Your Own Ten Commandments for Weight Loss and Health
Bob and I are reading through the Old Testament this year. We’re going rather slowly because not only is it a lengthy book with lots to cover, but we have a companion study book (The Old Testament Made Easier by David Ridges) that makes it even more interesting and slow. Right now we’re studying Moses and the Children of Israel, with their meals of manna and the Ten Commandments (cue Charlton Heston!)
I do believe that manna was the very first fast food! Delivered fresh, sweet and ready to eat right to your front yard six days of the week, surely this was the inspiration for Domino’s Pizza Delivery.
Although it tasted like honey wafers, it is very clear that it didn’t come in a six-pack variety of flavors, nor were there fun toppings to perk it up when the taste, though delicious and honey-like, became tiresome. That aside, manna was clearly of superior nutritional quality and satisfying. A daily omer (a unit of measure that is roughly 2 quarts, and a bit more or less depending on age and size) was eaten for 40 years and provided for the Israelites as they traveled. This 40 years was long enough to establish a strong and healthy new generation.
As a wife and mother with endless family meals in both my history and future, think of the time they saved in meal preparation and clean-up! I confess, I’m impressed with the simplicity of it all!
It’s a fascinating thing to look back on the Israelites and this ancient period of history. Though we marvel at their immaturity and responses to God and Moses, I wonder how they would view our world today, especially with regard to the wide variety and choices of food, especially in the United States. No doubt they, like returning missionaries and the military who have been abroad for a long time, would probably be overwhelmed with the sheer number of selections and easy convenience of foods, both natural and processed .the soft drinks, breads, meats, snacks and treat foods that are constantly provided in irresistible packaging and compellingly advertised.
The Israelites would look at us and wonder why so many of us are overweight. With a quick education on the fact that too many calories turns into stored fat, they would see that they had their challenges and we have ours: one of the great, undeniable realities of these latter days is the very evident fact that many of us just eat too much.
Perhaps we are overwhelmed too. We hardly know when or where to start and finish our personal eating each day. How easy it is to just keep eating because it tastes so good and is so convenient with old favorites and stand-bys joining delicious new offerings and creations almost continually. For many of us who graze this way through our days, to be truly hungry and ready for a nutritious meal is an irregular, unusual event.
It was impossible for the Israelites to overindulge because the manna developed worms and rotted if they took too much or tried to make it last. Once again, how simple! What an easy way to maintain your weight! We would all benefit from the Lord intervening on what, when and how much we’re supposed to eat.
Where are you on your weight management this summer? I’ve had wonderful summers where I lost 8-10 pounds by September 1!
This year — Between travel, guests and lots of special activities, my slacks are a little snug. While it would be easy to carry on with the relaxed eating and indulging for the rest of the summer, there’s really no reason to wait! Since Bob and I have been studying the Ten Commandments in our morning scripture study, I’ve gone back to some great “Ten Commandment” principles that have always been helpfull. They are so fun, inspiring and positive that I’m delighted to share them with you too:
From Dr. Mehmet Oz
1: Thou Shall Not Wear Pants That Stretch
“When you wear stretchy clothes, it’s difficult to tell if you are gaining weight because you gain weight without realizing it. When you wear clothes that fit with a set size you let clothes be your gauge. They alert your body if something is getting a little tight so you can correct the course early on.”
2: Thou Shall Not Keep “Fat Clothes” in Your Closet
“I don’t want anybody out there who’s losing their weight thinking, ‘it’s okay if I overate a little bit, it’s not a problem because I can still wear these clothes.’”
3: Thou Shall Not Eat Meat That Walks on Four Legs More Than One Time A Week
“The reason is that there’s less saturated fat in animals that walk on two legs like chickens, or don’t have any legs like fish. Additionally, women who eat large amounts of red meat more than once a week actually have 50 percent higher chance of dying of heart disease. They also have higher cancer rates, so there are double benefits from the third commandment.”
4: Thou Shall Not Graze or Browse in Search of Prey
“You need to before you go to the fridge. Too many times we’re wandering like reptiles foraging for food. We make food decisions. You want to create the plate that you’re going to eat using your brain rather than impulses that lead you to naturally overeat, which is what happens when you’re hungry and going in there five to seven times a day.”
5: Thou Shall Not Eat After 7:30 PM
“The average American goes to bed around 10:00 p.m. You need to have two hours of time between when you eat your dinner and when you go to bed. When you eat late at night, a couple of things happen. First of all, you’re more likely to be eating in front of the TV, which means you’re distracted and likely to eat more. You also tend to get high calorie snacks in the late night hours. Try to move your meals up a tiny little bit whatever way you can to make 7:30 p.m. your ideal cut off time.”
6: Thou Shall Not Pile On Food On a Plate More Than One Inch High or Two Inches to the Edge of the Plate
“Larger portions mean a lot more calories.”
7: Thou Shall Not Chew Less Than 20 Bites
“When you’re chewing, your body is beginning to process the reality that you’re putting food in it. It takes awhile for those hormones to circle back. The perception of fullness depends completely on back and forth chemistry between your stomach and your brain. As you chew, you give yourself several minutes for that processing to occur. So you’re helping your biology of blubber take you to a weight that you could be happy at.”
8: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Plate
“These snacks, these little bites from someone else’s sandwich, these little sweets, whatever it is, it adds up. It adds up, on average, to over 1,000 calories a day. That’s why grazers, believe it or not, are getting into trouble. These calories count with all the other calories you already eat.”
9: Thou Shall Not Carry Small Bills
“The reason, vending machines. Vending machines love small bills, and human beings like putting small bills in vending machines. With this temptation it’s too easy to get 100 or 200 extra calories of food. Most people buy more because they’re not going to pocket the extra change. The result is you feed there over and over again. I want you to leave the house without small bills in your pocket. You won’t want to break a $20 bill in order to buy junk foods in a vending machine.”
10: Thou Shall Not Eat Standing Up or in a Car
“Eat a preplanned meal while you’re stationary, and eat it while you’re sitting down. You will actually know what you’re doing. You are aware, you’re not distracted and you’re not rushing; most important, you are not overeating.”
I loved the following ten commandments from a weight trainer and fitness guru in Florida:
You must believe and have faith that you will succeed. The more you fail and the more you are rejected the closer you are to victory. Vision is a dream or goal with a deadline. Write your vision with your goals and never close site of them.
2. Healthy Life Style
Your body is your temple. If you don’t take care of your body where will you live?
A. No Vices Stay away from soft drinks, white sugar and flour.
B. Peaceful Living Find a private place to have a peaceful time for your self to relax and pray. Eat in a peaceful environment with good company. Eat slowly and chew your food twenty to fifty times.
C. Rest Work and play hard six days a week but make sure you take one day off for rest and relaxation. Even the almighty God rested on the seventh day. Get a good nights sleep every day. The body repairs while you sleep.
D. No Negative Thoughts or People
Think positive; keep all negative thoughts out of your mind such as fear, hate and envy. FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real. Negative people will keep you from success. Keep them away from you and your life.
3. Eat Healthy Foods We all know what healthy foods and unhealthy foods are. Foods as close to the way God made them are healthy. Man made processed, refined and altered foods are unhealthy.
Drink Water, Water and more Pure Water, 8 to 10 glasses a day. Our bodies are almost 85 % water. Next to oxygen, water is the most important element for staying alive. We can’t survive without it.
5. Functional Anaerobic Exercising
Functional training is the way that we use our bodies daily by using different muscles in our body together simultaneously. Examples of some functional exercises are Kettlebells, Olympic Weight Lifting, Pilates, Indian Club Swinging, rope climbing and Calisthenics. Muscle specific weight machine training is not functional, yet it is a lot better then sitting around the house eating and channel surfing.
6. Aerobic Exercising
You need at least a 20 min aerobic workout to stay in good cardiovascular shape. Jogging, sprinting, kettlebell training, swimming and riding a bicycle will give you an aerobic workout. The aerobic workout that burns the most calories is still kickboxing. Keep your cardio workouts fun and functional. Make sure that you get speed, bursting power and balance in your workout so stay away from fixed bicycles and treadmills.
Stretching relaxes your body, reduces muscle tension, increase range of motion, prevents injury, promotes circulation and reduces lactic acid that is produced after a workout. Great forms of stretching are Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga. Stretching is the most neglected physical activity.
8. Breathing Exercise
Oxygen is the most important element keeping us alive. You can not survive more than a few minutes without oxygen. Go out doors and breathe fresh air daily. Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong will teach you great techniques for healthy breathing.
The sun is a powerful healer. It kills germs and relaxes you. It helps your body absorb calcium and creates vitamin D. Remember light brings life and darkness brings death.
It is good to periodically skip a meal or two and give the digestive track a break.
More Ten Commandments
There are even several books at Amazon with the “Ten Commandments” principles!
You can check them out yourself there. Even a summary of the table of contents will give you great direction. Just put in “Ten Commandments for Health.” In the search box at Amazon.com
Preparing this article, I’m inspired for myself! Already the Spirit is whispering my very own Ten Commandments to me . saying, “Carolyn . I love you! This is important .”
Here Are My Own Top Three Ten Commandments
1. Thou shalt not eat cookies when alone, tired or avoiding paperwork. (We all have paperwork at a computer that’s easty to avoid.)
2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s body height or or legs. (I’m less than 5′ tall and bottom/hip/thigh heavy) Instead be grateful that your legs, though not long and slender, work fabulously and serve you well!
3. Thou shalt be realistic and and embrace the higher ends of your healthy weight range.(A bummer . but not the end of the world! What a waste of time and energy to dwell on what’s never going to happen and is not nearly as big a deal as the media wants us to believe.)
Now … It’s a Fun and Powerful Thing to Create and Record our Ten Commandments
Well, that’s three to get me started! After reading through all of this — if summer has become very lax and it’s time to focus (can you tell I’m talking to myself?) Here’s the plan:
1) Get a piece of paper and number it from 1-10.
2) Say a prayer and ask the Lord which 10 health habits above matter most for us personally and ask for his help.
3) Fill in those customized ten commandments. Make a prayerful commitment to follow them and seek His help to do so.
4) Put this iimportant document somewhere where you’ll see it often. We may even want to make several copies of it to put in special places to remind us of our new vision.
Now it’s time to say a prayer of gratitude for our wonderful bodies that keep on ticking, no matter what! We can ask for grace and joy embrace exactly where we are without guilt or shame! It’s a beautiful thing to know our bodies are temples that allow us to live and serve.