Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weight Loss Journey Day 31

Thinking a lot about something my daughter said. She old me she taught her 5th graders in Sunday school about a vending machine.

Actually, about how we treat God like one.

frozen heartIt has been a demanding season for me. I’ve fought for survival, emotionally and physically. Where does crying out for help, for God’s provision, healing, movement, become selfishness?

Have I crossed the line, Father? In these months of anger and helplessness?

I don’t want to become bitter, entitled, demanding.

I am sometimes.

And then my heart feels as cold as ice.

God, I’m sorry. I don’t want to treat you like a vending machine, demanding what I want at the push of a button.

And so I think about His gifts. The healing hands and hearts He brought me. My doctors, counselor, and the chance to be a beta tester for BENew–about how much easier having the support of these products has made this process of weight loss. About how I have energy to take long walks. About how much better I am getting and how thankful I am.nesting in strong branches

I imagine I am safely nested in the wide branches of a big, strong tree.

God holds me safe, in blue skies and in grey.

Later I have a heart-to-heart with Jerry. We talk about what happened to me on the beach, and how I don’t want to hide. About how I want my important relationships, especially the one with him, to be uncloaked, intimate, skin-to-skin, soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart.

I am heard and embraced.

I tell Jerry I don’t want him to hide either.

He says he had to while I was so sick this summer, just as I had to when he almost died a few years ago.

Sometimes people aren’t strong enough for uncloaked sharing.

But I’m strong enough now. And so is he.

Real Time Update:

Let’s face it. Losing weight isn’t just about the body. We have soul weight that needs to burn away as well. Sometimes it’s anger. Other times fear needs to go. Or hopelessness. How about self-bashing? Or bitterness toward others.

Or toward God.

It helps to remember God is big enough for our angst. He loves us even when we’re not acting lovable. Even when we throw our little fits or treat Him like a vending machine.

It also helps to make up with Him, ourselves, or our loved ones when we’ve withheld our love because we’re mad and hurting.

What About You?

Got something that need to GO as you lose weight in your body AND soul?

Weight Loss Journey Day 30

green apples

Apple pie on the way!

Thanksgiving! (Remember, these posts were written a couple of months ago.)

Today is not about counting calories, even though I do.

I don’t count to stay within a plan, I count to make it up later, so I can even out my week on other days.

Apple pie. Cinnamon rolls. (And let me tell you, I make the best!) Turkey and dressing.

I enjoy it all.

But . . . I don’t eat until my stomach hurts, and this is maybe a first EVER on Thanksgiving.

Real Time Update:

I love that I continued to lose weight through the holidays without feeling deprived. My BeNew did its job. I kept walking. When I indulged in food that was heavier than usual, I savored every bite–then was more intentional to eat well the next meal or the next day. The weight kept dropping off.

That’s one of the best lessons I’m learning–to enjoy my food without becoming over full and to balance a turkey and dressing day with a day of lots of fruit and veggies. For me, weight loss can’t be about deprivation. I can’t live that way long term. But (barring catastrophe) I can eat healthier and move more for the rest of my life.

This is about life change, not just dropping a few pounds to look good in a mother-of-the-bride dress. When that happens, it will just be a fringe benefit.

Weight Loss Journey Day 29

paula 1-13 (2)

Advice today from my heart to yours!

I’m almost giddy with anticipation. Today I will weigh when I go to the chiropractor.

Later . . .

Unfortunately, they put me in a different room, one without a scale. So I ask permission to wait until the other room is empty, to weigh.

The chiropractor gets into the excitement and brings me the scale. I take a deep breath and step onto it.

My heart drops. I’m down 12 pounds. I wanted at least 15.

The chiropractor shakes his head, says I am doing great and shouldn’t expect so much so quickly.

Then I remember that I look different.

That my family could tell.

So I celebrate that 12 pounds.

But then . . .

For the first time in a long time, I eat over 1200 calories. And it isn’t even healthy stuff. It’s Wednesday, discount shopping day, and, even though there is also healthy food, I don’t resist the free junk food.

I’m disappointed in me.

Real Time Update:

Do as I say not as I do! I’m reading the above post now, about 2 months after that experience. I’m whining about losing 12 pounds in 29 days?

I fell into the trap of setting a goal that wasn’t right for my body because I compared myself to others who dropped weight faster. That comparison game will get ya every time. But now I realize my weight loss has been consistent and healthy and just right for me!

And then there’s that whole being mad at myself for blowing it. Of course it wasn’t a great idea to eat junk food, but beating myself up didn’t help anything. And the longer I’ve eaten well and taken my Life Force nutrition, the easier it is to resist the bad stuff. I didn’t know back then how much easier it would be today.

In the weight loss journey you gotta celebrate every victory! You can’t get hung up on the negatives

Here’s a fact of life. You drift toward where you focus. If you focus on your failures, you’ll fail again sooner. If you live in condemnation your ability to succeed the next time is affected. I hang onto Truth I’ve found to help me fight life’s battles. One I treasure is “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (That’s  from the book of Romans in the Bible.)

For this perfectionist that’s good news. I don’t have to live in condemnation! I can live forgiving myself when I blow it instead of beating myself up. And the fresh breeze of forgiveness is life-giving!

Of course even though I know Truth; sometimes i slip into old habits. When my last plateau (which just ended this week) lasted longer than I expected, I gave into negativity. But you know, the Paula from several years ago would have stayed there longer and been harder on herself. I celebrate that I got up the next morning and went for a walk instead of lingering in bed feeling down!

So that’s my advice for today, friends. Celebrate the victories. Forgive yourself for the missteps. Live in the sweet breeze of freedom!

What About You?

How do you offer yourself grace when you’re disappointed in yourself? How do you handle disappointment when you’ve done everything right and still not met your dream goal?

Weight Loss Journey Day 28

Since I’ve returned home I’m trying to live a little like I did at the beach. I splurged on salad stuff instead of waiting for the discount store to have some that looks fresh and make a point to fill at least a third of my plate with it at the dinner table. I try to add a little beauty to our family meals, like candles or a tablecloth or pretty food.

And best of all . . . sometimes I walk as the sun sets.

denver sunset walk

Or break from my rushing to slip into the backyard to watch it descend over the mountains

denver sunset mts

Or pause and gaze through my kitchen window as the orange filters through the tree branches

denver sunset tree branches

Real Time Update:

It’s hard to think about the important things in life–like sunsets or pretty food–when life gets busy. But I’m still looking for ways to embrace beauty, to pant after joy, to let peace envelop me. And I’m still eating salad!

This weekend was amazing. I attended a BeNew celebration in downtown Denver. I was asked to be a runway model for the product (not really as glamorous as it sounds, but super fun.) It’s been a long time since I had to find my inner ham while on stage. I have to admit having dropped 32 pounds helped me be willing to flounce across the stage! (Did you catch that? The plateau is over! Yay! The scale has started moving again!)

How About You?

What little every day pleasure are your purposeful about enjoying? As you’ve lost weight, where have you noticed more courage or confidence?

Weight Loss Journey Day 26


Playing in the candles–what I get for trying to bring home Kathleen’s elegance to a household of men . . .

I’m home.

I have to cook for three teenage boys.

I do. I fight not to have the carbs they need.

I walk.

I stay beneath calorie count.

I’ve learned a lot from Kathleen, from our healthy meals, our daily treks on the sand.

But I’m disappointed when I climb the big hill by my house, that long mile that ascends. I look at Jerry and laugh. “I guess I’m still not in as good as shape as I thought I was back at sea level.”

Yup. I’m back home.

A mile high.

Real Time Update:

It was so much easier to eat low calorie when I didn’t have to worry about growing boys. I still struggle with this issue.

What About You?

How do you stay on the weight loss journey when you’re around others who need more calories than you do–especially if you’re the cook?

Weight Loss Journey Day 25

saying goodbye to flThere’s a Christmas wreath on the door to our condo when we pull away, the sky still dark. Someone must have placed it there in the night.

I am dressed in a new navy tank top I got at Wal-mart on the clearance rack next to my bikini top. I have a long sleeved shirt to go over it, dressed for Florida and Colorado.

But I’m mostly dressed to show I am skinnier. I think the tank top says it best. And I’m desperate for my husband to notice.

We get lost going to the airport—of course—but planned ahead enough it doesn’t really matter, though it makes us walk faster, lugging our suitcases, and I think of burned calories.

Exhausted once we’ve finally checked our baggage (and I’ve taken out a few pounds to carry with me rather than pay another $20), we settle in at the airport’s Starbucks to wait for our flight.  I know the calories are ticking, clanking, adding up with my sugary coffee, and the long day of flying has only just begun, but after almost a week of being 200, 300, 400 calories below 1200, I’m not worried. And after getting up at 4 a.m., I want the caffeine.

We fly to Atlanta and I fight tears as we part, each of us destined to travel alone the final leg of the journey. I am glad I packed a healthy sandwich back at the condo. I love not wasting left-overs, and I love not eating or paying for the expensive, high calorie airport food. Starbucks will be my only splurge.

I miss my five miles walk along the clear water of the Gulf, but know I must be burning extra calories lugging my carry on and rushing through the maze known as the Atlanta airport. I walk a long way to find my flight. Once aboard I finally begin the book I took to the beach, the one my counselor recommended about different ways people connect with God. I’ve been concerned about my lack of Bible study, my lack of journaling. She keeps telling me it is a season of rest, of healing, not of shoulds.  Finally she said, “new thing, Paula. He is doing a new thing.”

I wonder what it is, how He will connect with me. I want more intimacy with Him, not less. I miss the long rambling prayers in my journal. I especially miss the times He spoke, and I wrote His words onto the page. Reflective, I treasure that one day at the beach when He and I went deep. It did me good. I wonder when I’ll have the nerve to share my thoughts with those at home. When I’ll dress in a bikini top figuratively speaking.


Denver International Airport. Photo from Wiki Commons

Finally the plane touches the runway at Denver International, and I think I will go crazy waiting.

I need to see my man.

We meet at baggage claim. He hugs me tight. He tells me I am thinner. I thrill that he can tell.

We get home, and the kids notice too.

So it has to be true, what I thought I saw in the mirror.

I am thinner.

Real Time Update:

The new thing He is doing with me includes my adventure walks right here in my neighborhood. And the choice not to hide, I think.

How About You?

Do you have a “I’m thinner!” story? A time when someone finally noticed? How did you celebrate? How close are you to your weight loss goal?

Weight Loss Journey Day 24

I know I am thinner. Though my tummy barely shows a tan, the exposed places do. I look good. Well, at least better. Surely the family will see the difference.

I am torn in two. So lonely for Jerry I can’t stand it. But loathe to leave this place.

Kathleen and I go exploring.

We have to climb a sea wall

adventuring corner

and slip into the ocean

adventuring coral

to reach a new, mossy rock beach.

mossy beach

We wade, feeling the freedom of an empty beach and crashing waves.

adventuring freedom

Discover coral


Find seashells. (One later scurries away from us, trapped in the bathtub. We return the little creature and its home to its natural habitat. We’ve no desire to take captives.)

sea shell home

We watch the birds as they stand

bird on beach

And take flight.

bird in flight

I see my dream house. It’s even yellow.

adventuring dream house

We adventure. Walk. Swim. Burn calories.

Evening comes. We eat healthy. Enjoy a glass of wine. Watch our last sunset.

sunset on beach last

Take a stroll in the in the moonlight.

moon on beach

Not ready to let go, we watch a movie about a couple on a beach. And we pack.

Real Time Update:

Talk about a wonderful way to burn calories! We scrambled over rocks and coral, waded the ocean, shuffled through the sand–had an adventure. Once home I was determined to keep walking, and I’ve had some adventures right here in my own neighborhood .  . . but you’ll have to tune in over the next couple of months to hear about them.

What About You?

What’s your favorite way to burn calories? If you can’t be on a beach, how can you turn exercise in an adventure instead of a chore? How do you embrace nature and activity in every day life?