The Biggest Loser is Not the Only Winner

by montejosmemorials on September 23, 2014

The Biggest Loser is Not the Only Winner

by Joyce Montejo

Some of the girls at church have gotten together to encourage each other, challenge each other, and help hold each other accountable over the next few months in a biggest loser challenge. As I have listened to others sharing their victories and struggles, it got me to really thinking about my own journey.

I inherited having a weight struggle from my mom’s side of the family and it has always been something I have had to be mindful of. When I was younger, my body allowed me to lose weight quickly and many times in a way that wasn’t so healthy. Some of those ways may even be what cause some of the issues have struggled with. Did you ever get on the low or no fat bandwagon? Now research has shown that it throws the whole endocrine system out of whack. We need those healthy fats!

In my early twenties, my body showed many fibromyalgia symptoms. I exercised a lot, but it was at many times painful because of the joint issues. The ironic thing to me was that not exercising was even more painful, so that kept me pressing forward.

Then time became a factor. I cared for an elderly father and we started having children every year or two. The biggest gap was between the first two which was three years. The others are one to one and a half years apart. Then our last baby was born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect, so there was a year of surgeries, feeding tubes, and me not sleeping for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time. At the end of that year, my body kind of shut down. Then I miscarried 2 times after that.  My thyroid was way out of whack and my adrenal system was pretty much shot at that time.

When I read over this, it sounds overwhelming! It was for a bit, but thankfully God keeps His hand on us through every situation and His word has been true over and over in our lives! So, I don’t share this for you to say, look at what she’s been through, I share this for you to say, WOW!, look what God can do! He really is about restoration! He really can turn every situation around to work for his good!

On top of the time factor and the physical challenges I was feeling, I had an extra 10 to 15 pounds left over from every birth. Times that by 7 and I had quite a bit to get off. How in the world was I going to do it, because I still had lots of little people, homeschooled, and didn’t feel like I wanted to get out of bed?

Whenever I want to do something, I always go to studying. I knew the way I had stayed fit when I was younger wouldn’t work for me now and wasn’t healthy to rebuild my body either. I also wanted to do it with the least amount of work and time input as possible. Sounds like I needed a miracle, lol!

So through researching and lots of prayer for guidance, I was led to a few things that have made a huge difference for me in improving my health, and losing weight. First of all, I had to realize that even if I didn’t lose a pound, I had to rebuild health, so that was where my journey started.

Our focus had been nutritional for a while, but I knew I was going to have to go deeper and relearn some things I thought were healthy, which weren’t.
I learned about eating things that were God made and preparing them like they did in biblical times, staying away from as much processed foods as possible. We leaned more towards raw dairy, raising our own cows and goats, chickens, adding fermented foods, etc. The Weston Price Foundation and a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions taught me so much.

Although I was losing some weight, it wasn’t coming off like I really wanted it to. My body craved all of the fats I had denied myself for years, so the cream from the milk, real butter, coconut oil, honey, nuts, etc. were healing my body, but they weren’t helping me lose weight like I wanted to. The thyroid issue was not helping either.

So back to the research! At that point I learned about 2 sisters who had experimented with a way of eating that separated fats and carbs. You still were able to eat all of those healthy fats, but combining them was key to the weight loss. So, I bought their book called Trim Healthy Mama.

The whole concept is this. Fat is a fuel and carbs are a fuel. If you eat them at the same time, your body can’t burn them both, so it leads to weight gain. If you eat one fuel at a time, like fats, then your body only has to concentrate on burning the one fuel, so your body goes into weight loss mode. This is a very simplistic explanation, because this way of eating is not only great for weight loss, but for managing diabetes, inflammation, and many other physical issues. It’s even good for those who need to gain weight.

I really loved the perspective that unlike lots of low carb diets, which don’t allow healthy carbs, they are allowed, just at a different time than fats. I also was excited about the idea that it included all healthy foods. I believe God wants us to eat balanced, including healthy carbs as well as the fats.

It worked! Over the next year after buying the book, I lost 60 pounds. I have put 10 back on over the last few months, because I have not been as diligent to separate the fats and carbs like I was for that year. With the encouragement of "The Biggest Loser" at church, I am back on track.

The other thing I found was an exercise program called TTapp. It doesn’t have anything to do with tapping, but Tapp is the founders last name. She developed the exercises to rebuild and actually help heal certain things in the body. It is low impact, which I needed for my adrenal issues, but it creates a neurokinetic flow in the body. What this means is that by doing the movements in the proper way, it opens, unkinks, and aligns the pathways from the brain to the joints, muscles, lymphatic system, etc. As a result, it aids weight loss, muscle building, endurance, inflammation, hormonal issues, etc. On top of that, it is only a 20 minute workout.

Thanks to "The Biggest Loser" fellowship, I am back on track with TTapp as well! Accountability is an awesome thing! My goal is to run a 5K with our children one day, but for now, this is where I need to be for continued healing.

The other aspect of my healing journey is the intentional use of essential oils. As my research went from diet and exercise to providing nutrients that would work at the cellular level, these became another important part of my wellness toolbox. 

So, as I was reading comments of different ladies in the group yesterday, it led me to think back over the last 25 years or so of my health and fitness journey. Here are some of the conclusions I came to.

Whatever we do that is more than we were doing before, is improvement.

We can be very hard on ourselves, because we aren’t able to do things like everyone else, but we should embrace our differences and know they are part of the journey. It will be different for everyone, but that’s ok. Finding what needs our body has and meeting those needs will be the key to ultimate health and our path of learning will become the way that we help and encourage others. Learning to embrace those steps is important.

We don’t have to do it fast, one step at a time, is all we need to take. We have one son who struggles with weight like me. As he is also implementing a consistent exercise program, I was encouraging him yesterday that each day, he will become stronger. If he sticks with it, he will forget how hard it was when he started. This is a reminder for us too.

I wholeheartedly believe in God’s complete healing power and that He could have touched any one of the things we have gone through, but instead He gave us unlimited favor and grace through every situation and will continue to do so!

WE ALL WIN! Whether we are "The Biggest Loser", or we learn to be more consistent and disciplined in our eating and exercise, or we build new friendships and strengthen old ones, WE ALL WIN! As we make improvements in our lives, we become better equipped to do the things God has called us to. I don’t know about you, but when we are sharing God’s love in Guatemala, I want to be healthy and feel good! (This is about our last trip to Guatemala from our oldest son’s perspective.)

So I encourage you today to take a step, even a small baby step, to improve your health and tell me about it either in the comments or on Facebook.

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Please check out these other great blogs I may have shared with.

  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please do your research and make decisions based on what you feel is right.
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