Tag Archive | Christian weight loss

Be Your Own Best Friend and Also God’s!

Are we truly a friend of God’s, exemplifying peace, joy and kindness in the world? If I claim to be a Christian, it’s important for me to ‘walk the walk,’ otherwise I am a stumbling block for those who are watching me and this grieves the Holy Spirit. When I was young, I expected perfection from myself. Over the years I took steps to be more realistic, but it wasn’t easy. Change isn’t instantaneous. For me it was usually five steps forward, two steps back. If that’s you too, remember we’re still moving forward!

It’s amazing how the mind can be one’s most motivational cheerleader and friend one moment and in a blink of an eye, be its worst enemy. It can build up but also break down a person so emotionally that they hide their subconscious thoughts behind closed lady looking in a mirrordoors in a far-off corner of the mind. It is simply too painful to unlock the memories to view them honestly.

It’s the same with our nutritional health. It’s never easy to admit our part in failure. Occasionally a dieter blames failure on heredity. Genes do play an important role in one’s bone structure, ability to lose and how one ends up with the body shape they have. But so does self-destructive eating, pride, unconscious eating, people pleasing, peer pressure and even revenge.

One diabetic patient insisted there was absolutely nothing to be done about her weight gain due to it “being in her genes.” Possibly, I thought. Some are predisposed to genetic challenges.  But then later that month I saw the small family pet at the vet clinic, overweight by 20 lbs. and wondered sadly what genes the dog had? Clearly personal lifestyle habits factored in and this patient was in denial.

Unfortunately many, such as my patient above, deny reality, preferring to bury truth deep inside the recesses of the mind and find excuses. The fantasy land they desire is better than the factual one they live in.

Awareness is the first step in anyone’s recovery.  Until one knows why he/she acts in a particular way, they won’t change. This only masks the problem.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” (Proverbs 1:3)

Think back. Every overweight person had only five pounds to lose at first. Then it became ten, then twenty and on and on. Why?  What occurred originally to make them self-destruct? Was it abuse, rebellion, overwhelming problems with seemingly no way out?  At that time reach outward instead of withdrawing within, find a trusted friend, pastor or organization such as Against Abuse to confide in. Just because someone you see wears a smile, doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced deep pain. In fact, it usually means they are survivors and learned how to cope. Don’t you want to know how they overcame challenges so you can too?

Reaching out to another person isn’t weakness! It takes a strong individual to humble themselves and ask for help. Even Jesus cried out for help in the Garden. But then he resolved within himself to find the strength to continue his mission for our souls. He went boldly toward Calvary. Praise God he didn’t give up on us! How can we then justify giving up and not present our best temple of the Holy Spirit to Him? Strive to discover that best friend within that God knows you are, because He resides in you! Utilize His strength!

“We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.”  (2 Corinthians 8:21)

 

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Ridding Ourselves of the Muffin Top!

I was asked recently by one of my lovely followers (who will remain anonymous due to the question) regarding the challenge we sometimes face: the Dreaded Muffin Top (and I’m not discussing overfilling the cupcake pans!) No, I am speaking of that challenging area just above the hips that seems to overlap our jeans. How do we rid ourselves of that horrible, unflattering area?

So being a nutritional counselor, not a fitness instructor, I turned to an expert. If like me, you admire people who “practice what they preach” then David Vale of David Vale Fitness, is certainly one of those people.David Vale photo

 

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” ( 1 Corinthians 9:27)

After facing chronic health issues, David needed to make a choice: He decided to take control of his life; losing 60 pounds through clean nutrition, consistent fitness, and accountability. This not only transformed his physical health and appearance, but also changed his mental outlook with positive energy and a happier attitude. Now as a husband, father, Certified Fitness Instructor and Online Fitness Coach, he assists others in reaching their goals. I urge you to discover for yourselves how much he has overcome by logging onto his blog http://davidvalefitness.wordpress.com/ and see for yourself.

 

So I approached him for his expertise when facing this particular fitness challenge and he graciously subjected himself to one of my world-famous, probing interviews:

Ellie: David, thank you for helping my readers who, over time, seem to accumulate “extra padding” around the middle and above the hip area. Are there any specific exercises that would target this area?

D: This is a very common question that I encounter. Unfortunately, spot reduction or targeting specific areas of the body to lose weight is a common myth. The adage that Abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym is true. Exercises will help one burn calories, but proper nutrition needs to accompany exercise in order to be effective at reducing the “padding.”

E: (thinking): Great! Eat for nutrients! That’s what I profess! Thumbs up David!

D (continuing): However, that does not mean this area should be neglected from an exercise standpoint.

E: Rats, if only it were that simple. Well for example – how about using small weights? Are stretch bands of any value? Stretching side to side?

D: In exercise terms, it is very difficult to isolate a particular targeted spot. Sure, if you want stronger calves, work them a lot. But spot reduction is difficult. What I usually do for my clients is consider approaches that incorporate the core, provide synergistic moves to provide a balanced approach. In fact this area of the body from the hip flexors to just below the chest (the Core) is critical to exercise and strengthen. Building a strong core will make every other aspect of exercising easier, enable greater endurance for functional daily activities like laundry, yard work, etc, and prevent injury.

E: Personally I have always disliked floor calisthenics but if that’s the only way to rid myself of a pesky muffin top . . . do they work?

D: There are certainly many exercises to strengthen the core. The best part, you can do this without doing dreaded crunches. You can use body weight exercises, and do this up to 3 days a week. Exercises include leg lifts/scissors, planks, side planks, standing elbows to knees, high knees jog in place, and seated side to side twists to name a few.

As David has demonstrated, if he can do it, you can do it too! We will continue our interview tomorrow, discussing among other items, if certain exercise machines are gimmicks.

Proclaiming Nutritional Truth to an Apathetic World!

 

How It All Began: Happy Birthday

Dear Fellow Bloggers and Followers: Today is my birthday! No, not my real birthday, I try to keep that a secret because age to me has always been an attitude, not a number and I feel younger than the date on the calendar!!!

In celebration, I wanted to re-post my very first blog. Looking back on it, it’s been a humbling experience before the Lord and I praise Him for all the wonderful friendships I have accumulated from all over the world this past year. Many have become like family – which actually you are because you are my brothers and sisters in Christ! Thank you for your friendship, I praise God each time I remember you. Therefore I hope you’ll enjoy reading how this all began:

butterfly hands

So you are probably wondering, why did I create this website, New Creations Ministries? Glad you asked!

Many years ago, as I was relating the basic requirements for losing weight to a new patient; consume smaller portions, slow down, exercise and drink water, she sat back in her chair looked at me and stated discouragingly, “Oh Ellie, I know all that already!”

Well, I didn’t doubt it. The average patient who came to see me had attempted at least six weight loss plans before coming into my office. With so much media coverage today from morning news shows to talk and cable health programs, magazines and infomercials, everyone seems to be an expert in the field. Most people know what is required to lose weight but they fail to follow through.

So it got me to thinking; if patients know “all that” already, then why aren’t they following it? Immediately a Bible verse popped into my head:

“You believe in God? Good! Even the demons believe that -and shudder.” James 2:19

The demons also had all this “head” knowledge and no “heart” knowledge and it failed to change their actions as well.

As I meditated on that verse, I thought how very much like those who say they ‘know’ Christ but do nothing with it. Knowing and doing are two different things! It is a matter of doing something with the knowledge of Christ’s gift of salvation, personally accepting it and evoking a changed behavior, that glorifies the Lord. For many know, but do nothing to practice their faith, anymore than they have all this health knowledge and do anything to become healthy. Just like salvation, change must come from within!

My objective through this blog is to educate and motivate readers to present their bodies as living sacrifices before the Lord, as it states in Romans 12:1,2:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

So stay tuned and learn practical applications and how all this nutritional “gooblety gook” physiology pertains to you in “dog years”. I’ll be here to offer practical ways to change your behaviors to glorify your personal Temple of the Holy Spirit in a way to honor God.

Postscript 8/23/13: Now with God’s wisdom and with humor, I humbly offer “Life’s Too Short To Eat Bad Cheese . . . “ reaching out to Christian groups through a practical, encouraging and motivating mind, body and spirit, 3-part seminar based on 2 Corinthians 5:17.   I’d so appreciate your prayers that God be glorified through this project. Blessings my friends,

Does Anyone Find Satisfaction in a Lifetime of Diets?

 “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly”   1 Timothy 4:7

family exercsing together

I was gently explaining to Alison, who wanted to lose nearly 250 pounds, why diets don’t work. As I began to list several of them, I mentioned the Rice Diet. All of a sudden she became enraged, ” Listen Ellie, I know the others don’t work because I tried all of them.  But the Rice Diet . . . that one works!  I know because it worked for me,  3 times!!!”

Oh my. She didn’t get it. If you lose and gain it all back (and then some), then a diet doesn’t work.

The only diet that works is one a person can stay on for life! Would you enjoy eating only cabbage soup for the rest of your life?  I wouldn’t! Nor would I want to give up chocolate or French fries forever.  Eating a variety of foods allows the body to function properly. If you only eat a fruit diet for example, your body is deprived of over 50 essential nutrients needed to sustain normal function.

In fact, dieting incorrectly destroys muscle tissue and it’s muscle tissue that burns fat. Do not destroy the Holy Spirit’s temple . . . you!

Without proper knowledge of how our body works, we’re only spinning our wheels and we’ll gain the weight back. That’s why exercise should be a daily routine.

Now I can hear you sigh, “You mean I have to exercise every day?”

“Oh dear,” I reply. “You mean I have to brush my teeth every day?” Yes. That is unless you enjoy rotting teeth and bad breath.  You choose to brush your teeth each day because the pay off is better than the alternative. Same as health.

Make exercise  fun first of all, and then incorporate different types into your routine so you don’t get bored.  Just like food!  Variety really is the spice of life. Walking, golfing, biking, gardening, dancing – it’s all exercise. Chicken, yogurt, flaxseed, fish, spinach, ice cream – it’s all nutrients.  As each exercise works different muscle groups, nutrients provide different metabolic benefits as well. Therefore we need variety.

In order to enjoy life:  relationships, exercise, food and your occupation should be satisfying.  You should look forward to playing tennis with friends, going to work and sitting down to a plate of colorful, nutritious foods. If one doesn’t find contentment, something else will fill that void.  Addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, even fad diets and exercise, numb the pain but the pain remains nonetheless. Suddenly you’re trapped in a downward spiral.

Luke 21:34 ““But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap”

Life is about choices. One can choose to be unhappy, unhealthy, suppressed – OR – vibrantly alive and spiritually fulfilled. There is only one way to be truly happy in life. Allow God to fill that physical and spiritual void with Joy.  I chose God, how about you?

When All Else Fails . . . Eat Healthy?

Proverbs 3:21, “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,”

How many times have we heard the expression, “When all else fails . . . Read the Manual!”  ”When all else fails . . . PRAY.”   or  ”When all else fails . . . Eat Right!“ Actually we should read the Bible, pray and keep our bodily spiritual temple Holy FIRST, don’t you agree?  

My friend Samantha posted these amazing thoughts the other day on her blog, http://manfonhealth.wordpress.com . Routinely I find many correlations between nutrition and spirituality, it’s why I began New Creations Ministries.  Samantha confirms this manifest so beautifully! I wanted to share it with you today.

The One Thing We Haven’t Tried

A wise man once said:

“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

Hippocrates is commonly known as the FATHER OF MEDICINE. He believed that the human body had an innate ability to heal itself. I cannot help but ponder why it is we have ventured so far away from this ideal of Hippocrates…Let FOOD be thy MEDICINE!  What a concept right!? Using the terms FOOD andMEDICINE interchangeably (Who would’ve thought)?!  As a society, we have veered so far off this path that it has become almost impossible to remind ourselves of the importance of food.

I think back to my old (pre-nutrition enriched) self and am reminded of some of my old thoughts. I use to think  eating healthy was just a way to lose weight.  I never really believed “You are what you eat.” I would go from one extreme diet to another. I even remember back to a time when I would eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, an apple for lunch, and a Lean Cuisine for dinner. At that time, I considered this menu to be a healthy one! After a few weeks of eating like that and obsessively exercising I was sick for a solid week or two. Yet still, it neverfully registered with me that what I was doing was bad for me. ” I’m appalled by my “old self” ways, but really I was just IGNORANT!

Nutrition has been put on the back burner in today’s society; we are not taught the importance of nutrition.  We go from hearing about one fad diet to the next, or about the next quick fix for weight loss which never seems to work long term.   A lifestyle change of eating right and exercising has the power to prevent degenerative diseases, cancer, obesity, aging, autoimmune diseases, psychosis, colds, flus…the list is endless!

Today, our society tends to laugh at holistic/natural medicine and write it off as quackery.  A “Pill for every Ill” has been the adopted motto of today. Headache, stomach ache, depression, can’t focus…No worries, there’s a drug for that! Does anyone ever stop to think, “What is in this drug that I’m taking?” or “WOW, this drug has over 20 dangerous side effects?” Each year, there are an average of 106,000 deaths due to adverse drug reactions. 106,000 deaths! And by no means am I hating on doctors, because they work wonders and save lives each and every day! But what I am saying is, first and foremost, you control what you are putting into your body.  Less than 6% of today’s graduating physicians receive any training in nutrition.  We need nutrition education instead of all of this medication. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world!

HEALTH IS A CHOICE!! Only you can take responsibility for your health which is why it can be a struggle sometimes. You have to make the choice to change your life!

Fruits and vegetables have crazy amounts of vitamins and minerals which equal healing power! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Think about it, if you were to plant a tree tomorrow and never gave it water or nutrient rich soil, it would NOT live for 100 years like you would hope and the same thing goes with our bodies! We have to start putting nutrients in and it is up to you to do just that!

I was amazed once I started researching fruits, vegetables, herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc when I found that for almost every pharmaceutical drug, there is a product of nature that has the exact same healing benefits, without the chemicals and those 20 odd side effects! Vitamins and nutrients enable our bodies to heal itself.

Since I’ve adopted eating healthy as a LIFESTYLE and not as a “quick fix,” I have felt better than ever! In the past year alone, I have not been sick one time. I have not taken one pharmaceutical drug or over the counter drug (Yep, no Tylenol! Who would’ve thought that was possible?! haha)

Imagine the money you can save just by eating right and getting yourself healthy. No more/minimal doctor bills and paying for drug prescriptions.

We are living amidst a SICK nation where annually there are:

650,000 Heart disease deaths

550,000 Cancer deaths

106,000 adverse drug deaths

Cancer and disease statistics have not drastically changed over the past five decades, therefore we need to try something NEW!  The statistics for the healing powers of nutrition are out there, they have just been chosen to be ignored. While good health has been proven to work, it does not make a lot of money for the corporate world.

I’m going to leave you with this thought by Orthomolecular expert Andrew Saul,

“We need a new paradigm..a whole new way of looking at things. We need to BOOST health with NUTRITION. It’s really the one thing we haven’t tried.”

Think You Can Outsmart a Fat Cell? Think Again

Are you one who skips meals thinking they’ll lose faster?  Do you try the latest low-fat or non-fat diet? Have you ever thought you could simply starve yourself thin? Outsmarting a fat cell isn’t easy nor smart. 

1 Corinthians 2:14, ” The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Fat is a necessary component to metabolism!

Sorry, we can’t outsmart a fat cell, it’s smarter than we are!  Our bodies want to survive and will do everything in its power to do so. While perceiving starvation as a threat, it’ll automatically slow down its metabolic rate, going into its self-protection mode. In other words, it’s one step ahead of us!  The only true way to lose for a lifetime is to consume nutrients while burning up more calories than we consume.

Make the Fat Cell Our Friend.

A fat cell’s purpose is to store and release energy depending on what our metabolic needs are at the time, filling and reducing depending on how much one eats. It’s God’s intricate design.

Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.”

A person is born with basically all the fat cells he’ll ever have.  It might surprise you to know that men and women are born with about the same number. Unfortunately for us women, men lose weight faster, due to muscle, enzymes and hormonal distribution. We women gracefully need to embrace our “softness” sometimes.

Starvation plans don’t work so stop the needless frustration:

  1. The First Law of Thermodynamics states: it takes energy to make energy. Therefore you’re not doing yourself any good by starving yourself.
  2. Starving will produce more muscle loss than fat, and when we eat again, we’ll gain fat back.
  3. Muscle is an efficient fat burner. Men have more muscle, eerrrgh.  So women; develop a fun way to exercise, to develop more muscle and increase heart-rate efficiency. Dance, play with the baby, water aerobics, walk the pup to develop muscle.
  4. Enzymes are like several assigned movers in one moving company, transporting your chewed food into the room it needs to go. Remember, chew food – it releases enzymes. (Women have more fat storing lipogenic enzymes, while men have more fat producing enzymes.)
  5. The hormone, estrogen, sends stored fat to hips, butts and thighs. Women were designed with a higher percentage of estrogen in order to bear healthy children. We need to accept that fact graciously.

Starving stresses the body, creating:

  • the release of stress hormones; producing toxins, an acidic environment, weakening the immune system, chancing illnesses, heart palpitations and possible cancers.
  • a loss in necessary vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients which regulate your heart and other bodily functions.
  • non-essential body parts such as hair and nails thin, become brittle and break.
  • a loss of brain, bone, muscle and healthy skin tone.
  • a loss protective brown fat which cushions and warms vital organs and once gone, it’s gone!
  • an excretion of water because you aren’t eating complex carbs which absorb water and assist with waste elimination.

Instead of suffering through a starvation diet, shake up your routine:

  • Increase water with lemon intake.
  • Eat smaller, water based, fruits and vegetable, fiber-filled meals.
  • Try juicing for several days. Juicing gives your body the nutrients it needs for daily functions.  My only problem with juicing is the loss of fiber from the fruits and vegetables, so try finding ways to use that fiber in other recipes.
  • Try hot, spicy foods to increase metabolism.

Eat smarter and lose weight!

Don’t Run Away From Your Responsibilites

 

Now how does that relate to health? Well, God’s culinary rules are not difficult to understand and we should never disregard the commands of God to be holy! Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, drink water and exercise. Listen to that still, small godly voice when you are faced with a challenge to do otherwise. God told us everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23) so enjoying a piece of chocolate isn’t bad.

The devil might be whispering “that food’s bad for you” but no food is good or bad, it’s simply nutrients, so choose the best. If you can control your emotional eating, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while. If not, resist temptation, go for a walk. Or eat and choose something lighter for dinner.

But saying God’s creation of natural food is bad, is actually saying that God created something bad. What an arrogant slap in the face of God! Don’t do that. Honor the bodily temple God gave you!

Well, how do you respond to God’s commands?  If God calls you to complete some specific godly task in life such as; witnessing to a neighbor who needs comfort, offering to clean the church, giving up fattening food because it’s a stumbling block to your children, do you comply or rebel?  Please remember if God asks us to do something and you rebel, you alone won’t be affected by the consequences.  Your friends, family, church members and perhaps others will be as well. Do you face or run away from your responsibilities?

 

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 ” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”