So it is, another Thursday that I’m posting for Weight Loss Wednesday. I have been involved in Vacation Bible School at my church this week and for the past two nights, I have fallen asleep where I’ve landed (the couch) after returning from my filled-filled, Spirit-filled evenings. For those of you unfamiliar with VBS, it is an excursion of music, crafts, games, Bible study, and fellowship similar to camp but within the confines of three-hours, sometimes at night (like ours), sometimes during the day, but always in the summer.
So, I’ve shared with you my weight loss story and some tips for getting healthy and fit that worked for me. What I realized on this journey was that it’s a lot more than losing the pounds and inches — it’s about getting healthy and living a life that pleases my God by keeping my temple (my body) in a holy, praise-worthy condition.
Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. (Philippians 4:8 NCV)
I found some information about what happens to our bodies when we start eating healthy (i.e. on a Low GI diet) and moving our bodies. It was pretty eye-opening for me and I hope it intrigues you as well.
Focus on your weight and your health will definitely improve because your weight and your health aren’t two separate issues. Being over-weight is a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle. There are tons of research studies that show how your body changes when you begin eating healthy foods and being more active. Here are some of the results that have been listed:
Upon Waking: Get up, stretch, and give thanks to God for another day. Ask Him to be with you as you make your choices for eating and activities. Find some time to read the Bible and pray. Remember, seven days without prayer makes one weak! (Okay, okay…so this is not in any health-related study that I know of, but it’s a part of my lifestyle, so I figured I’d throw this in here for good measure. )
After 15 minutes: The first morning after you eat a healthy breakfast, your brain feels satisfied and the body begins using the calories immediately because your body chemistry is most active in the morning. (Thus the break the fast of breakfast.) Eliminating processed, pre-packaged foods that have little nutritional value and are full of sugars and carbohydrates energizes your body and makes you think more clearly, even after just one healthy meal.
After 3 hours: Your HDL (Dr. Mike Moreno calls it our “happy” cholesterol) increases and starts filtering our LDL (Again, Moreno calls this the “lousy” cholesterol) from our blood. Moreno says to “think of the LDLs as the delivery trucks, depositing cholesterol in blood vessels, and HDLs as garbage trucks, taking them back to the liver where they’re broken down.”
After 12 hours: Now your body is turning into a fat-burning machine, using all the energy (read: sugar) you’ve stored in your fat cells because you have eliminated sugar from your diet. When you’re pumping your body full of sugar, your body can do nothing but process the sugar, leaving no time for it to burn it for energy. It turns into fat and we all know what happens to the fat.
After 16 hours: You’ll probably be getting your first restful night of sleep right about now. Your body is not overloaded with sugar that keeps you awake and restless.
After 24 hours: You just may find that you’re down a pound or two. Yes, it may be water weight, but water weight is still weight. Don’t dismiss the fact that you’ve lost a little on the scale.
After 3 days: Now your body has gotten the message — it’s beginning to burn fat on a regular basis and senses that it’s losing weight. All your blood-related numbers have already started moving in the right direction.
After 1 week: Your LDL numbers may be down and antioxidant levels in your blood may be higher. (Antioxidants fight disease.) You may have lost as many as five pounds by now.
After 2 weeks: If you’ve had issues with high blood pressure that are related to health, your BP is probably down a bit. You’ll probably be noticing that your bowels are moving more regularly and the scale may say that you’ve lost as much as ten pounds.
After 1 month: At this point, LDL levels may have fallen as much as 30%. If your on statins, this is a similar result to taking medicine to control the LDL levels.
After 6 weeks: By this time you could be down as much as two sizes in your clothes and people are beginning to notice that you’re losing weight — even as much as twenty pounds. Your cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels will have improved.
After 3 months: Your blood work will show a significant improvement, if not completely normalized.
After 6 months: Your energy level will be unrecognizable from before you started this journey. Your risks for developing Type II diabetes is reduced significantly or if you have Type II diabetes, you may be able to control your insulin with diet alone. Your body has detoxed now and your cravings are under control. More than likely you’ve reached your goal. If not, just keep following your healthy regimen until you get there. Your hardest days are pretty much over by now, but don’t get discouraged if you have a bad day every now and then.
A good, healthy diet (what you eat, not deprivation of food or fad diets) can do all these things. I have been chastised recently for using the cliché “lifestyle change,” but if it’s not a change in the style of your life, what is it? A friend of mine (shout out to Jodie at http://www.jodiebailey.com) says her buzz word for this year is intentional. She wants her actions to be intentional, meaning that she’s putting thought and preparation into her actions BEFORE SHE ACTS! So, lifestyle change may be cliché, but it’s still true.
Now, go back and read the Bible verse in Philippians. It’s all about intent. Healthy living is about intent — to be intentional in our eating choices so that we take care of the bodies God gave us on purpose. We only get one, so what we do with it (and to it) are important.
Have a blessed week and by all means, be intentional where your diet is concerned.
Source: The 17-Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno (see references for chapter one for more information on the studies from which the above information is taken)