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Deciphering the “Why” Behind Your Motive for Eating

This is probably the 3rd day of your “diet.”  How’s it going? Is it one you want to continue forever? It should be; for those are the only ones that truly work! So start noticing and caring about what you eat and what prompted you to eat it.

Care about yourself as much as God cares about you. What we care about, we take care of.

If your Mom gave you her beautiful wedding dress, your Dad’s watch or an autographed picture of Babe Ruth, you wouldn’t toss it on the floor, in a junk drawer or use it to squash a bug off a window would you?  No of course not, you would care for it, cherishing it as the heirloom it is.

If you care less about your health than an heirloom, ask yourself why that is? What’s preventing you from becoming healthier?

Dale Carnegie once stated that no one does anything they don’t want to do. This is true.  Even if someone holds a gun to your head and demands money, you give it to him because you don’t want to die. We might not like it but we do it because there is a pay-off. A pay-off is receiving something of value for our actions, whether it’s attention, sympathy, liberation or revenge.

Start being honest with yourself because it is the first step in mental, physical and spiritually growth. Here are a few of the questions to consider regarding why you eat as you do.

1. Is it selfishness?  “I want that pudding and I want it now!”  Was that how you responded as a child or is it how you act now simply because you’re a grown-up and you can do anything you want? (nanananana!)

Our childhood influences how we react today because our parents first influenced us through their habits. Was your dinner table a time of great festivity or one of controlling issues? As you eat today, are you searching for independence or to regain warm family memories?

2. Is it laziness? “I’d have to discipline myself and it’s too haaaaard (whine) to eat right. I’ll just try again tomorrow.”

Today is the only day you have and tomorrow never comes. Either beat your body into submission and say no, or choose to walk an extra mile to burn off that chocolate  donut you ate.  I Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

3. Do you feel you deserve it? Were you good all day and didn’t tell your boss off when he drove you crazy? As your reward you’ll delve into a dish of ice cream this afternoon. After all “I was so good.”

Come on . . . go for a walk or find a punching bag and hit it to let off steam.  Why should you self-destruct just because someone else is an idiot? (Said with all Christian love of course)

4. Or are you a member of the “stinkin’-thinkin'” club? “I’m a loser, I can never succeed at anything and I’ll just fail at this too, so why bother?” Well God doesn’t make junk and you are a child of the King! Behave like one! Start with small goals to build confidence.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

It takes strength of character to overcome a habit. Create small goals and as you do so you’ll become more disciplined along the way. It’s a wonderful feeling to overcome “self.” But first understand the “why.” Then you can begin to overcome an unhealthy eating habit.

 

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Surviving the “Eating” Season

This time of year, one might receive more dinner party invitations than time allows. So how can one stick with an eating plan without adding inches to the waistline? First, don’t stress out.

ELLIE’S “HOLIDAY HEALTHY-EATING” PLAN

Policies to Strive For: 

  • Start out with a (if possible) smaller  plate. Strive for 5x’s more vegetables covering it than meat. Simple. No weighing or measuring.
  • Cover your plate with nutrient dense vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, peas, red/green peppers, onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.  (Physiologically, these foods create an alkaline environment in which cancer cells cannot thrive.)
  • Consume 4-5 cups of vegetables daily. Vegetables are primarily water so you’ll hydrate yourself while consuming nutrients and fiber!
  • Lean meats:  3-4 ounces of lean meat is all you need at one time, (approximate the size of a deck of cards).
  • Your body needs variety. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytonutrients have different responsibilities. Everything’s meant to work together for good. Disregarding a vital nutrient will change your body’s chemistry.

Don’t allow guilt or faulty thinking to blind you to facts:

Many dieters avoid beef.  There’s no need to do so. London Broil, Filet Mignon, Sirloin Steak, Tenderloin, eye of round or top round have approximately 6 grams of fat per 3.5 oz serving.  Dark meat chicken, (legs/thighs) actually has a higher fat content at 11 grams per serving.

Beef also contains high amounts of B12 which is an energy vitamin!  That doesn’t mean you should eat beef every night. Consume  chicken, turkey or pork for variety. But a steak sandwich?  No problem.  Grill Sirloin, slice 3 oz, place on a whole grain roll, smother it in grilled mushrooms, peppers and onions, even add a thin slice of mozzarella. Include a green salad with 1 tbsp dressing. Are you suffering? No. Food should have flavor and be enjoyable to eat!

Lean pork, (loin) contains Thiamine, the “feel-good” vitamin.  Add herbs, garlic, fruit, seasonings and consume nutrients!

Any broiled, grilled or baked fish; Tilapia, salmon, Swai, halibut, codfish, shrimp are wonderful additions to your eating plan.  Add seasoning such as lemon, herbs, wine or salsa over fish for variety.

Add a whole grain; potatoes, corn, brown rice, barley, pasta. You mean I can eat potatoes too?  Aren’t potatoes bad for me?  A potato contains vitamins A, E, D, K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Does that sound like something God wants you to avoid?  Resist covering with tons of butter, sour cream or drowning it in oil and it’ll stay healthy. Sweet potatoes are even more nutritious!

Pasta? Again, buy fibrous whole grain. Create tomato sauces with lots of vegetables! I’ve replaced heavy cream with a smaller amount of Neuchâtel/light cream cheese and parmesan, creating a fabulous 20% fat alfredo sauce!

Your typical dinner should look like this:  60% fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 15% comprise grilled, broiled or baked lean protein. The rest, 25%, can be filled with good fats: olive, canola oil, avocados, salad dressing, coconut, nuts or an occasional desert. We are adults, we live under grace and we can choose what we want.

Begin your New Year determined to be a New Creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

How Do You Like Wearing Your Choices?

I Cor. 10:13,  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide  a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“But I have NO willpower, Ellie!”

So you don’t think you have any willpower, do you? What’s that technical term again? Oh I remember: “Hogwash!”

That same willpower which prevents you from telling your boss or that rude sales clerk what you really think of him/her, is the same willpower you should tap into to prevent yourself from losing control.  You’ve kept your “get healthy” goal for 28 days, but now you’re beginning to waver?

You have willpower, you simply have to recognize  and claim it.

Think about it logically. There are only three things that happen in any situation:

  1. The event itself.  
  2. The self talk 
  3. The reaction

Let me give you an example.  Your husband just called and suggested going out to dinner tonight to check out a new Mexican restaurant that just opened. Sounds better than the soup and salad you were preparing for tonight.  You’re very tempted. So what do you do?

That call was the event. You’re faced with a decision: stick to your weight loss plan or give i

You’ll go through a little self-talk:  I’d hate to disappoint my husband you know. The soup will save. I’ve been so good, maybe I could just give in this once. I could simply walk an extra mile when we get home tonight. But I’m sooooo on track to fit into that gorgeous New Year’s Eve dress. Do I really want to chance it won’t fit?

Finally,#3; reaction:  Whatever you decide, you own.  It was yours, no one elses.  No one else lives in your body but you!  Willpower is personal integrity – choosing to do the right thing. You already know what you should do. Talk yourself into success.

Another tip to build willpower: Tap into your visualization skills. Imagine that Mexican food smeared all over your body. Now imagine walking into the New Year’s event looking your best, most confident self!  Which is more important? A lifetime memory or a momentary pleasure? Which would make you feel more confident and special everyday, not just for one night?   That’s precisely your goal; a lifelong commitment of feeling special because you are!  Don’t give in to a fleeting moment’s temptation, be stronger than that! Feel great every day!

Create positive thoughts throughout the day to strengthen you.  Tell yourself, “I am a strong, competent person because I am a child of a very important King.” Memorize Scripture verses to assist you.

You were bought with a price by our Lord Jesus Christ. God stated that out of control eating is a disgrace to our Lord. (Philippians 3:19)

Did Jesus die for our out of control eating habits; for the sake of an entire Pepperidge Farm cake which we ate in one sitting?  Seems a little crazy, but sin is sin and Jesus died for all our sins . . . even making an idol out of food.

He’s already provided a way for you to overcome temptation. Now. Hold. Fast! Think ahead, strategize. Write down what you can do besides eat when you are  tempted: Create more flavorful, colorful meals/snacks, get out of the house, walk, avoid bringing favorite snacks into your home, watch a movie.

Be proactive – decide who is Lord of your life, food or God?

 

Are You Part Of God’s Amazing Patchwork Design?

Once I watched a friend labor over a needlepoint project. From where I sat, tapestryit looked like a total mess. All those patchwork colors were joined in scrambled directions. What in the world was she working on? Was this her first attempt; was she over her head? Did she know what she was doing?

Then she turned it over. On the other side lay beautiful crosses atop a hillside of colorful flowers. Who knew??? It was so lovely and intricate; revealing a life lesson to me to not judge a piece of work until it is finished!

How very much like a needlepoint design, is God’s intricate work in us.

Several years ago I worked for a Christian drug recovery organization.  The women who arrived at the facility were messy, beaten down by life and shattered into pieces. Life’s choices hadn’t been good to them. Most had become drug addicts.

Sometimes their addiction began as a cry for attention. For some, it was to cover painful emotional attachments to everyday family issues, 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.

Regretfully and unbelievably, several had begun their dangerous meth or drug habit merely to lose weight or worth. Now they’re addicted. What a half-truth Satan proclaims when he tells a young woman that she will gain beauty, popularity or lose weight through drugs. Weight loss? Of course – through malnutrition and 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 are a Christian. You are God’s holy temple and drugs change your biochemistry and brain function!

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

Those who placed their trust in Christ are now firmly anchored to His Truth of Salvation instead of drugs. They are healthier and happier as Christ demonstrates each one was worth the sacrifice He endured for them. They are now a child of the One True King! When their minds truly believed that, they began to act like the royalty they are.

“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 lured 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 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. He will never put us aside and forget about 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)

Through Our Brokenness, God Heals

After the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, women in Japan at first experienced only pain. They found their cherished but broken ancestral pottery destroyed, strewn across a desolate landscape. As they began the process of picking up the broken pieces of their lives, they lovingly gathered the broken pieces of pottery as well. Through their brokenness they created intricate, beautiful necklaces, selling them around the world. Through this godly  testimony, they began to recover financially, creating something to be proud of, thus reclaiming their dignity.

If you will allow Him, God will heal the pain of your past too. He touches and changes hearts. When God is with you, it’s never hopeless. There is no challenge you’ve experienced or anywhere you can hide that He isn’t there with you! He is the only one who can fill the void. Drugs, alcohol, food, activities simply mask the pain. Only God can truly heal and renovate your hurting heart, starting from the inside.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139: 7-10)

Desire to change must come from the inside.

Many of us place smiles on our faces and when asked how we are, profess the superficial, “I’m fine, how are you?” meanwhile holding our pain secretly within; believing, “People only want to be around happy personalities.” or “If they really knew me, no one would like me.”

Sometimes it’s a trust issue. Perhaps in the past a friend betrayed them, family member belittled or a boss ridiculed them in front of others. Therefore they place that shield around their heart. It’s safer that way. “If I don’t get close, no one can ever hurt me.”

But it becomes a vicious circle. Telling yourself you have no need of  relationships comes  across as unfeeling, mean-spirited or apathetic which drives others away. Something else then numbs the pain of loneliness.

Sadly, the covering surrounding our heart becomes so tough, no one except God can break through.

Others have been taught as a child that one doesn’t show their true feelings in public. They put on a false front. Sad? Place a smile on your face! Scared? Put on a swagger and bravado that shows a confident attitude. As they have grown they have mastered their feelings. But God has known us since the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) He understands feelings; after all He created them!

Become proactive, trust our Lord and we won’t feel out of control!

  1. Memorize Scripture.  God knows you can be strong!  1 John 4:4. 
  2. Talk to a true friend; one who wouldn’t tell you only what your itchy ears want to hear ( 2 Timothy 4:3) or allow you to wallow in self-pity.
  3. Seek out wise women of God who allowed God’s Word to change their broken spirit. Learn from their example. Become precious in God’s sight.

“Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.”  (Psalm 25:11)

It’s true some days we might feel like Job. Life is messy. Worlds crash through no fault of our own. At that time, the last thing we need is to sit and mope. Our first thoughts should go to the Lord. He understands heartache, betrayal, hunger . . . suffering. He was tested, tempted, overcame and endured it all. Cling to our Almighty Fortress and find Strength.

 

 

 

 

 

Intentional Motivation

One Sunday morning my husband and I were on our way to church when we got behind what used to be called a “Sunday driver.”  He was trudging along about 10 mph below the speed limit with seemingly not a care in the world.

Coming to stoplight on a four lane street, it became safe and convenient to pull around him which we intended to do. All of a sudden when the light turned green, this gentleman revved his engine 10 mph OVER the speed limit, intentionally not allowing us to pass.

My husband joked, “He must have realized he was late.” (Yeah right  . . more like ego.)

I, of course, immediately connected it to a motivational post. I remarked, “Man, I wish my patients had been that motivated at times!”

I thought back to when I worked with doctors. A few of my younger patients had always thought they’d improve their diet later.  After all, I have time to live it up, so don’t bug me! My system can handle junk & fast foods just fine. For now, they hadn’t a care in the world.

That is until they were diagnosed with obesity combined with diabetes or other illness. All of a sudden they had a reason to become healthier.

One, “Sherry” wanted to try out for the cheerleading team but realized she hadn’t enough energy to attempt that. Besides that challenge, all that junk food was affecting her skin and she suffered from severe acne which in turn make her self-conscious.

“Chuck” had already tried out for the basketball and later the baseball team but was winded after completing a few sprints. He never made either team. Now he was gaining weight. When his father began noticing a change in his demeanor, a doctor diagnosed Chuck with Type 2 Diabetes. His father brought him in for nutritional counseling.

These two teens faced similar challenges but achieved different outcomes.

Sherry had been bullied over her weight gain by typical mean-girls found in high schools all over this country. The more they teased her, the more junk food she ate to numb the pain. Her self-esteem was plummeting but I could still see a fire in her eyes. She desired to turn her life around and took to heart my pro-active nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. Gradually she learned that no food could fill the void in her heart, only the Lord could. Months later I gazed upon a confident and independent young woman who decided to run for and got elected to her student government.

On the other hand, Chuck wanted to please his dad, which is one reason he tried out for the teams. But Chuck’s athletic skills didn’t equal his father’s expectations. Since his dad thought he was smarter than God, the twig didn’t fall far from the tree. Each session Chuck sat glumly, listening. Consume a variety of better foods? “I already know that,” Chuck responded. Really? Then why wasn’t he doing so?

“You believe in God? Good – even the demons believe that and shudder.”  (James 2:19)

Head knowledge isn’t heart knowledge. The demons had no desire to submit to God’s control and neither did Chuck.

There had to be a reason Chuck was self-destructing. Questioning a possible veiled reason brought a tense, “He’s not a basket case!” from his father.  I didn’t see Chuck after that and fervently prayed he didn’t advance to drugs to numb the pain of perceived unacceptance.  We are all unique with different talents and gifts given by God.

What is your motivation? It should be to first honor our Lord. Become a New Creation!

 

 

Make Your Weight Loss Goals Foundationally Sound

It’s the middle of summer and once-determined dieters are falling by the wayside every day. Why? Because they’ve had their cruise, wedding, vacation, class/family reunion or other event and their goal for losing weight has ended. Now they are creeping back toward their unhealthy habits and wondering what went wrong. It’s a common occurrence.

foundation built on sand (2)

It’s important to unmask the primary emotional and psychological reasons why one eats uncontrollably or the underlying challenge returns. Until someone asks, “Why am I doing this?” they fail to recognize the true problem. It’s like slathering paint over moldy dry wall hoping for new results.

The “why” of your goal is the foundational question. One needs a personally capable, strong foundation and an honest evaluation to complete any weight loss program successfully. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a goal and many want to lose for a special event. Keep in mind , those are temporary, however. When the event is over, so is the motivation. Real change is a forever desire. Don’t you always want to feel vibrant and healthy?

Many build their diet on false physiological concepts. The diet plan sounds good but are only half-truths with no strong scientific and metabolic truth. These diet programs are the equivalent of  sandy foundations.

Those who seek them are the ones who follow the latest fad because they’ve already tried everything else: the Cabbage Soup, Atkins, Cottage Cheese, fruit or Rice Diet, liquids, magic pills, even in my opinion, the Paleo Diet. These come and go, popular one day, out-of-fashion the next. No one can remain on them forever because they aren’t foundationally sound. The body rebels due to an unbalanced chemical need. These diets wash away with the sands of time as quickly as they come, until the next sand castle concept.

Why are they false? Because these diet plans do not hold to absolute physiological Truth. What if I told someone he could jump off a 50 story building and he’d fly simply by flapping his arms? It ain’t gonna happen! But false diet gurus are professing exactly that crazy mentality and people buy into it. “Lose ten pounds of fat in ten days!” Sorry, physiologically not true!

A firm foundation will stand the test of time: the Mediterranean, DASH and Volumetrics. All of these are built solidly on the rock of physiological truth and nutritional balance so it doesn’t topple your metabolic dwelling.foundation castle

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  (Matthew 7: 24-27)

The bottom line however is that many factors contribute to success or failure. Apathy, discouragement, boredom, peer pressure, family distractions . . . all influence decisions. Know what triggers yours. Continue to strive for health because God desires excellence from us . . . in all we do, especially our dietary habits. We control what goes into our bodies, so if we choose to self-destruct, that’s a psychological issue. Figure out why.

Become your best self for Him for he sacrificed all for us.