I'm Having Too Much Fun to Eat!

One piece of pizza at Chuckie Cheese yesterday and a raisin-bran muffin I grabbed on the go were rounded out by a couple of pieces of cantaloupe yesterday. I really need to do better today.
This TOO might be called "stress eating", I think!

I'm Having Too Much Fun to Post!

Too busy to eat.
So active I have no energy left for 30 minutes of "dedicated walking".
Somehow, I think my grandma activity will serve as a substitute!
And it's MUCH more fun, too!

Walking-Week 2 Complete

I opened the front door this morning at 4:40. A sweet breeze greeted me and a look up at the sky blessed my eyes with a clear view of stars and planets! Thus my 5th and final day of Walking-Week 2 began beautifully.

Next week will be more of a challenge. Two of our grandchildren will spend a few days with us. I'm sure I'll be putting the "steps" in, but whether they will have the same benefit as walking 30 minutes consecutively, I'm not sure! Maybe if I get creative and have unusual energy, I can sneak my 30 minute walks in somehow!

No Excuses! Passion and Steadfastness in Exercise, Life and Godliness

I WISH it was this cool!
The humidity and heat that greeted me this morning told me not to walk outdoors. So, I did my 2 mile indoor walking routine (Thanks, Leslie Samsone). It is firmly ingrained in my head thanks to an extended fitness routine I engaged in some years ago.

I turned on the TV and found Victory in Jesus. As I walked, I was taught! The teaching was from James 5. Two truths stood out to me. First, it is the PASSIONATE (read "fervent" in some translations) PRAYER that is powerful and effective (verse 15). I need to be, I WANT to be more PASSIONATE in my prayer life! Secondly, the OUTCOME of steadfastness is God's merciful and compassionate blessing (consider the outcome of Job's - verse 11).

All this - and exercise, too! Thank you, my Lord!

Inspiration and Motivation to Keep On Keeping On

Need more motivation? Heart Choices is a good blog written by a sister in Christ Jesus. Click here. Then scroll down in the right hand side bar to find the label "Fitness Friday"in her Blog Archive and click on that. Following each post are three more related articles. They are upbeat, inspiring, and helpful.

Making and Breaking Healthy Habits

An October 16, 2007 post by Scott Young contains excellent suggestions regarding making and breaking habits. Here’s a summary of them.

One Habit For 30 Days – (or many say 21 days) You focus on one change for thirty days. After that time it has been sufficiently conditioned to become a habit.

Use a Trigger - a short ritual you perform before a habit. If you wanted to stop smoking this could be snapping your fingers every time you feel the urge for a cigarette.

Replace Lost Needs You can’t just pull out habits without replacing the needs they fulfill. Giving up television might mean you need to find a new way to relax, socialize or get information.

One Habit at a Time Multitasking between three or four often means none become habits.

Balance Feedback The difference between long-term change and giving up on day 31 is the balance of feedback. If your change creates more pain in your life than joy, it’s going to be hard to stick to. Find diets, exercise, financial plans and work routines that are fun to follow and support you.

“But” to Kill Bad Thoughts Anytime you feel yourself thinking negatively about yourself, use the word “but” and point out positive aspects. “I’m lousy at this job – but – if I keep at it I can probably improve.”

Write it Down - Don’t leave commitments in your brain. Write them on paper.

30, 90, 365 Habits go through a series of checkpoints in terms of conditioning. The first is at thirty days. Here it doesn’t require willpower to continue your change, but problems might offset it. At ninety days any change should be neutral where running the habit is no more difficult than not running it. At one year it is generally harder not to run the habit than to continue with it.

Get Leverage - such as: Give a buddy a hundred bucks with the condition to return it to you only when you’ve completed thirty days without fail. Make a public commitment to everyone you know that you’re going to stick with it. Offer yourself a reward if you make it a month. Anything to give yourself that extra push.

Keep it Simple Your change should involve one or two rules, not a dozen. Exercising once per day for at least thirty minutes is easier to follow than exercising Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays with yoga the first day and mountain biking the third day, except when it is raining in which case you will do… Simple rules create habits, complex rules create headaches.

Consistency is Key The point of a habit is that it doesn’t require thought. Variety may be the spice of life, but it doesn’t create habits.

You can’t know whether a different habit will work until you try it.
Mix around with key habits until you find ones that suit you. Don’t try to follow habits because you should,
but because you’ve tested them and they work in your life.

Habits - Making and Breaking

I'm going to do some research today. I remember reading that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. A comment left on yesterday's post made me curious about how many days it takes to BREAK a habit! If I establish a good habit of walking, how many days of NOT walking would it take to get me OUT OF the habit?

And what exactly IS a habit anyway? There are some habits that are next to impossible to break - like biting ones nails or smoking. Why is it not as difficult to break the "walking habit" as it is to break a "nail-biting habit"?

Dear Me...A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

A new week has begun. Summer, too! A season of salads--vegetables and fruit. A season of health and harvests. You have been diligent in establishing some habits that are important for both life AND godliness.

From past experience, you know how quickly these habits can dissipate! So don't get complacent. Don't get lazy. Don't let the heat of the morning dissuade you from the 30 minute walks, 5 days out of 7!

The achievement of your 159# goal was a long time in coming. But having arrived, aren't you motivated for one more weight goal? Say, "149#" by August 15th? Then you should be able to "shop your closet" and assemble a free autumn wardrobe. How exciting will that be?

That will be a great time to organize and weed out your closet. So don't get weighed down by that concern. Just write it down in your date book and take care of TODAY! Till then, rely on God's grace and power which provide EVERYTHING you need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called you to his own glory and excellence. (II Peter 1:3)

Motivation to Live Well

"One of the most satisfying feelings--more satisfying than the temptation itself is when one can say, ’I could have, but I didn’t!’" (from 6/20/09)

Yes, I actually DO read these quotes. (They change daily in my sidebar here on this blog.) I find them to live up to the name: "MOTIVATION TO LIVE WELL"! My personal addition to the one for today is: Equally satisfying is to be able to say, "I SHOULD have, and I DID!" I look back on this week of walking and am truly satisfied. Beyond satisfied, actually! I'm relieved, encouraged, righteously (I hope) proud, and motivated for another week of healthy living.
Thank You, Heavenly Father.
Your grace, power and presence keep me going.
My life IS in You.

Day 5 - 30 Minutes. Mission Accomplished "On the Way"

By the end of today, I will have achieved the goal of walking for 30 minutes 5 days out of the 7 in this week. (Right now, it is still raining...)

Since I couldn't walk just yet, I stepped on the scale before I showered and dressed for the morning. And a funny thing happened!

"On the way" to the short-term goal, I have come to meet a long-term goal: 159#! The last few pounds to this latter goal seemed unmovable. So I just concentrated on adding the daily walks this week. And what a joy to see the scale this morning!

I recall that it was "on the way" to their home in Emmaus that the two disciples met the risen Christ Jesus! I know it's good to have a goal and certainly to have the assurance of a Heavenly Home, but these long-term goals are "broken down" into small, daily bits of challenging living.

And Hallelujah! It is sometimes "on the way" that we, too, encounter the risen Christ Jesus in a most unexpected manner!
  • I will be "on the way" later today to complete Day 5's 30 minutes.
  • I will bask in the joy of a long-term goal achieved for a day or two.
  • And I will be listening to my body and to the "voice" of my risen Christ Jesus to see what the next goal should be in caring for this aging body "on the way" to my Heavenly Home.

Day 4 - 30 Minutes, No Matter What!

It was harder to get out of bed this morning. So, after our children and grandchildren left, I began my walk. I walked the long way to the Post Office, then around a couple of blocks and 10 minutes "in place" in the house. It wasn't the original plan, but it was 30 minutes of movement. One day to go until I have fulfilled my goal of 5 days out of 7 - 30 minutes per day.

With God's help, I have been eating wisely - mainly fruit and vegetables. In fact, this morning I had some mulberries fresh from our backyard tree with some plain yogurt. Yummy!

Mulberries contains low amount of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium while quite high in vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron. Eating mulberries regularly helps you in maintaining good health and losing weight. Therefore, those looking to gain weight are advised against eating mulberries.

Mulberries are also a rich source of resveratrol, which is a compound with anti-cancer properties. Mulberries contain lots of anthocyanins, which guard against cardiovascular diseases. The fruit has also proven ability to fight with harmful virus and bacteria.

A Japanese study indicates that mulberry powder, if included as dietary supplement, helps in preventing diabetes.

The best thing about eating mulberries is they make a healthy snack that also taste good, and provides you several health benefits if consumed regularly.

Day 3 - 30 Minutes: Beginning was the Hardest Part!

I've been waking up with walking on my mind! So at 4:55 I slipped out of bed and into my shoes and walking dress, drank a glass of water and was out the door. It was cool enough to walk comfortably. Only 2 more days to achieve my goal for this week! Beginning the walking routine WAS the hardest part.

"Well begun is half done." (Horace)

“The first step towards getting somewhere

is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” (Unknown)

Day 2 - 30 Minutes

It was still dark when I left the front door at 5:05 this morning. The birds had already been singing for at least a half hour while I lay in bed deciding to get up. The lights on our shed were crowned by a sliver of moon covered by a thin cloud. I fell once before getting to the bakery. My cell phone was thrust open to the ground some feet ahead of me. I decided to continue but didn't wander far from home this time. Just walked past the bakery and up and down a few well-constructed sidewalks with safe curbing.

Day 1 - 30 Minutes

I know. These aren't walking shoes. But they're comfortable. And I enjoyed the walk. Up the street, around the elementary school, through the park, and back to the house. Still cool enough (61 degrees) and early enough (7:30 a.m.) to be pleasant. Tomorrow I may walk earlier.

A prudent (woman) gives thoughts to (her) steps. Proverbs 14:15

I Will

A few days ago, I wrote, "I need to return to that practice."

This morning I declare, "With God's help, I will return to that practice"! Beginning today. Five days of the seven this week, I will walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes.

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:13

I'm Going Bananas!

Because bananas contain three natural sugars combined with fiber, they give instant and sustained boosts of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. But energy isn't the banana's only fitness benefit. It can also help overcome or prevent many illnesses and conditions. Among them, I have read, are these:

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND of people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

: The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure
: Bananas are extremely high in potassium & low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch to boost their brain power. Research shows that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites
: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people have found this reduces swelling and irritation.

: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight: Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. In 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

: The banana is effective against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control
: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. Seasonal

Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use
: Bananas can help people trying to give up smoking. Their B6, B12, potassium and magnesium help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

Compared to an apple, a banana has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.
Maybe it's time for ALL of us to "Go Bananas!"
My husband and I share one most mornings. He eats his cut up on cereal.
I cut my half long-ways and spread each half with a little peanut butter.

It Isn't Pretty, But It's My Bicycle

It doesn't have any bells or whistles, and it is in need of a paint job. (I'm open to suggestions of a new color!) It has a strange click when the wheels turn, but it gets me around Small Town, USA. We have new sidewalks with convenient curbing making it easy to navigate the short distance to our local post office. The small basket on my bike usually holds a day's mail. I enjoy biking short distances. I also walk a fairly brisk pace. In the past, I walked 30 minutes a day, 5 days out of 7. I need to return to that practice.

Three Hershey Bars Later

In the middle of research, shuffling between Goggle and Microsoft Word, I lost connection with my server. "The internal wireless device is set to Radio Off in BIOS Setup or powered off by the hardware switch," the script informed me.

I tried unsuccessfully to locate BIOS or my hardware switch. Then my husband went to the phone and used most of his monthly cellphone minutes to (also unsuccessfully) work with a person on the other end to restore functionality to my ailing laptop.

Me? I ate three Hershey dark chocolate candy bars (with almonds) in 30 minutes. That's right! After 60 days of healthy eating, I turned to chocolate. Not a glass of water. Not a walk around the block. Not even prayer.

I think this is what they call stress eating. And all it got me was guilt, more stress, and three candy bar wrappers to throw away. This morning, I'm using my husband's laptop. Mine will be taken to the shop. I think I'm learning my lesson and can avoid the candy bars that remain until I have my laptop back.
Oh what peace we often forfeit!
Oh what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Finishing What I Begin

In the closing session of the conference we recently attended, Bishop Ron Ramsey challenged us to be "finishers". Using the illustration of a Tanzanian long distance runner in a 60's Summer Olympics, he told how the runner finished in agony--dead last and long after the other runners. When interviewed, the Tanzanian said his country didn't send him to the race to start the race -- but to finish it.

I am not a very good finisher. I am easily distracted and leave too many things undone. I have a fresh resolve to practice finishing in the "lesser" areas of my life so that I will be a strong finisher in life and hear the Father's "Well done" when I arrive at my heavenly home.

I am very close to my long-desired weight goal. I am tempted to slack off. But by God's grace and with His help, I will stay in to the end.

Don't be surprised to hear that I have set a new goal weight. Until then, I will be grateful and thrilled to reach THIS one.

It CAN Be Done!

Just a brief post to say, "It can be done." Eating a 38th wedding anniversary meal out without breaking the healthy eating barrier, that is. While all the (caloric) numbers are not in, I CAN say that the salmon was delicious. I should not have eaten the breadstick and cut the tossed salad portion back a little, but I enjoyed the place, the time spent with my husband, and the thought that I had said "no" to dessert, buttery baked potatoes, and the extra breadstick, etc.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
Titus 2:11-12

She Talks to Herself, Too! (See my very first post - June 1, 2009)

I asked Brenda for permission to post her comments that I read on another blog SOMEWHERE out there. She consented.

Here are the things I tell myself. I thought about expanding this list. It does help me to talk to myself like this. . .

1. One day at a time.

2. It does not taste that good.

3. You are not that hungry.

4. The good feeling and tasting is so temporary.

5. Go for a walk.

6. I do not regret today what I did not eat yesterday.

7. All I need is one taste.

8. Eating something leftover is just as wasteful as throwing it away and probably more dangerous to my health.

9. Do you want to be full or thin?

I find this rationale and "self-talk" to be helpful!

Some of it (like #6 & #9) are statements that that are new to me.

Thanks, Brenda!

Post Your Goals Where You'll See Them Often

"Post your goals where you’ll see them often, along with notes of inspiration. Reminders are a good thing." So goes the 6/4/09 Motivation to Live Well Quote.

Would you believe that for over a year I've been "posting my goal" in my journal! EVERY day! Now some would think that it didn't work. But I am here to tell you that it DID work--subconsciously. Never leaving me comfortable with the excess weight I was carrying. Today I am within 3 pounds of that goal. I may be setting a NEW goal soon.

F.Y.I. The heart represents the whole of me - body, soul, mind and spirit. The cross indicates that I belong to God by virtue of Christ's death for me. That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That I want Him to be central in my body, soul, mind, and spirit. The arrow means I am moving FORWARD--not looking back. The # outside the heart is my pound goal. The date and time are also within the heart. Sometimes I was as "fuzzy" on the goal as this hastily-taken photo. But it was always clear on the page!

Posting my goals is not the "power" that accomplishes the work! That is God at work IN me. But He uses the reminders, uses His written Word, and uses His Living Word to motivate me to "WILL and to DO" His good pleasure.

"It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:13)

One of my Favorite Filling and Healthy Fast Foods

SMALL CHILI Serving Size: 227 g (one pkg); Calories: 190, Total Fat: 6g, Carbs: 19g, Protein: 14g

While traveling on our vacation in North Carolina and Tennessee late in April (see Life and Godliness, April 22), I frequently enjoyed Wendy's small chili. It is filling and VERY tasty in my opinion. Today on our way home from Chicago this evening, we stopped at Wendy's again. I filled up before seeing the bottom of the serving container!

When I got home, I looked up the nutritional facts on this satisfying soup to see if it really was "low in fat, high in fiber" as advertised. This is what I found. I WILL have more chili this week, I'm sure. We're going to be attending our church convention near Sandusky, OH. Our meals will be eaten out, so I'll be on the lookout for economy and good nutrition.

No Magic Bullet

I don't know a lot about the TOPS organization. My good friend is the president of her chapter. I should learn more details! According to the internet, they are a nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss support organization with a two-fold objective: to encourage healthy lifestyles through weight-management support groups and to sponsor obesity research. Group support is one of the keys to my friend's impressive weight loss.

If I understand my friend's information correctly, there is no one diet plan that they promote. I think this is wise. There are MANY ways to lose weight, and most of us who have this challenge are familiar with most of them.

Certain plans work more conveniently or effectively for certain people, but there is no "magic bullet". The sooner I accept this and get on with balanced, healthy eating in moderate portions, the quicker I am on my way to weight loss, increased energy, and a more positive frame of mind.

Smaller portions and eating primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, and 3-4 ounces of lean meat or fish daily has been my strategy THIS time. And it is working. I have thought it more difficult to lose weight this side of menopause. However, as I am consistent with my improved habits, I am finding the weight dropping much quicker than I expected.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously...
And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6 & 8

Sow consistently, my friends! Sow generously. Don't be half-hearted or discouraged.
You will reap a GREAT harvest!
God did not give us a spirit of fear!

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,
If I can show somebody, how they're travelling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,
If I can spread love's message, as the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

My living shall not be in vain,
Then my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

Written in 1945 by Alma Bazel Androzzo

Talking to Myself

It's not the first time I've had this talk with myself. At various times throughout my life, I've had to remind myself that I am not my own. I belong to the One who created me. Jesus paid for me with His life!

When He offered His life in exchange for mine and I received it, He placed a new spirit inside me. A spirit of power and love and self-control.

The trouble is, I get side-tracked. I get selfish. I get lazy. I get fat. There! I said it! And then I need to talk to myself as Paul talked to his protege. "Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you"!

After a few years of increasing carelessness in my eating and exercise habits, I tried to self-reform only to be faced with discouragement, disappointment, and failure.

Then, a few weeks ago, a fresh wind of power and love and self-control gently blew new courage and determination into my most inner being. I can't explain it except by the mystery and gift of God's Holy Spirit.

By His grace, I have been "dying daily" to my inclinations and appetites. And simultaneously the flame of the spirit of power and love and self-control has been ignited once again.

I am SO grateful.