Defined by Obedience, Not by a Number (and a Giveaway!!)

GIVE-AWAY UPDATE: For those of you who haven’t left a comment yet, there is still time to hop on and be entered in our little incentive give-away. Just leave your quick thoughts before 11:00 pm EST Thursday when the random winner will be chosen. And tomorrow, I will be posting a yummy, healthy recipe to try this weekend….

Hello, Wednesday weigh in gals! I have been so looking forward to this day. Not because I got to hop on the scale and see if the red needle went down, but because I get to check in with all of YOU!!!!!

If you haven’t joined our little cyber group of girlfriends, don’t fret! Newcomers are always welcome.You can get caught up by clicking on Weight Loss Wednesdays in the side bar.  

And this week, we even have a little incentive giveaway I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Sooooo, how did it go? We were encouraged to figure out our calories, stick to the budgeted amount and then write down what we ate each day. And we said we’d move more. Walk, ride, aerobicise, etc… If we did these things, the scales would go down. 

Did they?

I was very hopeful as I hopped on the scale this morning. I kept track of my food, exercised 5 days at the gym for 30-45 minutes and my jeans were zipping up much easier than expected. So I whipped the scale out of its locked down location (I’ll post someday about my need to do this since hopping on the scale more than once a week proves often to be detrimental to me)

It said I lost …. 1.8 pounds.

A measly 1.8 pounds!


I was sure it would say at least 2 or maybe even 3. 

I felt gypped.

And I felt like running to the kitchen to make a frozen waffle or two, slather it with real butter, spread it with some Peter Pan and douse it with a load of pure maple syrup to drown my sorrows.

Then I stopped and remembered what I felt the Lord wanted me to say to you this week.

Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.

The scale does help measure our progress, but it can’t tell us everything.

It can’t tell us if the problem was too much salt of late that is making us retain a pound or two of water that might not otherwise show up.

It can’t tell us if we actually lost a pound of fat but gained more muscle from weight training that wouldn’t show up as a total loss on the scale.

And, (in my case this week) it can’t tell us what time of the month it is and then give us automatic credit for the extra two pounds or so that glorious few days brings to us.

So I had to stop.

I had to ask myself the following questions:

  • Did I overeat this week on any day?  No.
  • Did I move more and exercise regularly? Yes.
  • Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last Wednesday? Yes
  • Did I eat in secret our out of anger or frustration? No.
  • Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God? Nope.
  • BEFORE I HOPPED ON THE SCALE….did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week? Yep!

So, why oh why do I get so tied up in a stupid number!!!!!! And why did I almost let it trip me up and send me to the kitchen for a 750 calorie binge? (Don’t worry. I had a yogurt and tea instead.)

Sweet bloggy friends, we need to define ourselves by our obedience, not a number on the scale.


Pinky promise?


Now, how did you do this week? Leave your thoughts and how many pounds you lost (or perhaps gained) if you’d like, but you certainly don’t have to.

I am more interested to see what changed for you? Your thought patterns? Habits? Feelings of hope?

Hop on and leave a comment. Hop on again to encourage someone else who left a comment.

We are all in this thing together.

And we WILL get the weight off, even if it is 1.8 pounds at a time!

But first, for the little perk-you-up giveaway and this week’s assignment. 


(Fuzzy picture snapped with my cell phone. Can’t find the card reader for the camera, sorry!)

One of you will be chosen at random to receive a cute, clever and colorful notebook with elastic tie-shut  to record your food in each day as you log your calories. Also, I’ve included a pretty silver Breast Cancer Awareness pen, two bags of one of my favorite teas (Passion by Tazo) and two Soft-lip chapsticks. One in Cherry and one in Coconut Cream. Slick some of these on when you have a sweets craving and sip the tea with a little Stevia or Splenda  or even plain.


And your assignment for this week (being Halloween when chocolate and all things sugary just float in front of your face screaming “Eat me!”) has to do with sweets.

Now I know some gals who lose weight by sticking to a strict never-will-any-sugar-touch-my-lips-at-any-time rule. And it works great for them. If that is you, bravo! 

However, for me, I had to learn to CONTROL my sweets; to have just a dab of them now and then; to learn to treat them as treats, not one of the major food groups. I was prompted to do this by a woman in my Weight Watchers class who had lost 167 pounds and was trying to lose 40 more.

She was an inspiration.

And, she ate chocolate every day when she shed those 167 pounds.

Yep, each night when the kids were in bed, she settled in to read, fixed herself a hot cup of black coffee and ate 6 Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses.  They are 20 calories each so her little treat was 120 calories each night.

She planned for it.

She ate it s-l-o-w-l-y.

She thoroughly enjoyed it.

You see, I really don’t think for me that just chucking all treats from my life is always the answer. There are times that I do refrain from eating certain things because they trigger me. Other times, I feel God is telling me that by just refusing to deal with them, I am refusing to take the test. He wants to test me to see if I can control the treats rather than the little buggers controlling me.

So here is your assignment this week (unless you really fell called to a no-sweets plan)

Eat a treat. 

No, this is not a trick…

Plan for it. Save the calories. Make sure you are really hungry when you do eat it. And, next week, tell us what happened when you did.

Just think this way when it comes to treats, “Less and less often” Meaning eat less (half a piece of pie rather than half a pie!) and do it less often (once a week rather than nightly.)

We can still see the scales move downward even with an occasional treat. And I know for me, it helps to keep me from chucking the whole weight loss thing because I can’t go out for dessert with the gals or try a small piece of the birthday cake or whatever.

So, this week don’t be tricked….you can have a treat! 

Okay, I now can’t wait to hear how your week went and to give away our little give-away :-)

Comments, please…

Not-just-a-Number Blessings,


  1. I have been recording my calories for about 6 weeks but this week wasn’t so great. I did still manage to lose 1.5 lbs. which was ok. I’m happy that the scale is going down and am not too concerned about how long it takes. My biggest problem right now is that having lost 17.5 lbs., my clothes are getting too big. I’m hoping to lose between 40-50 lbs totol so I don’t really want to spend a ton on this inbetween size. Any suggestions on good second hand stores? I’ve checked on line for my area and will probably check them out soon. Also, does anyone know how important you BMI really is?
    Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. God directed me here this morning…Praise him. So I am on board.. Karen thank you for being faithful to him and listening. Us ladies need a site like this… kathy

  3. Not a good week to start for me. . .I haven’t weighed myself yet. I started on Thursday last week so thought I would wait until tomorrow morning to weigh myself. I wasn’t very motivated to start recording everything, but God has used this week to kick me into gear through various people and scriptures. Even our MOPS topic this week was on taking care of yourself (fitness, nutrition and medical). So if you will let me stay a part of this group, I am going to work harder this week :)


  4. I was a bit more careful about what I ate and about how much I ate. I am trying to concentrate on making the best choice that I can each time, instead of looking at the myriads of possibilities of food choices that I’ll face in the future.

  5. I haven’t joined your group yet, but plan too. I’ve been working on losing weight since Aug. 7th and am down 23 pounds. I still have 22 to go. 53 days ago I started an online (FREE) Bible study to help with weight loss. I have learned so much and have even been encouraged one week when I gained! I will weigh in next Wednesday, just wanted to say that if you are here, you are making the first step.

    Thank you Karen, for opening this door and giving us a place of accountability.

  6. This week was really hard for me, I have been doing Wednesday Weight ins for my dr since the first week of October, and up til now I had lost a cumulitive total of 12lbs, so today I was expecting at least 3 more pounds, but that scale did NOT show favor, it actually went up by 2 lbs.
    Its been am emotional week and I have prayed more than ever…I have been watching everything I eat, and no changes from earlier in the month except I didn’t drink as much water and eat as much protein as I had been…I actually ate less, than I had been.

  7. I love your thoughts. God has been impressing the very same message on my heart over the course of the last 5 months. That my weight does not define me! Sure I want to see huge numbers like they do on Biggest Loser but at the same time I am not working nearly as hard as they do so why should I get the gain without the work? I had a good week with sticking to my calorie count. It was exactly what I needed. My aha moment was when I realized that while I was eating all the right things I was eating them in a lot bigger quantity than I realized. Watching my portion control and writing it down so I don’t forget what I have consumed was so helpful. I also discovered that if I chewed a half a stick of gum that it took away my need to eat from boredom or to snack while fixing dinner or lunches. It was a good week and I am down 2 lbs for the first time in a very long time! I was bracing myself for a bad number since I have struggled with this for so long but when I saw the 2 I was delighted. I knew in God’s power this was possible! Thanks for your encouragement!

  8. I know this is a Wednesday weigh in, but I started last Thursday at weight watchers. I don’t have a scale at home, (seems this may be a good thing because I could jump on it more often then not) and I am not weighing in until tomorrow. I love hearing about all the different ways God is raising up His kids, teaching all of us through one another. What an awesome gift … All of you are an inspiration — to God be the glory!! I can hear Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Indeed we are not numbers, but His children whom He dearly loves, created in His image, and He will move heaven and earth, and yes, perhaps, the scale too. Many Blessings!

  9. When I stepped on the scale this morning I was only down half a pound which at the time seemed discouraging but then I thought well at least the number went down. Besides it is that time of the month and I always seem to retain water the first few days. I drank more water this week and exercised four times, which is four times more than last week. Thanks Karen for starting Weight Loss Wednesdays and reminding us we are more than a number on a scale.

  10. I’m going to join in. I want to lose 12 lbs. I would love to lose half of that by Nov 13th, when my husband and I go away for 4 days to the ocean on our annual anniversary getaway. The other half I want to lose by Christmas before our office Christmas party, which is Dec 18th. This should be doable. I am 51 and know I need to move more and eat less junk/fast food. I pray that this will help me stay accountable and motivated!

  11. This is such a great way to get me motivated. Which I totally need! Writing it down does help and I am surprised how much I didn’t eat because I didn’t want to write it down! I lost 1 lb this week, at first I was really discouraged but after reading all of the posts I feel better and it is one lb closer to my goal!

  12. This week I tried my best to be obedient and I followed the plan closely. I tried to make extra trips of running up and down the stairs. I kept telling myself I would get up extra early to exercise before the kids got up (that didn’t happen). I’m going to try to start making time to exercise after they go to bed, because I don’t seem to have a problem staying up late :)
    This morning I stepped on the scale and I dropped almost 4 POUNDS! Woo-hoo! I have also focused on drinking water this week which I think really helps.
    It’s so great to have this wonderful support group! Keep up the good work ladies and I will continue to pray for strength for all of us.

  13. Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that serving and being obient to God is more imoportant than a number.

    I have not yet stepped on the scale. Do not own one, I am budgeting to buy one. Then I will need to hide it between Wenesday’s or I will be on it thirty times a day to see how I am doing. Hence the reason I do not own a scale.

    I have been concentrating on portion control. This has been a big help for me. I have found recipes that list the calories and the size of a portion. I have also cut dowon the number of times I grab a handful of something out of the pantry just Because I am getting a snack for one of my girls. I am learning to grab soybeans or sunfolwer seeds over chocolate chips and m&m’s.

    Learning to not give in to my desires and to show self-control. Somedays have been really hard. Yesterday was one of them. I love bread and ate 3 peices with our dinner. I did not need it but had a bad day and thought I should have it. Today has been better. I just have to remember that one bad day does not mean I am a going to fail, tomorrow is another day and I get to strat all over!

  14. Thanks Lord for leading me to Karen’s blog today.. He is so good. I’m joining. I weighed msyself this morning, and desire to lose the weight I gained because life got rough…(I have in the past been big into medicating with food.) So not of God.

    My motivation is helping my daughter, and setting an example for her..(she is 25 pounds over weight,,,I don’t want her in a life time battle like it has been for me.) Plus like you say fitting in smaller size clothes is way FUN…( I have them boxed ready for good will,) So here I am I JUST HIT THE RESTART BUTTON… I am ready to go…. hugs to you all, sisters on a mission……………

  15. This is wonderful. As I have been just getting back on track, I think this encouragement will be good for me to plug into each week. Accountability is always good. I exercised yesterday and today – just getting started. Starting that journal today. :)

    Karen, your focus on obedience strikes a chord with me. I have been asking God what he has for me each day, rather than praying “help me as I go through my day.” Even in exercise and health he has a plan for us. I always do better in the things I commit to him.

    A favorite snack – 1/2 a whole grain bagel with yogurt spread generously on top. My fav is (100 cal) Yoplait Rasberry Cheesecake. No cream cheese needed.

  16. I love the title of this blog because I, too, am working on NOT being defined by a number! BTW Karen-women’s bodies can be peculiar…retaining water weight, etc, but I’ve always gone by how my clothes feel. (You may be putting on muscle “weight”.)

    My week went quite well….staying at my weight (which is what I’m working on….maintaining my weight). I have a treat, usually in chocolate form, most days of the week–only missing it on days I run out of time.

    No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, it CAN be done! :)

    -Amy V.

  17. I am so encouraged by the comments I am reading. When I read the frenemy article I got to thinking that food is my frenemy! So I am getting serious in this battle because that is what it is for me. I need the strength of the Holy Spirit to fight for me. I was not so good at writing down everything I ate and am going to try the formula I just saw this morning. I lost 1.6 and will not beat myself up over it. I am rejoicing that it is a loss after all. Keep it up ladies we can do this.

  18. OK, so I stepped on the scale this morning expecting somewhere around a 3. I was EXCITED, anticipating the number. It was a 1. A 1 and I was disappointed. However I wrote the number on my chart. I have taped a piece of cardstock to my bedroom wall with my starting weight and my goal weight as a visual reminder. After reading Karen’s blog I realize that my 1 is OK. In fact, it’s great!!!
    I wasn’t so great about writing down what I ate. However, I took the time each morning to plan out my food for that day. I work two jobs so I have to plan ahead or I will end up eating pure junk. I looked at labels, measured out correct portions and increased my liquid intake. I spent more time in the bathroom this past week than anywhere else–LOL So I continue with what I have started and build upon it.

  19. I started using Karen’s calorie counting formula and recording what you eat 14 weeks ago. I weigh on Mondays so if it’s OK with everyone, I am going to stick with that so I don’t have to keep two sets of records. I am 26 pounds lighter!! I still have 100 pounds to go but with Karen’s formula, you concentrate on only 10% at a time and that doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I also plan for sweet treats. I don’t think God calls us to stop eating things we enjoy but we are to eat in moderation. Like Karen said, half a piece of pie rather than half a pie. Come on, join us. With God’s strenght in you and encouragement from everyone here, we can all be lighter and healthier in 2010!!!

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I just came across this blog this morning. I was wondering if you might share what Karen’s calorie counting formula is?


  20. Karen- I didn’t know you were doing weight loss Wednesday until this morning. So I am going to join all you girls. I loved your blog today and I am excited about the journey in front of all of us. In fact I believe God answered a prayer for me regarding this.

    First of all girls- I don’t DIET. Who wants to do that? It contains the word Die and I want to live and enjoy the life that God has given me. I want to move forward with passion and purpose. I was a professional dieter from the age of 7 and now a 40 something the chemically processed foods have really messed up my body and make it difficult to lose weight. Although frustrated by this- I resolve to never give up. I do detoxes and read, read, read to learn all I can about the body and how to best support myself and my health issues. I am about eating real food and cutting out the processed foods. Read the labels! If it has high fructose corn syrup in it- stay away. MSG- glutamates- hydrogonated- stay away. Now of course there may be a couple things that you think you can’t let go of and in moderation you can probably handle that. I never say never because I have given up things that I never thought I would.

    Diet Soda!- Just don’t do it. The statistics are staggering. Most people who drink one diet soda a day are something like 46% more likely to be obese. For me it was creating major arthritis pain and making autoimmune systems worse so I quite 4 years ago. I know what you are thinking- I can’t possibly give it up. If I can do it- you can too! In fact, I was at a party several months after I stopped drinking it. I didn’t feel like drinking water again and they had Diet Vanilla Pepsi (was my favorite) so I thought I will have one glass. I had one sip and poured it down the drain. It tasted awful.

    For those looking to get rid of it- drink water. Our bodies need it. I drink 3-4 liters a day. Sometimes I confessed I get bored with the plain water so I will squeeze an orange into the water or Dynamic Health puts out a juice concentrates (Blueberry, Pomegranate etc..) I will put a tablespoon or two into my liter bottle and it gives it a hint of flavor. For a party or special occasion I have discovered MASH. It has calories but only 40 for an 8 ounce serving. I like San Pellegrino Orange or even an italian soda once in awhile. It is all about enjoying life and the food you eat. God keeps telling me moderation and that keeps me moving forward. There is also liquid Stevia in a variety of flavors. I like Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Creme for coffee. They have Root Beer and put into sparkling mineral water it is also a soda alternative with no calories and it doesn’t spike the sugar in your body.

    I am purchasing Faith and Fat Loss from CBN. Ron Williams is a pastor and natural body builder and was on Skinny Wed last week. I hadn’t even planned to watch the show- God intervened on that on and what I found was something that really interested me. CBN has a great package with the book, mineral drops for your water and a resistance band (start with low) for $29. I am ordering it today. I emailed the company to share some of my issues and they think I can work around them with the menu plan.

    Lastly I am into lots of fruits and veggies. Read Genesis 1- fruit is too be our meat. Someone turned me on to green smoothies and I have to say I really love them. I take organic spinach and puree with some water- then add some strawberries, raspberries etc.. I freeze bananas without the skins and throw 1/2 or even a whole in and it makes it really creamy. Another option is Spinach, Avocado, Mango and Kiwi. One of my favorites. You are getting all the fiber since you are putting the whole fruit or veggies in the blender. I would love to connect more with anyone wanting to discuss.

    I will be praying for you girls and I would appreciate the same. I need God to heal my body and have asked him to do that. Now I am just waiting for the manifestation of that healing. I am convinced that 2010 is going to be the year I finally breakthrough and I hope it is your year too.

    Here’s to healthy eating!!

  21. I didn’t lose but I didn’t gain either. I don’t feel depressed about it because honestly, I wasn’t diligent enough so it’s my own fault. I have been avoiding the pantry more than normal but I really haven’t been writing things down. I’ve done weight watchers before and I know I can do it, but I HAVE to write everything down. I really like the phrase to ‘define my week by obedience, not by the scale’. I’ve put that on a sticky note to remind myself all day long. Thanks and I hope everyone has a good week. BTW-I refuse to get on my scale more than once or twice a week, the numbers can fluctuate too much for me and I don’t need that roller coaster of emotions every day.

    Best wishes!

  22. I didn’t loose any weight this week. However, I did determin my bad choices in eating are related to emotions. I start out doing good and making great choices and then life throughs a curve at me. When that happens I found myself not caring about what or how much I was eating. Making the choice this week to keep better track of what and how much I eat and to “move” more. Thanks for the encouragement Karen!!!

  23. Karen, Thank you again for doing this. You are so encouraging! I must admit this week was hard and required more time than I was expecting…but well worth the hard work. I lowered my number by 3. I spent more time in the grocery reading labels and paying attention to calorie count. Then recording it all when I prepared and ate my meals. I made your carmel dip and it is really good. It was a big help with the sweet tooth “ached”. One thing I discovered most this week is the fact that I can make do on less…1 TBsp of salad dressing instead of turning the bottle up.I measured my food portions most of the week. Thanks again and have a week full of “special treats”!
    God Bless.

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