Blog Archives

Getting a Clue?

Now and then, it seems like some restaurants are getting a clue…  perhaps they’re actually listening to some of what is being said.

I know I hear more people paying attention to what they’re ordering, or being utterly shocked at how many calories are in (what they THOUGHT) was a “healthy salad”…

But oh my… we still have a LONG way to go to continue being educated.  We certainly can’t let the restaurants do the math, and assume they have our best interests at heart.  No, we have to consider what their objective is – for us to buy whatever it is they sell.  It’s not ultimately for us to be healthy.

But I’ll give them credit where it’s due, they’re at least TRYING.

One of our kid’s favorite places to eat when we’re traveling (and if they’re in the area), is Culver’s.  “Home of the Butterburgers”….  You can imagine how this sits with me.  I used to LOVE their Wisconsin patty melts.  (When I ate rye bread, slathered in butter… swiss cheese all melty and stuff.)  Some days I even ordered a “double”… 616 calories and 35 g. carbs.  Ouch on the calories especially.  Now I just get a double butter burger with lettuce and mustard only – and eat it (without the bun of course).  Sometimes I have a salad with it – no cheese, croutons or dressing of course…  it fits the bill for A LOT fewer calories and carbs.  Not the best choice – but much better for me.

I was a little surprised that with their “Mindful Choices” options, they failed to offer something less of a 4″ white-bread bun!  That’s 160 calories RIGHT THERE of no nutrition… Remember: Think! WHY am I eating this?  What’s the point?

Culver's "Mindful Choices" selections

Online Culver’s even has a “Nutritional Meal Builder” to give you the 4-1-1 on what you’re going to stuff on in, and pray it processes.  They also have an allergen “grid” for their products.  Very nice.  I think while their product offering is mostly of the “fast food” sort – they are trying to make better options available for their customers.  That’s more that I can say for a lot of other companies!  Just be more aware of what you’re eating.  Don’t just 500 calories is what YOU should be eating at a meal just because that is their smallest offering.  Most people need LESS than that.

“Share in suffering as  a good soldier of Christ Jesus.   No soldier  gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”  2 Timothy 2:3-4


Oatmeal Goodness

I really loathe change.  Don’t you?

When I know something works for me, I like to stick with it…  If it’s not broken, why try to fix it, RIGHT?

Well, sometimes even when we don’t change, our body makes choices without our consent.  I think it’s called…AGING.

For women, this is often dramatic with hormone levels – having babies, nursing, cycles…  lots of things can throw off our systems.

Often times I find myself going back to some core Scriptures of how I have been created with a purpose – by Him, and for Him.  It helps me embrace “unasked for” change.

I love Quaker brand (and boy haven’t THEY had a boost with the latest health craze, and their products!  Go Quaker! – Sorry, the marketer in me!)  For months I enjoyed these chocolate granola bars for 90-100 calories each.  Then they made a change, and about 2 months ago – I could no longer get them.  I guess they weren’t as popular with everyone else.

(*I even tried to order online – I was desperate!  No dice.)  So I switched to something new… it wasn’t AS good, but it was ok.  Then it seemed my body was rejecting something in them.  Chocolate chips.  Boo!  So I’ve had to get rid of them altogether for now.

Since I love oatmeal, I’ve found this great substitue that doesn’t contain lactose…  and if I’m around home, and don’t have an apple – this is a tasty option and filling!  (2pts for those of you who watch those!)

Yum! We get this at Target, but have found it at HyVee and Dillons/Kroger too.

What unasked for changes have you encountered, and how did you handle them?  Read today’s Scripture and be filled up.  Sounds like SOMEONE had a plan all along, whether we knew about the changes or not!  May God greatly bless your efforts and your weekend!

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Eph. 2:10

The Opposite of Easy

My last two sons LOVED these potties. I've already discovered my daughter is not a fan...

Often times, main reason people don’t make changes in how they eat, is because they don’t have the incentive to change.  We make excuses, and justify them.

At least… I do.

This was brought to my mind this week… as we’ve begun to potty train our youngest.

A girl.

My 8th child to potty train, this should be a cinch!

Should be.

*God laughs*

God made us all uniquely and perfectly for His purpose….anyone with more than 2-3 children can tell you just how different 2 children from the same two parents can be…  In fact, the more children you have, the more diverse you learn God’s design can be… from the SAME two people.  Raising children is similar to working on a marriage in that it’s a sanctification process… and we sometimes don’t realize the lessons we’re learning until afterwards.

It turns out my daughter’s strong personality and fighting spirit… the same spirit that probably helped her fight to live after being born at 36 weeks…

continues to be the fighting spirit that I’m battling each day right now.

Is she too young?  Too little?

No.  The girl knows what to do…

With 7 other cheerleaders in the house, I thought this might be the quickest one yet – but definitely not our earliest or latest.

She’s been showing signs for awhile… and I had been putting it off.

*I* wasn’t ready…

It’s too cold, and I’m too busy… and with school and the kids…

Boy – this was starting to sound like EVERY OTHER excuse I can come up with when I don’t want to do something, {and end up regretting it later}.

Like…. exercising… or making small changes in my eating habits that add up.

So amidst a painter having our main living area in a jumbled mess this week… and  my husband in between his two big business trips of the year… we both have lots of deadlines and stress and school and…

I thought this was a good time to start?

YES.  It was a good time to start…

There is never a great time to start.  If you wait for that “GREAT TIME” that “perfect time” to start we would NEVER do it.  We can always make excuses on why not to do the hard things.  They’re the opposite of easy for a reason…  they take work!  Commitment!  Incentive!

So make any day your Monday this week and start where you are.  If you’ve gotten off track – get BACK on track to be healthy for Him.

Mistakes are part of life.  We must learn from them and move on!

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – Philippians 2:12-13

Workout Review Time

So, if you’re still following along – I mentioned a few weeks back that I got some new workout DVDs from Bob.  He was having a special… some friends and I teamed up and ordered a few to get cheaper shipping.  Unfortunately, the company sort of fell through on shipping all of our orders!  We each ended up only getting one DVD!  Thankfully we each got a different workout though, so we could trade them and at least see what they were about!

Despite contacting the company twice, I’ve yet to hear where my order is, and unfortunately – their big sale they were having (at $4.99-$6.99 per DVD) is now over!  I guess if we never hear something back we’ll just order again.  I’m too dedicated to get THAT upset – since I obviously haven’t been charged!

Okay…  all of that to say – these are some GREAT workouts.  The “MY WORKOUT” (meaning – Bob’s workout) is fantastic.  It has two 25-30 minute workouts, which can be done separately or together.  Personally, I wish it was set up with the first one second, and the second one first, like my friend Steph suggested – and then maybe I’d feel like doing them combined.  By the time I get done with the first part for a quick workout… I feel like passing on the second part, because the “hard work” is done.  The second one is definitely less cardio madness.  Both are still great workouts, just in different ways.  This workout is only available on Bob’s website… it’s still not available on

Personally, I don’t think they’re offering it yet, because most beginners would be running for the hills after this workout… it’s high paced, and non-stop movement.  Different from his circuit training where your body takes more of a break in-between the heart throttling.  I wouldn’t suggest it being your first workout you buy from Bob Harper.

Bob's TOTAL BODY Transformation - totally worth the money!

The next workout we ordered will be available on soon.  You can pre-order it now actually.  It’s called “Total Body Transformation” – and he says several times in the workout, “This will be the hardest workout you’ve ever done!”  I’ve done it three times so far, and it’s gotten easier every time… like most workouts.  Don’t confuse that to mean it’s easy… because it’s NOT.  It’s an arm sculpting, rear busting workout.  I spent most of the workout rotating between which part of my body hurt the worst… my arms… no, no… my legs… uuuuugh….  OUUUUCH.  LOL!  I really do have a love/hate relationship with Bob.   I keep telling myself that pain is weakness leaving the body… I’m getting stronger.  Someday I’ll have abs again!

Side note:  Women have to have about 8-14% body fat to see their ab muscles defined.  This core strength isn’t about vanity (at least for me, my bikini days are long gone, nor would I go there again if I could – modesty yo!) it’s about over all strength and back strength for LIFE!  Being healthy for Him – in every way.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” – Matthew 26:41

It’s a Major Heart Issue

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. The vital organ that keeps the others functioning… And keeps YOU alive.

Heart disease is the number one killer among women… You’ve probably heard this before. If not… Think about it.


When I was younger I worked out for all the wrong reasons.


I, like most women didn’t feed my body the things it needed to keep me strong and healthy and I starved my heart of the nutrients it needed. I didn’t think about strengthening my heart muscle back then. I didn’t want to get bulky so I didn’t lift weights-especially weights for my upper body.

There is something about having toned arms and the connection it can have with your heart. I’m not talking about having to be a women with “man muscles”…. But admit it, we reach an age when gravity is really working against you and things start shaking and flapping around. Most women would agree they don’t like that feeling… Because, even if you’re not overweight, it makes you feel out if shape. Now, think about how out of shape your heart is… Could it be in better shape?

How much time do we focus on upper body strength and workouts?

When I started working out and learning circuit training exercises… I learned quickly that doing moves with weights in your hands can make moves more difficult and as I brought my hands with weights above my heart muscle, it really got things hoppin’ and had me gasping to catch my breath. (Not to mention it burns more calories! My husband started running with lighter weights last year-it makes a difference in your form and posture too!)

What it also does… Is it calls on your heart to pump blood harder against gravity. It’s tougher, yes, but – it’s such a great workout for you to really work that muscle and make it strong.

Try it out. Do 20 jumping jacks. Then try them with weights pushing them up from your shoulders.

Do you feel that?

Strengthen that heart muscle and your spiritual heart each day and kick heart disease to the curb!

* if you don’t have weights, use soup cans or use gallon jugs filled with dirt or sand. “no money for weights” isn’t an excuse not to get moving! Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean protein to keep that heart healthy!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”. -Psalm 139:23-24



That’s It! Have me Committed!

Let's talk vending machines... WHY don't they have any decent options? What would you pick if these were your only options?

That’s right, I’m turning myself in!

In a world that takes commitment and sacrifice to others lightly, the Bible contrasts that with a God who is full of grace, mercy, and never-ending love.  The statistics for marriage are grim, including in the church… and I believe a lot of it has to do with lack of TRUE commitment.

One must ask – WHO is your commitment in life to?  Who is your Authority and Creator?

If you think you’re committed to yourself… or someone else alone – that’s not going to get you very far.  Marriages and commitments in general fail miserably when the joint commitment is to anything other than God.  Whatever that other “thing”, be it a friend, spouse, program or whatever can become your idol.  Most of the time it’s actually self…  as in SELFISHNESS, pride, and the like.  We want to “believe in ourselves”… do what “makes us happy”… you’ve heard it all before…

Maybe you’ve believed it and didn’t even realize what you were being sold.  Often times we think it’s harmless or a catch phrase.

WRONG.  It’s an idol – and if we’re not careful we believe it.

When it came to my health… it was certainly going to  have to be an iron clad commitment.  I had to be convicted that it would be a commitment worth making to God… just like in a marriage.

After all, without a commitment to God…  was going to be too easy to cheat, or fall of the wagon…

Times are going to be tough.  Things are going to challenge you to look another way… (Mmmm… that extra cookie looks good, who is it going to hurt – right?)  You’re going to have to fight to stay on the narrow path of righteousness for the sake of your commitment…  and know in your heart the Truth of the consequences of your choices.

That’s right.  The only way this is going to work is if you commit your way unto the Lord.

I mentioned I attended a photography seminar this past weekend.  A lot of what I learned was marketing information, and I just eat that stuff up.  I love being able to apply what I learn to so many different areas of life – and share with others, and other businesses little nuggets of inspiration to help them thrive as well.  I truly get excited about seeing others succeed in Him too.  Well, one of the areas that was discussed, was in regards to goals.  There were some statistics shared from the American Society for Training and Development that stated the following in regards to succeeding in your goals.  Watch how the number changes based on what is done with your goals.

1) DECIDE to make a goal – 25% success rate

2) SETTING A TIMEFRAME to complete your goal – 40% success rate

3) DEVELOP A PLAN by writing it down and how to get there – 50% success rate

4) COMMIT the goal to someone – 65% success rate

5) ACCOUNTABILITY appointment with someone – 95% success rate

Whoa!!   Do you SEE that??

So you can see your odds increase in being SUCCESSFUL in your goals the more you invest in that commitment.  If your commitment and your accountability is to God… do you think He is going to be on your side?  Of course!!  He wants what is best for us!!

“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.”  Psalm 37:5

I AM Beautiful.

Read about how Stephanie realized just how beautiful she is… Her transformation allowed her to shed 25 lbs (since last fall) along the way – NOT dieting! She has been transformed INSIDE – out.

Say hello to Steph... she's been transformed inside OUT!

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a perfect………………..


I have been a perfect pear for as long as I can remember. Yes, I have saddle bags, thunder thighs, a bumpy dairy air!

For years I would look at my body in disgust.

Why couldn’t I just chop those saddle bags off?!?!

I suffered from a low self image about my body and was determined to do something about it! Overweight and
highly frustrated, I turned to running 9 years ago. I have been running ever since, but guess what???

Those saddle bags came right along with me.

It wasn’t until I read Scale Down: Live it Up by Danna Demetre that I realized that
running alone wasn’t going to change me the way I needed to be changed. I needed to put down my old self and put on God.

I needed to put God’s Truth first and to stop telling myself lies. I squared off with those lies and I replaced them with the

I am beautiful!

I am wonderfully made!

I am loved! I am designed for a purpose!

I meditated on Psalm 139:14 for a good month before it began to transform my mind in Him, and I still meditate on this gem today!

You see, I have always exercised, but I forgot to give God the glory for how He made me.

I forgot the #1 thing, God.

I still have saddle bags, but they’re much smaller and I still run, but now with more purpose. Now I see me as BEAUTIFUL, STRONG, and
HEALTHY for Him!

So if your struggling right now with how you look, I challenge you to tell yourself the truth, just as you are right now!

You ARE beautiful!!

You ARE wonderfully made!!

You ARE loved! You ARE designed for a purpose!

Memorize Psalm 139:14. Say it to yourself as you look in the mirror. Put on the lens of God and know that you are His and you

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

Please. Drink Responsibly….

My "Hydracoach bottle" is a water coach that keeps me on task with drinking my H2O!

Water that is.

I’m not sure where you live – but it’s kinda warm out lately.

Scratch that.  It’s CRAZY hot out.

The hotter it is, the more we sweat… even when we’re not trying to sweat, we need that water to flush our systems.  In July, in Kansas, I can almost look out the window and bead up!  Normally I refer to my sweating as “glistening”… as I’m usually not a person who sweats a lot.  However… lately I have been sweating a ton.

How about you?  Are you drinking enough water?  Add in a workout or other external factors, nursing, pregnant, sick, climate, altitude (and if you’re drinking other things like alcoholic or other diuretic drinks) you need even MORE water for your body to stay hydrated.

Your body is 60% water.  So what do you think affects the scale the most day-to-day?  Do you think you really lose and gain pounds of FAT that quickly?  It’s more likely the shift of water in your system.

Did you know that when you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated of the water its needing?  Sometimes people even mistake thinking they’re hungry, for their body actually being thirsty.  This is ONE of the reasons drinking more water will help you lose weight!!

I’m thankful we live in a country where access to clean water isn’t an issue!  We really don’t have good excuses.

I’ve often heard other people say they “don’t like” water or forget to drink it enough.  They fill the void with other drinks that will dehydrate their bodies and contain, sugar, chemicals, caf­feine, and alcohol.

We can do the same thing with God.  We can just “forget” to spend time with Him… and slack off thinking it’s really not that big of a deal.  Just like we can drink the wrong things…  we can often fill our lives with things that pull us away from the very One who we need most.

We need to be purposeful in drinking our water and stay committed, as we continue growing in Him, through His Word.

I drink about 20-30 ounces of water with breakfast, the same for lunch and dinner.  I drink some before I work out, while I workout and before bed.  My goal is about 80-100 ounces of water for my body size, and external factors.

A thoughtful friend even got me a “HYDRACOACH” water bottle for my birthday to help me track how much water I was needing each day.  It’s pretty fun because you program it with your weight, and it tracks the percentage of what you’ve had… to help you get a handle on it and monitor that you’re not falling behind!  The children love letting me know what my “percentage” is for the day.

Share some of the ways you remember to drink H2O throughout the day!  How’s the Truth Pack coming along??  Nope… I’m not letting it go that easy!

“As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.”

Psalm 42:1

Tips to Grow On!

Here is what my spot at the table looks like. Why yes, that is a child's plate! 🙂

Most of the time it’s painful…  I don’t like computer upgrades, or detours in my schedule… God continues working on me.  I will say He’s made progress, I can see… but I still cringe at the word.


We like comfortable, don’t we?

I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me get healthy for Him.

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

OUCH.  God’s word is super powerful.  You know, you can read the same verse, for years… and then one day *face-pop* – it grabs you. “Oooooh yeeeaah…I get it!”  Sometimes it hurts, and it hurts deep…

But it’s a good painful.  God uses it for His best for us.  Think of it like exercise!  It reaps rewards that are beneficial to us in so many ways.

For me, memorizing God’s word has been the most important element in transforming my health.  It has helped me in times of trouble, temptation and being tired… It has encouraged me to keep going, to not give up, and to not feel guilty.  It’s reminded me that God wants progress, not perfect…

So I wrote down verses that spoke to me, onto index cards and I put them up around my house to remind me of my goals….  and I kept them at my table to read while I ate, and in my mirror of my room when I get ready each day.  (On the table, we have a plastic covering on our tables to protect them from major ‘oopsies’ from the kids right now, so I slip them right under there and in the shower we laminate them so they stay nicer longer!)

Another reader shared with me an idea that she got from a blog on parenting – creating a “truth pack” full of scriptures to help your kids work on a character trait/heart issue they struggle with … but she suggested it could totally be applied to transforming your mind on HEALTH as well!  Great idea!!

I found this index card notebook at Walmart! Great for loading up with Scriptures to keep you on track!

Since school supplies are busting out all over, now is a great time to find some cool bound index cards and make your own little encouragement “truth pack”.  I challenge you to write one out each day, or start by going back through the blogs (there is a Scripture at the end of each blog) and writing a scripture down on each page …. to serve as a “help” from God to review a couple of times each day!

Decorate your book, make it fun – make it interesting – something you WANT to go to…and allow God’s word to transform your heart and mind on His plans for you.

The other tip I have is for PORTION control.  This was a major issue I had, even after I had made lots of healthy changes…  just not knowing “how much” was too much, and always leaning more on the generous side, in favor of my stomach.  Once I realized my stomach could only comfortably hold about 2 cups of food for my size…  I thought, “No wonder I feel sick when I over eat.  Ick!”

So, while we got these great looking plates when we were married, we never use them at this stage in life. We use the plastic kid plates!  Instead of putting the main dish in the largest part, that is now where we put our salad.  The middle size is for our main dish or meat (fist size is a good serving or 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of a casserole) and then fruit goes in the smallest part (cupped in your hand is a good serving).  Ta-dah!  Now we’re not so tempted to over eat… because we can see proportionately what we need, vs. thinking we’re so hungry and over eating!  If I over eat anything – it’s salad…

Hope these tips are helpful to you!  Here’s to a great week of being healthy for Him!

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  – Romans 12:2

Feeling Guilty for YOU Time?

This is a fantastic book by Elizabeth Elliot on being a Proverbs 31 woman. Growing in Him should be body, soul and spirit! What great books have grown you the most?

I used to think people who were super fit, did it for vanity.  After all, when I worked out in highschool and college, it was because I wanted to maintain a certain shape, to look a certain way.  I didn’t consider helping my body to perform at it’s best…

When I was in college, I took HORRIBLE care of my body.  I ate terrible, kept terrible hours… and put my health in last place when it came to feeding my body and nurturing it some sleep.  BUT,  I did go to the rec center a lot…  I did the stepper, the treadmill, played some ball… pretended to be a runner.  (Major fail)

I can still picture this one evening in my mind…

I’m working out on the stepper… I have my headset cranked way up to some pumping music and out of the corner of my eye I see this girl walk in…. poured into a workout outfit that was rarely seen at this establishment.  (Maybe most of the girls were modest, but I’m guessing most people wouldn’t have felt comfortable showing any part of their body they didn’t care for in a spandex suit back in the late 90s.)  This girl had the most fit little figure I had ever seen… and in the words of Jillian “you could have bounced a quarter off of her behind.”

I’m sure my mouth was hanging open… not only at her outfit but her ability to wear it so well.  I wondered WHY she was there.  In my mind, people worked out when they wanted to look good – they didn’t work out if they already looked good.

What I didn’t do back then, was consider ALL she was doing to look and feel like that, probably on a daily basis… obviously people aren’t just born that way.  She was taking the maintence steps to take care of her body.  I, on the other hand, was just focusing on what I saw, the outer shell – but who knew what was underneath… and her motivation.  It was rather presumptuous of me to look at judge her or be jealous of her… for any reason.  After all, what was *I* doing to work on what God had given to me?

It was people “like her” – that made me believe the lie that maybe working out was for vanity only and was to achieve a goal (looking good), then you didn’t have to “do it” anymore.   Feeling good wasn’t really in the equation.

As I grew older, and bigger, and had more children…  that whole “me time” factor is what turned me away from exercising.  I had become comfortable in the fact that I was out of shape, because I didn’t have time to exercise, and besides…  it was a great excuse to not make the time, THAT would be selfish.

Did God’s word say that?

No, in fact He tells us to take care of our bodies, as they are a temple of the Holy Spirit in us. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Could it be another message the world puts on us?  A lie we believe and feel guilty about?

Even now – several of my workout DVDs say all sorts of mumbo-jumbo like “focus on YOU…. this is YOU TIME…  celebrate what YOU have done…YOU. YOU. YOU…”

If you don’t watch out – you can be bombarded with so many messages everywhere that are quick to remind you life is “all about you“… and “what you want to make YOU happy”…  forgetting the most important factor in your relationship with God and all things.  God Himself.

As the world pushes their message on you…  you may start to believe the lie in other areas of your life – that working out and eating right is selfish…  or on the other end of the spectrum, be consumed with the ideal that it IS all about you.

Unless of course…. you remember the Truth.

When I hear those messages now… I just combat them in my head with the Truth that I’ve worked on memorizing.  I focus on the Scriptures that God presents as His desires for me.  I remember who I’m doing this for.

I remember that I’m worth it – because He says I am.

So then, it’s not JUST for me.  It’s not JUST for my husband and role modeling for my kids… It’s not just to avoid gaining weight that will weigh me down in all areas of my health…

Most importantly it’s for God.

It’s taking what He has blessed me with … a healthy body that moves, and giving him the best return on His investment.

It took a long while of God transforming my mind on the issues at hand.  Looking good can be part of the equation… but it’s secondary to feeling good…

We’re not talking about hours upon hours.  We’re talking about 15 minutes a day to an hour.  How much tv time could you give up…. or computer time.  *gulp*

Don’t feel guilty.  Just get movin’ for Him!

“For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

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