That's me as a little girl with my cousins Vickie and Bobby. Life was all about fun back then, and I wasn't worried about my life vision. Although I was always driven, I somehow ended up overweight and not healthy. I just have to quote my pastor. I attended a study last week that really impacted me and would be great for all of you too. Here goes:"Everybody ends up somewhere. Few people end up somewhere on purpose."
Craig Groeschel, Pastor of LifeChurch.
It is so true--especially where our health goals are concerned. We need a vision--that's what the Hebrew word Chazown
means. That is a key part of the Diner program too. If our vision for our health is to be leaner, to have low blood sugars, then we need a plan. That is how we get there on purpose
Now believe me, I am not saying my menu planning e-book is your key to good health. It is a tool to keep your life manageable, and it is one spoke on your life wheel. As my pastor pointed out, when one spoke is broken, the others soon follow. Healthy habits are important to our spiritual life, our careers and our relationships. Poor health impacts us in so many ways. I have been there!
One thing we must do to take control is to have a plan. The second thing we need to do is to actually follow that plan. That is pretty much as difficult as the 24/7 Diner plan gets. I have spoken with so many diabetics who tell me that you just can't expect anyone to live low carb--that it is too hard to do without...(insert your carb of choice here) But then, how do they explain that we have been able to follow this plan for years? John regularly has blood sugars under a hundred. Although he is tempted to say he is not diabetic any longer, I am quick to point out that if he returned to a high carb diet, his deadly symptoms would return. I am thankful that he has responded so well through diet, but that would not have happened if we cheated the plan.
It is work to keep a kitchen stocked with healthy foods. It is tough to give up on foods others get to enjoy. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself having to cook all the time! That is why I have a system to help make all those meals easier. Having a plan in place each week means we won't be left hungry or running to the drive-through, surrendering to bad food.
The system works with any special diet--I have a friend who has approached me with the hopes of compiling a similar e-book for families treating autism through diet. I hope to do that soon, as my son is also on a similar restrictive diet now. Yep, more for me to juggle, but so worth it. I have learned that when you see results from your diet, it is much easier to stick to. But then, when you stick to it, it is much faster to show results!
If you want to be successful at any diet change, there are some steps to follow. These are my Top Ten.
1. Plan your menu. Make sure to have foods you really enjoy, not just ones that you think you should be eating. Lettuce everyday will lead to pizza binges.
2. Prepare food in advance. One day of extra cooking a week will save you so much time. You will appreciate it later in the week.
3. Get rid of trigger foods that cause binges and cravings! I spoke with a friend today who can't seem to tolerate sweeteners at all. Even no calorie sweeteners give her carb cravings. Better to banish those, at least for a time.
4. Keep a food diary. Sometimes when we are just starting out, accountability to a diary can keep us real. I use Fitday...not everyday, but enough. A notebook will do too. We low carbers can easily eat far more calories than we realize. Cheese is a major problem for me!
5. Related to #3 above, be careful with grazing. I am especially bad about this when I am cooking for others. Tasting easily becomes cheating, which becomes a binge. Can you smell the guilt?
6. Find something else to do rather than eat. You decide.
7. Grab a partner. John and I do this together. So great to have support and accountability. If you don't have one, drop me an email. I love to hear from you guys. Or get involved with an online support group. There are great ideas there.
8. Learn to pack a good lunch. It is much easier to pack a nice lunch than to guess at what you can eat out. Plus, nothing is worse than opening a brown bag to a squished, damp sandwich. If you have good food to look forward to, eating away from home is fun! Make sure you have variety and lots of color and textures. Make your meal better than their fast food and avoid the dreaded food envy.
9. Keep emergency snacks at work, school or in the car. Vending machines are not our friends. Life happens, so anticipate those emergencies!
10. Try not to listen to naysayers who tell you that your eating plan is not healthy. You make the decisions on your own health. I have found that if I don't make a big production, most people don't even notice that I am eating any differently. You will soon have the health to prove them wrong!
I bet you all have some great ideas too. Not planning led my family down the road to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Yes we were certainly getting somewhere
. Now that we are educated and committed, we are on a much healthier path...and we are getting there on purpose
. I am so much healthier than I was five years ago. Are you?
Of course, your life wheel has other spokes too, not just health. If you would like to learn more about the Chazown for your life, visit here
. It could change your future!