I quit smoking and gained about 20 pounds. I want to lose the weight but, this diet thing is triggering my desire to smoke. Sometimes I feel like I would rather be a smoker than fat. What should I do?

Congratulations on your non-smoking status!! Great job!! Smoking is the major contributor to heart disease. Smoking not only hurts you but those around you. There is nothing pretty, good or desirable about smoking. It is one of the absolute worse things you can do to your body! Was that harsh enough? You are better off being 20 pounds over weight than to be a smoker. People who are fit and 25 pounds over weight are healthier than someone unfit and at their ideal body weight. Try not to stress about your weight. Concentrate on improving your fitness level. You already have by quitting smoking.

Colossians 3:9-10 NKJ “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”

Never Get Off to a Good Start

I did it again, I blew it all weekend and so far I have not planned for this week. It is Monday and I feel like it is already too late to start. I just never seem to get off to a good start. What can help me get off to a good start?

It is never too late to get off to a good start. Even Paul said,” why is it that I do the things I don’t want to do and I don’t do the things I want to do?” I tried 30 years to quit drinking and finally one day I was delivered. I spent years in anorexia and bulimia and finally was delivered. Most people do not get delivered from a behavior they want to change overnight. Most of us have to keep on keeping on with His strength and determination to make it. With Jesus as your savior yesterday, last year, five minutes ago are all in the past and you are forgiven. He knows what you have done wrong and what you will do wrong and He still washes you clean. Just accept His forgiveness, stop worrying about what you have done and concentrate on what you can do now!

Today, take five minutes and come up with a plan for the rest of the day on how you will achieve your goals. Then commit yourself to doing it! If you stumble do not worry about it. Keep on trying. Later today plan your week. You cannot reach a goal if you have not set one. Right your goals down and see yourself accomplishing them. This transformation enters your mind, body and soul by the power of His grace. Remember throughout today and each day you always have a friend in Jesus and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Let Him help you stay on the plan.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed t by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Loss of Focus

Here it is a new season, first day after Labor Day I want to get back on track. The summer was so hectic. I seem to always lose focus. How can I get a good plan for this fall and stay with it?

In order to reach a goal you have to have it first. Many of us have goals that are to vague, thus unattainable. An example of this would be saying I want to lose weight this fall or I want to make more money this fall, I want to get in better shape this fall. These all sound good the problem with them is the way they are worded. They are noble goals without a clear path. To achieve a goal determine your plan. Instead of just saying I want to lose weight say, “I want to lose two pounds a week for ten weeks. So, I am going to eat this planned menu and exercise one hour a day five days a week starting today.” Then do it! Make a good plan not only for the day, but for the week, the month and the year. This will give you an exact map to reach your goals. Without a clear map it is almost impossible to reach your destination.

Luke 14:28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-“

Once you have a clear map, follow it! Wake up every day and stick to your plan. Schedule in your break times. This will make your plan is doable. It takes 21-28 days to formulate new habits so list the days on your calendar and make a minimum commitment to 28 days. To reach your goals for this fall and this year you have to make a clear plan and stick to it! Have an accountability time scheduled into each day. Analyze how you did each day, each week, month and adjust your plan accordingly. Keep your plan realistic, so you can achieve success. Keep your map challenging, so you don’t get complacent. Let your yes be yes and your no, no. Make a commitment to walk a new walk call on God for your strength and keep on keeping on!

Mathew 5:37 “But let your Yes be Yes and your No , No For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”


Why is laughing good for me and how can I do it more?

Laughing is good for you because it releases stress. It also gives you a workout for your abdomen, your lungs and your facial muscles. It simply just feels good to get a belly laugh. How can you get in more laughter? Laugh as an exercise. Laugh on purpose. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HE! HE! HE! HE! HE! HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! Say these ha, he, hoes five times in a row, loudly. It works, you will most likely break into a full belly laugh. If you don’t, you still derive benefit from just saying these words. Try it, you’ll love it! This is the laughing exercise. You can also chose to laugh, watch a comedy, read a joke book, reminisce with a friend about old happy times. Laughing is fun way to be more healthful.

Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

I Quit Drinking

I quit drinking 52 days ago. I decided to join AA and work on a change manual. I just pick a couple small things at a time and work on them. Is this a good technique?

You have a great idea! Changing everything all at once can feel too overwhelming.

Quitting drinking is a powerful accomplishment. I am a recovering alcoholic and I know if I decided to start up with alcohol all my peace and serenity would be gone. Jesus would still love me and I would still be saved but life here on earth would” GO BACK TO SUCKING!”.

Living life clean and sober is a great way to live! In order for me to stay clean I focus on what to do. I value my sobriety with every part of my being. I know that if I drink I will lose everything. So when I have thought of drinking I immediately combat it by letting go of the thought. In order for us alcoholics to get well we need to not even flirt with the idea of drinking or being a “normal Drinker”.

My true wellness began when I decided stop entertaining the illusion of drinking. It is the bottom line. In the beginning I had to constantly, contently tell myself, am not going to take a drink today no matter what! Sometimes I had to go to bed early. I replaced my drinking thoughts with my new desired thoughts and behaviors. This is where your change manual is going to be effective.

Keep up the good work. Congratulations on your sobriety!! You Go Girl!! Remember one day at a time, one moment at a time.

1 Peter 1 13-15 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest you hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance: but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Super Stressed

I am super stressed! I cannot exercise per Doctors orders! My sisters are attacking me personally over things that are not true. Help!

You sound much stressed… exhale and trust God. When people attack us, we need to stay strong in the Lord. We all get attacked from time to time by various trials. Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in.” Philippians 4:11

Exercise is a great tool to reduce stress. If you cannot exercise, you can still combat stress. Try prayerful meditation. Practice sitting quietly and thinking of nothing but the back of your eyelids and your breathing. After you have been able to calm your mind, think of Jesus and how much He loves you. Try envisioning yourself sitting in His lap surrounded by His love. Read the Bible. Practice taking care of yourself with nutrition, sleep and healthful recreation. Practice forgiveness. I find that praying for people helps me forgive them. Sometimes I choke on my words at first. Eventually God changes my heart and I find heartfelt forgiveness for those who‘ve offended me. Forgiveness is a powerful tool to help deal with stress.

Mathew 6:14 “If you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

So Stressed

I get so stressed. I know that I should prioritize and cut but I just cannot cut anything out! How can I get over this stress?

It sounds like you are suffering from life in 2010. Many of us feel over stressed. I believe we get bombarded by too much stuff! We have televisions blaring in each room of our homes and every minute of ours days are planned weeks in advance. Stress will naturally accompany this over stimulated lifestyle which is really common in today’s world. I suggest you identify ways that bring you close to God at a moment’s notice and practice them. Ways I feel closer to God at a moment’s notice are:

Listen to a good Christian song.

Listen to an easy to listen to Christian speaker or preacher. (Many ministries send off weekly or monthly tapes)

Read and meditate on a Proverb or a Psalm.

Take a moment and focus on my breathing and God’s love for me.

Take a walk and intentionally relax and refocus.

When I practice predetermined healthful ways to stay focused on God and His love for me I can stay on track emotionally and physically. If I let stress get to me I find myself feeling hopeless and heading toward the candy bars, doughnuts, gossip, complaining, depression, anger and self pity. Focusing on God and His never ending, always present love for me and good plans for me, helps me through each of life’s stresses. We will all have stressful moments here in this world. Take time to be quiet and refocus on God and how much he loves you. Write down ways you can refocus at the drop of a hat and practice them. Start today. You are worth it!

Mathew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Out of Control Emotions

I can’t control my emotions. I get wound up so tight and then I explode! I then get mad at myself and go into self destruct mode. I love God, how can He help me? I pray but I am still the same.

Your emotions feel like they are coming from your heart but they can be controlled by controlling your mind. (Romans 12:2b, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”)

When you are saved you get the Holy Spirit and he does guide you on what to do. The problem is squashing out the voice of truth! If we do not read the Bible and practice doing what it tells us to do we can easily fall into the snares that used to hold us. In addition to your prayers meditate on the Word of God and apply the word to your life. I do this by thinking of how I am going to act in a situation before the situation happens. I first see myself acting out Gods word in my mind. Visualization is a powerful tool!

Sometimes you will not feel like acting as the Bible directs you to. If you practice putting on His peace regardless of the situation, your mind will direct your emotions. It will start to feel right when it used to feel wrong.

Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above not on things of the earth.”

Read Colossians 3:5-10 today…….great motivational stuff!!

Lack of Motivation

I can not stop thinking about my diet. It bothers me that I just have not been able to stay with it. I lack motivation. What should I do?

Go have some fun! Your health and wellness is very important. Part of wellness is staying stress free, as stress free as possible. If your new life style is stressing you out, exhale and do something you enjoy that is healthful. Some healthful things I suggest are: playing with your children, dancing with your husband in the kitchen, laughing at a comedy, walking in the park, and day dreaming about a pleasant moment. There are so many things to do to re-create yourself. Once you do one thing nice for yourself, it is easier to take better care of yourself regarding your nutrition. You have to make your new life style fun, or it will feel like a diet. I suggest at least one fun healthful activity a day!

Psalm 144:15 NKJ “Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!”

I Want to Give Up

I have felt so empty lately; when I feel this way I want to give up. I talk myself into reverting back to my old habits. How can I get out of this slump?

When I feel empty inside it is usually because I am feeding my flesh and not my spirit. I take a look at what my daily life consists of and evaluate whether or not I am living in accordance to Gods directives. First and foremost I should love Him with all my heart, mind and soul. When I concentrate on God’s love for me and my love for Him it I get filled from the inside out. This foundation allows me to move on to the next step loving my neighbor as myself.

How do I show that God is my center? I start out each day with reading His word. I think of how I can apply His word to my life. I pray and ask for His guidance. I trust that He hears my prayer. Life here on earth is a challenge. Knowing that God will never leave me nor forsake me and loves me always regardless of my circumstances fills me each day and gives me the strength to keep on keeping on. Other things I do to help stay focused on His love for me are: listen to Christian music, listen to Christian radio, fellowship with other Christians. With God as my center I am filled from within. The emptiness goes away. I have the strength to walk the walk.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.”

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For he Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”