Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

eatingThe big game is right around the corner and people are planning their Superbowl menus. But what if your fan experience could make or break your weight loss efforts?

That’s right, if you are a big Denver or Seattle fan and feel they are your team, you are about to be more stressed than those of us who don’t care about either team. And that stress just might make you eat more.

Strong identification with a team increases the stress hormone cortisol. When you watch the game, feel passionately about your team but have no control over the game, you are on the edge of your seat, yelling at the TV, and jumping to your feet. During an interception, you fall back on the couch in disbelief. Your heart is pumping. Come on, let’s win!

But if you lose, you may lose self-control and find yourself arm deep into a bowl of potato chips and dip!

A study published in Psychological Science found that the consumption of saturated fat after a beloved NFL team loses increases. If your team wins,  the saturated fat consumption goes down. Psychologically, the winning team makes you feel good and optimistic for the future. When you feel good, you tend to be more motivated in your eating and exercise. When you feel bad, well, we find comfort in those fried fatty foods!

Personally, I’m looking forward to the game because I really don’t identify with either team. I guess that means I’ll have better control with the snacks this year.

So thank you Chicago Bears for not making me fat!

alone 2What happens if you tell yourself that nobody like me…When you have that negative thought that somehow you don’t matter?

Nothing good!

You experience loneliness, not to be confused with depression or aloneness. Being alone is not a bad thing. But when you think being alone means you don’t matter, it turns to loneliness which does cause you to feel sad and down.

Loneliness usually relates to being socially isolated or dissatisfied in the relationships you have. As a result of that feeling, you can isolate even more and continue those negative thoughts.

However, we can choose not to feel lonely by doing something to connect with others, like being around people, taking a class, going to church, etc. We can lift our mood by reading a funny book, watching a movie, or meditating on the goodness of God and praying.

It’s all in what you tell yourself. If you think nobody cares about you, you will feel bad. If you think, hey, I have time to do some things I really love, you feel better.

Like so many things in our lives, the way we think about something matters.

Dr. Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognition and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, says some people are genetically more prone to loneliness than others. But when it comes to gender, men and women experience loneliness at similar rates. The difference is that woman want more face to face relationships and men like to be connected in a group.

Loneliness is often based on a worry that somehow we don’t matter. This worry can dissipate if we accept the love of God who tells us He will never leave us or forsake us. Our ever present God is a constant companion with whom we can daily communicate. So change that story that no one cares about you. God is Emmanuel, God with you.

And don’t give up on finding people with whom you can connect. Take a risk. Invite someone to coffee, attend a singles meeting at church, look for opportunities to volunteer in your community, get a pet, and join an Internet chat group related to a hobby or interest. Most of all, don’t allow yourself to belief the lie that nobody cares about you!

 

1 schoolYour child comes home from school and tells you the teacher treated her unfairly. There was a fight and she was sent to the principal’s office. But it wasn’t her fault and the teacher was picking on her.

Do you?

a) Side with your child and promise to call the principal and straighten things out.

b) Support the teacher and tell your child that the teacher did what she thought was necessary.

c) Get mad and go to the school to settle it with the teacher.

I hope you answered b. Why? Because that is what the teacher needs to be respected and carry out discipline in the classroom. The other two answers undermine the teacher’s authority and teach your child she doesn’t have to respect the teacher.

Unfortunately, respect is being lost among parents and students. According to a Harris poll that asked adults to compare their memory of “school dynamics” when they were students with today, 46% of parents respect teachers, a drop from 91%.

And only 31%of students respect their teachers, a drop from 79%.

This means that parents often undermine the teacher’s authority and make excuses for their children’s behavior.  Teachers are often unfairly blamed, which tears at their respect.

And I would argue that this lack of respect carries over to other authorities a well. So parents, here is the charge. Let teachers teach and stop undermining their authority. Will they always be right? No, but that too is a valuable lesson for the future. People are not always treated fairly in a job, by others and need to find respectful ways to disagree or obey when they don’t like it.

Even when my teachers were wrong, my parents taught ME to respectfully confront the situation and accept the final authority. This lesson has served me well in life.

Parents, you model respect every time you respond to a complaint or criticism. You have the power to teach your child how to follow directions and solve problems. Now, what will you do with that power?

coldTemperatures are expected to plummet to single digits again tonight. But is there an upside to all this cold weather when it comes to weight loss?

As they say in frigid Minnesota, “You betcha!”

It has something to do with brown fat deposits in our bodies.

According to Dr. Aaron Cypess of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston:

Most fat is  “white fat” used to store excess energy and insulate us in the cold. Too much is a problem.

Brown fat is mostly found in newborns, but adults have small deposits of brown fat that carries over from infancy.

Brown fat is the superhero because it burns fat, not stores it!

A chilly room can activate brown fat.

A study  by researchers in the Netherlands says lowering the temperature of your environment could help you lose weight. When you are exposed to the cold, your body goes to work by trying to balance your thermostat. Heat is generated from those brown fat tissues trying to generate energy. Your body burns calories to keep you warm. So turning down your thermostat from 72 to 62 degrees, for example,  could do the trick. Not only will you be green, but you could also lose weight!

Go outside in the cold and let the brown fat go to work! Use those dumb bells but add temperature training to the mix. See if you can tolerate more cold and let your body work out!

Forget that warm, cozy office with the heater at your feet! Turn it off and keep it chilly. Shiver and produce some heat! Make your work out a walk in brisk weather (not sub zero!) and train your body to tolerate colder air! Its temperature training time!

 

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