Today’s blog is the link to my radio show, The Dr. Linda Mintle Show, that airs weekly on Victory FM. The show is on Letting Go of Worry. Most of us need help in this area so here is the link. Listen and enjoy. There is practical help in this 30 minute show as to how to let go of worry and not become anxious or filled with worry and fear. Living a life of peace not only helps our physical lives, but is what God intended.
Click here to listen: This program and more is also available on my E-newsletter than comes out two times a month. You can subscribe for FREE on www.drlindahelps.com. Other shows on Anger, Teens and Media and Should husbands and Wives Give Advice to each other are archived on the MEDIA, radio tab as well. Enjoy! And hey, let’s do life together.
This month is anti-bully month and according to a new study, all this awareness of bullying may actually be making things worse! That’s right, schools with no programs have less bullying than those with the programs. Put up a poster to prevent bullying and you just may increase the behavior!
According to a study conducted at the University of Texas at Arlington and published in the Journal of Criminology (September, 2013), students at anti-bullying initiative schools are MORE likely to be bullied. The reason according to bullying expert Start Twemlow, whenever you target a group of specific people, things get worse. These programs may actually be giving bullies ideas on how to bully better. Not exactly the intended impact when it comes to prevention!
Zero tolerance policies are not working either. In fact, the NEA gives these policies a big F for effectiveness as well.
And all the awareness leads to better reporting, which may look like the problem is on the rise.
Twemlow, a bullying expert, says our current efforts should consider a name change from anti-bullying to pro-kindness, not exactly a sizzling campaign you could excite people to support, but more indicative of the type of change really needed.
Bullying, he contends, is more about the adults, the resources that schools can’t afford, and over hauling the school’s climate and leadership. In other words, the school’s norms, values, and expectations would change in a positive way to support prosocial behavior. Kindness would be promoted. Now there is a novel thought!
So back to the drawing board for educators. Semantics aside, the real problem is a change of heart. Kindness is a fruit of the spirit. Maybe someone should suggest that taking God out of the schools may also have had an effect no one saw coming!
A number of years ago I had back surgery. Before the surgery, I prayed and believed God could heal me. The night before the surgery, I had no pain and was convinced God had done a miracle. I was rejoicing, but woke up the next morning in excruciating pain and needed the surgery. It was a success and I had my healing. Looking back at the night free of pain, I believe God gave me the rest I needed to go through that procedure. My healing was no less a miracle than if God had touched my back immediately and healed it without surgery. In this case, he used the skillful hand of the surgeon to accomplish the healing, even though I had faith that God could do it without the surgeon’s help. God is all powerful. Healing, I have learned comes in many ways.
So why is it that when we talk about mental disorders like Bipolar Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Schizophrenia, etc. that we believe prayer alone heals people? These type of disorders have a clear biological root. We can now see the differences on brain scans. We know that God remains all powerful, yet sometimes His healing comes through the use of skilled doctors and mental health professionals. Personally I don’t see a difference. I do pray for healing over my clients. I believe God could heal their brain chemistry the same way He can heal a tumor. For years, I have prayed that prayer. What I see most often, is God healing through using His servants and what He has equipped us to do.
This tension we feel in the church about mental illness and healing need not be. We continue to lay hands on people and believe for healing. Then we allow God to do what He can only do. That may involve the help of medicines, doctors and mental health professionals. God gave us the knowledge to see into the brain, to develop the medicines, to learn the pathways to help people. God equips us to do His work.
Yet according to a Lifeway Research survey, a third of Americans – and nearly half of evangelical, fundamentalist, or born-again Christians – believe prayer and Bible study alone can overcome serious mental illness. I think we need to be careful in limiting God to heal the way we think he should. Sometimes He uses doctors and medicines. Sometimes, a progressive healing gives people the chance to work on various areas of their lives that they wouldn’t do under different circumstances.
God sees the whole picture. He knows what is best for us. Sometimes, the outcome of someone struggling with a mental illness is a closer walk for family members, even a conversion can happen as people depend on God. We don’t know how God uses the brokenness of our lives. So can you prayer away mental illness? Yes and sometimes No. Sometimes God’s healing comes through doctors and medicine, the same way the neurosurgeon was used to heal my back.
I was getting ready to drive to the doctor’s office for an annual check up and I thought, “Well, I’ve been eating well, walking the dog every day and going to the Y three times a week. Basically, I’ve been doing the things I encourage readers to do in my books on health and weight loss.”
So imagine my surprise when the nurse weighed me and announced, “You’ve gained two pounds since last year Dr. Mintle.” ‘”What? How can that be? I’m making a concerted effort here to keep my weight down with exercise and eating.”
After that, I have no idea what was said. I was obsessing on the weight gain. Granted, it was a small amount of weight, not really noticeable in my clothing, but just the idea that all that effort ended in a weight gain was depressing.
I had to remind myself of the grim fact that as we age, weight gain is usually part of the picture. We simply lose muscle cells. So if you keep your calorie count the same as when you were younger, the calories don’t burn as efficiently and end up as fat. And in my work, I spend a lot of time sitting! But that is why I work-out- 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes of weight lifting and crunching. Apparently, this isn’t enough exercise to maintain my weight.
Then there is the eating. I watch my portion size, I indulge once in awhile but overall, I eat fairly healthy. So the bottom line here is that if I want to maintain my weight, I have to cut back even more and/or up my exercise. This is not brain science! Well, actually it is!
I’m asking myself, how much am I willing to do? I don’t want to live my life never eating gelato again. And I don’t want to spend every day at the gym. The bottom line here is that I either accept the few pounds and continue to embrace exercise and healthy eating at the level I can handle or I cut back and feel like I am depriving myself. I know what happens with deprivation. All the studies tell us that this strategy leads to overeating.
My conclusion is this: It’s only a few pounds. Be more intentional with eating and exercise. Like the title of one of my books, Press Pause Before You Eat. Don’t give up because the healthy benefits not reflected in weight gain are still helping my physical body. Weight is only one measure of health (make this my mantra!). And accept the fact that aging brings more challenge to maintaining weight. I’m not overweight and the doctor didn’t even blink at the two pound weight gain. I was the one going crazy momentarily.
So I took a deep breath, focused on the good report she gave me at the end of my visit and decided to keep on keeping on. I know what I can handle in my schedule. Thankfully, I have a dog who pulls me out the door every day. And three days a week at the Y is all I can handle and frankly, want to do.
When I arrived home and sat at my desk, I spied a copy of my book, Making Peace With Your Thighs, on the shelf by the computer. Hmmm, maybe it is time to take my own advice!
What are your strategies for maintaining weight as you get older?