Holy Casserole, Batman!

Holy Casserole BatmanWell, I think I’ve read it all. Or have I? I’m reading and researching information on food and nutrition. I’m fascinated by the science of it and then learning how to apply it in my own life. Does this mean that I’m a test dummy? Well, I guess I am. It’s better than being a guinea pig. You know, I can pick and choose what I will or won’t do during this process. Prayerfully, I’m making the right decisions.

Over the past few days I’ve been reading about obesity. I shared part of my findings with my accountability partner and on the broadcast. The information was daunting and engaging all at the same time. We know that obesity is the leading cause of death in America. It’s linked to everything from depression to hypertension to stroke and heart disease. The numbers are staggering. Little did I know that the majority of those who are overweight or obese are Christians. Holy casserole, Batman! How could this be?

Well, it’s really not that hard to figure out. I’ve experienced Sunday afternoon lunch at the local Golden Coral. We strive to get there before the “church crowd”; which comes in around 1:30. Any time after that you can forget it! The sad thing is that we joke about our eating habits like it’s an expectation. But it’s not just the eating out. It’s the snacking, brunch or even lunch between services. And in many churches in my area you don’t get just a light meal to hold you over, you get 3 courses – salad, entree and dessert. Don’t forget the juice, soda, coffee and condiments. garfield-sleeping-on-couch

By the time that second service comes around everyone gets what I call the “Garfield syndrome.” You eat and then you sleep. Why not? You’re eating fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, rolls, Kool Aid (or sweet tea), and cake. Prayer breakfasts, luncheons and church picnics are full of comfort foods that without proper moderation and exercise lead to health issues.

As I look at my own weight loss efforts I see such a greater picture. I’m not just losing weight for myself. This is so much bigger than that. I want more than just to shed a few extra pounds and inches. I want to educate, equip, empower and encourage others who are striving for a healthier lifestyle. This isn’t a fad diet. It’s a lifestyle change. As challenging as it may be I must continue to fight the good fight of faith and resist temptations of comfort foods and strive to continue doing what I know is right for me (my mind, body and spirit).

So to all those who are following and striving for the same thing – hang in there. We’re going to do this together. To the “great crowd of witnesses” pray with us, encourage us and above all else, challenge us (in love). I’m so grateful to God for what I’m learning and experiencing. This experience has allowed me to connect with people who have “been there and done that”, those striving for more and those who are just checking things out. And yes, there are the haters too. But that’s ok. I’m worth the fight … and so are you. I’ll be back to finish this later.

Be blessed!

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Update

As promised in a previous post I’m updating you on my weight gain status. I went to the doctors yesterday to learn that I gained more weight. Yes, there is a problem. I’m leaving early this morning to go to the VA Hospital for tests. I’ve also been rescheduled for the MOVE program I attempted to participate in before.

After speaking to the physician on-hand, my primary is on vacation, I feel more confident than before. The next 50 … no 49 days, will be amazing! I can hardly wait to see the new me. July 20th will be here before you know it.

50 Days to Change

week-oneIt’s Week One – Day One of 50-Day Lifestyle Challenge based on the book Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss. I’m so grateful for the renewed mind and determined spirit.

We start off Week One with Know God. It may seem funny that the author, Dr. Kara Davis, starts the week not with writing goals or even shopping for food but Know God. Day One is: Starting Out with God. There is scripture, a prayer, and healthy lifestyle fact to inform and motivate you. The rest of the week is similar to today and maintains your focus on the theme of knowing God. So, I have my journal for reflection and food diary to purposefully write down what and when I eat. I’m still monitoring my sleep pattern and exercise.

It is my belief that everything should start with God. In fact the Bible says,But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV) Many times in the hustle and bustle of life many of us seek God after the fact; mostly when things go awry or tragedy happens. The context of the scripture let’s us know that we don’t have to stress about things we cannot change nor the simple things of what to eat, wear, etc. God knows that we have need of them and He takes care of His own as loving parents do for their children. So I prepare my mind, body and spirit for this journey.

It’s raining today so I’ll be looking online to my YouTube channels for exercises I can do. Oh, by the way, since my last post I ended up in the hospital. My left leg began (mid-calf on to my foot) swelling badly. I’m not going to allow this to stop me from exercising. I know that there’s something that I can do to meet my goals for the week.

SMART Goals for Week One

  • Exercise Goal: 20 – 30 minutes per day
  • Eating: Plan meals
  • Maintain my journal and logs (included is posting here at the end of each week)

Interested in becoming part of the group? Great! Email me today and I’ll send you all of the information. Have a great week.

Scripture retrieved from Biblegateway.com
Photo: Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss by Kara Davis, MD used by permission.

Other books by Dr. Davis: Spiritual Secrets to a Healthy Heart, The Weigh of Life Journal, and more. You can learn more about Dr. Kara Davis by visiting her website www.drkaradavis.com

It’s Time for a Change

Recently I had a conversation with Dr. Kara Davis, MD about her book Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss. SSWL coverI had begun reading it and found it profoundly empowering and changed the way I thought about my weight loss and overall lifestyle changes. It’s interesting to realize how God will answer your prayer, even in your frustration, doubt, and even discouragement. While reading the book I notice some key elements. First and foremost it starts with a covenant.

Now we all make commitments in one way or another. But the word covenant triggered something different in me. I was, and am, committed to my living a healthier lifestyle. If you recall, I mentioned in an earlier post that I felt that something was missing and that I was determined to find it. One of the things was a covenant. What’s the difference between commitment and covenant? Good question!

The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together (Bible Study Tools) whereas the term “commitment’ is of Anglo-french origin (commettement), meaning the committing of oneself, pledge, promise; an obligation, an engagement (Online Etymology Dictionary). So basically, in order for me to be successful in reaching my goals I must remember that I’m in a covenant relationship with my Architect, Master Designer, the author and finisher of my faith – God through Jesus Christ. (See Hebrews 12:2 and 1 Corinthians 6:19). Somewhere along the line “I” was doing it.

In many cases, no matter what the change, many of us fall into the “I got this” mode and leave God out of the equation or we’re expecting God to do all the work as if some great miracle is going to happen and “Presto chango – poof!” everything is better. The fact of the matter is that we need to integrate the two by making up in our minds and hearts that we are going to allow God to work in and through us to achieve the goal(s).

This leads me to the next crucial element is what Dr. Davis entitled, Know God. Shouldn’t you know the person(s) you are in covenant with? Of course you should! You don’t go into a marriage or even dating without knowing the person. Granted, you may meet them for the first time and you click, but you have to get to know them before you commit to anything. Well, at least you should be along that frame of mind. The one thing I’ve always stressed is that this isn’t about religion but relationship and God desires us to get past knowing about Him and getting to know HIM.

Now before I go further I’d like to invite you to check out a preview of her book. I’m inviting you to check it out because each of the elements that are especially meaningful to me are components of the book that is broken down in weeks of the 50-day Challenge. Included in each week is information and scripture that empowers, inspires and informs.

As I read I’m putting together weekly action plans based on SMART goals and during the coming weeks I’ll be speaking with professionals to partner with me to provide insight in other areas. In reflecting on my original goals I realize I actually didn’t do too bad. I will admit that I feel bad for allowing my weight gain to distract and derail my journey. But in all honesty, this turned out to be a good thing.

When a train derails, like the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, investigators come to find out what happened. They look at all the parts of the train, they speak to witnesses, the engineer(s), conductors, etc. They arrive at the scene and look for clues. It’s not that different than investigating a crime. Well, in that same light, my “derailment” caused me to investigate where I went wrong. Was I going too fast? Expecting too much? Leaving things out? Doing too much? I needed to be still and know God. (Psalm 46:10)

I can go on and on … and on … and on, but I won’t; at least not for now. Suffice it to say that I’m excited about what has transpired in the past week or so. So much so that I’ve made the commitment to be in covenant with God concerning this change like never before. In the book there is a covenant agreement that you sign. I’ll officially sign it on June 1st. I’ll explain why. While reading and preparing for the interview with Dr. Davis I started making plans to start an active accountability group. This group will be private and part of a members only section on the broadcast blog and on Facebook. I’ll be unveiling the group this week on the show. If you’re interested in joining you can email me or you can just check out the blog post.

In a derailment people are devastated; in some cases lives are lost. Some may become emotionally and/or physically challenged if not totally disabled. Now this may seem to be an extreme example, but it is so close to my heart. This is because a part of my life died, a part of me became emotionally and physically inactive. But here again it worked out for my good. Paul, in speaking to the churches in Corinth reminded them that he dies daily (see 1 Corinthians 15:31). I also think of this scripture,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 KJV

I encourage anyone and everyone reading this, don’t get so fast or so distracted by things that you experience a derailment. But if you do, know that it’s not the end. As long as you have life you have opportunity for a rebound and that may lead to your slam dunk. (Sorry for the basketball analogy — I just really love sports.)

ANYWAY…we’re going to be just fine. Again, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our pilot program based on Dr. Davis’ book. You can hear the interview that I spoke about here. I’m hoping to add to the conversation with a Q&A that will be posted at a later date. Don’t forget to check out the book. Make the investment in yourself or someone else. Your ROI will be awesome!

Have a great week and remember,

I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 2)

A Confession of Faith in the Midst of … Failure

20150506_150850This time I’m more than just frustrated! I weight more than I did when I first started my weight loss challenge. How is that even possible?! I’m really not sure. It would seem that I’m doing all the right things, or am I? Is there a missing link to my success? If so, what in the world is it?!

Frustration, disillusionment, and even fear tap me on the shoulder to discuss my defeat, demise, and utter failure at this endeavor. I wrestle with quitting and just being … me… just the way I am and not even try any more. I considered giving up the blog. The desire to binge eat grew and in all honestly I binged for about two days. I ate just about anything I could put my hands on. Luckily it was healthier foods than what I would have been eating 6 months ago let alone a year ago. But, I still ate more than I should have. Emotional eating is detrimental to everything and I suffered physically and emotionally.

20150506_180611In all of the frustration I became emotionally numb and didn’t even do my normal 1 mi walk. I didn’t want to leave the house. If I let it, depression would have easily taken residence in my mind and heart. But guess what? There’s no vacancy. My heart and mind is filled with determination to achieve my goal. I finally came to my senses and stopped beating myself up.

Despite my discouragement, though real is temporary, I’m still determined to live a healthy lifestyle and lose this excess weight. I’m only 10 lbs away from my heaviest weight ever – and I was on steroids at the time. My back hurts and my midsection resembles that of the Pillsbury Dough Boy or the Michelin Man. Horrible. But, this too shall pass.

I recall and speak that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. My weight wasn’t define me. Neither does this moment of feeling like a failure. This isn’t the end but a spring board for me to work harder and smarter. It’s important that I’m equipped with the right information. So, I’m off to get a second opinion. There’s definitely a problem, either with my body, the information that I have or a combination of both. It may also be psychological. Who knows? But I’m determined to find my answer and achieve my goal.

In the meantime I’m enjoying my salads, leafy green veggies, soups, and cooking. 20150506_145923This was yesterday’s lunch. Kielbasa sausage on a bed of spinach & squash with barbeque sauce on a flour tortilla and a boiled egg.  I never had nor cooked squash before but it was delicious. That’s something new to my veggie menu. I even tried to cook a poached egg this week. It didn’t turn out so good. But it was fun trying.

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