Tag: exercise

Alphabet of thanks, “E”

(Hey, I had this ready to publish this morning. I did not miss a day. But I just caught it now, so am sending it on its way to you.)

I am thankful today that I can Exercise. That means I’m healthy enough to do so.

My husband and I walk forty-forty five minutes every day. When we can’t because of inclement weather, we use our treadmill. I feel downright sluggish when I don’t.

Excercise is good for just about every illness. It helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, dementia, etc. And it certainly doesn’t have to be forty minutes. Thirty minutes is just fine.

And the best part is, it’s free. No expensive gym memberships. One can just walk out the door and begin.

While exercise is good for almost every medical condition, it really helps promote good mental health. I’ve written many posts about the importance of exercise in treating and preventing depression and anxiety. You can find some of those posts here, and here.

For me, to be able to walk for forty minutes is a real gift. I have very bad feet (five surgeries to prove it) and sometimes I would rather not walk but I know that I am able to walk because I do walk.  I’ve always remembered what my doctor told me a number of years ago.

If you don’t routinely walk most days of the week, you will find that eventually, you won’t be able to walk. You will go from a cane, to a wheelchair, to being bedridden.

So I walk. When my feet hurt, when my back hurts, when I just am not in the mood. If you have to start out with two days a week, do it. I can almost guarantee that after even one walk, your mood will improve. You will sleep better, too.

So today I am very thankful for exercise. It has made a huge difference in my life.


hutch after Christmas

Concentrate on the good to eliminate the bad

This is the time of year we make resolutions, even if we say we don’t. I think it’s just where our minds go.

I find it’s more positive to concentrate on the good we want to initiate rather than concentrate on the bad habits we want to change.

For example, instead of thinking about losing ten pounds which sounds so hard and so negative, why not picture ourselves in those new styles we want to wear?

Instead of giving up something, think about what the benefits will be.

Television watching is a good example. If you want to watch less TV so you can read more, think about that book you’re never getting around to reading. Put it somewhere as a reminder that in order to read that book, something else that is taking up your time has to go. In this case, watching TV.

I exercise pretty much every day. To be honest, I like exercising because I like how it makes me feel afterward. But mostly I exercise because I like being able to do the other things I like doing and seeing as all of them involve being able to walk upright and be healthy, (Seriously how can one enjoy anything if you don’t feel good in the first place?) I exercise. I know too many unhealthy people and the one thing they all have in common is that they don’t engage in regular physical exercise.

So because I don’t want to end up like them, I exercise. I guess that is focusing on the negative but in a postive way?

Most of us have some unhealthy habits. Not all of them are obvious. Many of them lie deep inside us.

We have negative and habitual ways we respond to people. Instead of focusing on what we’re doing wrong, let’s look at how we would like our relationships to look. If our actions are causing reactions in other people that bring us down, then it’s up to us, no matter how unfair, to change our behavior.

I know someone that I care deeply for who changes the subject, (it’s so obvious, but not to them) whenever I enter territory they don’t want to talk about. So I’ve learned (and it’s a goal to continue for this next year) to approach certain subjects differently and in some cases, not at all.

This is not really healthy as most relationships function better and are healthier when there aren’t these constraints but sometimes for our own well-being we have no choice.

I’m trying to think of an example.

Got one.

I’m a big advocate of people being more responsible for their health. To leave our health all in the hands of the health professionals seems crazy to me, especially when there’s so much information readily available. But I still believe in doctor’s visit, etc.

I know a few people who have been battling recurring and ongoing irksome medical problems. Rather than searching for answers through doctor’s visits and their own research, they choose to continue with the issue. I say choose because I believe in the end, that’s what it is, a choice. (I’m  not talking about really serious medical conditions here, of course.)

I used to “nag” them to check-in with their doctor, to exercise more, to try certain other things to see if they work. I don’t anymore. Not because I care less for them but because I also care about myself. There’s something about running into a brick wall that hurts after a while.

Haven’t you all been there?

After a period of time, if you’re smart, you realize you need to change how you interact with some people. Now I wait for them to bring up certain subjects and then I “brainstorm” with them for a while, but when that “brainstorming” becomes nothing more than talk with no plans for follow-up, I’M the one who now changes the subject.

Anyway, as you begin this new year and if you’re trying to change some things, try to look at your goals and how to get there from a more positive approach.

It’s another dark, dreary and COLD day here in Michigan. I’m continuing to take down Christmas decorations and get the house back in order. It looks so “plain” now. I’ve got to get more accessories. (Did I tell you we fell in love with this big old house during the Christmas season?)

Here’s a before and after of my dining room hutch. Which do you prefer?

Christmas 2016


This is so boring now. It’s the lack of red, isn’t it?

hutch after Christmas

After looking at my hutch now, I see I’m focusing on the negative. Enough of that.

Anyway, God bless and have a really good day.

ps. I hope you read tomorrow’s post.


What does the tapestry of your life look like?


I’ve never believed we live in separate compartments, little boxes of separateness.

I  think we continuously weave in and out of the various segments of our life and our tapestry is completed only when God call us home. If our tapestry looks like a bunch of separate stitches, we’ve had it wrong. The stitching in our tapestry should show up as swirls, circles, zigzags, all connected. We could use a puzzle as an example, too.

How puzzle pieces makes up the picture. There are any different example people have used to describe the wholeness of a life.

When we do divide up our life, we will never understand how God uses every part of our life to grow us into spiritually whole beings.


                                                                                                                          (google images)


When I exercise, it’s another stitch in my relationship with God. It tells God I know that my body is a temple. My health is a gift. I need to take good care of it and when I don’t my relationship with him suffers.

If I need see to my mom’s needs early in the day, it’s a spiritual an activity as anything else I do. If I don’t get in my “quiet time” with God, I suffer no qualms about it because I know it’s God-ordained. Those days I’m in quiet communication with him.

When I clean out my basement and donate the items, it’s a spiritual activity and it reminds me how blessed I am.

When I pull weeds, I am reminded that there are weeds in my own life that needed some digging up and throwing away.

It all works together.

Oh, I”m just like you. I screw up.  Like the rich young ruler, I don’t understand that God is requiring something of me for my own well-being. It made no difference to Jesus whether the young man was rich or not. What mattered was that his heart wasn’t ready to abdicate the one thing that was getting in the way.

Like Abraham, he might have got to the point where he was ready to sell everything, and Jesus would’ve stepped in and said, “No, that isn’t necessary now.” just like God stepped in and spared Isaac from sacrificing his son.

Jesus was saying to him, just like he says to us, “I want to be that first love”.

I am convinced that many Christians remain spiritually immature because they don’t understand the ever-present God in every part of their lives. That’s one of the reasons Christian get so caught up in sin. Somehow they don’t see how one part of their life affects all the other parts of their lives.

There is no way that sin in one area of our life doesn’t affect every other area in our life.


Where are you today? Do you divide up your life as if none of the pieces work together to from a picture?

Do you divide up your life as if none of the puzzle pieces work together to from a picture?

What about your tapestry? How’s it being sewn today? A stitch here? A stitch there? But the stitches never meet?

Let God in on every part of your life today so there is a continuous pattern so that every stitch is creating a beautiful tapestry. I don’t know about you, but I want my tapestry to be beautiful to God.

God bless and have a good day.


How to avoid making mistakes by watching other people


Do you find yourself emulating other people and trying to be like them? Do you find it helpful?

I do, as well,  but only to a point. I learn just as much by watching what other people do that is harmful and trying to avoid those mistakes. And especially in regards to health issues. But that’s just me. I’ve written about his before. The posts always seem to be prompted by encounters with people who are ignoring their health or playing the victim of their bad habits when they are the perpetrators of their bad habits.

Dave Ramsey is a financial guru who has a radio show where he dispenses financial advice. He’s very practical and while wealthy now, he didn’t start out that way. He often makes the statement that we “should live like no one else now so that when we are older we can live like no one else.” He’s referring to financial security but I’ve also heard him use this logic in regards to other areas as well.

For example, in regards to health, “live like no one else now so when you are older you can live like no one else”.

This isn’t anything I didn’t already know but I liked how he said it.



Taking care of our health is just like anything else. There is a best time of our life to develop good health habits although certainly we can’t develop better habits no matter what our age. The longer we’ve been exercising and eating right, the longer time we’ve had to make it a lifestyle, not something we have to continually remind ourselves of.

But I must add an exception, even the best health habits don’t guarantee we’ll escape serious illnesses or conditions. But for me, knowing I’m doing everything I can do to maintain and improve my health, means that when and if I encounter a serious illness, I will at least have peace of mind that I did all I could.


I think there are two kinds of people, those who see themselves as victims and those that don’t. And this applies to just about every situation I can think of.

In psychology, there is a  foundational truth that is called “locus of control”. It refers to who controls us. There is “inner” locus of control in which we take personal responsibility for our lives. And there is “outer” locus of control where we allow other people and circumstances to control us. The “outer” locus of control people are the ones who see themselves as victims.

The healthiest people are those, of course, whose control is within themselves. (This is totally consistent with our Christian faith as well. While God equips us and empowers us to live our lives, we’re still the ones that have to actually do it. God never forces obedience in any are.)


I went to my doctor several years ago about my back. He said something I’ve never forgotten. “If we don’t stay active, we go from a cane, to a walker, to a wheelchair.” I’ve seen this happen again and again with people I know. Another way to say it?

If we don’t walk, we won’t walk. It’s as simple as that.

And for all of you who might be saying, “Well, that’s just her. She likes to exercise.”

To recount, I’ve had six foot surgeries, and spinal stenosis resulting in sciatica pain and I’m no more motivated than anyone else. There are days I don’t walk to walk either. I just do because I know it’s right. I want to keep walking for as long as I can. excercise

Look around you. Are there people you know whose lack of good health habits have stopped them from living the life they want? Use them as an example of what you don’t want to happen to you.

Get moving so you can keep moving.

God bless and keep moving!




Why you need to know this information about antidepressants.

garden 2016If you struggle with depression, you need to know this and I think you might the information very interesting. My daughter-in-law, a nurse who works for a mental health facility, first told me about it last year.

I had occasion to call a pharmacist today about a prescription for antidepressants for someone. I wanted to know about whether “brain fog” can result from taking antidepressants.

She said it was a very common complaint. I told her the person’s history and asked her how we even know whether the pills are working for her or not. She informed me that the only way to know which antidepressant anyone should be on is to have a genetic test.

This is not the first time I had heard about the genetic test. I’m pretty sure it’s not covered by insurance and I have no idea how expensive it is.

But the point I want to make here is that if this is true, and I have no doubts it is, then once again, why are so many people prescribed antidepressants as a first approach to managing depression? And why isn’t insurance covering this?

So once again the logic for prescribing pills is suspect at the very least. Remember, I’m not suggesting antidepressants should never be prescribed. Besides, I remind you I’m not a doctor but I’ll bet I’ve read as much on the subject as any doctor. And I’ve yet to read an article or a book that ever encourages antidepressants alone as a way to manage depression. All legitimate studies suggest adding exercise, diet changes, and various other cognitive approaches to antidepressant treatments.

Think about that for a minute. If antidepressants were the only or the total answer, why would all these other practices be highly recommended? But it’s that way for just about every illness in general. There is almost always something more that the patient needs to do.

Here’s the link if you want to read it for yourself. There are a number of sites but I found this one from Mayo Clinic to be particularly easy to ready.

Hope you found it helpful.

God bless and have a good day.

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