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Tony


Posts from March 2013


Skin Cancer

Many of you heard about my trip to the dermatologist on the radio this morning so let me clarify.  The doctor thinks I have what is called an Actinic Keratosis or Actinic Cheilitis on my lower lip, which is fancy word for something ain't right and could be PREcancerous.  It is known to turn into cancer in only 10-15% of people, but that is high enough for them to remove it to keep it from doing so.  What can cause this?   LISTEN UP KIDDOS, sun damage AND using tobacco.  I dipped snuff until I was 30 and never thought to use sunblock on my lips.  I hope this is the end of it, but we will see.  

 



Amy also found out that she likely has a cancerous mole on her back but it is NOT Melanoma like the one 2 years ago, but it is still very scary for us.  She will get it cut off on April 11th and then we will know more.  There are two forms of non-melanoma skin cancers and minor outpatient surgery is almost always successful in removing it.  However, that is easy for the one who doesn't have it to say!  It still sparks a ton of anxiety for the person(s) waiting on results or having to get the "minor" surgery.   


 
Sorry for the very long post, but many of you had sent me messages or texts this morning of great concern because I didn't explain this very well on the air.  Just keep Amy in your prayers; that this will end up being nothing.  And pray that I will focus on taking care of her, and quit obsessing about a fat lip!       

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Before & After

I would like to think Optimal365 for their help in losing 20 lbs and about 5 inches off of my waist!  I was also recently able to complete another half-marathon, which makes me very happy.  

If you contact the fine folks at Optimal365 then they can explain to you how their program works.  However, I can sum it up by saying they teach you how to get healthy.  There are simply a list of foods you need to avoid, some you can have in moderation, and others you can have until you feel stuffed.  

In my opinion, losing the weight is easy.  If you stick to almost any diet you will lose weight.  The problem for most of us is that we go back to our old ways of eating as soon as the scale says we have reached our goal weight.  At Optimal365 they didn't just teach me how to lose weight, but they also taught me how to keep it off by eating healthy foods that taste good.  The rest is now up to me!

Do I ever eat or drink things that I shouldn't?  You better believe it!  I try to live by the 95% rule in that I eat healthy 95% of the time, but I also exercise like a beast.  And I keep a very close eye on my weight by weighing in on a regular basis.  If it begins to move the wrong direction I start cutting a few of the higher calorie items out of my diet.  

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How to make a strong offer on your dream home!

It is getting to be that time of year when some of us begin to think about moving to a new home, and my how times are a changing!  Just a few months ago you could make an offer on a home with little competition from other buyers, but now you must be prepared and leveraged to make a strong offer that will trump all others.  According to Trulia’s real estate expert Michael Corbett, "You need to plan ahead and make sure you keep your debt low and your credit score high."  This will assure you get a great interest rate and can walk in with a great offer that the seller can't help but accept!  When shopping for your new dream home remember to only look at homes that are right for you and that fits your budgets.  If you can afford a $450,000 home then keep your search in that price range so that you are not tempted to take on more debt than you can handle.  You want to have a home that you love…not one that will stress you out! 

If you have not been pre-approved, but find the home you want then make your offer and let them know you will have no problem getting the loan.  You can do this by letting them know that you will be putting down more than 20% toward the purchase (assuming that you can do so).  This will show the seller that you are financially stable, and that they won’t be wasting their time placing their home in the pending category.  However, you should definitely get pre-approved because you can then include your approval letter with your offer, which gives you 100% credibility. 

Blog Source : FoxBusiness

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How to make a strong offer on your dream home!


It is getting to be that time of year when some of us begin to think about moving to a new home, and my how times are a changing!  Just a few months ago you could make an offer on a home with little competition from other buyers, but now you must be prepared and leveraged to make a strong offer that will trump all others.  According to Trulia’s real estate expert Michael Corbett, "You need to plan ahead and make sure you keep your debt low and your credit score high."  This will assure you get a great interest rate and can walk in with a great offer that the seller can't help but accept!  When shopping for your new dream home remember to only look at homes that are right for you and that fits your budgets.  If you can afford a $450,000 home then keep your search in that price range so that you are not tempted to take on more debt than you can handle.  You want to have a home that you love…not one that will stress you out! 

If you have not been pre-approved, but find the home you want then make your offer and let them know you will have no problem getting the loan.  You can do this by letting them know that you will be putting down more than 20% toward the purchase (assuming that you can do so).  This will show the seller that you are financially stable, and that they won’t be wasting their time placing their home in the pending category.  However, you should definitely get pre-approved because you can then include your approval letter with your offer, which gives you 100% credibility. 

Blog Source : FoxBusiness

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People: Michael Corbett




 
Get Healthy in 2013!

I just ran another half marathon, but this one was different because I actually tried to post a decent time.  In the last few I was just there to have fun and finish.  And this is a side note, but doing the halfs just for fun were A LOT less painful than this one!  

I was able to average right around 8 minute miles so I was somewhat happy, because my weight is still in the 180s.  However, I now find myself wondering how fast I could run if I lost another 10 pounds.  In my twenties I was able to average right around 5:30 a mile even during 10 mile runs, but I also weighed about 150 lbs (and again I was in my twenties)!  I'm trying to get it through my thick 46 year-old head that those days are long gone and I should just embrace my Clydesdale frame, but it isn't working.  And so I am going to try and lose a few more lbs.  I found the article below in Runners World and thought I would share it in case you too are thinking about losing a few more pounds.  FYI, I'm not delusional and know that I can not get anywhere near a 5:30 pace, but I just want to see how fast these old bigger bones can now go.  There is a calculator at Running for Fitness that can help you determine the effects of weight on your race times.  



Taken from Runner's World By Lisa Dorfman, M.S., R.D.


 
Many runners would like to lose a pound or 2. Maybe 5. Maybe more. Why? That's easy: to feel better, look better, improve their health, and run farther and faster.
However, losing weight can be surprisingly difficult. In fact, national health surveys show Americans in general are getting fatter. Sure, regular runners should be ahead of the pack, but many are still losing the weight-gain war.
What you need is a simple plan. Here it is, in just two parts: (1) Make a little more time to run; (2) Concentrate on a handful of dietary changes that, over the course of a year, can produce significant weight-loss results.
Below we've listed 20 great diet changes that you'll find easy to achieve. Many of them will help you cut 100 calories or more from a single serving. Now do the math. Say you eat this particular food or meal three times a week. That's 100 x 3 x 52, or 15,600 calories saved in a year. Which comes to almost 5 pounds, since you'll lose one pound for every 3,500 calories cut from your food intake.
Make another food substitution, and you're up to 10 pounds. Beyond that, the sky's the limit. Here's your meal-by-meal planner. Don't skip breakfast. A good breakfast is the most crucial part of any healthy weight-loss effort, as it revs up your energy level and metabolism for the full day.
Homemade raisin bran
Description: Mix one cup of Total cereal, a packet of raisins, and 1 cup nonfat milk. This simple home recipe with 244 calories fortifies you with 100 percent of the Daily Value for most vitamins and minerals, boosts your protein intake by 12 grams, and gives you a sweet, natural fiber and sugar source.
You'll Save: 50 calories, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and 5 grams of fat compared with ready-to-serve raisin bran doused with a cup of 2-percent milk.
Scrambled whites with greens
Description: This low-fat, scrambled-egg alternative provides 54 grams of high-quality dietary protein in just 255 calories. First, spray your frying pan with fat-free Pam. Then pour the equivalent of four servings of Eggology egg whites (or Second Nature or Egg Beaters egg whites) in a bowl and blend with 1/2 cup spinach and 1/2 cup mushrooms. Heat the pan until the Pam starts to bubble, pour in the eggs, and fry until the eggs are nearly dry.
You'll Save: 40 calories, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, and 13 grams of fat compared with two normal scrambled eggs.
Balanced Diet Shake
Description: For something cool, tasty, and nutrient-filled in the morning, try a shake or smoothie. The Balanced Diet nutritional drink provides 180 calories with lots of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in a naturally flavored French vanilla or chocolate royale. Each serving includes 5 grams of dietary fiber and 10 grams of soy, or 40 percent of the daily minimum now recommended by the American Heart Association.
You'll Save: 60 calories daily and nearly 6 grams of fat compared with many other similar drinks.
Frozen fruit smoothie
Description: You can prepare your own personal antioxidant-filled fruit smoothie like the following one that runner Bruce Shapiro used to lose 30 pounds over the last few years. Combine and blend: one cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries; 1/2 banana; 1/4 cup wheat germ; and water.
You'll Save: 200 calories for each 2- to 3-cup serving, compared with many store-bought and canned smoothie beverages.
Toasted plain Lender's Bagel with natural jam
Description: Sure, a frozen bagel can't match a fresh one, but it's easier to obtain for many people, and a little toasting brings it to near perfection. Just spread with your favorite natural jam.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 160 to 360 calories and more than 10 grams of fat compared with similar bagels bought at Dunkin' Donuts and other outlets where the bagels are spread with cream cheese.
Lunch is the second-most-important meal of the day in your weight-loss plan. It boosts your energy level and regulates your metabolism to keep you on an even keel.
Boca Burger Grilled Vegetable burger
Description: This zesty, soy-based vegetarian alternative to the high-saturated-fat American BBQ staple contains hints of zucchini, red-bell pepper, garlic, onion, and even a couple of cheeses. It tastes great and provides a good dose of protein. Add some lettuce, tomato, ketchup, or your other favorite toppings, and you'll hardly notice the difference from the traditional burger.
You'll Save: Up to 180 calories and 19 grams of fat compared with a typically-grilled 3-ounce beef burger.
Alvarado Street sprouted wheat tortilla
Description: It's easy to make your own delicious wrap and save hundreds of calories. With this tasty, organic, whole-wheat tortilla you'll have no trouble fixing a quick, hearty lunch. Boost your vitamin and mineral intake by loading on a handful of greens, shredded carrots, tomato, and peppers along with grilled chicken, lean meat, turkey, or a bean-based filler.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 50 calories and 5 grams of fat to much more if you customarily buy a commercial wrap drowning in mayo, oily toppings, or greasy chicken.
Subway roast beef sub sandwich
Description: Can't live without meat? You don't have to. Meat is a great source of protein, iron, and several important minerals, and the Subway lean 6-inch roast beef sub contains just 264 calories and 4.5 grams of fat in a meal perfectly balanced with lettuce, tomato, and vegetables.
You'll Save: Nearly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat compared with a tuna salad sub, and more than 20 grams of fat compared with the classic meatball sub.
Health Valley chili 
Description: The right soup is always a great part of your weight-loss arsenal. This can of fat-free chili is tasty, easy to prepare, and filled with healthy fiber.
You'll Save: 200 calories and 22 grams of fat compared with other prepared and restaurant chilis.
Tossed salad with croutons instead of salad dressing.
Description: You know that green salads make an important contribution to your day's eating, but you've probably never thought of them as an expression of art and adventure. Here's your chance. Instead of drenching your salads in high-fat dressings, decorate them with croutons, beans, or fruit.
You'll Save: 100 calories and 28 grams of fat when you add 1 ounce of croutons and 1/2 cup of beans, peas, and raisins to your salad in place of 1 ounce of an oil-based dressing. You'll also increase your intake of iron, folic acid, Vitamin C, and fiber.

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Get Healthy in 2013!

Taken from Runner's World

Looking for an easy way to lose a few pounds? We've got the program. It's simple, and it works. So get with it.

Published
June 20, 2002

Many runners would like to lose a pound or 2. Maybe 5. Maybe more. Why? That's easy: to feel better, look better, improve their health, and run farther and faster.

However, losing weight can be surprisingly difficult. In fact, national health surveys show Americans in general are getting fatter. Sure, regular runners should be ahead of the pack, but many are still losing the weight-gain war.

What you need is a simple plan. Here it is, in just two parts: (1) Make a little more time to run; (2) Concentrate on a handful of dietary changes that, over the course of a year, can produce significant weight-loss results.

Below we've listed 20 great diet changes that you'll find easy to achieve. Many of them will help you cut 100 calories or more from a single serving. Now do the math. Say you eat this particular food or meal three times a week. That's 100 x 3 x 52, or 15,600 calories saved in a year. Which comes to almost 5 pounds, since you'll lose one pound for every 3,500 calories cut from your food intake.

Make another food substitution, and you're up to 10 pounds. Beyond that, the sky's the limit. Here's your meal-by-meal planner. Don't skip breakfast. A good breakfast is the most crucial part of any healthy weight-loss effort, as it revs up your energy level and metabolism for the full day.

Homemade raisin bran
Description: Mix one cup of Total cereal, a packet of raisins, and 1 cup nonfat milk. This simple home recipe with 244 calories fortifies you with 100 percent of the Daily Value for most vitamins and minerals, boosts your protein intake by 12 grams, and gives you a sweet, natural fiber and sugar source.
You'll Save: 50 calories, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and 5 grams of fat compared with ready-to-serve raisin bran doused with a cup of 2-percent milk.

Scrambled whites with greens
Description: This low-fat, scrambled-egg alternative provides 54 grams of high-quality dietary protein in just 255 calories. First, spray your frying pan with fat-free Pam. Then pour the equivalent of four servings of Eggology egg whites (or Second Nature or Egg Beaters egg whites) in a bowl and blend with 1/2 cup spinach and 1/2 cup mushrooms. Heat the pan until the Pam starts to bubble, pour in the eggs, and fry until the eggs are nearly dry.
You'll Save: 40 calories, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, and 13 grams of fat compared with two normal scrambled eggs.

Balanced Diet Shake
Description: For something cool, tasty, and nutrient-filled in the morning, try a shake or smoothie. The Balanced Diet nutritional drink provides 180 calories with lots of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in a naturally flavored French vanilla or chocolate royale. Each serving includes 5 grams of dietary fiber and 10 grams of soy, or 40 percent of the daily minimum now recommended by the American Heart Association.
You'll Save: 60 calories daily and nearly 6 grams of fat compared with many other similar drinks.

Frozen fruit smoothie
Description: You can prepare your own personal antioxidant-filled fruit smoothie like the following one that runner Bruce Shapiro used to lose 30 pounds over the last few years. Combine and blend: one cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries; 1/2 banana; 1/4 cup wheat germ; and water.
You'll Save: 200 calories for each 2- to 3-cup serving, compared with many store-bought and canned smoothie beverages.

Toasted plain Lender's Bagel with natural jam
Description: Sure, a frozen bagel can't match a fresh one, but it's easier to obtain for many people, and a little toasting brings it to near perfection. Just spread with your favorite natural jam.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 160 to 360 calories and more than 10 grams of fat compared with similar bagels bought at Dunkin' Donuts and other outlets where the bagels are spread with cream cheese.
Lunch is the second-most-important meal of the day in your weight-loss plan. It boosts your energy level and regulates your metabolism to keep you on an even keel.

Boca Burger Grilled Vegetable burger
Description: This zesty, soy-based vegetarian alternative to the high-saturated-fat American BBQ staple contains hints of zucchini, red-bell pepper, garlic, onion, and even a couple of cheeses. It tastes great and provides a good dose of protein. Add some lettuce, tomato, ketchup, or your other favorite toppings, and you'll hardly notice the difference from the traditional burger.
You'll Save: Up to 180 calories and 19 grams of fat compared with a typically-grilled 3-ounce beef burger.

Alvarado Street sprouted wheat tortilla
Description: It's easy to make your own delicious wrap and save hundreds of calories. With this tasty, organic, whole-wheat tortilla you'll have no trouble fixing a quick, hearty lunch. Boost your vitamin and mineral intake by loading on a handful of greens, shredded carrots, tomato, and peppers along with grilled chicken, lean meat, turkey, or a bean-based filler.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 50 calories and 5 grams of fat to much more if you customarily buy a commercial wrap drowning in mayo, oily toppings, or greasy chicken.

Subway roast beef sub sandwich
Description: Can't live without meat? You don't have to. Meat is a great source of protein, iron, and several important minerals, and the Subway lean 6-inch roast beef sub contains just 264 calories and 4.5 grams of fat in a meal perfectly balanced with lettuce, tomato, and vegetables.
You'll Save: Nearly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat compared with a tuna salad sub, and more than 20 grams of fat compared with the classic meatball sub.

Health Valley chili 
Description: The right soup is always a great part of your weight-loss arsenal. This can of fat-free chili is tasty, easy to prepare, and filled with healthy fiber.
You'll Save: 200 calories and 22 grams of fat compared with other prepared and restaurant chilis.

Tossed salad with croutons instead of salad dressing.
Description: You know that green salads make an important contribution to your day's eating, but you've probably never thought of them as an expression of art and adventure. Here's your chance. Instead of drenching your salads in high-fat dressings, decorate them with croutons, beans, or fruit.
You'll Save: 100 calories and 28 grams of fat when you add 1 ounce of croutons and 1/2 cup of beans, peas, and raisins to your salad in place of 1 ounce of an oil-based dressing. You'll also increase your intake of iron, folic acid, Vitamin C, and fiber.


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70% of Married Couples do This

What percentage of marriages end in divorce?  If you are like most people then you would say 50% of marriages end in divorce, and you would be mostly wrong.  According to The United Family International they say the follow:

More than 70 percent of all first marriages succeed.  Seventy percent of all people who have ever been married are still married to the same person!

So where’d the 50 percent number come from, you ask?  Those who marry, divorce, re-marry, divorce, and re-marry and divorce are dragging the overall average down to 50 percent.

Although a first-marriage divorce rate that hovers around 28 percent is far from ideal, that number tells a different story about marriage than the continual drum beat about divorce being such an inevitable part of marriage.  The vast majority of marriages can and DO succeed!

Society loves to make marriage seem like one of the most difficult and horrendous things on earth.  We have all heard someone say to the new groom, "Well boy your life is over."  Trust me when I say that marriage is far from being the end, and that it can actually be the beginning of many wonderful years of your life.  This week I will take the time to give you a few marriage tips that will help make sure you stay in the 70% that are still together!  And yes I will talk about sex just to make sure you come back to read my blog.  If you haven't already, please sign up to get my daily posts sent to you via email.  You just have to simply give me your email in the top right corner under "subscribe." 

Please share this on your Facebook

Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get The Home Fires Burning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the bigger mistakes married couple make is they quit trying to look nice for each other.  When a couple starts dating they go all out on trying to look PHAT (pretty hot and tempting from the 1990s)!  However, you fast forward a few years into a marriage and add a couple of kids, and you may find "Jim Bob" and "Mary Sue" going from doing the humpty dance to the frumpy dance!  Jim Bob is walking around the house in his favorite baggy Nike shorts & high top shoes that he should have retired long ago.  And then there is Mary Sue who has on her sweatpants, and the "J" in the "Juicy" across her butt is fading fast!   

What is my point?  I don't care how long you have been married...you should still try to look nice for one another.  Sure, there are days when we are not feeling well or the stress has been overwhelming, and it is okay to put on the fat pants and relax, but not every single day.  I'm not saying that it is fair ladies and gentleman, but the way you present yourself throughout the day and evening is foreplay.  If you are sitting at dinner looking as hot as the sizzling steak fajitas on your plate then your spouse is looking across the table thinking about the night cap.  If you don't believe me then do your own little experiment.  Start wearing some nice clothes around dinner and bedtime.  Yes ladies that may mean that you need to give the sweatpants a night off, and guys believe it or not...you don't have to wear the same thing everyday and night either (at least wash them). 

Please share this post on Facebook! :)

Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Sexy Time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I began hearing married women complain about something last year that quite frankly shocked me.  Well, it shocked me until I realized that I am now in my mid-forties, and the complainers were also married to men in their forties.  The complaint was about the lack of sex in their marriage.  Now, this is a complaint that I have heard many times from young grooms, but my how the tables appear to turn. 

So what this means is that a large number of men and women of different ages are not happy with the amount or frequency of sex in their marriage.  So I decided to do a Google search using the key words of sex, sexless, marriage and came across an article on WebMD that I would like to share with you in a moment.  However, I first want to share something I found on a blog called "Intimacy in Marriage."  The author of the blog, Julie Sibert, asked her readers the question, "Please give me five words to describe your sex life?"  And here are some of the responses she received from her large female audience:

  • So hopeless I’ve given up.
  • Missing, unsatisfactory, unwanted, unimportant.
  • Exciting, improving, exploratory, sometimes frustrating.
  • What sex? I’ve given up.
  • Sporadic, bland, lacking, difficult, un-inspired
  • 18 years of no sex

I want to be honest and say that all of the answers weren't bad, and there were people like "Patti" who should probably write her own blog or put out a YouTube video lesson because she said, "Holy, glorious, orgasmic, bonding, tender. (Married over 30yrs.)"  Now there is a woman who has either found herself a young stud or a man who is shoving testosterone pills down his throat like a race horse!  My point today is simple and that is we need to bring sex back into the marriage (especially those of us that are 35 plus). 

"According to the National Opinion Research Center, the average American couple reports having sex 66 times a year. Newsweek has noted that 15% to 20% of couples have sex less than 10 times a year, which is defined as a "sexless" marriage" (WebMD).  Now there may be a few of you who are wondering why sex is so important, and it is because it promotes bonding in a relationship.  And quite frankly it says to your spouse, "You are desirable."  I love the following quote from Helen Fisher, PhD.:

"Sex is designed to make you feel good for a reason," says Fisher. "With someone you love, I recommend it for many reasons: It's good for your health and good for your relationship. It's good for respiration, muscles, and bladder control. It's a fine antidepressant, and it can renew your energy.

So what do I want you to do with this information?  Well as we say in the south, I want you to start bumping uglies!  Okay, I'm not sure they say that in the south, but I am more than proud of myself for figuring out how to work that phrase into a blog post.  Seriously, I want to give you a challenge on behalf of the many men and women that are suffering out there, and when I use the word "suffering" it is not meant to be a joke.  I have met with both men and women who are seriously suffering, depressed, and quite frankly hurt because of the lack of sexual attention they are receiving from their spouse.  My challenge is for you to have sex every day for the next 7 days, and just see what happens. 

What next?  Well get naked and get busy...well first some of you may need to click the little share by "email" button below and send this to your significant other to get them on the "Seven Day Sex Plan."  My prayer is that this will help you reconnect and reengergize your relationship.

Please share my blog on your Facebook page (click it)! 

Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Morning Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the song "Good Morning Beautiful" because it makes me think of my wife Amy. Now, that made you say ahhhhh didn't it? Well unless you are a dude, and then you may have just thrown up in your mouth. But i want to make a brief point for both male and female alike.

We need to be able to say sweet and nice things not only about, but to our significant other. When is the last time you said something sweet to your honey bunny? Why not say it, write it, or text it right now? It will fuel their spirit and soul.

Thanks for reading my blog! Please excuse any errors because I wrote all of this on my iPhone.

Transforming,

Tony

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The Big Question to Ask Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know that I should be writing something clever about Lance Armstrong to get the blog hits, but I'm already tired of hearing all the opinions.  So let's talk about someone more imporant...you!  I recently read a blog that I would highly recommend.  It is written bySeth Fargher and he asks the following question, “WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?”  And then he continues with the following:

What if you explored the little inklings in your life that said you want to be a police officer, a fireman or a pastry chef?  What if all the doodles you drew when you were supposed to be studying algebra meant you had a gift in art or design?  Where might you be today if you’d continued on the path you started down before you settled for the next best thing?

I absolutely love that question and it truly is one of the most important questions for you to answer.  And let me add a two more questions that I would love for you to answer below in the comments section (feel free to be anonymous). 

1-What did you LOVE to do when you were a child & teenager?

2-If someone handed you 2 Million Dollars what would you do with it other than give part of it to a charity, your church, or family members? 

Answer both of those for me and I will follow-up with a blog post on Monday to explain why I asked those questions.  Also, don’t forget that I would love to read your comments so please post away below.

Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You have A Gift

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all have natural gifts that we were simply born with.  When I use the word gift I am referring to such things as being able to understand math, play a particular sport, or write a great story with little effort.  There are many different gifts handed to us somewhere inside of our mother’s belly.  

I personally enjoy picturing God looking down on the developing baby, and then looking at the world.  He then glances back at all the beautiful little poop machines, and then back at the world.  And then He says to a few of His angels, I’m thinking the world needs another scientist, and then a razor thin light of mathematical genius flies from the heavens and into the heart and soul a some of the babies.  Then He realizes the world needs more smiles, and God sends the gift of humor to thousands of babies who begin to giggle.  And then of course He realizes something very important…the Seahawks will need a great quarterback in 2035, and he looks at his angels and says look at that little fella growing over there…what do you think?  He really doesn’t care what they think, but He pretends they can contribute to His holy power to place the gifts. 

The interesting thing about gifts is that we and sometimes our parents don’t recognize that we have them.  It is because they come so easy to us that we mistakenly think, “Well everyone can do that!”  And so the young girl who sings like a bird sticks to only singing in the shower, or stops singing all together when she graduates from high school.  The young man who can build or construct anything that his mind can visualize puts away the Legos, stops building forts, and then spends many mediocre years working in an office building he could have designed.  And there are many “Toms” or “Janes” who had a gift for teaching or art, but someone said, “You can’t make any money doing that.”  So “Tom” and “Jane” went into the family business or became a physician, and now life feels like a daily grind.  So am I depressing you?  Sorry that wasn’t my intention, but there isn’t anything more tragic or depressing than a gift gone unwrapped or placed to the side.  And my point that I want to make is that it is not too late for you and me. 

If you have a sense that something is missing in your life then ask yourself what you have done with your gifts and passions?  God placed some great desires and talents deep into your soul.  What are they?  For some of you, it has been so long since you used your gifts or talents that you have forgotten what they look like.  To begin figuring out what your gifts are you can fill in the following blanks: 

  • When you do _______________  people always say, “You are so good at that!”
  • People have actually offered me money to do __________________. 
  • When I was a child and did______________ I had the best time.
  • As an adult when I think about or do ________________ time seems to fly by. 

The gift is still there!  Uncover it and make it part of your life again, and you will go from feeling like you are just existing to truly living.  Please ask your questions or make some comments below.  I would love to read your thoughts!

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Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC

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Stay Lean in 2013

 

 

 

 

 

I am reading the book, "The Willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal, PH.D. And I want to share just one tip from the book that I think will help all of us resist the demons in our lives.  I am paraphrasing the good doctor, but she essentially says that we need to stop rewarding ourselves.  What does that mean your sexy yet confused little mind wonders?  Well let me take you back to a couple of your last temptations.  

You were at the restaurant for lunch or dinner and you were looking over the menu.  You see the appetizer list which is always full of healthy deep fried choices!  And you say to yourself, "Self, I know I shouldn't, but I'm going to have the fried potato skins dipped in the heart stopping and inflammation causing cheese & bacon because..."  Not connecting?  Then how about this scenario, "I know I shouldn't have that margarita or beer with almost 300 calories, but I'm going to because..."  It is after the "because" that you and I may be heading straight into a death trap (literally).  And that death trap may sound like one of the following: 

  • I'm going on a diet on Monday 
  • I'm going to the gym later and I will do a little extra
  • I ran this morning before work 
  • I haven't had very much to eat today, and I have done well all week

You and I tend to reward ourselves when we do the right things by doing the wrong things.  And that includes rewarding ourselves ahead of time (i.e. I'll excercise later to make up for eating like sh#*! now). I can't tell you the number of people I have seen at one of my favorite restaurants drinking a Margarita in their workout clothes.  And please don't think my saggy butt is judging them, but they have to realize that the reward is canceling out their hard work (assuming they are wanting to lose weight).  Now, if your goal isn't weight loss and you have the butt of a Brazilian bikini model or bodybuilder then go for the reward from time to time.  Just know that if you are trying to lose a few pounds where you are too round then your reward is sticking to eating healthy right now.  We all know that the run later or the diet on Monday may not happen.  And in fact, we don't do weird diets anymore, because we have chose to eat healthy for life.   

This concept can be applied to other areas as well, such as procrastinating on applying for a new job, starting that book you always wanted to write, saving money, starting your own business, and etc.  In this instance we defiantly need to live in the here and now...the power of now!  Make sure the rewards are just that...a reward.  

Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC 

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Don't be THAT GUY

 

 

 

 

From my good friend Dave Clark, author of A Man's Rules

OK, I’m the first to admit it. When that guy cuts me off in traffic, speeds around two cars and gets back in the left lane, my first thought is "What a $#&!" At least I used to.

Last year, I had occasion to rush my son to the ER after he was throwing up blood (complications of throat surgery). Heading to the hospital, I was speeding, racing around cars, being less than polite when people wouldn’t move over. My son needed immediate, urgent care and I was going to do whatever it took to get it for him.

Days later, someone cut me off. I didn’t yell or honk at him. All I could think of was how I frantically drove to the ER that day. Maybe this guy was rushing his kid to the ER. Maybe he was rushing to his mother’s bedside to hear her last words. Maybe, he had a reason that would excuse his behavior.

Who am I to judge so quickly? I don’t know the story. I don’t know their reason for acting the way they did. Maybe she snapped at that barista because her boss gave her terrible news. Maybe he is losing his house to foreclosure. I don’t know.

Is that any reason to treat others badly, or cause an accident? No. But it is enough for us to give the guy some slack, to move over and let him by, because we don’t know his story.

So the next time someone cuts you off, instead of honking, just say a prayer for his kid.

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Get out The Salt

 

 

 

I went to hear my good friend Pastor Dave at I-90 Church yesterday.  He brought up a point that I think all of us, regardless of our spiritual beliefs, can agree on.  He said that we all need to be the "salt and light of the earth."  Well actually Jesus said it, but Dave was relaying the message!  Now, that can obviously mean different things to different people, but let me give you Dave's version.  Salt and light are two things that can make life better.  Salt adds flavor and a light can give guidance, direction, and at times it can remove fear.  So when we talk about being the "salt of the earth" we are talking about being the spice of life!  When we say that we need to be a "light in the darkness" we are talking about helping lead people toward love and hope.  Simply put, you and I need to show each other God's love.  Now, you may be saying, "but Tony I don't believe in God."  Well then just look at it as showing those around you love in the form of kindness, patience, forgiveness, mercy, and etc.   

I want all of us to think about the world we would live in if just 25% of the population woke up tomorrow, and decided to start looking for ways to show God's love to each other.  And my karma believing friends will love this next point.  If we are sending salt and light out into the world then we can expect a whole lot more of it in return.  I for one needed to hear that message yesterday so I thought I would pass it along.

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Transforming,

Tony Russell, MA  

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The Future You

 

 

I know you have probably thought about this, but I want to remind you of something very important. The choices you are making today will impact you in the future.  Now you may have just thought, "no crap genius" or you may be a little slow like myself and gone, "man I needed to be reminded of that."Too many time you and I don't treat the future us very well at all.  We don't exercise, eat right, and some of our habits are destroying our heart, lungs, or liver!  And my biggest mistake is not saving money for the future us (family).  It is simply easier to give the present me what he wants, and let the future me try to figure out a way to get out of the mess.  Yeah, that real fair to the future me right?

We all do it, we put stuff off for the future us to handle.  We say things like, "I'll save money one of these days" or "I'll get motivated to lose weight and excercise one of these days."  And what happens when the future us has to handle the past junk? Well, there is going to be a very good chance the future us will put it off as well (for the future future us).  And if we don't change something...if we don't break the cycle there comes a day when we are in too deep.  And we realize there is a very good chance there isn't going to be a future us.  I don't want this post to depress you, but I do want it to motivate you.  You and I must start making decisions TODAY that will make life easier and healthier for the future us.  

Transforming,

Tony Russell

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The Big Lie

 

This is just a quick note to remind you not to fall for the big fat lie of "I don't really want anything for Valentines Day" or "It's just a Hallmark Holiday."  Both men and women want something for Valentines Day for one reason...they want to know they are appreciated and loved.  

And yes I know many of you will write me or post on my Facebook page saying that we should do that every single day and I would agree with you, but I also know that we DON'T do it every single day.  

So suck it up cowboys and cowgirls and at least get a card and chocolates to say, "I love you and want to sex you up!" Okay leave off the "sex you up" part, because that is just a given.

Transforming,

Tony Russell

 

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The Big Question

Life is full of big decisions isn't it?  And there are times the decisions are huge in that we know they will alter the course of our life.  And as parents we realize that these decisions won't only affect the course of our life, but our spouse and/or children's life as well.  So how can we at least try to make the right decisions in life?   

On my way to work this morning I was listening to one of my favorite teachers by the name of Andy Stanley, and he gave some great advice on this topic.  He said that one of the big questions we need to ask when faced with life choices is, "How do I want my story to go?"  I'm paraphrasing, but Andy is simply saying that we need to take pause before making a major decision, and we must think about how we want this chapter of our story to read.  

Over the last few months I have felt as though I needed to make some very important decisions about my life.  And when I say my life I'm actually saying our life.  At this point my decisions impact a beautiful blonde who has allowed me to pursue my dreams, and three children that I want desperately to have a great story.  One day they will tell this chapter of their story to their children.  In a few sentences they will sum up the first 18 years of their life.  My wife, because she is 8 years younger than me, will likely out live me and one day tell her story about our marriage (hopefully 40 years from now). The story they will tell will be directly impacted by the decisions that I make.  Well, at least there is no pressure!

So I write all of that to say this, when you and I make these major decisions in life we must think about our story or maybe I should say...God's story.  God has written a story and we play a vital role.  And when we make our decisions with that in mind it can at least help make the process easier.  Notice I didn't say it would make the decision making process easy.  

I would love to hear about some of the decisions you are trying to make in your life right now.  You can post comments below and you can do so anonymously. 

Tony  

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