According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, balance is defined as the ability to keep things steady.  I continue to seek balance in every sense of the word.  For many people, body weight is one of the most challenging areas to keep steady.  My weight management journey continues…

During adolescence, a super high metabolism allowed me to eat anything that I wanted without thinking much about portions or nutritional value. Because I did not see the effects of my food choices, I developed some unhealthy habits. Though I was surrounded by homemade, southern meals, fast food became my meal of choice.  I ate sporadically, mostly late at night, and hydrated myself with sweetened drinks. Moving to New York City helped me to at least get some exercise, -due to the city’s expansive public transportation system and five boroughs full of great adventures!

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One would think that my tenure as a showroom model would have forced me to make better nutritional choices.  Worse yet, I had a part-time position as a runway modeling instructor working with teenagers. I should have been a better role model or at least slowed down on the fast food.

The only thing that slowed down was my beloved metabolism. In my twenties, I noticed a slight, steady weight gain. No problem! I simply moved from modeling to the business side of work in the fashion industry.

Marriage and childbirth brought wonderful comfort and security. I fell into motherhood as passionately as I fell in love with my husband. The slight weight gain turned into a layer of softness that padded my frame. —Fast forward to a 95 pound weight gain since my modeling days. At what point did I no longer notice the changes? If left unaddressed, how far could this go?

 In Lenora’s Bequest: Lessons Learned From Watching My Sister Finish Well, I wrote about the lessons that I learned as I leaned into the love and healing of God following the death of my beautiful sister. Everyone’s journey is different. Here is how I lost and maintained a 55 pound weight loss for the past two years:

  • Rehab

    • Like so many others, I knew all of the right choices to make, but I did not consistently make them. I needed to examine why I was sabotaging myself. Once I figured out that an affinity for fast burning carbohydrates and sugar addiction fueled my poor choices, I set out to break the cycle. I committed to one month on a controlled nutritional program. Plans like Medifast and Weight Watchers  have a proven record of success. On my worst days, I read blogs about others on similar journeys in order to encourage myself. I watched episodes of The Biggest Loser television show and most of all, prayed for strength.

  • Ace The Do-Over

    • Once I lost the first 20 pounds, I felt lighter and could exercise more. I do not love the gym, so I developed a 25 minute routine that I could commit to a few times a week. I mainly exercise for endorphins in order to relieve stress. My work-out program is half cardio and half strength training for the major muscle groups.  I learned to live without added sugar and other fast burning carbs like white rice, white potatoes, and white bread…UNLESS it is a holiday or special occasion. On those days, I eat CAKE and treats with my family without guilt! On most days, I cook at home and eat protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains in proper portions. I make food substitutions: Homemade popcorn instead of chips, sweet potato fries instead of the white potato version, lentils and quinoa instead of white rice. Leafy greens instead of bread. Cheese or protein bars instead of chocolate.  I drink very little caffeine, and nourish myself at least five times per day. I keep hydrated with water daily. Key maintenance mainstays are to begin each day with a verse of scripture which is like medicine to me! I weigh myself weekly to keep running data of my progress.

    • Early on, I made the decision to journal my thoughts about weight and pray, as opposed to obsessively talking about it with those in my circle. I noticed that many people talk about losing weight for years without making changes. I wanted my results to speak for me.

  • Celebrate Each Day

    • I felt confident at every weight, but I am grateful to be in my body today. I have reduced aches and pains and sleep much better. I fit well in my clothes, amusement park rides, and a zip line harness! I can keep up with my teenager walking the mall, and I have the energy and strength to do more for others. My end goal was to register a normal body mass index reading at my annual physical exam. It was so exciting to finally meet that goal!

    It is now time to set new goals and this is a great year to do it! Find your inspiration and go for it…you’ve got this!

2 thoughts on “Nutritional Balance

  1. Hi Christina,

    I hope this finds you well. My name is Joana Mangune and I work for Health Monitor. We produce magazines, guides and more on several different health conditions. I’m currently working on our weight loss guide and I’m looking to interview people who have successfully managed their weight. Our Guides are given out free in doctor’s offices across the country, so our hope is that they educate and inform people who are newly diagnosed, or help people who are struggling to manage a condition to find a treatment that works for them (whether it be through lifestyle changes, an all-natural fix or a medication). I would love to get your insight and tips on how you manage your weight.

    I’m happy to call and go over the answers on the phone, or communicate via email. We’d also like to publish your before and after photos with your story; if you don’t have one you can send, we can set up a photo session in a place near you at a time that works for you.

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

    Joana Mangune
    Associate Editor
    Health Monitor Network
    135 Chestnut Ridge Road
    2nd Floor
    Montvale, NJ 07645

    Liked by 1 person

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