Monthly Archives: November 2013

Free Spirits and Tools of the Trade

phoneCounting calories is so not me.  I’m a free spirit who hates numbers and isn’t too crazy about routine.  I don’t like that much structure, and I hate math. Yet when I first started losing weight I tracked my food religiously. It was hard, but I found it a necessary tool in meeting my goal. I believe refusing to take this step would have been self-sabotage. Getting the My Fitness Pal App on my phone helped a lot–it did the math and already knew many of the calorie counts for the food I ate.

Eventually I tired of counting calories, but I stuck with it long enough to get the general idea of the “price tag” of the foods I was eating. Equipped with this knowledge I can “budget” my food much more wisely. For the first time in my life I have a sense of how much that cookie really “costs” and what a “great deal” all that lettuce is.

I bring this up because certain personalities (like mine) rebel against such structure. I couldn’t sustain calorie counting forever; it would drive me crazy. But I did need to step outside my comfort zone for a few months so I could learn the “truth” that would set me free to make better and more educated decisions for the rest of my life.

As I edited the above thoughts conviction hit. There are some new “tools” of the trade I need to embrace as I’m making changes in my work life, seeking to fit more into the day and feeling scattered and not nearly as productive as I’d like to be.

I’m considering structure again. A more detailed plan for time management. A stricter schedule. I’m not sure what that is going to look like, but at least I’m to the point of being open to exploration of the concept, despite the fact the idea makes me what to kick and scream. (Ya’ll can pray for me.)

What about you? Are there areas where you self-sabotage in weight loss or in life rather than step into a place of discomfort, even for a season?

Even a free spirit sometimes needs a little structure here and there.

Encouragement for Thanksgiving

turkeySeveral of my friends are stressing about entering the holiday season. I get it. When you’re working hard to win the battle for a new body and more active life, all the excess food available is daunting.

But here’s the truth. Between October and Jan last year I lost 32 pounds, and you can keep losing, too. I don’t remember feeling deprived. I do remember being intentional.

Here’s a bit of advice for Thanksgiving from someone whose been there:

  • It’s not what you do one day that sabotages weight loss. It’s what you do 90% of the time
  • Even on the holidays it doesn’t pay to eat until your stomach hurts
  • Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats, just take smaller portions
  • If you’re using weight loss support, like the Benew products I used, keep using them that day
  • Consider taking a walk after enjoying your turkey. If that doesn’t fit the family schedule, make a point to exercise on Wed. and Friday
  • Be intentional about how you approach the day. Give yourself freedom to enjoy it without guilt, but don’t totally blow off wisdom.
  • Remember the tricks: More salad, less potatoes. If you eat big at lunch, eat less the other meals. Find a way to move.

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is about the food. While that doesn’t mean you have to take seconds or thirds, you will eat more than you normally do. But one day won’t ruin what you’re trying to accomplish as long as you return to your new good habits on Friday and keep to them! Honestly, last year I think I had pie for breakfast on Friday morning, but I put it into my calorie counter app and kept the rest of the day within my goals.

The biggest Thanksgiving danger is not the day itself. It’s the day after and the day after that. Enjoy your day, but commit to making it only ONE day, not a week of celebrating that turns into continued betrayal of your goals.

And while you’re enjoying all that abundance, take a minute to thank those who provided, starting with the Giver of all good gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tips for enjoying Thanksgiving without self-sabotage

My First Vlog! (Focus!)

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Victorious Small Successes

IMAG2685“Self-control starts by making one good choice.” Lysa TerKeurest

Don’t you love the idea of victorious small successes?

That means we can feel successful several times a day! We can celebrate each tiny step forward. When we fall down it doesn’t have to sabotage us, we can just make a good choice the next time and celebrate victory again!

In her Made to Crave Devotional, Lysa TerKeurest said, “Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it only by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting, and just plain hard to reach. But if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won’t seem so impossible.”

I appreciated the Scripture Lysa chose, too. “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;”

It’s similar to a verse that deeply impacted me in college, found in Romans 5:3-4: “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

In both of these Scriptures perseverance played an important role. Today I’m applying Lysa’s verse to weight loss. In college I studied this verse during a time of great despair. I remember life being so hard that I saw it in black and white. It was like all the color drained out. I even contemplated suicide. I have several memories of God’s intervention in that time, but two stick out. The first is that I walked to class and felt led to take an unusual route. I passed an amazing flower that was exactly my favorite color. I KNEW He was showing it to me, and the bright happy pink burst upon my black and white world.

The second was the study of that Scripture. The commentary I read talked about how hope is the mark of Christian maturity, how if we allow God to produce perseverance in our suffering, our character will deepen, and eventually we will discover hope. (And hope does not disappoint.)

Hang with me; this is all coming together in my mind. Putting these two concepts together is important, I think, for the weight loss journey.

Lysa says, “Self-control starts by making one good choice.” Her Scripture said that self-control produces perseverance, and my Scripture said that perseverance produces hope.

If we make that one good choice–whether it be in weight loss or in life–we can celebrate that small success. As we persevere, one good choice after another, celebrating each one, hope grows! We can truly begin to believe in change, that life can be different. That we can overcome our struggle, whether it be with our weight or some other life issue.

As Lysa said, “Big things are built one brick at a time. Victories are achieved one choice at a time. A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.”

Yes, Lord, help us all build a path to victory one choice at a time!

How about you? Let’s celebrate a victorious choice!

Celebrate victory one good choice at a time.

Finally Content

charm 1Last Christmas my daughter gave me a charm. The instructions? I wasn’t allowed to add it to my charm bracelet until I reached whatever weight felt right to me.

The charm, a flirty little red dress, sat in my jewelry box until this week.

I’m finally comfortable with the new me.

I haven’t actually lost weight since last summer; I’m still roughly 55 pounds lighter than a year ago. But thanks to the fat shrinking component of my BENew metabolism booster, my body has continued to shape up even without change on the scale, and I feel content.

I love the little charm, not only because it was Sarah’s way of cheering me on, but also because it continued a tradition I started with the kids. That bracelet boasts baseballs, gymnastics, skiier and hockey figurines, a drama mask, graduation hat, and even a tiny engagement ring–all to celebrate special accomplishments and moments the kids experienced. I love it that my daughter wanted to commemorate this achievement of mine.

I weigh myself every week or so, and I’ve been able to stick within 2 or 3 pounds either side of the 55 pound weight loss. It’s a bit of a trick learning to maintain, but if I notice the scale climb I charm 2am more intentional about watching what goes in my mouth for a few days and it dips back down.

So after maintaining my new weight for a few months I feel good about putting that little red dress on my bracelet and believing this really did happen for me.

A sassy red dress and a bracelet

Need Consistent Weight Loss Encouragement?

Do you ever need a pick-me-up about 11 or 3 or at that night-time snack time? Something that helps you get your focus back?

I’ve been trying to think of a way to offer my followers more consistent support on their weight loss journeys. This is my new plan. Several times a day I’m tweeting quick thoughts I hope will encouragetwitter-follow-achiever us through-out the day. I’m tweeting under the twitter handle paulamoldenhaue (my name minus the the r!) and consistently use hashtags like: #weightloss #joy #simplepleasures

I plan to continue to blog here about the deeper issues of the Be New Journey, but hope these quick tweets will help all of us stay focused on our success!

Come and find me!

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Beyond Wishful Thinking

san diego toe“When it comes to personal growth in how we care for our health, we need to move beyond wishful thinking.” Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave Devotional

For years I lay awake at night, the reality of my obesity weighing upon me. I wanted to change, but I did nothing except wish I could.

Actually, that’s not true. I prayed, whispering into the darkness, “This is out of control, Lord. Show me what to do about it.”

Eventually, He did. At just the right time He brought BeNew into my life, and I slowly formed a plan. It didn’t all come together the first week or the second. I gradually reduced calories and added exercise. I faithfully took my weight loss support.

Yesterday my husband and I wore matching turquoise shirts to church. How his eyes lit up when I pulled them from the closet and suggested we wear them. See, these shirts were purchased almost 25 years ago in Carmel, CA.

We bought them on our honeymoon. My 55 plus weight loss and his 20 pound drop means we can wear them again after many years of leaving them in storage. His eyes twinkled all morning, enjoying the great memories and the fact that both of us were able to once again fit in them.

The real work is done. God led me on a journey and gave me a plan for health. Now it’s a daily decision to continue the habits I’ve worked so hard to establish–to fill half my plate with fresh vegetables and fruits instead of majoring on the carbs, to take a walk or do some crunches, to have ONE chocolate, not five.

It’s hard to get it through my thick head that this plan is a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. It’s easier to fall back into old habits even though I’ve had new ones for months! It goes back to that whole concept of intentionality, of being mindful of my choices.

Back to the plan I established and committed to God.

My plan has been pretty simple. Take BeNew. Move more. Eat wiser in a way I can sustain, and mostly to look to Him for wisdom and strength for the journey.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

What’s your plan?

What do you think it means to commit it to the Lord?

Thank you for this reminder that our health is important to you. That you care about our weight loss journey and the plans we’ve made to help us toward success. Please establish our plans. Help us to be wise in how we approach this journey, and help it become something we can sustain. Thank you for walking with us.

(BTW, just noticed the kindle version of the Made to Crave Devotional is on sale for $5.99)