Author’s note: If you haven’t had a chance, I encourage you to click on the archives to this column and make the most of the weight loss success stories and tips from the past two articles that feature inspiring weight loss success stories. Next week’s story will highlight Janice Legler, now down 48 pounds with a remarkable accountability tool.

Today’s Quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
(Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963)

In mid-January, Americans celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, the great civil rights leader. As a former Weight Watchers leader, I learned that statistically it’s not January 1, but right around Martin Luther King’s birthday that many of us really get focused on our health goals. Whether we’ve been putting off healthy living priorities while we settle into the New Year, or have started off the New Year with celestial intentions but without the means to sustain what is required, the third week of January is the perfect time to make a commitment.

Today’s quote comes from a book entitled The Strength to Love . Now, I’m not beginning to compare our daily journey of health to the great Civil Rights movement, but I am going to borrow this great quote to strengthen our own day and journey

The Savior kindly opened the eyes of the price to follow him with the scripture in Luke 14;28 “For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it?” The good news is that to follow in his ways, while we must be aware of the price and challenges, we don’t need to pay up front! Means will be provided along the wayI and t is the same with our path to losing the pounds that often hold us back from reaching our potential.

Have you ever had the delightful experience of finding money or a forgotten bill in a pocket or seldom-used purse?  Or seen currency that is worn, defaced, wrinkled and discolored?

If so, did it occur to you that this money may not have retained its value because of its forgotten or sorry condition?  Of course not!  Any bank will redeem worn-out money, and forgotten money is worth as much the day it’s found as the day it was lost.   

Speaking of money, most of us would agree that one big bill seems to be a lot more exciting than a bunch of little coins.  Yet, no matter how you analyze it, ten dimes make a dollar, ten $1 dollar bills make a ten dollar bill, ten $10 bills make $100 bill, and so on.  The little stuff adds up!

It is no different with our goals to live healthfully.  Glossy magazine “before and after” pictures of weight loss success seem like the $100 bill and oh-so-far-away in comparison to our own fledgling New Year goals to become healthy – goals that may seem overused or even abused.

Nevertheless, these efforts and goals have not been tarnished or diminished, no matter how many times we have failed and “started over again.”  The truth is that these goals are of even more value (with a little interest earned along the way) through lessons learned. 

The rewards of healthy living come one day, one pound and one choice at a time through little changes, like the dimes, pennies and nickels in a $100 bill. 

When our own abilities fail, the strength and courage from others are there to lean upon, if we, like the Israelites who but needed to look at the bronze snake, will lift up our eyes to see their example.

Some of my heroes are:

  • A boss at my husband’s work. As a returned missionary and BYU student, he worked at one of the Pentagon offices during the summer and over holiday breaks. Instead of buying snacks from the vending machine, his boss, a delightful middle-aged woman, brought carrots and celery sticks from home. She kept them in the employee refrigerator in container of ice water that had a dash of garlic salt and pepper. He’s never forgotten the good times they shared – or the physical lift from an afternoon veggie snack. To this day he finds the strength to love by taking a healthy lunch to work each day, and makes sure his crisp veggies are handy in the afternoon.
  • A young adult friend who keeps off the 60 pounds she lost nearly four years ago as a senior in high school. Instead of Friday night pizza parties with my daughter Emily (now a missionary in Florida) and all the girls in their high school group, she’d bring over a Weight Watchers recipe and the ingredients for a healthy feast. I’ll never forget how she’d arrive in grand style with her wok, big bags of frozen vegetables, low sodium soy sauce and some lean chicken or beef – or the laugher from the kitchen as they cooked up a storm, then sat around the dining room table to enjoy the feast. Her strength to love turned into a lot more fun than a tired-old pizza party.
  • A senior missionary couple who served at the Washington D.C. Temple with my mom. After losing more than 50 pounds, she found the strength to love by continuing her walking schedule to keep off those pounds, no matter how busy her days at the temple were.

Oh, there’s delight, health, peace and victory in finding the strength to love, with little changes that add up to just the right amount of success!

Today’s Empowerment: “To make a difference in my weight and health, I must dare to be different. I have the strength to love and care for myself.”

Today’s Journal Prompt and Discussion Starters:

  1. How have I overextended myself in the past and burned out too quickly?
  2. Who are my healthy heroes? What exactly have the done that I can copy?


Today’s Recipe: Dilled Green Beans

Of course, these are the best with fresh green beans, but they’ll be delicious with canned or frozen green beans too. They make a very quick afternoon veggie snack.

  • 1 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill weed (or 1/4 tsp. dried dill weed)

Cook green beans in microwave or stove top until just tender.

Toss with remaining ingredients.

(2 g Dietary Fiber; 45 calories; 0 g Fat; 7 g Carb)