Practicing Simple Health

If you’ve ever had excess weight to lose, and have started looking for help in this area, you know that there are more than enough gurus out there, willing to tell you how you should do it. A lot of it tends to be very conflicting, too. Do you go low carb, or low protein? Should you eat three meals a day, or six smaller ones? Paleo? Keto? Intermittent Fasting? It’ll make your head spin!

 

practicing simple healthBack in 2005, I found a method called “mindful eating” (also known as “intuitive eating”). And, in putting its principles into practice, I easily dropped twenty-five pounds in just six months. It is the only thing that has worked for me, thus far.

Prior to this, I’d tried other methods, only to give each one up after anywhere from two days to three weeks. I tried Bob Green’s ‘Make the Connection‘ diet, Weight Watchers, First Place for Health, following diabetic exchanges (even though I’m not Diabetic), and others. Nothing worked … until I found intuitive eating.

That’s the thing, though — and I believe it more and more, with each passing day: You have to find what works FOR YOU.

We are all different, with different tastes and preferences, and circumstances that are unique to each of our lives. So it makes sense, then, that no one method or plan is going to fit every single person … at least not in the same way.

After gaining back the weight I’d lost in 2005, and spending the next twelve years frustrated by my inability to repeat that previous success, I realized that I was very tired of chasing the “quick fix” (which doesn’t exist, anyway!). I was tired of trying various other methods, or attempting to add “rules” to the intuitive eating method in order to get it to work for me (again).

I determined to let go of all of the extras, get back to basics, and start practicing what I call “simple health”.

Simple Health, to me, means doing what I know works for me, using the resources I’ve already found and loved, and not making things any more complicated than they need to be.

I know, for example, from my years of trying various things, that I love:

• eating according to the mindful eating method

• walking on my treadmill -or- going to the gym -or- using my Walk Away the Pounds DVDs
(all of which are my preferred methods for exercise)

• having one or two good friends that check in on me, from time to time, to keep me accountable to my goals

• weighing myself only once a week, first thing in the morning

Now, these are just the basics of what works for me… there are other things I take into consideration (like the fact that our bodies –especially as we age– are always changing, and so we need to adapt our methods to go with those changes). I believe we always need to be learning, so I might test out several other things, in addition to these basic, simple practices that I already know work for me. Yet, if I do nothing else, I will –at the bare minimum– maintain my health through these simple things. They are my non-negotiables.

Intuitive Eating encourages us to eat and drink the food and beverages our body enjoys. Mind you, as I’ve been accustomed to eating processed and sugary foods 98% of the time, choosing those things is obviously not the most beneficial way for me to feed my body. As such, I have to use some common sense, and work to train myself to enjoy the healthier options.

Where this becomes problematic for most dieters (and I, too, fall prey to it) is turning this into some kind of hard-and-fast “rule”. For example: “I cannot have any processed or sugary foods ever again!” That is a recipe ((grins)) for disaster!

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Instead, I can choose to start by substituting a meal or two per week — swapping out the processed foods for homemade or real-food options. Then, I can add in one new “from scratch” recipe every week (or even, every other week), to slowly train my tastebuds, and adjust to my new “normal”. At the same time, I can also just not buy a lot of the sugary snacks any more. Much as I’m allowed to have them, I can tell myself that I am choosing not to, because my bigger desire — the longer-term one — is to get my body healthy {see 1 Corinthians 6:12}.

This is also where it helps to really know why I want to be healthy.

My own “why” is so that I can enjoy life to the fullest, and still be capable of fulfilling my God-given purpose, even into my senior years. I don’t want to end up with any obesity-related health issues, like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, dementia, etc. I don’t want poor health to slow me down, or age me prematurely! Instead, I want to enjoy all of the years God chooses to bless me with!

So, I’m choosing to practice simple health in 2018 and beyond. And, you’re invited to join me, if you wish! {Start with a 30-minute Kickstart Session!} I have a free Facebook community, too, where I offer ongoing support & accountability.

Let’s not let the devil continue to steal our futures by keeping us weighed down (literally!). Let’s take back our health & enjoy life to the fullest!

The Importance Of Mindset

Today I’m sharing a snippet from my future eBook. This is from the chapter on the importance of thoughts and mindset.

The Importance of Mindset | Life, Unleashed

For years, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem. I could blame it on my parents’ divorce, or any number of things. But that wouldn’t change my situation. If anything, dwelling on blame, resentment, and/or any other negatives only adds to the problem.

What I have been coming to discover, recently, is that so much of life depends on our thoughts and our mindset. In pretty much every area of life, how you look at things determines how they are. It’s very much about perspective. Even the Bible agrees! Proverbs 23:7 {KJV} says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” And, Philippians 4:8 encourages us: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”

God frequently reminds us, throughout Scripture, to PAY ATTENTION… to keep alert, and to be aware. The reason for this is because we are in a constant war — not physically, but mentally and spiritually; good vs. evil; our flesh against our spirit.

Joyce Meyer tells us that our mind is the battlefield — our battles are won or lost there. Think about any temptation you’ve faced. If you kept thinking about the thing, eventually you would give in, right? But, if you don’t allow yourself to dwell on thoughts of the thing — if you dismiss these tempting thoughts right away — then you are able to stand strong and resist.

Nowhere has this been more evident to me than in my eating and my attempts to lose weight. The more I think about eating when I’m not hungry, the weaker I get. Eventually, I have made enough excuses and rationalizations in my mind that I end up giving in.

However, on the (still rare) occasions when I dismiss the tempting thoughts outright, and distract myself with other things, I find myself victorious, and moving forward!

Taking control of our thought life, then, is so extremely important! It’s a cliche now, since it is said so much, but it remains true:

YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Something that has been helpful to me in becoming more aware of my thoughts has been to write out the negative things I think, and then — directly beneath the negatives — write out the positive alternatives. Psychologists call this exercise “reframing”. So, for example:

Negative: I cannot lose this excess weight.
Positive: I am taking baby steps toward losing my excess weight, and getting healthy

Negative: I am so stupid when it comes to this!
Positive: How can I go about learning more about this so that I feel more confident and capable?

It is important to remember that Satan will do anything and everything he can to “kill, steal, and destroy” what is good and positive in our lives. He is intent on keeping us stuck in the mediocre and mundane, so he puts negative thoughts in our minds to keep us from living in the Truth. He knows that if we get control of our thoughts, he’s going to have an awfully hard time making us miserable from that point on.

Another great way to change your mindset is to “reframe” with Scripture. Logan Wolfram, in her book, “Curious Faith”, calls this “Praying the Opposites”.

Say you’re feeling discouraged. The opposite of this would be feeling hopeful. So you would then look up verses in the Bible that talk about hope, and you’d use those verses to pray to God, asking for Him to “renew your mind” according to what His Word says.

You can do this with the negatives you are thinking about yourself, as well! For example:

Negative: I cannot do this!
Positive: Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who strengthens me!”

Negative: I will never be able to pay my bills this month.
Positive: Philippians 4:19 tells me that “My God will supply all of {my} needs, according to His riches…”

So, don’t let the devil win! Take control of your thought life, and pray for a renewed mindset. It’s the only way to walk in victory.

WHAT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS DO YOU BATTLE WITH THAT YOU CAN TURN INTO POSITIVES? HOW WOULD YOU REFRAME THEM?