Thursday, February 27, 2014

What I Saw....Four Years Ago....Fast Forward to Four Weeks From Today.....

Four years ago I had a dream.  Not an "I'm asleep and dreaming" dream, but more of an awake dream.  Not really any  mystical kind of thing, more of a video-reel playing in my head.

When I thought about what optimal health meant to me, and what life would be like LIVING in optimal health, I could see myself fit and healthy, wearing a red dress, on the banks of the Seine River, celebrating at a restaurant after running the Paris Marathon.  I saw it clear as day. 

And I am making it happen.  I even have the red dress LOL.

In 28 days I leave for Paris, France, where I will be a participant (bib#61234) in The Paris Marathon 2014. 

I am going alone.  Solo.  It is kind of a spiritual pilgrimage for me, actually.  I'll spend 11 nights abroad, take a blank journal and a few guidebooks and my trusty running shoes strapped to my backpack. 

And I'll experience that little piece of heaven that I envisioned 4 years ago.  Me, sitting at a restaurant in a red dress after having run the Paris Marathon, being fit and healthy.

After being Class IV Super-Obese for most of my adult life, I truly feel as if I am living a dream.  But not just any dream.

My dream.

What is YOUR dream?  

Rinse and Repeat!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


This morning I stepped on the scale is SO CRAZY I actually can't believe it, I'm a little bit shocked to tell you the truth.  Because ALL THIS TIME that I've been creating health in my life....I GAINED!!!  I mean I've been so diligent with the plan, and here in maintenance, and, well, I'm just kind of awestruck and flabbergasted!

What the heck!?!?!

I gained.

What did I gain?

I gained health.
I gained the respect of my son and husband, who fully understand in a tangible and visible and practical way that I will DO what I say I am going to DO, even if it is uncomfortable or hard sometimes.

I gained the knowledge of how my body operates, how it responds to what I put in it, and how to live within my limitations as regards my food intake and STILL ENJOY myself.  Because I've changed my wants.

I gained Habits if Health which I incrementally introduced into my life.

I gained the vocabulary to explain to other people what it has meant in my life to overcome obstacles and CREATE something INCREDIBLY AWESOME:  Optimal Health.

I gained the confidence to know that it is NEVER too late to become the person that we 'might have' been, because someone believed in me, and eventually that "someone" WAS me.

Are you still trying to "lose weight?"  STOP IT!!!!  Honestly, STOP IT!!!

Instead of focusing on what you want OUT of your life, focus on what you want to GAIN.  Freedom from your fat suit.  Health.  Energy.  Dare I say happiness?  Because I gained happiness.  Oh, and if you're wondering if I gained WEIGHT?  Heck no.  I'm in maintenance!!  =)  And I intend to stay here!

Rinse and Repeat!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

There is No Substitute for Doing the Work

I just realized I sound like my Father right now.  Or at least something my Father would SAY!!  LOL

Yesterday I had lunch with a new friend who is also on her journey to optimal health.  She is a wonderful bright and talented gal who is DOING THE WORK to get healthy.  I was struck once again in my own journey and watching the journey of people who are successful with this program, and one of the things they all have in common is that they are DOING THE WORK.

I thought about how my Marathon training is really building upon what I developed by doing this plan, namely perseverance and doing the work.

When I was running 16 miles last Sunday, which was on my schedule so I had to do it, I really didn't WANT to be there logging those miles.  In fact, I had done everything I could that morning to delay my getting my shoes on and getting out the door SO MUCH SO that I ended up having to run my 16 miles in the HEAT of the day, which in February in Arizona it was unseasonably warm at 85 degrees. 

To say I battled my self-chatter that day is an understatement.  It was mortal combat, no question about it.  But I've been training myself over the last few years to DO the DOING that needs to be DONE regardless of how I feel about it.

I'll tell you what the FUN part was for me, the FUN part was buying my white board and all those colorful markers to plot out my training schedule.  THAT was fun!  It was SO fun TELLING people I was going to RUN A MARATHON!  It was exciting buying the plane ticket to Paris, finding an amazing place to stay, buying my backpack for my trip, and getting the running shoes.  Talking with the saleslady at the running store about which tpe of compression socks to buy?  THAT was super fun.  Blogging about how I'm going to go to Paris and run the Marathon?  Super super duper FUN!  

But in all of he planning, plotting, dreaming, organizing, wishing, hoping, talking, working out the details, clearing my schedule, in all of that thre was really only ONE THING that HAD to be done in order to accomplish what I said I want to accomplish. 

Logging the miles.  Doing the actual training I planned to do.  Whether I felt like it or not.  Most times not, actually. 

Can I say it is getting hard?  Very hard.  I am up to the mileage now that, I think, separates those who are INTERESTED in running a marathon from those who are COMMITTED to running a marathon.  And to be honest it is stretching me well past my comfort zone, and you would think I'd have that question answered by now of "am I interested or am I committed?"

I don't think I'll know the answer to that question until AFTER I participate in the actual race.  I know that the mornings I wake up and have a "long run" day (Sunday is 18 miles) I STAY in the INTERESTED category until I get out there and prove to myself I am committed by LOGGING THE MILES that day.  DOING THE WORK that day.

So I ask, are you interested in becoming optimally healthy?  Or are you COMMITTED to transforming yourself into an optimally healthy person?  Because the difference is in the DOING.

I'll tell you a quick litmus test which will help you determine where you are on that scale of interested-to-committed.  Here is it.  Are you ready?

What did your day look like yesterday?  Were you 100% on plan with your eating?  Did you follow your eating schedule?  Did you weigh your lean protein?  Did you measure your veggies?  Did you drink your water?  Did you space your meals out every 2.5-3 hours?  Did you limit your condiments to 3 and not put anything in your mouth eating or drinking-wise that was NOT on your plan?  If you did these things, you are committed.  If you did NOT do these things, you CAN be committed if you do them today. 

The fine line between interested and committed is in the DOING.  So, are you DOING?  Or, like me and my whiteboard and markers and shoes and talk, are you so enthralled with the "getting ready" part that you aren't DOING that which you SAY you want to do? 

Are you playing on the edges of commitment? 

I hit a danger zone in January with my training.  I had been traveling quite a bit, almost every weekend in fact, and I had a massive cold so I did not MAKE time to faithfully DO my training.  I recovered, and am back on my schedule, but it really shook me a bit to think that I could still be INTENDING to run the Marathon in April, still be PLANNING on doing it, but NOT DOING THE WORK.  It was a reality check for me.  I got myself in gear and submitted once again to my training schedule, that schedule that I had been so careful to put together in November.

I have 8 miles to run this afternoon.  I will accomplish them whether I feel like it or not.
There is just no substitute for doing the work.  Are you willing to do the

Rinse and Repeat!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Mornings

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Don't you sometimes feel like that when you wake up in the morning, fully dependent on the type of day you had the previous day?

I can go from one extreme emotion to the other, and it is fully related to whether or not I stayed on plan the previous day.

You know the feeling.  Being pulled out of dreamland and almost before you are even conscious you are awake that feeling of dread, that feeling of disappointment, that feeling of failure, that feeling of anger, that feeling of utter hopelessness and darkness that floods into your brain because you remember even before you remember that you made choices last night that were, ah, shall we say, NOT optimal as regards your eating and drinking decisions?

Yes.  I've been there.  I've battled those feelings.  I've attempted to rally myself and try, yet again, to tell myself that today is a new day.  But there is always that overriding feeling the next day that you are living in the shadow of the mountain of doom.  Y'know?  And let's face it, it is tough to recover from one off plan day, because you almost don't feel like you DESERVE to be healthy at that point.  Right?  You've felt that before I know you have, if you are reading this blog.

I have a message for you.  It is a message of hope. 

THE SPEED at which you can pull out of those feelings of doom by TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH about yourself and your journey IS the determining factor of HOW and WHEN you will become a picture of health.

What do I mean?  I mean exactly this:  So you were off plan yesterday.  So what?  It doesn't make you a failure or a bad person.  It was simply a CHOICE.  Now, you can CHOOSE to be ON plan TODAY. 

OR, you can stay in your emotional sinkhole, drifting further and further down, regaining more and more of your weight.

So this was supposed to be a blog about TWO mornings. 

The second morning involves waking up from a day where you have been 100% ON PLAN.  This day, even before your eyelids open, you feel a sense of accomplishment.  A sense of peace and well-being that you are, in fact, DOING (emphasis on DOING...not THINKING about doing, not PLANNING on doing, not WISHING you were doing, ACTUALLY doing!) everything you can to choose health.  You are utilizing every tool in your little toolbox.  What does that look like?  Well, for TSFL it looks like this, and this is what I do when I am utilizing every tool in my toolbox:

1)  Remaining coachable, teachable, and staying accountable to my coach
2)  Eating within 30 minutes of waking, and every 2-3 hours throughout the day
3)  If I have exercise on my docket for the day, I make it happen
4)  I drink 90 ounces of water
5)  I weigh my lean protein choice
6)  I measure my vegetables (yes, I do!)
7)  I get to bed at a proper time to ensure I get atleast 7 hours of sleep
8)  I read a little bit of Dr. A's Habits of Health on a daily basis, straight through from start to finish, starting over when I reach the end, making notes in the margin and contemplating what I am reading thoughtfully.  It's the same way I read my Bible, actually. 

So, it is amazing what a difference it makes waking up from an OFF plan day and waking up from an ON plan day.  I have done both with some regularity.  I prefer waking up from on ON plan day.  Sometimes, at night, if I am tempted by the wine, or the blue cheese, or the chocolate (my go-to OFF plan choices), I will simply STOP, CHALLENGE what I want to FEEL like tomorrow when I wake up, and CHOOSE that which will allow me to wake up with a clear and hopeful conscience.

Because, lining up ON PLAN days will move me CLOSER to what I have SAID that I want.  If I don't consistently ACT in a manner which will move me closer to what I have SAID I want, then I must not really want it.  Right?  Because we usually get what we want.

So, if you are finding yourself lining up more OFF plan days than ON plan days these days, perhaps it is, truly, time to re-evaluate WHAT YOU WANT.   I hope it is health.  =)

Have a happy, healthy, ON PLAN day my friends!

Rinse and Repeat!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I'll Take Our Program Over Medication ANY Time!

One of the amazing "side effects" of the plan I am a Health Coach for is the fact that many people are able to get OFF their blood pressure and diabetes medications, and sometimes even their cholesterol meds!  But this blog isn't about getting OFF meds, it is about an ad I just saw in a recent People Magazine about a NEW WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATION.

Oh my goodness!  I used to think Weight Loss Surgery was dangerous and life threatening (and I still do...) but now I have added to the list weight loss MEDICATIONS! 

This purported "weight loss med" which "has been approved by the FDA" has THESE warnings on it:


VALVULAR HEART DISEASE:  Some people taking medicines like "****" have had heart valve problems.  Call your doctor right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat.

DEPRESSION OR THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE:  Call your doctor right away if you notice any  mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.

SEROTONINSYNDROME OR NEUROLEPTIC MALIGNANT SYNDROME-LIKE REACTIONS:  Before using "***" tell your doctor about all the medications you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold.  These medicines may cause serious or life threatening side effects if taken with "***".  Call your doctor right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.

SLOW HEARTBEAT:  "***" may cause your heart to beat slower.

DECREASES IN BLOOD CELL COUNT:  "***" may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.

INCREASE IN PROLACTIN:  "***" may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin.  Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.


What the!!!!!!

Summary:  Oh, if you take this and cold medicine you could die.  If you are a guy you won't look like a guy for long, you could develop heart valve disease, your blood health will deteriorate, you may hallucinate or want to kill yourself.

But you'll lose weight LOL!

Let's face it, the first 3-5 years of any "new" med on the market, "approved by the FDA for human use" is basically an informal extension of human trials.  The baseline human clinical trial has been conducted, you know, the one that lasts, like, 3-6 months, and has been deemed "safe enough" to bring to the REAL market where the REAL human trials can begin...the ones that include the big pharma companies beginning to make money (they don't make money on the clinical trials....), and viola, we have new test subject, who, with prescription in hand, are willing to place their bodies under the influence of this "new weight loss drug".  Meanwhile the LONG-TERM effects begin to surface after a few years, after the drug companies have recouped the $$ it took to develop the drug, so they are happy, and the people who trusted them and took this med are basically out of luck.
I remember once my physician trying to convince me to try the newest weight loss med out there, and I said no.  Good thing too, because later that med was proven risky and potentially damaging.  I've always said I'll never take anything in a pill in order to lose weight.  If I can't do it on my own, with changes in my diet and exercise, I'm not doing it.  That was my mindset, and I DID it with Take Shape For Life and now exercise and maintenance to maintain!

As I said, I'll take the program that I am a FREE Certified Health Coach for, which has been clinically proven safe and effective for 30 years, the brand that has been recommended by 20,000 physicians since 1980, the plan I coach for which does NOT include any medication, injections, sublingual drops, colon cleanses, or surgery, ANY day of the week and twice on Sundays!  =)  

What will YOU do?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

There will always be reasons "not to" do something.

Especially if we keep generating and updating that list of reasons.

Do you ever make decisions on things you can or can't accomplish based on your fear of what "might" happen?  Or your fear that you "might not" succeed in the endeavor?

I find that any decision I make which has fear at its root is USUALLY NOT the decision that was the best for me.


We fear many things, but what we ought to fear is FEAR.  Fear paralyzes us sometimes in DOING the very things we need to do to live a life of health and contentment.

Have you ever said this to yourself?  "I'm afraid to lose the weight because I don't want to gain it back again."

I can resonate with this fear.  I did lose the weight.  I did gain it back again.  ALL of it.  It didn't kill me.  What it DID accomplish in my life is to let me KNOW that I COULD do it.

Do you see that?  The take-away lesson I learned was that I COULD lose the weight, not that I FAILED when I gained it back again.  So I took what I COULD do and I built upon that. 

I knew I COULD lose the weight on the Medifast 5&1 program.  I also knew in the second go-around that TRANSITION and MAINTENANCE were NOT "tack-on add-on if-I-feel-like-it-when-I'm-done-with-this-diet" options.  They were MANDATORY.  Transition is WHERE WE LEARN what to eat for the rest of our lives.  All these endless debates about whether or not this plan truly teaches you how to eat etc etc are absolutely pointless when you don't factor in TRANSITION AND MAINTENANCE.  Of COURSE the 5&1 doesn't "teach you how to eat for the rest of your life" unless you plan on spending the REST OF YOUR LIFE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT!  The 5&1 serves a very specific purpose.  Firstly, it has the science of fat burning DOWN and you will achieve this if you follow it diligently all of the time.  Secondly it teaches you to eat 6 times a day, and drink plenty of water. 

And many of us HAVE TO LEARN THIS because we have never done that prior to entering this plan.  We don't know how to take time for ourselves when we begin the 5&1.  We are used to taking care of everyone else and massively neglecting OURSELVES.  Taking time for ourselves is the FIRST skill we learn on the 5&1 because the schedule is non-negotiable if you want success.  And I even hear people complaining that they can't take 10 minutes every 3 hours for themselves. 


I don't care what profession you are in, or what concepts you THINK you have, you are not SO NEEDED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that you can't take a bathroom break and eat a bar while you are at it every 3 hours. 

If you are booking yourself so solid that you can't take care of your basic needs, and I DO mean your BASIC "put-on-your-oxygen-mask" needs every 3 hours, then do stop now and just stay exactly where you are in your health because maintenance isn't for you either.  Honestly.  I can't convince you that you are worth the effort it takes to organize your schedule around success on this plan.  I can tell you the reasons why you are but until you GRASP that fact on your own, I can't convince you otherwise.  So believe it.  Then do it. 

But if you aren't willing to do the basic schedule that the Medifast 5&1 calls for, I just don't have any additional advice for you.  =)

It reminds me of a sketch by Brian Regan on Pop-tarts.  Here is the sketch on YouTube:

A little levity to make us laugh.  But it's true, isn't it?  The bars, bites, pretzels and puffs couldn't be easier to eat!  So I don't buy the "I don't have time to eat 6 times a day" argument, and if you are telling that to yourself, I urge you to rethink your assumptions about your day.  =)

YOU are worth it.  And it is a basic building block towards optimal health.  So, no, you won't be ON the 5&1 for the "rest of your life" you will attain a healthy weight and you will transition to maintenance.  And as I said above, transition and maintenance are a schooling unto their own.  But it is EASY to understand and SIMPLE to do, so don't FEAR it!  =)

Have a wonderful, productive, healthy day my friends!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Are We Losing Weight or Are We Gaining Health?

How we think about our journey is SO important, and this question is really a pivotal question.

Because if I am focused on LOSING weight, then this program is all about WEIGHT LOSS, about being so much in pain and conflict when I begin that I just can't WAIT to get something OUT of my life.

If, however, I am focused on GAINING health, then this program is all about bringing something amazing and awesome into my life as a result of this process of in fact GETTING HEALTHY!

I choose the gaining health part.

Yes, it truly makes a difference in how this process works in and on our brains.  We don't really like to LOSE anything, do we?  The thought of LOSING something puts me on edge.  It speaks of loss.  

When I am old and a lot wiser than I am now, and I reflect upon my life, I will not be focusing on what I have LOST in this life.  I will be focusing on what I GAINED.  Grace.  Love.  Health.   Faith.  Family.  Mercy. 

I want to be an expert on my own HEALTH, not an expert on HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT.

I don't know if that makes sense, but it is something I was thinking about on my 6 mile train run today in the mountains south of Phoenix.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Never Take it for Granted

This program is truly a miracle.  Thing is, sometimes we begin to take miracles for granted.

What does that look like?  Have you ever uttered the phrase in your mind that sounds something like this?  "It'll be fine, I can hop right back on Monday and lose these 2 pounds (or 5 pounds or 10 pounds or 20 pounds or 40 pounds) if I want to.  I know this program will always work for me, and be there for me, so I can re-engage with it anytime I want and lose that last 5-or-10-or-20-or-40 pounds.

I have experienced that mentality before, and I guard diligently against it now.  Here's the thing.  We can get so secure in the knowledge that this plan really truly works for us that we can hold it out as a "tomorrow" thing WHILE we are indulging TODAY and making a habit out of being OFF plan. 

And the habit of being OFF plan, those habits of disease, come back quickly I can assure you.

Some say it's a lot of WORK to be on this plan.  I say it is a lot of INTENTION to be on this plan.  Intention is not work.  I used to confuse the two all of the time, because I felt like if I had to actively THINK about a process it MUST be WORK because THINKING was EXHAUSTING! 

But then I realized that instead of feeling like INTENTIONALITY was a negative, a bummer, a big deprivation and a killjoy, I had a choice.

I could switch things up in my mind so that I chose INTENTIONALITY as a joy, a privilege, a creative process, a wonderful unveiling of my TRUE self and my TRUE potential as regards my health.

So I did!  Then it wasn't always WORK to be on plan today.  It was intentional, and a choice, but it wasn't a drudgery it became a hope-filled process.  Because I made it so.

Where are you RIGHT NOW?  It is Sunday.  Did you go in to the weekend with an attitude of "just this once, and I can hop back on Monday".  I challenge you with this blog to make your NEXT meal a Medifast meal, choose TODAY to work TOWARD your health goals and count it a JOY to do so.

Beware of RESTING and being confident in the "I can always restart tomorrow because THIS PROGRAM WORKS!".....

As we know, tomorrow never really comes.  And today is the tomorrow you spoke about yesterday, so think of it THAT way.  Today IS yesterday's tomorrow.

How will you manage yourself TODAY?

Rinse and Repeat!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Importance of Routine

The Importance of Routine

Often as I go about my days and my week I am reminded of the how routines play such an important role in my life.  My routines can be healthy or unhealthy, and either way they feel like a familiar friend, but the difference between the value that a healthy relationship adds to my life and an unhealthy relationship is as stark as night and day.

Unhealthy routines cause chaos.  It sounds ironic that a routine can cause chaos but unhealthy routines do cause a certain amount of chaos and drama in my life similar to that of a dysfunctional friend/relationship would.

They are familiar, yes, but always leave me feeling inadequate and hollow, with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.  They leave me feeling like I am somehow intrinsically flawed, intrinsically "not enough", and, well, slightly unlovable. 

Healthy routines, on the other hand, are life giving, nurturing, and result in a certain structure of order and peace that, when is absent from my day or my week, is quite noticeable.  Healthy routines allow me to REST in the habit of good decision making, because once a healthy routine is begun, the HABIT takes over and while the CHOICE still exists, it feel automatic to choose wisely.

Even though I have overcome much in my health journey, I still have freedom of choice to engage either in my Healthy Habits Routine or my Unhealthy Habits Routine.

What does each one look like?  I'll paint a picture for you:

My Healthy Habit Routine is very structured.  Once I flip the switch in the morning, it is almost automatic.  It includes 6 healthy fuelings per day for my food, 90 ounces of water for my water, and regular healthy motion.

My Unhealthy Habit Routine is very unstructured and chaotic.  If I don't make the conscious decision in the morning to flip the switch of my Healthy Habits Routine, my Unhealthy Habit Routine is poised to take over that day.  This involves anything from NOT getting my water in (and early) to making unhealthy eating decisions including food and drink that I would not engage in when on my Healthy Habit Routine.

Occasionally my Unhealthy Habit Routine will last for days.  Usually not, but if it does I ALWAYS pay the price with rapid weight gain.  And I'm not kidding around here.  It is a myth that obese people will some day be able to "eat normal" (what IS "eating normal" anyway LOL?).  And it isn't my weight LOSS that MADE me prone to quick and easy weight gain.  I am SIMPLY PRONE to quick and easy weight gain, which is WHY I ended up yo-yoing for years and years and years and being 272 pounds at my last (and final) high weight.

No.  I blame no one and no THING for my propensity to quickly and easily store excess calories (especially simple carbs including refined sugar, white flour, baked goods, etc) as fat.  It is simply the way my body handles that type of energy.  I am SO thankful that I KNOW THAT and as a result of Dr. A's Habits of Health and setting up HEALTHY routines for myself I can still live the life I WANT to live and not feel like a victim.

You see, I HAVE the proper tools to be healthy.  And I utilize them regularly.  When I don't engage in Habits of Health, I have a choice to make.  Gain weight or revert BACK to my Habits of Health immediately.

So that is the choice before me on days the unhealthy habits routine come in to play.  DECIDE, make the CHOICE, to adopt my healthy habit routine again.  Not next week, not next month, but RIGHT NOW.

Because I am SO worth the effort.  As are you.

Choose wisely.  Choose Habits of Health.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Lesson from Paul

It's Sunday.  Superbowl Sunday, as a matter of fact.  And today I was thinking about Paul.  You know, Paul, the Apostle Paul, who wrote quite a bit of the New Testament.

Whether you are a person of faith and spirituality or not, there are some lessons to be learned from Paul's writings.  He was a master philosopher and had human nature pretty well pegged.

Even he struggled with various aspects of it.  Decision making.  Acting in accordance with your highest goals and aspirations.

The text that I am so drawn to today is in Romans.

Romans 7:15-20

New International Version (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

There are many times when I ask myself "why did I JUST do that?!"  Usually it has something to do with a poor spending decision that doesn't take our family closer to our financial goals of being debt-free, OR it has something to do with a poor food or drink choice that doesn't coincide with the long-term and short-term health goals I have for myself.  Sometimes I will act in a contrary manner to that which I DESIRE to do.  Why is this?  

Well depending on your belief system, you will have an answer that satisfies and falls in line with what you believe.  Being that I believe Paul's words as the "Gospel Truth" I know that it just is what it is, and is it's own version of "Stop.  Challenge.  Choose."

There are two directions I can go with my health goals.  Towards them, or away from them.  When I choose to eat or drink something that is not consistent with what I have SAID that I wanted, one of two things is going on.  First, the possibility exists that I don't TRULY want what I have SAID that I want.  Nope.  I KNOW that this is NOT the case in my life.  So, the alternative is that sometimes we humans are inconsistent.  Sometimes we act in the EXACT opposite way to which we want to act.  Paul calls it sin.  I agree that in sinful endeavors, it can be called sin.  But food and drink decisions?  I don't classify these as "sinful choices" but rather a highlighting of the inconsistencies of man, and the desire to gratify something right NOW at the expense of something that we wanted EVENTUALLY.  In other words, Human Nature.

What separates us from the animals is our ability to transcend our instincts, though, and to CHOOSE something that will eventually fulfill our goals and aspirations.  Animals can't do that, at least I have never met one that told me he/she COULD, so I'll operate on the notion that animals lack that ability to choose in that way, to have a set of beliefs which guide their actions.

Sometimes my set of beliefs about my health and my ability to maintain optimal health is challenged BY MY OWN ACTIONS.  In these instances I relate wholeheartedly to Paul and his words are my words.

WHAT I DO in these moments really does matter.

I have two choices.  I can continue to act in a manner that is inconsistent with who I have decided to be and the life I have decided to live, OR I can pull my head out, center myself, remember WHO I AM and begin to live in accordance with my higher goals, values, and aspirations.

I choose the latter.

Sometimes I choose the latter every day.

Sometimes I choose the later every second.

Sometimes I don't choose the latter, and it is in these moments when I must Stop!  Challenge!  Choose! and give myself the opportunity to recalibrate and reconnect with those values and aspirations.

Here is what is true about me, these are the facts:

1)  I have worked very hard creating the life that I desire.
2)  I am a runner and am training for the Paris Marathon
3)  It will take effort to maintain this lifestyle I've created
4)  Sometimes I don't feel like putting forth the effort
5)  I am a fit and healthy woman whose body will ALWAYS follow the instructions I give it
6)  I need to be the steward, the gatekeeper, of those instructions and always be vigilant

This is what I know.

This is what I come back to, even after a day or even days of NOT behaving in a manner consistent with my goals.

I love the phrase "I'm only human".  Yes.  I AM human.  And BECAUSE I am human I have been given the responsibility of being a good steward of my life and the life of my family.  I have been given the power to choose.  I have educated myself regarding health, and the proper tools to LIVE the life I want to live and to honor my family, myself, and my faith.

And I will do that to the best of my ability.

Rinse and Repeat!