Monthly Archives: April 2013

I’m Live!

This is super fun. Found out I was captured on film when I spoke January 2013. Now I’m in a video at the top of the website: Create What Counts. When you watch the video just remember I’ve lost between 15 and 20 pounds since this was filmed!



Real Time Post

“Taste buds, you aren’t the boss of me!”

I read that quote in the Made to Crave devotional, and my back got a little straighter.

Last night my taste buds were the boss of me, and today I still have a tummy-ache 21 hours later.

I loved the thought in the devotional that the WHOLE of me should make my eating decisions, not just my tastebuds. After all, my tummy didn’t want me to over-eat on heavy food like I did last night; it wanted a nice, big salad to balance that sesame chicken and rice. Those few extra pounds left around my middle were hoping for self-control ’cause they really want to be gone. And my mind wanted to continue the journey to looking really great for my daughter’s wedding.

So today as I nurse my bloated stomach I’m reminding those taste buds who is in control!

How about you?

Is a part of you running the whole of you?

Let’s take control!

Note: Still haven’t had time to dig into my weight loss journal so we can return to the daily chronicling, but didn’t want to leave you neglected too long, so I thought I’d share briefly what I’m thinking today. Hope to get back on track with the journal soon.

I haven’t forgotten you!

Hey Gang,

Just a quick update. I haven’t forgotten you or this blog. I realize it’s been a few days since I posted, but with my baby girl’s wedding getting closer I’ve been doing all kinds of wonderful things like calling rental shops, paying for a cake, and making centerpieces. (Don’t worry, she gave me an easy job that required a random creativity, but not much skill.)

The best part is: I bought my mother-of-the-bride dress! Honestly, it started fun but became super stressful. As difficult as it was to get exactly what I wanted, I can’t imagine how much more crazy the process would have been last October when I was almost 50 pounds heavier. Every day I’m thankful to move and live and feel more energetic and healthy–and skinnier! So, friends, don’t give up on your journey. There is great reward on this side!

I hope to dig into my weight loss journal over the weekend and get back to business on talking about our BENew Journey, but if I don’t, assuming I’m enjoying this precious time of sharing wedding prep with my girl. I’ll resurface eventually. :O)

Sense of Accomplishment

Perseverance brings such a sense of accomplishment! And planning ahead to meet my goals does, too.

Today I walked/ran 2 miles before breakfast ‘cause I would be gone all day. Enjoyed the birds. Blue sky. Scripture. There is so much freedom and joy in getting outside and moving!

I like to use these walks for connecting with God, but I must admit I still struggle with being easily distracted. I know people who pray better while they move, but I’ve always focused more with a pen and journal in hand. Still, He is doing something with this prayer walking stuff.

exercise shorts

had to buy smaller shorts!

When I got home I did 50 crunches and 15 leg lifts as well as my stretches from the PT. And I added another 5 sit-ups to my routine. ~Feb. 5, 2013

Real Time Update:

I’m happy to report that today, two months later, I did crunches, leg lifts, sit-ups, and stretches. Unfortunately I got out of the habit for a couple of weeks as we remodeled our office and a bedroom. The focus was entirely on the project, not on exercise. But that is where I am different now than 6 months ago. If I miss my goals for a while I don’t just give up. I start again where I am.

I was only up to 30 crunches, 10 leg lifts, and 5 sit-ups after taking all that time off. I lost momentum.

BUT I still did SOMETHING!

And I have new exercise shorts. Size 8-10, baby. A far cry from a 16!

What About You?

Where are you persevering? What accomplishment can you celebrate? Are you doing SOMETHING?


Spirit Seeker Sunday 4

Spirit 1 stephen

Holy Spirit, be the Water of my life. May I be refreshed by you, surrendering to the flow of your life-giving current. (Photo by Stephen Moldenhauer)

Wow. Urgency, firmness, resolve, consistency . . . I had no idea perseverance packed such a punch!

Perseverance is a good word for me today. I’m emotionally and physically drained. We’ve had some stuff, but in the long run all will be well.

In the long run.


Meanwhile I face a new struggle with my weight loss and health goals. I’ve come so far and while the products I’m taking have greatly helped me on this journey, I’ve still worked pretty hard. My daughter’s wedding is roughly a month out, and I’d love to shave off that last bit in the tummy before buying that mother-of-the-bride dress. But honestly, I’m tempted to settle.

I’m weary of persevering, and I’m catching myself returning to old habits. Not full blown stress eating, but justifying mindless eating because I’m just so tired.

Where is the urgency, resolve, consistency I felt earlier in the journey? Would I toss all that now?

Everyday I experience the joy of ease of movement, of a normal feeling body, of being the real me in a physical sense.

The journey is WORTH it.

What about you, my friend? Do you have urgency, resolve, and consistency?


If not, wanna turn where I’m turning?

Today I am weak. I don’t want to quit. Give me what it takes to persevere. I’m tired and don’t want to think about the weight loss journey today, but I also don’t want to turn back. I’ve come too far. And Lord, I’m thinking of weight, but I’m also thinking of the other difficult areas in my life, the other places I’ve persevered. Give me what it takes not to give up. Give me a renewed sense of urgency, firmness, resolve, and consistency.

And Lord, I pray for each one visiting my blog today. I ask the same for them. Give us focus. Wills of steel that are resolved to follow you on the weight loss journey. Thank you that, as Lysa TerKeurst said, that You love us where we are, but You love us too much to leave us stuck in a place of defeat. Move us forward. Give us hearts that surrender to Your prompting. Make us strong women who follow boldly. God, we depend on your strength.

What About You?

How did the above concepts hit you? Where do you see Protection, Provision, Progess in your journey? How about firmness, consistency, and resolve?

In the Made to Crave Devotional Lysa TerKeurst says,  “a scale can measure my physical body but never my worth as a woman.” How do you respond to that statement?

*The above thoughts prompted by Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave devotional.

No Problem! (Day 104)

pizza portion salad tangelo 3A party? No problem!

It’s pretty cool that the Super Bowl celebration at my house yesterday didn’t freak me out. I’ve learned that if I attend a special event I can choose to eat more moderately, but have foods I don’t typically have, and it won’t be a problem as long as I stay to my habits of lower calories, healthier foods, and exercise the rest of the week.

Since I had some food I’m not used to during the Superbowl game yesterday, I focused on really healthy eating today. I started with my BEFull shake with some papaya (which helps digestion) and strawberries in it. At lunch I had a small piece of left-over homemade whole wheat pizza with a huge salad with Walnuts and pomegranates, a tangelo, and some strawberries. I also walked almost 4 miles. It felt good to return to these habits.                                     ~ Feb. 4, 2013

Real Time Update:

I think the best trick to having healthy eating habits and decent calorie counts without tracking every bite is to simple fill half or more of the plate with salad. Then if I’m having meat, the next biggest portion is my protein, and the smallest portion is a starch or carb if I’m having that.

What About You?

Any tricks for eating healthy and low calorie without tracking every bite?

For Love or Because of Love (Day 103)

“Do you lose weight to gain love or are you able to lose weight because you are loved?” This question, which I read in the Made to Crave Devotional, made me stop and think.

Image from

I  don’t know if I could have chosen to deal with my weight issues if I hadn’t first felt loved. I’ve been around long enough to know that if I don’t feel loved when I’m heavy, dropping a few pounds isn’t going to solve the issue.

What I cling to is this Truth: Heavy or thin, we are completely loved and accepted by the One who made us. He has brushed our hearts with His mercy and declared us good and beautiful and treasured. When the weight loss journey is hard, I press into that truth. I ask Him to help me persevere because I know He loves me and cares about my journey.

I don’t lose weight to gain His love or anyone else’s. This journey is an act of giving love to myself, the One who made me, and those who already love me. We all need me stronger and healthier. We all want me lighter in heart and body.  The rewards come to all of us.                                Feb. 3, 2013

What About You?

Do you lose weight to be loved or because you are loved? Can you see how losing weight is a way of giving love?

Success and Struggle (Day 102)

Peak Writing Conference Logo_blank

For more information on this and other writer events

I was pleased with my ability to stay on track with wise eating choices despite the fact that a huge spread of all kinds of food and drink were available today at the Peak Writer’s Conference. It was difficult to track calories, but I focused on eating healthy and low cal. I allowed myself a desert, but not a taste of all of them. (Hmm . . . how much of my weight gain was related to my inability to make quick decisions about what I want?) I  kept the water going and had tea rather than a lot of calories from the drinks available. (I did have a cup of coffee with a little flavoring.)

During the break in the afternoon a couple of girlfriends and I circled the block a few times. It felt wonderful to experience the sunshine. It wasn’t enough movement to burn many calories but it got the blood flowing and broke that sedentary haze. I wouldn’t have made a choice like this a few years ago. I didn’t have much energy for block walking and lugging around my extra weight. So even though I don’t think it counts as exercise, it counts as success and change!

I did have a flair up from whatever this icky head thing is that I’ve fought since June.  The morning went great, but after lunch a dizziness shot through my head, and I had to close my eyes for a while. After that I kept trying to track with the speaker and to take notes, but started making more and more typing errors, and my heart felt like it was racing. My stomach grew tense.

I was relieved when she let us have our afternoon break, and when I walked around the block it cleared. I fought tears when it was time to return to class. I guess I was blind-sided by the intensity of the struggle after having several good days. And when my heart starts pounding, I feel emotional. I skipped out on the class for a while asked Kathy to pray for me in a side room. She prayed for my healing. God gave her a vision of His hands reaching down into my head and holding my brain. Her vision made me feel safe again—and willing to try to return to learning. ~ Feb. 2, 2013

Real Time Update:

I’m having more and more good days with the head issue, though today isn’t one of them. :O( Thankfully, the symptoms don’t seem to last as long when they get stirred. Most of the time now I can push through with normal activities, though I’ve learned to take lots of breaks to try and give my head a chance to settle.

I now consider myself on the last few laps of my weight loss journey. I’m in the “normal” range for weight but would still like to drop ten pounds or so. It’s a strange season for me. I’m no longer tracking calories or weight loss, but I am trying to maintain the new, healthier lifestyle I have begun. More salads. More fruit. Less sugar and carbs, consistent exercise. Even without the calorie tracker, the weight is shifting and leaving slowly. I’m debating whether or not to return to counting calories for that last ten pounds, or to continue this approach. I’m also dealing with some hormonal issues. The doctor is working on them. I’m considering focusing on getting that issue straightened out because I think the last little bit of weight is also tied to them and once they clear the rest will be easier.

What About You?

What makes you feel safe? If you’ve lost significant weight and are close to your final goals, how do you approach it? If you’re female, has the change of life affected our weight loss journey?

Food is Beautiful! (Day 101)

Unexpected joys. I’ve found a lot of them since starting my weight loss journey. One that especially surprised me is how much I enjoy the color combinations of good food. Since I’ve broadened my eating habits and sought to include more fruits and vegetables, I’m stunned by how gorgeous food is. My boys tease me when I grab my camera with an exclamation of, “look how pretty that is!”

Take bell peppers. I recently was given a huge box of them, all different colors.


We made some into chicken fajitas.


And I cut the rest into tiny squares, leaving a mosaic of green, red, yellow, and orange in my big bowl.

peppers cut up close up shot

Then I froze them in 1/2 cup portions. I got two gallon sized Ziplock bags full.

peppers freezing process

Now it is quick and easy to grab peppers for omelets, meat loaf, etc. I froze some onions, too. If I can have things in the freezer to make cooking healthy easier and quicker, then the whole family wins. The day we had fajitas I even had pre-sliced chicken breasts in the freezer, so it was a really quick meal prep.

Today I also sliced

strawberries sliced

And froze

strawberries to freeze

More strawberries for my BEFull shake.        

So often weight loss is focused on the shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t. Of course I have made choices to limit and avoid certain foods. But I also seek to to enjoy good food, embracing it’s beauty and flavor as a gift from the Creator.                       ~Feb. 01, 2013

Real Time Update:

Two months later I continue to enjoy the fruits of my February first labors!

How About You?

What do you do to make healthy preparation easier? How do you enjoy the beauty of food even as you are dropping pounds?

It’s Me, Son! (Day 96)

Since I’ve lost weight I’ve had a couple of friends pass by without recognizing me, then come back and apologize for blowing me off. But here’s the best one yet. I was supposed to pick up my SON last Sunday at my sister-in-law, Anne’s church. I arrived early and decided to slip in next to her to hear the preacher. My middle son, Stephen, sat on her other side. AFTER service he looks at me shocked. “I didn’t know that was you sitting there. I just saw this blonde by Auntie Anne and figured it was one of her friends!”                            ~January 27, 2013

Real Time Update:

mother of the bride dress

one of the dresses I like.

Went shopping for a mother-of-the-bride dress this week. I couldn’t believe that I could wear sizes 8 and 10 after shopping all that time in the plus sizes!! Wahoo!! Still didn’t find the perfect dress, but came home so encouraged about the styles and sizes I can now wear.