Friday, May 22, 2009

Love Every Part of You

Have you ever been on a diet? How many times? If you’re like most of us the answer is probably, “I start a new one every morning!”

One study found that 86% of Americans want to lose weight. (i) Really? 86% of us are not happy with our shape?

With 66% of Americans fighting overweight issues (ii), it does make sense that many are struggling to lose those extra pounds. Of course we want to be healthy, but do we really have to look like a model?

As Christians we are blessed to know that we are children of God and He loves us. That alone should be enough to make us feel good about ourselves. He wants us to be happy and I believe He also wants us to be healthy so we can accomplish all that we can during our sojourn on earth.

But to be healthy and accomplish our work we also have to stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s take charge of our health and love the body we're in. The really cool thing about embracing your shape and unique beauty is if you feel good about yourself it will be easier to improve your health and lose weight.

Ideas to help you love your shape and size:

1. Bury the scale under your laundry pile - try to focus more on how your clothes are fitting and how you feel. If you want a true indicator of improvement try a fat percentage test or measure yourself regularly with a tape measure.

2. Lift weights in front of a mirror (it’s okay to do this in a sports bra, at least if you’re in your bedroom without your teenagers laughing at you) - watch how your muscles contract and realize that you are strong and beautiful.

3. Don't compare yourself - Everyone has their own strengths. It might be easy for your friend to stay thin, but maybe she couldn't lift her 95-pound ten-year old and carry him to the doctor when he broke his arm (that was a proud moment). Try to compliment and be happy for other people instead of letting that darn jealousy take over. Looking for the best in others will help you feel better about yourself too.

4. Pray – We’ve been instructed to pray over our fields, flocks, homes, etc. I think it is also important to pray about overcoming food addictions, to pray for help in finding the time and energy to exercise and improve our health, and to pray for confidence. The Lord wants us to be happy. Turn to him and He will fulfill those needs.

5. Exercise - whenever you allow negativity to creep in, go on a walk or bike ride, turn on some music and dance, drop and do twenty pushups, try some yoga moves. Make yourself move. The endorphins will start dancing with you and you really will feel better. (iii)

6. Fake it until you make it. I know this seems, well, fake. But I promise if you put a smile on your face and pretend you love your body, you can change your attitude and eventually the smile will feel more natural than the frown.

7. Be grateful for the health you've got. Whenever I'm on a run and want to quit I tell myself, "Some people would give anything to be able to run and they can't." Focus on the blessings of being able to move, breathe, and serve your family, neighbors, and those in need with your healthy body. 

8. Write down the things you love about your body. If you get a bit depressed about the dimples on your thighs (please tell me someone else has those too) focus instead on how toned your calves look or the fact that your biceps are really responding to all those curls.

Focus on taking care of your body and I promise your body will love you back.

Cami Checketts is a wife, mother, author, and exercise scientist. For exercise routines, please refer to her blog – Her latest novel, The Sister Pact, will be released in July 2009.


i. Addressing Body Image in Eating Disorder Treatment

Author: Meghan Vivo

Date: 3/11/2009

An Interview with Anna Treacy, MPH, NCHES

ii. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


iii. The Most Important Exercise Tip By Robin Lloyd, Special to LiveScience



Link to this post -

Friday, May 15, 2009

Book Spotlight - Guided by Him To a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You!

I'm so excited to spotlight my friend, Julie Morris's book, Guided by Him To a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You! It is a fabulous book with a wonderful message. I'd try to tell you about it, but I'd just mess it up so I included an interview with Julie and her daughter Sarah. 

Thanks for reading - Cami

Author Julie Morris, R.N., and her daughter, Sarah Morris Cherry, L.P.C., have developed a way to Lose weight the lighthearted way!

Guided By Him is a 12-week Bible study/weight-loss program that is perfect for individual study, lunch breaks at work, friendly neighborhood get-togethers or small groups at church.

Filled with uplifting scriptures, thought-provoking questions, daily devotionals and fun-filled food facts, it helps readers keep a positive, light attitude toward learning a leaner lifestyle.


Available now! $14.99

Order at

1.    It seems like everyone is endorsing, writing or followingsome kind of diet plan these days. What prompted you to write Guided By Him, when there are already so many programs out there?


Julie I wanted to share a fun and easy way to lose weight—especially designed for busy people who overeat when they feel stressed out.  I know personally that this program works. It helps overwhelmed overeaters lose the weight… and worries… that weigh them down. Guided By Him (GBH) is encouraging,inspiring and can be done in just a few minutes a day!


Sarah For the past several years I have been so busy that it’s been hard to find time to read. But when I started reading Barbara Johnson’s Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and BeHappy, I didn’t want to put it down. I realized then that a lighthearted approachkeeps us reading and helps us to do things that we might not feel up to doing if it were presented in a heavier way. GBH is a lighthearted approach to learning a leaner lifestyle!


2.    You offer many practical tips, called Stepping Stones, toencourage participants to make intentional choices regarding food. Share a few of these with us.


Sarah We teach you how to spend 10 minutes having a daily Quiet Time that will literally change your life. In those few short minutes you will learn how to draw closer to Jesus, recognize things that are driving you to the refrigerator that day, and surrender them to Him. We also teach you how to use a Prayer Journal so you will learn to cast your cares on the Lord, not the refrigerator, and Food Cards that will help you to eat in a well-balanced way without having to count calories. Other Stepping Stones providepractical ideasthat help you to lose weight. Here are some simple weight-loss tips:

  • A good way to decide how much a serving of meat is: look at a deck of cards.
  • Never eat while standing. 
  • Make eating a meal a relaxing event (I’m finding that’s really hard with a toddler!).
  • Brush your teeth frequently.  It helps you reduce snacking.
  • As much as possible, stay away from foods that trigger your cravings (mine is peanut butter).
  • Chew gum or wear a mask if you’re tempted to nibble while you’re cooking.


Julie Two other important Stepping Stones teach you how to feed your soul on M and M’s. The best kind of M & M’s are Meditation and Memorization of Scripture! We also show you how to make a Victory List so you see if you’re staying on track with your eating and other healthy lifestyle changes. And we show you how to make a Miracle List. A Miracle List is a list of your problems that only God can solve. As you pray over your Miracle List every morning, you remember that these things are God’s job so you quitstruggling to fixthem. When you start putting your energy into changing the things you can, and leaving the rest for God, you will find that you don’t get nearly as frustrated—or as tempted to overeat.


3.    You’re a mother/daughter duo. You both bring years ofexperience to the writing table. How did your careers help you in the writing process of Guided By Him?


Julie I am a wife, mother and new grandmother. I have been a secretary at the Pentagon, Spanish teacher, lay counselor, and RN. But the experience that helped me most in writing GBH was doing things WRONG for so many years, and then watching amazed as God helped me to change. I lost my extra pounds over 25 years ago and have kept them off. And God has changed my misery to ministry. I’ve been writing, speaking across the country and leading weight-loss groups since 1992. I'd love to come to your church to speak and meet you personally. You can learn more about my speaking and hear a brief sample at


Sarah I am a wife, new mother and Licensed Professional Counselor. I have counseled people from two to 92. I have worked a lot with overweight people who desperately need to lose weight, but are overwhelmed at the thought of doing it. I love teaching them new ways to deal with stress, facts about healthy living and easy things they can do to help them become more like the people theywant tobe.


4.    When tempted to cheat on your healthy habits, what snack doyou each reach for?


Julie I don’t really have to cheat because anything goes in our GBH plan. I don’t think that an occasional splurge is unhealthy; it’s just when it gets us off track—and the occasional splurge turns into a frequent one or a binge—that we get in trouble. But that didn’t really answer your question.  A hot bagel at Sam’s is fullof carbs and calories, but I eat one every now and then anyway. I just count it as four breads and cut back on otherbread servings that day.


Sarah When I’m snacking, I try to balance carbs and proteins so my body stays balanced.  And I drink a lot of water with lemon or lime slices. 


5.    How do you reward yourself for achieving yourgoals?


Julie This sounds really goofy, but I’ll tell you anyway. Every week, I tell my friend Sue how I have done with my eating, exercising and other goals (like not being grumpy). If I have achieved more than 80% of my goals, she gives me a pretty colored sticker. I love having a sticker on my Victory List each week. And I HATE having to tell Sue that I’ve done badly! But the biggest reward is that I feel so much better when I’m on track with my eating and exercising, and I really feel crummy when I’m not.


Sarah  For my rewards, I make extra time for myself to give myself a manicure/pedicure or to watch a favorite TV show.  Sometimes I do “Wal-Mart Therapy” where I buy $10 worth of things that I don’t normally buy at the grocery store (shower gels, an unusual tropical fruit, a new nail polish).


6.    For moms out there trying to help their children to loseweight, what advice do you have for them?


Julie The best way to help your children to lose weight is to lose weight yourself! It’s never too late to start being a good example. Here are some other things that will help:


·        Teach them how to read labels and make healthy choices when they’re eating out and at home. Make a game of finding food“bargains.”

·        Teach them how to have a brief Quiet Time almost every day. If they can’t write yet, help them to draw pictures of their prayers and Bible verses.Help them also to journal their feelings by drawing pictures ofthings that upset them.

·        When having family celebrations, focus on the fun of fellowship instead of food.

·        Teach older children how to cook in a healthy way, but never put kids on a diet or force them to eat something they don’t like. 

    • Don’t tell them that they can never have sugar or other junk food, but limit it. Supply yummy substitutes instead.
    • If they say that they’re hungry between meals, offer low calorie snacks. Some examples are small packs of raisins, fruits, baby carrots, individual packages of low-fat cheese and yogurt.

·        Give them non-food rewards when they do something good. Don’t reward them by giving them their favorite foods or punish them by taking favoritefoods away. And don’t calm them by giving them food.

·        Never shame them for overeating, gaining weight or making unhealthy choices. Give them lots of hugs and compliments and let them know that you lovethem no matter what.

·        Don’t focus too much on food, diets and weight. Let healthy eating and exercise be a normal part of every day.


Sarah  I have a two-year-old so I am finding finding ways to reward him with things other than food.  They include hugs and kisses (of course!) praising him when he obeys and Play-Dough time (his favorite reward right now). I think it is super important to keep kids active, limit TV, computer and game time.  Those things are privileges—notrequirements—for kids.  Other advice to help your child lose weight: exercise and eat in a healthy way as a family.  They will do what you do. (: no pressure!


7. Many of your chapter titles are funny, but they say a lot. What are some examples?


Julie Two of my favorites are: “Pouting Puts Pounds on!” and “Resentments Are Fattening.” It’s sooo important, if we want to lose weight and keep it off, to learn how to get rid of negative emotions such as self-pity and anger. They stress us out and make us hungrier.


Here are some other favorites. I’ll bet you can guess what these chapters are about:

·        Tootsie Roll Tug-of-War”

·        “Do Broken Cookies Count?”

·        “Is Fudge My Fortress?”

·        “Pick up My What???”

·        “How Can I Get This Mountain off of Me?”

·        I Have Let Myself Go. Is It Too Late to Getthe Old ME Back?”


10 Super Snacks to Super-Size Your Healthy Lifestyle

1.       A sandwich made with low-calorie bread (40 calories a slice), fat-free mayo and low-calorie ham and/or cheese (30 calories a slice) cut up in four pieces and arranged nicely on aplate

2.     A sugar-free Popsicle in the summer or sugar-free hot chocolate in the winter

3.     A smoothie made in a blender with fat-free milk, ice cubes and sugar-free hot chocolate mix (25 calories) or fruit with artificial sweetener

4.     A baked apple—cut up, seasoned with nutmeg and cooked in the microwave for a few minutes, topped with fat-free margarine

5.     A steaming bowl of low-calorie soup or a package of instant oatmeal—cooked in the microwave after adding water

6.     Bruschetta—a whole grain slice of bread or large cracker, topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese on top—microwaved for a few seconds to warm it up and melt the cheese

7.     A 100-calorie bag of lite microwave popcorn

8.     A raw vegetable platter, with a variety of vegetables—cut up in little pieces and arranged nicely on a plate, with a serving of fat-free dressing in the middle. Or several stalks of celery stuffed with fat-free cream cheese—seasoned to taste

9.     A parfait—served in a tall glass filled with 4 ounces of plain yogurt, layered with fruit (no sugar added) and topped with a pinch of Grape Nuts or other high-fiber cereal

10.  Little carrots served with spinach dip—fat-free sour cream, seasoned with dry soup mix and raw chopped spinach (defrosted, if frozen, with all of the water squeezed out of it)