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I Wish I Had Time For…

I get lots of compliments when I take my salad places... don't have salad envy! You can make one too!

We’ve all said it before.

Perhaps we didn’t realize what we were really implying.  But, when I hear this… I sometimes think – people must think someone else has a boatload more time than they do, if they’re fitting in whatever it is that person is longing to do.

Guess what?  That’s not the truth.

You’re fitting everything in that is important, that needs to be done…. and if you’re not fitting it in, it’s not a priority.

Hey, I know sometimes it feels like you don’t have enough time – believe me, I feel it too.  When I’ve over scheduled… and under prioritized, and said yes to everyonebut my MAKER, and my family.  I fail and am miserable.

But honestly, think of how things go when someone passes away… and there are “emergencies” to be taken care of – and you rearrange your schedule, and you MAKE it fit, because that is just what people do.  They MAKE time for what is important to them.  We do this without a funeral too – EVERY. DAY.

Well, on a much lighter note – making a salad is important to me, EVERY lunch time.

I plan for it.  I make sure I have my supplies on hand… and lo and behold, it happens!  Crazy.

I’m not some guru, nor am I’m not trying really hard – I just make it a priority – so it’s not a pain, and it doesn’t take a lot of time!

So here’s the scoop!  Are you ready for this secret revealed??

I get several bunches of green leaf lettuce every week, along with a cucumber and a pepper or any other veggie I’m desiring that week.   [We are able to go to the grocery store mid-week also, so we are able to restock if we need to on the green leaf lettuce bunch.]

I clean my lettuce and cut it into big leaves – and put it in my crisper from Wal-Mart.  I put down 3-4 paper towels, then the cleaned lettuce leaves – and then more paper towels to soak up extra moisture and keep the lettuce fresh.  I them put my uncut veggies into a separate crisper just for smaller veggies  and I got it from Tupperware.  The rest of the things I always stock – low sodium, Sara Lee oven roasted chicken (shredded), sunflower seeds and cottage cheese.  Easy!  I just pull my items out at lunch, or pack it in the AM to take it with me.

My Tupperware crisper (blue) and salad crisper from Wal-Mart

Then I have no excuses… because it’s really NOT. THAT. HARD.  Would you agree?

Don’t tell me you “don’t have time” for a nice salad.  I won’t believe you.  God is worth it – plan ahead and get into some new routines that will help you have the RIGHT items on hand!  This will make it SO much easier to be healthy for Him!

“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

Flapjacks for You… Flapjacks for ME!

 

Our homemade pancakes cookin' up!

 

This new move by some restaurants to post their nutritional information is a great move in the right direction.  I’ve read reports that say people are eating 300-600 fewer calories when they’re eating out – AND paying attention to the information provided.  That will certainly add up over time – in your favor!

Personally I think it should be offered as a courtesy and then the restaurants might try a little harder to make things better for their consumers because I can almost guarantee some of those dishes wouldn’t sell NEARLY as well as they currently do, as people ignorantly gobble up endless calories and FAT.

When my husband was in Portland on business, he said that it was a state law that all of the menus had the information.  Which, while helpful… also made him feel a little ill about eating out so much.  For those of you who travel a lot for business or otherwise, I feel for you – it’s much more difficult to be creative meal after meal on the go.

One of the most difficult meals for him was breakfast.  He always used to enjoy pancakes on trips such as these… and those meals had 1000-1500 a pop.  Whoa.  Can you say almost a days worth of calories for someone like me?

When we first looked and curbing our intake to be inline with what our bodies were designed to handle, we were shocked at several of the breakfast restaurants information online – pancakes especially … because it almost didn’t seem to matter if you got “plain” pancakes, vs the wheat germ ones… the portions, calories and carbs were just TOO much for one person.  Maybe not a big deal once in a while (but you still are going to have to use or burn through those calories SOMETIME so why eat them all at once if they’re going to just turn into FAT?) but if you’re on a vacation, or a business trip… those are REALLY going to add up day after day.

(People WONDER why they gain 5-10 pounds on a trip like that?)  BINGO!

We’ve tried out some healthier pancake options at home… because we LIKE them, and we wanted to see what we could do to improve the option, vs doing away with pancakes altogether!  There are two great mixes we’ve used, and we also have a homemade recipe that was modified from a friend that I will soon share.  Both are much better options, and still enjoyed very much!  That’s the key… we don’t have to STOP eating EVERYTHING we enjoyed… we just need to cut it back, change it up… and make it BETTER for us and our families.

A couple of the mixes we enjoy! We have pancakes maybe 1-2 times a month.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36

Too Good To Be True?

You’ve heard it before… if it sounds too good to be true – it almost always is.

And yet…

We hope for some magical, awesome tasting goodness that is bottomless, that is 3 net carbs, contains no artificial anything and stays around 100 calories – yes?

Sorry all, it doesn’t exist.  I’ve looked.

My husband and I enjoyed some Orange Leaf yogurt, after our date night this weekend.

The thought of this made me recall the commentary I hear all too often about new frozen yogurt place in our area.  (Similar places are setting up all over the country… maybe you have one near you too!)  Ours is called Orange Leaf.  It sells yogurt that YOU dispense into a bowl, or a waffle bowl, or.. if you’re really feeling wacky – onto a brownie (although I don’t recommend this, I hear it turns the brownie into a frozen ROCK,  not to mention it throws out the “fat free” theory further out the window).

So you take your bowl of whatever flavor is your favorite (choose from about zillion combinations) and then scoop on whatever toppings you wish until you can no longer see anything resembling the ice-cream in your bowl.  (Give or take a spoonful!)

You get the concept?

Thankfully, because God opened my eyes to schemes like this one, I go in – fully aware of what I’m doing.  (Sure, I’ve filled my bowl too full on occasion, it’s very easy to over-estimate your smallish amount – but I’m sure to work that off too because I can calculate what that is going to do in my system.  Remember: Calories in, calories OUT!)

So I see the “7 carbs per ounce”, and I don’t immediately think, “This is good for me.”   I do the math that a 6-7 ounce dish is going to be 42-49 carbs, and about 300-400 calories, depending on what I’m putting on there.  Not quite as healthy as you were thinking huh?  (Especially considering their totals are for the yogurt ONLY).

BUT…
What is the first thing I hear MOST people say about this place?  Usually something like,  “Oh, it’s so great … because it’s FAT FREE, so it’s guilt free.”

First of all, not all yogurt is fat-free, and as we know – this is a marketing scheme and doesn’t mean good things, and it doesn’t mean that it’s harmless.  It should make you wonder what IS in it if it’s FREE of other things?  Secondly… that’s an easy way to get into BIG TROUBLE over consuming calories very quickly.

Maybe you didn’t want to read that… (we prefer NOT know – right?) 🙂  But the truth is… you need to be aware for the sake of being healthy for Him, and taking care of your body.  There is a reason why you don’t feel FULL when you consume it… it’s empty carbs, and it should be treated as a dessert or special TREAT.

Did I mention I’m thankful I don’t live closer to it?

Pray for opportunities to lovingly share with others about the myths out there you used to believe before God opened your mind to the Truth about your health.  As Mark Hall said at the Casting Crowns concert this summer,  we are the BODY of Christ – not the audience.  We don’t learn things to “sit back” and only soak in.  We need to encourage others, and spread the message of what He’s done for us! 🙂  (Don’t be hurt if people don’t immediately feel convicted that being healthy is for them.  Just plant the seed and let God do His best work.  In His time, for His glory alone.)

“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me”. – Matthew 25:45

 

Who IS That Person?

Autumn, a season of change, and new beginnings. What types of new goals can we set to be healthy for Him?

I remember the first time it happened…

I walked by the mirror in a mall.

I stopped.

I went in reverse.

WHO is that person?  I do not recognize the reflection… of the person holding my son’s hand.

Someone has put my head on someone else’s out of shape and exhausted body!

I swore my face hadn’t changed… but looking back NOW, it had.  I just looked at my face daily, so I didn’t notice it as much…

But it was one of the major wake up calls I remember.

I felt robbed some days.  I settled into my “comfortable” zone.

A friend once deemed this “happy fat”…

I call that a lie.  I wasn’t happy, and I felt terrible, but I told myself I was ok.  I wasn’t obese.  (There you go again Sara comparing across, instead of UP!)

We may think it’s a comfortable place that we “know” and feel good about… a place were there are no limitations, and no restrictions in life.  It resembled idol worship.  Because it WAS.  The world’s version of trying to live out heaven “now” – vs. trusting in God’s promises, and working on obedience NOW.

Whether it’s food, or laziness, or lack or priorities… choose your idol.  Mine was all of the above when it came to my health.

I remember when I read Chantel Hobb’s book, “Never Say Diet Again”… she wrote about “visualizing” what you look like.  Not in a “mind over matter” type of way, but in a goal setting type of way.  A healthy image of YOU… one who FEELS good, and in return, looks good…  A self that would make God proud to call you His own.  You see, we don’t have to do anything to be loved by Him, but that shouldn’t be a complacency card either.  It should be our reason to act!

I could picture that person I was supposed to be, but it sure wasn’t the person I SAW that day.  I saw another person and she was in several pictures we took too, to the point that I didn’t want my picture taken ever.  We have almost zero family pictures for about 5 years.  I couldn’t stand seeing that person who felt so horrible…   It wasn’t the weight as much as it was how unhealthy I knew I was, and THAT was the proof.

So how about you?  Do you have a mental image of a healthy you for HIM?  What does she look like and feel like?  How can you work on that today?

I will tell you, the moment I saw pictures of me and felt like I finally saw the image I envisioned, was beyond words.  I didn’t think it was ever possible again.  I put God in a box apparently…  again.  He can do ALL things!

Get up and move and thank Him for the breath we have each day!!  Hope you’re having a great week!

“Then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.  You will surely forget your trouble,  recalling it only as waters gone by.   Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.”

 – Job 11:15-17

Burn, Baby Burn…

Time to put on those shoes and feel the burn! I can't help but break into the Disco Inferno song! Burn baby burn... (picture from retro-cafe.com)

I love a good burn.

No.  Not a sunburn, although I do that quite easily…(Thank you very little age spots!)

I’m talking about AFTERburn.  The calorie burnin’ benefit you get after you exercise that sticks with you!

What is actually going on in your body, is that your increased heart rate from exercising is requiring your body to need more oxygen for a longer period of time and burns double the fat.  AND not only THAT, but depending on the type and intensity of exercise you do,  the afterburn can benefit you up to 40 hours after your work out!!  How awesome is that??

So you don’t need to feel like you “have to” work out an hour each day.  You are actually getting a great benefit for working out 20-40 minutes each day, rather than 1 hour 2-3 times a week!  Now it’s true, the longer you work out, especially after the 30 minute mark, you ARE going to burn more of that stored energy (FAT)… So if you CAN work out longer a few days a week…. then make that a priority and make that happen!

When you turn muscle into fat through purposeful exercise, you end up with more lean muscle… and muscle burns more calories each day in your body…

Not to mention that aerobic exercise helps with…

– lowering body/belly fat

– increasing your cardiovascular strength

– helping your immunity

– speeding up your metabolism and energy levels

– helping you to release GOOD hormones. (AWESOME – yes?)

Who doesn’t want all of those benefits??

ME TOO!!

God certainly made us to MOVE!

When you work out multiple days in a row, your calorie burning machine is soaring and all of the benefits I mentioned before continuing to do your body good!  You want to keep that metabolism ramped up, and continue feeling as good as possible, for as long as possible!

Do you see why I’m more focused on what I can do EACH day, instead of trying to figure out which days I’m taking off?  Why wouldn’t I want to maximize my efforts?  It’s ALWAYS easier to figure out a day to take off, then to justify squeezing in a workout at 10pm or after…   Yet if 11pm is all I have, and I’ve made that commitment to work out – I follow through.  My commitment is to God.

That said, don’t feel badly if you can’t workout everyday… you have to do what works for your schedule, but it’s KEY to make its a priority or it isn’t going to happen.  Some people are morning people.  I am not.

BUT…  I read that we MAKE TIME for what is important to us…  (and that goes for ALL areas of our life!)  Be HONEST.  With yourself and with God!  Make your health a priority and a worship to Him!

One comment I hear a lot is, “Buuuut I don’t want to get BULKY!”  Honestly, don’t get super concerned with getting too bulky.  This was a main concern of mine too early on (especially in my arms and upper legs), but what may at FIRST seem like “bigger” legs and arms, is only going to help you burn more fat and calories in the long run…  so it could happen short-term, for a long-term benefit.  (and it’s not a good excuse to not move!)  So just use lighter weights, do more reps, and lay off the muscle enhancer shakes – and you won’t look like a body builder!  We can’t spot remove fat… we have to burn overall body fat, and whittle away at the areas that need toning.

Sorry.  I know.  But that’s just the way it works!

Something that helped me after I got a handle on my BMI and recommended calories through that, are equating how much exercise would burn off a certain amount of calories.  In my mind, it was what something was “worth”… and then *I* would decide if a food was worth it before I consumed it.  So be sure you’re getting educated on everything you’re putting in and allow that afterburn to benefit you for the long haul!

” I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”  – Psalm 139:14

Feeling Desperate?

Great article in SHAPE magazine about how this woman fought for her health, against diabetes. Diabetes is the precursor to many diseases. One more reason to get healthy for Him.

We know that losing weight is an easy math equation – calories in verses calories out.  It’s not rocket science, it’s not debatable – it’s just simply how God designed our bodies.  Eat fewer calories than you’re burning and you WILL lose weight.   (But don’t forget about your RMR!)  So, while diets and workout programs try to sell us on everything else under the sun, we know the TRUTH… and honestly, it will set you free!

If I want to eat something – I do…  I just choose wisely and try to be fully aware of what I’m consuming.  I’m not one who will never eat processed food, or never eat sugar.  I simply eat a lot LESS.  I don’t make my own bread (but this is next on my list!)  As a family, we have made great strides in the past 5 years – but we are anything but perfect.  I can’t tell you how much it has helped just being educated about what we’re consuming.  It’s good to know, even the bad and ugly about what is out there that you’re consuming, that you used to consume… that you THOUGHT about consuming.  So that you can do better, even if it’s not perfect each time.

Honestly, I don’t feel guilt for enjoying a treat now and then…I don’t make a bunch of guidelines to guilt myself into saying no.  I just know what my body can handle, and focus on being balanced.  The reason so many diets fail, is because of the restriction portion.  Eventually people burn out on all of the restrictions of what they can’t have, and it makes them want it all the more if their heart isn’t changed on the matter.  It can be what makes it difficult to eat in a real life scenerio when their packaged meal, or their own kitchen isn’t an option.  I strive to help us be able to be well fed, flexible, and realistic.

I could probably eat a salad every lunch for the rest of my life – I just love salad… But we have to be in the know and be REAL with ourselves about most types of foods we would enjoy and how they might affect us (nutrition-wise).   That way, given those other environmental factors – we can be nourished and NOT be stressed feeling like we just simply can’t eat anything!

I know lots of people look at our family now and think that we’re crazy for not eating things like white buns, or not going back for seconds (unless it’s salad) at a family meal.  Personally, I think some fitness buffs are crazy as I read through the magazines and see top athletes say things like they will enjoy “a bite” of a cup cake maybe every few months.  A BITE!?!?!  What is that about?  Not realistic for us, nor is that our desire for our health.  WE all have goals, limitations, vices…  you have to do what works for you.  Just be realistic.  Is it something that is helping or hindering your health?

Honestly… there ARE options out there for wholesome treats and meals without the guilt.  If something is a major vice to you, I strongly suggest you eliminate it from your life for at least a month and see how you do without it, or at least less of it.  Pray, pray, pray!  God has taken away desires on unhealthy things on more than one account.  Praise Him!

Yesterday my almost 3-year-old was in the hospital for some breathing issues.  They brought me a plate of food at 6pm and I’ll admit, without my snack mid-afternoon and not wanting to leave his side, I was STARVING.  I was thrilled to see grilled chicken, and veggies on the plate!  I snarfed the chicken and inhaled the veggies leaving the sorta-brown bread to chill out with the fries at the curb.  It was easy to look at the plate and see what was the best choice, given the scenario… I don’t even have to think about it anymore.  I’ll be honest, I envisioned this nightmarish plate of roast beef with gravy (I can’t stand gravy … that’s another story of mind transformation of nutrition classes in college)…  So you can imagine my huge exhale when I set my eyes on the chicken and veggies!

There will be things like this that come up now and then.  Things that are OUT of the norm, and out of our control.  We don’t want to feel guilty for eating… or feel like we CAN’T eat when we’re already stressed.  Be as best prepared and educated as you can be about your options.  Keep those healthy snacks with you!  (it’s easy to forget to restock – that’s what happened to me in the mess of caring for several ill children!)

Keep educating yourself, be PREPARED, and try to do better today than yesterday to be healthy for HIM!  It’s hard to change, but the change IS worth the effort.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

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

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

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