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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Three Ways to Stop a Marriage from Divorce

posted by Linda Mintle

upset coupleEd and Jane were having marital problems.  Jane was at the point of walking out. Ed rarely spoke to her. This once loving couple was now thinking divorce.

So what happened?

Like too many couples, Ed and Jane waited too long to go to marital therapy for help.

Jane feels she tried to raise issues, but Ed was not interested. He had a history of avoiding tough topics.

Ed didn’t like the way Jane talked to him but never brought up the issue. He often felt overwhelmed by her intensity. Instead, he allowed resentment to build up and push him away emotionally.

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Both spouses were turning away from each other rather than towards–a dangerous move as it eventually leads to emotional distance. And emotional distance is the number one predictor of divorce.

So here are three take-aways for all couples: 

1) When you are upset, deal with the issues immediately and don’t allow them to simmer and grow. As painful or difficult as it is to talk about problems, do it.

2) If the problems are bigger than you can solve, see a marital therapist. One of the reasons couples don’t work things out when they do go to counseling is because they wait too long. By the time they see a therapist, they have emotionally checked out. Marital therapy is highly effective when couples go early and ready to work.

3) When problems come, turn towards each other (and God) and not away. Turning away creates distance and also tempts you towards unhealthy emotional connections with others, or engage in unhealthy behavior.

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Do You Have Bat Wing Deformity?

posted by Linda Mintle

armsAs summer approaches and more of us are going sleeveless again, we can certainly see the jiggle that comes with aging or not working out in the gym.

Yes, we would all like to have the arms of news anchors who seem to have a penchant now for sleeveless dresses. But most of us have to spend hours in the gym to fight the effects of either laziness or plain old aging.

Plastic surgeons call this jiggly, loose skin on the back side of the arms, “bat wing deformity.”

Nice, right?

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What may surprise you is that arm lift surgery is on the rise. According to an article in USA TODAY, this surgery has increased 4,000% in the past decade. That is a lot of arms being operated on!

But here is the good news. The increase isn’t driven by our need to emulate the First Lady or look like celebrities on the red carpet. Yes, we are obsessed with youth in our culture and people are getting this surgery to look younger. But the increase is due to the surge of weight loss surgeries. When a person loses a significant amount of weight with procedures like the gastric bypass, the weight drops off but the skin remains. This extra skin, or “bat wing” doesn’t go away with the weight loss and can be removed surgically.

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But before you schedule your consult, know that this surgery is expensive and can leave significant scarring from the elbow to the armpit. In addition, all surgeries carry risk and this one is no exception.

So if you just have flabby arms due to a lack of exercise, start working those arms. Get in the gym. It is safer and cheaper. If aging is the culprit, embrace it! Most of us have the bat wings at a certain point in life! The question is can we accept the changes of aging without feeling the pressure to always turn back the clock?

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Binge Eating? 8 Tips to Help You Stop

posted by Linda Mintle

1 BINGEIn the past three months, you have binged on food at least 12 times. You hate that you do it and always feel guilty after, but something inside you compels you to do this (A binge is when you consume a lot of food in a short period of time).

Well, you are not alone. About 3% of the US population does this, and qualifies for the diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED). And according to the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, as many as half of all binge eating patients have a history of depression!

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Here is why: When you binge eat, you gain weight. So you feel out of control with your eating, you gain weight and get depressed over your body shape and weight. Then you binge again and feel even worse, heightening the depressed feelings  It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. And for some people, depression led them to binge eat in the first place.

Here are helpful tips to help stop those binges.

1) Get rid of binge foods in your home. Yes, you can drive to a store or fast food place but that takes more effort than reaching for food in the pantry.

2) Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping meals is a set up for a binge. You simply build up too much hunger and then overdo it. Eat small meals, snacks throughout the day to curb appetite.

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3) Don’t diet. The idea that you “can’t” have foods just makes you want them all the more.

4) Figure out what sets off your binges, what are the cues or triggers? This is very important because the triggers are usually emotional and relational things, not hunger.

5) When you feel the urge to eat, do something else. Replace eating with another behavior. It might not be as enjoyable as eating that hot fudge sundae, but you are breaking the habit of eating when you do something else.

6) Phone a friend. When you have the urge to binge, it helps to have a support network of people who can be there to help you say NO to food when you are not hungry.

7) It’s not all or nothing. If you give in to a binge, life is not over. Simply start over. Everyone deserves a do over. Acknowledge the slip, forgive yourself and get back on track. Changing behavior takes time!

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8) Finally, if the depression does not ease up as you get control of the food, see a therapist. Or see a therapist to begin with so you can look at the roots of the depression and get help. Depression is treatable.

 

Finally, if you are feeling very out of control and want additional help, see an eating disorder specialist who can help tailor a program of help for your needs.

 

 

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Discouraged? It May Be a Power Outage?

posted by Linda Mintle

stressedHave you ever experienced a power outage? For the past two days, I have.

For no apparent reason, I stopped getting power to my house. I felt completely cut off from the world, no TV, computer, ability to cook, or see in the dark. And I began to think.

The Christian life is like this. Most of us operate as if we are in a power outage on a regular basis. We passively accept whatever comes our way and struggle in our own strength to get through the day  Most days, we operate as if we are not connected to any power source. No wonder we walk around anxious and stressed. It’s hard to function without power. It’s discouraging.

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When the problem at my house was finally diagnosed, it was a wire underground that had slowly been eroding. Buried in the ground, I had a cable that was no longer carrying the power. Once that cable was exposed, it could be fixed.

How often do we keep things deeply buried that slowly erode our joy–hurts, offenses, wounds, that we don’t deal with, yet they are under the surface, doing damage  to our physical, emotional and spiritual lives? We refuse to expose them because of the hurt, yet they are damaging and need to be exposed.

Once the line causing the problem at my house was fixed,  I was connected again to the power source and everything turned back on. But the lesson wasn’t missed.

Stay connected to the power source. Don’t forget what you have to help you through the day. We are connected to the One who can move mountains, who can heal diseases, who can turn sorrow into joy, who can give peace during life storms, who can fight on our behalf, etc. Yet, we allow distractions and life cares, and allow old hurts and wounds to disconnect us from the power of God. Today, examine your life.

If the power is out, get reconnected!

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