CBP: Tell us your Christian testimony. How did you become a doctor?
Dr. Jantz: As I look back, I can see how God was shaping the whole-person approach to healing and recovery throughout my education. Right out of high school, I entered a Bible college and continued with those studies for 2 years. After that, I felt drawn to a pre-med course of study. It was during this time that God lead me to the area of psychology. I retained my appreciation for and intrigue in the intricacies of the human body but recognized a desire to investigate our complex emotional nature.
I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology, my master’s degree in counseling, and my doctorate in counseling psychology and health services. So, I guess you could say I had a whole-person education – with work on the emotional, physical and spiritual! As I was nearing completion of my doctorate, God planted the vision that was to become The Center for Counseling and Health Resources. This vision has provided the guiding light for The Center ever since, continuing through today into tomorrow. The theme verse for my life and ministry through The Center is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (NIV).”
CBP: Could you explain your title, The Total Temple Makeover?
Dr. Jantz: The title comes directly from 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own (NIV).” Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit but often we don’t treat them that way. This book is designed to help readers accept the idea of the body as a temple of the Spirit, to love and care for it in a way that gives glory to God, to put aside hindrances of the past and be physically able to grab hold of God’s hope and future.
CBP: How did you and your associates at The Center for Counseling and Health Resources come up with the program?
Dr. Jantz: We’ve been working with clients on health, weight, self-esteem, body and spiritual issues for over 20 years. Long-term recovery and change, however, happens through baby steps – incremental, positive actions and attitudes that allow a person to recognize and understand negative behaviors and consequences, and find the knowledge and strength to make healthy changes. It takes time to let go of a negative behavior and embrace a healthy one.
CBP: What is the biggest diet breaker for most people?
Dr. Jantz: Failure is the biggest diet breaker. They’ve tried before and failed. This makes it harder to find the courage and motivation to try again. It establishes a “history of failure” that subverts their best intentions. People need to believe they can succeed; if they don’t, they operate under a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.
CBP: Why do you include journaling in your program?
Dr. Jantz: In order to change direction, you need to know where you’re headed. We include journaling because putting a thought on paper allows you to take ownership of it. Seeing your thoughts, hopes, wishes, dreams, failures, fears and doubts on paper provide you the opportunity to step back and confront them. Many people spend a great deal of time running from this level of honesty. Often, they run to food. By journaling and dealing with these thoughts and feelings, a powerful motivation to numb through food is diluted. In addition, some people have never felt they had “permission” to be so honest. This level of truth is freeing.
CBP: Explain glycemic load.
Dr. Jantz: When we eat, food acts as fuel and begins a complex process of energy production. Our food is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) by the body through digestion. Once the body detects a spike in glucose, the pancreas reacts by producing insulin. Insulin acts as a transport system, moving glucose to the muscles and liver, where it can be immediately used as energy. Extra glucose is moved by insulin into fat storage areas, to be used later.
The way we eat today often complicates this marvelous system because of the high-calorie, low –fiber meals chosen. The more processed a food, the less time it takes to digest so our glucose levels rise rapidly. The pancreas must react quickly by flooding the body with insulin. Over time, some people can become less responsive to insulin (insulin resistant) and the pancreas must produce higher and higher levels of insulin in order to lower blood glucose. This puts tremendous stress on the pancreas and it can essentially shut down. The result is Type-2 diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes.
In order to help diabetics and pre-diabetics understand how different foods would affect glucose levels, the Glycemic Index was created. A helpful tool, it was based upon the effect of 50 grams of carbohydrates from different foods on the body. However, it did have a flaw. The glycemic index, for example, calculated that 50 grams of carbohydrates in carrots had as much of an impact on glucose levels as white sugar. Common sense says that carrots must be better for you than pure sugar!
With carrots, the 50-carbohydrate-gram comparison resulted in a serving size of over 4 cups. In other words, you would have to eat over 4 cups of carrots to achieve this glycemic index. A normal serving of carrots is half a cup, or a little over 6 grams of carbohydrates. As people began to really use the Glycemic Index, this difficulty surfaced. Thus, the birth of the Glycemic Load.
Glycemic Load recalculates the Glycemic Index using a “normal” serving size as the base-line and not whatever amount constitutes 50-carbohydrate-grams. The Glycemic Load allows people to determine, in real-life terms, what the glucose/insulin response will be to common foods. Overall, you can reduce your daily Glycemic Load by watching the number of calories you eat at any one time, and choosing whole foods over processed foods because of the “time-release” properties of digestion.
CBP: How do you hope to affect overweight Christians through this book?
Dr. Jantz: Your question holds the answer – hope. Through a renewed understanding of how this marvelous body works, we hope to inspire respect. Respect for this body - that is not our own - should translate into motivation to choose healthy habits, to support the body. What people are often unable to do for themselves, they are able to do for, and through, God. In addition, the book is filled with incremental, practical ways to change direction where health and food are concerned. Overweight Christians carry more than a burden of weight; they carry a burden of guilt and shame. Our goal for this book is to unbind Christians to rediscover the body, the temple, God intended. Without the shackles of oppressive guilt, shame, and excess weight, Christians can be free to live out their God-given purpose.
CBP: What are you working on now?
Dr. Jantz: I’m working on a book for parents and children, incorporating similar concepts. With childhood obesity rates rising, Christian parents need sound, biblical answers to help improve the health of their children, without succumbing to cultural ideals of perfectionism and beauty.
CBP: Thank you for telling us more about yourself and your latest book, The Total Temple Makeover.