The human mind is the only mind with the ability to think about more than one thing at once, worry about the future, or ruminate excessively about the past. We are the only animal brain that spends as much as 50% of our time thinking about things other than the events we are engaged in at the moment. Just since beginning this post, I have thought about my schedule, hurtful people, what is for lunch, and how cute my dachshund is. While the ability to multi-task may help us on some levels, research is showing that mind wandering too much leads to poor health and unhappiness. Harvard research psychologists Killingsworth and Gilbert conducted a study on mind wandering and happiness using an app called Track Your Happiness. The study followed over 1000 people who at random times across the day reported their activities, thoughts, and happiness level. The study revealed that those who in engaged in the most mind wandering were the least happy. Wishing they were somewhere else, ruminating about the past, worrying about the future, and focusing on others’ negative behavior were examples of some of the mind wandering thoughts the participants reported. Those who were the most engaged in current activities; feeling purposeful, and who dealt with adversity in a resilient manner were the happiest.

Cellular Health Impacts

As I have shared in the past few weeks, our telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes) play a HUGE role in how healthy we age, how long we struggle with pain and disease, and our overall quality of life as we age. Depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, lack of exercise, and unhealthy nutrition makes our telomeres shorten. Shortened telomeres lead to poor health, disease, and a lower quality of life. A wandering mind leads to an unhealthy life. Being happy is healthy and only comes with an engaged, present moment mind. There are so many types of meditation, exercises, and other ways to increase your focus and ability to stay present in the moment. There are free online videos and classes you can attend in person. Health is more than just eating and exercise. It is about the way we think of the world, the way we see others, and how resilient we are. Please begin as soon as possible to work on your present moment focus. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. So is a life. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!



Whether we are aware of it or not, we are talking to ourselves (don’t worry it is normal) throughout the day. We tell ourselves it is okay to do certain things, tell ourselves it is not okay to do other things, daydream, make judgments of ourselves and others, and prioritize tasks. We also talk to ourselves when it comes to our food choices and the way we use food in life. Many times we will “talk ourselves into” bad food choices or “talk ourselves out of” good food choices. We use A LOT of reasons to justify the choices as I did for years. We say I deserve it because I had a tough day or I deserve it because I did something great. The “I deserve it” reward system is one way our own talk with ourselves will sabotage our goals of great health and quality of life. For most of us, this has been a practice we have perfected over many years, probably since childhood.  Our self-talk that leads us to make unhealthy choices with food has played a key role in the health status we are in today and what it will be in the future. Changing the AUTOMATIC words we say to ourselves when we are justifying our food choices will play a key role in you achieving the weight and wellness goals that you so strongly desire.


It is amazing how the human brain and body work. It is way more complex than just a matter of choice. We have genetics that make us predisposed to gain weight if we eat bad, be tall or short, respond in certain ways to stress and anxiety, and keep or lose our hair (mine is lost). Some people may call this being “hardwired.” We have also taught ourselves how to cope with events in life and it has become AUTOMATIC based on how we talk to ourselves. When our hardwired genetics and AUTOMATIC unhealthy coping choices meet and have done so for many years, we struggle to change. I struggled for the first 38 years of my life and was miserable. I couldn’t lose weight, stop eating sugars, or quit smoking. I got up to 340 lbs., was depressed much of the time, anxious all of the time, and showed it. I have met many people over the years who have this same issue and have learned healthier ways to enjoy life. So how do you change after struggling for years and are hardwired to be a certain way? Much of it happens when we change the talk to ourselves.

Rewire Your Talk

I wish I could rewire the fact that I have lost much of my hair. It bothered me for years so I wore hats and tried many treatments. I think most of the treatments leaked into my ears, eyebrows, and yes back (I know TMI). I eventually had to accept that I was losing my hair and there was not much I could do about it. People who create big lifestyle change after years of struggle also had to accept that each of us are hardwired in ways we need to manage differently. The difference with this and my hair is that we can change with the way we respond in life, the health choices that we make, and the self-talk we use to make those choices. Acceptance is always the first step in change but action is the key to the rest. Here are a few of the action steps that people used to make big lifestyle change after accepting the fact that change was needed:

  1. All changed the “I deserve it” reward system and the self-talk associated with that. This does not mean that you do not deserve good things and rewards. You work hard, help others, and are a good person. Changing the way you use and see the word deserve is a great way to do that. Many have changed the “I deserve its” into self-talk like this:
  • “I deserve great health and quality of life.”
  • “I deserve to fit into a smaller size.”
  • “I deserve to be able to move better.”

Or whatever works for your health journey.

  1. All changed what they are hungry for. For many of us, food has been a priority in our lives and what we have been “hungry for.” The people that have made major lifestyle changes have changed the way they use and see the word hunger. Instead of feeding the hunger for sugary food and drinks, all developed a strong hunger for change. Wanting to be healthy for themselves and others, being able to move with less effort and pain, and witnessing others who struggle are some of the reasons the new “hunger” was developed. Become hungry for change!
  2. All stayed resilient! Many of us know how to set a goal but do not know how to reach the goal. It is not that we are failures but merely do not know how to fail. You will have a day where you do not make the best choices. You are human. Start each day fresh, learn from the previous day without harsh judgment of yourself, and do not dwell on the unhealthy choice you may have made. The key is to “get right back on” when you fall off and focus on the hunger that you have for success!

I sincerely hopes this helps some of you who may struggle with maintaining a long term health focus. It is hard no question in today’s world. But you can change like so many others if you desire. You can create the health and the quality of life you deserve. You can be your own miracle!


Lately I have been reading a book called The Telomere Effect. Although I am interested in all things holistic health, I have not studied telomeres until now. Telomeres are small tips on the end of our chromosomes that determine how fast our cells age and die.  This process also ultimately determines how fast we age, how much time we spend in illness and disability, and how long we live. It is our health on the deepest level, our cells. And the more I continue to read The Telomere Effect, the more I understand how deeply affected our lives are by our thoughts, beliefs, coping skills, and worldview. I teach exercise but I know the way we respond to life events is just as important to our health as working out. Regulating the way we respond to stress, managing our thoughts about past and future events, serving others, and working through crisis in a solution-focused way are all keys to healthy telomeres and a healthy you. If you struggle like I did for 30 years with being healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, PLEASE know that life can change for the better if you take the action to care for yourself. Please exercise and have a plan for how you will manage food, mood, and respond to stress. Stay present with yourself and monitor emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that hurt your telomeres and health. Focus on what is good in your life, deal with what is not so good, and know you have the skills to work through stress in a healthy way. If you need help seek it. I did. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!


“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.” -Barry Neil Kaufman

For years I was blind. Until one day in late July 2001 when the temperature was 118 degrees in Phoenix and my temperature was well above that. I was angry and it was hot. And I had just locked my keys in my car at ASU West and even DPS could not “pop the lock” on my car.  So I had to walk ALL THE WAY OVER to the bus stop to ride the bus home to get my other set of keys. It was all of about 200 yards. As I angrily walked in the heat pouting about my keys, feeling self-pity about how busy I was I saw a man sitting at the bus stop. As I approached I could see that he had a white-tipped cane used by people who are without eyesight. I really didn’t want to be bothered because I was angry and feeling sorry for myself so I said hello and stayed to the side. He asked, “Can you do me a favor?” I thought “oh great” but said okay. He asked if I could describe the trees and the sky to him because he had lost his eyes when he was 5 because of a disease.  He said that he always remembers how beautiful the trees and sky were and likes to get other people’s descriptions. So I described. The desert trees and landscapes were various colors and all bore their own beauty. The sky had high clouds but was otherwise blue and clear. He said that many people have 20/20 vision but are blinder than he is because they do not appreciate the gift of sight and its’ ability to see natural beauty.  He told me to always appreciate my sight and the gift to see all things beautiful. My mood changed immediately and I began to make it a daily point to appreciate my gift of sight and the ability to see beauty. I did it today when I went for a run/walk with my dog. It was hot this morning and my feet hurt. I did not “see” that though. I saw the beauty of the trees, birds enjoying a cool bird bath and my dog Zeus’ look of unconditional love toward me. I saw all of my abilities, the beauty of the lake that I walked past, and how great it was to be able to exercise because some cannot. I saw how lucky I am to have so much love in my life, a business that I enjoy doing, and all of the other gifts that I am so richly blessed with. Most of us have chosen to be where we are at in life. We have chosen to lock our keys in our cars, live in the heat or cold, who we love and how busy we are. We also choose the way we see everything. I am asking you like the blind man asked me to see the beauty in ALL things. Do not be blind any longer! Start today. Be your own miracle!


Some people believe that I am crazy, but I get up at 3am almost daily to get some cardiovascular exercise in to begin the day. Zeus (my Dachshund mix) and I head to the small park across the street from our house to get some running in on the grass, some burpees (I do those while he smells stuff), and other forms of High Intensity Interval Training. I often see my neighbor Ray out there for his morning walk before it gets too hot. Ray is a 73 year old man who walks with a pronounced limp, his right leg completely locked and unable to bend without excruciating pain. A lifelong grocery store employee who lost his wife to cancer last year, Ray is always friendly and willing to chat on his walks and today was no different. I like to pick his brain because of all that he has been through (deaths, prejudice, and physical pain) to learn what I can from someone more experienced than I at life. Today we were talking about the importance of staying busy. Ray admittedly suffers from depression because of the loss of his wife and although he does not have the 8 years of college that I have, he understands physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health as good or better than I do. “I have got to stay busy or I think too much about my wife, how much I hurt, or how sad I am.” I stated that I hope to work my whole life in some way because I know its’ good for me. He said, “You don’t have to have a job. I stay busy with housework, yard-work, and volunteering. I begin the day with exercise and gratitude for all the years I had with the most wonderful woman in the world, for my retirement, and for my home. I like a clean house, a kept yard, and I enjoy completing the projects around the house every day.” I have to tell you, I felt like I hit the jackpot with knowledge on how to live a happy and healthy life. I often study happiness, fulfillment, and how it affects our health but I rarely truly get to see it in action. Ray is a walking testament to the journals that I read.

  1. He begins each day with gratitude and exercise. He does not entertain ideas of not doing this because it makes him feel better. He does not do extreme exercise or overdo work around the house. He manages physical activities intentionally.
  2. He does not give into the pain in his body or heart.  Ray has severe arthritis throughout his body, lost his wife of 51 years last year, and admittedly struggles with depression. Despite this, he gives full energy and focus to how he can be happy and fulfilled TODAY. He does not worry about tomorrow or feel regret over yesterday.
  3. He understands the difference between fulfillment and pleasure. Ray does things throughout the day that help him to feel good about himself. While he does enjoy the pleasure of a good meal and other quick feel good things, he knows the importance of doing things daily that bring both fulfillment and pleasure to his life. Exercise, projects, and serving others are all keys to a healthy life, according to the research journals I read daily.
  4. He sees the good in all. Although he is in pain, he focuses on how lucky he is to be able to do so much despite his ailments.  And despite the loss of his wife, he focuses on all the good years he had with her. He still shares experiences with a smile when he speaks of her.
  5. Giving up is not an option for Ray. Ray continues to live his life despite challenges, pains, and heartaches. He stays resilient and he stays healthy, fulfilled, and high functioning.

We all can learn from the simple, humble man that I see on his morning walks. Exercise, do things that fulfill your soul, serve others, and practice gratitude. See the good in all things and worry only about today. Live fully and intentionally like Ray does. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!



There are so many research articles on health and the behavior that drives us to make unhealthy choices despite consequences. One article published in Endocrine Today and written by a highly regarded Nobel Prize winning researcher studies how behavior and economics play a role in health choices. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, MD, MPH shares how our thoughts are broken down into fast thinking and slow thinking processes. We do so many things automatically which utilizes and develops the fast thinking processes more. This includes for many of us our health choices; the way we eat, manage stress, and think about exercise. Dr. Thorgeirsson shares research on how financial incentives (money prizes), exercising in fun environments, and group rewards have proven to be effective incentives for short term healthy lifestyle management. According to the doctor, this will utilize our already highly developed fast thinking process and help us to make healthier choices based on the rewards.

Opinion (not that you asked for it lol)

While I agree with Dr. Thorgeirsson on many of his points, it is my experience that most healthy lifestyle plans often end or become inconsistent when there are financial incentives. Many of us who have lived in unhealthy ways for many years know how complicated and difficult the behaviors are to overcome. But one thing is clear, we are driven by external cues because of our fast thinking that create the unhealthy behaviors we engage in. Food, shiny stuff, praise or acceptance from others, and other external controls help us to manage our internal moods, sense of self, and happiness. But according to research, it is a false bottom that eventually will dissipate when the shine wears off, the cruise is over, the money is spent, and the food is eaten.

Treatment Options

If you struggle with making impulsive decisions that lead to poor health choices, there are good treatments available. Dr. Thorgeirsson hit the nail on the head when he shared with us how fast and slow thinking processes work. Research shows that learning how to slow the thinking processes down, having boundary based food plans, and supportive exercise programs all are helpful for staying on a long term healthy lifestyle plan. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), meditation, and other mindfulness based therapies have proven effective in helping people slow down impulsive thinking. Whether its’ food, drugs, alcohol, sex, spending, or anything else, it is wise to have a plan and to think through the health choice. Please get help if you need it. I did and it works.

Please Pretty Please

Our health is so important to every aspect of our lives. Finances, relationships, and our personal happiness are just some of the things that will be impacted negatively with an unhealthy lifestyle. Please address your health choices and begin as soon as possible to help yourself live healthier and happier. If we can help email




I grew up in a home where resentments were common. We lived in a small town where certain jobs, people’s children, and religions were favored and I was conditioned to be resentful toward them. I held onto these resentments for years and still battle them on occasion, even though I have not lived in the town for 24 years. It drove much of my addiction behavior, depression, and aided greatly in my unhealthy mental and physical functioning. I was miserable physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I had no idea at the time how much damage I was doing to myself but more and more research is showing the damage that resentments can do to our physical health.

Resentments and Our Physical Body

I heard once, “When we harbor anger and resentment against another, we are only harming ourselves.” This could not be truer. Research conducted in recent years shows how much resentment can actually harm us. Heart disease, cancers, organ disease, brain disorders, immune system, and even bone health are all impacted by resentments. When we are angry for a long period of time, we release chemicals, hormones, and toxins into our body that are harmful to every part of us. Resentments lead to more physical disabilities over time and less fulfillment, happiness, and a lower functioning life.

Ending the Resentment

The importance of letting go of resentments and anger quickly cannot be overstated. If you say “I don’t care, they did me wrong” you will end up being the one who suffers. It is so important in our lives to understand we have control over the way we respond to life events, people, and organizations that may have not been fair with us. From my experience, most of the time it is our beliefs about being done wrong that is the biggest obstacle. Focus on your own behavior, the way you communicate, and allow others to be who they are. Manage yourself by doing things in your life that bring you fulfillment and happiness. Serving others, staying busy with creative projects, and focusing on the gifts in life you are grateful for are ways to help to manage resentments. It is a daily work and so important to our lives. Be wise with your health today. Be forgiving. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!



There are many topics that I discuss with you about health and most do not include diet or exercise. Although diet and exercise are vital to our health if done in a healthy way, there are many who struggle with getting on or staying on a healthy lifestyle program for more than a short time. I believe that most of us know that exercise and having boundaries with food is necessary to great long term health, so I try to address the struggle that many go through to stay on a health focused lifestyle plan. Today I want to address the subject of living with conscious intent when it comes to our health.

The Voice In Our Head

That little voice inside our head is the biggest obstacle to staying on track with exercise and nutrition habits. The people that I see who struggle to keep the commitment to healthy habits will feed the talk that sabotages the goal. “I’m too tired,” “I don’t feel up to it today,” and “I can make it up tomorrow” are just of the few of the self-sabotaging internal conversations that people report as they struggle. This sabotaging conversation with ourselves is often a decades, old habit that we agree to and becomes automatic without ever a question or debate from us. We go along with anything that the saboteur voice wants and we have done it for a long time. I struggled with this for years and did not even have the awareness that I was doing it. And awareness of self sabotaging talk is truly the key to overcoming the struggle you have with staying on track with your health practices. . .

Becoming Conscious With Your Health Habits

Self awareness and consciousness are so important to every aspect of our lives. Whether it is money management, the way we communicate, healthy food choices, or staying on an exercise program, conscious intention is vital to our success. Tons of research has shown that having a financial plan, food plan, exercise plan, and even communication plan will lead to a more successful outcome than not having a plan at all. But if you plan to exercise tomorrow and sabotage the plan with self-talk the next morning, then the plan is no good. It is vital to execute the plan NO MATTER WHAT and to feed the conversation with yourself that creates successful outcomes for you. It takes practice and a “one day at a time” mindset but when you learn through self awareness that you can do what you struggle not to do, the struggle becomes less and less. My client Jacqi is a perfect example of this. Jacqi has been a good friend of mine for 20 years. For the whole time I’ve known her, I have tried to talk her into exercising, with little impact. This is because I could never talk her into something that the self-saboteur could so easily and automatically talk her out of. When Jacqi began to address the way she communicated with herself when it came to exercise, everything changed. Today, after not exercising for most of her life, Jacqi is among the most consistent people in the gym training. And when I mean consistent I mean she has not missed a single exercise session since December of 2015. Four days a week for almost 19 months! She feels so much better about herself and exercise and it begins each day with intentional consciousness and self-awareness of what she is saying to herself when it comes to exercise. She still does not love it but her internal conversation is directed to success not sabotage. She has become miraculous!

Be Your Own Miracle!

If you struggle to stay on a healthy exercise and nutrition plan, please examine the conversation you have with yourself when it comes to self-sabotage. Feed and cultivate the conversation that creates success for you. You can overcome anything with the right words. Start with your own. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!



I study the subject of life span development extensively, including my own history. As a health coach and educator, I see the importance of proper conditioning in the body, in the mind, spiritually, and emotionally. As someone who has a Masters’ Degree in Counseling and who is trained as a behavioral health therapist, I see how early life conditioning plays a role in the way the adult copes, responds, and believes. And while many will say that everything is “just a choice,” sometimes there are so many hardwired predispositions, beliefs, and coping mechanisms, that it is more than just a mere choice. Research is showing more and more how heavy the impact can be as an adult if we choose to cope with life in ways that are unhealthy during our early childhood and teen years. Turning to food, drugs or alcohol, and sex as a way to deal with life’s problems greatly increases our chances of “needing” to do that for years to come. Many of us were taught this by family and fed with food we had no control over. A lot of us were abused, had addiction issues with parents, and had nowhere to turn. We were given no other healthy coping skills by those who taught us what to believe.

How To Make A Different Choice

While lifelong struggles with unhealthy coping skills are extremely hard to overcome, they are not impossible. If you are ever on social media, you can see daily how people have changed their lives in extreme ways. Losing a large amount of weight, getting health and confidence, educating themselves after struggle, and overcoming addictions are some of the stories you can see regularly on the internet and other forms of media. So it is possible. I have studied a lot of people who incorporate huge change in their lives and there are similar traits among them. Here is what I’ve learned.

  1. They all take 100% responsibility for their lives. While they are strongly conditioned by early life practices, they become laser focused on how they can be successful and they quit placing any responsibility for themselves outside of themselves.
  2. They all have bad days and start over. They do not continue the cycle as they once did and get back to practicing healthy habits after a day where they may not have.
  3. They are open to the feedback of qualified people. People who make big changes in life may have once been hypersensitive to feedback and would feel attacked, even when it was not true. But they learned to be successful it is necessary to not take things personally and to be open to people who can help you. Support does not always tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.

Please understand how important your health is and how you may have been conditioned by yourself and other. to cope with life in an unhealthy way. There is nothing more important to our overall functioning and happiness than our health. Take responsibility for all aspects of your health, start over immediately after an unhealthy day, and be open to people that can help you. You will be surprised how different making a choice becomes. STAY RESILIENT! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

Permission to Feel

Another great post from Beauty Beyond Bones!


I’m going to be honest, I have 2 vodka/coconut waters in my system, so this post may be a bit…spirited.

Ba-dum chh!


Bad joke. OKAY!

I had a conversation with a friend tonight that has completely pulled at my heartstrings and offered me some much needed perspective.

So naturally, I’ve decided to share with you, my wonderful internet friends 🙂

Sometimes we need to grant ourselves permission to mourn for ourselves.

Alright, that’s coming straight out of left field. I should probably back up a bit.

I don’t think there’s a person on this earth who isn’t going through, or has gone through a difficult season.

I was talking with my friend tonight about that. About this incredibly difficult season that he’s had to navigate through this past year with the murder of his friend from a hate crime, and other family challenges. Things that I cannot imagine going through.

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