the whole you project

Finding Your Balance: Mind, Body and Spirit


I’ll Be Happy When…

“When I get married, when I find the right job, when I hit the lottery, when I get a new home…I’ll be happy.”  You’ve probably said something like this at some point in your life– I know I have.  So many people get caught up in this mind set.  You work your butt off trying to achieve a goal that you think will make you happy, only to find that when you achieved said goal, something was missing.  You may have felt happy for a while, but that accomplishment soon began to fade and you went looking for some other diversion to give you that happiness fix.

How is it that people who have very little seem to be so content with their lives?  Is it wrong to want more? Of course not.  But our lives do not consist of the abundance of the things we possess.

Simply put, Happiness is a choice.  I believe it is the state of positive well-being and contentment we feel when we can appreciate what we already have–rather than lusting after what we do not have.  The truth is, when you decide to happy, you put yourself in a position for the success you’ve always wanted.

I had always wanted to be married, thinking that my husband would complete my life.  It was only after I made the decision to be happy with my life- whether I was married or  single- that my love came along.  And by then, I was in no rush because I already had what I was looking for:  I was truly happy-  Husband just added to it.  This gave me the motivation to find that same contentment in other areas of my life.  It isn’t always easy, but its never boring!

Here’s what I’ve learned about being happy even when you’re dealing with a challenge:

  •   Get the focus off of yourself.  Go do something nice for someone else and notice how much better you feel.
  •   Reflect on the positive things that happen to you each day.  Even the smallest things can have a great impact.
  •   Excercise.  Physical activity releases endorphins into your blood stream which make you feel better.
  •   Take mental health breaks daily.  Get by yourself for a few minutes, close your eyes and breath deeply.
  •   Surround yourself with things that make you smile.  Pictures of family, friends, favorite places, funny sayings-  take time to look at these things and appreciate the joy they bring.

I’m feeling happier just sharing this with you, and I hope that you can pass these tips along to someone else who may be having that pity party for one.  We can truly be happy but like anything else, it takes time and practice.  I hope your journey to happiness is a good one.

Until next time, stay well and enjoy the balance of your day!



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I Want My Body Back

Since my recent breakup with many of the foods that I love (see my last post “End of the Affair”), I have now begun the daunting task of replacing those less than nutritious items with healthier choices.  My reason is simple:  I want my body back.  While I’m not considered obese (my BMI is 29), I’m too heavy for my 5’5″ frame–plus my clothes are fitting too tight and that ain’t cool.

I knew I would need a plan because let’s face it–if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  To help me get started, I recalled one of the first health interviews I ever did in 2006 with fitness expert Russell Cliche.   Here are five things he recommends that every erson needs to do for optimal health:

1) Drink plenty of water.  Whatever amount you are drinking now, drink more.  Experts agree that drinking water helps to flush impurities out of your body, but it also helps your thinking.  Your brain operates off of electrical impulses and water is an excellent conductor of electricity.  If you keep yourself hydrated, you’ll not only feel better but you’ll think more clearly.

2) Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  If you put cheap gas in your luxury car, it won’t run well.  The same thing goes for your body.  Increasing the amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet will give you more energy and help you stay full longer- which cuts down on cravings for the not-so-healthy stuff.

3) Move your body. Simply put, find a physical activity you like and do it often.  Get your groove on and dance, walk, run, swim, take an aerobics class, kickbox…whatever. Shoot for 3-4 days a week, but take it easy if you’ve been inactive for a while.  See your doctor before beginning any serious fitness routine.

4) Add some weights. Many women still believe that lifting weights will make them bulk up like a dude.  The truth is, the female body just isn’t made that way.  Adding resistance training to your workout will actually help you tone your body, maintain better balance as you get older, and yes, look sexy no matter what age you are.  Get with a trainer or even ask a coach at your local high school about proper form when using weights.  By adding two days of resistance training to your workout week, you’ll be well on your way to a hotter body.






5) Get some sleep. Not good enough sleep, but real “hog calling”  deep sleep.  During this time, the body repairs and resets itself, so experts say 7-8 hours is necessary for optimal health.  I don’t about you, but I do well to get 6 hours.  This is one I’ll have to research a little deeper, but I’m willing to give it a try and get back to you with the results.

So now you know:  this is the basis for my plan to get back on track and back in shape. This is as good a place as any to start.  I may not come out looking like Halle Berry or J. Lo but its always nice to have aspirations.

Take care, my friends and always, enjoy the balance of your day.



End of the Affair

Hello My Darling,

You know how I feel about you.  The relationship we’ve shared has been one of the most important in my life.  When I was sad or upset, I knew I could always turn to you for comfort.  When I celebrated an achievement, you were right there to share in my joy.   But it is at night that I want you most.  I would find myself lying in bed with my husband thinking of you.  How I craved you…. to ravish you with my tonuge and become intoxicated by your sweet and savory aroma.  You have been my favorite addiction, my secret love. The very thought of you makes my mouth water even now.

That’s why it is so hard for me to write this letter to you.  The fact is…as much as I want you, I can’t do this anymore.

I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t recognize the woman I see anymore.  I feel like a fleeting image of the person I once was- no longer full of energy and vigor, but a woman weighed down by…..weight….30.1 pounds be exact.  This is the direct result of my love affair with you- FOOD.

So my Sweets, it appears that we must refine the nature of our relationship.  I love you baby (back ribs), but I want my body back. Excercise alone just isn’t working.  Try to understand– its not all your fault.  No one held a gun to my head and made me dive head first into those Krispy Kreme doughnut **deep sigh** but I must take steps to regain control of my eating habits.  Even if they are baby steps.  There’s a healthier side of life that I’ve got to explore to rid myself of the guilt that haunts me everytime we’re together.


I hope we can still be friends.  We’ll see each other from time to time but my mind is made up.  From now on, I’ll keep a safe distance and I ask that you respect my wishes.


I will miss you, but we both know its for the best.



Shhh! No Talking During Your Test

Have you ever prayed for an answer about something and it seemed that God was strangely quiet?  I’ve had that happen to me while going through a difficult challenge in life, and I was left feeling alone and unsure of what direction to take.  I knew according to God’s work that He would never leave me nor forsake me, but the silent treatment was a bit unsettling.  The situation worked out fine, but I still wondered about not getting that answer in the thick of it all.

I recently recalled that experience with one of my sisters who is an elementary school teacher.  What she shared with me was so profound that I had to write about it.

“I have to give tests to my students all the time,” she said.  “This is the time for them to show what they’ve learned and what they understand.  But once the test begins, I don’t talk to them.”  WOW! No talking during the test.

“I’ll walk around the room and I know every one of them; I see every one of them,” she continued. ” I know the students who are strong in that subject, and they can make it through just fine.  The ones that are having difficulty in the class or who may try to cheat, I pay close attention to and even stand right over them while they complete the test.  I see some make simple mistakes or even choose the wrong answer, but I don’t intervene because THEY must take the test.”

This was such an eye-opener for me.  There are times in life when I have to go through challenges that test my faith.  And I may pray and sometimes not get an immediate answer because I have to apply what I’ve been taught…all under the watchful eye of my Heavenly Father.  I have to endure and pass the test in order to grow both naturally and spiritually.  If I don’t pass, I may have to take that test again….ugh!!

So the next time you feel like you’re getting the silent treatment when you pray, start brushing up on the Word and apply it to your situation.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

I think I’ve got it now.  Another life lesson taught to me by my younger sister.  Thanks girl!

As always, take care and enjoy the balance of your day.

What’s Your Season?

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Ecclesiastes 3:1- To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the

My pastor taught me this passage many years ago, but it has only been in recent years that I’ve truly come to understand it for myself.  Everything truly takes place in its proper time, no matter how much we try to move things along.  We can strive and run ourselves ragged trying to make things happen when the fact is…its just not time for it.  It’s not the right season.

We can enjoy Spring, when everything seems to be blooming and good things are popping up all over the place.  We like Spring!  Then there’s Summer and situations can get too hot to handle, or we feel the heat and pressure of life bearing down on us.  Fall can be a bountiful harvest of blessings that you’ve been waiting for for a long time.  And then there’s Winter.  Nothing happens in winter:  life seems to be at a standstill and nothing is growing or developing…at least where you can see it.

Just as God ordained the seasons in nature to have seed time and harvest time, He has also done this in our lives. I have come to understand that its not going to Spring all year long.  I’ve had to endure some pretty cold Winters and some truly blazing Summers but they are all designed to make me respect the delicate balance of this thing called “life”.  If we never had times of disappointment or hurt, how would we ever appreciate the joys that follow?

But here’s the real kicker:  In order to make the most of this life, you’ve got to know what season you’re in. If everything is going your way and blessings seem to be falling into your lap, congratulations on a lovely Spring. If nothing you’ve tried is coming to fruition, you’re probably in Winter, and you know- nothing grows in winter.  But don’t get frustrated.  It can’t stay that way forever.  Remember, Spring is on the way but in its own time-only in God’s time.

Take the time to learn what your current season is and make the most of it.  There is something to be learned and-even enjoyed-  in our least favorite life seasons.  Somehow knowing this is comforting to me because I happen to be in Winter at the moment.   But I’m planning for a glorious Spring by making preparations in my career, my home life and my spiritual life.   I’m getting my seeds ready for planting and I will be ready when that fertile ground of opportunities appears.

I thank God everyday for blessings of wisdom like this, and I hope this will be a blessing for you as well.

Take care my friends, and enjoy the balance of your day.

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Life from the Rearview Mirror

Hi friends!

I had an epiphany why driving on the freeway yesterday, and felt the need to share this with you about how your past can distract you from moving forward in life.

While heading downtown, I happened to look in my rearview mirror and noticed a red sportscar irratically switching lanes at a high rate of speed. I know I’m supposed to keep my eyes on the road ahead, but something about this car had me slightly distracted. Perhaps it was the idea of seeing which direction the driver would take next….who knows, but I for some reason my focus was not where it should have been. As fate would have it, traffic in front of me slowed down, and SCREECH!! I looked ahead just in time to hit the brakes before causing somebody (and me) to have a really bad day.

As I got my bearings and reached my destination, I found myself talking about the incident to several people at work that day.  Then, the epiphany struck. It suddenly occured to me that I was giving too much time to this experience. I think people in general have a tendency to dwell on the stuff that happened in their past, be it a few hours ago, a few days or even years ago.  Just as you can’t drive a car forward looking in the rearview mirror, you can’t move forward in life dwelling on past mistakes, failures or even successes. This stunts our growth toward reaching a fulfilled life because we miss the new experiences (or in my case, the open road laying before me) because we’re too busy focusing on the old ones. How many times has an experience in your past kept you from seeing what was before you? Has the memory of an old boyfriend kept you from finding love again? Is the loss of a job causing you to lack confidence in your talents and abilities? This is the kind of stuff that can really cause you to miss out on opportunities that can take you where you want to go!! I have a much deeper appreciation now for why the rearview mirror of a car is so small in comparison to the size of the front windshield. We need to spend more time looking forward and pressing forward in life rather than being distracted by anything in our past, good or bad. Learn from mistakes and failures, but don’t dwell on them for very long…they could cause you to crash and burn like I almost did.

Now, let’s try to put this into play.  Have a great Sunday, and enjoy the balance of your day!


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Hello world!

My name is Andrea Perry and I’m kinda new at this, so bare with me.

What exactly is The Whole You Project?  Glad you asked!  In the past several years, I’ve come to understand that in order to have a happy, healthy and satisfied life, you’ve gotta find the right balance of three essential aspects of the human experience:  the mind, the body and the spirit (or whatever you choose to call it).  For me, this has been a journey that proves you never stop learning. You never stop growing.  You never cease to find little nuggets of wisdom in what once seemed mundane or insignificant.

So here I am…I’m no psych expert or spiritual guru.  I’m just a chick from Chattanooga, TN who is finding that balance for myself.  I want to lend a hand to others along the way who may feel as misplaced as I do from time to time.   Since my professional background is health reporting (radio and TV), I’ll be drawing on my experience to bring you health and wellness information that covers all three areas (mind, body and spirit) as we discover that full, satisfied life together.

That’s my story of the Whole You Project.  Stay tuned and enjoy the balance of you day!