Tag Archives: difference


We think that for healthy eating and exercise to work they should be hard and require lots of restrictions and rules. Making small changes seems too easy.

But the good news is they do make a difference!

They make a difference because they become a lifestyle change! A lifestyle change that we can keep doing.


Here is some research to back up my statement!

healthy habits

Lesley Lutes is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at East Carolina University.

Here we are at Camp #4. We are ready for a few more small changes!

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

TODAY’S little STEP: Get started on Camp #4! You can do it!  Every little step makes a difference because 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.







  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!

















I hope Cecile’s story encourages you my friend!

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The best use of 10 minutes of your time!

Do you feel busier than ever? Is your stress level high and your energy level low? Can you carve out 10 minutes in your demanding day? Just 10 minutes of your crazy life that will reduce your stress, increase your metabolism, lower your blood pressure and improve your mood? What is the mystery 10-minute activity? It’s exercise!

We often use the excuse that we don’t have enough time to exercise.  However, there is good scientific research stating that as little as 10 minutes of exercise makes a difference. I posted this way back in August and decided we all needed to be reminded.

Dr. Timothy Church, director of Preventive Medicine Research at Louisiana State found that “when overweight or obese, sedentary women walked 10 minutes a day at a low speed, comparable to a stroll in the Mall, they increased their peak oxygen consumption- a measure of cardiovascular fitness – by 4.2 percent compared to women who stayed on the sidelines.”  Just a nice stroll makes a difference! We can do that, my friend!

Professor Ulf Ekelund, head of a research team at Cambridge University came to this conclusion, “a brisk daily 20-minute walk could reduce the risk of an early death by almost a third. This is a simple message – just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits.   Physical activity should be an important part of our daily life.”

There you have it scientific research to support the importance of 10 minutes of exercise.

Here’s a quick fun little workout you can do on your lunch break and then again in the kitchen while dinner is cooking!


10 minute work out

After many years of turning to food to ease my stress I have switched to walking outside as my best stress reducer.  If I can do it so can you!  I walk with my husband most evenings. We have winter walks along a wooded trail and during the other seasons our route takes us on streets along side a river. When we are unable to walk outside I enjoy walking DVDs.

I really like Leslie Sansone’s walking DVDs I own dozens of them. There are no crazy dance steps, and she has real women like us walk with her. Leslie is in her forties and a great encourager. She has posted quite a few of her walks on YouTube. Click on this link for a beginner walk.

If walking is difficult, then try some chair exercises.  I recommend Anne Burnell. Her programs improve strength, flexibility, energy and coordination and are all done in a chair.  Click on this link to see her video which is about 8 minutes long.

With a few clicks on our computer or smart phone we will be all set and ready for a little bit of exercise.

At Camp #3 we are increasing our walk or exercise time to 20 minutes. If your schedule is crazy, break it down into two 10 minute sessions, it all makes a difference!

This is another post you might like from August. Find the fun activity that is best for you.

Today’s little step: Find two 10 minutes periods in your day to move your body. Find an activity you enjoy and do it!

Remember our core scripture verse. “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation 

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Make 2016 the year you get healthy, diet free!

We all know diets work for a little while. But one day we feel too deprived, too stressed and we quit.

Instead of a new diet I want to encourage you to make lifestyle changes.  Little changes that helped  me lose weight and keep it off.

We will make small changes to our food intake, physical activity and to our mental and spiritual well-being.



weight loss plan

We will make 4 small changes that are easy  and contribute to a healthy life. Once these initial changes have become habits, we will add 4 more little changes. 

We borrow mountain climbing jargon and tools, as getting healthy can feel like climbing a mountain.

Every mountain is climbed

one little step at a time!

If you are already on our mountain climbing team, I’m so glad to see you here today. We’re doing a review.  Please pick the best camp to start climbing from.

This is Base Camp.

 # 1 Nutrition-Backpack – no diet, just use a smaller plate or bowl at each meal or  snack! 1 surprisingly simple secret to losing weight

#2 Physical Activity-Hiking boots – 10 minutes a day of intentional exercise start with 2 five-minute periods if you’re new to exercise.  what everyone needs to know about 10 minutes of exercise

#3 Mental focus-Helmet – 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!”  change your mind it’s good for your health

#4 Spiritual focus-Safety ropes – pray and ask Jesus for His help.  Choose a verse to memorize.  Here’s a good 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 essential steps to access God’s power 

 After 30 days at Base Camp we climb to Camp #2

#1 Backpack-drink water instead of other beverages at meals and snacks.  Continue to use a smaller plate or bowl. water your body’s best friend

#2 Hiking boots-15 minutes of intentional exercise every day.  Start with 3-5 minute periods if you are new to exercise. find a fun physical activity

#3 Helmet-become aware of  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!” the surprising truth you need to be healthy

#4 Safety ropes-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 accessing more willpower in one easy step


Those are the first 2 camps! If you are just joining us start at Base Camp.

 You can also go back to my PAST LITTLE STEPS to read previous posts.

You can make these small changes, my friend!

It is my hope and prayer that you will have HOPE because of Jesus.  Access His power and might on this journey to health and well-being!  It’s Jesus that makes the difference, not a new diet!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Start climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being at Base Camp.  Make the 4 little changes to your life.

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I know a little secret that fools my brain and helps me eat less everyday! A little trick I use at every meal. This little trick helped me lose weight and keep it off for over 5 years!

It’s a secret that I can’t keep to myself, I have to share with you, girlfriend! In fact, I shared it back in the spring, but it’s worth repeating!

What’s my little secret? I use a smaller size plate, the luncheon size. It doesn’t sound like much of a change, but the evidence proves it makes a big difference.

The smaller plate holds less food but it looks very full. My brain and eyes like the plate to be full, I don’t feel deprived and my portions are naturally smaller!

Researchers have found that our brains have trouble judging how much food there is on a plate. We use the size of the plate as our reference for how much food to put on it. Overall they found that people serve themselves more food when using larger dinnerware and serve themselves less food when using smaller ones. http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/content/plate-size

Take a look at these 2 plates, which has the most food?








Most of us think the plate on the left has more food. The surprise is that they both have the same amount, 1 cup of macaroni and cheese and 1/2 a cup of green beans.

The one to the left is the smaller luncheon size plate. The food covers most of the plate and we think there is more.

The one to the right is the full size dinner plate. The food covers less of the plate and we think there is less.

When we fill both plates they looks like this.


They look pretty similar, however the difference in the portion size is amazing; it’s double the amount!

On the smaller luncheon plate, to the left, the portion is 1 cup of macaroni and 1/2 a cup of green beans.  The caloric count is 375.

On the regular dinner plate, to the right, the portion is 2 cups of macaroni and a 1 cup of green beans.  The caloric count is 750!

Wow! What a difference in calories!  By switching to a smaller plate, at this meal, we save 375 calories.

This little change made such a big difference for me!   By using a smaller plate I lost weight and kept it off!

This little change can make a difference for you too, girlfriend. If you reduce your calories by 100 calories a day and make no other changes you can lose 10 pounds in one year! That’s the encouraging news we all need to hear!


TODAY’S little STEP: – Switch to a smaller size plate and bowl for your meals and snacks.


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I’m either on or off a diet. I give up all my favorite foods and treats. Then one day I feel too deprived, too stressed and I give in. Another diet is over, I’ve quit again and I feel like a failure. Can you relate? Don’t be discouraged, Girlfriend.

Our focus is on making little changes. We make little adjustments to our lives that we can keep doing. Come take some little steps with me up the Mountain of Health and Well-Being.

Eating a Carrot - cartoon image

Together we climbed from Base Camp to Camp #2. Today we hike to Camp #3. Here’s your sneak peak.

Nutrition – Add 1 serving of vegetables 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.

Mental – Identify a lie you believe, (those nasty self-talk statements) 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

That’s it Girlfriend! Just 4 little steps that we can all do!

No diet, no deprivation, no disappointment!

Over the next month information for each component will be provided.

TODAY’S little STEP: Start Camp #3! Take these little steps everyday.

Every little step makes a difference!

Every mountain is climbed one step at a time!

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Tempted to start a new diet? Don’t do it! Discouraged because you’ve slipped into old habits? Don’t quit! Keep taking little steps and making little changes. They do make a difference!


Hey Girlfriend and fellow mountain climber! I’m so glad to see you here today. We’ve been climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being together for a while now. You are making a difference in your health with every little change you make!

We’re just about ready to leave Camp #2! You did it girlfriend. You finished the first and second levels of the climb!

Let’s pack up by doing a little review. You will find a link back to the original posts.

Here are the 4 little steps of Camp #2

# 1 Nutrition – Drink water, instead of other beverages, with your meals and snacks. Continue to use a smaller plate or bowl at each meal or snack. https://littlestepstohealth.com/2015/08/31/water-your-bodys-bff/

#2 Exercise – 15 minutes a day of intentional exercise.  Start with 3 five-minute periods if you’re new to exercise. https://littlestepstohealth.com/2015/09/21/find-the-fun-physical-activity-that-is-best-for-you/

#3 Mental – repeat this healthy self-talk statement daily  “I am a beautiful, beloved daughter of the King.  I’m making small changes.  Every little step makes a difference!  I’m taking care of me”! http://littlestepstohealth.com/2015/11/02/change-your-mind-its-good-for-your-health/

#4 Spiritual – pray and ask Jesus for His help.  Choose a verse to memorize.  Here’s a good one.  Psalm 25: 4&5 “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  https://littlestepstohealth.com/2015/10/19/accessing-more-willpower-in-one-easy-step/

This month at Camp #2 we have learned that small changes make a difference. Lesley Lutes, PhD, says, “When you focus on just a couple of small changes at a time, you begin to ingrain some healthy habits that last for a lifetime. An all-or-nothing approach often fails because it’s too hard to follow”. Article: A randomized trial of a small changes approach for weight loss in veterans.

We learned that we’ve used food as a reward for way too long. We found some non-food rewards that are really fun!  https://littlestepstohealth.com/2015/08/03/21-unique-and-cheap-non-food-rewards/

If you haven’t already rewarded yourself, then it’s time! You deserve it Girlfriend!

We formed an accountability group on Facebook. Search for me on Facebook, look for my pink coat in the Dixie Elliott profiles. When you click on it you should see those familiar pink shoes! Send me a friend request and ask to be added to the group. We need a good team of climbers! . A-good-team-can-inspire-you-learn-how/

TODAY’S little STEP: Review the requirements of Camp #2 and keep taking those little steps. Reward yourself with a non-food reward. Grab your climbing equipment and get ready to climb to Camp #3!

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