Physical Fitness

Become as Little Children
Do you ever wish you were a kid again with all the carefree ease in living? I do, and as I’m learning more about how to live that way, I’ve also learned that staying fit doesn’t have to be adult drudgery. It can be fun and exciting like little children running and jumping and playing all day. 

Years ago, kids spent hours outside entertaining themselves with jump-ropes and balls and skates. They chased each other around the park and tumbled in the grass. They hiked and biked and hula-hooped, and because of these activities, they were rarely over-weight. 

I did most of these things as a young girl, but in my late teens and early 20s, I traded these innocent activities for the kicks of cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food. I eventually outgrew all of my clothes, three times in the course of two years, and became so lazy that I drove my car a half-block to the store.

It was during this time that I made a conscious decision to get into shape. I began reading all that I could about nutrition and exercise, and then started jumping rope five days a week. Over time, I added more activities to my routine and soon discovered that these exercises not only curbed my appetite and helped me lose weight, but they also increased my energy level and confidence. These changes also gave me the desire to improve my life in other areas too. 

It’s not necessary to join a gym to get into shape. Take a walk or bike outside for free, or for the price of a three-month fitness club membership, buy a couple of exercise DVDs and a few pieces of equipment instead: a bar weight, a weighted ball or kettle-bell, resistance bands, a stepper, or a jump-rope will help vary your workout at home. Whittle your middle by doing 30 minutes of hula-hooping. This fun exercise is equivalent to walking 3.5 mph on a treadmill for that same amount of time, plus it firms the abs. When you enjoy what you do, you will do it longer with greater enthusiasm and intensity. There are also phone apps that will log your eating habits and track your exercise progress to make your experience more measurable. 

Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). If we live with childlike humility and simplicity, it will not only prepare us for eternity, but it will also help us live a more fulfilling life, with less stress and more joy, here on earth right now.

If you would like more healthy tips and ideas, you can find them in I'm Hungry! I'm Bored! 

The Escape Hatch

Most people have an escape hatch that they use to flee from pressure or to find pleasure when the burdens of life get too heavy. Hatches are holes torn into our souls that lead to excessive behaviors, which when done over time contribute to negative outcomes in this life and the next.

Escapes are labeled with various signs that promise enjoyment or excitement, a bag of cookies, a bottle of booze, a few puffs of a drug that often end in regret and bondage. Many justify their excessive behaviors by saying they deserve the vice as a break from the stresses of life. Others are seeking to fill the hole in their soul and oftentimes don’t even know it. The Bible speaks of people caring more about adorning their homes and seeking pleasure, rather than caring about the things of God. He then compares these behaviors to putting money into a bag with holes that result in a meaningless life (Haggai 1:4-6).

The Holy Spirit is the Helper who can restore the torn and seal the soul holes to make a person complete in Him. The Bible never tells us to worry or to carry our own burdens. On the contrary we are commanded, “Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6), and to “Cast (literally throw or hurl) your anxiety on Him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus also calls those who are weighed down with burdens to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). This doesn't mean we're to sit idly-by doing nothing when work needs to be done, but oftentimes we are the ones who make life more difficult because of our preconceived expectations of what it should look like and then grow our possessions accordingly. The paradox to this is that when we take things in and consume, we often feel empty and unhappy, but when we produce and give things out to help other people, it is then that we become joyful and fulfilled.

Be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise to be filled with power and to live a life fulfilled (Ephesians 1:13). 

Your ACE in the Hole

In the game of poker the hidden card is called the hole 
and the ace is a sure winner

Thus the phrase “ace in the hole.” Interestingly, antioxidant rich foods contain vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, and E that work together to keep the body healthy and to delay the onset of aging. These nutrients become your health-winning ACE in the hole!

When people lack these nutrients, or if they participate in habits that are detrimental to their health, it's as though holes are poked in their cell walls that eventually damage the house. When ACE rich foods are consumed, the nutrients act like Spackle and joists to patch the holes and support the building to keep the structure stronger longer.

The Psalms seem to mention this ace in the hole that leads to good health and youthful vitality (Psalm 103:1, 3, 5). Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

ACE foods are found in abundance in most fruits, veggies, and whole grains (which also help with weight loss). The following are a few of the foods richest in antioxidants:

·    A (beta-carotene) ~ Spinach, Yams, Carrots, Cantaloupe, Dark leafy greens
·    C ~ Peppers, Broccoli, Kiwi, Citrus fruits, Tomatoes, Strawberries
·    E ~ Nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish oils, fortified cereals


Aim for the Ten Yard Line

The majority of people who attain success in any field have a plan of action.

A football player’s goal is to make a touchdown. Even though in the process of getting from the fifty-yard line to the end zone, he encounters falls, blocks, and setbacks, he keeps pressing toward his goal. The time, effort, and frustration are daunting, and because of this the players alleviate the pressure of this seemingly impossible task by aiming for one ten-yard line at a time, while still keeping the end zone in sight. Rare is the runner that sprints the length of the field in one mad-dash.

Losing weight is a lot like making a touchdown. People know the goal (the ideal number on their scale), but they often don’t know the route to reach it, or they give up in frustration after setbacks. The way to reach the goal is by taking small steps in the right direction toward good health. Aim to lose two pounds in one week rather than vaguely saying, “I want to lose thirty pounds.” Two pounds a week is specific and doable, if you make small changes. 

I used to make up and recite mantras when I struggled with weight related issues. They helped me begin my steps to success. One of them was: “If I don’t do it now, it won’t get done. It will never get any easier than where I am right now. I will always have to go through this difficult place to get where I want to go."

Steady progress in the right direction will help you reach your goal. Discover ways to lose weight and win the game in I'm Hungry! I'm Bored!

What's Weighing You Down? 

Excess weight is the only compulsion a person wears for all to see.

You can walk through a crowd and pass people who are obsessed with alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, working or playing, and never know upon first glance that they are carrying hidden addictions too.

Overeating is the only behavior that people can see upon first glance in the eventual form of weight gain. This is the only fixation where the person not only struggles inside, but wears and bears the burden outside. Yet, if we could see within their souls, we would see the emotional weights they also carry. 

Over-indulgence causes problems in other areas of life too, and therefore keeps people from living life to their fullest potential. In all of these cases the cure is the Word. Jesus said, “If you continue in my Word…Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.”  Free from whatever has its hooks in you and is limiting your life every day (John 8:31-36). For additional information and ideas on losing weight and gaining health, check out, I'mHungry! I'm Bored! 

What We Gaze Upon We Often Graze Upon

Just seeing this salad makes me want to have one!

The same is true when I see junk food. What we gaze upon, we usually graze upon. We often look longingly at the things that lead to our downfall. To remedy this, find a positive diversion when tempted to eat inferior food. The distraction will help you resist temptation. Read more thoughts like these on food and eating in I'm Hungry! I'm Bored!