Heart Choices: 2009-01-25 -->

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Fitness Friday ~ Secrets to Weight Loss

It's Fitness Friday again and I'm so glad. Since I write a blog post on this topic each Friday, it helps to keep me on track and accountable. Since I'm sharing my knowledge with others, I'd better be practicing what I'm preaching.

I received a message from Sandy of God Speaks Today and she won't be joining us this week for Fitness Friday. A major storm hit her area of the country and there's a power outage. She sent me a message from Panera to let me know. So, say a prayer for Sandy and so many others who are being impacted by this storm. I'm going to link to her blog anyway because it's always fun to read any of Sandy's posts.

We all know that it can be easy to lose weight but it's so much harder to keep the weight off.
If a quick fix diet could keep the pounds off, we'd be spending less money as a society on weight loss. I read that approximately $40 billion is spent annually on weight loss. Now, that's a lot of money!

I thought I'd share a few secrets I learned about losing weight.

  • Soft drinks, frappacinnos and fruit juices are high in calories. Did you know that one glass of orange juice has two times the number of calories as a whole orange? So, why not eat an orange instead of drinking a glass of OJ ...and save calories. Start becoming aware of the amount of calories you're consuming in beverages. You know, it all adds up.
  • Eat fiber-rich and water-rich foods that will fill you up. When you cut back on calories, you get hungry. And if you get hungry enough, it's easy to throw in the towel and give up. But here's a tip. For breakfast (and yes, you should eat breakfast) switch from a typical sugar cereal to a bowl of hot oatmeal with fruit. It's fiber-rich so it will fill you up. And you'll be consuming at least 100 calories less each day. That could help you drop 10 pounds in a year!
  • Snack on healthy options like fruit and yogurt. If you cut out a 100 calorie cookie each day, you can shed 10 pounds in a year. Does that sound like a plan?
  • Spoil your appetite with a big salad or low calorie soup before your lunch and dinner. It's usually the salad dressings that contain high calorie counts so check the labels. But you can eat lots of lettuce and veggies and then you'll get filled up and not consume huge quantities of higher calorie foods.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise! If you sit around and don't get moving, it's hard to burn off those calories. Did you know that if you walk an extra mile each day you'd lose 10 pounds in a year?
  • Work at managing your stress. There's a link between obesity, heart disease and your emotions. People who are physically inactive tend to be more depressed and then eat more and gain more weight. It can be a vicious cycle. So, get enough sleep and take time for friendships and loved ones. And remember that you don't always get to choose your circumstances but you can make the choice as to how you respond.

Remember it's not a diet ...but a lifestyle change. And it's got to be a plan you can live with or else you won't stick with it. So, hang in there and know that you're not alone.

How are you doing so far? Do you have any secrets to losing weight that you'd like to share? You know, we can all learn from each other.


Thankful Thursday ~ Security

Our theme for this week's Thankful Thursday is security. Lori of Lori's Reflections is our host again and you can find other participating sites to visit.

I don't know if it's just me but our latest Thankful Thursday themes have really hit home. I've had to sit back and reflect a bit. Maybe that's why I'm posting this a bit late in the day.

I want to be thankful. But there are times when I really have to make the choice to be thankful, especially when my circumstances are uncertain.

Uh oh, there's that control issue again! Will I ever learn?

I found this cartoon on Joyful Toons. It seemed to provide a great illustration of where my true security lies.

We may be dulled into thinking that our bank accounts, stock portfolios, home alarm systems or even our spouses provide all the security we need.

Or we may be expecting our government to supply all the solutions to make our lives secure.

But the reality is that ...they can't.

Circumstances may occur outside of their control. Just check out any newspaper or watch the latest news on TV. Life can become very uncertain and cause us to examine where who we're trusting for our security.

I'm so thankful that I can count on my relationship with Jesus as my true security. When life becomes uncertain, He knows all about it and isn't taken by surprise. He is my security.

Proverbs 18:10 says:

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are saved." (NIV)

Hebrews 6:19 says:

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (NIV)

It doesn't mean life will always be easy and go my way. But I'm so thankful that He promises to "never leave me or forsake me". And for that, I am so thankful.

Where do you find your security? Who have you been trusting for your security? I encourage you to add your thoughts on this thankful Thursday.


Times of Refreshing

Times of refreshing are so important. In the busyness of life, how often do you take the time to simply sit and relax with friends?
Do you choose to take the time to celebrate the events in life that hold special significance?

I keep hearing the phrase "enjoy the moment" but it's easier said than done. When life is coming at you hard, do you make the choice to take a day off and simply have fun?

I had that opportunity yesterday. My good friend Terri invited me to a surprise brunch for her husband, Steve. After much time, thought and reflection, Steve recently made the decision to retire after a long and successful career. Terri invited her cousin Janet and me to join them in their celebration of this event.

I was so excited because the brunch would be held at T. Cook's Restaurant in the Royal Palms Hotel. This is a fabulous place and so beautiful. President Bush always preferred to stay at this hotel whenever he came to the Phoenix area.

Janet and I arrived early so we would be there to suprise Steve. He definitely was surprised and ...we had a great time of celebration.
I thought I'd share some of the photos I took with you.

This is the entrance to the hotel.

To get to T. Cook's Restaurant, I had to walk through an open courtyard.

It's really a beautiful time of year in Phoenix. The flowers are in bloom and the temperature is perfect in the high 60's to low 70's during the day. I know many of my blogging friends are still dealing with snow and cold temperatures. But hang in there, spring is coming!

Another outdoor courtyard with fountains.

This unique floral arrangement was delivered to our table for the guest of honor, Steve. Terri always seems to remember those special details.

This was my first course. Now, for my Fitness Friday friends, please notice the small portion sizes and the fruit. Very low in calories, Sandy!

But I have to admit, I had a hard time as the pastry chef brought out some freshly made goodies.

Oh no ...my resolve is going!

The lemon tarts and chocolate looked so tempting.

Take a quick look at this fabulous chocolate cake decorated with M&M's. I promise I only looked.

We even enjoyed live guitar music to add to the experience.

The Royal Palms is such a beautiful place to visit.

So, in the midst of these challenging times, do you take time to enjoy the moments? I'm thankful for my generous friend Terri for inviting me to this very elegant brunch. But even times of sitting by a lake or hiking a mountain can be a time of reflection and a moment to simply stop and enjoy! How do you get those times of refreshing?

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