Four Simple Steps To A Healthy Weight

Lately all my social media has been blowing up with “magic pill” sales pitches and costly ways to lose menopausal weight (or baby weight or that last 5 pounds).

“Take this pill and magically lose your middle-age belly bulge” (insert photo of hourglass, blemish free 20 year old model)

Can I just say, this is insulting ……………  I am not a teenager anymore and have enough intelligence to realize that a pill will not give me a 36-24-36 figure. (yes, I am one of those middle-aged women the diet pill companies are trying to target). It frustrates me that they’re using women’s insecurities for financial gain.

Why would I go spend $29.95 on a 30 day supply of pills to lose weight when all I have to do is change a few simple things?

Let me give you a little of my background.

When I was younger I suffered with anorexia, was hospitalized and would starve myself trying to get down to a certain weight. If there was a new diet I tried it. Low carb, no carb, grapefruit diet, South Beach diet, Paleo, and on and on.

As I grew older and more mature, I educated myself about eating healthy, staying physically fit and getting proper rest. Thankfully, as I learned how to take care of myself, I gained weight and was able to maintain good health.

Read below to find out how I have been able to keep a regular and healthy weight, without diet pills, fad diets or other costly options.

Four Simple Steps To a Healthy Weight

Eat foods in their most natural form

This means stop eating commercially processed foods like crackers, cookies, breads, candy, fast foods, prepackaged foods and condiments. They are full of non-food ingredients, preservatives, food dyes and artificial sweeteners/colors/flavors. They contain high levels of sodium, saturated fat, and high fructose corn syrup. These additives increase the flavor but destroy much of the nutritional value. Empty calories.

Eat fresh fruit. Make breakfast smoothies. Have an apple dipped in a natural peanut butter for snack. Make fruit roll-ups in a dehydrator.

Eat fresh vegetables. Add a side of steamed broccoli or cauliflower with your dinner instead of a dinner roll. Nibble on celery sticks.  Sprinkle thin sliced cucumbers with a touch of sea salt for a healthy snack.

Eat only unprocessed meat. (yep this means no more hot dogs, bacon and fatty salami). Eat chicken, beef, lamb, pork and seafood. Grill it, bake it, broil it, steam it, or use a slow-cooker.

Consume more whole grains. Instead of bleached white rice, have wild or brown rice. Use whole grain oats, amaranth or quinoa to make a honey granola or a hot cereal for breakfast.

Snack on raw nuts. They’re delicious!! Soak them overnight and blend them into a smoothie. Add raw nuts to breakfast cereal.

Season food with sea salt, pepper and fresh or dried herbs.

Eat all your foods in their most natural form. They will be easier to digest, way more nutrition, and much more pleasing on the eye. Look at those delicious colors!!

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Drink plenty of liquids

Without enough liquid, our body cannot work to it’s fullest potential. Digestion doesn’t work properly, we get headaches and our body stays full of toxins. If we drink the recommended 8 ounces of liquid  day, our body can easily flush out all the junk and run more smoothly.

If you have difficulty drinking plain water here are a few tricks that helped me.

Make a couple cups of your favorite decaffeinated tea (I like peppermint or vanilla). Add it to a jug of fresh water and ice cubes. Put in the refrigerator and try to drink the whole pitcher in a day.

Slice fresh fruit and add to a pitcher of water. Oranges, lemon and limes will add a refreshing twist and quench your thirst.

If you’re like me and need that bubbly sensation (like from soda), drink a chilled Perrier or mineral water (the ones without sweetener).

Keep moving

Quite often we promise ourselves “Today is the day” we will start a regular exercise routine, but then life gets busy and our best intentions of exercising diminish. Or we are unable, due to physical limitation or illness, to commit to a workout schedule.

That’s alright! Don’t get discouraged – Just keep moving 🙂

Park your car at the end of the parking lot instead of the front. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around the block first thing in the morning and end of the day. Use half of your lunch break to walk. Walk every chance you get. Five minutes here, ten minutes there…… It all adds up.

If you are unable to walk regularly, do some sitting exercises. Ab squeezes or butt squeezes (I like to do 4 sets of 20 through out the day). Bicep curls or shoulder raises.

Love yourself

The bible says God made us in his image – Perfect in his sight. …..Short or tall, dark or light, blonde or redhead. We are all perfect, unique and beautiful.

It took me a long time to learn this, but it’s true. Imagine your child telling you he/she felt “ugly”. Heartbreaking right? God feels the same way about us. We need to look in the mirror and see our beauty, our potential, our lovely one-of-a-kind amazing-ness.

How blaaaaahhhh  our world would be if we all looked the same, a perfect world full of a bunch of perfect people. BORING!!

Our world is a rainbow of people!

When we love ourselves for the way God intended us to look, our true beauty begins to shine from the inside out. When we love ourselves, we will be more inclined to nurture and care for our bodies the way we should.

Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of liquids and keep moving, and your body will find it’s natural weight. Whatever your natural weight is, LOVE it!!

Song of Solomon 4:7   You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good……

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time………

What are some of the ways you find beauty in yourself when life gets you down?

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek a doctor before making any health changes with your diet or exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank of Time: Time Is An Investment

Welcome back for Part Two of my series on Time. If you missed Part One (Time is a Treasure) click HERE. Read about how to treasure time as a valuable commodity, cherishing every moment.

Today we move on to discuss how time can be spent and invested, but it cannot be saved.

The I in TIME is for Investment.

In the early 1970’s Jim Croce wrote a song with these lyrics, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do …… is to save every day ’til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you”

Wouldn’t it be SO cool if we could bottle up time for all the fun things like vacations or important things like family? Unfortunately, no matter how technologically advanced we become, this will never be possible. Each day only has 24 hours. We can’t purchase more hours, but we can spend them. We can’t save them, but we can waste them.

As I was writing Time is a Treasure, I thought about how people say, “I just don’t have enough time.”

Think about it …… There are 168 golden hours in each week. The average person will spend about 56 of those hours sleeping, about 24 of those hours on eating and personal hygiene, about 50 hours working (and commuting), and about 8 hours for chores (grocery shopping, laundry, etc.) That’s a total of 138 hours per week, leaving 30 hours of free time!!

That’s an average of 5 hours a day!!

How much of that time is invested into mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and quality time with family?

Quality Time Invested in Family

When my children were younger I was a single mother working two jobs. I was tormented with guilt because I didn’t get to spend enough quality time with my boys. One day I made a decision to prioritize my time a little better. I couldn’t get any extra time in the day, but I could choose how to spend that time.

Instead of spending time “bugging” my boys to clean their rooms, I chose to use the only hour I had with them to enjoy being in their presence. We enjoyed dinners as a family and we cleaned the dishes as a family. We would start a game of Monopoly and play for 30 minutes a day. One game could last 3 weeks!!!

My point is this. If there is only an hour in a day to spend with your loved ones, make sure you invest that time doing what they will remember. My boys don’t remember whether their rooms were clean or dirty, but they remember the Monopoly game which lasted a month (the one Mom lost!!).

*if you’re a mom who thinks having a clean room is a top priority, I’m not saying that is wrong. I’m only saying there needs to be a balance between all the chores and quality time. For me, I didn’t have time for both, so made a choice to let the rooms go until the weekends 🙂

Quality Time Invested in Spiritual and Physical Health

I’m not here to preach and tell you to do bible studies every day or go to church every Sunday. What I do want to tell you is there should be regular time invested for spiritual support.

Let me explain. My bible studies are usually pretty regular, but I am guilty of slacking at times because I get busy. It never fails that when I slack for too long, my husband will notice. I become a little shorter with my temper, I get agitated a little easier and I lose some of the peace that my studies fill my heart with. My husband will say, “I think you need to go to church” or “”maybe you need to do a bible study”. And he isn’t saying it spitefully, he is genuinely telling me that he see’s my heart is out of balance. Inevitably, when I listen to him and invest time with my bible, I begin to feel peace right away.

Balance is the key. If your schedule only allows for 5 minutes a day, or one study a week, that’s ok!!

The same goes for physical health. I have a bad back from a car accident 18 years ago. Sometimes I just want to sit around and do nothing. You know those Saturdays when you stay in your jammies and watch movies all day. The problem is, if I do that too long, my back seizes up and it takes me weeks to recover. So whether I feel like it or not, I need to invest a little time every day walking because it keeps my back loose.

Quality Time Invested in Mental Health

When I think about mental health, I think about taking time for myself to rejuvenate and relax. There was a time in my life when I didn’t know how to do this. My evenings were filled with swirling thoughts that gave me insomnia. When I finally did fall asleep, I dreamt about work. When I was a waitress so I would wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, “I forgot to take that guy his cup of coffee!!!” When I was a Care Aide serving seniors, I dreamt about how Betty needed help with her pantyhose and Charles needed his glasses fixed. On my days off, I wanted to go visit them to see if they needed anything!! I spent  way to much time thinking about others and not enough thinking about myself.

At some point, I realized that I couldn’t be the best mother (or Care Aide) if I didn’t take care of myself first. I started giving myself permission to do nice things for myself. A 20 minute bubble bath. Walk in the park. Reading a book. Sitting on the deck in the sun, doing nothing at all.

Can I tell you something? As soon as I started doing this, a little voice in my head would tell me that I was being a bad mother, and I began to feel guilty!!!

“well, the kids need …..”

“the bathroom needs to be cleaned…”

“Joe at work needs me to ……”

Do you know that no matter how much you do, there will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done!??

Through time, I’ve learned that no matter what life throws at me or how busy I get, slowing down and investing time in me is at the top of my priority list. When I allot time for self-care, I am more relaxed, thoughtful and kind.

TimeInvestment

In closing, I would like to challenge you to think of how are you investing your time? Does the time you invest bear good fruit? Will your loved ones remember you through the legacy of wonderful memories you shared with them?

John 15:8 (AMP) When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of mine.