Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

arguing

I was on a radio show discussing how the behavior of politicians and celebrities give permission for children to bully each other. It was an interesting angle, looking at the behavior of adults in our culture and discussing how the lack of civility and mutual respect feed bullying.

But let’s be honest. The biggest influence is in our homes.

When I cut off a driver on the highway and he hand gestures me in a not-so-friendly way, how do I respond?

Or when the person in front of me in the grocery line is taking too long, do I model patience and kindness?

How about the neighbor whose sprinkler system is aimed wrong and watering my car in my driveway every morning? Do I approach him with the love of Christ?

Every day, there are multiple opportunities to model civility for our kids. While we may not see much civility or mutual respect in politicians or celebrities, our kids are primarily learning from us.

A radio host recently asked me, “How do we bring back civility to our culture?” My answer, “Each person has to decide to live out Kingdom principles.” Even if we don’t always succeed (trust me, I make mistakes too!), our goal should be to value every person and not engage in personal insults and injury.

Your kids might hear politicians being nasty to one another, a rock star declaring his entitlement or a TV talk show host name-calling, but in your home, you have the power to model the proper way to treat another person. We can disagree, have debates, and take opposing positions, but we do not have to be mean and personally insulting in the process. And modeling civility in the small things of life is a powerful way to raise a respectful child.

Regardless of the situation, let’s remember that our kids are watching us and learning how to treat others by what they see us doing.

pree pausev2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_As I was preparing for my next radio show on Diet Mistakes, I thought I would pass these along on my blog. This is the time of year many of us are being intentional about losing weight.

So what should we be careful NOT to do!

1) Telling people you are on a DIET! Lose the word DIET from weight loss. Any word that begins with DIE can’t be good for us. Our goal is lifestyle change, not DIET.

2) Clicking on one of those BURN FAT NOW or LOSE 10 POUNDS IN 5 DAYS ads. There are no magic bullets, quick weight loss tricks that will keep weight off. Choose a sensible way to lose weight–cut back calories, use Weight Watchers, watch portions and cut our empty calorie food like donuts and chips.

3) Skipping breakfast will help me lose weight. WRONG. People who skip breakfast tend to build up an appetite and then binge later in the day. Think of your body like a wood burning fireplace. One log at a time does better at burning versus dumping a load of wood on the fire. When you skip the one log (breakfast), you tend to dump the wood on later (binge eat).

4) I’ll drink more liquid to fill myself up. As long as the liquid is water, go for it. But watch the calories in coffees and popular drinks. Typically they are loaded with calories. And diet drinks have artificial sweeteners that can trick the brain into feeling hungry. In fact, Michael G. Tordoff, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California at Davis, found that artificial sweeteners can increase cellulite and contribute to weight gain!!!

5) Don’t get on the scale. Actually the opposite it true. Weigh yourself daily. The 3500 people studied at the National Weight Control Registry who maintained their weight loss, weighed daily. Weighing gives you feedback as to the reality of your strategies working or not working.

6) I’m going to exercise to lose weight. Actually, exercise to improve your fitness, mood and be in better health. So many people I treated were disappointed that exercise didn’t make them drop the pounds. Yes, exercise uses calories so it contributes to weight maintenance more than weight loss.

7) My goal is to lose 10 pounds the first week. This is unrealistic and only possible through drastic measures that will take off water weight first, not fat loss. So slow and steady is a better way to go.

8) I’m not going to snack at all. This may or may not work for you. Snacking on healthy foods curbs hunger so you don’t overeat at the next meal. It also helps your metabolism. Choose nuts, fruit, vegetables, protein for a quick pick up!

9) I am just tasting a bit here and there. All that tasting usually adds up to extra calories. Usually we aren’t aware of how much goes into our mouths when we pick at things.

10) I blew it so I’m giving up. This is the diet trap. If you are working on changing your lifestyle and eating habits, when you blow it, start over and get back on track. Lose the all or nothing thinking and give yourself a little grace.

 

For more help with the emotional side of weight loss, check out Dr. Linda Mintle’s Book, PRESS PAUSE BEFORE YOU EAT.

IPAD userI was reading a new book on relationships by one of the leading people in the field and was stunned. In the book, he suggested that “a little” pornography could help a marriage.

Here is why he is wrong. After treating far too many people who thought a little porn would bring back passion in their relationships, they find themselves constantly needing more. And the way they look at their partner changes in a negative way. Why? Because the brain is getting rewired!

People who begin with a little porn develop a tolerance and want more. Just like a drug addiction, more is needed to achieve pleasure.  This can lead to potency problems and sexual tastes that could be unwelcomed by your partner.

An addiction is a loss of control, a compulsion to do something no matter the negative consequences. It also involves developing a tolerance and needing more to get the same level of stimulation or pleasure. Without it, withdrawal occurs. All of this is true with pornography. Moderation is impossible. Avoidance is the strategy.

But here is what you might not be thinking about. Addiction involves neuroplastic changes in the brain. The promise of healthy pleasure  is a myth. Pornography changes the brain to want more. It is exciting, not satisfying and hyperactivates the appetite system in the brain. When you view porn, new maps are created. The brain says I want to keep that map and stay activated.

Viewing porn is like getting training sessions. Brain maps are being created. Neurons that fire together, wire together. They are wiring images into the pleasure centers of the brain.

Then, even when you are not looking at porn, you have those images reinforced in the brain. When sexually aroused, dopamine fires and firms up those connections. Pleasure is felt. The brain then wants new, more exciting images to create more maps.  You aren’t satisfied with what you have. And this is where it gets problematic for couples. The porn person has trouble getting stimulated in healthy sex.

So does a little porn help a marriage? Absolutely NOT!

sittingListen up all you couch potatoes.

I’m actually standing while typing this! Here is why.

Too much sitting is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and early death from all causes. That’s right, the World Health Organization puts sitting or physical inactivity 4th on the list of risk factors for death worldwide.

And while sitting isn’t good for either gender, women fare worse when it comes to spending the day in a chair. According to a study by the American Cancer Institute, women who sat for more than six hours a day were more likely to die than women who sat for three hours or less a day.

So if you are like me and have a job that requires more than six hours sitting at a desk, here are a few ideas to help us avoid those dismal statistics.

1)   Stand whenever possible—during meetings, while on the phone, take the stairs, etc. Standing or moving triggers the body to break down fats and sugars.

2)   Put your computer on a higher desk that allows you to stand part of the day and work.

3)   If your company can get a treadmill, put one in a break room and get on it for 10 minutes at a time.

4)   Take an exercise class although exercising a few times a week doesn’t seem to undo all the sitting problems.

5)   Walk around your office space a few times a day.

6)   Have meetings while walking.

7)   Work through lunch, leave early and work out if your boss will allow it.

8)   Set a timer and make yourself get up and walk around.

9)   Buy a pediometer and track your steps

10)  Order a stand-up deak or treadmill desk station—they are pricey, but if your company will do it, it is worth it.

OK, I’m going to catch a little TV but be marching in place when I watch!