Living in a Material World (When You’re Not a Material Girl): Part 2

So, the world is obsessed with our weight. (It’s also obsessed with our age, our youthful appearance or the lack thereof, our incomes, and our political affiliations.) It has its own opinion of us, but we have to embrace that, while other people may hold their opinions of us, those opinions are not facts.

I wish the world was more concerned with the condition of our hearts, but that’s not the job of the world. That’s God’s job. In part one of this post, I shared what the world says about us in regard to our weight. Now, I want to share some descriptions that God, who made us, has used about us. These are not just my imaginings…they’re from His holy scripture. If you click on the words (underlined and highlighted in blue), you can read the scripture that addresses each of these descriptions. These are God’s opinions of us, and His opinion is the only opinion that is a FACT.

God does not make worthless thing

If Jesus is our Savior, each of us is God’s child. We are friends and confidantes of Jesus. We have been justified and redeemed by grace so that we are blameless. Because we are set free from the laws of sin and death, we are fellow heirs to God’s throne. God has called us saints (God’s holy people) who have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.  God loves us so much that He has sent His Spirit to live in us. We can live in victory and triumph over all things because we belong to Him — there is no such thing as defeat when you are a child of God! We are part of God’s plan and He has made us promise keepers! We are chosen, holy, and loved.

If you grew up in Sunday School, I’ll guess that you were taught the story of creation many times in your life. There are reasons we read, re-read, and re-study God’s word — there are lessons to be learned every time. There are nuances that we may miss or that God chooses to reveal to us at different times in our spiritual lives. I want to share something that I believe God revealed to me in a study of Genesis while I was teaching a class for three-year-olds about two years ago. This was not an accident. This was an on-purpose, God-delivered, simple revelation that He sent to me right before my own health crisis was revealed during a medical appointment in June 2015. It changed my whole perspective about how God sees us, His creation…His handiwork.

I love that, after God made each part of His creation, He surveyed His work and declared it good. Of course it was good! God made it.

On that sixth day of creation, God made humans. He wasn’t arbitrary about our composition. He didn’t wing it and hope He came up with something that was pleasing. He made us in His own image! And when He had made us and surveyed his work, He didn’t just declare that we were good, He said that we were very good.

Why is that important?

It’s important because who we look like in our physical selves is a defining factor about who we are individually. If you observe parents with their children, especially after a baby is born, someone is always trying to see who the baby looks like. Sharing physical looks with parents or other family members helps us know who we are and to whom we belong.

Despite all the physical factors that come together to give us our facial features, body type, and body components, we ultimately ALL look like God because we were created in His image. To be fully and completely His, is to accept how God’s made us physically and become like Him spiritually by becoming more like Christ.

Thomas-Merton-Quote-To-say-that-I-am-made-in-the-image-of-God-is

The world will never get that. It’s why we cannot be agents of this world, conformed to its ways and slaves to its obsessions. It’s why I will never be a material girl, even though I live in this material world. I am God’s masterpiece, His very good handiwork. So are you, friends.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, else matters.

shr

 

 

 

 

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Support is More than Just an Underwire Bra

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…Hebrews 10:25 NLT

When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation that God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.  1 Corinthians 14:26 NLT

It’s been said that church is not a social meeting for Christians; it’s a hospital for sinners. Going there doesn’t absolve anyone from their sins, but being with other believers is a good place to stand in God’s presence and repent.

In the throes of my youngest son’s “teenage-ness,” he boldly confronted me by hurling this accusation at me, “You think you’re so much better than everybody else just because you go to church on Sunday!”

“If I’ve given you that impression, then I’ve been doing this motherhood thing all wrong,” I said. “I go to church so that I can be around other people who are sinners and celebrate the fact that I am saved by grace. I go to church because when I look around the congregation, I’m certain I need to be there more than anybody else.”

And I mean that with all my heart. I find that worship in church is a God’s way of healing me from the sinful way I’ve conducted myself during the week. I don’t have to go to church to repent and come back into a good relationship with God, but it sure does help.

TOPS_Logo-BW

I feel the same way about my weight loss support group in TOPS. Taking Off Pounds Sensibly is more than a name — it’s a motto and a way of life. I celebrated my one-year anniversary on April 5, 2017. It’s been an exhilarating year with lots of ups and downs, but overall, a year of tremendous progress emotionally and physically.

If you know any of my background, I started this weight loss journey way back in 2010…and in 2011…and in 2013…and finally, in 2015. I have a great support system in my immediate family. When I finally took charge of my health in 2015, I lost half the weight with the tremendous support of my mother and my husband, Kelly. The only problem was that neither one of them were trying to lose weight WITH me. There’s only so much support you can get from someone who’s not going through the same experience as you.

My great friend, Trisha Smith, her husband, George, and several others organized a new TOPS chapter (NC 947) in January 2016 that met just three miles from my house. I read each Facebook post she shared about this new chapter and thought, “This sounds like fun. Maybe I need to join.” But I didn’t.

I would comment on her posts and even tell her I was thinking about joining. I told her than it January, in February, and in March. Every Tuesday night during their meeting time, God would nudge me and I would ignore Him. Kelly said several times, “It would probably do you a lot of good to join.” I ignored him, too.

Ignore, ignore, ignore…until I gained back some of the weight I’d worked so hard to lose. I stood on the scale that Monday morning, April 4, and stared at the scales, devastated. EIGHT POUNDS! Some of you realize how hard it is to lose ONE pound, let alone EIGHT. And then to gain it back? God pushed me that morning, and it was not gentle. “Do it now,” He said.

And before I could talk myself out of it, I contacted Trisha and said, “I’ll be there tomorrow night!” Even though you’re allowed a free visit before you decide to join, I came with national dues in hand and paid that first night. I was not going to give the devil a week to talk me out of it.

Can I just be honest? It’s the third best decision I’ve ever made (behind choosing Jesus as my Savior and Kelly as my husband). I belong to a group that is more like family than some of my biological family. It’s been the real source of my success, over and above any way of eating I’ve chosen.

Of course, I recommend TOPS and if you want to get more information on this organization, just click here. If you do a Google search, you can find other groups as well. Perhaps there are local groups that meet at a health facility or area churches that you could attend. For lasting results of weight loss, you need a support group. You need a support group like you need a great underwire bra! (Maybe more!)

If you’re ready to look for a group, but don’t know what to look for, let me offer some advice. I’ve narrowed down my “must be” list for a great support group to just four guidelines.

  • Your group must be EMPATHETIC. Empathy isn’t something we’re born with, but it’s something that can be easily learned if we practice it consistently. Basically, empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes…to view their situation through their lens, not through your own. That means we cannot pass judgment, but instead, embrace all that someone else is experiencing without pitying them. This, by far, is the most important requirement for finding a support group that will work for you.
  • You need a group that ENGAGES and ENCOURAGES each other. There has to be a great deal of positive reinforcement in a weight loss group. It’s morale-building and soul-soothing.
  • Your support group needs to have an EVALUATION PROCESS, based on honesty but spoken in love. (It all goes back to empathy.) Evaluation keeps you accountable to yourself and other group members. Without honest evaluations, both individually and group, then your support group experience will be as useless as a flat tire — it certainly won’t take you very far!
  • Finally, a support group should EQUIP YOU WITH REAL POWER, not “power-over.” (Real power versus power-over is the topic of an upcoming post, but if you’re interested in getting a head-start, let me recommend I Thought It was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown. It’s a game-changer.) Real power comes from within yourself and is borne from empathy. You cannot have real power by stealing another person’s power. (That’s power-over.)

These are the same guidelines our family used when we were looking for a church home. They’re great guidelines for a reason — they help you find a place where your needs will be met, where you can find comfort, where you can blossom, and where you will ultimately find your greatest successes.

If you have questions, please share them in the comments. If you belong to a great support group, please share that as well. Tell me why you love your support group!

Thanks for reading. God bless y’all!

-shr

How Fear Can Paralyze You

Hi! It’s me. Long time, no see. I’ve been absent for nearly a year, and even before that, my posts were irratic at best. I’m not proud of that and there’s really no excuse for it. You were never far from my mind and I have a whole notebook full of blog ideas written down to prove it.

I could tell you that LIFE happened, but so what? Everybody’s life is happening all the time. I could tell you I was taking a sabbatical — that sounds as if I’ve been soul-searching and dedicated to the writing process. I could hint that I was working to be a better me (and I have been). I could mention a tragic thing that’s happened in my family and you all would completely understand why this blog might not have been my number one priority. I could give you several reasons for my absence, all having an official “sound” to them. I could even (dare I say it?) lie.

But that wouldn’t fit the purpose of this blog, nor would it be fair to those who patiently waited for me to come back (or forgot that you were subscribed to this blog and didn’t miss me at all). I want to tell you the absolute truth…and this is going to be embarrassing and painful for me. I’m afraid and the fear has paralyzed me for a long time.

Spiritually, I am closer to God than I’ve ever been. There are so many things to share with you that I found empowering in my time away. Each moment made me a much better wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. I will eventually share those amazing insights with you. I promise.

Why didn’t I just sit and share these things with you then? I was scared someone would ask me about my way of eating (woe, for short — which by the way is still carb cycling and it’s still working) and my weight loss. The question I dreaded answering the most was this: did you meet your goal weight? 

No. That is the truth in a nutshell.

In 2013, I got close…so close I could see the finish line. And then I gave up. I blew it. And the truth is, I don’t know why. Every ounce that I lost, I gained back plus more. I packed away my nutrition books. I stopped doing research. I just decided it wasn’t worth the effort and I was sorry I ever mentioned it in this forum. People were still reading this blog, especially the posts on nutrition and weight loss. They left wonderful comments. Someone even asked if this blog was still active.

In all honesty, I was prepared to be unhealthy for the rest of my life. I just didn’t care anymore…until my doctor shared blood work results with me that shook the foundation of my world. I was in a health crisis: cholesterol was awful (not enough of the good kind, way too much of the bad), I was pre-diabetic (and probably should have been classified as Type II), my blood pressure was way too high (and I was already on medication), my chronic pain raged, and I was at the second highest weight of my whole life (226 pounds). I was an emotional and physical wreck. Dr. Anderson asked me two questions that saved my life,”Do you want to lose the weight and work on these numbers or do you want me to put you on medication? Don’t you want to live a long, happy life and watch your granddaughter grow up?”

Just so you know what me at 226 pounds looks like, here I am:

446

So in the summer of 2015, I chose to work on my weight and cholesterol through diet. I knew what worked. I’d done it before. Could I do it again? I remember telling my husband, Kelly, that I had yoyo dieted so much in my life, I should have “Duncan” tattoed on my hip!

When I had my check-up in September 2015, I weighed 211 and that was enough to get a second chance. The journey started out rough and along the way, there have been extreme highs and lows…and a lot of middle of the road days where I just keep plugging away. I just want to tell you that it’s gotten a lot better. Have I reached my goal weight? Not yet, but I’m getting there!

To be continued…

shr

Throwing Down the Little Debbie Cakes

If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9 (The Message)

Every morning, I see myself in the mirror. There are things to do: wash with my special facial cleanser, pat dry, apply anti-winkle cream (with SPF 30), brush my teeth, comb my hair, and gear up for another day. Over this last year, though, I’ve watched my face getting puffier, my chin growing “a second row,” and I don’t like it.

image

In 2013, I lost nearly 35 pounds. My best weight was 175. I was able to maintain that for almost a year. Then other things started happening in my body and slowly but surely, all that effort I put in losing the 35 pounds got lost in the fog of my chronic pain. And as I stood on the scale yesterday, I stared down at the number. 215 pounds. I stepped off, let the scale reset, and tried it again. 215, exactly the same as the first time. Just for good measure, I tried again. Nope, there it was: 215 pounds – all 35 pounds that I’d lost had, like the prodigal son, found its way back home…and those 35 found a 5 pound friend and invited it to visit as well.

I wasn’t shocked — in fact, I was glad it wasn’t more. I knew I had put on the weight. Now, it was a question of what I was going to do with myself — throw out my desire to trim this “temple” God has given me and just become comfortable in my fat or throw down the Little Debbie Cakes and say, “No more. I can do this. I need this. I want to be healthy. I want to clean up the temple and keep it sparkling!”

Little Debbie

I had already decided BEFORE I stepped on the scale that I wanted to at the healthy weight that just a year before had been just a few pounds away. I knew that I needed to eat low carb because carbs are not my friends. I just wanted a simple plan that did not include adding up calories. I had a lot of friends that have had success with the new Weight Watchers points plan and I joined yesterday (September 1). I loaded the WW app to my phone and found that all I had to do was list what I ate and it tracks my points for me. I like what the WW points plan offers me — simplicity and choices.

I got down on my knees and had some quality alone time with God. I repented for my gluttony. I discussed at length with God my greatest pitfalls (my love of sweets and carbs, my habit of gorging myself late at night, the fact that I could eat ice cream breakfast, lunch, supper). I talked with him about my “shame eating” — the times I’ve bought $25 worth of candy bars and hidden them from the rest of the family, eating them when I was alone, and hiding the wrappers WWAAAYYYY down at the bottom of the trash can. (Come on…I know some of you know what I’m talking about!) I was honest with Him about my unwillingness to call on Him in the grips of fighting off a craving and praying for help.

This morning, my morning devotional verse was 1 John 1:9. I was not surprised that God aligned my morning devotional scripture with the very subject for which I’d been baring my soul to Him. That’s how He works. Isn’t that cool? Here are the words that struck me like a lightning bolt (additions and emphasis mine):

We are fooling yourself, Sandy — God already knows your sin.

Admit your sins, Sandy, and come clean with God.

He won’t let you down, Sandy.

He’ll be true to Himself, Sandy.

He’ll forgive your sins, Sandy, and purge you.

So, with a clean slate, I’m on my journey to health again. If you are in a less-than-happy place with your weight, I understand. If you’re willing to start with a clean slate, God understands. If there’s something you want to share in the comments, I will pray with you. This is not a place of judgment. None of us is perfect. Our God loves to give second chances…and third, fourth, fifth, sixth…endless chances.

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.

shr

Carb Cycling at Your Fingertips: Chris Powell’s “FREE” App

Carb cycling is how I’ve lost 34 pounds since January 2013.  I’ve tried to describe what it is and how to do it here on LBTK. Some of the comments I’ve gotten are encouraging, but a few have said, “Sounds too complicated!” or “The book is $20 — I’m on a budget!”

Well, what may have seemed complicated is now easy-as-pie.  And what may have been an expense you couldn’t afford is now FREE! The Vemma Nutrition company has teamed up with Chris Powell, transformation specialist on “Extreme Weight Loss” and author of Choose More, Lose More for Life, to make carb cycling simple.  Chris and his wife, Heidi (who is also a trainer and a working mom) have created a resource that is so complete, it’s impossible to get it wrong!  Vemma and the Powells have created an app for smartphones, Vemma Bod-e.  It’s free!  And it will “hold your hand” (so to speak) as you go through your week of eating. (Please ignore the fact that I misspelled my own last name, LOL!)

Settings on the Vemma App
Settings on the Vemma App

Even though I’ve been carb cycling for almost ten months, I decided to try this app — and it’s amazing.  Every day, you can see what your eating plan is.  You can set your wake-up time and it makes an eating schedule for you based on that information. My wake-up time is 7:00 am.  The app sends me a message to remind me to eat breakfast.  At 10:00 am, I get a reminder to have a mid-morning snack and gives me great suggestions about what to eat.  At 1:00 pm, I get a message reminding me to eat lunch, with suggestions based on whether it’s a low carb day or a high carb day.  At 4:00 pm, I get another message reminder with suggestions for my afternoon snack.  Then at 7:00 pm, I receive my last reminder with food suggestions.

My Day 2 Schedule (Low Carb)
My Day 2 Schedule (Low Carb)

Every day, I can go to the “Tip of the Day” and watch a short video from Chris and Heidi (usually about 2 minutes long) and get a great eating tip and a word of encouragement.

My Message Board

When I downloaded the app, I looked over the eating plan and if I didn’t like a suggestion on the app, I “clicked” on the arrow to the right of each food choice and could choose from 8-10 more suggestions.  If I don’t like any of those, I simply choose a meal or snack based on whether it’s a low carb or high carb day.  After I chose my menu for the week, I clicked on “Grocery List” in the settings and the app put together a list of all the foods I needed to buy for my week of carb cycling.

My Grocery List - Week 1
My Grocery List – Week 1

The meal and snack suggestions come with RECIPES! (Also found in settings)

My Lunch for Today
My Lunch for Today
A Mid-Morning Snack Option -- Ham & Cheese Roll-ups (Low Carb Day)
A Mid-Morning Snack Option — Ham & Cheese Roll-ups (Low Carb Day)

When you download the app, your meal plan will start the next day, giving you 24 hours to get ready.  There is a place for you to list your current weight, your current measurements, and your weight loss goals.  My goals were to keep losing on the carb cycling plan and be more active.

My Current Stats
My Current Stats

One of my favorite perks with this app was the ability to sign up to receive updates from a REAL, LIVE PERSON.  My coach is Jim Klunk and he lives in Kentucky.  He’s not just a coach — he’s carb cycling with me.  Jim has coronary artery disease and was diagnosed in 2006 with MS.  Because of his inability to work out like everyone else, he consistently gained weight over the last decade.  He found out about carb cycling and presented the information to his heart doctor, who immediately approved of the eating plan.  Without going to the gym, and by just being active a few minutes a day, Jim lost 25 pounds on the carb cycling eating plan.  He’s still working at it every day.  He does a lot of research and when he finds a great eating or work-out tip, he drops me an email and a word of encouragement.  This week, his suggestion was to add turmeric to my shakes and meals — it’s been shown in studies to help women burn up to 6 extra pounds a week!

Vemma Nutrition sells an assortment of supplements for weight loss.  Chris Powell has partnered with them to bring a special formula of proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and fats to the Bod-e shake mix.  I’d never tried this before and Jim sent me a sample of the Chris Powell Bod-e Shake and a free DVD with Chris and Heidi’s best tips for weight loss — BOTH FREE!

My Free Sample of Bod-e Shake

My Free DVD
My Free DVD

The shake mix is delicious!  And it’s cheaper than the protein shake mix I normally buy at Wal-Mart.  So, I ordered a bag of the vanilla shake mix (it’s extremely versatile — add fruit or any flavoring you want to the vanilla and you can have a different flavor every day for breakfast).  You can mix it with either water or milk (I use almond milk).  At first, I didn’t sign up for auto-delivery, but after using the mix for two weeks, I knew I wasn’t going back to the other protein shake mix.  If you are interested in receiving a free sample of the shake mix and a free DVD, please send your name and address to my friend, Jim, at jimklunk1@aol.com and he will send them to you in the mail for FREE — NO DELIVERY CHARGES, NO POSTAGE & HANDLING, AND NO STRINGS ATTACHED! 

Those of you who are regular readers know that I don’t promote anything without an excellent reason.  In fact, I rarely promote anything on this blog.  If I find a new product that’s worthy of your time and money, I share it.  I’m also not one for spending lots of money to lose weight (sorry Nutri-System, I can cook my own food) or on gimmicky items for weight loss and fitness (you will never see me recommend an electric belt that “works” your abs for you).  What I write about and recommend to you, I always have checked out and tried myself — including books to read, recipes to make, fitness equipment, and weight loss information.  I don’t get paid to recommend anything.  If you’re interested in the Chris Powell Shake Mix (in either vanilla or chocolate), you can click here to order.  Chris Powell has developed other products for Vemma as well and they all carry his name.  THE ONLY PRODUCT THAT I HAVE TRIED IS THE SHAKE MIX.  I cannot comment on any other products because I’ve not tried them, but you can check all of the products out when you click here.

So, when I tell you that this app is FREE, EASY, and WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, I hope you know I’m speaking from personal experience that has brought me true success.

Best of all, if you get off track on the carb cycling plan, there is a RE-SET BUTTON on the app!  Nothing is set in stone.  You can always have another chance — as many chances as you need.  Isn’t that what a healthy lifestyle is all about — getting back on the horse when it bucks you off? Not giving up because you had a bad day (or week or month)?

If you download and check out the app, will you leave a comment and tell me what you think?

shr

Six Foods to Help You Lose

Image Source:  http://goliathflores.blogspot.com

Daniel did not want to eat the king’s rich food and wine because it would make him unclean. So he asked Ashpenaz for permission not to make himself unclean in this way.  God caused Ashpenaz, the man in charge of the officials, to be kind and loyal to Daniel. But Ashpenaz told Daniel, “I am afraid of my master, the king. He ordered me to give you this food and drink. If you don’t eat this food, you will begin to look weak and sick. You will look worse than other young men your age. The king will see this, and he will become angry with me. He might cut off my head. And it would be your fault.”

Then Daniel talked to the guard who had been put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah by Ashpenaz. He said, “Please give us this test for ten days: Don’t give us anything but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then after ten days, compare us with the other young men who eat the king’s food. See for yourself who looks healthier, and then decide how you want to treat us, your servants.”

So the guard agreed to test Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah for ten days. After ten days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than all the young men who ate the king’s food. So the guard continued to take away the king’s special food and wine and to give only vegetables to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (Daniel 1:8-16, ERV)

I am really enjoying my online nutrition class.  I’m learning so much about the foods I eat and how my body processes them. I am always looking for good foods that make me feel full and give me every advantage on the diet playing field. Here is a list of foods that I consider to be the “best of the best” foods to help you lose weight.

Image Source:  www.romafoods.com

  1. Fruit/Vegetables:  The USDA’s MyPlate plan suggests that we eat fruits and vegetables at every meal.  Fruits do contain sugars and they have carbohydrates.  However, these carbs are complex and take longer to digest.  They leave you feeling full longer, which is always a plus.  The key to successful integration of fruits in your diet is portion control.  Vegetables should be high in fiber and water content.  The fiber helps in digestion and the water helps move the food through your digestive tract.  (Specific food suggestions:  1 cup of berries = 83 calories, 1 small Gala apple = 55 calories, 1 cup sliced bell pepper = 46 calories, 1 cup broccoli florets = 30 calories)
  2. Nuts:  Although high in fat, raw nuts are one of the most nutritious, satisfying foods you can eat.  The fat in nuts is monounsaturated and actually has been shown to aid in weight loss.  They taste good and satisfy our need for something crunchy.  Low-sugar nut butters (almond or peanut) are also good choices as long as you enforce portion control.  (Specific food suggestions:  1/2 cup raw almonds = 265 calories, 2 Tablespoons almond or peanut butter = 190 calories)
  3. Low-fat Dairy and Non-Dairy Foods:  Yogurt is one of the most nutritious dairy products that can help you lose weight.  Non-dairy foods like tofu offer lots of protein and are low in fat.  Almond milk is my favorite non-dairy food. (Specific food suggestions:  1/2 cup of firm tofu = 88 calories, 5 ounces plain fat-free Greek yogurt [with a dash of vanilla extract and sweetened with stevia] = 80 calories, 1 cup almond milk = 30 calories)
  4. Potatoes:  Any kind of potato except a FRIED potato is good for you.  It’s high in fiber and filling.  I must stress portion control, again, because a single potato (boiled, baked, or broiled with salt and pepper) cannot derail your weight loss efforts.  (Specific food suggestion:  1 medium baked potato = 161 calories)
  5. Whole Grains:  Whole grains in pastas, rice, and breads are not refined and have more nutrients.  Whole grains are complex carbs and we know what they do for us — leave us feeling full longer.  I have to give a plug for my favorite bread, Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread.  You can find this in the freezer section of health food stores or in your local Harris Teeter.  It makes a delicious sandwich and is great with my Basic Egg Scramble in the mornings.  You can find different varieties, such as the Ezekiel 4:9 English muffins, Sesame, and Cinnamon Raisin breads.  (Two slices of Ezekiel 4:9 bread have 160 calories and 0 sugars!)
  6. Water:  Water hydrates the body, helps with digestion, and has nutrients and minerals that our bodies need.  Best of all it’s calorie free and cheap!  (Duh!)

Image Source:  www.drsharma.ca

If you read the rest of the first chapter of Daniel, you will find that Daniel and the others who ate his diet of fresh foods and water were healthier than the rest of the men  who ate the king’s rich, calorie-laden foods and wine.  The king considered Daniel so wise that he made Daniel his personal servant, which put Daniel in a position to do God’s work later on.

Like Daniel, we need to eat the whole, fresh foods that God provides for us.  Ridding our diets of processed foods is one of the healthiest, most productive decisions we can make.

Remember, our desire is to eat to live, NOT live to eat.  If you have a favorite food from any of these categories, please share them in the comments.

shr

Weight Loss Wisdom 3

I recently read an article entitled “10 Weight Loss Tips from the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.”  It was informative and since Duke University is right in my own back yard (give or take 70 miles), I decided to share this information with you.  You can visit the Duke Diet and Fitness Center (DDFC) website here to see what it offers.

1.  Eat more!

Choose a full plate of healthy foods.  Often, DDFC clients will say that they are scared they’ll be hungry when they first start the program.  But they change their minds when they see the meals they’re served.  Most clients say it’s more food than they normally eat at a meal.  Your body has to have fuel.  The DDFC uses the USDA‘s MyPlate instead the food pyramid.  If you look at a round plate, half that plate should be filled with healthy fruits and vegetables.  One-quarter of the plate should be filled with healthy proteins, to include fish once or twice a week.  The last quarter of the plate should be filled with carefully chosen, fiber-rich starches like beans, legumes, brown rice, or quinoa.

Image Source:  www.choosemyplate.gov

2.  Plan your meals.

Not only should you plan WHAT you’re going to eat, but WHEN you’re going to eat.  Eating small meals every three to four hours will keep you from becoming ravenous.  Being ravenous leads you to eat any-and-everything you can get your hands on.  Starting with breakfast within an hour of rising, don’t skip meals.  Don’t let your hunger reach the point of no return.

3.  Keep a food journal.

Write down what you eat on paper or use an internet helper such as MyFitnessPal.com or CalorieCounter.com.  The dieticians at Duke have found that you get off your eating plan if you don’t keep track of what you eat.

4.  Curb the emotional eating.

Before devouring a dozen chocolate chip cookies or half a box of Krispy Creme doughnuts, you should stop and ask yourself some questions:

  • Am I really hungry?
  • What am I feeling right now?
  • What do I really need?
  • What can I do instead?
  • If I eat this, how many calories am I going to have to burn?
  • How long with I have to exercise to burn these calories?

One DDFC client has put a note on her refrigerator that reads: WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS NOT IN HERE!  

5.  Have a daily indulgence.

Allow yourself one treat that is no more than 10% of your daily calorie count.  (For example, most days I eat 1200 calories. My indulgence would be something with 120 calories or less.)  In doing this, don’t choose your trigger food.  Choose something that tastes good but will not cause you to lose control.

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6.  Don’t beat yourself up.

Okay, so you ate the dozen chocolate cookies or the entire box of doughnuts — you can’t ruin your diet in one day, says Christine B. Tenekjian, a dietician at DDFC.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  If you need to rid yourself of the guilt, journal about what you were feeling before you over-indulged and try to figure out why you did it.

7.  Walk it off!

People that come to the DDFC often have not been active in quite a while.  Fitness experts there start their clients on a walking regimen — short distances at first, then working up to 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.  A pedometer is an inexpensive investment that will give you great feedback.  (Personally, I use the free Runtastic app on my iPhone.  It has a pedometer, a distance monitor, and a timer.  There are also other apps that do the very same thing.  Just do an app search for “pedometers.”)

8.  Make your work out simple.

Working out in a gym is nice but not always affordable or feasible.  It’s just as easy to set up a workout routine in your own home:  doing squats, wall push ups, tricep dips from a chair, ab crunches,  leg lifts, and using resistance bands are all effective exercises as long as you do them two or three times a week, one or two sets of 8-12 repetions each.

9.  Rise and shine!

DDFC has found that people who do their daily workouts first thing in the morning have a better chance of sticking with it. With the busy lives we lead, there’s just too much of a chance that something will come up and take priority over our workout time if it’s later in the day.  Decide to become a morning person (it’s hard — but I personally learned to do it after more than half my life of being a “night person”) and set a routine that’s hard to get interrupted.

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10.  Be creative in your motivation.

There’s more to motivation than just setting a weight loss goal.  What happens when you run into a plateau and become discouraged?  DDFC advocates finding a partner for accountability and motivation or changing up your routine to get out of a rut.  Any routine that become “routine” is boring.  When you get bored, you run the chance of abandoning your goals.  I found a great article on one of my favorite websites, Everyday Health, that offers some great tips.  You can read the article here.

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I am praying for you all.  Whatever challenge you’re facing, God is listening.  It’s one of the ways I curb the emotional eating — I pray.  If I get caught up in talking to my Heavenly Father, I find that my emotional needs are met in a much bigger way than any half-gallon of ice cream ever could.

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