Faith, Hope, And Your Life's Purpose
Two years ago seemed like the darkest hour of my life. I had no idea that a diagnosis would teach me how to live life to the fullest. I didn't, couldn't, realize at that time that I would opt for a fighter's mentality instead of a defeated one. I couldn't comprehend until I was actually in the trenches that my life WAS worth fighting for, if for no other reason than my family. I had yet to learn that no day should be taken for granted and each should be treated as a precious hand-delivered gift from God.
In 2014, at just 46-years old, my dreams were suddenly eclipsed by the cold, hard reality of three words: "You've got cancer." Thankfully, my melanoma was caught early, but try telling that to inner fear. Try rationalizing that during repeated visits to doctors, surgeons, and oncologists. After all, just like you, I'm human with human emotions, feelings, fears, and limitations. Facing my mortality, I developed a very personal relationship with my very own pity potty. All I wanted to do was shut it down and hide from the world.
Dragging myself to church was the beginning of my personal renewal of Faith, Hope, and Life's Purpose. My Pastor Rich delivered a sermon that hit me right in my self-pity heart. His words reminded me that I was on the verge of the biggest testimony in my life. I was on the threshold of a battle in the trenches of my emotions and feelings that would, in the end, produce a warrior of Faith, Hope, and Purpose. It was time for me to focus on living, receiving support where and when needed, and being that positive spirit to those around me that God called me many years ago to be.
Each and every day I CHOSE to work tirelessly on my physical, mental, and spiritual (PMS) health. My testimony is that today I am two years cancer-free! I refuse to say I'm a survivor. I am doing so much more than just surviving—I am thriving. So rather than say I'm a cancer survivor, I say I'm a cancer thriver, and grateful for it.
My Thriver Mechanisms
Power Prayer: God is my strength and my all in all. I get on my knees and pray every day. I thank Him for another day, and I count my blessings one by one. I pray that God keeps me alive and healthy, so that I may be an instrument of his peace. My goal is to help millions.
I focus on Philippians 4:13 — "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Positive Affirmations: I repeat my positive affirmations every day, all day. I don't allow negative thoughts to control my attitude and destiny. In other words, if I have to, I fake it until I make it. Affirmations such as:
- "When you're at your lowest, look to the highest."
- "Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." — Rikki Rogers
- "You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." — Stuart Scott
Eating Healthy and Exercising: You have to eat healthy and take control of your mind and body. For the first time in my life, my focus is on eating healthy to stay alive, versus gaining the perfect body. That changes everything.
I changed my diet to a cancer-fighting diet by eating more fish and less chicken and red meat. I eat more colorful vegetables, actually transforming my body from a cancer-invitation waiting to happen into a cancer-fighting machine. I chose and choose, to honor God with my body, a temple, as it's His to begin with.
I continue to win the fight in the trenches by supplementing and reinforcing my immune system with this routine:
(NOTE: I also take the LynFit Fat Loss Trio, especially during highly emotional times.)
My Life Today
- I LIVE every day to the fullest
- I CHOOSE peace in every situation.
- I FOCUS on what’s important and live a life of purpose
- I TELL everyone I love them, even strangers
- I HUG everyone I see
- I TURN my pain into my purpose
- I SING like no one's listening
- I DANCE like no one's watching
- NO REGRETS
I learned how important it is to be humble, and it's okay to feel vulnerable. It's not my favorite emotion, but it can bring out the best in me. There is nothing like the possibility of death to make you start living and to teach you what’s important.
Choose to live now, today. Don't wait, delay, or dawdle. Live each day with a sense of urgency to do what makes you happy and live with a passion to Win the Fight!
May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and follow-up care, more people than ever before are surviving the disease. In America alone, more than 14.5 million people are alive today after being diagnosed with cancer.
However, surviving cancer can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.
For more information on not only surviving, but thriving and winning the fight against cancer, I'd encourage you to read Win the Fight: Stomp Out Melanoma. It's also the perfect gift for family members or friends who may be in the trenches as I was.
Healthy Snacks To Help Relieve Chronic Pain
Chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people worldwide. More people are affected by chronic pain than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. The good news is that what you eat can help relieve chronic pain symptoms and inflammation.
Food can either make or break you when it comes to pain and inflammation. If you're one of those people like myself who is genetically predisposed to pain at the slightest touch, you need to know the foods that encourage pain and inflammation to flare and those that fight pain and inflammation.
Let's take a look at just a few of the foods that encourage inflammation and should be consumed in moderation—every four days, maybe. You don't have to eliminate them completely from your diet, but I would detox from them for 21 days and then re-introduce them back into your diet to diagnose cause and effect.
- Gluten and pretty much any grain
- Red meat
Now, let's talk about some good news and introduce you to foods that help relieve chronic pain and inflammation.
- Salmon — full of Omega 3. If you're not a fish eater, get a good clean Omega 3 supplement such as LynFit Pure Omega 3.
- Whey protein mixed with Green tea, strawberries, honey, or peanut butter (for complete recipes refer to The Metabolism Solution)
- Dark chocolate
The bottom line is that by making a few changes in your diet, you can help offset pain and inflammation.
Why Abdominal Fat Is Dangerous
Belly fat is very different than fat covering the hips and thighs. Fat stored around the middle produces substances that can create serious health risks, one of those being breast cancer. That's why if you have excess belly fat covering your stomach, it can make losing weight practically impossible. Women over 40 years of age, who store fat around their midsection or have been treated for breast cancer, require an entirely different approach when it comes to losing weight. The typical weight loss plan will not work. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now.
It doesn’t matter what your body shape is, excess fat isn’t good for your health. The fat that covers your belly is much worse than saddlebags and thunder thighs. When it comes to body fat, location counts more than you might think. The fat that’s covering your abs is deep, meaning there is more there than you can pinch with your fingers.
Belly fat has a secret life of its own and creates a health and weight loss nightmare called metabolic syndrome. This is the name for a set of risk factors that occur together, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. This kind of fat is made up of living cells that spit out hormones such as estrogen, which make it even harder to lose belly fat. Metabolic syndrome may also cause intense cravings for foods such as sugars and carbs. The exact foods that we shouldn’t be eating if we are trying to melt off this harmful stuff.
People who develop this syndrome are carrying most of their weight in their stomach and almost always overweight. You rarely see this in a thin person, unless they are daily drinkers (see "It's Wine or Your Waistline" in The Metabolism Solution).
Fat cells have two purposes:
- Storing energy for later use
- Secreting hormones that regulate appetite and blood sugar levels
We all have fat cells, but lean people have smaller fat cells. These so-called small fat cells secrete a helpful hormone called adiponectin, which helps the body use insulin more efficiently. This makes losing weight and melting fat easier. The heavier you are the harder it is to lose weight and the leaner you are, the easier it is.
If you’re overweight, your fat cells are larger and tend to shut off the production of this helpful hormone. That’s why you always feel hungry. It makes it harder for insulin to do its job — called insulin resistance. Anyone can lose weight if they can control the insulin resistance, also known as lowering your blood sugar. This is exactly what makes the LynFit Metabolic Boosting System so efficient — allowing you to lose 1 pound per day.
Your goal should be to lose weight and melt fat as quickly as possible before these hormones get more out of whack. That’s what makes the use of smart supplements so important vs. not using them. The LynFit Metabolic Boosting System combines all of the best nutrients, in exactly the amount needed to lower blood sugar, so you melt off harmful belly fat and stop the vicious weight gain cycle. Essentially, it flips the weight gain switches off and turns on the weight loss switch.
If you store fat around your belly, there is more fat underneath the skin called subcutaneous fat. There is also fat inside the belly and underneath the muscles. These hidden fats stored around your kidneys, liver and intestines are known as visceral fat. This type of fat is much more harmful than the subcutaneous fat because it hampers insulin's effectiveness. These fat cells produce other hormones and proteins that are dangerous because they are located next to vital organs.
These visceral fat cells secrete a protein that contributes to inflammation, which creates clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), setting the stage for a heart attack. They also secrete a protein that constricts blood vessels, causing high blood pressure. Because this fat is so close to the liver, they drain right into that organ through a vein raising LDL cholesterol as well. Visceral fat is also linked with breast cancer, colon cancer, and may also contribute to dementia as well.
Belly fat is no joke. It’s much more important that a hot sexy body. It requires a specific approach to not only lose weight but to get this monster of a fat to melt off. It's no easy feat, and that’s why it takes a serious boost to get rid of it. Add hypothyroidism to the mix and you have a weight gain disaster on your hands.
I'm praying the next time you decide to cheat because you feel like it, or indulge in a glass of wine, you think twice. Your life may depend on it. Living a healthy lifestyle not only helps you lose weight, but it also keeps it off as well. Remember, whatever you do to take the weight off is also how you’ll keep it off. Be consistent in your habits and you’ll never have to worry.
The LynFit Lose 1 Pound Per Day Kit was formulated for exactly this reason, and if you don’t struggle with the issues above you’ll lose weight even faster. Start now — Your family needs you here and healthy!
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!
My Melanoma Miracle, Part 1: Lisa Lynn
This is my very personal melanoma story. I'm not sharing this with you to scare you or depress you. I'm certainly not seeking pity or compassion. Rather, I want this to be an encouragement to someone today. A reminder that you have to keep your Faith Muscles strong and that with and through God all things are possible. With that said, here is My Melanoma Miracle.....
Except for annual exams, I don't like going to doctors. I make a conscious choice to put my time and energy into staying well and staying in shape so that I can avoid them as much as possible. Sometimes, all that time and energy isn't enough however. Sometimes, God has a different plan for us, and our body. Sometimes, He reminds me that He is my creator and my existence and that without His loving grace I am nothing more than the clay from which I was made. Thankfully, I know the potter who molded that clay.
Let me take you back to this past December, 2013. I had been watching, and worrying, about a mole on my calf for about 2 years. The doctor knew about it and we were in a monitoring status with it. Watch it, measure it, look for any noticeable changes in it - the routine one would normally take with any mole. But this past December things seemed "different". Had the mole changed? No, not really. Was it noticeably larger or a different color or outline? No, not really. So, what was "different"? All I can say is that I felt this "urging from above - a still small voice" if you will. Now I know what you're thinking - and yes, we've all felt that "urge" not to touch a hot stove, or not to stick our finger into a light socket. This wasn't that kind of "urge". This was an "urge" as if there was an inner peace gently pushing me forward to make a decision that I otherwise would not make. A decision not based on what I could physically see or touch. Rather, one based on what I was spiritually being led to do. That "urge'? Have the mole removed, and have it removed - now!
Reluctantly, yet with the courage from that "urge", I asked the doctor to remove it in January - right then. He said you're worrying too much about it. We've been watching and measuring it and it's fine to leave it. I told him; "No, I want it off now. I'm supposed to get it taken off - now". I'm reminded here that God's grace is always sufficient because had I not listened to that still, small voice and insisted on that mole being taken off I might not be writing this today.
"I've got bad news, and I've got good news". The trouble with that phrase is that once you hear "bad news" nothing else seems to register much beyond that. For me, I was floored when I heard the words "bad news", immediately followed with - melanoma. The "good news" - it was caught early. Remember that folks; it was caught early. That still, small voice - that urging from above.....
My courage to have the mole removed had prepared me for that, but melanoma - not in the slightest. Those that know me and know all about my LynFit brand know that I am a creature of study from experts in their fields to become knowledgeable. Assuming that this "melanoma" was just one of those basil cells that we all can expect at some point, but wanting to learn more, I did what I tell people not to do......I googled. Suddenly these words startled me; "the deadliest form of skin cancer and the second most aggressive tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer". It's like the "bad news, good news" scenario - once you see what the dire circumstances can be you immediately shut off, or shut out, any positives that might be in there. Sad to say, this is a product of the internet. In order to get better internet 'search results' you'll often find sensationalized or dramatic copy first because that will make you click to read more. And, it generally works. Who's to say what is credible and what isn't?
So I'll save you the google searching and give you the facts. The very same facts, "bad news", I had to face:
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
- Melanoma is the second most aggressive form of tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer
- Sixty thousand Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year
- Eight thousand will die from melanoma
- In the United States, one person dies each and every hour from melanoma
- Melanoma is the number one killer of women ages 25-35
- Melanoma does not respond to traditional chemotherapy or radiation
- The only FDA approved treatment for Stage 4 MM (metastatic melanoma) is Interleukin or IL-2, which was developed over 30 years ago
All of those facts are important, necessary in fact, for all of us to face. I firmly believe that knowledge is power in enabling us to make the right decisions. But greater still is the knowledge that those moments of fear and doubt can be turned around faster than you can say 'weight loss'. And that my dear friend is what I want you to hear from me. Yes, you need the facts from reliable sources. Yes, you need to arm yourself with all the knowledge of your situation that you can. Yes, there are times you need to place yourself at the mercies of others to help you through a situation. But it's also at these times I am reminded of a song from long ago.....
I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.
In that 5th line of the song I chose in my heart and spirit to replace 'consulation' with 'consultation'. I relied on God for divine consultation. I relied on Him to place the proper people in my treatment. Not Google, not Yahoo, not Bing. I made a choice. I chose Faith. All these years of training people on the proper way to attain and maintain optimum fitness and health I suggest to you that there are even stronger muscles in our bodies - our Faith Muscles. I chose to exercise and strengthen my Faith Muscles in my personal battle with melanoma.
Fast forward to today - God is so good. He did put people in my life, including doctors, who shared those same Faith Muscles and had the advanced knowledge to treat me. I have a "Victory Scar" today and that is all I need to share my story. A story that I will share no matter what obstacles I might face.
I encourage you to watch the video below. Not only is it a great source of reliable information, it's a real source of inspiration and hope as to what the future holds in the treatment of this deadly disease.
Without research we would accomplish nothing. I'm eternally grateful for Dr. Narayan, who is featured in the video and was a Gift from God, for his undying and untiring research into stomping out this disease. Please help save lives and build awareness today by donating to the Yale Plastic Surgery and Melanoma Research Fund - HERE - Even the smallest amount could help save a life!
In part 2 of My Melanoma Miracle, I want to share with you how honoring and respecting your body in a whole new way - Honoring God With Your Bod - will not only change your body, but your whole life forever.
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!