Tag Archives: persistence

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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Getting Healthy in Body, Mind and Spirit

body mind spirit

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body -Henry David Thoreau

We must take responsibility as builders for the temple that we call our body.  Day by day we are adding brick and mortar or taking the wrecking ball to this sacred place.

It’s not up to anyone else to do the building.  If our body is going to be healthy we must be the one to make the right daily choices to see it happen.

The decision to find balance with eating smart and exercise is up to you. This doesn’t have to be taken to the extreme.  Carve out a little time today and go for a walk. Eat some fruit instead of a candy bar. Get enough sleep for a change (8 hours a night).  Make a mindful decision to build up and not tear down this magnificent temple called your body.    For some more health tips check out  http://wp.me/pGpee-2W

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Healthy Kids Make a Healthy America

“People who hand off health to the next generation are the ones who change the world.”                     -Tom Hopkins

10 HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR KIDS

Following these ten tips will help kids stay fit and healthy

1. Food is Fun… Enjoy your food

Eating is a good thing.  It gives you fuel like putting gas in a car.  Cars, buses and trains cannot run without fuel. Food gives you the fuel and energy to go!  If you don’t eat your mind and body can’t go fast like it was intended to.

2. Breakfast is a very important meal

Our bodies always need energy, and after a night’s sleep, energy levels are low. So, when you are off to school, if you don’t eat your body will stay sleepy and tired.  Start the day with breakfast. Plenty of carbohydrates is just the ticket: try cereal with skimmed milk, oatmeal, fruit or yogurt, toast or bread, perhaps with lean meats.

3. Eat lots of different kinds of foods every day, not just candy and sweets.

You need over 40 different kinds of vitamins and minerals every day for good health. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important to balance your daily choices.  You do not need to miss out on the foods you enjoy. The best way to make sure you get the right balance is to eat a wide variety of foods each day.

4. Don’t forget your daily  vitamins

Vitamins are important if our body is to be healthy and strong. They are absolutely necessary for our growth.  Make sure to take a daily vitamin in the morning with your breakfast.

5. Eat fruits and vegetables with your meals and as tasty snacks!

Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fiber. We should all try to eat 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and banana as snacks and two vegetables at meal times then you have already reached your total.

6. Fat facts. Too much fat is not good for your health

Eating too many of those tasty, fatty foods (such as butter, spreads, fried meats and sausages, pies and pastries) might not always be so good for your body. Although we need some fats to get all the nutrients we need, it is better for our health if we don’t eat too much of these foods and get knocked off balance.

7. Snack Smart! Eat regularly and choose healthy snacks

Snacks can fill the gap, but should not be eaten in place of meals, only as an extra. There are lots of different snacks available. Your choice may be fresh or dried fruits, yogurt, or sticks of vegetables like carrots and celery. Whichever snack you enjoy, remember it is always good to include a variety of different types to keep things in balance.

8. Quench your thirst. Drink plenty of water.

Did you know that more than 70% of your weight is just water? So as well as giving your body all the food it needs each day to keep healthy, you need at least 5 glasses of liquids a day.  Clean tap water, filtered water, bottled water, fruit juices, Crystal Light, tea, and milk are all acceptable.

9. Care for those teeth! Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Eating foods high in sugar or starches too often during the day can play a part in tooth decay. So don’t nibble foods and sip drinks all day long! However, the best way to keep a nice smile is to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also, after brushing your teeth at bedtime, don’t eat any food, or drink anything but water!

10. Get moving! Be active every day

Just like a bike may become rusty if it is not used for some time, our muscles and bones need to be kept moving too.        Activity is needed to keep your heart healthy and your bones strong. It can also be good fun. Try to include some form of activity every day: it may be just playing outside, walking around the neighborhood and running up the stairs. Outdoor games like  kickball, football at break times are good for giving the body a workout. Swimming is a great sport for keeping you healthy.

Parents, make sure to limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle which increases risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease.  Encourage physical activities that children really enjoy. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.

Help them set specific goals and limits, such as one hour of physical activity a day or two desserts per week. It’s true that when goals are too vague the chance for success decreases.  Rewarding children with candy and unhealthy snacks encourage bad habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.

Let’s get busy and make a difference in the lives of our kids. You have an opportunity to help kids form healthy habits.  They could be your kids, grand kids, nieces or nephews or neighborhood kids.

Teaching tomorrow’s generation to live a healthy life is the key to helping change our world.

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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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Every man is the builder of a temple called his body -Henry David Thoreau

body mind spirit

We must take responsibility as builders for the temple that we call our body.  Day by day we are adding brick and mortar or taking the wrecking ball to this sacred place.

It’s not up to anyone else to do the building.  If our body is going to be healthy we must be the one to make the right daily choices to see it happen.

The decision to find balance with eating smart and exercise is up to you. This doesn’t have to be taken to the extreme.  Carve out a little time today and go for a walk. Eat some fruit instead of a candy bar. Get enough sleep for a change (8 hours a night).  Make a mindful decision to build up and not tear down this magnificent temple called your body.    For some more health tips check out  http://wp.me/pGpee-2W

Leave a comment

Filed under Fit Forever, Health and Wellness, healthy balance, weight loss

Anyone Under Pressure?

“In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else.”    Alison Rose Levy

Sometimes our bodies bear the brunt of our busy, crazy pace that we keep.

One out of every four Americans has high blood pressure.  That’s about 60 million of us. This causes a lot of force on the arteries, taking a serious toll on them.

Think of a water balloon that is being pumped completely full.  Too much pressure causes calamity.  Likewise, when our blood pressure is too high it poses a serious health risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

To lower your blood pressure:

  • Eat Healthy

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure

  • Reduce Salt in your diet

Even a small reduction in the salt, (sodium) in your diet can reduce blood pressure significantly. Most healthy adults need only between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. But if you have high blood pressure, aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider the following:

Track how much salt is in your diet. Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.

Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.

Eat fewer processed foods. Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.

Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.

Ease into it. If you don’t feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

  • Lose Some Weight

Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline.  Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you’re taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.

Besides shedding pounds, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

  • Exercise More

Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure more than any other way. And it doesn’t take long to see a difference. If you haven’t been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.

As you keep your blood pressure in check, you are on your way to living a healthier, and happier life.  You  can do it!

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Now He’s Lost over 340 pounds!

Sky Fitness member Scot Underwood is the man! He has lost over 340 pounds over the course of the last few years. No, he didn’t take any short cuts, magic pills, lotions or potions.  He has lost every single pound the healthy way.  His journey has been one of proper balance in eating right and exercise, along with his determination to be FIT FOREVER.

So how does a person lose over 340 lbs?  How do they go from wearing 9X shirts and size 80 overalls to wearing regular sized clothes?

Scot Underwood says, “I knew that if I told myself I needed to lose over 300 lbs that it would be overwhelming.  So I set a goal of just losing a couple of pounds the healthy way; simply burning more calories a day than I consumed.  I continued to lose those couple of pounds 150 times over a two-year period.  This has been an amazing journey; one that has literally saved my life.”

The key is finding proper balance with what we eat and how active we need to be for optimal health.

Health is feeling positive and energetic, and the ability to put in a good day’s work on the job, and still have energy when we get home at night.  It means taking control of our schedules and making time for our priorities.  It’s realizing the importance of living long enough to see our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren grow up to lead long, happy lives.  Healthy living is no short-term venture.  It is a lifestyle that we must embrace every day of our journey.

The truth is, most Americans live inactive lifestyles.  That is why 120 million people – over 50% of us – are overweight.  The reason that most people have become overweight is fairly clear cut – they take in more calories and fat than they burn throughout the day.  Simply put: if we want to lose weight, we must find a way to burn more calories and fat than we take in.

The good news is that by taking more steps in the course of our day we can add consistent calorie burning which increases our metabolism, helping us to lose weight.  Weight loss is all about how many calories we burn in a day, what we eat, and how much we eat (portion control).  Without some help to know those equations our weight loss is left to happenstance.

Decide to live an active lifestyle.

We must take the time and energy to be more active.  Start today by walking more.  Instead of taking the elevator to the second, third, or even fourth floor, search out the stairway and get a little exercise.  Take opportunities to walk during the lunch hour or around the neighborhood after work.  Just keeping our body in motion by walking an extra 20 minutes a day will burn a surprising amount of calories.

Schedule an hour of exercise three times a week, setting aside twenty minutes of that hour for cardiovascular exercise like walking, running, riding a bike or jumping rope.  During the last forty minutes of that hour do some kind of strength training such as push-ups, sit ups, or lifting weights.

One thing that may be helpful to understand about exercise is that it not only burns fat but also actually speeds up our body’s metabolism.   To speed up our metabolism we need to increase our activity and our aerobic exercise. As a rule we strive to burn as many calories as we can during exercise.  That is beneficial to weight loss.  But interestingly enough, it is after exercise that the metabolism speeds up, burning off even more calories and unnecessary body fat.

We need to realize that it’s time to change some things that are long overdue concerning our health.

NOW is the time to change.  Much like Scot Underwood with his 340 lb. weight loss, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to do. Good luck on your FIT FOREVER journey!

Check  out the latest news on Scot in the Tulsa World Article.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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