Showing Love–the Right Way–During the Holidays

By Cami Checketts –

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to me because of all the love that is shown. Love to neighbors, family, friends, and those in need at home or abroad. We all show that love in different ways. Most of us will make extra donations to those in need and reach out to neighbors we might not see often. We’ll enjoy spending more time with family and close friends.

My husband and I were both raised by wonderful parents who loved us and took very good care of us. It’s always so fun to go to Grandma’s house and get spoiled as they serve us a hearty meal and dessert, and then afterwards…when they start passing around the chocolate. While we love these parties (and the food), we’re grateful they are special occasions. Sometimes the love is shown through the sharing of food and it’s awfully hard to make healthy choices at such times. Has anyone else offended Grandma by saying no thanks to pumpkin pie?

None of us would knowingly hurt one of our children or other family members, but I’ve found myself showing love through food. The baby grins when I hand him a sucker. The older boys jump with joy when Daddy makes cookies. My husband gives me an extra kiss when his special black licorice appears in his drawer. I don’t believe any of these examples are a problem if they happen occasionally, but when the baby is eating suckers and cookies all the time, he’s not going to feel good or develop properly.

In Romans 13:10 (KJV), the Bible says, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor….” The last thing we want to do is to show our love by doing something that harms others, but my husband and I are often guilty of showing love through food. My husband’s chocolate chip cookies are famous in our neighborhood. We often discuss how we can enjoy sharing treats with those we love while still modeling and offering mostly healthy choices. My husband’s thoughts: “If you truly love someone, you would encourage them, in a positive way, to make the healthiest choices possible because you know how great that is going to make them feel.”

I can’t imagine a sweet grandmother handing out her lemon pound cake is thinking, “Here you go, my darlings, clog up those arteries, get hyped up on empty sugars, and just deal with being overweight.” Of course, none of us thinks that way, but if we aren’t offering healthy foods (most of the time) to our family, we are essentially handing them problems.

My husband is still going to bake cookies and I’m still going to hide black licorice in his drawer, but I hope that both of us will be more conscious of how we show love and what we serve at those holiday parties. Having a happy, healthy family is worth being a bit more conscious about what we eat. Now if I can just wrestle the sucker out of my baby’s mouth!

Spice it Up

By Cami Checketts –

Our bodies are such an amazing gift from our Heavenly Father. Throughout history, humans have used their physical strength to provide for themselves and their families. They have had to work extremely hard. The human body adapts quickly to stresses placed upon it. This was a very good characteristic for our ancestors. Not so great for us stuck in a modern society of ease and convenience. Relatively few people have to eke out an existence by the sweat of their brows, which is one of the causes of an increase in obesity, heart problems, and many different health challenges.

Because our bodies are so amazing, we have to work harder and challenge ourselves differently to maintain optimum health and vigor. If we want to increase our fitness and health, we have to be willing to push ourselves and add some spice to our workout.

Variety is key when you’re trying to lose weight, get past a plateau, or become more fit. If you do the same cardio or weight routine over and over it will become easy. This is a good thing because it means you’re getting stronger, but it also means that you are burning fewer calories because your body is accustomed to the demands placed upon it.

You can fix this problem by upping the intensity, duration, and speed of your workout or by changing the type of workout you do—known as cross-training. Cross-training recruits different muscle groups, challenges your body in a new way, and will help you burn more calories.

How can you cross-train? If you always bike, try swimming or running. If you love the elliptical machine, try the Stairmaster. If you faithfully go to step aerobics, try hiking a nearby canyon or sample a yoga, Pilates, or kickboxing class. If you work out at home and need some variety, rent a new workout video, borrow one from the library or plan a girl’s night out at the gym.

Variety really is the spice of exercise. My challenge to you is to try something different this week. Please comment below and share which new activity you’re going to try.

 

 

Control of Bodily Appetites

February 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

Summer is coming to an end and I’m depressed.

It’s hard to let the good times go. I love my boys being home with me, hiking, biking, swimming, just enjoying every minute with them. My only regret this summer is I’ve allowed my self-control to slip. It hasn’t just been an occasional ice cream cone on the front porch swing. Some days it’s been two ice cream cones and, to be quite honest, most of the time I’m the one instigating the treat.

I really have no problem with eating treats and I adore ice cream. My problem comes in feeling I am out of control. As a Christian, I am trying to emulate the Savior. To me that includes controlling my temper, being a moral, righteous person, and controlling all of my bodily appetites. I believe that we should enjoy delicious foods, but ice cream twice a day? Probably too much.

So how do I stay in control of my bodily appetites?

Jesus gives us the answer in John 15:5 (KJV), “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” He is telling us to stay close to him and we’ll experience His spiritual fruit—love, joy, peace…and self-control. And he warns us that without Him, we can do nothing! We can’t eat in a healthy way, exercise or do other important things to take care of our “temples” and stay in control of our appetites.

Another important thing that we need to do into order to control our bodily appetites is to take it a day at a time. Each day is a new day, another chance to be healthy. If I focus on one day at a time I don’t get so overwhelmed.

I also think it’s wise not to be too strict. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Healthy eating is important but we’re never going to be perfect. I love the 90/10 approach (or sometimes 80/20 when life is crazy). If I eat in a healthy way 90% of the time, I can enjoy a treat for the other 10%.

The best advice is to turn to the Lord. He really does care about every aspect of our lives. He’s there for us. Turn to Him when you’re struggling.

I pray we can all try to take a little better care of ourselves, when we feel good physically it makes it easier to get out and serve others and helps us stay strong spiritually.

What Should I Wear–to the Gym?

December 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

As a woman I’m always a bit concerned about what I’m going to wear. It may seem vain, but I find if I’m dressed appropriately I’m more confident and comfortable.  The older I get the more conscious I become about dressing modestly, covering my body in a manner that is appropriate for a Christian.

To be honest I didn’t always feel the same rules of modesty applied at the gym. When I exercise, I work hard and all I cared about was being comfortable. But then I started to notice that my fellow gym rats were watching me a bit too closely. I realized that I couldn’t use the excuse that I was a Mom and nobody should be looking, because they were looking.

While getting dressed for the gym one morning, Jesus’ words came to mind: “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 KJV).

I’m not saying that these men were lusting after me, but I wasn’t being fair to them or myself by wearing a tank top that was a little too tight or shorts that were a little too short. If I’m not careful to cover my body appropriately, no matter what activity I’m participating in, I’m using my body as a walking billboard that definitely isn’t furthering the Savior’s work.

I know this is a tough subject. I have many relatives and friends whom I love and respect who disagree with me. They feel that the gym is a safe spot where you can wear what you want and nobody should be looking. The problem is that they do look, sometimes not intentionally, but they still get the view that can detract from their spirituality… and yours.

Please share your opinions on this subject. I would love to hear from you!

Hard Work—What’s the Secret Enjoying It?

November 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration,” and he’s right! Genius or any kind of success in life isn’t usually based on how smart or talented we are. I’m sure you know many talented or brilliant people who haven’t accomplished as much as those who have learned how to work.

My sons groan every time I tell them that I’m more proud of how hard they work and how nice they are than how smart they are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that they do well in school but my oldest has never been in more trouble than when he got a hundred percent on the test and eighty percent on his homework assignment.

As an adult, it’s easier to recognize that hard work, in and of itself, brings satisfaction. When I make the time, I actually enjoy cleaning. I love working hard to produce a new novel. You probably have interests and hobbies that you enjoy, even though they’re difficult.

Becoming physically fit is one of those areas that requires hard work. Most people exercise because they want a certain result such as weight loss, strength gain, or a more toned appearance. But is it really possible to enjoy exercising?

I believe that it is, even during a really hard workout. Here’s the secret: perception. If you can shift your perception and convince yourself that fitness is enjoyable, it can be. I can talk myself into or out of quite a few things. Fitness is one of those areas that I’ve learned to talk myself into a good attitude. It doesn’t work every time but as I’m pushing hard during my morning jog (and wishing I could lay down on the side of the road and call my husband to come get me) I say to myself, “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.” Most of the time my body buys into mind’s perception and I feel better.

No matter how hard your work is, you can turn to the Lord for help to have a positive attitude about it. He wants us to cheerfully do all things. Our attitude toward the work we perform (be it fitness, manual labor, or a mental challenge) can make the difference between misery and happiness.

 

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