Be Bold in Your Faith

“Blessed are those who believe without seeing.” John 20:29

Buckle up as I vulnerably share a neat interaction that led to me meeting a new friend and fellow believer! Just a quick note that I have previously authored four Christian-focused blogs on my website. Not many people will read the blogs as most people come to my page for nutrition, health, and fitness but for that one person who may be lifted up by my sharing the gospel or my Christian faith is well worth the time spent writing this up. Writing is also therapeutic. Anyway, on with it…

 

You must be bold with your faith because you never know who is inspired to turn closer to Jesus and away from satan by you vocalizing your love for Christ. “many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

 

Last Thursday at my local YMCA in TN I hit the treadmill to warm up before lifting. When I finished and turned to clean my treadmill and depart for the weights, I saw a man with an awesome t-shirt advocating for science which I obviously appreciated. The man’s t-shirt read, “science does not care about your feelings.” That is a cool shirt and I love that shirt because I am an evidence-based dietitian. This man and I had a great 2–3-minute conversation near the treadmills about how science matters so much for both of our professions. I asked his name, and I will never forget it but for sake of ann9ominty I will leave it out of this blog but you can believe I am praying for him.

The man expressed he holds a Ph.D. In chemistry.  He learned I was an RDN and said, “you do have a lot of science courses in your training as well.” Yes, we most certainly do! We got on the topic of faith somehow as most people who are so into science often lack a belief in Jesus Christ. The man expressed he was a non-believer. He said, “you can’t prove Jesus is real and said the bible was just some unproven book.” My heart sank but I respect others’ opinions especially since I was a former non-believer who said God did not exist in my days before I became a true follower of Christ in 2012.

The man was shocked to learn I was a Christian and very strong in my faith as a follower. He asked, “why do you believe in something you can’t prove miss science-based dietitian?” I said with conviction and enthusiasm, “Great question but here’s the deal since you asked. I can’t see the wind or the heat but I can feel it. I can certainly feel the hot temps and as a result lots of dry grass and crops. I can also see the trees moving and I know that is the wind even though I can’t see it there is a byproduct of those things we “can’t see”.  Just like how Christ works miracles we can’t see the moving parts but we can see the result. A child from my hometown surviving a freak accident in the water he should have died but was revived by the Lord. Many other miracles have happened in my life that I could not see Jesus but I am alive because of Him and that is why I stand firm in my faith.

We walk by faith, not by sight. I look around and see miracles even though I can’t tangibly see Jesus. That is what true faith is.

 

I did also interject that the bible is not a book of stories but it is the biography of Jesus. There is also physical evidence of Roman crucifixions that Jesus described in the New Testament.  Furthermore, I know God is with me even when I can’t “see Him” I can most certainly feel Him and I see the miracles He works all around us. I told the man Jesus loved Him and I will pray He comes to know the Lord someday because it makes things so much easier. It is also comforting knowing earth is not our home and that heaven is. He asked me what was in heaven? I expressed I am not sure but I know for certain there is no death, disease, hate, war, racism, or sin, and we celebrate with our King in paradise without any worries, unlike on earth. It is our eternal home and that gives me hope in this broken world. Jesus is coming back and I would rather spend my entire life trusting and following His guidance and find out He does not exist than get to the end of my life without following Him only to learn of His existence when He comes back. The man argued I could not prove of Jesus or of His return and I said that is okay. It is not my job to push you to do anything.

I used to be a nonbeliever too. I just want you to know that Jesus loves you and when you are ready or willing He wants to have a relationship with you. I said as a non-believer I hated it when people pushed God on me. I won’t ever push faith on anyone but if a firefighter pulled you out of a burning building you would want to share that with the world praising them and thanking them because of how joyful you are That is exactly what I have felt since accepting Jesus as my savior in 2012. He saved me and I can’t keep quiet about that. I am a sinner who needs a savior and He makes my life better. The man actually told me to be quiet and to leave him alone. For you as a follower of mine on social media or a stranger coming to my page you will learn I am so outgoing I am not offended by someone telling me no. You also know how kind I am and that him saying this did not hurt me because a women next door overheard us.. She was an 82-year-old woman who was almost in tears listening to me talk about Jesus. She asked me about my faith and testimonial, and we bonded over how good God is. She said she could feel and see the Holy Spirit as she peered into the room to witness this conversation. I literally had no intention of talking to the guy behind me in the gym but somehow we had a dialogue that prompted me to feel God more than ever.

 

Had I not had that conversation with that man I would not have met my new friend Julia who has a grandson that is studying nutrition at the University of Tennessee. She said her grandson needs some mentorship so here we are. I made a new friend who said my faith encouraged her and her words of affirmation helped me see how important the work I do as a RDN is even when I feel like it isn’t. Julia and I exchanged contact information and she will be joining the women’s bible study group that I am starting with a new friend. She said it’s hard to run a business in these times and gave me some good wisdom on ignoring the enemy who is trying to distract and bring me down from helping people. Julia was shocked to learn that I am only 31 YO and reminded me the Lord has beautiful plans for my future as a dietitian and thought leader. She also said she would pray for the prosperity of my business during these hard times. God is good. We are at spiritual warfare right now and if you stay quiet because you are afraid to offend someone sharing the gospel you need to ask for God to give you the courage.

 

So, Christians, be bold in your faith you never know who is listening or watching. It is not our job to convert people to following Christ, but it is our job to not be fearful of sharing our love for Jesus and what He has done for us. We are ambassadors of heaven. This is a vulnerable blog expressing how important it is to encourage one another in faith and to be kind living a life that is centered on Christ. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for following my pages and investing in our business. I also appreciate all of the messages, mail, and random notes I get about how bold I am in my faith and how it inspires others. That means more than you know. Especially as a non-believer, I can’t express how much God has helped me reach this point in life to work and help so many other people.

 

God is good. God defeated satan. Keep your eyes on the Lord and the blessings ahead. Please follow my personal IG devotions with wendi page. For those that want to attend the local women’s bible study in Brentwood, TN please send me an email so we can give you the details to join us.

Soft reminder last summer I posted my blog, “The Sixty Dollar Effect “ in which I share how God-provisions if you’re willing to trust Him. Please go read it along with Jesus Does Not Need a Perfect You but a Health You, because that’s what my life’s purpose is for.

My purpose is to serve God and glorify Him which I do through my work as a dietitian, speaker, and writer. I help men and women live healthier lives along with our youth so that they can be healthy ambassadors of heaven. We all play a role in Kingdom work.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you. ” Luke 12:22 God has made miracles out of some major messes in my life that would have broken me had I not had God as my foundation. When we are in need we have two choices, turn away from God or turn towards God.  Turning towards God means spending time in solitude with Him, reading the bible, and attending worship instead of trying to be self-sufficient.

If you’re interested in a daily devotional, Please be sure to follow my personal IG account Devotions with Wendi

Your sister in Christ,

Wendi A. Irlbeck

 

The Top Five Worst Fat Loss Mistakes

Avoid making these common mistakes when trying to lose fat and gain lean muscle mass! (VIDEO ON FAT LOSS MISTAKES)

1. Skipping meals

Many people think they are doing the right thing by skipping breakfast and avoiding eating until they are ravenous. Skipping meals will lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels (1). Skipping meals will also lead to overeating at the next meal but it’s not sustainable nor is it optimal for maintaining lean mass. We know lean mass helps burn more fat. Our blood glucose levels drive our energy, focus, concentration, and productivity to name a few (1). Focus on powering up with protein and produce at breakfast. Protein will help keep you satisfied and help regulate your hormones that control hunger.

2. Eliminating entire food groups and fad dieting

People go rouge and cut out entire food groups. Eliminating food groups is not a wise choice and is often a mistake I see many falling victims to as a dietitian. People vilify or demonize carbohydrates because of their sugar content. The reality is that successful fat loss comes down to a calorie deficit. You can most certainly eat fruit and still lose fat. Don’t listen to the misinformation from clowns demonizing fruit or even carbohydrates. Research supports carbohydrates as a critical part of a healthy diet as well as supporting weight loss goals (2). Carbohydrates provide our muscles and brain with energy. If you’re hoping to lose fat and crank up the intensity in the gym but decide to cut out fruit and carbohydrates, you’ll likely experience fatigue quickly. You don’t need to cut carbs or eliminate fruit to lose fat (3). Nutrition with Wendi fat loss clients does not cut carbs or eliminate food groups. If you’re interested in learning how to portion your carbs and a macronutrient breakdown, please contact me by booking a consultation.

3. Cutting calories too low or underestimating portions

Cutting calories too low too quickly will not only leave you feeling tired, depleted, cranky, and full of cravings it will also put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. It’s also unsustainable to live off poverty macros in the 600-900 kcal range. No one should be going below 1200 calories per day. It is too low, not sustainable, and will put you at risk for unhealthy habits and a host of other consequences. One thing I teach my clients and athletes is that our methods and systems when working towards any goal must be sustainable or our results won’t be. Sure, you could slash your calories for a few weeks and lose a few pounds, but it will come back with a vengeance if you can’t keep it up. It is best to start off with a daily 200-300 kcal deficit which followed consistently will help you lose 1-2 lbs. per week and keep it off. Keep it off for good when done properly. 95% of people regain the weight they lose.  See a great resource on how to build a plate here and consult with a dietitian to determine your individual calorie needs.

Studies suggest that people tend to misreport and incorrectly estimate how many calories they consume (4). Many think they are eating in a calorie deficit when indeed they are not eating in a calorie deficit. All Nutrition with Wendi fat loss clients record their intake and track their portions to facilitate self-awareness of calories and portions. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.


For example, a person may report they are consuming one serving of almonds per day may but are actually consuming 2.5 servings unknowingly.  This is often due to grabbing a handful between meals or throughout the day without any concept of true portion size. Handfuls and bites can add up quickly putting a person in a calorie surplus each day without even knowing it and then “expressing their efforts are wasted”. This is a simple correction of both a mindset and accurate tracking by learning serving size to support an honest leger of calories consumed. 


Higher calorie foods like nut butter are important to measure out to you’re aware of the portion size. It is not obsessive to track your intake if you have a goal to lose weight. For example, if you and your family are planning on taking a vacation to Disney World you don’t just guess how much money you should save each month and eyeball your savings adding some money here and there from a paycheck or two and cross your fingers for the best. No, that would be reckless and not leave many of us with the funds to take a trip to Disney World with the family because we had no concept of a budget. To achieve your vacation fund needs you would identify a budget and allocate your funds accordingly by the week or month to ensure you have hit a designated fiscal goal. This is the same for our fat loss goals. Tracking and managing our intake is critical to be aware of what we are “eating” just like how much we are spending. If you’re not aware of your finances, you are likely to go into debt or be limited with your vacation or retirement options.

4. Not enough resistance training

When people want to lose weight, they quickly default to more cardiovascular exercise like running or more time on the elliptical. While increasing your cardiovascular exercise is good for heart health, stress management, and reducing the risk of chronic disease it is not the best form of exercise for fat loss. I’m not saying cardio can’t help but it is not as optimal as resistance training. Additionally, people often overestimate how many calories they burn during cardio, and it also does not offer the same muscle-building benefits as resistance training does. Cardio won’t help you lose fat and chisel your body in the way you desire. You need to lift weights. Resistance training burns more calories at rest and supports gaining lean mass which burns more fat at rest. This is referred to as (EPOC), which is the amount of oxygen required to return to its pre-exercise or resting state called post-exercise oxygen consumption. Read more about how resistance training helps raise resting metabolic rate in women in this 2018 study published in the International Journal of Exercise. Furthermore, having more muscle means a lower risk for sarcopenia. I have transformed my physique along with hundreds of others by prescribing four to five 20-30 min resistance training sessions per week paired. Strength training paired with daily walking and proper nutrition can lead to great results if consistently executed. Daily walking is a great way to manage stress, support digestion, mental health, and more. For fat loss resistance training is the best form of exercise (5). The more cardio you do also the hungrier you may feel which can lead to overeating which won’t help you sustain a calorie deficit to lose fat. Not to mention all the added load and stress on your joints and tissues become quite taxing and unsustainable. If your methods to losing fat aren’t sustainable your results won’t be.  Research recommends combining both aerobic exercise and weight training for optimal results.

5. Not eating enough protein

Too many are skimping on their protein which is leaving them chronically hungry and unable to ever satisfy themselves (7). There’s also a great deal of misinformation that if we eat more than 20 g of protein in a meal it will be stored as fat. This is not true and has been dispelled in a position paper published in the (JISSN), Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. We use what we need and for many that is more than 20 g at a time. Optimal protein intake should be broken down between meals and snacks to best support satiety, muscle growth, and muscle maintenance. For more read the JISSN  Position Stand Paper featuring diets and body composition. A great way to enhance satiety and consistently eat in a calorie deficit is to increase protein intake at meals and snacks. Ideally, a good place to start would be at least 25g to 40 g of protein at a meal, along with 10 g to 15 g of protein at snacks. I have several resources on how to increase your protein with specific guides on my Instagram, Twitter, and blogs. For more on this see my previous blog on consuming greater protein for fat loss.

If you want to lose fat and gain lean mass you must be willing to reduce your calories appropriately, eat sufficient protein, be consistent with resistance training, sleep 7 to 9 hours, consume fluids and focus on quality movement or quantity. As a reminder, if your methods aren’t sustainable your results won’t be. What is measured is well managed are both important concepts that must be at the forefront when making changes to your nutrition, sleep, workouts, and more. Manage your calories like you would manage your finances if you’re climbing out of debt. Keep in mind that improving by one percent each day can add up over time. Compound your good habits and be consistently aware of what you are eating and how much of it you are eating. If you need help creating a plan to support your fat loss goals, please schedule a consult, or sign up for nutrition coaching! We will get you where you want to be without making the mistakes listed above.

In good health and many blessings,

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LDN, CISSN

 

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LDN, CISSN is a registered dietitian nutritionist, healthy lifestyle coach, former college athlete, physique competitor, and avid weight lifter. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with parents, sports performance staff, and special needs and recreational athletes to offer nutritional guidance and optimal athletic performance and lifestyle plans. Wendi provides telehealth and on-site services. Wendi works with clients of all levels and ages across the US as well as Canada and the UK.

Citations

  1. Nas, A., Mirza, N., Hägele, F., Kahlhöfer, J., Keller, J., Rising, R., Kufer, T. A., & Bosy-Westphal, A. (2017). Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on the regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk. The American journal of clinical nutrition105(6), 1351–1361. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.151332
  2. Astrup, A., & Hjorth, M. F. (2017). Low-Fat or Low Carb for Weight Loss? It Depends on Your Glucose Metabolism. EBioMedicine22, 20–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.07.001
  3. Hall, K. D., & Kahan, S. (2018). Maintenance of Lost Weight and Long-Term Management of Obesity. The Medical clinics of North America102(1), 183–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcna.2017.08.012
  4. Brown, R. E., Canning, K. L., Fung, M., Jiandani, D., Riddell, M. C., Macpherson, A. K., & Kuk, J. L. (2016). Calorie Estimation in Adults Differing in Body Weight Class and Weight Loss Status. Medicine and science in sports and exercise48(3), 521–526. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000796
  5. Aristizabal, J. C., Freidenreich, D. J., Volk, B. M., Kupchak, B. R., Saenz, C., Maresh, C. M., Kraemer, W. J., & Volek, J. S. (2015). Effect of resistance training on resting metabolic rate and its estimation by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry metabolic map. European journal of clinical nutrition69(7), 831–836. https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2014.216
  6. Brown, R. E., Canning, K. L., Fung, M., Jiandani, D., Riddell, M. C., Macpherson, A. K., & Kuk, J. L. (2016). Calorie Estimation in Adults Differing in Body Weight Class and Weight Loss Status. Medicine and science in sports and exercise48(3), 521–526. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000796
  7. Antonio, J., Candow, D. G., Forbes, S. C., Ormsbee, M. J., Saracino, P. G., & Roberts, J. (2020). Effects of Dietary Protein on Body Composition in Exercising Individuals. Nutrients12(6), 1890. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061890