Category Archives: Diet

The Devil’s Food Made Me Do It

Author’s note:  I was thinking about this upcoming Thanksgiving and all the things that we have to be thankful for in 2020; just making it this far seems to be a significant accomplishment!  We’ve all been exposed to everything from COVID controversies, to being all wrapped up in toilet paper shortages and experiencing various levels of political paralysis, but by the grace of God, we’ve made it this far!   I know for many, the stress levels have also been through the roof and there doesn’t seem to be very much to smile about these days.  Therefore, I thought a little levity was both in short supply and much needed for a time such as this.  Besides being thankful, I believe most of us associate Thanksgiving with food; lots and lots of food!  And so my struggle begins…enjoy!

It happened just this morning without warning.  I was quietly perusing my e-mails and there it was; a notice from my doctor’s office that I have an upcoming appointment on Wednesday morning.  A sickening sense of loathing enveloped my very being as I mentally went through the clinical dialogue that would occur.  “Oh, it looks like you have gained a little weight since your last visit” the doctor would say with furrowed brow; this profound message coming from a healthcare provider with a physique resembling a pretzel stick with hair.

I know I need to lose weight; this problem is literally right in front of me.  Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” HHhhmmmm…even though I have not embellished this temple with graffiti in the form of tattoos, it appears as though I’m attempting to build on an annex to that temple the scripture was talking about.  Currently, I have the perfect Bubba body.  This body type looks remarkably like a Buddha body, including the distended belly but since I wear a lot of plaid shirts I thought the phrase “Bubba body” made more sense.

I actually took steps to begin an exercise program before Christmas a few years ago.  I purchased a previously owned elliptical machine from my daughter and son-in-law since I was used to using one at the YMCA some time ago.  I climbed aboard and was worn out in no time; then I started moving my legs up and down and really got winded…baby steps, baby steps…I even purchased some resistance bands from Amazon for Christmas.  I always thought the term “resistance band” was an indicator it was time to go up a size in underwear.  Now I know they are nothing more than giant rubber bands with handles that provide resistance to your muscle groups.  They also hurt REALLY badly when you accidentally let go of one of the handles.

It is not like I haven’t been successful losing weight in the past.  I lost almost fifty pounds through Weight Watchers around five years ago.  There were times I even went as far as to schedule my blood donation the afternoon before the “weigh in”.  (Did you know a unit of blood weighs a little more than one pound?)  I also took off my shoes, belt, and contents from my pockets and even got a haircut if I thought it would make a difference at the scales.  I finally reached my goal weight and became a lifetime member which is when the struggle began.  The other participants didn’t really care that you were on the maintenance program.  I mean, how could you share your successes in a room full of scathing looks and snarling teeth?  I guess I could have sweetened them up with a box of donuts…

I blame the Devil for my plumpness as I consider anything that tastes so good but is so bad for me as Devil’s food.  For what pain and suffering must one go through to resist luscious chocolate or the smell and taste of fresh baked yeast bread slathered in butter?  It must be inherently evil to tempt mere humans as it does.  And don’t forget the Devil’s henchmen; the seductress Little Debbie or the conniving Sara Lee or even the sly Sister Schubert.  They are all out to get us!

Of course to be perfectly honest, it is I, who is ultimately responsible for what goes in this mouth of mine.  Paul may not have had weight in mind when he wrote in Romans 7:15 (NIV)—“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”; I find this passage fits in this particular part of my life at the moment.   For it seems so difficult to eat wisely when I know I should, but it’s so easy to slide a Big Mac down my throat. And even though I don’t relish the thought of sitting in front of a plate whose contents look more like a Chia pet than real food, I have to take control of my intake and make better food choices.  It is a matter of being disciplined and accountable, two powerful but seldom used words in our society.  It is a matter of making time for exercise and using portion control to win this particular race.  So here I go, making an effort to make God’s temple once again what it should be; fit and ready for service. So wish me luck!  (…hhmmm…wish…wishbone….wishbone dressing…BLEU CHEESE!!…I’m doomed…)

Entering the New Year With Hope

Someone once stated, “Men plan, God laughs” and looking back at your previous year, perhaps you can relate!  My wife and I sure have had our share of trials at times these past few years; a couple of those trials even followed us into the following New Year.  And while some folks are busily jotting down their New Year’s resolutions and planning every week for the next year, others are facing the upcoming new year AND new decade with the “same stuff, different year” philosophy.  But just for an instant, a brief moment in time, if you look at your new calendar just right, you’ll see it; a blank slate, an empty page, a blossoming hope for better days ahead.

Sure, I’ve been one of those resolution driven individuals who would charge into the New Year touting remarks like, “I will strive to eat better” or “I will endeavor to exercise more consistently and get in better shape” or even “I will attempt to be the best version of myself”…whatever that means? Without some thought, planning and preparation, many jump into these resolutions and burn themselves out after only a couple of weeks.  I’ve touted the first two “resolutions” and reflected below is a sampling of my personal experiences.

A few years (or so) ago, my wife and I joined Weight Watchers to shed some weight and generally feel better.  I was doing pretty well, getting into the groove of eating certain foods that was considered healthy and, being a creature of habit, ate these same foods on a regular basis.  On one occasion at our WW group meeting, I had a particularly good weight loss week, and so I was encouraged to share what I had been doing.  Being rather proud of myself and that week’s accomplishments, I proceeded to share with the group what I routinely ate for breakfast.  There were audible gasps throughout the group and I thought the one lady in the third row was going to pass out right there; it seems what I thought was normal and healthy for me had exceeded 98% of the group member’s point total for half the day!  “You must have great metabolism” they said…whatever…

The other activity I would dabble in at times was exercise.  As those of you who know me can attest, I’m not exactly the poster child for Mr. Olympia.  However, exercise is the catalyst that helps me lose weight and keeps my health in check.  I remember one particular early morning, dragging my carcass into the local YMCA to work out before work.  I always began my morning routine warming up, most of the time on the Elliptical machine.  As luck would have it that morning, the only machine open was beside the most perfect specimen of a human being.  I’m pretty sure that he turned his machine on the “MEGA MACHO” setting for his sixty minutes of pure bliss, complete with a dumb bell in one hand, a power drink in the other, while pouring over a book in front of him.  If he did sweat, I’m sure the one drop that dribbled down the side of his head smelled like Irish Spring.  I, on the other hand, turned my machine on the desired setting of “NINJA TURTLE”.  After five minutes on the machine, I appeared to have just completed an ice bucket challenge, for sweat was pouring from every pore.  I swear I was getting stares like, “you ARE going to clean that area up, aren’t you?”…yeah, whatever…

Many times in our lives, we are railroaded into believing a misplaced opinion or criticism and it, well, gets us off track from meeting our goals, resolutions and/or dreams until they are never realized; they never come to fruition.  We have to be determined to focus on the prize before us, to block out all outside negative influences if we want to see our hopes and dreams become a certainty.  But here’s another train of thought; what if your goal/dream/hope was only a selfish want that should never have been realized anyway?  What if that goal you’re spending so much time and energy attempting to birth is out of line with your needs or the needs of your family; more importantly, what if it’s directly out of line with God’s will for your life?

The hymnist, William Mote, penned the first few lines of his beloved hymn, The Solid Rock, which reflects how we must align our hopes, dreams and goals. “My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”  Once our hopes are based on God’s will and not our own, the future becomes so much brighter and a lot less scary.  For if we truly believe everything we see, hear and read in the media, social media and print, from impeachment proceedings to rampant crime statistics, hope would scarcely be found.  It’s only when we completely rely on God’s will for our lives, does our future shine with the brilliant hope of tomorrow and eternity; for even death itself doesn’t have the fatal sting when we are one of His own.  Romans 8:23-25 states, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”  Yep, we can hold on to the hope of something greater one day; but for now, we have to be patient AND obedient to the will of our loving Heavenly Father.

Just one more thing to consider; we all go through different seasons in our lives.  Just as storms come and go, even though the storm may be severe at the time, they eventually blow over and the sun shines once more.  So it is with the situation you currently face; God may not remove the storm clouds from your life, but he’s definitely there beside you to walk with you through the storm.  What a comforting thought that reinforces our hope for tomorrow as we step into a new year AND a new decade!So, what does your new year look like?  Are you already frazzled from all the upcoming self-proclaimed goals, resolutions and deadlines you have laid out for yourself or are you going to listen and act based on God’s will for your life?  My goal for this next year is to strive to nestle closer to the One who knows me best and loves me most.  And perhaps my hope is to dismantle this annex I’ve built over time on to God’s temple; I know that is my physician’s hope as well…

The Devil’s Food Made Me Do It

425It happened just this morning without warning.  I was quietly perusing my e-mails and there it was; a notice from my doctor’s office that I have an upcoming appointment on Wednesday morning.  A sickening sense of loathing enveloped my very being as I mentally went through the clinical dialogue that would occur.  “Oh, it looks like you have gained a little weight since your last visit” the doctor would say with furrowed brow; this profound message coming from a healthcare provider with a physique resembling a pretzel stick with hair.

I know I need to lose weight; this problem is literally right in front of me.  Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” HHhhmmmm…even though I have not defaced this temple with graffiti in the form of tattoos, it appears as though I’m attempting to build on an annex to that temple the scripture was talking about.

Currently, I have the perfect Bubba body.  This body type looks remarkably like a Buddha body, including the distended belly but since I now live in the South and wear a lot of plaid shirts I thought the phrase “Bubba body” made more sense.

I actually took steps to begin an exercise program before Christmas.  I purchased a previously owned elliptical machine from my daughter and son-in-law since I was used to using one at the YMCA some time ago.  I climbed aboard and was worn out in no time; then I started moving my legs up and down and really got winded…baby steps, baby steps…I even purchased some resistance bands from Amazon for Christmas.  I always thought the term “resistance band” was an indicator it was time to go up a size in underwear.  Now I know they are nothing more than giant rubber bands with handles that provide resistance to your muscle groups.  They also hurt REALLY badly when you accidentally let go of one of the handles.

It is not like I haven’t been successful losing weight in the past.  I lost almost fifty pounds through Weight Watchers around five years ago.  There were times I even went as far as to schedule my blood donation the afternoon before the “weigh in”.  (Did you know a unit of blood weighs a little more than one pound?)  I also took off my shoes, belt, and contents from my pockets and even got a haircut if I thought it would make a difference at the scales.  I finally reached my goal weight and became a lifetime member which is when the struggle began.  The other participants didn’t really care that you were on the maintenance program.  I mean, how could you share your successes in a room full of scathing looks and snarling teeth?  I guess I could have sweetened them up with a box of donuts…

I blame the Devil for my plumpness as I consider anything that tastes so good but is so bad for me as Devil’s food.  For what pain and suffering must one go through to resist luscious chocolate or the smell and taste of fresh baked yeast bread slathered in butter?  It must be inherently evil to tempt mere humans as it does.  And don’t forget the Devil’s henchmen; the seductress Little Debbie or the conniving Sara Lee or even the sly Sister Schubert.  They are all out to get us!

Of course to be perfectly honest, it is I who is ultimately responsible for what goes in this mouth of mine.  Paul may not have had weight in mind when he wrote in Romans 7:15 (NIV)—“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” , I find this passage fits in this particular part of my life at the moment.  For it seems so difficult to eat wisely when I know I should but so easy to slide a Big Mac down my throat. And even though I don’t relish the thought of sitting in front of a plate whose contents look more like a Chia pet than real food, I have to take control of my intake and make better food choices.  It is a matter of being disciplined and accountable, two powerful but seldom used words in our society.  It is a matter of making time for exercise and using portion control to win this particular race.  So here I go, making an effort to make God’s temple once again what it should be; fit and ready for service.

So wish me luck!  (…hhmmm…wish…wishbone….wishbone dressing…BLEU CHEESE!!…I’m doomed…)