A picture says a thousand words! As promised, here’s a photo and quick update on Liz Langston from Kanosh, Utah. She’s now lost 60 thrilling pounds after discovering my book online late last December. With it to guide her thoughts and the quiet whisperings of the Spirit for courage and fortitude, she and her husband Joe made January 1, 2007 their starting date.
They are following the Jorge Cruise “Three Hour Diet,” which keeps their bodies fueled with frequent small, well-balanced meals featuring lots of veggies. Joe has reached his goal to lose 55 pounds and is greatly enjoying the many delights of achieving a healthy weight while he cheers Liz on.
Liz’s confidence is soaring and her success is bubbling into many areas including her thriving online eBay store and website (www.little-luxuries.com) where she creates custom period jewelry for personal use, historic and theatrical costumes. With the increase in energy she is starring with a lead role in a summer community production of the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes.” With it all, she is still finding time to exercise (she loves to walk), prepare healthy meals and continue their search with LDS social services for a baby to adopt. (If you know of anything, please email me at [email protected]“>[email protected] and I’ll put you in touch with her.)
As we’ve become acquainted, it occurred to both of us that the length of time required for her to reach her weight loss goal approximates the length of a full-time LDS mission: 18- months to two years. We theorized that our devoted missionaries sacrifice many things during this once-in-a-lifetime period to follow Heavenly Father’s personal plan for them. Liz’s health choices center around this vivid visualization to successfully complete her personal “mission to health.”
Liz’s example and visible success inspire not only those immediately around her, but online where she is a superstar over at www.MyWeightLossTeam.com. (To join us online, click HERE.) Her insightful, delightful postings make healthy living a joyful blessing rather than a burden. One of these postings is the source of today’s message:
Today’s Scripture: Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Til seven times seven?” …Then Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee until seven times seven, but until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:20-21)
One late evening while cleaning alone, Liz discovered a long-forgotten jar of marshmallow cream on a remote kitchen shelf. A spoon was nearby … and so was a container of low-fat cream cheese meant for something else. The combination was wicked. So was the return to the past of standing up and eating alone from a container late at night. She writes the next day:
Why do I do these silly things? Especially when things are going so well! I’m making great progress with my health. I feel wonderful. I’ve got LOTS of yummy recipes and treats that I enjoy and that are actually good for me.
Rather than labeling myself a failure, however, I’ve decided it’s better to say – “Gee, that was dumb!” and have a good chuckle at myself. I guess the real key though is that I started anew day today and I’m STILL on track! I didn’t let a tiny setback derail my schedule, eating plan, or outlook on the progress of my goals. So that really is a step in the right direction for me!
Most importantly, this morning I took the remaining marshmallow cream and got rid of it down the disposal without licking my fingers once!
Her post reminded me of our family trip two years ago to Palmyra, New York, to visit the Sacred Grove and the sites. Our drive from Virginia to upstate New York was breathtaking as we took the long route through small towns and quiet countrysides. One quaint little church we passed on our return had a quote for the week posted on their outside marquee just for us: “The best way to get even? Forget!”
Feeling some personal frustration and regret over the far-too-generous portions of ice cream and other indulgences I’d eaten over our holiday time, I read the quote and thought about failure, mistakes, forgiveness, myself, us and the never ending choices and challenges of getting/staying healthy and happy. Talk about a long and winding road!
The next morning as I read my scriptures, I read the verse above. I’ve always felt like the Lord was making an important point, but that the number 490 wasn’t meant to be taken literally. After all, who could possibly offend us 490 times? Then I flipped to Matthew 22:37-39, where we are admonished to love our neighbors as ourselves. To love includes to forgive. If we are to love others as we do ourselves, then we are also to forgive others as we do ourselves. Let me repeat: “as we do ourselves!”
All of a sudden the number 490 wasn’t symbolic at all. In fact, was it big enough to accommodate my countless poor health choices through the years made after reverent vows to do better?
With a start, I realized that our bodies easily and willingly forgive and forget every time we apply Liz’s lesson to laugh and quickly move on with the swift and immediate return to healthy choices the very next hour and the very next day. The times it will not forgive and forget are when we continue to indulge and wallow in the quicksand of continued poor choices for extended hours and days.
Well, you know the beautiful comfort and assurance as well as I do. The Savior is using 70 x 7 as a reminder that He extends His love and forgiveness endlessly (way past 490 times!) and he expects us as His followers to do the same – for ourselves as well as others.
Now our hearts can calm down. Peace, resolution and a new hour beckon. With our Savior, the Master of health and happiness, to tell us that the best way to even out an error is to FORGIVE, FORGET and MOVE ON, how can we not respond with courage and a deep breath? Just like Liz with the marshmallow cream.
OK, a new journal – water bottles filled, double check portions, more veggies, sneakers tied and out the door to exercise – all with a great big hug of faith and forgiveness!
Oh, He is GOOD. And so are we!
Today’s Empowerment: “Healthy choices and forgiveness create my road to success. A healthy, energetic life is Heavenly Father’s plan and mission for me!”
Today’s Journal Prompts and Discussion Starters:
- Define your get-back-on-track attack plan. What exercise and food choices do you immediately make after detours?
- Using the statement “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” what upcoming events can you prepare for now to completely sidestep detours?
Here’s a cool and creamy summertime treat.
The soy protein powder beefs up the nutritional level and makes it more filling. You can find it in the health foods section of your grocery store.
1 large ripe banana
1/2 cup low-fat milk (or soy milk)
1 can (4 oz.) crushed pineapple in its own juice, undrained and well chilled
1/2 cup sorbet or frozen yogurt, vanilla or tropical flavor
1 Tbsp. soy protein powder (optional)
Peel banana and break into chunks. Whiz in a blender and serve with a mint leaf to garnish.
(21 g Dietary Fiber; 207 Calories; 2 g fat; 38 g Carb; 17 g Sugar)