Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is Buying a Lottery Ticket Gambling?

posted by Linda Mintle

Are you one of many who have said, “What’s the harm in buying lottery tickets?” Have you made a few wagers on Monday night football? Did you help plan Casino night at your kids’ school? Are you constantly hoping you’ll win the lottery in order to end all your financial problems?

If so, are you  gambling?

Yes, according to Rex Rogers and his book, Seducing America: Is Gambling a Good Bet? You may or may not agree but Rogers says

Rogers says gambling is a problem for a Christian for these reasons:

* Not justified in the Bible

* A dependence on luck and chance rather than God’s sovereignty

* A violation of our stewardship

* An undermining of our work ethic

* The result of covetousness

*  A form of theft

*  Potentially addictive

* Often associated with social and personal vices

Gambling usually begins as a harmless flirtation, but becomes a problem for many people. In fact, it has become an acceptable and mainstream addiction in American culture. The church has been strangely silent on this issue.

Gambling addiction has psychological and spiritual components similar to physical addiction and can take hold of a person’s life. We know that pathological gambling often begins in late adolescence for men and later in life for women. At first, it may be viewed as entertainment. Over time, a preoccupation with the action, excitement and winning develops. The addiction takes hold and all resources are used to get money to support the habit. Some people ravage their savings, destroy relationships and become preoccupied with gambling activities Others engage in illegal activities to keep a steady supply of cash and wind up with significant legal, relationship and moral problems.

A gambling addiction is a serious and often difficult to stop. Left untreated, a person’s life can spin seriously out of control. Compulsive gamblers lie, deny the seriousness of their problems, and become irritable when trying to quit. Like other addictions, gambling fills an empty place, covers depression, anxiety, guilt or helplessness, and allows someone to escape immediate problems.

Talk to anyone who lives with a compulsive gambler and he/she will tell you about the destructive forces at work with this type of addiction. It’s not a coincidence that the state of Ohio prints warnings on their lottery tickets that say, “Compulsive gambling can be treated.”  If you have a gambling addiction, get help.

 

 

Do you agree or disagree? My Facebook peeps are weighing in but you can also comment here. 

Can You Train Your Brain to Be More Positive?

posted by Linda Mintle

There is a big push in positive psychology to be optimistic no matter what happens to you. The idea is to show some self-compassion even when you make a mistake or things do not go as planned. For example, you might overspend on an item of clothing. Instead of beating yourself up over it and ruminating about how you really should not have spent the money, you say to yourself, “Lesson learned. I won’t do it again and can recover from this.”

According to researchers, people who can take the high road when it comes to positive thoughts are happier people. So give yourself a break. Train your brain to be positive.

Here is how. It begins by looking for the lesson or the benefit of negative things that have happened to us. We all experience negative and positive emotions, but it is the way we interpret those experiences that often causes the emotion. Dr. Fox, author of  Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain tells us that for every negative emotion, we need four positive ones to counter the negative effect of that emotion. And this process of training the brain to be more positive can be learned. You train your brain to look for the good. Another example, “I just got yelled at by my boss. Ok, I now know what I need to fix. I can fix this and give a better report.”

Now don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you live a life of denial. You still acknowledge problems and negative experiences, but you choose to focus on the positive.

I find this fascinating because in Philippians 4:8, we are told, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Paul instructs us to rejoice always, be grateful, trust in God to work for our benefit and to think on positive things. He stays positive, not because everything is great, but because He walks in the confidence of who God is in His life. And that is the basis for any positive psychology. God can be trusted. God is good and God is for us. Think on good things and see how it changes you.

10 Areas to Focus on for Weight Loss Success

posted by Linda Mintle

Losing weight is no easy task. So when you make a decision to drop a few pounds, what should you consider in order to be successful at not only losing weight but keeping it off ?

Having worked with hundreds of people over the years, losing weight and keeping it off must address these 10 areas:

Components of Weight loss programs

  1. Physical examination. Make sure there are no physical issues to stop or cause you to lose/gain weight.
  2. Exercise. You need to do this, not to drop pounds, but to stay fit.
  3. Nutrition and a sensible eating plan for weight loss. Fad diets cannot be sustained over time.
  4. Change the daily patterns of your eating–this is a behavioral change that is needed for success.
  5. Change the way you think. Develop a positive relationship with food, food is not your enemy.
  6. Change the way you cope–stress and emotional eating is usually what keeps people stuck.
  7. Review your self-control strategies. Helps like removing temptation, eating small portions, eating at the table, etc.
  8. Deal with the past and hurts. It’s too easy to eat when you are upset so work on triggers like past hurts.
  9. Deal with relationship issues. Make sure you are not eating in response to conflict or relationship issues.
  10. When you slip up, allow yourself that mistake and get right back on track. When people give in and go off their eating plan, they tend to give up. Just say, ‘No big deal. I can get right back on my plan at the next meal.”
For more help, I recommend my book, Press Pause Before You Eat seen above. It will help you develop a positive relationship with food. You control the food. Don’t let food control you!

I’ve been a dieter all my life and always have problems with regaining weight. This is not a book for yet another diet but a book to help you understand how to deal with food and its control over your life. Dr. Mintle outlines simple principles to help stop mindless eating and to help change bad eating patterns and help to get to the root of why we eat the way we do. A must read!

I’m Saying Boo Hoo to Honey Boo Boo!

posted by Linda Mintle

It topped or tied the television ratings for both the republican and democratic conventions and also showed competitive numbers against the opening of the NFL season. The “it” is a new reality TV series that debuted during convention week.

If you haven’t met Honey Boo Boo (nicknamed by her family), you will. She is TLC’s newest reality star, seven-year-old  Alana Thompson. Before her new TV series, she was seen on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras show. Known on the child pageant circuit for her revved up behavior after drinking mom’s concoction of  ”go-go” juice (a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew) at competitions, Honey Boo Boo took the reality TV world by storm in her debut show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo a few weeks ago.

The best way to describe this child and her family is to rehearse every, “You know you are a redneck when…” joke. Yes, the family fits the stereotype, but I am not laughing.

When Momma June yells to Honey Boo Boo during her pageant competitions, “Show them your belly,” people may laugh and even be cheering for what seems to be body acceptance, but childhood obesity is a serious health problem facing our nation today. As I reported in my book, Raising Healthy Kids, one in three children and teens is overweight or obese. The fall out for child obesity includes high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, elevated cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, sleep problems, increased risk for asthma, and early maturation. Walk around my children’s hospital with me and you won’t be laughing at these kids struggling with their weight. When a three-year- old is prehypertensive, it is not funny or entertaining!

And then there is the infamous “go-go juice” Momma June pumps into her daughter during pageant competitions that makes Honey Boo Boo go a little crazy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics, June, 2011) put out a position paper on energy drinks.  Their position: Children should NEVER drink high octane energy drinks. Now add the caffeinated and sugary Mountain Dew and you’ve got problems. Drinks like the “go-go” juice are loaded with caffeine and stimulants such as taurine and guarana. Side effects can include an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia. And remember, caffeine is an addictive substance that can lead to withdrawal even in children. Then, of course, there is the added calories  of these drinks which are loaded with sugar, which can result in weight gain and dental erosion.

So instead of Boo Boo, I’m saying Boo Hoo.

While this family can be hilarious in their verbage and rural south behavior, their health concerns outweigh the “entertainment” value for me. And I can’t get past the feeling that this child is being exploited–first in the weird world of child beauty pageants and now on reality TV. The family is making money and supposedly laughing at themselves, but what will happen to this child a few years from now?

Momma June weighed herself on national TV and came in at a whopping 309 pounds. And while I give her credit for being so up front about her weight and accepting, she is also at risk for heart attack, stroke and cancer. If she doesn’t take  her health serious and lose some weight, she may not be around to see Honey Boo Boo grow up. And that would be tragic reality.

 

What is your reaction to this new reality series? 

 

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