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Do you know how much are loved?

Friday, February 19, 2010

I was replying to MOMMABILL 's blog this morning, and got a little long and reflective with my answer, so thought I'd share it as my blog. I don't know if this will help anyone else, but take what you like and leave the rest.

When I began trying to conquer my weight issue, I realized that until I loved myself, and felt that I was valuable to God, my spouse, my family, etc., I was not able to do the things I needed to do to take care of myself. In other words, I didn't think I was worth taking care of.

Once I began to like and then love myself, it became easier to take care of myself and do the things that were necessary to get to a healthy weight. How did I do that? A lot of hard work - but what made the most difference to me was when I asked a lady from church to mentor me spiritually. She helped me to see how much God loves me. My spiritual mentor directed me to scripture passages and other books about God's love.

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” – 1 John 4:16

"We love, because He first loved us." – 1 John 4:19

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last." – John 15:16

My spiritual mentor gave me focus questions to journal about daily – much like the journaling we do on SparkPeople (“Healthy Reflections” daily emails are great journaling starters).

Once I knew and believed that I was loved by God, I was able to love myself. I wanted my body to be the temple of God – and how would I take care of His temple? A whole lot better than I had been taking care of it! And when I finally started loving myself, I was able to love others more deeply as well. The more I loved others, the more I felt loved – and the more I wanted to take care of myself so that I could be present to others.

This didn't happen overnight. Learning to love myself is an ongoing process, but one that I feel is very worthwhile – because I'm worth it! And I deserve it!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INHISIMAGE2008 3/21/2010 5:54PM

    Thanks, Nancy, for reading my blog, commenting, and then pointing me here. You are so right! Thank you for your inspiration. :o) A favorite verse of mine is Isaiah 49:16 "See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..." I LOVE that word picture of how close God holds me to Him. WOW!

Blessings to you on your journey! May we be an encouragement to one another. :o)


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UNORABBY 3/20/2010 9:05PM

    This is so inspiring and so true, it has taken my 46 years to learn to accept I am Karen and God made me and my body is a temple and he placed in my hands to take care and be in good health and mind for the purpose of showing others about life and love and happiness.

I applaud you for bringing this point forward. You go girl!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/20/2010 8:58PM

    Thank you for sharing.

Great blog!!

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DEBMC77 3/8/2010 12:28PM

  Thanks you for the reminder, Nancy! Sometimes our focus becomes so internal that it's easy to forget that the things of this life are fleeting, but our life with Him is eternal, and that's really what matters. This life on earth is about living daily through Him, focus on Him, and do all things in honor of Him...

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SHIRLEYAMES 2/26/2010 6:03PM

    Hi Nancy:

I am not sure exactly how I ended up on your blog, but am sure it was directed by God.
We are sisters in Christ.
I really enjoyed the blog and your sharing your testimony with us.
It is always such a joy to know that God could love us enough to send His son to pay the supreme price, as a sacrifice for us so that we could be accepted in the beloved and live with Him eternally. My praises to God for that.

I love your labradoodles. My husband and I own two shelties, with one being a therapy dog. I really would love to have a labradoodle, but DH does not want a big dog.
Have a wonderful retreat.

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ALLBW2U 2/22/2010 11:52PM

    Hi, Nancy.

I loved your blog! Isn't it so cool that God loved us before we even knew Him....and it is even more amazing to me that He still loves us now that we do know Him...even though we sometimes mess up. Remembering that has caused me to soften my heart when my own kids mess up. After all, we (I) have done worse things than they have and the Lord has forgiven me. Why shouldn't we forgive others in the same way?! Wow...didn't mean to get off track. Just enjoyed your blog. God loves us, so why shouldn't we do as He does! :-)

And....thank you so much for the encouraging words on my post from yesterday. I appreciated it very much.

Now....I hope that you have a great week to go with the awesome retreat that you attended.

Best wishes....Bill

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IUHRYTR 2/19/2010 7:15PM

    It's akin to allowing ourselves to believe we can be successful. -- Lou

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YATMAMA 2/19/2010 6:04PM

    Love is truly what breaks the yoke. Thank you for sharing this!!

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GABY1948 2/19/2010 4:29PM

    Nancy, how true you speak. It took me years and years to learn this. And I am still learning every day. I can honestly look in the mirror now and say I do love me. Because He loves me. I can't tell you how many times during the week when I am feeling bad about myself, I have to say to myself. "I AM the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!" And now matter how bad I feel on the human side, I know you can't get any better than that!

This was a wonderful blog and reminder. You are a wonderful person to care enough about us to remind us!

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JAMGIRL8 2/19/2010 4:27PM

    You are so on target! It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put God first and let Him finally take over.

I hope that you enjoy your weekend retreat!

God bless!
emoticon Here's a little sunshine to melt that snow!

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2010 Handbook - Thoughts on Health and Life

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dear Spark Friends,

Someone sent this list to me in an email. Thought I would share it with all you.


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Have a blessed 2010!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GABY1948 1/7/2010 6:35AM

    These are so GREAT! Thanks for sharing them, Nancy.

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MARY1313 1/6/2010 11:54PM

    Oh I needed to see this! I am going to borrow it if you don't mind!


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TERI99 1/6/2010 8:42PM

    Sounds like you are putting your time off your feet (on ice) to good use. Great goals! I must adopt them myself!

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IUHRYTR 1/6/2010 7:57PM

    All so true. -- Lou

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KAIMANALULU 1/6/2010 6:48PM

  How very important those quotes are! I will surely keep these in mind for this upcoming year! Thanks!

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Keeping a gratitude journal can improve your health

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A couple of days ago, IUHRYTR posted a blog about writing a gratitude journal and asked us to join him in this exercise.

I have been keeping a gratitude journal for 5 years. I started this after I read an article about a study that was done on a group of 1,000 people. At the beginning of the study, the people were given medical (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.) testing as well as psychological testing. The participants were then divided into 3 groups.

Group 1 journaled one thing they were upset about that day.
Group 2 journaled one thing they were envious about that day.
Group 3 journaled one thing they were grateful for that day.

After one year, the participants were given the same medical and psychological tests as at the beginning of the study. The groups that daily journaled something that they were upset or envious about had higher blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and/or higher cholesterol levels -- their physical health had suffered in some way over the year. And their psychological health scored lower than at the beginning of the study as well.

However, the group that journaled something that they were grateful for each day improved their scores on both their medical and psychological tests. Being grateful actually helped the third group improve their physical and emotional health.

What better reason to start a gratitude journal? Repeating IUHRYTR's challenge -- Will you join us on this journey?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOTALLYTARA 1/3/2010 12:26AM

  A gratitude journal seems like a really cool idea. I have never thought of that before. I might just take it up!
I know a group of girls on youtube called the fiveawesomegirls and for one year each girl would have a day to post a video each week and in all of their videos they said why that day was awesome. Their project reminded me of the similarities between a gratitude journal and their videos.

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TERI99 12/29/2009 8:23AM

    How interesting! It would seem obvious that the emotional effects of grateful thinking would be positive. How fascinating that the physical effects follow suit! Not surprising, I suppose.

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GABY1948 12/29/2009 8:22AM

    I also loved Lou's gratitude journal blog and this is even more reason to start. I will begin today. I am always a grateful person to God but in thought and prayer. I will make an effort to actually write it down now. Thanks so much!

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IUHRYTR 12/29/2009 7:03AM

    Thank you for following up on this idea I read about in Woman's World magazine. Thanks, too, for the insight on the studies. Guess it does show that focusing on the positive has medical benefits. I'm grateful for having read this today. Be well. -- Lou

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MUSHCAT 12/29/2009 3:29AM

    I will be happy to begin a Gratitude journal. I will challenge myself to blog everyday and add a gratitude to each day's blog. I will also record my gratitude in a separate word document so that I will have a list of 365 gratitudes for 2010.

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Thanks for the life preserver!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm home recovering from neuroma removal and bunion correction on both feet. I'm supposed to keep my feet elevated above my heart for at least 2 weeks. The first week, I felt too crumby to get around much, and stayed at a friend's house, who brought me healthy meals. Now I'm home, and able to get around a little better -- get my own ice packs each hour, make my own meals. I found myself eating (over eating) out of boredom and self-pity.

I had not been on SparkPeople for over a week while staying at my friend's house, as she did not have wireless internet. So, I was not recording my food. I decided I needed to reconnect and be accountable with my food. So, I'm back -- in more ways than one. I'm back in connection with people who share my goals and encourage me. I'm back to reading others blogs and how they got through various challenges. I'm back to recording my food and being accountable. I'm back to conscious eating. I'm back to basics - 3 meals and a snack daily. I can't exercise like I used to right now, but I can use hand weights for a light upper body workout.

Thank you, SparkPeople, for being my life preserver. You saved me from the slippery slope of emotional eating. You guys are awesome, and I thank God for the gift you are to me -- the best Christmas present ever!

Together we can do what we cannot do alone.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKYCPA 12/28/2009 7:37AM

    Sorry to hear about your surgery but glad that you are healing and feeling better. SparkPeople really is a good life support system and I am sure you will be back on track as soon as you are able. Have a good holiday season.

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GABY1948 12/28/2009 6:06AM

    As I told you before, I had the same surgery over a year ago. I didn't have to have my foot elevated for so long...but I am sure you will agree soon it was so worth it. So glad you had it done and are mending and getting back to normal. I have had so many foot surgeries in the past 2 years (but they are all done now and so worth it) and my dumbbells became my best friends!

Take it easy and it will soon be a past memory! Huggs,

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IUHRYTR 12/28/2009 3:28AM

    Wondered what happened to you. Good to read that you're healing okay. Congrats on your positive attitude. -- Lou

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Reaction to “Diabetes: The Quiet Killer”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I am taking a Healthy Eating class at College of DuPage. My professor is the one who introduced the class to Spark People. Last week in class, we watched a documentary on diabetes and were asked to write a reaction paper to the movie. Following is my paper.

Diabetes Reaction Paper
Physical Education 1154

Just before coming to class, I ate a piece of anniversary cake. Then I saw the movie, “Diabetes: The Quiet Killer” in class – and it scared me. I have a family history of women getting Type II diabetes. My mother passed away from a heart attack 5 years ago tomorrow (November 5). She was a cardiac care nurse, yet due to her Type II diabetes numbing her nerves, she did not realize that the pain in her chest was a heart attack. Rather than going to the emergency room or calling 911, she waited 3 hours to get into her doctor’s office. This movie really hit home for me.

Type II diabetes can be caused by either reduced insulin production by the pancreas or by insulin resistance – the inability for glucose to enter the cells. Diabetes can harm eyes, nerves, kidneys; damage blood vessels leading to heart disease and stroke; can reduce blood flow to parts of the body, especially the feet, causing pain and slow healing. According to the movie, 220 people a day get an amputation due to diabetes. Now that is scary.

Some of the lifestyle changes that minimize or prevent this disease are: Exercise regularly and consistently, eat balanced meals low in fat, eat low-glycemic foods, limit sugary foods, eat smaller meals more frequently, check blood sugar levels if pre-diabetic or diabetic, keep weight under control, and manage stress.

The movie pointed out that there is a strong genetic component to diabetes, with Asians, African Americans and Latinos being most affected. I don’t know if there is a genetic component to Type II diabetes. But since I have a family history of Type II diabetes, I try to do many of the aforementioned preventative lifestyle changes. I have a sweet tooth, though, so it is often best for me to just avoid eating sweets. This time of year is especially challenging with the holidays coming up. The ability to be able to exercise at the college Fitness Center before school 2 or 3 days a week sure makes it easy to implement the regular exercise. I also have 2 big dogs who want nothing more than a long walk in the dog park on weekends. I used to eat a lot of raw fruit and veggies, daily. But since I got braces, the raw foods are harder to chew. I need to be more creative in getting my fruits and veggies in now. This class is reinforcing my need to eat healthier and be persistent with my exercise routine.

I was doing some reading online recently about diabetes, knowing that this paper was coming up. I came across a British Medical Journal study on diabetes prevention. The study followed over 13,000 participants, ages 20 – 90, for over 4 years, who ate the traditional Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes, and fish but relatively low in meat and dairy products. This large prospective study showed that a traditional Mediterranean food pattern is associated with a significant reduction (35%) in the risk of developing Type II diabetes. (1)

Our health care system is really a disease care system. It is easier to get an amputation than to see a podiatrist. There is something seriously wrong with that. Our attitude that we can eat poorly and not exercise and a pill will cure us of whatever ails us is going to bankrupt our healthcare system. I need to take individual responsibility for my health. In my opinion, it costs less to prevent disease than to cure it.

The movie ended with Patti LaBelle saying that there is a cure for diabetes – we are the cure. Diet alone is not enough, it also takes exercise. I’m grateful for this Healthy Eating class that is helping me on my “eating right” journey to preventing the family curse of Type II diabetes.

(1) Martínez-González, M Á, “Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study.” British Medical Journal. 2008. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. November 3, 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 11/10/2009 10:53PM

    Great blog!!

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GABY1948 11/10/2009 8:38PM

    I hope you get an A+ on this paper. It is awesome! I lost a friend a year ago yesterday...who was only 54 from diabetes. Type II runs in my family also but I so agree that people need to change how they eat AND exercise. MOVE those bodies!
Thanks for this post.

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KPMAMA82 11/10/2009 3:09PM

    Excellent paper!
My husband is overweight and at his last physical was diagnosed as Pre-diabetic. Talk about a wake-up call! I've done some research and discovered that most people who are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes have been "pre-diabetic" and never knew it. The American Diabetic Association estimates that there are 57 MILLION people in the US who are pre-diabetic and the majority of them show NO SYMPTOMS. The thing is, a pre-diabetic diagnosis can be reversed if the condition is caught before it crosses over to Type II diabetes. A recent study concluded that by combining diet changes with a regular exercise program, there is a 58% reduction in the progression to Type II diabetes! And we've seen it in my husband. He changed his diet first and didn't see a big change in his blood sugar level. But then he added 30 minutes of daily exercise to his routine and his blood sugar level dropped 25 points! Just 30 minutes of exercise did that! His levels are almost back to normal now, and we're thinking he dodged a bullet!
So, sorry for babbling on, but this hit close to home. I appreciate your posting this on your blog. Perhaps I should post something on mine too!

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MARY1313 11/10/2009 12:45PM

    Thanks for this article. After I quit smoking two years ago right in the middle of menopause, I gained about 40 lbs. I now have type II diabetes. My wieght is all around my middle. I attended a diabetes class at a local hospital and got lots of information that I so desparately needed. I was also given a free meter and shown how to use it. I was given a lot of literature on carbs and a book of foods that have their carb counts listed. I was advised to keep my carbs down to 50 per meal. I also found out that this would just about insure that my calorie intake would be around 1300 to 1400 if I kept the carbs down to about that level.

Two months later I have lost 15 lbs. I feel great and am exercising nearly every day. On the days that I don't exercise during a set time, I go to the mall and walk around fast and window shop. I take my little Poodle on walks. I park as far away as I can from stores. I walk down every isle of the stores I go into, just to gaze around. These extras in my life have been so beneficial and have not cost me a single thing and are actually quite enjoyable. They have added to my self confidence and my self esteem. I feel better in my own skin.

I am on a mission now. I want to get off the diabetic medication I am on (Januvia). I was just recently denied health insurance coverage because of my diabetes. This was a total shock to me.

Thanks for this article. I wanted to put my two cents worth in because I know that there are so many of us on here who are pre diabetic or diabetic and probably undiagnosed. I watched my Mother not take care of herself with her type II diabetes and she was bed ridden for 10 years and lost her eye sight as a result before she passed away two years ago. This is not going to be my legacy. I am going to do something about it.

Won't you join me?


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FERGSGIRL2 11/10/2009 12:21PM

    I cannot thank you enough for this blog. I am African Amer. female with type II Diabetes, and was diagnosed in 2002. I was so angry that I was in denial for several years. I have always carried some weight in my stomach area, and being tall, thought it was okay since "it didn't look bad"--yea right!. I am on 2 medications and so much want off of them!

I finally made up my mind (I had done it in 2002, 2003, etc) to get healthier. This time is not so much about looks, or trying to impress anybody or please my husband; IT'S ABOUT ME THIS TIME. I feel completely different about the situation now. I am 54, and don't really feel it and have been told I certainly don't act it(?)! I have lost 18 lbs so far since 8-25-09 and I am not killing myself to do it.

Your article reminded me diabetes should always be the focus of my weight loss and eventually maintaining a healthy weight. It is a KILLER! It's a killer that I can either turn loose or put death to!
I am semi-retired, and my husband works full time; I am reminded everyday that I have to take care of me; he cannot stop working to come home and do it, and I've got too much living to give in to this disease. Thank you, I mean really, thank you--I am going to be even more pro-active about this disease with my family & friends.
Blessings to you for sharing. I realize my post was long; but I needed to get some things out.
Nancy emoticon

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ALMMOM 11/10/2009 11:47AM

    Wow. Must have been an eye openner!!!!

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