Doing Life Together

couple lovingMy daughter was talking to us about relationships the other night. We asked about one young man she knew and her instant response was, “Too needy!” For her, that was a deal breaker. As I thought about this, we all have those deal breakers that say,”No, you are not the one,” when it comes to looking for that lasting relationship.

And as you would guess, science has studied this! So let me share a bit of that research. Several researchers at various universities have concluded that women have more deal breakers than men. The thinking is that women are seriously considering the future–that guy could be the father of my children. Is this who I want?

Studies also tell is that we focus more on the deal breakers than on the positives we see. First, we decide, are their red flags here that simply tell me to stop and not consider before I look at the positives of this relationship? And the more you feel you are a good partner for someone, the more deal breakers you have. Self-esteem puts you in a more bargaining position!

So what are those common deal breakers? In a rather large study of 5,541 single U.S. adults, these were the traits noted as, “Thank you, but no!”

Being unkept, unclean, disheveled

Being lazy

Being too needy! 

Lacking humor (women rated this more than men)

Another study found deal breakers that I’ve often heard discussed  in therapy.

Anger issues

Dating multiple partners


So while these are interesting findings, you probably have your own list and it may be very personal. For example, a single guy once told me he looks at shoes first. If they are unkept, he’s done! Others won’t date someone who smokes, has bad teeth, owns a cat, etc.

Many Christians cite sharing their faith as one of the deal makers needed. I would agree, as this is one of the most important factors to consider in pursuing an intimate relationship. But even sharing your faith doesn’t guarantee a good match.

So think about it. What are your deal breakers? Evaluate whether these are superficial or important traits to consider. What constitutes healthy relationships? Consider that Scripture offers much in this arena. It speaks to the traits of a person who life is centered on Christ. And those traits are in-line with healthy relationships.


ID-100363385Eat less, exercise more. That is the weight loss mantra, right?

The role of exercise in weight loss is often misunderstood. The State of Texas knows this first hand. They spend 37 million dollars on grants to help children in poverty reduce obesity through physical education between 2007-2011. The program was called, Texas Fitness Now, but researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that the program had no effect on children’s weight! However, the fitness rates of the middle school children involved did improve.

And this is the point. Exercise doesn’t always produce weight loss, but does improve fitness. Normally, you have to adjust your diet as well.

So many of my obese patients would expect that exercise alone would impact the number on the scale and then be disappointed when their weight didn’t drop as expected. They often said, “There must be something wrong with my metabolism as I am exercising every day now.”

As I stated in my book, Lose it For Life, exercise helps MAINTAIN weight loss. Think about it. If you really needed to lose weight and cut 1000 calories a day from your diet, you would see an impact on weight. But how much exercise would you have to do to burn 1000 calories? A lot!

Holistically, exercise is important for fitness, for keeping weight off and for elevating mood and feeling better. Those are important benefits that should not be overlooked in terms of motivation. But thinking that adding exercise to your week will peel the pounds off is not usually the case because most of us don’t exercise long and hard enough to make exercise a weight loss strategy.

You have to change your lifestyle on many levels–eat less, move more and make physical activity part of your lifestyle. Also think about how stress, sleep and relational issues trigger your eating as well. To lose weight and keep it off requires body, mind and spirit changes. Go ahead exercise, but don’t think that hitting the treadmill twice a week is peeling off the pounds.

ID-10021766I have to admit, I’m not a fan of No Shave November. I look forward to the month ending in order to see the faces of the men I care about again. But one of my producers had a different take on the No Shave idea and wrote a thoughtful spot for me to record for radio. Thanks Katey Roshetko. You are my guest blogger today!

It’s that time of year again. Where the weather gets colder and the beards get longer. It’s No Shave November! But not all of us have a beard to grow, so here’s something everyone can do. It’s called: No Shame November. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all fall prey to shame in our lives.

Some of you might be ashamed of your body and hate thinking about all that holiday food. Or maybe you’re ashamed of your income and worry that you won’t be able to provide a fun Christmas for your kids. Any of you ashamed of your family? Maybe you’re dreading that awkward family reunion.

Whatever shame you’re carrying in your life, give it to God. Psalm 34:4-5 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Every day, think of one thing in your life you’re ashamed of and actively give that to God. If we practice “No Shame November” now, it won’t be long before we’re experiencing no shame for life.

Are you ready for the challenge? What is one thing each day you can take to Jesus and realize, He took your shame on the cross and you no longer have to carry it around. Leave it there, at the foot of the cross, and walk with your head held high. When you are one of His, there is no shame, only forgiveness and grace! And No Shame November continues into all the months of the year! Now that’s a movement I can get behind!

ID-10040105We all want to remain on top of our game as along as possible as we age. We’ve heard a lot about doing puzzles and mental activities that require cognitive engagement. But how about some fun ways to keep your mind sharp? A few may even surprise you!

It is Friday night. You are with your spouse and thinking about what to do tonight. What if you put together an evening that was not only fun, but kept your brain active and fighting the aging process.

1) Make a date at the IMAX and see a movie in 3D. I know, sometimes those give me a headache, but here is what a study at the University of London found about 3D movies. They boost cognitive performance. When that monster comes flying into your face, your heart rate increases as does blood flow to the brain. So go for the more stimulating experience.

2) Next, while you are enjoying the terror or beauty of 3D (depends on what you see), order a cup or two of hot cocoa. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that cocoa’s flavanols assist increased blood flow to the brain as well. Those flavanols are the same found in red wine and tea. This compound helps you do better on cognitive tests.

3) Now head home and enjoy an intimate time with your spouse post movie and cocoa. Researchers at the University of Maryland discovered that sex helps lower stress hormones, and even increased the production of new brain cells and helped memory—at least in rats! Time to verify that study in humans!!

4) Then if you are feeling really great about the evening, plug in the IPOD, go to the Broadway tunes channel and belt out a few show tunes — yes, belting out music lowers stress and actives neurons in the brain.

OK, I’ve planned your evening. Now get out there and be sharp!!!