Monday, January 16, 2012

Resolve to be Healthy!

A Guest Post by Richele at Under The Golden Apple Tree

It is that time of year again.  The time when resolutions are made in regards to health and well being.  Most of these resolutions center on weight loss.  Any diet started in 2011 was abandoned by the beginning of the holiday season.  It takes will power of steel to last through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, without breaking your diet.  The season is filled with temptations and we are willingly low on willpower.  Instead of our diets waiting until Monday they now are on hold until the New Year.  Well, the New Year is here and before it becomes the old year you will need to be purposeful with change to see results.  In a world where resolutions are meant to be broken how do we stay true to our resolutions about health in 2012?  
Resolve to Determine Your Goals
When I first embarked on losing weight my husband told me that losing weight for a dress was not a real goal.  He told me if that was my goal it would surely fail.  I thought he was wrong and I set out to prove it.  I proved I was wrong.  Your goal should be concrete but not for a trivial purpose.  A dress is not enough to make a life change.  Even if you succeed and fit into your dress again, you need a bigger goal to maintain your success.  For instance, my goal is not to need cholesterol medication since high cholesterol runs in my family. My husband suggests picking a sport or an activity where you can rest your goals and weight loss will become the by product not the object.  
Resolve to be Purposeful to Your Health
Your primary concern should be your overall health.  Make your health your focus not your waistline.  Look at your family history and see which diseases or ailments you need to guard against.  Your health is important to your family.  Your children need a healthy active mom with enough energy to keep moving.  Your husband needs a healthy wife who he can rely on.  Your health is connected to those who love you and the best gift you can give them is the best you that you can give.  
Resolve to Reward Yourself
If you have decided to lose weight then you are embarking on a difficult journey.  Weight loss is not easy task.  It takes a change of mindset, willpower, and work.  Instead of concentrating on the big picture make your goal to get through the week.  Long term goals are best supported by short term goals and rewards.  If you make it through one week of eating properly and working out then reward yourself.  Reward yourself with a new pair of earrings, new jeans, or time to yourself for a hot relaxing bath.  Do not reward yourself with food.  
Resolve to Make a Healthy Choice (and then make another one)
Every day make a healthy choice.  Decide to walk after dinner, drink water instead of juice or diet soda, eat an extra serving of veggies and leave the starch off your plate, or say no to a cookie.  Each healthy choice will encourage you to make another one.  Be mindful of making those choices and challenge yourself to see how many you can make in one day.  
Resolve to Not Make a Resolution  
Begin again.  Renew.  Do not resolve.  A resolution sadly implies failing.  Most resolutions are made in haste or without planning or real thought.  This year put your health and your family’s health first because you love them not because you want to fit into a little black dress or you made a resolution in haste.  Your children look to you for strength and example.  Let them see a woman who lives by conviction and relies on prayer and wise counsel to make the best decisions for her and her family.  
©2011 Richele McFarlin
Richele is a homeschooling mom to four beautiful children and wife to the best man this side of Heaven. You can find her blogging Under the Golden Apple Tree where you can read about days filled with laundry, laughs and love.  



At January 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM , Blogger Joyce said...

I agree losing weight to fit into a dress is a set up for failure. So many people misuse the word diet, a diet is the way you eat on a regular basis not something you do for a time and than stop. It took me a year to establish a new diet for my self and I am happy to say with God's help I have been able to maintain for over 20 years. I think another area were people set them selves up to fail is by trying to substitute one food for another which leads to eating more. If I crave something I eat, but just enough to stifle the craving. One rule in our house is we do not sit down with a whole bag of chips or cookies. While these are not in abundance in our home when they are this is the rule. Cookies are limited to 3 and chips require a small bowl, even though they have tried to use the big bowls. I also agree when starting out baby steps are the best. One should also find some type of physical activity they enjoy to burn those calories. While not everyone tones I feel it is an important part of staying healthy especially for woman. Lite weights are recommend to help build bone density and aid in preventing osteoporosis. Sorry did not mean to ramble I just have a lot to share on this issue. There is so much woman can get out of working out and establishing a healthy diet.

At January 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM , Blogger Caroline @ The Modest Mom said...


Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You have some good advice.

At January 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM , Blogger Annie said...

so true, Joyce. I did well last year and fell a little off the wagon towards the end of the last year. I intentionally lost it all due to my PCOS Syndrom, but gave up slightly when I learned kids would still be an issue for me to conceive with this disease, but I let it deter me from my constant always goal. This is such a great article and I'm back on to watching everything that enters my system as of last week. It is always a struggle for a "food addict" that I am, but like everything else in moderation. LOVE this motivational article. Thank you both!

At January 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM , Anonymous Sonita @CowsDontMoo said...

"My husband suggests picking a sport or an activity where you can rest your goals and weight loss will become the by product not the object. "

Your husband is a wise man Richele! Great tips!

At January 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM , Blogger Richele said...

Thanks, Sonita...he is wise...I cannot tell you how many times I use his advice to jump start a post. Oh and I won't tell him! :)

At January 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM , Blogger Richele said...

Joyce and Annie,

Thank you both for your comments. Joyce you have a great advice. :) Thank you for taking the time to share.

At January 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous Mandy said...

This is what I needed. I've been working on losing the weight I gained from my kids (3 and 1). I've already lost the weight I gained when I was pregnant with my youngest, but then got sick and its been hard to get back on track. My goal has been to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but I'm going to change it to get healthy. Thanks for posting this.

At January 17, 2012 at 5:21 PM , Anonymous Terri said...

If I may, I would like to share a little of my journey with health. After two children and in the middle of my 30's, I started developing some very serious health issues and had gained 25 lbs that I just could not seem to loose no matter how little I ate. We ate a lot of veggies, limited sugar and junk food, etc - or so I thought. At the age of 38, I was diagnosed with Autonomic Dysfunction. Basically that means that my autonomic system (everything controlled automatically) in my system was shutting down or trying to shut down.

When I asked the doctors what caused this disease, they said they didn't know. When I asked what could be done to fix it, cure it, they said there was no cure, they just were able to treat symptoms. Those two answers were not good enough for me, and so began a very long, slow journey. I began reading all I could about things that I had heard were no good for people to consume. I began removing toxins from our food and from our home. It was a very slow, step-by-step journey that is still not over.

First, I cut out all high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from our diet. I had NO idea how much of it we were consuming until I started reading labels. If you are buying pre-made food items from the store off the shelves and the label does not say certified organic, it probably has HFCS in it. I also cut out all the trans fats. After a few months of doing this, I noticed that my clothes were fitting more loosely. I stepped on the scale one morning and found I had lost 12 pounds without even trying.

SLOWLY, ever so slowly, we started eliminated more and more of the processed, pre-packaged foods. We started a garden (also a very slow process adding a couple of beds a year) and started cutting back on the amount of meat we consumed, which had never been that much. If we had it on a weekly basis, it was usually just once a week. I continued to loose weight and started feeling much better.

Then, a year ago, I found out I had a food intolerance to eggs. At that point, I obviously cut eggs from our diet and continued adding more and more whole foods into our diet. I began reading on and experimenting with seeds and nuts as binding and thickening agents. Then, after more research and reading, I decided to move our family to pretty much a vegan status. Pretty much vegan meaning: we do still use butter, and I don't get too worked up over things when we go out to eat.

So, this has been almost a eight year process. Eight years later, my significant health issues, which were more than I want to list here, are all but gone. I have lost all of the 25 pounds and then some; I have to eat more than I did before so that I don't continue to loose weight. I have much more energy now than I did in my twenties and thirties. I have learned to cook from scratch using things I never knew existed. When I look back, I have to laugh at what we use to eat. I thought it was so healthy. It wasn't. It was actually loaded with HFCS, trans fats, preservatives, food colorings, and was devoid of nutrients.

I share this so as to encourage anyone who is thinking about learning more about food and nutrition. We are what we eat! I am living proof of this. But may I please encourage anyone who chooses to make changes: do it slowly! Ever so slowly. It is like learning: little by little, step by step, precept upon precept. If these changes are all attempted over a very short period of time, it would be too overwhelming and discouraging. Take one thing and focus on that, such as researching HFCS for yourself and then reading food labels and removing the HFCS from your diet.

May our God bless us as we better learn how to take care of the resource He has given us: our bodies, His living temples. May He give us wisdom, understanding, balance, and perseverance.


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