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Mindset

For most people who need to lose body fat and gain strength, it can be argued that programming doesn’t matter much and that there is probably not a “best” nutrition plan. Now, I hope everyone knows that I’m not proposing an “eat Twinkies and lose weight diet” or a “sit your way to a 15 minute 5K” plan. What I am saying is that if you’re starting at (or near) zero, there are many things that CAN work. It’s all about your mindset.

Verbal abuse is still abuse

Q. My daughter is being verbally abused by her husband. She says she loves him, and denies that he is abusive, but I have overheard the arguments, and I know she is in denial. He throws things and screams about everything, especially when he’s drinking. She was so self-assured, and now she is scared of everything. What can I do to help her realize there is a problem in her marriage?

All drinks are too many during pregnancy

Q. In one of my college classes, the instructor said that one should not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. My gynecologist said it was OK as long as I only had one drink. Two other girls in class said that their doctor told them the same thing, and they continued to drink throughout their pregnancies. What is the right answer?

Exercise and eye health

The role of exercise in promoting good overall health is well established, especially in relation to preventing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. The role of physical activity on good eye health, which was once in short supply, is mounting as well. It is becoming evident that exercise is very important in helping to prevent some of the most common and most serious eye conditions.

Stagger not at the promises

(As it is written, “I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. (Romans 4:17-21 KJV)

Genetics and Fitness

Here’s a shocker — we’re all different. We have different body types, different cellular reactions from foods, different strengths and different weaknesses. So it should come as no surprise that we each have different behaviors that we’re more likely to succeed in … and that we will have more difficulty in.

Setting boundaries can keep pleasers from being doormats

Q. I am a widow who lives alone. My daughter, who is in her late 30s, asked if a friend of hers, who is going through a divorce, could stay with me for two weeks until her place was ready. It has been two months, her place is still not ready, and she has shown no desire to move out. She also does not cook or clean up after herself. My daughter says I’m being selfish, but I want her out of my house. How can I set a boundary between being helpful and having people take advantage of me?

Putting words in someone’s mouth

I recently saw a silly cartoon that gave me an idea for this column. The first frame showed two siblings sitting on the floor amidst piles of torn paper. The second frame showed the older of the two with a comic bubble showing a lightbulb above his head. He then began sticking bits of paper in the younger one’s mouth, saying, “Chew! Chew! Swallow!” at the younger’s loud cry, the mother rushes in and asks, “WHAT’S going on here?” The older calmly answers, “Aw, nothing, I’m just puttin’ words in Timmy’s mouth.”

Detraining

You have all heard me say that we need to exercise consistently in order to achieve optimal health. But what happens when we take, voluntarily or not, an extended break from physical activity? “Rest” is important, but how much is enough, and how much is too much? Too much rest puts us in a state of detraining. Detraining is when a long enough period of inactivity has passed that health parameters, which were once improving, begin to deteriorate.

Codependent? It doesn’t have to continue

Q. My husband barks at me rather than speaks; he criticizes my cooking, my clothes and just about everything I do. I am so unhappy, but afraid of the financial problems I may have if I leave since I’m in my 50s and have had little work experience. He tells me that I’m too sensitive, but I feel that he is a bully. Is this co-dependency and why do so many people fall victim to it?

What Bumpers was

In 1992, I interviewed the late Sen. Dale Bumpers while working my first reporting job for the Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald. As we sat on the hood of his gray Pontiac Bonneville outside Ouachita Baptist University’s football field, I asked him why he had never run for president despite once being included as a possible contender on the cover of Time magazine. He looked wistful for a moment, munched some popcorn, said I didn’t have enough space to print the reasons, and then talked about the strain that being president would cause for his family.

2016 – A new Brenda

I spoke with my crazy friend Deb on New Year’s Eve morning and she asked if I’d made resolutions yet. I said I’d thought about a few and shared them. She gave a few of her own and, by the time our conversation ended, we had gotten down-right silly. As usual. So, the following is a collaboration with my friend as we discussed the resolutions we INTENDED to make before giving serious thought to the outcome…

Husband’s drinking likely problematic

Q. My husband’s doctor told him to slow down on his drinking. He has slowed down, but he still drinks too much. Over the holidays he had at least three glasses of wine most nights. Some nights, he would consume an entire bottle. Then he would go a couple of days without drinking. He says that he’s not dependent on alcohol, so he doesn’t have a problem. I say he does. What is your opinion?

Beyond Christmas

Every Christmas season, Christians give thanks to God for his love and grace, showered upon us through the birth of Jesus. We give to those in need, and we watch heart-warming movies about family and romance. We sing beautiful carols such as “Silent Night” that point to the joy of our salvation through Jesus’ life, death resurrection and future coming.

Gay man shouldn’t have to choose between husband, sister

Q. I am a 45-year-old gay man who moved away from home about 20 years ago. Recently, I married my partner of 15 years. I have always visited my sister, with my partner, for a week after the new year. She told me that if I brought my “husband” this year neither of us would be welcome. She suggested that I come alone and not mention my marital status. I’m really torn. I love my partner, but my sister and her children are the only family I have. Suggestion?