Part 3: My Weight Loss Story

In Part 1 I explained how it all began and in Part 2 I told you how I did it and now I'm going to give you concrete examples of what I ate and the exercise I did to drop 7 sizes.

  • I ate 4 meals a day - yes MEALS; not snacks - I kept food going in every 3-4 hours up until 2 hours before I slept to repair my metabolism and keep my body well fueled.  
  • I only ate 12 hours of the day, for instance I ate either from 10-10, 11-11 or 12-12 - it all depends on my sleep or what time I finally eat breakfast. So, say I eat breakfast at 11am, meal 2 would be at 3, meal 3 at 7 and meal 4 at 11pm. This not only helps your metabolism and blood sugar but it will keep you FULL and you won't need to snack in between; if you are eating enough at each meal.
  • Each meal contained a protein, fat and carb.  I ate 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein on average, though sometimes my carbs were higher.
  • I aimed to get 4-6 vegetable servings a day and 1-3 fruit servings.
  • I strived for at least 30 grams of fiber but usually it was 35g+ most days.
  • I ate mostly complex carbs - 100% whole wheat bread, brown basmati rice, 100% whole wheat tortillas, beans, etc. (See list below)
  • I ate 80% healthy foods and 20% other foods to keep life happy!
  • I didn't eat fake stuff like all those nasty sugar alcohols (I used real cane sugar and raw honey for my sweeteners) and I eventually stopped eating those high fiber wraps that are just full of added fiber that wasn't naturally occurring.  I also didn't do any of those high protein gimmicks - you can't possibly metabolize more 30 grams of protein in one go!  Skip these fad things that will ultimately tax your liver and kidneys.  I stayed away from "diet" foods.
  • I drank at least 8 cups of water daily and made this a priority and I also made sure I took my vitamins and supplements.

Here are some examples of actual meals I ate:

Part 2: My Weight Loss Story

You can read Part 1 of what drove me to begin hiking and spurred the first 15 pounds off and how COVID healed my brain pressure!  I felt like I had a second chance of living again without the brain pressure and I decided to "try" and see if I could lose any more weight besides the 15 that came off merely by hiking taking me from a size 20 to an 18.

I had always been a mostly healthy eater but I also had treats and ate fast food often but still, nothing that made sense as to why I was obese besides the medications and a decade full of surgeries, trauma and miscarriages.  To my surprise, I was only eating 900-1300 calories a day and maintaining on that and I chucked it up to menopause slowing my metabolism down.  (I had a hysterectomy in 2015 and went through what felt like menopause a few years ago.)  I thought well, there's no way I could lose weight because I'm already eating so little and this is just the way I'm going to always be.  At least hiking helped me lose 15 pounds but it had now been 3 years and no more weight had come off.  By the way, the doctor said I now had the heart of an athlete from my 3 years of hiking!!

I joined Weight Watchers in late May of 2022 the week of my daughter's high school graduation to just give it one last try and I was in a size 18 skirt and 2X/3X top.  I seriously thought it wouldn't work and expected this would be my last hoorah showing that I'm doomed to a menopause body forever.  That first week I ate ALL my points, tons of zero foods and ALL my weeklies - I thought you had too LOL!  I remember cramming my face full and feeling like I was going to be sick from all the food and I spaced it into 4 meals a day to get all that food in.  I thought there is NO WAY this is going to work.  To my surprise I dropped 2 pounds that first week.  I figured that was just water and eventually this wouldn't work.  Well, it worked every week!  I also started weight lifting after being so inspired at the weight loss and because I was adding in more exercise, I earned even more points and I ate all those too!  I was living in some kind of dream - eating MORE and losing weight!?  I was now eating an average of 1500-1600 calories and losing weight.

In 14 weeks I had transformed my body into a size 6!  

Part 1: My Weight Loss Story

Some of you that listened to my podcast already know a little about my story but I wanted to do a blog post to hopefully help others achieve the same health, peace and freedom in the way that I have.  I was so busy with life and giving everything of me to my family that I didn't really spend any time on my own health.  This is something that is common in women that are all about their homes and family but it is very wrong!  If you aren't at your best health, then HOW can you truly be what your family needs?  

I'm going to start from the crucial part of my story and what spurred everything on really, what could have been my end, became my beginning.

I got hit with the sickness of my life in February 2019.  My fever went past 104.5 but I was so delirious that I honestly didn't care if I lived or died.  I didn't want my family to worry and I don't think I told them about my fever - both my husband and children were also very violently ill and none of us could really help the other.  This actually happened to us a week before my husband was due to preach in front a large congregation for the first time since he had preached in Alaska over a decade before.   Let me just say that Satan was doing everything he could to prevent that!

I finally started coming out of the sickness but noticed when I got up to even go to the bathroom, I could hardly breathe and had horrible chest pain.  I still managed to make it to the church service and felt like I was dying but I wasn't letting anything stop me from being there with my husband.  (God really did something in that service with people receiving what they had needed and telling us so afterwards.)

My chest pain and shortness of breath didn't get better.  The ER kept me for observation because I had high PVC's and troponin in my blood.  The ER doc said I was too young for heart problems and released me.  I still didn't get better but actually got worse and was sent to a cardiologist.  The cardiologist said I had myocarditis and told my husband and I that it would take a miracle for me to make it or a heart transplant if I made it to the hospital in time when my heart failed completely.  We thought maybe he was joking because he said it so nonchalantly but then he turned and pulled down his glasses and looked at us and said he wasn't joking.  I asked if losing weight or exercising and changing my diet would help and he said absolutely not, this has nothing to do with that.  I had to come to the ER whenever I had the heart attack feeling.  This proved to be a common occurrence.

Living a Life of True Contentment

What is at the root of the problem for those who say it is never enough is lack of contentment.  Webster's defines contented as: feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation.  How many people do you know who can say they are satisfied with what they have in America?  Are you satisfied with what you have?  Or is it rather, just not "enough" yet?

Some verses of note from the Bible:

Luke 3:14  And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Phil. 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

1Tim. 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Notice, we are given examples to be content with our wages, learn to be content in every state of life, be content with our needs being met and let our life be without covetousness - this spirit of never enough - and be content with what we have!  Satan wants you to get on the treadmill of never enough and it isn't just because he wants to bankrupt you financially but he also wants you to to go hell.  Covetousness is a sin and you won't enter heaven (1Cor. 6:10), so we should be very aware of this spirit that is destroying many Americans like a cancer.

Guest Speaker Podcast - Build Your House

My guest speaker for this podcast is my husband and he is admonishing women to build their house. We have to realize the enormous impact that we, as women, have on our homes and specifically our husband.

Freezing Lemon Juice

I was tired of buying lemon juice and it going bad before I had time to use it up.  I thought, why not freeze it?  So, I opened a jar of organic lemon juice and used some old baby food freezer cube trays I had and although it worked, they were difficult to get out.  I think I would prefer silicone cube trays for this but at least I am saving a bottle of lemon juice from going bad now.

I poured a little over a tablespoon for each cube and then after they were frozen, I put them in a freezer bag and labeled them.  If I need less than a tablespoon for a recipe, I have a small lemon juice squeeze bottle unopened that I could use but I prefer the (organic) lemon juice without the additives.

I also plan on doing this with lime juice next!

*2 cubes or 2 tablespoons equals the juice from a whole lemon.

Defining the Spirit of Never Enough

What exactly is the spirit of never enough?  It has also been called covetousness for all time but in our modern terms we can simply understand it as the drive to "get" and where it is never enough.  First, let's define what covetousness is:

covet something: to want something very much, especially something that belongs to somebody else (Oxford)

covetousness: the feeling of having a strong desire for the things that other people have (Oxford)

- practices greediness (Greek)

- an over eager desire of the wealth of this world, envying those who have more than we (Matthew Henry)

- The covetous man is ever running out into futurity with insatiable desires after secular good; and, if this disposition be not checked, it increases as the subject of it increases in years. Covetousness is the vice of old age. (Adam Clarke)

We have all seen it, those whose main goal in life is to get, get, get and will do anything to gain riches.  It's all they think they about, it's all they do, it is what their entire persona is encapsulated in.  However obvious it may seem, there is a spirit that has infected a majority of people in this country, of which they aren't even aware for the simple fact that it is the norm.  

The spirit of never enough is all around us.  From the lowliest man on the street doing anything he can to get the next fix, to the homemaker who has to have everything just so, to the CEO of the largest corporation who just can't seem to ever be satisfied.  It's in every state, in every city, in every town and in every neighborhood.  How could this be?  How could those in the richest nation on the earth still be chasing and never finding enough?

The Spirit of Never Enough - Series

On the heels of my recent podcast, "Stop Chasing It", I am starting a series on "The Spirit of Never Enough."  This is reaching its height in the richest nation on the earth and I know it has to be turning God's stomach.  What America needs IS a reality check and we may very well be experiencing that right now.  It is much needed as we are surrounded by complaining on every side, of people so full of covetousness and their wants, that they don't even appreciate that their needs are met beyond what most people in the world today could ever dream of!

My husband let me know today that he is going to be doing a podcast shortly.  I'm so excited about this and I hope it will be a blessing to you all as he shares what is on his heart and mind with my readers/listeners.  We need to hear a man's side and I'm confident that my husband will be one of the greatest assets to this series.

This may change as I go along but here is the outline of what I plan on talking about in this series and some of you that listened to my podcast may see an overlapping on some posts:

  1. Defining the Spirit of Never Enough
  2. Living a Life of True Contentment
  3. The Law of Blessing From Obeying Gender Roles
  4. Holiness Living is Conducive to Making It
  5. A Lesson in Thankfulness
  6. Why Tithing is a Sign of the State of Your Soul
  7. Practicing Frugality to Tame This Spirit
  8. Teaching Your Children to Prevent Generational Curses

Podcast - Stop Chasing It

Covetousness has created an America today full of those complaining because it is never enough. It's time to stop chasing it and bind that spirit of covetousness before it binds you. The wife can either make or break her home and my hope is to provoke you to contentment.


Part 2 - The Blessing of 2023

You can read Part 1 here.

For almost an entire year, my husband was a full-time Pastor and he definitely worked full-time!  I remember being amazed at seeing him in what he was always meant to do with his day.  He studied the Bible for hours, spent a lot of time in prayer several times a day and started writing a book that God directed him to write and all this for 8+ hours a day.  We went about our normal day as he worked for the Lord.

I saw my husband become the most spiritual I'd ever seen him before and believe me, he was before!  He was so confident in leading our church and the Bible studies began to take on a full course meal (and still do).  No doubt he was ready for whatever the next step was but you already know from part 1 that it didn't come.  However, we have since had very odd things happen showing us just what it was that God had intended and what we were waiting for.  I keep praying but I know that just because someone didn't do what God directed, that doesn't mean our story is over!  

God sent us to this city and we obeyed.  God worked out anything and everything out of the both of us and just like Paul, God took us through training.  I have no doubts in my God!  Whatever He says, He knows we will do and if it is just living the wonderful, peaceful and happy life here that He has given us, then so be it. 

This book that my husband has been writing for over a year now - there is nothing like it.  When he told me what it was about and showed me a preview of the table of contents, I was speechless.  I also believe this book will be a valuable addition to the church.  My husband is probably the most humble man you will ever meet.  He has no ambition, no desire for fame, money is not something he has EVER loved... I could go on but let me tell you, He is a true man of God and Satan knows that!

I taught all the Pauline epistles the past few months to my son and had such experiences that I don't want to forget.  It is something when you, as a mom, are teaching your child the Word of God and then the Holy Spirit moves and the next thing you know you are either shouting or praising or weeping.  I can relate so well to Paul - it is comforting to me to know what truly following God's Will comes with - as all who live Godly WILL suffer persecution and we our afflicted on every side.  Paul got it.  Paul didn't need the church to validate him - God took him and taught him and God still does that! 

I'm thankful for 2023 and I wouldn't take it back for anything.  Our marriage was solidified like it had never been before and I got to spend the year with my husband and he got fit - physically and spiritually - like never before.  So, the jokes on Satan - He thought he'd destroy us but instead we became stronger!  He may be successful in hindering God's plan but God always has another plan for those who are willing to obey.

*For all the mockers out there: we had NO unemployment pay, NO government assistance and NO debt taken out for last year.

Let's Talk About 2023 - Our Year of Poverty

2023 was a year of testing for us in many ways.  It was a year that our faith grew like it had never been before.  It was a year of trusting God and watching all of our security fall out from under us.  It was a year of questions and a year without many answers.

At the start of 2023, after receiving his largest bonus ever, my husband got laid off after 17 years with a heartless call and abrupt goodbye.  This is how corporations work nowadays and they call it restructuring but it is all based upon greed.  In this event, they eliminated certain positions, not even looking at the people that filled them.  It was probably the worst move for the company in my opinion, as they lost some of their best and loyal employees but they'll soon find that out, if they haven't already.  It's their loss because I know how valuable my husband is!

It came as quite the shock to us but mostly my husband.  We had never gone through this before.  We'd always had security and never experienced a layoff.  It shook me to my core really, and not because he lost his job, but what he said God was wanting him to do afterward - of which, is why I'm writing this post.

My husband prayed for direction from God and he received something along the lines of: I'm going to bless you, it will come to you.  He was to do nothing but wait on God.  I really tried at first to believe this but let me tell you, I definitely quoted the scripture about don't work, don't eat and providing for your own LOL!  Not too long after the layoff, a LOT of job offers literally came to my husband!  Without any of his own doing, calls came in offering him some great jobs.  The big boss from the former company also called trying to get him back in some fancy corporate positions.  I thought, wow, see, God is so good, it literally came to him.  But... My husband kept saying, no, that isn't it, as each offer showed up.

After about the 5th offer and my husband saying it wasn't the one God was sending - I thought to myself, ok, there'll be another coming.  There wasn't and for 11 months we waited.  Every time my husband prayed, God said it is coming.  God worked so much out of ME as each month passed by.  We lived like we'd never lived before - spending the year under the poverty level and watching ALL of our savings run out - waiting.

The most unsettling part was I found out that nobody (except parents) cared for us!  No friends or family came to help, no offers of assistance, no food, no nothing!  No one cared; for real.  I remember craving certain foods so bad I felt like I was going to go out of mind.  I remember hatred and bitterness inside of me against church people that claim to be of God and knew my husband was laid off and offered nothing at all, not even a question about if we were ok.  I had to pray through all that and FORGIVE people in my mind.  But it taught me something - it taught me that 1. I haven't surrounded myself with God's true people and 2. I care more for others than they do for me.  I saw the selfishness of people and lack of care for others as God commands in His Word.

But God kept us.  We never starved!  Somehow, someway, God gave me wisdom with the food budget and I made it work.  We didn't have what we wanted but we had what we needed.  I was even able to find a medical clinic that saw us for free that was based on our income, which was ZERO!  We eliminated so much from our budget and found out what it's like to live bare bones.  Poverty in America looks way different than other countries but it is very uncomfortable when you've had everything all your life (needs and some wants) and to go to barely surviving with no hope on the horizon.

We trusted what my husband said God said to do till the end but nothing ever came.  My husband felt like a failure and started doubting so much.  By that point, I KNEW beyond ANY doubts that he was following God and although I couldn't explain why IT didn't come - I knew my husband and I knew we did what God said and waited.  People said so many cruel things to us, mostly to ME because they didn't have the guts to say it to my husband.  Forget that I have brain damage and can't handle much - they didn't care - they had to say their Job's friends' speeches to the weakest link.  I forgave them and my response to them was always that of faith in my God.  I wasn't going to waver and I stayed steadfast.

In many prayers to God, I kept getting the SAME response: Someone didn't listen.  SOMEONE didn't do what God told them to do in 2023 involving us.  Knowing this, at first I was furious, who is this someone that held our year in their hands and ignored what God told them to do!?  Then, it turned into deep sorrow because (and listen close) - by this person not doing what God told them to do involving my husband, they are going to suffer.  So, I prayed for that person.

By year's end, my husband quickly got a great job and how that came about was a miracle in itself.  He is making more money, working less hours and comes home happy.  We're enormously blessed with money running over but I'm changed forever.  I've always looked to the things of others and given to those in need but now more than ever, my mindset is altered and I hate the greed, covetousness and selfishness that has taken over so-called Christians and the church.  

God sometimes has to reroute His plan for us because of man.  God can't make anyone do anything, we are given a freewill.  Look at what your freewill in not doing what God told you to do can do to a family!  But no worries, God not only restored ALL of our savings in just 2 months but He is pouring enormous blessings on us that I'm now having to figure out what to do with it all.

Read Part 2 - The Blessing of 2023 here.

$450 a Month in Groceries for Family of 4

We have been making it going on 5 weeks now on $450 a month for groceries for 3 adults and a tween. We don't eat as much of a variety as we did back in April when we ate this amount but we are still able to eat enough and make it happen despite inflation! It does take work on the homemaker's part to do the brainstorming, planning, prep work and cooking.  We have cut out most processed foods like frozen burritos, chicken nuggets and other convenience items like cereal.

This is the first time in our lives when we are actually forced to do this. I've always chose in the past to do a frugal plan or keep our costs down but now, we are in a situation where we absolutely have to. This is not fun, let me just tell you that! When you are deprived against your will, after having not been deprived, it is very difficult to do. Nevertheless, my training in the past has deemed an excellent tool now when it came time to experience this hardship. I'm thankful and grateful that I know what to do. God truly can meet us halfway when we do our part!

Here are some pics of my weekly grocery trips:

We choose from any of the lists below at any meal, so breakfast doesn't have to just be at breakfast, etc. I also plan our dinner meals weekly. I make our own whole wheat tortillas, granola, energy bites and desserts and prep batch cook our beans and brown rice.

The American Impossibility of Obeying God

American society is constantly pushing against the family.  The most normal thing of all - having a family - is now considered repugnant.  However, remember, God created family!  It is no wonder this "world" doesn't want it.  Don't fall for churches and pastors that preach the world's ideology of preventing children, as if God was ever going to change His tune and start preaching the devil's doctrine.

Now, we are facing an economical attack on the family that could become successful during my lifetime of making it almost impossible for Americans to live on one income; that is, if you keep the American mindset of what normal is.  Americans think that we all must have our own house, fully furnished and eat meat at every meal and anything less is poverty.  No wonder the world scoffs at us when we talk about hardship!  

Is it really impossible to live on one income in America today?  Let's see what you can do going forth to be obedient to God rather than make excuses for your disobedience:

  1. Multigenerational family living - Women will disobey God's Word of being a keeper at home because she deems it necessary due to her husband's low wages, when she hasn't even considered multigeneration living with her parents or in-laws or even her adult children.  More and more Americans are starting to do what the rest of the world has always done, living in a multigenerational home.  I would rather share a home with my adult daughter and her family than her (or even me) forsake God's commands and God forbid work on a job to have a singular family home.  When push comes to shove - do you look for alternatives or are you quick to rebel against God's Word?
  2. Extreme frugality - I see it all the time, women think if they can't get their nails and hair done, eat out everyday and shop for clothes every week, then they are struggling.  God has to be nauseated at the American lifestyle!!  Practice a little frugality to bring yourself down to earth and have some discipline.  Eat meat only a few times a week and learn how to make good, nutritious meals with beans and other meatless options.  Not only is this good for your wallet but it is very good for your health, not to mention your waistline.
  3. Giving up American luxuries - Most Americans don't view things such as high speed internet, new cars, name brand clothes, cell phones and eating out as luxuries but they are!  You could could cut out your high speed internet and downgrade to a cheaper plan or get rid of home internet altogether and use the library public Wi-Fi and computers that tax dollars pay for.  Buy cheap, used cars and keep up on the maintenance to help them last longer.  Shop thrift stores and yard sales for clothing or just make what you have last longer by taking care of it.  Cut out expensive cell phones and plans and go with a cheaper option or get rid of your cell phone or landline altogether and just have one.  Stop eating out and spare yourself disease that restaurant food attributes to and cook healthy food at home.  This king of goes hand in hand with #3 but we tend to view these luxuries as necessities and it just isn't so.
  4. Sell things - As a wife, you could possibly find time to sell your crafts or goods online or at fairs.  You could also resell things from second-hand shops on eBay.  It's an option and one that I personally feel is acceptable if it doesn't take you away from your responsibilities.
  5. Move and live where you can afford - If you can't make it where you are, don't stay there after exhausting the above list - MOVE!  Many cities and small towns in America are affordable, just pick up and move.

I think once you exhaust those, get back to me but let's be honest - it is still very possible to live and obey God's Word in the richest country in the world!  Where there's a will, there IS a way!

1 Samuel 15:22-23
"...Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."

What's Different About Men Cross-dressing?

I don't normally read the Christian Post but I just happened to come across it and saw this:

What I find hard to understand is why some "Christians" don't have a problem with women cross-dressing?  The Bible clearly tells us that anyone that cross-dresses is an abomination (Deut. 22:5) and yet some women, claiming they are of Christ, cross-dress and wear men's garments of pants.  So, they really can't say these men are any different!  You have just come to accept women wearing men's garments and one day, it will be acceptable to you for men to wear women's garments because you get your instructions from the world.

I heard a Baptist preacher say that no men would come through his church doors wearing a dress.  I asked him, "What would you tell them as to why they couldn't wear a dress?  Is there a scripture in the Bible that would declare that was wrong?"  He was speechless because he knew his hypocrisy of a church full of women in pants had come home to roost.  If he tells the men about the scripture of cross-dressing, he'd also be condemning the women.

I think it is great that this is happening because it is exposing just who is a Christian and who isn't.  It is making people think about how they accepted a long time ago the abomination of women wearing pants and causing them to evaluate what they can stand on biblically about men wearing dresses.

Real Christians already know that either gender cross-dressing is an abomination because we got our instructions from the Word of God!  We didn't rely on a culture that is growing more perverse all the time and always has been.

And besides - what Christian would participate in a show to glory in who sings the best?  It isn't a Christian event and that tells all you need to know.

Summer Recipe Reviews #2

I tried out making whole wheat biscuits, which I don't think I've ever made and they were absolutely delicious!  They were fluffy, soft and to perfection in my opinion. We had them with gravy and turkey sausage.  I used whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe that I ground to flour in my Nutrimill using soft white wheat berries.

This Turkey Meatloaf is probably THE BEST I've ever had of any kind of meatloaf!  We all loved it and the leftovers got eaten quickly the day or so after.  We had it with mashed potatoes and a side of broccoli.

August Monthly Meal Plan

Doing these monthly meal plans really frees up time for me throughout the month!  For some reason, I'm craving a lot of chicken and so, I planned a lot of chicken meals this month.  My daughter cooks half the meals usually, so I don't have to cook every day thankfully when she's available to help.

Podcast - Satan's Push for Disobedience

Satan hasn't changed his tactic from the beginning, he is still pushing for disobedience against God's Word. He has infiltrated churches everywhere to promote this "it isn't sin" disobedience to the things that God has said to us in His Word. Stay away from Satan's ministers that give you a pass for your rebellion against what God said!

Summer Recipe Reviews #1

We've tried a lot of new recipes and liked most of them!  Here are a few of the new recipes that I remembered to take pictures of and then some oldies but goodies.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs - we usually have this on basmati white rice with a side of broccoli and it is one of my new favorite meals!

We all liked these Greek pitas with falafel and I made the tzatziki sauce and added some PB in it and water to make it more of a sauce.

I grew up on sauerkraut and weenies and thought maybe my son will like it as he's never had it, so I made some with kielbasa.  Well, he said it was the worst thing he's ever tasted in his life LOL! 

July Monthly Meal Plan

Here is the monthly meal plan for July:

June Monthly Meal Plan

I'm a little behind in posting this but here is June's monthly meal plan: