Ready to Take Back Your Health? Best Kept Diet Secret Revealed Today (Spoiler...You Might Be Shocked!)
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Ready for the BIG secret to diets? They. Don’t. Work.
Ouch. I’m sorry to break that one to you, DreamChaser. But, that’s not the best kept secret...the secret the billion dollar diet industry doesn’t want you to know. Before I get to that, I want your buy-in to ditch the diet because the BIG secret requires a BIG shift in thinking. Let’s get to it!
Get this, studies have shown time and time again that most people gain back any lost weight from diets in 1 to 5 years. By most people, I am talking at least 80%! Know what else? It doesn’t matter which diet you select, the results are the same across the board. This rebound effect is caused by many things but the 5 consistent reasons why diets fail are the following:
So, why do we still jump on the diet train? The answer is simple, but you might not like it...I sure didn’t, lol. We, you and I, want immediate results without doing the work. A magic potion that poofs us into whatever healthy state we desire, which is what diets often promise. Sigh...the classic case of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.
Now, are you ready for the BIG secret? For all the reasons we have already addressed, diets just aren’t the solution for a healthy lifestyle. So what is? Making simple and consistent exchanges in your daily life, swapping an unhealthy option for a healthier option mixed with time will result in you becoming your healthiest self. It’s really that simple, without the drastic measures. Just picking one small thing to change at a time in a positive, healthier way. Getting on the right track isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s where to start!
That’s your homework for this month, DreamChaser! Work to ditch the diet mindset and embrace your healthy lifestyle journey, one that will be a sustainable lifestyle rather than a short term band aid approach. Pick one small healthier change to focus one, like exchanging soda for water or walking 10 minutes every day. Commit to sticking with it. Stay tuned for more health and wellness support next month! Let’s get started, and, as always, Shine On!
By Jackie White
We are warned about health conditions and how some can be a silent killer. They lay quiet for a time and then quite literally attack you physically, sometimes killing. There is another silent killer out there that slowly chips away at you each day and you may not even realize the impact it is having on your life. This silent killer is called self-doubt.
Self Doubt can seep in at any age. Early childhood, adolescence, ugh adolescence can be tough, or even as an adult we deal with self-doubt. No matter how you have found yourself to be in the self-doubters club, you need to be aware that this can affect your mental health and physical health. Anxiety, depression, and stress open the door for weight gain, high blood pressure, and chronic fatigue if you continue to marinate in self-doubt
5 Ways to Shake It Off
Practicing these 5 things will change you. You will begin to feel stronger mentally and physically. You will see how important it is to get out of your head and shake certain belief systems from your repertoire. Keep on moving forward, it might feel a bit like a dance of two steps forward and one step back. That’s ok, keep practicing and soon you will find your new positive habits becoming automatic and any self-doubt will be replaced with self-belief.
By Jackie White
Isn’t it funny how sometimes life just seems to go by in the blink of an eye? The weeks melt into each other and suddenly the next month is upon you. It is so easy to get caught up in the stuff of everyday living and put the meaningful part of living life on the back burner. We don’t do it intentionally, but with the quick passing of the days melting into weeks, into months, and even years, we can lose sight of where we wanted to go.
One way to keep yourself on track is to take time each month and check in with yourself through a personal inventory. Asking yourself just 20 questions a month can help you gain perspective on where you are spending your time and what areas of your life need attention. This monthly check-in helps you to be intentional with your life plan. Did you just say “What life plan?” That’s totally fine, playing this game of 20 questions will help you with that too!
20 Questions to Assess Your Life and Make a Plan
The first 12 questions are going to focus on areas of your life experience that when balanced help you to live your fullest and most meaningful life.
Take a look at each of these areas and rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being most satisfied and 1 being not at all satisfied.
For the next 7 questions, be brutally honest and be willing to dream big!
Taking the time to check in with yourself minimally each month, will help you to begin living a more balanced and happy life. For more support, join SoulShine on the first Wednesday of each month at noon to check in on your personal inventories.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Hi...my name is Erika, and I am a recovering perfectionist.
Phew, glad I got that off my chest. I used to wear my perfectionism like a pretty little badge; I was proud to be a perfectionist. Turns out, perfectionism left unchecked can be a very negative force in your life. The honest truth is that nothing is ever perfect; there are always improvements that can be made (and that’s a good thing!).
Like many deeply ingrained personality traits, perfectionism never really goes away. Rather, a better strategy is to learn how to manage it. Know what one of the biggest feeders to a perfectionist is, DreamChaser? Social media! I am grateful that Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram were not popular when I planned my wedding or had my first baby; I had way more Pinterest fails than successes, and the highlight reel of social media would have gotten to me.
Having perfectionist tendencies shifts you to wanting to be the best, do the best, have the best. When that hasn’t been attained or you see someone’s highlight reel that bested your efforts, that naughty little perfectionist voice starts talking in your ear. Without systems in check, social media can feed into the perfectionism cycle of self-doubt, fear to start or try something new, and negative self-talk.
To help you with this balancing act, I want to share 5 tips on how to walk the social media tightrope. From one recovering perfectionist to another, these have been crucial for me to keep social media light, fun, and helpful.
1. Keep Perspective
You’ve heard the term “pin-worthy” or, more recently, “insta-worthy”, right? The meaning behind these are the same, post only to social what appears beautiful or perfect. This is the highlight reel at it’s finest, showing the big wins and not the struggles in between. It isn’t fair to compare your start or middle to someone else’s finish line.
2. Cultivate your Feed
You have control of who you follow. Take back control of your feed by cultivating it to the positive. Follow people and pages that bring you joy and boost the positivity, rather than those that feed into your negativity and perfectionism. See other people’s successes as the evidence that you can do it too instead of feeding into self-doubt and negative self-talk.
3. Keep It Real
It can be both easy and tempting to cultivate your own highlights-only reel. Try a little twist by keeping the reel real. What do I mean? Share your failures and struggles as well as your successes and wins, or, better yet how you pushed through a struggle to get the win. That will not only be encouraging to others but also will remind you how far you have come.
4. Set Limitations
Limiting your time on social media is a great practice on many levels. Setting a limit on how long you are on social media serves the dual purpose of minimizing time wasted and negativity exposure that could cause a perfectionism flare-up.
5. Scroll with Intentionality & Mindfulness
Instead of mindlessly scrolling, use intention to go to the feeds that boost your happiness factor. Be mindful of how you are feeling as you are scrolling; if you start noticing negative feelings creeping in, that means it’s time to stop or scroll elsewhere.
When all else fails, it’s time to break up. It’s not you, Social Media, it’s me. My perfectionism can’t handle it so I need a break to live my best life full out. Chances are, you won’t miss social media nearly as much as you think you will. You got this, DreamChaser! Shine on!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Spring is here! While warmer weather and budding greenery might be your thoughts of spring, mine immediately goes to baseball season. The intensity of the spring sports season has no rival. Just like your athlete, taking time to prepare and train for the upcoming season sets you up for success rather than becoming stressed out and frazzled, missing out on the fun. Don’t worry, I got you, girl! I’m about to let you in on my strategy that sets up my season, and athletes, for success, allowing me to enjoy the moments. Here are 7 tested and true time saving tips to rescue your season...and, more importantly, your sanity!
1. Sync your Calendar
Take a moment to compile dates on emails from coaches and team scheduling apps. Put all dates in 1 central location for easy reference. Personally, I prefer to have a paper calendar as well as a phone calendar with all the deets.
Pro Parent Tip: Assign each person in your family a different color for quick reference.
2. Sunday Set-Up
Sunday evening is my day to prepare for the week ahead, not only for sports but life in general. Taking a few moments of intentional planning and organizing will set your week up to be successful and less stressful. Here are some things to prep for: double check practice & game schedules, note any work or other evening commitments, arrange kid rides as needed, meal plan, and grocery list. Enter your plan into your phone or calendar.
Pro Parent Tips: Use reminders in your phone so you don't forget! Consider using an app that syncs with your spouse/significant other or children's phones to keep everyone on track.
3. Plan Meals Ahead
Spring sports have a tendency to hit during meal time, and concession stand dinner options get old fast. Pick and prepare quick, easy meals that are low on mess for on-the-go eating. Crock pots, air fryers, and Instapots are lifesavers in fast meal prep.
Pro Parent Tips: Double the recipe and freeze half for a future night. Using a thermos is a game changer for keeping food warm on the go!
4. Stock the Snacks
Having healthy snacks available is key for healthy choices and fueling your athlete. Here's some snack-spiration: apples, oranges, pouch applesauce, yogurt and yogurt smoothies, individual hummus with veggies, string cheese, protein bites, crackers, pretzels, almonds, individual almond butter, bananas.
Pro Parent Tip: Portion snacks ahead of time for easy grab & go!
5. Pack the Trunk Once
Spring weather is unpredictable. Pack your trunk or cargo area once for the whole season. Here's your checklist: chairs, blankets, umbrella, sunscreen, bug spray, bandaids, bottled water, extra snacks, sweatshirts, rain gear, hats (stocking & sun).
Pro Parent Tip: A foldable wagon or cart is a worthwhile investment for hauling gear!
6. Delegate Responsibilities
There is no section in the sports parent handbook that says mom needs to do everything. Athletic participation is an excellent time to teach responsibility. Make your athlete responsible for preparing their sports bag and making sure all pieces of their uniform are accounted for. Spouses/significant others can also be delegated responsibilities to ease up on what is on your plate.
Pro Parent Tip: Make a reference checklist for your athlete to use to check their bag!
No matter how well you plan and prepare, something will happen to derail your plan like a rainout that is rescheduled during a prior commitment. Missing a game or two is not the end of the world for you OR your kids. Give yourself grace and move on.
Focusing on these points has been a game changer for not only my family but also my sanity and stress level having two athletes in sports all year round. We all know, a stress-free, sane mom is a happy mom. A little focus and preparation in these areas will pay off. Now, let’s play ball and, as always, Shine On!
By Jackie White
Children try something new almost daily. They are explorers, adventurers and they are learners. They are expected to try new things and they are expected to be a learner. Where and when do these expectations fall off? That leads us to a critical question to ask yourself, when did you close the book on what the world can offer, and why have you stopped trying new things?
1.Curiosity: Trying new things stimulates curiosity about the world. It allows you to open your horizons and perhaps learn about something that really turns your crank. You may not have ever known something existed or would be so appealing to you until you try.
2. Adventure: Some things you try may not be so dramatic but what they do is supply some adventure in your life. They allow you to express yourself in ways you may have never expressed yourself before.
3. Confidence: What if just by trying something new, you have instilled confidence in yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone?
4. Wellness: Doing the same ol’ same ol’ is living a stagnant lifestyle and that can affect your total wellness. So, by shaking the trees and losing the cobwebs that we settle into on a daily basis can change your physiology and promote wellness in your mind, body, and soul.
5. Fun and Joy: Kids have a lot of fun because they just go for it and try new things without any other goal but to have fun. Maybe we adults should try on that mindset and add some more fun and joy into our own lives.
Now for the downside of trying something new. Um, nope, no downside. Not unless you want to put being embarrassed or failing as important enough to trump all of the benefits. Fear of trying something new will stifle your life experience. If that’s alright with you, then I guess you can just keep on keeping on, but if you want to have more in your life then you have to kick fear to the curb. More fun, more joy, more learning, and more adventure. Better health and wellness and a sense of confidence that will build you up in so many ways are only a few of the benefits of trying something new!
Take a chance on life and get curious. Learn from the kids who are experts in trying something new daily! Open your horizons and see life in a whole new way just by trying something new!
Here’s to new adventures in life! Shine On!
By Jackie White
Happy Mother’s Day to you! You tirelessly give yourself to others by caring for them in every way. You provide love, hugs, and support every day to your family. You are a superhero! Yay, You!
On Mother’s Day, perhaps your children will make you a card and your spouse will buy you “The World’s Greatest Mom” coffee cup. These things are so precious to you because they have been given with love, but let’s get real, sometimes you get stuff that maybe isn’t so lovely. Take, for example, the year I bought my mom a “Big Mama” soap-on-a-rope. It’s safe to say she didn’t exactly love the sentiment, but nevertheless, it was the thought that counted - right?
However you are celebrated this year, I am going to suggest something special that you should consider. What if you gave yourself a gift? A gift of time. Time just for you. Imagine that! Time in each day just for you. Make it a habit and sprinkle that time throughout the year for respite, self-care, and renewal.
How To Give Yourself Time
First of all, you have to begin this gift by allowing yourself to have permission to take time for yourself. This isn’t about taking time for yourself and feeling guilty about it, rather it is knowing you are worth it and relaxing into self-care.
Make Your Time Count
Give yourself the best mother’s day present ever and make time for yourself starting now.
Happy Mother’s Day and Shine on!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Ever want to start a new behavior but didn’t know how? Or failed to stick with it? If you are like me, you not only answered yes but also have experienced this multiple times over. After much trial and error, I finally have the 7 key steps to instill a new behavior into your daily life, taking that idea to the habit you just do. Here are the game changing steps to use as your guide:
1. Mindset Matters Most
This is the place to start, and there is no way around it. Your mindset will make or break your efforts. Changing or starting a new behavior requires effort, tenacity, and determination. You will be uncomfortable as you step out of your comfort zone. There may be days everything goes well and others that you stumble or fail. To be successful, adopt a mindset that you can and will do it, no matter what.
2. Action Plan
The next step is making a plan. It doesn’t need to be comprehensive or extremely detailed, truthfully, the simpler, the better. Typically, your new behavior requires consistent repeated effort to become a habit. Figuring out the how for your behavior is key.
3. Schedule It
You have the how, now you need the when. Plan the best time to execute your behavior based on your daily schedule, energy level, and motivation in relation to the behavior, then schedule it into your daily life. This will increase your success exponentially.
4. Track It
Tracking your new behavior is an awesome success trick. Creating and maintaining a streak can be highly motivating, especially when “you just don’t feel like it”...spoken like someone who has been there, many times. Tracking measures your progress, which is particularly helpful with a behavior that doesn’t yield observable results.
5. Infuse the Fun!
Fun spices everything up, taking the mundane to the exciting. Get creative and have fun with what you are doing!
6. Get Sticky and Stay the Course…
Adopt a stick with it attitude; that what you are working on is worth the effort. Trust that your consistent, repeated efforts will compound in a positive way in your life. It will be worth it!
7. Celebrate the Wins...all of them.
We have a tendency to save the celebration for the endgame. Guess what? Oftentimes, that endgame is a long way off! Celebrate your small wins along the way, as in every time you show up and do your new behavior. It’s these small, every day wins that get you to the endgame so they are worth the celebration!
That’s it, DreamChaser! Now, you have your guide to turning your new behavior into a habit that serves you. You got this! Shine on!
By Jackie White
Happiness - sounds simple, right? Then, why are so many people struggling to find it? If you are one of those looking for happiness, I know the way, and it begins with asking yourself a few questions.
The Science to Happiness
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage tells us that only 10% of your long-term happiness can be found in your external world (a good job, a nice house etc..). The other 90% is based on how your brain processes the world. This means if you can be more positive in the present moment, your brain will become more resilient in handling stress, your dopamine levels will increase, ultimately resulting in feelings of happiness. To rewire your brain for happiness, you need to decide that you will see the world more positively. I am including Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk below. It is about 12 minutes long and will make you laugh out loud!
There isn’t a mystery to solve to “find happiness”. It’s not a destination, is a way of living. The deeper answer is to look within and to make the decision to be happy. It is that simple. Don’t resist the simplicity of it. You can do this! Find the good, follow your dreams, help others, be grateful, smile - a lot, laugh your butt off and make the choice to get happy!
Relinquishing the Keys and Control. An Overprotective Mom's Lessons in Letting Her Children Grow Up.
Most of us drive cars. We use them daily to get around and do life. We shuffle kids from here to there and back again, dreaming of the day they can actually drive themselves! For me, that time has come. My son has just gotten his driver’s license and now I am losing it! Not because I think he’s a poor driver, but because he is still a kid! How can a kid be expected to drive with all the crazy drivers out there? How do I know if my son isn’t going to make an impulsive mistake driving and cause an accident? My list of worries could fill this page and more, but what I have come to realize is that none of this has to do with him. It all has to do with me.
Today, I stand here before you to admit that, yes, I might be a bit of a control freak, aka an overprotective mom, but I have good reasons to be:
1. It comes with the territory of being a mom.
2. I am just protecting my kids from unsafe situations and circumstances.
3. I was raised by a control freak mom or, as I liked to call her, a worrywart.
Are there any other overprotective parents out there? I know if you are with me in this, you too do not see what the big deal is, particularly if your kids are little. I have come to realize that there is a process of letting go we go through, and, when you reach the teenage years when your child gains more autonomy, letting go becomes much more difficult for us overprotective parents.
Tell it Like It is:
I have researched a bit on this condition of overprotectiveness, control, or worry-wartness. Whatever you call it, it boils down to one thing and that is called anxiety.
Oh, I said it. This overprotective mom thing is really all about anxiety. Hey, I didn’t like to hear that either! The anxiety that something could happen to your child. The anxiety that if you make the wrong choice, your child might suffer some sort of negative impact. As a result, you become controlling. This actually works for a while because little kids need their parents to make decisions for them in the name of safety and otherwise.
However, as kids mature, they have to learn to make their own decisions. Choosing whether they want chocolate or vanilla ice cream or whether they want to wear the blue or red shirt are harmless decisions that allow children to learn to think for themselves. Letting them make these decisions is easy because usually none of the decisions are that significant. The trouble for an overprotective parent becomes more pronounced when their child comes of an age where he/she can make their own decisions on more life-impacting things like participating in bad behavior, getting poor grades, underage drinking, or learning to drive. The overprotective mom brain goes into a tizzy thinking that it might not be the wisest decision to rely on your impulsive, flighty young adult to make the right choices.
Go from Dictator to Mom-Advisor
One way to ease your transition from the dictator of all decisions is to consider advising. When the time comes where your child needs to make more of their own decisions, then you (and me) must step back to allow them to do just that. It’s hard, and it doesn’t mean you let them go cold turkey. Kids can benefit from advice garnered by life experience. This is an opportunity to go from a strong-armed attempt at controlling their every move to taking the role of a consultant where you can offer suggestions on how to make certain decisions.
Further, we cannot dismiss what is driving this need to be in control we have. That anxiety or fear of something happening to our kids. It seems easier to just keep them in a protective bubble, but alas, you know that isn’t the way. To move forward as recovering overprotective moms, we need a plan!
The Plan for Recovering Overprotective Moms
Take a deep breath. We can do this!
1. You have to acknowledge your own anxiety about this. Accept that you might feel uncomfortable, but you will have to allow your young adult to learn to make his/her own decisions.
2. You have been in control and have done a damn good job raising your child. Not only have you kept him safe, but you have also taught him how to be responsible.
3. Assess your child’s ability to make good decisions. Acknowledge what choices they have made that have been good and know the blindspots where poor decision-making was going on.
4. This phase can be the hardest part because it is time to let them fly. Depending on the child, let them make smaller, less impactful decisions at first and then work up to you stepping back and allowing them to really soar.
The bottom line here is, if you find yourself to be in the overprotective mom club, like me, it’s time to see what’s driving your behavior. Is it fear, anxiety, and worry? It can be hard to strike a balance of letting them go and keeping them safe, but sometimes you have to just let them fly. You cannot keep them in a bubble. You cannot save them from every dumb decision they might make. Remember, you were a teen once, too, and probably made some not-so-great decisions! However, you must also remember that if you have done your job well raising your child, they will likely do a good job handling the responsibility of making their own decisions.
One final thought to my overprotective, controlling, worry-wart friends: “the hardest decision a parent will ever have to make is letting a child make a decision on their own.” This is a good reminder that our job is to prepare them to have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make the decisions that will allow them to live their best independent life! What else could we ask for?
Postscript: My son, Marshall has been driving for a few months now, and he is doing an excellent job. I couldn’t be more proud of him and of me not worrying every time he drives the car!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.