Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weight Loss Journey Day 20

sunset in Florida

Sunset in Florida

Okay. This is really weird, but I want a bikini top. I’ve owned one once in my life—for my honeymoon (when it still looked good on me). But suddenly I want another one, stretch marks and all. Not because I’m skinny, but because I want to feel the sun on my stomach.

Hmmm . . . can I even admit that I, a conservative homeschool mom, want a bikini top? (There’s that theme again. No hiding.)

This is a beautiful, safe beach. Most everyone here has 10-30 years on me. The sliding glass doors of our condo literally open onto the seashore. In the mornings there is a steady stream of people who walk up and down the five mile stretch of white sand.

So healthy!

I’ve been watching the women, thinking. Here are my conclusions:

  • Older women, for the most part, seem more secure with their bodies
  • Fat looks better when it is tanned (maybe that’s why I want the bikini top?)
  • While I am wowed by the two robust women riding a bike in bikinis through the middle of town, I don’t want to be quite that brave. Well, I do. I mean how awesome is it that they just don’t care? But . . .
  • I like the looks of the women who walk the beach in modest swim suits and shorts. I want to be trim and wholesome like them. (But I still want a bikini top to lie in the sun. Weird.)
  • You can still look fit and good when you’re over 60. (I’d better conquer the weight thing now!)
  • The older women enjoy their men. Most are here with a husband, and by the way they interact, I’m thinking they are husbands of many years. I want to hold hands with my husband and walk the beach in ten, twenty, thirty more years.
  • Older women still love their girlfriends. There are clusters of tourists who are here with a group of friends. I like to watch them giggle and talk non-stop, fully engaged. No matter our age, we need girl time.

Kathleen and I have found a rhythm. We have eggs, turkey bacon, and one piece of toast first thing in the morning. Then we walk along the beach. (The first day it was barefoot, but thanks to the blisters from the sand we now start out in tennis shoes, though I usually have to shed them as we near the end of our trek so I can splash through the ocean.)

We come back, hot and sweaty, and guzzle water. We relax in our lanai with shakes made with frozen fruit and chia seeds. (I use my BeFull and almond milk. She does her protein stuff and coconut milk.) Then she stays inside, and I seek the sun. Later we have a healthy supper in our lanai while we watch the sunset—usually salad, a protein, and a glass of wine.

Healthy and Elegant

Healthy, low calories, elegant. (And yes, Kathleen has more veggies in her salad than I do. Be impressed there is salad!!)

I’m learning a lot from her about eating better and exercising. About not sacrificing taste or elegance even though we’re careful with calories. Kathleen makes everything beautiful.

Real Time Update:

Yesterday I warned you today would be a little weird. But I guess it wasn’t too bad. It does get deeper, so hang on. But seriously, what was up with me and that bikini crave??

What About You?

What have you learned as you’ve matured that you wish you could tell your younger self? What do you look forward to once you pass middle age? How do you make healthier, low calorie foods elegant?



sugar picture perched

30 lbs of sugar. I can’t believe I used to lug this much weight every day.

I’ve been posting about my weight loss journey, sharing journal entries from about two months ago so I can offer you guys a daily chronicle of the weight loss journey, but I decided to slip an extra post based on where I am real time. It was just too impacting on me to wait 60 days to share.

Jerry and I were at Sam’s Club. He pointed to the sugar and asked me to pick up three 10 lb bags. I couldn’t believe how heavy they were, how much they weighed me down. I know the weight I lost was more evenly distributed, but still!

I can hardly process how I lugged that much weight around every day for so many years. No wonder I move with much more ease. No wonder I feel so much lighter, inside and out.

I’m so grateful to God who is leading this journey, to my husband who told me I could do it, to my prayer group who prays for my victory, to Ben M. who was convinced I needed to be a beta tester, and the people at Life Force who invited me in. And of course to BeNew.

There are obviously hard days on a journey like this. Days when emotions or party food or plateaus threaten my forward progress. But from where I stand right now, I am shocked at how much easier it has been than I expected. The good nutrition in Body Balance and BeNew has curbed the cravings and made me stronger. People all around me have been sick this winter, but I feel a sniffle, then it goes away. I have energy that sometimes shocks me. And I have fallen in love with movement.

When you’re thin you take the ability to move for granted. With most people the weight creeps on slowly, and you don’t even realize how much joy of moving you’ve sacrificed. I could cry when I think about how much effort it took to even get out of a chair sometimes, and how light I feel now. I treasure my meandering walks through the neighborhood. I feel like giggling when I can’t help but actually run a while. The other night I dreamed I ran, effortlessly, for miles, not blocks.

Spiritually there is change, too. It’s like I’d given God access to everything but my body. There’s a new connection between us, and I sense His pleasure as He watching me living more of the life He created me to live. We take walks together, and my heart bubbles forth as I listen to the bird sing or feel His prompting to pray something unexpected.

If you’re on the fence about facing your need to lose weight, please don’t delay. If you’re trying shed the pounds but ready to give up, don’t! It’s not only about looking better (that just wasn’t enough for me), it’s about living better. Fuller. Stronger. With more joy.

I still have at least 20, maybe 30 more to go. It’s coming off more slowly now, and on some days that’s frustrating. But I’m not stopping. Where I am is so different than where I was, and I can’t wait to see what it will be like where I’m going.

Weight Loss Journey Day 19


Flocks of seagulls had to part as we walked

Grocery shopping with Kathleen was enlightening. Honestly, things have been so tight financially since the parent company for my husband’s business stopped production that grocery shopping at home has been  . . . interesting. Thankfully, there is often chicken or turkey and berries and yogurt at the discount place I often frequent, but it’s strange, too, not finding ingredients I want for specific dishes and not wanting to pay full price at the regular store. (I’m learning improvisation.) It’s also hard to resist packaged food that is high in calorie and low in nutrition, but VERY CHEAP, especially with three teenage boys with hollow legs eating non-stop and consuming huge quantities of groceries. (Thankfully, Jerry recently decided to work for Life Force, the company that chose me as a beta tester for BeNew. We believe this to be a viable option to replace the income we lost.)

walking the beach foot

barefoot in the sand

But I’m in Florida now, a guest of my friend and her husband. We shopped healthy. Very little carbs. Eggs, chicken, salad stuff, and fruit. I learned a lot watching her make choices. So much of weight loss and healthy eating starts at the grocery store. That seems obvious, but . . .

Now this is the way to exercise—walking a gorgeous white-sand beach with the waves lapping next to me. Love the sand squishing between my toes! The seagulls block our path and flutter into the air as we push into their flocks, so close I can feel the whoosh as the birds take to flight. We leisurely walked 5 miles while we got caught up on each other’s lives.

FIVE miles!!?!

It’s easier at sea level, and we didn’t push anything. We stopped halfway through to sit and watch the waves, but still! Who would have thought two months ago when I spent a good portion of my day in bed that I would walk five miles????

Thanks to all that walking, I was 328 calories BELOW 1200, which is good since I was 500 OVER yesterday. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t dip below 1,000, though, because your body thinks it is starving and holds onto the fat instead of releasing it. (I should probably research to substantiate that.)

So far I don’t feel like reading or journaling or doing anything but walk the beach, rest, talk to Kathleen, and lie in the sun. I thought I’d process all the trauma of the last many months, but I just don’t want to do anything.

Real Time Update:

I’m learning to shop healthier and eating lots more salad since learning from my friend Kathleen’s shopping habit two months ago. She probably won’t believe this, but I’m actually eating raw spinach for most of my salads now. (Something she tried to talk me into in Florida!)

Tomorrow’s post gets a little weird (at least for me) so uh . . . well, we’ll see what you think.

What About You?

How do you balance the need for healthy foods and your budgetary restrictions (if you have any). Do you agree that weight loss and healthy eating begins at the grocery store? What helps you make healthy c choices when you shop? What do you do to unwind? How do you process hard times?

Weight Loss Journey Day 18

View from the lanai

View from the lanai!

Can I just say that airport food is ridiculous! Incredibly expensive, high in calories, and when you’re up for hours and hours and all off schedule . . . I just wanted lots of coffee on the plane, but of course I can’t stand their coffee without adding sugar and creamer . . . and I’ve been up since 2 a.m. Denver time and eating these little airplane snacks  . . . then of course we were starved and wanted a real meal once we got to our destination.

Way off calorie count by the time we settled in at our condo, and feeling heavy from the weird food, but not satisfied. Geez!

We eventually settled in for the night with a cleansing salad topped with walnuts and enjoyed with a glass of red wine while sitting in our lanai. (New word for Paula. Don’t I sound elegant?)

I’ve been thinking about how much I hide—like before I left home how I hid to cry, or how I almost didn’t type that I had a glass of wine because some of my friends don’t do alcohol.

But here’s the thing, I’m enjoying God’s incredible gifts: this wholesome food, beautiful sunset, glass of wine, and a lanai to sit in as I embrace it all.

Real Time Update:

Here I am, sixty something days after I first saw that gorgeous beach. But in some ways today was special like that. After several straight days of highs less than 10 degrees, I awoke to a toasty 28. I was no longer hindered by the cold! Spent three miles wandering the neighborhood, gazing at snow-capped peaks, and letting joy bubble forth after a difficult few days. Later, Jerry actually felt like walking with me (He hurt his back and couldn’t walk with me for most of these last 60 days, as I talked about in an earlier post,), so I got more sunshine and clocked another mile. This all led to making one of my more elegant meals for the family and feeling that I could enjoy it with them thanks to all the calorie burning. Gotta embrace the moments of beauty in this life!!

What about you?

What moment are you embracing today? Also, how do you handle traveling while seeking to eat healthily?


Weight Loss Journey Day 17

My super cool new glasses

My kicky new I’m 47 years old reading glasses

Even with flying and being totally off schedule, I stayed in calorie count. Yay! It helped that I carried an apple in my purse, had my BeFull shake for lunch, and that Kathleen had healthy, low calorie food at her place for dinner when I arrived.

I’ve never been away from the whole family for this long before. I’m sure the boys will survive without me, but will I survive without them? When I left I told them that the first thing I hear when I return had BETTER NOT be, “what are you making for dinner?”

Oh the glories of the eve of an adventure with a best friend! In many ways I feel like a kid again, only the adult in me doesn’t want to turn tonight into a slumber party. I need my beauty rest.! Tomorrow we get up at 3 a.m. and head to sunny Florida! Heard that right after I left Denver the temperature dropped. They’re supposed to get snow. I like snow, but this is one time I’m glad to miss it!

Oh . . . and both of my friends are optometrists, so they checked my eyes and told me the only issue is that I’m 47. I could buy reading glasses at Wal-mart and be fine. Only they didn’t let me do that. They sent me home with two kicky new pairs of reading glasses. One is purple and one is pink!

Real Time Update:

I can’t tell you how much I learned on this vacation. Weight dropped off, both physically and emotionally. It was the perfect timing. We had lots of space to exercise and eat right–and process life. Which I did. A lot. I hope you’ll read the next 6 posts ’cause I go deep. (At least I think I will. Still asking myself how much of them I’m really going to post!)

Oh! Here’s some super exciting news about today! Life Force International, who chose me to beta test their new weight loss program, BeNew, invited me to tell my story live! If you want to listen in, here’s the information: 5pm PST/6pm MST! Dial 1-206-402-0100 & enter access code: 299215#

What About You?

Have you gone somewhere new and learned something new? I’m now pushing 50 and proud of it, baby. How do you handle aging? Glasses? Do you have a best friend story?

Guess What??

Life Force International asked to share my story live! I’m so excited. You can hear me tomorrow (Jan 17th) @ 5pm PST/6pm MST! Simply dial 1-206-402-0100 & enter access code: 299215#

Weight Loss Journey Day 16

hitting a wall

I’m beginning to feel thinner.

I wonder if others see it.

Jerry does. He says my friend, Kathleen, will notice it when I see her tomorrow. (I’m going on an all-expense paid vacation with my bestest friend from college. God does do amazing things!)I don’t think Kathleen will see a difference, but that’s okay.

I made a huge meal for the boys since I’m leaving town. Cooked double for extra for them while I’m gone. Tried not to eat double, though. The food was heavy, not stuff I cook often, but great for left-overs–fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and cornbread. I’m sure the BENew secret group would disapprove, but . . .

I stayed in calorie count even though I didn’t exercise. It’s hard with that kind of food. I ate small portions, and did, honestly, still feel hungry.

I’m trying to figure out how transparent to be as I record this stuff. I think it will eventually become a blog. Should it be about total transformation, not just weight loss, or should I stick to the physical?

Well, here’s a tidbit, if I’m to be open. Today I hid and cried for a long time. I desperately need this vacation. I’m fighting hard for my healing—the chiropractor, the trauma doctor, my counselor, my prayer group, this diet, trying to learn to move again.

But sometimes I still feel hopeless. Hopeless about getting truly well, hopeless about losing all the weight I want to lose, hopeless about other struggles. Tired of dieting, even though I’ve only begun.

Tired of . . . just . . . TIRED.

Real Time Update:

Okay . . . I still feel tired sometimes, especially when real life hits hard again. But I’m finding that long walks help my mood. So does healthier food. (And throwing in a big helping of salad when I’m surrounded by heavy food helps me not be so hungry, as does my BeFull shake.) I also do a lot of talking at God. (When I calm down, I actually talk to and with Him, but sometimes I’m like Lucy in Charlie Brown, “Wah, Wah, Wah . . .”)

I’m glad I didn’t let the wall I hit make me give up on the day I wrote the above. I was on the cusp of some wonderful new things–of rest, refreshment, and growth. (So tune in for the next few weeks, folks.)

How About You?

What kinds of things throw you in a tailspin? Do the hard times trigger you and make you want to grab food? How do you fight back?

Weight Loss Journey Day 15

Trying so hard to put walking into my routine, but I hate to walk alone! Jerry was walking with me, but injured his back, so it hurts him to go with me. I should feel concerned for him—which I do—but I’m just mad!

Walking with him feels like a date. Walking alone is WORK. I hate huffing up that hill without the reward of him next to me! And, if I’m honest, I am fearful of walking by myself. Is that crazy? I guess in these 21 years of being a homeschooling momma, I just haven’t been alone much.

Stephen mts 2012

My sixteen year old who couldn’t stand to see me sad about walking alone that day. It was a one-time offer, lol, but it got me over the hump.

But . . . Stephen to the rescue! Teenagers often get a bum rap, but when he saw how frustrated I was, he offered to walk with me if I helped him prepare for his test as we walked. We walked for almost 50 minutes. He’s better prepared for school, and I got some exercise in. This is what these changes should be like—making them fit into my everyday world!

Real Time Update:

I had to laugh when I read this entry, written 67 days ago. I’m still walking alone, and I LOVE it now. Walking not only makes my body feel terrific, it lifts my spirits, helps me deal with stress, and has become an ADVENTURE. I can’t wait to share some of my walking surprises, but that’s still a couple of blogging weeks away. Oh my goodness. It is SO FREAKIN’ awesome.

How About You?

What is something in the weight loss journey that started out being HARD and turned into a blessing?

Weight Loss Journey Day 14

I may not be doing this perfectly, but I’m down 5 pounds! 205 is a long way from where I want to be, but it is less than I was a week ago.

It’s been two weeks now, and some of the beta testers for BeNew have lost twice as much as I have. The private fb page is encouraging most of the time, but not when I allow the comparison bug to bite me. I want this to go faster, but hey, it’s going, right?

Real Time Update:

I just counted. I’ve been at this weight loss thing for 82 days. And while some things get easier–like less cravings or more stamina while walking or being able to add in another 15 crunches to my routine–some things stay hard.

Like watching the scale.

When I started this blog 14 days ago I was down almost 30 pounds. Today I am down almost 30 pounds. Very little change (at least according to the scale). Talk about frustrating! I’m doing the same stuff, just stalled out.

The battle right now is in my mind. I know from the last time I hit a plateau that if I just keep doing what I’m doing, one day I’ll get on the scale, and there will be a  drop. I can’t let the scale dictate my mood or my determination to keep up the hard work of weight loss. The scale cant make me reach for cream-filled donuts or blow off exercising.

Today I ran into one of my daughter’s friends. I was surprised when she didn’t initially greet me. Then all the sudden, she sprang from where she was sitting and rushed over to me. “Miss Paula! I didn’t recognize you. You’re so skinny!” It helped.

But people didn’t notice the difference the first ten or more pounds. So really, our journey can’t be based on the scale or the affirmation of people. It has to be based on something else.

For me, this journey is about embracing a gift of life-change. It’s about reclaiming my body, moving with ease, feeling comfortable in my clothes. I watched Mama-Mia last night, enthralled as women older than I danced in freedom.

I want that.

But, for me, this weight loss journey is yet more.

It’s also embracing God.

That may sound crazy, but I know He is in this with me, cheering me on, wanting to see me at the weight He created me to be. For years I embraced God with my heart and mind, but put up a “No Access” sign when it came to my body. Slowly I’m allowing Him here, too. And it isn’t hard to imagine a twinkle in His eyes when I walk or run–or even just hop out of a chair with no effort.

eyesOne of my favorite verses from the Bible says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus.” Since that second car accident the impact of this verse has deepened. There has been much I didn’t understand–and some I still don’t–about what happened to my body and emotions in that last crash.

As I’ve dealt with a new depth of emotional and physical trauma, I’ve clung to the fact that my Creator loves me and has only the best in mind for me. Survival is fixing a trusting gaze on Jesus and waiting for His healing gifts.

And one of those gifts is BeNew.

So I embrace this gift of health, set my gaze on Jesus and the prize ahead–and keep going no matter what the scale says in the morning.

Your Turn:

What keeps YOU going when the scale or people or stress discourages you? Where do you fix your gaze when you need to keep on keepin’ on?

Weight Loss Journey Day 11

Sam right before surgery

Sam right before his hip repair. We took his brothers, cousin, and best friend to Jump Street for one last hurrah on all the trampolines! Sam is second from the left and his two brothers are to his right in the front row. Still no trampolines jumping for Sam, but he is ahead of schedule in his healing. We credit that in part to him taking Osteoprocare before, during, and after surgery. And of course to our Lord answering all the prayers sent up on his behalf!

I keep looking for ways to incorporate my new mind-set into every day life. When I took Sam to physical therapy I asked permission to ride the stationery bike. Instead of feeling the pressure of  the time lost by adding this extra trip into in my day, riding the bike made taking care of Sam a way to also meet my personal goal of taking care of me! Love it!

I am trying to exercise–usually walk–at least every other day. I still struggle to get my food intake down to 1200 calories on a consistent basis. I often bump up around 1500, but I’m not discouraged by that. I’m making significant changes even if my journey isn’t always perfect.

And all the birthday celebrations don’t help. It’s tradition that I make my grandmother’s chocolate gravy for birthday breakfasts! Sam’s birthday was this week, and he insisted, of course. I had a SMALL portion and savored the sweet memories of my grandma making this treat for my brother and me when we were kids.

Real Time Update:

I’m up to exercising most days now. I usually take Sundays off to rest, and if my day gets overly full, sometimes I miss. But I’m also learning to take a shorter exercise time–walk a mile instead of 3 or 4, or do some exercises at home–on the days I don’t have time to take a long walk. But I love my long walks the best . . . BTW, I’m taking this weekend off from blogging, so I’ll catch you again on Monday!

How About You?

Any tips on fitting exercise into your regular routine? How do you make healthier choices fit your lifestyle?