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Where the Real Joy Is

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I must admit that I enjoy loosing weight. But past experience tells me that if I focus on that I will most likely fail in the long-run and my mood will fluctuate wildly in the short-run depending on what the scale says each day. Not a physically or emotionally healthy way of living.

I'm a slow learner, but after 17 years of struggling with weight related issues I've finally come to see that the real joy is in the act of building a healthy lifestyle. It is its own reward because it gets back to the core of life: loving the Lord God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength (Mark 12:28-34).

Here's how I come to this thought: God Almighty created me--I did not create myself. He graciously gave me food and drink to sustain this body so that it could operate to its full capacity for the glory of His name and the good of others and the joy of my soul. Even if my body has physical limitations due to natural causes or disease, it still has a max capacity of its own that can be reached. To steward this body well, then, is to honor my Creator and display my love for Him with more than just words. It is to prepare myself to serve others well over time. It is to know the joy of obedience and humility and service. (Not to mention the joy of experiencing the great variety of tastes and textures that God has provided for us!)

In light of these things, focusing on the weight itself just seems so superficial and unhelpful to me now. I don't know why it's taken me so long to see this. Be that as it may, I'm clear now that weight loss in and of itself is not the joy I seek: glad and grateful obedience to God through Jesus Christ is. And when I do shed a pound here or there, I will give thanks to God for this external symbol of a deep and lasting internal change.

  


Actually Lost 10 lbs in April

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In late March I signed on for the "Lose 10 lbs in April Challenge" but soon I began to doubt that I could do it, and furthermore I began to question the wisdom of trying. I have learned from Spark People that attempting too much too soon will most likely land you among the 95% of dieters who fail in the long run, and I didn't want to be among them--again.

So, I decided to keep my name in the game but not to focus on weight loss. Instead I would focus on doing the right things and letting my weight land wherever it lands. The "right things" are (1) eating a proper balance of foods each day, (2) staying within my cal limits each day, (3) exercising at least 30 minutes 5-6 days per week, (4) engaging with a positive group of people like Spark People each day, and (5) learning to take my joy from living a healthy lifestyle and not from superficial things like current weight, clothing size, etc.

For the most part, I have succeeded in keeping my eyes on these key things and to my great surprise I also lost 10 lbs in April. Wow! Honestly, I don't think my overall joy would be so high if I had obsessed with the weight itself. It does feel good to be lighter (especially when I'm riding my bike up hills) but it feels even better to be enjoying a new way of thinking and living. With each pound lost it is tempting to shift my thinking toward superficial things, but with the Lord's help I'm going to keep striving to focus on the right things because i think that this is where the real joy is in the long run.

I'll say more about that tomorrow--bye for now and praise be to God!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAGPOINTE 4/28/2009 9:21AM

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Glad to be Part of SP

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mondays are my one day off per week which obviously allows me a lot more leisure, so I spent quite a bit of time on SP today mostly replying to posts on the message boards that I would normally pass over in the interest of time. And I must say that after 1 1/2 hours on the site, I'm so glad to be part of SP. The atmosphere here is just what I've needed for a long time and I think it will help me to stay on track for life. Of course, one only gets out what one puts in but being around so many who are on a similar journey does encourage me to put a lot in every day.

So, thanks SP and thanks to all you Sparkies!

  


Nice to Enjoy a Meal Out Once in a While

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Now that I've been focusing on healthy eating for a little over a month, it's nice to eat out knowing (1) that I have a much better idea of the calories I'm taking in and can at least "ball-part" them and (2) that even though I ate more than normal for one meal I can "afford it" because I'm being so careful the rest of the time. I would not want to see eating out as a semi-regular "binge" because I don't think that mindset lends itself to changing one's habits over time. But at the same time it is nice to be able to go out and just enjoy eating whatever I choose without guilt or unwarranted concern that I'll fall off the wagon.

  


Values are Better Caught than Taught

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I started Spark People a little over a month ago and so far I've lost 11 lbs. This, however, is just a symptom of healthy eating and more regular exercise which are the things on which I'm focusing rather than weight loss. Within a few days of beginning, my actions inspired my lovely wife to join me on this journey and, as one article on the site demonstrates, it's so much easier to move toward health when your spouse is with you. I would be striving for health one way or the other, but Kim's partnership sure makes it easier.

Early on we decided that we'd first get our own lives in order and then begin teaching our teenager the things we were learning. We only have a few years left before she graduates and moves out into the world so our time is short, but it seemed a bit hypocritical to us to require her to do things that we were only beginning to do.

But to our surprise, she's already begun to pick up the idea and in fact announced to us last Sunday that she's lost four pounds! Even several people at church asked her if she had lost weight. It's not the weight loss that pleases me, it's the fact that without even being taught she's already begun to steward her body well.

I guess the old saying is true: values are better caught than taught.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TREESA57 4/25/2009 7:41AM

    I think this is awesome! You have obviously taught her to follow in your lead in other areas. She is doing this because she has learned from you. Isnt it great how our children love us?

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