So...what's the point of trying to get healthy? Why bother?

Consider this: Whether you're a teacher, a nurse, an artist, a construction worker, a public speaker, a stay-at-home parent, an attorney, or whatever your calling is, wouldn't you be more effective at it if your physical health were not a barrier? What if you had the power to make a change? You do!

There's no "magic bullet" to being healthy, but it can be done with small changes and consistency. You can do it, and you are worth the investment! 

 

Allow me to ask:

  • Do you feel hopeless to change your health for the better?
  • Are you carrying more weight than you'd like?
  • Does it seem there aren't enough hours in a day to do everything on your schedule?
  • Have you made efforts to take better care of yourself, but to no avail?
  • Would you like some ideas on how to start a journey producing long-lasting results? 

 

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, I invite you to check out my new book, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me). In it, I share how I came to develop a PRACTICAL plan for success in my journey to better overall health by using small, attainable goals to achieve LONG-LASTING results.

In addition, it received the honor of being an Award-Winning Finalist (Health: General category) in the 2018 International Book Awards. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2018awardannouncement.html

 

H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me) was honored to be a finalist (Health: General  category) in the 2018 International Book Awards!

H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me) was honored to be a finalist (Health: General category) in the 2018 International Book Awards!

H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me) received the honor of being nominated for a 2018 Christian Literary Award Sports & Fitness category)!

H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me) received the honor of being nominated for a 2018 Christian Literary Award Sports & Fitness category)!

Want to know more?

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray 


To Repeat or Not to Repeat?


For anyone who’s been a parent for more than five minutes, we know that it’s tough, but an amazing job. Whether a birth, adoptive or foster parent, this role comes with tremendous responsibility, for we have the opportunity to shape future generations.

Some choose to rear their children the same way in which they were raised. Some don’t. Some had a loving, stable home with married parents. Others grew up with a stepparent. Still, others were raised in a single-parent home through the death of a spouse, divorce, or unwed parents. Sadly, some were even abused.

Our children don’t choose to be here. Our decisions as parents can often have a profound effect on them...and even on their children. Our relationship choices, our daily habits, the way we treat others, the way we handle finances: Would we want our children to emulate our current mindset & practices?

There are things in life over which we have no control, but there are others in which we have a great deal of control. The question is: To repeat, or not to repeat?

If we didn’t like our upbringing, we have an opportunity to do something different. If Dad didn’t say that he was proud of you, now that you’re a dad, you can make sure to let your child know how proud you are of him or her. If Mom didn’t hug you and say that she loved you, you can choose another path with your child.

No parent is perfect, including us. The good news is that we can count on the Lord for the wisdom needed to rear our children, and we certainly do need it. If we want better for future generations, it starts with us today. We can do it with God’s help. It’s available if we’ll only ask. So...to repeat, or not to repeat? The choice is ours.


Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer
Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It's Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)



Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both paperback and eBook formats!

Be a light!
#Matthew5:16

Model P31 Fit by Bridget McCray 


A Change in Thinking

Four years ago this month, I was super-excited about the time I’d invested in myself at the gym one particular morning. Why? It’s because I was able to set FOUR personal records! So…what's the big deal about that? After all, it's just my physical body, which will ultimately die anyway. Right?

Well, yes, it will die. However, while I'm still living in it, I want to have the best quality of life that I can have for however much time I have left on this earth.

For me, the bigger issue was the battle going on in my mind. Prior to that day, I didn't THINK I could do the things I’d accomplished that morning. However, when I went then, I’d made a decision to give my best EFFORT. With God’s help and my hard work, I’d accomplished them!

So, again: What's the big deal? For me, it's that my thinking was changing. That day, there were impossibilities before me...at least, in my mind. They were unattainable no more!

I continue to realize that this does not just apply to fitness, but to EVERY area where God has called me to serve Him and serve others. Change starts in the mind!

May I ask: Is there an impossibility before YOU today? I would encourage you to give your best effort, knowing that the Father loves you and wants what's best for you. Though the process isn't always fun, know that the results will most definitely be worth the work! (Hebrews 12:11)

You CAN change your thinking; just give it a try! Here’s to a healthier you!

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer


Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)


Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!

Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com

Model P31 Fit by Bridget McCray 



Options 

You’ve written your S.M.A.R.T, goals, as we discussed in the last couple of articles, and you have been doing well for the first few weeks. You’ve been mindful of what you’re eating, and you’ve deliberately made time to exercise at least three times a week.

Then, a co-worker picks up a couple of boxes of doughnuts to surprise everyone, and they’re your favorite. Uh oh! After thanking your co-worker for being so thoughtful, you eat not one, not two, but three of those sweet treats. Now, you’re beating yourself up for having indulged. Does that sound about right?

Perhaps, you’d carved out time in your already-tight schedule to walk in the park with a friend four days that week, not knowing that “Mother Nature” would not cooperate. There were thunderstorms on two of those days, and you missed that time to get your body moving. You felt frustrated because you didn’t have any other available time in your calendar for physical activity. You prefer being outdoors, but your available times to exercise don’t always coincide with nice weather. Do you ask yourself, “What’s the use?” and give up on working out?

Our emotions are powerful and play an important part in our lives, even in our efforts to adapt a healthier lifestyle. Things happen that we don’t always foresee. That’s life. We don’t have to beat ourselves up. We don’t have to give up. We can learn how to make adjustments. We do have options.

To the person who indulged in the doughnuts, that can’t be undone. Own it. However, she can make a better choice at the next meal. She could also choose to eat a good breakfast, and/or maybe drink a bottle of water to feel full, where there’d be less room for temptation. There are options.

The one whose workouts were curtailed by the storms could perhaps invite a friend to join her to powerwalk in the mall, go to a fitness class, or even follow an online video or a DVD to move her body until the weather improves. There are options.

As we’re learning how to make adjustments, it’s a good idea to have at least one loved one on whom we can depend for encouragement and accountability.

When you beat yourself up for making an impulsive food choice, that friend will remind you that your habits are changing for the better and that the one choice does not have to define your journey. In other words, he offers encouragement.

When you get bothered and want to pass on working out, because inclement weather wrecked your plans, that family member will remind you that your health is too important for you to skip it. In other words, she offers accountability.

You can have long-term success on your wellness journey. You can learn to make adjustments. Remember that there are options. Here’s to a healthier you!

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer


Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!

Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com


Model P31 Fit by Bridget McCray 



Do You Have A Plan
for Your Health?

We make plans for lots of things, don’t we? Where we want to live, how much money we’d like to make, where our children will go to school…the list goes on. Yet, for many, there is no plan for their health.

We often go through our daily lives of busyness, giving little thought to what we’re putting into these amazingly complex bodies in which we live. We have the tendency to forget that we only have one while we’re on this earth. Maybe, it’s just me.

Actually, it used to be me…until I had a health scare. Once I was faced with that very real challenge, I knew my perspective about food would definitely need to change. It was imperative that I learned how to start making better choices.

As my husband explained at the time, food is fuel for our bodies. Just as we would not put regular unleaded gas into a vehicle that requires premium unleaded, we should take care to put the best possible “fuel” into our bodies, which are worth much more than any automobile.

So…your mind is made up, and you’re ready to make some changes. Great! You may be asking yourself, “Now what?? Where in the world do I begin??”

Consider drafting a simple plan, then making it S.M.A.R.T, as we discussed last month. For example:

General goal: “I am going to eat less salt.”

S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I’m going to decrease my sodium intake by only eating fast food for lunch two days a week, instead of five, and by accurately tracking it via my favorite health app, in order to lower my elevated blood pressure by the end of this month.”

Breakdown
Specific: decrease sodium intake with only two days of fast food

Meaningful: “lower my elevated blood pressure”

Action-oriented: eating fast food for just two days; accurately tracking sodium intake using an app

Realistic: fast food lunch for two days, instead of five

Timely: “by the end of this month”

If we don’t decide to take our health seriously, who will? Truthfully, no one can do that for us; it is our responsibility. We can pray until the proverbial cows come home, but we still have our part to do. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:20)

Again, consider creating a simple plan, and make it S.M.A.R.T. Remember, we crawl before we walk, so be encouraged. You likely won’t reach your goals overnight, but consistent effort (not “perfection”) will get you there sooner than you may think!

There are family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who love us and depend on us. Why not do all we can do to have the best quality of life possible to share with those whom we love and who love us?

If you’d like to hear more about how I was able to turn my own health around, by the grace of God, without gimmicks and with long-lasting results, I invite you to check out my book, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me), for more encouragement and motivation.

Until next time, don’t forget to work your plan!

Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!



Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Model P31 Fit by Bridget McCray 



Get S.M.A.R.T
with Your Goals 

So…it’s a new year. What are most of us inclined to do in January? Make a plethora of resolutions!

* “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this week!”
* “I’m going to drink a gallon of water a day!”
* “I’m going to go to the gym twice a day every day!”
* “I’m going to cut out all the salt in my diet!”


Do any of these declarations sound familiar? Of course, they do. Most of us have said one of these things, or at least, something similar. Right?

Then, what happens when:
* … we gain two pounds that week, instead of losing 15?
* … we end up barely drinking a bottle of water a day?
(You get the idea.)

We tend to give up, don’t we? What if we took a different approach, creating goals that set us up for success, instead of for failure? We can do just that by using S.M.A.R.T. goals!




(Image credit: www.envisionexperience.com)


Let’s take one of the resolutions I mentioned earlier and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal as described in the image:

Resolution: “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this week!”

This statement is specific (“15 pounds”), but there is no mention of its meaningfulness. There are no planned action steps stated, and it is not realistic (“15 pounds in one week”) though, it is timely (“this week”).

Side note: One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. In order to lose a pound, one could cut 500 calories a day from his or her diet, burn 500 calories a day with exercise, or do a combination of the two in order to achieve a safe and healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories or 1 pound)

After some necessary adjustments, let’s look at it again:


S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I’m going to lose one pound per week this month by creating a 500-calorie per day deficit through diet (decreasing by 200) and exercise (burning at least 300) in order to help lower my slightly-elevated blood pressure.”

This now meets the criteria of being a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It is:

Specific: “lose one pound per week this month”
Meaningful: “to help lower my slightly-elevated blood pressure”
Action-oriented: “creating a 500-calorie per day deficit”
Realistic: “lose one pound per week”
Timely: “lose one pound per week this month”

I hope that seeing this example helps you to understand how to turn your resolutions into something that helps you move toward success. I have been on my own wellness journey for almost five years and have used these beneficial principles. However, over the last couple of years, admittedly, I have lost my focus in a couple of areas.

That being said, I’m going to share a resolution of my own, in order to hold myself accountable to you, the reader: “I’m going to increase my stamina.” In my next article, I will show how I turned that into a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

I invite you to join me in this challenge. Will you revise your resolutions to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals? Just pick one, and go for it!



Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)
Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats!




Booking Information
Please visit www.bridgetmccray.com.

Here is a clip of an interview done July 16, 2018 with Joy & Company. Take a listen!