The death of my father refocused my health priorities.
Be tough!" "Hang in there!" That's what us guys have been told all our lives. That's what real men are made of, right?
Well, I have to admit, the things that make a hero in my mind ironically don't come from toughness. As we strive to be our best in developing a healthy body and getting our pectorals the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger's, it is vitally important that we look beyond what may be the least fulfilling single-dimensional viewpoint--being self-centered.
Did you resolve to lose weight last year, the year before that and the year before that? Did you quit before the flowers bloomed in the spring? We've listed 5 tips to help you achieve your weight-loss goal once and for all. Build exercise into your schedule. Schedule your workout time as if it were an important doctor's appointment. Block out a specific time and make exercise part of your weekly routine. Make sure you choose calisthenics that you'll enjoy. The best exercise is the one you'll do.
Drink more water. Water is the single most important nutrient for our bodies. It is involved in every function of our bodies. You can live five to seven weeks without food, but the average adult can last no more than five days without water. How much water should you drink? Take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The result is how many ounces of water you should drink daily.
Avoid skipping meals. It may seem like a good way to shed a few pounds, but it is actually harmful to your body. Your metabolism slows down to preserve the carbohydrates and fats still in your body to survive. It's important to eat three meals a day to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly.
Restore your body with sleep. Every night when you go to sleep, your body shuts down and repairs itself. Your immune system recharges. Your major organs are restored. Old cells are being replaced with new ones. Your mind relaxes and orders its thoughts, creating a healthy mental state. A good night's sleep is free. A bad night's sleep is costly, because it takes a toll on your health.
Conquer food cravings. Unhealthy food cravings do require an extra measure of self-control if we are going to conquer them, but be encouraged. Think of healthier alternatives. For instance, instead of a bowl of ice cream, try a scoop of frozen yogurt; instead of potato chips and French onion dip, try baked chips and fresh salsa. While these alternatives might not be ideal, they are a step in the right direction and can help bridge the gap between where you've been and where you want to be with your diet.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m happy to announce the top 10 things Christian guys can be thankful for in 2009. This list is in no particular order and will alternate between meaningful, truly important things and completely superficial fun stuff.
10. Cheap HDTVs A combination of better technology and a crummy economy has now allowed men to view the world as it was meant to be viewed: on a couch in glorious high definition. So whether you’re watching the good (football), the bad (chick flicks) or the ugly (Gregg Popovich), you get to see every nook and cranny.
My book agent is an unusual combination of business partner, coach and mother. Even though my agent is a guy, he is still like Mom because he frets about my future and hopes he can be proud of me someday if I grow up to be a successful and mature writer before he throttles me for misbehaving. I recently told my agent that I wanted to write a book titled Finding God in Bed. He replied, "Well, that would certainly be provocative," which is agent/mother-speak for, "You have lost your ever-loving mind, and no Christian bookstore would ever carry a book like that, and you are going to be the death of me yet, and wouldn't you feel better after a nice nap?"
Question: Doug, what should I look for when choosing an accountability partner?
Answer: The first thing to look for in a good accountability partner is someone who is regularly available for you. No matter how great someone is, if he can't get together or return phone calls, then he is going to be of little help to you. Second, find someone who will keep your talks focused on "accountability." So often these discussions evolve into "How are the wife and kids?" breakfast meetings. Keep questions about masturbation, pornography and lust in the forefront of the first few minutes of your meetings.
Finding a guy who is straightforward and willing to be brutally honest with himself is also critical. I've found that guys who are soft on themselves tend to be soft on others as well. Last, look for someone who does not need to be liked by you. If he needs for you to like him or if he fears rejection, then he will be less effective as your accountability partner.
As men, accountability partners are essential to our Christian walk. I so appreciate the guy who has served me in that role for the last eight years. A man who will hold you accountable can help you with parenting, marriage, money, business, relationships, sexual integrity and other issues in your life.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author and therapist and the founder of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. This article was orginally in New Man eMagazine.
Question: Doug, what can I do to kick this hunger for pornography? I'm so ashamed and frustrated. Seems like my life would be much less complicated if I didn't have a sex drive.
Answer: You asked the right guy. I have been clean from pornography and self-sex behavior for more than 18 years. I remember feeling trapped, hopeless and overwhelmed. You too can get free your entire life, but you are going to need to make behavioral changes. Here's how to kick porn:
Question: Doug, I'm starting to worry about when to have "the talk" with my son. I want to do it before he finds out somewhere else, but I don't know if he's old enough. When is the best age to talk to him about sex?
Answer: This is a great question. The age of adolescence is definitely moving downward, so you can't assume that your son will reach puberty when you did. Generally, subtract about two years from the age you hit adolescence to figure out when he will.