epidemic

Your Mission

"I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

Read: 3 John 1

I remember like it was yesterday, scrounging through an old box of books while whispering to myself, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it...." I'm smiling as I type this sentence. Great memories. See, in 1996, the movie of the year was the first Mission: Impossible, and I was bound and determined to see it. But as a young married couple, times were tight. With both of us working and in school, we watched every penny. I knew that in order for us to see the show, it was up to me. (Light the fuse, cue the music.)

Long story short, the sign at the end of the street read, "WE BUY BOOKS!" And fortunately, I kept every schoolbook I'd ever read (from every class). So if they were buying, I was selling. When Loretta got home, I greeted her with a kiss, a grin and two tickets. Special times.

That story came to mind recently when someone requested PrayFit resources for their church. Seems I'm still selling books. Only now it's for what many see as an impossible mission: to conquer the obesity epidemic in our homes and churches. But I think John said it best. In his third epistle, the first thing he said to a man named Gaius was, "I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (v. 2) A worthy hope he had for his friend, especially considering the times in which they lived. And it's still a worthy hope today; a hope that defines our purpose at PrayFit. Is your church in need of help? Does someone you love need encouragement to be healthy for the right reasons? If so, we're on a mission, and we're bringing books.

--Jimmy Peña

THE RIGHT GADGETS FOR YOUR MISSION

The protagonist in the Mission: Impossible films, Ethan Hunt, was successful due to his vast experience in the world of espionage...and a few choice inventions. From voice-replicating throat chips to explosive gum, the tools of the trade were always vital to the mission. Same applies for you and yours. Try these resources when it comes to confronting health issues in your home and community:

>> READ: Our first book, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 33 Days," provides two 28-day exercise programs, a complete diet plan and biblically-inspired devotions to keep you motivated each step of the way.

>> WATCH: PrayFit has partnered with Lionsgate Entertainment to bring you two home-based workout DVDs -- the second more challenging than the first. Train along with founder Jimmy Peña as you work to become stronger, leaner and healthier, all from the comfort of your living room.

For more information on these and other products, click here.

THAT'S THE ONE

May 19, 2011Read: 1 Samuel 17

"Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the stream." --1 Samuel 17:40

Before David hurled the stone at his giant, I picture him down at the stream, tossing them one at a time in his hand. See, I have a feeling he measured a few before finding just the right one for his particular overgrown nuisance. Did you notice the verse? He "chose" five stones. He made decisions based on his needs and abilities. "Too light.” Toss. "Too small." Toss. "Ah, that’s the one!” After all, David knew what he was up against and planned accordingly.

What about you? In the area of health, you might be facing some big issues. Is it your diet? Your training consistency? Maybe you can’t find the right routine? Well, whatever the case, take a stroll down to the stream with David. Kneel down with him and gather some ammo. If the pebbles you’ve been flinging at your giant-size goals aren’t making a dent, then reload. You know what you’re up against. The key is to do like David did and find it. Remember, His fight was worth it and so is yours.

--J.P.

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM What are the main causes of the obesity epidemic?

Weight gain occurs when people eat too much food and get too little physical activity.

Societal and community changes have accompanied the rise in obesity.

Some Americans have less access to stores and markets that provide healthy, affordable food such as fruits and vegetables, especially in rural, minority and lower-income neighborhoods. Restaurants, snack shops, and vending machines provide food that is often higher in calories and fat than food made at home.

There is too much sugar in our diet. Six out of 10 adults drink at least 1 sugary drink per day.

It is often easier and cheaper to get less healthy foods and beverages.

Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt are highly advertised and marketed.

Many communities are built in ways that make it difficult or unsafe to be physically active.

Access to parks and recreation centers may be difficult or lacking and public transportation may not available.

Safe routes for walking or biking to school, work, or play may not exist.Too few students get quality, daily physical education in school.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

THE REST OF THE STORY

April 7, 2011Read: 1 Kings 10

"Indeed, not even half was told me..." --1 Kings 10:7

I'm likely giving away my age, but I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. Many of you might remember his opening line, "Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for news!" with added emphasis on "news." Others might recognize his classic closing salutation, "Paul Harvey...good day!"

But my favorite part of his legendary broadcast was a frame called, "The Rest of the Story," where we'd wait in wonder as he took us down a historical path on any number of subjects before finally unveiling the surprise at the end.

You know, our lives might be a lot like a Paul Harvey story. After all sorts of twists and turns, pitfalls and mountain tops, breakdowns and breakthroughs, God will unveil Heaven's surprise. And though we've read about streets of gold and those gates made of pearl, we will someday see just how badly words failed. And I like to think that maybe, just maybe, God will look at you and He'll look at me with tear-filled eyes and say, "And now you know, the rest of the story."

--J.P.

UNDERESTIMATED WEIGHT New study shows most moms and kids may not be in touch with the gravity of the problem

If you don't stand on a scale everyday, don't worry. While studies show that those who are dieting have a better chance of keeping on track if they weigh themselves regularly, there are a great many people that don't have the faintest clue how much they weigh. But Columbia University researchers found that most moms and kids who are overweight tend to underestimate their weight -- and each other's.

Just under two-thirds of the mothers were overweight or obese, as were nearly 40% of the children, who ranged in age from 7 to 13, according to the story, which appeared on CNN. The vast majority of the overweight people weighed more than they thought they did -- and the heavier they were, the more likely they were to underestimate their weight.

Eighty-two percent of the obese women underestimated their weight, compared with 43% of overweight and 13% of normal-weight women. Likewise, 86% of overweight or obese children failed to correctly estimate their weight, compared with just 15% of normal-weight children.

"In order to target the obesity epidemic, we need to improve perceptions of body weight and create healthy image goals," says the lead author of the study, Nicole E. Dumas, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York. "But how do we change perceptions? That's the big question."

Source: CNN

>> COMING THIS FALL: The front line in the fight for healthier families starts in our homes. This fall, PrayFit will roll out its second print project, PrayFit Family, which provides 28 days of biblically-based devotions, healthy-living tips, recipes and other tools to help build stronger, more faithful families. More info coming soon!

>> ORDER: To order PrayFit's debut book, PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days (Regal Books), which contains two, 28-day, at-home exercise programs and meal plans, click here.

>> SHOP: Get outfitted with the latest PrayFit gear at our online store by clicking here.

 

THAT'S THE ONE

February 24, 2011Read: 1 Samuel 17

"Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the stream." --1 Samuel 17:40

Before David hurled the stone at his giant, I picture him down at the stream, tossing them up one-by-one in his hand. See, I have a feeling he measured a few before finding just the right one for this particular overgrown nuisance. Did you notice the verse? He "chose" five stones. He made decisions based on his needs and abilities. "Too light.” Toss. "Too small." Toss. "That’s the one!” After all, David knew what he was up against and planned accordingly.

What about you? In the area of health, you might be facing some big issues. Is it your diet? Your training consistency? Maybe you can’t find the right routine? Well, whatever the case, take a stroll down to the stream with David. Kneel down with him and gather some ammo. If the pebbles you’ve been flinging at your giant-size goals aren’t making a dent, then reload. You know what you’re up against. The key is to do like David did and find it. Remember, His fight was worth it and so is yours.

--J.P.

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM What are the main causes of the obesity epidemic?

--Weight gain occurs when people eat too much food and get too little physical activity.

--Societal and community changes have accompanied the rise in obesity.

  • People eat differently:
    • Some Americans have less access to stores and markets that provide healthy, affordable food such as fruits and vegetables, especially in rural, minority and lower-income neighborhoods. Restaurants, snack shops, and vending machines provide food that is often higher in calories and fat than food made at home.
    • There is too much sugar in our diet. Six out of 10 adults drink at least 1 sugary drink per day.
    • It is often easier and cheaper to get less healthy foods and beverages.
    • Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt are highly advertised and marketed.
  • Many communities are built in ways that make it difficult or unsafe to be physically active:
    • Access to parks and recreation centers may be difficult or lacking and public transportation may not available.
    • Safe routes for walking or biking to school, work, or play may not exist.Too few students get quality, daily physical education in school.
    • Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

LEASE ON LIFE

February 9, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You are not your own." --1 Corinthians 6:19

We talk a lot about being good stewards of our money, our time and our bodies, but what exactly does that mean? Well, a steward is defined as someone who takes care of something that belongs to someone else. For some reason, it's easier to swallow the notion that our money is on loan or that we live on borrowed time, but when it comes to our bodies, we seem to assume full ownership, don't we?

Maybe it's time to renew the lease on life...

--J.P.

A NEW "STUDENT BODY"

Even the leanest adolescents find difficulty maintaining healthy body composition when they head off to college. Sodas on the go, mac and cheese by the box and the cursed soft-serve machine in the school cafe quickly add up, making once-youthful metabolisms vulnerable to early slow downs.

One college in Minnesota took quick stock of their student body and found that nearly 48% of them were overweight or obese. Unfortunately, this sample is indicative of a larger problem on college campuses nationwide.

>> Read up on how this campus is working to bring about a healthier student population.