Tag Archives: Christian Blogger

Moving Forward is the First and Hardest Step

Seven years ago, I began an incredible journey towards getting healthy.  I was tired of how I looked. I was tired of how I felt.  My second born was a year old and I still looked (and felt) like I was five months pregnant.  We were eating fast food almost every single night, and I was tired of seeing my precious babies shove French fries in their mouths.

I wanted a change.

No, I needed a change.

For myself, for my health, for my family. We deserved better than McDonald’s and sickness.

So, I pulled out an old DVD, laced up old running shoes, and pushed play. Then, I learned how to select fresh, whole foods from the grocery store, searched for healthy recipes, and learned to cook for my family instead of going through the drive-thru.

Then, after nine months of hard work, and twenty pounds lighter and more pep in my step and more energy than I had when I was twenty, I discovered that I could help people get healthy. To do what I did, which was exercise and eat right, and help them get results.

As well as make fitness enjoyable.  Fitness is fun. It really is.  I know it doesn’t feel like that at first, but it really is when you discover what you enjoy doing.  I learned three years into Beachbody that dancing was my soulmate workout.  Cardio? No. Heck no. Unless it involved dancing.

I spent six years encouraging and promoting a message of being beautiful in your own skin. Being beautiful in the way that God made you and living well.  Be a Size You was a very personal message for me and I wanted to spread that message all over the country and even the world.

I still do.  I still believe in the mission behind Beachbody, and I still believe in the message of Be a Size You.

But at some point, some things come to an end.

For a long while, I have felt that God has been leading me to lay down this business.  It makes no sense to people on the outside, and truthfully, I have a hard time really expressing it verbally.  It comes out in one giant emotional word vomit. Ha!

But when it is time to let go of something, you do it.  You do it. You don’t overthink it, even if it doesn’t all make sense.  God led our family to live on the side of a mountain a couple of years ago, and we lived in a trailer as a family of four. It was the craziest thing to people.

Yet God was still God there on that mountain and He moved constantly in my heart and in my life and in my faith.

Even when you love something as much as I love Beachbody, and I truly do love them because they are the BEST (I know, totally biased), you still have to let go.

I am excited to see what God will do next for our family.  I am excited to see where God leads my husband in terms of his career and his leading of our family.  Good things will happen, even if it looks different than I had originally pictured.

To those of you who have supported me, encouraged me, purchased from me, been a part of my challenge groups and online fitness communities, THANK YOU.

Thank you for allowing me a window seat into your life and allowing me to walk along the journey of being a healthier version of you. I know it wasn’t easy and it was so hard at times. Know that I am still rooting for you.  I want success for you.  I want good things for you.

I want you to continue to live well, and give God the glory.  Be a Size you is not a one size fits all message.  It is for everyone.

I will still be blogging, and still be getting my sweat on and sharing my faith and all the things that matter to me. Because even though health and fitness won’t be my vocation, it doesn’t mean I care any less about it.  And yes, Cize dance videos will still be happening on IG! Holla!

Thank you again for loving me and allowing me to serve you in health.

Be a Size You Forever,

Tiff

It Is Okay

I am going to talk about something that makes the Christian community incredibly uncomfortable.

It is okay to want to use an opportunity to create a better financial future for your family.

It is okay to go towards your dreams.

It is okay to own a business and want to make money.

It is also wise to remember, as we work towards building a financial future for our family and even working towards making dreams come true, that when much is given, much is expected.

So if you are fortunate to build wealth (and honestly, that looks different for all of us. You define success.) much will be expected of you.

It doesn’t mean you are not kingdom minded if you are rich. Or become rich. Or have a successful business.

I talk to many wives and mamas who feel crushed under the weight of financial stress. Unless you understand the feeling of not knowing how you will pay for your groceries, pay for needs in your home, pay bills, do not assume that the woman you see working her business daily is not Kingdom minded. When a woman wants to stop fighting with her spouse about money, and is willing to do something about it, that is kingdom minded.

She is fighting for her family. That is kingdom minded. That is kingdom impact. Because she realizes that providing for the needs of her family and her household is how she will encourage those in her care to grow, trust, share, show compassion, have faith, and more.

Totally put this devotional on my Christmas list.

I have been praying a great deal about what I want to cultivate for my family. As we remain in transition, it is getting harder. And to be 100% honest with you, I am tired of it. But that is what happens when things are hard. You go through a multitude of emotions and feelings. And that is okay.

But I have made some big decisions lately, decisions that I will share later in the week, but I am confident that it will be better for my family and better for me and for my gift mix and abilities.

I am scared as heck, but it seems the word that has been repeated over and over again in my heart is “Brave.”

Brave will be my personal word for 2018. Still praying over our family one. But Brave is mine. Because I will have to be.

To do new things.

To face new challenges.

To let go of what is good and go for great.

That takes bravery.

So if you, sister friend, are sitting behind your screen critical of your friend or the mama who seems to be working toward wealth and you feel the need to judge why, take a moment to shoot her a message and ask about her story. You might be surprised.

And to you, sister friend, who is working so hard on your job or your business to provide something different for your family, keep going. Keep Him first. Pray for your business/job and remember that with much given, much is expected.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

Ordinary is Good

I follow quite a few lifestyle, health and fashion bloggers on social media.  I do that because I love to be inspired and see what they come up with in terms of their content.  I like to learn from those who are running their online businesses well and providing value to those who follow them. As a woman with two online businesses, it is important for me to constantly be learning how I can provide the best value and the greatest content to those who choose to be a part of my online community and share with them what I have to offer.

But, if I can be honest with you, sometimes, I feel that sting of comparison.

I don’t have an extravagant budget to work with in terms of my closet, my photos, my travels.  My home isn’t the most beautiful and it isn’t often photographed to show off it’s amazing décor.

We don’t travel to all of these amazing places, like these influencers do.  I am a homebody. I love being at home.  I love relaxing at home with my family and watching a movie. If we do go anywhere, it is usually for family events/holidays/annual vacations or I am attending an annual work conference.

Or our weekly outing at church.

When I get down on myself about how I don’t have a big enough audience, or my photos aren’t glamorous enough, or I don’t attract enough likes, or I don’t travel to amazing places….it is then I need to be reminded by God why He has me doing what I am doing. What my most important role right now is.

“Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” Ann Voskamp

Hard and holy things. And perhaps, even a little ordinary.

It is hard to raise two human beings to love the Lord, and to serve Him and to follow Him all the days of their lives. Because as we know as parents, they will grow up with wings and minds of their own, and they may choose a way that breaks your mama heart.  I look at those two faces in that picture above and my heart aches.  I long so much for them to avoid the mistakes I made as a girl, but while I can guide and direct, someday I will have to let them make their choices.

The ordinary work of being a wife to my husband.  To support him, no matter how frustrated I may be with him. Whether in good times or hard times, being his partner and helpmate is vital and important and hard and holy. Our world glamorizes romance, the wedding and lust.  It does not value marriage and the hard and holy work that it is.

The ordinary is good.  I remember smiling on a late Thursday night, after my son’s final baseball game of the Fall season.  He was devastated because they lost and therefore they were eliminated from the tournament.  So my husband wanted to cheer him up with a dude hangout and grab some baseball cards.  We didn’t have hundreds of dollars to spend, but we had $30.  We didn’t travel to the World Series or even to Los Angeles to somewhere glamorous in order make our son smile.

It was at an ordinary Target in our hometown.  Then we went back to our ordinary home, on our ordinary couch, in our ordinary living room (that will never be featured in a magazine) and just spent time together.

I smiled because it was one of the best evenings.  It was simple.  My son was happy and he was now excited for baseball again in the Spring.

While I love reading my favorite blogs and seeing all those beautiful photos on social media, and as much as they inspire me to better myself as a business woman, I have to keep it in perspective that my ordinary life is good. It is good because God made it good.

He gave me a wonderful husband.  An amazing little home to take care of. Two awesome children who keep us busy and entertained and who love us and want to hang out with us.

I don’t need thousands of likes on a post to show I have influence. I use the words God gives me and the lessons He teaches me to share with all of you, in hopes that my humble attempts lead you closer to Him.

God is teaching me that there is nothing wrong with having a beautifully crafted Instagram page.  But, we must be willing to share the hard and the holy, and even the ordinary, because that is where most of us lie.

Most of us are not living these glamorous lives that we see plastered all over the blogospheres.  We are deep down in the dirt of the every day.  We are traveling to and from work or school, trying to get dinner on the table or make it to a practice or recital on time.

We are changing diapers or kissing our children goodbye as they head off to college.

We go to grocery stores that offer us the most bang for our buck so that we can feed our families well, and if it is organic and healthy, heck, it feels like a win.  We do our best with what we have.

We don’t always get to dress up.  Most of us live in active wear or leggings.

We read books on how we can be better mothers. Less angry wives.  Better listeners. Better leaders. Be less busy and more present. On how to choose joy. How to share the gospel with a friend.  All ordinary things, but good.

So Sister Friend, if you are looking at your Instagram page and feeling like you are too ordinary to make a difference, can I tell you that you are? That there is a fellow gal looking at your feed right now and thankful that your ordinary heart shared something extraordinary in her and encouraged her in some way.

As much as I would love to have a beautiful insta page, I am thankful for the ordinary photos, because they are evidence of God’s work in my life.

Tiffany

How Does God Lead Us?

This past Sunday, at church, I really enjoyed the message that the Pastor shared with us in regards to listening to the voice of God.

I feel like it is a topic that regularly needs to be taught upon, because there seems to be a great deal of confusion as to the voice of God, what that looks like, sounds like, and there is a lot of noise.

And truthfully, if I can be honest Sister Friends, we seem to believe that our feelings align, when more often than not, our feelings can lead us astray and away from God’s perfect will for our lives. I loved this quote from Sunday:

“Sometimes we are so focused on seeing signs and the spectacular, that we miss the simplicity of God’s voice.”

YES!  Have you ever spoken to someone who constantly declares that they had a sign from God that they were supposed to go in a certain direction (even if that direction is sin) and give God the glory for it? Friends, God will not lead us in a way that is contrary to His word. He is not a God of confusion. But, they falsely believe that it was from God because their vision or feelings were so spectacular, they only assumed it was from God, not their own fleshly wants.

I want so badly to be a woman who is lead by God and can discern His voice in my life. These ways listed, I believe will help me and many of you!

Pastor Gary shared that there are 5 ways that God will lead us-and it isn’t always how we might think.

  1. God will lead us by our knowledge of right and wrong.  Doing what is right and allowing God to work out the details.
  2. By His Word. This seems to be a no brainer, and as a Christian woman, one would think that we are constantly in His word for guidance, peace, hope, direction. But too many instead seek wisdom from “Christian” bloggers and authors and social media accounts, instead of going to the source.  That source is the Bible! Psalm 119:105 . Do you believe God’s word is ALIVE? Because I do!
  3. Leads us by His peace.  Colossians 3:15 One of the reasons God puts peace in our hearts is to help us navigate the challenges in our lives. When the peace is destroyed, I need to get alone with God and find out WHY. Pastor Gary compared God’s peace to  like playing umpire in your life.  I loved that comparison, especially as a sports mama. Allowing God’s peace to play umpire in my life will help me see Balls and Strikes in my circumstances and the challenges.
  4. Through the Godly counsel of other people. Yes to all of this!!!!!  We don’t need to seek counsel from everyone, but we should be discerning enough to seek counsel from people who love the Lord. To dig deep and draw from that person, like a person drawing water from a well for living. When we don’t seek advice from others who love the Lord, especially when we need to seek advice, it is PRIDE. Don’t be prideful.  Draw it out!
  5. Lead us by His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to us upon our confession of faith.  It will be dropped into our spirit.  These are not your feelings, but a deep longing that is only stirred by God. The Holy Spirit will never disagree with the Word of God.

If you want some additional reading and studying on this topic of listening and being led by God, read 1 Kings 19:1-13.  Pay attention to how God leads and speaks and works in Elijah’s life and circumstance.

Dig deep into the well, sister friend.  There is living water there.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

The Habits of a Fit Person

This question was answered on social media today by one of the fitness trainers I follow, and while her answer was “technically” true….I want to add more to the conversation.

Her answer was that a fit person doesn’t skip workouts, even when on vacation or during holidays.

Yes, it is true that, for the most part, those who consider themselves fit, don’t cancel their workouts for things like holidays or vacation.  But, I think a fit person’s habits go much deeper than just not skipping their workouts.

I am in a season of my life where my workouts are at a much slower pace than before.  I don’t really have a specific physical goal in mind right now.  With the constant change our family is experiencing, God is directing my heart towards other areas that need nourishing and a health check up.

Things like dealing with stress effectively, my attitude when things don’t go my way (again), and how to stop hanging out with worry and doubt and start clinging to faith. (Watch this awesome Video that I saw this morning….it inspired me so much!)

The habits of a Fit person is one that looks similar on the surface (the workouts, the nutrition, etc), but very different in terms of their emotional state and well being.

A fit person has:

*Faith in the process– they realize that some seasons are going to be about goal setting and goal reaching and other seasons will be slower. But they understand the value of moving their body for their overall health

*The wisdom to rest– They know when their body has reached its limits. When it is time to slow down. To put aside the pressure of looking or feeling a certain way.  That maintenance is a healthy by-product of the fit life. That their LIFE is not a fitness competition.

*The ability to be present and enjoy those they are around, even if they are surrounded by food they should refrain from- This one, I think is hardest because we live in a diet minded society.  We constantly hear and see the list of Don’t Eat This in magazines, social media and nutrition plans. The fit person recognizes what works for them.  What doesn’t serve them, and they are experiencing FREEDOM to abstain and still enjoy being in the presence of their friends and family. This is especially true during the holiday season.  All those baked goods and rich foods are tempting, and they are delicious!  But, the fit minded woman will choose her favorites without guilt and happily say no to the things that she doesn’t enjoy or need in her life.

*Joy and Freedom– She is not in prison to her fitness plan or her nutrition program.  The whole point of her deciding to embark on this journey to being healthier was to bring her freedom.  Freedom from foods dictating her emotions and keeping her in chains. The joy of God directing her steps as she stepped outside of her comfort zone and treated her body with care for the first time in who knows how long.  She is working to break free from the chains and the lies the enemy has told her for so long about her body, her worth, her appearance, her value……and she hears the truth for the first time in a long time.

When I started the mission of Be a Size You, it was so important to me that women experience true freedom and joy and have faith in the process.  I get frustrated with fitness programs and nutrition programs sometimes, because they can seem rigid even if they weren’t designed to be so, and when a person is just beginning their journey, their old habits are hard to break and the lies are still very loud in their minds.  It takes time, it takes encouragement, it takes a lot of grace, and it isn’t just as simple as saying “fit people don’t skip workouts.”

It is so much more than that. So much more.  I have been guilty of saying “No Excuses” before as a virtual health coach, but I am thankful that God has been laying me low to teach me how to better love and serve those who want to live well and truly “Be a Size You.”

Praying for each of you as you embark on your own personal journey of fitness, faith, and health.  I am always here to help you. It is my greatest joy to serve you in that way.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

Choose Your Own Adventure

I am going through an incredible online bible study through the book of Ephesians with Sarah Koontz and being reminded that we are worthy of our calling in Christ.

Lately, my fitness routine has been at some what of a standstill. It doesn’t mean that I am not working out, but just that I am not doing as much. I am not kicking up the intensity. I am choosing to dance more than a grueling HIIT.

I walk more than I run.

It has been good for this Mama’s soul as she prays and waits and wonders what God will do next for our little family.

What is our next adventure?

In our study today in Ephesians, Sarah mentioned that we are kind of on a choose your adventure journey….the gift of free will and choosing what we will do here on earth with what He has given us.  Our gifts and talents should be stewarded for Kingdom purposes, but it is easy to get lost on our way and some of our choices in our journey take us away.  Our choices do affect us.

With that all said, I am forever grateful that there are promises put in place long before I ever got here.  That when I chose Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I became a Co-heir in the inheritance.  I did nothing to earn that.  And neither did you, sweet sister.

Let’s worship Him today in that very thought and praise Him for His wonderful gift!

Read Ephesians 3:1-7 today and get a glimpse of this wonderful promise. As we exhibit free will, let it not be so that we can be more popular, more powerful, more rich, more influential, but to share the hope that we have in Christ Jesus!

As you workout today, or perhaps you are like me and taking it a little bit easier in your fitness routine, or you need something uplifting to listen to while working around the house (or on the job!), here is my Worship Playlist.

 

A Strong Mind and Body is Greater Than a Skinny One

The other day I did a 17 Minute HIIT workout.  For most people, that won’t feel long enough to be considered an effective exercise, but I have been working out long enough to know that if I want a shorter workout, than I have to be willing to push myself a little harder.

And that is exactly what I did.  For those 17 minutes, I lifted heavier, squatted deeper, moved faster, and jumped higher than before.

All because I could. I finally could.

It felt amazing.

On Instagram and Facebook, it is very easy to get caught up in the image side of health and fitness. Everyone wants to six pack abs or to look super fit and toned.  If I am being honest, I want those things too.

But I have to remind myself all the time that a strong body and mind is way more valuable than just a skinny one.

Hear me out, I promise I won’t skinny shame.

When I look at my husband, I want to live long enough so that we become that couple that ditches their college bound kids to go on our own adventures.  I don’t want to be so sick and weak that I can’t travel with him. I want to go all over the world with him at my side.  I don’t want to just sit on the couch.

When I see my kids, I delight in their dreams of either being a Major League Baseball player or being an Olympic Swimmer, and I want to be in the front row as they chase their dreams. I don’t want to be on the couch just watching from afar because I am not healthy or strong enough to be there.

I want to be mentally alert and have conversations that inspire change and hope. I want to serve alongside my sisters and friends in our communities to make it a better place. It is hard to do that if I am house bound and unable to contribute.

I don’t just want to write about change and hope and love on social media. I want to be an ACTIVE part of it.

I don’t want to just spout off opinions.

I want to be a part of the chain reaction of LOVE and GRACE.

Each day that I choose to move my body is not only for aesthetics.

It is so I can contribute and use the gifts and talents that God has given me for Kingdom purpose.

You may see it as superficial.

I see it as vital.  God’s people healthy and living and active in the community to show His love.  His daughters loving their husbands and children and teaching them the way they should go.

Bestowing grace and being aware of those who are in need of hope in a dark filled world.  When I stopped viewing my workouts as simply for physical reasons and started looking at all the ways working out has helped me (including being some much needed therapy!), I have grown to love my time away to sweat. It doesn’t always mean my workouts are winners, but it does mean that I feel a little better, I feel good in the skin I am in, and I am ready to tackle whatever life throws at me.

Share your story. How has working out helped you? What has being stronger mentally and physically empowered you to do or be?

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

Self Care is Not Just For Fitness

You have probably heard that word, self care, a whole lot. Usually, it goes along with someone who is inviting you to join them on a journey towards being healthier and being more fit.

That is definitely part of it! A healthy body is part of the whole self care movement, but that is not the only piece! There are so many ways we busy mamas can take care of ourselves so that we can pour into those we love and give ourselves to the ministries and passions we are focused on.

Here are some of my favorite ways to get in a little me time:

*Getting my hair/nails done
*Massage
*Facials
*shopping (Did you see my last blog post?)
*Night out with the girls
*Reading an uplifting book
*Learning a new skill
*Soothing music
*Bath time and using my favorite essential oils/natural skin care products
*Going to the beach or any place that has water
*Hiking or fun outdoor activity with girlfriends
*Study a new topic
*Exercise
*Try a new healthy food restaurant
*Test out a new recipe or bake something yummy
*Blogging/writing
*Being creative and putting together pretty outfits for myself, friends, and family.
*Singing, by myself, out loud in my home.
*Taking a nap! (Do it!)

As you can see, there are so many ways to fill your tank. We give a ton to those around us. If you are a mama, you probably feel like you are constantly running on empty.

But, it is hard to pour into others if you yourself are running on empty. It really is.

Fill your tank, then let that overflow into others.

We are such a busy society! Who the heck told us that in order to be great or worth anything, we had to run ourselves ragged? Who said busier was better?

Who said being a wife and mom was an act of a martyr? Um no.

There are sacrifices, yes. Obviously. But being a wife and a mom isn't a prison sentence. It isn't horrible. Let's knock that off.

Let's take care of ourselves and do things that bring us beauty, joy, pleasure, and then let's bring those very things to those we love.

What are your favorite ways to practice self care?

Be a Size You,

Tiff

Feed Your Mind

I am a big believer that leaders are readers.  I believe that if you are looking to grow in any area, reading and studying are the way to go.

Growing up, I always considered myself an independent learner.  I fared much better doing research projects than group projects or sitting in a classroom because more often than not, it was on subjects that I was not interested in.

I still have not used chemistry. Well, except for baking because exact measurements matter, but other than that….nope!

But I will spare you my thoughts on education and we will get to the part I am most passionate about: Feeding your mind.

I shared on Facebook my current favorite books that I think y’all should grab and dive into.  Most of these are personal development/nutrition/leadership/ministry related.  If that is not your thing, no worries, I will try to update this week even more books that I have read and love.

Podcasts are incredible resources too. That will get updated on my blog as well.

Some included links for the books mentioned in the video:

Discipline: The Glad Surrender

Sacred Priviledge by Kay Warren

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

I will try to update even more resources on books, podcasts, resources and more so you all can have more resources as you work on Being a Size You.

 

So thankful for each of you! Would love to hear what you are reading and learning right now!

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

 

 

 

Give Thanks for He is Good


One of the most treasured gifts I have received from a friend was this prayer journal. 

When I first became a Christian, I would journal every thought, prayer, hope, conflict, and dream on fresh pages of notebook paper, or wherever I could find a blank space. I doodled and dreamed as I poured my heart out to the One I was so in love with.

By the time I met Dan, my husband, I had already filled several journals with my thoughts and prayers. A few years ago, I had the chance to revisit them and my eyes nearly rolled out of my head as I read each page. Some of my “needs” were very self centered and centered on relationships with boys. I am embarrassed to admit that, but hey, it is the truth! Ha! (I bet some of you gals can relate. If not, you are fortunate!)

I had shared with you about our family prayer board that we got a few weeks ago, but this little journal pictured above is my favorite. It is all mine. After I spend time in His word, I get to writing. I get to praying. I pray for my husband. I pray for my kids. I pray for the needs of my friends. And it all goes down on paper, along with the iced coffee stains. 

After reading Psalm 136 one morning, I quickly got to work on writing my own Psalm of praise.  Have you ever done that? Have you ever just taken a moment to write out exactly what God has done for you in your life? Yes, we reflect on Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, but share more. Write out how He:

*Provided for your family in your time of need.

*When a family member came to know Jesus after years of praying.

*A loved one healed of disease or overcoming addiction or pain.

*A marriage being restored.

*Children who were prodigals returning home.

Shouting to the world what the Lord has done for you….our stories are all different. Yet God has met each and every one of us where we are and shown His mercy and grace and incredible power.

Can I challenge you, next time you pray, to recount ALL that He has done for you. We see it over and over again in the Psalms the recalling of God and His might and power and what He had done for the children of Israel.

Now, let us do the same.

Be a Size You,
Tiffany