I was talking to a friend the other day about diet and eating well and how to get in shape and suddenly this popped into my head: When it comes to diet (and many other aspects of life), You need to treat your Sunday as a “Holy Day”… and this is what I mean…
When you go to church (or at least my church) there is a ritual that is performed every week. It is laid out in the Book of Common Prayer and it has obviously made a huge impact on me. First, you begin with a song. With our song we express gratitude and celebration of all of the wonderful things in our lives and for all God has given us. I have written a lot about gratitude and how important it is to being happy and fulfilled and about how gratitude is a decision (you can read those blogs here: Gratitude and Gratitude Part 2: The Road to Recovery). It is easy to look at our lives and wish we had more, wish things were easier, wish we could be better, prettier, richer. But when we stop and realize how much we have and how blessed we are, our perspective changes and we become more fulfilled.
Next, we go over the previous week and evaluate what we did wrong. We confess our sins and say we are sorry and recognize that we could have done better and ask for forgiveness. For me this was hard. I didn’t like admitting that I might have done anything wrong. And we ALL do some things wrong. Sometimes it might be as simple as wishing I had responded differently to someone’s bad day. I might have overslept or missed my workout or eaten badly or failed a test at school. These were usually just little nagging things that bothered me and I knew I could do better. So I had the conversation with God that yeah, I probably could have handled that better. And then I ask forgiveness – from God as well as from myself. And as God wipes the slate clean with his forgiveness, so can I.
Then I make a plan and ask for God’s help for me see it through. My plan might consist of studying for a test, getting the kids to school on time, exercising 4 days this week, cleaning up every night before bed, making sure I am more positive to the secretary in my office who is always complaining, or any of a million things. We all want to get better in ways. I also ask God to help the rest of the world with whatever they need. Help my children be safe and healthy and be their best selves, help our community leaders be honest and good role models and lead our country and our world in the right direction, help the people I love and their loved ones through hard times and help the world become a more peaceful and loving place.
As I was talking to my friend about eating well and getting in shape and living a healthy life – all of this popped into my head. I told her to take herself to “church” on Sunday and set herself in the right direction!
- Start with gratitude. Be thankful for the health you have – it can always be worse. Be thankful that you can walk, run, swim, lift and move. There are many people who can’t. There are more who won’t.
- Look at your past week and see what you could have done better. Ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself and leave it behind. There is nothing you can do about the past and stewing over it will do nothing but send you into a spiral of self-doubt and depression. Let it go! But learn from it!
- Finally, make a PLAN:
- Figure out when you are going to exercise and what you want to eat for the next week. Put everything into My Fitness Pal (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) or another food tracking app so that you know you have the correct amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Plan your meals. All of them! Figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and make sure they fit into your plan.
- Do your shopping. Eat before you go to the store and get only what is on your list.
- Prepare your food. This can take a while, but it will save you a TON of time later in the week!
- Measure it into appropriate quantities and put it into proper storage containers
- Put it in the fridge and start your week off right!
I can NOT emphasize how important this plan is! If you plan what you are going to eat you will be SOOOOO much more successful than if you don’t!
Still a little bit confused about what to eat and when and how much? The amazing guy I am using is Mike Doehla with Stronger U. It is not easy, but I’m at the point with my diet where I have to do the really hard part to get to where I want to be. I have tried several different options over the past couple of years (since my surgery) and this is the first time I have seen results. And the best part is, I still feel strong! If you are interested in some high quality help, his email address is mike.strongeru