Saturday, September 25, 2010

How the Lord is changing me

When my doctor informed me that a five foot tall woman should not be almost two hundred pounds…I was convinced that something had to change. How we hate that word CHANGE though. I remember distinctly praying and asking God for a miracle to help me lose weight. Always be careful what you ask for. The Almighty God answered me in ways I had not imagined.

I began to detest the taste of sugar in my coffee. Then, I began to not like soda, lemonade, and sweet tea as much as I used to. Soda made me belch when I tried it. You can imagine how I felt when out in public. So, I began to drink water. Sometimes I’d put lemon or lime slices in. Now, iced water is my favorite drink. Then, I was introduced to green tea. This tasted awful to start with. Yet, in the evening I have always craved a cup of coffee to relax with. Hot cocoa as well. But, the wonderful Savior made it apparent to me that He preferred I drink hot tea, decaf green tea to be exact. The antioxidants in this tea are amazing.

Now, so far I had left behind a little sugar. Yet, I had added something better. Next, I began to fast. I was praying for several things in our finances and health. So, I fasted lunch a few times a week. Soon, I wasn’t that hungry at lunch. I began to drop a few pounds a month. Mind you, I do not recommend skipping meals. In our Christian walk though, we have learned about fasting and praying. Now, I do not fast each lunch. I only do this when I feel the Lord wants me to. ‘My children know my voice’ the word of God says.

When my body had a bad reaction to some medicines I began to have trouble with shaking. I needed a quad cane to walk or hang on to my husband’s hand. I had some depth perception problems to begin with, but this shaking was new. After some blood work, it was discovered that I needed to stop taking generic thyroid medicine and only take the name brand. My thyroid was acting up. My doctor recommended a tread mill to help with balance. Thus started a new phase in my life.

I began to walk slowly hanging on for 15 minutes a day. Now, I walk 40 -60 minutes at least four times a week. I did a little research and learned that exercise helps to not only tone muscles but it’s great for the heart. It also helps to put oxygen to the brain. I’m all for that. So, now I have added exercise, water, green tea.

I learned to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. It is less expensive. My body absorbs vitamin D so I take a supplement as well. I also began taking a daily vitamin with iron as I was a little anemic. Next, I started to take fish oil capsules. This helps with the brain cells. Omega three is so good for you. I’m told it sometimes gives fish breath, but I have not found that with the capsules.

Cooking on a budget is interesting. I have a George Foreman grill. It’s used for every type of fried meat. Plus, I found multi grain breads and English muffins taste best. I switched from margarine to butter. Butter is higher in fat but has the good cholesterols that we need. I swapped orange juice for fresh navel oranges. I slice them each morning to go with breakfast. I also began eating almonds, and sunflower seeds, raisins.

Recently, I have learned the benefits of a small glass of red wine in the evening. It’s good for the heart, helps with memory, it’s an antioxidant, and helps with insomnia. I’m a middle aged person and was surprised to learn of all the good things dark red wine can do in moderation. I understand many religions frown on this, so dark grape juice is also a good thing to drink. Also, I want to tell you that a small glass is all the experts say is needed. I’m not trying to get into the wine business or tempt someone who has difficulty with alcohol. But, watch the labels for additives if you buy any juice.

Breakfast was a challenge. We were used to bacon, home fries, eggs etc. No more bacon each a.m. In fact, we eat oatmeal more often. Multi grain toast with eggs. I have made the eggs more exciting with jalapenos, peppers, onions and sometimes throw on a few tablespoons of shredded cheese.

We took out a lot of the heavy sauces and gravies and made soups more abundant. Each day the Lord is adding new ideas. I don’t deprive myself of anything. But, I have learned to add more fruits and vegetables and make smaller portions.

Like I said earlier…I am not skinny. But, the quality of life has certainly improved. The skin looks healthier; 30 pounds have come off as well. Each week the Lord provides new knowledge to help make my body a better temple. When I think of the mind set of not being able to eat my old favorite foods I smile. The change in lifestyle far outshines the old habits. The challenge of learning new ways to cook has turned out to be exciting.

Now to be sure, I do not know everything. I am merely sharing what I feel the Lord has given to me.

This reminds me so much of how we think about becoming surrendered to God.

When people are first introduced to the Christian life, the first thing they think of is what they will have to lose. Yet, the Lord wants to add to our life goodness, holiness, hope and joy. What we lay aside is nothing compared to what we add through Jesus. What we think is making us happy pales when we see the fresh new life Jesus has in store.

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