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Sugar and Kids Behaving Badly ….by Ehgosa Imasuen

If there is one thing readers have noticed about my blog, it is that I thrive in being counter-intuitive. Today’s post will not be any different.

This article is for any parent who has sat through the aftermath of a birthday party, the cakes, the sugary drinks, the candy, and the children. The children turn hell raisers; noisy, disruptive, inattentive, hyperactive.

When my kids started school a year ago—it is a quaint little place, ten in a class, strict, nice—the proprietor gave us a list of foods she frowned upon in the school. We were to cut down on these: refined sugars, processed fruit juices, sugary drinks, and candy. This was great advice. Too much refined sugar is bad for you; it puts a strain on your ability to digest and metabolise it, and has been shown to be risk factor for the future development of diabetes, obesity, and associated problems. She did give these reasons but the primary one was that it affected the children’s behaviour. Now this is something I know to be wrong.

Experts say the notion that sugar causes children to become hyperactive is by far the most popular example of how people believe food can affect behaviour, especially among young children. But the fact is that sugar may actually be an innocent victim of guilt by association. Studies have shown that parents who feel that their children have had sugar automatically perceive their behaviour as hyperactive, and disruptive, even when no real change in behaviour could be measured scientifically. If the parent was left blind to what the child had had, they could not predict or associate the child’s behaviour with sugar intake.

What psychiatrists now assume is that the context of the sugar intake; parties, friends, excitement, may be the real reason for the perceived change in behaviour. Humans are very good at equating association with causality. Because two things happen together doesn’t mean that one causes the other. And this is where intuition can go awry. Every single fibre of your being tells you that when your child has had refined sugar he goes hyper. But the studies do not back this up. But where did the history come from? The idea that food might have an effect on children’s behaviour first became popularized in the 1970s by Benjamin Feingold, MD, an allergist who published the Feingold diet. He advocated a diet free of more than 300 food additives and naturally occurring salicylates found in plants and many fruits and vegetables to treat hyperactivity.

Since then, many studies have looked at the issue of food additives and hyperactivity. Most of these studies have failed to substantiate Feingold’s claims or have shown only a mild benefit in a small number of children with ADHD. And Feingold’s diet would have been helpful, if it was practicable; it banned the very foods that children like. And any parent who has had to fight off a three-year-old’s temper tantrum knows this simple truth: the little tykes always win.

There is a real condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). If you perceive that your child’s behaviour is disrupting family life or affecting their performance in school, it may be a symptom of a bigger problem, such as a conduct disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and should be evaluated by a mental health professional.

But know this today; limiting your child’s sugar intake will not hurt, but it will not AFFECT the child’s behavior either.

Yemisi says…A mile in my shoes!

For those of you who don’t already know, I love shoes…

Ever since I was a little child they have fascinated me. I love them with or without heels, with bows and buckles and sparkle and shine, and every colour of the rainbow – and even some that aren’t. I love the smell of new leather, the architecture of an unusual pair and the comfort of a well worn, old and trusty pair.

Sometimes a beautiful pair of shoes I want really, really, really! badly won’t fit, and I leave the store sad and dejected. Just like in Life, we may want something really, really, really! badly, and it may look great, but just may not fit where we are right now.

Occasionally, I will refuse to let them go, and buy them a size too small and spend my time mincing around uncomfortably, fitting a hexagonal peg into a round hole. Much like we find ourselves in places we ought not to be because we were hasty and couldn’t wait for the right opportunity to come along.

And other times the ones that are in my size are not quite what I want, but I buy them anyway. Sometimes I come to love them, sometimes I don’t, but I always have something to keep my feet out of the dirt. Just like the things that come to us in life may not be exactly what we envisioned – maybe you thought your husband when he finally arrived would be taller or richer; or the job, after waiting so long would be more prestigious, pay more, or wouldn’t eat up all your time. But hey, sometimes you come to appreciate what you thought you didn’t want. And maybe sometimes you don’t, but at least you are not left with nothing at all…

I have bought some beautiful shoes! Crafted with absolute precision, made from the finest materials, cost an arm, a leg, a kidney and a pancreas, but HURT LIKE CRAZY!!! You step out in them and everyone “ooohs” and “ahhhhs”, (apart from those throwing eye-daggers of envy at you that would kill you within 50 paces if they were real). Music stops playing, and cars screech to a halt when you show up in them, but wearing them for more than ten minutes can leave your “little piggies” screaming for release. (if only toes could talk…)

Similarly, other people’s lives may look beautiful, perfect and pristine, but only if you walk a mile in their shoes would you understand the pain, hardship and misery they truly endure while projecting to the outside world that “Life is good.”

Now my shoes have to earn their keep. I love to walk, so they have to be strong and last a long time. Nigerian roads are not known for being uniformly smooth and well paved, so my shoes have to endure sticks, stones, pebbles, rocks, potholes, puddles, roadkill, human, animal and mineral “substances,” et al. Sometimes I lose a heel, sometimes the glue comes unstuck, and sometimes I fall into a puddle and spoil the leather (for people who are well acquainted with my clumsiness, this happens more often than you’d think…), but a trip to the shoe maker to fix the heel, re stick the glue and reinforce the leather can be all it takes for the shoe to have a new lease on life…

We too have to endure the valleys, obstructions, distractions and rainstorms of life. Circumstances and people will test the limits of our endurance every single day. But we must be able to take a beating, and somehow find the strength to keep going and last as long as it takes for things to change…

And as much as I love new shoes, I also love my comfy, well worn, tatty shoes. The ones I’ve had for three hundred years and my face pushes me to wear sometimes because they’re literally falling apart. Stitching has come undone, they’ve changed colour and the soles have become diagonal or the heel caps have come off completely so I sound like a tap dancer every time I walk across the room. And yet, I find it hard to chuck them out, clear out the clutter, to let them go, to consign them to the cemetery of shoes…

Just like in life, there are things; physical, psychological and ideological, as well as people, that no longer “fit” in our lives. Yet we cling to them so tightly, refusing to move forward, refusing to let go, because they are comfortable, instead of cleaning out the junk, and allowing ourselves to attract the right things and the right people….

And you thought they were just shoes….

Challenge Cancer

Today’s challenge is short and sweet.
It’s World Cancer day.

Your challenge is and you should choose to do it…is simply “Get checked, get tested, get well!”
If you have never been screened for cervical cancer by having a pap smear, do it, If you have never checked your breasts or had a mammogram…do it, if you need to get a colonoscopy, do it. If you have unexplained pain and or growths…Please get it checked out. No news is not necessarily good news. Get informed. Get checked!
Early detection can make the difference between living and dying.

Challenge yourself!

It’s Day16, just five days more to go…Have you been challenging yourself to live in a healthier way? It’s not too late, just read all the challenges and start adding them into your lifestyle. Keep a journal and take note of how each change impacts your life…We’d love to hear about it!

Today’s challenge if you choose to accept it is…

Mind challenge: Take control of your thoughts.
You may not be able to stop random negative thoughts from popping into your head, but you can control them by choosing to keep them by dwelling on them or getting rid of them by refusing to give it audience. Sometimes we have thoughts of the worst things that could happen, or we start to dwell on painful memories and even create terrible scenarios in our head. When we dwell on these things, we give them energy and start to feed them. Sometimes we can focus on them so hard that it actually starts to change our behavior and causes us to manifest our worst fears. Today, choose to focus on things that are positive and push out every negative thought. It’s your mind, you have complete control over it.

Body challenge: Eat!
Many of us in a bid to stay slim or skinny don’t eat and in the long run, this can be damaging to our bodies and it can even slow our metabolism. It is smart to watch what and how much we eat, but embarking on a starvation diet will starve your body of the nutrients it needs to function properly, making one more prone to illness and disease. First, set your daily caloric intake at around 12 calories per pound or 25 calories per kilo of your current weight. So for a woman who is about 50 kilos her daily caloric intake should be around 1250 calories. You don’t have to live to eat, but please eat to live!

It’s almost over!

It’s day 14 of the challenge and you have just one more week to go. How have you been doing? If you have been incorporating these challenges into your lifestyle, you should be feeling stronger, happier and healthier. The challenge is for you. It’s your life, and we want you to really live it!

Your challenge today if you choose to accept it is…

Mind challenge: Get your mind right!
Is your money funny? Some of us have a toxic relationship with money, it defines us and so when we have money we spend it on things that we think announce to the world that we have arrived. However, that same attitude and behavior can place undue stress on us, because spenders tend not to be savers and as a result can get into a financial bind easily. Finances can wreak havoc on your body because it can be a major stressor. Money issues have been known to cause depression, damage relationships, raise blood pressure even cause sexual dysfunction. So your challenge today is to revamp your relationship with money. Money is a resource that is meant to serve you. Whether you have a lot or a little should and can not define you. You are you whether you dress yourself in designer gear or rock outfits from the bend down boutique, you have to be sure in yourself stripped down to the bare essentials. Take some time to put your money in its place. If that means paring down and creating a budget, then do that, if it means giving stuff away and creating an investment plan, call a financial advisor, and if it means doing some more hustling to create more resources, get busy dears!

Body challenge: Listen to your body.
We tell potty training children to learn to listen to the cues their bodies are telling them, so they can master the toilet issues. Well we adults need to learn to listen to our bodies. We need to identify when we have constant pains in our bodies and slow down or treat accordingly. If something doesn’t feel right and has persisted, then see a doctor and get it checked out. We tend to ignore the signals our bodies send and then end up with significant health issues because we waited too long. So today, resolve to put out the fire on the mountain before it burns all the way down to the valley.

Be well! Join the challenge today.

It’s Day 13 and we are almost done with our 21 day challenge, it’s been enlightening and empowering!

Today your challenge is to…

Mind challenge: Take stock.
Spend some time in introspection.Take stock of your life. What have you been able to accomplish, what areas do you need to improve. What are your strengths and what are your areas of growth opportunities? Take stock of what’s on the inside helps you gain a better understanding of who you are, it also helps you develop wisdom and life skills. If it is helpful, write down your thoughts as you reflect.

Body challenge: Take your vitamins.
We don’t always get all our vitamins and minerals from our diet, sometimes despite our best efforts, but we can take nutritional supplements to counter that. However in order for it to work, we have to remember to take our vitamins every day. So today, after conferring with your doctor, add some nutritional supplements to you daily routine.

Yemisi says…The fast and the furious!

The Fast and the Furious

This is Lagos!

Where everything runs at the speed of light; “fast fast”, “sharp sharp” and “now now” are everyday lingo, and everyone seems to be rushing somewhere.

Impatience levels here are extremely high and everyday interactions can trigger fistfights and intense arguments. Queuing at a petrol station or being stuck in one of our legendary traffic jams can become an exercise in creative and highly colourful verbal and physical abuse, as everyone tries to get ahead unfairly and unjustly, possessed by a spirit of one-upmanship that makes cars maliciously speed up to cut you off when you indicate to move into their lane. After all, don’t you know my time and my destination are much more important than yours? Who do you think you are??? Do you know who I am???

I’ve always wondered what makes us so angry and crazy in this amazing and complex town that’s been described as “New York on crack.” The land of fast talk, fast money, fast cars, fast women and faster deals. My mom used to blame it on the heat, and the amount of pepper we consume. Well, that’s one theory. I think its because Lagosians have forgotten where we came from. No-one knows how to just be anymore. We are so caught up with “life” that we’ve forgotten how to really live…

The microwave lifestyle is a sign of the times. Once upon a time Africans used to pride ourselves on having some incontrovertible values:

Being our brother’s keeper…
Believing it takes a village to raise a child…
Looking out for each other…

Granted, it has not all been songs and roses, but all in all we’ve been thought to have more of a sense of community and caring than that which exists in the western world, where your eighty year old next door neighbour can be found dead in her flat after three weeks, but only after someone complained about the smell coming from her house and commented on the collection of full milk bottles on her doorstep.

But we have now become followers of the “Cult of Me,” which advocates getting ahead at all costs, pushing and elbowing people out of the way. Using others as a stepping stone to climb the ladder; being concerned only about “my” time, “my” work “my” bills, “my” family, “my” things; striving to have more of “all”, if there is any such thing, and faster than ever, employing anger, aggression and disrespect to get it.

We want it now, don’t waste our time.

Having an alternative view or hankering for the old order of things may make one seem radical at best, or just plain stupid. A Johnny Just Come. A “mumu,” whose “eye never open.”

I live in the middle of the chaos of this awesome, frenzied city. But I aim to learn to stop and really see people and things instead of just glancing at them; to learn to be content, and not accumulate empty things harder!better!faster!more!!!; to really feel things instead of just hopping from one experience to the next in the search of the next big thrill…

I want to slow down, so I can intensify my experience of the beauty of life amidst the chaos of Lagos living…

I want to be in the eye of the storm. Could use some company…


Yemisi says…

EwellAfrica would like to introduce you to a new blogger! Welcome Yemisi Sawyerr.

Yemisi Sawyerr is a Nigerian HR Practitioner whose great love affair with words began at a very early age. With too many opinions she can’t keep to herself, she writes to share her perspective on the world, life, shoes and everything in-between.

Yemisi will be writing bimonthly and she has great insights to wellness matters concerning the spirit and the mind. Look for her blog and get inspired, informed and empowered.

The fear factor.

I often imagine fear as a person…

On a day to day basis, usually a seemingly benign, well intentioned, unpaid yet ever present person walking around behind me all day and night – kind of like a bodyguard – telling me all the things that can go wrong with the decisions I plan to make.

“Don’t let your guard down, this person will only hurt you,” “Don’t go to that dinner, get together/party; you’re not as accomplished as everyone there and you’ll only feel out of place and inferior,” “Don’t start that business, it will only take time away from the job you have now, and that’s safe and comfortable and stable,” “Don’t take that risk, because you never know something terrible might happen.. you know my advice is only for your own good, I’m only looking out for you, I don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed, ” it says.

It’s easy to listen to the voice sometimes. Cloak yourself in the comfort and sameness and stability it seems to provide. Reducing your life to a 5 by 10 foot box where everything is controlled and predictable and life is a black and white movie with no soundtrack…A meal without flavour is still a meal after all…It will provide nourishment and sustenance, but absolutely nothing else…

But when the really big decisions and opportunities come, I imagine fear as an armed bandit, pointing a gun at my head with the safety off, trying to rob me of my dreams before I have even dreamed them, my vision before I’ve even seen it, and my desires before I can articulate them. This manifestation of fear is aggressive, persistent and adamant and only shows up when we sense we are about to birth something big, bringing with it its no less insidious cousins, Doubt and Insecurity to complete the wet work and chop up the vestiges of our resolve with pickaxes…

It’s the one that shows up when you discover a God given gift of writing and tells you loudly when you’re building your confidence and honing your skills…

“You better stop wasting your time; nobody wants to hear what you have to say.”

When you meet the man/woman of your dreams:

“You know you have all these issues. You’re too needy/aggressive/argumentative/manipulative/insecure… (please feel free to add your own adjective) to make this relationship work, you better end it now before it gets messy and you sabotage it ….”

When you’re building the confidence to change your lifestyle, your job, your priorities:

“Who are you kidding?? You have no willpower!! You’ll never be able to sustain this!! You better quit while you’re ahead. ”

For all its ability to disguise itself as “caution” and “self preservation,” This I know to be true:

Fear is an enemy

There is nothing worse than being held hostage by your own fear. Every vision to better yourself viciously kidnapped at birth. To be paralysed, forced into inertia by voices in your own head making you afraid to “do” and to “be.” Missing out on a life full of colour and music, existing always at the level of “potential”, never fully coming in to your own and manifesting your talents, abilities, visions and dreams…

Fear is a cold blooded murderer of the spirit. A premature reaper of destinies… An author and finisher of regrets… As with all enemies this one can only be defeated one way…

Face it and Fight.

Fear thrives on silence. The voices are in our heads and expect to stay there, manning the controls that cause us to apply the brakes on our lives before we can manifest the gifts inherent in us.

How do I fight? I talk to God. I read His love letter to me, and He says He hasn’t given me the spirit of fear. But of Power, Love and a Sound Mind. I confess it, I speak it. I am learning to answer the voices with the Sword of the Spirit when they tell me I can’t/I won’t/I shouldn’t.

I fight them and speak them into silence. I write them into silence. I am choosing everyday, one day at a time to believe the opposite of what they say. They have stolen too much, its time to get it back…

It’s a long battle, one I will probably have to fight all my life. But I won’t give up. And I am not alone.


My life will not be a pirated copy of the original

I choose to live it in Technicolor…

If knowledge is power…silence is ignorance…

By M.Hood Rocks

The birth of my first child was truly a testament to the power and love of God! Nothing spectacular about my pregnancy—I had gained a total of XX pounds ( “XX” only because I truly cannot remember how much weight I put on!) and was a glowing, jet black, broad nosed but happy as a lark whopping 225 pounds, the day before she was born.
Oh, I lie about the ordinary nature of my pregnancy—she was overcooked and I was induced after 41 weeks. She had it too good in-vitro and knew it! I worked till the very end (I think two days before I delivered) and I remember the frantic phone calls from colleagues if I was more than 20 minutes late to work and sighs of relief when I finally waddled into the office. The entire office was on “baby watch”…I have indeed digressed.
I had the perfect child. She weighed in at 9.8 pounds and was a beautiful, physical manifestation of God’s awesomeness. Life was a dream and I was a combination of drunk and high on new motherhood.
Then at 14 months, my daughter was diagnosed with a condition known as precocious puberty. In a nutshell, her brain was receiving signals at an abnormally young age to undergo puberty. This was not hereditary. No one on either side of our families had experienced this. It was a random condition that occurred in one out of 10,000 healthy kids, I was told.
I was devastated. My perfect life had indeed come to a rude, screeching halt! It didn’t matter at the time that it wasn’t life threatening. Nor did it matter that medical science had a solution. It also didn’t matter that my amazingly hands on husband (who noticed the early symptoms) was remarkably supportive and stayed positive when I was losing it.
Then within a few days, I snapped out of it and got into super-mommy-who-would-go-to-the-end-of- the-world-for-her-child mode. No one was going to die over this and my faith kicked in. We went online and started the research and education. Then went to the Paediatrician and found the best endocrinologist in the area. I did my research and even found and joined an online support group, to my mother’s utter shock and disapproval! She didn’t understand why I felt the need to talk about it. Prayers should have been enough.
Speaking of prayers, I remember going to the endocrinologist with my mom (who of course flew in from Nigeria almost as soon as she heard—God love that woman!) and for the first time, found something in this situation to ROFLOL about. The treatment would require that my daughter got a shot every 30 days. This sounded like a heck of an inconvenience, but certainly doable. Then came the kicker: She would have to take the shots every 30 days till about the age of 9 when puberty naturally began!!
To that my Ibo Catholic mother responded, “God forbid! I cancel that in Jesus name…I will pray and fast and God will do this for me!”
My American doctor’s retort, “Ma’am, I’m a scientist. I believe in medical solutions. I can’t speak for any other cure.”
I know it took everything in my mom to sit there silently while her heart was telling her to grab her daughter and grand-daughter and run away from this descendant of Satan pretending to be a doctor. But it was a hilarious moment and I remember holding my laugh. Then my daughter started laughing. She obviously couldn’t grasp what was going on, but something made her laugh at that moment and I lost it. I laughed so hard at my mom’s reaction and even harder at the doctor’s straight-faced response.
To give credit to both—I knew everything was going to be okay through a combination of constant prayers and the 30 day routine of shots. In fact, I was mentally prepared for about eight years of shots. But this awesome God of mine had a different plan—I think he wanted to get back at “the scientist” for doubting his might!
After about a year and a half of shots that we were now doing on our own at home every 30 days—I remember that ritual so well: I would hold the lollipop and hug my daughter’s head tightly against my chest, while her dad squeezed her thigh and gave her the shot. She would scream her heart out and once it was over and the lollipop was in her mouth, life was good again and “naughty mommy and daddy” weren’t the bad guys anymore…I digress again.
God had a different plan and after a year and half of shots and regular visits to the hospital, “the scientist” was happily proved wrong! All my daughter’s hormone levels checked out and stayed normal. It was indeed a miracle that she had been cured. God had indeed done it for my mother as she asked him to! I don’t think the scientist ever used the words “miracle or God.” I think she preferred the phrase “highly irregular.” But she was thrilled all the same. Strong as my faith was, I wasn’t totally convinced that a miracle had indeed occurred, and subjected my daughter to a few more unnecessary shots and doctors visits, just to make sure. “The scientist” assured us after the last visit, “She is fine. All you need to do now is let her grow up like a normal child. Stop worrying!”
It’s been about seven years since the last shot. My daughter is now 10 and has begun to show the signs of puberty. How thrilled I was when the realisation hit that her nipples were swelling at age 9. Training bra shopping was such an honour and not the fearful experience it would have been had I needed to do it at age 6! I am also happy to report that at age 10 she hasn’t began her menstrual cycle.
Yes that’s the downside of untreated precious puberty. These kids start out being the biggest and tallest and their growth curves are off the chart: in the late 90thpercentile in height and weight. But it gets worse. Untreated, girls with precocious puberty could undergo puberty, complete with pubic hair and even begin their menstrual cycle as early as 6 or 7. In boys, their voices break around the same age. They reach puberty at an abnormally young age and they peak just as young.
They are the tallest in class and amongst their peers by the age of 5 or 6, and then they stop growing by age 8 or 9 and stay at that height into adulthood. You’ve probably seen people with untreated precious puberty. They are very small and abnormally short adults. They aren’t quite dwarfs, but not much taller than midgets.
I am thankful for a lot of things.
I am thankful first for my faith and the strength it gave me to do the right thing in seeking answers. I am thankful for a husband whose diligence as a father led him to notice symptoms I might not have seen till later. I am thankful for a mother whose belief in God and prayers kept me strong. I am thankful for the privilege of living in a country with an excellent health care system (okay, I’m not saying it is perfect…) and brilliant, committed “scientists.” Ultimately, I am thankful for growing up and living in an open society that gave me the courage and confidence to ask questions and seek answers about things I knew nothing about. I found and joined a group of women who shared their experiences and through whom I discovered an amazing network of brilliant doctors. My endocrinologist aka “scientist” is my friend to this day and I pop by to see her from time to time when I am in the States.
I live in Nigeria now. I love living here. I love that my kids are growing up around their grandparents with a solid understanding of their culture, who they are and where they come from. I also love the sense of community here. But paradoxically, I am often floored and fearful of the level of ignorance in this country. Even amongst people who ought to know better. People, who have lived in open societies, yet allow themselves to be silenced by fear of what people will think and say.
I say fearful because I am a true believer that silence oftentimes leads to ignorance and ignorance could ultimately be deadly. I see it every day in this society. Silence on domestic violence, rape, child abuse, AIDS, cancer, corruption…The list is endless.
Nigerians as a people do not believe in therapy. We are a loud and boisterous bunch, yet we don’t believe in talking or reaching out when we are in need of emotional help. Here, discussing personal issues is equivalent to “airing dirty laundry!” Yes, cancer is still considered taboo and a disease not to be spoken of. We prefer to suffer in silence. Those who can afford to, sneak out of the country, suffer and die in silence. Then we read the famous obituary that so and so died after a brief illness.
I am not advocating that people write and lecture about beatings, rapes, their HIV status and the like. More power to those who are able and willing to share, with the intention of helping others. But silence is not the answer. There is no dignity in suffering silently. I am also aware of the society we live in. Many Nigerians believe that the great majority of our citizenry are not a compassionate lot. And that in fact, it is safer to “keep your secrets secret,” because the same people you confide in are those who wish you ill and will be amongst the first to expose you….There might be some truth to that, but I refuse to let that be a justification for silence. You don’t have to join a group, but for goodness sake talk to someone—a mother, sister or immediate family member.
In my time of need, confusion or when I just need to get stuff off my chest, the first people I turn to are my sisterhood. They are a small group. In fact they don’t qualify as a group: sis and mom. But I have also been known to share personal stories with people I know may not have my best interest at heart. Why? For very selfish reasons—I let it out and the burden is lifted. Even through fake sympathy, one can gain strength.
My story ended well because I chose to ask questions rather than hide in fear of something I couldn’t understand or explain. My daughter is a beautiful, tall 10 year old now. My fears for her today are not at all health related. Instead my prayers for her are that she continues to thrive in everything that she does, and stays the amazing person whose love and thoughtfulness are daily reminders of God’s love and awesomeness in my life!

For more information on precocious puberty click here

Be well challenge – Day 2

It’s Day 2 of the 21 day challenge…How did you guys do yesterday? Eat fruits? Well don’t stop now, the idea of the challenge is to incorporate each day’s challenge into your life, not just do them for one day, so fruits and veggies should become part of your every day diet.
So enjoy your fruit and also don’t forget, no negative self dialogue! Speak to yourself with respect and appreciation…No more, I am so stupid, or I am crazy…no more, I am just a fat pig…no more. Recognize your areas of opportunity as just that, simply things you can improve, and accept them as part of the beautiful wonderful person that you are.

Now on to Day 2! Are you ready? Remember it is your life….LIVE IT!

Your challenge for today is this.

Mind challenge: Be a rockstar.
Find sometime today to rock out to your favorite music and we do mean rock out. Let loose, throw your hands in the air and get connected to the beat and the rhythm or if you prefer ballads, sing out loud to them (maybe in the shower?) close your eyes and really feel the music.
Music has been shown to be of tremendous benefit to us. It increases concentration, creates positive emotions which help keep anxiety and depression at bay. It has even been suspected of reducing blood pressure and boosting immunity. There are whole fields of therapy designed around music.
So today, whether you are in your car, or in your bedroom…bust a move honey! It’s good for you.

Spirit challenge: Forgive and let go.
Lewis Smedes said “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Unforgiveness takes a great toll on our emotional and even physical health. Studies have shown that when individuals recall issues that they still harbor resentment over and people that they have not forgiven, then their heart rate increases, along with their blood pressure and muscle tension. Dr Dan Colbert, physician and author of the book “Deadly emotions” states that “One of the secret causes of stress plaguing millions of people is unforgiveness.” Clearly it would behoove each of us to forgive those that hurt us and we recognize that it is difficult to do, but today, pledge to start the process of forgiveness, not for them but for you.

So there you have it. Now it may not be easy but it is doable. Now remember how it works, declare your intent to participate by leaving a comment, right below this article. There is something powerful about intention, declaring what you intend to do.

So who is with me?! Don’t slack today, get on board and join the Be well challenge.