From "Faithfully Fit," by Claire Cloninger & Laura Barr
Order Begets Order
In my own life, order begets order. If I bring one small corner of my world into order (a dresser drawer, for instance, or a jewelry box) some magnetic dynamic is created which seems to draw other parts of my existence into that same field of organization.
Conversely, chaos begets chaos in my life. If I let some small thing slide (my correspondence or my laundry) other areas in my life will tumble after these until many, if not all, of my activities are affected.
My eating, like everything else, is affected by the order or disorder in my life. Healthy eating seems to follow order and organization in my life like an obedient puppy. Unhealthy overeating, on the other hand, trails after other forms of chaos in my life like an untidy and demanding child.
Something as simple as a written plan for the day can spare me needless forays into chaotic behavior. Annie Dillard has said that "a schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days....a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time..." When I spend a small amount of time each evening reviewing my commitments and selecting the priority items to be done the next day, I'm way ahead when morning comes. If I spend thirty minutes to an hour each morning praising God, seeking his will, and giving him the "hard stuff," my days (even the difficult ones) go more smoothly.
Planning is every bit as important in the area of eating. I used to have this saying scribbled on a piece of blue construction paper and tacked to my kitchen bulletin board: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Heading out into a day full of unruly calories waiting to trip you up at every mealtime is foolhardy indeed! The time to make the important decisions about food is BEFORE it is heaped on a plate in front of you.
I know some people who write down every morsel of food they plan to eat the next day. Both Overeaters Anonymous and Overeaters Victorious (two weight-control support groups) recommend doing this. They further suggest sharing the daily food plan with a supportive friend or sponsor. These ideas have proved themselves invaluable to many people.
I tend to do a little better if I operate by GENERAL rather than specific guidelines. My general plan for eating might include such simple points as the following: (1) no sweets or snack foods, (2) no eating between meals, (3) moderate helpings a meals, and (4) no second helpings. With these general limits, I can usually make good, healthy choices without feeling terribly hemmed in. Special occasions like a party or dinner at a restaurant need not throw me for a loop. I may decide to plan a healthy snack before a party to take the edge off my appetite. Or I may suggest a restaurant that prepares food compatible with my eating program.
One of the benefits of planning is the joy we experience as our eating behaviors begin to become more tame and orderly. As this happens, we may be surprised to notice that other areas of our lives are becoming more orderly as well.
Prayer: Father, I thank you that you are a God of order. You long for us to experience the joy of peaceful and orderly living. We submit our lives to you, asking you to bring order out of chaos. Teach us ways of serenity. Be our guide as we learn to plan, and be our source of power as we seek to follow the plans we have made. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Scripture: "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established," Proverbs 16:3, RSV.
Affirmation: The God of order brings order to my life.
Suggestions: The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 16:22 includes the fruit of "self-control," which can also be translated "self-discipline." God wishes to add order to our lives that we may operate in peace and harmony with him and others. Ask him to begin manifesting this quality in your life and surroundings as well as in your eating.
Stop and take an inventory of your progress in exercise. Has your daily workout become a regular part of your schedule? As disciplined exercise becomes second nature to you, it will encourage discipline in your eating as well.
Juice for the Tooth
Certain tart beverages could be a boon to your smile. Compounds in red cranberry juice appear to keep bacteria from sticking to teeth, which could thwart plaque formation and tooth decay, a recent study suggests. Stick to low-sugar or diet varieties to avoid the dental damage that can be caused by consuming too many sugary treats.
RealAge Benefit: Eating a diverse diet that includes 4 servings of fruit per day can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.
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