Category Archives: personal stories

Happy Spring

I love spring!  It’s my favourite time of the year!

Our snow finally disappears and everything comes to life.

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spring beauty

I took some pictures when we were at the cottage this weekend.

I am always excited when I see tiny shoots breaking through.

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Tiny shoots breaking through

I am reminded of a verse my Mom quotes this time of year.

“When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground”. Psalm 104:30

English Standard Version

We have a little brook right beside us.

 It’s so relaxing to hear the water trickling over the rocks.

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little brook

We enjoyed a long weekend at the cottage.

We spent time with family and friends enjoying God’s wonderful creation.

I love to look at the lake.

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cottage view

TODAY’S little STEP:  Enjoy this  delightful spring weather and stop for a minute to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation! It’s a wonderful gift!

4 SUPRISINGLY SIMPLE STEPS TO BE DIET FREE FOR LIFE!

Diets don’t work for long. No one wants to live a life of deprivation. Little lifestyle changes made the difference for me!

I’ve lost 20% of my body weight and have kept it off for 7 years!

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BEFORE

 

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AFTER

I know your battles my friend because they’re mine too.

I’m five feet tall with a petite frame and I gain weight easily.

I love to cook and bake and eat good tasting food.

I eat when I’m stressed and sad,

to reward myself and to celebrate with others.

I’ve tried lots of diets and programs.

I want to give you hope that you can make little changes just like I did! These lifestyle changes are now a part of my daily habits, which I can keep doing for the rest of my life.

Here’s an outline of the first 4 camps up the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

For those of you who have been part of our climbing team from the start take a look back and see how far you have come!

You’ve done a good job of climbing.

If you’ve had a few falls that’s O.K. There is no condemnation here.

Just pick the camp that is right for you and get climbing again.

If you are new to this blog…yahoo, so glad you are here! Start out at Base Camp today!

 Click on the link and you’ll get the information for that little step!

BASE CAMP

Nutrition: Switch to a smaller plate or bowl at each meal or snack.

Exercise: 10 minutes of exercise a day. You can break it up into two 5 minute sessions.

Mental: Repeat this healthy self-talk statement-‘I am a beautiful beloved daughter of the King. I am making small changes to be healthy. Taking care of me is important’.

Spiritual: Learn a Bible verse like this one, “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you”.” Isaiah 41:13

Stay at Base Camp for 4 weeks. Once these steps are habits then climb to Camp #2.

CAMP #2

Nutrition: Drink water in place of other beverages. Continue with the smaller plate or bowl.

Exercise: 15 minutes of exercise per day, break it into 5 minute periods if you need to

Mental: Become aware of your inner critic and negative self-talk. Repeat this healthy self-talk statement daily.  ‘I am a beautiful beloved daughter of the King!  I am making small changes to be healthy.  Taking care of me is important’.

Spiritual: Pray and share your concerns with Jesus.  Memorize a verse.  Here’s a good one.  “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.  My hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4,5b

Stay for 4 weeks. Move back to Base Camp whenever you feel it is necessary.

Once these steps become habits move to Camp #3. 

CAMP # 3

Nutrition: Add 1 serving of vegetables (½ cup cooked or 1 cup of leafy) to 1 meal. Continue using a smaller plate at each meal or snack. Drink water as your main beverage.

Exercise: Add 5 minutes of exercise for a total of 20 minutes per day. You can divide it into 2-10 minute sessions or even 4-5 minute sessions on a crazy day.

Mental: Recognize that you have an inner critic. Identify a lie and replace it with a truth statement.

Spiritual: Pray and access Jesus’ power. Choose a verse to memorize. Here is a good one. “Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power”. Ephesians 6:10

CAMP # 4

Nutrition: Add 1 serving of fruit – 1 small piece of fruit or ½ cup of cut fruit to 1 meal. Continue using a smaller plate. Drink water as your main beverage.

Exercise: Continue with 20 minutes of exercise daily. Add incidental exercise to your day. Examples are: take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk during commercials.

Mental: Identify 2 lies you say to yourself. Replace those lies with truth statements.

Spiritual: Pray and access Jesus’ power. Choose a verse to memorize. Here’s a good one.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13”

I

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick the camp that is right for you and join us in the climb up the Mountain of Health and Well-being! Start today!

Every mountain is climbed one step at a time!

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What does everyday grace look like?

What does everyday grace look like? Do you give grace when the waitress gets your order wrong? Do you give grace when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you give grace when you receive poor service?

Grace is underserved favor. It’s a term that is used a lot in Christian circles. We talk about God’s grace for us. But when we need to give underserved favor to someone else, it’s hard. When someone doesn’t deserve our kindness, it’s much harder to give.

I’ve been praying and asking God to help me give grace to others. I should know that if I pray that kind of prayer – a test will be given to see if I really mean it.

Yikes! God did give me a test! I didn’t do very well. I think I got a C.

On Friday I went to my hairdresser. We have good discussions about God and she is learning about God’s love. I went in for a root touch up. However, when I returned from the sink I was shocked to see that my hair was much darker than I expected!

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I was disappointed because I’m not really a risk taker when it comes to my hair. I like the change to be subtle, a change that only my family and close friends would notice. I chatted with my hairdresser as she styled it and she assured me that the darkness would fade. She told me I could come in on Tuesday if I didn’t like it and she would do something.

I went home with my dark hair. But every time I looked in the mirror I was surprised and I said, “it’s so dark”. My husband and children were very supportive and that helped.

I thought about my new hair color a lot those first 2 days. I thought about it too much. I was sure everyone who looked at me would notice the big change. (surprisingly hardly anyone noticed or commented) Guess I’m not that important after all. Tee hee!

I was pretty sure that I would call on Tuesday and complain. I would get her to do something to lighten it up. It was within my rights as a paying customer to get better service and she told me to call if I didn’t like it. My family said it would be ok to go back and complain.

But God reminded me that I wanted to learn grace. This was my opportunity to give undeserved favor to my hairdresser. This was my test, could I do it?

On Monday morning I read my devotional book by Oswald Chambers. There was one paragraph that seemed to written just for me.

“Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of myself? No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, ‘Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.’ The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity.”

Wow, this was my opportunity to exhibit the sweetness of God or just focus on myself and my wants.

This was my test, could I give grace? Could I be obedient?

I decided to keep my darker colour. I wanted to have a different reaction than other customers; I wanted my Christianity to make my response different. So I gave her grace – undeserved favor, she didn’t even know. But I do and so does God!

When I look in the mirror it will be a prompt. I will thank God for His grace for me and I will thank Him for teaching me. I think I will smile too at my Heavenly Father’s sense of humor.

TODAY’S little STEP: Be sensitive to God’s leading in your life. Watch for opportunities to display everyday grace to the people you come in contact with. But, be careful. You may get a test real soon!

Just for your information the darkness did fade and I really have grown to like the new colour.

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Surprisingly simple decisions for your best health!

My eyes open and I’m making decisions: Should I hit the snooze button?

Will I wear the pink top with blue jeans? Make coffee or pick it up?

Who will take the kids to swimming?

What to have for dinner?

Today I will make approximately 35,000 decisions, and so will you!  Wow, I’m tired before the day begins. (If you are the mother of young children that number is probably doubled!) Many of those decisions won’t even take much thought.

But, I’ve learned that life is about stopping for a minute before I make a decision. That gives me just enough time to think and then make the healthiest choice.

 

As we climb up the Mountain of Health and Well-being, it is essential that we take one little step forward, make one healthy decision at a time. We don’t have to think about later today or tomorrow or next week, just right now and this choice.

All those little steps make a difference. Mountains are climbed one step at a time!

Right now you are reading this blog post! Yeah! That’s a good decision, a good little step forward. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Last week I shared Cecile’s success story. Cecile made lots of little decisions, lots of little steps that led to her success.

I want to challenge you today. Whenever you have to make a decision, STOP for just a minute and really THINK about it. Then, MAKE that decision a healthy one.   It’s like the Fireman’s statement, stop,drop and roll. Ours is stop, think and make!

Decisions

Cecile has success because she takes these healthy little steps every day. You might recognize them as the little steps of Base Camp and Camp #2. You can click on the link and it will give you more information on that choice. Here are some decisions, or little steps Cecile makes and you can too!

Use a smaller plate

Choose fruit as a snack

Pick water to drink

Move your body everyday in a fun way

Read your Bible and learn a verse

Pray and ask God for help

Say no thank you to dessert

Choose chicken or fish

Take healthy snacks in the car

Keep a positive attitude and repeat healthy self-talk statements

Talk with an accountability partner

Opt for carrots and celery sticks for evening snack

Keep tempting foods out of your house

TODAY’S little STEP: Whenever you have to make a decision, STOP for just a minute and really THINK about it. Then, MAKE that decision a healthy one. Take one little step forward with each healthy choice. Every mountain is climbed one step at a time!

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What she did to triumph and get healthy!

My friend lost 141 pounds and went from a size 24 to 14-16! Cecile, was a faithful member of the support group I led. She also attended Weight Watchers in the summer months. Her health journey has taken over 7 years. Cecile is still on her journey up the Mountain of Health and Well Being.

Cecile has had great success and I’m really excited to interview her.

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before

 

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after

 

  1. When did you realize you needed to make some changes?  I realized I wasn’t taking good care of myself and I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I used to say to myself, “what’s the use? I’m doomed to be fat.”

  2. What do you think led to your weight gain? I never thought I would gain weight. It just happened over the years. Like a lot of women I ate for emotional reasons.

  3. What was your light bulb moment when you decided to lose weight? When I walked my back and hips really hurt. My Mom, (who was very loving and helpful during my life) had Alzheimer’s Disease and needed to be in a wheelchair and I didn’t ever want to be in a wheelchair. I wanted to be able to walk and take care of myself.

  4. Were you part of a support and accountability group? Yes, I had prayed and asked God for a Christian weight loss group. When Dixie invited me to join the group I was very happy. How did it help you? It was good because we exercised together and we studied the Bible, and other good books. We shared our needs and supported each other. When I left the meeting I felt good and ready to keep working.

  5. What were the most important changes you made to be healthier? I have a small plate that I use to help me with my portions.  I am getting better at saying, “no thank you” when dessert is served. I don’t feel bad about saying no.I exercise everyday.If I am hungry in the early evening I eat carrots and celery sticks.I don’t eat anything after 8 o’clock at night; I shut the kitchen light off!I had high cholesterol and so I changed the food I ate and lowered my cholesterol.I realize that God’s grace has brought me to the place I am at today!

  6. What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss? Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? All of them! I eat a lot less food. I like to eat 6 small meals a day. I take snacks with me in the car so I’m not tempted to eat fast food. When I choose food I think about whether it is good for me and my husband teases me because I’m always reading the labels. I exercise everyday. I also changed my thinking- now I have a positive outlook on life. I’m very thankful. There is lots to live for! God helps me everyday to appreciate my life.

  7. What keeps you motivated when you get discouraged or have a slip up? I pick myself up, talk to somebody and I often exercise. I also read my Bible and God encourages me. I have a friend that says, “keep looking up!” I read Dixie’s blog and it encourages me to keep taking little steps.

  8. Are there any foods you outright avoid and do not have in your house? I don’t have any hot chocolate, or ice cream and no chocolate bars!

  9. When it comes to eating well what are your top recommendations?  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Eat mostly fish and chicken. Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day.

  10. What is your favourite form of exercise? I like to do exercise DVDs, I have a treadmill, and in the summer I like to walk outside. I like to try new things. This winter I went cross country skiing and skating. I signed up for a Zumba class and I loved it!

  11. Do you include weight training? Yes I use 3 and 5 pound weights and a resistance band. Why? I know that tones my body and helps me lose inches.

  12. What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey? Admitting that I needed to change and get healthy.

  13. How important has your family’s support been? My husband, son and daughter are proud of the healthy changes I have made.  I just attended a family reunion and every one commented on the changes I have made. They were happy for me. It encouraged them that they could make some changes to be healthy too.

  14. Do you have a favourite verse?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13

Thanks Cecile for sharing some of your health journey. If you were to give some last advice to anyone who is struggling to get healthy what would you say? You are at a very important place in your life. Keep taking little steps. God will never give up on you!

No matter how slow the weight loss is don’t give up! You are worth it. You are special in God’s eyes!

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after

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before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope Cecile’s story encourages you my friend!

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