Saturday, March 10, 2012
My theme of, “Achieving Balance” is to remind me to stay on track and chose to live healthily while honoring the God who gave me this creation to take care of in Romans 12:1. When we run the good race, we don’t do it without a good plan. 1 Cor 9:26a: Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). . . .
THECRAZYMANGO captured me here at Lupis 5K along Lake Superior. Looks like I’m running, but I actually walked just under a 14-minute mile and am just about to clock in at 44 minutes.
Being active within the 5% SparkCommunity is instrumental in developing a life-long lifestyle that will continue to show improvements in the quality of my life: I no longer use a sleep apnea machine at night, my blood pressure is much more stable, and I have improved balance and am more fit. I've been weaned off ibuprofen now for about 4 or 5 years. WooHoo!
Here are my new 5% goals for the Challenge beginning in March 17, 2012:
FAITH: Spend 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word, knit three prayer shawls with each 5% challenge (10 wks), and honor God by making faith an active verb. The cream color shawl I’ve started here should be ready to turn in to the church next week.
FAMILY and FRIENDS: Spend quality time (be present) with family and friends weekly. Listen better. Contribute heartily to the weekly healthy living challenges (daily participation within very good numbers).
I introduced my cousin, ICECAPET, to Pho and she introduce her baby to Baby Pho. How fun is this!
FOOD: Maintain a healthy BMI. Daily: Track, eat six or more freggies, drink 12 or more waters, meet 4-7 recommend levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium.
This last week, I made a delicious African Sweet Potato Stew. It went over so well at my cousin’s place, we made another batch Sunday night:
FITNESS: Track and average 60 or more minutes daily. Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week.
I was thinking this new outfit might work well with the set of three belly dancing fitness DVD’s I have . . . (no?)
FUN: Do something fun at least three times a week.
My camera should be able to capture these quite nicely. On Thursday, I walked the waterfront and enjoyed the farmer’s market and great view:
I'm so ready my next 5% Challenge while being in maintenance mode. I praise God that I have friends across many, many teams! May you all do exceedingly well!
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
As I get ready to set my 5% Spring Challenge Goals for the challenge beginning March 17, I want to honor God as I continue to care for his creation (Rom 12:1) after losing 103 lbs and maintaining healthy BMI primarily in the 22-23 range.
Romans 12:1 -- I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Building God-honoring goals incorporates the following strategies:
1) Believe (Mark 10:27 and Philippians 4:13),
2) Wait (Ps 27:14),
3) Write (Hab 2:2 and Is 30:8),
4) Partner (Ecc 4:9-12),
5) Change (Ephesians 4:22-24, John 8:10-11, Proverbs 23:29-3), and
6) Follow-through (Proverbs 22:13-15)
1 BELIEVE AND BE STRONG.
What an awesome God we have! (Mark 10:27 and Phil 4:13) May your faith be strong. (Heb 11:1)
Mark 10:27 -- Jesus glanced around at them and said, "With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
Philippians 4:13 -- I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
Hebrews 11:1 -- NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
2 LEARN TO WAIT AND LISTEN.
Not all goals will bring instant success. When the scale doesn't move as hoped, I can appreciate that a non-scale victory is waiting to be revealed. Whether the goal is about weight, giving, money, or reward it is important to remain in dialog (prayer) with God, God will sometimes say, "wait!" (Ps 27:14) "be still" (Ps 37:7) "patient!" (Job 6:11) "prosper" and have "hope" (Jer 29:11)
Psalm 27:14 -- Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 37:7 -- Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
Job 6:11 -- What strength have I left, that I should wait and hope? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient?
Jeremiah 29:11 -- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
3 WRITE YOUR GOD-HONORING GOALS.
Post your goals where you see them often.
Habakkuk 2:2 -- And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
Isaiah 30:8 -- Now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be as a witness for the time to come forevermore.
I try to write SMART goals in that they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
4 PARTNER WITH A GOOD FRIEND OR LOVED ONE(S). Here, your SparkFriends can be instrumental in helping you stay focused. Use your Status line to ask for help. Encourage others through your huddles.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 -- (9) Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (11) Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? (12) And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
5 CHANGE IS GUARANTEED. Take your focus off the sin (ie keep your back to the buffet line, a strategy I use regularly).
Ephesians 4:22-24 -- (22) Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; (23) And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (24) And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
John 8:11b -- And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more."
Proverbs 23:29-31 -- (29) Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness and dimness of eyes? (30) Those who tarry long at the wine, those who go to seek and try mixed wine. (31) Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the wineglass, when it goes down smoothly.
6 FOLLOW-THROUGH, FOLLOW-THROUGH, FOLLOW-THROUGH. The following scripture answers three common excuses we may use while reaching our God-honoring goals: 1) I'm too scared to start (Lion in the road), 2) I'm too tired to start (stays in bed), 3) I'm too tired to finish (Oh me!--distressed and weary)
Proverbs 22:13-15 -- (13) The sluggard says, There is a lion in the way! A lion is in the streets! (14) As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man [move not from his place] upon his bed. (15) The slothful and self-indulgent buries his hand in his bosom; it distresses and wearies him to bring it again to his mouth.
Based on this criteria, as learned initially from a set of sermons by Pastor Mark Pavola, I plan to update my SparkPage in the next day or two with my God-honoring goals for the 5% Challenge.
Feel free to share your advice for building great goals.
Monday, February 27, 2012
A dear friend from my college came to visit last weekend and we broke bread together, enjoyed Fisherman’s Village, and checked out the Greek Festival.
He’s getting married in Sri Lanka later this year over the holidays. While I have not yet made up my mind, all I can think and smile about these days is travel to Sri Lanka. I enjoy some of the most beautifully gifted salwar/churidar-kurta-dupatta suits, regularly sip on the finest Ceylon teas, have developed a whole new (and healthier) style of cooking, and hold some of the best memories with friends from around the world. I’d be crazy not to go to this wedding.
Having done some shopping at the Greek Festival, I’m also thinking I should practice my belly dancing technique with the 3-Disc Bollywood DVD’s that I bought at Sam’s Club.
Here’s my thoughts for a summer goal and winter reward: July 14 will mark my One Year Anniversary of maintaining a 100-lb weight loss. I’m thinking this trip will be my reward for proving that it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while giving praise and glory to my Lord and Savior for giving honor to his creation. I’m thinking that Phase Two of retirement may just have to be more about traveling to places I’ve already established key relationships in. This is my prayer.
Romans 8:39 -- Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Tomorrow, I turn in my first completed prayer shawl (lap robe) while beginning a second shawl for one of my newer church families where I celebrate weekly prayer gatherings and worship.
I hope you're making progress towards your goals. Do you have any daydreams on your mind that you can incorporate into a new goal or reward?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I am now one of Coach Nicole’s biggest fans! I love her passion for healthy living through cardio and strength training. Coach Nicole was named Life Fitness and ACE’s top “Personal Trainer to Watch” and “Fan Favorite.” For the details on this DVD and a $3 coupon for use at Target, and other Spark Fitness DVDs visit:
In December, SparkPeople gave several active bloggers an opportunity to win Coach Nicole’s DVD (released January 1, 2012). I was thrilled to see I won a free copy. In return for receiving this DVD, I was asked to try the workouts and post my review of the DVD on my SparkPeople blog by February 29, 2012.
I should begin by writing that exercise and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate exercise! That said, I also know we are called, in the name of healthy living, to incorporate habits that we may not like. It’s all part of -- what I like to refer to as -- the personal responsibility I have to adequately take care of all that I have stewardship over . . . my body, my circle of influence (family, friends, and neighbors), my possessions, the environment, and the world. We are empowered people, who can truly make a positive difference by the way we model our lives. One of my role models, Joyce Meyer said it well, "Every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing, you are growing and God is smiling!"
I feel better when I incorporate Coach Nicole’s 28 Day Bootcamp DVD into my routine. I am very pleased with this set of workouts for the following reasons:
METABOLISM BOOSTER: We need to change up whatever we are doing so that our bodies do not get set-in-their-ways. Doing something new will be just the strategy to invigorate your metabolism. Without these challenges, our weight can be affected negatively.
VARYING FITNESS LEVELS: Coach Nicole and her team showcase three levels of fitness and show how you can modify each routine to fit your fitness levels. I began with Jewel’s lighter workout in many of the routines and pleasantly found that I was able to advance to some of the higher levels after a week or two. This is progress in the form of a non-scale victory -- WooHoo!
FLEXIBILITY: I better understand the principle behind modifying an exercise to compensate for a personal weaknesses. I feel empowered to modify other fitness routines depending on my environment or ability. In some instances, I choose to remain walking in place to maintain my heart rate until the next challenge comes my way. Nicole’s seated abs exercises shown in the bonus features segment on the DVD, combine well with some of the routines I have learned with my Tai Chi and Woman’s Day workout (from a May 16 DailySpark feature) whether seated at home, office, or traveling.
NO MORE EXCUSES: I’ve already confessed that I’m not crazy about exercise. However, there’s no excuse to ignore healthy habits regardless of what shape we’re in. At some time or other, we all have limitations. If you are regularly in a wheel chair, you probably should not buy this DVD. I would, however, like to challenge you to change up your fitness routine to make sure you regularly work in both cardio and strength training, as approved by your doctor. SparkPeople.com has many supportive SparkTeams so that you can workout at your own fitness level. This is where I find great motivation and encouragement. Research shows that we get quality information and referrals from our fellow SparkPeople.
The Apostle John writes, "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10). By completing my journey to lose one hundred pounds, with seven (plus) months of maintenance, God has blessed me with a tremendously improved quality of life. I love and respect God’s role in my life to never want to go back!
This 28 Day Boot Camp with Coach Nicole DVD is already becoming a regular part of my healthy fitness routine. This will be one strategy to help me remain within a healthy BMI.
What workout(s) do you most enjoy?
Friday, February 10, 2012
Every time I turned around today, I felt truly blessed by my Lord and Creator. I was uniquely blessed by the breath of God and his incredible grace through every relationship, both new and old. It was as if we were in continuous dialog throughout the entire day. “Pray Continually” (1 Thes 5:17)
Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful smiles this day brought through the gift of music as coordinated today by Bob and Sue from my Dad’s church! “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” (Eph 5:19a)
Thank you for the abundant food you provide for our consumption. Here is part of my breakfast, an Easy Bean Salad (based on a recipe inspired by GINGERGOLD) on a 4-oz bed of cut oranges: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1765053 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
Thank you for the sunshine on my face as I enjoy another breath-taking moment at Amnicon Falls. "For thus the Lord has said to me: I will be still and I will look on from My dwelling place, like clear and glowing heat in sunshine, like a fine cloud of mist in the heat of harvest." (Isaiah 18:4)
Thank you for being able to recognize one of NORTHWOODSMOM8’s best friends who happened to be celebrating her mother’s birthday today.
Hudda sits at my Dad’s table for all the weekly sing-a-longs. Thank you for Hudda’s family -- so much love here and a daughter who loves the beautiful rocks that transform into polished gems from Lake Superior!
Thanks for allowing me to sing with my Dad. At 88, he has the voice of an angel! I thought of VISUALLYRICS’ blessed gift of music as we sang. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2)
Thanks for allowing Dad and I to continue to find joy with the ever changing Lake Superior. “By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.” (Job 37:10)
Thank you for the trees that grace our dear land with their elegant beauty. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
While the lens of my camera was packed away, I also thank you, Lord,
. . . for the smiles on so many beautiful peoples’ faces today
. . . for seeing my brother’s classmate as she arrives to visit her mother,
. . . for the ease in conducting business at three financial institutions for my Dad
. . . for a great dinner at the Chinese buffet
. . . and for one happy papa, ready to call it a great day knowing tomorrow is a welcomed day of rest.
. . . for the additional blessing received in sharing PANSYLADY2’s devotional blog with friends and in reading DIDMIS (Irene’s) Daily Devotions for Dieters, MAMMA_LITTLE's Blog on her Daughter’s (incredible) Pay It Forward Experience, and SPARKYCARLEY’s blog on having seen an Angel. God is alive and well right here on our SparkPages.
May you find joy in your heart this day!
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