Intentionality; adj. The fact of being deliberate or purposive. Take a minute to think about the things you are intentional towards. Maybe these things include your diet or workout plan. Maybe you intentionally sleep in on Saturday mornings, or intentionally eat poorly on the weekends. Good or bad, every habit is established with intentionality and has the ability to transfer into a mundane task. Our bodies thrive off of finding rhythm. They adapt quicker than we pretend they do, and they are constantly striving for comfort. This is why any habit we establish can become routinely rhythmic over time. Our mind wants to be as efficient as possible and so do our bodies. Once we have established efficiency, intentionality has been lost.

This week I have been focusing on being more intentional with my actions. Change is not the only result of intentional actions. Intentionality births opportunity, comfort, love, care, loyalty, and refreshment. Intentional behavior transforms you from the inside, out. Let’s talk about different ways you can be intentional this week!

1.) Be intentional with the way you love and interact with others.

-Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, be mindful of how you love on those close to you and those you just met. If you are an extrovert who loves to be loud and control a conversation, think of how you can intentionally take time to listen to a friend and interact with them in a way that gives them a voice. If you are an introvert, come out of your shell, check in on a friend to see how their week is going. Tell someone what you love about them. If you are in a store and like a girl’s haircut—tell her! Little actions like these give you a wider array of impact which can lead you into a lot of rooms you never would have had access to before.

2.) Be intentional with how you serve others.

-What’s a way you can help out a friend or family member this week? Clean a back porch, pick up dinner, babysit for free. Maybe it’s a simple gesture, like picking up clothes from the dry cleaners or milk for the neighbor. You don’t have to be superwoman, but you can find little things help your friends in need! Be the dependable friend.

3.) Be intentional with you how you take care of your body.

-Go to the grocery store in the beginning of the week, plan your meals, plan your workouts the night before, drink your water, get your sleep, know when to take an off day or two. “I don’t have time to exercise” is the BIGGEST excuse! There is so much access to move your body every day. Look up a YouTube video when you get home from work, go for a jog, get up before work and go to the gym; find your way you like to move and DO IT. The issue is never not having enough time, it’s the lack of preparation and the lack of intentionality. Romanticize your workout routine. Be intentional, plan your workout date and get after it.

4.) Be intentional with how you take care of your mind.

- Getting up an extra thirty minutes in the morning to spend time sipping your coffee, being still and awakening your senses is a great way to mentally prepare yourself for your day ahead of you. Sleep is essential but when you wake up and are in a rush to eat, get dressed, and prep for your day, this can GREATLY affect your mood. Whether it’s reading, praying, writing or just sitting still, carve time out of each day to stay in a good head space. Intentional actions here will affect your social intentions.

5.) Be intentional with how you speak.

- Let your words be little bubbles of truth and encouragement encased in humility and honor. Words are sensitive but they carry easily and they travel far. Let your words be intentional, let them come from a place of wisdom, and let them come from a sound mind. Be intentional with how you think. If you struggle with judgement, force your mind to replace your initial thought with a spoken affirmation. Pretty soon it will become more and more natural. We all struggle with different battles but let your words be a weapon that fights for the defenseless and defends the attacked. Let your thoughts and words line up with your character. Lastly, intentionality matters not just in how you talk and think of others. It also regards how you think and talk about yourself. Intentional positivity, intentional truths about who God has called you to be.

As you carry out the rest of your week, take these practices into consideration. Start practicing intentionality in your family, in your business, with your friends, and in your daily routine. Watch how your environment can drastically change just by pressing in a little more. Be the best you every single day!

Love Always.

The Fit Business.

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There is so much negativity in our every-day lives. We get on social media and we see people bashing each other in political debates. On Instagram, women tear other women down, on twitter every opinion is chastised. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Social media is just ONE aspect to our lives. Let alone, our friendships, work relationships, interactions out in public with strangers and aggressive body language when we get offended. Criticism continues to spike, authenticity is opaque, and humility is unrecognizable. Lending a hand without an expected return is unheard of. How SAD is that? In a world where technology advances and the ability to connect is at an all-time high, connection has increasingly become disengaged.

Maybe you’re on to the toxicity of this kind of environment.

Maybe you want to create a different atmosphere.

Maybe you want to be the light in a room full of darkness.

So now my question to you is are you someone who likes to light up the room or looks for the room that’s already lit? My challenge to you is why not be both? Be the trendsetter and the cheerleader. But when you expend your energy make sure you aren’t wasting your charge.

What do you mean?

Don’t keep lighting up a room that blows out your flame.

Give opportunity for people to change. Always give your best energy to each interaction you encounter. However, recognize when someone wants to continuously sabotage your agenda, energy, and joy. The light you share with others is never wasted but having the wisdom when to move on to a new room, a new environment or a new recharge is important. Being in leadership positions is challenging, you will face opposition, you will face people who will make you realize the importance of knowing your “why”. This is good! We need people in our lives that make us dig deep, challenge our beliefs and question our motives. What we need to be careful of is that we aren’t pouring into a black hole. Know when you need to walk away gracefully! Don’t lose your zeal, don’t lose your light, just change your direction.

Remember your purpose.

Your purpose is to bring light and to GIVE light. If it isn’t received, don’t beat yourself up. Your consistency in character will go a long way and someone in the shadows might be taking it all in. The way you treat others, the way you don’t dim your light under the heaviness of pressure speaks volumes. In fact, when you are surrounded by darkness, your light shines the brightest. It might make you stand out; it may make you look different, but it holds power.

Finding a new room to light isn’t exclusion, it’s protection.

It’s easy to get attacked when you deny, walk away, or change direction of where you’re headed. We are creatures of habit, and routine. When we go against the current, it makes heads turn. It’s easy to feel stupid, exclusive, and critical. Remember though, if your flame keeps getting put out by your environment, a new direction is needed. You need a recharge station, and you need a support system that charges you up so you can shine brighter. You aren’t being selfish. You can’t reach many with burning coals, you need the full flame! Good healthy friction brings a flame, but it takes two of the same kind of material to bring to life. Find your environment that makes your flame grow, conflict is always welcome but the closer the conflict gets to you, the more concerning it becomes. The things closest to you, must build you up, encourage you, and help guide you so you can thrive in any environment. You help others by expending what you have stored inside your heart and mind.

A couple takeaways for today:

In negative environments, stand out with your positivity. Surround yourself closely with people that breathe life into you. Continue to shine even in the shade. If your energy continues to be drained, find a new charging station. And lastly, don’t be afraid when you cause a stir. You’re stirring new flames in dormant hearts! Results aren’t immediate and aren’t in your control. Leave the change to God and continue to shine on, my mighty flame! You are making a difference in the world, whether you realize it or not.

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Everyone knows that proper nutrition is key to your overall health. A good diet that makes you feel energized, happy, and healthy goes a long way when it comes to looking and feeling good. With increasing awareness to eating disorders and the problems that can arise from over and under eating, the health industry has started to bring awareness to viewing food as proper fuel to an engine. And although I strongly concur with this mindset, I challenge the idea that although food is fuel, fuel is not always food. Fuel is found in so much more than what you eat.

What do you mean by this?

Although a good diet, and ample exercise makes us feel healthy physically, we still can be ill mentally. Physical health and proper nutrition are key ingredients in the recipe for a happy, healthy lifestyle but like a cookie recipe, a little too much of either can become a bad end result. Obsessive exercising and obsessive scheduled eating may bring you your goal weight, but how does you overall life look? How do you treat others around you? Are you truly happy or are you just incredibly scheduled?

It’s an easy thing to get caught up in. Especially being in the fitness industry; physical goals can become so dialed in that you disregard so much around you. I have been there before. Where I am tracking and thinking about each unhealthy food I am eating. I have always been fascinated by sports nutrition, how food makes us tick and how I personally thrive off of what I eat. I’ve never been out of control, but I have had times in my life where I find myself often thinking of how I am going to structure each day in exercise and eating. It’s a sense of control. A desire to compete and reach a goal that becomes a little too attributed to my diet. To understand food is fuel is one thing, but to treat it like it’s magic can become toxic. With time, I realized that carbohydrate loads didn’t always bring about great races/games, and low fat diets didn’t always shred me up for a photo shoot. Over time I have come to the conclusion that food isn’t the only part of the equation and won’t always be the magic answer to fuel me.

So what is?

In 2019 I started to have food allergies. I took a blood test and the results showed I was sensitive to over twenty different foods. ALL the foods I had been eating! I was shocked. How could the very foods that once made me feel so good, so energized, so lean, and so happy now hurt me? I had several months of confusion after cutting the foods out and still not experiencing any improved health. I decided to go to a gastroenterologist. He told me nothing was wrong with me, I was just stressed. Stressed! Are you kidding me? Stress was causing me to bloat, and have stomach pain with everything I ATE? It was a hard lesson to learn, but it really allowed me to understand that health is a way bigger picture concept. It’s bigger than the workouts, it’s bigger than the diets, restrictions and binges. It is about your overall satisfaction with life.

How do you connect with your body?

How do you move in a way that makes you feel challenged yet complete?

How do you spend time feeding your spirit man and your soul?

How do you enjoy the little moments?

How do you set boundaries and how do you love others?

How do you connect with your Creator?

I have realized more in the last year how health is way broader than throwing down barbells and eating your greens. FUEL is work and fuel is also rest. Fuel is fellowship and fuel is a goodnight’s sleep. Fuel is more than food. Fuel is engagement with every little breathing thing around me. Fuel is gratitude, and fuel is love. So, the next time you’re disappointed in a crappy workout, or a bad number on the scale and want to blame food as your only source of fuel, think about your whole life. What are you guarding and what are you not giving up? What do you need more of and what do you need less of? How can you energize yourself with the things that set your soul on fire?

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