Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Musings Part II The Retelling of An Old Story

"The noblest question in the world is, what good may I do in it?" -Benjamin Franklin
There is an old story that is often told.  It is about a boy (or an old man, depending on the version you've heard) and he is walking along the beach.  The beach is strewn with thousands of starfish which have washed ashore.  As he walks along he picks up starfish and throws them back to the water and to safety.  Someone asks the boy how he possibly hopes to make a difference when there are so many starfish on the beach.  As the boy throws a fish back he says, "It makes a difference to this one".

It is a good story as it stands but consider this:  maybe the fish is saved or maybe it is already dead.  Who could tell with a starfish?  Maybe it will just wash ashore again with the next tide.  Whatever the future of the starfish, the boy has BECOME something more because he made the effort to save a few starfish.

We go out in the world with the intent to make a difference.  Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't know if we have or not and sometimes we fail, but always we BECOME something more as we try.

Monday, July 19, 2010


"All of us are self-made, but only the successful are willing to admit it." Earl Nightingale
I am a disciplined person but it hasn't always been that way.  As a teenager and young adult I was very undisciplined.  I'll spare everyone the details, but trust me, disciplined would not have been the word to describe me.

After I had spent some time developing discipline a friend asked me, "how do you get will power?"  That was many years ago.  I was caught off guard and really didn't know how to answer then, but now I do.  We become a  person of will by building one small discipline upon another.  Start with one discipline - it can be anything valuable from flossing your teeth to praying or exercising daily.  Do it faithfully every day with the intent to do it forever. 
"True greatness always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time." Howard W. Hunter
When you have it mastered you add another and then another.  As you add disciplines make sure you are balancing the important things in life.  Do you have some for your physical health, your spiritual well-being, your relationships, the education of your mind?  Each discipline will carry over into other area's of your life and make you a stronger, better person.   So consider:

Becoming strong and fit.  Not just to have better looking and healthier body but because of what it will make of you.

Becoming a millionaire.   Not just because the money would be nice, but because of what the process will make of you.

Becoming the perfectly attentive and loving husband or wife.  Not just because a loving marriage is wonderful, but because of what you will become in the process.

Becoming well educated.  Not just to impress other's with your knowledge but because of what the effort will make of you.

Becoming one who knows God as a friend.  Not just because of what it will make of you but because of what He can make of you.

To use an old simile, becoming the master of our will is like climbing a mountain.  As we master each new discipline we see there is always something else.  Thank goodness there is!  I am not who I want to be yet.
"We must all suffer one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs pounds." Jim Rohn

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eat To Lose Weight

"He who waits until circumstances completely favor his undertaking will never accomplish anything." Martin Luther
If you want to banish belly fat, you've got to do something fairly counter intuitive: eat.

Research shows that dieting too intensely or tracking every morsel too closely creates the perfect conditions for adding belly fat, not subtracting it.

A new study tracked the tension levels of 121 female dieters for 3 weeks. Those who followed a strict low-cal eating plan -- consisting of prepackaged meals totaling 1,200 calories a day -- experienced a significant rise in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.That can spell big trouble when it comes to belly management. Cortisol tells your body to store more calories in your midsection, exactly where you don't want it. On top of that, feeling stressed-out can make sticking with any weight loss plan feel darn near impossible.

For a long time we have heard about how weight gain or loss was all about calories consumed verses calories spent. Well certainly that is part of the picture but evidence is mounting that what and when we eat might be at least as important. One thing is certain - being hungry is not the answer to weight loss! The increased production of cortisol is not the only reason to eat to lose weight. Here is why:

1. Being hungry will lower your metabolism while eating increases metabolism. The faster your metabolism is the more you can eat without gaining weight.

2. Hunger is a natural mechanism to make sure you eat, and eventually you will, and when you do you are much more likely to overeat and eat the wrong things.

3. If your weight loss program involves being hungry all the time you will eventually give it up. It just isn't very fun being hungry!

4. When you are hungry you are more likely to feel tired and sluggish. You are less likely to want to move and of course moving burns those calories.

So how do you eat and lose weight? Try this:

1. Eat first thing in the morning. It doesn't have to be a lot. Remember your body has gone a long time without food.

2. Eat often - every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

3. Include protein with each meal. Good options are raw nuts, beans and lentils, fish, chicken, string cheese, and of course, the fabulous egg.

4. Eat real food. Avoid chemicals, additives, hormones, sugar and sugar substitutes.

5. Don't over-eat! Remember you get to eat again in 2-3 hours.

"We must all suffer one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret." Jim Rohn