Road repair work has been going on in our neighborhood. It never ceases to amaze me how one or two bored workers in bright orange jackets with stop signs can hold up a stream of cars, trucks and people with plans.

Whether we’re “in the mood” or not, have an important deadline to meet, or have achieved a high personal or professional status, the almighty stop sign trumps all. We have no choice, no matter who we are, but to obey and wait for our turn to move ahead. Even as we feel impatient, frustrated, rant, rave, and complain, our hands and feet continue to control and discipline the car and mind the stop sign and whoever holds it.

It’s amazing what we can do when a stop sign and authority are present. Discipline prevails and we obey without question or delay. Just as prevalent as the stop signs and stoplights that appear throughout most of our days are opportunities to over eat wrong foods. In modern society, baked goods, candy, soda, fast food, high calorie chips and snacks, mammoth-sized portions and junk food are literally available every few blocks. Tempting and delicious, it’s easy to respond to our physical appetites for these foods and pretend there’s a green “go” light that makes it acceptable to move ahead with the general flow of human traffic that is indulging without restraint.

President Spencer W. Kimball’s life that we are studying this year is an inspiration to help us follow a higher road and implement the stop signs with respect to our physical appetites for inappropriate amounts and types of food. He says:

While we lack recollection of our pre-mortal life, before coming to this earth all of us understood definitely the purpose our being here. We would be expected to gain knowledge, educate ourselves, train ourselves. We were to control our urges and desires, master and control our passions, and overcome our weaknesses, small and large. We were to eliminate sins of omission and of commission, and to follow the laws and commandments given us by our Father.

Not only did President Kimball inspire us with his words, but his own life was also filled with physical challenges. His personal strength, faith and fortitude through his own illnesses can inspire us to take the higher road as we overcome our physical challenges and temptations.

Here are three easy ways to follow the higher road to health and fitness as we stay focused and succeed with our healthy eating and weight loss plans:

1. We can make it a habit to remind ourselves of our goals and health agenda every time we see a stop light ? usually many times a day. Just as we teach our children to “stop, look and listen” when crossing every street, we can teach ourselves to actively and frequently stop, look and listen to our health needs and goals. You can surely personalize these, but here are a few to get us started as we see the red, green and yellow lights:

Dwelling on the past and failures
Blaming other people for present personal circumstances

Degrading ourselves and how far we have to go
Minimizing our success and divine identity
Eating our emotions/challenges with food instead of facing them with faith and prayer

At where we are and the progress we’ve made

Towards the near future, not more than “the next five pounds” gone rather than the whole amount

At other’s success as inspiration for our own

To kinds words and compliments from others with a genuine “thanks!” rather than “oh, I still
have so much to lose …”
To our bodies’ desire for healthy food, exercise, water and rest

To positive self-talk, the Still Small Voice and people that reinforce our goals

2. The Higher Road Workout: Do 10 isometric squeezes every time you’re at a red light. Believe me, no one will know but you! Systematically work your way through your body at different stop lights for a complete workout: Simply squeeze/flex, count to ten, release and repeat until the light turns green.

Start with your upper body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and forward, tensing your chest muscles. Count to ten and release. At the next light, extend your arms out, palms facing down and open, stretching the fingers as far as possible, then squeeze the muscles in the top and back of your arms. At the next light, palms up with hands clenched, squeeze your forearms. Then move to your lower body: contract and squeeze your abs, hold for ten and release and repeat until the light turns green. At the next light, right where you’re seated, squeeze your tush, hold and count to ten, and release. At the next light, squeeze your knees and inner thighs together to tighten and tone. If you’re the passenger, you can even finish these higher road isometrics by flexing your feet, heels pushing forward and toes trying to reach your shins as you hold for ten.

Wow! What a workout! By the time you’ve arrived, you’ve strengthened and toned not only your body, but your spirit and ability to obey the laws that lead to the road of health and fitness.

3. Carry a stoplight with you. Not literally, of course, but in your head to challenging food situations. Simply envision it hanging over the table with that light blinking red over troublesome foods, yellow over foods that need caution, and green for natural foods, water and foods and amounts within your program. Flex your foot as a reminder of its training and ability to brake as it obeys the laws of the road, and transfer that skill to your hands.

How good and blessed it feels spiritually, emotionally and physically to stop, look, listen and obey the laws of a higher road. I’ll be looking for you at the next stop light!

Today’s Quote : “A waist is a terrible thing to mind.” (Tom Wilson)

Today’s Empowerment : I STOP, LOOK and LISTEN to increase my awareness and positive choices. The higher road feels wonderful and is the only one for me.

Today’s Recipe: Fish-in-a-Pocket
(Serves 4 at 175 Calories)

You’ll feel like you’re at girls’ camp or with the Scouts with this delicious meal. 

4 flounder, sole, or other white fish fillets cooking spray
1 1/2 tablespoons margarine

1 teaspoon chives or parsley (fresh is best, but dried works)

1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 box frozen spinach

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick strips

4 slices of lemon

Lots of aluminum foil!

Optional: 1 large leek or medium onion and/or 2 large mushrooms, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a small bowl, combine margarine, chives, lemon juice and paprika.
  2. In microwave, cook spinach by leaving in a box and placing on a paper plate. Microwave on HI for 3-4 minutes, until defrosted. Remove from microwave, and while still in box, squeeze dry.
  3. In a medium size-saucepan, cook the carrots, spinach (and optional onion/mushrooms if desired) for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
  4. Cut 4 sheets of aluminum foil, about 12-14 inches each. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Lay a fish fillet in the center of each, then arrange one-fourth of the veggie mixture on top of each fillet. Top with one-fourth of the margarine mixture and 1 slice of lemon. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges to seal.
  5. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes.
  6. Transfer to dinner plates and let each person open their own. Be careful of the steam!

Delicious with rice.

(1 g Fiber; 175 calories; 7 g Fat; 7 g Carb)