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Diets Rated and Balance

My husband and I try to shop smart.  Years ago, I thought maybe he was a little crazy for his obsession with Consumer Reports before we made purchases for our home and life.

It didn’t take long for me to realize he was onto something… Consumer Reports has been a great resource for so many purchases over our married lifetime.   It rates products you consider purchasing based on how they really work (or don’t).

We went without it for a couple of years when things were tight, and we borrowed it from my Father-in-law because we just couldn’t live without it.

Well, a few months ago… Consumer Reports rated: DIETS.

June 2011 Issue of Consumer Reports

Yes.  You read that correctly.

I thought…”What?”  But I had to read on… you know how I loathe that word.

The facts are, people DO invest in diets… sometimes several different types of diets, trying to reach their goals or maintain a healthy weight.

And … throughout that process, people might even lose weight.  People may even show remarkable changes in how they eat… for a time.  But statistically so many people “drop out” before they get very far.

Why is that??

My guess would be the commitment (who is their commitment to?) and the goals (who are they trying to be healthy for?) aspect.  Often times access to the specific foods, or rigid rules wear people out and they go back to their old ways.  What they’re missing is NOT changing their lifestyle.  They think of the word diet, as a short-term goal to meet their short-term expectations for their life.

Well… Jenny Craig was the winner – with people weighing 8% less than when they started after 2 years.  Jenny Craig has specific “branded” meals to eat, and a weekly counselor to check in with (by phone or in person).  The other diets reviewed were Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, Zone, Ornish, Atkins and Nutri-System.

All of this sounds great, right?  IF any of them were training you to be able to do this in the “real world”… on your “own” without their rules, meals and guidelines.

But that’s not what is going on here.

What these diets want to do, is sell you stuff… and keep you coming back for more.  Many people ride a roller coaster of gaining and losing weight over and over again… and that’s what they’re hoping for.

The problem is, these diets were focused on one thing – SELLING something.  Selling food, books, magazines, ideas… and they really didn’t care about YOU specifically, or your heart issues on food and exercise.

God does.

Be aware.  WHO is it that you want to be healthy FOR?  If your goals are to be healthy for Him… then with His strength, you should be able to make the most sensible choices in any situation because your eyes are on the Lord.

So, while countless “health experts” and workout coaches have some great info to share, and products to sell… don’t be duped into following it like a religion.  Use His standard to figure out what the Truth is.

Does God doesn’t want you to be micromanaging your calorie intake for the rest of your life or working out to the point of it being an idol.  (He made variety for a reason!)  He wants you to live freely, but use wisdom in your choices.

Balance.

God isn’t looking for perfection from me or you… He’s looking for us to draw our strength from Him in all things…  even in HEALTH.

 “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4

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

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

Healthy for WHO? I’m SELF-Motivated.

Grilling meats are a great way to spice up your menu, while keeping your foods healthy and lean! I love summer foods! What's your favorite thing to grill?

I’m a pretty motivated person myself.  I realize a lot people just assume things are easy for me because of that…  but I would have to disagree.  Things aren’t easier…  and just having a motivated mindset doesn’t make things happen.

Healthy for Him was an easy choice for a blog name because that’s why I truly wanted to get healthy. Having goals and being “self” motivated is great… but as with most things, we wear out on our power, our motivation, and our strength…

God doesn’t.

He never loses sight of His goals for us. He never forgets His plans for us… His purpose.

When I shared the Scale Down study with my friends this past spring, I was filled with joy when one of them said,

“You used to say, ‘God just did it’ (in regards to the transformation of my mind and body)… and I didn’t understand that. NOW, I do!”

That is the total truth.

I’ve just learned about things over the years, continued to fine tune, kept at it through 2 more pregnancies (without gestational diabetes!) and committed my ways unto the Lord… and He continues to show me what a “healthy me for Him” is.

People couldn’t see the changes in me immediately… they didn’t know what was happening… but I felt it.  We were struggling emotionally throught a lot – and God was busy transforming.  (This is when I believe He does His best work!)

It’s not an overnight process.  As with most great things… it takes time.  The WORTH of the investment though, is priceless.

I’m still learning, as we all should be still learning… we are GROWING in Him and close to Him!

Don’t hold onto guilt that you didn’t make this move sooner. Know in your heart that God uses trials to fill us with a desire to get after it for His glory. He’s faithful like that, and forgiving too.

So if you’re one of those people who tells yourself the common lies:

“I just can’t stop eating…”

“I just can’t say no to desserts!”

“Nothing works, I’ve tried every diet.” (fantastic, because THIS isn’t a diet!) 🙂

“I hate exercising”…

and on and on and ON!

Then I suggest you get real with yourself.

The strength, and power, and hope YOU need to make healthy changes – are ALL from God. It’s not just about YOU. It’s about refining YOU for Him. He wants you to call on Him – especially in our struggles, and especially in our health. The Truth is right there in His word, just waiting for you to read it!

Make a list of reasons you NEED to live healthy.  I’ll share mine with you:

1. Bring glory to God!

2. To live life to the fullest in all things!

3. Role model to your children the importance of taking care of your body!

4. Be a good witness to your other brothers and sisters in Christ!

5. To feel well and be at your best every day!

I suggest you post your goals – for the bad days, when you’re tired, or lonely or you can’t see how things are going to change. Then you can remind yourself of WHY again you’re choosing to make your health a priority for HIM when it feels like you’d like to skip that workout one more time this week, or have that extra bite when you’re already full. Your health is a worship to Him.

You may not feel like you’re worth it.  But HE is worth it.  Shift your mindset.  Put God first.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. “- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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