Category Archives: priorities

Cravings…we can CHANGE them!

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann Maniscalco

I’ve been working on a fixer-upper house. Patching walls and shopping for new fixtures isn’t exactly aerobic exercise (now, wielding a paint roller… maybe). But as my days and hours were spent on such tasks, my exercise routine went down the drain (wait, is that sink leaking?!?). As a few pounds crept back on, I realized that, although I was eating carefully most of the time, I wasn’t balancing the nutrition with the perspiration.

About two weeks ago, I determined to go back to baby steps and learn to “walk” again. After being up to an average of about 45 mins of aerobic exercise five days a week and smokin’ that, I found myself struggling to do 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Strength training had disappeared totally, and what had been firming up was flabbing out:(  My body had begun to CRAVE inactivity!

But just this week, I’ve been able to get some 30 minute, and a couple of 45-minute workouts in, and after just getting going, I’ve noticed my craves have changed again…my body now WANTS to move, and it feels SO good to be back!

So I encourage you, if you are enduring your exercise instead of enjoying it, perhaps your crave-change hasn’t kicked in yet. Assuming that you are sweating to some calorie-burning routine that YOU chose above other less-desirable options, just keep at it. Before long, I’ll bet you’ll crave breaking a sweat!

And I’ve found this works for food as well… by making good choices over less-healthy ones, and keeping it up for a couple of weeks, what we are consuming will begin to become what we desire to take in, and those junk-bars will lose their hold!

(This is my 99th blog…trying to decide what #100 will be!)

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Filed under balance, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities, victory, walking

Workouts pay off!

Pay yourself when you have a good workout…a simple and fun incentive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

A fellow WordPress blogger (Spagate) shared this neat idea to help motivate her to exercise. She created an exercise jar, and paid herself when she engaged in a good workout. Although she had seen the idea elsewhere suggesting putting $1.00 in the jar for each exercise session, she puts in a quarter for each 15 minutes, stating that “not  every workout is worth the same!”

I decided to get a bit creative with mine, making a colorful design on my computer. I’ve thought about subtracting $1.00 for days I don’t exercise when I should, but decided not to go there! Spagate made the suggestion to “save up for something special”, and I like that idea. Now, what will I buy when my jar is full? A new piece of exercise equipment, perhaps?

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Filed under calorie reduction, creativity, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities

First Place 4 Health – for the four-sided person we are

This Saturday, I’m planning to participate (with three others from our community) in a statewide First Place 4 Health  leadership training seminar. This incredibly-successful program (www.firstplace4health.com ) focuses on the four components of a person’s life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

The program materials  assume that those who consider taking part in the 12-week group sessions accept (or are open to) the fact that they are the creation of a loving God. With this knowledge, they can run the gamut from being passionate to just a bit curious about discovering how that truth plays out in their lives, and how to apply it to their weight-loss journey.

Make no mistake – First Place 4 Health (FP4H) is not just a Bible study. The nutrition plans are well-researched, thorough, sound and widely accepted as a healthy way to eat that one can live with the rest of his/her life. A member’s kit contains resources covering scores of topics (from time management to developing a healthy self-image to making wise choices with meal planning), DVDs (including one about emotional eating), and a hardback book chronicling FP4H from its beginning in 1981 to the present, and sharing numerous success stories of men and women. And another vital part of the program is the encouragement and support members receive from being part of a like-minded group.

Back to the four-sided person: the FP4H premise of looking at these four components recognizes that weight-loss success isn’t just about controlling the appetite. There is often emotional baggage one must deal with before habits can be permanently overcome and changed. Some may just not have the nutritional know-how to make wise choices. And others may come to realize a spiritual void in their lives, and journey toward wholeness in that area.

It’s easy to prioritize the physical aspects of weight management, but countless individuals have seen lasting success by focusing on the whole person. I hope you will consider the FP4H program in your healthy lifestyle quest!

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Filed under Bible study, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, faith, First Place 4 Health, healthy weight loss, Jesus, making changes, priorities

Resources for healthful eating

This tiny book contains a wealth of helpful hints for weight control.

 As I’ve journeyed through the struggles of weight loss and am hanging tenaciously to maintenance, I’ve picked up some of my favorite reads to peruse again for support and encouragement.

Found in a local thrift story, “Dieting in Real Life: 101 Tips and Inspiration for a Healthier You”, by Ellen Sanna, quickly came one of my prime resources. I kept it by my bed, so I could read one or two of the author’s 101 tips daily. The book, about the size of my hand, contains much wisdom and knowledge (both spiritual and secular) condensed into quick-to-read topics. It is divided into five sections: Changing our attitudes, Changing our eating habits, Curbing our desires, Spending more calories, Dieting and our emotions.

Related quotes add emphasis and clarity, and data from pertinent studies and accepted nutritional data help readers make appropriate lifestyle modifications. She introduces each tip with a sentence overview, and then adds a paragraph or two of details. Here are a few of her intros:

  • “Keep your hunger from becoming overwhelming by eating small meals and snacks evenly distributed throughout the day.”
  • “Stop focusing only on your weight; focus on the rest of what life has to offer.”
  • “See your body as a valuable tool God has entrusted to you.”
  • “Only eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full.”
  • “Don’t cut breakfast.”
  • “Keep a journal of what you eat.”
  • “Pray before you eat.”
  • “Don’t clean your plate.”
  • “The next time you are tempted to binge, imagine that someone you respect is watching you.”
  • Exercise when you get the urge to eat.”
  • “Don’t waste time feeling guilty.”

If you are interested in purchasing this book, which was written in 2003, you’ll probably have to check some place like eBay or Amazon. However, it’ll be well worth the effort to track down!

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Filed under calorie reduction, decision-making, empowerment, food, healthy weight loss, making changes, menu planning, physical fitness, priorities

>Rule of Thirds

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In photography, there is a concept called “the rule of thirds”. The phrase may be new to some, so here’s an explanation: in composing a shot before the shutter clicks, the photographer may choose to consider an imaginary division of the image into 9 equal parts (like a tic-tac-toe game). Each juncture where the “lines” cross is one-third of the image. Placement of a key element of the photo along one of these dissecting lines often provides a nice, off-center look to the finished picture, and helps avoid the common “bull’s eye” look, where the action or focus is at the very center.

During a conference at Mississippi’s Camp Garaywa, I was trying my hand at this recently- learned concept. This photo, taken just down from the lovely Patterson Place lodging, made the perfect (and most cooperative) subject.

When planning our days, we’d do well to consider the “rule of thirds” with the 24 hours God grants to each of us. Our Creator has fashioned our bodies with a need to rest, and for most, eight hours (a third of the day) provides a good night’s sleep. Then those who have a job spend about another third of our daily allotment “bringing home the bacon”. So that leaves more-or-less eight hours for the other third, to do all the things that don’t pertain to work or sleep.

The Bible tells us “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1). You’re familiar with the secular counterpart, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or Jill a dull gal)”. Some are workaholics, devoting way more than one-third of their day to their job. Some may claim justification, but most often, it isn’t necessary, and it’s usually the family that suffers most. Solomon offers this warning: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income… (Eccl.5:10).

Of course, the other side of the coin are those who can work and don’t: “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (Prov. 21:25). God created us to work; we see that in the very first chapters of Genesis. Those who have a job that provides an honest living, allows them to use their skills (whether innate or learned), and honors God are blessed indeed.
So what to do with the remaining third? Aside from the time required for tending to responsibilities and activities involving home and family, are we careful to seek opportunities to develop spiritually and serve our fellow man, both in the secular and spiritual realm? And are we avoiding time-wasters, such as worshipping the TV god, or mindless internet surfing? As for myself, I want to put a spiritual slant on the “rule of thirds”, and to do so, I should join the Psalmist in his prayer:

“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12

Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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Filed under balance, priorities, rest, schedules, time