|(Top: Note Booklet Bottom: Handouts)|
Chelsea taught "Dressing in the World, But Not of the World"
Nadine taught "Body Love: Achieving Your Own Best Nutrition"
and Sarah taught "Finding Your Fabulous!"
Each gal was an expert in her field + a fellow daughter of God, as well as awesome wives and mothers. So not only do they KNOW their stuff, they know how to work it all into everyday life. Which for some of us is a little elusive. As for their expertise, Chelsea is the one & only go-to-girl for make-overs, personal shopping, & wardrobe reviews over at her makeyouover blog. Nadine has been a dietician (aka Nutritional Counselor) at one of our local hospitals for over 18 years. Sarah is an instructor/trainer at LifeQuest Fitness Center (she has taught a very cool 'BodyFlow' class for over a year now...she's also one of my dearest friends, which puts her even higher on the cool-ometer than about 1/2 a sentence ago).
See, I TOLD you they were gurus! ;)
Each class ran approximately 30 minutes with a few minutes between classes for transition into the next classroom. Our speakers had phenomenal info directly meant for us women (and not the typical "This is how you secretly feed your kids broccoli in their cookies." or "Here's how to make a gajillion freezer meals for your husband who has to work late." or "Be sure your shoes & stockings match the hemline of your skirt." or "Feel the burn!"). Each opened their class up for Q&A at the end, and some spectacular questions were asked. Which opened up even further dialogue on matters that we all are facing no matter our age or stage in life.
Highlights from Chelsea's class were that we learned that it's important for us to find our own style (we have to love it, that way we will always feel our best...sometimes this means tossing some traditional "wardrobe rules" out the window). We also need to insist on proper fit (let's face it, when stuff doesn't fit right, we're not at our best since we're worried about how uncomfortable we feel). We even learned a gajillion ways to wear scarves & belts. She shared some great bargain-finding secrets (that's right, it doesn't have to cost a million bucks in order to LOOK like a million bucks). And my favorite tidbit she gave us was that a "good sale doesn't equal a good buy!" (I just HAVE to remember that one. Sometimes I'm so in love with the price that I don't give the fit or style another thought. And then guess what? It just hangs in my closet and I wind up hating it. Chelsea's a fashion GENIUS!)
From Nadine's class we got a message of self-charity. Not selfishness, mind you. No, self-charity; which includes respect, gratitude, and love for our own body. It means no longer weighing our value or physical worth against the plastic expectations society hammers us with (like whenever we're in public, people-watching, with movies, in church, or in the check-out line staring at Cosmo, etc). She went over what's called Body Love. And in the pointers regarding BL, I love this one: "Count your blessings, not your blemishes." She also taught us how to be better listeners when it comes to our body's language (we may not ACTUALLY be hungry...perhaps our body is wanting a glass of water or a nap....just because we find ourselves getting incoming body messages doesn't mean they all revolve around food....and just cause the TV's on doesn't mean snacks are a necessity to the experience). Her info tied back into stuff we learned in Chelsea's class about wearing comfortable clothes that we like and are well-structured & the proper fit for our body as it is now....which is great since it IS the body we have now, and if we despise it now we won't have it for later. Therefore we should find every reason to love what we have today! My favorite tidbit from Nadine's handout was, "Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary--begin to respect and appreciate it." (All I can say to that is: AND HOW!)
And finally, Sarah's class was a perfect way to wrap the night up. Like the other two women she relied on some really fantabulous scriptures, as well as personal experiences, with her testimony woven throughout her information. Mainly she impressed upon us why its important for us to move. That's right, MOVE! That's all she requested of us. Plus, she shared various ways how each & every one of us CAN move more, no matter our age or stage in life. For instance, if we sit at our desks all day, then we should make it a point to get up from the desk 2x/day. If we're stuck in the car chauffeuring kids, grandkids, etc then we can MOVE by doing crunches and deep breathing while at the stoplight. She went over some basic exercises and modifications which will work for any body or within any limitations. She shared some great info from the folks at the Mayo Clinic. She gave outside-the-gym ideas like walking, canoeing/kayaking, housework, playing with kids/grandkids, running. Then her Q&A's at the end rocked since there are a few people who just wanted tips as they're entering marathon training season. Others had questions about why their hair's falling out the more active they get (which she deferred to Nadine first for "professional" advice, and then followed up with what she recommends at the gym such as dietary journaling, that way we can track what's going into our bodies and what's being expelled from our bodies....which'll make it easier to know the WHYS rather than just shooting in the dark). Sarah brought up metabolic rates (resting vs. fat burning), and encouraged us to start doing the math so we can be more accountable in our habits; both in what we eat and how we MOVE (or don't depending each person). She most eloquently brought up how we NEED to be making as many UNPROCESSED food choices as possible. I especially loved that she taught us from Eve's example. Sarah instructed us to think about what Eve did IN the Garden, and then what Eve did OUT of the Garden (including what she ate and physically did). Then Sarah went on to point out that Eve didn't just sit around waiting for Adam to cater to her every whim. instead, Eve worked and she worked HARD. She gave every ounce of her life everything she had (literally to the fullest measure). Therefore, we have no excuses. We should not only do more, but out of gratitude we should WANT to do more. Heavenly Father made us women multi-taskers for a reason! (To best illustrate this, Sarah shared an example of a local sister who faithfully comes into the gym, early every morning, with her big old set of scriptures. She moves and sweats and studies her scriptures all at the same time! Completely rad, right?) For absolute end of Sarah's class, prior to some healthy & delicious refreshments, she had 7-day comp passes to her gym available for everyone there, AND she drew 3 lucky winners' names for complimentary consultations/training sessions with her! (How every cool is that?!)
Also, just before we ended the night and closing prayer was said, gluten-intolerance came up (not by me either), and apparently its something that's affecting a lot more sisters and their families than we had ever realized. Between those of us who are dealing with gluten-intolerance day-to-day, Nadine (our nutritionist), and another sister (who happens to own a different gym), there was oodles of conversation about gluten. And that last sister has been working lately with her chiropractor in seminars and workshops regarding Gluten. Her chiropractor's willing to have a seminar in two weeks if our ward is interested. Turned out SOOOOOO awesome, and fit everything from the night!
In retrospect, the whole she-bang (every class...every single bit) went hand-in-hand together. Each speaker brought up some phenomenal scriptures and quotes that really strengthened every individual there, and I believe the evening fortified the relationships withing our Relief Society. We not only learned a whole lot of wonderful information, but we also learned that we have amazing resources within one another. It was a beautiful experience!