Hardly anyone knows this about me, but I’m a HUGE Mama June fan. Do you know who Mama June is? Mama June is the mother of Honey Boo Boo, a girl who used to do those little girl pageants and was part of that TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras. Mama June quickly became an internet sensation with this meme.
The family somehow got a contract with TLC and began this show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. You all, I fell in love with this family. These people are everything opposite of well-groomed or mannered. Nothing about them is fake or played. These people gave a rat’s ass what everyone thought of them and just lived their lives eatin’ sketti (spaghetti noodles, Country Crock, and ketchup). Mama June was a couponer, an independent woman providing for her four girls, all of which have different dads.
Due to some circumstances the show was canceled by TLC and a few years later a new show came out called Mama June from Hot to Noton WETV. Of course I tuned in to check out this phenomenon of a family. This time what I saw wasn’t different, but it was even deeper. I think I fell in love with Mama June from the beginning because she is so real and her struggle with food addiction is a real thing. I don’t think we are addicted to food because food is inherently bad, obviously we need it to live. But there is something deeper there. Something causing us to relate to food in a way that fulfills a void of emotion or feeling of worthiness.
I’ve always struggled with my weight. It isn’t like no one noticed. It’s obvious. A friend of mine said exactly how I feel—“Why is it I wear my sin/addiction on the outside so very publicly when other people’s sin isn’t so apparent?” Agreed, Sister, agreed.
Some of my earliest memories with food revolve around comfort. My dad was an amazing cook. We’d have large spreads of food for dinner that included bread and butter or crackers and butter as a side item. There was always meat, potato, and a vegetable. Mom always had some of the best snacks or treats or amazing new flavored items shoved in the freezer for us.
I remember the bar in the kitchen always covered and loaded with food. It was the Little Debbie mecca including but not limited to all types of granola bars and crackers. And then there was candy. All the types of candy. There was a sprinkling of fruit in that mess, too.
As a young child I wasn’t into candy much, but I was into beef and noodles. I was into mashed potatoes and gravy. My parents even referred to me as a “meat and tatey’s” girl. (Do other regions of the country stay this? Or the other kinder phrase, “She’s corn fed.”) When I look back at pictures of myself I see a girl larger than every child her age. I see a girl having to shop in the Sears Pretty Plus section and sometimes not finding clothes that fit properly.
Then came puberty. I was always a pretty active girl. I loved the outdoors and sports, especially basketball at the time. It didn’t matter how much I played sports I still was the biggest girl my age forced to shop in the women’s sections of department stores now. I wasn’t even an adult and shopping in the women’s department trying to find age-appropriate clothing.
As time went on I got more and more active. The stark differences in my body type versus of the girls my age were very apparent. I was taller than most girls and some boys who hadn’t hit puberty yet. Entering high school I knew I was strong. I knew my body was different and so did the high school coaches. There was one coach specifically that sought after my strength and encouraged me to push myself physically. He touched on this drive in me to constantly push myself further because when doing so it did something to me mentally. It made me thrive. I felt good about myself. There was a sense of pride I took in myself and enjoyed it. High school is when I learned just how strong I was physically and mentally. I lost seventy pounds before my junior year of high school. It wasn’t healthy and it was too fast. But man I felt good. I felt empowered. I felt strong. I felt capable.
Until outside forces hit me. Constantly put me in my “place.” Refused to understand me. Refused to understand who I am. I felt less-than because I was made to feel as such. I wasn’t encouraged when and where I need to be. I acted out. I rebelled. I did things to push the bucket to feel the empowerment again. To feel. I wanted to feel something other than the suffocation I felt inside.
When the acts of rebellion didn’t work, food sure did. Food was there. Food comforted. Made me feel something. Filled my void of much needed love. Need for acceptance. I had a mouth. Food accepted me. Those seventy pounds I lost all came back and then some when I went to college. The first few days of college I started drinking. Some people can drink and not eat. Drinking made me eat more. I ate things I never had eaten before like pizza rolls. Those are directly from Satan by the way.
Starting a career after college that was high stress didn’t help anything. The drinking continued, but wasn’t as heavy because I was too tired. I am also a perfectionist and didn’t want to be off my game. I didn’t have time to move my body, either. I wanted to feel, again. I continued to eat. I was the heaviest I ever was while working in the classroom. I was also the unhealthiest.
I tried Weight Watchers. I even tried Weight Watchers as recent as a year and a half ago. It helped me get thirty pounds off, but weight wasn’t budging after that. I was nursing Del my youngest, and I’ve never been able to really lose weight while nursing. I knew by exercising and continuing to eat better it would be okay in the end.
My friend Steph is a huge inspiration to me. She is very big on taking care of her whole body’s health. She is a cross fit instructor but models and lives the life she says she believes when it comes to health. She’d approached me years before about doing something different. I wasn’t ready and she knew it. Until on Sunday afternoon before church she dropped her kids off and happened to spot me in the parking lot. She stopped me and said, “Hey why don’t you come try cross-fit with me this week?” What she didn’t know at the time was my OBGYN had asked me to join him at his cross fit box that previous week and then my endocrinologist also asked me to try cross fit for the “personal training.”
I got the damn point.
I texted her later to confirm the time she works on Fridays. Begrudgingly I told her I’d be there. She eased my concerns about having to have bring the kids and there being no child care. She was very kind, reassuring, but also patient.
In the mean time I’d been praying. This issue I have is more than just an exercise program. I don’t need just another exercise program. What I need is boundaries. I’d been reading the sections in the Old Testament at this time where God was divvying out land. He was providing rules of the land, rules of food, rules of behaviors, etc. Then my eyes were opened—his rules, they were actually boundaries. God gave boundaries like land to allow the Israelites to remain safe. It was a place where they could play and make decisions inside and enjoy. If God gives boundaries in everything for our good, why do I not have boundaries with my food? Light bulb. I need boundaries with my food.
Enter Macro Missionary. Before the workout session that Friday, I decided to meet with the Macro Missionary team. I hopped on the scale for an InBody assessment and saw just how strong I was—96 pounds of me was lean muscle mass. Dude. I’m a woman with that kind of muscle and hadn’t lifted heavy in years. I was still just running when I could. Then we talked. Chris sat and heard my story and my goals. We got to the nitty gritty of what macros were, what was expected of me if I did this program with them, and so forth.
It was expensive. In faith I signed the dotted line committing to four months of this. Who can’t do four months?
Little did I know those four months would change my life. Little did I know who these Macro Missionaries were and what they stand for. Little did I know I’d be sitting five months in and down fifty pounds. Little did I know these Macro Missionaries are so encouraging—I’d not really experienced encouragement with my body since my high school coach. I know that sounds weird but I’ve only had people give compliments, but not really encourage and push and love me through the tough times since that time period.
Macros is easy. It’s definitely a mind adjustment in the beginning. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking, “Oh I can’t have that type of food,” but I can! If I can make it fit my macros I can have it. I don’t feel like any food is off limits. I have boundaries—these are the macro numbers I’m given each month to meet my goals. I get to choose how those macros are met.
The MM team is very helpful. When you join MM you get personal support so that you can eat for your own body, not someone else’s. The formulas are research based. My macros are different from everyone else because I am not like everyone else. When I struggle with period cravings, Erika may have gotten some crazy ranty emails, but she walked me through. She gave me ideas, options to cope. She is patient with me.
Some things I’ve learned as a Macro Missionary:
1. Yes you can probably formulate your own macros with an online formula. But that may not be the same numbers you really should be using. The online formulas don’t take into account your specific needs, your health conditions, and you don’t really know how active you are.
2. If you’re not serious about losing weight or leaning out, don’t do macros or join Macro Missionary. The team refers to this as the ability to be coachable. If you’re not coachable, you’ll get frustrated, resent the program, and fail yet again. Macros works if you work it and if you have the proper mindset before starting.
3. Turn your food and nutrition logs in every single day for three months. This is where I got the most accountability and feedback. If I was low on fiber or chose something that I could have swapped with something else, I was coached. If I needed to eat more carbs than I was I was told. It is worth the pain in the butt of turning them in every single day.
4. Get active in the online community. Learn to encourage others. Learn to let others encourage you.
5. Take pictures of yourself along the way. The scale doesn’t take into account water weight, PMS, or stress.
6. Cross Fit is an excellent workout. I love it. I also love other workouts. Workouts were never my problem. A workout is never going to fix my problem with food.
Living the life I say I believe: I do not get anything in return for sharing my story about Macro Missionary. I am not a Fitspo, nor do I want to be. My mission is something else. But when I’ve experienced a life transformation, I need to share. I still have a long way to go, but I’m meeting my goals every single month. That’s a win for me. That’s what keeps me going. I’m experiencing success in a place I’ve always had a problem. I am an addict of food and this is my way to stay sober—tracking my macros.
If you’d like to talk to a Macro Missionary team member, email them here.
If you’d like to talk to my friend Steph you can find her here.