Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Idleness = No snacking, Balance Challenge #6 Results

Did you know that over 300 new junk foods are introduced each year, compared to a mere 10 new healthy foods? Do the math and you can see why America has an obesity epidemic! Which leads me to conclude that Balance Challenge #6 – No Snacking – was definitely a challenge. My biggest obstacle to eating healthy was overcoming bad snacking habits. I replaced my love of sugar with an apple and orange juice! By day five, I was feeling much better and over my case of The Fats, losing two pounds of what I am sure was alcohol and junk-food bloat. I found two helpful tips to avoid Bad Snacking habits and will share them in the event you are out of balance in the eating department. They are simple, as most good solutions are:

1. Identify why you snack
2. Find an alternative

When you know the reason why you snack, it is easier to avoid it. For me I learned boredom and being tired led to snacking; it had nothing to do with my being hungry. When I realized that this is an example of emotional eating, I found ways to overcome it. I made a list of things to do to replace the habit of snacking, like napping, journaling or going to Bible Life Coaching with Sheri Rose Shepherd that I am participating in for six weeks. Simply put, I kept busy. I’m creating three DVD photo projects (a mini-side business of mine) and this helped immensely. Admittedly, it was hard to allow myself to take naps because there is an inner voice in me that says I must always be productive; go, go, go! So, I told that voice to shut up and crawled on the couch as needed for some shut eye. What a difference! When I awoke, the desire to snack was gone, plus I was refreshed and ready to plug on with my day.

The thought of not snacking was not appealing at first, but once I got used to it (mostly sweets), the craving disappeared. When I did get the munchies I made sure I had an alternative quickly at hand, like cut-up veggies in the fridge. Does this mean I can never snack again on junk food? Absolutely not! Moderation is key. Again the Greek Motto “Know thyself and Nothing in Excess” seems to be the simple answer to hopping off the unhealthy bandwagon of overeating and drinking. When I stepped back to see what I really wanted was not food, I allowed myself to feel the unpleasant feelings inside me. Okay, I did not like this part but I saw the anxiety through with a food journal instead of chowing, keeping busy and I found myself praying more when I felt weak. The results? Feeling closer and more dependent on God, physically back in balance and I can breathe in my jeans. Success!

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Monday, February 21, 2011

No Snacking!

Our family snow trip to Ponderosa in the Sierra Mountians was a blast. Thankfully, no chains were needed (snow driving stresses me out) and the highlight was creating a sledding luge track in the yard that was covered in several feet of fresh beautiful snow. It was an all-day job that was a shovel-full-of-fun every minute. You would think with all the hard work of running up that big hill and sledding down I would have shed a few pounds. But noooo! Being on vacation with my I can eat whatever I want attitude, I came home with a bad case of The Fats. I suspect pie for breakfast and afternoon cocktails are to blame for the bloat. So without further adieu, please welcome Balance Challenge #6 ~ No Snacking!

My challenge this week is to eat three square sensible meals. I know … booooring! No chips, nuts, cookies, candy, excessive drinking or munching. I know that cleansing junk food from my out-of-balance body will feel good. I desire to be healthy and to breathe in my jeans. This is a difficult challenge for me, but one I must push myself to do. When I'm in the mood to chomp, I will keep a food journal to find out what I'm really hungry for. I’m curious to find out because it can’t possibly be another handful of Jelly Bellies or licorice. If I am truly hungry, I will grab fruits or vegetables. This is how I used to eat, but I  admit that I've fallen into bad habits that deserve attention.
 Care to join me? Step away from the Doritos, processed foods and mindless snacking in between meals. We can do this and the results will (hopefully) look and feel wonderful.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What does a healthy family look like?

Do you know the characteristics of a healthy family? Cleaning out a pile of papers in our office I found notes I saved from years back. They are pointers from the book The Power of a Parent’s Words by H. Norman Wright. I have not read through this list in a long, long time. I paused when I found it and lately I’ve been thinking about our family characteristics, you know, examining what we are doing right and where we can improve. I'm scrutinizing the balance of our family dynamics. Is your family in or out of balance? Check.

Characteristics of a Healthy Family
The climate of the home is positive. The atmosphere is basically nonjudgmental.

Each member of the family is valued and accepted for who he or she is. There is regard for individual characteristics.

Each person is allowed to operate within his or her proper role. A child is allowed to be a child and adult is an adult.

Members of the family care for one another, and they verbalize their caring and affirmation.

The communication process is healthy, open and direct. There are no double messages.

Children are raised in such a way that they can mature and become individuals in their own right. They separate from Mom and Dad in a healthy manner.

The family enjoys being together. They do not get together out of a sense of obligation.

Family members can laugh together, and they enjoy life together.

Family members can share their hopes, dreams, fears and concerns with one another and still be accepted.

A healthy level of intimacy exists within the home. Can I add my own pointer here? Healthy families pray together; dinner, bedtime or whenever. This builds family itimacy, allows members to share what's in their hearts, and displays a dependence and need for God.

This weekend my family will be laughing and enjoying life together (a healthy characteristic) as we take a trip to a mountain cabin for some sledding, rest and relaxation. It will be a perfect time to sit back and examine what we’ve done right and think of ways to improve where we’ve fallen short. It is never too late … there’s always room to grow and work on creating a healthier family!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet words make a difference

After six days of appreciative words I am convinced that Balance Challenge #5 ~ Appreciate Your Mate was a success. Telling my husband what I noticed created an unexpected reaction. I told him that I appreciated his call to say he was running late, that I was thankful for the coffee he makes every morning and that I was pleased he signed up for Winter Snow Camp with the kids; a job that I usually do. Before I knew it, he was asking me how my day was and folding the laundry pile on the couch! And, this morning he delivered coffee in bed! There is something all good about lifting up and encouraging one another. It spreads positive vibes into a relationship that creates a chain of warm fuzzies. We know what that leads to … a well-balanced love life (hubba, hubba!).

Could it be that it went so well because love was in the air due to Valentine’s Day? Maybe. There is only one way to find out. I’ll have to appreciate my mate every day (this takes effort) with the hopes that the ripples of positive results continue.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Appreciate Your Mate ~ Balance Challenge #5

Love is bringing out the best in each other
Did you know that, according to marriage expert Mort Fertel, the number one complaint amongst husbands is that they feel unappreciated or taken for granted? I believe it. Husbands and wives can both feel this way. Because of this truth, I have come up with Balance Challenge #5 ~ Appreciate Your Mate. I bought a cheap notebook and will write down what I appreciate about my mate each day. I am going to ask myself, “What did he do today that was good? What quality did I notice about him?” Then I will write my observations. Each day I will share one of the noted items with him. I won’t let a let a day go by without mentioning something I value in him.

Valentine’s Day is just three days away! I can’t think of a better time to let your mate know what you love and appreciate about them. My guess? If you try this it will enhance your relationship in an amazing way. I mean, really, who doesn’t crave to feel appreciated and valued every day? Grab your pen and paper and start taking notes. I guess you could call them Love Notes.

Results to follow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

AdventCHER, part 2

Seeing Cher in Las Vegas was a long-awaited treat and a perfect ending to balance challenge #4 – Girlfriends Unite! Leaving my daily home life is relaxing, rejuvenating and silly. Man, it feels darn good to escape the normal schedule. Cher put on a great show with lots of costumes and songs from the past thirty years. It did not really matter what she sang or wore, but that she did not cancel at the last minute like she did in May. That stunk!
We had no idea when we bought tickets for Cher’s final performance that it was also Super Bowl weekend. Clouds of smoke and aftershave loomed everywhere as drunken men traveled in packs. Ug! It was very crowded, but that’s Vegas. Either way, I was with a wonderful group of ladies who appreicate getting out and having fun too. Friday night we went to see The Drew Carey “Improvaganza.” This show was a “ten” and, although I enjoyed watching Cher, I loved howling to the comical genius of Drew Carey and the cast of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Other highlights? Eating Brazilian food, playing Black Jack, working out, sleeping in, buying my boys fedoras and candy cigarettes and laughing A LOT!!! The perfect ending to our AdventCher was bottomless Bloody Marys on Sunday morning before hopping on our plane.

The weekend was a memorable one, but my favorite part of leaving home is coming home; back to my nest to the people I love the most. Dorothy and Toto were right, “There’s no place like home.”

Wachoo lookin at Dollface?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dumb as rocks?

The Super Bowl is this weekend and The Steelers and The Packers are going at it. Although professional athletes are gifted in the strong, agile and powerful department, I think they are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Okay, they are dumb as rocks. Not all of them. But, enough to make me suspicious. I don’t know this for fact, but these quotes I found tend to back me up. Sure, they are at the top of their game, but they are out of balance, just like the rest of us. You might agree after your read my top seven favorite sports quotes.

1. Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann:
"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

2. Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach:
"You guys line up alphabetically by height." And, "You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle."

3. Chuck Nevitt , North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice:
 "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt.”

4. New Orleans Saint Running Back George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season:
"I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.."

5. Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison:
"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton ..."

6. Frank Layden , Utah Jazz president, on a former player:
"I asked him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?'
 He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

7. Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins:
 "He treat us like mens. He let us wear earrings."

I rest my case.