Thursday, March 27, 2008

Simple Simplifying

The world is really complex but your life doesn’t have to be. One of the reasons why I’ve failed on weight loss efforts is because things were more complicated than I thought they would be.

During one summer I was offered to take on the body shape diet. I had to read a book, take a test, watch a tape and do 50 jumping jacks before I actually started the diet. Okay, I exaggerated on the jumping jacks LOL. I didn’t get through the first page of the book. That summer (one of my 10 attempts to lose weight), I opted to simplify my meals and exercise twice a day (walking and biking). I lost at least 20 pounds that summer. I couldn’t keep that lifestyle in the fall because my schedule became more complex.

In my search for motivation to stick with my lifestyle change, simplicity has been a must. People can make simplicity complex. When I open a magazine about simple living, some of the tips are complicated. They take a lot of time to do. That proves me that I have to make things personal. I can’t rely on a magazine or a weekly show to tell me how to make my life simpler. I also understand that those tips might work for you.

These are some of the things that work for me if I want to simplify my life:

Sleep earlier. Getting quality sleep adds more to my life because I simply feel better. I have more energy to spend during the a day and I’ll be in a better mood.

Pack the night before. When I pack my gym clothes the night before, all I have to do is grab that bag on my way out to work. The same work for lunch. I’m less likely to eat crazy if I pack my lunch in advance. In grad school I used to cook for a whole week.

Use the same grocery list. My nutritionist gave me this brilliant idea. I have several busy weeks ahead. Because I’m the main shopper in my household, it makes it easier to buy the same things each week instead of coming up with new menus and items. When my schedule becomes more flexible, my list will surely change.

Simplify your eating. My nutritionist suggested that I simplified my eating plan and I refused it. I repented and today I started on a plan that’s called ‘simple choices.' I don’t have as many choices as in the food pyramid plan but I still get the same nutrition for the same number of calories.

Make God’s priorities your own. God cares about things I should care about. I’ve been meditating on Ephesians 5:15 which says I should live purposefully and accurately. The only way I can do that is if I know what God’s priorities are for me. The Bible is full of them: Building others up according to their needs (Ephesians 4:29) is one. I know others who are in this journey to lose weight. I purposefully build them up and I enjoy doing that. Each day we should seek God’s priorities for us as individuals. Someone needs you today. Feed the poor. Clothe the naked. Just find someone who has less than you do and bless them.

I can use simplifying in other areas of my life. For two years I was constantly frustrated because of unorganized paperwork at home. I’ve learned that if I work 10 minutes daily at it, I should see a huge difference after week 1.
I want to encourage you to simplify your life with God's help and therefore, enjoy it more!