39 Things I Have Learned in My 39 Years PART TWO

untitledSo, a few weeks ago I shared 17 of the 39 things I have learned.  If you missed that, you can go HERE.  In all honestly, my life got in the way of me sharing the remaining ones but I got newly motivated with the arrival of 2014.  Happy New Year, by the way!  Anyway, I definitely do not have all the answers but I have found that we learn more and more as we age.  So, without further ado, here is the rest of the list:

18.  DO NOT ASK THE QUESTION IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE ANSWER!  The older I get, the more I appreciate people who are honest, but with that comes the need to accept the answer.  Whether it is a “no” or just something you didn’t want to hear.  It is important to honor the person’s perspective and then apply it as you see fit.

19. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.  I mostly think of this in the context of thinking about whether hurtful words are worthwhile to say.  Speaking honestly is different from being purposefully hurtful.  I also think of this in the context of my children and homeschooling.  It is hard to separate being a mom and being their teacher.  When I think before I speak, I do a better job.

20. GROWTH HAPPENS OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE.  That could have been my mantra for the last year.  I started my own business and became a teacher in my children’s co-op.  For this introvert, these actions were incredibly uncomfortable but the benefits have been amazing.

21. GRATITUDE IS AN AMAZING THING.  I have tried this year to think of two things every morning and night that I am grateful for.  This changes your focus in life.  We all have bad things that happen to us, but it is up to us what we focus on.

22. FEELING DEPRIVED IS NO WAY TO LIVE.  There should be a balance in life.  Things should be done in moderation and balance.  For instance, leave yourself feeling deprived because you have made a certain food off-limits and you will ultimately rebound to that food.  Allow yourself to have that food in moderation and you find a balance.

23. MY CHILDREN TEACH ME MUCH MORE THAN I TEACH THEM.  I am amazed each day how much my children teach me.  They reflect back to me my attributes and my faults.  They also show me the world in a different way, with no urgency, with joy, with amazement.  They make me see things that I normally would not and I am truly blessed to have them in my life because they make me a better person!

24. I AM PATIENT AND CALM WITH EVERYTHING EXCEPT THAT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME.  Clients, patients, and friends are always telling me how calm and patient I am.  But because of my perfectionist tendencies, I feel an urgency with things that are most important to me (such as the homeschooling of my kids).  This is something that I need to work on in 2014 because patient and calm is more successful.

25. I AM MUCH MORE OK IF EVERYONE DOES NOT LIKE ME THAN I WAS WHEN I WAS 20 BUT I STILL DO NOT LIKE TO FEEL JUDGED.  Again, something I need to work on in 2014.  I naturally want to please others and not rock the boat.  As I get older, I find more and more that being true to myself is more important to me than others thinking I am wrong.

26. MISTAKES ARE IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE WELCOMED.  Mistakes are hard but we honestly learn more from them than our successes.  God knows I have made some big mistakes in my life, but one particular mistake I made is teaching me so much.  I know I will be a much stronger and fulfilled person a year from now because of the growth from this mistake.

27. PREPARATION IS KEY.  This is true in many aspects of our lives so let me give you a couple of examples.  First with health and fitness, you have to prepare by having food around that is healthy or how in the world can you eat healthy?  For me preparation for things that are out of my comfort zone (such as teaching in my children’s co-op) is key; preparation gives me more confidence and makes the class successful.

28. ENERGY IN FINITE.  We only have a certain amount of energy.  As a mom that works, homeschools, and has a small business; I am constantly multi-tasking.  Although I am always pushing the envelope, I know that I do not have the energy to do everything I want to.  Knowing is half the battle, now I need to apply this knowledge a little better in 2014.

29. WE OFTEN DO NOT APPRECIATE THINGS UNTIL THEY ARE GONE.  As I get older, I realize more and more all the things that I take for granted.  My job as a physical therapist exposes me to people whose lives have changed permanently from strokes.  They can no longer walk and sometimes talk.  I think this has made me a little more appreciative of these simple things.

30. I LOVE TO TEACH.  I never really thought of myself as a teacher; I am an introvert that is perfectly content not talking all day.  But from my choice to become a physical therapist, to my business, to homeschooling, to teaching in my children’s co-op; I am constantly putting myself in a teaching role.

31. MY 39 YEAR OLD BODY DOES NOT DO EVERYTHING THAT MY 20 YEAR OLD ONE DID.  I used to love to run long distances on a frequent basis but now I have a knee that hurts when I do.  But I am stubborn so this coming year I am doing a half marathon in DC (hoping that my knee will hold up)

32. LIFE IS SHORT TO TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.  This is similar to number 29, but as I get older, I am more and more aware that we have a finite time on Earth and that our loved ones do as well.   I am aware of this but still no do always live my life taking this into account.  Something to work on in 2014.

33. YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF. The most important person who should love you is YOU.  We all have value and deserved to have a loving family, but it is hard for others to love us if we do not love ourselves.

34. MAKE LIFE EASIER.  With this I do not mean that we should not challenge ourselves or that we should follow the easy path!  But set yourself up for success by preparing (such as having groceries or a gym membership) and following the path that rings true to you (if you follow the path that others want you to it will make your life harder).

35. WORRY IS A USELESS EMOTION.  I am really good at worrying!  But I realize that it does nothing positive for me.  Still working on learning how not to worry so much.

36. NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT TO, I DO NOT HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF MY LIFE. In reality, the only thing that I can control at all is myself (my thoughts and my actions).  I cannot control what others think or do and those things also have an effect on my life.

37. VALUES ARE IMPORTANT.  Values underlie all decisions we make.  Paying attention to the values of others is important in figuring out how to relate to them in life.

38. I ANALYZE EVERYTHING TOO MUCH.  I am always seeking an answer, reason, and solution for everything.  I replay things in my head to find logic where there is none.  Part of my goals for next year is to accept things more without wasting time questioning.

39. IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT WANT YOU DO NOT HAVE.  That does not mean that you should not strive for the things that you do not have.  But if you waste all your time wishing for the things you do not have, you are unable to appreciate the things you do have and also have no energy to strive for more.

I hope you may have gained some insight from my self-analysis.  I appreciate you reading and hope you have a wonderful 2014.




     gi1When I became a ME certified fat-loss coach and started my exercise and nutrition consulting/coaching business, I knew that stress and stress management had an effect on a person’s hormonal balance and ability to lose fat.  What I did not realize is just how great of an issue this would be for my clients, who are mostly busy moms with multiple children.  As I deal more and more with the issue of stress with my clients, I am also finding that I am repeatedly dealing with issues of food sensitivities and gastrointestinal discomfort.  All of these issues are inter-related and optimal health cannot be achieved until stress is dealt with and the gastrointestinal system is functioning appropriately.  I have quite a bit of knowledge in this area but am not an expert.  But I am privileged to know an expert in this area personally and professionally and had the honor of interviewing her for this post!

     54066_295744960527199_1938121954_o[1]This expert is Dr. Jillian Teta.  She is a medically trained naturopathic doctor and the author of “Natural Solutions for Digestive Health”, which is being released January 2014 by Sterling Publishing. She practices at the Naturopathic Health Clinic of North Carolina where she focuses on digestive health. Through working with thousands of clients, she has created the Fix Your Digestion Gut Restoration Program, an online educational and practical program that guides you step-by-step on how to heal your digestive tract.

     So, I ask Dr. Teta a number of question about how stress, the gut, and fat-loss are related!  This week’s post will concentrate on the importance of gastrointestinal health and the effects of stress and next week, I will continue the interview with the topics of food sensitivities, fat-loss, and solutions. Here are this weeks questions and responses:

Why is gastrointestinal health so important?

Simply because your gastrointestinal system is the Central Station of the body. It communicates with every other cell and system of the body every single day. It is where your nutrition and the fuel that runs your body is broken down, absorbed and assimilated and where waste and toxins are eliminated.

When gastrointestinal health is compromised, you can see changes in the quality of your skin, your thinking, clarity and focus. You could get heart palpitations or shortness of breath, and not realize that it is coming from your gut. Headaches, menstrual irregularities and even autoimmune disease are all tied to compromised GI function.

What is the relationship between gastrointestinal health and stress?

Maybe you’ve been told before that you have a “nervous stomach”. We seem to intuitively know that there is a connection between where our mental/emotional/physical stress level is at and the impact that can have on our digestion – but WHY? There are several relationships between GI (gastrointestinal) health and stress. The nervous system has 2 branches: the sympathetic nervous system – also called the “fight or flight” branch – that activates when you are under chronic stress, and then there is the parasympathetic – also called “rest and digest” – that is important for relaxation, repair, and digestion. These two sides go back and forth like a see-saw. When you are under chronic stress, the sympathetic branch becomes dominant, as if you have an elephant sitting on one side of the see-saw and a chihuahua on the other! When this happens, the action of that branch overpowers the other. Digestive symptoms can crop up like indigestion, heartburn, reflux, gas and bloating – even if those symptoms weren’t there before. You may notice more urgency, looser stool, or that you simply can’t use the bathroom at all. Ugh! Stress can definitely be the culprit.

Next, your gut actually has a brain all of its own! Called the “enteric nervous system” or ENS, this second brain can operate independently of your brain, a unique feature of our amazing bodies. The ENS is exquisitely sensitive to stress. One of its major jobs is to regulate the rhythm of the bowel, so constipation or more frequent stools can be the result when you feel like you are “up to here” with all of the obligations, deadlines and other stress inducers in your life.

Lastly, the gut makes the vast majority of serotonin, an important feel-good hormone, and happens to have the greatest receptor density for serotonin as well. So, when you are stressed and feeling out of whack, neurotransmitter signaling can change. This can impact your GI function as well. Serotonin also helps regulate bowel regularity and a host of other functions. The relationship to serotonin, stress and digestive function has been particularly well-studied in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Higher levels of serotonin can lead to more frequent and looser stools, while low levels of serotonin constipate. Fluctuations of serotonin can lead to alternation between these two.

What are the best ways to reduce the effect of stress on gastrointestinal system?

My top recommendation here is to get enough sleep. Sleep activates the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system – the rest and digest branch. This helps reduce the effect of stress on the body and brain. Get a bedtime routine, unplug from electronics 30 minutes before bed and make sure that your room is dark and quiet and cool.

Taking a 30 to 60 minute leisure walk in the morning also helps balance the nervous system, reduce stress hormones and sets the pace for the day. Walk outdoors and notice the sky, the trees, the sights and smells.

It is also critically important to prioritize your time. What can you get done today? What can wait or is not important? So often we get bogged down in tiny details and our attention is split multiple ways and so nothing gets done and we feel overwhelmed and like a failure. Cut out what is not essential.

 What would you recommend for busy moms to do if they feel they are having digestive issues that are stress related?  

In addition to the above recommendations, busy moms may want to consider a gut restoration program. Gut restoration is a multi-faceted approach to eliminating digestive symptoms. Through eliminating food sensitivities, taking a probiotic, boosting up digestive ability and healing the lining of the digestive tract you can kick symptoms to the curb – for good. I have created a gut restoration program that is easy to adopt and that can be completed at your own pace.

  Thank you so much to Dr. Jillian Teta for sharing her expertise this week.  DON’T MISS NEXT WEEK’S POST DISCUSSING FOOD SENSITIVITIES VERSES FOOD ALLERGIES AND FAT-LOSS. 

  Through my personal fat-loss coaching, I assist my clients in identifying when they may have gastrointestinal issues and with dealing with stress.  To find out more about my programs, go HERE or email me at info@nurturingfitness.com

   Here are the links to find out more about Dr. Teta’s Gut Restoration Program or to connect with her:



 She loves to connect on social media. Find her at:

 Facebook: www.facebook.com/FixYourDigestion

 Twitter: @jillianteta

 Instagram: jillianteta

 Google+: jillianteta

 YouTube: Jillian Teta

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