Nothing is too Hard

Today’s verse: Psalm 124:8
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

What is the hardest thing about a diet, or quitting smoking, or giving up drugs?  It is being disciplined.  We have to really want to do it first of all, and then we have to really be disciplined to continue doing it.   Habits are hard to break.  Once we decide to quit something, we spend our entire days thinking about nothing else.  An addiction is a very difficult thing to get away from.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others:   meal ideas, an exercise buddy, someone to call when  you are feeling like you are about to give in,etc.  Your friends or relatives can be life savers in these situations.  Or find someone with a blog that is going through the same thing – misery loves company!

When I think about my lifestyle, my diet, my exercise routine, I think about how much help I get from God.  He guides me through my days, helps me in tough times, picks me up and dusts me off, and sends me on my way again.

But another thing that is hard work is living a Christian lifestyle. Our actions bear witness to our faith – we need to “walk the talk”  so to speak.  I find this incredibly hard to do.   I never want someone to look at me incredulously and say “You’re a Christian? I wouldn’t have known.”   I want them to know by my actions and my behavior.   I want to be a shining light to everyone that I come in contact with.  This takes hard work and discipline.

I know we can all do it!  We can beat our addictions, we can rise above and we can give glory to God for his wondrous love he gives us every day.  Nothing is too hard with God on our side.   -Read on for today’s sample menu! >

You Are Forgiven – No Strings Attached!

Today’s Verse:   Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

This week I have been binge eating.   In spite of all the healthy advice I give out, I still have my weak moments.  After all, I am only human.  My biggest weakness is chocolate.  If it is in the house, I eat it.   So, normally I don’t bring it into the house. However, we just moved my father-in-law into assisted living, and we had to clean out his pantry and kitchen.  Oh my, what a treasure trove of unhealthy foods!

Most of the food was donated to a local food pantry, but I couldn’t resist bringing some of the not-so-good-for-you food home with me.   And so now I am binging.  Today I ate chocolate icing, straight from the can!   Yikes!!!!!

But I know it is just a slip.   I make errors, and then I correct them.   I will be back on my health kick tomorrow.   I have learned to forgive myself for my wayward moments.

This is the wonderful thing about Jesus – no matter how many times we stray, or how often we “binge” in life, he always forgives us.  Again and again.  And then again!   I am always amazed at the number of Christians who don’t believe that they are forgiven.  They tell me that even though they try to be good, they sometimes fail, and they are sure they are going to hell.  I tell them that this is the good news of Jesus Christ – if we repent, he forgives!    There are no strings attached to this forgiveness, he already paid for our sins.

So when you have a weak moment, or day, or week, do not despair!    You can forgive yourself.  Do not beat yourself up or think you have undone all the good you have done.  Remember how Jesus forgives, and you can forgive yourself, again and again.  You can make it work – you are so worth it! – Read on for today’s sample menu! >

Encouragement on your Journey

Today’s verse:  

7 Encouraging Bible Verses About God’s Strength

Quitting any addiction is extremely difficult, whether it be losing weight, quitting smoking, or stopping drinking.  When times are tough and you don’t think you can do it anymore, you need encouragement.   Where is the best place to get encouragement?  From above, from God and his word, the Holy Bible..

The Bible is chock full of encouraging verses.  It says that all things should be done to glorify God. You trying to beat an addiction and triumph over it is one way to glorify God – keep this in mind and it  becomes easier.   Every day in my blog, I post a Bible verse for the day.  These verses should be helpful to you in your journey.  Please read and meditate on them.

I stated in one of my earlier blogs that our body is a temple and we should not abuse it.  The Holy Spirit resides in all Christians, and we must have a healthy place for it to reside.  If the body is not healthy, neither is the soul.   When we eat too much, or smoke, or binge drink, we destroy ourselves, and we cannot be healthy.   We are not glorifying God or respecting our body (a temple) when we behave like this.

When you are feeling like you cannot do one more day of a diet, or you just have to have one more cigarette, just say no!  But if you do fall off the wagon, don’t give up.  Jump back on and start again.   Remember that God loves us all and forgives us for our sins. We can always start every day fresh and new with God’s love.   Hang in there and be strong – have faith!   – Read on for today’s sample menu!>

Your Best (Healthiest) Body Ever

Today’s verse:    1 Timothy 4:8  For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having a promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Good day!   No one can ever get into shape by simply deciding to follow a diet.  In order to really get where you want to be, it has to be a total lifestyle change.  Any diet can be followed, but to be effective, you have to stick to it!   This is so very, very hard.

It is said that a habit takes 21 days to form.   I have been dieting my whole life, and I still haven’t formed the habit.  Why?  Because I never stick to it!  I do really well, lose the weight I want to, and then go right back to my same old eating habits.  The truth is, you have to want to change your life.  And as I said above, this is very hard.  But we can do it.

Here are 10 tips to help you get where you want to be, or at least headed in the right direction to your healthiest body ever:

1.  Write down every single thing that you eat every single day.  Even if it is just one chip, it still goes into your mouth.  Write it down.

2.  Read labels (see tommorow’s blog for understanding labels).  When you learn to read labels, it is amazing what you suddenly decide you don’t want to buy in the supermarket.  When you see all the fats, sugar, preservatives, and things I can’t even pronounce, you realize you don’t really want all that in your mouth.

3. Shop around the outside of the grocery store.  All the “bad” food is located in the aisles.   The “good” food, meaning vegetables, fruits, dairy, fish, meats, etc. are located on the outer edges of the store.

4.  When you are eating, put your fork down between every bite and completely chew and swallow what is in your mouth before you pick up your fork again.  This is meaningful eating = you have to think about what you are doing.

5.  Try to be the last one at the table to finish eating.   This will slow you down and you will realize when you are full.

6.  Always eat only at the table.  Mindless snacking in front of the TV is dangerous!

7.  Exercise, exercise, exercise!   We must expend more calories that we consume. Exercise does not need to be painful and scary.  A simple walk, or yoga, or just 10 minutes a day of strength training has been shown to have super benefits!

8.   Do not deny yourself your guilty pleasures.  Just watch portion control.  You can still eat chocolate, but make it dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao).  Instead of a milkshake, make a creamy smoothie (tons of great recipes on the internet).

9.  Try eating 6 times a day, instead of 3 meals a day.   If you are like me, when I diet all I do is think about food, all day long.   Being able to eat 6 small meals a day allows me to eat all day long.

10.   Pray to God to help you in your quest.   God will always be there for you and wants  you to be perfect!  The best way to get encouragement is to read the Bible.

– Read on for today’s sample menu!>

The Power of Prayer and Health

Today’s verse:   Mark 11:24   Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

I have a new kitten who has just turned a year old.    (awwww!)

She is transitioning from kitten food to adult cat food, but every time she eats the adult cat food, she gets sick.   We have spent hundreds of dollars at the vet to find out what is wrong, only to determine that she just needs to still be on kitten food.   Her body cannot handle and process the added stuff in adult food.

This is like our bodies – we cannot naturally process all the junk food that we put into it.  Our bodies respond by getting obese, which brings on all kinds of health related issues.  How do we counter this?   We eat sensibly and exercise.   And we pray to God to give us our health in the first place!

There are hundreds of fad diets and diet supplements out there, just like there are hundreds of cat foods.  All promise to deliver, but in the end the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat sensibly with portion control.  We must have self-control.  We cannot do it on our own.  We can, however, pray to God and ask for help.  He will answer our prayers.   He may do it in his own time, but he will never fail us.  We have all heard the bible verse from Matthew 7:7:   “Ask and ye shall receive”.   But it is more than asking, you must believe and have faith.

I teach Sunday school, and something I always stress to my students is that you can ask God for anything, and he will always answer you.  He may not answer you in the way that you want, sometimes his answer is “no”.  But he does answer.  If you believe that he will help you, he will.

When you are struggling with an addiction, turn your problem over to God.  Pray on it and pray without ceasing.  God will answer your prayer.    Ask for others to pray for you – there is power in prayer!     I pray that your prayers are answered for a healthy life!   – Read on for today’s sample menu!>

Love The Gift of Life

Today’s verse:   Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.

Good morning!   I hope and pray for all of you that your journey towards better health is continuing onward!

Today I would like to talk about the gift of life and how this relates to our goal of healthy living.  God gave us the gift of life!   What do we owe in return?   We need to make the most of it and appreciate what he has given us.  We need to celebrate this gift!

So how does this relate to healthy living?    Good manners dictate that we must say thank you for our gift.  So let’s all thank God for the gift of life that he gave us.  How do we thank him? Let’s thank him by taking care of what he has given us (our life) by not poisoning our bodies with junk food, drugs, or smoke.

I have to remember, every time I want to cheat on my diet or smoke that cigarette, that I am destroying a gift from God.  I am a mother of two boys (actually grown men now) and I remember how it felt as a parent if to give my children a wonderful gift, only to watch them destroy it piece by piece every day, or to not get the joy out of it that I thought they would get.  It broke my heart to see my precious gift destroyed.

God has given us all a beautiful body and soul, regardless of color, weight, outward beauty, or gender.  We are all beautiful in his eyes and he  loves us!   We can reciprocate that love by caring for that which he has given us.  I pray that you all will love and appreciate and care for the gift of life that has so generously been given to you!

Don’t forget to check out the sample diets at the end of each day’s blog – they even include desserts!   Yum!!!  -Read on for today’s sample menu!>

Your body is a temple

Today’s verse:  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.

Did you wake up today and thank God for another day?  Did your make a promise to stick to your healthy lifestyle?   He will help you!

Today’s tip is to think of your body as a temple.  God has given you this wonderful gift to use and enjoy.  Why do we want to destroy something that He has given us?   Do we want to overeat, smoke, drink, ingest drugs, or whatever other vice we have?

God created us in his image, and He is perfect. While we cannot be perfect, we can try to honor the temple that he has given us.  We can do this by sticking to our daily promise not to overeat.   We can honor God by honoring ourselves.

Every time you are tempted to overeat (smoke…fill in the blank) think about how you are destroying the temple that God has given you.   If you follow my blog, yesterday we determined we would make a promise to God and today we will honor his temple.  With God’s help, all things are possible!   Stick to it and you will succeed- one day at a time.

– Read on for today’s sample menu>