Sunday, October 2, 2016

Eat only when hungry?

I got a question from a friend who's working on her health journey, too. Here's what she asked:

Do you only eat when your hungry? And is it dishonoring to God if we eat when not hungry? I'm struggling some.

Having questions about how our eating habits affect or reflect our relationship with God are common among Christians who have struggled for a long time with weight loss and caring for their body.  First we have to sort out all the "diet rules" we have stuck up in our heads, get past all the guilt we've heaped on ourselves and then dig into the Word to see just what God has to say about the whole topic.

Many of us are are familiar with a few verses that show up in Christian diet books and sermons about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that the manner in which these verses are quoted usually just add to that guilt load on our shoulders. 

Remembering that God loves us first and foremost and that He extends grace and mercy to those who seek him is the first step out of this rut we're in. 

No condemnation, no guilt to carry around, just a realization that we've been headed the wrong way, a sincere confession to Him and an about-face to show that we really do want to do all things to honor Him. That's all it takes to get back on the right path. The best news is that we don't have to depend on our own strength to change. He helps us every step of the way as we commit our ways to Him.

Here's what I wrote back to my friend:

I do try to eat only when I am hungry. 

Do I ever eat when I'm not hungry? Sometimes. I don't think that's a sin in and of itself. I do think that we need to honor God with self-control and taking care of our bodies, so if I have a cookie for dessert after dinner (when I'm not really hungry) or even if I have a cookie or two for a snack, I don't think that's a sin or dishonoring God. 

If, on the other hand, I dive into a pack of cookies because I am angry, bored or depressed and eat the whole pack, I do consider that a sin for me, because eating is not the way God would have me resolve emotional issues. Overeating harms my body and is a poor substitute for turning to God when He is the One who can help me most. 

Does that make sense? I understand the struggle. We get bombarded with so much "diet info" that it's hard to tell what's right and what's wrong after a while. The best advice I can give you is that this is a matter between you and God. When in doubt, ask Him. Then honor whatever you feel Him telling you. For instance, the other night I really wanted to eat while watching TV (and old habit of mine). I was not a bit hungry, but the urge to munch was strong. 

I said a quick prayer, ran through all the reasons why munching would defeat my goal to be healthy and honor God with my body and self-control, then I offered up the remaining hours before bedtime as a fast unto the Lord. No snacking. My offering to Him. I felt good when my head hit the pillow and no extra pounds showed up on my scale. 

I shared with her that lately, I've been feeling like God is nudging me to help people more in this area of weight loss and getting healthy, but I've been putting it off because those old thoughts that I had to have it all together and be at my goal weight before I could help others had crept back in. It's not true!

Sometimes the best person to understand and encourage someone is someone who is going through the same thing. So, I'm here for you - all of you. If you have a question, if you need to talk to someone or if you just need a word of encouragement and someone to pray for you, just click the contact button at the top of this page and drop me a note.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be praying that God shows me the best way to help others. Would you be praying for me, too?

We're in this together!


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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Somebody stop me before I kill it!

 I'll just come out and say it - I'm mad!

Last week I upped my daily step goal to 10,000 (weekdays).  This week I walked 62,642 steps, 15,000 on my best day, 25 miles, and what did I get for my efforts? A lousy 1 pound weight loss over the past 2 weeks, and that was 1 pound of the 3 pounds I had put back on after this happened.

Seriously, I walked my butt off this week and I've been watching what I eat carefully and I've even been making healthy meals at home - a big pot of veggie soup one day and a teriyaki chicken with steamed veggies another. Watched my portions, drank protein shakes for many of my meals and just one lousy pound to show for all of it!

I'm sure you've all been there - that nasty plateau that can be so frustrating you wonder if it's all worth it. Hang in there, honey. If we keep pushing, keep doing what we know is good for us and healthy for our bodies, we will get stronger, healthier and thinner - it's a promise...

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
So, this week I'll get up at 6:00 each morning and hit the mall by 7:00, knock off at least 8,000 steps and then finish off the last 2,000 throughout the day. I'll eat right, pray for God's blessings on my efforts and look forward to the day when I reap that harvest.

How about you? How do you handle it when you hit a plateau?


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Little Bit Fit

This is my Fitbit.  I got it a few weeks ago and love it!  Since I retired about 5 years ago, I've pretty much been sitting on my butt in front of the computer. I still work part-time, writing for my church as well as writing blogs, devotionals and working on fiction.  While it keeps me busy, and I enjoy it, writing is a pretty sedentary occupation.

When I got my Fitbit, I set my daily steps goal at 5,000. They recommend 10,000 per day, but I thought I should start with a goal I might be able to reach.  For the first week or two, I hit it every day. Just when I was thinking I should up my goal, I hit a slump.  I didn't go to the mall and walk and I was only getting in about 1000-1500 steps a day.  Wasn't really eating right, either and guess what...that's when I gained 3 pounds back. Do you think there's any correlation between less activity, wrong food selections and gaining weight?  Hmmmm?

Well, I'm happy to say I'm back on track. I'm up to 7,600 steps today. That's 3.1 miles and 89 minutes of walking.  Time to up my goal to 10,000. I know that's doubling it, but I'm tired of being just a little bit fit!

How about you? Do you have a Fitbit or similar device? Are you reaching your goals?


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

That Pesky Sweet Tooth

Was running some errands today. Stopped for a bite of lunch, then headed to the grocery store. As often happens when I'm walking through a store that has whole aisles dedicated to cookies, cakes, ice cream and candy, my sweet tooth kicked in

Just a little snack I muttered as I turned down the ice cream aisle. I quickly realized that if I bought a carton of ice cream, I'd eat the whole thing in 2 days. Ice cream bars, I thought. No, I'd eat the whole box in no time.  Okay, what about some cookies - like I would only eat one or two and then put the rest away. Right.

I rounded the corner and came face to face with a pile of attractively arranged boxes of glazed doughnuts. No, Jan - you know you'll eat way more than you should.  Pushing past those, I entered the deli department (next to the bakery department). You know how they sometimes put out samples of baked goods to tempt you? Oh, great, I can have just a bite of something sweet and walk away.

Would you believe, rather than cut the stinkin' doughnuts in small pieces like they usually do, the samples were whole doughnuts!  Must be God's will for me to have a doughnut! I grabbed a piece of deli paper, opened the lid of the sample dome to select my God-sanctioned doughnut and a huge fly flew out right into my face!  No way was I going to eat a doughnut that had a fly crawling around on it, and since I didn't know which ones he had crawled all over, I passed on the doughnuts.

My last hurdle was the check out line. By then my sweet tooth and my determination to lose weight were engaged in the war of the century.  While loading my few groceries onto the belt, I glanced at the candy bars. (It doesn't hurt to look, does it?)  Hershey bars - buy 3, get one free. Such a deal!

Of course, we all know what happens when I eat Hershey bars,  (I'm still trying to take off those 3 regained pounds) so I adjusted my blinders and finished checking out.  On my way to the car, I nearly pulled my shoulder out of socket while patting myself on the back for walking out of the store with no sweets.

I think I'll make a dentist appointment to see if he can yank this sweet tooth out of my mouth.

Oh, wait...I have dentures.  Where does that pesky sweet tooth reside, anyway?


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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Time to Get Cookin'

Time to get cookin'!
My niece, Nancy, told me about GoTandem yesterday. It's an app that delivers encouragement from the scriptures, which are tailored to where you are spiritually. After downloading it, you answer a few quick questions and your messages are customized for your needs.

So, today I received this message:

"Lazy people don't even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find." Proverbs 12:27 (NLT)

I had to laugh, because just yesterday, Lee and I were talking about how we buy healthy stuff, but then we don't cook it. Sometimes I'm embarrassed by the amount of vegetables that go bad in my refrigerator. We decided that we just need to knuckle down and cook more often. Then God sends that verse my way.

When GoTandem sends you a verse, it also asks a thought-provoking question related to the verse and provides a place for you to write notes.  This morning's note to self was...

Jan, don't be lazy. Cook healthy meals. Be diligent and purposeful in eating right.

I love how God gets personal with us and He usually does it in a way that makes me laugh!

How about you? Does God do this kind of stuff with you, too?

PS: Remember how I told you in yesterday's post that I'd probably have a pound or 2 to lose after eating so poorly for the last two days?  Yeah - I was up 3 pounds this morning. This is like digging a big hole, filling it part way up again and then having to shovel it all back out. That's okay, though. I'll dig it out again and then I'll dig even deeper!


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

This is NOT easy!

Lest you think this eating right thing is easy for me, let me share the last two day with you. My last post (on the 15th) celebrated my 13 pound weight loss, so what happened the next day? My appetite went haywire. Seriously - haywire. I wanted to eat things I haven't been craving in a long time and unfortunately, I have to confess that I gave in to them. Chocolate, potato chips & white toast with apple butter.

This morning I thought I'd jump right back on track with my eating and everything would be fine. That might have worked if I didn't have 1/2 of a large Hershey bar laying on the counter. (My fault, I whined to my hubby that I wanted chocolate. He rushed right out and bought me a Hershey bar - a giant one! I only wanted a little one.) Anyway, there it was, calling my name, so I ate it. Then a few chips.

Just now I was sitting in front of the TV thinking I want cake, no I want ice cream. In the past, if I've already blown it, I just keep eating until bedtime, which is still a few hours away. Instead, I decided to call a fast until bedtime. That sounds weird. A 3 hour fast?  Why not just decide not to eat anymore tonight? And aren't they the same things?

No - deciding not to eat would involve wrestling with myself until bedtime. Fasting is me offering my cravings/appetite up to God as a sacrifice for the next 3 hours. This makes all the difference in the world to me.

I wish everyday were successful eating days, but they're not. Thankfully, God is there the minute I remember to turn to Him for strength. I just have to learn to do it sooner!

I'm sure I'll have a pound or two to re-lose, but that's okay. I'm in this for the long haul.

Anyone else struggle like this?

Please don't give up. Let's do this together!


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Thursday, September 15, 2016

One Pound at a Time

I know you're not supposed to weigh every day, but I do. I get so excited when I'm down a pound, but then my weight will fluctuate - up a pound, down a pound. I've lost 3 more pounds in the past few weeks, but it's been a real roller coaster ride.

It helps me to weigh. I set my sights on the next lowest number and fight until I finally see it come up on the scale. I do a little happy dance, even though I know that I will see the scale fluctuate a pound or two up and down until it finally settles on the lower number for a few days, then I start working for the next lower number.

For instance, I got a sneak peak at 164 last week. The next day, I was at 166, the next 165.5, the next 166, then next, 165, then 164 for two days in a row. Now, I'm aiming for 163.

It's easier for me to concentrate on the next pound, rather than the 24 pounds I still have to go.

How about you? Do you weigh every day? Do fluctuations discourage and set you back or spur you on?

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Is Jesus Enough?

I was listening to a guided prayer this morning when I was stopped dead in my tracks.

I was supposed to finish this sentence:
Lord, Jesus, the places I often turn to when you're not enough are...
Wait. What? Jesus is always enough! He's more than enough! My spirit rebelled against that statement, but my heart said, "Hold on there, girl. Is He enough for you in all situations, or do you sometimes turn to other things to fill that void or soothe that hurt?"

Oh Lord - I had to admit that sometimes I've felt like Jesus is not enough, or at least like me praying to him is not enough, because I did not find immediate release from emotional upset, stress or just plain old boredom.

Where have I turned? The refrigerator, pantry, drive-thru, a bag of chips, several bars of chocolate, a carton of ice cream. Binge watching TV, hours on Facebook or Pinterest. Shopping.

Lord, Jesus, how could I have thought that you were not enough? How could I have thought that these other things could fix what only you could mend? Forgive me, Jesus.

Am I the only one who was bowled over by that sentence?  How would you answer it? What are your thoughts? How can we apply "Jesus is ENOUGH" to our daily lives?

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

God Simplified My Diet

I've dieted so many times over the past 50 years. (Started when I was 14 and I'll be 64 tomorrow.) I've lost lots of weight and every time it was a real struggle. My thoughts were constantly on food - mostly on what I "couldn't" eat.

When I started this journey again a few months ago, I was on a diet plan that had me eating 5 "meals" a day and doing "carb cycling". Within a week or so, it once again became a struggle to figure out what I should eat and not eat.

During my quiet time a couple of weeks ago, I expressed my frustration to God about all this diet stuff that's stuck up in my head and how it cripples me when I try to eat right. Carbs? Calories? Protein? Raw? Vegan? Paleo? I'm sure you all can relate.

Here's what I sensed the Lord speaking back to me... (I journal my prayers and write down anything I sense God speaking to me.)

I have given you food as a blessing, not something to agonize over. Think nourishment and pleasure, and eat those things that supply both. Enjoy food as a blessing from me.
My comment back to Him...

 I want to be healthy, Lord. Show me how.
His reply...

  • Keep healthy stuff in the house
  • Eat only when hungry
  • Eat mindfully
  • Allow your food to digest before eating again
  • Offer up thanks for your food
  • Build up your body physically just as you build yourself up spiritually
 It couldn't get much easier than that. By applying those directives, I've been able to take off another 5 pounds. At 10 pounds weight loss right now. Haven't felt deprived or hungry.

God is sooooo smart!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dieting and the Olympics - Edith and Joy

A good friend of mine wrote a short story that just cracks me up. I just had to post here. I'm sure we all can relate.

The Imaginary World of 
Edith and Joy
by Leola Ogle

Monday morning and I’m starting my usual beginning-of-the-week diet again. Those rascally gals, Edith and Joy, have already made wagers as to how many days I’ll last this time. I know Joy has faith in me, but that Edith! If she wasn’t such a glutton with an enormous sweet tooth, I’d be able to stick to a diet. Besides, she’s a real bully and I admit, I’ve always been a bit of a pushover. If I just had more backbone, I’d stand up to her.

If you ask my husband, he’ll say that Edith and Joy don’t exist; says it’s all in my mind. Humph! Not in my mind – somewhere between my taste buds and stomach. That’s where Edith and Joy live.

Off to a good start this morning - oatmeal with fresh blueberries and skim milk. That flutter in my stomach is Joy doing her happy dance. I just love Joy; makes me feel good to make her happy. She’s that skinny girl in me trying to get out.

By ten o’clock my stomach’s rumbling, but I ignore it. It’s just Edith making her demands, “Hey, what about me?” Well, I’m the boss here. I will not succumb to her bullying today. Take that, you sneaky villain, I say with a smile.

Diet goes hand-in-hand with exercise so I decide to watch the Olympics. Those sleek, athletic girls playing beach volleyball are an inspiration. I want to look like that, although I’ll not disappoint my Lord by wearing a skimpy swimsuit in public like they do.

Fueled by this inspiration, I do a few jumping-jacks and torso-twists. Ugh! This is NOT fun. No more of that, but I promise myself to do some walking this evening.

I better shut that pesky Edith up, though. That gal simply does not know the meaning of self-control, a fruit of the spirit. Maybe some apple with peanut butter will keep her quiet. She likes peanut butter, although she prefers it in cookies or those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s a struggle to pull my mind from the image of chocolate surrounding peanut butter, but I do it.

I sail on through to lunchtime feeling good about myself. As I dig through the refrigerator gathering salad fixings, I notice all those plastic bowls containing leftovers from the feast our family had after church yesterday. “Hm, some of that can be thrown away,” I say out loud for Edith’s and Joy’s benefit. “I’ll do that after I eat lunch.”

I love salads, and that’s no lie. I just wish they were more filling. I could throw some shredded cheese, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries and a handful of M&M’s on it. Wait! What? I didn’t mean that about the M&M’s. Not sure how that slipped in there.

I watch the Olympic gymnastics competition while I eat my salad. My, oh my! I don’t think God created our bodies to twist and contort like that. Those girls fly in the air while twisting and turning and still manage to land on their feet. That certainly isn’t natural. I can’t help but smile. Just wait until they get to be my age. They’ll regret torturing their bodies like that. I’m sure they’ve injured joints and muscles that they’re just not aware of yet.

Sighing, I get off the sofa determined to clean out the refrigerator. I line all the bowls on the counter. Some I’ll save for my husband, some I’ll throw away. Mixed vegetable. Back in the fridge. Potato casserole. Back in the fridge. Meatloaf. Back in the fridge. Half a slice of banana cream pie. Back in the…now wait a minute. Bananas are healthy, aren’t they? And it’s only a half slice.

Rinsing the empty bowl and putting it in the dishwasher, I look back in the refrigerator. There should be a couple of leftover brownies that escaped the clutches of my grandchildren. Ah, yes, bless that Edith’s heart. I’m sure it was her that helped me remember that I’d hidden them in the vegetable bin. Clever of me!

Washing my hands after a restroom break, I’m stunned to see chocolate crumbs and yellow smudges around my mouth. That darned Edith; I can’t believe she tricked me into that. No worries, I just won’t eat dinner and get on the treadmill instead.

There’s my phone. “Sorry, Joy”, I mumble after hanging up, “my husband’s taking me out to dinner tonight. “Seriously, Joy, if you weren’t such a wimp, you’d send that Edith packing.”

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Drink a Gallon of Water?

I read somewhere that you should drink a gallon of water every day, so I thought I'd give it a try. The results...
  • Was not hungry all day
  • Spent an inordinate amount of time in a particular room
  • Pretty sure I'm super clean inside.
Don't think I will make a gallon of water my everyday goal, but I will be drinking more water than I usually do, because I like not being hungry between meals.

Tomorrow morning we'll see if it has an affect on my weight.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Doing well - how about you?

You know what they say - the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

My plan back in April was to post regularly on this blog, however, in May I learned that my Mom had to have open heart surgery, so I packed up my bags pronto and headed to Ohio for a couple of months to help her during her recovery. I got back in July and I'm just now getting caught up on everything.

The good news is that since I last posted, I've lost 5 pounds. I know that doesn't seem like a lot in 3 months, but it's huge for me.  I tend to lose weight very slowly and that tends to make me want to give up. I haven't given up!  In fact, I'm feeling stronger than ever about getting healthy.

I've started a workout program and I'm eating sensibly. This is a plan that is sustainable for life, so I think I've found a winner. Not really following any program, just doing what I should have been doing all along.

Eating healthy foods in reasonable portions and moving my body more and praying - lots of praying.

If you're working on your health, I'd love to know how you're doing and I'll add you to my prayer list.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thank God for that RESTART Button!

It's been nearly a year since my last post.  I can't believe that!  Worse, yet, I had completely forgotten about this site until I got a notice that it was time to renew the domain name.  Lately, I've been praying and asking God to give me direction in my writing, so when He drew my attention back to More of Him Less of Me, I knew that I needed to get back to posting.

A while back I wrote...

"God has a "RESTART" button
that's available to us at any time."

A few weeks ago, my husband and I hit that restart button and started eating right again. I've lost a couple of pounds already and I'm feeling good.

I'll be posting more regularly, now and I pray that you'll be encouraged to reach for more of Jesus in every area of your life and I'll be doing the same.


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