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 am glad to be able to say the Lord has been my strength and has been with me each time I want that extra something. 4:00 seems to be the worst for me. But I put a few peeled carrots in a bowl and crunch if I have to. My big help this week was having my daughter -9 year old- clean up the left overs and pack them into the frig. I go and brush my teeth while she is doing that and when I come back to clean the kitchen or help with the dishes the food is packed away and my mouth feels so good I wouldn’t want to have one more bite.
    I worked out everyday last week and know that my heart and lungs are glad. My legs and arms seem to protest at times. I got on my wii fit scale and was down another 3 lbs. And my BMI was down also.
    Keep moving ladies.
    Keep writing down everything that passes those lips.
    And drink, drink, drink those water bottles!
    God be with you as you strive to honor Him in every action you do.

  2. Didn’t gain…but didn’t lose. I like the idea of allowing for some sweet treats now and then. BUT, if they are there, it’s so hard for me to have just one! I may just have to quit cold turkey for now. It’s almost like an addiction, those sugary concoctions!

    I managed to keep moving this week, but still am letting food rule. Now that I received my groovy notebook, I will go to writing things down this week. Thanks Karen!

    Thanks for the good ideas Karen, Marybeth and others. Deep breathing…that does good things for me too! I just need to remember to do it!

  3. I did awful this week. It was all those BLT’s. I’m amazed at how God works. And, I wasn’t going to check in this week because I was soo embarrassed about my week. Thank you Lord for not letting me off the hook and thank you Karen for your ministry.


  4. I lost .8 this week. I was a bit disappointed, but at least its a loss. I’ve been pretty good all week about not snacking. Greg and I have it easy in that all our kids are gone and we both need to lose, so we just don’t have the junk in the house anymore. I also quit drinking coffee on Aug. 7th and feel like I am still working through that 30+ year addiction. (I do still have decaf occasionally.)
    Blessings & Prayers to all!
    Jeanne :)

  5. I was a little bummed to discover I was up a pound this week. I was not faithful to write my food down for the weekend…it has been a little crazy as we are in the middle of a major home makeover. I also know from previous weight loss that my body does not give it up easily so when I’ll see a gain one week, I’ll be down double the next week. On the positive side, I have eaten healthy food in healthy portions and feel good about what I have done this week.

  6. Jacqui, Deb V and others who did not want to post this week:
    BLESS YOU for still checking in. It is important to hit that restart button and keep your chin up. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  7. Oh Amy V.
    Please do share your black bean brownie recipe! Do you know the calories/carbs/fat grams they have?

  8. I’ve done fairly well this week and been obedient about writing down everything I eat and trying to keep up with the calories. That really does help me. Can anyone suggest a good calorie counter to keep on hand. I’ve been good girl this week and had only one sweet treat. the big test was over the chocolate cake I make for my husband. Just wish I’d had the recipe for miss. mud bars a day sooner. I’ll bake that next time. Anyway, I did not do any of the BLT at anytime with the cake or the icing. That was a BIG accomplishment for me. My strength to overcome that temptation came from my Lord!
    Thanks for the encouragement Karen. The BLT will be a great reminder this week to help me overcome doing just that. Make it a great week girls!! We can do this.

  9. BLTs…they are the culprit!

    Being the one who prepares all of our family’s meals means that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I mindlessly eat different things throughout the time I am cooking. Thanks for pointing this out this week!

  10. It was a good week. I enjoyed a few treats here and there but stuck to my eating and exercise plan. I’m down 1.8 pounds since last Wednesday. I have been really trying to commit this battle to the Lord each morning and ask for His strength. There were several times this past week where I just felt so weak and yet He gave me strength to make a right choice. I feel very grateful.

  11. I considered not posting this week also. I didn’t gain any weight but I didn’t lose any either. I had to many BLT’s this week also. I am going to watch that. It is so easy to taste something mindlessly. Before you know it you’ve eaten or tasted a complete meal. I did exercise 4 times this week. So for this coming week I am going to continue to exercise and write down what I eat. I hope everyone has a good week.

  12. Okay, I actually considered not posting this week. I’m so disappointed in myself for not sticking to writing things down. But, if I skip one week, that will lead to another, and another…
    I had way too many BLT’s last week.
    Halloween candy is just the worst temptation for me. I’ve decided that every time I pass through the kitchen and consider taking a treat, I am going to open my Bible to a random page and read it. I’ll see what happens…it can’t hurt, right? I put my Bible right in the cupboard by the sweets.

    Like Marybeth, I am struggling with feeding my family what they still want and having something different for myself. Also, we are on a very tight grocery budget, so I am not able to buy tons of “extras” for myself to eat something different.
    I’m ready for a new week! Amazingly, I didn’t gain any weight last week (didn’t lose either) :( Praying for everyone to have an obedient week! :)

  13. This week has been challenging…..I’ve done far too many BLT’s!!! I know that it’s partly hormonal….not that that’s an excuse, but I’ve been having WICKED cravings. Normally I’m great with my food choices. I allow myself some sort of sweet treat each day….

    I made Black Bean Brownies for the first time yesterday….Yes, black beans are the main ingredients! Very fudgy and good; the texture is creamier than reg. brownies. I can post the recipe if anyone would like it. This one doesn’t have butter, just oil.

    So, I just prepare for a week like this each month…..I’m keeping up exercising 4-5 days a week. Thankfully, I’m not an avid lover of candy or chips….the typical “junk” food. I LOVE making my own sweets so at least I know what’s in them.

    I’m practicing deep breathing techniques as I type so my craving of those black bean brownies will pass!! :)

    Keep it up, Ladies!

    -Amy V.

  14. I just learned of your Weight Loss Wednesdays and I am on board!! This is just what I need, some inspiration and support. And I love the BLT!! You caught me on this one!! LOL

    I wrote down a quote in my journal from one of your Proverbs 31 sisters; Lysa Terkeurst. I hope that she doesn’t mind me using it here on this reply. “My taste buds lie as they make empty claims to satisfy me. Only persevering with God will make me truly full, complete, not lacking anything.” It is a good one to remember when that craving for some unhealthy food pops in our minds.

    You know, I have struggled with this 15 pound weight gain since I lost my dad in 2006. Although it may not seem like a lot to some people it is to me. I feel unhealthy and not at my best. This is a time for me to not only lose the weight but to gain health and obedience to God. After all, my body is the house of my soul and in order to do what God has planned for me I need to take care of that house, my body. Thanks Karen for you inspiration today and you too Marybeth!!

    Blessings to you,

  15. Karen and Marybeth,

    When Marybeth wrote her weight loss story and posted it on her blog, it really spoke to me. Marybeth, I met you at HINTS a few years ago. I was a vendor, and I had baby #6 along with me that week-end.

    I knew that you did not have a lot of extra time to devote to working out and watching your diet, and I did not either. But I was inspired that if Marybeth can lose the weight, then so could I.

    From September 2008 to July 2009, I had lost 10 lbs. Not a stellar weight loss, but it was better than gaining. In July 2009, I became very ill with a bad case of poison ivy. With the steroid treatment (14 days of oral meds and a shot) I lost my sense of taste. For a month, I made myself eat at mealtimes. And I was not impressed with many things. At the end of July, I had lost weight. So much for the steroids making me eat and gain weight. But I felt that I had been freed of some of the bondage of emotional eating. Still have to give that one over to the Lord every day.

    So I decided I would increase my proteins and decrease my carbs. I did not have a time where I could work in exercise, but I decided to start with the eating and go slowly. So I reduced my carbs to just at breakfast. And I had proteins/fruits/veggies the rest if the day for meals and snacks.

    Two weeks ago, I knew that my next step was to add exercise to my routine. So I bought a Tae Bo DVD on Ebay. I did Tae Bo years ago, and it is never boring to me.

    Last week, I got up at 7:00 every morning and did my Tae Bo DVD (45 mins) before my children got up. I was able to exercise Monday through Saturday. I take Sunday off from exercising, but I continue to watch my portions on Sunday.

    On Saturday, I weighed and measured and compared it to the week before. I lost 1 lb and 1 inch all over my body.

    This week, I am doing the same routine. Tae Bo in the early morning, and I am watching my portions and carbs. So far, I am down 2 lbs this week and 1/2 inch. (I had to measure today, because I felt bloated from my monthly visitor.)

    So, I am down 37 lbs since September of 2008. And that would mean that I am down 27 lbs since July of 2009.

    I was wearing a 1X, and I am now wearing 16’s that are very loose. I am looking forward to moving down to 14’s by Christmas. I still have about 27 lbs to go to my goal weight, and I know this will be the slower loss. But if I lose slowly, I have a better chance of keeping it off forever.

    My main problem (besides emotional eating) was having 4 babies in my 30’s. Every time I lost to a certain point, I got pregnant again. My children are 19, 14, 10, 8, 6, and 3. I am loving my 40’s. And I will be healthier and thinner in my 40’s than my 30’s.

    Thanks to both of you for inspiring me.

    Tami Fox

  16. Hi Karen –
    I had no idea of your weight loss journey! Amazing! I just read your entire week of posts! I attended a few of your breakout sessions at She Speaks and loved meeting you.

    I have followed LeAnn and Lysa’s weight loss journeys and just recently (early Oct) got serious and intentional about my own weight. I blogged about my commitment and could not believe how many friends are desiring the same.

    I am so excited about your Wed posts and look forward to joining your community!

    I weighed in at my doctor’s office yesterday and am down 2 pounds this week. Total of 10 pounds since mid October.

    Blessings –

    PS Jodi —- I too was diagnosed with PCOS in my early twenties and never thought we would have children. But God had other plans for us! I am the blessed mother of two miracles – Benjamin is 3 and Katherine is 1! I pray I am not overstepping my welcome here but sweet child do not believe the word impossible. You can do ALL things through Christ who is your strength! All things! Even those things the doctors say is impossible. I am completely healed from PCOS and have not had a cyst rupture in over four years!

  17. Karen,
    Bless You! I just came over from MB’s website and I have been looking, yearing to find a group like this. I am 25 yo and caught in a vicious cycle. See, two years ago, I was diagnosed with a female disease called PCOS. You gain a ton of weight due to insulin resistence and the doctors say it’s impossible to get the weight to come off. In turn the more weight you gain, the more female issues you have. One of the only cures for the disease is weightloss.

    I have played the mental game over and over and some days I come to grips with never having anymore children (due to the weight, you do not have a monthly or ovulate) but after reading this today. I am ready!!

    I don’t know if you follow Women of Faith but this year’s conference was called “A Grand New Day” and today is my GRAND NEW DAY!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Karen… I am going to go recognize and record right this moment. I will be back next week… Ugh, does that mean I have to get on a scale and look in a mirror!?? :) I have been avoiding them for quite some time!

  18. I managed to walk or work out most of the week and my eating went well. I am down 3 pounds. As long as I keep my focus on Christ instead of food, I do well with my eating.

  19. This is week 15 for me on Karen’s formula. I did not have a loss or gain this week. This is the second time in 15 weeks that has happened. It was disappointing not to lose but encouraging not to gain. The week after it happened the last time, I lost 3 pounds so looking forward to next week with much anticipation!

  20. Down 1 pound this week-more exercise (raking leaves, etc) however unfortunately MUCH more stress with an anxiety riddled 14 year old daughter refusing to go to school. I know that not eating or not making healthy choices isn’t the best long term solution to lose weight but it was just one of those weeks. Hopefully next week will be better!

  21. Thanks for interviewing me Karen! It was fun to remember all that stuff– I inspired myself! (She says as she sips green tea sweetened with Stevia instead of the coffee with flavored creamer she used to enjoy pre-diet.) And you know what? I love my Zen tea in the mornings just as much as I used to love my coffee… and I feel much better without the caffeine. Part of what I loved about the diet was that it wasn’t all about losing weight— it was also learning how much better I feel when I stop putting junk in my body. It really does make a difference.

  22. This week was a challenge. Been trying to stay away form the BLT’s. That was a big part of my promblem. When I would get a snack for the girls I would take a bite and if they didn’t finish eating something I would finish it. I hate throwing food away. I am doing better. I have stopped finishing their food and don’t take as many bites of their snacks as I am preparing them. It occurred to me that licks count has I licked the brownie batter – Something I will stop doing!

    Haven’t bought a scale yet. I do feel better. I have more energy and I am not eating as much. Sweets were a pit fall for me this week. Too many of my calories were spent on them.

    Thank for the encouragement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *