Today, Monday April 16, is Tax Day in the good old USA. For most Americans, it’s a sober day of reckoning accompanied by either relief that it was taken care of early in a timely fashion, or a firm resolve that next year that we’ll do better. Funny, isn’t it, how the date of April 15 often sets off mental alarms and sirens?
Today’s Quote: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” (Aldous Huxley)
When my son, Spencer, (now safely at the MTC in England) was about 10, we got snagged in the traffic jam by the post office on April 15. Seeing the huge line of cars on the street, the postmen out directing traffic and procrastinators inching their way to the mail boxes, he asked about the commotion. As I explained, he listened thoughtfully and then innocently asked, “Well, if they knew it was coming, what were they waiting for?”
Out of the mouths of babes!
What are we waiting for, indeed – whether it’s accounting for our earnings or accounting for our eating? Visiting/home teaching, housework, a bill from Uncle Sam or a bill of health, on and on the “to do” list flows. There’s no getting around the fact that a day of reckoning always comes whether it’s actually on the calendar or not.
For my friend Debbie, a reader in Oklahoma, her day of reckoning came with an emergency abdominal surgery. This wonderful home school Mom of five had neglected her health for years while making her family her first priority. Though her doctor was kind that awful night in the emergency room, he made it clear that more than 50 extra pounds – much of it belly fat – made his work considerably more difficult, the surgery more dangerous and would cause her recovery to be slower.
“I was so embarrassed,” she says, “that I vowed nothing would stop me from losing the pounds I had ignored for so long.”
Since that time she has slowly lost and now keeps off those 50+ pounds. Her day of reckoning will never be forgotten as she maintains her loss with portion control, scheduled meals (including a dessert or two each week so she doesn’t feel deprived) and exercise. Even with the demands of home schooling, teenagers, working part-time and the unexpected deaths of two of her closest friends, she knows that overeating will not help or solve any problems other than being hungry.
When motivation wanes, as it often does when changing health habits and the old ways beckon, creating a “deadline” of sorts can be a source of long-lasting, burning motivation. All successful accountants master how to use essential tools of the trade and so can we:
Here are two easy tools to create an April 15 for your health and weight management.
Tool 1 : Strip away the pride and accept authority and rules. Even as we submit to the laws of the land to be honest, law-abiding citizens worthy of the privileges that follow, we can honorably submit to the laws of health through wise eating and exercise – and earn the privileges as they come with each dropped pound and inch.
Babies are not born with a reflex that says to stop at a red light, yet any of us who know how to drive possess a trained reaction to brake when we see a red light. This programmed reflex teaches us that stopping to assess the situation and possible damage when dangerous foods appear can be learned and managed when there is a desire.
Tool 2: Mentally put on a Boy Scout hat and think of healthy living in two words: Be prepared . If you have ever attended a Preparedness Seminar or put together a 72-hour kit, you know how it works: Whether there’s an emergency or not, be ready!
We sleep better and honor the prophet when our food storage is in place and we’ll sleep better and honor our Heavenly Father when our health habits are in place. The actual need to use our 72-hour kits or food storage, or face an emergency such as Debbie did, is inconsequential to the overt blessings that being prepared for emergencies brings. Think about it … Nobody ever said we had to eat our wheat, just that we should be prepared and have it .
Now, not in a spirit of negative thinking or doomsday gloom, but in the spirit of self-reliance, pioneer gumption, and the need to create a burning desire for healthy living, here are today’s journal prompts and discussion starters in two parts:
Discussion/Journal Starters Part I
- If faced with unexpected surgery or a health emergency requiring medical intervention, would my weight be a problem for the medical personnel or for my recovery?
- In the event of a fire or car accident, would getting out of a small space, such as a window or damaged car be a problem at my current weight?
- In the event of a natural disaster, would I be physically strong enough to move quickly and help others around me? Or would my weight slow rescue efforts down?
- Would my weight and inability to move quickly ever cause danger for others who would want to stay behind with me if I could not keep up with an emergency evacuation or exit?
- Something I dread happening at my current weight is ___________________________.
Now, take off the Boy Scout shirt and relax. Take a deep breath! Release it and say to yourself: “No guilt! Just action!”
The next five journal entries/discussion questions will create a joyful day of reckoning that makes every healthy choice worth it … and then some! Just as the scriptures elaborate on the future, literal reality of the judgment bar to help us live worthily today, we can individually visualize our own happy day of reckoning at our closets, at the mall and with important people in our lives.
Discussion/Journal Starters Part II:
- I prepare now for a day of happy reckoning when _____________________ (name one or more individuals who are important to you) says, “Are you losing weight? You look just great! Tell me about it!”
- I plan to shop at _____________________ (name of your favorite clothing store) and buy something special in a size _______ (name a realistic size) within ________________ (name a realistic time frame of weeks or months).
- I look forward to the day when I can wear _____________________________ (name a special outfit in your closet that is currently too small) to wear at ______________________ (name a place).
- I look forward to the day when my doctor says “___________________________.”
- When I meet the Lord, if He asks how I cared for my earthly body, I will say ____________________________________.”
When you consider your health in this light, doesn’t it feel great to live responsibly as a health-abiding citizen? Now imagine and visualize what you’re going to achieve by next April 15 and the generous returns that are sure to accrue one day, one bite, one healthy choice at a time! Happy Tax Day!
Today’s Empowerment: “My head is out of the sand! I accept the truth about my weight and make the necessary choices for health and success now. With April 15 in mind, I’m a doer of the word and not a hearer only.”
Today’s Recipe: Asparagus Omelets
We love the fresh asparagus that is available at this time of the year! After steaming it for dinner, I like to save a bit of it to use in this delicious recipe. You can easily use cooked broccoli (fresh or frozen) instead.
(Serves 4 at 98 Calories)
1 large egg
5 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. fresh chives (or freeze dried)
2 Tbsp. cold water
Dash of black pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted margarine
1/4 cup finely chopped, cooked asparagus or broccoli
1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup minced parsley
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine egg, egg whites, chives, water and pepper. Whisk just enough to mix lightly.
- Melt 1/2 Tbsp of the margarine in a heavy 7″ skillet over moderately high heat. Add 1/4 each of the asparagus and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add 1/4 of the egg mixture (about 1/2 cup) and shake the skillet over the heat, stirring, for 30 seconds, then let the omelet cook, undisturbed, for 30 seconds more, or until the edges and bottom are set.
- With a spatula, either old the omelet in half or roll it to the edge of the pan and invert it onto a heated plate. Make 3 more omelets in the same way.
Top with chopped tomato and sprinkle with parsley.
Herb-Mushroom Omelet: Omit the asparagus and add 1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill, oregano, basil, sage and tarragon to the egg mixture just before cooking.
(1 g Fiber; 98 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2 g Carb)