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Posts Tagged ‘healthy choices’

Own_Your_ChoicesI ate a cookie this morning.

I usually eat healthy foods during the week…fruit, nuts, salads, veggies. If I eat sweets, it’s because one of my colleagues has brought in something she’s baked and I’m not going to hurt her feelings by saying “no” to banana cake. But today, I caved. I ate a cookie. A plain old, comes in a box, cookie. I have no excuses. No one forced me. No one threatened me. I made the choice. I. Chose. The. Cookie.

We all have choices every day. We choose what to wear, what to eat, what route to work, what to spend money on, where to go to church (or not), what to do with our time. Our choices are just that. Ours.

If I want to achieve a certain goal, I’m going to need to make certain choices. Sometimes those choices involve sacrificing what I WANT RIGHT NOW, for what I want down the line. If I want to be a healthy 60-year-old, I’m going to have to choose to live a healthy lifestyle. (P.S. – It probably won’t happen tomorrow. I will be eating sweets on my big day). But if I don’t make those healthy choices, I won’t be blaming someone else. It’s on me. And I’m good with that. I’m tired of seeing social media postings blaming everyone else for the circumstances in our lives.

“I can’t believe that cop gave me a speeding ticket.”
“My teacher gave me a D – just for one missing assignment.”
“I have no time to exercise (read, pray, call my dad, visit with my grandma, shovel my neighbor’s walk…)”
“It’s my mom’s fault.” (A particularly touchy one – Thankfully for them, this has not been posted by my children)

Yes, there are a lot of people in our world who have very few options.  Circumstances, and other people’s sinful choices, have kept them in bondage. But for MOST of us, we must take ownership of our choices. If we want a different result, we need to make a different choice. We want a different life. We want a smoother road, We want a better job. Or financial freedom. Or healthy relationships. It begins with one step, one choice. And only you can make it.

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What a way to get your steps! Galena, Illinois, steps from downtown to streets above.

The big 6-0 is approaching – less than a week to go. I’ve come a long way since November when I first started thinking about my upcoming birthday. Those few short months ago, I was dreading it. Sixty?! It sounds so old! But since then, I’ve begun taking active steps, mentally and emotionally, to shift my mindset from what I used to think, to what I want to think. Sixty is a number – it is not my identity. I’m going to work hard to make sure my sixties are the best decade of my life – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Therefore, today’s wisdom will be five of my favorite ways to stay healthy…even at this advanced age.

 

  • Drink water. Lots of it.

A few years ago, when I was actively working out at a Curves facility (I really miss my Curves workouts and friends), one of my favorite pieces of advice was to drink water. Weight loss is easier when you are hydrated. Everything is easier when you’re hydrated. I’ve made it a goal to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day, and I do not count coffee as “water.” Coffee is wonderful, but it doesn’t add to your hydration. There are so many benefits of drinking water. Your body and brain will thank you!

  • Get up and move.
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C25k app is my go-to for 5k training every year.

Regular exercise, even just walking or stretching, will help you feel better. Of course, I’m no doctor (I don’t even play one on TV), but regular movement gets the endorphins going, loosens up stiff joints and muscles, and burns a few calories. I walk every day. My goal is 10,000 steps, and I feel as though I’m keeping my body in better shape for those “elderly” years (whenever that happens). We were gifted with a great treadmill at the end of last year, and I use it every day that I cannot get outside because of darkness or cold. I’ll begin my running regimen this month, instead of having to wait until whenever spring decides to show up.

 

  • Fruit and vegetables.

The recommended daily intake of five servings of fruit and vegetables seems pretty doable. I absolutely love vegetables and so eating them in abundance every day is not a hardship for me. You’ll enjoy the benefits of increased vitamins and fiber (and all that does for a body). Don and I love roasting vegetables seasoned with some flavorful salts and peppers (425 degrees, 15-20 minutes, drizzled with EVOO and seasonings). I try to eat an apple every afternoon, instead of hitting up my co-worker’s chocolate stash. Spinach in a smoothie, pulverized carrots and onions in a meatloaf, raw veggies with hummus as a snack…possibilities are endless.

  • Sleep.

I love sleep. And I know I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function at my best the next day. I’m usually asleep by 10ish on weekdays, and up before 6, so unless my mind decides otherwise, I do get a good night’s sleep most of the time. As I get older, I realize I’m more like a toddler. If I’m grumpy and pouty, it’s because I’m tired or hungry.

  • Occasional pampering.

One of the very best benefits of getting older is guilt-free time for some pampering. When I was in my 30s and 40s, I would have loved a mani-pedi, or a massage, or taking a long walk alone, but it wasn’t possible for a variety of reasons. People frown on moms who leave their small children home alone. We also didn’t have much extra money, and I would have felt awful using any funds for “silly” things like a pedicure.  But now that I’m working, Don’s working, and the kids are grown up and out of the house, I feel no guilt if I take some money for a sugaring session, or a pedicure, or buying a new pair of running shoes. Today I was able to have a 75-minute stone massage and it was wonderful! My kids gifted me with a session for last year’s birthday and I was happy to use it up.

I know there could be health surprises in my future; things I have no control over. But I also know God has shown me ways to be a good steward of the body I have. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I want to honor Him with the choices I make. I want to be prepared for whatever my sixties hold. Come on 60! I hear you’re the new 40.

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Horace quote

“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

It’s time. Time to change things up again. Time to get back to some basics. Time to confront old habits and create new ones. Time to encourage others to be all God wants them to be. Time to “play detective” on myself and be the best “me” I can be.

Today marks Day 1 of my 90-day journey to renewing my spirit, soul and body. I’ve used a book by Donna Partow called “Becoming the Woman I Want to Be” at least twice before, and I’m picking it up again. The last time was almost 4 years ago so I’m sure there are a few things I’ll need to review and remember this time around.

There won’t be any surprises within the content of the book – Partow focuses on helping the reader concentrate on the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, and journaling, as well as developing healthier eating and exercise habits. Since the last time I completed this journey, I’ve lost 30 pounds so I can testify to the success of the eating/exercise disciplines, at least in my own life. We are all unique so I cannot guarantee anyone else’s success but it never hurts to eat more veggies or take a walk every day.

I’m hopeful for a few unexpected turns in the road. Even though the book’s content is known, the way the Spirit of God will lead me this time will be new and different. He is a creative God and I’m looking forward to hearing His voice with fresh ears and listening to His instruction with a clean and receptive heart. This 90-day adventure includes 18 passages of Scripture to memorize – which has never been my strong suit – but I’m committed to giving it my best shot. The Bible says if I study and read God’s Word, it will always be valuable in my life. It is never a waste of time and energy to meditate on Scripture. Looking forward to seeing insights I’ve never noticed before. The Scripture at the top of the blog is my first one to memorize…I’m working on it. Thankfully no tests – yet.

Partow includes a daily affirmation to read out loud…a way to transform my mind with positive statements of Biblical truth. I’m very sure these encouragements will bless me every day. And I’ll probably share a few on social media. Apologies in advance.

I’m going to continue through my own personal Bible reading guide. I’d fallen behind but instead of cramming to “catch up” to where I should be, I’m just continuing where I left off. There is no condemnation from God and no list to check-off that anyone sees but me. Letting go of my “Bible Reading Guide OCD” and embracing freedom today!

Today’s affirmation spoke to me (and I hope to you as well) – “I forget those things that are behind me, including all of my personal shortcomings in the area of spiritual disciplines, diet and exercise. I am pressing toward what lies ahead: a bright future filled with health in my spirit, soul, and body.”

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This is going to be a great summer! I’ve set some lofty goals, anticipating some pretty awesome results and all while enjoying my husband, my family and my friends. But it won’t be easy…because what’s the fun in that?

First, I’m joining with a long time girlfriend as we, once again, take control of ourselves and lose some extra poundage. We’ll be each other’s best cheerleader, motivator, inspiration and coach – all rolled into one dynamic package…actually two dynamic packages, I guess.It’s so easy to get off the path of healthy choices and slip down the slope into JunkFood Jungle. “But it tastes so good!” Yes, it does, but that momentary pleasure usually gives way a short time later to guilt, shame and condemnation – the Three Ugly Stepsisters. No thank you!

Bible_blogpostWe’re going to go through Donna Partow‘s “Becoming the Woman I Want to Be,” the book I used three years ago to get started on my 30-pound weight loss. Great time to crack it open again and get back on track… This isn’t solely about physical changes, but discovering a plan to renew myself spiritually and emotionally as well. Of course, today was the day my office served Panera for lunch and dropped a 25-box of chocolate cookies in the lunchroom. Great way to get started – No! No! No! I’m so weak – but so far, so good.

Another goal is getting back into the Word, regularly. I don’t know why this is a struggle for me, but I’m being vulnerable here…I love God’s Word but I can be easily distracted by louder, yet less important, things. So this summer – the Bible is the first thing I’ll read – even if it’s not until my lunch break.

I’m scheduled to backpack the Sierras with my older brother in early September so another goal is to get in hiking shape…which, I suspicion, is quite different from sidewalks-through-downtown-Cedar-Rapids walking. I’ve borrowed a couple of library books, researched hiking boots and proper backpacks, priced flights to Sacramento and prayed for wisdom on how to record this whole amazing journey without electronic gadgets.

Lastly, I’m going to attempt to blog throughout the summer – at least on Mondays and maybe more. You’ve been warned. You may want to set your own goal of getting off social media for a short time, or cutting back on unhealthy food choices, or spending more time playing (as opposed to working), or doing something you’ve put off because you never found the time to “git-r done.” Now’s the time – time to kickstart your summer.

This is going to be fun!

P.S. The following is one of many verses I meditate on as I train my spirit, soul and body to say “no” to temptation:

“Let your eyes look straight ahead,
Fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
And take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
Keep your foot from evil.”
Proverbs 4:25-27

 

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