Monthly Archives: January 2010

So You Ate a Cookie? Now Get Over It!

At this point we are three weeks into the new year. Have you fallen off the wagon of your resolutions yet? I read something this week that says that 90% of people break their New Year’s resolutions by Valentine’s Day. Sad, but true.

So if you are already struggling with pressing on to what you committed to do at the beginning of the year, I just want to encourage you to keep at it! If you are miserably hungry because you have reduced your calorie intake and you are aching because you have increased your physical activity, don’t let the discomfort of where you are right now surpass the exhilarating feeling that will come when you succeed.

Think back on what you truly wanted at the beginning of this year. Hopefully it was more than just to look good in a swimsuit by the summer. I mean we can all gain motivation from a variety of sources. But if your goal was to change your life for the better and improve your health for all the right reasons (not the vain ones) then you are more likely to find the determination to stick with it.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are worthy. Worthy of all the hard work, sweat and tears it may take to get you where you want to go. And don’t beat yourself up if you slipped up a little and have already indulged in a double-stuffed Oreo cookie by mid-January. Just get over it. And get on with it!

A little progress is better than none at all.

I was talking with a friend the other day about this very thing. We were comparing the physical journey a lot of people embark on at the beginning of the year with our spiritual journeys. For example, some people promise to be more involved in reading and studying their Bible at the beginning of the New Year. Maybe they commit to reading a certain number of chapters a day. But time and commitments get in the way and mess up their progress in keeping on schedule.

So, should they put the Bible down and say, “I got off track, so I just won’t read it at all anymore?”

No, that’s silly. Because even a little bit of something good is still something. And it’s still really important. Studying just a little of God’s word can still yield major benefits. Just like exercising a little or improving your nutrition just a little can still provide positive results.

Studies show that reducing your weight by as little as 5-10 percent can decrease your chance of developing heart disease and improve your heart function and blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Just a few pounds—a little effort—can make a big difference.

So this year if you are already frustrated because you aren’t where you wanted to be, don’t be all or nothing. Even if you change a little it’s still important and eventually little changes can actually become big ones.

True Value

I had another one of those “Aha” moments this week. And I really feel like God imparted some wisdom to me that I wanted to share. It’s so simple and yet so profound. If we could all “get this” it would truly change our lives.

What you value…you treat differently.”

Think about these two scenarios. In one, you go to a fine restaurant. Your surroundings are immaculate and beautifully decorated. The lighting is soft and perfect. Someone lays a fine linen napkin in your lap and places shiny sterling silverware in front of you. As much as being there for a meal, you truly have an experience.

Contrast that with the feeling you get when you receive your food wrapped in paper, thrown in a sack and handed to you through a window.

In the first scenario your expectations are higher and the experience is better. There’s a level of respect and admiration that goes with something that is well taken care of and well executed.

The same can be said for our body.

When we realize what a gift from God our body is, how miraculous it is, and how truly valuable we are we will treat it differently because there’s a level of respect and admiration that accompanies something that is well taken care of.

Starting off this new year, so many people are concerned with diet and exercise. Taking care of yourself is probably a commitment most people make when the new year rolls around. But it’s kind of like when you get a new car.

With a new vehicle, you are so proud of it that it takes a high place on your list of priorities. In fact, you probably wash it every weekend. You condition the leather seats. You keep the interior vacuumed and immaculate. No one is allowed to eat in your new car. And you put the best, high-octane gasoline in it. It must be kept pristine. After all, it’s your new car. It’s important!

But then as time goes by you get busy. And the newness and the sense of priority for the car kind of dwindles. You still like it and it still gets you where you need to go. But the precision with which you used to care for it diminishes somewhat. Not only do you care a little less about the washing and waxing, but there may even be some crumbs in the seats from the kids snacking in the back.

I think it’s normal to have those tendencies, but we’ve got to do better with our bodies than we do with our cars. We may have several automobiles throughout our lifetime, but we only get one body. And we must take impeccable care of it and, in fact, “use better fuel” to keep it going. Just like you can’t let your car sit idly for months on end in the garage and not expect some corrosion; you can’t neglect your body and expect it to perform at its optimal capacity either.

I’ve had so many people ask for my tips for diet and exercise and how to change their lives in the new year. My simple response is this: In 2010 don’t let it simply be about calories in and calories out. Let it be about learning your true value. Because once we grasp that concept everything else will be in perspective and change—for the better—is inevitable.

Remember, what you value—you treat differently.

Lessons Learned in 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I love the freshness of each new year, as the calendar flips over from December to January. It symbolizes a new start and endless possibilities for the future months. But it also is a time to stop and reflect on the blessings and lessons learned from the previous year.

Some of what I learned in 2009 was simply a reminder of things I already knew. And, still, other things were brand new revelations! And I wanted to share some of these things with you.

  • Anything worth having is worth working for—and working hard for. I have learned that maintaining a significant weight loss is probably harder than losing the weight to begin with. But it’s not to say that the hard work isn’t worth it. But it requires time, effort, dedication and making yourself a priority.
  • Accountability is key. You must surround yourself with others who have your best interest at heart. If you don’t naturally have a circle of friends who will encourage you to strive to be your best, then find a support group of some kind.
  • Ask yourself, “What am I truly hungry for?” Are you eating because you have a real physical hunger for food or are you feeding other needs (like loneliness, boredom, sadness) in an effort to sooth yourself? Ask the tough questions and be honest with yourself when you answer.
  • Plan ahead. Preparing your food at the beginning of the week is a wonderful way to stay on track. If you grill chicken and veggies ahead of time you can put them in individual ziplock bags and put them in the fridge. When it’s time to eat you don’t have to exert any effort. You already have safe and healthy choices right at your fingertips.

I also learned (or re-learned) some valuable things that don’t necessarily have to do with diet and nutrition but are still valuable lessons. For example:

  • It’s not what you have in your life, but whom you have in your life that truly counts.
  • Life is never more precious than when viewing it through the eyes of your children.
  • We are always responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel. Consequences are ours to own.
  • Either you learn to control your attitude or it controls you.
  • There are always others watching and grace under pressure is a precious commodity to be cultivated.

Probably the most significant thing that I’ve learned to appreciate over 2009 is the fact that “every morning God’s mercies are new.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

This scripture comes from the biblical prophet Jeremiah that records his grief at a particular point of despair, but through it all he recalled God’s mercies and therefore found hope.

This past year was filled with some exhilarating joys and some sorrows as well. That’s called life. But if when you wake up tomorrow, thank God for His mercies and for giving you a fresh start each day. It’s yours if you’ll just accept it.

Hoping you and your families will experience a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2010!