Category Archives: Start Here

I Wish I Had Time For…

I get lots of compliments when I take my salad places... don't have salad envy! You can make one too!

We’ve all said it before.

Perhaps we didn’t realize what we were really implying.  But, when I hear this… I sometimes think – people must think someone else has a boatload more time than they do, if they’re fitting in whatever it is that person is longing to do.

Guess what?  That’s not the truth.

You’re fitting everything in that is important, that needs to be done…. and if you’re not fitting it in, it’s not a priority.

Hey, I know sometimes it feels like you don’t have enough time – believe me, I feel it too.  When I’ve over scheduled… and under prioritized, and said yes to everyonebut my MAKER, and my family.  I fail and am miserable.

But honestly, think of how things go when someone passes away… and there are “emergencies” to be taken care of – and you rearrange your schedule, and you MAKE it fit, because that is just what people do.  They MAKE time for what is important to them.  We do this without a funeral too – EVERY. DAY.

Well, on a much lighter note – making a salad is important to me, EVERY lunch time.

I plan for it.  I make sure I have my supplies on hand… and lo and behold, it happens!  Crazy.

I’m not some guru, nor am I’m not trying really hard – I just make it a priority – so it’s not a pain, and it doesn’t take a lot of time!

So here’s the scoop!  Are you ready for this secret revealed??

I get several bunches of green leaf lettuce every week, along with a cucumber and a pepper or any other veggie I’m desiring that week.   [We are able to go to the grocery store mid-week also, so we are able to restock if we need to on the green leaf lettuce bunch.]

I clean my lettuce and cut it into big leaves – and put it in my crisper from Wal-Mart.  I put down 3-4 paper towels, then the cleaned lettuce leaves – and then more paper towels to soak up extra moisture and keep the lettuce fresh.  I them put my uncut veggies into a separate crisper just for smaller veggies  and I got it from Tupperware.  The rest of the things I always stock – low sodium, Sara Lee oven roasted chicken (shredded), sunflower seeds and cottage cheese.  Easy!  I just pull my items out at lunch, or pack it in the AM to take it with me.

My Tupperware crisper (blue) and salad crisper from Wal-Mart

Then I have no excuses… because it’s really NOT. THAT. HARD.  Would you agree?

Don’t tell me you “don’t have time” for a nice salad.  I won’t believe you.  God is worth it – plan ahead and get into some new routines that will help you have the RIGHT items on hand!  This will make it SO much easier to be healthy for Him!

“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

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

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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