Don’t worry, I’m not going to list a hundred and one hacks to help you fall asleep faster tonight. If you want tips and tricks about that, you can google it. No, I just want to talk to all of you out there who aren’t even trying.
Yep. YOU. You go to bed way later than you want to night after night, waking groggy and frustrated every morning. In episode #27 we talked about why sleep was important, but what I want to dive deep into today is a simple concept that keeps you from crawling between the covers and closing your eyes.
That's right. The enemy wants you believing that sleep will prevent you from living a full life. These fears keep us glued to social media, binging Netflix, and watching just one more Tic Tok video.
So, I have an assignment for you today. Identify the fear that is keeping you from going to bed each night. If you are blinking in confusion right now, don’t worry. I’m going to go through some of the most common lies people believe that have them staying awake late into the night. My prayer is that you will identify one that really hits home. Then you can address it directly with God instead of avoiding it with screen time or ice cream.
Lie #1: “I need some fun.”
I hate this one. I’ve definitely found it bouncing around in my brain. What is so treacherous about this one is that it immediately assigns the “not fun” title to the rest of my day. But, that isn’t true. I have yet to live through a single day that God didn't bless me with beautiful moments. And, my dear, I’ve been through some nasty days, believe me. Plus, if I am not waiting until the end of the day to have fun, I will start looking for fun throughout the day instead. That will up-level your daily contentment and joy.
Lie #2: “I am going to miss out if I go to sleep.”
This might be about the TV, the snack, the Instagram posts, anything. It is that worry that the moment you put down your remote, the phone, or the spoon, then the opportunity has passed you by that will never come again…forever. Not true. Pretty much everything can be watched, seen, or eaten at a different time. The only thing that you can’t get back was the solid eight hours of sleep you needed to feel like a human being tomorrow.
Lie #3: “This is the only time I have to connect with others.”
Awe, the sneakiest lie of all. Do you know who connects the best with others? It is the ones who do it in real time and in real life. When I ask ladies about the connecting they are doing, it is usually social media or watching TV with their family. When this happens, I want you to consider, are you really connecting with them? Do they feel seen? Do they feel loved? Would this be better if it didn’t involve some form of entertainment? Would it be best if it was something that involved eye-contact and the sound of each other’s voices? Sometimes I think we stay up late because we crave that connection but we get a watered down version that leaves us wanting more. We stay up later hoping for something else to fill our hungry hearts.
If one of these lies hit home for you, then an invitation awaits you. You are being invited to trust this to God. You are being invited to lay it down and go to bed. Psalm 3:5 says it the absolute best “I lay down to sleep, yet I woke up in safety; for the LORD was watching over me.” He is watching over you. We get this precious and simple opportunity to strengthen our faith as we lay down to sleep each night.
Many blessings, my love.
Earlier in the year, in episode number 22, I talked about having a witching hour. A close friend of mine and I were discussing that episode and she had an honest beef with the terminology I used. At first I laughed a little. I mean, I don’t much like touting phrases that are loaded with witch-crafty ideas either. However, she also mentioned that she would have loved for me to approach it in a more positive light.
Her words stuck with me, aligned with nudging from the Holy Spirit.
She was right. That time of day, when we are the weakest, the most empty of peace, and the most susceptible to bad choices, is also the most blatant invitation from our God to take care of ourselves.
First of all, I have to debunk the argument you are having in your head right now. It is the same one that I am still having. It is the argument that if I do anything but push through and continue to work that I will be less than enough. That I won’t be doing right by my family. Not only is that not true, but when I don’t stop and refresh, I spend the rest of my day spiritually limping and often falling flat on my face full of resentment that bubbles over into my family’s dinner and bedtime prayers.
So, you and me, we are going to reclaim our reset time.
For real, sister, let's do it.
First, I want you to identify the time of day that you are running on empty. It might be a transition time from work to home. It might be nap time for your little ones. It might be the moments right before bedtime that you just feel you absolutely can’t go on. Whatever time it is, identify it and right it down.
Next, what are two to three activities that you can do for five to fifteen minutes that can refresh you? Think of quiet time, a phone call to a mature friend that holds space for you, prayer, reading your devotionals, moving your body. One thing that often helps me figure out what can help reset me, is I think about what I did all day. If I was with people and doing lots of thinking, then a walk alone is what I need. If I was up on my feet cooking and cleaning, then I might need to sit down and journal. You need a break. You need to reset.
Lastly, make a firm boundary about your reset time. I know this is where I am personally having trouble. I get home from work and I see all the things I need to do on the farm, in the house, or for the girls, and I fearfully push through and then am angry and exhausted the remainder of the evening (which is still several hours that could have benefited from a happier Lora). After you have set your boundary, follow through. Let your family know what you are doing. When we do this, we are also showing the people around us that we value rest and caring for each other’s needs. You might even ask someone in your family to keep you accountable to that reset time.
Like I said, this is one I am working on. I have gone through seasons where I did my reset time so well, but since going back to teaching it has been a habit that comes and goes. As I started the new school year, I haven’t been as consistent as I need to be with this reset time. I would love to hear all of your ideas for your reset time. Let me know on Facebook or Instagram or even the podcast notes for this episode on my website.
You are brilliant, my dear. Join me here next week when we talk about a choice you might be making daily that undermines your health. I’ll talk to you then, goodbye for now!
I thought it would be fun to give you a little list of ways and reasons to get moving again today.
You know, exercise has been found to decrease stress, lower cholesterol, help us sleep, help with anxiety and depression, help us age, increase bone strength and on and on. But, it can be so ridiculously hard to tie the laces on our sneakers and get to it. So, today I’m sharing some fun ways for you to take another look at exercise and make it work for your unique and special life. Now, just a disclaimer, some of these ways don’t really go together but others you can combine to make them work for you. You’ll see what I mean once we get started.
2. Be adventurous
Literally approach your exercise as if it is an adventure and a desirable experience. Go for something you want to try like salsa dancing or outdoor hiking. Make it a hobby. Make it part of something you do with friends and family. If you are a social person, make it part of how you reconnect with others. If you crave time alone, build it into another way to be quiet with yourself away from others. Make it amazing. Don’t just copy and paste someone else's work out routine, do what sounds blissful just for you.
3. Reward yourself
This goes back to how we tend to only notice and pat ourselves on the back for results or some sort of big-finish line results. That is often why people only start running if they sign up for a race or will take up an intense kickboxing class in order to shed some pounds. Instead, I want you to really consider what exercise feels good for you. Then, set up a habit-based reward. I wish more women did this in more areas of their life. Exercise is so good for our body, mind, and heart and yet we will lose motivation so quickly if we all have a calendar date or a number on the scale. Please, reward your consistency. Nobody else is going to. Write it down. Give yourself a carrot. For example, you might say you are going to treat yourself to a massage when you make it to your pilates class every time this month. It’s like telling yourself that you care and it will make you so much more likely that you’ll follow through with more goals in the future.
4. Make it about life not loss
We usually have a reason (or two or three) for why we want to exercise, but weight loss will overshadow them. Then, I usually see one of two things happen: You’ll give up if the number on the scale doesn’t move or doesn’t move quickly enough OR you’ll stop exercising when the number on the scale gets to where you want to be. Stop making your movement be about losing something. Instead, make your number one reason about your quality of life. Push for the energy you want to feel. Push for the confidence you want to feel in your body. Push for the ability to play with kids, enjoy a shopping trip with friends, or submerge yourself in nature with utter joy. Let me tell you, that is true love. When you make it about weight loss it can take on some punitive tones. Working out can become something you have to do because of the shape you're in and the fix you got yourself in with your health. Exercise might even become your focus because you ate some extra brownies or don’t want to look a certain way in family photos. I feel like we are designed to avoid things that feel hurtful and if you approach exercise this way, you will dread it. Every time. It will feel like homework, chores, or punishment and then you’ll wonder why you just can’t seem to make yourself follow through.
5. Notice your results and progress
This last tip is important. I want you to find exercise routines and activities that can last you a lifetime. Notice your results. Write down how much you laughed with friends during your hip hop class. Take a selfie of that smile you had when you made it to the top of the hiking trail. Take before and after pictures of your arms, stomach, and thighs. Cross each day off in your calendar. Download a habit tracker for your phone and post your streaks. Anything. Just NOTICE and mark it down. Study shows that when we do this, we teach our brain what is important to us. After a while, getting off the couch and moving will become more important than the new episodes of our favorite show or scrolling for just a few more minutes on Instagram.
There you have it. My five fun ways to bring joy into exercise.
Oh how thankful I am that I get to do this work with you. My work as a life coach constantly returns to how we can live more fully our victorious life in Christ as we do the good work we were created for. You are so precious to me.
Pinterest was my friend. Anytime I felt bored with my diet or frustrated with my results, I pulled open my phone app and began to scroll. Within an hour I would have downloaded an infographic, a calendar plan, or a new book. My heart would hammer with hope. I couldn’t wait to get started, to push myself toward a challenge, to reclaim health and sanity, and (mostly) shed some pounds.
Today I want to talk about four reasons you might be addicted to dieting. I want you to look at some of the habits you have around dieting that might really be holding you back from permanent weight loss. But, I won’t leave you hanging. For each reason I’ll also give you a great tip or insight to help you turn this around.
1. You want quick results.
This is the most common reason. Those “extreme” diets can give you quick and astounding results. The problem is, you make such drastic changes, concentrating only on what you are putting into your mouth, that the moment the diet ends, your brain and body rebell. Essentially, you boomerang right back into your old habits and often right back to the same number on the scale.
Pro tip: Make smaller changes and pay attention. For example, I went vegan a few years ago in my attempt to get my cholesterol under control. I eventually went on meds but there are tons of vegan habits that are still an established part of my diet. Why? I ate a lot of the same food, but they were prepared differently. I also didn’t go “cold turkey”. Instead, I began by preparing a few vegan meals a week and paying attention to what I enjoyed eating and how it made my body feel.
2. You diet out of fear because of something you heard or read.
It is a confusing world out there. You can find a diet book that claims just about anything. You can go full carb, no carb, vegan, paleo, keto, whole-food, Mediterranean…you get the idea. Honestly, pick a food, pick ANY food and just google why that food is good for you and you’ll get something. It reminds me of the verse in the 2 Timothy 4:3, NIV, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” That fear you feel when someone tells you why onions are destroying your arteries is completely normal. Be kind to yourself, acknowledging that your brain is designed to do whatever it can to keep you safe and as pain-free as possible. Then, make a decision not to react but to make a rational choice.
Pro tip: Do your research (on both sides). Ask your doctor. Listen to your body. Think about what makes sense for your life and family. I recently coached a lady who teaches and takes her children to multiple extra curricular activities. I told her that eating out wasn’t evil. If it makes sense for your life and family, make a plan for what you will eat and how you will order and stick to it. Overeating is so detrimental to our health. You can start with small healthy changes and have amazing and sustainable results at the end.
3. You want a challenge
I literally lost weight through a life coaching program and then turned right around and tried to find another diet. I missed the challenge. I missed that feeling of success and pride. It is a personality thing, often, but it is also deeply connected to our self-esteem. I got really good and patted myself on the back when I was following a diet but shaming myself when I wasn’t.
Pro tip: Start installing amazing habits and reward yourself for percentage of completion or streaks. For example, you might want to install the habit of weekly meal planning. You tell yourself that if you do it 11 out of 12 times in the upcoming months then you will reward yourself with a new small kitchen appliance. You are building your self-esteem. Essentially telling yourself that you notice your own hard work and positive changes.
4. Dieting feels “normal”.
This makes me so sad, but it is just a fact. For myself and so many of the ladies I coach, dieting has been a major part of their life for decades. When you stop there is such a void. How do you just quit?
Pro tip: Acknowledge that healthy people still think about what they eat and how their bodies feel. You’ll still want to have healthy habits in place that support your health. You’ll want to listen to your body, avoid food that makes you feel bad, and try new foods that help you level-up to smarter food choices. You just won’t always be eating off of an infographic food chart or following a calendar you downloaded from Instagram. You’ll learn how to use smart information and your body’s signals. It is essentially just another form of dieting, but it is closer to how God created us to exist.
I hope today’s podcast gave you a little more insight into that dieting Ferris wheel that might be calling your name. If you want more help with this, I’ll be opening up enrollment for my next group in just a couple months. Head over to my website and click on Weight Loss from the Soul to sign up for the waiting list. My love to you!
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.