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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To lose weight, we have to eat less of unhealthy food choices and/or not eat too much of healthy ones. A no-brainer, right? But telling our brain (where overeating sometimes starts) that we’ve had enough, or that we really shouldn’t eat that sugary, fatty item that’s calling our name is often a tough battle.
However, I’ve discovered a helpful item that’s quite inexpensive; and you most-likely have one right at hand…in your bathroom. Ready to face the battle? Grab your toothbrush!
I’ve noticed that there’s something about brushing my pearly-whites that helps dissipate my desire to keep eating. Today, after lunch, I wanted a chocolate bar. I’d had plenty to eat, but the sweet sensation tug kept nagging me as I cleaned up the lunch dishes. But instead of salivating over it, I decided to instead “foam at the mouth” with a good dose of Colgate toothpaste. Followed that with a big glass of water, and the desire for something that wasn’t on my meal plan quickly vanished. Maybe it’s psychological, letting the mind and body know that the meal is done, but whatever the reason, the result kept me on track.
Do you have any special “tricks of the trade” to steer you toward making the right choices? I’d love to hear them!
Are you a visual learner? Sometimes, what we see has more of an impact that what we read. Case in point: After almost two months of not eating as well as I should and not exercising as much as I had been, my weight has incrementally crept up a few pounds above my goal. After working so hard to reach my goal, I’m back on track…the walking track, among other calorie-burning workouts! Another track I plan to implement again is the food-tracker. Knowing if it goes in my mouth, it goes on my chart makes me better able to say “no” to less-than-the-best choices.
Now, back to the visuals: For Christmas, I bought myself a pair of five-pound weights. They are pretty diminutive to look at, but when I pick them up, I have to brace my arms and shoulders for the extra stress. And just that ten pounds puts extra pressure on my legs as well. But another visual today really hit home. Our local store had ground chuck on sale, and as I looked at the “family packs”, most of which were three pounds or more, I saw a lumpy glop of meat about the size of what I’ve regained. Visualizing that on my backside has helped steel my resolve.
If you’re carrying excess weight, it may help to get some visuals in your mind; not only what you need or want to lose, but of smaller weights as well. Next time you’re shopping, pick up a five-pound roast or a ten-pound sack of sugar. Feel the weight in your hands. Then set a short-term goal to lose that five or ten pounds. Later, as you handle the comparable object again, you will be excited and encouraged that, just as you can put down that bag of sugar, you’ve put off that much weight!
I hope you’ll join me in looking forward to (and planning for) a new year of becoming healthier, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally. More to come on these thoughts in upcoming days!