A Good Some Thing

Peace Phil 4:7What hinders your peace? Is it physical pain, worry, regrets, anxiety, depression, stress?  (Confession: That is my personal list, but yours might be something like it.)

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.  Proverbs 12:25

 

What is a good word?

Word (or davar from Strong’s) is defined as: a word, a speech, a matter or thing.  Do you ever have so much bad that you just plain need some good — as in a good some thing?

Word is also defined as: a report, a message.  There are similarities between the Hebrew davar and the Greek logos.  Jesus is the davar or the Old Testament and the logos of the New Testament.  What that looks like to me is that He is the message of the entire book.

Not only does Jesus bring good words, He is the Good Word.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.  Philippians 4:4-8

Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24

How do these words from Scripture become real in my life?  How can I put them into action?

  1. Think on good things — things that bring peace.  Meditate on Truth.  (Philippians 4:8)
  2. Pray.  Ask.  Be thankful.  (Philippians 4:6)
  3. Believe the peace of God guards your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7)
  4. Watch your words, both that which you speak and that which you listen to.  (Proverbs 16:24)
  5. Give your worries, burdens, cares and concerns to God.  (1 Peter 5:7)

The more I know who Jesus is and the more I know who He says I am in Him, the more I know that…

I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me.  (Romans 8:37)

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Heart Belief

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When I decided to start a blog, I committed to one thing — that it be real.  Real stuff from the heart.  Not platitudes or empty words.  That said, in true blog form (I hope), I’m posting a page straight from my personal journal today.

centered heart scroll

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness… Romans 10:10

 What do I believe?  What is this faith?

A daily relationship.  Not religious robotics.  A conversation, talking out feelings, listening, waiting, confessing, cleansing, being as open to God’s presence as possible.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit, allowing His leading of thoughts; absorbing teachings, insight, knowledge, understanding.  Accepting what God has already declared me to be.  Claiming His promises as Truth whether I feel anything or not.  Asking for His will, His working through the day.  Asking for the Holy Spirit’s promptings in how to respond in all circumstances.  Heart belief, fresh faith, deeper relationship.  Narrowing of focus, letting go of distractions, a pure meditation on His Word, all things Spiritual, His direction — leading, guiding — my obedience in following His ways.  Emptying of self, being clay to the Potter, an empty vessel to be filled with all God desires for me.  A confidence in Christ — no confusion — a boldness to take Him at His Word and come before His throne, humbly, with requests.  Releasing and letting go of what binds, ties, shackles, and imprisons.  Taking hold of, clinging to that which frees.  Standing firm on His absolutes, discerning when to be strong, take action, fight and when to simply trust, rest and leave it at His feet.  Dwelling on His goodness, mercy, kindness, love.  Finding no good thing in me (self) and no good thing in man (fallen world/fallen humans), finding ALL good that there is to be found in God.

One thing.  My responsibility: BELIEVE!

Is He able?  Or is He not?  Either He is or He is not.  It’s definitive.  Do I believe Him?  For everything?  In everything?  It’s yes or no — not multiple choice!

Yes, and Amen.  Let it be so.

  •   Out with religion, in with relationship.

I am asking You, God, to fix the broken places in my brain.  Remove the poisoned parts, sweep away the charred bits that serve no good purpose, blow the dust away.  It’s gone.  Now, I’m asking Lord, that You build new neural pathways, brand new brain tissue and fill it only and always with Your Spirit.  Make it real.  Make it so.  Only You are able.  Amen.

  •   Out with the fuzzy, in with the clear.
  •   Out with the useless, in with the useful.
  •   Out with the old, in with the new.
  •   Out with the unclean, in with the clean.
  •   Out with wishy-washy, in with absolutes.

Absolutely!

  •   Out with doubt, in with confidence.
  •   Out with chattering, in with listening.
  •   Out with the sorrow of self-loathing, in with the joy of the Lord!
  •   Out with deflecting good, in with absorbing good.
  •   Out with discontent, in with peace.
  •   Out with sleeplessness, in with sleep.
  •   Out with false guilt, in with Holy Spirit conviction.

The negativeness in me is like a cancer.  It’s black and cruddy and ugly and grows!  Take it away.  I give You all the negative (aka: ungodly thoughts, beliefs).  They are NOT me!  They are evil — of Satan and his demons.  That is NOT who I am in Christ.  Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

  •   Out with Satan’s lies, in with God’s Truth.
  •   Out with believing lies, in with believing Truth.

God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good.  God is good in His love and in His wrath.  He is ALL GOOD!

He is for me.  Who can be against me?  I am not a victim.  I do not need pity from myself or anyone else.  I can STOP complaining and feeling sorry for myself.  It is a total waste of time, breath and brain cells!

It matters not what my past experiences were.  They do not define me TODAY!  I belong to God.  He defines me.  He created me in His image.  He alone knows who I am and who I am to Him.  He makes all things new.  He restores, revives, renews, regenerates, rejuvenates (and invigorates — oh, God, can I so boldly ask for that — to be invigorated!?!)  You are Almighty God.  There is nothing you cannot do.  Nothing — NO THING — is too hard for You.  You make all things new.  I am an ‘all thing’ — make me new, too.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days —
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise. [1]

Take my life.  Take all of me.  All of my body, soul, and spirit.  Take it all.  I lay all of me — every last little particle of every cell — at Your feet.  Let me be, Lord, a living sacrifice.  I belong wholly to You.  I am not my own.  I ask that You take me.  I am yours.  All of me, I give to You.

In total, reckless abandon, I consider my life Yours.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Let it be so.  Amen.

In the name of Jesus, I bind the enemy.  God, that You would keep him at bay.  I am in You, Jesus, and You are in me.  I cannot be touched by Satan.  He has no power over me.  He has no authority to touch any part of my life.  Apart from direct permission from You, Lord God, Satan cannot oppress me!  I belong to You and You have overcome!  You are Lord over all Heaven and earth.  All Creation belongs to You.  All is under Your feet.

Jesus is the vine and I am the branch.  I abide in Him and Him in me.  United with Christ!  What a glorious place to be.  Loved, protected, safe, cared for.  No one, no thing (nothing!) can separate me from Your love.  Nothing can separate me from You at all.  No thing.  Accepted in the Beloved.  I am accepted in Christ.  You chose me God, accepted me in Him, and the Spirit lives within me.  Praise God!

This is Eternity.  Right here.  Right now.  On the continuum of time — from where God created time when there was none — when I was chosen from the very beginning, and have been united in Christ since believing Him, today is the first day of all my Eternity.  Eternity in Christ.  This time is a gift.  This life in this given time in Eternity is a gift from God.  I have today.  I have Life in Christ this day, this hour, this moment.  He determines the number of my days within this time He created.  He made me to be a part of this particular point on His diving timeline.  For this generation he has purposed my life.  I am still here, living in these days where He placed me.  He is not finished with me yet.  My life is within Christ, eternally, in all Eternity.  God, keep this perspective clearly before me — that I was made for this time.  Made for YOU!  Made and chosen to be in Christ.  Let Your will be done.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold —
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine —
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart — it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love — my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself — and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee. [1]
[1] Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

a_black_and_white_heart_design_0515-0910-1419-2547_SMU

Always, ever, only, all for You.  Amen.

          The End… and, the Beginning…

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Do You Know Who You Are In Christ?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

THE BELL
I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God)  (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ  (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3 :20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God ( 2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:2 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph.  3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13 )
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ ( Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God’s co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col 1:14) I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are?

May the Lord in all His glory bless you this Christmas.

Source: Grace Notebook – A Ministry of Caring and the Cross
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Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

moss-covered-rock-wild-ivy-and-a-spider-webThe health benefits of an attitude of gratitude have been a headliner in the field of positive psychology research for at least a decade.  Being grateful or thankful, however, has it’s roots back as far as time.  From Genesis right on through the Bible, thankfulness is intertwined with so much of our Christian life — an indispensable virtue to our well-being.

The field of science was just a little slower at getting on board with the concept.  But when they did, they pulled out some very encouraging research results.  In general, people who practiced gratitude were happier, more energetic, built more stable relationships, had stronger immune systems, slept better, experienced more positive emotions, dealt better with adversity, and were more kind and compassionate.  That’s a big return on a relatively small investment.  That investment being a concerted, consistent effort of just noticing and appreciating good things.

Here’s some more encouraging news.  If you’re not a particularly grateful person, it turns out that gratefulness is a fairly easy character trait to cultivate.  And this is my favorite part: when we practice being thankful and grateful we actually develop those areas of the brain that generate positive feelings.  Who couldn’t use some of that!

So, what’s a simple way to practice gratitude?  Writing in a gratitude journal is one way to take note of the pleasant, good, enjoyable, beautiful, positive things we experience each day.  All you need is something to write on (by hand or electronically) and a few moments to dig into your memory bank for some things you are grateful for.  And this is important — choose things that are truly meaningful to you.  When we take this brief time out to notice small acts of kindness, appreciate the beauty of nature, savor a special moment with someone  — and are thankful — we become more likely to seek out the positives in life.

Try it for yourself.  For me, I like to journal so I always have some kind of journal handy.  I date the page and number it 1-5.  I try to write 5 things I’m grateful for.  I don’t always come up with 5 but it gives me a goal.  Think: quality over quantity.  I keep each item brief, just a few words that capture something that causes me to be grateful.  Consistency is important but every day isn’t necessary.  Once or twice a week works, too.

Here’s one of my days.   I’m grateful for:   1. Moss ivy growing on wet rocks   2. Clean sheets on my bed   3. God’s mercy   4. Ice water   5. My women’s Bible study group

As Robert Emmons, professor of psychology and a pioneer in gratitude research says, “It’s as if we need to give thanks…”  Yes, Dr. Emmons, that would be exactly how God planned it!

blessings

 

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The Fifty-Something Fifty

scale help!You remember the Freshman Fifteen, right?  The idea that the average college freshman gains about fifteen pounds during the first year away from home.  Some of us can attest to that.  But that’s nothing compared to the Fifty-Something Fifty.  If you’re somewhere in the vicinity of fifty years old, you may know what I’m talking about.  If you’re not yet in that vicinity, well, hold on to your big girl panties — it’s not called The Change for nothing.  It’s — The Change — because everything you knew about managing your weight changes!

Let’s go back a couple years.  I’m officially in my fifties, thinking, this isn’t so bad.  I’m cruising along, managing to maintain a reasonable weight.  And by ‘reasonable’ I mean crowding the borderline but not quite tumbling into that place on the Weight Chart right after Ideal Body Weight, called: Overweight.  Embracing my lot in life that ‘skinny’ never had been, nor ever would be, a description used of me.  I could live with that.

Then, bam!  About eight months ago, I began gaining weight at nearly a pound a week.  Much of it started to show up around my middle-section.  I’ve always had a fairly small waist and it was disappearing at an alarming rate.  Suddenly, out of the blue it seemed, I was hungry, really hungry, like, all the time.  I like desserts occasionally, but I was craving sweets constantly.  I ate healthy foods most of the time.  I just wanted more most of the time, too.  The exercise hadn’t changed.  I had even stepped it up a notch by adding more minutes when I walked.  But even as I climbed hills, the weight climbed up as well.  What had once worked to stop a gain was not working now.  My hourglass figure was gradually but unmistakably moving into a time zone of its own.  What in the world just happened!

There had to be a logical explanation.

So, I did the logical thing.  I panicked!  Do I have a tumor?  Am I pregnant?  Did I swallow a watermelon – whole?  No, wait, I don’t even like watermelon!

Here I was, dodging the bullet all this time only to find myself fitting (rather snuggly, I’m afraid) right square in the middle of the category I deplore: Overweight.  And I had even lost about fifteen pounds just a few years ago.  I mean, I posted about it.  Boy, do I feel sheepish.

As a wife and mother to two teenagers, I had too many urgent demands to take the time to figure this out early on.  I really believed it was just a temporary adjustment to being a fifty-something, pre-menopausal insomniac with major depressive disorder.  I honestly thought, after a couple of months of gaining that I would self-adjust and the gaining would just stop.

As it turns out, Denial is not my friend.  After eight months I’ve concluded this is not a temporary adjustment.  This is a real problem and it has reached a crisis point.  I’ve been evaluating and researching and thinking myself to death.  Something has most certainly changed.

I’m sure my ignorance is surfacing.  Somehow, I’ve been oblivious to see this phenomenon happen in other ‘older’ women.  Until now.  Sometimes, you just don’t put two and two together.  Unfortunately, in my case, by the time I put two and two together, it equalled thirty.  Thirty pounds!  In eight stinking months!

So, I did the most scientific thing I could think of.  I Googled it.  Were other women dealing with something similar?  Turns out there are lots and lots of women with stories like mine.  Some experiencing this at forty years of age.  Some with one hundred pounds gained in three months.  What I found was that many women are in the same boat.  And, this boat is big, and I mean ‘big’, as in lots and lots of us in it together.  Knowing I am in this with other women has brought some comfort, not much, but some.  Enough comfort to continue searching for insight and answers.

As I continue to gather more scientific information, here are my very non-scientific deductions:  1. I am not a freak of nature.  I am experiencing normal middle aged womanhood things. 2. I may not like some of the things aging does to my body but there’s only one alternative to getting older…and it’s much less desirable.  3. At this point in my life the amount of time and effort I put into something has got to be worth it.  Exercise, eating well and caring about my health are still priorities.  Fanatical, obsessiveness with weight, body size, and youthful appearances are not.

And, perhaps, one final overriding thought:  When I die and stand before the Lord, what’s going to matter is how I lived, not how I dieted.  That said, I’m not giving up or giving in.  I’m moving forward, searching for relevant, real-life advice and sensible solutions.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

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Heart Sisters — Guest Post

 

Montana Sunset

Miss Nostalgia visited a very dear, very gifted, long-time friend recently.

And I quote what she wrote on Facebook…

For my sisters of the heart, some going thru life’s big lessons and curves, some being the mom that lets go and lets the babies fly, some in the middle of raising up godly and good children, some teetering on the edge of an abyss, some coming home to an empty nest, all in need of support from their heart sisters, the family not hooked by blood but by the bond of friendship, the family you can call on day or night and know one will arrive to take the next step with you, or dragging you and even carrying you. Life is waiting for you, for you to make that decision, that choice, take the road less traveled to where you need to get to. God knows, He loves, He cares, He carries us when there is no energy left, He comforts, He reassures, He Blesses you richly. Call on Him and He will answer. Give HIM your worries, your troubles, your pain. He intends for your life to be abundant and full of fruit, rich to share the glory of the Gospel, the true story of salvation to all who need to hear, of whom there are many. Cast your cares on the Lord, He will provide, my dear sisters of the heart. Would it be that I can take a share of the pain or suffering away…..but know that we all care deeply for each other and what you need done, ask and you shall receive. Much love to all, you know who you are.

Thank you to my heart sister, Sue.

heart scroll

 

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Zucchini, Again?

zucchini etc

Looking for a way to use seasonal zucchini and tomatoes?   Try this quick and easy meatless main dish.  It’s colorful, flavorful and a little bit creamy.  What’s not to like?   

Fettuccine with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Basil

4 oz fettuccine

3/4 c chicken broth

1 med zucchini, cut in 1” by 1/2” strips

1/2 t basil, dried

1t garlic, minced

1/3 c cream

1/8 t pepper

1/8 t salt

6-8 cherry tomatoes

2 T Parmesan cheese (fresh grated is best)

In a large saucepan, cook fettuccine as directed.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat chicken broth.  Add zucchini, basil and garlic.  Cook and stir until tender.

Drain fettuccine, return to pan.  Stir in cream, pepper, salt and vegetable mixture.  Heat through.  Gently stir in tomatoes and 1/2 the cheese.  Spoon into a pretty bowl, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and serve.

Signature Recipe from Luanna Diller, RD
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Cowboy Advice

cowboy-and-sonI grew up in Eastern Montana. 

Cowboys, and most men, really, have a certain way of viewing life.  When they have something to say, they say it point-blank.

 

Cowboy Advice for Those Who are Not

1. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

2. Turn your cap right, your head ain’t crooked.

3. Let’s get this straight: it’s called a ‘gravel road.’ I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re gonna get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.

4. They are cattle. That’s why they smell like cattle. They smell like money to us. Get over it.

5. So you have a $60,000 car. We’re impressed. We have $250,000 Combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year.

6. Every person in the Wild West waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.

7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese/pheasants/ducks are comin’ in during a hunt, we will shoot it outta your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time.

8. Yeah. We eat trout, salmon, deer and elk. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the corner bait shop.

9. The ‘Opener’ refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.

10. We open doors for women. That’s applied to all women, regardless of age.

11. No, there’s no ‘vegetarian special’ on the menu. Order steak, or you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham and turkey.

12. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

13. You bring ‘Coke’ into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice.

14. College and High School Football is as important here as the Giants, the Yankees, the Mets, the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.

15. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don’t hit the water hazards – it spooks the fish.

16. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump ain’t music, anyway. We don’t want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers. Refer back to #1.

wild-west-facade

Just so you know, I did not make these up. (But I may have tweaked the original list a bit.)

Thank you to my family in Montana for sending me this reminder of my roots.
 
 
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Maintenance = Action


old fashioned gardenAccording to the dictionary, the word maintenance means “the action of continuing, carrying on, preserving, or retaining something” also, “the work of keeping something in proper condition.”

What are you trying to maintain? Physical fitness? A job? Your marriage? A healthy weight? Your garden? Your sanity?

It seems maintenance doesn’t just happen, it requires ACTION and WORK.

Take action today!

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Weight Management is Tough – Encourage Yourself with Motivational Words

images-12Managing your weight is hard work.  Finding ways to keep it upbeat, rewarding, encouraging, and from a positive point of view makes it a little easier.  If you’re ready to discover your own encouraging words to enhance your motivation, you’re in the right place.

Let’s say you struggle with staying positive.  Maybe you need help finding the right affirmations, motivational messages, encouraging words and positive thoughts that inspire you to strive towards or maintain a healthy weight.

Sometimes a few optimistic words can boost your morale – affirming and reinforcing your progress.  Positive thinking can propel you toward your goals and is important for long-term success.

You’ll find some self-affirming statements for physical activity, eating well, and a healthy lifestyle below.  When you find that certain motivational message that inspires you, remember it, and repeat it often.

 

Motivational messages to inspire physical activity

  • I will do what I can.  It would be a mistake to do nothing just because I can only do a little.
  • Exercise is a priority in my life.
  • My muscles are becoming lean.
  • I am limber and flexible.
  • My muscles are becoming better fat burners.
  • Exercise is coming to me easily and effortlessly.
  • Exercise is becoming more and more enjoyable.
  • I am replacing fat with muscle.

Motivational messages to encourage eating well

  • I control my food choices – food does not control me.
  • I enjoy the refreshing, cleansing qualities of drinking water.
  • I am able to leave food on my plate.
  • I eat slowly and enjoy every bite.
  • Healthy eating is coming to me easily and effortlessly.
  • It’s OK for me to enjoy a yummy treat from time to time.
  • I eat when I am hungry.
  • I love fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
  • I am in control of sugar.
  • I enjoy a healthy eating style.

Motivational messages that affirm a healthy lifestyle

  • Wellness is a choice – a decision I make to move toward optimal health.
  • Wellness is a way of life – a lifestyle I design to achieve my highest potential for well-being.
  • I am finding new non-food ways of nurturing myself.
  • I am becoming more responsible for my health and well-being.
  • There’s no room for guilt in my life.
  • I can learn from my mistakes.
  • I am successfully managing my weight.
  • I choose to be free of feeling deprived.
  • It’s OK for me to take time for myself.
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