Faithful Living: Resolutions on food and faith

New Year’s resolutions are like liver and fruitcake: you love them or hate them.

I love all three, but a little is best. I say, go small. Choose consistency. And it is in this spirit that I have welcomed 2011 with a resolution similar to most Americans: I plan to shed some pounds. I want to be more knowledgable about food and aware of my eating habits. I want to contribute to my health.

It all begins with a nod to the truth: According to a recent Centers for Disease Control study, 37 percent of America’s adults are slightly or moderately overweight, while 27 percent are obese or grossly overweight. Anyone up to 30 pounds above the target weight for their body size is overweight. Add another 30 pounds over your target weight and you are considered obese.

Sadly, many people fail at losing weight and keeping it off because they attempt to make drastic changes and rearrange their lives to fit a strict diet and exercise regimen outside their experiences. People announce their New Year’s resolutions, make sudden and drastic changes, then expect to see big results. They also lose resolve before their goals are met.

If you are overweight, you didn’t wake up one morning to discover that additional girth. It was a gradual progression packing those pounds on and to be safe it should be a steady process taking them off. Cutting 3,500 calories over the course of a week will amount to one pound lost. Successful techniques for weight loss can be found in the details so be encouraged! Small changes add up over time.

Consider these choices:

• Use smaller plates and bowls.

• Drink water when thirsty instead of soda.

• Wait 20 minutes before serving yourself a second helping.

• Drink nonfat milk with your latte.

• Don’t eat out of a bag, carton or box. Measure out just one serving and walk away from the rest.

• Replace white, refined foods with whole grains low in sugar.

• Share a meal with someone or immediately ask for a box and save the other half for another meal.

Strengthening one’s faith is also high on the list of resolutions for many Americans and the same approach works in wondrous ways. If your life experiences have not included things like organized worship, church membership, Bible study or prayer, take heart! Small steps will strengthen your relationship with God and help you feel spiritually connected.

• Keep a prayer journal. Take note of the things you tell God about and record what happens throughout the year.

• Have a Bible verse sent to your email daily and see what God has to say to you. I bet you’ll be surprised how relevant to your life the verses will be.

• Read through the Bible using free, online resources.

• Check out reader boards around town or newpaper notices publicizing programs offered by nearby churches. Grab a friend and check out the various activities.

• Dive into a new book. Open your heart. Quiet the sounds around you and listen. The ideas that come your way will grow your faith in astounding ways.

Reach Joan Bay Klope,

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