Again, how do you stay so thin?

Out of all the questions I get in my in box, this is the one question that pops up the most-“How do you stay so thin?”Ladies, I have to be upfront and honest- I am at a healthy weight, but I do not consider myself super “thin”. I have curves and I am content with that- would I like to loose 10 pounds? Yes. But, again-I am not overweight, refuse to obsess about my weight, and am thankful for a healthy body. With that being said, I am conscious to make wise decisions for my health. I may eat a homemade meal with my family most nights, but I make to balance the rest of my day out right.

  • I typically eat a healthy cereal for breakfast
  • I typically work out 4-5 days a week (coming up on 8 years now!)
  • I don’t eat a lot of fast food
  • I keep snacks to a minimum
  • I typically make my lunch
  • I enjoy a home cooked dinner with my family most nights
I have my good days and my bad days. There are times when I meet friends or family for lunch, but I try to stick a grilled chicken sandwiche, fruit instead of fries, salads, wraps with no dressing, etc. I also look on to see what my best options are when I do eat out. If I happen to pick up fast food it is typically Subway ( a 6″ Turkey) or Taco Bell ( a Fresco Bean Burrito grilled).  There are also times when we take the family out for ice cream- I get a small cone of my liking knowing full well I could take down a large waffle cone (especially if chocolate and peanut butter are involved). On occasion I treat myself to Starbucks  I will order either a  tall non-fat chai tea latte or a tall non-fat caramel latte with no whipped cream.
Am I the most disciplined person I know when it comes to nutrition? Uhh..NO. Am I a nutritionalist? Nope. Am I worthy of  giving dieting advice? Not at all. But, I have been asked this question quite a bit and feel obliged to answer as honestly as I can. The main reason I am not overweight is because I take into consideration the effect it would have on my body if I  had zero willpower throughout the day, didn’t  exercise, and still had a  hearty supper. It just wouldn’t add up to a good situation for this 5’3″ girl. No good at all.
I put together an example of what a person “on the go” might eat in a typical day. Ladies, you may think this is unrealistic, but I am here to tell you that I used to be a working woman. This is VERY real. This is also very real for a stay at home mom (which is what I am currently) who doesn’t want to take her children out of the car. (We need Subways and smoothie restaurants with drive up windows ya’ll!)  Here we go…

An “On the Go” Diet


You run through Starbucks and grab a Grande Caffe Mocha and a Reduced Fat Lemon Berry Coffee Cake

=560 calories and 18 grams of fat


You only have a 1/2 hour, better make it quick! 

You go through the McDonald’s drive through and order a cheeseburger, medium fry and a medium Coke

=890 calories and 31 grams of fat


The kids all have games tonight so you order pizza on your way home…

You have just 2 slices of Pizza Hut Pan Pizza with Pepperoni

= 760 calories and 38 grams of fat

On a side note:

You drink a Coke during dinner and throw in an extra one during the day

=280 calories 0 grams of fat

Late Night Snack:

Potato Chips n Dip while you are watching The Biggest Loser

(3 handfuls of chips and 4 tbsp of dip)

530 calories and 38 grams of fat

Grand Total= 3,020 Calories and 125 grams of fat

A Typical Day for Me


Elliptical Trainer Workout


GoLean Crunch Cereal and home brewed coffee with fat free cream and a tsp of sugar

=236 calories and 4.5 grams of fat

I go to the gym:

30 mins of cardio and 30 mins of light weight lifting=

=Approximately 500 calories BURNED

(I am not even counting all the calories I burn running after my 2 year old and cleaning my house every day!)

Snack :

A Peanut butter filled banana=

205 calories 8 grams of fat


Fried (in butter) egg and cheese sandwich that I make at home:

=420 calories and 15 grams of fat

Dinner: (based on Cracker Barrel’s nutritional facts from a third party for the same menu items-this is an estimate)

Homemade Chicken n Dumplings, Green Beans, Baked Caramel Apples=

985 calories and 43.4 grams of fat

Snack :

While I am blogging and Geoff is watching ESPN

Pop Secret Homestyle Popcorn=

80 calories and 5 grams of fat

On a side note:

I try VERY hard not to DRINK my calories, so I drink water with my meals. Do I drink enough of it? Probably not. But, I try to steer clear of  milk, juice, and pop because I would MUCH rather EAT my calories than DRINK them. Once in a while I drink Diet Coke, but I haven’t been buying it for the home for a few months now. I cave with coffee and warm drinks every now and again.

Grand Total with BURNED Calories= 1426 calories and 75.9 grams of fat

(A difference of 1,594 calories from the “On the Go” Diet.)

Did  you notice that my “work out” NEGATES MORE THAN HALF of my home cooked supper?!

There you have it. The reason why I can eat a hearty dinner with my family is because I exercise, I try not to drink many calories, and I stay away from fast food (for the most part). There is definately room for improvement in my diet and if I ate a healthier dinner I would probably lose those dreadful 10 pounds, hehe.

Please comment away girls…I would love to know your methods to keep those girlish figures!

*In need of  some great exercising tips? Visit my friend Clare over at 



  1. Janelle,

    I LOVE that you are real!! As, someone who HAS always been super thin through HS, college, and even after 2 children, I still felt awkward in my body. Now, am I well into my 40th year of life and “stuff is catching up with me. LOL! So, I am committed to being “healthy” and happy!! I have stopped drinking soda period and though I often miss my Diet Coke…I do not miss the jitters it would give me ( I was drinking at least 3 – 4 a day!!!). I have beefed up my fruit and veggie intake and watching those carbs. Now, don’t get me wrong…I still LOVE my iced coffees, but learning that I must enjoy in moderation.

    Keep up the great work and THANK YO U so much for sharing your REAL LIFE!!!!

    Have a great week!

  2. In the past, I would’ve posted my comment on your FB page, but now that the ENTIRE world can see my comments in their ticker, I’ll post here instead. 🙁

    First, a BIG thank you for sharing your “secrets” with us! I, too, have wanted to know how you (and your sweet buddy Courtney) stay so thin! I used to think all you skinny chicks were thin because it came naturally to you. I now realize you, too, have to work at it. I am a stay-at-home mom too but we really are in a bad spell here lately of eating out – a lot! Just yesterday, we ate out twice – both lunch AND dinner! Ugh! Back when I was single, I always “treated” myself with Ben and Jerry’s – the whole pint in one sitting! – on a Friday night if I was home. I felt like I deserved it (instead of thinking that I deserved to keep my body healthy). That’s kinda where it started for me. Now I can’t get out of that mindset and I have really packed on the pounds (a) since getting married 13 years ago, (b) after baby #1 who just turned 9 and (c) after baby #3 who is 5 1/2! You inspire me to make time for myself and to make better chocies for myself.

  3. Love this! Thanks so much for sharing what you do and what you eat. DISCIPLINE is the key, huh? Something I could use a lot more of! I found this catchy “diet”- I am all about alliteration so this one was stuck with me. It’s called the “No S Diet” … no sweets, snacking or seconds unless the day begins with an S. That’s all there is to it. So, we eat dessert on Saturday and Sunday and Special Days (birthday, holidays, etc). We have gotten out of the habit of snacking and try to be mindful of eating only to the point of being satisfied. No need to stuff ourselves!

    We are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia… I think the more we learn about how little food most countries around the world are, the more it makes us sick the way we abuse food here in the U.S. We want to use it the way God intended us to… He gave us food to enjoy and give us energy. It’s all about perspective!

    • Jenna- that is a GREAT diet to remember! Thank you! Oh, we are so blessed here in the US aren’t we? I am very aware there are those who are hungry in our nation, but there are way more resources here than anywhere else in the world. We have had 2 weeks of missionaries speaking at our church…they amaze me…The photos, stories, mission, outcome. Wow. Wow. Wow. What a blessing you are giving a child from Ethiopia -and a blessing you will get as well. Love to you Jenna, Janelle

  4. I’m glad you shared. I need to get on board and start taking care of ME again. My downfall was going from working at a fitness center and being on my feet 8+ hours a day, there was NO sitting at this job, to a desk job where I sat for those 8 hours a day. 2000 was a horrid year for our family with tragic losses, and more and I let depression allow me to not care. Here we are 11 years later and I am FAT 🙁 So keep up the good work! I am also 5’3 and let me tell you from experience, the extra weight is very hard on every part of your body.

    • Mel, I will be praying for you!!!! Your 2000 is my year this year…oh my friend, do I feel your pain..3 tragic deaths within 6 months for us and 5 funerals. I stayed out of the gym for a little bit because I didn’t really want to be around people. But, it’s time to borrow strength from our Lord and Savior and get back out there…I can do it and you can do it Mel…make that time for yourself. (After having 3 children…and gaining 50-80 lbs with each, oh can I tell you I do know what that weight is like on a little body, lol!) God can do amazing things if we hand over what we are holding onto and give him the reigns. Love to you, Janelle

      • Thank you for the encouragement! After spending all day with my grandpa in the hospital yesterday due to heart complications, I am beyond ready to make those positive changes a reality again. I am shaped JUST like him and I don’t want to deal with what he has and continues to. I’m so sorry for your hard year 🙁 Nothing is worse than those tragic deaths that just rock your world. I too will be praying for you and your family for comfort. Nothing has ever been more painful in my life than during that time. Hugs to you!

  5. nice post

    I’m vegan so that’s my way to healthy eating and it’s pretty hard (for me a least) to consume tons of calories. I’m the same weight I was in college 93 lbs (i’m 4’11”)

    those on the go and liquid calories can really get people.

    everything in moderation is what I tell me mom when she ask me for advise.

  6. Preach it sister love!!!!!!

    Love you!

  7. Great advice, Janelle. Loved your post. Just wish I had started following those suggestions 20 years ago!

    • Lol…;) It is never too late but I sure do know what you mean…I wish I would have taken my own advice while I was pregnant. I ate what wasn’t nailed down…I had some serious work to do after those babies were born!

  8. I like your balanced approach with the focus on staying healthy, rather than staying ‘skinny’. Our bodies do change a lot after having children, so you kind of have to find the new normal. I’ve found that just by eating at home, you save lots of calories (not to mention burning a few doing all those pots…sigh…it’s not all glamour!).

    Once you make a habit of cooking, it’s no big deal to make dinner. You learn how to plan for it whether you’re on the go or not. Thanks for the post…very encouraging!

  9. You are so sweet to be so honest with us! I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted. Now in my late 30’s it’s catching up. I want to look better in my clothes and recently lost ten pounds. Instead of trying to lose those last five, I rewarded myself with all things pumpkin and fall like and I gained almost three pounds right back. I honestly think there’s something psychological about when it gets cold and cozy, the leaves change color, I need to put on my winter layer of internal fat. I’d honestly rather go buy a cute sweater.

    • Oh absolutely…cold weather comes and we want comfort food. I’m trying to cozy up to hot tea in the evenings to curb my appetite! Why is it so hard to loose but so easy to gain? 🙂

  10. I appreciated this post so much. Thanks for keeping it real! 🙂 I did notice that you seemed quite low on your consuption of dairy (calcium for your bones!) and fruits/vegetables … does that concern you?

    • Thank you for being concerned about me! That is SO sweet. I actually do eat more of a variety during the week..I don’t eat this same thing every day, lol. I also take a women’s whole food supplement. The last blood work test (which was a year ago)was healthiest my doctor has ever seen in his office (in his words), what a praise that was. HOWEVER- Do I eat by the food pyramid every day-no. I am not that good. I think that exercise and a healthy weight will be a very large role in keeping healthy, but it won’t make me perfect. I love fruits and veggies, but I am sure I do not get enough of them. I’m not much of a grazer…I can bet on 3 meals a day..but a lot of times I don’t snack at all? I love bananas and apples and grab them to eat throughout the week, but wow the new food pyramid has up to 10 servings of fruits and veggies a day! I can’t imagine eating that much? I love salads and add them to meals and I typically get salads when we go out to eat, etc. What do you do to get all the calcium/fruits/veggies in your diet? Thank you and love to you Katja! Janelle

  11. I need to to thank you for this very good read!!
    I absolutely loved every bit of it. I’ve got you book
    marked to look at new stuff you post…

Speak Your Mind