Archives For Health and Fitness

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Setting Goals

By Nate LaClaire —  August 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

Goals. So many of us have some hazy ideas that we refer to as goals, but how many of us accomplish them? How many of us even go so far as to turn them into something solid and truly commit to them? We say things like, “my goal is to lose weight,” or, “my goal is to visit Rome,” but somehow we never make it. Why? In some cases, we are afraid. At least that’s been my experience. The thought of reaching our goals scares us, whether because of the unknown “what comes next” or simply because as awesome as the goal sounds, it’s something new and frightening. In other cases, we just don’t do what is needed to accomplish the goal, including solidifying what exactly our goal is.

Michael Hyatt has covered the topic of goal writing from various angles. He says that goals should be S. M. A. R. T.:

  • Specific – define exactly what you want to accomplish with as much specificity as possible
  • Measurable – for example, “lose 20 pounds” not “lose some weight”
  • Actionable – start it with a verb
  • Realistic – yes, you want to push yourself, but don’t set the bar so high that you can’t possibly achieve it
  • Time-bound – give yourself a deadline

Michael also says that goals should be written down and made public. This gives you accountability. Maybe you share your goals with an accountability partner, your spouse, your family, or maybe with the whole world, but publicize them somehow.

I’m terrible at setting goals and worse at accomplishing the ones that I do set. I could leave it at that and continue “spinning my wheels” and never accomplish anything. After all, I’m bad at it. It’s just the way I am.

I’ve chosen to not do that, though. Goal #1: prepare a list of goals for the next year and revise my “contract with myself” by August 1 (I created this goal on 7/18). The list of goals should prepare me for the undertaking I’ve recently committed myself to and for future success. Goal accomplished!

I will be announcing here more about that undertaking in the next few of weeks. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’ve decided that I’m not going to allow it to become one of those things that I “never got around to.”

I’ll also be detailing at least some of my goals and discussing portions of my contract on my blog in the near future. The focus of my blog going forward (Faith, Life, Intentional Living) is directly related to my contract and my goals. Some of the goals and portions of my contract are between me, God, and my accountability partner, but the rest will be public. I’ll need your help staying on track.

By the way, I’ve set another goal: lose 6 pounds by August 20, 2012 (my 31st birthday), by using the Lose It app to ensure that my caloric intake stays within a daily budget and exercising at least 30 minutes daily. It’s specific (what and how), measurable (an exact quantity), actionable (lose), realistic (2 pounds per week, based on my current weight, is easily accomplishable), and time-bound (August 20). That’s step one in a larger health-related goal, but we’ll talk about that later.

What about you? Please share your experience with goal setting and/or a S. M. A. R. T. goal that you have set.

“For Him to increase in my ministry, I had to decrease in my waistline.”

That, in a nutshell, describes comedian Scott Davis’ motivation for losing 132 pounds. In If My Body is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch: My journey of losing 132 pounds with no exercise!, Davis describes his journey to a healthy weight using a good-sized helping of humor. The author uses scripture to show that losing weight is about more than just one’s physical condition – it is about the spiritual condition as well. The humor keeps it light-hearted while the scripture and personal stories of his struggles add weight to the book.

This is a great memoir, but it is much more than that: while not a diet book, it is an encouraging look at why and how Christians who struggle with obesity can and should take control and reach a state of health. Davis makes it clear that this is not easy, but he shows that it is doable if we rely on God and the people He has put in place to help us.

My only negative comment about the book is this: at times, the book feels like an infomercial for Quick Weight Loss Centers of Atlanta. It’s easy to get annoyed by the references to one weight-loss facility and lose the greater message of the book. However, it sounds like they have an innovative program and I can see why he would spend so much time talking about it.

Despite this, the book is well worth your time if you struggle with obesity or even have just a little extra weight that you can’t seem to lose. In fact, I think that pretty much anyone could benefit from the book because so much of it has as much to do with spiritual health as physical health.

The audiobook is read by the author and is very well-read and well-produced. I highly recommend it.

Taking a Break

By Nate LaClaire —  April 16, 2010 — 3 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I spend my time. It seems that I find myself wasting a lot of time on Facebook or in front of the TV (or both simultaneously) or doing other things that drain me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. After reading and contemplating a blog post by Tony Steward, I’ve decided to follow the example of Michael Hyatt and combine it with a suggestion from my good friend Joanna Hoyt. Consequently, I’m observing TV Turnoff Week (aka Digital Detox Week), April 19-25, 2010, by turning off the TV, staying away from Internet video, and taking a break from social media, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social sites/tools. Since my work involves social media, I will have to monitor Facebook, Twitter, and some other social media sites for business purposes, but will use them for absolutely nothing personal and will limit my time on them as much as possible. I’m also observing a blog silence during the week, but that won’t impact my life much because of the (lack of) frequency with which I generally post to my blog.

I’m looking forward to the break and am contemplating how my life will change after April 25.

Would you like to join me? Comment below and let us know what you’re giving up as part of your digital detox from April 19 to 25.

See you on the other end!

Hello to my friends in Central Maine (especially Poland, Maine)! This Saturday (March 20) we have an awesome opportunity to support a great new local business and also support our favorite public library! Square Root Natural Foods is a new natural food store opening at Poland Crossing, where Poland’s Dunkin Donuts is located (the store is between Northeast Bank and Family Dollar). Being very community-minded, the owners have chosen to donate a portion of the opening day’s profits to the library, to be used to improve the library’s ecology and agriculture sections. As a library trustee and friend of the library, I’m excited about what this means for the library. As a lover of my hometown, I’m excited about what this means for Poland. As someone who supports the local economy by purchasing locally-grown foods, I’m excited about this great new place to get local and natural goods. Please join me in helping to make their opening day a huge success while also supporting Ricker Library! The store had its soft open a few weeks ago, so I’ve had the opportunity to visit and I can tell you that they have a great selection. Also, I had a long talk with the owners and am very impressed with their attitude regarding the business and the community. For more information about the event, visit the Friends of Ricker Library web site at http://rickerfriends.org/.

Santa Fe Fajitas

By Nate LaClaire —  December 29, 2009 — Leave a comment

My diet died at some point over the past few weeks. Thanksgiving went well, but sometime after that things fell apart. I’m not giving up, though – I’m jumping back on the horse…

I took a look at what’s new on the Full Plate Diet web site and they’ve added a lot. I especially like the recipes! Check this one out: Santa Fe Fajitas. They look delicious and provide 15.2g of fiber per serving. I’ll definitely be trying them at some point in the near future. If you try or have tried them, let me know how you like(d) them!

Five days down

By Nate LaClaire —  October 20, 2009 — 5 Comments

So, how am I doing five days after my commitment to a healthy me? Well… At stage one of the Full Plate Diet, I’m supposed to:

  1. Eat more fiber
  2. Drink more water – at least 6 glasses a day
  3. Stop eating when I no longer feel hungry

Yes, I’ve eaten more fiber over the past five days than I have been for the past several months, so that’s progress. I haven’t surpassed where I was six months ago, but I am doing better than recent, and, since we’re talking about fiber here, I know that increasing intake slowly is better than doing it quickly (don’t OD on fiber on day one because you won’t make it to day two). Yes, I’ve increased my water intake, but not quite to 6+ glasses a day. With one exception, I did stop eating when I stopped feeling hungry. So, not too bad! However, I only fulfilled my exercise commitment (20 minutes of solid cardio) two of the five days. Not so good. Yesterday I did a lot of walking, but didn’t get a solid 20 minutes of heart-pumping goodness.

The good news is that it can only get better from here! :-)

A Great Smoothie

By Nate LaClaire —  February 17, 2006 — Leave a comment

I promised some friends from the library last week that I would give them the recipe for an awesome smoothie that I have been drinking, so I decided to post it to my blog. This is based on the recipe for a smoothie called “The Green Gorilla.”

  • 1/2 package frozen spinach
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup water – use more or less depending on desired consistency

Yeah, you read the first ingredient correctly. What’s wrong, not feeling adventurous? Trust me – you’ll love it. I recommend letting the spinach thaw at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes before you try to cut it. You don’t want it to thaw too much, though. Blend the whole thing as much as you want (I thoroughly liquify it) and enjoy!

I don’t taste the spinach at all – what I taste is the fruit. I eat this and only this for lunch 6 days a week. It’s tasty and filling! And, just look at all of the servings of fruits and vegetables that you are getting out of the way in that one meal (I believe it comes out to 3 servings of fruit and 2 of vegetables). Enjoy!