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Change Your Life: Part I, Eat Right

We begin the Change Your Life series today by tackling the first of the eight daily "to-do's": Eat right. And Becky Tirabassi, author of the book Change Your Life, helps us answer two questions: Why don't I eat right? How can I eat right?

Over the next 8 weeks, we will address the eight daily to-do's outlined in Becky's book, Change Your Life. Becky believes there are four areas of our lives--physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental. Within each of those areas are two specific disciplines which she contends, if done on a daily basis, will lead to a more balanced life. Collectively, the two disciplines in each area make up the eight daily to-do's:


  • Physical: Eat right and exercise.
  • Emotional: Forgive and give.
  • Spiritual: Talk to God and listen to God.
  • Mental: Detail your day and define your dream.

The approach to balancing and improving our lives must be a daily, multipronged effort. Becky asserts that just working on one area while neglecting the others will delay the process of change because each of the four areas are connected. For instance, allowing anger to build up can affect how we eat and being disorganized can prevent us from fulfilling our dreams.

Some of the reasons are that we don't plan ahead and we're unrealistic about what it will take to eat right. Lack of planning leads to rushed meals that often mean fast food or whatever we can grab.

Planning out your meals is the key. Becky says deciding in advance what you will eat means you'll go to the grocery store with a purpose and be less likely to grab the closest thing when you're hungry.

What do you eat? The point is to show what balanced eating involves. Becky says that substitutions can be key to lowering calories--mustard versus mayonnaise, sharing dessert instead of eating an entire serving alone. Size of portions is also important. A bowl of breakfast cereal should equal about a handful of cereal. Rice and pasta servings should be limited to about a cup.

Planning your meals 1 day at a time will empower you to fuel your body for maximum efficiency and energy and help you maintain your ideal weight and body shape, as well as relieve any temptation to eat poorly. Deciding in advance what "out-to-eat" options you have for certain meals will allow you to "pack a lunch" or call ahead and special order, if necessary.

BREAKFAST

Small bowl of cereal--flakes (bran or other)

Piece of toast with 1 tablespoon of jam

Strawberries (approximately 4-6)

8-ounce glass of orange juice

8-ounce glass of nonfat milk

LUNCH

Tuna sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato

Cup or small bowl of vegetable soup

Banana

Bottles of sparkling and regular water

Small mayo and mustard jars to point out caloric and fat difference

DINNER

Grilled chicken breast

One cup of steamed vegetables--green beans and carrots

Small salad (lettuce and tomato)

One cup of steamed white rice

Small dinner roll

Sals to be used as condiment

DESSERT

One cup of frozen yogurt with nuts on top in a dish

SNACKS

Handful of pretzels in a bowl

Small carton of cottage cheese

Small bowl of extra strawberries

Key passages from Becky's book on the topic of "eating right"

Research shows that eating right and exercising regularly are the two basic activities that we must incorporate into our daily lives in order to achieve a healthy body. Physicians, nutritionists, and fitness professionals recommend a daily plan that includes both of these components as the most practical way to increase your overall health and fitness.

Why do we consistently fail to achieve change and balance in the physical area of our lives?

It is certainly not for lack of money or ideas. I contend that it is because we have not accepted that a healthy body is the result of a lifelong process of eating right and exercising regularly. e are simply unrealistic or perhaps in denial about the amount of time and consistent attention that it takes to achieve a noticeable change in our body shape and size.

There is a natural way to achieve a healthy, though perhaps not perfect, body. You must decide to accept your inherited traits.

Design and follow a lifelong plan for eating right and exercising regularly.

Although not quick or easy, the formula for planning an effective weight-loss program for any person of any age or with weight-loss goal must be:


  • Realistic: Weight gain occurs over a period of time. Unfortunately, it will also take time to come off. Small, daily goals will allow you to achieve long-term effects.
  • Moderate: Changes that are extreme, unnatural, inconvenient, or impractical will rarely become habits. Changes made in increments or at a manageable pace are more likely to become lifestyle habits.
  • Consistent: Scheduling your meals 1 day ahead and your workouts one week in advance on a calendar will allow alternate plans to be made when inevitable interruptions occur.
  • Supportive: Having a workout partner, being a part of a support group, and informing your family and friends of your goals will give you the greatest chance for long-term success.

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