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Aren’t We All God’s Needlepoint Project?

A dear friend worked on a needlepoint project for weeks. I once walked in while she was laboring over her design. It was turned upside down. From where I stood, it looked a total mess. All those patchwork colors were joined in scrambled directions. What in the world was she working on? It looked incredibly complicated and discouraging.

Then she turned it over. The top side displayed a beautiful young child in a meadow amidst colorful flowers. Who knew??? It was so lovely and intricate, revealing a life lesson to me not to judge a piece of work until it’s finished! To her it was worth the effort.

How very much like a needlepoint project is God’s intricate work in us!

Years ago, I worked for a faith-based, drug recovery center.  The women who arrived at the facility were beaten down by life – shattered into pieces. Life’s choices hadn’t been good to them.

Sometimes their drug addiction began as a cry for attention. For some, it was to cover painful emotional attachments to family challenges, boyfriend or peer pressure situations. Others to dull the pain of loneliness, self-esteem issues or friends urging them to join into the “thrill” of drugs and alcoholism.

Unbelievably and regretfully, several had begun their dangerous meth or drug habit merely to lose weight. Now they were addicted. What a half-truth Satan proclaims when he tells a young woman that she will lose weight, gain beauty and popularity through drugs. Weight loss? Of course – through malnutrition and early death!

The half-truths of this world mislead many, just as it has since Adam and Eve. (“Surely you will not die . . .  ” Genesis 3:4) And any drug which artificially jumpstarts one’s metabolism will hang on to every pound after the “goal” is reached as an act of survival.

Losing weight through manipulating drugs  WILL. NOT. WORK! Please do not even think of attempting a drug (diet pills) to lose weight if you’re a Christian. It not only hurts your heart, but God’s as well. You are God’s holy temple and drugs change your biochemistry and brain function!

Today many of these lovely women (but sadly not all) conquered the satanic bonds that anchored them to this world’s view of beauty. True beauty comes from within.

Those women placing their trust in Christ are now firmly anchored to His Truth of Salvation instead of drugs as Christ proclaimed each one was worth the sacrifice He endured for them. They are now children of the One True King!

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

A luring idol has a powerful tug of the heart. But the Word of God is stronger! I pray that the intricately woven Word of God will be able to assist you in resisting the ever present, powerful enticement towards a degrading lifestyle of weight loss pills and other diet fallacies.

If our life is God’s tapestry, it is unclear even to us how His work will turn out until our lives are completed. God’s prick of the needle can be painful as He works on us. And sometimes God needs to modify His creation by reworking the pattern if we go astray. (Genesis 50:20) His Patience and His Timing is perfect in His workmanship of us.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Staying Healthy Even Thru Tough Times

Most will agree, we went thru stressful times this past year. Have you found you’ve gained weight? Found yourself eating to cover emotional issues? You’re not alone. But ask why you’re reaching for food. Are you even hungry or simply reacting to challenges?

If you are having a stressful morning, it’s easy to reach for the donuts in the break room. Angry? Those pretzels are therapeutically crunchy!!! Lonely? Reach for the calming chemical phenylethylamine found in chocolate.

Food is our comfort drug when we are feeling emotional. You experience stress as a nurse, when you can’t do anything for that sweet child in the ICU, as an overworked teacher, when that popular teenager calls you a derogatory word and others laugh, or as a social worker, wishing you could do more for struggling families. It hurts when we don’t see a way out!

Self-medicating with food makes the pain go away, even for a short time. It changes our chemical make-up, providing pleasure, relaxing us. That’s a hard habit to give up. If you are a kind person watching injustice in today’s world, stress hits especially hard. You might even question God and wonder why He allows such things to happen?

God cares! It breaks His heart when He sees suffering. But, as He has since Adam, allowed us free choice. We can obey, become apathetic or self-destruct. God would never force us do something beyond free will.

I understand this.  As much as I wanted my patients to become healthier, they had to want it more than I wanted it for them! I watched as they victoriously chose a more healthier lifestyle . . . or destruction. It was  frustrating to watch sometimes but it had to be their choice. Change starts from within the individual.

As God watches, it’s the same for Him. He wants us to choose what is best but in His love. He did not create puppets. God will not force us to do what we don’t want to do. Actions have consequences and choosing to consume chemically-laden, processed foods will ultimately react in physiologically destructive results. 

In the beginning God gave us whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds for food. In modern times, man began developing foods that included additives, preservatives and chemicals for a longer shelf life.

You probably realize already that food, being a bunch of chemicals, can become addictive. It is as addictive as smoking, drugs or alcohol addiction because it changes our brain neurotransmitters and bodily chemistry.

Regarding diets, my personal health philosophy is based on 1 Corinthians 10:23 “”I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

Any food is fine in moderations but certain foods containing preservatives and chemicals aren’t constructive because they create an unhealthy acidic pH.

Some believe food addiction is even worse than drugs, alcohol and smoking because we cannot get away from food – it’s there at least three times a day, staring us in the face. It’s in the vending machines, on television, even along the road you travel on. 

As a nutritional counselor I gave my patients the tools for recovery, then had to stand by to see if they would take hold of them to use them for their own good. Faith is trusting, even when we don’t understand why.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9: 9,10 (NIV)


 

Cabbage Soup and Other Crazy Diets

Research states Americans spent $72 billion on diets in 2019!

“Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” (Hebrews13:9)

Does anyone remember when Oprah Winfrey, to prove a point on her popular television show in the 1990s, set up a totally fictitious diet center in a mall?

That ‘diet’ consisted of eating only hot dogs and ice cream.  How silly, who’d believe that?   Well . . .  actually . . . over forty people signed up in three days! It proved that people will fall for anything and we must be wary of diet scams.

The question one has to ask is, why???  Surely they couldn’t believe that consuming sodium-filled, nitrate-laden, saturated fat, processed meat and 11 grams of saturated dairy fat per 1/2 cup, would produce a fit body?

Anything’s fine in moderation and isn’t health more important than weight loss?

Nutritional education, physiology, overcoming challenges and establishing lifelong strategies are certainly more conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Still, many search for a quick fix, even at the expense of their health.

The “Lose A Pound a Day Diet!”

Exposing the false claims of diet gurus who profess that one can lose a “pound a day” by simply trying this or that fad, is challenging.

Many plans have emerged over the years so let’s discuss several that have endured:

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Popular throughout the 1980s and ’90s, it is still used by many today as a magic formula.  “You can lose 10 lbs. in 10 days!!” bold headlines claim.  Wow, if it was only that easy. Sadly this claim isn’t realistic.

Although cabbage soup contains essential nutrients, you will not lose 10 pounds of FAT in ten days. You will lose mostly water weight.

I know it’s complicated but please stay with me here.

  • 3,500 calories equal one pound of fat. A person would need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day to lose one pound of fat per week. (7 days x 500 =3,500 calories)
  • Losing 1,000 calories per day would equal 7,000 calories per week which only amounts to two pounds.
  • Let’s say you are a 180 pound male and moderately active. Your usual daily intake is 2,500 calories per day. Even if you cut out all food for ten days – starving yourself, 10 days x 2500 calories = 25,000 calories.  That only equals 7 pounds and your body would not only lose fat, but muscle, brain and water.
  • If you reduce your diet to a starvation level of 800 to 1,000 calories per day – one dctor actually put me on this! – you would lose vital nutrients. Then your hypothalamus, (being the brain’s thermostat) would either nag you constantly to consume the nutrients you lack or it would think you were starving. It would then slow your metabolism to virtually nothing in order to protect you. This would defeat the purpose of weight loss.

The Grapefruit, Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar Diets

I lump all these together because these diets are meant to burn fat with acidic producing properties which theoretically enhances metabolism. All contain nutrients which are physiologically beneficial and are excellent foods by themselves. 

What it does is produce alkaline properites

Although lemons, grapefruit and vinegar taste acidic, these foods biochemically metabolize into alkaline properties in your system. An alkaline pH curbs your appetite and in that way is beneficial. It is certainly not wrong to consume any of these on a daily basis, but it is not a magic bullet.

Excerpt form my book,  “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us)

Coming Soon: More Crazy Diet Plans

Choose To Be Mentally Ready For A Healthier Year!

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)

One’s Mental Connection to Success:

It’s that time of year when many follow crazy diet plans to lose those pounds which piled on over the holidays. I urge you to use common sense.

How many of you after reading this, would sign up for the following weight loss program if it clearly stated the following:

Volunteers needed to test a new diet program.
Some foods are toxic and will cause paralysis and blindness.

Hopefully none of you, right? Clearly this diet plan states that attempting this eating program WILL cause blindness and paralysis for attempting it. That’s crazy!

However, years ago, Rachel Ray, the American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef and author, conducted an experiment on her syndicated talk and lifestyle program, soliciting volunteers to sign up for this particular weight loss plan. Over 1,400 desperate, hopeful people signed up!! Unbelievable! Some people would literally self-destruct for a perceived world-view body image.

You might regard Rachel Ray’s false diet approach as an over-the-top, ridiculous example of a weight loss program, but reflect upon your own diet choices in the past. Are you one of those who tried six different plans and are still searching for the right one? How many have you tried a liquid diet, pills, Atkins Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, cottage cheese diet, grapefruit diet, cookie diet, no-carbs, no-fat, it goes on and on and on . . . granted, there is no “one size fits all” diet program, everyone’s physiology and chemical makeup is different, but let’s use some physiological sense.

We live in an instant gratification society. Most want a quick fix to lose ten pounds in a week. Many try fad diets and actually lose five to seven pounds the first week. But it won’t be 10 pounds of fat but rather water, muscle and brain they are losing. It is physically impossible to lose 10 pounds of fat per week! You can even starve yourself and not lose 10 pounds of fat! I’ll address that fallacy soon. Please don’t fall for gimmicks or only your wallet will be lighter.

Fad diets might seem tempting, but as we will learn, this is not how God originally designed us to live. We are to cherish our bodies for we were created by God with love and designed for a special purpose. Quit desperately seeking over-promised, under-delivered fad diet plans. Be mentally ready to reject impulsive, self-destructive diets.

It is not easy to conquer physical, emotional and physiological challenges alone. Remember you are never alone! Your partner is God. Let Him be your ultimate Champion!

In today’s society, everyone longs to look like Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt. People are so desperate to lose a few pounds that they will even risk their health with dangerous diet plans or pills to do so, as we discovered by Rachel Ray’s false diet offer.

To some the adoration and applause of man is worth more in their eyes than the approval of God. Why would anyone want to destroy their eternal godly temple for a plate of earthly pleasure today?

Your goal is life-long healthy living. Please do not become Essau who thought so little of his birthright that he sold it for a bowl of pottage. (Genesis 25: 2)

Excerpt from my book, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) available from amazon.com Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese!: (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) – Kindle edition by Marrandette, Ellie. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Living Sanely in a Topsy-Turvey World

What a topsy-turvey world we’re living in – Lord, please come soon! Right is wrong and worshipping rebellion is king. If Christians defend Truth, professing “wait that’s against God’s Word!” we are vilified. Therefore the majority remain silent and fearful. Isn’t silence compliance? We allow that unknowing frog in the frying pan to get cooked without even realizing the frog is us.

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

Even if I knew I could riot and break into an establishment, snatch money, merchandise, destroying and taking someone livelihood and get away with it, I wouldn’t! Have you noticed some condone this? People resort to crime and the police are supposed to be the bad guys? All of them??? (Isn’t that the definition of prejudice which the lawbreakers profess to hate?)

I don’t care what someone looks like – if they smile, are kind, courteous, I immediately want to be friends. If they are cruel, cantankerous, complaining, I avoid them. Choose your company wisely.

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

May I ask you something? Do you like what you see around you? No? Then make changes, starting with the one in the mirror. Are you someone you’d like to be friends with? Do you exemplify a kind nature? Begin with one kindness a day and become the compassionate, decent human being God wants you to be!

Start allowing God control over your life. A happy person is a healthy person in mind, body and spirit.

Face it – it’s been a challenging year. Isolation has led to depression which has led to consuming comfort foods for energy and to mask loneliness, boredom and pain. It takes a lot of discipline to resist sugary treats which both energizes a boring, stay-at-home existence and calms the restless soul.

Now you’ve added at least ten pounds to your girth and you’re blaming the government and God for that too. Did it not occur to you that one can exercise inside the home, read a book, sew, paint, clean or write instead? It’s your choice. (I’ve used this time to complete one of my sequels and have 60,000 plus words on the next one.)

Even if I knew I could consume restaurant food every night, I wouldn’t do it. First I enjoy creating meals with my own hands. Secondly, I crave a healthy lifestyle for my husband and myself more than food.

As a nutritionist, I’ve seen what happens when people constantly eat unhealthy foods. Fatty foods simply make us sluggish. It takes longer (5-7 hours) to burn fat for energy. Unhealthy food creates an acidic pH which leads to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancers and other illnesses. Is that your goal? “It’s my life, I’ll do what I want!” Okay . . . then own it. It’s your choice. Personally, I love God more than McBurgers and French fries. Don’t make food your idol.

Make healthy eating compliance easy. Anything is fine in moderation but primarily eat for nutrients!!! Fast food has very few nutrients but is awash in calories. Listen to your body and strive for a life filled with vitality, contentment and mental perceptiveness. A happy person doesn’t destroy other people’s property nor themselves!!!

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)

Dr. Oz Says “Skip Breakfast!” Should We?

In a video-taped interview this week with Fox News, Dr. Oz admits that doctors don’t learn much about nutrition in med school. I wondered then, how did he discover this remarkable “new” idea of skipping breakfast? He learned this dietary concept through Hugh Jackman. A terrific, talented and one of my favorite actors, but hardly an expert on physiological nutrition.

Dr. Oz went on to claim the average person eats continually over a 17 hour day. Very few healthy people I know eat “continuously.” If consuming potato chips at 11pm is a habit, then we have a counseling problem.

I do agree that eating before bedtime is not beneficial to sleep. Sleep releases beneficial growth hormones – lack of it leads to mental deterioration, internal stress and illness.

“I think for 2020, the first thing I’m going to do is ban breakfast,” the celebrity doctor recently told TMZ. “I don’t think we need to eat breakfast. That’s an advertising ploy.”

Well that settles it doesn’t it? If that bastion of newsworthy journalism, TMZ broadcasts it – then it must be true.

Dr. Oz goes on: “Unfortunately, a lot of the dogma that we were fed for decades came out of advertisements. It wasn’t really based on the truth around our health.”

Well that’s true – advertisements are meant to manipulate the public into purchasing their product; but let’s break his statement down.

Never did the doctor clarify what a healthy versus unhealthy breakfast is. Eggs contain countless nutrients which I’ve written about, whole wheat French toast is better than white. There’s a huge distinction between sugary Honey Smacks with a quarter teaspoon of fiber and 5 teaspoons of sugar and Shredded Wheat with a quarter teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of fiber. Add a banana, berries and cinnamon for nutritious fructose and added fiber because fiber also allows the body to rid itself of toxins through bowel movements.

Thankfully Mark Wahlberg (who wakes up at 2:30am and eats breakfast at 3:15) and Dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, the manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute respectfully disagreed with Dr. Oz’s finding.

In response, Dr. Oz shot Mark down, “Well, powerful medical literature and lots of athletes support me and show that intermittent fasting flips the switch so it bolsters your physical and your mental performance.”

Great, I can recruit just as many athletic directors and dietitians who would declare the opposite. But the response of “Oh yeah, did not,” “Did too,” is kind of childish isn’t it? Even if 5,000 men are wrong, they’re still wrong! (old Chinese saying.)

We are all uniquely created. I don’t eat breakfast immediately either – I like to be awake. I don’t measure portion sizes anymore – after measuring several times, usually you’ll know how much is normal.

I DO eat for nutrients. My morning begins around 7am with two cups of coffee, creamer, cinnamon and turmeric, an hour later, ¾ cup of quality yogurt, walnuts, berries and milled flaxseed. About 1/2 to 1 hour later, whole grain cereal and a half banana. At lunch I’ll have variety: a small salad, a half sandwich or planned-overs from the night before. Dinner consists of 3-4 ounces of meat with 5xs more veggies. A small dessert is eaten about 2 hours later. Sometimes in the afternoon I’ll eat a square of dark chocolate.

For my dietary advice I will go to The Great Physician. He lovingly created us individually according to Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5. In Exodus 16:21, God ordered the Israelites to gather manna every morning. Even God believed in breakfast! I’ll cast my lot with my LORD. I believe God’s smarter than any man.

Searching for Dieting Perfection? Not Gonna Happen!

Do you expect dieting perfection from yourself? Face it, you’re searching for an unrealistic goal. Continue toward healthy living and you’ll become your healthiest self.

There was only one perfect person born on earth, our Lord, and we are not him! If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than Jesus at achieving it?

God made you human, not perfect. Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make a mistake, you certainly can strive to do better in the future. Talk yourself into success. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future!

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,” (Titus 2:12) NLT

Build your own strategies, but here are some suggestions to start you off. When you feel like eating, go for a ten minute walk up the street and ten minutes back, submerge yourself into an exciting novel, take a bubble bath or paint your nails – you can’t get into a potato chip bag with your nails wet, right? Write your strategies down so they’ll be available when you need them.

There’s a encouraging story about goodness versus perfection which goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t tell you it was a true story) . . . anyway, he told the first Explorer to travel to Earth and find everything that was perfect on the planet and bring all that he found back to him in his spacecraft.

To the other Explorer he ordered him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all he found back to him in his spaceship.

Well, time progressed and finally the first Explorer returned home. The King rubbed his hands together and jumped up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the Galatican arrived back empty-handed.

“What is the meaning of this?” demanded the King.

“Oh Sire, what a despicable place this earth planet was! I searched everywhere! I could find nothing perfect on it at all! Why, there was pollution, people protested in mobs, I found war even on their playthings. Cars honked incessantly and it always rained in Seattle. Gas was $5 a gallon and this thing called fried butter was horrendous! I repeat nothing on Earth is perfect!”

Discouraged, the Ruler waited for the other explorer to return. Finally, the second explorer arrived home and was summoned to the Palace.

“Were you able to find anything good on Earth?” His King asked dejectedly.

“Oh gracious King, you wouldn’t believe all the good I found on planet Earth!” he exclaimed enthusiastically! “Why, there were birds singing, amazing sunsets, rainbows, beautiful homes and automobiles. The taste of ice cream is terrific! Why, I couldn’t bring all I found back to you, because there was just too much good in that world!”

So the moral of that story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for good and it will be all around you.

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10) NLT

I urge you to continue to strive for excellence in your health quest!

What are You waiting For? Get Healthy Now!

We’re approaching that time of year again when approximately 45% of people resolve to go on a diet and 70% resolve to become healthier. They check out diet program after diet program, read countless magazine articles professing a secret formula, spend a fortune on boxed food and profess, “The eighteenth time is the charm! This time it will happen! This year, I’m resolved!”

That resolve usually lasts 2-3 weeks. But hope springs eternal – Your friend said she lost 20 pounds in a week on yet another diet and surely if she did, so will you!!! Nope.

Why don’t these programs work? Because each of us have different physiology, personalities, stress levels, metabolism, employment, family responsibilities, etcetera,  etcetera . . . Next, even if you eliminate 3500 calories, the amount needed to lose a pound each day, for a week, you’d only lose seven pounds.

Face it, everyone knows how to lose weight. Eat less, exercise more. Drink water, exercise, slow down and consume smaller portions. Easy peasy, everyone says – until everyone fails. Then everyone believes they have no willpower, they give up and pompously declare, “Well, this is how God made me, therefore, “so be it.”

Wrong! God wants you healthy whether you’re a size twelve or two. Health is more important than weight loss.  True health incorporates energy level, how your clothes fit, emotional wellness, whether you are mentally alert or “fuzz-brained.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard someone speak about their current diet announcing proudly, “I’m cutting out all carbs!” while the companion nods his head in agreement.  AAARGGHH! (If you don’t consume wholesome carbohydrates, your brain doesn’t get energized daily. Our brain feeds on glucose, a carbohydrate!)

It gets discouraging when few listen to the nutritionist who has kept her weight off for thirty years but they follow false diet gurus. Now I don’t expect you to be a size two, but I do practice what I preach and enjoy a vibrant and energetic lifestyle – I only want you to also.

What I follow is a diet plan based on Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. Anything is fine in moderation. Very similar to the Mediterranean, DASH or Volumetrics diet plan. Over the next few weeks I’ll offer the “why” and provide practical applications.

For now: Consume five times more veggies and fruit than meat on your plate. Eat healthy omega 3 fats and wholesome whole grains. In leu of processed foods, choose fibrous foods. Next exercise, relax and don’t sweat the small stuff.

No one gets healthier unless they are mentally, physically or spiritually ready to. It’s the main reason I started this blog and wrote, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) available on amazon.com.

Everyone starts out with good intentions. No one starts out wanting to fail; it’s humiliating!  But people self-destruct for different reasons;  could be educational fallacies, while other times psychological. Do you realize that sometimes when you reach for a cookie, it’s not a cookie that you desire but the warmth and security of family memories?

Having a goal to become healthier is more important than weight loss. Building muscle creates the physiological furnace that burns fat. Get moving! Exercise releases feel-good endorphins; so find some form of exercise you enjoy! Walking, gardening, dancing, biking . . . Being out in the fresh air contributes to an extra endorphin bonus.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll provide practical information so you won’t “spin your wheels” on another useless diet program. Get Healthy Now!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

Childhood, Adulthood and Happy Thanksgiving

To quote one of my favorite sayings of a Jesuit priest, “Show me the boy at 7 and I’ll show you the man he will become.” Oh, our wonderful formative years!

What we were like as a child stays within and in a moment we become what we once were.

That seems even more true as we approach the holiday season. Next up, Thanksgiving! One holiday meant to be celebrated by eating all day.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Let’s take a quiz shall we? These personality examples typify profiles of many patients I’ve counseled:

  1. Did you expect your Mom and Dad to complete your homework?
  2. Did your “mean” parents not allow you to watch television until you accomplished your chores?
  3. Did “Some Assembly Required” drive you bonkers, but stubborn and determined you finally got it right?!
  4. Or did you give up and let someone else complete that bookshelf?
  5. Were you the first to finish projects so you could have bragging rights?
  6. Did you procrastinate, waiting until the last-minute to finish anything?
  7. Think back to high school: a. Did you join many clubs? or b. join only to quit when you got bored?

Now how did you do?

#1. Personal responsibility is a foreign concept. At work, someone else can pick up the slack . . . eventually. There’s always someone else to do your work. You’ll start a diet on January 2nd and quit by the third week.

If 2. Now you’re in charge of your life and freedom is intoxicating! You’re rebellious and can do whatever you wish! That includes eating whatever you want. You have a desire to succeed but why give up freedom for more hassle? You infrequently reach goals.

3. You’re analytical, needing proof. How does this plan work? You’ll question, dissect and figure out how it’ll be successful before wasting your time or money. In weight loss it’s the counselor’s job is to educate you on the first visit or else. Once you commit, you’re determined to finish what you started. You’re a “Mom I can do it myself!” personality.

4. If circumstances become too complicated, it’s easier to give up. That includes marriage, employment, gym membership or weight loss. You need to establish “small goals to reach goals” so you won’t feel like a failure when large goals aren’t met. Two steps backward but five steps ahead.

5. Competitive, you make life a game. Always striving for short-term goals to makes life interesting, you’ll join a sports team or gym to be the best there. However since you have perfectionist standards, life sometimes becomes an “all or nothing” encounter. Competitive, you might be the heaviest in the crowd because of you desire to be #1! “I can out eat you! Just watch!”

6. Procrastinators never seem to find an ideal time to begin. There’s always a special party or a wedding coming up. “I’ll start next week” and of course next week never comes. A procrastinator usually fears failure, rejection, sets unrealistic goals or needs stimulation to meet deadlines.

7. a. If you joined and stuck it out, your word is your bond. You value your principles and reach goals. If b. then you’ll quit everything you begin. On a diet plan, you’re always searching for another quick fix. No one holds you accountable. Beware! Learn to hold yourself accountable, developing self-discipline. Quitting does nothing for an ego except defeat it.

You’re probably a combination of the above personalities. But understand, Satan wants us to feel defeated, to say, “Well, that’s the way God made me so I guess I’m stuck.” Pity party!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Be disciplined and conquer any characteristics that aren’t advantageous. You’re worth it to God.

(Enjoy a controlled and Happy Thanksgiving – I’ll return first week in December.)

Feeding on Ashes

“He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:14–20)

With an abundance of great culinary choices, why do we continue to choose unwisely? Why do some choose to feed on ashes? That’s unnecessary. If one eats as God intended, even if you have a debilitating illness (which be honest, unhealthy food choices most likely contributed to) it can greatly change your quality of life.

Some follow what I call, “the penance principle” when they decide to follow a “diet.” Believing they must flagellate myself and suffer or God won’t bless them. That means rice cakes and celery sticks every day.

Some (and this is sad – even some CHRISTIANS) follow a magical formula proposed by some health professional. After all, with modern science, those diet gurus must know more than God. I’m talking about the Paleo, Atkins, Paleo which restricts a certain food or entire category of foods while proclaiming the same unbiblical notion repeatedly.

These are False and all have the same theme! There is nothing new under the sun.

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Don’t we realize what a slap in the face of God it is to follow a false teacher rather than HIm? To say, “Well, God made a mistake, I know better now.”

I prefer to follow and profess God’s Will:

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29)

Every nutrient needed for optimum health can be found in the rain forests and family farms. God bless the farmers! I believe that after the world-wide flood, the atmosphere and probably our physiological chemistry needs changed (and animals could over-populate the earth) God declared:

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3)

Must I remind you that doesn’t give us license to gorge ourselves, destroying our temples with fattening, processed, chemically-infused foods?

In “1 Corinthians 10:23 we read: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

We need to practice self-control and make wise choices.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,”  (Ephesians 5:15-18)

Whatever takes the place of God, preventing us from maintaining control; preferring that item to God becomes an idol. Replace the word wine with chocolate, French fries, colas, fast food, smoking, sports, television even and you understand what I’m talking about.

God did not create a robotic nature for humans. He wants us to follow Him out of our own free will, out of Love. It’s our choice. I choose our Lord over French fries.  Easy choice.

Disclaimer: Yes I know some consume charcoal as medicine but that’s not God’s or my intended content here.