to help out with a student that was out of control.

When I asked what was different about the way she handled students, she replied, "I handled them the McGregor way. It's a secret and I didn't share my secret."  Her daughter, Robyn McGregor, interrupted, "Mom paid attention to every student she had. That's what made the difference."

Mrs. McGregor continued, "Last Chritmas and Easter, I received cards from the graduating class of  1950 and a one hundred dollar bill in each card. One student wrote ," If it weren't for you Mrs. McGregor, I wouldn't be where I am today." They say I changed their lives. I don't really know how."

Mrs. Louise McGregor spent forty-four years teaching in the public schools. Her husband, Robert D. McGregor, Jr. participated in the Selma March and was the Tri-State President of the NAACP for eighteen years.

Thank you Mrs. McGregor for blazing the trails for those of us that have come after you.