steward

NATURALLY

September 7, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." –1 Corinthians 6:20

Running up the first steep hill of her half-marathon this weekend, Loretta came up behind a man going maybe half her speed. But since hills are hills, they struggled up together, each at their own pace -- two warriors needing the same air to answer the call of the hill. Halfway up, Loretta passed him, but not before they gave each other verbal encouragement.

You know, we've received a number of heartfelt emails and messages lately from many of you in dire need of encouragement to exercise. You've expressed that, for whatever reason, you just don't feel motivated. Well friends, we're praying for you. But at the same time, truthfully, not feeling motivated to honor the body is like saying you're not motivated to be honest. Remember, just because something doesn't come naturally to you doesn't mean you're not called to do it.

So please be encouraged. And do what God has mandated by respecting your body as one of His valuable tools. And oh, yes, the man Loretta was running with on the hill? He had no legs. Using his arms alone, he slowly turned the wheels of his chair over and over and over. Why did he climb? Well he probably had a few good reasons, but the fact that it came naturally, probably wasn't one of them. But no matter what (or why), like you and me, He was simply in the race and the hill was in the way. Answering the call of the hill isn't easy, but because Jesus said yes to His, you can say yes to yours.

--J.P.

HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS Reality-show rapid may not be realistic, or sustainable

A generation of crash diets and miracle fitness programs have fed into our collective and undeniable need for instant gratification. The good news and bad news is that some of these gimmicks work -- if only for a time -- keeping our eyes fixed attentively on the scale. No decrease in weight today? Take heart. The small print says it all: "Results not typical." Healthy, sustained weight loss may not be as rapid as you'd like, despite whatever conceptions NBC's "The Biggest Loser" may have created.

"Usually when people lose a lot of weight quickly, it’s mostly water weight," says PrayFit contributing nutritionist Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD. And once the water weight is gone, the frustration tends to set in, she says. "The early weight loss creates false expectations about the rate of subsequent future weight loss. A weight loss rate of 0.5-2.0 pounds per week is more likely to mean that your weight loss is from fat tissue. It also usually means that the weight loss is more likely to be maintained over time.

If you're striving to lose a few pounds, commit to making solid, sustainable lifestyle changes that can help you be a better steward of the body you have been given.

>> 8 WAYS TO EAT BETTER...FOREVER: What changes should you make if you're struggling to lose weight? Here are eight simple strategies anyone can start using today to start melting away inches and pounds.

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the D.C. area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.

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.

ALL TO HIM WE OWE

August 3, 2010Read: Mark 12 "Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more to the treasury than all the others." --Mark 12:43

Clive didn't really start living until he gave his heart to Jesus. Nine days after he and a writing buddy went for a long walk, Clive -- a known agnostic -- accepted God's grace and used the rest of his life as an offering to the Lord. Two thousand years earlier, Jesus watched a poor widow offer her life's savings -- two copper coins (worth about half a penny) -- into the church plate.

Two people that changed our world with one offering. Their offering of all.

Who's world would change if you asked God to help you give your best to your health? Your spouse? Kids? Remember, it's not about perfection, but diligence.  We're called to care for the body that carries the soul.  After all, "We don't have souls, we are souls. We have bodies." Clive said that. But you know him better as C.S Lewis.

--J.P.

OBESITY BY THE NUMBERS

In a 2007 study cited by The Obesity Society, the alarming trend of weight gain was made clear. Of the respondents in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analysis...

--25.6% were obese.

--26.4% of men and 24.8% of women were obese.

--the obesity prevalence ranged from 19.1% for men and women aged 18--29 years to 31.7% and 30.2%, respectively, for men and women aged 50--59 years.

--by race/ethnicity and sex the obesity prevalence was highest for non-Hispanic black women (39.0%) followed by non-Hispanic black men (32.1%).

--The obesity prevalence was higher in the South (27.3%) and Midwest (26.5%) and lower in the Northeast (24.4%) and West (23.1%).

A separate but related survey showed that approximately 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christian.

Sources: ReligiousTolerance.org, The Obesity Society