Tag Archive | diets

Create A Positive Attitude!

Have you ever thought, after accomplishing something extremely tough but satisfying,  Why did I grumble so much, thinking I couldn’t do it? Well, let me ask a question, “Who influences you?”

When you were a child, did you strive for perfection or excellence? God doesn’t expect perfection. In our imperfections God allows us to grow, building confidence through a sense of accomplishment.

Why didn’t I do this sooner?” is usually the first comment I hear when a person successfully loses weight. All that complaining and believing stinkin’-thinkin’ negativity is time wasted! Whoever said you couldn’t accomplish something?  Unfortunately, whether it’s a parent, employer, acquaintance or sibling, don’t hang around those who express negativity!  It only brings you down.

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

Have you found that if you’re around a chronic complainer, it changes your attitude too? Me too. Now I’ll smile and say something my mother used to say, “Now say two good things.”

Associate with positive people. Even though I assured patients they could indeed lose weight, some kept whining, “You don’t understand, it’s too hard.” Actually, the harder a challenge, the more satisfaction comes in conquering it! Besides the Holy Spirit, you are the only one who lives in your body. Success depends on your mental determination.

I’ve worked with patients who had hundreds of pounds to lose. Talk about mountains to conquer . . . well even climbing a mountain begins with a single step. Start walking!

The Israelites complained almost every day after fleeing Egypt and meeting struggles along the way.  “Oh to be back in the days of leeks, onions, cucumbers, meat and garlic.”  Complain, complain!  I miss a nice drink of water . . . complain! I wish I could take a hot shower . . . complain! Even Moses couldn’t stay positive as he led through challenging circumstances. He lost his optimism around complainers. He then sought positive influences through quiet time and prayer with his Lord.

I understand legitimate gripes – that’s totally different. Everyone has to vent some time. If one holds stress inside, it will come out in self-destructive ways. But either rectify the situation or let it go before it destroys your godly character.

“or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”   (Proverbs 22:25) 

Negative speech corrupts good thought patterns no matter how strong one is. Remember Job’s friends who simply sat with him at first as a supporter? Then they opened their mouths. As the saying goes, with friends like those, who needs enemies? Pray for spiritual friends who will build you up, not drag you down! Find happy, optimistic people to be around and it’ll change your outlook.

How does one increase positive development?

  • Develop your assets. Don’t know what they are? Ask a trusted friend. Remember you’re unique. You don’t have to like everything about yourself but everyone has good points. Discover and embrace yours!
  • Do something nice for others. Remember life isn’t all about you. Sharing happiness while helping others is an uplifting feeling!
  • Find ways to learn different activities to attract upbeat friends into your life: photography, art, sports, theater, comedy, or some other club.
  • Find new influences. Invite positive friends over for coffee or go shopping.
  • Read motivating biographies or self-help books. Highlight inspiring points.
  • Reward yourself with small non-food treats, Chart accomplishments after reaching goals. It’ll build confidence.

Happiness is a choice. Choose to glorify God and find the peaceful JOY He gives! Rid yourself of the negative influences, both spirituality, and nutritionally.

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:18)

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Overcoming Sabatage Situations

Have you encountered these situations?

Food saboteurs might be lurking all around you. Virtually all social situations present challenges regarding remaining faithful to a weight loss plan. Arm yourself for any upcoming grand social occasion with some practical ways to resist saboteurs.

“But I Baked This Just for You!”     

Do you believe that sometimes you are lost in a universe of saboteurs just as the Robinson family was in the 1960s television series, Lost in Space? Is “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!!!” running through your head right now?

Think about this possible family scenario:  Aunt Esmeralda remarks during dinner, “Andrea, save room for dessert because I made your favorite chocolate cherry pie!”

So now the guilt feelings start emerging.  How do I get out of this? I’d love to have a slice but my weight loss is going so well. I’m remaing so self-disciplined, I can’t give in!

If you are a “people-pleaser,” you would rather hurt yourself than someone’s feelings, so you will probably eat it.  Let me ask you if you were a recovering drug addict and someone came to you and cajoled, “But I bought this cocaine just for you!” would you take it? Hopefully not. Why? Because it would destroy your healthy-living goal and wreck your godly temple, thus grieving the Holy Spirit, that’s why! Common sense!

The pie itself isn’t wrong to eat. It’s how we react to food that’s the key. Who is in control: your brain or your emotions? Your weight goal motivation or the pie?

Here are some strategies to overcome this temptation:

First, acknowledge your aunt’s kindness because I doubt her intention was to sabotage you. Recognizing what she did was very considerate because, in her mind, it was. You can privately declare to Aunt Esmeralda, “What a thoughtful gesture! Would you mind if . . .” while already resolving to eat less stuffing, gravy, potatoes, candied yams, and rolls during dinner so you can eat a small sliver afterward. You’re exchanging carbohydrate and fat selections for another choice.

What you do not want to do is a state that you’re trying to get healthy because that might insult her, insinuating that her foods are unhealthy. It could even create a tirade of family protests, “You look great!” “You can’t lose anymore”  “You look gaunt!” inhibiting your restraint. Don’t believe your own publicity! (Are you feeling healthier and energetic? That means the most.)

If you decide to take a piece home, break the larger piece into smaller bites, freeze those and consume over several days. (Call your aunt and let her know how much you enjoyed it even more, the following day!) You probably will because you can savor the taste without feeling uncomfortable. Walk three miles the next day for an entire piece or two miles for a sliver. Remember, it’s your choice – you’re in control. Exercise it off, don’t wear it!

“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 2:12)

Where there’s a will there’s a way.  You can incorporate these actions into any social scenario. Use the above strategies whether it’s a July 4th BBQ rib dinner or your favorite cake at a birthday party.

You can have your cheesecake and eat it too if you strategize beforehand. Life is a chess game. Be prepared, have a plan, and to be five steps ahead.  You’re conquering “self” and becoming a New Creation.

Diet Confusion? Begin Strategizing Actions

Is your head spinning from all the diet advice that is posted out there on the news and TV? How does one know Truth? Well, it shouldn’t be that complicated.

God did not originally create food as either good or bad, food is simply nutrients. As Paul urges with his letter to the Corinthians 10″23, “all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. Some foods are permissible but not all are constructive.”

We’ve discovered that some foods contain more nutrients than others and serve a purpose, while some are simply pleasurable to eat. But none are forbidden. Please don’t throw away all the food in your cupboard that some people consider “bad.” Throwing away food would be wasteful and against God’s principles of good monetary stewardship.

Start with Small Changes. It Creates Positive Habits.

Another truth we should learn is to establish that it’s always best to begin with small changes. This will anchor habits and develop a positive attitude to instill lifetime practices. Habits are like muscles that get more powerful with use. As you create and reach realistic goals you will begin to get mentally stronger. (In the past did you set unrealistically high goals that were unattainable and therefore discouraged you enough to quit?)

Begin by Meditating on These Points:

Try to understand why you do what you do. Romans 7:15 laments “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Understand the WHY. Why are you eating? Start with recognizing your routine habits and behaviors. Do you feel out of control? Conquered by food triggers? Discouraged?  Bored? Do you need something to crunch on when you feel frustrated? Grab comfort food like chocolate when you’re sad?

Please understand that sometimes a cookie isn’t just a cookie. Sometimes a cookie represents your subconscious thoughts of warmth, comfort, memories of home, love and security.  It is not wrong to eat a cookie if you are in control, but if the desire for a cookie is “calling your name,” controlling you, then you need to discover the psychological or emotional reason you need it to feel fulfilled.

Be truthful with yourself. It’s your choice, so why lie to yourself? If you defiantly state that you are going to eat that cookie, then OWN that decision! It was nobody else’s. No one put a gun to your head and forced you to consume that cookie. Now exercise – you own that too.

If you fail to control your emotions, figure out why you do what you did! Failure is actually the beginning of success. It is an opportunity for discovering the reasons for actions. To make excuses or to believe that the devil made us do it is a delusion.

Start to recognize your emotional food triggers so you can be aware of them and begin taking steps to change your habits.

Resolve not to purchase any more processed foods or foods laden with chemicals and preservatives. Stop bringing it into your home! Let’s face it, as the adage goes: “if it’s in your house, eventually it’s going to be in the mouth.” If you don’t place junk in your house, then you won’t be placing it in your personal bodily temple of the Holy Spirit.

Life is a chess game. Develop upcoming strategic moves as you continue toward your goals. It’s similar to an athlete developing muscle memory. Before you know it, you’ll choose the correct action without even thinking about it.

Remember you are setting life goals, not weight-loss goals.

New Year, A New Attitude, New You!

It’s the New Year again! A time of renewal and positive actions.  And yet are you feeling just a bit frazzled?

Have you had a little too much sugar this holiday season??? Does the house look like a disaster area after unwrapping all those presents and having toys underfoot? Need to release some pent-up energy after the in-laws departed?

Fear not, you tell yourself, this too shall pass, and life as I know it will return . . .   Oh, but wait! It’s a New Year – I’m supposed to strive toward a new and healthier attitude. Guilt sets in when you procrastinate.

Hmm, perhaps that’s part of the problem. You’re plain tired!!! All you want to do is get back to “normal” again. That means routine – which means it’s couch potato time once again.

As tempting as it is to curl up under a pile of covers on a cold day! Resolve to make this coming year a truly positive and healthy one instead. (Drink green tea which energizes and assists in weight loss.)

Find family and friends who will involve you in healthier living. (Even if it’s being accountable to someone over the phone.)

Conquer one challenge at a time. Keep it simple. Anything can become too complicated when one tries to do too much in a short allowance of time. Health takes time! Relax and get your support base together and that means a fun family exercise.

Without proper exercise, we’re only spinning our wheels and we’ll never lose that holiday season weight. Muscle is the furnace that burns fat. That’s why exercise should be a daily personal routine. Find something you enjoy as exercise: dancing, walking, pickleball, snowshoeing, or building a snow fort with the kids.

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 payoff is better than the alternative. Same as health.

And who said exercise needs to be dull? Make exercise fun first of all, and then incorporate different types of exercise into your daily routine so you don’t get bored.  Just like a well-rounded, varied daily diet! I couldn’t eat one type of food forever, could you? Each food contains different vital nutrients. Same as various exercises that assist with firming up different body parts.

Variety really is the spice of life. Did you get an exercise video for Christmas? Use it as a family! Did you get snowed in and couldn’t get to work or school?  Sledding, walking, swimming, skiing, – it’s all exercise. Each exercise works for different muscle groups just as nutrients provide different metabolic benefits as well. Therefore, we need variety.

To enjoy life; relationships, exercise, food, as well as your occupation should be satisfying.  Look forward to family exercise as much as you do sitting down and watching the game on television. Think of the happy memories you’ll create.  There’s always an upside!

Children will remember the times they exercised as a family and enjoyed the fellowship. That’s a wonderful heritage to pass along.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127: 3-5 (ESV)

 

Building Mental Muscle for Successful Weight Loss

Thanksgiving is coming. How can you remain healthier with all those food choices facing you in the world?

Losing weight isn’t meant to be easy. But that’s what makes it great when you do. No one else lives inside your body, so no one else can do it for you. Mentally, when it comes to a healthier lifestyle, you alone are in charge of your decisions.

But you’re not actually alone. One person does not constitute a team. Great Quarterbacks can’t win alone. They are surrounded by a good team.

Are your best friends, coworkers, children and spouse assisting you as cheerleaders? Real friends will support you because they want you to be healthy. Satan doesn’t and will throw everything in your path to trip you up. God never tempts – Satan always does.

Surround yourself with those who have your best interests at heart. Who would that be? “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

To resist temptation, clear your mind and listen to your LORD. Temptation begins in the mind. “As a man thinks, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)  Trust that you can overcome temptation because you are strong and courageous thru Christ.

Have the mindset that you and Jesus are a team and he wants you to be triumphant. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:5)

Who is your culinary Lord? Has a potato chip, chocolate, bratwurst, or Cheese Whiz begun ruling your life? I doubt very much if it’s broccoli or Gee, I can’t get enough spinach!

No, it’s always something tempting or decadent. Satan knows this and will throw favorites in your face when you’re most vulnerable. Therefore, consume nutritious snacks throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar and temptations at bay. (Bananas, yogurt, grapes, dark chocolate, peanut butter on whole grain crackers, etc.)

To combat temptation, memorize scripture. Write these Bible verses down and place them on your fridge, bathroom, and bedroom mirror, or in your change purse to inspire you. It will reinforce your determination to not be taken down by something as frivolous as the second piece of pumpkin pie.

What has He written down in His Word?

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

Tell yourself that you can do this! Resist temptation. (James 4:7) Turn away – get your mind on something other than food. Resist that second helping on Thanksgiving dinners at grandma’s house. Get outside and walk, play cards, and start washing dishes. If you’re home: read a book, turn on music, and paint your nails. You can’t get into a bag of chips with painted nails!

Gluttony: “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)

God gave us a bounty of goodies to eat, so that’s not the problem. The challenge is to love the Lord more than that choice. Please remember that Christ died for ALL sins, and gluttony is a sin.

Discipline: “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

Have a joyful Thanksgiving. Remember it’s about the company and fellowship more than food. Slow down and savor not only the food but time with loved ones.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

How Do You Value Your Worth?

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness, I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Hurricane Ian blew through our town in Florida. We already knew the destruction hurricanes can cause. This time we left our home a day before and escaped to a safer area in SE Florida, understanding we might lose everything.

When people go through trials such as this, they tend to question what is important if all was lost.

When faced with challenges, it’s normal to analyze how we’d react. Do we fret about the unknown? What if we lost those precious photos of our children? To me, memory is the most important commodity in my life. That’s what I’d regret.

Would we agonize over the cost to rebuild?  Perhaps. Our lovely church on the Peace River was flooded and gutted, but still stood strong. Friends banded together and donations came in from all over the country. And from disaster, God created Good.

I’m not talking about monetary worth, however – although that is what the world focuses on today. I know where my future lies and it’s not here. But have you ever wondered how much you are worth in another’s eyes?

How does someone create worth? With your employer: Do you demonstrate as much integrity as the hardworking cleaning lady who scrubs the commodes in your building? With your community: Would you serve food to the homeless or would that be too humbling for your Executive position? Money means nothing in God’s Eyes. Million-dollar mansions and mobile homes were undistinguishable in the rubble.

What about family? Many had no clue where their family was during the carnage or what trials they endured following the storm because cell service was nonexistent. How much would a kind word or a phone call afterward be worth? Priceless.

As a counselor, I know patients sometimes numb themselves against heartache by imbibing in harmful chemicals. Yes, drugs and alcohol contain chemicals but you’ll also find feel-good chemicals in foods.

It’s normal to feel sad and lethargic after a shock. Sugar instantly increases energy levels. Sugar is an instant natural mood booster. It sends a signal to the brain to release dopamine, one of the feel-good neurotransmitters.

Chocolate releases endorphins and serotonin, another feel-good chemical. (So does spinach, but get real – which would you reach for?)

The daylight is growing shorter. Do you find yourself rummaging around in the pantry lately, searching for something to make you feel better? How much is that worth? Is it any wonder that we crave something sweet to ease depression and subconsciously, crunchy foods relieve stress?

Is your self-worth tied to your lifestyle? I’m not talking about popularity, even though celebrities get most of the attention and real heroes from Monday are forgotten by the weekend. Our Sports celebrities get recognized while EMTs heroes get relegated to the back of the pack.

Who values your worth? Someday, ask a friend how they’d describe you. What would they say? Are you outgoing? Quiet? Happy-go-lucky? Studious? Aggressive? Kind? Giving? Thrifty? Do you consider these descriptions your true worth?

No, these actions aren’t your real value! Only God sees your true value. He loves and chose you before the beginning of the world.

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4)

What someone cherishes, they take care of. Are you, worth the cost? Do you cherish your life as much as Jesus cherished you? To Christ, you were worth dying for! You are priceless. Honor your true worth.

Temptation Season Begins

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “You are about to enter the Twilight Zone?” Well, hold on to your hats, for we are about to enter the “Temptation Zone.” It lasts four months, at which time, you’ll wonder mysteriously why your clothes shrunk.  

It begins on Halloween – my least favorite holiday, coming up soon. Candy, costumes, and witchcraft. Then comes Thanksgiving, a holiday totally dedicated to family tradition and food.

During December, we have Christmas parties, (both office and personal.) Then Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. Within another week, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with more parties. The following day, we attend a New Year’s dinner.

January begins with football playoffs every weekend until the Superbowl with an abundance of drinks and appetizers.  A week later, Temptation Season finally ends with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.

It’s a long season in which we hibernate from the cold, dreary days of winter. Who wants to walk in the cold, snowy weather? Okay, walk around the mall, or take Zumba classes. Play with your kids, build snow forts, and snow angels, or learn to cross-country ski. No excuses.

Have you ever noticed that no one is tempted by something they didn’t like? No one is tempted to go to the dentist, right? If we served liver instead of turkey at Thanksgiving, I doubt if the holiday would have ever taken off. But no, that day, all our favorite foods are laid out on the table family style. We are encouraged to dig in and even take seconds. Who could resist?

Those who are easily tempted need a plan this season. Recognize there will be speed bumps and roadblocks coming over the next months. There’s always something that might trip you up. Have a plan.

For example, let’s take Trick or Treating. You enjoy seeing those sweet children strolling around in their costumes. So, you bought some candy you enjoy, knowing it wouldn’t all be given away, right? Oh my, what can I do with the rest??? If you bought Candy Corn, no temptation there. But I bought Snickers!!! I can’t throw those away, can I? That would be a travesty. It’s amazing how easily those little bars of chocolate got wrapped around our waistlines, isn’t it?

What could we have done? First purchase candy that we don’t particularly enjoy but children do. Give away the rest or freeze, “outta sight, outta mind.” Get rid of the temptation. Why be tempted by seeing it on the counter?

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.”  (James 1:13-16)

It’s important to realize that God states anything is fine in moderation. (1 Corinthians 10:23) The problem is creating an idol and loving it more than God. It is also important to recognize that God provides a way out of temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) and third, we are to flee temptation. (James 4:7.)

This practice can be incorporated into any tempting situation. You know what to do – as Nike used to say, “just do it!” The longer one debates right or wrong, it tends to lower our resolve. Turn your back and don’t debate temptation.

You have willpower – tap into it now. I guarantee – it feels powerful to overcome!

Wanna Lose Weight Faster?

People ask me all the time, “How can I lose weight faster?”

“Besides hard work, determination, and remaining self-disciplined?” I ask. “Well, I can think of one way: consume fiber.”

Why do I believe that consuming fiber is one of the most important factors in losing weight? I’ll explain. The common denominator in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is FIBER. No matter how tough that steak was last night, there’s no fiber in protein or fat. (But I bet it slowed the “fork down, spoon down” process, right?)

Most nutrients are dispersed through the digestive tract. If you fail to dispatch the proper nutrients, let’s say magnesium, your hypothalamus (your brain’s metabolic traffic cop) will nag you until it directs you to that scrumptious-magnesium-containing-piece-of-chocolate! By absorbing proper nutrients, it won’t . . .  unless you’re eating due to emotional reasons.

When you slow down the chewing process, enzymes are broken down and nutrients are absorbed/dispersed mostly through your small intestine. Having a clean digestive system will jump-start your metabolism.

Consider this illustration; if you have a garbage disposal in your home and nonchalantly threw scraps of food particles into it but never turned it on, what would happen?  It would build up, attract bugs and start to smell, yuk!  And then when it was finally turned on, it would start grinding so slowly that it might even stop if it was too clogged.  Then you would have to snake the trapped particles or use something to unclog it.

This is a description of how our intestinal system works as well. When one consumes a diet of meat, fats, junk food, and low-fiber foods, the intestines get clogged.  It’s harder to move those foods through the colon because food just kinda sits there.

Since our bodies can’t absorb nutrients that are vital to life, no amount of “dieting” will produce health! Your hypothalamus nags us to eat more food in search of much-needed nutrients, thus you eat more calories but absorb fewer nutrients.

Strive to eat more fiber and keep your entire system working on less!  You’ll have more energy, clearer skin, and less disease.

So what’s fiber?

God told Adam in Genesis 1:29 “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.”     Wow! How smart is God?!!!

There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Sometimes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains include combinations of both.

Soluble fiber; think of it as Liquid Plumr. It turns into a gel that helps lower our treacherous LDL cholesterol.  Think apples,  oranges, pears, beans, and oats, which are excellent sources of soluble fiber.  Soluble fiber keeps our blood sugar levels steady so it’s easier to stand up to temptations.

Insoluble fiber stays intact, it doesn’t break up as it travels through your system.  Think corn which basically exits intact. Fruit skins are insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber draws water into the intestines, making stools bulkier and easier to pass. It’s like Roto-Rooter.

If you ever dropped pizza crust or a piece of whole grain bread into the sink and watched it swell as the water touched it, that’s what happens to fiber in your system. Fiber expands, creating a feeling of fullness.

There are seven forms of fiber: pectin, bran, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, guns, and mucilage. I won’t bore you with all the details. Rest assured though, if you eat 60% of your daily calorie intake containing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you’ll reduce your risk of colon cancer, heart disease, constipation, obesity, hemorrhoids, and many other diseases. Remember, a man reaps what he sows, so strive to eat healthier!

Caution:

  1. Increase fiber gradually.  Excessive fiber intake may decrease the absorption of zinc, iron, and calcium as well as promote more gas.
  2. Build up to 25-35 grams of fiber each day.  4 grams = 1 teaspoon.
  3. I highly recommend getting fiber from Mother Nature, not fiber laxatives due to possible electrolyte imbalance or laxative dependency.
  4. Take vitamin and mineral supplements separately from the fiber.

 

Building Character on a Biblical Foundation

I was privileged to accompany a friend on a house hunting trip once. It was like House Hunters, one of my favorite shows! As we viewed different houses, however, I saw a distinct correlation between homes and spirituality.

Several homes had absolutely wonderful curb appeal. However, the photos which looked gorgeous on the internet were nothing like the home we viewed!  It was obvious that there were many renovations to be done! 1960s carpets, old appliances, there would be walls to tear down or it smelled bad.

Mmmm, how typical to someone who looks so stunning on the outside but as soon as they open their mouth, unkind behavior or foul language comes spewing out. Just like that house, those people need a renovation! They need God’s Word which cleanses the soul and restructures lives into True Beauty.

One lovely home, which she thought via the internet, would be “the one,” had several massive cracks in the basement walls. Foundations are tricky things, it could be the prettiest home on the block, but if it falls apart, meh . . . not so great.

A Christian’s testimony is only as good as its foundation as well! Someone might look like ‘the one,’ but if she/he is not grounded in Scripture, massive cracks can appear in the lives of those Christians. It is never wise to build your marriage, personal friendship, or business relationship on a weak, crooked foundation. Rather stand solidly on the Word of God!

One home’s owner had just entered an assisted living facility. The house was on a quiet, secluded lot with lovely trees surrounding the property. Looked promising. But upon walking up the driveway, it was obvious that the home needed a new garage door and roof. It was even sadder on the inside.

The house hadn’t been updated since 1955, the year it was built.  Linoleum floors and an indoor shuffleboard court graced the premises.  An original pink built-in oven and other 1950 appliances covered the kitchen. (When I saw the horror on my friend’s face, I jokingly suggested that the stove could be sold on eBay, but . . . somehow that didn’t entice her.)

Some Christians are like that. They get stuck in the past and never grow in knowledge or grace. After the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the late 1940s, new translations validated and reflected the Word of God as accurately as possible. Searching and reading other translations is fine as long as they are grounded in Truth.

The last home boasted nothing special about the exterior. In fact, she had no interest in seeing it at first. I suggested some colorful foliage could do wonders.

Since the realtor had to leave a card, we shrugged and reluctantly went inside. Well built, this home was exactly what she had wanted from the start. In a lovely neighborhood, it sported updated features like plush carpet and renovated bathrooms. It turned out to be the perfect home after all!

Are we biased when we view others? Do we welcome only those who are attractive or wealthy? Or do we see each visitor as a potential brother and sister in Christ?

Once, when we were searching for a church, a passing drifter attended their Sunday School. I noticed some looking down on him in disdain. Not very Christian, I thought. This isn’t the church for us. What a surprise when they discovered that he knew more about the Bible than most of us! This certainly pleased God more than his appearance.

“However, God’s solid foundation still stands. It has this inscription on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

Build your character on God’s Firm Foundation.

 

Get Off the Weight Loss Merry-Go-Round

No one will tell you that losing weight is easy.

In today’s world, everyone is searching for a quick fix: quick cash, comfort, fulfilled dreams . . . Well, very few people win the lottery, no one lives without stress, and even fewer find their dream job.

A healthier lifestyle isn’t easy either. However, many ride that elusive merry-go-round over and over again, attempting to grasp that golden ring of easy weight loss. This is the ultimate definition of insanity.

This mindset couldn’t be more evident than watching those riding the weight loss merry-go-round of Cabbage Soup, Cottage Cheese, fruit or Rice Diet, liquids, magic pills, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Medifast, protein powder diets, the Cookie diet, the Grapefruit diet, Macrobiotics, Juices, Charcoal. Round and round they go with very few reaching that golden ring. The only good diet is a life-long one filled with nutrients!

Even stomach stapling requires discipline to maintain a new healthier lifestyle. One patient I counseled came in to see me after her procedure. She soon discovered she was only allowed to consume 2 ounces of food at a time. Imagine how she felt as she dined at a restaurant where her friends ate steaks, potatoes, and salads, but she couldn’t.

For someone who never realized her reason for gaining weight was due to worshipping food, she became an angry and frustrated woman.

Until she understood the root challenge to her weight gain, which was a mental, not physical reason, she’d remain unhappy with her decision. It’s a universal truth. One must realize the subconscious issues regarding why one eats to change fundamental habits.

There are many underlying reasons to why somone consumes too much food. Many eat due to stress or depression. The chemicals in food create serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Some are continuously curious, Oh, that looks so good – wonder what it tastes like? Some are physically exhausted. Nutrients create energy. Others are bored, lonely, or self-conscious eaters. Food’s something to do. These are but a few examples.

Understanding your personal decisions will be the start of a wonderful change in you that only God can fulfill.  He did not design you to fail! He originally created Adam and Eve to live forever. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life caused them to fail. If you love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, you can resist being taken down by a potato chip.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”   (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God always provides a way. Find it. Whether it’s relying on a supportive partner, or a personal goal you desire more than food, God has a plan for your life – and it’s a healthy one! I doubt if it’s sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of chips.

Weight loss is never easy. But that’s what makes it great. No one else can lose weight for you. If you’ve begun eating well and exercising, that’s great! You’ve mastered a difficult task already. That should give you a sense of accomplishment and discipline. You’re beginning to feel vibrant and alive! Why go back to an unhealthy lifestyle? Why buy a ticket on that merry-go-round again?

“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)