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Strength to Me

I have spent a lot of time thinking of what it means to be strong. I would like to believe that I am strong, physically, mentally and emotionally. Sure there are things that bring me down and sometimes make life a challenge, but because I am strong, I always endure. Being strong is very important to me. Recently, I had a great opportunity to speak to about 270 7th and 8th grade girls over a three-day period and we discussed the word strong. Here’s how I did it.

StrongFirst Tough Respect Open minded Nutrition Girl power

Let’s start with what it means to be StrongFirst. I use this term with much respect for an amazing company that I work with. It was founded by Pavel Tsatsouline who, became a trainer and introduced kettlebells to the United States. To be strong first gives you the ability to “grab the bull by the horns”, stand up to someone, fight for what you know is right, protect yourself or someone else. Or just be there when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, sit in silence because they lost someone who means the world to them. What it means to be tough, means different things to different people. But to me, it has kind of a personal reason. You see, I have a friend who is an MMA fighter, he is tough. He climbs into that ring and tries to conquer another human, he’s pretty tough. But….I know some tougher people. I have the humble honor of being an instructor for an amazing program at the Mansfield YMCA in Ohio, called LiveStrong. This is a group of cancer survivors. Why would I think these people are tough?? Think about it. They found out that there was a horrible disease growing inside their body and they had to fight it. Now, they may have had a support system, but they had to do it on their own. Some of these tough people are mom’s, dad’s, grandparents, business owners and they had to get up every day and motivate themselves to fight that day. They had to decide to fight and not give up. Now that’s tough!! The awesome thing about their toughness, is the fact that they continue to give to others, supporting those that are going through what they went through. There is no way to get through life without respect. Where does it start?? Well, it starts with you! You must respect yourself for who you are, “you are uniquely and wonderfully made.” You will experience times in your life that you don’t like who you are which is a good sign of growth, but if you don’t like it, change it! Don’t try to be like someone else, want their hair, skin, skinny legs, 6 pack abs or whatever else you may see in them. Look in the mirror and love who YOU are! That is total self-respect. Embrace you, love you, you are an amazing person, you are loved, wanted and respected, so respect yourself!!

Open minded people will go much farther in life then those that live in a tiny box. Life begins right on the outside of that box. I am 45 years old and I didn’t look outside the box until I turned 40! Now if I die at 80, I wasted half my life!! Don’t wait that long to have an open mind. To try foods instead of sticking your nose up at them. Meet people, get to know different people. The MMA fighter I was talking about has tattoos all over his face and for a long time I looked at him like he was weird! Then one day I decided to talk to him and low and behold I found out he was a neat guy! Now, he and his fiancée are like family to us. Good thing I didn’t keep looking at him like he was weird. Step outside your box and live!!

Do you realize that how you feed your body today will make a difference tomorrow?? Maybe not an immediate tomorrow, but your future depends on how you feed your body today. My husband says to “eat for performance”. Now that doesn’t mean you are going to run a marathon or preform at a lifting competition, it means that you need to feed your body for optimum daily living. I like the example of pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza?? If you really think about it though, how do you feel after eating pizza? Like running a marathon? NO! You feel like you have a giant food baby! You feel sluggish, tired, thirsty and just down right yucky. WHY? Pizza is good! But let’s look at what’s in pizza: Grease. Grease, it comes from fat. Animal fat is hard for our bodies to break down and process. It is full of salt. Salt makes us feel bloated and want to drink which makes us feel more bloated! Carbohydrates that are found in the crust are not good carbs. (unless you make a good whole wheat pizza at home) The nutritional contents in pizza crust is minimal and does nothing but make you feel full. What are good carbs? Have you ever had an apple, banana, grapes or oranges make you feel like you have a giant food baby?? NOPE, because those foods are good for you, they supply your body with what it needs to be strong.

Girl power, what in the world?? No, I am not being sexist, but this article was written for girls, remember? If you use all of what I have described above, you will have strong Girl power. You must be strong to be there for others, be tough to deal with hard situations, respect yourself so the respect of others will fall in line, be open minded and un- judgmental, that is thinking outside the box. Eat well feed your body for daily performance, so you can feel good and have a long healthy life. These things will give you girl power. Love yourself because you are uniquely and wonderfully made.

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