Category Archives: BeNew Products

Wednesday Weigh-in ~ Eating, Exercise, Excuses, and a Plan

There’s always stuff to do. Person-weighing-themselve-007

There’s always stuff that hurts.

There’s always excuses.

I wanted to start this blog whining about how hard it’s been to focus on my body while remodeling a house, grieving deaths, and adjusting to the kids leaving home. All of those reasons for my struggle are real. Emotional eating is an easy trap to fall back into when sadness or loneliness hits. It’s hard to prioritize exercise when my home feels chaotic, and I can’t stand the mess one more day.

But the truth is life happens. I’m pretty sure I will never live an entire day without more pulling at me than I can conquer in that day, and I’m also sure that however many joyful moments a day holds, there will be something that happens that wants to pull me down, stress me out, or at least irritate me.

The truth is I am no longer at the age I can live and eat without intentionality. There are consequences. Not just on the scale, but in my body, health, and energy levels. As hard as it was to lose all that weight, if I’m not intentional I will find it again. All of it.

For the first time since 2012 I didn’t pay attention to how I ate or exercised over the holidays. And it shows. I feel myself getting into old patterns–being discouraged about the weight gain and allowing that discouragement to shut me down. Emotional eating comes really easy when I’m in that state. Getting out and walking does not. I’m also lonely more often now, and those solitary walks don’t sound quite as inviting as they did when the house was constantly noisy.

Here’s the honest truth. I need to get serious about my health again. I need prayer ’cause I know I can’t do this alone.

This week I’m taking a good first step. I’m doing a BENew cleanse. When I was losing weight and doing these consistently I noticed they helped reduce my cravings for the bad foods. (That first cleanse was a rough one for me emotionally. This one isn’t quite as bad, but I’m struggling a little.)

We’re in another car transition, which has made my schedule difficult. So step 2 for me was arranging with my kids for a schedule that allows me a car two mornings a week. My plan is to visit my chiropractor then meet with a friend who lives nearby so we can walk together.

Step 3 is I’ve also returned to doing a few light exercises every morning at home–some crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, and stretching. Nothing too intense. If I start with too much at first I know I won’t continue, so I’m beginning small and seeking to be consistent.

Where I feel the greatest resistance inside is food. I’ve continued much of the healthier eating that I learned in 2012–more fresh fruits and vegetables, making the largest portion my salad instead of the carbs. But unhealthy stuff has crept back in, too, like sometimes having a snack before bed, being mindless about portions, and being less careful with sweets.

When I lost weight I talked a lot about making changes I felt I could live with long-term. I believe I did that. The problem is I grew weary of mindfulness when it came to healthy choices and wise portions. Combined with less activity and less muscle mass, the weight began slipping back on.

And so I continue the journey. Instead of maintenance, I am seeking the courage to stand up and admit I need to lose a few pounds before it gets out of hand. Honestly, it makes me sad to own that, but pretending it isn’t there doesn’t make me any happier. And as much as I would prefer to keep this a private battle, I know accountability makes a difference. I need to lose eight to ten pounds. I need to do this now before things get out-of-control again, and it’s fifty I need to drop.

There. I said it.

If you’re on this journey with me, maybe a summary of my plan can help you, too.

  • Honesty with self – choosing to admit I must deal with this problem
  • Intentionality – Making choices with intent to stay on the road of health
  • Mindfulness – Paying attention to what (and how much!) I eat and how much I move
  • Spiritual support – Asking God to help me and others to pray for me
  • Admission – Admitting I need to lose and owning exactly how many pounds
  • Accountability – Telling someone that I need to change and have chosen to do so.
  • A plan – for me it is 1) cleanse 2) exercise 3) Portion control 4) healthier foods

Anybody with me?

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Weighin’ In at 49

In this place I’m better at 49 than I was at 39.

IMAG0165

Desert heat. High altitude. Steep terrain.

This post was birthed in my mind a couple of months ago, but I’m glad I didn’t get around to writing it until now. It seems the perfect birthday post as I enter my last year of this decade.

IMAG0321

One of my best friends and I went on an adventure the first week of September. It was an amazing unfolding of unplanned wandering into uncharted terrain.

IMAG0300

Pictures don’t do justice to the challenge we faced with steep trails and long, windy stone staircases in these hot, dusty places. But thanks to stronger bodies, we didn’t cower.

We sweated. We ached. And we conquered.

Day after day, trail after trail, we found new heights to climb. There’s no way my body could have handled the heat or the repeated assault on lungs and burning muscles before.

IMAG0310

 

The journey to health and weight loss gave me a new lease on life.

IMAG0256

 

In 365 days I’ll enter my 50’s. Who could have dreamed I’d have more stamina and thirst for adventure than I did when I entered my 40’s?

My weight loss journey continues to have its shares of triumphs and frustrations. The fight to drop the weight took plain ole hard work. Maintenance isn’t a cake walk. (Yes, I chose that old saying on purpose.) But here is the victory: Hiking. Climbing. Rafting. Even strolls through the park with my honey.

Reclaiming my love of movement, my love of adventure.

Reclaiming a piece of me, long lost.

If you’re struggling along the journey to better health, may I encourage you with this thought?

It’s worth it.

Stick to it, and find your own adventurous self!

Until Next Time,

moldenhauer signature3

Authentic Disclosure

Person-weighing-themselve-007Commitment. Accountability.

I sit pondering them. Good words. Good concepts. Especially for someone like me who has an over-active conscience.

Last week I committed to you to “weigh in” on Wednesdays. Part fool, part genius, this idea. It puts me back under self-scrutiny, requires me to look honestly at my choices, and then to lay them bare before you.

And as a writer I could easily pen this post to make me look better than I am. But partial disclosure doesn’t help me grow, and it doesn’t give us an authentic walk together.

Besides, I’d feel dishonest.

The temptation is to focus on yesterday’s success. Hubby needed a ride so I was out of the house earlier than usual, throwing on clothes and downing a quick glass of water. No time for anything else. (Okay, I did go to the bathroom and wash my face.)

It’s been blazing hot here (for Colorado). The string of above 90 days is exacerbated by the fact our swamp cooler bit the dust. It’s hard to force myself into the heat for exercise only to return to a stifling house. Saturday Jerry and I braved it, but when the house cools little overnight the house doesn’t recover, allowing the temperature to creep up as day after day stays hot. Even as the heat intensifies in the sun of the day, there is a slow, steady increase of base temperatures, the coolest not as cool, the hottest hotter.

I didn’t attempt a walk on Sunday or Monday.

But yesterday! After dropping hubby at work I drove with an eye for a good place to exercise, pulled into a little park with a promising pathway, and texted home. Our older son didn’t have to leave for work for a few hours, and I felt it okay to be away from Sam (still on a motion machine, crutches, and Naproxen at home).

20140722_093918 (2)The short of it is I had a glorious walk for almost an hour and a half. The path wound from a cute little park to residential areas shaded by established, towering trees, and eventually beneath the highway. Once east of the interstate that cuts our city in half, the trail followed a stream, more trees, more shade. The endpoint was glorious. Another park, one of my favorites, typically too far from home to visit by foot.

There was a moment of concern. I hadn’t taken water and my morning included less hydration than in my usual routine. I’d expected the help of a water fountain I knew was at this second park, only it didn’t work!

With parched lips I took off on a lap around the small lake, then decided to head back to the trail by a different route. There, gleaming and functional, stood a water fountain I didn’t know existed!

Gulping the liquid, then holding several sips in my dry mouth before swallowing, I thanked God for the gift. Surely His Spirit had led me to the water.

20140722_100037

I did really well yesterday. Exercised. Ate wisely. Fed my soul with movement, quiet, natural beauty.

Now comes that authentic part.

When the heat of the evening kicked in the swelter also carried a case of doldrums. From 6 p.m. until bedtime I simply blew it. Consumed any calories I’d burned away with my morning walk, possibly more.

The temptation as I’m “weighing in” on this Wednesday is to emphasize the choice to walk. But the reality is my good choice was followed by a lack of self-control, which has been the pattern of the last week and a half.

In my defense I’ve had a bit of an unusual hormone surge. I’m almost 49, and my body can’t decide whether it should behave pre or post menopausal. It makes it tough to recognize symptoms I’d typically track with a calendar, like PMS cravings or mood-swings. Thanks to Body Balance I no longer suffer from those awful hot flashes, but like it or not my body continues in no-man’s land, trying to figure out whether or not to gracefully release its last vestiges of child-bearing.

The fact comforts me as I always gave myself a little grace in these times. It helps me better understand the cravings and lack of self-control and gives me hope that self-control will soon be a little less difficult to come by.

Still, I know better than to put off today what I could do tomorrow in the area of health, but I’ve spent the last several days breaking one of my own rules: Make the NEXT RIGHT choice. Don’t put it off for later. Don’t push back the chance to begin anew. Every right choice is a step back on the path to reaching my goals and reclaiming health.

Not only have I put off the decision to cut the mindless eating I did last night, I have also postponed another healthy choice. When I was on my weight loss journey I religiously did the BENew detoxifying cleanse once a month. While I strongly believe in the benefits of this cleanse AND found it bepurereduced my cravings for unhealthy foods, it’s one of the things I cut once I reached my weight loss goals. (Always trying to save a penny.)

Last week I realized it has been some time since I’d done a cleanse, and it would very likely help me with my struggle with cravings. I put the cleanse in the kitchen and honestly forgot for a couple of days to start it.

Then I was going to begin on Sunday, but it was so hot we decided at the last minute to slip away to a movie theater to bring relief from the heat and to give poor Sam a break from the monotonous home routine of therapy, ice machines, and crutches. So I put off starting the cleanse again. Thought I wouldn’t waste it on a day when when I chose to have movie snacks.

Here it is Wednesday and that little jar still sits unopened.

So time to make another commitment to you–putting this stuff out there helps me make good choices–I’m starting it TODAY. No more delay.

There you have it. The good, bad, and ugly of my journey to maintain weight loss. My behavior of last week won’t shave those five pounds that have crept back on. But I’m heading in the right direction. Making the next good choice.

How about you? The ups? The downs?

Until next time,

moldenhauer signature3

Big Celebrations and Simple Pleasures

20140611_145401We wore our Hawaiian attire just ’cause we could. For a joke in a way. A celebration of the memories of 25 years of marriage.

We matched. We rejoiced in the fact our clothes from that trip 16 years ago fit. That life together had held many special moments.

We got a lot of stares. Of comments. A group of teens on their break stood smoking outside a restaurant and snickered.

I smiled and waved. “Hey! We have a good reason!” I bantered. “It’s our 25th wedding anniversary, and we’re wearing a memory.”

They cheered for us then.

I never knew what a conversation starter bright, out-of-date, Hawaiian attire could be.

Honestly, I was a little embarrassed by all the attention, but I’m glad we did it. It was like a shout to the world that marriage can be fun. Can last. That you can still play together after 25 years.20140611_230050

At Trader Joe’s the comments on our floral glory drew attention to our special day. They gave us flowers. We bought dark chocolate and wine, which we shared later that night.

It was a different kind of anniversary celebration for us. We weren’t able to get away for an overnight. We didn’t escape to traipse around in the mountains like we often do on special occasions.

We ran around town.

We shopped.

We ate out.

It wasn’t really very Jerry and Paula-ish. We’re not big shoppers.

But it was glorious.

I bought Jerry really good new shoes. He bought me silver jewelry. Yes, his gift was more romantic, but I swear those are the best tennis shoes my man has ever worn!

It was a joy to buy each other gifts. There were years we couldn’t.

20140611_193408After the hoopla we returned home to dress for dinner. I wasn’t quite up to making a matching spectacle at the nice Italian place we’d chosen. Besides, when I shopped for a dress to wear to Bernice’s memorial service I couldn’t believe how many dresses actually fit, and I bought a special one and saved it for this special day, hoping Jerry would like it. Would think I looked yummy in it and show it. ;o)

He did.

I’m still stunned I can find clothes I like so easily after all those years of hating everything, struggling to find something that fit, much less looked okay.

How foreign to like buying clothes again after my weight loss journey.

Weird.

And wonderful.

20140611_205508But back to our special day.

The beautiful dining experience that evening included live music and elegant food paired with a lovely wine.

Being the writer I am I people-watched in between those moments of staring deeply into my lover’s eyes. ;o)

Some people didn’t seem that happy. It was like it wasn’t special to  them to eat that good food, to stare at each other across the table, to enjoy a beautiful atmosphere and glass of good wine.

To them it was just another Friday night.

“If it ever gets to the point  that we do this all the time, and we suddenly realize it’s no longer special, let’s just stop,” I said.

Jerry agreed.

Life is too precious to blaze past beautiful moments.

I don’t ever want to take gifts for granted.

I hope I won’t.

Our normal is a meal at home, and these days there are less and less faces around that table, but every one who is there is precious and every meal we share a joy.

And oh the glory when those kids all come home and crowd around the table! Every time someone thanks me for the meal, every time we’re together like that I feel the gift of such a commonplace thing and think it extraordinary, even though it happens at some level pretty much weekly.

So maybe there’s hope that a special meal like the one on our anniversary night won’t lose the magic either, even if it becomes a new normal when the kids skitter away to build their own nests.

If it does, I hope I’ll quit going to nice restaurants.

Life is full of gifts.

Some are very simple. Like the aroma of freshly popped popcorn.

Some are extravagant, like four dresses in one day.

But all are there for the taking–a little notice, a little unwrapping, a little celebrating.

Until Next Time,

paula cropped

A Trick for Healthier Protein Shakes

shakesRead an interesting article I believe is pertinent for me and for any of you using protein shakes. As I’ve shared before I lost over 50 pounds on the BENew weight loss system formulated for healthier bodies, not just slimmer ones. Combined with my daily dose of Body Balance, I progressed from a place of physical distress to a stronger, more fit me.

Many of us use protein shakes in our health journey, not just for weight loss. It’s widely believed that whey protein isolate is the best. (This is what is in the BENew shakes I’ve used for the last year and a half.) Whey protein isolate is easily absorbed, helps build leaner muscle, and helps fight fat. (I’d link you to the article but believe it or not it was in a PRINT magazine, and I don’t even remember which one.)

Here’s the trick I read about: Be careful about over-mixing your whey protein as it can render it less effective! Over-blending breaks down the protein and reduces its ability to do all the wonderful things it is designed to do! I’ve shared how I enjoy mixing fruit into my BENew shakes. Since reading the article I’m doing befullthat differently.

First I blend my almond milk with my frozen or fresh fruit and oats or whatever I’m adding that day, THEN, after the shake is well blended, I add my protein powder and mix very briefly.

My lunch today? Vanilla BENew mixed in AFTER I blended peaches, nectarines, and almond milk. Mmmm . . .

Hope you find this quick tip helpful!

Authenticity, Courage, My Hubby, and DtC

For a year and a half I’ve let it all “hang out” here at A BeNew Journey. I’ve admitted my struggles with weight, with cravings, with grace. I’ve invited you to taste the hopes and successes even as I’ve invited you to walk through the struggles with me. In return I’ve been given the grace of wonderful support from you, my readers, friends, and fellow bloggers. You’ve cheered me on, wept with me, and shared your stories, too. Thank you.

This weekend my husband did something incredible. He began his own journey of public authenticity.1597648_10202467803671428_1674233776_o Over the years he’s allowed me to share bits of our story, but on Sunday he wrote a blog post that gives a glimpse into one of his most personal areas of struggle and pain, and he talks about how he is processing out of old paradigms to overcome.

Marking my weight loss journey through this blog has been a bit of an unveiling so I can succeed. It’s taken courage to talk about this place of shame in my years of obesity and courage to invite you into my successes. Jerry’s latest two blogs, Before and After with the DtC Movement Part I and II, are the beginning of his own courageous unveiling. I gave him permission to start with my story. I was thrilled when he used it for a springboard for his own.

Please take a moment to visit his new website, DtC Zone, to catch a glimpse of how finding the courage to face financial struggles can be a launchpad into hope and success.

I’m proud of my courageous husband. I’ve watched with awe as he has fought for the last few years to enter a place of pain and push through to the other side. He grabbed hold of a new way of thinking. Once he grasped this new paradigm, he then had to learn to walk it out. He is doing so with determination and faith, looking consistently to His God for direction and asking God to teach him to be the provider he desires to be for the family he loves.

Jerry and I are very excited about the DTC movement and how this new concept combines a tried and true method of producing income with the innovation and opportunities of this new age of social media.

I invite you to follow Jerry’s blog. To glimpse his own journey of transformation as you have mine.  If you intrigued, then why not follow the links he’s provided and consider not only watching, but entering this journey with him.

I entrust you into the hands of the man who has taken good care of me. I know Jerry will be faithful and loyal to those of you who choose to journey with him. His track record is proven by the loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness the kids and I have enjoyed the last 25 years.

Photo Phobia? Oh, Brother.

Remember my post a while back about totally freaking out that I had a photo shoot? That I almost canceled because I felt so insecure about everything: how I looked, the few pounds I”d gained in the last couple of months of grief, having the “right” clothes, and all that silly girl stuff.

I write this blog with tears in my eyes.IMG_5685art 567x720

I love my photos. A friend who prayed me through my freak-out told me, “your smile is genuine and sweet.”

Oh, grace upon grace. A genuine smile after all that self-deprecating crap I’d put myself through.

These photos are a complete and total gift. I can’t wait to update the photos on my author website. (Those photos, too, were a complete and perfect gift at the time. That photographer, Kim Liddiard, is amazing.) But 50 plus pounds of weight loss was also a gift, and I look forward to the new-sized me on that site, too.

I’m still awed that my Creator saw fit to let me be a BENew beta tester and to help me through the physical and mental changes necessary to drop the extra pounds.

And now He does it again, abundance overflowing, with new head shot, a gift of Sandy Puc Photography. The ladies behind the camera did much to help bring forward my “genuine” smile, as you know from the post I wrote that day. They had a gift for making me comfortable as well as for capturing the real me. The gals there helped me pick the best shots when I felt overwhelmed, and the generosity of the studio blows me away. I can see why my friend and fellow author Megan DiMaria enjoys working there, and I’m grateful she mentioned me to them when they were talking about photographing women who’d gone through weight loss.

My heart is full.

To think I almost squandered this gift out of fear of not being “enough” that day. Oh, Jesus, will I ever learn?

Why, oh why do I fear the good things You give to me and to my family.

Help me to accept your gifts opened-handed, without fear, without worrying that I am not enough to handle them. Help me not to hide when you want me to step out.

Thank you, faithful blogging friends for your support on my scared day. Thank you for cheering me even when I can’t do that for myself. Thank you for helping me be vulnerable by telling me it matters to you and helps you be real, too.

IMG_5688art 567x720

 

Until Next time,

paula cropped