Love Your Body—Why Are We So Angry?

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

As if we didn’t have enough diseases to try to avoid, the current election has created a new one—Political Anxiety Disorder or Election Stress Disorder—hospitalizing many people across the nation. They’re so upset about the outcome of the election affecting their lives, that they’re having panic attacks and all the physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Pounding heart, sweating.
  • Headaches, stomach upset, or dizziness.
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle tension, tremors, and twitches.
  • Fatigue or insomnia.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart.” —Proverbs 12:25a

“So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body.”—Ecclesiastes 11:10a

Anxiety Can Lead to Anger

If you receive my monthly About His Work Ministries email newsletter,* the opening article this month was “When Things Are Out of Control.” I received more comments on that article then I have from any article I’ve written all year. When things happen that we don’t like or don’t want to experience, but can’t change, it makes us anxious and we can become angry. Anger is a legitimate feeling and reaction, but what we do with that anger can damage our health, our body, and our relationships.

Unbridled anger results in bitterness, hardening of the heart, and often an offensive attitude that expresses itself in vile words and/or aggressive behavior. While there may be a quick release of angry emotion, if the root cause of the anger continues it eats away at mind, body, and soul, and others become victims of the residual fallout.

As the election progresses, I’ve had the most angry, vulgar, mean, vicious lashing out comments I’ve ever experienced on my blog posts and Facebook posts. It’s alarming that people live with such angry, bitter thoughts in their minds and hearts and use hurtful, X-rated words in their daily lives. I’m sure when the election is over, they’ll find something else to be angry about and their health, both physical and mental, will suffer.

Today it’s almost impossible to have a debate without it turning into a disagreement.

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”–Psalm 37:8

Where is the Anger Originating?

“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”—Ephesians 4:26 NLT

“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”—Proverbs 14:29 NLT

Do you know the media outlets design the news to raise your blood pressure, anxiety level, and anger meter? They purposely create headlines to generate a negative response. The media wants you to engage angrily with either the person or situation their reporting on—they want you mad. Occasionally, they’ll throw in a feel good story, but usually it’s SENSATIONAL “BREAKING NEWS” not substantiated or factual . . . just hearsay, opinions, or “maybes” . . . and you walk away worried . . . angry.

As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!”—Proverbs 25:23 NLT

I write articles for an online Christian magazine, and they’ve discovered that the more negative the title, the more people read the article. Christians are being conditioned right along with everyone else.

Physical Signs of Anger

What does anger do to you physically? Some symptoms are . . .

  • clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth.
  • headache/migraines.
  • stomach ache.
  • increased and rapid heart rate.
  • sweating, especially your palms.
  • feeling hot in the neck/face.
  • shaking or trembling.
  • dizziness.
  • stress which can cause anxiety.
  • increased blood pressure leading to heart disease.
  • eating disorders.

You could pick from the above list, or add to it how you feel when you’re angry or someone around you is angry. Next time, take note of how your body reacts. Or better yet, learn to control your anger and remove yourself from an angry environment or situation.

What Can We Do About Anger to Help Our Bodies?

  1. Our anger may stem from feeling out of control. We don’t think we can make a difference or change our circumstances, but we can. When you’re doing something about a situation and you feel a sense of hope and purpose . . . your anger subsides. I’m going to refer you to a post I wrote for Crosswalk for how to make a difference one person at a time: You Don’t Have to Get Elected or Make Movies to Change Culture.
  2. In my Bible study Face-to-Face with Euodia and Syntyche: From Conflict to Community, I discuss the damage anger can do to our bodies if we don’t learn how to deal with it:EuodiaSyntycheCover72dpi1-200x300

Anger is an emotion felt in the moment that requires quick resolution. Many horrific acts occur and hateful words hurl in a “fit of anger.” You cannot retrieve actions or words.

            Uncontrolled raging anger makes us, and everyone around us, miserable. Pastor Doug Fields, likes to describe anger in terms of “outies” and “inies.” An “outie” is someone who spews out anger and doesn’t hold anything back. You know exactly how mad outies are and they want you to know. Often outies are over their anger once they have their “verbal vomit,” as Pastor Doug calls it, and they’re ready to move on. The problem with outies is the potential for people to be hurt, and even maimed, during the verbal, and maybe even, physical outburst.

            Inies on the other hand are the ones that profess they aren’t mad. “Everything’s fine.” they say, maintaining a thin smile while stewing and brewing inside. They may stuff down their anger for a long time while it burns, churns, and turns to bitterness. Inies find quiet, sly, unexpected ways to express their anger, or some never let go—the anger eats away at them physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the rest of their lives. Other inies only can hold their anger inside so long until the pressure builds into a sudden and violent explosion—the fallout being lethal to themselves and anyone in the vicinity.

            So how do you have healthy anger? Here’s the “ABCD” steps to take:

Acknowledge—that you’re angry.

Breathe—take a time out and step away from the source of anger.

Call on God—He knows what you should do regarding the source of your anger—ask Him.

Defuse—release your anger to God.*

*Excerpt from Face-to-Face with Euodia and Syntyche: From Conflict to Community

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7


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Love Your Body—Go Nuts for Nuts

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

“My mom always has her bag of nuts with her!”

My daughter, Kim, made that comment when my daughter-in-law asked her what she should prepare for my hubby and me when we were coming to visit since she knew we try to eat healthy, raw, and organic. Kim was saying: don’t worry about it. If my mom can’t find enough to eat, she’ll snack on her nut concoction.

cracked walnuts

I’ve always enjoyed a variety of nuts since I was a kid. I remember sitting with my mom shelling walnuts for hours from big bags we would fill from the walnut orchards that used to be so prevalent in Southern California. After their harvest, they let the public come through and glean walnuts. Great memories and great walnuts! My heart breaks as I watch so many of these walnut orchards destroyed to build new houses. I want to scream: “Don’t you know how good those walnuts are for you and how long it took for those trees to grow?” But I don’t think anyone would listen to me.

We always had walnuts. We baked with walnuts and loved just snacking on them. I can remember eating as many as I shelled!

Then as I grew older and was always watching my weight, I started hearing how high in calories nuts were and I treated them like a delicacy…only adding to banana nut bread or an occasional crumb topping or Waldorf salad (apples, celery, and walnuts). But then there was a trend to put nuts in salads and I was all over that. How had we missed all those years how delicious walnuts or pecans are in a salad with strawberries or pears or any array of fruit? Oh and that was something new too. Salads didn’t just need to be veggies and tomatoes—fresh fruit of all kinds is fabulous in a green salad and topped with nuts and raspberry salad dressing, a real treat.


Cancer Changed Everything

So over the years, I enjoyed nuts sparingly and guiltily. But all that changed when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and began researching the best foods for fighting cancer. At the top of the list were nuts! Not just any kind of nuts though: organic and raw were the best because the high roasting temperatures used in roasting nuts can destroy many of the good nutrients and the pesticides sprayed on nonorganic nuts negate much of their nutritional value.

Nuts are little gifts from God, packed with powerful nutrients for not only fighting cancer, but heart disease, high cholesterol, endocrine and inflammatory problemsthe list is endless. Yes, they have calories, but they are such a concentrated source of nutrition, that you don’t have to eat many to gain the benefits. Nuts are good calories. Calories you want to include in your diet while you eliminate wasted calories.

So I make my own “trail mix” with a variety of organic, raw, unsalted, and if possible, sprouted, nuts. I always start with almonds, cashews, and walnuts, and then I might add pistachios, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, macadamias, Brazil nuts, or pecans. Sometimes I add dried unsulphured fruit, but usually, it’s just a mixture of nuts, which I take with me everywhere and keep on my desk in my office while I’m writing!

Remember that raw nuts are unprocessed so keep any extras in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to buy raw, organic nuts in bulk and then freeze them. Then I’ll defrost some and make a big batch of my “trail mix” combining a variety of nuts and portion into smaller bags that I keep in the refrigerator and take out one bag at a time to enjoy.

Yes, if you walked into my office today, you would see my bag of nuts . . . in fact I just had a handful while I was writing this. If you looked in my travel bag, yep there would be a bag of nuts. When hubby and I go to town for the day, you guessed it, I have my bag of nuts if I want a snack while we’re shopping or watching soccer games or hanging out with the family.

It doesn’t take many of these powerhouse gifts from God, so a handful or two will do you nicely and probably quench your appetite so you don’t eat so much at the next meal. Think how much better this is for you than a bag of chips or candy bar or even popcorn. Popcorn does not have the nutrients of nuts, but you can add nuts to your popcorn and that’s yummy too.

Check out These Websites

So I’ve researched a couple of websites that I think you will enjoy. The first one, Why You Should Go Nuts for Nuts is one I really like. On the first page, after you read the introduction, hit on “View All” and it will take you to pictures of different nuts. When you hit on the picture, you’ll get a summary of all the health benefits of that particular nut.

And here’s a great article about walnuts, 10 Surprising Facts About Walnuts.

Tips for Going Nuts

  • If you find nuts hard to chew, try grinding them and adding to your recipes or chopping them.
  • Add nuts to your salads, cereal, oatmeal, granola, cereal, vegetables, cookies, cobblers . . . the list is endless.
  • If you can’t go raw nuts, Dr. Oz says in his book, You On a Diet, that it’s OK to cook them at 275 degrees for 9-12 minutes to roast without damaging the good oils and nutrients.
  • If raw organic are too expensive, I would opt for at least raw because roasting at high temperatures damages most of the nutrients. You might wash them off and then do a light roasting, as I mentioned above.
  • If you don’t like a particular nut, no problem. There are so many to choose from.
  • Substitute almond milk for regular milk. Some people like to make their own almond milk and I just discovered how to make walnut milk. Yummy!

What are some ways you’ve found to use nuts?

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*Pictures are from the websites listed in the article.

Love Your Body–Little Changes Can Make a BIG Difference

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

It’s Love Your Body Monday again, the last Monday of every month. It amazes me how fast the end of the month rolls around. How about you?

Today, I wanted us to focus on little changes we can make in our diet and exercise that can make HUGE differences over our lifetime. Sometimes drastic changes can seem overwhelming and we put off making them, unless forced to by illness or accident. But making small changes seems far more doable. Experts say that it takes three weeks for something to become a habit, so if we make a change for three weeks, it’s no longer a change but part of our daily life.

So here are two little changes that can make a big difference in your health:

  1. Cutback your caloric intake by 10%. That means for example if you normally eat 2000 calories a day, you eliminate 200 calories and eat 1800 calories. Here is a great website for a visual of what 200 calories looks like in various foods. You can eat a lot of some foods for 200 calories and a little of others. Here’s just an example:calories-in-celerycalories-in-peanut-butter

Maybe you could even cut back 400 calories with the proper food choices, and still have more than enough to eat!

In a study reported in the Journal of Gerontology, a trial group ages 21-50 who were normal to moderately overweight, cut back their dietary intake 12% for 2 years. That would only be cutting back 240 calories from a 2000-calorie diet. They lost an average of 10% body weight, the average blood pressure dropped 4%, total cholesterol dropped 6%, and levels of inflammatory markers linked to heart disease were lowered by 47%!

Eating just a little less, had major health benefits!

Susan Roberts, one of the principal investigators for the test and a nutrition professor at Tufts University, confirms that weight loss is the key to living healthier:

“Especially for people who are overweight or obese, nothing is going to keep them healthier for longer than losing weight and keeping it off.”—Susan Roberts

Americans are living longer than ever before, but are they living healthier? How we spend our later years directly correlates with how we treat our body over the years:

Diet is by far the most powerful intervention to delay aging and age-related diseases. If you look at all the interventions that have ever been tried, diet has proven superior to anything else.”—Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute.

  1. Find ways to move just a little more. No, you don’t have to join a gym or take up jogging to see benefits of movement.

A big concern for me, as an author who sits in front of the computer all day, is the findings that sedentary behavior is a risk factor for early death. It doesn’t matter that I walk three miles straight up and down a hill in the summer and walk on an elliptical for an hour in the winter. If I’m not finding ways to break up hours of sitting, I could be shaving as much as 10 years off my life.

Scientists tell us that you can’t exercise away all the unhealthy effects of sitting for hours. And it isn’t just sitting in front of a computer: maybe it’s sitting in front of the TV, traveling, knitting, or sewing . . . whatever keeps you sedentary instead of moving.

Hours spent sitting link to health issues like Type 2 Diabetes, which we talked about in last month’s blog Love Your Body–Prevent of Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, even in people who “exercise” regularly.

But here’s the good news: doing something besides sitting still, even fidgeting, has benefits. That is good news to me because I’m a major fidgeter. I have a footrest under my desk that allows me to move my feet back and forth while I type, which also moves my legs. When I sit, it drives my husband crazy that I always have a leg moving. I used to have an office in an upstairs loft without a bathroom, so I called going downstairs to the bathroom, my fitness run.

Now, I have a bathroom next to my office, which is still upstairs, so I climb up and downstairs all day to my office. In fact, our house has three levels. One visitor commented that we’ll never have heart trouble. I hear many people my age talking about wanting to be in a single level home, and I can understand when knees and hips start to wear out, but research suggests that if we stay at a healthy weight and move regularly, all those body parts last longer.

So yard work, chores around the house, doing laundry, cooking, getting up regularly if you do have to sit, all help with maintaining mobility, health, and our general outlook on life.

It’s a blessing that as a populace we’re living longer, but with every blessing comes responsibility. We need to use the extra years God gives us here on earth wisely. While we may sit to read our Bibles, Christians are called on to spread the Gospel far and wide, and that often requires getting up and getting out.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What little things do you do to cut back on calories and/or move more?

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Quotes are from Time Magazine, February 22, 2016 article “It’s the Little Things” by Alexandra Sifferlin.

Love Your Body—Weight Loss Is NOT the Goal!

“I will read your posts on Loving Your Body. I have seen them before, but as you know, I wanted a fix but didn’t want to do the work.” Debbie Dittrich

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the same phenomenon I have, and maybe you’ve been part of this scenario. A peep suddenly posts a picture looking fabulous after losing a great deal of weight. Everyone congratulates her and “oohs and ahhhs” at how wonderful she looks as she joyously grins with achieved success.

Then as suddenly as the pictures appeared, months go by with no pictures, and then you see a picture and your heart sinks … at least my Dietitian’s heart sinks … she has gained all the weight back, and maybe more! Or some, like Oprah, we actually watch on television go up and down in weight over the years as she tried different diets.

What happened? Why wouldn’t they want to maintain their amazing loss? Why wouldn’t they want to stay thin and healthy? Why wouldn’t they want to enjoy wearing all those beautiful new clothes they bought?

I’ve discovered the answer is always the same—a weight loss regime they couldn’t possibly maintain for life. Fast and noticeable weight loss was the immediate goal, without a long-term goal and plan to keep the weight off.

Maybe they lost the weight by eliminating certain food groups, extremely low daily calories, shakes, drinks, shots, pills, surgery, ready-prepared boxed or frozen meals, eating the exact same thing daily …. Anxious for a quick fix, they did something drastic to get results with no long-term maintenance plan. They couldn’t go a lifetime on that regime. Once the weight goal was reached, or they ran out of money for the costly shots or products, they slowly, maybe quickly, went back to their old eating habits, which they hadn’t learned to modify or change.

Weight loss without a realistic lifetime eating plan is doomed to failure!

“While I know that I must eat properly I do not think that means eating the same thing for 17 years!” Debbie Dittrich

God made our body to operate best on the food He created in the quantities that maintain our body in optimal health. When we try to circumvent His plan for good nutrition by eliminating a food group or going on a crash diet … we’re going to crash too. It’s not how God made us to subsist.

I recently saw a friend who had lost weight and I commented how great she looked. She said her goal was to be thin for her high school reunion. Her main concern now was keeping the weight off for the next two months until the reunion. And with those words, I knew that once the reunion was over—the goal of being thin for the reunion—she would feel the freedom to go right back to her old eating patterns and soon the lost weight would return. Unconsciously, she was acknowledging that what she was doing to lose the weight was going to be difficult to maintain for two months, not a lifetime. I mentioned that the first time I met her she was on a diet, and her comment was like those of so many, “I’m always on a diet.”

Maintenance is the Goal, Not Weight Loss

“This time it’s different,” my goal is to keep this and maintain this throughout my life. Before I’ve had more of a view of ‘Get to the goal, have the goal.’ Now I really looked at it as this is my life, and until I’m dead basically, I am going to keep this this way, instead of like, ‘Oh I lost 50 pounds and now I can do whatever I want.'” Kirstie Alley on the Today show January 6, 2015, after losing 50 pounds.

Kirstie Alley has publicly gone up and down with her weight. When she’s a Jenny Craig spokesperson, she does great, and when she quits the “program,” she gains it back. The above quote looks like she finally realized that weight loss was not the goal, she needed to eat the way she ate to lose the 50 pounds for the rest of her life to not gain it back. I don’t know if she was successful in sticking to the right goal.

Even though our human nature makes us want to see quick results, people who lose weight gradually and steadily—about 1 to 2 pounds per week—are more successful at keeping the weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t a “diet,” “program,” or “gimmick.” It’s an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term, doable changes in daily eating and exercise habits.

Once you’ve achieved a desirable weight, by relying on healthful eating and physical activity, you are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term.

Losing weight is not easy, and it takes commitment.

The problem with all the fads, diets, programs, regimes …they’re meant for immediate gratification of quickly experiencing drastic change because that’s our world today. Slow and steady doesn’t’ give us the satisfaction we need. That’s why quick-fix “miracle” ads attract so many:

  • The 10-day Weight-Loss Program
  • How to Reach Your Desired Weight in a Month While Eating All You Want
  • Lose up to 10 pounds in a week

Or one I recently saw: “Secret Method to Getting Slim Fast.” I’ve been drinking this miracle drink for about 3 weeks now. My friends won’t stop asking how I became so thin in such a short amount of time. I’ve become half the size I once was!”

Here’s the Weight-Loss Secret Revealed—There’s NO Secret Miracle Way to Get Slim Fast and Keep it Off!

Everyone acknowledges, and few try to defy, how God created gravity—stepping off a cliff = downward plunge. But many have spent thousands of dollars trying to defy the way God created our bodies: calories in minus calories expended = our weight. There’s no big secret and no way to secretly, miraculously change it. But millions of people buy into a lie that it’s possible for them.

The Way God Created Our Bodies

Energy (calories) IN and energy OUT = maintained weight

More IN than OUT = weight gain

More OUT than IN = weight loss

So in order to lose weight, we have to use up more calories than we take in through body metabolism and exercise. One pound equals 3,500 calories, so we must reduce our caloric intake by 500—1000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is a safe weight loss that doesn’t throw our body into shock or deprive us of necessary minerals and vitamins, if we’re eating a balanced diet.

If you haven’t read the article my daughter Kim wrote last month, Love Your Body—Use Technology to Lose Weight, read it now because she testifies from her own experience that logging in what she ate daily determined whether she lost or gained weight—extra calories at the same exercise level equaled extra pounds. No matter how much you want to believe the marketing lies, this is how God created our bodies. As I was writing this post, I saw Kim posted on Facebook: “Logging my Costco free sample calories is going to be a tedious task. A bite of this and that adds up quick!”

Even when it’s free, the calories aren’t free.

The Only Goal that Equals Maintained Weight is a Life-Heart Change Goal

I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

1. Why you want to lose weight?

  1. Why you eat?
  2. When you eat?
  3. What are you eating now that’s contributing to your weight?

Then set realistic goals that are maintainable and healthy:

  1. One to two pound loss a week
  2. Exercise, 30 to 60 minutes most days that you can and will do
  3. Learn how to choose and prepare healthy food. Understand what constitutes a balanced diet.
  4. Reduce portion sizes and eat three meals a day.
  5. Track what you’re eating.

A healthy diet means eating a selection from all the five food groups in portion sizes that will help lose or maintain weight without sacrificing health.

I love the colorful Choose Plate website because it gives great information on how to determine your caloric requirement, what’s in each food group, portion sizes and so much more for the whole family. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also has an amazing website to learn what “healthy” really looks and tastes like.

To be successful at long-term weight loss, we must adopt a new lifestyle, just like when we became Christians and we put off the old way of life and put on the new. The new healthy you will make changes to adopt and embrace healthy eating habits, be more physically active, and learn how to change eating behaviors and habits.


Next month in our Love Your Body blog, the last Monday of the month, I’ll share a testimony from my friend and fellow author/speaker Debbie Dittrich who I quoted in this post. Debbie has lost a great deal of weight and shares with us the spiritual battle that kept her chained to bad eating habits for thirty years. She’s working at breaking those chains, and as they fall off, so does her weight.


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Are you ready to make a dietary commitment to your health to love your body like God loves your body?

Can you see why having a weight loss goal isn’t successful without a long-range maintenance goal?

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