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March 2009 - Heleen's Blog

Help! The Devil is holding onto my weight!

You know the feeling: You sweat, you hunger, you resist, you sweat some more and then you step on the scale… and time seems to stop… blood drain from your face… you heart falls into your big toe… you’ve lost nothing! It’s not a pretty thing, in fact it can make the most dedicated woman of God yell at the Devil and reach for the triple chocolate ice cream (wrapped in a towel in the back of the freezer). Trying to lose weight if you’re not a spring chicken is difficult enough without the dreaded “Weight Loss Plateau”. As a more “mature” woman you already have the odds stacked against you: Slower metabolism, juggling career and family life, truckloads of stress and haywire hormones! One more bump in the road can push you over the edge, and a weight loss plateau can supply exactly that bump. So in all seriousness, it’s not funny! It can be discouraging at best and turn into full blown depression if it lingers. We all want to avoid that famous weight loss plateau, but the reality is that you will probably bump into it at one time or another, that is if you’re not a thriving nineteen year old (no offense to my younger readers) A weight loss plateau is not picky either, it will pounce on the low-carb believers, the calorie counters, the all inclusive eaters, and even the hunger and fullness detectives. Hitting a weight loss plateau is a matter of “when” not so much “if”. I did some research for us on this dreaded weight loss plateau. I’m sure it’s obvious by now that I hit a few myself. According to nutritionist and doctors alike, this is quite a natural and very normal process of “healthy” weight loss. We tend to be very diligent with …

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About Pasta Plates and Broken hearts

I just have to brag with our God a little: There is no one like Him, and there is no one that can see deep in the secret places of our hearts and bring about the most amazing healing! I had a funny day yesterday. I felt nostalgic and was walking down memory lane a bit. I met up with an old school friend on Face Book. We haven’t spoken in twenty years and my mind was back in 1988. The more I thought about my high school years and everybody I knew back then the more my anxiety level climbed. It’s not that it was all that bad for me. I wasn’t bullied, I had some friends and I did pretty good academically, but I wasn’t popular or even close to it. I was at best a happy-clappy-Jesus-freak-nerd. Now today I will carry that title with pride, but back then, not so much. After thinking about this for most of the morning, I brushed it off with a “Come on, those days are long gone, you have done well for yourself.” I carried on to recite in my mind the things I have accomplished, not that they were all that much or even that great, but it made me feel better. To tell you the truth, when I look back on my life I know for sure that God’s grace was the driving force behind every good thing, nothing else. I thought I was done with all this doom and gloom. For goodness sakes, I should take these thoughts captive, right? Well, it turned out to be quite the challenge on this particular morning. While cleaning the kitchen my thoughts went a different route. I was packing away my pink pasta plates. I’m afraid I bought these plates without really knowing what …

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A Special Story about Depression

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY EVERYONE! I wanted to direct you to a Blog that I love. This lady’s name is Sandy Cooper and she writes amazing blogs from the heart, that will make you cry and laugh. She is currently sharing her story of struggling with depression and I thought it might be something that one of you precious ladies really needed to hear. Her honesty is simply refreshing! I know some of you have heard this in my Program but let me say it again: If you are struggling with food addiction or an eating disorder then you HAVE TO SEE A PHYSICIAN. It is very important to find out how the years of struggling with food affected your health and what you can do about it. Lack of necessary nutrition over a period of time can cause depression in itself. Some ladies can not get a hold of their lives (and their food addiction) because depression is present and they haven’t dealt with it. Unfortunately, as Sandy and other people point out, depression has a stigma especially in Christian circles. So we will do any and everything to not be associated with the “happy pills”. However, if this is what your body needs, nothing else will help. If you talk to your doctor you will get more information on depression and the things that cause it, including hereditary factors. This might be the eye opener you need. Many ladies with eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia have type A personalities. Perfectionism is a big battle for these ladies and their biggest pain comes from trying to get “control” over their weight at all cost. To not have “control” over their emotions as well is simply unthinkable, so they will try everything they can to beat the sadness themselves. Believe me, …

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A “Special” Meal with Extra Gravy!

I know it sounds like we’re having an early Thanksgiving, but not to worry, the Woest family is still going strong as far as healthy eating habits are concerned. However, this weekend we did have a special meal alright! By the end of the weekend I was in a pretty lousy mood, in fact I felt bruised and beaten by laundry, chores, commitments and tantrums (the “don’t-know-what-I-want-but-I-don’t-want-that” tantrums that gets issued with every precious two year old 🙂 So at dinner time I dished up big plates of steaming hot guilt for every family member. I also added some thick gravy of manipulation and a side dish of harshness. Off course I didn’t starve either, my plate was packed with self-pity, discontentment and a dash of bitterness. Great dinner! It was the wise women from Proverbs that grabbed me by the apron and shook me up good. The Amplified Bible says it exactly like I needed to hear it: “She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.” (Prov 31:27) Ouch! So I repented and laid my burden down where it belongs. I am happy to say that this morning’s breakfast was on the lighter side. Love, humility and thankfulness was on the menu. I still have a long way to go before I can be called a Proverbs 31 woman, but maybe, as some of my friends believe, it speaks of all the seasons of our lives. For this season I feel blessed to just drop the “bread of idleness” because it ruins my “holiness diet” anyway. Love you lots Heleen

Happy 1st Birthday!

I bet you are wondering which child of mine is turning one that you didn’t even know existed. Well, sorry to disappoint you but this Birthday girl is not so much the flesh and blood kind as she is a pretty mess of code and color. I am talking about our website “Women struggling with Food“. I don’t think I ever told you the story of her “creation” or the three difficult months of “labor” I endured, so here goes: I was seriously just minding my own business, taking care of my then one year old baby girl, doing some counseling here and there and filling my days with juggling the activities of the four men in my life. I really missed the support groups I facilitated for about seven years though. I would be a hypocrite if I tell you that those groups were always fun and games. No actually the groups were exhausting and at times excruciating for both me and the ladies involved. We were all dealing with life changing stuff and digging up pain that we would much rather have left exactly where it was. There was a lot of crying, definitely some laughing, but also truck loads of emotions flying around. Yet, in the midst of it all, amazing friendships were forged. I missed it all, the whole nine yards! I suspect my husband was getting fed-up with my miserable state. This is when he suggested that I put together all of the information and research I gathered to create an online program. He figured I could just make one week and see what happens. I had of course no idea what I was getting into and casually agreed to give it a shot. One thing lead to another, I started writing, then recording, more weeks sprung up …

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“No fat chicks allowed”

I know, it’s awful! I cringe to even write this down, but I am outraged! This morning I stopped behind a truck and found myself face to face with this horrible bumper sticker. Sure, it’s suppose to be a joke, but I seriously had to pray for patience and self-control from on high to not back-up my mini van and ram into this young man’s truck. I know you have to consider the source: The other bumper stickers on this guy’s truck painted an ugly picture of disregard for women in general, but I was still upset. Actually I was more than upset, I was sad and angry. Sad for me and other ladies who struggle with food, but especially sad for our daughters, yours and mine, who have to face such cruelty. My heart was aching for young women in the death grip of an eating disorder. Seeing bumper stickers like these will make some girls vow to rather die than be overweight. Other girls might shrink back into a corner of depression and despair because they can’t get a grip on the ever increasing weight gain. I so wish I could clobber some sense into the heads of ignorant and insensitive human beings who spread the lies that your worth is all wrapped up in your appearance. I went online and found websites, bumper stickers and clothing devoted to the “no fat chicks cause” and I shuddered. I thought of so many overweight people I know who go along with it, making fun of themselves, pretending not to care, but they cry in secret… Let me remind you today: There are no fat or skinny chicks in God’s book. There are hearts, washed by the blood of His Son or not… Don’t give up girl, Jesus came to set the captives …

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Kids and Worries

Face it, the two go together like fish and chips, or peanut butter and jelly (in America). If you have kids, you have had some worries. I have heard it being said that we waste half of our lives worrying about things that never happen. This could easily be true for me, especially when it comes to my kids. Today I was pondering on this worry-pattern that I have going. I saw my 9 year old laying on the couch, reading a book. This warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face, because for the last 3 years, since I started teaching him to read, I have been worried: Will he ever be able to read fluently? Will he ever love reading? Will he ever read a whole book on his own? This is not the first time I went through this. I have four kid, and for crying out loud, you think that I would have learned something by now. I remember distinctly being very worried about my eldest son when we moved to Oregon about five years ago: Would he forever be scarred by this move? Will he ever make close friends again? Is this going to ruin him? Well, of course he’s not ruined. In fact he has more friends than ever, loves God and is a thriving 19 year old. I remember pushing the kids to get involved in music: What if they could have been famous musicians and I just didn’t push them enough? What if I ruined their future because I couldn’t afford music lessons? Well, lo and behold, my middle son just one day picked up the guitar and started teaching himself to play. He is now on a worship team and loves to play without any help or motivation from Mom.   So, …

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