My Melanoma Miracle, Part 2: Lisa Lynn
As I spoke about in Part 1 of "My Melanoma Miracle", I had a melanoma removed from my left calf in January of this year (2014). It was only through the grace of God that I insisted on the mole being removed as it showed no signs of change in shape or size. Little did I know of the attack that was coming against my body from the inside out. But God knew and He led me with that still, small voice that I am convinced radically changed my life - for the better.
I told you in Part 1 that I wanted to talk about how honoring and respecting our bodies in a whole new way - Honoring God with your Bod - will not only change your body, but your whole life forever. But this way of thinking required a period of self-adjustment for me. A way of thinking, and acting, that was not instinctive. And it all began with my attitude.....
In January, 2014 when I had the melanoma removed from my left calf my thought process changed from worry to a "grateful to be alive" attitude. I now want to honor my body and respect it in a whole new way. This new phase of my "new" life includes more gratitude and self-love than ever before. I can hear some of you saying, "You Lisa? You struggle with the same everyday issues and problems that I face"? Absolutely! I'm human just like you and struggle the same way with the same issues that you do. I was also 40 pounds overweight at one time and know first-hand that seeing what's in the mirror takes longer to fix than just losing weight. This lack of confidence is a driving force to helping others and stop the suffering we all feel when we struggle with weight and all the outside, and inside, issues that go along with it.
Today I choose to honor God with my Bod. After all, He gave this body to me, and us. Don't I/we owe it to Him to take the best possible care of it that we can? What exactly does that mean?
I believe it's crucial to stay physically fit but we also need to be spiritually fit. Fitness begins on the inside as I talk about in my book, "The Metabolism Solution" - God and Your Bod. I'm going to say something that a lot of over-exercising (aka "exercise addicts") may not like, but please bear with me for a second. When you learn that you have a deadly disease everything changes - instantly. You no longer want to kill and torture yourself in the gym, which is what we feel we need to do as that is something we have "control" over. Our affliction or disease - not so much. Suddenly it's not about perfect thighs or weight. It's about being able to live to see your kids grow up!
Too often, the reason we "feel" we need to torture ourselves in the gym anyway is because we ate too much. Eating clean and exercising daily is the goal, not abusive types of workouts that leave us drained physically and emotionally. God is not pleased when we abuse our bodies - in any way. Every abusive action, thought or belief affects us in some way or another. It's critical that you are in touch with your inner self to learn what's driving you and your desires. Is it out of love? Out of fear? Here is a new way to begin thinking, if you don't already. It applies to your feelings and how you treat your body, and others as well:
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I can tell you with certainty, love never fails! Especially when it comes to changing your body.
I still face lots of questions today about "my future". And I'm sure you have questions about yourself and your future. That's why I want to share with you my "bullet proof" plan. Why do I call this time in my life "My Melanoma Miracle"? It's because I've seen first-hand that God can take a paralyzing fear and turn it into a faith so strong that nothing can stand against it. So, here are a few spiritual exercises that will strengthen your faith muscles and radically transform your body:
Form a Miracle Prayer Network/Group of at Least 8 People
Don't have one? I didn't either until now. This step is a necessity regardless of what you have to overcome. I chose to initially only share my story with people who I knew would lift me up daily, versus allowing me to stay stuck in fear and negativity. People I could trust would pray daily for me without being asked. Texting is a great way to send reminders daily. I send out a text message at 5am daily to my network to get the prayers going, and you know what - it works! Try it - you'll see. What have you got to lose?
By the way, if you find it hard to find those 8 people it just might be an indicator that you need to surround yourself with more positive people who really care - for you.
Get Off the Self-Pity Pot Squats
This is where I get stuck. I turned to my pastors and close prayer partners right away to help keep me off the pity party mentality. Pity parties don't work because they're usually attended by others of the same mentality that enable you to feel sorry for yourself and allow fear to gain a stronghold. Believe me, that's the last thing you want.
Stop Complaining and Start Praising
One of my all-time favorite preachers, Joyce Meyer, has a saying; "if you complain you will remain". Remember that love and gratitude never fails. Love wins every time and will make you feel better instantly. Gratitude shouldn't be an every-know-and-then occurrence. It should be a way of life, no matter what you face. Remember the old proverb, "I complained that I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet"? Can't think of anything to be grateful for? That's proof you're out of practice.
Exercise or Move Each Day - Your Life Depends On It
It's crucial to keep your body in working order by moving them each day to stop blood clots form forming and to detox. Yet if you're suffering from any disease, or you're not feeling good, remember that you do need to move moderately. Moderate exercise boosts immunity while over-exercising weakens it. There are plenty of exercises you can do when you're sick. Bottom line - do something.
If you need a workout be sure to check out my DVDs or the workout in my book. It's loaded with pictures and easy to follow. If you're chair-bound you can sit while doing almost all of the exercises.
Let Go and Let God, or Be Dragged Down
Whatever is bugging you - give it to God. Living in fear - no matter what you're facing is always full of stress. Even in those situations where you have no control you must stay faithful and keep you faith muscles strong so you can handle what may come your way. And the best way to strengthen the faith muscles........by bending your knees!
I hope that my sharing the past couple of weeks inspires you in a whole new way to take care of your body - inside and out. Never take your health for granted. That includes physical and spiritual as both need to be fed and maintained. Stay in touch with your yourself so you know what "normal" is.
I urge each of you to consider donating to the Yale Plastic Surgery and Melanoma Research Fund HERE. They are doing incredible research that will save lives. Please watch the video below to learn more.
But most of all.....
Stay Strong, Live Fearlessly, and God Bless You All!
Are You In Pain?
Pain, no matter what the cause or your age, is your body's way of letting you know it's out of balance. I always tell my clients that if you rest (no exercise) you'll rust! That's why we feel so horrible and achy. Exercise keeps our bodies limber and increase circulation all over, which delivers the nutrients our body needs to heal. Exercise also removes toxins making it critical when it comes time to keeping your body in working order so that we feel good. And I know from my own personal experience that when I feel good I eat better!
Remember, you can always do the Recovery Stretch or Lean Core Workouts on those days when you're not feeling very good. Our joints are designed like bladders and they need to be emptied in order to feel better. Have you ever noticed that you always feel better when you exercise and your aches and pains go away?
There really is no excuse NOT to exercise. If you're short on time do 15 minutes of the DVD in the morning and the other 15 after work.
Here are the top 5 causes of arthritis and joint pain:
- Eating red meat that causes inflammation because it's so acidic. Try seasoning your chicken the way you would a steak to satisfy and you'll lose your craving for red meat. Not to mention, you'll lose a lot weight!
- High blood sugar levels! If you carry most of your body fat around your stomach that's a sure sign your blood sugar levels are high. How do you fix that? You need to eat less starch and carbohydrates like breads, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes and decrease your fruit consumption. Be sure to check everything you eat or drink, including creamers, soy, almond and coconut milks. Keep a watch on protein bars and shakes (unless you're using LynFit's as it's low carb and low sugar).
You can also quickly lower blood sugar levels by taking LynFit Carb Edge 2-3 times daily before meals. It keeps blood sugar balanced by not allowing carbs to be digested. Taking LynFit Carb Edge also keeps your metabolism moving so you'll lose weight.
- You're not getting enough Omega-3's and getting too much Omega-6's from olive oils and food. Everyone should be taking LynFit Omega-3 daily for pain relief, to balance sugar and ease depression symptoms we feel this time of year. But not all Omega-3 supplements are what you think. Be sure your Omega contains at least 500mg of DHA and EPA each or take LynFit Omega-3. It contains purified high quality Omega-3 and contains 800 EPA and 600 DHA. It is made from pharmaceutical grade ingredients that are free of mercury and other contaminants that other store-bought brands contain. That's why I call it "pure"!
Did you know that Omega-3 travels along the same pathway as pain medications relieving pain the same way BUT Omega-3 won't slow down metabolism? I suggest taking (1) LynFit Omega-3 with a morning LynFit Complete Protein Shake and another at 3pm so you'll feel better. It also helps to keep cravings under control when they hit the hardest. For more advanced pain, take (1) LynFit Omega-3 before your workout and (1) immediately after.
- The pain medications you're taking to relieve the pain may actually be making it worse! Not just pain medications but lots of medications cause joint pain and body aches, not to mention they are often the cause of weight gain. Try a natural approach instead that relieves pain and helps you lose weight. Try taking LynFit Recovery Agent daily as a way to prevent or control pain. Or, use it the same way you would use an over-the-counter pain medication. You'll not only feel better fast, you'll be healing your body at the source of the pain versus masking the symptoms, making pain rebound after the medication wears off. Most of the time the rebound pain is worse than the original!
- You're not drinking enough water! Drink more water or green tea than you think you need to stay hydrated and help flush toxins out of your body that cause pain and makes you sluggish.
Get moving, NOW!
You Are Stronger Than Cancer!
I have learned the MOST important life lessons while working with cancer survivors and their families. Those lessons have taught me to appreciate my body because it carries me through my life every day. Instead of always complaining "it's not perfect", I am reminded how cancer survivors tell me you don't know how blessed you are until "that moment" arrives and your whole world changes, forever.
Cancer survivors always come in excited to work out because they GET TO WORK OUT! I don't see the usual "I don't want to", or "I don't have time." They are happy to feel good enough to get through their workouts and every one of them has said, "I wish I knew how much a difference taking care of my body was before I was sick."
The Big C, no scratch that, the little "c", survivors have changed my life for the better because they have taught me to NOT put off living and to live each day like it's my last. Finding JOY in everything I do, including working out and eating healthy and never going to bed mad; always telling those closest to me "I love you!"
LynFit is all about balance and learning how to live "in" balance. There is a very good reason for that. Living out of balance causes our bodies stress and stress is responsible for 90% of all illness. So before you go abusing yourself with some insane workout or diet plan that's going to cause your body and life more harm than good, ask yourself this; "would I suggest this to my kids or someone I adore?" If not, why are you beating yourself up that way? It's not necessary. You'll get better results doing it from a place of love vs. desperation or not loving yourself!
This month, being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is all about Hope and Belief. I want to personally let you know that you're stronger than you think and you're stronger than cancer! Cancer may take your hair. It may take your strength. It may even take away precious time with loved ones. But I am here to tell you, IT CANNOT TAKE YOUR SOUL!
Here are 4 "bad habits" to stay away from when you are faced with the worst news:
- Did you know that drinking more than 4 alcoholic drinks per week increases your cancer risk? If you drink more than this I urge you to seek help right away. Don't wait until you're sick.
- Carrying excess weight in your midsection increases your risk of disease because it's a sign that your blood sugar is too high. Belly fat elevates harmful hormones as well and is your body's way of letting you know you're eating too many processed carbs. Anything you eat "out of a box"; including protein bars, sports beverages and excessive fruits and juices can elevate carbs in your body. "Sugar waters" like soy, almond or coconut, milks and creamers are hidden sources of sugar hiding under the health halo. *WARNING: If you're juicing and using lots of fruits this also elevates blood sugar levels and cancer feeds off sugar! Feeding the cancer is the last thing you want to do!
- Stop soy products! This is the first thing an oncologist will tell you. Check labels on everything, including and especially, on health foods! Most diet companies add this to their shakes and weight loss products because it's cheap. LynFit fights back by helping you live leaner lives and by NOT adding soy to its Protein Bar or Shakes!
- No smoking! Enough said!
Here are 4 "best habits" to help fight this intruder in your body:
- Lifting weights 2 times weekly, especially if you're undergoing treatment, can strengthen the bones and offset side effects from chemo. Continue doing this even after your treatments.
- Remember to get enough rest. Your body knows when it needs rest and it will tell you - listen to your body.
- Mama was right; eat your veggies every day!
- And, here's the big one - No matter where you might be in the process DO NOT BE PATIENT! Fight cancer with a sense of urgency. Fight with everything you have in you because you are fighting the battle of your life. And just when you feel you have no more strength left to fight, let go and let God. Let Him do the heavy lifting for you because God really does love you, and so do I!
3 Ways to Boost Thyroid Function
Hypothyroidism may be the reason you’re overweight, but it’s not an excuse! I too have battled with a “dead” thyroid my whole life so I understand how frustrating it can be. You can still lose weight even if your thyroid is not working properly by taking a few simple steps.
There are many causes of hypothyroidism, and you want to make sure you know why your thyroid isn’t working properly so you can treat it accurately. It doesn’t matter if your thyroid is underactive because you have Hashimoto’s disease, goiter or your hormones have slowed it down. Most times, your doctor will treat you with thyroid hormone pills and you will start to feel better within a week or two.
But what should you do if you have all of the symptoms (tired, cold all the time, hair and memory loss, brittle nails and hair, leg swelling) and your doctor says your blood tests are fine? Most thyroid tests aren’t articulate enough to catch this, so pay close attention to how you feel and treat your thyroid naturally to keep it working at an optimal rate so you never have a problem with it slowing down.
The thyroid is “The Master Hormone” that controls everything in our body. One of the biggest reasons our thyroids slow down is due to iodine deficiency in addition to aging. In fact, 40% of us are at risk for iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. Not giving our bodies the nutrients that are important for a healthy thyroid will also slow your thyroid down. Since the body does not make iodine, it relies on the diet to get enough. We can easily maintain adequate iodine through our diets by using table salt because it’s fortified with iodine, but most of us need to restrict or limit our sodium causing iodine deficiencies to show up. Many medications also slow down the thyroid and also cause iodine deficiency. Lithium and corticosteroids are thyroid-slowing and should be used sparingly if at all. Pain medications, antihistamines and anti-depressants may also slow the thyroid down. Medications that make you feel sleepy or slow may also slow your thyroid and your metabolism down even more. Ask your doctor about alternatives.
Here are three things you can do to boost your thyroid function:
1. Eat more of these great sources of iodine to enhance thyroid function:
- Low fat cheese
- Cow’s milk
- Low fat ice cream
- Low fat yogurt
- Saltwater fish
- Seaweed (including kelp, dulce, nori)
- Soy sauce
2. Eat less of these foods; they slow your thyroid because they block your thyroid and your medication from producing thyroid hormone properly, especially when eaten raw. Cooking these foods inactivates their anti-thyroid properties. These foods are called goitrogens, which are chemicals that lower thyroid function. Eat these foods sparingly or only once every four days:
- Cauliflower (Any vegetable that falls into the broccoli family is a goitrogen and shouldn’t be eaten more than twice a week if you have hypothyroidism.)
- Brussels sprouts
- Pine nuts
- Soy (Isoflavones block iodine)
- Canola oil
3. Workout every day. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a watch, and you’re ready to go. For optimal thyroid function, you must exercise at least three days a week for 40 minutes per workout. I strongly suggest working out/walking every day so your thyroid gets a boost daily to correct the condition until your thyroid is running at an optimal rate. Circuit training is also great way to lower insulin levels and increase thyroid function. This is easy to do in the comfort of your own home by doing pushups, lunges and sit-ups back to back without rest, pushing yourself a bit to get out of breath.
Bonus: Enhance your thyroid with supplements. Take thyroid-enhancing supplements daily to gently and safely keep your thyroid working optimally for life. The best way to treat anything is to prevent it! Supplementing is the best way to keep your thyroid running at an optimal rate and to keep your weight under control. Start your supplement regime first by using a very strong, high quality multivitamin. Most store-bought vitamins are not suitable or strong enough to help hypothyroidism, so look for a very potent high quality multi with high levels of iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin B, D, E and at least 2 grams of vitamin C. Other nutrients such as omega-3 as well as amino acids also help regulate the thyroid and need to also be considered. One of my favorites that I put all of my hypothyroid clients on is gugglesterones. Guggulsterone or guggulipid’s have been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to naturally regulate the thyroid and keep it running at an optimal rate without the side effects of medications. Look for supplement multitaskers from a very reputable source so you don’t have to take 29 different pills every day.