Challenging Diets & Exercise

All God's children wonder if they are enough - good enough, attractive enough, happy enough.
Does it feel like you never will look like you think you should?

Culture often determines what is an “ideal” weight or size measurement. And sometimes it shifts! In my short lifespan, I have seen well paid models in both plus size, and less than thin. I have known gentlemen who preferred someone to hold, and others who allowed “thin” to turn their heads. There is a group in Africa that likes long necks. Another prefers larger than life lips. I have seen hoops hanging from pierced ears, and hoops installed in ears. To one, a tattoo is tasteful. To his/her Dad, any ink is wrong ink.

SO! With all the variety our God enjoys in life, we should enjoy variety too. I love to watch small songbirds flutter across my yard. It was a privilege to have a huge owl visit my back deck quite often for a year. Our American Bald Eagle is a vulture of sorts, still majestic! Penguins can’t fly well, but look awfully majestic in their own right. Pelicans are not my prettiest birds, but to feed them and the seagulls at saltwater docks will bring a thrill to most children.

Again, all humans have worth and value, just like the birds, the trees, … and even Salmonella is here to protect a Bearded Dragon from predators! Who would’a thunk it?

Weight control is one of the many areas which people seem to have a need. I admit that I’m fairly fit for my age of over 59 1/2, still I like a certain fitness, and feel uncomfortable by falling below my expectations. I got pretty sick one Spring and it has taken three years to get back to my base. In contrast, at one time I was rather heavy for my age. I didn’t like being picked on, and I found sports. The two along with burning all the energy of adolescence and teen life pared the pounds into shape.

If you live close to Greenwood, SC, you might have seen the “Chuck & Chad” show at a “Bulls & Barrels” event. We made fun of, (rodeo jokes), of the infomercials about “tools n toys” that “miraculously” put you into the body of Zeus, or Adonis, or some Greek god or goddess. Our tool/toys, after a long story leading the audience into frenzy, consisted of a pair of post-hole diggers, painted pink, blue & purple, with cheerleader pom poms streaming from the top of each handle. And a wheelbarrel decorated with all the charm expected from rodeo clowns. The diggers were our chest and tummy tighteners. Worked on all parts of upper arms and lower arms too. Proper lifting of dirt from your post hole would develop shoulder and back muscle too. The wheelbarrel was our combo leg exerciser. You know, we never sold a single tool! But the spectator audience would howl.

Let me assure you: the first thing to get into shape is your mind, your attitude toward your ideal, and dreams of achievement goal possibilities. You are a child of a living God. You are of worth and value. God loves you. I love you. And you were made to love you. Today is not only the first day of the rest of your life, it is your breakthrough day. It is the day you convince you that you love you. That you are worthy of affection and attention and presence. This day is the day that the Lord has made, for you to rejoice and be glad in it. Write this day as a celebration day on your calendar.

We can make things we eat and things we do to be as much fun as we choose.
Happy is a choice that we can make.

We do not have to wait until we die for others to have a celebration of our life. WE choose to celebrate this day: In happiness & hope. In connection & love. In growing stronger. In contributing more. In dreaming bigger dreams. In seeing our Self, in positive position of being where we dream of being, when we decide to be, and humbly riding the waves all along with our God, with His Spirit, and with the knowledge that Yeshua, Jesus, Christ of Christmas, is our advocate! WE choose to discover renewal in present and former relationships. WE choose to seek new relationships with others that lead us to our ultimate feelings of worth. WE do this by becoming part of something larger than our Self. WE choose to leave a legacy of “warrior servitude”.

Warrior Servitude is serving others with honor and honorable intention, and with power! As Jim Collins describes, those leaders who take people and families, and companies from “good to great”. They have an aura of serving others, with a ferocious voracity that lets little move them from their vision. And their vision is not grandiose, nor grand standing. It is: “How can I help others to become their best? How can I find the right fit for each of my peers, subordinates, stockholders, customers, so that each finds fulfillment in ways that I can assist? I will find significance and growth by contributing significance and growth to all around me! I will leave my people, my company, my family better “from knowing me” not “by knowing me.”

Helping another is a best way to become more sure of our abilities.
We all need comfort. We all need to give comfort.

Now that our soul is on fire, we can begin revving up our bodies to match the light within us. Now we can get beyond the fads of diet and toys that never last. When we find reason to accomplish, we will find solutions to our challenges! Nothing but you can stop you from being anything other than healthy, vibrant, in shape and in charge of you, and your thoughts, actions, and feelings. ( Thanks to Dr Phil McGraw and his book – “The Ultimate Weight Solution” for thoughts, words and charting activities. I suggest you snatch this book along with our coaching. The book goes right along with “Chuck’s” real life coaching psycho-educational philosophy: We the people should be able to learn what drives us, so we can better drive our Self.)

Dr Phil talks about unlocking 7 Keys to weight loss. And, I’ll give them to you here:

1. Right Thinking. 2. Healing Feelings. 3. No-Fail Environment. 4. Mastery Over Food & Impulse Eating. 5. High-Response Cost, High-Yield Nutrition. 6. Intentional exercise. 7. Your Circle of Support.

You can simply read a book. But does reading a book alone motivate you? You can diet. But does diet entice you? You can exercise. But does exercise defeat you before you really get started? It takes more than willpower. It takes a combination of several life balancing factors to make sustaining the weight levels, the health & fitness levels, the forgiving self, and the triumphant self, become real. On top of you are also those surrounding you. Your loved ones, coworkers, friends and enemies all influence you. Becoming a leader among your “circle of humanity” will greatly enhance every part of your success. And with the right leadership skills, you bring those around you “up” as you progress. Life should never become a bout of getting ahead by pulling others down. Rise above!

One client was worried about giving up her favorite foods. So, we decided that the fav foods should become rewards for achievement of mile markers. This works so well because the guilt feeling is transformed to reward. She should eat her pasta at least once a week, (really spiced and “tomatoed” the way she likes best), when other parts of her program are on or ahead of schedule. It was not occasional splurging nor occasional denial that became the body you have. It was achieved over a time. And it was achieved to serve some purpose for you.

A variety of colors in your food intake will better assure you of a balanced nutrition.
Variety is beauty. Color is beauty. Both in our foods and in our humanity.

So, a good next step is to find how your “too thin” / “too large” body has served you in the past. This is best done in a counseling session for several reasons. Sometimes the meaning has to be drawn from subconscious. Subconscious is simply where we put those things that are more automatic. Learning to drive was certainly not automatic when you began. But after a few years, we drive and don’t concentrate on staying in the lane. It just happens… because your subconscious is maneuvering thousands of things automatically. Driving becomes habitual. And so does the reason for your caloric intake, your like /dislike for certain exercise, and your emotional yearning for however you choose to live.

Sometimes, there may be a traumatic event, maybe fairly early in childhood, where your mind is still trying to protect you. Or not! Maybe there is a feeling of defeat that you are enacting and wondering why you sometimes self-sabotage. To start a new program that will continually and consistently work with you, try this: You can list at least 10 advantages of living with a body that is overly thin. And then list 10 advantages of living with a body that is overly large. Seriously seeing the advantages of each might help you to balance. Now discover at least 10 reasons to carry a body that is average in health. And last, but certainly not least, list 15 to 20 reasons for having a body full of health.

It is not unusual that it takes some time for these lists. And listing something in one column will often remind you of another advantage in another column. Have some fun with this exercise.

Now, list 10 reasons why exercise is NOT what you want to do. And list at least 10 exercises you would hate to do. Then, list 10 reasons why exercise could be fun. And 10 silly or not so silly exercises you would like to learn to do well. Remember that with any exercise program, it is best to start with light workouts and plenty of repetition. Do not overdo! It is a lot of fun to set small goals and allow your self to grow into your fitness program incrementally. It’s like you win all the time. Find something fun or silly to do.

Walking doesn't need to bore you. Share it with those you love; talking, listening, learning!
Bring a friend to make simple exercise more exciting.

What is exercise? Could be dancing with your lover. Could be shopping aisles in malls. Could be getting a new puppy and keeping up with it. Could be walking your golf game instead of a cart. Could be turning up the music, jumping up and waving arms, facing CMT, MTV or VH1. Could be that there are things you already do, that with a little more animation as you do them, might provide a lot more toning of muscle mass.

Ultimately important: Write these lists. All of them! Have them handy to review and adjust as needed. I find that having the most key of my hopes written, and put in places I frequent, will give constant reminders of why I do what I do. I like to use the refrigerator. The mirror where I brush hair & teeth. The visor of my truck. At my work stations. Some people have taped them to the ceiling over their bed. They see the goals as they pray morning and evening. First thing they see at morn & last thing they see as they drift to sleep. And written, they are fun to exchange with your accountability partner(s).

Ok, nutrition time. Get a’hold of the US govt recommendations for healthy nutrition. Here is your link. Nutritional needs vary, depending on your goals and things you like to eat. The big key is balance. Try to eat a variety of colors in food. Try to cook in the oven, on a grill, rather than fry-in-lard meals. Learn to find ways to spice your foods without all the sugary condiments. Experimentation can be lots of fun too. Mineral and vitamin supplements may be a part of your health. And lots of water. Did’ja know your body is composed of a huge percentage of water? Eating stuff with high water content is usually good. You can find a hundred sources on how to eat. The key is to make nutritional intake enjoyable. If spinach tastes bad to you, you just won’t enjoy eating it. Find an alternative.

If you starve yourself, your body compensates by hoarding. If you ingest way more than you need at a time, your body wants to reject health here too. So moderation in quality and quantity is in order. Think “Tone up”. If you have been used to a fatty diet, or one filled with Mountain Dew, coming down slowly will usually work better for most people. Quitting “cold turkey” is doable, but takes much restraint and as you know by now, willpower alone is not enough.

You deserve time to enjoy simple and fun activities. Share them with kids and be a kid again.
Play. Find fun in life. Watersports are less strain on your body and still perform cardio and muscular coordination.

Find some accountability partners. Set goals together. Encourage each other. Group sessions can be great encouragement. Be like Jesus – if someone falls off the wagon, just adjust, forgive your self, and start anew. It will usually happen. Babies fall a lot while they try to learn to walk. That is the reason for all those thick diapers! But even falling off a lot, they still want to get on their feet. And you do too.

If someone is critical about your health, remember that people do not like to be left behind. Some of your circle of friends and relatives may find it hard to see the changing you. Either they need to adjust with you, or feel distanced from the old you. And most people would rather keep you where you are so they don’t have to make any “undo” effort. Depending on your personality, having 1 or 2 people to criticize or try to discourage you, might spur you toward your goals. Or, you might need to distance yourself from all negative reaction.

Or, if they are all about your getting more health conscious, just that they do it in wrong ways that rub you raw: Thank them for loving you and their concern. Probably, they want you around longer. I can help you with humorous and caring ways that will turn these people into helpful allies for your program. Even if they come across as critical, we can teach them to soften start-up comments. This coaching will help them in all of their life cycles and stages.

There is a lot more to sustained success. But having a mindset of loving yourself and others, putting in place a reward system for small gains, realizing that any worthwhile goal comes with “braggin rights” when achieved, having fun and embedding humor in your life makes achievement easier, and ignites more energy.

If you need more suggestions, or a program customized for your lifestyle, Give a holler. Sharing in your victories is why coaches and clients become friends!

God Bless You, ChuckyT

Leave a Reply