Monthly Archives: June 2011

Nothing comes for FREE – Let’s talk Carbs.

I mentioned that when I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I went shopping for SUGAR FREE foods… before my initial meeting.

Just because something is labeled “sugar-free” doesn’t suddenly mean it equates into healthy…often times, it’s quite the opposite!

Now, when I see sugar “free” (or any food with the term FREE after it for that matter)…. I question, “ok… what ELSE has been added to this food to make it sugar-free…?”  It usually means extra carbs, and sodium to name a few… and all in all, it’s often WORSE for you than a regular food!  What you need to be paying attention to on a label, are the calories, carbohydrates, fats and sugars.

carbohydrates turn into what?

Sugar.

Sugar not being processed in your body turns into what?

FAT.

Check labels to uncover all of the hidden sugars and carbs in so many foods you eat every day. You'll feel more in control of what you're putting into your body each day!

So… are we clear?  Sugar-free is NOT carb free … and it most certainly is NOT magically better for you.

A carb choice = 15 grams of carb.  If there is fiber in the food, than that subtracts carbs and gives you a lower net score for that carb total.

Eg. The granola bars I like to eat have 19 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber.

19 – 3 = 16 grams of net carbs…. or close enough to one carb choice.  My snacks were to be 2 carb choices.  That made it easy to have two small things – like a serving a fruit, and a cup of milk, or a serving of crackers.  While the diabetic diet isn’t something everyone “has to follow” – it was a definite help in guiding me towards boosting my metabolism and keeping my sugar levels at a stable rate throughout the day… two things that are super important to any one wanting to take good care of their body.

I’ve always eaten 100% whole wheat bread and enjoyed it.  (Okay, maybe when I was little, I longed for the yummy white cottage bread my neighbor girl had.  Now I realize it tasted like CAKE, because it was a lot like cake in the nutrition department!)

At any rate….I grew up with whole wheat bread.  I’ve enjoyed cooking and eating whole wheat pastas too… (the others white pasta options just seem like GOO to me – and they are like paste in your system!)  But I do realize this can be confusing if you’re not used to reading labels and searching for 100% whole wheat as that first ingredient in your breads and pastas.  Many products SAY “whole grain….” or “wheat”…. but they’re NOT 100% whole wheat… and they might as well just be white bread, because they contain no fiber and empty calories!  So read those labels and get a handle on what you’re putting in!

I heard the saying of “the more white bread, the quicker you’re dead.”  That makes me giggle a little, but it’s TRUE.  White bread isn’t good for you.  Skip it at all costs.

For me, the major learning curve came with S P R E A D I N G out my carbs throughout the day.  I mentioned I liked to skip meals and carb load… My body didn’t know what to expect when.  It went from SO many sugars to process… to nothing, and having to make extra insulin.   My body just couldn’t perform like that any longer.

Skipping meals, and “saving up” calories for huge meals doesn’t work – because your body still only needs so many calories at any given time.  What it doesn’t use – it stores as FAT for energy later. If you never call on that energy – it SITS there.

And sits there.

If you think of your body having a gas tank, consider that you only fill it up – for what it will burn…  and going over that, is only going to turn into stored energy (FAT!)  If you have a BIG meal… maybe wait an hour or two before having that treat or dessert.  Personally, I can’t even enjoy it when I’m stuffed.

The diabetic rules encouraged smaller amounts of carbs – throughout the day.  My “diet” looked something like this:

Breakfast – 2 carb choices (30 net grams of total carbs)

Snack – 2 carb choices (30 net grams of total carbs)

Lunch –3-4 carb choices  (45-60 net grams of total carbs)

Snack – 2 carb choices  (30 net grams of total carbs)

Dinner – 3 carb choices  (45 net grams of total carbs, smaller than lunch)

This helped me to me to learn how to ration by carbs through the day – and speed up my metabolism without over loading my body at any one time.  It wasn’t the most fun transition from “no rules” – but it was definitely worth it to help to realize how MUCH LESS my body needs (carb-wise) throughout the day.

I thought back to the restaurant food I had eaten over the years, and truly wondered just how many poor carb choices I had made…to get me to this point.  The overage of pizza, the breads… the desserts.  UGH.  I think I felt sick.  I could TOTALLY still eat these things, I just needed to get educated on which ones were the best choices, and realize my limit.

The only true “FREE” thing is God’s grace… and I’m thankful for that.

Thank you God for your forgiveness, even in my ignorance.  Help us to make better choices with our bodies, souls and spirits for your glory!

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’ ” – Luke 5:20

Calorie School Basics – Your RMR

How in the world do I figure out how many calories I burn every day?

I didn’t know where to start.  I *thought* I lived a pretty active life style.  I might have been a little generous thinking I moved more than I did…

I moved around a lot – changed a lot of diapers, picked up a lot of toys, ran up and down a TON of stairs.  I even did walking and light workouts several days a week.  Surely I burned a lot of calories – right?

BUT how much did all of that really equate into and what is the difference in calorie burn between moving around and truly getting your heart rate up and keeping it up there to get a good cardio workout?  Hmmm…

When I read Scale Down, by Danna Demetre, she mentioned something I hadn’t ever heard of in regards to your daily total calorie burn: your RMR, or resting metabolic rate.  I mean, I knew I had a RMR – but I guess I didn’t think about it in regards to how it was burning calories all of the time.  (Even while I slept – YES!)  It was definitely making more sense on how God created my body to need a steady intake of food throughout the day.

Your RMR is your normal rate of burning calories.  I mentioned previously that we DO NOT want to cut too many calories too quickly, and this is why.  Your body NEEDS a certain amount of calories to function at it’s best.  When you cut calories too quickly…

It actually kills your metabolism!!!   The quality of calories you’re putting in can also kill your metabolism.  You can also burn through muscle vs. fat … this is the last thing you want!!

Our RMR decreases as we age, so if you’re middle-aged (like me) – now is the perfect time to get a handle on things, but it’s never too early or late to more aware of what you’re doing to your body and help it to perform at it’s best.

Around the time we turn 30, our RMR begins to slow down.  Awesome huh?  What is it with that “magical” falling apart number?  I’m not sure but…  that decrease almost doubles by the time we turn 40, and continues on a rapid decline as we age, and our activity level decreases…

Ugh!

Yep – that was a punch in my gut too.  I didn’t want to continue feeling poorly, frustrated and tired.

Here's picture of my CalTrack monitor. It's very simple to operate, and holds a weath of information.

I  mentioned that I bought a CalTrack monitor from Amazon.com, but I realize that isn’t always practical for some people.  There are several estimates of what someone for your height, weight and gender should be, so check that out online (Google RMR) for an estimate or get yourself a medium priced calorie monitor and see where you compare for your activity level at your height and weight from your daily movement.

I  mentioned that I ended up buying a CalTrack monitor from Amazon.com, but I didn’t have it to start with – I used it as a fine tuning tool.  Through that device, I learned my RMR is about 1700 calories daily, and I’m also able to monitor how many calories I’m burning in different workouts I do (anywhere from 350-600)!  Good to know!

Remember this isn’t an event.  It’s not a race.  You’re in a process to be the healthiest you can be for Him.  Take your time.  If this is over whelming to you, slow down – focus on the steps you can make each day.  Don’t become so focused on the little things and get short-sighted.  If you can only become more aware of a few things, that’s better than nothing – start there!

Thank God for the awesome body He gave you, take great care of it EACH DAY.   Make sure to move it while you are able – it’s gift we often take for granted!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17

Your Body – the food processor!

Here's a great example of a meal we would eat now to glorify God in our bodies. Trying new things isn't always easy with little ones, (or big ones for that matter!) It's simply stir fry, and instead of rice - Organic Red Quinoa. It was a hit with (almost) everyone.

I never realized just HOW much hormones and internalizing stress affected my ability to process food!  When on the diabetic “diet”… I could be following the rules, eating the right things and having my healthy snacks…

and my blood sugar numbers would still be high!

This was beyond frustrating for this black and white personality.  God definitely “blessed me” with this to teach me a few lessons.

Did you know that if you don’t get enough rest, your body is stressed and tries to fill that energy void with calories, particularly sugar?  Ever wonder why your CRAVE junk when you’re tired?  You may think a pop will fix it (guilty here!), and it really is poor quality band-aid.  Lack of sleep, being ill, or being stressed with environmental factors ALL affect the way your body processes foods.  On the UP side… exercise helps decrease your stress, improve your health, AND helps you burn more calories in a day by increasing your heart rate and helping you build muscle!

Before I had gestational diabetes, I was often reacting to what life was throwing me day-to-day.  Over the years, I got into some really horrible eating trends while pregnant that carried into my “normal” postpartum life as well.  When you have several small children, it’s difficult think some most days.  So if you have children, or a stressful job, or a lot going on in your life – these are the times that are MOST important to make sure your body is being properly fed, because it’s already struggling.

My tendency was to say, “Oh I’m too busy…  I can’t focus on that…  I don’t have time…”  (Have you ever said this??)

Seriously, I didn’t have time.

What I mean was….  By my actions, I wasn’t MAKING the time.

In 2005, I  used to eat a big bowl (read: WAY beyond the serving size) of cereal for breakfast… my favorite that specific pregnancy was Cocoa Krispie’s.  (I’m pretty sure there isn’t actual COCOA in those.)  By mid-morning I had consumed a chocolate muffin, or maybe some pop tarts…and a pop or latte (hello 9 tablespoons of sugar!).

By lunch time I was starving

At the time, this didn’t make sense to me, as to WHY.  I had eaten all of that food!

*ahem*

But the quality of food was …. not quality … in the least.

My body had burned through that refined sugar… quickly – and there was no protein or fiber or anything of substance for it to draw lasting energy from at one of the most important parts of the day.  The rest of my day wasn’t this poor, but I often skipped eating dinner altogether when doing a photo shoot, or perhaps I would have some ice cream or more cereal before bed.  When I tally up the carbs and sugar in those days, I could go into a carb coma instantly.  Not to mention what it was doing to my metabolism and blood sugars, going from too many calories and carbs to starvation, only to repeat the cycle AGAIN.

This is why we need to be consuming things God created for consumption, and really be AWARE of what we’re doing to ourselves.  It makes our temple a smooth running machine, and we can feel at our best.

You may be thinking “I don’t eat THAT bad.”

Honestly, neither did I … [the song “Slow Fade” comes to mind, by Casting Crowns].

This was for a short time – but it’s the worst of the worst in my life… and I share it with you as encouragement.  Look at where I came from… and look at where God brought me today!  Thank you God!  All things are possible through Him.

Enjoy the holiday, and some treats – but cut out what you can… things like white buns, rich desserts, and sugary drinks can be kept to a minimum… eat a little less and move a little more – every little bit does count.  I’m anything but perfect, but I can bring my struggles before God daily, and ask Him to fill me with the strength to say no to things that aren’t good for me.

Don’t settle for that short-term satisfaction – Keep your eyes on Him! 🙂

that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”  Hebrews 12:16-17

Got my BMI going on… Now what?

So you know your BMI range, and you’re thinking… so what?  Or maybe you think the BMI scale is bogus.  At any rate, these shouldn’t be numbers that frustrate you, but instead motivate you to move more and eat less, to avoid long-term health issues.

While this BMI number is important, it’s just one factor in the many numbers of this equation…that make up the person God designed in YOU!


I enjoy this new take on the old "food pyramid" - This is a great example of what your meal plate should look like on a regular basis

STEP TWO:

In grade school, I always learned that most people needed around a 1700-2000 calorie “diet”.  I didn’t know where that number came from really – or what the equation was.

God made us perfect calorie counting machines – so this makes complete sense.  If you put more calories in than you burn, it turns into fat…

So many people… (here it comes)… think, “This is easy, I’ll slash my caloric intake in half, and lose the weight TWICE as fast.”

This is a REALLY bad idea…

And here is why:

Unless a Dr has ordered this, or you’re on the Biggest Loser with a personal trainer 24/7 (No?  I didn’t think so.), most people don’t want to cut too many calories too quickly, or it will throw off their metabolism – slowing it way down…

Sure they might lose weight initially, but after a while, their metabolism is slowed down so far, they stop losing weight or begin gaining weight back and are crazy starving… but not understanding WHY!

Then they give up.

Diet over.  Next!

Personally,  I knew I could do anything for a short amount of time – but how about for the long haul?

I wanted TRANSFORMATION for life!

It wasn’t going to be some short term thing…  I was going to have to say NO to some things, to say yes to God and my health.

So let’s take my past goals as an example.  I weighed 175 lbs postpartum this last time and I wanted to see if I could get back to my mid-level weight of 140 lbs.  I needed some smaller goals to get there without killing my metabolism by cutting too many calories out too quickly…  so I started with 160 lbs.  It wasn’t a fixed number – just “around 160”

So I learned that at my age, I needed about 12 calories per pound to maintain a certain weight.  (I didn’t excel at math until college, so stay with me here)….

12 (calories per lb)  X  175 lbs (the weight I started at) = 2100 net calories (to maintain this weight)

if I wanted to be at 160 I would need to decrease my net calories to:

12(calories per lb)  X 160 lbs (first goal) = 1920 net calories

Boy, that doesn’t seem like that much of a difference does it?  180 net calories less a day?  I could do that.  I could do that easily… by increasing my movement (exercising harder, or longer), or eating a little less at each meal!

If you think I measured out 180 calories a day less to eat – I didn’t.  I just made sure I was consuming about 1900 – and kept moving a little each day that I could.  I didn’t go overboard exercising hours on end… I just make an effort to worship Him through exercise as much as possible… again, MAKING time for it.  I stopped eating when I was full, and focused on eating things that God created for consumption – those are the best for me!

So now you take a look at it.  Figure out what you are consuming daily to be the weight you are currently at.*  Then figure what you should be consuming to get to your goal weight range, if you have a long way to go, (like I did), set a mini goal. DO NOT just start slashing calories, or burn yourself out exercising or worse.  Move a little more – eat a little less.  You can totally do this.  Remember to bring it before God in prayer and ask Him to meet your needs that you feel tempted to fill with food!  This isn’t a race or an event – it’s a process to be healthy for HIM.

Soon we’ll talk about some calorie burning elements and more …. stay tuned!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”– Romans 8:28

* There are several websites and apps like Myfitnesspal.com and caloriecounter.net to help you get a handle on what you’re putting in each day – ALL DAY.  Granted, it might seem like a bit of work, but think of it as an investment in the best you’ve been blessed with. To work with God on these changes – we need to be honest with ourselves.  Put down every drink and food that goes into your mouth.  Some times an accountability partner is great in this area… but just a few weeks of paying specific attention to what you eat is going to help you to make some better choices for your body and for your future.

What IS a healthy weight for ME?

And what do I need to do to get there? (and NO, let me repeat, it’s not a diet – you will not starve!)

Today we’ll go over what we’re going to call STEP ONE on being educated about your health.

I’ve read about professional athletes who needed to be at a certain weight, or build certain muscle mass to perform – but what about the rest of us?  Does it matter that I exercise?  How do I know how much food is too much?  I just wanted to FEEL good, and be healthy.  What was that supposed to LOOK like?

When we began this journey, our Dr. pointed us in the direction of a BMI chart.  Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is what your weight should be for someone of your height.  It’s a “healthy range” standard.  Now, I remembered this chart from college when I took health and fitness courses, but at that point my BMI score was a 19 (low-end of normal) and I didn’t really care about what it meant.  Little did I know, I might need to pay better attention!

So after being reunited with the BMI chart – it was interesting to see what a “healthy weight” equaled for me.  Since I’ve been shrinking in height since my 20s, I was now told I am  5 ft 8 inches or so, or 68 inches.  According to the chart,  I should weigh between 125 to 162.  My goal at the time was to get from 175 post partum to around 140 – without dieting.  This was a reasonable goal, but seemed SO far away.  (We’ll cover how I set some smaller goals a little later.)

The one we used was from the cdc, but I don’t see a copy of it online.  Instead, the CDC has one that just tells you your BMI for your height and weight vs. what your weight range should be for someone your height. This one is similar to the one we were given.  Look here and figure what your BMI should be:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.pdf

Great!  You’ve educated yourself with some numbers and nothing too strict to make you feel like it’s a cookie cutter answer.  Since God makes all shapes and sizes, we can assume – He doesn’t want us to all look the same!  This is a great start!  If your weight is within the guidelines, now you can start focusing on fine tuning that body you’ve been blessed with…putting IN the best things to make it run like the well designed machine it is!

I love fresh fruit. Remember that a serving of fruit can fit in the palm of your hand. (Eg. Half an apple, half a banana, a handful of grapes, etc).

Just so we’re clear – being a healthy weight isn’t about being “skinny”…   It’s about being healthy.  It’s about feeling your BEST so that you can perform at your best every day in all you do.  It’s about being the best witness you can be in the flesh!  Think INSIDE-OUT! 🙂

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. – Matthew 23:26

The Truth about Truth…

We get asked often what we did to lose the weight.  That might be the part people SEE… but the transformation I feel on the inside – is now finally visable to others.  I’ve been pregnant and post-partum so much in the past 11 years that most people had no idea what a healthy me looks like.  Myself included.

I’ve often shared the books or magazines I’ve read, the food I eat, the workouts I’ve seen the most results with, but the TRUTH is –

It isn’t just a workout program.

It’s not a secret diet.

It’s not a pill you can take that magically melts fat away.

It’s God’s Truth – and YOU can have it too!

I know some people want this quick fix, an easy answer – some “guaranteed” solution to something that works.  Well I’m going to tell you the truth.  The TRUTH is – you’re going to get everything OUT of your health, mind and your body that you put IN on your journey to get healthy.

I was encouraged that we needed a spot to layout some of God’s Truths in regards to health – so we had a place to point people who were struggling like I was.  People who were like me and earnestly seeking CHANGE in their lives, through His word.  A place we could come and be encouraged by some REAL moms who are being transformed by the Truth too.

The truth about the Truth is… God has provided the answers in His Word to transform your mind about how important your health is and how worth it you are to Him.

I didn’t used to think about it honestly…  I mean, I read God’s word, and I studied all sorts of topics to deepen my relationship with Him in other areas.

But God’s Truth and my health?  I guess I wasn’t at a point to be convicted they went hand in hand.

It’s RIGHT there, and yet, some how, I missed it.  After I had gestational diabetes, I began reading a book by Christian author, Chantel Hobbs.  The book was appropriately titled, “Never Say Diet Again.”

Perfect.  Right?

I disliked the word diet SO much, I knew this book would speak to me – and it did.  I learned the changes I had made that year were good – but if I was going to live a life to glorify God in the body, the transformation was going to need to happen inside out, and the conviction to change was going to need to come higher up than just my desire to be healthy.

Uh oh – more education….  and more change…  and now PRAYER??  *Gasp!*

Yes, definitely EXTREME measures.  But these are extreme times!

It’s ok, it really is – a little bit of education, will last you your life time – and keeping yourself accountable to God – is definitely a standard worthy of aspiring to.

You are going to be SO thankful you know more so that you can do better for your body…

YOU. JUST. WAIT and SEE!

As women, society often puts out a bunch of untruths and halftruths and we soak them up and program them in.  As I read books about being healthy for God, I began to realize all of the ones I believed…

THE LIE:

It’s selfish to spend time working out, after all – my job is to take care of my children.  Putting myself in front of anything would be SELFISH and vain.

THE TRUTH:

This couldn’t be further from the Truth – God tells us in His word to care for our bodies for His glory.  If we don’t take care of our bodies by the food we eat, and the exercise we do…. who is going to?  We NEED to be healthy for our families – we are one of their main caretakers!

THE LIE:

I don’t have time to work out.    (Did I mention I had 6 kids at this point – surely God knew I didn’t have TIME to work out – right?)

THE TRUTH:

This applies to SO many aspects of our health.  We all get 24 hours in a day – so none of us has MORE time than the next person.  We need to get over ourselves and realize it US who decides how that time gets split up.  If your health is a priority – show God it is.  MAKE THE CHOICE to make it a priority for Him.  I often work out after 10pm.  It’s not ideal – but sometimes that’s all I have… so I make it happen, and I’m always glad I did.

THE LIE:

I just can’t stop eating.

THE TRUTH:

Yes.  You can.  Unless someone else is force feeding you… I doubt it.  NO ONE is forcing you to put that extra bite or dessert into your mouth.  It’s YOU.  Own up.  I often would eat 3-4 cookie bars a day… in the name of “I deserve this”, “I’m stressed out” or “I’m nursing, I need extra calories”… all those empty calories did – was make me feel worse than I did to start with.  What’s the saying?  A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips?  Yeah – that’s exactly what was happening.  Stop the cycle!

LOOK at that plate of french toast. Looks good eh? It's from a restaurant we used to like to go to once in a while... any guesses on how many calories are in this puppy?

God made our bodies PERFECT calorie counting machines.  As one of my favorite authors, Danna Demetre pointed out to me in her book “Scale Down”, our bodies are like the perfect accountant – they will not lie.  If you put more calories in than you burn – it’s going to turn into FAT.

And THAT, my friend, is the Truth.

“Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”  Luke 12:23

To Eat it All or Not Eat it All? That is the Question…

Now and again I’m going to share some stories with you of other people, like me who have committed their ways unto the Lord, and had success.  Meet Steph.  She’s a stay-at-home mom of many littles.  Three beautiful girls and a handsome boy to be exact!  Read about her personal struggle… and see if you can relate!

For years I have struggled with my weight.

I blamed it on the “pregnant and nursing” years of my life, but the TRUTH is that I ATE IT ALL!

We have all been told, “Clean your plate” a million, gazillion times (well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration!)

…and so I did.

And I didn’t stop there.  I filled it up again and cleaned that plate too!  You get the picture.

So, for many years I lived this unhealthy lifestyle.

I believed the lie that because it tasted good, and because it was there, I had to eat it.  WRONG!!!

The TRUTH is:

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. 

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 

Food is for the stomach and the stomach is  for food, but God will do away with both of them.”  1 Corinthians 6:12-13

Sadly, I let food master my life and those extra pounds were proof of the lies I believed.

I weigh 25+ pounds less now, I have been set FREE and so can YOU!

Don’t let food master your life.

Remember that ALL food is legal but not necessarily good for you.
Make the choice to reduce your serving sizes today and remember that
MODERATION is the key to a healthy lifestyle!

Did you just say DIET??

Let’s get this straight.  Most people don’t care for the word DIET.  The word “diet” comes with all sorts of negative connotations.

Restrictions, sacrificing and…. CHANGE.  Change is tough for most people.  It was ugly-tough for me.

With the gestational diabetes – came all of that – and the word DIET (huge sigh).  Diet can be referring to your way of eating well… or LACK of eating well.  At any rate, at this point – it was negative in my mind…  and I cringed at the thought.

Diet and pregnancy do not belong in the same sentence, and it would suffice to say I went kicking and screaming when they told me I would be treated as diabetic, with a 75% chance of having Type II diabetes in my future.

They had to be wrong.  I couldn’t believe this.  How did this happen??  Denial was a beautiful thing.

It’s supposed to be hereditary.  I didn’t have anyone in my family that I knew HAD Type II diabetes.  This was just NOT. FAIR.

Then I began to look at the facts…

My favorite snack before the diagnosis. These deadly treats were 190 calories EACH and 37 net carbs. I ate TWO at a time. *face pop*

During pregnancy – I liked to skip meals often, carb-load at other meals, drink regular Pepsi (must.stay.awake.)and I loved pop tarts!  I also lived on about 4-5 hours of sleep, worked part-time as a photographer as financially we were majorly stressed, and home schooled 3 of our 5 children.

I was internally overloaded to the max with stress and was a prime candidate for gestational diabetes… yes, I was in total denial.

When I first learned of my diagnosis, I did apparently what most uneducated people do – I went right out and bought a ton of sugar-free foods, thinking I would beat them to the punch!

Hah!  I’ll show them!  I didn’t need someone else to tell me HOW to eat.

I quickly learned what sugar-free means (other than poor tasting and filled with all sorts of other junk)… it’s NOT the easy answer for diabetic eating or healthy eating for that matter. Lesson learned.

Within a week, I was educated on carb counting, what a carb choice equals…  and how to implement healthy snacking – something I was raised not to do between meals.  BUT I was still… NOT happy about the change.

I was determined to do go about this curve ball with diet and exercise changes…   The meetings were several times a week, and often left me frustrated, nauseous and more stressed than normal for a mom of 5 littles under the age of 6.

Oh, I tried being positive, but on the inside – I was ashamed and angry at my body.  I felt like it had failed me, and pregnancy was supposed to be 9 months of no rules on food… this was (in my immaturity) a nightmare.  I wanted cookies.  Scratch that … I *needed* cookies AND ice cream.

Within 2 weeks I had lost 10 lbs from eating mostly salads, enjoying “healthy snacks” and carb counting.  I watched keytones to insure I was getting enough calories, and forced myself to eat a balanced diet (*ack* that word!).

BUT… I had to admit – my vericosities felt better, and I wasn’t retaining fluid anymore.  I actually didn’t feel as uncomfortable as before. Amazing.

For exercise, I walked some and worked a lot.

I also went through white sugar withdrawal, and fiber overload and it was rough. As the pregnancy wore on, the tougher it got for my body to process sugar.  I had fewer and fewer opportunities to enjoy any bites of fun foods.  The dietitians threatened the “I” word a lot – but we were blessed to squeak through without insulin intervention.  (Praise God, as I know that isn’t always possible!)

By the end, of the pregnancy – I was pretty sure I HATED diabetes, and was going to do anything I could to never go there again, or at least keep it at bay as long as possible.

The changes in our lives started there, over the course of that pregnancy.  IT was a necessity to change…  and thankfully my husband was on board to keep me encouraged in the roughest of days.

One of the most important changes we made was going from cereal only breakfasts, to actually enjoying a balanced breakfast.  We began eating scrambled eggs, sausage/bacon, yogurt and a smaller whole wheat carb choice each day.

This wasn’t only a bonus for us, but for our children.  They got their days started off right, and we noticed a change in their moods and work ethic.  They actually had some protein to give them some energy vs. just sugar and carbs that would leave them hungry again in an hour.

Many people I know SKIP breakfast altogether – which is one of the worst things you can do to your metabolism.  YOU don’t do that – do you???  I encourage you to get your day started off right – with some protein and a balanced breakfast.

You might be saying to yourself… “BUT… I don’t have the time…”

If we think we don’t have the time – it’s because we’re not MAKING the time.  We all make time for what it important to us.  How important is your health?  Show God!!  It doesn’t have to even be the same breakfast – it has to work for your family – but make it work!

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19

Where to begin?

Me holding our 6th child, following the gestational diabetes pregnancy.

I’ve totally been there.  Angry, frustrated, in denial…

I feel terrible.

I’m so tired.

I don’t feel like it.

I don’t want to.

You can’t make me!

The fact of the matter is, how we feel inside and out affects everything we do, or don’t do.

My big wake up call was gestational diabetes with my 6th pregnancy.  I had always been a “stringbean” all through school, maintaining my small frame at 5 ft 9 inches was never an issue.  I enjoyed being “naturally” thin.  I worked out when I wanted, I ate what I wanted…

And then – I started having children…  and I realized how much I liked to EAT with no boundaries.  (Brownies, cookies, ice cream and carbolicious things in particular!)  I enjoyed that, for the first time in my life, people encouraged you to get BIG and eat a lot!  I took “eating for two” to it’s fullest measures and ignored any goals of gaining a certain amount.  Sure I watched the main things for the first 4 pregnancies, no caffeine, no hot dogs, warm up your cold meat sandwiches and the like… and things began to slip further, and further away from my ideals and the post pregnancy weight kept adding another 5lbs to the bottom line.

Over the next 10 years I gained and lost 50-70 lbs on a regular basis, as I carried and and gave birth to our 8 children.  I would get down to around 140-150,  soon enough, with little to no work and then – I would be pregnant again and back up to 190-200+.  People often told me, “you look good …. for having X number of children.”  I know they meant well, but after a while – I started realizing that *I* was beginning to settle for looking a certain way, vs. how I felt and more importantly my worship to God IN the flesh.

Don’t get me wrong – we are SO thankful for our children, and the blessing of being able to have each special one… but being healthy, wasn’t ever my main focus during pregnancy – until it had to be.

If you’re a mom who thinks – “this is good as it gets, I’ve had 1,2,3… or more children” or if you’re just sick and tired, of feeling SICK and TIRED.  Then join us on an adventure of being encouraged to become healthy for HIM! 🙂

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17

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