Life: A Bowlful of Salad?


Here I sit, munching salad and pondering the Benew journey. The salad surprised me.

As I made it a few minutes ago thoughts like boring filled my mind.

Sabotage along the lines of, “Really? For the rest of your life you’re going to mindful of how you eat? Avoid unhealthy, high calorie foods? Eat salad?”

But here I sit. The red and green grapes add sweet freshness to the spinach and the handful of mixed nuts a nice protein crunch. I’m super glad I didn’t give into the nagging negativity, the voice that tried to talk me out of getting my greens.

It seems all good things will be confronted.

It’s a strange place to be, this new phase where I am content with my body. I could lose a few more pounds, but I feel “normal.” I’m not counting calories anymore. I’m taking my BENew metabolism booster, but I only do a meal replacement shake when I want to, not daily like I did when I was serious about dropping weight. Sometimes I crave my BEfull shake, blended with frozen fruit. Other times I don’t. Sometimes, like today, I want left-overs and try to balance whatever they are by having a reasonable portion and a big salad. And sometimes I just want to blow off this whole journey. On those days I lie awake at night wondering if the bad choices I made will result in going backwards.

A good writer wouldn’t use the word “sometimes” repeatedly like I just did. But that’s where I’m living.


It comes from seeking a new normal, trying to sustain the healthier lifestyle I’ve chosen even when I’m not intentionally fighting to drop pounds. Before I was motivated by a goal. Now my only motivation is not to return to go backwards. (That and to look good in my friend Megan’s dress for the Carol Awards* in a few weeks.)

The never-never land of maintenance isn’t cut and dry. I no longer try to hit 12 or 1300 calories a day. I just try to eat smart and move. The lack of a calorie counter’s accountability is scary sometimes, and sometimes I abuse the freedom. Other times it’s freeing, and I do just fine. There’s that word again.


I want to avoid extremes. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life obsessing about calories; I also don’t want to throw caution to the wind. Thus this struggle of finding a new normal.

A friend told me her method for maintenance is to weigh every few days. If she’s gained a pound or two, she cuts back to 1200 again until she returns to her target weight.  It sounds reasonable. What about you? Anybody have good advice on the end of the weight loss journey, those days when you could lose a pound or two, but mostly want to maintain?

I want my eating life to be more than a bowlful of salad–but I also want to be healthy and sustain the better habits I’ve developed.

Invite a friend to the discuss on maintenance:

Is life a bowlful of salad?

*The Carol Awards, sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers, honor a book ofHeartsongChristm.indd the year in multiple genres. My novella, “You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch,” included in the Christmas collection, Postmark: Christmas, is a finalist for best novella of 2012. Winners will be announced in September.


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

7 thoughts on “Life: A Bowlful of Salad?

  1. Rosemary August 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm Reply

    You sounded a little lonely today but when I opened up to comment and saw your smiles I knew you were just fine. I too love the BENew program, still losing and loving it.

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm Reply

      I suppose the adjustment period is a little lonely, Rosemary. But you’re right. I’m just fine. :O)

  2. Sheila Stacy August 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm Reply

    My emails were messed up so just now getting this one.
    I’m loosing weight too, and your journey is helping soo much!! Thank you for the wisdom!!

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm Reply

      Good for you!! Congratulaions, Sheila. Keep up the good work!

  3. mariekeates August 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm Reply

    Maintenance is tough for sure. There are none of the highs you get from seeing the scales going down and it’s hard sometimes to keep motivated and not slip back. Your right though, there has to be more to life than counting calories, there has to be balance and, more than anything a healthy relationship with food. If I ever crack it I’ll let you know the secret 🙂

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply

      Hurry up and crack the secret code! LOL Thanks, Marie. Your posts help me in this area, wanting to keep up an active lifestyle. I’m having a very hard time with this with my plantar fasciitis hurting. :o( I’m trying to be more mindful of calorie count since I’m not moving as often.

      • mariekeates August 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm

        I’m working on it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: