Sunday, August 16, 2015

I want to do a gym ministry too!

So you want to have a garage gym too.
We hear that a lot, especially from young men that walk in to our facility and fall in love.
But here is the thing....
Running a gym is not easy.
Running a ministry is not easy.
Running a gym ministry is NOT easy.
So before you run out and buy a squat rack, lets take a look at what it takes to run a full time gym ministry. 

0500-0545 quiet time
0600-0730 military athlete class 
0730-0755 breakfast/put on meal for the fellowship dinner
0800-0930 lady's class 
0930-1100 kid's class
1100-1200 grocery shopping
1200-1230 lunch for me and William
1230-1430 Nap time for William
Clean house prep freezer meals prepare for fellowship dinner 
1430-1530 run with William in stroller
1530-1700 play with William
1700-1745 prep for military athlete class
discuss coaching strategy
determine modifications for various ability levels
1800-1930 military athlete class
1930-2100 fellowship dinner
2100-2200 cleaning up the gym 
2200-2300 work on programming for the gym

Take a look at that schedule for a regular Monday in our world. Everything that is bold is a gym specific activity. Go ahead and add up the time, I'll wait. 

That is 12.25 HOURS spent doing things for our gym ministry. And this is the schedule if it all goes exactly as planned, meaning no one stays after to discuss nutrition or asks us to take a look at the pain they are having in their [insert any body part here] or to talk about personal issues. 

Please do not hear me as saying that you can't run a gym ministry or that it is impossible. It isn't. But it is VERY challenging. Having a ministry in your home will take up every last ounce of strength that you have to give it, just running the day to day. If you are going to take up a ministry in your home you HAVE to have a quiet time, you have to have a good place you are being fed, and you have to have a great mentor to help you sort out your priorities. 

If you do not have these things and you are trying to run a ministry from your home you will fail. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Running even a super small ministry puts you in the devil's cross-hairs. Do not allow yourself to become easy picking. Use the armor that God has given you to protect your heart and mind. 

So my challenge to you today is, what are you doing to protect your ministry?

Some of you may be saying but I don't have a garage gym, why does it matter? Do you have a spouse? DO you have kids? Do you have co-workers? There is your ministry field. Those are the people that God has hand placed in your life for you to have an impact upon. 

So, what are you doing to protect your ministry? 

Friday, August 14, 2015

My 12 Favorite Slow-Cooker Freezer Meals

Today I am going to share with you my favorite slow-cooker meals and how to cook them. As anyone who has been at my dinner table knows, I am a big fan of slow-cooker freezer meals. I use a freezer meal three nights a week. These are my absolute favorite meals and I have linked directly to the ingredients that use on Amazon. All the ingredients listed below the title are to be dumped in to the freezer bags together, zip the bag and you are good to go!

Here is what all you need:
8  lbs chicken (breast or thigh)
10 lbs ground beef
3 pork loins
1 package of Freezer ZipLock Bags
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
1 bottle of Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian Dressing
1 bottle of Kraft Catalina Dressing
1 bottle of Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing
1 bottle of Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1 bottle of Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning
1 bottle of Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning
1 bottle of garlic powder
1 bottle of onion powder
1 bottle of pepper
1 bottle of salt
4 carton of tomato sauce
2 boxes of yellow rice
4 packets of mild taco seasoning
4 packets of spicy taco seasoning
2 cans of chicken broth
4 cans of peas
4 cans of corn
4 cans of red beans
4 cans of black beans

1 pork loin
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

1 pork loin 

1 pork loin
garlic powder
onion powder

MEXICAN SOUP (You will make this recipe four times in four separate bags)
2 lbs of ground beef
1 carton of tomato sauce
1 packets of mild taco seasoning
1 packets of spicy taco seasoning
1 cans of peas
1 cans of corn
1 cans of red beans
1 cans of black beans

2 lbs of ground beef
2 table spoons garlic powder
1 table spoon onion powder
1 table spoon pepper
2 table spoon salt
2 cans of chicken broth
2 boxes of yellow rice

2 lb of chicken
1 bottle of Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian Dressing
1 tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning

2 lb of chicken
1 bottle of Kraft Catalina Dressing

2 lb of chicken
1 bottle of Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing

2 lb of chicken
1 bottle of Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

I hope that you enjoy these super savory meals!
Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Guest Post: Tips for Moms from Wife, Mom, and Friend

So today we have a special guest post from a friend of mine (Morgan) from high school. Keri is an awesome mom and is working hard to get her life back on track after having two sweet babies. Keri is going to give us some of her awesome tips to manage her health and nutrition while having small children. Lets jump in and get started.  
Keri says:
I thought I would share a little bit about how I changed my habits when I started to work on myself and lose weight while being a stay at home mom. I never really ate a "meal" when I first started staying home with the kids. I would grab bites of things I was giving them or eat handfuls of goldfish in between feedings or diaper changes. I would get so hungry that I would eat a poptart or two in the pantry while trying to find something to make for dinner. Have you ever seen that Snickers commercial where the mom is eating it super fast in the pantry so the kids don't ask for a bite? That was totally me!  
I finally decided to start counting calories and realized I would have to add in all of those extra bites and snacks I was having. It added up fast! I used this app called My Fitness Pal. This is a great tool for knowing exactly how many calories you are consuming. You can scan anything with a barcode on it or search for things. For example, if you are at Chickfila and wanted to get chicken nuggets you would type "Chickfila nuggets" and they'll pull up. It's really simple to use and it's free. 
Another big change I made was to start walking with the kids everyday. They knew everyday we were going and loved it. They actually kept me accountable on the days I didn't feel like going. It was a win-win. 
Sometimes it seems hard to make healthy choices when you have little kids. But the truth of the matter is, you need to take baby steps. One thing at a time. If you make spaghetti on a regular basis opt for whole wheat pasta and ground turkey. Also, measure out your portions. I can't stress this enough. Everything is ok in moderation. Another change you can make is to skip the bread. It's hard at first but eventually you will see how much better you feel because you didn't eat ALL-THE-BREAD. Give your kids fruit. All the time. My kids absolutely love fruit. Sometimes it seems like a pain to chop up and wash the fruit, but if you do it all at once and store them at eye level in your fridge it will be so easy to grab. Take the time to do some meal prep. As moms, whether you're working or not, you are extremely busy. Sometimes cooking gets so overwhelming because of the time and mess.
If you dedicate a day like Sunday to meal prep it will be so much easier during the week. Most of your meals will already be cooked. Grill all your meat on Sundays. Cut up all your veggies. Cut up all your fruit. Make a fruit salad. Make two meals that you can reheat for the week. Like I said before take baby steps. This may mean at first all you do to meal prep is grill or bake all your chicken for week and then wash and cut up fruit. That will still help tremendously and allow you to grab something healthy if you are in a hurry. 
One last and final tip: Drink mostly water. Have your cup of coffee in the morning, but then make it a habit to drink water. It's so important for you. It helps you lose weight. It helps flush out toxins. It helps your skin and hair. It is so important. Water also helps you stay full and to not snack as much. Most of the time when we feel hungry for a snack it's really our brain wanting water. I had chronic headaches for years until one day I started making myself drink water. You're supposed to have half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 200 lbs you're supposed to have 100 ounces of water a day. Try it. Every hour make yourself chug some water. I carry around a big jug that holds 72 ounces of water. I know that by looking at this jug I have to finish all the water in here before I go to bed. 
Remember to take baby steps when trying to implement habits and new changes. I believe this will help you stick to it and not get overwhelmed. Some days you may mess up but if you keep trying then you are staying consistent and doing good!
Wife,mom, and friend,Keri 

Keri's Bio:I'm a wife and stay at home mom of two kids! They are the biggest blessings in my life. I gained over 50 pounds between the two pregnancies and was at an all time high after having my son, Max. Slowly I starting making little changes and creating new habits to help me lose weight. I feel better than ever and have lost over 50 pounds. I have learned a lot about myself in the process and I believe taking the time to better myself has helped me become a better wife and mom as well. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

5 Reasons Moms Should Mobilize

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why moms should strength train and you can read about that here. It was so much fun (and got such a great response!) that today I want to share with you my reasons for why moms should mobilize.

Walk in to any globo-gym and you will see people "lifting weights" and "doing cardio". You know what you don't see a lot of? Mobility work! Mobility is a crucial aspect of everyday life and yet it is the easiest to ignore. You know why? Mobility work isn't sexy. Nobody walks in to the office or a MOPS group and says, "man, I mobilized SO hard yesterday". It isn't cool to brag about like lifting heavy or a 6 mile "run". Nevertheless, we should be doing it, especially moms. Here are my top 5 reasons for moms to mobilize.

1.) Brush Your Hair
I don't know about y'all but nursing a baby has taken a SERIOUS toll on my overhead position. In the first couple of weeks nursing, forget trying to take a movement overhead. I was so stiff from constantly nursing my 15 pound two month old that I could even brush my own hair. (Hence my very dramatic, 25.7 inch haircut) I actually had to ask my wonderful husband to help me brush out my ridiculously long mane. After a few times of this little routine my husband wisely suggested we check our favorite mobility book for option to help. After following Dr. Starrett's advice for a couple of days I regained my ability to brush my own hair. Now, I love doing the overhead band stretch to open everything up after a long night of nursing my son. Moral of the story?Unless you want to end up looking like Oscar the Grouch, I highly recommend that all new moms mobilize their shoulders and lats!

2.) Mom Hip
So you're in the grocery store right? Your child is in the seat, generally being adorable when you notice your hip is feeling a little tender so you shift your weight to the other side allowing you hip to extend outward... The result is the dreaded mom hip, and a serious no go. What you are doing here is putting all the stress of your body weight on your joints rather than using your muscles to hold everything in place, like it is designed to do. The muscles in your hips and your butt will get weak and then it will get even worse... It will start to impact your ability to squat. And as any good lifter knows, the squat is a fundamental movement not just for lifting but for life. So what can you do? Hit the foam roller. My favorite one can be found here. Spend some time working on your legs: front, back, and sides. Then roll your butt. I know it sounds silly but you will be grateful when you aren't standing like you have a newborn when your kid goes to college.

3.) Standing Tall
One of the number one things people say to me when they come in my gym is that they want to look slimmer. I totally get it. Having a baby is hard, nursing a baby is hard, being up all night is hard. It takes a toll on your body. The sleep deprivation tends to annihilate any semblance of self control when it come to food so you feel puffy and gross. The first thing I have a woman do when she comes to talk to me about joining the gym is have her stand up straight. First take a picture of her just standing. Then I tell her to imagine that someone has a grip on her hair and is pulling her to the ceiling. Now take another picture and compare the two. Let her see how beautiful she really is, when she stands the way that God made her to.  She is beautiful right?! So what does this have to do with mobility? In his book, Dr. Starrett talks about thoracic extension over a foam roller. I have found that most ladies (especially moms!) that come in the gym have just forgotten what it feels like to fully stand up and open up her spine. This mobility movement will help women to remember what that feels like so she will be better able to stand correctly in real life.

4.) Get on the Floor
Have you ever been at story time and you see a mom trying to get on the floor with her kid? She decides not to and instead grabs a chair. I don't want to be that mom. I want to be able to get up and down off the ground quickly and easily with my kids. This is an important life skill, and pretty self explanatory. You need to stretch, roll, as well as tack and floss your legs regularly.

5.) Baby Wearing
So you are a new mom and you have big dreams of wearing your baby, that is totally normal. Then you get to the grocery store parking lot, put your baby in your Ergo... And you can't get it snapped behind you. Now you have to awkwardly walk up to a random person and ask them to clip you. Let me tell you, I HATE having to do that. I will do all the mobilization in the world in order to not have to ask a stranger to clip my Ergo for me. I like to use the foam roller and the lacrosse ball on my lats, that makes the biggest difference in being able to clip my Ergo on my own.

So these are my top 5 reasons that moms should mobilize. 

Be sure to check out my Top 5 Reasons Moms Should Strength Train

Let me know if you think of others reasons!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Philippians 4:13 and Athletic Events

We own a garage gym that is a Christian environment. People ask me often if I have Philippians 4:13 up in our gym?" And the answer is no. Don't get me wrong it is a fine verse but I don't believe that this particular verse should be used in reference to sporting events or training. 

So what does this verse say? 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

It is a great verse, but it shouldn't be used in an athletic setting, because it means SO much more than that. Philippians 4:13 comes (obviously) from the book of Philippians. Paul wrote this book FROM PRISON. And this isn't some cushion-y prison like here in the United States today. No we are talking dingy, dangerous, depressing, Roman prisons. Think about that for a second... 

This isn't a note saying "hey guys, work hard because you can do it!" No, this is a serious message. 

Go back and read the whole book of Philippians again, don't worry, I will wait. 

Let me give you a brief overview: 

Paul is writing FROM A JAIL CELL telling Christians to stand firm, to take the disastrous issues that come and fight through them to glorify His kingdom. This is telling you that when you are starving,  when you are in prison, when you are broken for the kingdom of God, keep going. Only through Christ can you do these things. 

Philippians 4:13 is not a way to pump yourself up for a big lift or motivate you through a tough WOD. Philippians 4:13 is there to remind you to fight the good fight for the kingdom of God. 

So, you won't be seeing Philippians 4:13 in the gym or on a Farr Fitness shirt to motivate you, but we would love the chance to talk to you about using this verse to strengthen your personal walk with Christ and your ministry.