Portion Control

Part of my weight loss journey has been learning how much to consume throughout seasons of my life.  Your caloric needs change as your weight changes.  I’ve also learned about eating clean and how to portion my foods/meals throughout the day.  I’m about to open up a big “can” because there are so many options.  I can only share what worked/has worked/is working for me.  Feel free to share your opinions, thoughts and recommendations here as a comment or on my FB page.

When I started with a trainer back in 2010 she helped me to figure out my basal metabolic rate by using a formula.  I tracked my foods and allowed her accountability by checking my food diary.  I found out that it wasn’t as simple as “overeating”.  Yes I had been eating too many calories at times in my life.  Also I had been eating too few calories.  You can send your body into starvation mode. By eating too few calories consistently, skipping meals and then binge eating at others I had done a number on my metabolism.  So at first it felt like I was eating a LOT of food (and I was) being at least 140 pounds overweight and being morbidly obese meant that my body needed a lot of calories just to function. Current BMI charts say that a woman my size should be 109-137 pounds.  This is NOT going to be possible for me without skin removal surgery.  There simply isn’t a way after carrying five children and being morbidly obese for 25 years that my body will ever get to that size.

Even though I’ve been on this journey for almost 5 years I still feel quite confused.  I keep getting numbers thrown at me that range from 1200-1860 for the calories I should eat daily and still be able to lose weight.  Right now I’m not tracking what I’m eating in terms of caloric intake.  I’m simply eating healthy, clean and when I’m hungry.  I stop when I’m full and I follow the principles laid out in the Whole Life Challenge.  I lost 20 from January to March, but I’m back at the plateau point that I’ve been at since 2013.  It feels hopeless to ever break through the 170s.  (I’ve actually put some weight back on since the end of the WLC -March 13th.  I’m not proud of it and I’m hoping to lose it as I start a new challenge in May.)

Something though that is even more troubling to me is that I’ve lost site of what my needs are to feed my spirit.  It’s time to practice some spiritual portion control.  Psalm 73:26 says “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” There is also Lamentations 3:21-26 ” But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”  

I’ve gotten distracted by the busyness of life, both the immediate and pressing trauma our family has experienced and the pressing chronic grief I’ve been processing for years, as well as my own fears, agendas and need to be needed.  My relationship with God has been something to do, a part of who I am and not the source of my strength, my identity and my hope.  There is a verse in the song Amazing Grace that usually gets skipped.  It says “The Lord has promised good to me.  His word my hope secures.  He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.”  That’s what I pray my heart can sing with confidence.  He WILL my shield and portion be….that I can find rest, true peace in trusting that God is my shield and portion.  He IS enough.  He is MORE than enough.  It isn’t Jesus + my goodness, or Jesus + my ambition.  It’s JESUS!  He is the answer to every question. Seeking His face should be my only goal, my only priority and Heaven should be my destination.  Everything else is an added gift.

Oh God I submit my physical and spiritual appetites to you.  Please work within me to know when I need more nourishment and when I’ve had enough to be grateful for the sustenance provided.  Psalm 24:8 says “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  Lord I want to taste you in times of trouble instead of another cupcake, spoonful of peanut butter or pint of Talenti.  Lord, I want to know deep, deep, deep down that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I desire Holy Spirit to trust you in a way that I NEVER have before and to submit to you the areas of my life that I’ve been stuck on the sit and spin and trying to get off in my power.  I’m praying for answers to know how much to eat, what kinds of food to eat and when to eat.  I’m also praying for strength and power to seek God’s face, a desire to know Him intimately and the balance to live a full life without functioning out of fear in the spiritual or physical.

Thanks as always for reading.  Feel free to share a comment, tip, scripture or story.  Blessings…~Janelle



Made to Crave

Lysa TerKeurst, the president of Proverbs 31 ministries, wrote a book entitled Made to Crave in 2010.  I’ve read it three separate times, but decided I needed to read it again and prayerfully, slowly answer the questions at the end of each chapter.  It is a jewel of a book, filled with humor, personal anecdotes, tips, challenging thoughts and inspirational Scripture.  It’s an easy read in terms of difficulty, but can be a bit convicting at times.  You see I never thought I wanted anything more than God, and certainly not food.  I’m a good American girl that doesn’t believe in idolatry.  I put my God and family first.  It wasn’t until I really begin to take a look at myself and dive into thoughts, patterns and behaviors while looking back at my past, and praying about my present that I saw the truth. Until I was ready to share openly in Celebrate Recovery about my food addiction and emotional and compulsive eating my weight loss efforts had been in vain. You see Weight Watchers only helped temporarily.  Walking daily and portion control helped with a bit, but then when I stopped that program the weight packed on again with some extra pounds in the mix.  I had to find the root of the issue.  Pride, unforgiveness, and idolatry were all at the heart of the matter.  I was allowing food to comfort me in a way that it was never intended to and I was selfishly thinking that I could control my body and make wise decisions apart from boundaries, healthy rules and God’s guidance.

Apart from recommending the book I wanted to share a bit of info that I think will be helpful to anyone on a weight loss journey.  I’m also sharing it so I can refer back to this post myself.  I’ve written before about my struggle with the scale and how the numbers can affect me.  Those posts are entitled “One Size Fits All” and Crunching Numbers. Chapters 7 and 8 have resonated with me in a profound way and there is a quote from chapter 7 that I want to share with you.  “I’m a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth.  WOWZERS!  Doesn’t that sound awesomely liberating?  Some days I’m there.  Some days I’m NOT, but I’m praying to be there more consistently.  See people look at me and see a woman who has lost 100 pounds.  I’m grateful for every ounce.  However, my lens is still blurry.  Sometimes I see through the viewpoint of a morbidly obese woman, struggling with perception and a victim mentality.  Sometimes I see the past rising up and I view myself in an unhealthy way.  I still see the OLD me, and it can be debilitating.  I still see the numbers that I want to see.  I have a dream, a goal and sometimes I allow it instead of motivating me, to consume me.  I’m praying for balance and the eyes of Christ to see myself as HE does.  As this internal dialogue ensues I need to apply 2 Cor. 10:5 that states “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  Lysa says “We can literally say to a thought that presents itself to us, ‘Are you true?  Are you beneficial? Are you necessary?’ and if the answer is no, then we don’t open the door of our heart.  We make the choice to walk away from the negative thought that could harvest if we let it in.”

So what can you and I do when the numbers on the scale aren’t budging?  Maybe worse, they are moving in the wrong direction.  What about when the tag in the back of our jeans says a number that is different from the one you’ve imagined? Perhaps someone you love said something hurtful to you.  How do you manage all that in the midst of trying your hardest and making consistent, healthy choices?  Chapter 8 deals with this very thing “Making Peace with the Realities of My Body” has a clue that might be helpful.  Make the shift from accomplishment to motive .  Are the numbers important or is delighting the Lord the ultimate goal?  I can define my days, my weeks by obedience and not the numbers.  What a better, more accurate gauge. Here is a list of six questions that Lysa gives to stop and ask yourself when you are in a place of plateau or struggle.

  1. Did I overeat this week on any day?
  2. Did I move more and exercise regularly?
  3. Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
  4. Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration?
  5. Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
  6. BEFORE I hopped on the scale, did I think I had a successful, God-pleasing week?

If I can remember to use this checklist I know I will be a much more fulfilled, peaceful God’s girl.  Yes I’m going to continue to work towards goal weight and I have some BIG dreams, but the most important motive is obedience.  I want to live a life, resting in reality of who I am in Christ, not the parts of me that I want to change.  May I view my body as a good gift from God and use it to bring him honor.  As I share my heart and vulnerable struggles with you, may He receive the glory and may our good come to pass.  I’m finding my beautiful a little more everyday and I’m grateful….so grateful.

The Whole Life Challenge

So my friend Drew introduced me to the whole life challenge.  We started last Saturday and for 56 days I will be practicing making mindful, purposeful choices about eating clean.  This means no bread, milk, cheese or sugar for eight weeks.  It also means taking a supplement daily, working out for at least 10 minutes daily, doing the practice of the week (i.e. mindfulness, gratitude) and stretching for 10 minutes daily.

I’m uber excited to take this challenge because somewhere in the course of my stressful yet amazing last year I’ve gained 16 pounds.  So I need to get back on track, get this party started and get to GOAL!

To prepare adequately and have healthy, compliant choices on hand Drew and I had a marathon shopping/cooking day last Saturday.  Seriously including shopping, prepping, cooking and bagging it was a ten-hour event.  However, I have meals to last us until February 7th and I came in under budget.  This process is for another post all together.  It was my first experience with bulk/freezer meal cooking.  Next time it will be EVEN better.

Tuesday I was exhausted and so I chose to lose points because I didn’t do a workout.  I didn’t feel any self-condemnation and didn’t catch flack from my team.  I love that about this challenge.  Really it’s about you becoming a more whole, balanced person not about winning or losing.  Today I had coffee with a friend and she had already poured milk in mine before I could say anything.  It wasn’t worth wasting the cup.  I’m not slave to lists, rules or other’s opinions.  Losing a point was worth enjoying coffee with Bette.

I’m grateful to be in a place in my life and health journey that I am not derailed by such a thing.  Years ago I would have felt like a failure for something so small and would have had trouble picking myself up and trying again.  You see being held captive by food for so many years can take a toll on every decision you make.  Lately I’ve found myself feeling a bit more obsessive when it comes to food choices and so I’m looking forward to this experience because it will help me see food as a gift a source of fuel to be enjoyed, not abused. I can make wise choices, one meal at a time.  Even if I falter, it’s okay.  Next meal is a chance to start over again.

I’m seeing the scales move again in the right direction and I’m going to take my measurements sometimes this week and some “before” pics.  I’ll try to post those.  I haven’t missed milk or cheese, but bread is hard and I think I have a bit of a sugar detox headache.  I do miss half and half in the mornings, but I’m getting used to my black coffee.

Overall I’m quite pleased with my progress this week.  I’ll try to post the recipes that we used for our freezer meals when I can.  I’ll review each one also.  Blessings and thanks for reading.  If you are interested check it out at http://www.wholelifechallenge.com.

21 Day Fix

So I had the privilege of trying the 21 Day Fix program by Beachbody. Some of you might be familiar with the program “Insanity” or “P90X”. Those are made by Beachbody as well. A friend of mine that I’ve recently connected with again on Facebook is a Beachbody coach. She told me about this program. I asked for it for my birthday and my mother and mother-in-law graciously obliged. This program includes color coded portion control containers to encourage smaller portion sizes and proper amounts of foods (balanced diet) daily. You are given a meal plan, a 21 day workout program (on two DVDS) and you have the option of including a meal replacement option marketed by Beachbody called Shakeology. I could write an entire post about Shakeology…maybe I will (another time). This challenge pack was a GREAT deal price wise and includes daily online interaction with your challenge group and support from your own personal Beachbody coach. I was so excited so I started the eating plan on March 1st even though my group didn’t start until March 10th. I waited until that day to start the workout program. I took my measurements and pictures. Here are my before shots




And 21 days later (no weight loss) but a total of 10 inches gone from my total body. Although in 21 days I didn’t lose any weight I did go from 185.4 to 179.4 during the month of March so that was 6 pounds down. Here are my after shots (I just finished a work out, thus the red face…I don’t see any difference, but it’s ok).




It is very hard for me to share these photos. I still have an extra-large muffin top. I have larger thighs than I would prefer and although I’ve lost 106.2 pounds I still struggle with body image. I must admit that there were meals that I cheated on this program. My stress level during this three-week period was at an all time high and cortisol is NOT the friend of someone trying to lose weight. However, I am pleased with the program and my results. The workouts were fun, the meal plan easy to follow and the daily shakes…yummo. I am going to participate in another challenge group starting on April 14th. I am also considering becoming a Beachbody coach. So…IF you are thinking about purchasing a program let me know and perhaps we both can benefit from your purchase ;-).

Three weeks…21 days to replace and old, bad habit with a new one is totally achievable. Although eating clean is not new to me it was a GREAT reminder, reboot, restart for me. I look forward to hitting round 2 with all that I am and all that I have!!!

So perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting something new. A workout program, a new diet plan, reading a new book, getting up earlier, going to bed earlier, trying a new church, couch to 5K….whatever it is this post is an encouragement to GO FOR IT!!! Try it. What do you have to lose? And I encourage you to use me, and this page for accountability https://www.facebook.com/brt2ubynum40?ref=hl .

Thanks for letting me share….