The first part of August is a time to treasure. Though the return to school and regular schedules may be approaching, it’s still down the road far enough for us to make the most of slower days. Even in the dog days of summer, however, there are times to take action as quickly as possible.

Today’s Scripture: “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.” (I Thessalonians: 5:21)

Now here’s a scripture to have a party with! We could explore all kinds of things in these ten meaty little words, i.e. the meaning of the word “prove” and the definition of the word “good.”

But it’s summer! We’re relaxing! Let’s go for the easiest word here: fast. But even with this word, there are 14 definitions in the dictionary. In a scriptural context, the one that applies best is probably “not easily moved, to be firmly locked, or fixed in place.” Of course, that defines exactly what healthy living and weight loss is all about, but I’m going for an even simpler “weight loss made easy” tactic: Let’s stretch it (and better to use and expand the scriptures than the elastic in our pants, don’t you think?) and take it with another dictionary definition: sheer speed!

Oh, not in terms of dropping the pounds, because we all know that anything more than two pounds per week is never permanent, but in terms of quickly and speedily responding to that which is good for our health and our bodies. If we’re not mindful, delays have a way of turning into detours that lead right back to the well traveled road of bad habits and the past. Every minute counts!

For example:

Fast! Find someone to talk to instead of eating more than you need at any social gathering;
Fast! Order first at the restaurant before you have a chance to change your mind to what
others may be ordering;
Fast! Put that knife into the sink! No “sniggling” edges and tastes of treats from the pan
while no one is looking;
Fast! Scoop those leftovers into containers and into the freezer without nibbling;
Fast! Get out of the kitchen when it’s not eating time;
Fast! Drink 16 ounces of water instead of eating between meals;
Fast! Tie on your shoes and do just 10-15 minutes of exercise (I promise – even 5 minutes into
it, enthusiasm and energy will kick in!)
Fast! Pop in a strong breath mint or sugarless gum while cooking in the kitchen;
Fast! Say to yourself “My body is not a trash can” while marching children’s leftovers to the
Fast! Get rid of treats that someone gave you to be nice; and
Fast! Jump into the pool! Splash, kick and do some laps rather than just lounging.

As every parent knows, it’s much kinder, wiser and easier in the long run to just rip that bandage off than to peel it off slowly. In the same way, we can quickly make so many health choices, which will then allow us to hold fast in the true scriptural sense of holding firm and steady.

Oh, it’s a lovely cycle to act fast in order to hold fast. Here’s to speedy, steady us in the slow, last days of summer!

Today’s Empowerment: “I have many easy, healthy choices that need no deliberation. My fast actions allow me to hold fast to my health goals.”

Today’s Journal Prompt/Discussion Starters:

  1. What eating situations do I need to remove myself from in a hurry?
  2. What detours this past week could I have avoided if I had just moved faster?
  3. The scripture says “Prove all things.” Though it is summer and things slow down, what can I do to prove to my Heavenly Father and myself that I am caring responsibly for my body?

Today’s Recipe:

Summer Macaroni Salad
(8 Servings at 145 calories)

1 8 oz. box uncooked macaroni (2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups small broccoli florets, lightly steamed
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup 1% lowfat milk
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. basil

Cook pasta until tender. Drain. Rinse under cold running water and rinse again. Toss with vegetables. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Best when allowed to chill for a bit for flavors to blend.

(2 g Fiber; 145 calories; 2 g Fat; 29 g Carb)