Do You Have An Eating Disability or Eating Disorder?

January 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

Tommy’s parents were so relieved.

This sweet, red-headed fourth-grader was doing terribly in school. His teacher said he wasn’t trying. Some of the kids in his class called him “stupid.” His parents were beginning to fear he was slow. That is, until they tested him and found that he has dyslexia. Tommy has a learning disability. It’s not that he won’t ever be able to read, he just has to be taught in a different way. It’s not his fault. It’s just a fact. Tommy is different, but with extra work, he’ll be fine. What a relief!

You may have an eating disability 

Just as it was a blessing for Tommy to find out why he was having problems reading, so it is for us to find out why we’ve had problems losing weight and keeping it off. No one likes to have a problem, but when we have one, we are relieved to find out what it is and what we can do about it.

Do you think that you might have an eating disability? Here’s my definition:

Anyone who can’t lose weight and keep it off has an eating disability.

Eating disabilities get more pronounced as time goes by. If they are ignored, they may turn into eating disorders.

Here’s my definition of an eating disorder:

Anyone who experiences serious health or emotional problems as a result of eating in a harmful way, yet continues that behavior, has an eating disorder.

When I found out that I had an eating disorder, I was relieved. (Since I alternated between bingeing and starving myself, I was classified as bulimic.) Now I could quit asking myself this question: 

“Why can’t I, a well-educated, in-control sort of person, quit overeating?

No matter how hard I tried not to, I found myself eating too much. I constantly beat myself up for my lack of self-control. But when I finally began to understand the reasons for my actions, I was able to discard the “stupid” label–like Tommy did–and start doing what needed to be done to get better. 

Take this little quiz to see if you have an eating disability or disorder:

(Circle the answer that more accurately describes you.)

1. I have trouble sticking to a healthy food plan…

A. Even though I know I need to.

B. Even though my doctor or my medical symptoms say I need to.

2. Often I find myself overeating…

A. Though I feel guilty when I do.

B. Though I feel so ashamed of myself I don’t know what to do.

3. If certain foods are around, I…

A. Eat more of them than I intend to.

B. Eat them until they are gone or until I feel too uncomfortable to continue eating.

4. I overeat…

A. Two or three times a week when I’m busy or under stress.

B. Almost daily, no matter what’s going on in my life.

5. My health…

A. May someday be affected by my eating.

B. Is affected by my eating.

6. I am ashamed of the way I look…

A. But that doesn’t interfere with my activities much.

B. So I frequently don’t do things I’d do if I were thinner.

7. If I were thinner…

A. I would look more attractive.

B. I would be happier.

8.  When something is wrong…

A. I concentrate on fixing the problem, but I may be more tempted to overeat.

B. I am usually not able to face the problem without overeating. 

Count the number of “A” responses and then count “B” responses. If you had more “A” responses, you have an eating disability that has not progressed to an eating disorder yet.  If you have more “B” responses, you have an eating disorder–according to our definition–since eating has brought disorder to your life.

Don’t get upset if you recognize that you have an eating disability or disorder. It may be harder for you to lose weight, but you can do it! Reach out for help today!

Life’s Too Hard Right Now…Or Is It?

December 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

“I can’t lose weight. Life’s just too hard right now. Maybe later when things settle down,” Susanne said dejectedly.

She had come to me the week before, ready to take her first step toward healthy living, but after trying a few days to make a few simple changes, she had already given up.

She was clinging to food as if it were a life raft that was her only hope in a turbulent sea.

I encouraged Susanne not to rely on food to numb her worries, but the Lord as her only hope in these troubled times. And I told her what she already had discovered: there will always be troubles. Life is never easy, and if we put off making needed changes until that perfect time, things will just go from bad to worse.

Susanne and I had a long talk about baby steps she could take to start on her journey toward healthy living. We mapped out a simple strategy that would help her to stay on track with her eating, exercising and quiet time goals.

Here’s what Suzanne said she would do:

  1. I will have a quiet time every morning for just a few minutes to write a prayer about my eating, asking God for the willingness to make healthier choices and the ability to cast my cares on Him—not the refrigerator.
  2. I will listen to my Bible CD in the car on the way to work.
  3. I will write down on a little tablet what I eat during the day.

She was able to do these things for two weeks, so she decided to add two more goals:

  1. I will limit trigger foods that make my cravings worse. (For Suzanne these were things with sugar.)
  2. After eating a sandwich and fruit during my lunch break, I will walk up and down the stairs in my office building.

A few weeks later, after success with those goals, she added another one.

  1. Every time I eat, I will make the healthiest choice possible.

Finally a week or two later, she heard about a Christian weight-loss group and decided to join them. She made going to that group a final goal that helped her to learn how to rely on God’s power to eat right and make other healthy lifestyle changes… instead of her shaky willpower.

During our last counseling session, a thinner Suzanne told me that she felt so much better, and even though her challenges hadn’t changed, her ability to cope with them had. She said, “All of the things I’ve been able to do wouldn’t have been possible without my quiet time every morning. Those 10-15 minutes have made all the difference! And it’s also such a big help to have my Christian weight-loss group to encourage me!”

Then she added something that so many people need to understand: “I’m really glad I didn’t wait until things were easier to try to lose weight. I thought that overeating was making my life easier, but it was really making it harder. Carrying around all of those extra pounds and experiencing those sugar highs and lows made me too exhausted to deal with my problems. And thinking about food all the time distracted me from the Lord and the helping hand He was holding out to me.”

Learn How to Eat Out Without Widening Out!

December 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

We are all sooo busy these days and it’s easy to shovel down fast food when we’re exhausted. Over 25 percent of Americans consume fast food every day.  Not all fast food is unhealthy, but most of it is. Do you want to learn some quick tips so you can develop the art of eating out without widening out?

  • Almost all fast food restaurants have nutritional info on their websites. Check them out and make a healthy choice before hitting the drive-thru.
  • Don’t super-size!
  • Ask them to hold the cheese.
  • Stay away from sugary soft drinks.
  • Limit sauces such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce or salad dressing. Order sandwiches without them or on the side so you can add your own. Choose low-fat or reduced-fat options when possible.
  • Salads are usually a healthy option, especially with a low-fat dressing.
  • Limit fried foods. Choose items that are grilled or baked.
  • Order from the kids’ menu. The portions are smaller, and you can usually make substitutions.
  • Get a to-go box to bring half of what you order home.
  • Choose from the items labeled as “healthy” or “light.”

Here are a few of the worst fast foods. (Keep in mind that most people aim to eat less than 2,000 calories a day.)

  • Hardee’s Monster Thickburger 1420 calories
  • Dairy Queen’s Large Choc. Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard 1320 calories
  • Burger King’s TRIPLE WHOPPER Sandwich With Cheese 1230 calories
  • McDonalds’ Deluxe Breakfast 1140 calories (not including butter and syrup)
  • Arby’s Meatball Toasted Sub 1000 calories

The following are some lower-calorie fast food options:

  • Burger King’s Whopper Jr. 290 calories.
  • McDonalds’ Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 220 calories with Newman’s Own Low- Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing 40 calories
  • Panera Bread Banana Nut Muffin  230 calories with fruit cup 70 calories
  • Subway’s 6 grams or less menu sandwiches 330 calories or less (hold the cheese) with honey mustard select sauce 28 calories
  • Taco Bell’s Fresco Style Chicken Ranchero Taco 170 calories or Bean Burrito 350 calories
  • Wendy’s Mandarin Chicken Salad  170 with Fat-Free French dressing 80 calories
  • Chick-fil-A Icedream Cone 140 calories

Whether you’re eating by yourself, with your children or friends who are watching their weight, make a game of finding the biggest fast-food “bargain.” Develop the art of making healthy choices no matter where you are, and you’ll be able to eat out without widening out!

Have a Heavenly Perspective and Be Healthier!

October 31, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

According to some studies, worrying is the number one reason that people get sick, and there are so many things to worry about these days! If we keep our thoughts on our problems, we’ll come down with heaven knows what, but if we keep our thoughts on heaven, we’ll be able to rise above our problems and experience a taste of heaven on earth. But how can we do that?

Let’s start by looking at one of my favorite verses: 

 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” Isaiah 64:4 (NLT).

Here’s what I wrote as I meditated on this passage:

Oh Lord, please help me to keep these wonderful promises in my mind and heart as I go through the rest of my days. Help me to never forget that I am heading home to receive your blessings. Though you are with me and bless me while I’m here, those blessings are just a shadow of the ones to come. When I grieve my losses in light of your awesome promises, my losses pale in comparison with the amazing blessings you have in store for me.

How unworthy I am to receive rewards from you, but you promise to reward me nonetheless. How unworthy I am to be called your child, but you choose to love me and call me your own. I praise you, Father, for sending your Son to be my worthiness and your Spirit to help me to love you.

I rest, Abba, in your wisdom, in your perfect timing and in your unconditional love for those who love you.

Now we’ll journey back to earth to see how we can have a heavenly perspective while dealing with overwhelming challenges many of us have to face every day.

Paul tells us how to do this in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV) “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Here’s what I wrote about this passage during a particularly challenging time in my life:

I have so many problems coming at me at once that I feel hard pressed on every side—but I don’t have to be crushed by my circumstances. Picturing myself encircled by Jesus’ loving arms helps me to remember that He is with me, protecting me.

I am perplexed—but I don’t have to be in despair. I’m confused, unsure and upset, but I don’t have to be in despair as one who has no hope. I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future. I am finding that when I praise the Lord even though I don’t understand His plan, I experience peace and even joy sometimes.

Because so many painful things are happening, I feel persecuted—but when I cling to God’s promises, I don’t feel abandoned. Jesus promises that He’ll be even closer me when I’m going through trials and I believe Him!

I feel like I have been stuck down—but I will not be destroyed. I am victorious in Christ. Nothing can defeat me or separate me from His love. And nothing can destroy the wonderful eternity I will have with Him in heaven.

I have given you my thoughts about a few verses that have helped me to have a heavenly perspective. Find others and write your own meditations so you can rise above your problems, be healthier… and experience a taste of heaven on earth!

Fitness: What Does It Really Mean?

October 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Don Otis –

I just read an article in National Geographic about solo-climbing some of the great walls in Yosemite, namely El Capitan. What used to take days or even weeks is now done in a matter of hours, sometimes without a rope. You read that right. One mistake, one missed foothold, fear, fatigue and you are dead! This takes extreme conditioning and plenty of mental acuity. I don’t recommend it.

For most of us, fitness is an elusive dream that we never manage to achieve. If you look at health, fitness or fashion magazines you can feel insecure. Few of us will ever be completely satisfied by how we look or how fit we are. That’s why we’re talking about how to define fitness in this column. In general terms, fitness involves our ability to fulfill a particular physical task or role. This definition will change based on the task. For example, if you want to run a marathon the task is much greater than if you want to walk up a flight of stairs. For an older person, getting up a flight of stairs or walking around the block may be a big challenge.

Physical fitness is most often defined as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities, pursue recreational activities, and have the physical capability to handle emergency situations. This raises more questions than it provides answers. For example, can a person be overweight and be fit at the same time? Yes, in some cases. Obesity is another matter. It hampers our ability to perform the basic functions of everyday life. These also vary depending on whether you are a ditch digger or sit at your desk all day like I do.

The majority of us just want to enjoy life, do the things we take pleasure in, and not huff and puff our way around a park or up a trail. Others of us are goal-oriented and feel the need to achieve through physically challenging experiences. As a general rule, you should engage in some activity five days a week for twenty to thirty minutes that gets your heart rate up to 70 percent of more of your maximum. If you are faithful and consistent, you can call yourself fit.

The elevated heart rate is necessary for putting an adequate workload on your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs). This means that going to the gym a couple of times a week or walking lazily around the block is often not enough. Your fitness level is directly proportionate to how hard you work. One’s fitness level and effort at 60 is clearly not the same for someone in their 20s so this is why checking your heart rate and maintaining it during exercise is important.

Finally, your level of fitness is not just exercise-related. It involves far more, such as how you’re doing emotionally and spiritually, as well as what you consume. Imagine putting sugar water in your gas tank and expecting your car to operate effectively. It won’t.

In order to be totally fit, we must consider exercise as well as what we put into our minds (such as television and movies) and what we put into our bodies.

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