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Looking Back to Move Forward
By Carolyn Allen

Believe it or not, history can be a powerful weight loss tool. Reviewing the past is a powerful view of not only where we’ve been, but where we’re headed. Today’s article includes a weight loss photo journal scrapbook for you to download and document a history of your weight loss success as you rise and shine in 2009.

Today, January 19, one day before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the first Black president of the United States , Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered for his great contributions for the cause of Civil Rights in the United States of America . There will be speeches honoring the things he stood for, the things he spoke for, and recountings of both the history and the progress of this righteous cause. Dr. King, like Paul in the New Testament, Nephi and the Lord himself, used remembering historical events as a way to rally listeners, nurture faith and promote action.

For example, Nephi reminds his wayward brothers to be obedient with the words: “How is that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, delivering us out of the hands of Laban?” ( I Nephi 11:17 )

Paul taught the Hebrews the power of faith by recounting men and women, including Sarah and Abraham, who overcome seemingly impossible circumstances through personal faith in order to move forward and fulfill their destinies.

King Limhi, upon learning of Ammon’s ability to help his enslaved kingdom, rallied his oppressed and discouraged citizens with the words “O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted!” then recited the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that they were brought forth out of he land of Egypt (Mosiah 7:15 -19) and that God would not forget them either.

The Lord himself uses memory to provide encouragement and foster personal power. In D&C 6:22 -32, he reminds Oliver Cowdery: “Cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”

Believe it or not, history is also a powerful weight loss tool. When viewed through the eyes of the Lord’s love for us as his children, by respectfully looking back and honestly reviewing our health history and habits we can self-motivate ourselves to move forward with positive, decisive, consistent actions. Keep in mind our Heavenly Father’s plan of forgiveness as you review, then decide that this is your year to reach for the divine!

Not only is it important to look back upon our own personal health histories to move forward, it is valuable to consider the history of the human body.

In his fascinating book, “Younger Next Year,” Dr. Henry S. Lodge medically establishes something the Lord told Adam: We’re supposed to work hard and be physically engaged. In the Garden of Eden there was no need to work for their food and sustenance since a continual food supply of delicious, nutritious food was freely at their disposal. After being cast out, however, they were told that ” cursed is the ground for thy sake ” and that ” by the sweat of they brow ” would they eat bread. (Genesis 3:17) In other words, they would be farmers and hunters. For their own sake, indicates the physical energy required to eat would bring forth health and strength to continue life. They would get lots of exercise and sweat … or starve – and it would be good for them for it to be so! In order to live, they would simply have to exercise … a lot!

Dr. Lodge maintains that our bodies have not changed biologically in thousands of years, nor will they in our own lifetimes to accommodate the pleasures, ease and comforts of modern life. Temperature-controlled housing and far too much to eat with zero expenditure of physical energy (other than grocery shopping and preparing the food) provides too many calories that are not burned off and become excess weight. His premise is that our bodies are no different than those of our ancient ancestors. They are programmed to work hard. If we don’t have to grow or hunt for our food, then we must find other ways to compensate and send our bodies the physical and chemical signals that we’re alive and engaged. An endless supply of calories with little or no exercise is the bodies signal that there is an upcoming famine and very possible death. In other words, couch potatoes: Unite!

His answer, of course, is exercise and smarter nutrition as a means of not only weight loss, but prolonging the great adventure of life through natural aging by creating vigorous health. We may age, but we don’t have to rot. (See “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.)

Books have been written about the ways our diets have changed over the course of the last 100 years. Sugar alone is a shocker: According to Dr. James Scala, at the end of the 1700s sugar consumption was less than 20 pounds per person per year. By the end of the 1800s, sugar consumption had risen to 63 pounds annually. Now, just over 100 years later, the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar each year! Some statistics say it is even more than that.

Ah yes, it’s all fascinating and true — until it’s time to eat or go exercise! I hope that you’ve had a chance to spend some time with the blueprint documents I created in for us in my January 5 article to establish your goals and make a plan. As the saying goes, ” in failing to plan, we plan to fail .” For most of us, history will bear that one out! That’s why this year is different!

Have you chosen a program? Do you need one? Those are important questions as we reach for the divine, then rise and shine in 2009. It may be time now that Christmas is put away to review the healthy eating plan that works best for you. Whether it’s Dr. Bridell’s “eat half” mentality, Weight Watchers, or my favorites, Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, it’s good to have a plan. What I especially like about “Eat to Live and “Fit for Life” are that they are so well-within the guidelines of the Word of Wisdom and what I like to call the “Garden of Eden” way of life. As you eliminate processed foods and a lot of the meat and dairy products ( no, you won’t be hungry, and yes, your body will still receive the nutrients it needs ) you’ll be delighted at how your energy and health soar while the pounds drop.

And to keep us motivated this year? Even as great speakers and the Lord use reviewing the past to promote faith and action, we can do the same for ourselves! A, picture, however, is worth a thousand words. So here is the link to create a photo album of your weight loss journey . It includes starter pages for a scrapbook that will help you use the past as a launching point for your future, as well as create a documented weight loss history journal with photos and journal entries you’ll create along the way and soon look back upon with pride and pleasure.

Carry on! With a look of love and forgiveness to the past, we’re moving forward!

Click HERE to download the PDF “My Weight Loss Journey: A Photo Scrapbook” and “Blueprint for Success Documents”.


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