Monthly Archives: July 2011

Are YOU a MAMIL??

What IS that you say?

Let me preface this by saying my husband gets to buy some sporting goods for a few retail stores…  we get all sorts of great information of trends and such.  Well our last issue of “Sports Insight” had a great cover and lead story about “The Mamil Movement”….

The MAMIL movement demographic shown here...

MAMIL = Middle-Aged Men (and women) in Lycra.

Before you start laughing…  it actually made so much sense!

This demographic as been BOOMING in the industry… and despite the poor economy, the numbers have continued to go up and people desire MORE for their health.  Food awareness, and shows like “The Biggest Loser” have pushed people around the country to take a long hard look at the consequences their food consumption and activity levels have made.  Many of the women are at an age where they have a bit more time to actually focus on some of the aspects they’ve put off… either due to children, work or schedules.  It’s highly likely you, or someone you know is part of that movement… It goes beyond middle age, but there is definitely a large increase in health awareness in this country.

I’ve shared that I enjoy doing my DVDs at home… that’s just my personality, and it works with my lifestyle of lots of little ones and not a whole lot of extra time.

BUT – a MAJORITY of people in this movement for getting healthy are big into gyms, personal trainers, triathlons,  marathons, half-marathons… and things like the Couch to 5K races.  Maybe it’s just on their “bucket list”, but it’s great to see a trend in the right direction… It’s also awesome to know that so many people are realizing how important it is to eat right and move to feel good!

The downside of this can be the long-term goals and lasting motivation.  Often times I read on Facebook that someone did a huge race – followed up by some comment regarding the worst meal they could ever eat from McDonald’s…  They check something off of that bucket list and then leave fitness and nutrition by the wayside for the next best thing, or short-term satisfaction.

Our goals to live and be healthy are larger than ONLY short-term race training or just trying to look like a fitness model.  We want to transform our minds so that when that race is over…  we keep running, and set MORE goals.

We are works of progress in all areas of life.  Whatever way you choose to move – just move more today than yesterday!  Look at ways you can change things up to make your food choices the best they can be.  It doesn’t have to be an over night thing, in fact – slow and steady wins the race.  Look to Jesus for your strength in all things…  When you’re tired, worn out and don’t feel like it – look UP!  He is every reason you’ll ever need.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 -Hebrews 12:1-2

Are you WORTH It?

Maybe you have a low self-worth…

Maybe you’re lacking GOD esteem.

Have we forgotten the One who created us for His purpose?

Sometimes in my self centeredness, I would forget who “my health” was about.  It really wasn’t about me…

I had been blessed with so much.

Each day we wake up – we have just “that day” to conquer…  We can choose what we eat… choose how we move…

Are we going to make excuses on why we will “start tomorrow”, why today isn’t a good day to make a positive change to be healthy for Him?

I did that…  for a long time.

I would focus on the short-term satisfaction… forgetting God wanted to see me maximizing my blessings for His glory.

Once I truly realized my health was a witness… it completely changed my heart on the issue.  When people are able to see you’re different – in multiple ways… and in ways that you’re able to bring glory to God… then they ask questions.

They want to know how THEY can look and feel amazing…

Then ….  it’s as if a door opens.

We can choose to say something WE have done… changes WE have made…

OR

We can turn the glory and focus to God …. who deserves the glory, and honor for what He has done.

Thank you God for your prompting me to listen…. and thank you for helping me realize *I AM* worth dying for.

(You are too!  Now get out and encourage someone else to get healthyforhim! There is a share button at the bottom of this page just waiting for you to CLICK it! Try it out!)

That’s It! Have me Committed!

Let's talk vending machines... WHY don't they have any decent options? What would you pick if these were your only options?

That’s right, I’m turning myself in!

In a world that takes commitment and sacrifice to others lightly, the Bible contrasts that with a God who is full of grace, mercy, and never-ending love.  The statistics for marriage are grim, including in the church… and I believe a lot of it has to do with lack of TRUE commitment.

One must ask – WHO is your commitment in life to?  Who is your Authority and Creator?

If you think you’re committed to yourself… or someone else alone – that’s not going to get you very far.  Marriages and commitments in general fail miserably when the joint commitment is to anything other than God.  Whatever that other “thing”, be it a friend, spouse, program or whatever can become your idol.  Most of the time it’s actually self…  as in SELFISHNESS, pride, and the like.  We want to “believe in ourselves”… do what “makes us happy”… you’ve heard it all before…

Maybe you’ve believed it and didn’t even realize what you were being sold.  Often times we think it’s harmless or a catch phrase.

WRONG.  It’s an idol – and if we’re not careful we believe it.

When it came to my health… it was certainly going to  have to be an iron clad commitment.  I had to be convicted that it would be a commitment worth making to God… just like in a marriage.

After all, without a commitment to God…  was going to be too easy to cheat, or fall of the wagon…

Times are going to be tough.  Things are going to challenge you to look another way… (Mmmm… that extra cookie looks good, who is it going to hurt – right?)  You’re going to have to fight to stay on the narrow path of righteousness for the sake of your commitment…  and know in your heart the Truth of the consequences of your choices.

That’s right.  The only way this is going to work is if you commit your way unto the Lord.

I mentioned I attended a photography seminar this past weekend.  A lot of what I learned was marketing information, and I just eat that stuff up.  I love being able to apply what I learn to so many different areas of life – and share with others, and other businesses little nuggets of inspiration to help them thrive as well.  I truly get excited about seeing others succeed in Him too.  Well, one of the areas that was discussed, was in regards to goals.  There were some statistics shared from the American Society for Training and Development that stated the following in regards to succeeding in your goals.  Watch how the number changes based on what is done with your goals.

1) DECIDE to make a goal – 25% success rate

2) SETTING A TIMEFRAME to complete your goal – 40% success rate

3) DEVELOP A PLAN by writing it down and how to get there – 50% success rate

4) COMMIT the goal to someone – 65% success rate

5) ACCOUNTABILITY appointment with someone – 95% success rate

Whoa!!   Do you SEE that??

So you can see your odds increase in being SUCCESSFUL in your goals the more you invest in that commitment.  If your commitment and your accountability is to God… do you think He is going to be on your side?  Of course!!  He wants what is best for us!!

“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.”  Psalm 37:5

You Give FOOD A Bad Name…

Deli thins and apple sauce. Two great staples when we're traveling!

It’s no wonder so much of our society is overweight.  With the go, go, go mentality of this world, and the buy into “faster is better”… you can bet a lot of people who buy in, eat out a lot.

When we travel, we eat “in” a lot .  We have hotel “floor picnics” often, and this not only saves money, but helps you be more flexible in knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body.  We’re able to supplement meals to include the food groups and better quality food as well.

This weekend I went to a photography seminar, so we had a bit of eating out while on the go.   We grabbed some of the better choices we could at a restaurant on the way home and I looked around shaking my head at some of their marketing.

I noticed a slogan on one of their posters, as I awaited our order… said something like “the perfect meal…”

It showed a large fry, a hamburger dripping with white saucy stuff, and a large soft drink.

Hmmmm.

Anyone else for a big, FAT, YUCK?  I feel my arteries filling up and hardening as I type.

I was tempted several times to shoot pictures of the white buns that came with some of the sandwiches we ordered a couple of times on our trip – but I tossed them in the trash before I gave it another thought.  I honestly LAUGH at big, fat, white buns now.  They are hilarious to me.  They’re so full of nothing and lack taste – and you could smash them into a flat patty, then squish it into a ball that would fit into the palm of your hand and they would still have a poor nutritional value.

I truly can’t believe I ever ate that… what a waste of calories!  We’ve studied the menus a lot at our regular “eat out” places – to figure out what is going to be the best option for us.  That is very freeing!

Instead, if I decided to have a “bun” – I opt for the whole wheat deli-thin option.

In case you’ve never tried these goodies they can replace all sorts of “bun” and bread options for you.**  They’re tasty for breakfast and have less carbs than an english muffin, they’re perfect for hamburgers, chicken, cold meat sandwiches and they even have the longer flat ones that work for (gasp) turkey hotdogs or organic brats!  Also a lot of MOTTS Plus applesauce was consumed with some fresh fruit options and yogurt!  I do love summer!

** We normally get Pepperidge Farm’s whole wheat deli thins, or the OroWheat whole wheat brand. It just so happened that this was all the store had on our trip, so I bought these mulitgrain ones that day.

What better choices are you making to be healthy for HIM?

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other; with my flesh the law of sin.  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law and sin of death.” – Romans 7:25, 8:1-2

I AM Beautiful.

Read about how Stephanie realized just how beautiful she is… Her transformation allowed her to shed 25 lbs (since last fall) along the way – NOT dieting! She has been transformed INSIDE – out.

Say hello to Steph... she's been transformed inside OUT!

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a perfect………………..

PEAR!

I have been a perfect pear for as long as I can remember. Yes, I have saddle bags, thunder thighs, a bumpy dairy air!

For years I would look at my body in disgust.

Why couldn’t I just chop those saddle bags off?!?!

I suffered from a low self image about my body and was determined to do something about it! Overweight and
highly frustrated, I turned to running 9 years ago. I have been running ever since, but guess what???

Those saddle bags came right along with me.

It wasn’t until I read Scale Down: Live it Up by Danna Demetre that I realized that
running alone wasn’t going to change me the way I needed to be changed. I needed to put down my old self and put on God.

I needed to put God’s Truth first and to stop telling myself lies. I squared off with those lies and I replaced them with the
Truth.

I am beautiful!

I am wonderfully made!

I am loved! I am designed for a purpose!

I meditated on Psalm 139:14 for a good month before it began to transform my mind in Him, and I still meditate on this gem today!

You see, I have always exercised, but I forgot to give God the glory for how He made me.

I forgot the #1 thing, God.

I still have saddle bags, but they’re much smaller and I still run, but now with more purpose. Now I see me as BEAUTIFUL, STRONG, and
HEALTHY for Him!

So if your struggling right now with how you look, I challenge you to tell yourself the truth, just as you are right now!

You ARE beautiful!!

You ARE wonderfully made!!

You ARE loved! You ARE designed for a purpose!

Memorize Psalm 139:14. Say it to yourself as you look in the mirror. Put on the lens of God and know that you are His and you
are……………Perfect!

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

Please. Drink Responsibly….

My "Hydracoach bottle" is a water coach that keeps me on task with drinking my H2O!

Water that is.

I’m not sure where you live – but it’s kinda warm out lately.

Scratch that.  It’s CRAZY hot out.

The hotter it is, the more we sweat… even when we’re not trying to sweat, we need that water to flush our systems.  In July, in Kansas, I can almost look out the window and bead up!  Normally I refer to my sweating as “glistening”… as I’m usually not a person who sweats a lot.  However… lately I have been sweating a ton.

How about you?  Are you drinking enough water?  Add in a workout or other external factors, nursing, pregnant, sick, climate, altitude (and if you’re drinking other things like alcoholic or other diuretic drinks) you need even MORE water for your body to stay hydrated.

Your body is 60% water.  So what do you think affects the scale the most day-to-day?  Do you think you really lose and gain pounds of FAT that quickly?  It’s more likely the shift of water in your system.

Did you know that when you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated of the water its needing?  Sometimes people even mistake thinking they’re hungry, for their body actually being thirsty.  This is ONE of the reasons drinking more water will help you lose weight!!

I’m thankful we live in a country where access to clean water isn’t an issue!  We really don’t have good excuses.

I’ve often heard other people say they “don’t like” water or forget to drink it enough.  They fill the void with other drinks that will dehydrate their bodies and contain, sugar, chemicals, caf­feine, and alcohol.

We can do the same thing with God.  We can just “forget” to spend time with Him… and slack off thinking it’s really not that big of a deal.  Just like we can drink the wrong things…  we can often fill our lives with things that pull us away from the very One who we need most.

We need to be purposeful in drinking our water and stay committed, as we continue growing in Him, through His Word.

I drink about 20-30 ounces of water with breakfast, the same for lunch and dinner.  I drink some before I work out, while I workout and before bed.  My goal is about 80-100 ounces of water for my body size, and external factors.

A thoughtful friend even got me a “HYDRACOACH” water bottle for my birthday to help me track how much water I was needing each day.  It’s pretty fun because you program it with your weight, and it tracks the percentage of what you’ve had… to help you get a handle on it and monitor that you’re not falling behind!  The children love letting me know what my “percentage” is for the day.

Share some of the ways you remember to drink H2O throughout the day!  How’s the Truth Pack coming along??  Nope… I’m not letting it go that easy!

“As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.”

Psalm 42:1

And the List Goes On…

A few years back, I heard a song at a mother/daughter tea….  it was called “the List Goes On”.  My MIL talked me into singing it for a women’s conference being held at our church.  The point of the song was a mother singing about how the list is never done… (it goes on, and on and on….) and the children chime in every few words with the reality that children often do…

“I have to go potty….”

“Someone needs a diaper…”

“We’re late for the Dr…”

It was a perfect song for me to sing – and I often cried when I practiced it because it was so real, it spoke volumes of how I felt mostly each day.

Well Steven Curtis Chapman recently came out with a song that has a similar “speak to me” feel…only this one is more of a reminder of how EVERYTHING we do matters to God.  It’s called “Do Everything…”

It talks about the things we think are “little”, and how they  DO matter to Him.

How we respond, speak, think and act.  Our job, our mission field – whether it’s in your house… or in another country.  It ALL matters to Him.

Oh….

And how we eat take care of our bodies is also very important to God.

YEP – that totally matters too!

It. ALL. Matters.

Your health is a witnessing tool.  It’s an outward example of how God is working inside out!  Utilize it for His glory!!

What changes are you making right now – and where do you need encouragement most?  Who has started their “truth pack”?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17

Tips to Grow On!

Here is what my spot at the table looks like. Why yes, that is a child's plate! 🙂

Most of the time it’s painful…  I don’t like computer upgrades, or detours in my schedule… God continues working on me.  I will say He’s made progress, I can see… but I still cringe at the word.

CHANGE.

We like comfortable, don’t we?

I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me get healthy for Him.

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

OUCH.  God’s word is super powerful.  You know, you can read the same verse, for years… and then one day *face-pop* – it grabs you. “Oooooh yeeeaah…I get it!”  Sometimes it hurts, and it hurts deep…

But it’s a good painful.  God uses it for His best for us.  Think of it like exercise!  It reaps rewards that are beneficial to us in so many ways.

For me, memorizing God’s word has been the most important element in transforming my health.  It has helped me in times of trouble, temptation and being tired… It has encouraged me to keep going, to not give up, and to not feel guilty.  It’s reminded me that God wants progress, not perfect…

So I wrote down verses that spoke to me, onto index cards and I put them up around my house to remind me of my goals….  and I kept them at my table to read while I ate, and in my mirror of my room when I get ready each day.  (On the table, we have a plastic covering on our tables to protect them from major ‘oopsies’ from the kids right now, so I slip them right under there and in the shower we laminate them so they stay nicer longer!)

Another reader shared with me an idea that she got from a blog on parenting – creating a “truth pack” full of scriptures to help your kids work on a character trait/heart issue they struggle with … but she suggested it could totally be applied to transforming your mind on HEALTH as well!  Great idea!!

I found this index card notebook at Walmart! Great for loading up with Scriptures to keep you on track!

Since school supplies are busting out all over, now is a great time to find some cool bound index cards and make your own little encouragement “truth pack”.  I challenge you to write one out each day, or start by going back through the blogs (there is a Scripture at the end of each blog) and writing a scripture down on each page …. to serve as a “help” from God to review a couple of times each day!

Decorate your book, make it fun – make it interesting – something you WANT to go to…and allow God’s word to transform your heart and mind on His plans for you.

The other tip I have is for PORTION control.  This was a major issue I had, even after I had made lots of healthy changes…  just not knowing “how much” was too much, and always leaning more on the generous side, in favor of my stomach.  Once I realized my stomach could only comfortably hold about 2 cups of food for my size…  I thought, “No wonder I feel sick when I over eat.  Ick!”

So, while we got these great looking plates when we were married, we never use them at this stage in life. We use the plastic kid plates!  Instead of putting the main dish in the largest part, that is now where we put our salad.  The middle size is for our main dish or meat (fist size is a good serving or 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of a casserole) and then fruit goes in the smallest part (cupped in your hand is a good serving).  Ta-dah!  Now we’re not so tempted to over eat… because we can see proportionately what we need, vs. thinking we’re so hungry and over eating!  If I over eat anything – it’s salad…

Hope these tips are helpful to you!  Here’s to a great week of being healthy for Him!

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  – Romans 12:2

Feeling Guilty for YOU Time?

This is a fantastic book by Elizabeth Elliot on being a Proverbs 31 woman. Growing in Him should be body, soul and spirit! What great books have grown you the most?

I used to think people who were super fit, did it for vanity.  After all, when I worked out in highschool and college, it was because I wanted to maintain a certain shape, to look a certain way.  I didn’t consider helping my body to perform at it’s best…

When I was in college, I took HORRIBLE care of my body.  I ate terrible, kept terrible hours… and put my health in last place when it came to feeding my body and nurturing it some sleep.  BUT,  I did go to the rec center a lot…  I did the stepper, the treadmill, played some ball… pretended to be a runner.  (Major fail)

I can still picture this one evening in my mind…

I’m working out on the stepper… I have my headset cranked way up to some pumping music and out of the corner of my eye I see this girl walk in…. poured into a workout outfit that was rarely seen at this establishment.  (Maybe most of the girls were modest, but I’m guessing most people wouldn’t have felt comfortable showing any part of their body they didn’t care for in a spandex suit back in the late 90s.)  This girl had the most fit little figure I had ever seen… and in the words of Jillian “you could have bounced a quarter off of her behind.”

I’m sure my mouth was hanging open… not only at her outfit but her ability to wear it so well.  I wondered WHY she was there.  In my mind, people worked out when they wanted to look good – they didn’t work out if they already looked good.

What I didn’t do back then, was consider ALL she was doing to look and feel like that, probably on a daily basis… obviously people aren’t just born that way.  She was taking the maintence steps to take care of her body.  I, on the other hand, was just focusing on what I saw, the outer shell – but who knew what was underneath… and her motivation.  It was rather presumptuous of me to look at judge her or be jealous of her… for any reason.  After all, what was *I* doing to work on what God had given to me?

It was people “like her” – that made me believe the lie that maybe working out was for vanity only and was to achieve a goal (looking good), then you didn’t have to “do it” anymore.   Feeling good wasn’t really in the equation.

As I grew older, and bigger, and had more children…  that whole “me time” factor is what turned me away from exercising.  I had become comfortable in the fact that I was out of shape, because I didn’t have time to exercise, and besides…  it was a great excuse to not make the time, THAT would be selfish.

Did God’s word say that?

No, in fact He tells us to take care of our bodies, as they are a temple of the Holy Spirit in us. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Could it be another message the world puts on us?  A lie we believe and feel guilty about?

Even now – several of my workout DVDs say all sorts of mumbo-jumbo like “focus on YOU…. this is YOU TIME…  celebrate what YOU have done…YOU. YOU. YOU…”

If you don’t watch out – you can be bombarded with so many messages everywhere that are quick to remind you life is “all about you“… and “what you want to make YOU happy”…  forgetting the most important factor in your relationship with God and all things.  God Himself.

As the world pushes their message on you…  you may start to believe the lie in other areas of your life – that working out and eating right is selfish…  or on the other end of the spectrum, be consumed with the ideal that it IS all about you.

Unless of course…. you remember the Truth.

When I hear those messages now… I just combat them in my head with the Truth that I’ve worked on memorizing.  I focus on the Scriptures that God presents as His desires for me.  I remember who I’m doing this for.

I remember that I’m worth it – because He says I am.

So then, it’s not JUST for me.  It’s not JUST for my husband and role modeling for my kids… It’s not just to avoid gaining weight that will weigh me down in all areas of my health…

Most importantly it’s for God.

It’s taking what He has blessed me with … a healthy body that moves, and giving him the best return on His investment.

It took a long while of God transforming my mind on the issues at hand.  Looking good can be part of the equation… but it’s secondary to feeling good…

We’re not talking about hours upon hours.  We’re talking about 15 minutes a day to an hour.  How much tv time could you give up…. or computer time.  *gulp*

Don’t feel guilty.  Just get movin’ for Him!

“For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Pride… and HOPE!

God created SO many awesome, colorful foods! Here is my typical lunch - green leaf lettuce salad, peppers, cucumbers, shredded chicken, cottage cheese and sunflower seeds. Delish!

I tend to avoid things I don’t want to deal with.  Do you ever do this?

I know it’s not a good answer, or even a righteous one…  but I’m aware that sometimes it’s the cop-out I take.

WHY do I do that?

Pride.

When it came to educating myself Biblically on matters that just MIGHT convict me… or, rather… I knew would convict me… well… I avoided those things all the more.

When my husband came home from a business trip 7 years ago, and told me he thought homeschooling would be the best decision for our family.  I thought he had lost his mind (again).

Nope.  I *knew* God wasn’t going to lead me to do that…. (because I didn’t want to do it…) I avoided this book he suggested I read, and prayed my husband would come to his senses!

Well you know God…  When He wants something out of you – He hunts you down.  He’s relentless and doesn’t let you go on the matter.

He sets you on fire.

Suddenly every Scripture you read – blares whatever conviction He’s throwing at you.  Everyone you talk to seems to bring up this “random” topic… and you start realizing… maybe – just maaaaybe… you should listen up and pay attention!!

I realize most people know what they’re supposed to be doing when it comes to their health.  They just choose not to do it.

I was the same way.

Pride.

They tell me this all the time… “oh yeah, I know that… I just don’t do it.”

Okay great… so we KNOW what to do… God just isn’t important enough to make the change?  Is that what we’re saying?

We know we’d feel better if considered more closely what we put into our mouths.

We know we’d feel better if  we made it a point to exercise regularly each day.

We know quality of food and drink matters to how we feel and function.

So basically…

We’re comfortable being uncomfortable and do not wish to change?

Fabulous… we know SO much…. that we know the outcome!  When we aim at nothing – we’ll hit it every time!!

Just a reminder that when we put God in front of ourselves on this journey…   When we stop being selfish for short-term satisfaction, and prideful of already knowing it all but not acting when being prompted – God has some wonderful blessings in store we won’t want to miss!

Lay all of your frustrations at His feet.  He promises to be right there every step (and bite) of the way! 🙂

Share some of the blessings of HOPE He has given you along the way… as you strive to be healthy for Him!

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  – Romans 5:3-5

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