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!