Monday Note: We’ve decided to leave this post up until midnight tonight due to a glitch with gals getting the She Cooks post sent to their email box a day later than we’d originally planned. So, now you have until midnight tonight PST to leave a comment. Winner of the $25 Starbucks card will be announced in Tuesday’s post.
Okay, now we’re up and running (If you have no idea what I’m referring to, scroll down to the post below)
Today I’m featuring an interview with my dear friend and co-worker for Jesus, LeAnn Rice. You may recognize her from Proverbs 31 Ministries. You may know her from her blog She Cooks. We on the P31 team simply know her as “Queen” :-)
You can meet her now and hear about her weight loss journey. Be sure to read til the end. There is a fabulous giveaway you’ll want to try for!
And stay tuned to Weight Loss Wednesdays. There are big plans and some changes on the horizon you’ll want to know about!
Now, here’s my friend LeAnn Rice:
I am a single-mom, raising 16-year-old Nick since the death of my husband 13 years ago. I serve as the Executive Director of Proverbs 31 Ministries, where I get to spend my days surrounded by the most Godly women I have ever known. Truly… I am blessed to have each and every one of them in my life.
In between work, church, and running Nick to tennis matches and piano lessons, I cook! Seriously. I know this is “Weight Loss Wednesday” but my hobby is creating new recipes and trying them out on willing victims. I love cooking shows and food magazines. In fact, my treadmill is set up in front of my television so that I can watch Food Network while I walk! Yup… sounds strange but it’s the truth.
I have battled with my weight for most of my life, resulting in much frustration, low self-image, and bouts of depression. Through the love and hope I now have in Jesus Christ, I have finally discovered that my identity is not defined by the number on my scale. It’s amazing what that Truth will do for your self-esteem! I belong to Someone bigger… Someone who loves me beyond measure… Someone who created me just as I am. I still struggle when I look in the mirror but, nowadays, I try to see myself as God sees me. I look at my image with His eyes instead of the eyes of the world. It’s a much better view!
What made you decide to begin your weight loss journey?
Several reasons… I have struggled with my weight my entire life but this time I found myself one pound away from seeing 200 on the scale! When I was pregnant with my son, Nick, I had gestational diabetes so I knew that I was at an increased risk of developing Type II Diabetes if I couldn’t get my weight under control. Also, I lost my husband to cancer so I’m the only parent Nick has. I want to be healthy for him and for me.
So far I have lost 50 pounds and 4 sizes! I began on April 24, 2009. I have another 10-15 pounds to go in order to be “healthy” and to no longer be at an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Did you follow a specific program or plan that lead to your weight loss?
With encouragement from Lysa TerKeurst and Marybeth Whalen I went to see a naturopathic physician who specializes in weight loss. Her program did not work for me initially but blood tests showed that I had hypothyroidism. (That helped to explain my life-long struggle with weight, although I do have to take some of the blame as I did not make wise food choices.) Once we got my thyroid regulated the program began to work! I have since modified the program for my lifestyle. Basically, I do not eat any sugar or white carbs. My diet consists mostly of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. (And an occasional bite of dark chocolate!) I do not eat any prepared or packaged foods. I only eat food that I have prepared myself so that I know exactly what I am eating and can control the amount of fat and sugar in my food. It is amazing how much hidden sugar is in prepared foods.
As a single mom of a teenage son, is it hard to cook meals that please you both?
Since Nick was already difficult to please (food wise), it hasn’t been that different . Except for his love of pepperoni pizza, Nick pretty much eats what I eat… just more items on his plate and larger serving sizes. If I make grilled chicken or salmon with a vegetable for dinner, I add a baked potato, some pasta or a roll to his plate so that he gets enough to eat. If I fix ice cream with berries for his dessert, I just eat some of the berries. It really has been easier than I thought. I just have to think ahead when planning our meals and make a good list before going to the grocery store.
What part did your walk with Christ play in your journey down the scale?
HUGE part! First, He entrusted this body to me and it is my responsibility to take good care of it so that I can more effectively do His work. That really motivated me. Also, it has been my faith that has been the biggest help in this journey. There have been times when I would love to eat a bowl of pasta. But, I stop and think of it as I would any other temptation and redirect my thoughts to Jesus. He is bigger and more important than any temptation. I stop and think of Him praying to God in the garden and my desire for pasta just seems so insignificant and selfish.
Any final words of wisdom for our Weight Loss Wednesday gals?
Yes – lots of them!
First and foremost… do this for you because you are worth it. You are beautiful and special and uniquely created and you deserve to be the best you that you can be.
Don’t use the word “diet.” It’s an evil four-letter word that sets you up for failure. Instead, come up with a system that works for you and that you can live with. It should be an ongoing lifestyle change that is healthy without leaving you unsatisfied.
Make sure you have a great support system. Lysa continues to send me quick little encouraging emails telling me how proud she is of me. She’s been like a cheerleader through this entire lifestyle change. Marybeth always tells me how beautiful I am (although, she has always said that… no matter how I looked). And, the girls in the office have supported me by changing their meal choices along with me. Now that’s love!
Set small, achievable goals and celebrate each and every one of them. I celebrated every ten pounds. This has kept me motivated and it helps me when my goals don’t seem so overwhelming. Ten pounds seems doable. Fifty pounds… not so much. But, I have reached and celebrated a ten pound goal five times now!
Way to go LeAnn!
Okay, now for the giveaway. LeAnn is graciously giving away a $25 Starbucks card to one of you who leaves a comment on this post. You don’t have to be a regular WLW gal to comment.
Simply leave us a comment on anything LeAnn spoke of or just letting us know how eating and moving is going for you. I’ll leave the post up until Monday when the winner will be announced.