Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just a little....Wine

This blog started due to my struggle to lose weight - So, I am preaching to myself each day through this blog

A Piasano of my mine, 
who's name was  Thomas Aquinas,  was born 1225 In Aquino Sicily. He was a Priest, Philosopher and Theologian.  He was one that took a more expansive view of gluttony,[10] arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.[11] 
Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony,

The word Gluttony  Now I sound like the Father on "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food or its withholding from the needy 
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Where food is relatively scarce, being able to eat well might be something to take pride in. But in an area where food is routinely plentiful, it may be considered a sign of self-control to resist the temptation to over-indulge.
  • Praepropere - eating too soon, or at an inappropriate time
  • Laute - eating too expensively, luxurious, exotic, or costly
  • Nimis - eating too much eating food that is excessive in quantity
  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly  
  • Studiose -  eating food that is too daintily or elaborately prepared
  • Forente - eating wildly (boringly)

I'm not trying to be a philosopher like my ol Piasano,  
but I'm going to go a step further in this discussion.

Gluttony, sin or no sin.... is a "health hazard" in two ways:

First,  (Physically)  it contributes to obesity and as we all should know leads to diseases, illnesses and an early death

Second,(Mentally & Spiritually) ....go with me for a moment.... food can be an idol    

I know, I know..... you're saying that is a crazy idea that food can be an idol.  But take a moment and think about how "focused" some people are on eating.  Everything is set aside for "eating".  How much Money is spent on eating out?  How much time and effort are focused on what, when and with whom they are going to eat. And the Risk of eating foods that are restricted due to health issues (hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidema...etc).  

An addiction ! Yes, 
food can be "addiction" for some.  
A disease! Yes,  I said Addictions are a disease.
Gluttony is an epidemic today in America.... Gluttony Lives!

 It is astounding the statistics today on people in America 

U.S. Obesity Trends

Trends by State 1985–2009

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.
Thirty-three states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.
The animated map below shows the United States obesity prevalence from 1985 through 2009
-------------------------------------------- take a moment to read the  full article : http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html 
          So you say ..... I know I "shouldn't eat the dessert" but 
I only have a little piece once in a while.
GOOD FOR YOU if you only have a "little piece" once in a while.  
But, if you have a little here, and a little there... here, there, EVERYWHERE, 
and your overweight,  or have issues with hypertension, elevated lipids, 
"borderline Diabetes".... than WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?
John 2:1-11
Jesus at Cana when he turned water into Wine -

Jesus at the last Supper

God created us not only for His pleasure,
but provided for our pleasures

Our Sight and Taste allow us to enjoy the Fruits of our Labor

 First Miracle and Last Supper 

were both centered around an event of Eating together

Nothing wrong in our gathering to eat and enjoying food

it's just that.....

We are  OUT OF CONTROL when it comes to our "pleasures"
and I have to say as Christians.... 
You can shoot me now cause I'm going to say it
Obesity can be symptom of an Unbalanced Walk with the Lord.
there.... I said it.

FOOD is not the Problem, it's the uncontrolled obsession 
with the Pleasure of Eating.

Everyone wants to ignore this problem
just like facial hair growth on Women... 

it's a fact!

Being over weight CAN be one of the symptom of an unbalanced life. 
ok,   Ask the person who say's they have a thyroid disorder and that's why they have a weight problem...  ask them when is the last time they ate ice creams, candy, ..... how many minutes a day do they exercise! 
  It is very RARE that weight gain is not associated with poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
 I know I'm being rough but it's a dishonor to yourself to lie and seek out excuses.  
Did you ever think that a  thyroid can be whacked out because  of  weight gain?  It's the chicken or the egg.  Which came first.  Hormones out of whack due to weight gain or weight gain due to Hormones out of whack.... HUMMMMMM "food" for thought. 

You may then say... "hey, I'm balanced"  Really?  Maybe you are... but first Ask some tough questions to get the answer.

can you.....
Physically:   Do 10  or more  push ups, or leg squats or run a few blocks  without being  too weak or out of breath...    Be honest with yourself.  Do you exercise every day?  How about 3 x's a week?   I mean really break sweat exercising!    And then there is the question of : How many servings of vegetables and fruits did you eat yesterday?   How many glasses of water have you drank today?    Being balanced means your physically fit - internally and externally.

Mentally/Spiritually:  Then examine your heart and ask this questions:  is  there someone you have anger, resentment or bitterness towards?  Do you fly off the handle at little events?  Do you have problems falling asleep, staying asleep?   How often are you taking an "antacid"?   Do you have frequent headaches (Migraines), bowel  problems?
Do you have issues with some of the signs of Gluttony as described above ?*
I know I'm being tough, but I'm being straight up about it. 

How about coming to a place where you say.... 
"I don't want that" 
instead of
 "I can't have that"
or it's ok to eat just a little...  (when you know you have a health problem or weight problem) 
There is such a freedom in changing your attitude about eating and food.  
There is such a freedom you experience when you choose to HONOR yourself and your body, mind and spirit.
Eating to nourish your body  
Finding joy in eating Healthy  
Desiring a big bowl of blueberries over a blueberry pie.   
(Allora....  a little whip cream on the berry's, that'sa ok) 

Make your own apple pie filling with fresh organic ingredients.  
Not some store bought packaged frozen pie....   
Ok.... Allora....  make  wise decisions on what holiday dessert and the amount.... 

Again, there isn't any thing wrong with a wise portion of dessert 
if it's made fresh and with love  (hahaha)
But know this....
There is such a freedom when you stop making bargains with yourself 
every time  you eat a large portion of a  high caloric treat. 
Like the Bargain of "oh, I'll start my diet tomorrow... 
or I'll exercise later to make up for this".

 When you balanced in your life 
you'll experience being satisfied with
a "Little Piece"  
 .It is my dearest hope that you discover the freedom in Balancing your life 
Physically, Mentally and Spiritually
....so you may find the Love, Joy and Strength to live a life of Health and Wellness.  
This is my quest and journey.

 Salute!  To your Health and Wellness

PS again let me say this
Nothing wrong with dessert IF it is a wise portion, Not part of every meal and snack and best if  made with fresh wholesome ingredients.  Like my Mama's Cannoli's!  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Go to the Mat and get a Butt kicking: Preparing for the Holiday

Ephesians 4:23
   Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. 
(another version)
  And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind  
(having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude)

Once again, as I repeat to myself.... 

"be more concerned about feeding my  Mind & Spirit 
than my body 
when I wake in the morning,
RENEWING MY MIND and SPIRIT ....every day!

Wake up in the morning and "prepare" for another day.  

We NEVER know what the day will bring us.  
Sometimes good news, 
Sometimes bad news.

So feed and exercise ourselves Physically, Mentally &  Spiritually
 first thing in the morning to prepare for the day

Put yourself in check upon waking up.  Do you wake with a smile on your face and joy in your heart?  Hummmm (**mental note to myself about this- see below)

            So, when you wake and notice no smile, no joy.... RENEW the ATTITUDE!

This can be easily accomplished before moving your body out of bed.

FIRST - SLAP a big fat smile... yes teeth showing (scary before brushing teeth) on your face.

SECOND - Speak words of Gratitude for ... ya got it... waking up.  Reach deep to think of
     Three things to be grateful for... SPEAK it OUT!

THIRD - Offer yourself and your day to the Lord.  After all, you and your day is a gift - so
     keeping in the spirit of Christmas Season  "RE-GIFT yourself to the Lord".

Most of us dread dragging ourselves to the exercise mat or Gym... or outside to jog.  My suggestion.   Stretch before getting out of bed.  Yes, right there in bed stretch your arms and legs.    Stimulate your circulation before leaving the bed. Take some deep cleansing breaths.

There you go.... you've now accomplished  awaking and renewing yourself: 
 Physically, Mentally and Spiritually before getting out of bed.

Keep yourself in check through out the day.  Make some post it notes, a rubber band around your wrist, a voice memo on your phone...  "AM I Smiling?"  if not.... quickly think of three things to thank God for... then again offer yourself and day to the Lord.

It's almost December 1st!   Ready, Set, GO!   It's all about the season of Re-Gifting yourself to the Lord so you will be honoring him by honoring yourself.

It's your time to get HEALTH and WELLNESS into your being.

Ciao &
        Salute! to Your Health and Wellness 

Foot note:
**  waking up in the morning with a heaviness in our heart and mind is a symptom.
It deserves an examination into our heart and thoughts.   Are you:

Stressed out,  have unforgiveness/anger, you feel sorrow, disappointment, heartache, loss, jealousy, envy, resentment ....

These thoughts are based.... yes....  "ALL OF THEM" in fear.  

Love and Fear. 

 All emotions have their roots in either Love or Fear.  
Think about it.

Stress:  Fear of Failure
Unforgiveness/Anger: Fear of Rejection
Sorrow, disappointment:  Fear of loss
    (not a complete list... more to it, but this is just a snap shot of the concept)

So when you wake in the morning with no smile or joy... examine your heart and thoughts.

If your not able to pull out "what's wrong"... 
go to the "Mat"
(expression in the God Father Movie).  

Take it to the Lord and ask him to expose it to you. 
            (Maybe you need your butt kicked to straighten out your attitude)
 This can sometimes be painful to expose your root emotion of fear.

Easily remedied since  
                                             "In our Faith there is no room for Fear".    
This is where you can
exercise and feed and therefore strengthen your mind and Spirit . 
              Which in turn Strengthens and H E A L S  your body! 

Yes,  Headaches, backaches, skin problems, fatigue, depression.... all CAN be symptoms of a weak mind and spirit! 

True Health and Wellness is about having a 
                                            Strong MIND and SPIRIT as well as a strong Body.

Friday, November 26, 2010

the dieting merry go round

This morning I read back to January 2010 blogs.   It's almost a year on this journey.  Amazing!

I'm starting the last month of my 12 months of "getting it together".
Translated to:  Seeking Health and Wellness Physically, Mentally and Spiritually.

Accomplishing this by Seeking Balance Physically, Mentally and Spiritually.
With the Goal Set I have developed this plan.

15/15/15 is the daily goal.  
Translated to make sure I have at least 
15 minutes committed each day to Exercising my muscles, 
15 minutes towards developing my mind (reading/study), 
15 minutes feeding and strengthening my spiritual life. 

To accomplish my goals and reinforce my plans I have used "blogging" every day (mostly in the morning) as my support.

I have read books and googled information on health, diets, exercise.

Although losing weight was the foundation for this quest.  I have discovered losing weight has very little to do with "health". Being Fat has everything to do with being unhealthy. People with TB, Cancer, anorexia  loose weight. People with a whacked out Thyroid loose weight.   Being the perfect weight doesn't necessary mean your healthy.

The focus on being healthy was paramount in this journey.  
Being a right weight for your height is a benefit of being healthy and well. 

Therefore when (in the past) I have been tempted to say, "ah, it's ok to pig out... oh ... forget this today"  I can be pulled back to the fact that whether I gain or lose a half a pound isn't about my looks... it's about my health! I now have a trigger that says to myself "what is happening in my head and spirit right now)

  I am  off the "merry go round" of dieting  

I have found freedom.  Eating to be healthy, not to satisfy the lust of  food.
It is crazy but I have NO appetite for white sugar laden sweets. I can walk past the "See's Candy Cart" at the airport and not have a war and conversation about how I wish I could eat some... make a bargain about how I could have a few pieces if I just walk around the airport while eating the candy.   Call it crazy, but I have no guilt or war in me to say no to pastry.  I've found Freedom...

And my life is no less fulfilling, satisfying and happy.

I have found that when I seek food to meet a craving, to give myself a treat, soothe my heartache ..... I now stop and think....

I am really dishonoring my body to meet a need. Having a piece of pie or candy that has no nutritional value ( 1% nutrition in 99 %  empty calories/carbs)

That is the wellness part of all of this.

Balancing my mind and spirit so that my body stops craving foods that increase my cholesterol, injure my pancreas, raise my blood pressure ... turn carbs into fat!

The picture of health is not just strong hair and nails and a great figure.  It's a real smile on a face.  It's peace in ones heart... it's words that reflect a sound mind.  It's an energy like non other that I've ever had before.  And when life kicks sand in my face... I have a foundation that stands and does not fall.

It's like "they" say the rich and famous are happier people.

Same thing holds true here.

People with the perfect weight are not necessary happier people.   Seeking to just lose weight to be the right size is .... ok I'll say it here..... shallow.  Seeking to lose weight to become healthy is brilliant.  Seeking to detox not just your body, but your mind and spirit is ... finding freedom to live a full, rich life.

there ya have it... in a nut shell (did I say that nuts are very healthy in the right portion?)

Off I go preparing for another glorious day.... Honoring the Lord by Honoring ME.  Seeking to live a full, rich, joyful, successful healthy and well life.

To your health and wellenss

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Be a Daniel instead of a Turkey

Being of Italian/Sicilian decent (can't fight the gene pool).... boy can I talk!   If fact I like to talk so much I talk to myself when I'm alone.  Oh ya... true.  And this blog thing.... it's like finding a captive audience to listen to me...... you got it T A L K.  In fact I can even talk without moving my mouth.... just my hands!

Being that "said"..... we say a lot with our body and with our actions.

                                Actions are a reflection of the heart.

Our actions speak volumes of what we are all about.  But the reverse is also true.

If we choose to take an action that represents what we "want to think or be"....
          we eventually become that action.

Allora,  (ok in Italian... I'm always attempting to practice my Italian... to bad I haven't gotten the English Language mastered yet... anyway.  Allora....

This is what I wanted to say today.
                         Daniel in the Bible knelt before the Lord 3 times a day.

It's not about him "praying" THREE times a day.

It was the "act" of him setting aside a moment in the day to get physically on his Knees!

Then he mentally took his mind to center on the Lord, 
and spiritually touch the Ears of the God of the Universe.

Daniel 6:10  

 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. 
Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, 
giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Compare our government today to the one that Daniel lived in.  I believe the Politicians  in the story of Daniel were  deceitful and self serving. 

Daniel  as boy was taken to another country as a slave.  
Lived with his religious freedoms being challenged.  
Thrown into a lion den (yes, this is the Sunday school story). 
Sounds a little like what we are living in today.

We have challenges every single day (thank God we'll not be thrown into a lion den for praying- just told we can't do this in public!).  Never the less, we may feel like we are in a lion den in our life.  

Needing Gods protection from those that want to devour us (not physically but mentally and spiritually)

Have you ever thought, that at times... we are our worst enemy?  We war against ourselves.  We do things that are self defeating.  We kick ourselves around... put ourselves down.... We put things into our body that are not life giving or healthy.

We sit around making excuses why we can get off our butts and exercise or do something active.  We allow ourselves to listen and fill our minds with useless garbage we watch on TV, condoning people doing and saying sinful things by watching it. 

I'm challenged today to take this story to heart today

today being Thanks Giving

Food may bring us together but a Prayerful Family keeps us together
"The family that prayers together, stay's together"

To actually "get on my knees" physically therefore sending a strong message to my mind and spirit that I'm IN THE MOMENT!

physically, mentally, spiritually 
into God's Throne Room of Grace.

 I've captured God's attention and HE HAS MY FULL ATTENTION.

Although we are to pray without ceasing :1 Thessalonians 5:17  
Pray without ceasing

I'm honing in on the fact that to "balance our lives" we need to put

 "walk to our talk"  ..... which is a PHYSICAL action that will translate a message to our mind and spirit.

I did get on my knees the other morning.  Bowed my head and talked with my God.  This action followed me through out the day.  The picture in my mind of this action empowered me that day.  I challenge you today, as I'm challenging myself.  Be a Daniel.  

***Side thought:  If the God of the Universe appeared to you right now.... 
would you fall to your knees, head bowed being in his presence, 
or give him a high five and say "hey man, what's happening".  

Take on the attitude of who God is and take the privilege that you have direct access to the God of the Heaven's at any given moment... and make it a part of your life.  

Empower yourself today.  

Your a child of a living God!  

Your value is great in his kingdom.  Do you believe Jesus died for your sins and then rose into the Heavens so you could be empowered with his Spirit in you?  Come on.... Lets start "ACTING" like it.

Now, go and choose life giving foods today:  colorful, fresh, organic foods
Walk in the Fresh air (yes the sun shines even when it's 30 degrees outside)
Think and Speak words of thanksgiving...

be a grateful person not a grumbling person

Honor the Lord by Honoring yourself.

Ciao and God Bless you with Health and Wellness