In Faith

The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference Recap

Gospel Coalition Women's Conference Recap

7200 women singing In Christ Alone will undoubtedly bring you to tears; which is basically how I spent much of my three days at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference.  My tears came with joy, conviction and a ginormous hope.  That hope has always been there, but lately, it feels as though it has been sleeping way down deep, in the crevices of my heart.

During the conference there were exactly 0 attempts to stir emotion. No rally cries, no repeated lines of worship for effect, and no overly emotional pleas to change. There was simply God’s Word, people who were committed to teaching it, and the most gospel-rich songs one could imagine. There was much discussion among my friends about how refreshing it was to experience true emotion, that could not be conjured up by humans, but that could not be suppressed in light of the character of God.

To say last week was refreshing would be an understatement.

I wish I could write out everything I learned, but it will take me a while to process through it all. This conference is like drinking water from a theological fire hydrant. Every speaker requires your full engagement, both in mind and spirit. Each of the girls I went with, left with pages and pages of notes. There were few breaks, and little time to socialize. At the end of each day, you basically wanted to eat and go to bed. At the end of three days, I left wanting to dig deeper into God’s Word, cling more tightly to the cross, honor Him in everything He calls me to, and do things, both big and small, that will have an eternal impact for the kingdom of God. There were lots of small practical things I left with, along with quite the haul of deeply discounted books. I even made a few new friends at a meet-up hosted by Grace Laced and Deeply Rooted.

If you are at all able to attend this conference in 2018, do it! The links to all of the main sessions and workshops just posted today. I will be going back through everything I attended again (I am telling you, there is so much to go through), in addition to listening to most of the other workshops I couldn’t get to. I will highlight where to start below, but I encourage you to work your way through as many of them as you are able to!

You can find the Pre-Conference, Plenary and Workshops Here!

The Pre-conference

This series was great; it’s focus was prayer. Listen to all 3 of them!

Plenary Talks

All of these were fantastic. They go through the book of 1 Peter in order. So, my recommendation is to listen to them that way. However, the ones that stood out most to me were:

  • Jen Wilkin
  • Mary Wilson
  • John Piper

(The Panel on the Persecuted Church was amazing. It wasn’t part of the 1 Peter Series, but is something every believer should listen to.)

Workshops

Each attendee is allowed to attend 3 workshops. I went to:

Raising an Alien Child (Jen Wilkin)

I basically love everything Jen does. There was a lot of good, practical things to consider for parents as we seek to raise children who are not at home in the world. I love Jen’s down-to-earthness. If you are a parent, this is a must-listen-to. Also, it should be noted that my sweet friend Kristin went over to Jen at the end of the conference and got a selfie with her…which the rest of us thought was awesomely hilarious. Kristin, you are the best!

Sojourner Citizens (Jennifer Marshall)

Jennifer Marshall works for the Heritage foundation and speaks knowledgeably and practically about the believer’s role as citizens of the U.S. I really love how she gives you an overview of theological concepts as they relate to politics and then breaks it down into specifics for you.

Living Our Theology as we Disciple Others (K.A. Ellis)

This workshop wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, but K.A. Ellis is a phenomenal speaker, with tons of wisdom on a number of things. She walks you through applying God’s Word to life, by walking you through a real life example.

Other Workshops I Plan to Listen To

Cross Shaped Discipleship (Panel)

Standing Beside the Persecuted Church (Mindy Belz)

When Women Pray Together (Megan Hill)

Deepening Our Walk With Jesus (Melissa Kruger)

The Thorns and Thistles of Our Work (Kathleen Alsdorf)

A Peculiar Glory (John Piper)

Help Me Teach 1 Peter (John Piper and Nancy Guthrie)

I will eventually work my way through almost all of the workshops and plenary talks, because, as I have already nauseatingly overemphasized…this stuff is just so good!

And…because I love you all, I am hosting a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is head on over to my Instagram account and follow the guidelines :)

Giveaway

 Get Listening Ya’ll!!! I am serious. Like now.

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Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

Macronutrients 101

Macronutrients-aka-macros, have recently been the topic of much discussion in the health and fitness world. I had not really heard much about them until a few months ago, but when  started looking into the topic, I realized that there was a ton I had to learn. While there are people whose main weight loss and maintenance strategy is counting macros that may not be for you. But, I do believe that understanding the nutritional building blocks our bodies need, will at a minimum, help you to better filter through the myths that circulate around, promising amazing results while only eating Cheetos.

While I love fitness and creating workout plans for clients, I am still finding my footing when it comes to nutrition. So, I called in a friend to break things down for you. Jenna has tons of certifications that make her sound fancy, but I love her simple approach. If this kind of thing is something you would love to learn more about, I highly recommend checking out her VIP nutrition coaching program. If you want to follow her for more tips and lots of great info, check out her social media links below!

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Other than alcohol, all calories in the diet come from protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These are your macronutrients because they are nutrients that your body needs in large quantities. Alcohol calories are empty and excessive consumption will stall progress. When considering body composition success, we must educate ourselves on five important variables: calorie balance, macronutrient amounts, nutrient timing, food composition, and supplements (in that order). By understanding macronutrients and how they affect our body composition, all other variables will fall into place and you will feel more in control of your body! Let’s break down each of the three macronutrients in simple terms and discuss strategies that you can begin implementing today to move your health forward!

Macronutrients

Macronutrients 101

Protein

Protein offers 4 calories per gram and provides amino acids for muscle repair. With every meal, protein balances blood sugar which can aid in weight loss. For body composition purposes (weight-loss or fat-loss), protein is the most important nutrient, for the sole reason that muscle is made out of it. In essence, protein both builds new muscle and saves existing muscle from being lost. Both functions are important in maximizing muscle and minimizing fat. In addition, our hair, skin, and nails are made-up of protein as well.

When adjusting your macronutrients, a general guideline is to set your protein between 0.82 grams to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds you should be targeting at least 106 grams of protein per day.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates offer 4 calories per gram. The optimal amount of dietary carbohydrates varies for each individual. A moderate carbohydrate intake may be better for those who are active and women with menstrual problems, while a low carbohydrate intake may be better for those who are obese, have epilepsy, diabetes, PCOS and other conditions. For body composition purposes, carbohydrates are second in importance to protein. In terms of body composition, the primary role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the hard workouts that build muscle. Fiber, while not digested or absorbed by the body, is critical for satiety (feeling full), reducing blood sugar, improving intestinal and gut health, and aids in weight control.

When tracking macronutrients, I will typically have my clients keep a close eye on their fiber consumption. Eating too little fiber or too much fiber can leave you bloated, gassy, and feeling very uncomfortable. A general guideline for women is to aim for 25 grams to 35 grams of fiber in the diet, while men should aim for 35 grams to 45 grams of fiber in the diet.

Fat

Fat offers 9 calories per gram. Children need more fat than adults because healthy fat aids in children’s brain development and growth. Fats are also good for brain function in adults and are a great energy source for long fitness related efforts.

Beyond meeting the minimum requirement of 40 grams per day, fats do not seem to offer much in terms of body composition benefits. However, they work great as a calorie buffer if your needs are targeted towards increasing calorie consumptions.

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It is important to understand that there is an appropriate nutrient strategy for many different goals. Your body needs different nutrients to work effectively, based on your body size, body type, activity level, and specific goals. If you are currently following a specific macronutrient distribution and are not seeing results, this is likely due to adaptation. Your body adapts to its stressors and the availability of different nutrients. We all have a specific set point that our bodies want to continually go back to. When we deviate from that set point, our bodies adapt. If you have been following the same macronutrients for a while now, and these numbers worked for you in the past but you have seemed to hit a weight loss plateau, your numbers MUST be adjusted because of adaptation. It is very important to keep up with your ever-changing body in order to continue to see results.

In addition, deviating from calorie balance (balancing your calorie intake based on the 3 macronutrients) or macronutrient amounts (especially protein) can seriously hinder your goals. Supplementation, and food timing are things to consider, but they typically offer minimal benefits. They are not necessarily something you need to focus on, unless you are feeling confident and clear with your calorie balance and macronutrient needs! Macronutrient amounts and calories are much more powerful in their effect on body composition!

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If you are new to this and want to learn more, check out Jenna’s:

Periscope: @jennacarelli

About Jenna

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Jenna is a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Crossfit Coach, Run Coach, Personal Trainer, and Small Business Mentor. Jenna runs an online business under J.Carelli Consulting, LLC in the health and wellness space, where she works 1:1 with individuals who are looking to reach body composition (weight-loss and fat-loss) goals through realistic means. Jenna helps her clients understand that achieving desired health and fitness goals does not need to take you away from your family, friends, and community and that the diet that works best for you is the one that you can stick with forever, and not short-term fad diets that don’t last. Jenna also mentor’s fitness professionals with an established brand or business and enthusiasts with an idea for a brand or business, who are unsure how to get started.

Need some help while eating out?

Grab this awesome Restaurant Ordering Tip Sheet from Jenna!

Restaurant Ordering Tips-2

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Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

Promoting a Healthy Body Image for Your Teen Daughters

As believers, the easy way to view body image is through the lens of scripture. We know that God created each of us in His image. He delights in who we are, and is not concerned with our outward appearance. As we talk to our daughters about how they see themselves, this needs to be our starting point and foundation. However, there are several other ways we can promote a healthy body image among our girls, building on this framework.

How to Encourage a Positive Body Image for our Daughters

Don’t talk negatively about your own body.

Body image is something that girls create based on the things they see and hear around them. Media today gives our girls plenty of fodder regarding what they should look like. At school, their friends will have plenty to say about what everyone else looks like. Our girls are bombarded with all types of messages about what they should and should not be, in terms of their bodies. Which is why it is so important that they never hear those things from us. If we are talking about how big our thighs are, or how much we hate our nose, they are going to think that it is normal for people to feel bad about the way they look.  While this is a real struggle for me, I’ve seen my girls pick up on my negative patterns, and have been convicted about my role in perpetuating that cycle.

Talk about food as fuel, and exercise as something you get to do.

I try really hard not to talk about foods as either good or bad. Instead, I tell my girls about the foods that fuel us and the ones that don’t. I try to get them to connect what they eat to the things they want to accomplish throughout the day. If they have a long practice, or lots going on at school, they will need lots of fuel. So, they can have a few things that aren’t necessarily fuel, but they need to be sure to stock up on the things their bodies need to run well. In addition to that, I want them to look at exercise as a way to be strong so that they can better live their lives. I never want them to associate exercise with some kind of punishment for eating badly. Exercise is something they get to do because they are healthy and able. It is a gift God has given them, so they get to use it to honor Him as they strengthen their bodies to serve others well!

Be careful in how you describe other women.

When we describe other women as thin, pretty, in-shape, or overweight, we allow those markers to seep deeply into our daughter’s thinking. When outward appearance is the first descriptor we use to talk about someone, it slowly creeps into our girl’s minds as the most important thing. When I can, I really try to stay away from things like that. If I am being honest, I am terrible about this. But, I want my girls to continue to grow in character and grace, and I want them to at LEAST think those things are as important as their outward appearance. This is not easy, but is something I am really working towards as a girl mom!

Comment regularly on who your daughters are, not what they look like.

My husband and I both tell our girls they are beautiful, regularly. However, over the past couple of years, we have worked really hard on telling them the ways we see God working in them. We talk about the ways we see them growing in character and the ways God is using them in their context. We let them know how kind and gracious they are and try to keep the talk about their appearance to a minimum. We do want them to feel beautiful, because in God’s eyes, and in ours, they are. But, we are working really hard to create in them a hunger to be a person whose beauty radiates from within. A woman who is confident in Christ and able to live out of that identity is truly beautiful. We strive to communicate that to our daughters, every chance we get.

At each of these points, I have failed miserably, multiple times. But, as God grows me in my own pursuit of a healthy body image, He is helping me change the ways I communicate with my daughters. While the struggle for our girl’s body image is a tough one, God’s ability to heal and restore what the world taints, propels me in fighting for the hearts of our girls.

 

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Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

On Saying Goodbye

On Saying Goodbye

Coming to Bangkok was never my dream. While many of the expats we encountered in our time overseas lived for adventure and loved to travel, I never really cared much for that. Instead I have always longed for the deep relationships that only come from staying planted in one place for years.

Which is why my sadness over leaving took me by surprise. If I’m being honest, I am pretty excited about this upcoming move. It feels like the perfect fit for our family. While there is a lot that is unknown, God has already begun clearing a path for us. On top of that, I never really loved living in Bangkok, and I often missed my friends and life back home. Yet, for the entirety of our last day in BKK, I felt myself getting all teary-eyed thinking about leaving this place. With every “last” came a deeper twinge of sadness.

Last massage, last pedicure, last trip to “our mall”. Last brunch with this friend, last dinner with that friend. Last time we would eat at this table. Last time with our beloved, although once hated by me, dog. The goodbyes got progressively harder, and my sadness grew deeper with each one.

As I thought through how strange these feelings were, I realised that this had in fact become home for us. And while this wasn’t my dream life, it had been a pretty good reality for our family. There were people here we loved, and places that were special to us. Bangkok marked one of the biggest steps of obedience we had ever taken as a family, and God had been so faithful to us throughout our time here.

And while we are going back to what really feels like home, saying good-bye was hard. Really, really hard.

Leaving our friends, home and favorite places behind brought an outpouring of tears I did not expect. And that dang dog ya’ll. Although I couldn’t stand her, or any dog for that matter just a few short months ago,  she had become part of our family. Saying good-bye to her felt like leaving a piece of our heart in Thailand. (I cannot even believe I wrote that people. Seriously. Who have I become?!?!? I need an intervention.)

I know we will see many of our Bangkok friends again. I am excited to see our old friends in South Carolina. I look forward to getting to know some new ones, in Nashville. I am also looking forward what God does in our family and ministry with this next step of obedience. But for today, and maybe for a few more days, I am just going to be okay with the sadness. While it  is a bit more than I had imagined it being, the tears remind me that God built connections here. I wouldn’t be sad if there was nothing to leave behind. So, I am thankful for the sadness and the good it represents. And while the U.S. will always feel like home to me, I will miss Bangkok and the life we built there with shaky hands and hesitant hearts. 

God was the one who called us there, and He is the one calling us back. He gave us such a sweet community, some friendships that will remain forever, and a worldview that can never be diminished. God did things both big and small in our lives and in our hearts in the Land of Smiles, and we will forever look back on our time there as an Ebenezer of His faithfulness.

Exercise at Home

I love the gym. I mean, I am a total gym girl. I love weights and classes and community. But, most of the time, I exercise at home. In Bangkok, it was hard to get to most gyms, and they were all pretty pricey. Thankfully, we had a small gym at school that I was able to use, but even that was hard to get to. Which meant,  I had to learn some creative ways to exercise at home.

exercise at home 1

Gyms take time, and they cost money, which are two things many of us don’t have in excess. Not being able to get to a gym can easily become an excuse to avoid working out. But anyone can work out, anywhere. Sure, to workout at home you might need to muster up a little more motivation, and get creative, but a kick booty workout can totally happen in the confines of your living room.

Some Tips To Exercise at Home

  • Find something you love. The interwebs has made finding a workout you love a whole lot easier!  You can join an online fitness program, use You Tube for free or sign up for countless fitness challenges. There is Pilates, Zumba, Barre, functional training, yoga and hundreds of other workout styles to choose from. Finding something you love will make you more likely to stick with your at home workouts.
  • Make a Plan. Schedule in your workout times. I mean, I want you to write them on your calendar or to-do list. What gets scheduled, gets done. Set out your clothes the night before. Get the DVD ready or the You Tube video loaded, so that there is nothing standing in the way of you and your home sweat sesh.
  • Get Some Equipment. Depending on the style of workout you choose, you might need to get a yoga mat, some weights, a Swiss ball or a kettlebell. Set yourself up to grow in your at home workouts, and purchase the equipment you will need. Even though this will cost you some $$$’s up front, in the long run, it will be far cheaper than joining a gym.
  • Get some accountability. As someone who runs online fitness programs, I have found that accountability truly is the key to seeing progress when you are working out on your own, at home. So, join a program, find an online fitness community or ask a friend to check in on you each day. You are more likely to stick with your workouts if someone is helping keep you in check.

Not having the time or money to join a gym, does not need to keep you from getting a fantastic workout. You can exercise at home with little to no equipment. You can choose the workout style that best suits you, and you can even find community online.

So, to help you get started TODAY…here’s a simple workout you can do at home, with no equipment in less than 10 minutes!

exercise at home

What is your favorite way to exercise at home? Do you have any DVD’s or You Tube Channels you love? Have you tried an online fitness program before? What has kept you going when you couldn’t make it to the gym?

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Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

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