Saturday, August 29, 2015

SERENITY

Serenity Prayer


     "Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

I challenge you to look up the entire prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It's all good.



As we begin to see how unique and special we are--embraced and accepted by God Himself--our strides toward recovery should grow faster and longer.
                                                     Note on Life Recovery Bible, page 665




****Think back over this week. How many times did you get mad at yourself for not being able to eat something, or mad at someone else because they could eat what you like without weight gain?.

Remember, there’s not any of us perfect.
       Are you serene?                                               

What's the definition of serenity?

Webster’s New World Dictionary

    Clarity, Undisturbed, unclouded, calmness

Roget’s Super thesaurus

    Peace, quiet, stilled, tranquility, at rest


Lack of serenity creates a fertile field for anger, resentment, envy, fear, and self-centeredness. Any of these can drive a compulsive overeater into a binge.


Let’s talk a little about anger and unforgiveness.


Read  Luke 6: 27-36



The 8th step of the 12 step program is being willing to make amends to those we’ve hurt. What’s hardest of all is to apologize for anger or hard feelings for what that person did to us.

     We want them to say “I’m sorry” and reconcile and make it all nice, tied up, and forgiven, but others have their own ideas, and sometimes they won’t forgive, or they blow us off.



Despite others actions, forgiveness is our choice.

Decide to forgive. The feelings will follow.

A few years ago, my husband and I had a local man do us wrong in business. The hardest part was we considered the man a friend , not just a business associate. It hurt. I asked God to help me forgive. I turned it over to God, and made a decision to let it go.

However, living in the same town, I ran into the man from time to time. I couldn't speak to him. Those angry feelings immobilized me and choked off my air. I would turn aside without comment, only to fall on my knees and plead with God to rid me of this turmoil.

One day, I walked into a graduation party for the son of a mutual friend. The ex-business partner was there.

I waited for the feelings to choke me, but nothing happened.

I walked toward the man who had wronged us.

He hugged me. "It's so good to see you," he said.

"It's good to see you, too." God's miracle was complete. The anger had left. I was glad to acknowledge him again as a friend.

Now, that didn't absolve the man from doing us wrong, but it put it between him and God, where it belongs. My conscience was clear. I had forgiven.



To be free of compulsion, we must have serenity.

To have serenity, we must forgive.

To forgive, we must rely on God's doing the work through us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Three Ps of Success

Are you trying to lose weight?
    A hundred pound loss begins with the first pound. Have you talked to God about it?


Are you beginning a writing career?
    Whether this is your first book or your fifteenth, furthering a prospering writing career takes hard work.


Is your new football season beginning?
    High school around Texas including Leonard, TX where my grandson plays are beginning their 2015 football season with two-a-days before school starts.


Whatever your goal, success comes through three P words.




Preparation  To insure success in losing weight requires a mental change, a physical turnaround, and a spiritual search.


1. Seek God. Read His Word. Pray for His guidance for what to eat, what exercise to do, which meeting is right. Set aside a place and time to commune with the Lord, daily. (Spiritual search)
2. Join a support group. Dwell on the positive. Visualize yourself at a smaller size. Get your mind off the food and on to other things that interest you. (Mental change)
3. Purchase fruits, veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, and healthy oil. Rid your pantry and refrigerator of trigger foods by giving them to others or throwing them away. Buy a notebook and keep it handy to journal. Find recipes and favorite restaurant menus and pick out low fat choices you like. (Physical turnaround)



Patience  If you lose slowly, or have a gain, patience can save you from giving up. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience. Ask God for that fruit to be active in your life. Keep doing what you've been doing, and God will give the success.



Perseverance  Continue to follow the first two Ps over the long haul. Prepare weekly. Have patience when you can't see the results. Keep going. Don't give up. 



Those same three Ps can be applied to any other goal.

To be successful at a writing career:

Preparation  Go to writing conferences and workshops. Network with other authors. Take online courses about writing. Read writing craft books and books in your own genre and genres you don't write.
My debut novel 

Patience  I recently read an article about "Why I Am Glad it Took Me 11 Years to Get Published." The longer the process takes, the better our writing gets. Have patience and know that you are growing, so it's all good.

Perseverance  Write every day. Write after your work is rejected. Take the suggestions and corrections given by critique partners, agents, or editors. Improve. Grow. Don't quit.


What about those beginning a football season?


Preparation That's what two-a-days is all about. Preparing and improving before the games begin.


High school game with my grandson & son-in-law coach along with my daughter and granddaughter.

Patience Other teams are good, too. We're human, so we mess up. Good football players learn from their mistakes and remain patient for the next opportunity to get it right.



Perseverance Keep working. Keep improving. Be ready for the next game. Keep on keeping on.



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Is It God's Way or the My Way?

There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.
                                        Proverbs 16:25



     Willpower is fine as far as it goes, but for the compulsive overeater, it does not go far enough. The obsession we are trying to control is not rational, so it does not come under the sway of rational resolve. As a matter of fact, it is our “self-will run riot” that pushes us on from bite to bite all the way through a binge, so trying to use self-will to control compulsive overeating is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. The driving force behind out white-knuckled, clenched-teeth “no” can just as well shift over and fuel the mania to swallow more and more and everything.
                   from Hazelden Publication "When Willpower Is Not Enough"


First 3 steps of Overeaters Anonymous
 
1.     We admitted we were powerless over food, that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.     Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.     Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
I’ve always been a journal-keeper through the good and the bad.
******I found this post in a journal from several years ago:
     What I have trouble with is step three (action). I can say the words “Lord, take over my will,” but I obviously don’t mean them because I continue to try to control and react negatively when it goes contrary to my wishes.
     I must learn to not react to others’ problems. Step three and giving up control is in direct proportion to my spiritual condition. God is in the now, not past or future.
 

 
Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind.
                           Matthew 22:37
 
     I think we get down the heart, the soul, even the strength. We follow Christ with everything in us, but we have a problem when it comes to our minds.
     Our minds take in our reason
                           logic
                           desire
                           imagination
                           memory
                           will
 
Our minds rebel, maybe only in a small area (like food). Jesus commanded us to love Him even with our whole mind. Rebellion in any area is simply rebellion, and God will not tolerate that. Like a rotten apple in a barrel of good ones, our small rebellion grows into a mountain of sin.
 
 
Who is driving the vehicle of your life? Who controls your food, your time, your thoughts?
 
When you begin the next diet, pray about it. Could it be that you're following a way that seems right to you, but ends in death and defeat?
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Could Our Lifestyle Be Making Us Gain Weight?

Could our lifestyle be making us gain weight?

Our recent vacation with our RV got me to wondering. Most of us have the biggest problem with wanting to overeat in the evening. Why? Because we're sitting in front of the TV to rest. No activity. Nothing to stir our minds, so we turn to food. How about making an ice cream soda? Oh, that sounds good. A flash of commercial streams across the screen of Taco Tuesday. I have some tortillas and leftover chicken. I think I'll make one now. That sounds so good. How about popcorn while we're watching a movie? Perfect, isn't it?

Does that sound familiar, or am I the only one?

I'm old enough to remember the days before air conditioning. Neighbors met on front porches. Newcomers were never strangers for long. Kids played outside with not a face plastered to a phone or IPAD. Hot wind whipped around us, sending us scurrying for a cold lemonade or Coca-Cola, but it was too hot for food. We snapped beans or cut up okra from our gardens. Absorbing conversations swirled around us like the lightning bugs our children chased instead of eating cookies and cake. 

Me and my friends either walked to school or rode a bus. Few parents transported their kids. Not knowing someone on your city block was rare. In the country, where my grandparents lived, they knew everyone in town.

I lived in Cockrell Hill, a small part of the Oak Cliff section in south Dallas. Red Bud Lane had its own softball team. Red Rover, Red Rover was one of favorite pastimes. We produced a circus in one of the neighbor's back yards. Everything revolved around the great outdoors.

My husband grew up on South Ervay St. just to the south of downtown Dallas. That area is now all commercial. We have a picture of his old house with a huge front porch stretching over two sides. He tells of sitting out every night visiting until the families went inside for the night. They rolled out bedding into the hallway where a breeze cooled their sweaty bodies.

In 2015, RVers resemble 1940s and 1950s neighborhoods. Everyone walks whether with their dog or their mate. Walkers stop by one trailer after another where people sit on their "front porches" waiting for neighbors to gather. The usual question is "Where are you folks from?"
Fire going & lanterns hanging over our "front porch."


During our trip to Red River, NM, we sat out every night, often with a fire. One neighbor came from Albuquerque. On the other side were new friends from Amarillo, TX. Tennis courts and a playground across the way beckoned children, who remained there until dark completely covered the park, Sometimes, they played by artificial light until ten, which starts quiet time in most RV camps. Fires lit the "porches" where adults visited.

Grills and campfires cooked dinner, but rarely did people eat after dinner. Personally, I didn't need a snack. I had titillating conversation. I had a hypnotic fire. I had people to watch, whether they were throwing a Frisbee or backing a motor home into a small slot.

RVing is a throwback to simpler times.

A lifestyle clustered around the TV with air conditioning going full blast could be one of those things that's making Americans fatter?

What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Faith, Hope, and Love at Red River, New Mexico

 "Faith, Hope, and Love - That's what this center was built on." One woman active in Red River's Community House said this at the anniversary celebration.

We spent a week in cool Red River, New Mexico and arrived just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Community House. How exciting! We learned that people from our hometown of Wichita Falls, TX. were instrumental in starting Red River's Community House.

Five people met. Two were from Enid, Okla., one was from Oklahoma City, and two were from Wichita Falls, TX. These five began a program to attract new tourists to the beautiful mountain hideaway. The flooring for the initial log cabin was made out of wood from the J.C. Penney store in Wichita Falls, after it burned. The first meeting, held on August 9, 1940 was a worship service.

Families were bound together by love of family, love of their country, love of God, and love of their adopted town, Red River. The log cabin was enlarged or improved nine times in the last seventy-five years. People flocked to the singings, the classes, and the church services. As a writer, I found it interesting that their first project was a book review. Sunday school visitors grew, often having their classes outside. These students now bring their kids and grandkids to enjoy the Community House activities.

Red River Community House today
Today, the building houses daily events that appeal to tourists and home folk alike, A banner is run across the front to let everyone know what's happening there that day. Though staff is hired to run the place, it's volunteers that make it possible to continue. Many volunteer for jobs including moving tables and chairs to create a ballroom into church seating. Volunteers teach lots of activities from boat building to quilting to Sunday school classes. Some pass around offering plates. Others clean up the kitchen. Without the hundreds of volunteers, the place could not keep going.

Young & old (me) alike learn new line dances
I line danced there on Saturday night. We went to church services there on Sunday morning. Then, Sunday night was a country music sing-along. After seventy-five years, the community center's purposes are still family fun, worshipping God, and learning more about the area.

We camped in Roadrunner RV Park





We took our RV and had a wonderful vacation in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico. How neat to be a part of something begun so long ago that fosters things I believe in. I pray Red River's Community House continues for seventy-five more years.



For information on the activities at the Community House, go to: http://www.redrivercommunityhouse.org/activities/


Who of you out there have gone to the Community House in Red River, New Mexico? Did you feel the faith, hope, and love of the area?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Are Salads a Cure-All for Weight Loss?

Compulsive overeaters can often be found at buffets, large salad bars, and restaurants with all-you-can-eat special features. The reason is simple. Our appetites grow the more we eat (Hint: your appetite decreases when you eat less for a length of time).

While the loaded buffets and all-you-can-eat plates are understandable, for a girl who didn't eat vegetables much, eating at a salad bar made me feel righteous.
I noticed that most of us lingering around the salad bars were overweight. Scary! Why was that? I set out on an investigation.

Are salads a cure-all for weight loss?

Cure-all?  No.

A big help?  Most definitely.



Okay, maybe I need a list of dos and don'ts for eating at salad bars.


DO find as many plain, raw vegetables as you can. Strive for 5-6 different kinds.
Make your plate colorful.

If available, choose something red such as red pepper or radishes.

Choose yellow such as shredded carrots or crookneck squash.

Choose white such as onions or bean sprouts.

Choose 2 green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, or watercress.


DO choose low fat dressings if possible. If none are there, take your own or put it in a separate bowl or dish, so that you can brush each forkful of salad in the dressing. That way you don't use as much. (A tip? creamy dressings such as ranch or blue cheese or higher in calories and clear dressings such as Italian.)

DON'T allow a server to dip the dressing. Do it yourself.

DON'T add croutons, pasta, or already-prepared salads such as potato salad, pasta salad, or chicken salad.

DO choose lean proteins for your salad such as 4 oz. grilled chicken, 4 oz. tuna (not mixed in a tuna salad), 1 boiled egg, 1/2 cup chopped ham, or 1/2 cup plain pinto beans, chickpeas, or black-eyed peas, or measure 2 tablespoons shredded cheese.

DO measure out about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds if they have them.

DON'T choose bacon or candied nuts.

DO add to your salad any fresh fruit on the bar such as grapes, apples, or cantaloupe.


DON'T be afraid to ask for fresher lettuce, grilled chicken to be cooked for you, or anything you might want that you don't see. The restaurants want you to be pleased, so you'll return.


Salads help me a lot. I think they will you, too. Here's some benefits:

    1. They contain lots of fiber. Fiber is proven to help weight loss.
    2. Salad fills you up, so you don't want more food.
    3. They can pack a wallop of needed vitamins and minerals in one bowl.
   
CHOOSE THE SALAD but remember the dos and dont's.



What's your experience with salad?

Has it helped or hurt you?


Saturday, August 8, 2015

What's My Best Tip for Permanent Weight Loss?

Permanent weight loss appeared to be an impossible dream to me twenty years ago. I learned compulsive overeating takes healing physically, mentally, and spiritually. Many good plans out there incorporate great ideas for the physical and mental, but I found I must also apply salve to the spiritual side of my life.

I've posted my favorite ten tips to weight loss. Trimming it to ten was difficult. Today, God sparked my mind to list the one thing that probably, more than anything, this time produced success.

Can you guess?

My biggest tip here is to keep this big boy in his cage at the Amarillo, TX. zoo.










What is it?

Is it learning to eat more veggies?
   That really helped because I didn't like them. At times, I could handle green beans. I ate my hamburgers with no veggies. I didn't like salads. My veggies consisted of eating more carbohydrates like with potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes.


But, that wasn't most important.


Maybe it was becoming more active.
    For sure, activity is imperative for keeping off the weight. Sometimes, I've done nothing right except exercise. When I began with ninety-five extra pounds on my body, I was a couch potato. My job was done sitting. I plopped as soon as I could at night. Walking would give me a stitch in my side.


That isn't number one.


I know you've by now guessed going to your support group.
    I have Weight Watcher friends who fear missing even one meeting. I began weekly Divine Dining Christian Weight Controllers classes at my church because I feel the support and encouragement of a group is important.


Yet, I would put that at about number four or five on my tip list.


I believe my one best tip, the thing that made the most difference to heal my thinking and helping me lose weight and maintain that loss for eighteen years is:

Ta-da`


Daily Writing.



For me, as a writer, keeping a journal comes natural. For some, it's hard, but I can only tell the difference it made for me. Perhaps, it will ignite in you a writing frenzy.

Here's the benefits:

1. On paper, I verbalized to God what I needed that day.

    Lord, I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with all I have to do today. Please give me an extra measure of Your peace. Make me focused, alert, and productive.

   Communion with God can make a difference in the day you have.

2. Writing out angry words enables me to "let go and let God."

     Lord, my husband made me feel worthless when he talked about my writing income not covering my expenses. I did make some money, Lord, and I work hard. I'm really mad at him. Would you take the anger away, so it won't make me overeat.

Anger and resentment are the biggest causes of overeating. They're right up there with frustration and boredom. We must allow God to remove it, but that's not easy. Once I write it in my journal, it seems to disappear. Try it.

I've even written a whole letter to someone that has hurt my feelings. I tell them they acted hatefully. Sometimes, then, I throw it away, but it gets it out of my heart where it will fester.

3. I draw closer to God.

     Using more than one sense causes us to more effectively learn. That's why it helps to write down a new person's name. We use two senses, hearing it and seeing it. Writing out praise to God uses two senses, hearing our words and seeing it in print. The closer we draw to the Lord, the less we overeat.



My best tip to my husband, grandson, & me is not step back off the ledge at Palo Dura Canyon near Canyon, TX.



That's my number one tip to permanent weight loss.

Do you agree?

Why?  Why not?

What's your number one tip?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What's Wrong Now?

What's wrong? God has enriched our lives. He leads us to peace of mind and joy of heart. We’re eating healthy, exercising, and worshiping God with renewed vigor.

Then we flounder.

Lord, help me.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
                            Matthew 11:28,29 NIV


What do I need?


H.A.L.T. Stop and examine your life.


H - hungry

    Are you eating enough?
    Do you overeat before your hunger is assuaged?
    What type of foods do you eat?

To defeat hunger, eat power food. Here are my top 10 power food:
        1. Spinach
        2. Watermelon
        3. Sweet potatoes
        4. Low fat string cheese
        5. 2 Tablespoons almonds
        6. Red peppers
        7. Oatmeal
        8. Tomatoes
        9. Apples
        10.Carrots

A - Angry

    Even if you don't admit or realize that you're angry at someone or some situation, you may begin to overeat. It's a compulsive overeater's natural response to turn our anger inward. When we become angry at ourselves for the overeating, we forget the root cause. 
  

    We only have four choices.
       1. Keep overeating and hold on to our anger.
       2. Lose our temper, hate ourselves more, and eat more.
       3. Avoid the situation or person. (which isn't always possible and doesn't help you lose the anger).
       4. Submit your angry feelings to God and allow Him to heal your spirit.
    

L - Lonely

      Do you eat because it's fun, and you're bored?
      Has food become your best friend?
      Do you crave companionship?

       God is your friend.

              You are my friends if you do what I command you.
                                                                    John 15:14

              Seek out ones that need help, and your loneliness will disappear. 
    

             For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison, and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you drink? And when did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brother, you did it to me.'
                                                                 Matthew 25: 35-40

        Another tip: Be a joiner. Get in a Bible study, a walking group, a weight support group, the choir. What interests you?




T - Tired

     Have you become too tired, done too much, not slept enough?
     Have you been sick? Did you go to full schedule before your strength returned?

    It's a proven fact that you lose weight better if you sleep 7-8 hours at night.
    If you work too long without eating, your blood sugar may drop, destroying your natural defenses against an easy food fix.
    If you find yourself wanting to eat too much, read God's Word more often. Pray more. Draw nearer to Him. Remember, God is our strength in time of need.



When craving hits, and you can't get enough to eat, the problem might not be the food.

Ask God to show you what's wrong.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Discover Your Why

Our walk with Christ is less sprint, more marathon. It's been said the completion of a long journey begins with the first step. Yes, it does, but unless we take steps number two, or two hundred, or two thousand, we still won't reach our goal.

Passion flower in our Wichita Falls back yard.
Traveling from our home in Wichita Falls, Texas to our daughter's home in Aurora, Colorado, we drive about 700 miles. Excitement moves us along. We can't wait to see her and our son-in-law.
View from Colorado Springs
When we reach Colorado Springs, we know we only have about an hour and a half until we arrive. Our hearts beat faster. We press on. We're nearly there.


What if we stopped in Colorado Springs?

After all, we've traveled most of the way. Very admirable. My back and legs ache from making such a long drive. The biggest sacrifice has been made. Only a short way left to go.

But -
I don't rejoice.
I never see my daughter.
So close, and yet, so far.

We have friends that gave their hearts to God at an early age. They sacrificed and worked tirelessly for Christ for years. Now in their late sixties, they've quit church desiring instead to frequent casinos and bowling halls. Now, I can't judge their hearts, but the Bible tells me I can judge their fruits. I grieve over what I see. So near, and yet so far. I pray they complete their walk with God.


My hubby & daughter walking the dogs in Aurora, Colorado
Most of my adult life revealed a story of weight loss/weight gain over and over until the last few years. Many times I reached the Colorado Springs point in my journey. I felt better. I had more energy. I was nearly at my goal.

But, I would get lazy, or think I knew what to do. My strong self will sent me on the rest of my walk by myself. I faltered. I froze. I failed. I stopped losing. I began to gain. The cycle began again.

A few times, I reached my goal. Yeah! One time, on the day I reached goal, I celebrated at a restaurant with steak, a loaded baked potato, rolls, and a big serving of Baked Alaska. Wow! The next day the scale showed a gain of seven pounds. I mentally pummeled my mind. I was a failure. I couldn't keep off the weight. I regained it all, plus more. I stayed in Colorado Springs and never made it to Aurora.



let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
                                                                    Galatians 6:9  NIV



God taught me to always discover my why when I was tempted to stop.


What made you, in the first place, fall at the foot of the cross?
Why did you want to lose weight and stay slimmer?
Why did you feel led to teach that class, or sing in the choir, or witness to _____?

What is your why  for wanting that goal?
                                
If you're at Colorado Springs (just reached your goal weight or are nearly there)(or maybe began a walk with Christ and are considering turning back), don't give up. Drive all the way to Aurora and stay there with God's help.

Recall your why.