Showing posts with label #weightloss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #weightloss. Show all posts

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tangible Reminders of Victory

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
                                                      Philippians 4:4 NIV            

Tangible reminders of God's power shows proof of the need for rejoicing.  Remembering our victories sets our hearts to beating, and rids our minds of defeatism.

I began losing weight God's way in 1993. To lose ninety-five pounds took me nearly three years. Maintaining weight loss is difficult. Year by year, month by month, day by day, facts validate what was accomplished.

I bought a pair of red shorts. They were several sizes
My favorite red shorts
small. I loved them. They had pockets and were tailored, but long on my leg. (I won't wear short shorts)
 I lost several sizes and first wore the red shorts to Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. I was ecstatic.

I continue to wear them occasionally though now they're rather faded. Every time I put them on, I slip my fingers in my loose waistline, and give praise to the Lord for His help to reach that size.

My size 201/2 on me now

My husband's business functions required new evening wear once a year. I began with one outfit size 24 1/2. I lost two dress sizes, gave my original dress to a friend's daughter, and bought a size 20 1/2. Every year or two, I purchased a smaller evening dress to wear to realtor banquets or church Valentine dinners. I keep the largest to remind me of when I was heavy. All the others I gave away.

Tangible reminders of victory are invaluable to keep us rejoicing, praising God, and keeping our thoughts on target. I have several pictures of when I weighed 250 lbs. I carry one in my wallet. I have a 11 by 14 family picture on my wall that reinforces God's power in my life.

I have a coin that says "One day at a time." It's encouraging.

What do you keep that reminds you of victory with Jesus?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two Tips for Beginning Weight Loss

Ready to begin a weight loss journey?

You don't need a new diet.
You don't need a new exercise.
You don't even need a support group, though they do help a lot.

Two things are imperative.

1. Clean out your kitchen of trigger foods and restock with healthy options.

Add fruits, veggies, low fat dairy, and lean protein.

Clean out trigger foods. This was mine. Twenty-three years ago, I would pick up a dozen cream-filled donuts and eat them all by myself.

I lost 100 pounds and have kept it off for twenty years. I haven't bought a donut in probably sixteen years.

2. Clean out your mind of defeatist self-talk and fill it with God's presence.
Led by God
Rid yourself of negative thinking and talking.
Learn a new habit.
Form a new pattern.
Understand you're a child of God.
I used to say I'm fat and will never lose weight. With talk like that, I didn't.
Then, don't just clean out the bad stuff, but fill your mind and heart with good stuff. The more we struggle, the more we should read God's Word, pray, and meditate to listen to God's guidance.

That's my two tips for beginning weight loss. What's yours?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Devotion and a Birthday Giveaway

Monday, July 18, is my birthday, but I plan to give the gift, a $10 Amazon gift card. Scroll to the bottom to see how to win.

First, to celebrate my birthday week, here is today's devotion from my best-selling devotion book; Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

July 16


197. Watch the Stripes


“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8


     In my haste to be all things to all people, my life often veers too far to one side or the other. Highway departments paint a center stripe on narrow roads and several stripes on freeways. Without these, one car would swerve into another. Center stripes stop head-on collisions. The darker the night, the more we need stripes with reflective paint or pegs. Have you ever thought about who decided to paint stripes on highways? When did that become necessary?


     In the early 1900s, our roads consisted mostly of dirt or sand. Traffic meant horses or carriages. Interestingly enough, bicyclers first brought attention to the need for better roads in 1897. With the invention of the Model T, the US government realized a need for standardization of the road system. A simple idea like stripes on the highways eliminates collisions and gives guidance on your travels.


     God’s word and instruction in prayer is a Christian’s stripe on their pathway of life. We tend to get too far in one direction, compensate, and then go too far in the other. Twelve-step programs use the mantra, “First Things First” to remind us to take care of our recovery first, then all things will fall in place. God tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God.”


     Focus on God (the stripe). He will tell you when your compass is off base. Then, you can adjust and stay on the right road. Your spiritual recovery must always be your first focus.


Prayer: Help me keep first things first today.
I hope that devotion ministers to you today.

Now, for my chance to give one of you a birthday gift for MY birthday. God said it was more blessed to give than receive.

Leave me a happy birthday message along with your e-mail address. On the morning of July 25, I will draw from the names of all that left a comment before midnight July 24. If you left me an e-mail, I will send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Of course, I would love for you to use it for one of my books. (Just a hint) preorders on my new women's fiction due to release Sept 1 will be available the middle of August) Nevertheless, the gift certificate will be yours to use as you wish, with my thanks for the birthday wishes.

Click on post a comment. Log in with your Google account or even anonymous. When you write your comment, don't forget to leave your e-mail unless you know that I already have it.

God bless you today and thanks ahead of time.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

How to Inspire a Healthy Meal?

When meals just happen, overeating or unhealthy choices are often made.

So, how might you inspire a healthy meal?
Would a bouquet brighten your dinner table?

Preparation of mind and meal

Begin before you're ready to eat.

1.      Pay attention to food choices. Planning meals ahead of time eliminates some of the last-minute temptation to overeat. But even if you're in a hurry, stop first to ask yourself whether you have options that help your weight loss or maintenance.
     One way to look at it is whether the proposed food is worth the calories. Will you be exercising? Where are you eating? If it's at a restaurant, take time to google the nutritional values of possible choices. If it's at home, might you add an extra vegetable, or cook the meat without much oil?

2.     Set a smarter table. At home, use smaller plates and tall, thin glasses whenever possible. At restaurants, ask if you can have your meal served on a salad plate. Or simply divide your meal into a sensible portion for now, and ask the waiter to put the rest in a to-go container.

3.     Take a quiet moment. Before you dig in, stop to reflect on your mood. A prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for the meal might be a good time to again ask God to have His will for your choices.

 While you're eating:

1.      Take it all in. Engage all your senses. How does the food look and smell? Anticipate that first taste and savor each mouthful.

2.     Downsize your bites and slow yourself down. The meal shouldn’t be a race to the finish line. Take smaller bites, chew each one thoroughly, and take a sip of water before raising your fork again.

3.    Be sociable.  Dining out with friends and family is one of life’s pleasures. Put appropriate servings on your plate, and then concentrate on your friends or family.  Stimulating conversation might cause you to forget your food, and fill up quicker, so that you don't even want all that's on your plate. If this happens, take it home, or leave it. Add it to the waste, not to your waist.  Limit the time spent around food pushers, or at least, learn to hush their efforts.

After your meal

1.      Do a quick check-in. What would you do differently next time? How could you better prepare? What did you do right? Always find something you did right.

  1. Give thanks.  Thank the Lord for helping you.
  3.  Take a walk.  After more talking or perhaps doing the dishes, take a walk outside if it's still daylight, or play a game of volleyball, or take a line dancing class inside. This raises your metabolism and adds to family fun. 
Do you have other ideas to make your meals more healthy? Please share.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

10 Steps to Good Health with Author, Eleanor Gustafson

On this day, I wish to introduce you to author, Eleanor Gustafson. I write a lot of posts about weight loss and nutrition. I thought you might like to hear another person's view on the subject. Eleanor graciously agreed to share her ten steps to good health, plus a little extra. Be sure to scroll on and learn about this author's exciting books. Take it away, Eleanor.

I’m 82. Been at this health things a few years. While I can’t jump hedges or ride horseback anymore, I still walk a pretty good clip and climb stairs two at a time.

What have I learned about health? In the order of importance, here’s my short list:


1. The very best tool for healthy living is self-discipline. Without that, you’re doomed!

2. The next-best tool is vitamin C. I have beaten back multiple health problems from colds to serious bladder infections. The trick is to attack the very first symptoms. If you bruise, you’re low on C.

3. Best advice: knock out sugar. Did you know that cancer feeds almost totally on glucose?

4. A healthy spiritual life helps promote bodily health. The reverse of that: Don’t expect good health if you harbor anger, resentment, and self-indulgence.

5. Get out and move it—walk, swim, play, bike.

6. Eat healthy—organic when possible, lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish, non-red meats, omega-3 oils.

7. Sleep 7 to 8 hours, especially if stress claws at you. That’s my ongoing problem!

8. Find ways to relax, especially if you work compulsively like I do. My thing is Sudoku.

9. Avoid environmental pollutants—weed and insect killers, microwave (radiation), food additives (MSG, nitrites, bad sugars) Lots of nasty stuff out there.

10. Indulge daily with a square or two of 70% or more dark chocolate. Even 90% is edible.


Over all the above, however, is a life commitment to love, worship, and follow our Lord Jesus Christ. With that in place, our bodies can function as the Designer planned, running on the joy of the Lord. Without him, nothing works well in the long run.

If you’d like more detail on any of these, please email me—  I have this goop recipe that’s nasty but real good for you. Requires a bit of courage. Want to try? Just ask.


One final word: Good health is not a given, and bad health happens. If you are dealing with health issues that seem intractable, please don’t let my list discourage you. Do what you can of the above, see a nutritionist (pricy), or find a doctor who’s not just a pill pusher. And of course, health nuts like me are generally happy to give cheap advice.


May God supply the health and strength you need to fulfill the task he has assigned you in particular.

Thank you so much, Eleanor. I love your list. So much of it jives with my 10 best tips for weight loss. See this at:
I do have one question. What is Sudoku?
Okay, now tell us about your books.

My novel Dynamo is a horse-and-God story, with characters you won’t forget. Here are a few review squibs:


·         Dynamo is the most spell-binding book I've had the pleasure to read in years! The writing is superb. The story is captivating. The characters are believable. God’s power is evident.  ~Deb Haggerty


·         Love horses? Love God? Love a good read? Then you will love Dynamo! A wonderful story about love, redemption and how God interposes Himself in our lives in the most unexpected ways! ~Barbara Bertolino


·         Nothing is common about this story. It is so full of love, peace, forgiveness, life and loss. It is really, really a book to read. Eleanor Gustafson is a new author to me, but she is now a new favorite. If her other books are half as good as Dynamo they would be worth reading. I highly recommend Dynamo. ~Trinity Rose


The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David has equally good reviews. Check them out on Amazon.



Ellie Gustafson began thinking up stories at a young age but did not begin writing and publishing until 1978. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.

Find Eleanor Gustafson online at:



Twitter: @EgusEllie

Facebook: Ellie Gustafson

Oh, thank you so much, for visiting the Writing with God's Hope blog today. I loved your list of 10 healthy steps, and I absolutely must check out those books. My oldest daughter is a real horse lover and a reader, so I'll be sure to tell her, too.

I voiced my question for Eleanor. Do any of you viewers have questions?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hungry? 4 Things to Do

It's not my brother nor my sister, but it's me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
That is a line from an old gospel song, reminding us to only judge ourselves, not others.

God says it best in Matthew 7:3

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Overeaters need support groups. They encourage us, inspire us, and motivate us, but what happens in the afternoon when you're hungry enough to eat the strings off the floor? You promised God you wouldn't eat in between meals, but dinner is three hours away. You're on your own.

What do you do?

1. Plug into your power source.

   Spend quiet time with God. Read God's Word, pray, and meditate.
   I'm powerless over food.
   God can handle this, if I surrender to His will.
   My job is to ask, seek, and knock.
   His job is to answer, provide, and open doors.

2. It's not all about you.

Gratitude moves out pride.

Call someone. Write a card.
 Compose an e-mail. Visit a shut-in.

   If we're struggling with the desire to overeat, we're dwelling too much on ourselves. We may be angry, envious, or frustrated. When our attention is drawn to the needs of others, God provides our solution. 

3. Is not eating too drastic?

Are you really hungry? Maybe you need food because you haven't eaten enough earlier in the day, or maybe, you exercised more than usual.

As overeaters, we don't want to obsess over food, but neither should we obsess about not eating. Snacks aren't bad. Some lose better by snacking. Are you feeling faint? Is your tummy growling? Maybe you are really hungry? What healthy snack would energize you?

Have you missed out on sleep? Are you sick? Take time to rest or nap instead of grabbing a snack. What is your body telling you?

Don't be drastic or dogmatic to what you "think" you should do.

4. Write about it.

In the last few weeks, my weight has fluctuated 3-4 pounds, but it never goes all the way back down to my goal weight. Angst settled in. I teach how to maintain weight. Why can't I get back on track? I began to journal my food choices and activity level. The discipline opened my eyes. Through the months since I last did this, my appetite has grown. I didn't even realize it.

Do you need to list your foods again for awhile? It's helping me.

****Overeaters face hunger feelings by themselves. We can redirect that hunger. What is it you need to do today to get yourself back on track?
Give yourself a valentine. Lose three pounds before the end of February.

P. S. Watch out for those chocolate-covered strawberries. They're sneaky and dangerous.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Journal and Follow the First 3 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

Divine Dining Weight Controllers follow the twelve steps of Overeaters Anonymous. Why? Because they have it right. I needed them. So do others. Bill W. and Dr. Bob got their inspiration straight from God when they began Alcoholics Anonymous, and it still works today for recovery from addiction whether it's food addiction or something else.

First 3 steps of Overeaters Anonymous.

1.     We admitted we were powerless over food, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.     Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.     Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.


One helpful tool to Divine Dining Weight Control is journaling. This is especially helpful if you’ve had a rough day the day before, or if you’re wanting to eat, eat, and eat. Write down those feelings. Write down your petition to the Lord. It sticks with you better and rids your mind of any anger or resentment.


******I found this post in a journal from several years ago when I was struggling so much with food addiction:

     What I have trouble with is step three (action). I can say the words “Lord, take over my will,” but I obviously don’t mean them because I continue to try to control and react negatively when it goes contrary to my wishes.

     I must learn to not react to others’ problems. Step three and giving up control is in direct proportion to my spiritual condition. God is in the now, not past, nor future.

     One last note, as in “How It Works” in the Big Book, we claim spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection.

Have you tried the 12 steps?

Do you journal?

****This is important******

P. S. In case you're new to "Writing with God's Hope" blog, I lost 100 pounds and have maintained the loss for twenty years, after being overweight all my adult life.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Rejection requires patience.

Patience requires the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives nine fruits.

The fruit of love, joy, and peace gives freedom.

In Writing

When I retired from my medical coding and bookkeeping job, I set a goal to write and submit to agents or editors on a regular basis. I followed steps to make that dream come true. I joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a local group called Red River Romance Writers (RRRW). I wasn't sure what I wanted to write, but I knew all my stories included romance in some way. I attended a weekly critique group where my writing was torn apart verbally.

One of our speakers in RRRW that first year was a writer form Tulsa, Margaret Daley, who spoke on "Falling in Love without Falling in Bed." I loved it. Though I love romance in stories, I'm turned off by the overt sexual content that most publisher seemed to want. She introduced me to a group called American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I joined and attended a conference. I pitched to agents and editors. I submitted and waited, soon receiving rejection after rejection.

Each rejection stalled my writing while I threw myself a pity party.
Finally, through the grace of God and the fruit of patience, I submitted again. I reached the point that I agreed with God to allow one day of self-pity, but the second day, I was required to submit something else, a short story, a query, something. Author, DiAnn Mills, taught at Blue Ridge Christian Writing Conference how to write as a ministry to God. I clung to that idea.

Through RRRW, I learned about another group called Oklahoma Writers Federated International (OWFI). At my first conference in 2011, I pitched to the publisher/owner of 4RV Publishing, Vivian Zabel, my one and only young adult. In a few months, I had my first contract. In 2012, my debut novel, Victoria and the Ghost, became a reality, almost seven years after my first rejection.

In Weight Loss

All my adult life, I exercised a yo-yo cycle of losing and regaining weight. One of those hundred pound losses prepared the way for me to purchase and run a Diet Center franchise. Even then, I faced rejection on a major scale. I became a closet eater. Because of teaching others in the community how to lose weight, I couldn't be seen eating a heavy meal or dessert at a restaurant or banquet. I regained every pound plus five.

Rejection nagged at my heels with every new diet, with every new exercise, with every new pill or shot. Once, taking shots from a doctor to lose weight plunged me into deep depression. Again, I failed.

My husband didn't mean to reject me. He loved me, but he couldn't face what I was doing to myself. I had no patience with anything that took the weight off slowly. The fruits of peace and joy eluded me. I wanted to die. Compulsive overeating bound me in unbreakable chains.

Rejection to patience. Patience to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit to the fruit. The fruit to freedom.
God began to heal me. The more I concentrated on the Lord, the more the weight came off, slow, steady, but sure. The Spirit gave the patience. In two years and four months, I lost ninety-five pounds. That was nineteen years ago. God gave freedom over rejection and failure.

In Teenagers with Dysfunctional Families

I write the message of hope for compulsions, addictions, and hang-ups. In my YA book, a fifteen year old girl named Victoria faces rejection from a mother that she adores. The material world that Victoria lives in hasn't prepared her for feelings deeper than deciding on the latest pair of sandals or the biggest thing in jeans. She responds with anger toward the dad that moves her away from her Dallas home to Hicksville.

Anger rules this girl's life; anger at dad, anger at people that are kind to her, anger at God, angry at everyone except the person that rejected her.


That's one emotion she can't face.

Rejection to patience, patience to the Holy Spirit, the guidance of the Spirit to the fruits, the fruits to the freedom to love and conquer fear. Victoria learns to forgive without giving up love.

If you face rejection, failure, and bondage, the answer is the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches about Jesus.

With eyes on Him, anything is possible; relief, success, and freedom.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chicken Again and a Giveaway

Does it seem as if you always eat chicken? But, you're trying to keep down your weight, you say.

So what? Are you doomed to days of chicken again and again? Did you ever feel like writing a book of 1000 ways to cook chicken?

A rooster at the Sauer-Beckham Living History Farm on LBJ Ranch in
Johnson City, TX.

Yes, eat some lean protein every day
if you're losing weight
if you want to build muscle
if you're over 50
Lean protein includes chicken but doesn't exclude other options, and there are many other ways to get in your lean protein. Here's my suggestions:

1.     pork tenderloin
2.     lean ham
                            3.     turkey
                            4.     eggs
                            5.     tuna
                            6.   shrimp
7.     round steak
  8.     sirloin steak
9.     rump roast
   10.   salmon cakes
              11. 93% fat free ground beef
    12. low fat cheese
                                13. ground turkey
            14. Jimmy Dean has a lighter pork sausage
                 15. Hillshire Farms has a light smoked sausage
                     16.     fat-free franks
                     17. pinto beans (also a carb)
                     18. eggbeaters
18 suggestions and none of them chicken.
Of course, you may count the ways to cook chicken.
Here's my top five:
Grilled on grill
Baked in oven with veggies in foil
Stewed in pan on top of stove and make dumplings
Mix in casserole such as chicken spaghetti
Stuffed in tortillas and cooked like enchiladas

Don't tell me lean protein while you're losing weight is boring. Don't complain to me that all you eat is chicken, chicken, chicken. Don't grumble over no variety.
Can you think of some other low fat options to get in your lean protein? I'm always looking for suggestions.

I will draw a name from all those who comment below with another option or a new way to cook chicken before April ends. The winner will receive their choice of a free book out of the 3 listed on the right side of this blog post. Be sure to sign in with your e-mail or leave your e-mail, so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How Will You Eat from Now Until New Years?

For the Christian food addict, it’s imperative to:

1.     Make a plan ahead of time.

2.     Spend more time in the Word, in meditation, & in prayer.

3.     Keep coming to support groups and weighing and getting encouragement regardless of your plan. If you don't have a physical group, consider an online one.


Now (2 months before Christmas) is the time to decide what you want to do.


If you’re near your goal, or if you prefer following a rigid plan, you might decide to try to keep losing even if only a little.


Steps for this:

1.     Practice turning down foods before you go to a party or family feast. Visualize it in your mind what you’ll say, how you’ll handle the situation, how much of something you might eat, or if you’ll bypass a particular treat altogether.

2.     If you slip a little, avoid guilt, and start over right where you are. Don’t wait until January.

3.     On days where there are less challenges, stick to your eating plan with God’s help.

4.     Add one extra activity to your day. Not only will that rev up your metabolism to burn extra calories, but it will help your mental attitude to be able to press on.


If you decide the holidays are an impossible time to lose weight, or you need more flexibility to handle situations, then your best bet is to aim for staying the same weight from say, Nov. 1 to Jan. 1, or from Thanksgiving until after Christmas.


Steps to maintain:


1.     Relax your plan a little, by adding a small treat a day, or a bigger indulgence a week to your healthy eating.

2.     If parties or social gatherings aren’t in your forecast, aim to overeat Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day only while sticking right with your plan the rest of the time.

3.     Keep your  usual exercise going strong. Don’t slack off.

If you’ve lost a lot but still have much to lose, and you want to take a break, then allow for a small gain.


Steps for only allowing a small gain:


1.     Plan how much you’ll allow yourself to gain before you stop and change things. If you slip over your designated gain, go to the plan above for losing during the holidays.

2.     Keep up activity.

3.     Keep lots of fruits and veggies in your fridge to snack on.

4.     Plan what day, you’ll go back to your normal eating pattern, and commit that date to God.

Yes, 2 months of holidays does lay ahead of us, so decide now and commit to your choice. Pray for God's guidance. If you own Divine Dining, my devotion book for healthy eating, start reading with the devotion for November 1.
Anyone else have suggestions to share?