The Intentional Investment of Health


Well, I did it! I got up before dawn this morning and went for a brisk walk. Yes, it was very brisk because the air was quite frigid. I didn’t walk as long and as far as I wanted to because I didn’t think to wear a scarf, and my nose and chin felt as though they had turned into icebergs. I turned and headed home after 20 minutes out.

I am choosing to be Intentional with my health. (For more details, see my blogpost “The Intentional Investment, January 8, 2010”) I am also choosing to be intentional with my actions. I was planning on making cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning and knew that I would enjoy them more if I went for a fast walk out in the blistery cold. I was right. I did.

While weight-loss can be a huge distraction, it really doesn’t have to be. It’s just a matter of being “Intentional” with every decision you make. I am not talking about shedding a large amount of weight. I’m just talking about dropping some excess weight to be healthier and improve my BMI. (BMI is your body mass index. It is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.) There are many websites that will measure your BMI. One is found at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Website:  http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ (For those who need to lose 100 pounds or more, I would recommend you see a coach, dietician or trainer.)

Please, remember, I am not an expert, a doctor, or a nutritionist. I am an average consumer just like you, who has been listening to the experts. What are some things that I am doing to drop a few pounds?

1. Stop the mindless eating and snacking. Be Intentional.

When you are going about your day, stop before you snack on that piece of chocolate or potato chip. When you are in the office, don’t run down to the break room when the announcement is made that cookies or pizza are in there for the taking. If you are a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), don’t finish off your toddler’s lunch because you don’t want it to go to waste. Put it in a plastic container and save it for later, no matter the amount. If you do that after every meal, you will have a container full that will add up to a meal size for your toddler later.

2. Drink lots of water. Be Intentional.

  • Set a timer for every two hours and drink a tall glass of water.
  • Carry with you a large 32-ounce plastic jug filled with water everywhere you go. You can find them at convenient stores or your local Walmart.
  • Drink water before every meal and you will start eating less because you get full sooner.

3. Eat six small “meals” a day instead of 3 big ones. (I am not talking about sub sandwiches, chips and a drink. I am talking about things like a small salad, or carrots and celery, a piece of fruit, etc.) You will discover your stomach shrinking and you won’t want to eat the “big” meals. Your body will continue to burn calories instead of storing it for later. You will also find you have more energy because you are giving your body the fuel it needs. (I have spoken with folks who have lost a lot of weight and surprisingly, they are eating all of the time. However, it is the quality of the food they are putting into their mouths that makes the difference. They are eating the healthy, nutritious food that their bodies need and want, not the fatty, full of calories food that their bodies do not need.)

4. Be Intentional to exercise wherever and whenever you can. (Always check with your physician and stay within your physical limits of health and safety.)

  • Park the furthest away from your destination you can and walk to the building.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When our baby was in the NICU for 2.5 months right after she was born, my husband took the stairs every day to go see her and lost weight just by doing that. I took the elevator as I was still in recovery from a C-section.
  • Walk during your lunch break. Before I was married, I worked in an office at a hospital and we would go walking during our lunch breaks, or our morning or afternoon breaks. It was refreshing and great to stretch after sitting at a desk all day.
  • There are many exercises that are available to do while in the comfort of your own home, or even while watching television. We have stairs in our house so I intentionally run up and down the stairs extra times just for the exercise.
  • Exercise with your children after dinner at night. All of you go for a walk, bike ride or play in the back yard. It will be a great bonding experience and will teach them healthy habits as well.

5. Be Intentional and cut out the nighttime snacks of cakes, cookies, ice cream and popcorn. Does that mean I won’t ever have a homemade cookie after dinner? No. We love making cookies in our house. However, I refuse to do that every night. I consider once in awhile a delightful treat, but that is only if I stay intentional to my goals throughout the day.

6.Be Intentional in making wise choices. A book I enjoy reading is Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko. It’s all about healthy choices. It is a matter of educating yourself and finding out what your healthy choices are within the range of foods you like to eat. (Yes, this is an affiliate link, but it’s really just for your convenience.)

Some people stay discouraged because they think that there isn’t anything healthy they like to eat. That is not true. There is a lot of food out there that you can eat that will help you lose weight and is delicious at the same time. It’s just a matter of educating yourself on what you should eat and what you should stay away from. How badly do you want to lose the weight?

7. Be Intentional in your determination. Many times we start out with a big BANG only to give up and quit trying within a week later. Don’t look at the calendar and don’t look at the end result. Stay focused on the NOW and continue to be Intentional in your decisions that you make today, right now. Don’t worry about the future. Don’t get caught up in the amount of weight you want to lose. Just take it one pound at a time. Rejoice in the single digits that you lose. Rejoice for every pound you lose, knowing that you are going in the right direction. I would rather see the numbers drop slowly one at a time, than to see the numbers raise slowly one at a time. Remember, the weight didn’t jump on you all at once. It was a work in progress that happened over a period of time. Don’t think that just because in your mind you lost 50 pounds doesn’t mean your body has. You have to stay Intentional in your mind and allow plenty of time for your body to catch up. If you stay focused, eventually your body will catch up and you will be thrilled with your results. You will also be on track to help others with their desire to drop the weight and be healthier.

There are so many different options of how to lose weight, does it really matter which one you choose? Not really, (unless you are under the care and instruction of a doctor, then you need to follow those instructions.)  The beauty of it all is that you do have options. Whether you choose to have a strategy of your own, or follow a strict regimen directed by a doctor or diet plan, the important thing is that you have one.

Stay committed to your decision. It may take some time to develop a lifestyle of healthy habits, but if you stay Intentional, you will one day see your desired results. Am I there? No. That is why I have chosen to blog about this, because I am not there. I have personal goals I want to achieve. I want to be as healthy as I can be. I am putting this out there so I can remain accountable to myself. These are my goals and I am choosing to be Intentional with them. I hope you will also choose to be Intentional with your goals.

Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “ Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets, That he may run (with it) who reads it.” (NKJV)