Tag Archives: diet

A New Year’s Pep Talk. 

pep talk2Recently I was thinking about a time when my mentor and baseball coach sat me down in a hotel room in Canada.  And no, it was not a warm and fuzzy conversation. I can remember like yesterday he said, “Tom, sit down, we need to talk. When I put you in the game as my pitcher I will never settle for anything less than your absolute best.  Is that understood? I chose you to go into the game because I see that you’ve got what it takes.  As a result, I expect every single pitch you throw to be the best you’ve got. Don’t pace yourself.  Throw every pitch like it’s your last.  Now do I make myself clear?”  My response was, “Yes sir, Coach, I hear you loud and clear.”  And from that moment on I gave my absolute best.

Sometimes we need to hear the truth. Don’t we?  (By the way, this pep talk is for me as much as it is for you as we begin this New Year.) 

So here goes: I want to personally challenge you to sit down long enough to think about the person you are now. Concerning your health and fitness goals, what do you really want to achieve? What is it that you’d like to see happen?

Maybe you would like to lose 15-20 pounds and be able to keep it off. Or perhaps you’d like to be able to have more endurance throughout the day on the job and be able to return home from work with plenty of energy for your family. Maybe you have beautiful clothes hanging in your closet that you can’t fit into anymore. Maybe you have that monumental class reunion coming up and would like to watch their jaws drop when you walk in the room.

Whatever your motivation there is no better time to embrace a healthy lifestyle than now.  Only one person is accountable for making the necessary changes, and that someone is you!

Have you ever wondered why change is so hard? It’s because if we are really honest we don’t like change when it affects us! All too often we can become set in our ways refusing to make the changes that would make for a better life.

NEWSFLASH! It is time for a change.  And it is time to quit making excuses!

We are the master of excuses.  We whine, “After all, it’s not my fault.” Then before we know it we begin to play the role of the victim.  As long as this is our mode of thinking, then positive change will not come.

Change begins with accepting responsibility. We hold the power in our own hands. Stop making excuses and convincing yourself that you are genetically predisposed to being overweight.  This is just an excuse. Though in some rare instances obesity can be a genetic situation, most of the time it is a matter of poor daily habits. Instead of a genetic problem, it’s a generation of poor choices. This is the time for taking control of our lives and accepting responsibility for our shortcomings, instead of making lame excuses.

Slow down. Think about your situation for a moment. Take responsibility. Stop blaming.     Aren’t we the ones making the choices that have gotten us where we are? The cold hard truth is that we determine our success or failure. Not our parents, not our friends, not our co-workers.

We have to learn to help ourselves.  The truth is can choose to be our own best friend or we can be our own worst enemy.

Bottom line.  Most of us are just one quality decision from seeing great things happen in our lives. The question is: Are we going to take action to make something happen, or are we simply going to exist as we have for the last how many years? The choice is up to us.

Remember, the power of the mind is an amazing thing.  You can do it!  Make the decision that now is the time to change the course of your life.  Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!

The time has come to commit ourselves to taking care of this body that God has given us.  We will only receive one body in the span of our life, and it’s up to us to make wise decisions to take care of it. We have a custom made gift to oversee and to maintain for a lifetime.  So let’s do it!

Now is your time to act! Go ahead and realize that it’s time to exercise your right to change some things that are long overdue.

With God’s help you can do anything you set your mind to do! There is nothing in the world like setting short term goals, working hard, giving it all that you’ve got, and then seeing success take place! In the words of my mentor: You’ve got what it takes. It’s time for your absolute best.  Every single day give it the best you’ve got. Don’t you dare pace yourself.  Get out there and live each day like it’s your last!

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See Your Dreams Come to Life Pt. 1

Dreams

Why is it that most of us don’t see our health and wellness dreams fulfilled? Too often we sell ourselves short by simply doing what we’ve always done. As a result we always get what we’ve always gotten in the past.  We all want to see our dreams fulfilled, but unfortunately we stop short of taking action on those dreams.  The truth is our dreams don’t work unless we do!

Goal setting is a powerful process for taking baby steps to our dreams.  They are key to shaping our ideal future, and for motivating ourselves to turn our vision of the future into reality.  The practice of setting goals is used by top-level athletes, successful business people and leaders in all fields. They give us long term vision and short term motivation. They focus our knowledge and help us organize our time and our resources so that we can make the very most of our lives.

 

  • Write your health goals down: What does not get written down does not get done. This crystallizes our goals and gives them more force.
  • Set priorities: When we have several goals, prioritize them. This helps us avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct our attention to the most important ones.
  • State each goal as a positive statement: Express your goals positively. “I want lower my body fat so that I can feel better and more energetic” is a much better goal than “I’ve got to lose all this weight somehow.”
  • Set realistic goals: When we set goals that are not realistic, or too high, we may not anticipate the skill needed. This in turn may cause us to want to give up, so we must make sure our goals are reasonable.  Make sure to keep the goals small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that we are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.  We should take care to set goals that are manageable. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond our control.
  • Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates and times so that you can measure achievement. If we do this, we will know exactly when we have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having accomplished it.

It’s time for us to pull out our biggest dreams and make a decision to go for it with all we’ve got! What do we have to lose? It amazes me the miraculous transformation that happens in our lives when we are willing to dream.

Let’s be thinking about some health and wellness dreams for the future, and in the next blog we will look at the plan to see these come to life.  It’s all in a state of mind.  Remember, to change your life you must change your mind!

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“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” Arabian Proverb

preventive health

There are some “Do’s” that are important to embracing health.

Do maintain a positive attitude.

Do eat three meals a day.

Do make meals last more than 15 minutes.

Do eat only in designated areas of the house.

Do stay away from cigarettes and second-hand smoke.

Do avoid and reduce stress as much as possible.

Do exercise moderately and regularly.

Do eat plenty of fiber to maintain regularity.

Do practice portion control.

Do plan snacks.

Do realize that you get one body for a lifetime and it is up to you to maintain it.

The promise of a better life is within your reach. Fueling your body with healthier habits will improve your quality of life, and your example will help create a healthier, happier world.  To see more about our Fit Forever journey check this out: http://wp.me/PGpee-94

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What keeps me up at night…

unhealthySome time ago a pastor asked me some questions relating to passion and making a difference in this world.  It invigorated me when  he asked the following:  “What drives you to do what you do? What is your “inward discontent” that keeps you up at night?  Better yet, what are you doing every day to make a difference in that area?”

Well, here is my “inward discontent:”  The sobering fact is that the majority of Americans are at a great health risk because they are overweight (dangerously so). That troubles me for sure.  But what keeps me even more troubled is that  Christians, and in particular pastors, have higher obesity rates and poorer health than the average American.                                         

Studies say that the average pastor’s health is significantly worse than others on the planet.  At a recent annual leadership meeting of ministers in a mainline denomination free health screenings were administered. Of those screened more than 73 percent were found to be overweight or obese. If you are keeping track, that is a much higher percentage than those outside the church.  On average, a pastor’s health risk is more than a 10% higher than the average person.

What really pains me is that I have had to help bury way too many of my colleagues who died an early death due to not taking care of themselves and poor health habits.  The tragedy?  Most of these were 100 per cent preventable.

There is something wrong about that. So I know that I have to take my share of responsibility for setting the right example.  I need to show people that God can help us in every aspect of life, including our health.  If I refuse to take care of my body, I set a poor example as a leader of God’s church.

As pastors and leaders this means that you have a responsibility to help train your family and your church to take care of their bodies. Let’s be a good example!

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4

You can be an example that food is given to us by God to be enjoyed–not to be abused.  As Christians we can’t be telling people on one hand that we are all about the glory of God, and then kill ourselves with the food we are stuffing in our body.

Maybe it would be a good idea to re-think our prayers before our meals asking for God’s wisdom and discipline to manage what we eat, as opposed to just blessing what we are about to eat.  In our gratefulness we should thank God for providing the food and then remind ourselves to enjoy our food, not to worship it.

Bottom line is we need to take care of ourselves!  According to Leadership Journal, a pastor works on average 55-60 hours a week and is so busy taking care of everyone else’s needs that they often neglect their own, especially their health.  Nationwide, an estimated 1,500 pastors leave their assignments each month because of poor health and ministry-related stress.

Chances are very high that your effectiveness in ministry will be limited if you are unhealthy and overweight. You will not be able to maximize your ability to shepherd, study, teach, preach and care as you should.

This is the way that I see it: If you are a minister then you are leader. That means God daily gives you the opportunity to set the example that God cares about every aspect of our life, including and especially our health.  Not only that, you have an incredible opportunity to show your people the way to balance mind, body and spirit in a healthy way.  With God’s help you can do it!

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Ephesians 6:10  NIV

Back to the first part of this blog that asked, “What is your “inward discontent and what are you doing every day to make a difference in that area?” My goal is to partner with pastors to give them the tools and resources to take care of themselves, their families, and their churches.  I am committed to do what I can to help turn the tide.  I have lost too many friends to heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes.  Through this healthy FIT FOREVER blog, my workshops, and a new book called “FIT (Not Fat) FOREVER” coming out I am determined to make a difference to help as many people as I can.  Feel free to “Follow” this blog for up to date blogs and daily motivations.

The time has come to commit ourselves to taking care of this body that God has given us. We must remember that we will only receive one body in the span of our life, and it’s up to us to do all that we can to take care of it.  Here are some healthy tips to get us started: http://wp.me/pGpee-2W

 

 

 

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Valentines Day Tip: Think Dark Chocolate!

eatchocolate

Okay, you love birds.  Here’s a healthy tip I bet you didn’t know.

Believe it or not, dark chocolate is good for your heart…okay, I’m not talking about eating the entire box of Chocolates in one sitting! But some people don’t realize that dark chocolate with 80% cacao has antioxidants that protect the body from aging caused by free radicals.  It has nearly 8 times the number of antioxidants found in strawberries!

Dark Chocolate actually helps keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well.   It is known to reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol by up to 10 percent.  It also stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure; and contains serotonin, which helps with moods and sleep patterns as well as increased memory and learning.  So there you go, guys. Something sweet for her and it aids in better memory for you to remember the next anniversary or special day!

 

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Excuses are for Slackers

If we think hard enough each of us can come up with excuses for not being as healthy as we should be.

Excuses are weak.  They merely hamper our ability to overcome the obstacles before us.  They point the finger to other people or circumstances and keep us from taking the vital steps to change our lives for the better.  At times all of us can throw the pity party and play the excuse game.  Last time I threw a pity party nobody showed up but me!

It’s time to make a decision once and for all to take care of our body.  It deserves the best of our care all of the time, not just when we feel like it.  It’s a good thing we don’t just show up to work when we feel like it, or pay bills when we feel like it.

How many times have you thought about skipping a workout because you were “too tired” to exercise, but when you have gone despite your fatigue, you have felt much more awake and energized afterward?  Whether we feel like exercising or not, when we go ahead and do it we always reap the benefits.

It is a proven fact that people who exercise regularly have more energy, a sharper mind, as well as strength and endurance to get through their day.  When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar!  So let’s get rid of those excuses and take care of our bodies like we should.

Next time you are tempted to go down the road of excuses just remember that they are for slackers.  And that’s not you!

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“The Body is a marvelous machine” -Theodor Herzl

“The body is a marvelous machine…a chemical laboratory, a power-house.  Every movement, voluntary  or involuntary, is full of secrets and marvels.”    –Theodor Herzl

Most of us just don’t realize what an amazing gift our body is to us. It is a miraculous complex laboratory of chemicals that can achieve astounding things when maintained properly.

Did you know that your stomach cells secrete hydrochloric acid to break down foods for our digestive system?  This type of acid is a corrosive compound used to treat metals in the industrial world. It can pickle steel, but the mucous lining the walls of our stomach keep this poisonous liquid safely in the digestive system. Amazing!

Yet surprisingly enough, many of us use our body as a guinea pig by experimenting with any diet plan that comes along. That’s what America does, bouncing from one diet fad to another.  From liquid diets where nothing is consumed except three shakes a day to drinking grapefruit juice after every meal.   Then there’s the no carbohydrate diet, egg and banana diet, and of all things, the hot dog diet.  Give me a break!

Most of us don’t realize that when we decide to go on every diet that comes along, we put our bodies into major shock! In fact, many diets can be dangerous to our health.  Most diets call for times of starvation, when we deprive our bodies of the necessary nutrients that they need on a daily basis. When we go without food for long periods our body actually shifts into a protective mode thinking that we are starving. This mode literally slows our metabolism and holds onto fat, storing it for use as the body needs it in the absence of food. So the well-intentioned dieter actually defeats the very purpose that they have set out to accomplish; they are storing more fat as opposed to burning it.

Weight loss is actually a fairly easy equation. Burning more calories than you consume equals weight lost. Consuming the same amount of calories as calories burned, weight is maintained. Taking in more calories than what you burn, weight increases.

The best thing we can do is to look at food as fuel that our bodies need on a regular basis. If your car’s gas tank is on empty, you can guarantee you won’t be going anywhere until you fill it up with fuel. We would not think of doing something as senseless as putting water or oil into the gas tank of our car, because we know that it will cause major damage to the engine.

However, day in and day out we choose to put the wrong fuel into our bodies. The food that we eat contributes greatly to how we feel. Many of us have simply fallen into bad habits that are hard to break, and our bodies are paying the price for it. The sad fact is that we do not suffer from a lack of information. The challenge comes in applying the relevant, life changing principles to our own lives.

Your body is miraculous. You only get one for a lifetime, so do everything you can to take care of it.

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