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Hosts weekly radio spot (“The Keep It Simple Woman”) on the WCIC family of radio stations in central IL.
Co-author of Homespun Gifts from the Heart and Homespun Memories for the Heart.
Appeared as a guest on national television and radio programs – Focus on the Family, Moody Midday Connection, At Home Live, Engaging Women, and The Harvest Show.
Freelance writer and contributor to monthly magazines: Proverbs 31 Woman and Hearts at Home.
CBN.com Growing up, Karen Ehman saw food as a form of reward and comfort; wonderful baked goods given to her consistently by her mother. Consequently, she developed an unhealthy relationship with food, and battled her weight since junior high school. Karen was an emotional eater.
“I tended to use food for things that it was never meant to be used for. It comforted me. It was my friend. It obeyed me, and it didn’t talk back. I ran to food instead of running to God. It was an idol in my life,” she says.
Specifically, Karen found comfort in mostly desserts (cheesecake, ice cream, brownies, pastries and frozen key lime pie). During her struggle with food, she often ate alone and in secret. After having children she packed on the pounds in response to challenges and demands in her life; becoming morbidly obese at almost 250 pounds. But for some reason, Karen did not mind the weight gain.
“I even embraced my fatness,” she says, “becoming known as ‘that funny, fat speaker.’” Karen dealt with a case of ‘reverse anorexia,’ meaning, no matter how much weight she gained, in the mirror she saw a three-time mom who looked “just fine, darling!”
That image broke one day while watching a DVD of a taped drama she was part of. She was shocked to see what others saw.
Medical issues had become a concern – skyrocketing cholesterol over 300, a torn meniscus that would not heal, a frightening tightening in her chest, and thoughts of an overweight aunt who died of heart disease in her early 40's.
Not wanting to leave her husband a widower, Karen began her journey down the scale exercising daily and beginning a regimen that took a lot of time and patience.
“I began very slowly with exercise. Under my doctor’s watchful eye, I began to eat less and move more,” she says.
Today, her total weight loss is 106 pounds – going from a size 24 to a size 10. With the help of Weight Watchers, Karen began exercising.
“I began to walk,” she says. “I walked faster and further. Then, I walked on a treadmill on a slight incline. I added weight training.”
Karen says that God did an extreme makeover of her heart, and taught her to have a healthy relationship with food. For Karen, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key.
Most importantly, Karen wants those struggling with their weight to know that being overweight and believing the lie that you’ll never shed the pounds is a ploy Satan uses to render you ineffective for the service God has planned for you.
“You must take God at His word,” she says. “He’s promised a way out during temptation. Overeating is a sin issue and a matter of obedience. Nothing tastes as great as being obedient feels.”
For Karen, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by making positive decisions about exercising and eating every day. Her process:
WEIGH AND PRAY
If you think weight-loss programs such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig are the only programs fit to encourage women to lose weight, think again. After her dramatic weight-loss, Karen Ehman became a model for her community. People wanted to know how she lost her weight and what they could do to begin their own weight loss journey.
n return, Karen came up with Weigh and Pray; a way for women to gather, weigh themselves and pray. “When I began losing weight, accountability was important to me,” she says. With Weigh and Pray, “We meet, we weigh-in and then we spend time talking about our weight and our struggles. We share information and tips that can help with eating healthy and with exercising.”
They also spend a lot of time praying with each member; praying for anything that may be difficult or if they’re trying to be consistent with exercising. Weigh and Pray has also attracted the attention of other churches. Karen plans to post information on her website on how to start a Weigh and Pray group after her appearance on The 700 Club. “It’s a very basic idea,” she says.
THE “KEEP IT SIMPLE WOMAN”
After finding herself swamped in a life of raising kids, diapers and home schooling, Karen felt as if she needed to learn how to simplify her life. “I feel like we get so overwhelmed as women because we try to do it all. We try to do everything to the tenth degree rather than just keeping it simple,” she says.
As a result, Karen began coming up with simple and creative ideas for herself, which turned into workshops and then turned into books.
Karen is often viewed as being fun, transparent and real, and does a lot of writing and speaking for women’s groups across the country. To aid in facilitating her message, a radio station in Illinois (WCIC/Peoria, IL) gave her a radio spot called: ‘The Keep It Simple Woman’ with the purpose of providing easy tips for moms. WCIC labeled Karen as the Keep It Simple Woman.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.