Posts Tagged ‘losing weight’

The Sin of Gluttony

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

gluttonyGluttony is defined as overeating or indulging yourself in the area of food, not just to survive, but to the point that it’s actually bad for your body. Since the Middle Ages, it has been considered one of the seven deadly sins. (The others are anger, sloth, greed, pride, lust, and envy.)

Having grown up as a missionary kid in a land of poverty, I am shocked when I see Americans demanding all of their food to taste wonderful, or they won’t eat it. They criticize their wives for making normal food because they have grown accustomed to eating at restaurants all the time before they got married. Restaurants have food prepared by professional chefs. Even fast food places have perfected the taste of their foods. But Americans consider this the norm. They will not eat anything that is not up to the standard of chefs. The taste buds of Americans demand satisfaction, and they grumble that they deserve more expensive food, as if God hadn’t already provided their needs.

Or they are too lazy to make their own food, as if frying an egg and putting it on toast won’t fill their stomach and take less than five minutes to prepare.

A lust for food is just as much of a sin as a lust for any other object, and we are told in Scripture not to live to excess. Often we know of needy people in our church who are hard-working, but their children don’t have enough to eat. Meanwhile we stuff down a few more potato chips into our bodies that are becoming blobs.

Yes, when we don’t take care of our bodies, we become sluggish and cannot do as much for the kingdom of God because we feel foggy and blah. If we honestly have excessive food in our homes, we can give it to people right here in our country whose stomachs are hurting because they are hungry.

I’m not saying that it’s sin to feast once in a while, like at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jesus feasted, and God the Father commanded the Israelites to observe sacred feasts. During wedding celebrations, you were expected to feast. What I’m talking about is the habitual overeating that we do in this country, or worse, the habitual over snacking. We cram more and more worthless calories down our throats until we feel sick.

Lots of people are experiencing depression because the chemicals in their bodies need nutrients. We need vegetables and fruits mostly, with some protein. I can’t tell you how much better I feel in the afternoon when I grab some raw broccoli, rinse it off, and stuff it in my mouth instead of junk food. Suddenly my brain fog clears, and I’m more highly productive. I wonder how many people are on Prozac, when all they needed was to eat a salad.

Let’s stop wallowing in food that is bad for us. Let’s stop being greedy when it comes to food. People in other countries stop eating when they’re full. They don’t keep eating and eating and eating after they are full. It wouldn’t even make sense to them.

I remember once my husband and I decided to share a salad at a restaurant, and then we shared a meal. For the first time eating out, our stomachs felt good instead of feeling so tight that they would rupture our pants. I mean, really? Do we have to feel so stuffed that we are hurting before we stop eating?

Ridiculously Difficult to Lose Belly Fat

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

difficult-to-lose-belly-fatSo my sister is getting married, and she chooses bridesmaid dresses meant for an 18-year-old. I’m, of course, in my 40’s, and I had no problem with my self-concept until I had to fit into the stupid thing. I heard it ripping. Oh, yes, I forgot to say that measuring myself to order it online was no happy picnic in the park either. Does anyone have measurements like that? I mean, without plastic surgery. And to think that I finally came to a point in my life where I was comfortable in my skin, and I believed I was attractive to my husband, life has to throw in a monkey wrench like this. Sigh.

Zipping the dress up the side, I heard it ripping. But then I checked, and it wasn’t ripped after all. Good, because shelling out $100 for a dress that I will never wear again shouldn’t happen twice in one week. My best friend told me that I should have ordered “up,” and then have it taken in. Right, like that’s another hundred dollars probably. Because the ideal hourglass figure doesn’t allow for reality, not one bit. Either the dress would look like a deflated balloon up top, or it would have to be skin tight on my belly and behind. I chose the latter.

“I have a big pooch,” I said, and my husband agreed, who (bless his heart) was only telling the truth. I wasn’t hurt by the comment. I looked way uglier in the dress than I did naked. Yes, my pooch looked exaggerated by the dress.

I’ve given birth four times. My body is great. I do Zumba. I’m fine. I don’t particularly want to go on a diet just to make an ugly dress appear less ugly. Yes, I’m going to back up and say the dress is ugly and not me. I’m gorgeous. Yes. I suppose I should lose the pooch, though…

I restricted calories. Then for some reason I wanted foods that were bad for me just because I couldn’t have them. I’m like, wow. I don’t normally like cake. Back when I lived like a normal person, I skipped the cake and didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. Now the cake was sitting there like a commercial, you know, looking way better than real life. And then you eat it and feel yucky. Your stomach actually feels disgusting. If I wasn’t on a diet, my stomach would have felt fine. But somehow my brain is now telling my stomach that it did something wrong. I exercise longer to do penance.

The other thing I did was crunches. So I did like a bazillion crunches. Every day. I made sure my belly was in a constant state of hurting. And then my belly looked WORSE. I asked some women at my Zumba class, “What’s up with that?” They said that if you do lots of crunches, it pushes your belly fat forward, so you look worse. Oh, that’s nice.

The wedding is in less than two weeks. I’ve lost five pounds. I have no idea if my belly is any flatter, but at least I tried, right?

Exercise and Fitness Articles

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012


These exercise and fitness articles reflect personal struggles and ways I have overcome different areas of exercise and fitness as a wife and mother.

General Exercise: These articles will inspire you to get fit and find an exercise that you love. They will also show you how to fit exercise into your day and how to maintain your current fitness level.

Zumba: These articles will give you an overview of Zumba, why it’s so fun, and the benefits of dancing to get fit.

Running: Running was something I tried briefly and decided wasn’t for me. Some people love the adrenaline of running and like it better than any other exercise. If you try it, make sure you have the proper shoes, because I ended up with blisters for being a cheapskate with my running shoes.

Weight Loss: Sadly, losing weight requires some form of sacrifice. I realized that reducing calories makes a bigger difference in weight loss than exercising does. Sometimes you gain weight when you exercise because muscles weigh more than fat. The only way to get rid of fat is to eat less. To not make your suffering go to waste, you might try fasting and prayer as an alternative to reducing calories. At least you’re accomplishing something spiritual by drawing closer to God at the same time!

Sleep and Rest: Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep a night if you want to live a healthy life where you feel fully awake. You also need to build margin into your schedule: time to rest and have fun.

How Exercise and Fitness Affect Marriage: Taking care of your body is the same as taking care of your husband. How you feel physically affects your marriage.

Exercise with Children: How to exercise when you have kids with you all day.

Exercise Videos

Monday, January 24th, 2011

excercise-videosJust because you’re home all day with your kids doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Yes, homeschool moms can exercise, and they don’t need to wait for their husbands to watch the kids.

I’m looking out the window at the snow falling, and I know that the streets are icy. If I were to run around the block, I would slip and fall and end up in an emergency room for a cracked bone or something. So how do you exercise when the sun isn’t shining and you have no gym membership? The best answer is to get some exercise videos.

Groan. Yeah, I hear you. Look, even if you are dirt poor and don’t have any money, go to Goodwill, to the video section. There are bazillions of exercise videos to choose from, and they are usually only 99 cents. So you have no excuse. Choose several, because you’ll notice that some are more irritating than others. Like the curly-headed guy from the 80’s, you know which one, that has you “Sweating to the Oldies.” I thought I would like it because I liked the music. But I was so irritated by him that I didn’t even get through the video once. His mannerisms were effeminate.

I was given a box of videos by a friend, and I thought I would try all the exercise videos to see which one I liked. I didn’t like any of them! The yoga didn’t even raise my heart rate, and the positions were impossible. (I’m not flexible whatsoever.) Boxing isn’t my style, either. Maybe I’m just not coordinated.

I forgot about an exercise video I had tucked away in a drawer. This was a video I had gotten at Goodwill years ago, when I had a new baby and wanted to lose the baby fat. The video came highly recommended by three women from my church. It’s “Cindy Crawford: Shape Your Body Workout.” (The copyright is 1992, so you should be able to find that one used.) I haven’t done this one in years, but I remember it being good enough to keep. Maybe I’ll do that one when I can’t handle Jillian’s, which is the one I’m doing now.

Yes, I broke down and actually bought a brand, spankin’ new exercise video. It cost $10 at Walmart. It’s called “No More Trouble Zones” by Jillian Michaels from “The Biggest Loser.” The DVD says, “Eliminate Love Handles, Muffin Tops, and Wobbly Arms for Good!” Okay.

I don’t know why I love this video. It’s impossibly hard. I can’t really do it. But I tell myself, “I’m going to just pretend I’m doing it. I’ll modify it.” If anybody were watching me, they would tell you I was a wimp and I wasn’t really doing it. But they would be wrong. My muscles were burning during the one-hour workout, and the next day my whole body was hurting. (The box says the workout is 40 minutes, but that’s false. I’m telling you straight up; expect it to be an hour.) I shoo my kids down the stairs. If you’re more mature than I am, you can have your kids exercising with you. It’s way too embarrassing for me, and I have to be alone or I can’t concentrate. (Besides, my older two sons are 10 and 9, and Jillian and the other two girls are dressed too skimpy. To me, it’s just a motivation, because I want to look that good, so I’m not offended by their skimpy clothes, as long as I’m the only one in the room.)

Doing the exercise video during the month of December (a total of three times) was a comedy show. I kept banging into the Christmas tree by accident. Once I knocked an ornament clean off the tree, and it went flying through the air, crashing against the fireplace. I’m not making this up. This workout was dangerous, I thought. Multiple times I collapsed to the floor while doing the floor exercises. I’ve never been able to do push-ups, not even from my knees. I’m a wimp, I tell you.

The two women who are standing behind Jillian have smiles plastered on their faces, like they are actually enjoying the exercise. I envisioned enormous people trying to do the same exercises behind those women. I saw them losing their balance, falling, or looking with incredulity, “You want me to do what?!” I smiled to myself as I envisioned this funny workout.

The workout includes 3-pound hand weights, which I got at… drum roll please… Goodwill. My hands were so sweaty that I almost threw the weight straight through the television set. I gripped them harder.

But for some reason I like Jillian, so her workouts are okay, as long as I can clock in the time. She says, “Don’t quit on me now. Think of all the reasons you’re doing this.” And at the end, she says, “This workout is no joke. Don’t undo all the work you’ve done here by not eating right. I make big promises, and I deliver on those promises if you put in the work.” I love her. I don’t care if her workout is impossible. Maybe next month I’ll be able to do more. But after a month with Jillian, my husband has noticed that my belly is flatter. He just up and told me so. I’ve purposely eaten less food. I drink a lot more water. And I don’t snack in the evenings as much. I’ve lost 6 pounds so far, and it’s not even the end of January. (Granted, part of that weight loss was due to sickness, but I’ll take it!)