It’s our second week of Weight Loss Made Easy. What an exciting week it’s been for me as many of you contacted me and confirmed that we do, indeed, know what to do to become healthy and fit, although it’s one of our greatest challenges.

The prophet President Spencer W. Kimball asked Naomi Randall, the creator of the song “I Am A Child of God” to change the lyrics from “teach me all that I must know” to teach me all that I must do.” Even as she graciously did so and powerfully changed the message of the song, we can prayerfully ask the Creator of our bodies, our Heavenly Father, to help us graciously change our health choices from passively knowing what is right to actively doing what is right and powerfully change our own lives for good.

Following the successful example of those who are doing it is an easy way to do what is right. As promised, here’s the weight loss success story of Heidi Wolf of the Cortez Park Ward, Glendale Arizona Stake, down 35 pounds since 2004.

For Christmas of 2005 she received a gift that had been on her secret wish list for years: She’d lost 25 pounds! For Christmas of 2006, she’d lost another 10, making a total of 35 pounds that have been slowly, carefully, and wisely lost for good.

“I was amazed!” says the mother of seven and the grandmother of three. I hadn’t even realized what was happening when I followed a suggestion you gave your readers in January of 2005. Then on December 1 I flipped open my calendar and saw the words that I had written on the block for December 25: “I’ve lost weight and found my way. My weight loss journey has been the best part of the year and is now one of my best Christmas gifts ever!” Although I had completely forgotten writing it, through faith and works it had come to pass.”

How did she do it? Through an assignment I’m going to provide for you at the end of this article. Read on!

Today’s Quote: “He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.” (Samuel Johnson)

Heidi is not only a wife, mother and grandmother, but she is also a breast cancer survivor with a story to tell.

Through the years of raising their large family, they had all eaten pretty much what they wanted without thinking about it – although she knew the pounds were piling on. In 1999, her husband had quadruple bypass surgery. His health situation required a major change in his eating and exercise habits. She did much to assist him but did not internalize his needs as hers.

Less than two years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“From one day to the next, my own healthy eating and exercise literally became a matter of life and death. I had no clue how to make boneless, skinless chicken taste good, and for quite a while we had the best-fed dog in town!” Discovering the Light and Tasty magazines at the grocery store provided the resources and delicious eating they had been missing. She now cooks almost exclusively from this delightful publication.

“I’m not one to fix separate meals for everybody. These excellent recipes really simplify life for us.”

Finding gratitude for her body was another turning point.

“One day I realized how well my body had served me, even though I hadn’t really thought about it. It had produced bodies for seven healthy babies, carried me through daily activities and wonderful experiences for the entire span of my life, and had come up with the strength and power to fight breast cancer. I had just taken it for granted. When I stepped back to recognize its grand accomplishments, I was humbled by its steadfastness and service. Even though dealing with cancer and extra pounds, it had been a faithful and loyal servant and deserved my respect and affection.”

She discovered that as she expressed her newfound gratitude through prayer and positive thought, her desire to take action and care for her body increased.

As of March 2007, she is cancer free. Her health must be safeguarded every day, although the cancer medication makes weight loss extremely slow and often diminishes her energy by mid-afternoon. From 2004-2005 she lost an average of two pounds per month. In 2006, it slowed down to less than one pound per month.

“It doesn’t matter how pokey it is,” she laughs. I’m happy and living a lifestyle that will last for the rest of my life. My walking shoes are put by the front door before I go to bed each night so I’ll be ready each morning.”

One of the hardest parts has been learning how to graciously but effectively say no to secondary priorities – sometimes even friends, family and church responsibilities – when it conflicts with getting to the gym.

“Excercising really is what I schedule my day around and it’s on my calendar. If someone tries to brush it off, I tell them it’s an important appointment that I must keep, because it’s true! My future literally depends on it.”

Since her weight loss is so very, very slow, she depends on encouragement through family, friends, prayer and motivational reading material. She has been a faithful reader of Dr Bridell’s column in Meridian, and my column each day. One of her daily habits is to shuffle through the pocket-sized cards that come with my book and to choose one to carry with her. ( There’s a printable card for you at the end of this article .)

Heidi follows no particular plan, other than lots of vegetables and fruit, some limited lean protein and fat, whole grains and water. Right now she’s taking a class on cooking with grains and wheat that she’s finding helpful and interesting.

“There’s even room for occasional treats like BYU mint brownies at Education Week. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. I am happy and grateful for my wonderful body and look forward to enjoying these choice years of my life.”

This Week’s Assignment

This is your time. You can do as Heidi did, and it all begins with this week’s assignment:

1. As Heidi did, open your calendar to December 25 and write these words: “Merry Christmas! I’ve achieved so much since early spring! I’ve lost weight and found my way. My health journey has been the one of the most satisfying gifts of 2007.”

If this seems far-fetched, I urge you to read Abinadi’s words in Mosiah 16:6:

And now, if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come , there could have been no redemption.

In other words, Abinadi prophesied of Christ’s coming and even of Christ’s prophecies of the future long before they had occurred. Even though we are not prophets, we can set in motion the frame of mind, structure and eventual reality for positive events by specifically identifying what we need and want to happen.)

2. Discovery Journal Entry and/or Discussion Questions : (Use the composition book I asked you get last week.)

 

    1. How has my body blessed me?” Create a gratitude list of specific blessings you’ve received from your body.

      Say a prayer before you start that you will be open to all the positive things that you’ve experienced, no matter your weight, and start your entry with the words: “I am grateful for my body because…” then create the list. Expressing gratitude for these blessings in your personal prayers this week will further enrich this understanding. Like Heidi, you’ll find yourself wanting to return the kind favors in the form of increased healthy choices.
    2. Ask yourself (or discuss): “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied am I with what I’m eating each day? What foods are important for me to be both physically satisfied and emotionally content? How can I include them in a healthful way?” (Please remember that deprivation, like a budget that is unrealistic, only leads to tears! Include indulgences at special, scheduled times and/or find healthy substitutes. Always enjoy them in the company of others.) Consider what changes you can begin to make.
    3. Print out the recipe, mini-poster and card to use as constant reminders this week. (You’ll need the adobe reader, which is free at www.adobe.com .) Here’s the link: http://www.myweightlossfriend.com/Meridian_Printable_No._1.pdf

Today’s Empowerment : “I express thanks for my body and the blessings I enjoy because of it. In return, I am happy to make small, healthy choices that show my gratitude and increase my fitness.”

Next Week’s Message: Tis a Gift to Be Simple


Today’s Recipe: Becky’s Award Winning Chili
Serves 6 at 250 Calories

I wish I had a dime for every time someone has asked me for this recipe! The original recipe called for two packages of chili seasoning, which was too spicy for us, but might not be for you.

1 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz. can of corn, drained
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup of onions, chopped
3 cups low-sodium tomato juice or V-8
1 package of chili seasoning
1/2 pound ground turkey or extra lean ground beef
  1. Brown ground meat with onions and bell peppers. Rinse under hot water to remove all remaining fat. (Our family loves it when I regrind the browned meat in the blender with 2 cups of hot water. Just pulse for a second or two, then drain again. It gives the meat a nicer, finer consistency.)
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil to heat through.
  3. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes and for flavors to blend.

This is also excellent in your crock pot: Brown the meat, onions and bell pepper as directed above, then put everything into  the crock pot and cook on hi for 3-4 hours, or low 7-8.

Serve with baked taco chips, shredded cheese, non-fat sour cream, or whatever else you like to put on chili. Just add the points/calories accordingly. (6 g Dietary Fiber; 270 calories; 6 g fat; 22 g Carb)