4 Ways Women are Losing the War on Health & How We Can Rise to Conquer


Seriously.  Could we be any more engulfed in drug ads and companies aching to scratch that itch to look and feel better?!  It’s insane to ponder all the companies, products, programs, books and plans out there, all claiming to be THE answer you’ve been looking for to get your health and your life back on track.  Even though, much of it comes down to the ever-so-simple yet ever-so-overlooked areas of diet and lifestyle.

Whole food nutrition and movement – two simple things that can impact your health in such a huge and awesome way yet we struggle to believe it could really be that simple.  

Yes.  It is. 

I think we’re getting this.  I think we’re inching our ways over toward understanding yet why do we struggle so profusely with simply implementing what we know?  We want to live well but there always seems to be that one thing standing in the way.  (Okay, maybe 23 things for some of us.  Whatever.  Today’s discussion still applies.)

We all have our obstacles; some of us more so than others.  But, what we have to realize is that regardless of the obstacles that lie before us, we can walk in victory in our health.  The road may not be easy but it’s certainly not a dead end.  In fact, it just might be the start of an adventure of a lifetime.  It surely has been for me.

Far too many of us have been losing the war on health and it is costing us, and our families, dearly.  The phenomenal news is that IT’S NOT TOO LATE!  You can totally hit the reset button in each of these areas and watch incredible things unfold in immediate and long-term results.

1.  We Call Self-Neglect Self-Sacrifice

Being a wife and mother of two, I understand that these are jobs of many sacrifices.  From that “I do” and from the moments of conception and birth, many things must be set aside or adjusted to make room for a wife and mommy to meet all of her household’s needs.  

It’s what we do. We take care of our homes.  It’s Biblical, right?

It seems that mode of adjusting never really stops as our lives ever fluctuate and fill in the cracks with each time and season our family is in.  

Amongst all the chaos and the crazy, we have a tendency to put certain things on the back burner while we tend to everything else.  Unfortunately, for countless women, health seems to be one of first things set aside and overlooked; at least until it starts to fail us.

The problem with this is that the longer we put it off, the greater the risk we run of exhausting our capacity to be of any help to those we love and seek so much to serve.  Not only does our ability to help them steadily diminish but also our capacity to even help ourselves.  NOT where you want to be.

While I totally get and appreciate the sacrificial heart of a loving wife and mother, I hope you are not blurring the lines between self-sacrifice and self-neglect.  Don’t view your efforts to take care of yourself as time or energy you’re taking from them.  Rather, view them as another way you give to them – a means of protecting (and increasing) your ability to keep pouring into your family.


Start taking healthy back with one simple change.

2. We Claim We’re Keeping the Peace

I can’t tell you how many women regularly buckle under the pressure to eat and feed their families junk they know they should not be eating in some sort of effort to “keep the peace” in the home.  While I believe in promoting an environment of joy and peace, especially at the kitchen table, this IS NOT an area to fold up under.  

If this is you, know that even as you “keep the peace,” you may be “winning a battle” while you very well may be losing the war.  We all have to learn to “pick our battles.”  True.  But, we also need to recognize the time to take a stand with all we’ve got, determined to take hold of the prize that awaits our families on the other side of our efforts.

I know it isn’t always easy getting everyone else on board.  To ease tensions, I HIGHLY encourage you to make sure your lines of communication are strong.  Help them understand what you’re looking to accomplish and why.  

Also, never underestimate the power of education.  The kitchen is a great place to teach our families and equip them to live long, vibrant lives.  You don’t have to shove sprouts and apples down there throats daily to help them live healthfully.  

Rather than trying to force them to adopt your take on it, try educating them so they can draw their own conclusions.  Though some still hold their ground on the not-so-good food choices, many, as they come to understand what certain foods do to the body, will determine on their own that they don’t want to put those things into their bodies.  It’s here you get to go from an adversarial position into a more supportive role in which you get to be there to learn together and help them reach their own health and wellness goals.

Even in households where the struggle gets a little more “real,” you can totally get to a place where it’s not even an issue any more as everyone comes to appreciate what does and doesn’t count as food. THEY WILL become more cooperative and will gain a greater capacity to really win in every other area of their lives.  They just need you to hold steady – Consistent and Persistent!

Misguided Perceptions

In talking to as many people as I do, you hear a lot things that people think when they weigh in on healthful eating that, often times, simply aren’t true.  Here are a few examples and the responses I would give to each.

  • “It’s too expensive.” – While organic and whole foods can get more costly on the front end they are still far less costly than eating out or overeating on processed foods as our bodies crave more in volume in an attempt to fill the nutritional void.  Eating healthfully is certainly less costly than getting sick.   Did you know the average American will carry 3 times as much in medical debt as they will bank or credit card debt?  Yes, eating healthy cost more than eating processed/refined foods.  You wouldn’t expect to drive a Cadillac on a Pinto budget.  Still, you can save money and boost your health by spending less money on sweets and meats and more on things like bulk buys of beans, lentils, grains and cereals.
  • “It takes too much time.” – Many incredible, life-giving foods can be prepared in the same or less time than going through a drive through or prepping those meals-in-a-bag.  It’s often more a matter of  perception of the simplicity.  We have a tendency to view the time spent on the same-ole-same-ole as being less than that spent on creating something new because of the thought and engagement involved.  On one, our brains just kindly slip into neutral.  On the other, we’re pacing out each step.  As you learn to embrace new habits in the kitchen, you’ll soon have no trouble popping off into the kitchen and whipping up something healthy.
  • “I won’t like it.” – Palates are trained.  Just like yours have become trained to like what you now eat, it can be trained to truly love a grander array of bright and flavorful foods.  Stop deciding in advance that you won’t like it and start determining that you will.  You may be on your quest to find the ways you best like them prepared but YOU WILL find them.  Just keep at it.

Here’s the thing, if you truly want to win the war on health for you and your family, you’ve got to get your head in the game!  Any part of your thinking that doesn’t resonate with the vibrant life you’re out to live has got to go!

Think you have no time for nutrition?  

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  1. Misaligned Priorities

I once saw a video of a guy who had no cable, no big screen tv’s…  his family didn’t go for all the thrills, bells and whistles in life BUT they enjoyed an abundance of fresh, organic produce every day.  Seeing this, challenged my thinking in a great way.  

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come across sporting iPhones, iWatches, nice cars, and straight bedazzled to the nines on a Ramen Noodle diet.  Because, clearly the items we may use on a daily basis for a number of months/years rank well higher than the bodies we live in constantly from cradle to grave.

I really don’t mean to be offensive but I do want us to see the distortion in our thinking and how our priorities sometimes get a little out of whack.

Most people could make HUGE differences in the health within their households if they so much as took the money being applied to, say, the cable bill or some other extra and put it on the grocery bill.  I know, some months can run tight and in many areas, the bills just have to be paid.  Still, I cannot beg you enough – if the strain with healthy eating is financial, please don’t let the grocery budget be at the top of the list for places to look to crop expenses!  

When it comes to food and your health – we tend to get what we pay for.  

The question is (whether we’re talking the rewards of eating healthfully or the consequences of eating poorly) are you really willing to pay what it will cost you?

The health of your family is hands-down, one of the wisest investments you can make.  Little by little, it all adds up and totally pays back in spades.

Time & Energy

In terms of time and energy, the same questions apply – where are your priorities?   

After a long day at work, yes, I can be flat exhausted.  Sometimes the stanky stuff hits the fan and we just have to roll with what we can.  Still I ask, are you dedicating the time and energy needed in the kitchen to carefully craft the kind of health and future you want for you and your family?

On days when you’re bogged down with the “I-don’t-feel-like-it’s” or any number of excuses, just think of what you’re really after here and why, and I’m confident you’ll totally muster up the moxie to step it back up.
And, we’re out.

I know, that was a total eye-full but know this – you can win this!  Not a single word here is meant to tear you down – only to be used as tools to tear down the obstacles in your health – real and potential.

You can so win this in a huge way for you, your children, your grandchildren…  You’ve all been created to be and do “incredible” beyond anything you could possibly presently imagine.  That’s why I’m so excited to see you, sword (or chef knife) in hand, ready to take back what’s rightfully yours – health, wellness and amazingly scrumptious eats.

No Time for Purpose

If you’re anything like me, you can oft catch yourself racking your brain, pouring over the last couple weeks or even the last couple months wondering “what on earth have I really accomplished?”  We know we have days where we’re on a constant stream of overdrive but, in terms of eternity, in terms of the things that truly matter the most to us, what have we truly accomplished.  

As a working mother of two, I can totally relate.  After being at work all day, it’s dinner and a list of to-do’s.  There’s time taken to enjoy some time with the most fabulous children a mother could ask for.  There’s a growing business demanding the work and attention needed to make it grow and the ministry that burns from within the bones.  And, as I find myself tight walking the fine line that rest between the hustle and the burnout, I can only wonder how long I can keep it up.

Some days,  I feel like I’m making waves.  Others, I feel like I’ve sprinted a lept through a day full of hoops with no finish line or any other indicator that I’ve accomplished anything.  Does this not so much sum up much of the problem with the present American culture – feeling the intense demand to bear so much burden with so little fruit.

As I catch myself caught up in such a cycle, I have to step back and wonder, am I giving priority to the things that matter most in my life?  Do I look at the people God has placed around me and the ministry He’s so heavily laid on my heart and determine to make time for it or do I simply resolve to get around to it when I find the time?

Conviction.

Boom.

It hits.

If there’s one thing I’m reminded of repeatedly in the process, it’s of my own limitations and the fact that I CANNOT do this on my own.  I try.  Some days, believe me, I try.  It’s funny and sad how we sometimes we so easily get so caught up in all the urgent that we lose sight of the important.  The time, once lost, is lost.  What do we have to show for it?

I get that we all have a time and a season.  We all have a time to work and a time to rest.  The question I have to ask myself (knowing my own nature and all) is, am I adjusting my schedule to the season God has me in, or am I crowding out the purpose in giving priority to the things that matter most to me in the moment?  

I find one thing I have really struggled with in pressing forward over the years is my tendency toward having so many reasons to plan to act later, rather than doing what I can now.  (Again, we all have our seasons.)  

I find myself thinking “when I can just get better positioned financially…” or “as soon as things settle down over here, I can give this more of my attention…” or, how about “once I get x, y, and z in position, then I’ll be ready to really make waves over here.  Yet, what happens day to day?  What, if even small, differences can I make that carry me closer to the vision?  

Too often we underestimate the value of the little steps taken today as we’re distracted by the big steps we hope to take tomorrow.  My friend, he who proves faithful with little will be entrusted with much.

We keep thinking we need more time, more money and for all these things to line out for us to step into the things God Himself created us to do. We don’t need more of anything but God.

There’s a time and a season. We need to be sensitive to God’s timing. Sometimes we’re anxious to step out into things long on our hearts when God says we’re not ready. Still, I believe when we keep Jesus front and center, we’re going to see the door when it opens.

I don’t really know what season you’re in.  I know, for myself, I am in a very busy, full season where I feel like I haven’t the stomach for half of what I have on my plate.  I desperately want to cultivate the growth of my businesses while I also want to reach those my heart so longs to help.  I can’t do it all.  On the one hand, I want to reach out.  On the other hand, I want to see the kind of business growth that should allow me to shift into a position of being more available to meet those needs.  

Lord, help me, so many days I stand there staring down a hazy path while looking at this tiny piece of a map I get to hold in my hand.  Thank God that, at least I know He has the rest of it, even as the piece I hold is just enough to move me one, maybe two steps forward at a time.  How I pray He’d be my eyes when I can’t see.

I feel the pull (even the need) in some areas to just set things down, if only for a time.  That’s all good and swell; sometimes even absolutely necessary.

What I have to ask myself is, what things am I giving priority to?  

How about you?  What things are you giving priority to?  Do you feel like those things are moving (even if just inching) you closer to God’s plan and purpose for your life or pulling you further from them?  

What can you do today to make time for purpose in your life and the things that truly matter most?