How did Halloween go? So often we can get through the holiday itself, and then the aftermath is where we fall apart. The candy is on sale, or sitting neglected in office candy bowls (how do people do that? I can never ignore it!), or on the floor where kids have been playing with it.
It’s so easy to eat mindlessly when our environment isn’t candy-proofed. Just like we take serious steps when we have toddlers to keep things safe, it’s up to us to the adults in charge. Make a decision on how much kids can have, then move it away from the family living area. Pack it up for a homeless shelter. Store it with a neighbor to use for gingerbread houses at Christmas time. Even the trash is an OK place since the “fun is in the doing” and that chapter of fun was last week.
In any event, It’s November and a very easy time to abandon all because it’s “the holidays.” I hope today’s message will help to change how your eating and health-consciousness through November and December.
Today’s Quote: “The future has a way of arriving unannounced. ” (George Will)
Fall has been slow to arrive here in Virginia. and we are just now coming up on our peak colors. Perhaps it’s the drought we’ve had. Our family in New England also reports a surprisingly late fall. Isn’t it amazing that seasons and the due dates for babies can be on the calendar, but nature has her own schedule? I think it’s all part of our Heavenly Father’s wonderful plan to keep life interesting and us dependent upon Him.
How well I remember a beautiful conversation several years ago on a spectacular fall day with people who had lost weight – some, a great deal. I asked them each to hold some colorful fall leaves and tell the others about things that had changed as they had prayerfully and seriously dedicated themselves to improving their health by slowly changing their weight. :
Project your weight loss success forward, imagining yourself saying the same things:
- “I can’t believe how much more energy I have!”
- “I’m much more confident”
- “My doctor is amazed at my improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels”
- “I have a beautiful new wardrobe.”
- “I don’t have a beautiful new wardrobe, but am now wearing beautiful things I love that haven’t fit for a long, long time”
- “I still have problems, but being overweight is no longer one of them!”
- “I have kept my weight off for going on three years and view myself as a healthy-weight person”
- “I love waking up each morning knowing I’m not overweight anymore!”
Fall is a time for change. The season tells us so! Our family loves to take autumn walks at a nearby nature trail and play ground. The large cleared play area backs onto a two-mile heavily forested trail with exercise equipment.
As we recently walked toward the trail, the vision of it all just took my breath. The light through the trees was literally sparkling gold as it filtered through the brilliant leaves, many that were drifting down as breathlessly as snowflakes. We quietly kicked along, enjoying the celestial fragrance that is the precious annual gift from an autumn forest.
My daughter and I had a game going of trying to catch the drifting leaves as they fell from the trees when all of a sudden one tree right in front of us released a surprising number of leaves all at once. No wind had disturbed them and the only sound was these leaves descending in a fluttering pile with a prolonged w-h-o-o-s-h.
How strange to see dozens and dozens of leaves swirling and dancing to the ground – from just one tree! As we watched those leaves descend, enriching the earth’s floor for its own continuing cycle, we squealed with “oooohs! and “aaahhhhs!” deserving of 4 th of July fireworks.
It made me think of us and the struggles with life in general and our weight/relationship with food. in particular. Perhaps it’s a weight loss mental obstacle or plateau that defies definition. Maybe it’s a long-running heartache that feels like nothing will every change. Maybe it’s a hope or a dream that seems impervious to hard work, patience and burning desire. No matter how much we want those leaves to fall, they seem permanently stuck in branches much higher than we can see, let alone reach.
Then, from one minute to the next, release! A fresh breeze is heaven-sent and meant just for the issues at hand, and down they come from the highest branches! Problems are solved with a phone call or a new friendship, just like those leaves tumbling down without any seeming force.
If you are working your way through a plateau or difficult time, how I hope you are planning and picturing in your heart for a moment like that day in the forest. It’s our Heavenly Father’s plan and counsel for us to be hopeful, optimistic, ready and open no matte what, because things do change from one moment to the next.
The scriptures are full of miracles and our body’s own ability to grow hair, pump blood and regenerate skin day after day is another proof of miracles. (My life as a single until my late 20’s changed from one moment to the next when I met my husband at the Xerox machine of a Washington D.C. office. We had not seen or even thought of each other in 10 years since spending a year at BYU, where we lived in the same dorms.)
The last chapter has never been written, and success is most often a matter of getting up just one more time .
How well I remember an exciting day with a dear friend who had been eating wisely and exercising diligently for several weeks. The scales had not budged. Nevertheless, she went to the pool to do her laps and came home exultant. “I think there’s nearly four pounds of me floating in that pool! I weighed myself before my laps – and after and am down 3.8 pounds!” Those pounds were a remarkable and permanent loss, the end of a plateau, and the beginning of another much easier 10-pound loss.
Something very important to remember when the plateaus hit is that a pound of muscle is about the same size as a baseball and firm. A pound of fat is three times that size and fluffy like a bowl of Jell-o. That’s a very helpful and encouraging fact and something else to change: Who cares about the numbers on the scale when the numbers on the tape measure and clothing size are changing? Not to mention the comfort level of fitted clothing.
I think Paul says it best: “Wherefore, we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him”
And that’s just how we’ll make it through the months ahead! One day at a time, with the choices that eventually bring about health and weight loss, whether anyone’s with us or not!
Today’s Empowerment: “Leaves are changing. My life is changing.
I diligently exercise and am mindful of portions and choices as I get ready to enjoy the holidays in new ways.”
Today’s Journal Prompt and Discussion Starters:
- Name a time in your life when things have changed all of a sudden. Remember how it felt and how grateful you were that you had not given up.
- The fist of November is the perfect time to start thinking about the changes you want to make from previous years in your eating through this year’s holidays.
- If you were to have a counseling session with our Heavenly Fahter, what changes would he encourage you to make in caring for your body in the next two months?
- Get a bunch of pretty fall leaves, either real or artificial, and put them in a pot where you can see them often to remind you of the changes that are happening whether you can see them or not.
Holiday Apple-Cranberry Pie
(Serves 8 at 128 calories)
Try this pie out ahead of time!
1 cups low-fat granola
1 egg white
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced
cup dried, sweetened cranberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 325. Pray a 9″ pie plate with non-stick baking spray.
2. Place the granola in a food processor and pulse several times until finely chopped. Add the egg white, lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. water. Stir until mixture holds together. With moistened fingers, press the crumb mix onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon. Spread evenly over the crust and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. water. Cover with foil and bake until the apples are tender, 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack 10 minutes, serve warm.