Doing Life Together

ID-10032497My mom used to tell me to put a hat on my baby when the weather was cold. I used to argue, “Mom, babies don’t catch colds from the cold. They get them from viruses. I’m not putting a hat on the baby.”

But now it seems that my mom could have been on to something. Could the cold weather actually play a role in catching a cold?

Researchers at Yale University recently published a paper (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) that looked at how cooler temperatures affect the nose when viruses present. The idea is that cells in the nose may not fight off viruses as well in the cold. So they tried a series of experiments on mice and exposed them to a rhinovirus at different temperatures.

In the study, researchers tracked the ability of specific enzyme receptors within the nose cells to fight off a rhinovirus they introduced. They found that at cooler temperatures, the cells failed to detect the intruding virus and alert the immune system to fight. At higher temperatures, the cells did their job and fought off the virus.

The mice study raises the possibility that inhaling cooler air could lower the resistance of cells lining the nasal cavity to fight off viruses.

But wait mom…these were mice.The virus was adapted and altered to work with them. The effects may not be the same for humans. So until they try this on humans, we can’t say this is true for us!

Still, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to throw out mom’s age old advice. What do I lose if I put a hat on the baby in the cold? Mom could be right and we argue less.

Lose it for lifeWe all know that the number on the scale isn’t suppose to define us, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about how much we weigh on any given day. And the number often influences our mood.

So how often should we weigh? Every day, once a week, once a month? The answer depends on your goal–to maintain, lose, or to work on developing a healthy relationship with food.

When to weigh: The best time is right when you wake up. You’ve been resting all night without any hydration or extra calories, so the morning weight should be the most consistent and typically the lowest. And Wednesday is a good day as it is midweek, not right after the weekend where heavier consumption may occur.

How often? If you look at the obesity research, the recommendation is usually to weigh once a week. Keeping track of your food and triggers and then evaluating yourself once a week on a scale usually works to keep weight in line.

To lose weight. The recommendation is to weigh about three times a week. In my book, Lose it For Life, we looked at the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 10,000 people in the U.S. who have lost and kept off significant weight for long periods. Those people tend to weigh regularly which seems a bit counterintuitive. The reason is that regular weigh ins help you accurately track weight loss. You can see if you are losing, need to cut out a few more calories, or make adjustments. And a little gain doesn’t go unnoticed until it is 10 pounds. Regular weighing is good feedback for your weight loss plan.

If you have an eating disorder: Jumping on the scales regularly is not a good idea. In fact, we try to discourage daily weighings unless you are in a hospital having your food prescribed through a refeeding program. Your body naturally fluctuates in weight so daily weigh ins can be discouraging. In addition, daily weigh ins tend to reinforce obsession with the weight number rather than focusing on healthy eating habits.

How often you weigh then depends on your goal. To maintain, weekly. To lose and stay on top of your efforts, two to three times weekly. To treat an eating disorder, work with your therapist. Your goal is to become less number focused and more healthy eating focused.


It was a usual Sunday and time for announcements. The Associate Pastor announced the women’s meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The focus was on decorating the church for the holidays. The men were meeting Friday morning at 6:30 am. to discuss marketplace ministry. I looked at my husband and whispered. “I wonder if the men would let me come to their meeting?” I can’t make the women’s meeting as I work outside the home and frankly, I am interested in the topic of the men’s meeting.

I’ve been attending church all my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love church and am committed to attending, but I often feel like a duck out of water.

What I do Monday through Friday feels like a foreign world when I step inside the church. As a professional woman, my skills in the church seem to be relegated to bringing food, working in the nursery or decorating at holidays. Nothing is wrong with these activities and I will happily serve, but they just aren’t my areas of interest or passion.

It’s not an ego thing, just a weird difference that often makes me feel like church is a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. I can get by and participate, but it doesn’t feel like what I am doing is using my skills. But maybe that is OK.

However,  I wonder, how many other professional women feel the same?

In the church, no one seems to be talking about the challenges women face in the work place, yet men often meet to discuss such things. Instead, our option to gather as women is usually a Bible study. And while those studies are very helpful (I’ve done several), they don’t speak to the issues professional women face in the marketplace.

Furthermore, in all of the years I’ve been a national speaker, one church has asked me to address women in the marketplace issues at a women’s conference.

So with almost half of the workforce women, maybe it is time for the church to assess the needs of its congregations and include more biblical application to the lives of professional women. Perhaps a group that addresses marketplace issues would be a good place to begin.

Love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think the church addresses the needs of professional women?

BFS_Depression_LG_2You feel depressed and you know you need help. Where do you begin?

First step, make an appointment with a mental health professional. This could include a psychiatrist (able to prescribe medications), licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed counselor.

The first visit is an evaluation. It involves a series of questions designed to get to know you and understand your symptoms and why they are presenting now. It is always important to rule out any medical cause for symptoms such as thyroid disease, infection, etc.

Next, a formulated treatment plan will be devised. This will take into account your history,  recent events and the severity of your symptoms.

Psychotherapy is usually a place to begin. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is an evidenced-based approach designed to look at your thinking, emotions and perceptions. Interpersonal therapy helps with relationship and social issues. Lifestyle changes are usually a part of therapy as well. A personalized plan for diet, exercise, and being active will be developed. Usually, you begin with small changes that provide success.

Other treatments for more severe types of depression can include electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or vagus nerve stimulation. These need to be discussed with your doctor to see if they even make sense for you due to the severity of the depression.

Medication is an option. The SSRIs are the class of medications used most often to treat depression. But medications often don’t reach their effectiveness for 6-8 weeks so the work of therapy is important. Nad in my opinion, medication alone isn’t the best treatment. You need to be working on the issues causing or sustaining depression.

I know it all sounds a little overwhelming, but here is the good news. Depression treatment usually works. People get better. But if you never go for help, you can suffer unnecessarily.

Struggling? Get help today!

For more help, Breaking Free from Depression by Dr. Linda Mintle