Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stress...WOW!!!

Stress. It is something you can't get away from in life. It is a natural response when we get scared. It is a natural response when we are too overloaded with activities in our life. It is a natural response when fighting with a loved one, getting frustrated with finances, or irritated by crazy drivers on our morning commute.

It is very dangerous. It can cause chemical imbalances in our bodies that can lead to insulin resistance, which over time can kill you. It can lead to elevated blood pressures which if are too high can cause stroke and possible death. It can even cause heart attacks too.

God was very wise when He told us to trust him, to cast our cares on him, and to help others.

Really think about it. When we are trusting God and HIS wisdom it is much easier to sleep at night because we have that comfort of knowing deep in the marrow of our bones that HE has got ME in the palm of HIS hand! Just hang on for the ride.

Think about the sense of RELIEF you have once you have truly turned over your burdens to the Lord in prayer. Peacefulness. It just fills you up.

I can think of no better stress reliever than helping others. It is something to the little saying, "It is better to give than to receive."

We all need to really take a look at our lives. Is stress a silent killer in your life? Is is a destructive presence for your weight loss goal? If yes, take some steps to deal with it.

I am looking into a low glycemic index diet/lifestyle. I am struggling with weight loss and an RN friend suggested I look into this method. Guess what, I just happened to OWN a book about it in my plethora of books about health/weight loss that I have never read. Now, I am convinced that book was written with my body as the inspiration for it.

I am away from the Internet due to a job change, but will continue to study to learn better health practices for myself. I am blessed with a 95 year old cheerleader as I "take my exercises." She tells me each day that she is proud of me, and it just bring tears to my eyes! :-)

Please take the time today to evaluate you life and the loads of stress you are under. It may really need attention.

Keep the faith! Stay the course! You can do it, and you can motivate others to do the same! Thank you always for you support and encouragement on this journey to a Healthier Me I am on, and I hope your journey is successful too!

Love and hugs! Leah.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A BAD DAY


Today was a bad day. I was accused of being two very bad things. I was hurt. I was very angry. I felt unappreciated. I was angry. I was shocked. I was angry. I wanted to get away to process, cry and pray about it, but couldn't at the time and it was just awful. Most of all, I felt as if I must not be living my life so that others can see Christ living in me if those two things could be thought of me. I felt like a failure. It was a bad day.

For those of you who know me, or remember me from my younger years, don't worry. I did not throw anything, or put my fist in anything. I am thankful that I have learned that much self-control. I also did not resort to profanity which at one time used to be a problem for me.

This followed closely on the heals of losing my sweet Goliath on Friday (he was my almost 2 year old dog), and coupled with some family members with health issues at home just made me want to cry, cry, cry. Which I did. Some days on a crying jag will do, and it does help you feel better. Of course I usually vent to God while doing so which helps even more!

I learned something important today. I learned that the desire to feed my emotions when at their lows is FADING!


I wanted to go walk. I want to sweat it out and pray, not find a bowl of ice cream & eat. I also wanted the wise council of a trusted sister in Christ to get feed back and reassurance.

I reacted in a positive way! That is wonderful news for me! I can now rest better knowing that some TERRIBLE habits with food are being brought under control!


I looked up some websites about breaking bad habits. I hope you find them helpful!

http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/break-bad-eating-habits-10000001667118/index.html

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/3-easy-steps-to-breaking-bad-habits

The following link is about ways to deal with anger. It has really been a problem for me and I always seek to improve. I am a talker and I obsess with things so this article really provides some great information for me.

http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/dealing_anger.htm

Just keep trying. That is all I can do when it comes to making positive changes. Many times it is ourselves that is our hardest critic, most harsh judge, and the least loving to ourselves. I want you to stop right now and find a mirror. Look at yourself and tell yourself three things that are good about you. Then figure out a way to help you use those three things to help you get onto a path of better physical and spiritual health.

YOU ARE IMPORTANT! YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD!!!

YOU ARE LOVED! GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON!!!

YOU CAN DO IT! I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENTHENS ME!!!

Have a marvelous day! I do covet your prayers at this time for some issues of a more private nature within my life. I know God will work it out, but I want to keep my name in HIS ears! We are so blessed to have the sweetness of prayer.

Stay motivated. Keep trying. Always keep God the main thing in your life. Stay focused!

Thank you all for the encouragement and the support! Leah

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep it up!

Sometimes it is just so easy to quit. But you can't. Really you can't.

WE NEED YOU!

If you are reading this then here are somethings I hope we have in common.

1. We love God above all else.

2. We love our families and do our best to care for them to the best of our abilities with the principles of God always the heart of how we deal with them.

3. We love our church family with the same fervor as our own families!

4. We look out at the world (the lost, broken, and needing to hear the Gospel) as place to go to shed the light and love of Christ!

So, with these 4 things stated here are some quick thoughts.

We need to be at our physical best to serve our families, the church, and the world.

We need to be students of the WORD in order to know how to teach our families, teach within the church, and to teach the world.

So, here are some muscles that must be in action to truly serve.

1. We must get out bodies moving. It is frustrating if you are really big. I know, but it can be done. You will feel so much better. Take some baby steps. Just get up and move more today than you did yesterday and keep the trend going.

2. We must be aware of the food that we eat. Is it going to help our bodies be healthy or hinder us from good health?

3. We must use our brain to STUDY the Word of God as well as to garner information from history and current events so that we can truly be mind warriors too.

4. Just like with food we must be careful of the brain matter we eat. It can harm the soul if we don't.

I am so grateful for all of you. I am in a rush, but wanted to connect.

I have started a Facebook page: Steps to a Healthier Me. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Steps-to-a-Healthier-Me/277083562304037

It is simply a place to post insightful links, tidbits of encouragement, and anything inspirational. Feel free to share your favorite things of like manner and lets help the world get a little healthier body and soul.

Thank you all for helping me stay motivated! Love and hugs! Have a great day and be safe!

Keep God the main thing and you can't go wrong!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Good Days, Bad Days!

Yesterday was a very good day for me. I met my food intake goals. I exercised. I did Bible study. I prayed. I got the house clean...really clean! A good day. It made me feel successful. However, I tried some things yesterday to keep me on task. I want to share.

1. I wrote down the things I needed to accomplish. I checked my list. I got them done. It is like the list was my accountability partner for the day! It really helped.

2. I wrote down a prayer list. I have done so many times in the past, but I got serious with this one. I listed specific things that are long term and that will stay on the list for a long time. I made a list of my family members. (Yes, my list is long and I am so blessed!) However, I felt that as I prayed and read their names out loud to God it made me more mindful of them, and it brought to mind specific things I needed to pray for concerning them (for example, Harley at 16 is a new licensed driver, and Amanda at 15 is a new permitted driver.), about our relationships with one another, about their walk with God, etc. AND, I wrote down the names of people that I specifically have stated on FB and other places that I would be praying for. I found that I truly spent quality time in prayer, kept my word about praying for others better, and this morning I nearly burnt my oatmeal because I was so caught up in praying thanks to my list!

3. I choose wise things to spend my idle time doing. I am researching information about America's problem with obesity. I am trying to understand the danger I am in very well. I am trying to arm myself with information to help me, and Lord willing help others who are going through the same things. I also spent time working on a Genesis study and a Proverbs 31 study I am involved in on FB. I find that having things of importance to study, and finding the study fun, helps me NOT want to fill my mind with idle, often very ungodly things from TV/Radio/Computer!

Now, I realize that some of you out there lead lives that are OVERWHELMING with busy, busy lifestyles. That is okay too. Just yesterday, a lady posted a comment on the Digging Deeper study on FB, and I wanted to know more about the comment she made. However, I felt like my brain was already doing all it could do to focus on the things it was. So, throughout the day, when I would be taking brain breaks, I would check the other comments made. Very insightful, informed and great stuff was posted. I came away with a better understanding of the topic. I let someone else do the digging, and I reaped the nugget!

We as individuals can't do it all. My sister Molly is always busy! She is the mother of 5. 16, 15, 14, 10, and 21 months, are the ages of her children. She is a homeschooling mom, and one of her children is autistic. Needless to say, she is busy trying to be a good Christian, wife, mother, autism advocate (which requires diligent RESEARCH) and balance out those demands with finding rest and time for herself in there too. I reap the benefits of her research all the time! And I am so blessed by what I learn!

My sister Julie is also a diligent researcher. She cleans houses for a living, and it is the perfect job for her. She loves cleaning, and likes everything to be perfect! As she cleans she listens to lessons, sermons, Bible, etc., on her Zune. When she first started cleaning houses she listened to mostly music, but then her heart started changing. She wanted to know more about evolution/creation. This led her to research how government works. This led her to come to see that sometimes our government, yes, even in America, isn't exactly godly and for the people. And, she started sharing her findings with us as her family, and we started growing and learning too.
Now, Julie and I will text each other to see what we are going to be listening to for the day. (She got a new Zune awhile back, and let me get her old one fully loaded with all sorts of goodies!) Sometimes, she will send me a text message that anyone else would find totally crazy, and I so get it...not because we are sisters, but because we have set our mind to the same things concerning growing in knowledge.

So how does this rambling post about research tie in with a title of "Good Days, Bad Days!"?

For me it is simple. When I plan by making a list, keeping a food journal, or a prayer journal, or making a prayer list it helps me be more successful which leads to a Good Day! If I try to keep my mind occupied with learning something new and worthwhile instead of dwelling on worldly matters it leads me to a "Good Day!"

Sometimes after watching a show on TV, I find myself like Adam & Eve, hiding from God. I know I have done something wrong. The same can be said with books with in appropriate content, or when I have just made a glutton of myself, or when I failed to meet my goal of exercise (after all goal setting for yourself is like making a covenant with yourself!), or have spent too much time wasted online. We all have our little addictions, and we all must find away to TRY to always put God first. When I do things that make me feel as if I have failed way too many times it leads me to a BAD DAY when trying to live a Healthier LIFE!
I hope you don't feel like you are in this kind of mess today!

Guilty feelings are not always bad. It is when we don't heed the "guilty feelings warnings" that creates a problem for us. That is our conscience, our soul, prodding us to be better, to do what is right, and to be more pleasing go the Lord.

We all can be better with just a little effort. If you are needing to lose weight make a list. Maybe your list will have one thing on it for starters. Maybe it will say, "I will stand up and walk in place during commercials as I watch TV." Maybe your prayer list will simply say, "Pray." It doesn't matter what goes down on the first list, all that matters is that you start making improvements.

If you are living, then there is something you can improve in your life! We are none perfect.

So, get out there and have a GOOD DAY today, however, if it turns out to be a BAD DAY remember tomorrow will be a NEW DAY and you can TRY again! Although, don't wait until tomorrow to TRY, because there is still time to make today GOOD!

Keep God the main thing. Stay focused on your goals. Get up when you fail. Reach out for help when you need it. Thank you always for your help, encouragement, and shared experiences. God's blessings to you all! Leah

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Things that just go together.

I have been trying to exercises, eat right, study my Bible, do my job, try to get smocking done, and try to figure out to be in two places at one time. So, I feel like I am OUT of CONTROL!!!

So tonight as I prepare for bed I thought I would jot down some thoughts to share with you.




1. When it comes to our meals we need to get a healthy balance in throughout the day. If you are doing exercise you need to remember that your body needs protein to build and repair your muscles. You also must have carbs to provide fuel. Yes, your body will burn "fat" for fuel too, that is the plan, however we want to trick our metabolism into weight loss mode! So, make sure your smaller meals and your healthy snacks contain both carbs and protein.
Here are some examples of what I do. For breakfast I make some of my multi-grain "oatmeal" and will mix in a 1/2 cup of any flavor yogurt OR chop up 7 almonds and mix in with it. Snacks may consist of measured/counted almonds, walnuts, or cheese with a veggie or fruit. Lunch & supper will contain chicken or fish most times with veggies. Sometimes I will have beans of some sort instead of a meat that substitutes for protein.

2. When it comes to exercise we need to remember that STRETCHING definitely goes with exercise! I have been looking up information about this and am really trying to stretch more than ever. It helps you to limber up for exercise and makes you more flexible throughout the day too. It also prepares your muscles for the strain of the exercise you are going to put them through. When you stretch after you work out it helps relax muscles, helps to cool you down, and will help with cramping of muscles later I personally have found!

3. Prayer & Bible study. Do you know how many times I get so busy I FORGET to pray! It is just awful. I usually figure it out when I realize that my day is just spinning like a crazy top with nothing going right! Sometimes I find myself in my prayers and my crazy busy mind just splinters off onto a tangent, and I have to reel myself back in and get right with the Lord - again. I find trouble sometimes "being still" and remembering that God "is GOD"! And, when we study our Bibles we need to be seeking the Lord in prayer asking Him to help us understand His word as HE wants us to.


4. Motivation and encouragement they go to together too. Sometimes it is so hard to stay motivated by yourself. Sometimes you get motivated just by encouraging others. This blog provides me with a source of motivation with the hopes that something I am trying to do and learn to help myself, can be shared and help you. Sometimes, on down days or weak moments I can come to my computer and read your encouraging comments and find instant motivation. Sometimes, I can reach out to others that I know get what I am going through and we encourage one another, and we both get motivated! Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word. If you are feeling down think about others that may be feeling the same and you reach out. Who knows you may start an ENCOURAGEMENT REVOLUTION that gets a MOTIVATIONAL train going!

We all need to slow down and focus on our inner man each day. The soul will be with us for eternity and this old physical body for a short while. We need to take care of both that is for sure, but our SOULS are the most important.

I hope you all have a very good day. May you achieve your goals. Keep God the main thing. And as always thank you for your encouragement! Love and hugs! Leah

Dealing with Grief


Grief. We all know it whether first hand or by association. It is a sad and painful thing. It can also be a train wreck for healthy living too. Many of us want to curl up in our beds with the covers over our heads as we go through grief. Sometimes those of us with food addictions can't seem to keep food out of our mouths!

If you are dealing with grief in your life and are trying to find balance once again I hope you find your way soon. These are some things that help me deal with grief and all of its accompanying emotions.

 Footprints in the Sand
I just like this little made up story. It really is a good summation of what God does for us. He is our shelter in a storm, the anchor that holds us fast, the comfort that we need, the strength that allows us to go on, and He truly understands our pain in any form.

 
I am grateful for the compassion I see displayed in times of grief as I see this verse carried out. I would not want to imagine coping with a loss without the love and support of my fellow Christians. Even if it is only a kind word left via Facebook, or a card mailed from places near or far, that support is oh so up lifting.
We need support groups in life. God has always understood this. He provided Adam with Eve. He commanded Noah and his sons to procreate to create more life on earth after the flood. Today He still promotes marriage and children in New Testament teachings, and in the New Testament He encourages us to fellowship with other Christians.

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle we must learn to deal with all emotions in a healthy way. So if you are dealing with grief please seek the Lord via prayer and His Holy Word. Let your fellow Christians know that you need them. Sometimes we don't know when someone is grieving, or hurting, or feeling sad or lonely. As a Christian, if you came to me needing comfort, support, uplifting, a hug, prayer, or just company I would have a very hard time saying no. If I could turn you away with no show of sympathy or concern, then my heart would definitely need some self examination.

Today's post is written with a heavy heart. September 17, 2009. It will forever remain as one of the saddest days of my life. Margaret "Maggie" Elizabeth - RIP dear niece. To her dear parents, my love and prayers go out during this sad time. My thanks too. They are such a true demonstration of how a marriage should be as they lean on, support, love, and deal with life as it comes their way. I have deep love and appreciation for a dear friend of theirs too, Lisa Ponder. She was always there. Answering questions, giving support, providing advice, and getting us all through that hard day. More than a friend, such a dear Sister in Christ!

Grief can overwhelm you. However, please let God in, and let the love of those around you who love you in too. And remember, there will be no tears in heaven. No sorrow there. Even painful memories will be erased for eternity.

http://helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm I found a lot of good information about grief and suggestions for getting through it.

Stay focused on your goals. Reach out for help when you need. Keep God the main thing. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Thank you always for the encouragement. Leah

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spice it up!!!



I have been looking up interesting things about spice and what they bring to the table as far as food preparation. It is simply amazing to me the powerful punch some spices can bring to food with just a tiny amount being added.

Think about Cayenne pepper, or red pepper. This is a spice that can bring some HEAT, which I absolutely love! It not only brings heat or a little zip if used in moderation, it is also packed with anti-oxidants too! Plus, it stimulates your metabolism, which helps you burn off calories faster.

As I researched spices, I could not help but think about the fact that God tells us in Matthew 5:13 that we are the salt of the earth, but if we lose our flavor we become useless and should be thrown out.



If I went to my cupboard and reached into it for my Cayenne pepper there are some things I am looking for as I do so. I don't want to see green mold in my bottle. If I do, then I know that I did not properly store or protect my spice and I will need to toss it out. The same goes with my soul. If I don't protect my soul from things in the world, like poor choices of entertainment, having friends that I spend to much time with whom are very worldly, or failing to study the scriptures and pray daily, then I am not properly caring for my soul as a Christian should. This will make me useless to do the Lord's work.

Also, if I find the Cayenne pepper looking as it should and I measure out the right amount, but upon tasting my food can not discern its flavor at all, then I am going to go check my spice. If I taste it and find that it has no flavor then I will toss it out.

As, I drove for my job today, I listened to a sermon about the book of Acts. Johnny Ramsey does a very good job of teaching entire books in an overview and something he discussed today made me think. The early Christians were under great persecution. They sometimes died preaching and teaching so that the Word of God could be spread. Today, we are so blessed in America with religious freedom, yet we fail to advocate boldly in the world around us. We blend in. We have no unique flavor. We are like the Cayenne pepper that failed to do its job and had to be tossed out into the trash.

I know this blog post really isn't about a healthy lifestyle leading to weight loss. UNLESS, as a Christian you feel guilt at times for not knowing the Bible better, or not having the confidence in what you know to be the truth to defend your faith. If you are an emotional eater, and you feel that you fail to be a good Christian, that may be a reason for some of your emotional eating.

God doesn't expect us to be flowery orators. Look at Moses. God sent Aaron with him. God doesn't expect us to learn it all in one day either. Look how long he took Saul/Paul aside to teach him after his conversion. So, if you feel that you need to get into the scripture jump on in, it is a wonderful place to be. If you feel that you have been remiss in studying as you should, then just ask for forgiveness. God loves you, He wants you in heaven, and He is ready, willing, and able to forgive you.

So, if you want to spice up your life here are two things you can do.
1. Do a little research into spices. You may be very surprised what health benefits they will bring to your physical diet, and what tasty treats they will bring to your taste buds.
2. Get into some serious Bible study. It will enrich your soul, it will draw you closer to the Master, and it will prepare you to be a better servant of His.

Thank you all for your encouragement. Please keep trying to reach your goals. The Lord needs us to be healthy body and soul to get out there and reach and teach the lost, to care for the sick, the elderly and the orphans. If you are in a situation that doesn't allow you to be mobile very easily, there are many things you can do from home. You can teach World Bible School correspondence classes. You can be an encourager via Facebook, or snail mail. You can be a prayer warrior. You can study the word and write curriculum for Bible classes that are 100% Biblically accurate! ANY WHERE YOU ARE IN LIFE, GOD CAN USE YOU, IF YOU ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW WHERE HE LEADS!

Stay focused! Leah

Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking for Motivation in the Right Place!





Today finds me a little less motivated than I would like to be. I have been nursing a sore foot and this has kept me from being able to get my daily walk in as I would like to! There are a few things going on in my personal life that have got me a little bummed out too. So today I think I need to turn to Scripture and get some of His Words in my soul. I hope you find them helpful.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Psalm 23

This passage reminds me that God is my protector, He is provider, and He is my hope!

The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land. You will be like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

God will give me all I need no matter what is going on in the world around me.


For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
I need to stop being afraid I'll fail. When I have an off day, miss my stride, or fall on my face, I need to get up, face the problem and move on with God around me as my shield!

Okay, I feel better. Just knowing that God is in control and is looking over me makes me feel safe, and very comforted.

I can not control others, only myself. Sometimes my biggest enemy IS myself and I struggle with this inner me. That is when I need to pray the hardest, seek the Word of God for guidance, and seek trusted Christian friends/accountability partners/sponsors to help me through the tough times.

NO ONE has it all together every day! If you are having a down day, a bad day, a goal defeating day, or a just feel bummed in general, remember you are not alone. Reach up, and reach out, but please take action and don't stay where you are,

Stay motivated. Stay focused. Thank you for all the encouragement. In Christian Love, Leah

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Life of a Servant



Many of you know what it is like to be a caregiver. It may be to elderly family members or to small children. Some of you know what it is like to care for someone with disabilities. However you have spent the time as a caregiver, I believe it is a universal theme to crave some solo time. Some time when you are not responsible for anyone else.

This weekend I have not had to be a caregiver. I have read, have sewed, have done some chores without interruption, but now, I am missing the interaction with the person I care for each day.

I would have to say that of all the Christian "duties" the one I find the most ease in doing is serving. I get embarrassed if a big deal is made out of something I do for others. I find simple expressions of gratitude or words of encouragement quietly done if someone feels the need to give them more than adequate.

Often times the life of a caregiver whether in a paid position or as a family member is often overlooked by many in our community. I am blessed because the demands of my duties as a caregiver are very simple.

Today, I am asking you to take the time to show appreciation to caregivers that have a heavy load. Do you know someone who cares for a person with Alzheimer's? How about parents of an autistic child? Have you told people thank you for caring for you when you needed it?

So, how does being thankful for caregivers, being a caregiver, and my weekend off enjoying me time fit into a blog for a Healthier Me?

We all need down time just to rest from time to time. God knew this and He set aside a whole day each week for us to rest and worship Him!

We all need to have a heart of a servant. God wants us caring for and looking after one another. Think of all the teachings in the Bible directed towards parents. We as a church family also have the duty of being caregivers for the widows and orphans to consider as well. And, if the need be, we will serve the sick, the poor and the hungry in our communities too. I think being a caregiver is one of the best ways to truly teach about God through action when the heart is in the right place. "I'd rather SEE a sermon than HEAR a sermon any day." I don't know who said, but I like that expression.

As for being thankful for caregivers. We are to be thankful for everything.

There is no journey I want to go on alone. God created us as social creatures. So, when I look out in the world around me and I see folks carrying heavy loads in their families it makes me want to help shoulder their load. I figure the good Lord made me a sturdy individual and if I set my feet to a task so that He may be glorified then He'll see to it that I have the strength I need to get the job done. Many look down on caretakers because most of them are not highly paid, or many of them give up working in order to stay home to care for children, or sick/disabled family members. Some people I know feel that I am wasting my life doing the work that I do, however, I look at in a different way. I look at is as laying up treasures in heaven. I am thankful for simple tastes, that allow me to live by simple means. God has not failed to provide for me yet!

I hope we all have care taking responsibilities in our lives. It helps us to stay humble. I pray that we try our best to serve with a smile, and seek ways to go the extra mile. AND, I hope that in our roles as caretakers we feel appreciated, that we get rest when needed, and that our roles as caregivers glorifies the Lord.

Sometimes our roles as caretakers wears us out and keeps us from taking care of our bodies and souls as we need to with proper nutrition and exercise. BUT remember, the people we care for need us to be of sound body and soul so take care of yourself, look to the Lord, and ask for help when feeling overwhelmed!

May your day be blessed. May your charges be grateful. May you stay focused on a journey to a Healthier Me body and soul!

As always, thank you for your encouragement. Contact me if there is anything I can do to encourage you along your way, and if you don't know the Lord and would like someone to help you find His ways for you please let me know! We can study about Him together! Leah

Together we are all better Caregivers!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When is too much of a good thing bad?



Today I am sitting with my foot propped up because I am quite sure that I am suffering from, Plantar fasciitis, in layman's terms, my left heel is not happy with my newly found exercise routines. So, I am forced to take a few days of recuperation time, and will be doing exercises on the floor or my Swiss ball. Not giving up on exercise, but limiting it a little.

I have to remind myself that I am a compulsive person. That is why I struggle to eat just one slice of pie instead of the WHOLE PIE. It is also why I struggle with exercise regiments. I determine in my head that I will workout and that means a workout like I would perform in high school as a basketball player. I am not in the 9th grade anymore, I am a FEW pounds heavier, and I  am very much out of shape. So I need to wrap my brain around exercising in a smart way that will lead to lasting results.

As for feeding the soul, there are some things that get me there too. Sometimes I overload my brain with too much factual information. I am a lover of books. I will read just about anything. Yet, the technical books...books I put in this category can be science, history, the Bible, exercise, diet/nutrition, etc., can bog my mind down if I study them too long. Why? Because the challenge is to remember, understand, and really learn what I am reading. It is totally different from Fluff reading.

Fluff reading is any reading done to relax or for entertainment. I have to be careful here. I was very guilty in the past of reading very indecent fluff books. Now, I am doing my best to make conscience decisions about what I read. If it gets racy, to many cuss words (including sissy cuss words and taking the Lord's name in vain), or makes me get that squirmy feeling in my soul, I stop reading it. This category sometimes includes blogs I read, magazines, Christian fiction, and even the Bible at times. (How can the Bible be considered fluff reading? When I am tired, but need to read before I sleep I usually don't recall a lot of what I read, so this time of Bible reading is just fluff time. I am not trying to break it down, digest it spiritually, I am just using the words on paper to slow down my mind. Sometimes it sticks, but this is NOT my study time.) I also have to use caution here, because I tend to focus too much on fluff. I limit fluff reading now to bathroom time only, and only one chapter at a time. That is way to much information I know, but I am trying to be real about addictive behaviors. I have literally read 4 books in one day because they were a series and I read them cover to cover. ALL DAY READING FLUFF! I have to set LIMITS for myself, or I get out of control with fluff reading.

So today the challenge is to BALANCE things out in life. Many of us wear different hats all throughout the day. Do your best, but remember you can't do it all. And if you go about the day, leaving God out, then you are destined to fail. Sometimes, if I know I will be on the road driving most of the day I plan ahead. I make sure my Zune is charged. It has the Bible, Christian music, and many great sermons and seminars to help me grow spiritually. I have found the radio, country included, is a very hazardous place to entrust my soul. I also find little ways to exercise in my seat. It may be contracting certain muscle groups and counting to eight, but it helps with the sedentary day. AND, if you struggle with food issues on the road, pack smart choices for a snack. The other day my smart choice included 14 almonds, 1/4 cup of raisins, and 3 Tbsp. of Sunflower seeds. That was my snacks so I knew to stretch it and that it was sufficient for between meals. Finding the balance is the keep to not finding yourself laid up with an injury because you particiated in too much of a good thing, or finding extra pounds because you failed to use self control with the cheese cake. Balance, you can do it, God will help, just ask Him!
I again thank you for your encouragement. I pray for the people reading my blog. I figure the Lord knows who you are! May you stay focused on your goals, and may we all be successful on the journey home. Heaven bound, no better way to be.

Stay focused, don't over do it, and keep on trying! Leah

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

THANK YOU!!!


To those of you who have been sending such kind comments I am very grateful. I am not very computer savvy at times and am still trying to figure out how to reply to comments. However, I wanted you to know that I am deeply grateful, they motivate me more than words can say, and they make me want to dig deeper into my journey both spiritually and physically!

SO,
THANK YOU!!!

Please if you know of anyone struggling with weight or health issues related to food please share this blog. I don't know everything, but sometimes I have felt so alone, as if no one really understood how I felt when I failed with my weight loss or health goals.

Stay focused and come with me on your own journey on Steps to a Healthier Me!
In Christian Love, Leah

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lemons!



There are many uses for this sour little fruit. I have heard of many of them. They run the gauntlet from weight loss to acne control. Yet, this sour little fruit could have easily been over looked if people had only relied on their taste buds. I personally love to eat lemons, but most folks don’t go around sucking on lemons or eating lemon wedges that I know. Someone went past that first sour taste and found a wealth of goodies!

Let’s look at the lemon.

It can help with acne problems. Put a little fresh lemon juice on affected areas and go to sleep. Wash your face in the morning. You are letting the low pH of the lemon that makes it antiseptic work on your face naturally.

If you need a pick me up because you are tired, cut open a lemon and take a smell. It also helps to relieve anxiety in this manner too. I saw a picture of a hiker with a lemon cut open, a straw inserted, and he was sipping away because it was providing him with hydration and an energy boost!

If you get sores in your mouth, then rinsing with lemon juice diluted in water will help them heal.

It really helps with colds and fevers to mix lemon, honey and hot water into a nice cup of lemon tea to sip on every couple of hours too. To help relieve your sore throat and help with tonsillitis you should dilute lemon juice, water and salt to gargle every hour or so. And you don’t have to worry about swallowing the gargle like you do Listerine!


It even helps with halitosis. In other words bad breath - even smokers breath!

It can act as a pain reliever too. Just drink the juice of one lemon in water once per day.

And of course, those of us who are looking to lose some weight should jump start our day with a cup of hot water and the juice of one lemon. You can keep your metabolism boosted throughout the day with a cup of water, the juice of a lemon and a dash or two of cayenne pepper.

Lemons, they are truly one of God’s powerhouse plants that we can use to help feed our families and to keep us well. Yet, they teach us another lesson too. Sometimes things that are good for us don’t always taste good, or it takes an acquired taste to handle and appreciate.

Sometimes, I feel that way about some of the things in the Bible. When a new movie comes out that I think would be so funny, sometimes I want to justify it to myself and go see it even though I know that the content will not be holy. Yet, I know if I go to that movie theater or Netflix or the TV and watch a movie filled with cursing, or fornication or (name your poison), then I have used my time and my money to glorify sin.

Movies are just one source of things that make being a Christian hard sometimes. I have to choose to pick God and His ways over things that sometimes everyone else is doing and I just don’t want too. I would rather go along with the crowd, and sometimes unfortunately I do and it always brings me guilt. When I am watching something in mixed company especially that is racy, I can feel my cheeks heating up, and I get squirmy in my seat wishing I was somewhere else, yet it was I that chose to be there.

As I focus on getting spiritually and physically healthy I have had to suck on some lemons lately. I have had to dig deep into my mental basket of craziness and take a look at some things that make me tick. Some of those things have been buried deep and have been ignored for way too long, but now that I am dealing with them, I am coming to see that purging the brain of ugliness is so wonderful, especially when you are trying to fill your mind with good things.


Just like lemons at first seem to bitter and sour for good use I can take some of those bad memories and turn them into good use too. How? I can relate to folks going through things I have already been through, and if I learn to deal with those problems in a godly way then I can help them learn to do the same.

Galatians 6:2 - Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

God wants us to help one another. I can tell you that every time I have attempted weight loss it was very frustrating to get guidance from a bean pole that had never had to lose a massive amount of weight. I was grateful and I was thankful for their help, but I never felt like they understood where I was coming from.

My aunt Jean had breast cancer. She fought it for many years before it claimed her life. One day I was visiting with her and as we chatted she made this comment.

“I have really valued Heather. She talks to me and tells me about things she experienced in her fight against cancer, and she knows how I feel.” I will never forget that look on her face or the sound of love and appreciation for that link she had with my cousin. Heather fought cancer as a teen in high school and thankfully continues to be in remission today.

I learned from that conversation that you can truly help ease someone’s burdens by sharing like experiences. It bears out in the trials of life whether they be illness, death or weight loss. It is very true concerning being a Christian. God knew this and encouraged/commanded us to fellowship with Christians on a very regular basis.

You can become one of God’s powerhouse Christian encouragers by sharing your experiences with others and trying to help them. Get busy studying God’s Word so that you can teach it! Look for folks struggling with things you have experienced and reach out to them with the love of the Lord! You’ll benefit just as much as they will!

So today, don’t walk around looking like you have been sucking on lemons. Dwelling on your failures won’t change them. Ignoring problems will not make them disappear. But if you look at them with a heart seeking God’s ways in dealing with them then you will be able to make those sour lumps in your life into sweet lemonade! Then you can share it with the world around you!

Thank you all for the encouragement on my journey to a Healthier Me. I hope your day is filled with goal accomplishing steps. I hope you fill you mind with the wonderful words of God. I look forward to hearing from you about your successes! They keep me going and I thank you for sharing!
 or


Monday, September 5, 2011

What do a Tooth Brush and a Bible have in common?



As I walk along the journey I am on to a Healthier Me, I find myself cruising websites for health information. Since there is heart disease in my family I want to look into ways to incorporate better heart health in my new lifestyle. So, and I admit I had already heard this but wanted to know more, I looked at the health benefits of proper teeth brushing and how to do it properly.

Amazingly, people with high amounts of bacteria in their mouths that lead to gum diseases often are found with hardened arteries. Hardened arteries result in higher blood pressure, less constriction/expansion of your arteries, and possible stoke, to name a few problems. Wow! Just by taking the time to brush your teeth you can help your heart!

So, how long does it take to brush your teeth? If, you spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing twice a day and another 2 minutes once a day to floss, that is a total of 6 minutes. You’ll have better looking teeth, better breath, and a healthier heart.

Much like not brushing our teeth causes hardening of the arteries, which is part of our circulatory system pumped by the heart, not reading our Bibles on a daily basis causes a hardening of our hearts.

Think of Pharaoh in those first several chapters of Exodus. He refused to hear God’s message. He would be tempted to have a change of heart, but then his heart hardened; it turned back to what he wanted. Look at what all it took to change his heart enough to let the people go.

1.       The water turned to blood. Imagine turning on the water in your home and it was all blood. No baths, no clean dishes, no cooking, no laundry, no swimming in the pool, and you can’t even go to the store and buy water because ALL the water has turned to blood. The bloody water lasted for 7 days!

2.       Then here come the frogs. I would drop dead of a heart attack. Pharaoh did give in, but once God had taken the frogs away he changed his mind/hardened his heart.

3.       Lice. Have you ever had to get rid of lice? Imagine the massive infestation. All over the animals and the people. MISERY! Pharaoh would not change his mind. His heart remained hard.

4.       Then flies swarmed in. I bet that was one miserable existence swatting pesky flies! Yet Pharaoh still would not change his mind. His heart remained hard or he was stubborn.

5.       Then he caused disease to fall upon the animals. This would be akin to all the cars breaking down and many of our food sources being corrupted. Imagine the noise of animals in pain. Yet, Pharaoh would not change his heart. He would not let the will of God in.

6.       Then there came boils. I had a boil once in high school. Imagine a zit on MAJOR steroids. It hurt so badly! Yet, even when the Egyptian people were covered with them, Pharaoh too, he still refused to listen to and obey God’s commands.

7.       Hail. It was a terrible hail storm. It destroyed all vegetation and it struck down the animals and people in the fields. Did Pharaoh change is mind? NO. His heart stayed hard.

8.       Then the locusts came. Whatever was left of the crops or vegetation that could be gleaned from the wreckage of the hail was destroyed by the locusts. Pharaoh still remained with his hard heart.

9.       Then darkness came. It was like an ominous warning of the last plague. Three days with no light. As Christians we know the light is God. It was still not enough. Pharaoh would not let God in his heart.

10.   Then the sad day of the death of the first born in each Egyptian family. Pharaoh finally allowed the people to go as God requested, but only after a terribly high price had been paid.

Even after all of this, Pharaoh once again changed his mind after the people where on their way, and his actions resulted in a mortal blow to the Egyptian nation. His change of mind caused the death of many of their men in the Red Sea as they chased the Israelites to return them to captivity.

So how does this lesson from the Bible tie in with brushing our teeth?

I look at it like this, if I want God to be #1 in my heart, I have to let HIM in. He doesn’t slip in without me knowing it. He doesn’t come in without being invited. I won’t know what to do in order for Him to be able to stay in my heart. So I must take the time to properly read my Bible each day to keep God in my heart and the world out. The world’s ways of thinking are what make my heart hard.


God wants to be in our hearts. He wants us to have healthy hearts, both spiritually and physically. So, if you are struggling with things in life you need to do some self-examination.

I love the phrase, “Make the main THING the MAIN thing.” If God fills your heart it is so much easier to turn away from temptations in life.

If I don’t brush my teeth then I will have mostly likely have tooth and gum problems, and possibly have hardening of my arteries. Without proper devotion to Bible study, then my spiritual heart will be hardened to the will of God. Both can lead to death.

As always, I thank you for your support. I hope you have great success with all of your goals for the day. If you do make a mistake, fall off the wagon, eat a bag of cookies, or fail in any way don’t quit. Just take inventory. Stop and think. Repent if necessary. Pray for strength. Reach out to someone who knows your struggles and can help you over the bump in the road.

God’s blessings to you all! Leah

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What No Magic?


How many times have you wished for overnight success? How about a magic pill to help with weight loss? How many times have you thought if you just had the right Bible study program to follow that you would be a more dedicated Bible student? There are some words that really hinder accomplishing goals. They are: If only _____.  When _____ happens.  I need ____.

I wish I could take a picture for you to see the number of books in my home. I have books that address marriage issues, how to work/fix relationships, binge eating, overeating, food addiction, handling anger, living with and overcoming addiction, healthy nutrition, exercise books, and a vast number of books to aid with Bible study. Yet, if you asked me right now I would have to tell you that I failed as a wife, I struggle with my temper, I have a hard time keeping addictions under control, and I feel like a poor Bible student. By sharing that with you I am revealing another flaw…I am a negative thinker!

These books along with all the exercise equipment, gym memberships, and dietary supplements/pills that I have bought over the years have been my way of seeking a magic bullet to deal with a major problem. Many of us in America are looking for that magic moment instead of being proactive and productive when it comes to dealing with personal flaws that need attention and improvement.

So today I have been looking for the most effective home exercise routines that can be done with no more monetary investment on my part. I could not help but laugh at myself when I read the following post on WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/7-most-effective-exercises?page=3

This little article utilized things I already have at my disposal at home. I have just failed to include the magic of them. What magic? Me and some motivation!

The only magic you need to succeed in your goals from weight loss to being a better Christian is very simple. YOU must become a DOER and not just a thinker of things. Don’t get discouraged because growth takes time. Sometimes it is so SLOOOOOW and others times it is so fast you feel afraid to blink in case you miss something. So make your plan and get busy!


If you are looking for a better method of Bible study and need a “group” to join please join us on FB in the group, “Digging Deep in God’s Word”. We have just started a yearlong Bible study that is already proving to be motivational and growth building for our souls! http://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/?id=284932321521476&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity

And if you need group support on a budget for emotional eating programs or support system(s) please feel free to contact me at stepstoahealthierme@gmail.com or check this link to find a nearby group of Overeaters Anonymous http://www.oa.org/meetings/find-a-meeting.php Sometimes we need the support, encouragement and sense of belonging that comes with a group striving for the same things. God knew this and encouraged us to fellowship with other Christians, and it works in the weight loss area too! Magic is just an illusion...God is real and His ways heal!


Of course don’t fail to seek the Heavenly Father out in prayer and through Bible study. After all He is the best friend with some awesome powers that you will ever have. If you don’t know Him and would like to learn more about Him I’ll be glad introduce you to Him though Bible study.

As always, I can’t express my thanks for your continued encouragement and support on my journey to a Healthier Me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Distracted!!!



                                                                   DISTRACTED!?!


This morning’s bible reading was wonderful. One major lesson that I took this morning is to never take our eyes off our Lord. Eve's fall was immediate when she took her eyes off God and listened to Satan's lies. The challenge is ever set before us to keep our eyes on our Lord and Savior and draw close to him. Resist the devil and he will flee from you! James 4:7-8 Have a blessed day!



Today, I started a new Bible study with a lot of other women all over America. It really makes me more aware of the power of the Internet! As I walked behind the recliner, with my Bible open to Genesis, my Zune playing Genesis in my ears, ankle weights on, walking weights in my hand, water in easy reach and my flip flops a poppin’ (I do my walking inside in my flip flops!) I had several thoughts! However, the above nugget is a thought Ms. Sheri Harris had that led me to the message of this blog.
                                    (This is my cheap tread mill and podium!)

When it comes to weight loss and setting goals I am a MASTER. I know what works to lose it. I know how to fix and I know what types of food I need, and I know the quantity of food I need in order to lose weight. Even if I had no access to the Internet, a public library or a bookstore whatsoever, in my home alone, there are enough books from healthy cookbooks, to exercise books, to self help books about self image, weight loss, binge eating, emotional eating, etc., etc, that I could start with ZERO knowledge and read myself into a healthier lifestyle. BUT, the problem is not having access to the tools I need to succeed. It is NOT sticking to my word.

WOW. What a concept. NOT STICKING TO MY WORD.

If I don’t stick to my word what does that make me? A LIAR, which is the flip side of that little coin.

Now, before I get all down on myself I must remind myself that I am human. It is okay to make mistakes, but it is not okay to ignore them, to continue making them, and to be unrepentant of them.

Let us go to Eve’s life lessons in Genesis 1-3. I would dare to say she was the most perfect woman that ever lived when it comes to physical attributes. She was made by God Almighty. She also lived in a paradise! Her yard was most likely filled with flowers and trees, and rivers, and animals, and she was married to the most perfect man that was ever made. (I am just supposing that the 1st man and woman God made were HIS best. Yet, at THEIR time they definitely fit the bill for best of everything!) However, all that was just fluff compared to getting to walk in the evenings with God in the midst and talk with HIM and get to hear HIM talk back to them.

Think about that. How many times have you just been disgusted with some failure, or problem, or hurt that led you to just pour your soul out to the Lord in prayer? While the pouring it out cleanses my soul, and the reading of HIS word draws me nearer to HIM. Sometimes, I would give ANYTHING, to be able to HEAR His reassuring blessings.

Eve’s life was pretty simple. Gen. 2:15 lets us know God wanted Adam to dress and keep the garden. Eve was his helper. They did not have issues of body image between them. He was the best looking man she had ever seen, and she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. They did not have concerns about rent, or utilities, or how to buy groceries. They didn’t even have children to care for yet. They certainly did not deal with negative censorship of worldly people for following God.

How many times have you said, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Or “If I only had this exercise video.” Or “If I just had someone to exercise with.” Or “----your excuse here----“?

Eve really had no excuse to blame her momentary lapse on, other than her human nature. This is a perfect example of what happens when we are distracted from God in any way. IT GIVES SATAN ON OPENING TO DESTROY OUR SOUL.

I wonder if Eve had that stomach jumping into your throat moment when she took the bite of forbidden fruit. I wonder how she felt when she first saw that she was naked. I wonder what kind of look the Devil expressed on that serpent’s face. I wonder why Adam ate it. I wonder what she said to Adam that got him to eat it. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

Adam and Eve displayed typical human behavior. It is natural for kids to attempt to hide mistakes at a young age from the adults in their lives. It is natural for kids to blame others too. Think about it. How many times while raising kids have you really believed that He/She Did It, or I Didn’t Do It, or Nobody really were live invisible people who lived in your home?

There have been times that I have looked at empty food packages and thought, “Did I really eat all of that?” There have been times when I have been the Devil’s tool to sabotaging myself. Like Eve, I took my focus off of God, and my goals, and failed.

To sum this rambling blog up here are some thoughts.

1.    Eve had it all, but messed up. God punished her, but also provided a way back to HIM if she chose to follow the way.

2.    The Devil may win battles here and there on earth, but thankfully, Jesus the promised one in Genesis 3:15, has won the heavenly eternal battle and all is good.

3.    I can see through this wonderful example that God, the Father of all mankind, loves the people (ME) that He created, that He will punish mistakes as a good parent should, that He will provide a way to come back into His good graces, and thanks to my favorite verse Philippians 4:13, I know I can do anything as long as I keep looking to HIM.



We are not perfect. We will fail here and there. BUT, when we fail we must get up, repent, and go forward. I challenge you today to study God’s word, to learn what repentance truly & Biblically is, and to not stay in the same old rut.

I am grateful for you. I am thankful for all encouraging words as I travel this journey to a Healthier Me. I hope we are on a wonderful journey together to becoming spiritually and physically fit workers for God’s ARMY!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just some fun motivation!


So how do we make adopting new life changes fun? Well, sometimes it can be hard to do. When you are just craving some chocolate, or the scales won't tip in your favor fast enough, or you fail and have a bad day of eating and are so bummed and down, it gets hard to stay motivated.



God knew that we would get down. He knew that we had a tough row to hoe when it came to spreading the gospel, and living godly lives. However, HE gave us an awesome verse-one of many- to help us stay motivated! Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.



When I read this verse it makes me want PRAY about my struggles! It makes me think about the awesome POWER of the Lord I serve. It makes me remember He has already won my battles, I just have to get up and try again.



Now, laughter is a very good source of motivation and it helps things stay fun. For those of you who really know me, I would say that you know I love to laugh and have a good time. I also love being active. Surprising to some since I have openly disclosed that I am on the super obese charts! But, hey, I am working on changing my thinking in the inner me in order to change the outer me! Just one step of many I'll be taking on this journey to a Healthier Me!



Tonight, I wanted to find me some fun things to enjoy and try to motivate myself. So needing a laugh or two or fifty, I have been hard at it for about an hour now. Here are some of the best videos that got me thinking on how to make a healthy lifestyle fun, stay on a budget, and a little inspiration too!



I hope you enjoy a few minutes of fun! Now, if you can set your computer up where you can stand and walk or jog or dance around in place while you watch you can be burning up some calories. "You've got to move it, move it!" (The first person to hit my email with the name of the movie that little ditty comes from gets a PRIZE!)



Okay....prepare to get motivated. Warning...Laughter is AHEAD!!!





http://youtu.be/keWCS942iFM This one is a great way to use your kids as free weights!!! I must add, that while this is funny, please, take note that using the Lord's name in vain is NOT COOL! It is SIN! Pray for him!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7c9GNbwEO8 Anyone who has or works with small children should see this. Exercising, keeping them entertained, and laughing too! She has other great videos too. You should check out more of her things!



NOW for those of you out there that are feeling like NOTHING. I understand that! If you look in the mirror and see only negatives, I understand that too. However, YOU MATTER! YOU HAVE VALUE! YOU CAN SUCCEED! The only way you will fail is to stop trying! Take a look at this one.



http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=inspirational+videos&view=detail&mid=6428B1DB4AC932868B8D6428B1DB4AC932868B8D&first=0&FORM=LKVR23



NOW, which one do you want to be?

I want to LIVE. I want to be STRONG. I want to be HEALTHY. I want to be a WORKER for the LORD. I want to be an ENCOURAGER to YOU.

May the Lord bless our souls today as we seek to stay motivated to live a healthy life. May we be thankful for our health, may we work hard each day to care for our bodies and serve in HIS kingdom.

As always, I thank you for the love and support you have given me on this journey. I am a little frustrated tonight because the scales are tipping too SLOW. I have to remind myself I am deprogramming at least 20 years of bad food practices. I have to remind myself, that every walk, every lifted weight, every prayer for my success, each failure, and each get up and try again will get me to my goal on my journey STEPS TO A HEALTHIER ME!

I am also excited about a new program of Bible study I will be starting tomorrow. To learn more about it check out this blog: http://cindycolley.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-dig-deep-for-meat-of-word.html

Well, I must get some sleep! It is 12:12 AM! Love and hugs to all of you. If you need someone to talk  one on one with, to pray for you, or to just be a friend, please send me an email to stepstoahealthierme@gmail.com I'll help you any way I can. I don't have all the answers, but we can look for them together!