I am receiving such lovely emails from many of you, including several Young Women leaders who are using these thoughts in activities to help their girls develop healthy habits. Today’s message lends itself well into a family or Personal Progress activity for Choice and Accountability where you could make a healthy recipe and discuss the importance of wise eating and exercise for looking and feeling their best. I love hearing from you! Please send your emails to [email protected]“>[email protected] and sign up for daily messages at www.MyWeightLossFriend.com.

Today’s Quote: “Self control is knowing that you can, but deciding that you won’t.” (Anon.)

As I recently watched my darling 8 month old grandson hold his bottle and feed himself, a “weight loss made easy” truth powerfully washed over me once again: Only infants and those who are seriously ill or aged are fed. The rest of us put every bite into our bodies ourselves. This is more than obvious, of course, but once we acknowledge the powerful tools at the end of our own arms, weight loss success is literally at our fingertips.

At an early age, we teach our littlest Primary children to sing “I Have Two Little Hands.” Its message is deceptively simple:

I have two little hands folded snugly and tight
They are tiny and weak but they know what is right
During all the long hours til daylight is through
There is plenty indeed for my two hands to do.

Kind Father, I thank thee for two little hands,
And ask me to bless them til each understands
That children can only be happy all day
When two little hands have learned how to obey.

(Primary Children’s Songbook, Page 272)

hands iStock JeanSchweitzeriStockphoto.com/Jean Schweitzer

Today’s thoughts and two exercises come from a powerful activity I do with those who attend my weight loss motivation classes. These handy exercises (pun intended!) are easy to repeat many times each day to help us avoid poor choices and to eliminate negative thoughts, fears and doubts. They’ll also help us actively recommit to personal accountability, healthy eating and weight loss goals.

Before doing them, stop reading and look at your hands. Spread them out in front of you. Stretch each finger. Massage each knuckle. Open your hands, close them, then make a tight fist and wiggle your fingers freely. Turn them over and study your palms for a moment. Is there a more brilliant creation under the heavens than the human hand and its ability to instinctively grab, grasp, open, close, and move with lightning speed as we put it to work with our mental commands? Surely they are a testament to our Heavenly Father’s divinity!

Exercise No. 1

Get some soothing lotion and squirt some on your hands. Lovingly rub some into each finger and crevice. Acknowledge the strength and flexibility in each finger, both individually and collectively. Marvel as they seamlessly work together to obey your will. Thank them for how they work and serve you. Then read these words:

I can stick my pointer finger into a can of frosting or use it to dial a friend, schedule visiting/home teaching, or email a relative who needs me.

I can use my thumb and finger to eat potato chips or cookies while no one is around, or I can use the pair to pick up a pen and write in my journal, do genealogy work, or scrapbook.

I can use one hand to pick up a spoon and the other to hold a container and eat mindlessly, or I can use them to tie on my sneakers, open the front door and head out for a walk.

With my two hands get together, I can eat more than is appropriate, or I can use them to hold a book, clean a drawer, work at the computer, prepare a lesson, garden, fold clothes, care for a pet or play with a child.

Wow! How productive and positive … or how destructive and negative our two hands can be.

Recently one of my students shared the following experience after we’d done the exercise together in class. (By the way, I always add soft, pretty music to provide some emotion for this exercise when we do it in class. It adds a surprising amount of power, as music always does. You can do that too.)

There was a pot luck luncheon at my work. As we went through the line, it was as if my eyes were zoom lenses on a camera that focused on everyone’s hands, including my own, as we filled our plates and ate. I watched as some heavily loaded their plates with overly rich food, then emptied them in into their mouths in an incredibly short period of time. I wondered if they’d even tasted what they ate. Then I watched my own hands carefully choose what I would eat. I sat down so I could be comfortable, taste it, and enjoy it properly. It felt so good to know that I was in control of both my choices and my actions. I had new respect for my own hands, and the power I have to make them work for me.

Exercise No. 2

The common expression, “I wash my hands of it” is often used to convey being unwilling to engage in a business or proposed activity, or to go all lengths to rid oneself of an undesired situation. I think you’ll agree that we need this metaphor, both vocally and literally to help us move past overeating or binges.

When you find yourself straying from what you know is right for you to be doing or eating, take a second and slip into the bathroom or over to the kitchen sink. Run a little warm water and literally wash your hands of the things they were getting into, or thinking of getting into.

Use some soap to make some sparkly, rainbow bubbles. Rub and massage each finger with the soothing lather. Then rinse it all down the drain as you visualize your own eating detour and temptations being literally washed away as well. Say to yourself, “I wash my hands of it.” Carefully dry your hands, thank them for obeying and once again, put on some fragrant lotion. Take a deep breath. Pop in a cinnamon breath mint or piece of cinnamon gum. (Did you know that cinnamon naturally inhibits the desire to eat? Think about it!)

Now, go find something find something for those two marvelous hands to do as you hum “I have two little hands” and move forward into health and peace.

See?! You’re on your healthy way again! Doesn’t it feel great?

Today’s Empowerment: “My best helping hand is the one at the end of my own arm. My two little hands help follow my plan to make healthy choices today.

Journal Prompts/Discussion Starters

  1. What foods or situations have your own hands been involved in over the past several days that you can do differently the next time?
  2. Make a list of alternative positive, productive activities to post where you can see it often.
  3. Trace a picture of your hand in your journal or on a piece of paper. Put it on the refrigerator as a reminder.
  4. How can I personally apply the children’s song “I Have Two Little Hands” to my goals?

Today’s Recipe: Family Swiss Steak (Makes 6 Servings)

2 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
tsp. crushed, dried thyme
tsp. sweet paprika
1 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut 1″ thick
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Cooking Spray
1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced thin
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
4 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (or 1 can low sodium tomatoes)
can reduced sodium canned beef broth

  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, thyme, and paprika. Using a pastry brush, brush steak pieces with Worcestershire sauce. Dredge in flour mixture.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place on stove over medium-high heat. Add steak pieces and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer steak pieces to a 3-quart (3-liter) or larger crockery slow cook. Top with garlic slices, celery, onions, and tomatoes. Pour beef broth over the top. Do not stir.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

To serve, transfer steak pieces and vegetables to a heated serving platter. Spoon any pan juices over the top and serve at once.

191 calories (21% calories from fat), 28 g protein, 4 g total fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 71 mg cholesterol, 102 mg sodium