Heart Choices: 2009-03-15 -->

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Unfailing Love

I had such a good time participating in the meme Then Sings My Soul Saturday last week. So, I thought I'd join Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders again.

I get to visit lots of blogs and ...sing along. And I get to meet some new blogging friends, which I always enjoy. What could be better than praising the Lord on a Saturday morning?

I chose Unfailing Love by Chris Tomlin. The words to this song have such meaning to me, especially at this particular time in my life.

It's amazing that the God who created the heavens and the earth has such love ...for me!!

Wow, I'm blown away by that.

He is my rock and my strength. I love the image of a child's hand in the larger hand. That's how I feel holding Abba Daddy's hand. Isn't that precious? I hope you enjoy this one as you sing along.


Increase Your Metabolism ~ Fitness Friday

Can you increase your metabolism? Have you heard people say they can't lose weight because they have a low metabolism? Is this a cop-out?

On this Fitness Friday, let's talk metabolism, OK?

Let's start with a few basics. Your metabolism is the amount of energy your body burns to maintain itself. It's how fast your internal motor is running. The speed at which your body burns calories is your metabolic rate. Even when you're sleeping, your body constantly burns calories. However, it burns more calories with more activity.

Bottom line: If you take in more calories than you burn, the unused calories get stored as fat and ...you will gain weight.

What are some of the causes of low metabolism?

  • Low calorie diets
  • Eating or drinking lots of sugar foods throughout the day
  • Fasting
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Inactivity

People with a slower metabolic rate have a harder time staying slim because they tend to store fat easily. The slower the metabolic rate the greater the weight gains.

People who have a lower percentage of body fat have more muscle. Muscle requires more calories to maintain itself than fat. Another advantage of having more muscle is that it increases your metabolic rate.

So, if you have built up more muscle you can eat more and have a higher metabolic rate.

Sounds good to me!

Did you know that one pound of fat burns 2 calories a day while one pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day? Which would you prefer? DUH!

How is metabolism impacted by aging?

  • At birth, you have a high metabolism.

  • In your mid-thirties, the metabolism begins to slow by about 3-5% per decade.

  • By the age of 55, your body requires about 150 calories less per day than when you were in your mid-thirties.

What about men versus women?

  • Men typically have about a 10-15% higher metabolic rate than women because they typically have more muscle mass.
  • Women have a slower metabolic rate because they tend to store more fat and have less muscle. Figures, doesn't it?

So, how can you increase your metabolism?

  • Eat 5-6 small meals during the day. If you go for long periods of time without eating, your metabolism slows down.
  • Exercise daily. Go for a walk!
  • Begin to build your muscles. The more muscle that you have, the faster your metabolism becomes. I'll have to write another post about using free weights to get started.
  • Avoid sugars.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily.

I guess I keep coming back to the same thing. You've got to come to the point of making the choice to establish a healthier lifestyle; something you can live with. Why not start today?

While you're at it, don't forget to stop by and visit Sandy's blog God Speaks Today. She's adding her unique commentary to many of the news headlines related to health. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve.


Laced With Grace

Are you troubled by challenges and circumstances in your life? When you read the newspaper or watch the news on TV and all you hear and see is bad news, what can you do? Do you long to have peace even when ...life is uncertain and unpredictable?
Today, I'm over at Laced With Grace. To read about how to have peace, I hope you'll join me there.

What's On Your Wall Wednesday

I wanted to do something different and more light hearted today.

So, I'm participating in a meme called "What's On Your Wall Wednesday". Barb of Grits and Glamour calls the art and wall decorations in our homes "home jewelry". She writes that it sets the tone for our homes.

Well, I love artwork. And my home has many paintings on the walls. Today I wanted to share a wall collection that I have on one of my living room walls.

In this day and time of trying to not spend lots of money, here's an idea for you.

I purchased an old book that contained pictures of botanicals from a specialty bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. I removed each page from the book, being very careful not to tear the delicate pictures. I took them to a framing studio so they could be displayed in the best way.

You can probably save some money and do this yourself, if you're a visual person. I need all the help I can get. I think they look great arranged in this space using six of them.

I even had extra pictures from the book so I used two more to display on my guest bathroom wall. I tried taking a picture of the two of them but kept getting glare but I think you can get the idea. You can see more of the detail in this closeup.

The focus of Heart Choices isn't art. But art can be so soothing and relaxing to me and that's good for my heart! With spring in the air, I love to look at the flowers outside and the botanicals on the walls of my home too.

You can check out other blogs who participated in "What's On Your Wall Wednesday" by linking to Grits and Glamour.


In Other Words Tuesday

Today, I'm participating in the meme In Other Words Tuesday. Patricia is hosting this week on her blog Typing One-Handed. You can link there to find other participating blogs.

Here's this week's quote:

"What would happen if we stopped lamenting about the fifty things we can't control and focused our attention on the fifty thousand things we can control? What would happen if we stopped whining about things we have the power to change and finally took charge of our lives and changed them? What would happen if we stopped borrowing sorrow from tomorrow? If we got in the habit of asking ourselves, "What's on my plate today?"
...From Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the Deepest Cravings of Your Inner Chick by Karen Scalf Linamen

This is a good quote for me to ponder. You see, I have a habit of worrying about tomorrow. I hate to admit this and I'm working on it. My mom was a worrier. Now, I'm not blaming her because I know I'm responsible for how I choose to respond to situations. But my first instinct is to worry.

One of my good friends always reminds me that most of the things we worry about ...never happen. And then you've wasted worry time on something that never even happens.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus goes into detail about how we are not to worry. After all, He provides food for the birds. And how much more valuable are we? Worrying doesn't add a day to my life.

Verse 34 ends with "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its

That's a good lesson for me. I know this in my head. It's just a long way from my head to my heart. And that's where it needs to go for me to apply it.

As I think about the quote from Chocolatherapy, I realize that there's much in the world that I want to see changed. I can get upset about issues but do nothing to change them.

I'm not in control of other people's actions but I am in control of my own. And that's a start.

What can I do?

I may not be able to end world hunger ...but I can sponsor a World Vision child.

I may not be able to stop abortion ...but I can vote for candidates who are pro-life.

I may not be able to stop the increasing violence and sex on television ...but I can choose to turn these shows off in my home.

I may not be able to end heart disease ...but I can eat healthy and exercise to prevent my family history from continuing with me.

I may not be able to change another person's heart to love Jesus ...but I can pray for my friends who don't know Him and share His love with them.

I guess there are many ways I can make a difference. And when I make the choice to focus on something I can do to change my life, I'm less inclined to worry about tomorrow.

How about you? Are you a worrier? Are there issues in your life that you could stop whining about and ...start changing?


Happy Birthday Heart Choices

I made a discovery yesterday by accident. I actually started Heart Choices two years ago today!

So ...it's my blog birthday.

However, I didn't post on a regular basis.

In 2007, I wrote a whopping 9 posts! In 2008, I wrote 97 posts. And for 2009, so far I wrote 45 posts.

What I discovered over time is that ...I love to blog!

Here are just a few of the benefits I've discovered:

  • I get to improve my writing skills.
  • I get to meet the most wonderful bloggers from all over the world. How cool is that?
  • I have so many new friends and I'm getting to know them better each day
  • I'm learning techie stuff. It's taking time but slowly I'm learning.
  • Bloggers like to help each other. I find encouragement, support, bloggy love and did I mention ...how much I learn from them?
  • I love to read comments even if they disagree with me.

Many years ago while I was still working as a nurse, I had a vision for Heart Choices. I knew God had given me that name.

I believe there are seasons in our lives. My husband asked me to help him with his company. Just between us (yeah, right), I had my own ideas about how I wanted to spend my time. But of course, I said yes. And do you know what? I'm so glad I did.

If I hadn't helped Greg, I would never have learned about blogging. Isn't life funny like that? I had to learn techie things, social media, marketing and more.

And on the side ...I experimented with blogging and found something I love!

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading Heart Choices.

In the near future, I hope to do one of those bloggy makeovers. I have so many ideas. And I hope to continue blogging for many years to come!

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