Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Different Perspective

In a devotional I read this morning, with regard to the innkeeper who escorted Joseph and Mary to his stable because he had no more rooms available in his inn, the author said, “While some describe the innkeeper as an example of uncaring, sinful mankind who rejected the Savior…’I truly believe that Almighty God used the innkeeper as the arranger for a healthier place than the crowded inn – a place of privacy.” Hmm…that’s a different perspective, isn’t it?

Perhaps that’s all we need for 2010 – a different perspective. No New Year’s Resolutions. No unrealistic goals without any real desire to obtain them. No lofty ambitions only meant to impress others; just a different perspective; a different set of eyes; a new way of seeing things.

Perhaps in 2010 when we look in the mirror we will be honest about what we see. Now, that would be different!

Perhaps in 2010 we will admit that there are certain foods that we just need to abstain from if we are going to be in good health. That’s a switch!

Perhaps in 2010 we will stop lying about our age, be grateful that we are alive and well, and do what we can do to be in good health. That’s radical!

Perhaps in 2010 we will consider that ‘balanced’ and ‘smaller proportions’ does not mean ‘never again’ and ‘hardly anything’. Amazing!

Perhaps in 2010 we will receive the wonderful flavor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats as earth’s treasures rather than earth’s medicine. Oh, I like that!

Perhaps in 2010 we will be grateful that we can put one foot in front of the other and take a brisk 30 minute walk each day (broken up into 10 minute increments if necessary) rather than see it as a consequence for an offense we must have committed in our teen years. That WOULD truly be a new perspective!

Perhaps in 2010 we will realize that getting enough rest at night (6-8 hours), and taking lunch breaks, and taking earned vacation days don’t equate to being unproductive and lazy, but means we care enough about ourselves to take care of ourselves. OUCH! THAT ONE HURT!

As with Joseph and Mary, I trust that in 2010 we will accept a ‘healthier place’. Making choices that are good for our health consistently may not look good on the outside, but my oh my, the results are life sustaining!

Enjoy your new perspective!

A Heavenly Conversation

The Son: Father, you look troubled. What is it?

The Father: It is that time of year when so many of my children will declare that they will make better choices for their physical well-being in the coming year,
but so much of what they say will simply be lip-service.

The Son: (always the intercessor) Oh, come now, Father, they are sincere, and they do mean well, but it can be extremely difficult to undo years and years of poor habits.

The Father: “Extremely difficult”….,Hmmm…would that be on the same level as the
Red Sea that I parted?.....Or, perhaps the Jericho wall that went tumbling
down like children toy building blocks?

The Son: Father, you know what I mean. They are faced with so many distractions and temptations and lack of time.

The Father: ..and lack of true desire…..Son, there are so many little things that can be done, such as parking further from entrances, cutting back on desserts, walking 30 minutes per day (in increments of 10 minutes if one must), substituting some of the ingredients they normally cook with, taking the stairs when given the option, etc. But what grieves me the most is that they ‘know’ these things! Yes, some are perishing and coming home to us much too soon, for lack of knowledge, but many are perishing because they refuse to ‘apply’ the knowledge they already have.

The Holy Spirit: I would help them and give them guidance, if they would just ask. And those that do ask often ignore my nudging and my pleading. I speak in the Supermarket. I speak when they go to restaurants. I speak when they’re at family occasions. I am always speaking! But, many of them choose to hear certain instructions, and ignore others.

The Son: But, Father, we all know that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And, bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. These that you speak of have chosen the best part.

The Father: Yes, my Son, and we also know that to live a life full of me includes self-control, moderation, and a pure, undefiled temple set aside for my use. They are to be my witnesses in more than just their spiritual lives. Besides...I so yearn to give them not just my sufficient grace in this area of their lives, but also a life of abundance!

The Son: This year will be different Father. I know it will. Be patient. Please.

The Father: Yes, that I will do. With me, all things are possible.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beyond Being Aware

“Doctor’s Office”
“Yes, I’d like to make an appt, please.”
“Sure. Your last name?”
“First Name?”
“Hmmm…..have you ever been here before?”
“Of course…. Well, I missed my annual appt this year in 2009 which is why I’m calling, but…..Hmm…I think I was there last year….
“Hmm….What was your name again?”
(annoyed) “What about looking under something else, like my date of birth?”
“No… wouldn’t be under that…”
“Well, I’ve been coming there for the past 20 years so I’ve got to be in your system.”
“Has it been more than two years since you’ve been here?”
“No…I would not miss my annual appt two years….one maybe…but not two….at least I don’t think I would...….has it been two years?”
“We switched to electronic medical records two years ago and some of our old charts didn’t switch over. I can’t find you anywhere in our system so it must have been at least two years since you’ve been in.”

I couldn’t believe it. Me! MISS ‘Can’t we just all be healthy’……MISS, ‘We need to take care of these bodies because they are the temple of God’……MISS, ‘Get out and take a walk why don’cha!’ It turns out that my last annual gynecology exam was in December 2007! And my last mammogram was January of 2008! It is now October 2009! Shame on me! Before then I never missed a year of having both! What good is it to eat right and exercise on a daily basis, if I don’t take care of me in every other way? What good would it be for us to become more aware of breast cancer this month and never exam our breasts on a regular basis? What good would it be for us this month to learn that some of the little known breast cancer warning signs are: 1) a change in your nipples, 2) redness, swelling or bruising, 3) sore armpits, and 4) discharge, (SHAPE magazine, Oct 2009) if we never pay attention to our bodies? What good would it be for us this month to learn that, 1) body fat boosts your risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and, 2) women who walked briskly for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 20 percent, (Weight Watchers magazine, Sept/Oct 2009) if we act like we are afraid to sweat? What good would it be for us this month to learn that we should “Eat a plant-based diet, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of breast cancer; fill your plate mostly with vegetables, fruits and whole grains,” (FITNESS Magazine, Oct 2009) if we refuse to eat a variety of foods? As we become more aware of breast cancer this month, let’s find ourselves still doing something about it NEXT month and the month after….and the month after. Beyond being aware. What will that look like that to you?

Candy Craze!

I took two tootsie rolls out of my co-worker’s candy dish. It happened so quickly….I don’t even remember thinking about it and deciding to take them but there they were in my hand as I walked away. This must be how an ex-drug addict or former alcoholic must feel when she is tempted by the thing she has now been free of for quite some time; and no one is around. Oh, the memories. I used to eat 5-10 tootsie rolls as my afternoon sugary treat about twice a week; sometimes three times. The women at the Gift Shop in the hospital next to where I work always knew what I was coming to buy. If I missed a day they wondered if I was O.K.. No, this wasn’t many years ago. This was just last year! I would eat one slowly as I walked back to my office. Then I would hide the others on the side of my desk where no one else would see them so they wouldn’t ask me for any. What a rush! What a feeling! It seemed like so long ago….. and now here they were…two tootsie rolls in my hand…..Would I eat them now? Or, would I save them for a treat for later? Would I chew them slowly, savoring every taste? Or, would I chew them quickly? But wait? I thought I broke that habit? I thought my new motto was, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (I Corin 6:12) Could I eat just two and be satisfied or would I need more? Perhaps two would be enough this day, but would it be the beginning of the poor habit all over again and the next day I would find myself taking a trip to the Gift Shop? All of a sudden, before I knew it, just as quickly as I had picked them up and put them in my hand, I threw them in a trash can! A trash can with a top on it! I didn’t want to be trapped again; trapped by the sugar rush. I was enjoying my freedom. As you find yourself surrounded by lots of candy this time of the year, just remember, “Candy has a high glycemic index (GI), which means that it causes a high rise in blood sugar levels after ingestion. This is chiefly a concern for people with diabetes but, but could also be dangerous to the health of non-diabetics. (Wikipedia). Also, you may be surprised at the calorie content of some of your favorite candies- even the small packages: Hershey Kisses – 26 calories and 8 g carb each kiss; M&Ms plain, fun size, (18g), 88 calories and 12 g carb; M&Ms peanut, Fun size (18g), 93 calories and 11 g carb; Tootsie Rolls, 50 calories and 10g carb, or Midgee tootsie roll, 23 calories and 7 g carb; Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, miniature, (about 9 grams each) 44 calories and 5 g carb per cup; Snickers Bar, Fun size (17 g), 80 calories and 10 g carb; York Peppermint Patty, regular small patty, (14 g), 53 calories and 11g carb. ( Yep! It may feel like a candy craze these days, but will you be crazy enough to give into it or just a little crazy and stop when you know you have enough? “….To thine ownself be true”…..

Monday, August 31, 2009


I FEEL A HALF-MARATHON COMING ON!!!! I’ve been able to run a little more lately and it feels wonderful! Though I had gotten use to power walking and even appreciating its benefits, I’ve missed running. In the past several weeks, I tried a little running here during my morning walk…and a little more running there...….and a little more….and a little more….so far, so good; so far, no signs of the tendinitis in my foot that made me switch to walking last year. IT FEELS GREAT!!! I FEEL A HALF-MARTHON COMING ON!!! Can’t you feel it?!!! Perhaps for you, it’s not a half-marathon that you feel like doing, but don’t you feel like adding an extra block to your daily walk? Don’t you feel like adding an extra lap around the track? ……an extra set of leg lifts to your routine?……..more pounds to the weight your lifting?……desserts three days a week instead of five? piece of pizza instead of two?.........two scoops of ice cream instead of three? AREN’T YOU READY TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL AS YOU MOVE FORWARD TO A LIFESTYLE OF BEING HEALTHY AND FIT?!! Well, don’t fight that feeling! Your mind may want to do one thing but your body may not agree! Remember, “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41b)I’m reminded of the conversation my mind had with my body the morning after the Marathon earlier this year. Actually, the conversation started the night of the Marathon. It went something like this as I set the alarm clock for the next morning:

Body: Why are you setting the alarm so early? The Marathon is over. We’re not training any more. We don’t have to get up so early. We can sleep in 30 minutes more.

Mind: Hmm….you’re right….that would be nice…but, why stop doing what we achieved just because the Marathon is over? If we can now walk 4 miles in an hour, and still have our devotional time first, then get back in time to get Reub’s breakfast, get him started on his devotional, fix Reuben’s coffee, and get dressed and get to work on time, why should we stop?

Body: The Marathon is over! We’re not training any more!

Mind: But why go backwards! Why not go forward? Why not begin to work on our speed and pace ….besides, remember during the second time we did the Marathon, we had stopped running for a bit and walked past those two guys talking about how many months before the Marathon they started training and the one guy said, we really should train every day…....every day leads up to the Marathon!

Body: But that’s not us! We’re just regular people! Come on! We’ll get to sleep in 30 extra minutes....…the way we used to!!! Are you crazy?!

Mind: But that’s ridiculous? Why go backwards...the least we can do is continue what we were doing even if we don’t begin to work on our pace and speed.


Needless to say, the mind won. I have maintained my ‘training’ regimen, but it hasn’t been easy. (But during and afterwards, I SIMPLY LOVE IT!’s the getting up that can be a challenge) And, as soon as Reub got out of school for the summer, although I have kept up my one hour routine in the morning, (after my morning devotional, of course), I’ve been able to sleep in those extra 30 minutes, because Reub has been out of school. I’m in for a rude awakening next week when he goes back to school. Pray for me!

So, be prepared for a fight, when part of you is ready to move to the next level, but the other part of you is saying, ‘what’s the rush’. THAT’S THE FEELING YOU WANT TO FIGHT! But don’t fight the feeling to go up a little higher in your health and fitness goals! Don’t fight the feeling to walk a little brisker! Don’t fight the feeling to bake or broil that meat rather than fry it! Don’t fight that feeling to try brown rice instead of white! Don’t fight that feeling to actually measure out a serving size of food! WHAT A CONCEPT!!! Don’t fight that feeling to switch the movie DVD to an exercise DVD!

Don’t fight that feeling!!!

Healthy Relationships are Important Too

During my morning walk today (written on August 8, 2009), a woman was approaching me who looked extremely focused about what she was doing. She was running, and then she slowed down to a fast walk as if she were pacing herself. What a great stride, I remember thinking. She looked a little familiar as we approached each other, but she wore sunglasses and a cap on so it was hard to be sure if I knew her or not. Besides, it was 7am on a Saturday morning! I too felt focused and strong; arms pumping, fast pace, strong stride, legs feeling good...approaching my third mile. We passed each other and said the gracious 'Good Morning' that most people exchange as they pass each other working out in the mornings; whether they know each other or not; it’s an unspoken rule. As soon as we said 'Good morning' and passed each other she called out my name and turned around to face me! As soon as I heard her say my name, I knew who she was. I too called her name and turned around to face her! We couldn't believe it! We hugged! We hadn't seen each other or talked in a while, and of all places to meet!! "Oh my goodness!” she said, "....we were both so focused..." I cut her off, "….we were both so focused that we almost didn't even recognize each other!” She said, "You're a long way from home!" We exchanged very little chit-chat as our bodies never seemed to stop moving because it was obvious to both of us that we were both on a personal fitness mission! We were in a groove. We both understood our unspoken body language that said, 'Good to see you. Let's talk soon. But I've got to go!' And we went our separate ways assuring each other that we would call the each other. As I picked up my pace, and regained my focus and once again took hold of my goal of getting to my Weight Watchers meeting by 8am, I thought to myself, why hadn't either of us contacted the other before our paths crossed at 7am on a Saturday morning on Rodeo Road?! When we think about friends that we haven't seen in a while, why don't we just pick up the phone and call them? I've thought about her over the past months and I bet it is safe to say that she has thought about me, so what has kept us from reaching out to each other, to catch up and see how the other one is doing? Well, that's easy, you say. Everyone is busy. Life happens. She's doing her thing and your doing yours. You know you love and respect each other and when you see each other like you did on this particular morning, it's all good. No big deal. Everyone understands. Get over it. Hmmm....That is the reality of it, isn't it? We are so busy 'doing' life, that just 'being' a friend or just 'being' a wife, or just 'being' a mother, or just 'being' a sister, or just 'being' an Auntie, or just 'being' a Grandmother, becomes less important and less valued than the ‘doing’ of those various roles. ‘Producing’ has become more important than ‘listening’. ‘Multi-tasking’ has become more valuable than ‘laughter’. ‘Accomplishing’ has become revered over ‘resting’. I'm guilty! How about you?! One time two sisters found themselves preparing for a guest who would be the most important guest that they ever had in their home. One sister did all the grocery shopping to buy the best food to serve. She did the cooking. She did the cleaning. She made sure that everything was perfect in their home for their guest. The other sister prepared her spot where she would sit to listen to the guest when he arrived. After the guest shared wisdom and truth, the busy bee sister was indignant with lazy sister. Proud of her accomplishments, busy Bea publically accused lazy Liza to their esteemed guest of not doing her share to prepare for him. "The Master said, Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it - " (Luke 10:41-42a The Message) Since I believe my steps are ordered, as it tells us in Psalm 37:23, I believe this morning's 'meeting' with my friend, has reminded me that I need to spend more time ‘choosing’ what is essential in life. I need to 'be' more and 'do' less. The kitchen sink will only be empty for a little while so why spend more time washing dishes than catching up with a friend? The laundry basket will only be empty for a few hours so why spend more hours washing clothes than spending time with my husband? The agendas and lesson plans can wait, but in the wink of an eye my 15 year old son will be going away to college. Good, sound, fulfilling relationships just don't ‘happen’; they take work; and investing our time and our full attention; and it’s always worth it in the end. As we choose to have things in our lives done decently and in order, with a healthy balance, let's help each other 'do' less and 'be' more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Got Feet?

One day last week while on my morning power walk, I walked past two women and could not help but read one of their T-Shirts. It said, GOT FEET? I laughed out loud! I loved it! What a simple question to help us realize that a lifestyle of healthy living does not have to be as difficult as we make it out to be.

Got feet?....then get off the couch, put some tennis shoes on, and go for a brisk walk! Yes, it is really that simple! Not a morning person?! Fine! Walk in the evenings after work. Neighborhood not safe enough to walk at night alone? Fine! Get a walking buddy or drive to a park or school track near you. Got feet? Use them! Another benefit from being active is that it boost our brain power: Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Boost Your Brain -Next time you are feeling uninspired, puzzled or stumped, don't bang your head against the wall, get moving. Even a short 20-minute bout of exercise might be enough to unlock your mental block, says Philip Tomporowski, Ph.D. an exercise scientist at the University of Georgia.

Got pots and pans?....then use them to cook meals and stop eating out all of the time! At home there won’t be any bread baskets to be tempted by, foods prepared with fattening sauces and rich toppings, nothing fried or smothered, no long list of desserts on a menu to try to pass up, and on and on.

Got fingers?......then keep a daily log of what you are eating and why! Studies have proven that those who keep track of what they eat are the most successful at not only loosing weight, but also keeping the weight off. By writing down what we eat every day, we keep ourselves accountable, and we can SEE in black and white what changes we need to make and what changes we need to keep! And adding the ‘why’ to the ‘what’ helps us to identify and then control mindless eating and emotional eating.

Got a friend?...then get an accountability partner! I told you before that the person in the mirror lies constantly! But your friend will tell you the truth in love.

Got a house that needs cleaned?........then get that broom and mop and get moving! Being active to burn calories and speed up our metabolism is not limited to brisk walking, running, playing tennis, etc. Sweeping, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, etc can cause the best of us to break out in a sweat and burn off a whole LOT of calories.

Got a meeting/fellowship/party in your home or a potluck to go to?.....then prepare your own healthy dishes!! I tell my family I’ve used a Weight Watchers recipe AFTER they taste it and like it (they always like them) and then they can’t believe I just used a WW recipe! What people don’t know won’t hurt them and when you are cooking healthy it will actually help them. WHAT A CONCEPT! And, with your own healthy dish you have more options and won’t feel deprived at the event and can enjoy yourself and not be preoccupied about what you’re going to eat.

Got a bed?…..then get in it and go to sleep! OUCH.....that hurt! Studies have proven that lack of sleep increases overeating. “Researchers……have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior……Two specific hormones are involved. Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop. When you’re sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease….” (The Diet Channel) So, go to bed and get some sleep! OUCH!!!

Got family and friends?…..then enjoy them and stop making social gatherings just about food and make them more about relationships, fellowshipping, and spending valuable time with loved ones. Be creative at social gatherings. Do some activities that will draw you and everyone else away from the food.

Got a mind?….then stop thinking of dieting and think of living….O.K. O.K…I stole that right from Weight Watchers! I admit it, so you don’t have to report me! ‘Stop Dieting. Start living.’ is their current motto. But it’s so true! We cannot spend our entire lives on a diet! Every time you turn around, you’re on a diet! It’s time out for that kind of thinking and living; especially when we all know DIETS DON’T WORK! Dieting does not change our mindset and that is what we need to do if we are going to enjoy a lifestyle of health and wellness and keep these bodies fit!

Got a desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle?..... then with God’s grace and help, let’s do this thing!

Taking the Long Way

Did you know that when God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, He did not take them through the shortest route? “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. ……So, God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea…..” Exodus 13:17a, 18a.

Do you ever feel like eating smaller portions, eating more whole grains, eating more fruits and vegetables, getting regular & consistent exercise, drinking less soda/sugary drinks & more water, eating good carbs, etc. is all a roundabout, long way to a healthy lifestyle? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just follow a particular regimen for a specific length of time and then PRESTO! Immediately we would be the healthy weight that our physician prescribes, WITHOUT changing any habits, and it would last for our entire LIVES! Oops!….that sounds familiar……been there done that, haven’t we?! Quick fix diets don’t produce the desire to eat healthy. Without taking the time necessary to change some poor habits, and acquire some healthy ones we won’t be able to maintain the weight loss that we may achieve. Any of us can lose weight! We all know what to do, and how to do it. But, can we maintain the weight loss? Can we change our mind about certain foods and regimens? Yes we can if we take the time to learn how to make better choices, acquire tastes for healthier foods, and enjoy being active, etc. None of that happens over night! What may seem like the long way to healthy living is the best thing for us because it gives us the time we need to prepare for a lifestyle of healthy choices. That is just what God was doing for the Israelites! He was getting them ready!

“God said, “If the people faced with a battle they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”……Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.” Exodus 13:17b,18b

Fad diets won’t get us READY for a lifestyle of eating healthy. Removing one particular food from our diet for a given period of time won’t enable us to be READY to make healthy choices on a daily basis. Inconsistent exercise regimens won’t get us READY for a lifestyle of consistently being active and loving it! Sometimes it seems like a daily battle/struggle to arrive at and then remain in our promised land of healthy living. Taking short cuts just won’t give us the artillery that we need to win the fight so YES!…let’s take the long way to a life of health and wellness!

Monday, May 25, 2009

We Have Not Because We Ask Not

Why did I wait until a few days before the Marathon to ask for prayer? When I finally sent an E-mail out to folks called, “I’ll pray for you, you pray for me” with a list of prayer requests for the Marathon, the response was overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive! (By the way, one prayer request I gave was that people would pray that the Lord would hide the sun behind the clouds most of the day so that we would have cool weather…and OH MY GOD DID HE DO JUST THAT!!!! We started at 7:25am and the sun did not even make an 'appearance' until around 12:30pm AND EVEN THEN, the Lord wouldn’t allow it to just be 'all out' and make us uncomfortable. The clouds kept covering the sun up as if the sun and the clouds were playing peek-a-boo, AND there was still a cool breeze the entire day!!! LOOK AT GOD!!!!)

But what took me so long to ask for help? Women, who lied to us and told us that we are suppose to have everything together all of the TIME and if we don’t, then we ought to just figure it out because every other woman does have it all together so why shouldn’t we? Who told us that lie? In that E-mail that I sent, my asking people to send me an encouraging word between Noon and 2pm of the Marathon, when I knew it would be the hardest, WAS ONE OF THE BEST IDEAS THE LORD EVER GAVE ME!!! Those encouraging text messages were SO VERY helpful!!! And some people didn’t wait until Noon so I was actually receiving the messages for most of the event!! THANK YOU! It turned out that those text messages were just as much the fuel and energy that I needed as were the energy chews that I chewed throughout the day.

Guess what? You aren’t the only mother who took fast food to her child for lunch because you still needed to go grocery shopping. You aren’t the only mother whose child wasn’t dressed up for picture day because you didn’t even know it was picture day. You are not the only woman that still serves leftovers! Your children are not the only children who have a T.V. dinner every once in a while. You aren’t the only woman who has elderly parents to care for and you are struggling. You aren’t the only wife who could really use a date night with her husband. You aren’t the only woman who needs to learn how to say ‘No’ the next time the folks at church or her child’s school, ask her to volunteer to do something. You are not the only woman who just can't seem to find the right nine-to-five for her.

As we choose to live healthy, let’s choose to ask for help when we need it. We all need help from time to time. And here’s an idea, since we know our girlfriends are usually reluctant to ask for help, just like we are, then let’s start asking more often if there is anything we can do to help. Especially, if we’ve ‘been there done that’ and we have an idea of what the person is not telling us when we say, “How are you doing?” and they say, “Fine”. Also, since this is a two-way street, when someone asks us if we need help, let’s not be too proud to say, ‘Yes….as a matter of fact, I really could use some help.’

Yes, these bodies are our temples, but sometimes if we have some help, we can do a lot better job of taking care of them.

Life Happens

Morning Devotional? CHECK!
Foot Orthotics? CHECK!
Bib w/participant number? CHECK!
Timer thingy for my shoe?CHECK!
Scriptures to wear on my back?CHECK!
Kiss from Hubby?CHECK!
Driving in circles between closed off streets before finally being able to get on the freeway? YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Exit off the freeway CLOSED earlier than they said it would?!YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Parked where I did not plan to park?! YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Slight cramp (not enough to stop me; but just enough to annoy/distract me) in my right calf from the beginning of the day and throughout?YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Arthritic zinger in my right hip at the beginning of the day?YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Having to STOP FOUR TIMES to use port-a-potty!!!!! YIKES! NOT ON THE LIST!
Now, WHERE DID I PARK MY CAR?!! YIKES!! Not on the list!

Sometimes as we move forward to a lifestyle of healthy living LIFE HAPPENS! Sometimes we will have our healthy breakfast planned but then we oversleep and grab whatever is quickest! Sometimes we will have the perfect healthy lunch planned and get to work and discover that lunch is being catered for everyone! Sometimes we will have the perfect dinner planned but little Johnny’s game goes to overtime so it’s fast food here we come! Sometimes we will have our exercise clothes in the car, drive STRAIGHT to the gym after work only to find EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER is there too!! Life happens! Life may happen but we are still in it! We must continue to make healthy choices in spite of an unplanned event that may occur. An unhealthy breakfast does not mean the remainder of the day might as well be made up of poor choices. An unhealthy DAY does not mean the rest of the week might as well be made up of poor choices. An unhealthy WEEK does not mean the rest of the month might as well be made up of poor choices.

I SO WANTED to be finished by a certain time today! I admit; I am really disappointed with that aspect of the day. But! As my performance was developing I did not allow that reality to stop me from pushing, and pumping, and moving as hard as I could throughout the day. WHY? Because I was still in it! We’re still in this thing! And, I was reminded by the back of SOMEONE ELSE’ T-shirt, the race is not given to the swift! Not only was I still in it, but the scriptures on my back were STILL blessing people whether I was going to make it in my desired time or not! Countless people went by me thanking me for the word of God, and I in response encouraged them in the Lord!! Hallelujah! Toward the end, one young man came up to me and said, ‘I almost started to give up until I read you shirt. Thank you!’ Look at God! Another lady said, ‘I was feeling like I might not finish but I read your shirt. Thanks for the inspiration!

So, don’t give in to that curve ball of the day that is thrown your way! Keep moving forward! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Accountability Partner

So, who do you have in your life to help keep you accountable as you move forward toward a healthier lifestyle? If you said, ‘the one in the mirror’, WRONG ANSWER! If you said, ‘God;He speaks to me about everything’, that may be true but, WRONG ANSWER! What HUMAN BEING other than yourself do you allow to look in your face and say, ‘Now you know you need to put that doughnut down!’ Who, after you’ve eaten like there is NO tomorrow, do you have in your life to tell you, ‘Today is just one day. You will do better tomorrow.’ Who will you listen to if they tell you, ‘Come on…give yourself a break….you’ve been doing well… deserve a little treat.’ Accountability is one of the reasons I continue to attend Weight Watchers® meetings on a weekly basis, and weigh in monthly as suggested for all Weight Watchers® Lifetime members. I have a roomful of people to keep me accountable EVERY week! (And even so, I wish I had an accountability partner who would call me some evenings and simply ask, ‘What are you having for dinner?’; because the dinner meal is often where I blow it. Often I’m running around and don’t have time for a nice meal OR, I get home and start munching (even healthy snacks can be dangerous if you eat too much of them), then lose my appetite because of all the healthy munching then by 9pm I’ll want to snack. HELP!) As a matter of fact I just returned from a Weight Watchers® meeting earlier tonight and my son said, ‘Why do you have to still go to those meetings?’ I politely informed him that I don’t ‘have’ to, but. I ‘choose’ to! So, who have you chosen to help keep you honest….to encourage you to run one more lap… take that walk with you when you don’t feel like it… eat crunchy veggies with you instead of crunchy potato chips? I have learned on this journey of embracing healthiness as a lifestyle that not only do I most certainly need God’s help, but I need a person or persons that will help me along the way when it’s difficult to do what I know to do! Sometimes I feel like the Apostle Paul when he said, “For what I am doing I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) Another version puts it this way, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do what I hate.” I’m sure you’ve been there too! Come on! Be honest…..You have! That’s why we all need someone to help keep us accountable. So, who in your life needs you as much as you need them in this area? Who will be honest with you, and allow you to be honest with them? Who can you trust to hold you accountable? Your husband? Your wife? A co-worker? Your child(ren)? A sibling? A friend? A church member? Accountability is key!

Masters or Slaves?

Most women take pride in being masters of multi-tasking. As little girls we watched our grandmothers, mothers, and aunties take on several things at one time and we learned and then mastered the skill of multi-tasking with our own individual style. And, rightfully so, that we multi-task; there is just so much for us to do. It seems as if a woman’s work is never done. So, Yes, we do need to be able to accomplish/complete/work on more than one task at a time and do them well. Our husbands, children, and employers, are all counting on us to be able to do more than one thing at a time. That’s what women do! Isn’t it?! (And of course whatever we have been taught about the roles of men and women also have influenced our behavior in this area.) But, I wonder …..are we masters or slaves? It is almost impossible for me – and most women - to come home from work and sit down and do nothing; even if I’m tired. Yet my husband – and most men, as wonderful as they are, and we love them dearly – most men don’t have a problem with this. They come in and plop right in front of the television and it’s O.K. with them. No guilt. No shame. No fuss. Just peace. Unless I am exhausted, something within me won’t let me sit down until I’ve ‘done’ something, i.e. cooked, straightened up, opened mail, called someone, typed something, etc. Have I really mastered multi-tasking or have I become a slave to it? And, when I am multi-tasking do I make it even more challenging to have a healthy lifestyle? I believe I do. Knowing when our bodies need rest – and giving it that rest -, and not allowing ourselves to get stressed out is also a part of being healthy and fit. I believe we will have more time to eat healthier and exercise if we’re not ripping and running doing a gazillion things at one time or if we are not pushing our bodies beyond what they can actually handle! Years ago I was challenged to stop ‘doing’ and ‘be’. Just be a wife. Be a mother…....more being and less doing…. What a concept! It’s not easy……I NEED HELP!!! Observe the men in your life. Notice how they are not even TRYING to do more than one thing at a time and life goes on and they are not stressed out. There are always going to be dirty dishes. Children are always going to need something. There will always be dirty clothes in the laundry. If you miss a game there will always be another one. If you miss a church service, buy the tape, or there will always be another one. There will always be something that needs to be done. But we only get one life; one body; one mind. “……I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…..” Deut 30:19a

Monday, March 30, 2009


I had three reasons NOT to participate in the Los Angeles Marathon this year. One, the organizers moved it to May 25th! How inconsiderate! The weather will be much warmer than in March when the event is usually held, which can be very hazardous to the participants. Two, the tendonitis in my left foot will not allow me to run. I would have to power walk the entire event. I really miss running. Though I have not run the entire 26.2 miles yet, each time I’ve completed the event I’ve run for a longer distance and I was looking forward to running even more miles before starting to walk, this time around. Though I am beginning to enjoy power walking and its benefits, would I have the same thrilling experience if I walk the entire route, I wondered? Three, I HATED the route last year! It was awful!! We could see the finishing point then the route would take us South!!! It was so discouraging mentally! And to my knowledge I don’t think they are going to change the route this year. All good reasons, right? NOT!! I’m addicted! I don’t even know why I THOUGHT I would not participate! I’m addicted! You know how addictions are, right? You can’t always explain them. You don’t always understand them. You just do them. For me, from the marathon it’s the camaraderie…..!....the adrenalin!..... the crowds cheering you on..!... Striving for a personal best!...AND OF COURSE, THE MEDAL!!!!!! Yep! I’m addicted! By God’s grace I’ll once again be one of 20,000! My adrenalin is starting to pump at just the thought of it!! So what are some of your addictions? Certainly, when we hear the word ‘addiction’ we don’t think of anything positive or fairly harmless like the addiction I just described. Often an addiction is something that can cause us harm and that we need to be rid of. As you move forward in your health you may have discovered an addiction that you want out of your life. For example, another addiction of mine is night time snacking. Even though I now snack on healthy foods, it’s still an addiction that I’d like to be rid of. I don’t want to give it up all together but I need help in this area. Let’s join forces. Let’s pray for each other that we will have the strength and desire to stop our unhealthy addictions. Remember, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil 4:13)

P.S Don’t think I have decided to walk the Marathon without any effort up until now or a plan to train from here out. NOT! Since I haven’t been able to run, I’ve been walking about 15-20 miles per week. And in the last couple of months, since I knew I was contemplating doing the Marathon, I walked to my Weight Watchers meeting several times which is just shy of 10 miles total, to see how my feet would feel after such a walk. So! Now the real training begins! I’ve got a good 7 weeks. So I will add additional miles during the week and 10-12 miles at one time on Saturdays until the event. If God be for me, who can be against me! (from Romans 8:31)

Never Alone

The words of the chorus of a beautiful hymn called ‘Never Alone’ are, “No, never alone, no never alone. He promised never to leave me, never leave me alone.” Believe it or not, it has been my experience that even at our work-out venues not only will the Lord be with us, but he’ll send someone to be there with us to remind us that we are not alone; we are in this together; I’m getting fit with you; you can do this! When I power walk in the mornings I usually look like ‘who shot John and why’. I usually have on a big bright yellowish, orangish jacket (my Overcomers jacket), an off white winter hat like a skull-cap, green winter gloves, wearing my glasses (I don’t sleep in my contact lenses.), swinging a small golf club as my rod and staff to comfort me, stepping fast and strong as if I am in a parade with my baton like I did when I was a child. It is an interesting sight to say the least. But just the other day I had the nerve to see a woman who was going in the opposite direction, say to me, ‘You go to West Angeles, don’t you?’ IT WAS 5:15AM! A few days later a group of runners ran past me and as we said ‘Good morning’ to each other, I looked at one of the women and she was a parent from my son’s school! IT WAS 5:15AM! And, just a few weeks ago a co-worker came to me asking for some exercise tips. She said she had gotten into a slump and she knew I would be able to help her. I gave her some suggestions and she came back to me the following week excited because she said early morning work outs are working out great just as I suggested. She said she started going to the gym at 4am (4 am was her choice, not mine) and to her surprise she was not the only one there! When I first started running at the track (Boy, I miss running!!), my husband used to be concerned because I was going so early, but I quickly found out that it was a group of the same people at the track there at the same time every day and they were not just ‘there’ they were there for each other. Eventually, you start acknowledging each other, and noticing when one misses a day, and encouraging each other. A great camaraderie can be experienced when people gather together to be fit. So, don’t be fooled. Don’t be deceived. Don’t convince yourself that you will be the only one somewhere. Go on! Get out there! Remember, He promised that you would never be alone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aging Gracefully

Just what does it mean to age gracefully? More aches, illnesses lasting longer, and less patience. Just how does one do that gracefully? Well, one way may be to continue exercising! I know….I know…..some of you are so SICK of hearing about exercising!!! Well, get over it! Authors Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, M.D. from the book ‘Younger Next Year’ say,...... “Decay – that’s the message the brain sends to your body after around age 40 if you are sedentary……Conversely, the latest science has found that exercise overrides the “decay” signal by sending powerful chemical messages to the brain and body to grow and stay strong. Aging is inevitable, but researchers say that exercise – along with other lifestyle factors – slows down the degeneration of the body and brain so that you can enjoy an active and healthy life well into your eighties or beyond." (O.K. We need to stop right here and give God a SERIOUS Shout Out! Isn't He awesome?! Adam and Eve 'blow it' for us all in the garden of Eden so now we have these decaying bodies. BUT GOD gives us a way to override the 'decay' signal! Well, I'll just praise Him myself then! HALLELUJAH!!!.....but I digress...) SO,if you are 40 or older you just OUGHT to be running to your closet and putting on your tennis shoes right about NOW ! Ready, Get Set, Go! How many more studies or quotes do you need to read before you ‘get it’? And, if you are not 40 yet, don’t even think you will WAIT until you turn 40 to choose a regular exercise regimen! Not! I think that is highly unlikely! Look, I know it’s not always easy. Take this morning for example. Oh, my GOSH, was it hard for me to get up for my walk! First of all, when I hit the snooze button on the alarm I noticed how cold my house was! Goodness! It felt like ice! Yet, it was so warm under the covers! I just couldn’t get up! Then, when I hit the snooze button a second time, I noticed how GO-OO-OOD my bed felt! Must I get up, I thought?! Can’t I skip today’s exercising, I thought?! But, finally, after hitting the snooze button a third time, I got up. As a result of those delays, since I do my morning devotional before I do anything else, my 60 minute power walk had to be reduced to a 45 minute power walk so that I could get to work on time, but it was still worth it, because believe it or not, it wasn’t as cold outside as it was in my house, and, before I knew it I was having a good ‘ole time on my walk! I was mad at myself for hitting the snooze button three times! I wanted my 15 additional minutes! What a great way to start the day! See! It’s always better once you just get up and do it! Isn’t that what we tell our children?! So, what do you need to jump-start your exercise regimen? We simply don’t have any more excuses for why we don't exercise because we now have too many choices! So, find what works for you and choose to age gracefully – no matter how old you are.

Are You Unequally Yoked?

Many people think that the scripture 2 Corinthians 6:14, which begins with, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers..”, is advice strictly for those who are getting married. Of course, it is in reference to all relationships, and now we see we can also apply it to our friends and their beliefs about their health. Studies have proved that often we have a tendency to be as healthy or as unhealthy as our friends and family members. “A study of more than 12,000 people found out that when a person becomes obese, their friends are 57 percent more likely to also put on weight. Their brothers and sisters have a 40 per cent increased risk of becoming obese and their husband or wife a 37 per cent greater risk.” Another study proved, “Obesity can spread from person to person much like a virus, according to researchers. When one person gains weight close friends tend to gain weight too….You change your idea of what is an acceptable body type by looking at the people around you.”…….Hmmm…Of course this does not excuse us when we give in to every whim and fancy by overeating and/or eating foods that we know are not good for us. Neither does it excuse us when we choose to be sedentary rather than active. I still believe that what we choose to put in our mouths and whether we choose to move our bodies more than anything else determines whether or not we enjoy a healthy lifestyle. But, I do think these studies have some merit. I do think it’s much easier to stop and pick up a dozen of donuts when you know you have people to help you eat them! If no one in your inner circle is going to admonish your poor choices and encourage you to make better ones, I suppose the only recourse is a life of eating poorly and being sedentary. So, let’s ask ourselves some questions. First of all, what do my friends and family members, those people whose perceptions I value and think are important; what do they really think about being healthy and fit? Is it important to them that they be healthy or do they just say that and then eat anything they want and rarely exercise? Secondly, do I allow their behavior to influence my choices when I know what is right for me may not be what they advise? Though I am not encouraging you to fire your friends and get some new ones, it may be time to assess just what kind of influence your family and friends are having on you. Your health is worth that much; isn’t it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Last week as I was reading one of the many fitness magazines that I love to read, in an article about New Year’s resolutions, the writer recommended that we stop “Why-ning”, i.e. stop asking ourselves questions like, ‘Why don’t I have a better job?’, ‘Why isn’t this and that right about my life?’ etc. Actually, when it comes to moving forward to a healthy lifestyle, I would encourage us to go right ahead and ask the Why questions, as long as we are truthful in our answers:

QUESTION: Why is it that I STILL don’t have a regular exercise regimen?
Truthful answer: Because I’m lazy.

I know that was painful, and you are just about ready to exit out of this blog, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Men, you are more selfish than women and you know it. Anything you want to do, you do it. Women, not only are we masters at multi-tasking (which I have decided is more of a curse than a blessing….more on that next time…), but in general, if there is something we want to do, no matter what the circumstances are, we will FIND a way to do it. It doesn’t matter what or who we have to move around, re-adjust, or re-schedule, we will find a way to do what’s important to us.

QUESTION: Why don’t I eat more fruits and vegetables?
Truthful answer: I choose convenience rather than quality.

Whether it’s because of convenience or unwillingness to cook, be honest; you are making a choice. If we are not careful, not only will our fast paced society keep us from missing out on what’s really important in our lives (God, family, relationships, giving back), it may also prevent us from taking the time to eat healthy.

QUESTION: Why do I gain the weight back as soon as I lose it?
Truthful answer: I continue to go on diets. I refuse to make lifestyle changes.

Diets don’t work. But, you already know that, don't you?

QUESTION: I know what to do to lose weight and be healthy and fit, so why won’t I just do it?
Truthful answer: I want a quick fix; I want it to be easy AND I still want to be able to eat any and every thing I want.

Now what did our mothers always tell us? Anything of value is worth working for……it takes hard work for long lasting results…..if you don’t work for it you won’t appreciate it……if it happens over night it won’t last a lifetime…Well, our mothers were right!

Here’s an idea: Instead of not being totally honest with ourselves and making New Year’s Resolutions that we won’t keep, why don’t we simply choose to apply what we already know?! “The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

What a concept!!!

Have a Happy Healthy New Year!