(Slipping a dollar bill into my exercise jar each time I work up a sweat provides impetus to regular workouts. When the jar is full, I decide on and purchase something new for my healthy lifestyle journey!)
Making changes is often hard, but sometimes some simple changes we implement can have a profound effect on our well-being. In our First Place 4 Health meeting recently, I encouraged participants to think of three such changes they’d make during this twelve-week session. As they shared, I jotted them down on the board and later compiled the list. Here’s what we came up with:
· Keep a food journal/diary
· Eat on time
· Remove junk food
· Consume more fruits and veggies
· Get plenty of rest
· Prepare food ahead
· Eat less processed food
· Engage in regular exercise
· Drink more water
· Eat out less
· Spend more time in prayer and Bible study
· Remove (or lessen) stressors
· Make a menu
· Avoid buffets/fried foods
· No late-night eating
· Stay in touch with a friend/accountability partner
Weight loss is never a matter of the stomach only; in First Place, we realize we’re made up of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components, and each has a bearing on our wellness journey. Seeking balance under the lordship of Jesus Christ can provide real and lasting victory!
As I looked over this list, I noticed these four life entities are addressed. I think I’ll print these reminders out and place them on my refrigerator!
Thrift stores have proved a treasure-trove of resources for books to add to my “fitness library”. Averaging around a tenth of what these tomes would cost new, I’ve come across some great reads. If memory serves me right, Mark Twain said, “I am a part of all that I have met”, and this holds true for my gleaning info from these well-written books.
From some sources, perhaps just a few thoughts might be what I’ve imprinted on my mind, while others have dozens of dog-eared pages I peruse from time-to-time. The First Place 4 Health materials, Thoroughly Fit, Bod 4 God, Never Say Diet, and Winning the Food Fight are written from a Christian perspective, and the others are secular reads.
All these (please see my updated “Resource Faves” at the top of my page) have an important place on my book shelf, as they’ve helped keep me focused on my weight-loss journey, which I’ve discovered has no end! Indeed, my healthy eating plan isn’t a diet… something I “get on” and plan to “get off” at some time when my scale hits the number I’m seeking. It’s a lifestyle I plan (and pray) to continue as long as I have the physical and mental abilities to do so.
Yes, these resources are “part of all that I have met”, and I’m thankful that they’ve found their way into my possession! Since this is my hundredth blog as Slimvictory, I thought this would be a good topic for this milestone!
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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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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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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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