Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Health & Beauty - 8. Happy Meals

This was the 8th of 10 articles published in ConXion magazine's Health and Beauty Section in 2010.

“Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8).

How did your skipping ban go last month? Well, I hope! For those of you following along, we are now up to our 8th tip on the way to a healthy body and soul – Happy Meals.

At first glance you might think I am advocating a weekly trip to MacDonalds (which my kids would love!) but I hope you know me well enough by now to simply raise an eyebrow and continue reading.

If I let my kids order at Maccas their request would include large sized frozen drinks, burgers, nuggets, fries and dessert, but I know they only need a small meal to fill them. The point of a ‘happy meal’ is to have a small portion size – or in other words: Don’t have too much on your plate.

So often we put too much on our plate either because we lack something else in our diet or what we are considering looks too good to pass up. Learn to listen to your body and know what it feels like to have had enough. Take some time between serves, don’t say yes to a second helping straight away.

Start with a smaller plate – decide beforehand how much you need or can handle, and stick to it. I find, if I am honest with myself, a kid sized plate really is enough for me. Especially if I have been filling myself with good food the rest of the day. And actually, I have found myself saying, “No thanks, I don’t need that right now”, because I know I am full and not craving the sweet stuff which only makes me feel good temporarily.

The same occurs in life, I need to decide how much energy or time I am going to give and stick to it! There are so many ‘good’ things to do but only a few things will be truly what I need. And if I fill myself daily and am nourished by the Word, I won’t be trying to overdo it with things that make me feel good only for a moment.

It might be time to have a look at your weekly menu and see if you need to include some more nourishing items or cut back on the excess. If you put too much on your plate you will be overloaded by calories or stress, which may very well have been your problem in the first place. It requires a lot of self control not heaping up an extra serving of roast lamb and gravy, and extra big piece of cheesecake or saying yes to that newly offered position, but if you say no at first and sit back, almost every time you will find that it was necessary anyway. And if you change your mind, it is even more satisfying!

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