January 23, 2018

Five Qualifications Needed on Your Date and Mate Checklist

Have you ever been told that you should have a list of qualities you desire in a mate?  A potential suitor asked me that the other day and I declined to disclose.  I feel it’s better to let a person show you who they are.  For the most part, people serious about settling down are looking for the same things.  Time will reveal if they meet the qualifications.  Yes qualifications!  Those are what qualities are right?  If they don’t meet them, they get the ax!

Do you have a list of qualities or need one?  Well I wanted to share my top five.  They are:

  1. Values.  There is a scripture that says: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.  This is true when it comes to building a solid foundation, starting a family and weathering the storms.  In the beginning you need to value the same things and stay true to those values.  As time goes on your values will be tested.  If the will to work together isn’t there, kiss your relationship goodbye.  In most cases relationships are built on the physical.   By the time people realize they do not value the same things, it’s too late.  Many marriages and relationships end bitterly because once the physical attraction fades, there is no substance.
  2. Character.  This stems from common values.  Your mate should be a strong reflection of what you value.  What confuses me about some people is they’ll say they want a person of good character, then will date men or women who mistreat people, who are vain, insecure, irresponsible, or unprepared.  Some people can change when they fall in love but that’s a risky gamble.  You will soon realize you do not have a relationship but a high-risk, low reward project.  Good luck with that!
  3. Chemistry.  Physical attraction is only a small part of chemistry.  You can have chemistry with a person who is not necessarily physically attractive.  I’m not saying that physical attraction isn’t important but it shouldn’t be the main driver.  Have you ever sat with someone who just blew you away with their intellect, humor, confidence, ambition or talent?  These qualities stimulate more than just your libido.  With time and age beauty will fade.  What’s tight and ripped will become loose , stretched and flabby.  I’d much rather be with someone who has a captivating presence than a figure head.   Dig deeper than the surface!
  4. Goals.  If you are a day-to-day person, date a day-to-day person.  If you are goal driven look for someone who is the same.  Why?  Because at some point your opposite will irk you with their complacency or ignore you with their chase for achievement.  If you have your own goals or can help your mate with theirs, you’ll have more to share.  If both of you are day-to-day people, spontaneity will spark your relationship.  And if you have the same goals, imagine how deeper the connection will grow once you start to achieve them together!
  5. Wisdom.  This is where you will have to watch how they handle stress, how they treat people and how they approach life.  Do they get medically depressed when life comes at them?  Do they display signs of uncontrollable jealousy or rage?  Do they seek to get revenge or rectify conflict?  Do they lack common sense or speak profoundly?  Do they practice what they preach?  I believe a wise person seeks help when in need, can receive constructive criticism, and keeps a positive outlook on life.  They understand that they are not perfect and don’t expect you to be.  In fact, they bring out the best in you because they know what to say and when to say it.  They are perceptive, encouraging and caring.  They may not make the best decisions all the time but most of the time they are dead on.  Wisdom cannot be bought or taught.  Wisdom is the use of divine understanding and knowledge.  It is easy to distinguish a wise person from a foolish one.  Foolish people will show themselves if you give them time.  However if you are caught up in good looks, sex, or are preoccupied with a “project” then you will not be able to distinguish their foolishness from flaw.  None of us are perfect, but we all have good to offer.  If a person lacks in most of these qualities they are not long-term material.  Be wise enough to realize that!

Your SLOW, Super-Efficient Guide to A Better Body

Happy New Year!  You’re probably wondering, “Why would anyone want a slow guide to weight loss”?  In my experience I’ve learned slower is better.  Every time I’ve tried to lose weight on a quick time schedule, I’ve gained it back shortly thereafter or have gotten discouraged with my results.  I am so sick and tired of the, “transform your body in 21 days, 6 weeks, 90 days, or lose up to 2 pounds a week eating this/taking this” gimmicks!  Some of them do work but let’s face it…most of us are not going to count calories, points, or take diet pills for the rest of our lives.  Nor are we going to go cold turkey and cut out all sweets, sugars, caffeine, pastas, breads, and fast foods to become full-fledged vegetarians or vegans.  But we can take the best of the good stuff and transition at a slower pace.

Well this year is my year, and I’m doing it without a gimmick!  Instead of giving myself a hard and fast goal, I’ve decided to stop using methods I know are not going to be lifelong habits.  One personal trainer gave me the best and most reasonable goal that almost anyone can achieve….aim to add a pound of muscle a month.  One cheat meal a week is also okay as long as you eat relatively healthy the rest of the week. My goal is to add 15 pounds of muscle.  I started in August.  So by the end of 2012, I should have accomplished my goal.

I believe adding muscle at a realistic pace will yield longer-lasting results.  Since muscle burns calories even when not working out, I know my weight will take care of itself.   With the timeline gone I can focus on developing a healthy diet.  My desire to eat shrimp scampi, chicken fettuccini alfredo and garlic bread can be quenched as my cheat meal.  Since I’m not tracking my calories or points, I no longer get discouraged if I have a few slip ups.

If you are obese or haven’t worked out in a while, you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise or diet regime.  If you’re good and ready to rock, here are my 5 tips for your slow, super-efficient guide to a better you!

  1. Change your eating habits first.  Changing your eating habits and working out at the same time will make you miserable.  As you deprive your body of junk, you’re going to crash.  Putting your body though the stress of exercise and junk food deprivation is a lot to handle at once.  You are likely to stop working out and go back to eating crap because you are miserable.  Start eating healthier at least 21 days before you start working out.  WATER IS YOUR FRIEND!!!
  2. Work out every other day.  Cardio twice a week and lift weights twice a week.  You should be sore and the day off will help your body heal.  A day’s rest is all you need.  Do not confuse fatigue with a weak will, or pain for soreness.  Inability to push through the soreness will cause you to quit.  That is the biggest mental hump to get over…know that you are not tired.  You are just weak mentally and you want to give up.  Stay at it!  Pushing through an injury is another thing…so listen to your body.  If you over extended something or strained something, stop lifting until the pain subsides.  If it is in the lower back or knee, see a doctor.  If you are already active or athletic, cardio should be done at least three times a week and weight training every other day.  Aim for five days a week.
  3. Change your workouts every six weeks.  Your body is smart and it adapts to repetition in about four weeks.  You should not be doing the same thing every time you go to the gym.  You need to introduce the body to something new.  After a six week period you can increase your workout days and combine lifting and cardio on the same day.
  4. Increase your weights, your intensity and your reps every six weeks.  If you want to increase strength, increase your weights.  If you want to increase muscle tone, increase your repetitions.  If you want to burn more calories, start and end with 15 minutes of cardio on your weight training days. Increase your cardio intensity on cardio days as well.  You should not be at the same pace you were six weeks ago.  If you do not increase your intensity, you will be doing nothing but maintaining your current fitness level.
  5. Revisit your diet after 3 months.  Have you eliminated fried foods?  Have you stopped eating canned foods?  Are you eating foods high in fiber and vitamins?  Are you avoiding foods high in saturated fat, processed sugar (anything ending in ‘rose’) and sodium?  If not, change your diet again.  Now that your body is used to working out, a change in diet won’t be as drastic.  Furthermore, working out is now a part of your day and you love going to the gym.  This next crash won’t get the best of you!

I started monitoring my progress in November and will post comparison pictures in February.  Wish me luck!

Reflections – 2011

Mood - Grateful

Today I cried hard, harder than I have in a long time.  I cried tears of joy and pain, happiness and hurt.

I cried today because as I was washing dishes a bouquet flowers were delivered to my door.   Attached was a note with words of encouragement.  No one has ever done something so thoughtful for me before.  I was moved to tears and to write this reflection.

Looking back on the past year  I moved out-of-state with no job, got a job, quit a job for a higher paying job, lost the new job before I started but was able to get another job.  I met a great guy and he broke my heart.  I learned some family secrets should stay secret.  I’ve accepted the fact that I may have to adopt or foster and that I may be single for the rest of my life.  And I still have some medical issues I need to overcome.  So I needed to cry today.

You see, in spite of all that I’ve been through this year I’m still standing.  I get up each morning knowing today will be better than yesterday.  I have another opportunity to right all my wrongs, to try new things, to love and to laugh.  Life is a gift and I am utterly grateful for it.  I’ve been losing friends to prison and the grave since I was a kid, knowing in each instance it could have been me.  I know that if it wasn’t for God having mercy on me I wouldn’t be here to tell my story.  Where would I be without His unmerited favor?  He’s a miracle worker.  He makes a way out of no way.  He inspires me to keep pushing .  He’s given me the strength not only to carry my own burdens but the burdens of my loved ones as well.  And because I carry that responsibility and that strength,  quitting is not an option.

I cried today because I am happy to see 2011 go.  I had an eventful year.  But I know my events have made me stronger and more prepared for 2012.  I’m not claiming or decreeing anything because what is mine will be mine, good or bad.  But I am walking in rejuvenated faith. In spite of this past year’s events He still gave me much to smile about.  Life isn’t without its downs.  It’s not always fun or fair or easy. Each obstacle is an opportunity for character building and I’m grateful to be in the land of the living to experience it all.   When things get tough it’s good to know that  just like my fresh bouquet of flowers, when I least expect, it my Lord and Savior will be there.  Here’s to 2012.