Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By Grace Alone - Review

Summary: Do you sometimes feel trapped by a set of religious rules? Does your walk with God feel more like a checklist than a relationship? Do you feel as though you don't really measure up?

This book is for you.

Trusted Bible teacher Derek Prince shows you that being a Christian is not about being perfect. In fact, he says, we can never live up to the letter of the law. It is only when we let go of our constant striving for perfection that we encounter true perfection. How can that be? This one book will help you discover what really matters and embrace the grace of a loving, compassionate God.

It's time to stop striving, to walk away from the lies of legalism and to experience the freeing power of His all-encompassing grace.

My Take:

I think one of the biggest problems facing the church of today is legalism or a works based righteousness. It is perfectly natural -- the world we live in judges by performance. It is very hard to give up that mindset. Some of it is just our experiences and "worldly" influence and teachings and some of it is pride. We think we need to earn it -- and that we're capable.

In reality, we need to humbly come before God and recognize that our righteousness is like rags. We need to recognize that He is the one who saves, equips, and makes us right with God.

It's a powerful and important mindset. I think this book delivers the message very well and backs up points with Scripture. I appreciated what he was saying - but I wish the book didn't read so much like a textbook. It would have been better if it was more personal --- and included stories from real people about how their life was changed when they accepted true grace.

Still, it's very good book and though I am thankful Chosen gave me a copy, it in no way influenced my review. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Evil Carbs

I LOVE food. I especially love carbs. 

That’s like admitting you killed someone in today’s world of super low-carb celebrity diets.

Carbs aren’t inherently bad though. I don’t think any food is. It’s about balance, portion control and making good choices. I refuse to exclude them from my diet. I do want to improve my health and control my weight though and controlling sugar levels is part of that.

When your body has really high and then really low levels of sugar, it can not only lead to eating too much, but also feeling more tired and sluggish and not thinking as clearly. So, keeping those levels more even is important to making better choices and feeling better.

One of the strategies I’m using is to eat smaller but more frequent meals. This helps stop the highs and lows that can lead to sugary snacks.  I’ve seen suggestions for eating every couple hours – and some people just graze all day long. You can use whatever method works for you – but skipping meals is not good for your body or your metabolism. A lot of people skip one or even two meals a day thinking It will help them lose weight. The problem is that your body thinks it’s starving so it slows down how fast you burn calories and sends all the energy into storage (translated – it makes fat) to protect itself.

I wish we could just tell it to knock off the fat-making, but it doesn’t work that way. Picture me bending over with a megaphone to my stomach -- yelling, "Stop making fat!" If I thought it would work . . .

Another helpful tool is to try and include protein in all your meals. I know, I know. I just told you all about my love affair with carbs and here I am touting protein. The truth is that the combination of them both is what works best to fuel our bodies. Carbs break down faster and release quick energy for the moment. Protein takes longer to kick in and then lasts longer and helps make us feel full sooner. I recently had an allergic reaction and the doctor gave me two shots of steroids. One released right away and lasted for about two days. The other one didn’t kick in for about two days and then lasted for a couple weeks. The combination is what took care of the problem. Remember too that the label "carbohydrate" doesn't just include bread and pasta. Vegetables and fruits also belong to this category. Carbs are often the best source of vitamins and minerals – especially antioxidants – which are important for overall health.

Another hint I already mentioned in an earlier post is making sure you’re hydrated. We do get some water from our food and our bodies will sometimes send the message that it wants food when what it really needs is water.

Have you tried any of these strategies? How did they work for you? Any tips on controlling hunger?

Here are some links you might find helpful:

Good Carbs Bad Carbs
How Carbs Help You Lose Weight

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Combatting Emotional Eating

Anyone who is preparing for battle looks at who the enemy is and then chooses the appropriate weapon. My enemy is emotional eating. 
So, what is my strategy to combat emotional eating? I have a couple things in my arsenal. 

The first tool is to try and avoid the stress and exhaustion that cause emotional eating. This can include anything from trying to get more sleep, taking better care of my overall health, or dealing with stressors openly so they go away. Maybe call a friend to talk things over, write in a journal about what’s bothering me, or do something relaxing and indulgent (like a bubble bath, getting a massage, or maybe a new haircut). 

If that doesn’t work or isn’t an option, then maybe I’ll drink water (dehydration can sometimes disguise itself as hunger), and then try a distraction. It could be a walk on the treadmill (or any form of exercise), playing a game, gardening, cracking open that new book I’ve been wanting to read . . . The idea is to do something pleasurable and good for you in some way. If I’m still hungry 20 – 30 minutes later, then I go ahead and eat something small and healthy. 

The point isn’t to starve or deprive myself, it’s to make better choices and more healthful patterns.

What are your ideas to ward off emotional eating?

Monday, July 15, 2013



Just the word is horrible and sends shivers down my spine. I know you’ve heard all the jokes about how “diet” starts with die – so I’ll let that go and just say I wish I could get the negative connotation out of my head. A diet is just how you eat. It doesn’t necessarily mean someone is hiding all the good stuff from you. I have that on a post-it. So far it isn’t working. {wink}

About a year ago I was so disgusted with my weight I decided to take myself out of the equation. I had meals delivered to my house that were supposed to help me lose weight and control calories. I did it for about two months and gained 4 pounds while paying through the nose for food I didn’t always like. I was grouchy and it cost a lot of money. Since the only results were bad – I stopped. 

It did help me in one way though. I saw over and over what portion sizes were supposed to be. Although I don’t always overindulge – there are times I eat way beyond what I should have. It also reinforced that just putting certain foods in wasn’t going to solve my problem. I needed a more balanced approach.

Food is important though. I need to learn to see it as fuel. I tend to overeat when I don’t feel well and when I’m tired. It’s a kind of emotional eating. Eating isn’t really going to solve those problems. 

I'll talk more about how I am trying to combat emotional eating next time. In the meantime, do you have problems with emotional eating? What triggers it for you? Do you know ahead of time that you're eating for comfort or do you only realize it later?