Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rise to Greatness

Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am a BIG fan of “The Greatest Generation” (the WWII generation).  They never cease to both amaze and provoke me.  Today was no different.

My husband and I chose to be members of a Sunday school class known as the Crusaders.  It is a class filled with members between 70 and 95 years of age.  Considering we are only in our mid thirties, this choice raised a few eyebrows.  We chose this class because we believe that there is no one more able to teach and instruct us in both our spiritual and practical life.  Today we had a little lunch social after Sunday school was over.  I had made a special request that everyone bring photos of their “younger” days.  (One of my favorite things to do is look through my own Grandmother’s photo albums).   Pictures of another day and time fascinate me for many reasons but most of all I enjoy the story that goes with each picture.  As we all began to look at the pictures the stories began to come out.  That is the point that I was once again provoked by this generation of people.  Many of them had pictures of themselves and their children dressed in “Sunday Best”.  Several had at least three or four children pictured.  Several not only had pictures of their family at church, but at our very same church!  One of the couples had even been married in our old sanctuary.  So I am sitting in a room filled with a generation of values and steadfast devotion.  I stopped to think about my generation.  Are we dedicated to raising our children in God’s house?  Will any of my generation still be planted in a local church body 50 years from now to proclaim faithfulness to younger generations?   I am afraid of what the answer may be if we continue down the same path we are currently on.  Everything else seems to take the place of importance.  Ball games, vacations, meetings, PTA.  Somehow we make time for all of the other things and fail to make time for what is most important; worshiping together as a family and being a part of a committed body of believers.  If we can’t make that commitment to lead our children in the example that God comes first and everything else falls after, then what do we think will happen to our youngest generation?  Will they magically go off to college with a strong will and commitment to follow the ways of the Lord?  If we have not led by example then what can we expect from those who are watching us?  Sometimes being in relationship is hard.  Sometimes we may not agree with our Pastor or other church leaders.  But in the beginning God had called all things good except one thing. . . for man to be alone.  Think about that!  Adam walked with God and yet God said it was not good for Adam to be alone.  We are meant to journey with others.  I have been guilty of being a loner, of being angry with imperfect churches and wanting to walk with God alone.  But God says that is not good.  Today the memories the Greatest Generation brought to our class reminded me of that.  If our children and our children’s children have any hope for the future then our generation must resolve to walk in the very same greatness.  How can we live WHOLLY-HOLY lives if we try and live them alone?


Psalm 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weight Loss and the Calorie Equation!

So here we are in the New Year and many people are “gung-ho” to start a weight loss program.  This blog is going to help you do just that, in a healthy and responsible way. 

The main problem I see with motivated people who want to shed extra pounds is that they go too extreme and it ends in self defeat.  Usually the problem begins with the calorie equation.  If you are at least twenty pounds overweight then chances are that you are currently eating between 500 to 1,000 more calories a day than your body needs to maintain an IDEAL body weight.  In women this could mean you are eating 2,500 calories per day and for men about 3,000 cal per day.  So the New Year hits and so does motivation and you decided to go on a calorie restricted diet.  Often times women try to eat under 1,200 calories a day and men try to shoot for 1,500 or less.  BIG MISTAKE!  For one, that is an extreme drop in the daily food intake you are use to.  Even with the best will power, after a week or two your body will rebel and you will go right back to wear you were before.  (Do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars).  So you attempted something that is not manageable and now just two weeks into January it’s all over. . .EXCEPT it isn’t over.  What you have done is a “crash” diet.   You may be done with the diet, but your body isn’t!  Extreme calorie restriction throws your body into what is called “fight or flight” mode.  It begins to hoard fat (as it fears famine) and starts to break down muscle tissue to create glycogen to feed itself.  SO….your body has now stopped burning calories at a normal pace which slows your metabolism by up to 40%!!!!!  Not only that, it is now “eating” lean muscle tissue.  Muscle is used to burn calories; the more you have the more calories you burn each day.  That makes for a higher metabolism.  BUT if you body is breaking down muscle to feed itself, you are lowering your metabolism.  If that wasn’t bad enough I want you to think about this.  Your heart is a muscle and your body with use the heart for fuel just like it will any other muscle group!  Many people who suffer from eating disorders die of a heart attack.  Why?  Because the extreme calorie restriction caused their body to “eat” its own heart (and other organs as well).

Okay now that I have you good and scared and ready to go eat a big bowl of Ben and Jerry’s let’s talk about HEALTHY weight loss.  How do you find the perfect calorie equation?  If you are a victim of crash diets (under 1,200 for women or 1,500 for men) then start by adding back in 150 calories per day.  Do this for a week and then add in another 150 (depending on how low you went to begin with).  This will keep your body from going into shock and hoarding calories. 

Next.  If you are a woman I want you to commit to 1,800 calories per day.  Do this for TWO WEEKS.  (Be sure to include at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times per week).  If the two weeks ends and you have lost more than 4 pounds then try adding another 100 calories per day.  (Weight loss at a faster pace may be tempting in the beginning but will result in a crash in the end).  Now you are at 1,900.  In two weeks if you are losing 1-2 lbs a week then you have found your magic number.  IF after the first two weeks you have gained a pound or two then instead of adding calories you need to move down to about 1,500 cal per day.  Again, do this for two weeks and then check your weight (as stated above).  If you are a man then you will do the same thing, but you will start at 2,000 calories per day and check the results in two weeks.

Everyone’s body is different and this is one of the best ways to figure out what is best for you.  The goal is to be able to eat as many calories as possible while still losing weight.  Don’t be afraid of gaining one or two pounds that first two weeks.  It will be worth it to find the right balance that get’s you to a healthy weight and keep it off.  Be sure you keep an online food journal the entire time.  Don’t “guess” how much you are eating.  For this to work it must be scientific.  Good Luck!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feet to your Faith

Every New Year I hear people making proclamations.  Things like: This year is going to be different. . .  I am going to get out of debt. . .I am going to lose weight. . .I am claiming all of my promises in Jesus name!  Now before you get mad, hear me out.  I think all of these proclamations and resolutions are great.  BUT, they are nothing if you don’t put feet to your faith.  Here is what I mean by that.

Each year I get new clients.  I get “hearers” and I  get “doers”. 

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

The “hearers” are the ones who look at the treadmill, weights, fruits and veggies and believe with everything in them that if they exercise and eat right they will lose weight. . .but the “hearers” never put feet to the belief and thus they never obtain results.  You can stand and look at a treadmill all day long and “proclaim” that it can help you lose weight, but unless you GET ON, your faith in the treadmill is useless!

Carry that to your spiritual walk.

James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Example:  You can claim all day long that God is going to get you out of debt this year, but if YOU don’t make active steps in that claim, your faith is dead and useless.  Applied faith would be repentance for overspending and then finding an accountability partner to hold your feet to the fire when it comes to spending money.  God then grants you the grace and self-control to achieve your goal.

Now my “doer” clients know that just hiring a trainer is not a magic potion for weight loss.  They know that if they don’t give forth the efforts in the gym and control their appetite they won’t see results.  The “doers” come in and apply the principles I give them for their health.  THEN they get results.

Watching the trainer workout and listening to the trainer lecture might make you a “guru” of information about how to get fit, but it doesn’t get you fit. 

In the spiritual world this would be the difference between a “student” and a disciple.  A student gains information from his teacher/Rabbi.  He gains head knowledge. A disciple’s goal is to DO what his Rabbi does. 

Matthew 4: 19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Christian discipleship is ACTION.  Jesus disciples didn’t just listen to Him talk and give mental assent to His teachings.  They got up, left everything, and put feet to their faith.

No matter what your resolution, or proclamation is for the New Year, be sure you act as a disciple and not just a student.  Ask God how you can put feet to what your mouth is proclaiming.