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I have been pretty open about being diagnosed with diabetes, changing my diet, and maintaining an exercise regime. However, I haven't been very forthcoming about the emotional struggle and the self-dialogue that makes this such a daily hassle. I haven't shared that part because --well, we all wrestle with something. Many of my friends have much more of a struggle than me! I have several friends who deal with chronic pain. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who suffer from depression. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who are fighting cancer. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. I have friends who are in abusive relationships. Sometimes that pain is debilitating. There are all kinds of suffering -- I don't own a corner on that and I don't want to wallow in the negative. 

As I was working out this morning, I didn't feel strong. I have been trying to increase my weights in my kettle bell workouts, but my blood glucose levels sometime limit how much I can do. Today was one of those days. In fact, I was losing form and started to just quit. But then, I thought, "I could reduce the weight and finish the exercise." The other side of me said, "But you will not meet your goals - you should just quite until you feel stronger!" Then I told myself, "Well, at least I will finish the workout. There will be some gains!" (Yup, I talk to myself -- you know that you do it, too!) So, I took the weight down by 10 pounds and finished my Turkish Get Ups. (That was the first exercise! I was ready to quit before I had even started good!) I kept the weights manageable and finished the entire circuit.

What does this have to do with the struggle? Sometimes we lose form when we are carrying all the weight of our burdens. And we don't HAVE to carry ALL of the weight of our pain. We are created to be social. We are created to be a team! God created Adam AND Eve. He even said, "It is not good for man(kind) to be alone." If we help to shoulder each other's burdens, then we can lighten our load - and then finish our day. I'm equating the day to my workout because we can only take one day at a time. Look, all we really have is the decision that we make at this moment. What decision will you make? Are you gonna quit? You may not get the benefit of this workout. Will you lighten the load? You will be making progress toward your goal!

So, I want to encourage you to reach out to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. Take the self-talk out of your head and directly interact with another person. If you are feeling like you can't handle the weight, then unload some of that onto someone else. You CAN finish this race. You CAN conquer this task. You CAN overcome this obstacle. It may just take a team to do that. And that may just be the ultimate reason for this trial.

Be blessed, my friends -- Dana

Adults in our community - This is National Bully Awareness Month.   This is not only a month to help school kids.   It's a month for everyone to step up against bullying.  Please pass these tips on to other parents and adults.  The mission is to get a large community involvement to make a large impact.

Take Steps to Stop It Checklist

Start early. Parent/child talks are essential. Teach kids to respect others before they start school and continue to talk about this topic on an ongoing basis. Even small acts of teasing should be stopped in their tracks. Don’t fail to correct this kind of behavior due to a child’s young age. This is exactly when to stop it.

Teach your children how to be assertive. Encourage your children to express their feelings clearly, say no when they feel uncomfortable or pressured, stand up for themselves without fighting and walk away in dangerous situations.

Stop bullying when you see it. Adults who remain silent when bullying occurs are encouraging it and making it worse.

Listen and support children who speak up. Telling an adult about bullying is not easy for children.  If a child comes to you seeking assistance with bullying, spend time listening to them and provide affirmation and support before taking actions.  

Recognize the signs of depression.  Youth who experience persistent bullying can develop signs of depression like sadness, isolation, poor concentration and sleeping problems. These symptoms can affect their relationships and school performance.  Many children do not recognize or speak up about their emotional needs. Make sure to reach out and get them help when you see these signs.

Tell your children to take action when they see bullying behavior. Tell them to speak out against the bully and inform a teacher if the behavior doesn’t stop. Bullying continues only when we allow it to.

Communicate clear policies and consequences. Bullying is less likely in schools where adults are involved and firm about stopping bullying behaviors. Send out a clear message at your school that bullying will have negative consequences.

Team up. Work with your PTA or local MHA affiliate to make sure that schools treat bullying as violence. Help them develop programs to prevent bullying and promote safe school environments.

Bring your kids and join us on October 7, 2017 at 11:30 am on our training mat inside Legends Gym and Health Club for a free workshop on how we can Stand Up Against Bullying!