Weight Loss Wednesday with My Friend Marybeth

Note: Be sure to check back in tomorrow when we’ll be talking about more ideas to make Christmas less stressful. Then on Friday, in conjunction with a Proverbs 31 devotion I will have running, I’ll be offering a Thanksgiving basket-in-a-box giveaway with lots of fall fun goodies. Join us!

Hello, Wednesday weigh in gals! Steal away for a few minutes, grab something hot (and low-cal) to drink and spend some time with your cyber-accountability group. Its time to check in again. :-) And today, we also get to be encouraged by my dear friend Marybeth Whalen who recently dropped 30 pounds in about three months time.

Now, 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.  

So…how was your week? Were you careful to keep track of just how much you really were eating by logging it in a little notebook or elsewhere? Did you eat less? Move more? And, were you able to be creative with your budgeting of calories, saving room for a treat now and then?

My week was pretty much like last week, except the results were different. I kept track of my eating, tried only to eat when I was hungry, I exercised 5 times, planned for treats and enjoyed them (ate dark chocolate on 3 days and a enjoyed a low-fat latte twice). But, instead of seeing the scale move down only a little over a pound, I lost three. 

It still baffles me that I can do basically the same actions one week and lose just a little and yet, the next week, see a bigger jump. Let that be a lesson to all of us not to get too tied into what the scale is saying. Learn to go by the questions we asked here last week. Remember….we are defined by obedience, not a number on the scale!

Now, before I introduce you to a guest today, let’s talk about our assignment for this week. Besides continuing to eat less, move more, keep a food log and build in an occasional treat for incentive, let’s commit to adding one more action.

Watching our BLT’s. Those would be….




We all do it. A bite of a child’s uneaten peanut butter sanwich.  A lick of the birthday cake batter. A taste of the teenager’s milkshake.

Yep, we all consume BLT’s. However, we forget to count them. Never actually write them down. Oh….and we think somehow we are magically fooling our hips and thighs.

Sorry ladies…they are not so naive. They count every single one of them.

So this week, shoot straight with yourself. Write down those BLT’s. A quarter of a peanut butter sandwich can easily be 100 calories. A sip here, a lick there…it adds up! Make a point this week to avoid those BLT’s and if you don’t, then write them down!

Now, before leaving a comment to let us know how your week was, what the scale did and if you enjoyed a treat this week, meet my friend Marybeth!

polka dots

Marybeth (seen here BEFORE, on the right) is the wife of Curt and mom of 6 children ranging in age from 17 to 4. She is a speaker for Proverbs 31 and is also a regular contributor to their daily devotions. She also directs Proverbs 31’s fiction book club for women, She Reads: www.shereads.org. She and her husband wrote “Learning To Live Financially Free” and her new novel, “The Mailbox,” is coming out in June of 2010. You can catch up with Marybeth at her blog www.marybethwhalen.com

So Marybeth, tell us about your weight loss journey. What made you decide to lose weight?

I had put on about 30 pounds having 6 children through the course of 16 years. I kept telling myself that it would just magically fall off one of these years. But that never happened. (Duh!) I kept hanging onto the fact that my old metabolism would resurrect itself and kept doing the old dieting/starvation tricks I did when I was a teen. (What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!) Alas, the dieting tricks didn’t work. The weight stayed put. I even started running but the numbers on the scale didn’t change a bit. I was very frustrated.

I ran into a friend of mine and she had lost a LOT of weight. So I asked her what she did. And then I prayed that she would reveal a magic pill that would cause amazing weight loss that I had never heard of before. But of course that’s not what she said! She said that she had gone to a naturopathic doctor who put her on a very strict diet– no whites (flour, sugar, etc.), no caffeine, no fun. I was SO bummed. After about 6 weeks of resisting, I finally admitted that I had to do this the hard way if I was ever going to succeed at losing weight. Thankfully my friend was a huge support to me while I did the diet. I definitely needed her to talk me off the ledge when all I wanted was a donut or a brownie or a big dish of ice cream.

What was hardest about changing your eating habits?

Continuing to feed my family the foods they liked that I wanted. And grocery shopping was very hard for awhile– facing all those foods I wanted and not being able to put them in my cart. It was harder at first but it did get easier with time. Going off caffeine was very hard– so much so that I don’t plan to ever have caffeine again. I saw that it is truly breaking an addiction– I felt like I had the flu for a few days! Eventually I realized that I felt so much better not putting that junk in my body that it was worth it not to eat it.

What did you eat?

For breakfast I usually had an egg (poached) and some watermelon or grapefruit. For lunch I made a big salad with field greens, deli turkey, strawberries, and some almonds for crunch. I made my own dressing from balsamic vinegar and olive oil with coarse ground pepper and sea salt. It is a delicious salad! For dinner I had a piece of lean meat and some broccoli or a side salad or some cantaloupe or watermelon. When you aren’t eating sugar, watermelon tastes SO sweet and delicious… so I ate a LOT of watermelon.:)  I had a food scale and weighed all my portions. The naturopath gave me weights for each item so I would control my portion size. I also took protein drinks made from whey protein 4 times a day. These drinks were something I obtained from the naturopath and I do not have information on how to get them elsewhere, unfortunately. You can learn more about where I went at this link: http://www.loseweightcarolina.com/

Was exercise a part of your reason for success?

Yes. Part of the program I was on was doing at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Even though I am no longer doing the strict diet, I still exercise daily and rarely miss a day. I am now quite addicted and feel the day is not complete if I don’t get around to exercising. I used to hate people who talked like that!! I usually run in my neighborhood or get on our treadmill. On rare days, I do both!

Was it worth the sacrifice? Why? How is your life different with those extra pounds gone?

Yes, yes, 1000 times yes!! I am happier with the weight gone. I like shopping for clothes again and I know my husband appreciates the extra effort I went to to return to the girl he married. He was wonderful no matter what I weighed but I am glad to give him a thinner version of myself.  My challenge now is not to gain it back. This involves continuing to check the scale, watch how my clothes are fitting, keep on exercising and be reasonable about what I eat.

What encouragement can you give to the gals reading this to keep going?

It’s worth it!! You can do it!! Get someone around you to hold you accountable– accountability is key, I found. Even if it’s someone online, find that person who will keep you in check so you aren’t tempted to fall off the wagon. In the grand scheme of things, a couple of months of going without is SO worth it to have the weight gone.

Here is Marybeth now with her daughter, Ashleigh.


I hope Marybeth’s story gives you encouragement! She is right…you  can do it! 

Okay gals, hop on now and let us know how your week went. Hop on again to offer ideas or encouragement to each other. And feel free to mention any future topics you’d like to see addressed on a Weight Loss Wednesday.

Have a great week and watch those BLT’s!!!

Down the Scale Blessings,


  1. I love this group of ladies! I have been playing catch up. I have been reading the WLW posts daily instead of weekly. I feel like I need the extra encouragement. I am having a good week I lost 2 more pounds! I thank God for changing my “want-to”! He has truly give me the will to!

  2. Whew! I am not used to Word Press. Almost didn’t figure out how to do this.lol And I thought I knew computers and the net.

    Anyway… I’m here, and I am so on this journey with you. I’ve gone back alot of times and made too many altars. God forgive me. I am ready to leave the altars behind and begin a fresh and new day with God’s help and all my sisters encouragement.

    For those who have lost–Congrats!
    For those who didn’t– We will soon, girls! Keep striving!

  3. I am lucky enough to hear Karen speak this past weekend at Hearts At Home in Rochester. I also heard Mary Beth Whalen…YEAH to both of them!

    I have been a yo yo dieter ever since my teen years. I have struggled with weight gain ever since graduating from high school. The freshman 15 turned into 20 and so on. I have had success with weight watchers in the past with losing 38 pounds and kept it off for several years.

    I had a fibroid tumor that resulted in a few blood transfusions and then ended up removing the tumor…it was the size of get this…..a cantaloupe!

    I ended up having a partial hysterectomy where they took it all but 1 ovary. I don’t think that ovary really has worked since so I am struggling with hormone issues. I have about 60 pounds to lose. It’s hard not to look at the high number and not get discouraged. I am going to try what you said at conference though, and just focus on 10%. That seems more doable.

    I am jumping on my incline trainer 3 times this week…that is my goal.

    I am so excited to be on this journey with all of you.



  4. I was lucky enough to hear Karen speak on weight loss at the Hearts at Home conference this weekend. I would like to join to have accountability. I need to lose more but am starting with a goal of losing 10% of my weight.

  5. I’ve tried several times to post but keep getting rejected!! I’ve never posted on a blog before and obviously don’t know what I’m doing!! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyones comments. I’m so discouraged with myself. I can’t seem to get the eating under control. The more I try the more I eat! I have no self-control at all. I know that is a weakness and keep asking God to strengthen me in this area, but am still struggling. I appreciate all your advice and wake every day with new resolve. So I keep plugging along. Thanks for what you are doing.

  6. I’m late! I didn’t post because I didn’t want to, I’m finding Weds are not good days for me! :P Need to work on that. Now, confession: I STILL have not gotten a scale. sigh tsk tsk, I know, I know, BUT…I am recording what goes in my mouth every.single.day. The exercise, not so much. I need to figure out the perfect time for me to do that so it falls into schedule and not come 4:00, Oh I forgot to exercise! when I’m too tired by then.
    I was writing everything down on paper at first, and thankfully came across SparkPeople’s iphone app! YAY!!!!! I use to record on SparkPeople, but would eventually drift away. But now that my iphone is attached to my hip, I am faithful at recording. I love seeing if I have a little extra room for some hot chocolate after the kids go to bed and GULP I had no idea how much calories are in marshmallows! Makes me think twice when my kids have some.

  7. Here’s the recipe for black bean brownies:(They taste fudge-y)
    2 c. rinsed, drained and COOKED black beans
    3/4 c. sugar (honey, splenda, stevia–I’m not sure the equivalent that it would be for the artificial sweeteners, I used honey)
    3 lg eggs. (I used 1 whole egg and the rest egg whites or egg beaters)
    3 T. olive oil
    4 T. cocoa powder
    1 pinch of salt
    1 t. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350. Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a greased 8×8 cake pan. Bake for 30 min.

    **The texture is not going to be “stiff” like reg. brownies….but creamy. You may not think they are done initially but I keep them in the fridge and they are yummy plain or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

    Sorry I don’t have the nutritional info! I’m GUESSING that they are 100 calories a serving or under. You could probably do it with only 2 T. oil if you wanted to cut out more calories. If you use stevia or splenda the caloric content would be even less.

    I got the recipe from Cathe.com as I use her workout videos and she has a forum where you can browse recipes that people post.

    If anyone makes them, I’d love to know if I’m the only “weirdo” who likes them. :) I’m going to try Karen’s Mississippi Mud Bars recipe! ***Karen–maybe sometime in addition to the weightloss posting there could be a day where we post recipes. I’ve got so many and I’m always excited to try new, lower calorie ones to add to my growing assortment!***

  8. HI, I’ve never heard of the testing,licking etc. as BLT’s but that is a huge problem for me. I did pretty well until Saturday last week. I didn’t raid my kid’s Halloween buckets but my husband and son got H1N1 on Sunday and I was so busy taking care of them that I didn’t write down what I was eating and ended up not eating the best. I lost .5 this week. I now have a temp and am really hoping it goes away soon. I so want to be able to attend Hearts in Rochester tomorrow and Sat. Karen, do you know if I could get a home packet if I’m too sick top attend?

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