Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tips for Pursuing Healthier Living

Regarding caloric intake:  Set your calorie intake to be the goal weight times 10 to give you a general idea of the number of cals you should be consuming daily.  Begin to journal your food and record the calories.   (note if you are considerably over that goal weight you will want to do this incrementally- You will not want that to be the calories immediately - reduce the weekly calories as you loose the weight)

Roadblocks:  After doing the above suggestion for a period of time, if you encounter roadblocks, you may need to play with these numbers.  You can take a week where you ramp up the daily calories by 1-2 hundred calories.  Then return back to the original goal weight calories.

Cravings:  After a time, you may develop overwhelming cravings.  It may mean you have cut back on those cals too much.  It is ok if you have a day where you want to eat. You may need to ramp up your caloric intake for several days when cravings come. Be mindful of not being too drastic.  Being too drastic may yield rapid weight loss, but you will have a more unstable emotional state. (also rapid weight loss rarely remains off - you usually gain all of the weight back but it finds some friends to come along when it returns)  Being in an emotional state while trying to loose weight is usually a bad combination and will more than likely lead to failure.

Another factor that may be causing cravings is you are at a certain cycle in your month.  So always be aware of the calendar.   Hormones can drive us. Cravings in themselves are not bad. It is the bodies way of telling us what it needs. So listen to what your body is crying out for.  Ask God to reveal to you what it is your body wants. (scripture says we have not because we ask not)  For example, if you are having this insatiable desire for chocolate, you may need magnesium (there is a low fat way to get that and a fattening way)  You have the freedom to choose which one. If you are craving tons of butter, your body is probably needing fat.  (you can get a handful of almonds -about 5- or avocado is an excellent healthy fat) If you are craving sugary foods you may need to increase your carbs. You can choose multigrains to get that as a healthier alternative to a sugary treat. If you are craving anything at all, there is an underlying biological need driving it. So listen to your body. Is it crying out for a Snickers? You may be needing both the magnesium from the chocolate and the protein from the peanuts the carbs from the caramel. Should you try to satisfy that desire with a healthy choice? You can or just eat the snickers and enjoy it. Record it in your calories and accommodate for it the next day or so. It is not evil and it is not cheating to act on cravings. That is the beauty of this program. You can have what your body desires in moderation and on occasion. You just have to be smart about it.

In this blog, I wrote about focus and how it helps us succeed.  I believe that there are many ways to succeed at living a healthier life.  If you begin to focus on being healthier and educating yourself to make wiser decisions with what, how much and frequency of food consumption, you will find you will succeed.  If you focus on exercise as part of your life, you will find you will succeed.  The good thing about New Years Resolutions is that it gets you focused on the goal.  The problem is that most resolution fail because our focus gets quickly diverted.

Ways to develop this focus is what spurs programs like Weight Watchers, personal trainers, and nutritionist.  They are just methods to get you to focus and to help you stay focused.  The methods themselves are not magical.  They are only effective if you use them and they help you keep your focus.  As for the methods, you use what works for you.  You can get an accountability partner, you can post cards or pictures around your house especially in the kitchen to remind yourself.  You can join a fitness center, you can even find someone to design a food plan for you.  But your most important part of this method is that you remain focused on it. 

Encouraging others to live healthier lives is just part of my passion.  I hope you find encouragement in this today.

Where is Your Focus???

Here is a weapon we have!   FOCUS!!!

I am just reminded today that where we have our focus is the key to what matters to us.  It is the key to how we succeed.  It is a big key to life.

For example, if we focus on our past we live in the past.  If we are consumed by fear of our future or even anticipation for our future, we are focusing on the future.  If we are alert and aware of our present, our focus is on the HERE and NOW!!! The present is the ONLY place where we can affect anything.  You cannot change the past or alter the future.  So if we live in the present and keep our eyes on the present, fixing our gaze on Jesus, we will live a more satisfied, successful, peaceful, and content life.  And we will bring the Father much glory.

Do we focus on our pain, our finances, our schedule, or our sin?  Our focus is SO important.

There is a time to look at our pain, our finances and our sin.  Plus much more.  But my point is that our focus has to be upon the Lord and His word.

Where is your focus?

If we focus on weight loss, getting out of debt, winning a game...  or whatever, we are usually successful.  Why?  We keep our goal before us.  The key to weight loss success is always finding ways to keep the goal right in front of you, whether it is thru Weight Watchers, and accountability partner, a group, or refrigerator reminders.  The method is rarely ever the key to success.  It is that you keep your focus on your goal.

The world is a very distracting place.  There are things demanding our attentions.  If we are not intentional with our focus, we will drown in a sea of busyness and trivial pursuits.  If we want to walk a life that is honoring to God and draws others to Him, we are going to have to keep our eyes SET upon HIM.  Jesus is our goal, to be like Christ.  But it is not to conform ourselves into the image of Christ.  Oh so subtly we can begin to think it is for us to do.  But on the contrary, it is for us to set our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth WILL grow strangely dim, in the light of His GLORY and GRACE.  (such a great song, but those words cut to the heart of what I am saying)   Listen to me here.  FOCUS on Jesus.  He is our goal.  But it is not for us to do.  As you set your eyes upon Him and your focus is neither to the left nor the right, as you emmerse yourself in who HE is.  THERE is where the work begins inside of you.  It is where the transformation is done.  It is not a difficult mathematical equation.  It is as simple as where you are focused. 

That is why every day we need to seek Christ.  We need to keep Him in the forefront of our minds.  He is always there.  He says He will never leave you.  So as we set our eyes on Him, we become increasingly aware of His presence with us.  As we become aware of His presence we become strengthen, encouraged, and more like Christ. 

I have noticed that whomever I spend the most time with, I begin to pick up there mannerisms and behaviors.  I begin to see things from there perspective and even at times pick up there offenses.  So as we spend more time with Jesus the more we will be transformed inside out.  I want to talk like Him, walk like Him, care about what He cares about.  I want the transforming work of Christ in me.  We need to look at the world from God's perspective.  Ask Him for it.

Daniel 4:27 in the New Living Translation, says "Stop sinning and do what is right."  Focus on that scripture.  Seems pretty straight forward and simple when you boil it down.  But we are able to effectively do this by the enabling power of Christ.  We focus on HIM.  He will strengthen us to stop our sin and to do what is right.

There is a story in the bible of a King who walked a life of focus.  1Kings 22:1-2 "Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. ... 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. "

Not turning aside to the right or the left.  Keep your focus directly on Jesus.  I believe it is a key to effective living.