Monthly Archives: February 2013

Weight Loss Journey Day 55

whole wheat pizza dough

Homemade wholewheat pizza dough. Is loving to bake a downfall?

The great thing about blowing it on a diet is that you can always work to balance it out the rest of the week, right? Burned 528 calories walking today. But still went a little over calorie count ‘cause I didn’t stand firm against half a rootbeer and an extra slice of pizza. I wonder if eating bad one day makes it harder to eat well the next?                                ~December 17, 2012

Real Time Update:

First off, I’ve sworn away from the word diet. It’s too negative. Diets are  something we break or blow. You know, “I broke my diet.” Or something we do over and over throughout life, yo-yoing back and forth.

I want this to be a journey for health, a life-style change, not a diet. So I’m not using that word anymore.

But back to the whole pizza thing. I see a pattern. Soda and pizza on December 17th was a downfall for me. And it was last night. Even though I believe our homemade dough and fresh ingredients are healthier than a store-bought pizza, eating pizza is one place I have little self-control.

One answer would be to stop making homemade pizza. This makes me think a lot about my love for baking. My dear grandma showed her love through food. I grew up believing that loving people included baking for them. Most of my baking memories as a kid were with Grandma Eunice, and they are precious. She taught me to make a killer pie crust.

Fast forward. My husband loves homemade breads, cinnamon rolls, and homemade whole wheat pizza. Jerry and the boys give me a lot of affirmation with I bake. Baking connects me to warm memories of time with Grandma. To this day I love the feel of dough beneath my fingers, and working dough, whether a pie crust or bread, relaxes me.

I live near Boulder. Gluten-free is all the rage here. Many people believe wheat has been so genetically modified that it is no longer good for you, including some of my extended family. I’m sure the gluten-free, really healthy folks would tell me that true love is putting good food in front of my family, not just the foods they love.

Thus my conundrum.

I suppose where I’m landing today–and I won’t speak for tomorrow–is the balance thing again. Days for celebration include our favorite foods. I don’t regret Sunday’s snowday baking binge. We had some glorious family time. And while I’m not convinced all wheat is bad for us, I do think we eat too much of it. So I guess the answer is that we don’t eat like this as the norm. I need to add more vegetables to daily meals and back off the heavier foods.

This doesn’t solve my own weakness for pizza. I’m not ready to quit making it for my family, so I guess I either have to learn more self-control and have smaller portions, or I need to do more exercise on the days when I make it. Or maybe the time it takes to chew a salad along with only ONE piece of pizza would help me slow down and eat less while making sure I get the benefit of the nutrients and roughage the salad provides. Also, I rarely have a soda, but  the one time I really want one, especially a specialty soda like I had last night, is with pizza. I think the answer there is to half it with someone.

That feels like the kind of thing I can live with my whole life. All or nothing will crash me, but I do want to be healthier and thinner and these kind of adjustments help me meet that goal without making me feel deprived.

What About You?

Do you think I’m crazy not to give up baking as I am on my weight loss journey? Do you share my aversion to the word diet?


Weight Loss Journey Day 54

The pastor said it again. How we need to be willing to knock on our neighbor’s door, even if we don’t know them. How this Christmas season we can all find someone who has less than we do, even if we have little.

I’m reminded of that house I passed on my walk the other day. I felt like I was supposed to see if they needed food. Did I really hear God? It’s hard to knock on a total strangers door–and what if I offend them?

I prayed if He really wanted me to knock on that door He would keep it on my mind and open a space in my schedule to pack up boxes to take to them. Thank God for the food others have given us. I have enough to share.

cinnamon roll I made

My caramel cinnamon rolls–one of the family recipes from Jerry’s mom’s side of the family.

Went to a party tonight. Lots of wonderful, HEAVY food. Potato soup and casseroles and breads and . . . Went farther over calorie count than I have in a long time. I really should have made time for exercise today. Although I usually take Sundays off. UGH!

Real Time Update:

This post reminds me of Sunday of this week. We had a beautiful, deep snow. All the kids were home–and some extras. They sledded. I baked my famous cinnamon rolls and homemade pizza. We ate heavy. I wish I’d tempered my amounts a little, had a salad and a piece of pizza instead of two pieces of pizza. But I also have come to understand that there are celebrations days when the food is part of the special experience. I shouldn’t go overboard, eating to the point of discomfort, but it’s okay to enjoy a special day with my family and eat things I don’t eat consistently. This week I’m focusing extra on being really wise and healthy, since Sunday wasn’t. One day doesn’t crash health or weight loss. Lifestyle does.

What About You?

Any interior promptings you don’t know what to do with? How about a favorite food you’ve had to eat in moderation to stay on track with your goals?

Weight Loss Journey Day 53

Walked 3 miles, jogged a little, burned 486 calories. I wanted to take a particular route, but again felt a prompting to turn on a different street. Ended up walking past some nicer, new houses, then out past a lower income apartment building. Prayed for the people who live in both places, then circled two of the churches I felt called to pray for a week ago. One is right across from the apartment complex and has an Awana program.

I prayed for the Awana leaders to know how to love all kids–even those who may not have much support at home and might have difficult behavior issues. Prayed the kids from the apartment complex would come to the church, and that hope would be given first to them, then to their families.


BeNew Shake with frozen blueberries. Eating it like ice cream!

Back to the weight loss. Hoping that all the walking will help me as I enjoy party food tonight! I’m finding the weight is coming off a little slower lately, but the inches aren’t. They keep slenderizing. It’s weird. I look in the mirror and feel really skinny, yet I know a few years ago this was normal—and I felt heavy. I am gonna keep working. Maybe in another 6 weeks I can look in the mirror and think, “Wow. I thought this was heavy ten years ago, and now it feels really skinny!”

As I type, I eat my BeFull shake with almond milk, rolled oats, blueberries, and cantaloupe blended in. I never liked cantaloupe. Still don’t really. But I know it is healthy. I had some earlier in the week that the family wasn’t getting through, so I tossed it in the freezer. I put it in my shake today with blueberries. I feel good knowing there is another healthy item I figured out a way to eat instead of ignore.

When I have my shake with enough frozen fruit to thicken it, I eat it in a bowl instead of a cup. I think I’m trying to convince myself it’s ice cream. lol I love frozen fruit in my shake, but lately it makes me feel too full. Stephen said, why don’t you eat until you’re full, then put the rest in the refrigerator for a snack later. Duh! I’m also going to start saving my fruit in 1/2 cup measurements instead of 1 cup.

And I’m loving singing Christmas carols as I walk, preparing my heart for celebrating the Incarnation.                         ~December 15, 2012

Real Time Update:

I look back on December with awe. By the end of the month I’d logged 64.44 miles just walking around the neighborhood. God taught me a lot about responding to His promptings and learning to pray as He asked. I lost weight, both emotionally and physically, as I focused on Him and on health. He lead me in unexpected ways toward new joy and new freedom. I’m so grateful.

As to NOW. I’ve decided to return to recording my caloric intake on My Fitness Pal. I haven’t gained in the two weeks I didn’t record my foods. I’m losing at about the same rate as last month. But I want to focus and completely win the battle. My concern is that it has been easier for me to reach for less healthy, higher calorie food since I don’t have the accountability of the bright red bar on my phone when I go over my goal.

What About You?

Have a favorite low-cal healthy food? I’d love to hear about it! Or how about a prayer experience that surprised you? Are you still walking?

Weight Loss Journey Day 52

meauring tapeCan I celebrate with you? Down 2.5 inches in my bust, 4 inches in my waist, and 3 inches in my hips!! Thighs and arms are smaller, too. I want to keep losing, and will keep working at this, but if I never lose another inch or lb it is so worth it. I feel so much stronger, have so much more energy.

I’m praising God for this gift!!! Walked almost 4 miles tonight and really didn’t even feel it. I called my dad for his birthday and we talked while I walked for an hour. It was so cool to catch up with him while I exercised.

And I’ve found some great deals on gifts for the kids—clearance stuff like $7 for a $47 shirt!  That $100 Jerry gave me is s-t-r-e-c-h-i-n-g.                                                    ~December 14, 2012

Real Time Update:

I haven’t measured in a couple of weeks, but on January 31st I was down 19.75 inches!

What About You?

Sometimes the inches show more about weight loss than the scale does. Have you found that to be true? Do you weigh, measure, or both?

Weight Loss Journey Day 51

hobbit kids

David and Sarah, Sam and a friend–and Gandolph, of course!

Ugh! Days like this are hard.

One appointment to the next. No time to exercise . . . and went to the midnight showing of The Hobbit with the kids. That was fun . . but . . . all those slender children of mine think a midnight showing means tons of high calories snacks.

I did eat more than 1200 today, but my whole goal for this exercise loss has been to tackle it in a way that I can maintain once the weight is down. I want to feel “normal” so I can live like this later.

So . . .  instead of not eating after 7:30, which has been my goal since I started 6 weeks ago, and instead of feeling deprived of no snacks at the theater, I made adjustments. I cut up an apple and covered the slices with lemon juice and slipped that, some lower calorie popcorn, and two water bottles into my purse.

I did indulge in half of a homemade cookie that Seth’s friend’s girlfriend baked and two miniature candies Sarah brought to share. So I had a little junk. But mostly I made healthier choices than I would have in the past.

hobbit paula

Gandolph and me

Looking at my calorie intake for today I would have been able to do that AND make my calorie goal if I’d fit in a way to exercise. But some days are just like this. The point is I’m making CHANGES and not giving up.

Real Time Update:

I’m reminded that losing weight is a marathon not a sprint–at least for people like me who let too much weight pile up before dealing with it.

But be encouraged, my friend! Mindfulness about food, exercising, taking healthy products to support you, all of that kind of thing PAYS OFF.

I’m daily blown away with how much better I feel. It’s not just that I’m wearing cute clothes again or getting all kind of compliments, it’s that I feel like ME again.

I know I’ve said it before, but it is huge to start to feel normal. To be almost the size you were intended to be when God created you. I didn’t even know I no longer felt like me. The weight came on slowly, and life just moved forward. Then I woke up and realized I had to deal with what had happened to my body. And as I did, I rediscovered myself.

And I’m loving it.

(BTW, the coat in this picture was the one I wrote about a while back that was given to me in answer to prayer a few years ago. I’ve enjoyed wearing it for several winters . . . but it’s too big now! Time to check out some winter clearance racks!)

What About You?

How do you handle the snacks at movies or other special events? Have you had an experience when you surprised yourself by feeling like the true YOU when you didn’t expect it?

Weight Loss Journey Day 50

I’m under calorie count today because I burned over 500 calories exercising! (I’m learning I can stay satisfied on the amount of calories I eat as long as I earn at least 300 by exercising. That means I actually ingest 1500 or so, but burn 300 so my count stays around 1200.) Today I earned over 500, then didn’t get around to eating them all. Crazy! When I first started this journey anything under 2,000 seemed like torture!

After my surprise prayer adventures, I often start off walking without a plan and ask the Lord to show me where to go. Today, I made a point to walk around the elementary school again now that I know more specifically how to pray for those kids and teachers. I prayed that the 50% hired back would be hand-picked by the Lord to help move the school toward healing, and that those left without a job would be led to the right place for this stage in their life/career. I also prayed for the kids, for the families, for community people who will be a part of the healing.

After I finished I walked past an empty strip mall that was very close to the school. I found myself praying for a church to build there that would know how to care for the needs of the families of that school.

Then I kept wandering, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me, and ended up walking to the nearest high school just as they let out. I mingled in the crowds, praying silently for the kids I walked by, for the school, for the teachers. I also prayed specifically for the baseball team, since my boys play on it.

I still weigh 190 lbs. Ready to drop again. I’m told sometimes you stall out, but I don’t like it.                                        ~December 12, 2012

BeNew Outside 2

A recent picture taken about 2 pounds ago. Unfortunately the sun was in my eyes so my face looks a little weird!

Real Time Update:

After I wrote the above I plateaued briefly at 190, then dropped another 7 pounds pretty quickly. Then things slowed again.

I’m now another 60ish days into the weight loss journey and down to roughly 175 pounds, which puts total weight loss of 35 pounds. I gotta tell you, the last ten has come off MUCH more slowly than the first 25! But the point is that it continues to come off!

I don’t know if I can prove this scientifically, but it feels like my body needs some time to adjust in between losses now. I’ll be frustrated for a while, then suddenly drop 3 or 4 pounds. But I’m learning not to get too excited when I start dropping again because it doesn’t last too long before the weight loss slows again.

Weight Loss Journey Day 49


Photo courtesy of

I didn’t have time to exercise today and didn’t want to go way over calorie count like I did last Tuesday, so I was very intentional about eating. For breakfast I had my shake. At lunch I ate a huge salad and a little grilled chicken and fruit. I didn’t love it, but it was a lot of food, only 240 calories, and kept me full until supper.

The boys cooked, which meant spaghetti.

Carbs. UGH.

But I ate light. I felt the need for protein so found some leftover skillet steak. Even with all that I was only -7 at the end of the day. But . . . and here’s the surprise . . . I almost felt too full after supper!

I’m definitely changing.

Real Time Update:

My body is starting to help me make good choices instead of whining at me for more food than I need. But I have to listen carefully and stop just before I think I’m full. If I keep eating until full, then I’m usually too full within 30 minutes.

Listening to my body doesn’t mean listening to my emotions. Sometimes they still rear their silly little heads and cry out to be satisfied by food–which never works.

I want to be more intentional about eating slowly and waiting a while before thinking I need more food. I’m finding truth in the old saying that you feel more full as time goes by. When I eat too quickly I often eat more than I need, then feel too full within 30 minutes.

Something else that helps is making a meal about rest, atmosphere, and fellowship. There really is something to lighting a candle, sharing good conversation, and taking your time with a meal.

It is also really hard to resist mindless eating when there is a screen in front of me and snacks close by. At our small group on Sunday there were crackers and popcorn on the table in front of us. It was really hard not to mindlessly eat while I watched the speaker on the DVD. I didn’t totally blow off all my hard work to learn to eat right, but I did eat more popcorn than I should have. Next time I hope I can measure out a certain amount and stick with my plan!

What About You?

What does your eating time look like? Have you found that being intentional about enjoying the food and fellowship of a meal helps reduce calorie intake? How does eating in front of the TV affect caloric intake?

Weight Loss Journey Day 48


Photo courtesy of httpfree-extras.comimagesconfetti-1311.htm

Let the celebration begin! I can’t believe it! I stayed in calorie count though I went to a party and ate high calorie food. (I found I didn’t want very many sweets. I hear that as BeNew reshapes your nutrition this is part of the positive change, less sugar cravings! Yay!)

So much of being able to eat reasonable calorie counts and still lose weigh is about MOVEMENT. Exercise, baby! And it doesn’t have to be sweaty, pounding exercise. Just a walk. Or a swim. Or SOMETHING.

MANY people at the party commented on how much I’d lost. It’s fun to see the sparkle in Jerry’s eyes. He’s so proud of me. I felt better than I had in a long time and had a blast at the party.

This whole exercise/calories burn thing is confusing. At first I thought I burned more calories simply if I walked further, but that wasn’t always coming up true on my exercise app (I use Map My Run, but I’ve heard there’s also a Map My Walk).

Then I thought maybe it had to do with not only how far I walked, but how fast. But that wasn’t panning out either. I finally figured out that terrain also comes into play, for example, I burn more calories when I walk the route that takes me up and down smaller hills than I do when I climb up the very long hill (which is over a mile, I think) and then walk back down it. But I do burn more if I walk faster, too.            ~ December 10, 2012

Real Time Update:

I’ve done Pilates twice this week! It’s the first time in over a year. I couldn’t handle such exercise after my car accidents. I feel it in my neck and a little in my upper back, but I’m trying to give it a chance by modifying how I hold my head so as to put less strain on my neck. Just pulling out that DVD felt like a HUGE step forward in fully regaining my life.

Another huge step forward is that I actually wrote fiction this week–three whole chapters! Another first since that second accident last June.

The third huge step is returning to full responsibilities with my job as coordinator for ACFW Colorado, another ball I had to lay down after that last accident.

Now comes a new struggle with weight loss. Continuing BALANCE now that I am able to return to a full schedule with all the responsibilities I had set aside as I fought for healing and health after the car wrecks.

My head still acts up with extended time at the computer, so that helps me take breaks, but last week I still pushed too hard and didn’t keep to the goal of my (almost) daily walk. I’m determined to do better this week. I need the sunshine, the movement, the alone time with God and nature.

What About You?

Do you have a favorite exercise DVD or app? How do you find balance?

Weight Loss Journey Day 47

IMAG0291What a blessing to enjoy traditions even though the kids are (mostly) grown up. We had a lovely  family day. Sarah came home for the afternoon, and we made snowflakes for the living room window—our annual winter tradition.

I have so much more energy these days! I got up BEFORE church, made a southern breakfast (which I ate, just in lesser quantities), and mixed up homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone to enjoy with our traditional hot chocolate.

After my thoughts last week about needing a day of rest/worship/family time, I didn’t even try to exercise. I was about 1300 calories instead of 1200, but that’s not bad considering I had a few cookies! I ate light at supper—my shake and no extras in it. And I found I was content with herb tea (no calories) when the rest of the family had their hot chocolate. I didn’t feel left out or deprived. I just felt . . . intentional . . . as I made choices for less sweets and smaller meals, but still allowed myself a bit of cookie dough and a couple of small cookies during our family time. I love My Fitness Pal app. It keeps me accountable!

Oh! And a huge thing happened at church that encourages me to believe I’m hearing the Lord with these little nudges on my walk. I saw a young woman who teaches at the elementary school near our house—the one I thought the Lord told me to walk around a couple of times and pray for earlier this week. I told her about the experience, and she told me that the school has been taken over by the state for poor performance!

All the teachers will be fired at the end of the year, and only half will be invited back! I had prayed for hope as I walked around that school, not even knowing how hopeless things must feel for those there, having no idea what was going on! I’d also prayed for change, for revival. It’s incredible to think that the Holy Spirit is this personal, that He  shows a momma in Colorado how to pray about things she knew nothing about.                   ~December 9, 2012

Real Time Update:

Here we are two months later. I’ve been on this weight loss journey for 119 days. Last Thursday I shared that I took a week off from being bonded to My Fitness Pal. I wanted to see if I could keep losing weight without logging every calorie. I hoped I’d learned enough about eating well that it was now habit. Here’s what I noticed:

1) I mostly stuck to my new eating habits, but found it easier to snitch a piece of chocolate or something like that when I didn’t have to record it.

2) While I got in some exercise, that feeling of needing to burn calories to buy more at my meals was diminished, which resulted in less drive to get outside.

3) I lost weight at about the same rate I did the week before.

So, what’s the verdict? There’s NO way (in my mind) I could have changed my eating habits early on without the help of a calorie tracker. However, I’m pretty wise now about what I can and can’t do. Still, the accountability helps.

I thought about returning to My Fitness Pal, but my husband suggested I try to apply what I learned this week and fix it instead of going back to the more rigid approach. That said, I’m going to give this idea one more week. But if I don’t lose, I’m back to recording every bite.

I do have a mother-of-the-bride dress to buy!

Real Time Information about BENew


Ben Mueller who wrote this post. I almost didn’t honor him with a picture considering he’s wearing a Vikings jersey when he lives in Denver!

Taking a break from my regular posts to share one written by Ben Mueller, a friend of mine who was also a beta tester. He has approached the weight loss differently than I did, and I thought his information might help someone out. From Ben:

I want to set up reasonable expectations for your weight loss while using the Benew Weight Loss System. Unfortunately, we live in a society where everything that we want to happen needs to have happened YESTERDAY. Basically, we want our lives changed overnight. But, we all know what the truth is; “Anything worth anything takes hard work AND time!”.

I have been using the Benew Weight Loss System myself since the beginning of November (’12). When I was asked to be part of the beta test group for this product, I did not follow the protocol that was laid out for us. This included; calorie restriction, more exercise, following a meal plan, etc. Why did I do this? I wanted to see exactly what the effectiveness of the product would be. As we all know, if we restrict caloric intake and exercise more, we will lose weight, but before I started talking to people about this system, I wanted to know that the products did what they said they would do.

I have worked out for the last 25 years, so that was not an issue. I would just maintain my same workouts (45 minutes cardio per day and each muscle group lifted once per week). My caloric intake stayed at about 3,000 calories per day and, my ability to maintain a loving relationship with Peanut Butter did not change!

The first week of using the system, I lost 6 pounds. This could have been due to the detoxification process (Bepure). I replaced one meal per day with the chocolate Befull. I actually just added Befull on top of everything I was eating, therefore probably added a few calories on some days, but others I didn’t eat as much, therefore still maintaining 3,000 calories per day. In terms of the Belean, I had one packet when I woke up on an empty stomach, and one before lunch (empty stomach) so I could get the most out of the product as possible.

In the first 6 weeks of using the system, I lost a total of 17 pounds. The ONLY difference between how I approached weight loss before Benew and after was that my workouts grew in intensity because of the energy I was getting from Belean. I literally was working out like I had done while I played college football.

From my 6 weeks until about 9 weeks, I actually gained weight. This was mainly due to the Christmas holiday and my love for homemade fudge!

From week 9 until now, something very magical has occurred. Yes, I was losing some weight on the scale in the beginning, but in the last several weeks, the SHAPE of my body has changed dramatically. My theory is that it took a good 2 months before my base metabolism actually changed enough to where my body became a FAT BURNING MACHINE.

Yes, the Bepure helped my body clean out all the toxins that had gunked up the system and blocked me from being an “efficient organism”. Yes, Befull allowed me to ingest high quality protein in my body for muscle development and to help curb cravings for sugar and such. BUT, Belean, the metabolic enhancer, has been my “saving grace” in my venture to losing weight. The combination of the Green Coffee Bean, White Kidney Bean, Meratrim, Raspberry Ketones, Green Tea, etc, has actually been exactly what it promised to be; a natural way to significantly increase my base metabolism!

Overall; I have lost 28 pounds, my pants went from a 42 to a 36, I have increased muscle mass significantly (or maybe I can just see more of the muscle due to decreased fat), and my energy has sky rocketed.

MY WIFE: Jessica, my wife, got on the Benew Weight Loss System the same time I did and did NOT change her eating habits significantly either. She had almost the same exact results as I did. It took her metabolism two months to really get into a fat burning state. She was beautiful before, but now it as a place where she is happy with how she looks and has had to go do some serious clothes shopping!

IMPORTANT: As I stated above, I did not follow the protocol that was laid out in front of me when starting this system because I wanted to see how the products affected me. I would NOT suggest that you do this. Obviously, if you combine all the tools that the Benew Weight Loss System has, you should have even better results. If you take the products as suggested, follow the meal & fitness plans as best as possible, and get plugged into “Benew Nation” on Facebook, there is no stopping you!

As I have stated above, you absolutely need to give this System 3 months to get to maximum benefit. With our 90 day, 100% money back guarantee, there is no reason that you can’t give it the necessary time. If you aren’t satisfied, get your money back. With that being said, please read the following information in terms of things that you may notice while on the product;

1) You may have to decrease the amount of Belean that you are ingesting in the beginning. For some people, we have noticed that it gives them TOO MUCH energy and they have a hard time sleeping at night. If this is the case, please start by taking 1/2 packet every morning and that’s it. After 5 days, move to 1/2 packet twice a day. After another 5 days, move to 1 1/2 packets per day, and within 5 days, move up to 2 packets per day.

2) You may GAIN weight in your first week! This has everything to do with WATER RETENTION. It does not mean that the products aren’t working, because in fact, they are. Any time that we are using detoxification products or start a weight loss regiment, our bodies tend to hold on to water, especially when we introduce a metabolic enhancer. When the body heat increases in a person, we hold on to water just like on a hot summer day, our bodies get a little “swelled”. Again, don’t panic, just keep going!

3) The typical healthy weight loss figure that has been published by experts in the weight loss industry, is 1-2 pounds per week. Therefore, do not panic if, in the first month, you only lose 4-8 pounds. When people drop weight too quickly, the propensity for it to come back increases many fold. Just keep trucking along and you will eventually get to your goal weight.

4) You HAVE TO give this system 3 months in order to realize the full benefit. No, this isn’t a sales gimic, but rather being realistic. Yes, you should lose some weight in your first month using the product, but it takes time to get the metabolic engine burning efficiently. Remember that it did not take just a month to get our bodies into the shape it was before Benew, therefore, it is going to take some time to get out. The MAIN CAUSE of being overweight is our METABOLIC STATE. Our metabolism has been set at a very inefficient position for a long time, therefore, when introducing the ingredients that are in Belean, our metabolism is going to take its sweet time in starting to really burn at a speed where massive weight loss is happening.

5) Weighing ourselves daily is not a smart thing to do. Because of water retention and other factors, our weight can bounce all over the place. The REAL test is in how our clothes fit. Therefore, I suggest weighing yourself one time per week.”