Stepping Things Up

By: Chaunte McClure

I’m on the up side of my on-again, off-again relationship with being active. Why is it so difficult to create a good habit? I want to work out. I want to be physically fit. I want a flat stomach, toned arms and thighs and a healthy heart, but why, oh why, do I not want a beautiful physique enough to work for it? There is room for improvement and it won’t happen unless I do something about it.

I started a workout routine last week and I feel pretty good about it. I’m one week into it and hopefully this time there’s no turning back. If for some reason I fail at staying committed, I did get a good sermon illustration out of my efforts. Thanks, God.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 2.03.05 PMThe on-again relationship started two Sundays ago when my husband and I hit the trail at Riverfront Park. I’m not sure how many miles we walked, but by Tuesday I could feel the wrath of that walk in the park. My muscles were sore! Instead of letting the soreness in my legs subside, I decided to keep working those babies. About an hour before dark, I made my way to the Statehouse to step things up a bit. I did laps around the iconic structure and jogged up and down the Statehouse steps twice. Twice? Yes, twice. I know you’re probably thinking, that’s nothing. Well, let me remind you that there are 52 steps that lead up to the door of our capitol building. At least I think it’s 52. Seems like each time I counted during my Saturday visit, I came up with a different number while making my way up or down. I guess that’s what happens when you’re tired – you can’t even think straight. And when you’re out of shape, 10 steps will have you panting.

I do feel better about myself after my moderate work outs, but is that enough to make me stop flirting with exercise and finally commit to it? It seems like there’s always something that hinders me from maintaining a routine and excuses are high on the list. Let me see how many excuses I can come up with.

  1. I don’t have time.
  2. I have too much homework to do.
  3. It’s too hot outside.
  4. By the time I get home from work, I’m too tired.
  5. I’m not a morning person, so I can’t work out before going to the office.
  6. I have too much going on right now. (However, in my last blog I told you I learned to just say no.)
  7. And any other excuse I can come up with on given day.

I need you to cheer me on and be my accountability partners. Do you have a routine that works? How do you stay committed to being physically fit? I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I have a work out to complete. I’ll be back here at the end of August.

Did You Know…

By: Katie Austin

How many of you have a smart phone? How confident are you that the information on your phone is secure from spying eyes?

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How many of you are aware of the new USA Freedom Act? Did you know that it impacts how the government collects cell phone data?

Knowledge is power. I will share with you what I have learned and what you can do to protect the data on your cell phone.

Out with the old (USA Patriot Act), in with the new (USA Freedom Act).

Here’s a YouTube video that explains the Patriot Act and the newly created Freedom Act with a little bit of humor.

The USA Patriot Act was signed into law just six weeks after the 9/11 attacks.  Congress quickly and almost unanimously approved the Patriot Act with the goal of protecting American lives, with a priority of security over privacy.  As summarized by  Caitlin Pierce, the Patriot Act “significantly expanded the government’s surveillance reach, broadening its authority to collect personal records, tap phones, monitor internet activity, and spy on religious and political organizations, often without any evidence of wrongdoing.”  The USA Freedom Act was enacted into law on June 2, 2015 with the intent to place restrictions and oversight on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance powers.

So how does this change impact the government’s ability to collect cell phone data?

After a six-month transition period, the USA Freedom Act will shift the burden of keeping phone records to the phone companies.  The NSA will be required to get permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get targeted information from a phone company storing the records.  The phone metadata is what will be retrieved and contains basic phone number information, not the content of the calls or names of callers.

What can we do to protect our information?

Cell phones these days are mini-computers that are used to send email, browse the internet and just about everything a desktop computer can do.  With everything at our finger tips and readily available, we need to take measures to ensure our phone is secure and the information stored on it is protected.

Here are a few steps I found that you can take to make it harder to get your personal information while you Candy Crush:

1.     Put your phone into airplane mode while playing games.  Most games don’t need the Internet connection to run, but their ad networks do.

2.     Don’t post on social media accounts while connected to cellular data networks.  Wait until you’re connected to your secure, password-protected home or workplace Wi-Fi network.  Better yet, wait until you get to your desktop computer or laptop.

3.     Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS and geolocation on your phone.  These can be used quickly to pinpoint your location.  Don’t use them until you absolutely need them.  You may have to go into each application’s settings to turn off geolocation so start with those that are capable of taking photos.

4.     Install an application called AppNotifier.  It will email you when an application is downloaded and installed on your computer.  Your best defense is being aware of what is on your phone. I love this app as I know when something is installed or updated on my phone!

Find out more by visiting the FCC Smartphone Checker at the link below.  There you will learn smartphone-specific ways to protect your phone.

We all have a choice.  I choose privacy over convenience.  It’s our information and we should be able to choose when and how to share it.

Make a Note to Yourself

By: Shannon Elizabeth Boatwright

“Note to self:

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”

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I came across this fabulous “Note to self” on Facebook. I seem to come across inspiring, mind blowing quotes sometimes on a daily basis and have a collection of them as screenshots on my phone. A lot of them I share; some of them I keep for myself.

This one above is one I definitely shared. It’s actually one I’d like to add to and enhance with more positive notes about being your self and living for yourself. Along with walking in the sunshine and jumping in the ocean, I would add to dance, sing and be joyful and full of thanks every moment you can. I could seriously base an entire inspirational speech on this simple note to self!

The harsh truth is there – indeed, none of us are getting out of here alive and when you really stop to think about it, there is NO time for anything else, accept to live our lives to the fullest. And in order to do that, we absolutely must stop thinking of ourselves as an after thought. You know we’re all guilty of it to varying degrees. It’s our harsh reality in this day and age. In today’s society it’s a constant battle of ‘keeping up with the Jones’, working to live, yet forgetting to truly LIVE. We spend a majority of our time working to pay the bills, not spending quality time with our families and friends, not spending time on ourselves, but working to survive in this world and keep our heads above water.

It’s sad to think we have to be reminded to actually live our lives instead of just survive them. But we all get wrapped up and overwhelmed with our To-Do Lists and the requirements of making it in this world. Like I’ve heard mentioned before, I don’t know of anyone on their death bed that said, “Gosh, I wish I had worked more and spent less time having fun.” So, let’s all write a note to ourselves! Make it real, make it personal and tell yourself to live it up, make the most of this short life we’ve been granted to live. Don’t just simply survive, actually live your precious life! Make a list of all the things, activities, people and places that make you happy and go live it! Make it happen!

Oh, I can dish out this positive, inspirational stuff left and right, but YES I need these daily, priceless reminders to actually act on it! Easier said than done, they say. So maybe if we keep up these reminders and notes to self, we can actually engage in making our lives truly meaningful and full of happiness!

There’s no time like right now to create great things in your life. So go write that note to yourself! Read it, Believe it, Live it!

I Am A Heart Attack: LMC’s New Heart Health TV Commercial

At Lexington Medical Center, we are pulling out all the stops when it comes to promoting heart health in 2013. We’ve produced a new television commercial designed to make a big impact. Within the commercial, the viewer meets his or her future heart attack. The concept for the commercial involves the personification of the heart attack, i.e., the heart attack as a person. It speaks to us and tells several important truths about the bad lifestyle choices many of us make that may lead to a heart attack. We’re proud to share our new commercial with you below:

Our Crissie Hits the Big Time!

A couple of weeks ago Jennifer Wilson at Lexington Medical Center received a call from a woman in California who works for a website called For those of you not familiar with, it is an online network that connects moms at every stage of their children’s lives to great content from the source they trust most: other moms. (Sounds kind of like the LMC Every Woman Blog!) The people at were doing research for an article and had run across one of Crissie Miller Kirby’s blog posts on LMC’s Every Woman Blog. They really liked what they saw and asked if they could get Crissie’s permission to run her blog post on their site! Once they saw more of Crissie’s work, they decided to make her a regular contributor to In other words, Crissie is now a big time mommy blogger! The website is one of the top 3,000 most visited sites in the US and ranks in the top 15,000 globally! That’s a lot of people who will get to read Crissie’s posts and who will learn about the Every Woman Blog.

In truth, we know that all of our Every Woman Bloggers are rock stars – and it is great to see one of them get that acknowledgement. To visit one of Crissie’s posts on, click here. And please let us know what you think! We are so excited for Crissie, and extremely proud of her accomplishments.

Blue-Eyed Bride Addresses Our Blogger Luncheon

Why do so many women blog, and so many other women follow their blogs? As a reader of the Every Woman Blog, you probably know the answer. These blogs provide all of us with an opportunity to connect, share information, commiserate and celebrate.

Last week Lexington Medical Center sponsored a blogger luncheon attended by the women who contribute posts to the Every Woman Blog. We had a special guest blogger attend the luncheon, Erin Akin Carroll, better know as the Blue-Eyed Bride. Erin is a really well known blogger. In fact, she’s so successful that she is now having to focus on not letting the blog take over her life. She blogs for herself and her family, not for her sponsors or her readers. As Erin told us, it is important that she is true to herself.

As a former event planner and current stay-at-home mom, why does Erin blog?

“This is my attempt at chronicling all of my random thoughts, ideas, crazy projects, kitchen disasters, fashion, gorgeous weddings, travel, family stories, and fun with my husband! You may find me to be passionate, random, pessimistic, hopeful and a control freak.” (

During our luncheon, Erin shared her story with our Every Woman bloggers. Here’s her explanation of how she got into blogging:

It is always compelling to hear women talk about the sense of community they find through blogging and social media. Erin is no exception:

Finally, here’s a vlog post (video) from Erin. This will give you a feel for the type of content she shares with her followers.

Meet Staci Rutherford

If you’re into fashion and handbags, you will love Staci Rutherford. Her obsession with handbags is so extreme that she started a blog called the Handbag Report. Staci’s vision was that would become a place where people would be inspired and connect with others around the globe who love handbags. She studied apparel manufacturing management at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, and dreams of one day creating her own handbag collection! Learn more about Staci in this introductory video:

Meet Crissie Kirby

Crissie is a lifelong resident of the Midlands and currently lives in Batesburg-Leesville. She’s a mom who has found blogging to be a wonderful emotional outlet and source of support. Notably, Crissie has survived her husband’s deployment and then divorce, and is now looking to thrive in this new phase of her life. When you view Crissie’s introductory video (below) you’ll see why we find her to be so compelling.

Meet Elizabeth Akre

Not only is Elizabeth at home in the kitchen, she will make you feel at home in the kitchen! If you’re intimidated by cooking, she will help make it fun and accessible. Elizabeth is a mom, Realtor and food blogger. She delights in sharing stories of her most infamous kitchen catastrophies. We’re excited to have her as one of our bloggers for the LMC Every Woman Blog.

Meet Katie Austin

What can we tell you about Katie? She’s amazing. Katie has an incredible outlook on life and is looking to give back to the community. But rather than us go on and on about her, why don’t you watch her video and hear her story in her own words. Before you do that, we’ll give you one hint about Katie: she has beaten breast cancer and has a new perspective on life. Watch the video and get to know Katie Austin.