What Food is NOT

Hey Weight Loss Wednesday gals. Hope you had a fantastic week and, if you didn’t (like yours truly) you’ll find encouragement here today. :-)

I wanted to chat a bit about what food is not. It is a topic at the forefront of my mind right now since last week,  I made food a few things it was never designed to be.

Let me explain.

When I arrived home from a busy speaking event and faced my week ahead, it looked like this:

  • Inventory and re-pack books
  • Unpack suitcase
  • Enter in credit card orders over the phone (taken by hand since my machine was down! Ughh!)
  • Jump back into school with on son who had a trip to the homeschool academy (two hour-long round trips one day) and one who had baseball (three trips to Detroit–over an hour away)
  • No healthy groceries in the house
  • A bridal shower to plan and put on Saturday (tons of fun but lots of work)
  • Leftover food from the shower including deadly chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting
  • Car repairs on both of our over-a-decade old-vehicles that between them have lots of visible rust and over 400,000 miles
  • Oh, and Todd came home Friday and announced he is getting laid off again for parts of April and May

So, here is what I made food last week:

  • My stress-reliever when I was swamped
  • My distraction when I was worried
  • My comfort when I was down

Let me tell you one thing,  even though it has been frustrating for me these past few weeks to not hop on the scale and check my progress, this morning I am glad I don’t have to face that thing. I’m sure it wouldn’t be pretty.

The truth is, food was meant to nourish our bodies (not fatten our bodies)  so we can do the work God has planned for us.

End of story.

But we put food right up there in the place of God and make it an idol.  (For a past post on this topic, (and my before and after pics) click here.)

Only God was meant to be our friend, our stress-reliever and our comfort.

Chocolate-peanut butter brownies were not. They make you feel better for about 19.6 seconds when you are eating them, then they promptly turn and betray you.

Trust me.

My thighs know.

How about you? What role are you tempted to make food play that it was never meant for? Or simply check in and tell us how you are doing, even if all you say is “restart”.  We want to pray for you!

And I’ll take all the prayers I can get this week!

Cyber-sister Blessings,


  1. Crystal- We do Girls on the Run at our local elementary in Otsego, Michigan. It is a costly program but here in our area they must have financial supports because the program is $150 but you only pay what you feel you can afford to pay. The girls get a pair of runnign shoes, two t-shirts and the 5K celebration run and activities at the end, plus snacks at each meeting for 10 weeks. So to me it’s worth it and we budget for it. There are many sites you can find to help you train to work up to a 5K. Good luck and have fun!

    Girls I am praying for all of you. My heart sank reading all the posts this morning.

  2. Hi Everyone,
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. It sounds like a lot of people had a tough week. I gained a pound this week. I am starting over again. It seems like I do really well for 2 to 3 weeks and then I start to gain. I take two steps forward and 1 step back. Hopefully I can get back on track.

  3. Praying for you, Karen! And my heart goes out to Kimberlee…

    I was at the Hearts conference a couple of weeks ago. I ended up buying Susie Larson’s book Balance that Works When Life Doesn’t. It’s really encouraging me to fill all my “holes” with God, rather than food, computer, or even other people.

    I posted a while back that discovered I wasn’t losing weight because I was pregnant. (A big–but happy–surprise!) A few days before the Hearts conference the doctor discovered the baby had died…a missed miscarriage. Physically, I bounced right back after surgery, but it’s been a very rough emotional battle. I’ve been so encouraged by this group, as well as Susie Larson’s book which I discovered at just the right time, and I’m excited to say that it’s working: I’m pressing into Him right now, and making healthy food and exercise choices to help myself stay balanced. I’ve even lost seven pounds in the last two weeks. :)

  4. Hi, everyone. I took a self-induced internet sabatical over the last few weeks, sorry, just felt it was occupying too much of my life… My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has struggled the past few weeks for any reason, especially you, Kimberlee….

    As far as the weight loss goes, I’m holding my own-I say the word ‘obedience’ A LOT and I have to say, it’s working! Thanks for the email reminder, Karen!

  5. Karen,
    I am truly sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. And I can all too easily relate to using food as a stress reliever. Especially bad now that I am at home with my two little ones and get the urge to bake. Or eat what I have already made. I will be praying for you and your family. Thanks for the blessing of your blog. Oh, and I received the book that I won as one of the “cupcakes”- thank you again and I look forward to reading it!

  6. This has been a tough week again here. I’m happy that I have lost 25# but my goal is 40#. It seems like I am in a slump where I know what I need to do but am having trouble getting it done. Too many BLT’s and desserts, not enough fruit and veggies. I will work on doing better this week and keep you all in my prayers as well. This is not an easy thing!

    Rebecca Ann

  7. Wow! What a week for everyone. My prayers are with you all.
    I gained 300 grams this week but was expecting too so not grumpy about it. I have exercised well but was just putting too much in my mouth! Arrogantly, I had thought that I had this healthy eating/weight loss thing sorted, but as it says…pride comes before a fall…and I fell!! I hope that I am able to remember this b/c I really don’t want God to have to keep reminding me how human I actually am. It’s painful to learn.
    Until next week…

  8. Wow!  I have been re-doing a First Place Bible study “Giving Christ First Place”.  This week it’s about True Satisfaction.  The memory verse is Matthew 4:4. ” Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

    God is faithful.  Keep trusting God and don’t worry about tomorrow. See Matthew 6:25-34
    Philippians 4:6-8

    I will be praying. 
    We just had spring break and did some traveling.  Yes, we ate out.  It was not nourishing.  I did pack a bag of apples and berries and nuts even good honey for coffee and stevia. We had these in between meals.  

    This morning I took my daughter to the doctor because of a bump we found on her head.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for ten days.  We are to see the doctor again after the ten day treatment.  
    Please pray for our little Beatriz.

  9. Well, as I mentioned last week in my comment I was visiting my dad. I did exercise more last week than I have done in a long time. I even went on a 1 1/2 hour hike with my dad last Thursday. I ate too much bread last week and other snacks. Bread is a big problem for me. It puts weight on me so easily. I’m still determined not to get on the scale until April first.

  10. Restart again!!! I’m so stuck. I can have self control for one minute and then none for the next. I just ate steamed veggies and tuna for lunch. Great!! Then I proceeded to eat 6 cookies that I had just baked for my kids. 6 COOKIES!! That’s 510 calories I just blew in 2 minutes. If you have a moment, could you please send prayers for my heart and my head (and of course my stomach) to stay on the same page of healthy eating and activity.

    Prayers for you and your family,

  11. With you 100%, Karen. Had lots of “idol” time with food last week, too, but also exercised more so I stayed the same.


    And realized that the treats didn’t make the stress go away for more than 19 seconds as you said.

    The walking every day helped my stress WAY MORE.

  12. So much to say, yet not wanting to write another lengthy report like I did last week. Replies to other posters: Tera – where do you coach Girls on the Run? My 9 year old would like to be involved, but the cost in our area is prohibitive, and she is in a musical right now, so not enough time for both. Wondering if there is a way we can do this as a family instead. I’ve been asked to train for a 5k for one of my jobs (long story) and said yes, but have no idea how to do so. The race is May 15.
    Kimberlee – I will be praying for you and Baby BooBoo. I’m sorry that you are experiencing this. It seems there is nothing more difficult in life than the threat to your child.
    Vicki – congrats on the reduced cholesterol and enjoying only the small frappe. Those victories really are important.
    Karen – I’m sorry about your rough week, especially about your husband’s time off work that will be forthcoming.
    I saw my family doctor on Monday, and she dittoed my gynecologist’s orders regarding reducing stress and increasing “rest.” She wants me to do a short series at the stress clinic, but I have not made the initial appointment yet. I told her right out that I don’t feel much hope that there is anything that anyone can suggest that will be helpful. Good attitude, huh? My weight at the doctor’s office, with clothes, was the same as last week’s weight naked at home, so I’m okay with that. At least it didn’t go up.
    Food-wise – My biggest problem is that I sometimes succumb to the treats with my children (who are underweight). Ordering girl scout cookies from a friend seemed the thing to do months ago, but now as I help them plow through those boxes, I wish I could rewind and say no. Not that I can’t say no now, but the fact is that I don’t. For me, a victory in that area is eating one cookie instead of three or four.
    Exercise – getting in some. Depends on what I have the time/energy for. I might walk/jog for 15 minutes, but I know that if I am doing a 5k in May, that 15 minutes better turn into an hour. So I am struggling with a lot of issues right now. I am working on changing my attitude from self-pity to gratitude. When I go out of my way to find the good things in life, I feel better in all ways. I also want to start making some quiet time on a regular basis to hear from God.

  13. Wow. I’m not sure where to start. Karen, I’m sorry that things are so spressful and I will pray for your family and your husbands job. Amy, for chocolate free stress relief; Lisa’s injured foot (but hurray’s on resisting Little Debbie!!); Tera’s back pain; Becky’s arm; Kimberlee’s precious Baby Booboo; and all those of you who continue to struggle with food issues, been there done that myself. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Kimberlee, keep believing, because our God is awesome and nothing is outside his ability. I will pray for your miracle. Just keep holding on to the fact that He is there by your side through everything.

    I am down 3#’s this week. I feel like I’ve FINALLY grabbed on. I’m making pretty good choices and even when I don’t I jump right back in there and make up for it somewhere else. For right now I’m not tempted by much, but I realize that is temporary and I’m trying to be watchful for the time that temptation does come to me. Yesterday I was shopping with friends and when we were done at Barnes and Noble and ready to head home we all went to the coffee shop and had Frappes, however, they all had cupcakes or cookies with their’s and I walked away with only the small Frappe. That was huge for me (and pretty uncommon as well!!). I’m finally under that 200 mark and if I can get another 2 off before the 31st will hit my goal of 8 lbs. this month. Also went to the dr. off and my cholesterol is down 18 points. He has agreed to give me another 4 months and if I can drop continue to drop it I won’t have to go on meds.

    I’m still very motivated and I am so grateful for this group of friends to share with and pray for.

  14. I seem to be at a stand still!!!.Guess it’s time to increase my walking and decrease my cravings. I know what to do its so hard to stay focused .
    Jolene, thanks for the website I will check it out.
    As always, Karen you are such an encouragement to us. I looked at your before and after pics. WOW. You are to be commended. Have a happy week.

  15. Oh, Karen I’m praying God provides a job for Todd! What a rough week, I wanted to cry for you entering cc orders by phone, what a nightmare!

    Sun my pastor’s topic was what we love for more than God. I didn’t get protein for breakfast and went to nibble on crackers and realized of everything, food is just about right up there. Oddly, I haven’t been having cravings this week as recently, hormones, stress, who knows. But I get so passionate about food! And why am I not more passionate about my Savior?

    Crystal, the scale article in Prevention said Surprise #1: The more you weigh yourself, the more you lose. 75% of members of the Natl Weight Control Registry that lost at least 30# and kept it off weigh themselves at least once a week. Daily weighers dropped twice as many pounds as weekly weighers possibly bc it was a regular reminder to stay on track. Dieters who avoided the scale altogether gained 4#. Despite the common belief that focusing on weight makes women feel bad about themselves, scientists have fund that tracking your weight can actually improve your mood by giving you a sense of control.
    They do point out that weight can fluctuate 5# in 24 hours mostly bc of water. And weigh yourself the same time each day.
    **I have terrible news about my pregnancy. Monday the u/s revealed that my baby’s skull never formed around the front of the brain (exencephaly). It’s been pretty hard and I’ll spare details etc. Naturally I am not terminating this pregnancy. I have put the baby in God’s hands and I am praying for Baby Booboo all the time, praying for a miracle. Not bc what we are facing seems unbearable, I’ve done a good amount of mourning already. I am choosing to believe for a miracle bc that’s what God does and He is the only one who can! What would be the point of believing Christ is still alive and that God made the universe and is the Creator of all life if I have no hope? Why have faith then? Where there is life, there is hope and I am praising God for this baby’s heartbeat. Our baby is still alive! And if it’s not His will to heal this baby this side of Heaven, I will deal with it when it comes with His strength, of course. I have a huge group of support and I have seen and felt God’s love through them. I thank you for all of you that care and will pray and mostly for those of you who will also pray for a miracle in Baby Booboo. <3

  16. I have injured my left arm – did it while machine quilting. I can not “do” anything. The pain is serious. So, last week I ate a lot of “sugar junk”. I had been doing well with watching what I ate and walking – neither of which I could do. The pain is still there but I am at least trying to sit outside and read – AWAY from the food. Karen, I prayed for also. It is so easy to get distracted. – Grace and peace!

  17. Oh Karen it’s so much easier to ignore you when you are not staring at me in my inbox. Dirty trick and muchly appreciated :) I got on the scales this morning and I’m down about a half a pound. My family and I have all had strep so we’ve been down and out. The good news is I haven’t felt like eating much but I also haven’t moved much. I did get a short walk in last night 1.5-2 miles and it felt good to move. I am a Girls On The Run Coach so I have that to look forward to twice a week. I don’t get a whole lot of running in usually but it’s good motivation and the girls get so much out of the program. My back pain has been up and down the last two weeks. I know losing weight will help with that but sometimes I’m in too much pain to walk and workout. I ordered a boxing punching bag and plan to take out my frustrations and stress out on that while listening to some great praise and worship music. So have a great week ladies and I will try to check in next week without needing the cattle-prod.

  18. I am sure if I looked up “food” in my dictionary it would say this, “comforter, stress-reliever, friend” but of course the food I am talking about is sugar coated cereal, crackers, bread…you get the idea. You know, I am not a dumb woman, but knowing something and doing something has become difficult for me in regards to the food I STUFF in my face. The scale…well, I haven’t even stepped near it. I don’t need to. I don’t own one single pair of pants that fit. It feels really weird to actually tell someone else that! Sweatpants (those don’t even fit either) have become my friend. Today I say RESTART. Praying we all have a great day!

  19. Thanks for being honest Karen! I have been struggling with getting back in the game. Not just to lose weight, but to be a healthy example for my young children. I am learning more and more that this is a spiritual battle that I must fight with the strength and power of God. He doesn’t want me to be unhealthy and make food an idol in my life. But I struggle with this on a daily basis. I love food – tasty, bad for me food! I am praying for a change in my attitude toward food. I want to view it as fuel to live the exciting life God has planned for me. Not as something that will fill my emotional needs or keep me from boredom.

    I also wanted to mention a great website for healthy eating. It is http://www.zonya.com. Zonya Focco is a wonderful Christian dietician who is trying to help us eat healthier with her 8 Habits (Diet Free). Her website has lots of great free resources and information. I have had the priviledge to hear her speak in person – she is dynamic, enthusiastic and full of great common sense information. Check it out when you have time.

    Thanks again Karen for encouraging us in our struggles – God Bless!

  20. Yes, the last month has been very stressful for me, as I started a new job. Also, my foot has an injury that’s prevented me from jogging, just as the weather turned nice. So, what did I do? Just what you did – turned food (candy, mostly) into my stress reliever. But last night, I faced Little Debbie in the grocery store aisle and walked away empty-handed, despite her best pleas.

  21. Karen,
    Praying for you and all of our other weight loss buddies. I have been on Weight Watchers since last July and go down 2 or 3 lbs. and then up again. Anyone have some ideas for me as I have heart disease and am very overweight. Thanks!

  22. Karen, I’m praying for you and everyone else who’s struggling….I’ve been there and so have most people! Yes, food has been: my “friend”-comforting me for mere seconds and then I kick myself for eating what I shouldn’t have. I’ve learned to focus on the next day; not totally beating myself up about what I ate.

    I ask for prayers for my stressful life; I can make a mountain out of a molehill and I need to learn to wind down and just relax….minus that chocolate! :) Prayers that I listen to my body and NOT my cravings.

    I love that we can come together and support/encourage one another.


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