Category Archives: Maintaining Weight Loss

Weigh In Wednesday ~ Old Advice with a Powerful New Aha!

Yup. I know. You thought I was too full of bemoaning my revolving front door and emptying nest to think about Wednesdays.

I made a plan I didn’t stick to, promising you I’d post about weight and healthy living once a week. Heck, lately I haven’t even posted once a week, much less in a ordered fashion. For those of you who once looked to Wednesdays for that little nudge of encouragement on your journey to better health, I’m sorry I wasn’t here.

The good news is I’m bursting with stuff to share with you today. Some of it is new (to me), and some revisits what we’ve talked about before.

First off, can I just say the sunshine is absolutely glorious?

2015-5h

After above average rainfall I’m loving the sunshine AND getting back outside. As my good friend Marie of I Walk Alone reminded me last week, walking is good for what ails us, including empty nest grief.

I LOVE the more active lifestyle I began in 2012 when I starting walking to help drop those unwanted pounds, and I am determined not to lose the ability to enjoy the more physical aspects of life.

Today I walked with a new friend on a new trail. Everything was fresh and green.

2015-5b

Flowers bloomed.

2015-5fhh

2015-5fe

We even saw ducks!

2015-5c

Does it get any better? My oft-repeated advice I repeat once again. Get outside! Move! Enjoy some sunshine. As Rachelle Gardner reminded me in her post, On Self Care and Being Humble, taking care of ourselves is not wasted time!

Second (and here’s the old advice with the new aha), I heard something interesting on the radio this morning. According to some study–sorry I missed which one–can you guess the WORST thing you can do for weight-related issues?

Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself you’re fat.

Now that wasn’t earth-shattering for me, but I made some connections I hadn’t before. The DJ mentioned Zig Ziglar teaches that goal-setting should be done in front of the mirror in the form of positive affirmations. For example stand there and say, “I’m thin” or “I’m good with money” or whatever it is you want to accomplish.

My brother, who recently launched a podcast that quickly reached the “new and noteworthy” list told me to state my dreams as already reached. He says it feels weird at first but that you’re not lying, you’re simply stating future realities.

A friend had a slightly different approach. He spoke to his subconscious. He told himself that the extra weight he carried was damaging his health, and that it was imperative he the lose weight. He explained the specific health issues he faced, then he asked himself to help him exercise and resist unhealthy food choices. He dropped pounds quickly and is now–in a short space of time–more fit than I’ve ever seen him.

To be honest the above concepts sounded a little like psychological mumbo-jumbo to me, but because of my own weight loss journey and how deeply my thoughts and self-talk affected my success or lack thereof, I’ve been listening. Still . . . some of it seemed a little off the deep end.

But the DJ on the radio brought it together for me this morning when he said, “after all, isn’t this just renewing our minds like the Bible talks about? And besides, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.'”*

Whew. It all came together for me then.

Maybe that study is right. THE most powerful tool in our getting healthy journey is our mind.

So, what are you going to say to your mirror? I, for one, am trashing the trash talk and speaking future realities.

And about these Weigh In Wednesdays? Here’s my mirror words for today: I am an advocate of healthy, joyful living and sharing about it on my blog on Wednesdays is a priority!

Until Next Time,

paula-another-test-401x192-2

*Romans 12: 2; Proverbs 23:7

The Glory of a Walk in the Sunshine

1 sAfter a couple weeks of abnormal cold and snowfall, Colorado has finally been released to the blue skies and sunshine that makes much of the country covet our little neck of the wood (or plains as the case may be.) What’s especially glorious about living in Denver this time of year is the incredible views of the snow covered mountain peeks.

After curling up and ignoring the snow and grey skies for the last two weeks, I’ve finally came out of hibernation as the sun and blues skies lured me into the fresh air.

It started last Friday with walking up and down main street in a small town north of us. 1 mountainsHubby and I enjoyed exploring the little shops and sampling one of the best cups of chai we’ve ever had. (If you ever have the choice for bhakti chai vs . . .  well, any of the others, it’s bhakti all the way!)

While I got in some decent exercise, I can’t claim it helped my efforts toward a smaller summer waistline because my husband couldn’t resist the pie factory at the end of the road. I’m positive that whatever calories we walked off found their way back on as we plopped on a park bench and enjoyed a blackberry/raspberry pie. (Both our favorites–blackberry for him, raspberry for me, all in one!) Thankfully, it was a not full-sized pie. This is especially good because we ate every single last bite. He even licked the pan!

After this indulgence, however, I am happy to report that more fruits and veggies (and less unhealthy foods) have found their way into my mouth in the following days, and that I got a walk in every single day since! Those Colorado skies are simply irresistible.

As I browsed online today I found an article that made me feel even better about the walking habit. It’s called Why Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too. According to this article walking not only improves health, productivity, communication, but also makes us at least 60% more creative. Need proof? Many of the creative giants like Beethoven and Charles Dickens were known walkers!

So lace up those tennies.

See you in the sunshine,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Movin’ Like Skinny (Weighin’ in on Wednesday)

It’s the old mindset, pure and simple.

The other day hubby told me I “moved skinny.” Then said, “You must feel skinny.”

And you know what? That day I did. My mood was light. I had music on. I felt healthy and energetic.

His words have me pondering.

Why, at my new weight, do I have days I DON’T move skinny?

Or feel skinny.

It’s been 2 years since I lost weight. But sometimes I still see myself as much heavier than I am.

Honestly, sometimes in my head I’m fifty or more pounds over weight. I feel sluggish. I feel the discouragement of weight gain. In the mirror of my mind sometimes I see this:

1 heavy

 

When I’m more like this:

1 thin

 

In reality, I’ve gained a little from my lowest point, but I still move skinny. I still live better and stronger. I still fit into my new clothes.

I think my husband hit on something important that day.

What happens to me when I start thinking heavy again? I am sluggish. I eat more. I move less and with greater effort.

When I remember I’ve changed and am changing, I have more self-control. I want to be active. I am more energetic.

I think that was as true as I was losing weight as now when I seek to maintain the weight loss. So much is in the MIND. What do I see THERE? What self-talk am I allowing?

Do I see an overcomer? Do I tell myself I CAN?

Or do I allow my past struggles to define me?

I’m shocked to be dealing with this issue again two years later. It’s easy to forget the hard-earned mindset of one who believes in who she is becoming instead of who she’s been.

But whether we’re losing weight or maintaining the loss, it’s imperative.

Thinking skinny helps me feel skinny which helps me move skinny which helps me BE skinny!

Until Next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Weigh-in Wednesday: Getting Our Groove On

Person-weighing-themselve-007Whether I’m simply a wimp or getting older, I can’t say. But the cold outside is more of a deterrent than when I began walking in 2012. As you know from last week’s post I’m seeking to let go of those pounds I found again before I find all that weight I lost.

(Isn’t maintenance a bear?)

I have to admit the fact I can still fit into my new clothes makes me a little lazy. But I know I’m on the cusp of not. There are a few I’ve avoided wearing because they don’t look so great now.

In my journey to losing over 50 pounds I learned that a more active lifestyle really is one of the most important ingredients in health and body care–but it’s February here in Colorado. Too often the sky gray instead of blue, and my nose and toes are cool to the touch even inside our home. My love of walking wanes, and while I’ve thought about joining an exercise class, scheduling a car is difficult in our family. I really need to be active at home.

This happened last week. The gloomy weather didn’t exactly help the gloomy mood clouding my attitude. After curling up in my comfy chair and journaling, I wasn’t feeling any better. (An exercise video didn’t even cross my mind.) I was out and out grumpy.

Then I felt that Voice inside.

He said, “Dance.”

Dance?

Talk about resistance. I didn’t feel like. I didn’t want to. I was sad and mopey and low on energy.

Dance?

But the Voice persisted, and I cranked a favorite worship CD.

Anyone peeking in the window would probably laugh. But my Creator did no such thing. I could feel His pleasure as I danced because He asked me to. The words and melodies of the music nourished my soul and pushed back the negativity that had cloaked me.

The clouds lifted.

I’m not a particularly good dancer, folks. Not only do I have no training, but as a child the religion of our family said dancing just might be evil, so I don’t have much practice either.

free-dancer-2

Image found at Silvialioci

While I would love to know more about how to dance well, beneath the art form there is something even more important.

Simply giving my body over to movement, to joy, to release.

To freedom!

Dancing (whether to a symphony, rock and roll, or my worship CD) can be, in it’s deepest place, an offering to the One who created it and me.

(And the great thing about where I am right now? It burns calories and makes my body stronger, too. Dancing is not only effective, but fun! A great tool to add to our healthy body tool belt.)

So . . . how about it? Let’s crank that Ipod and get our groove on!

Until Next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

 

Weigh-in Wednesday: Let’s Get Real!

IMAG0191Let’s get real!

It isn’t that we don’t know the path to better health. While we each may have physical limitations or allergies unique to us, we know the basics: Increase activity. Decrease intake. Eat fresh.

So if we know what it takes why is it so hard to lose weight and maintain a healthier body?

It’s a bear to establish healthy habits, but it’s just as difficult to continue them once goals are met–at least for me.

Am I the only out here?

(I know I’m not.)

With all the renovations on my house the only part of my body that grew stronger were painting muscles. My walking legs aren’t quite as muscled and the middle is going soft again.

And I let it happen after all that work to drop 55 pounds and get strong after those car accidents!

So I’m trying to re-establish the healthy choices that brought much freedom and joy back into my life before the ease of movement slips away again.

IMAG0200

The brave and beautiful Jennifer bundled in several layers to walk with me today!

Yesterday I chose to walk while I took a phone call. Today I asked a friend to walk with me. I’m an extrovert, so being in community while I walk gives me that little extra joy I need to keep my feet moving. I know I need to return to this activity even when it’s a solitary endeavor, and I’ll get there, but for now having a friend helps!

Jennifer bundled up to stay cozy in the cold and we enjoyed the fresh (though slightly nippy) air, avoided the goose poop, and had a good long conversation uninterrupted by the real world.

Honestly, it was heavenly!

How about you? Would calling a friend make it more fun to be active today?

Weigh-in Wednesday: Mindset

Wondering about my mindset.

Here’s the thing. My jeans are tighter than this time last year. I want to care. I want to do something about that. I know how.

But mostly I ignore it.

I worked hard for the weight loss. I LOVE feeling stronger and healthier. I don’t want to go back to less energy, less health, less wholeness.

annieBut here I am–breaking one of my most successful mindsets. Instead of taking each moment and making the next good decision, I’m putting it off until tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll start back on a routine for strengthening. Next week I’ll get more walks in. It’s too late in the evening for a snack? Tomorrow I’ll care. Pass the mashed potatoes, please. I don’t want any more veggies.

I can almost hear Annie singing to my body, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love ya, tomorrow. It’s only a day a way!”

Ugh . . .

 

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

Weighin’ In

ginger_crystallized_in_dark_front1900

Yes. A great favorite of mine. Hard to resist

You gotta know when God gives you a cool new understanding of a big concept like I talked about last week, that it will be tested.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve caught the words, “I am overwhelmed” coming out of my mouth. When I did I tried to rephrase quickly. “I mean, I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I know God is never overwhelmed, and He’ll help me.”

It’s been a while since I’ve kept my commitment to you to post about weight loss on Wednesdays. I am determined to do so this week mostly because it is after midnight on Tuesday night, and i just made a bunch of bad choices. I figure confession is good for the soul.

After an incredibly full day I determined to keep my word to get a round of edits to a free-lance editing client. Throughout the day I’d attempted to finish this work, but it needed more germinating time than I anticipated, meaning I’d open the document, play with the structure, and feel confused about why it wasn’t working. Then I’d get frustrated and paint something (we’re doing remodeling at our house, pictures soon!) or visit Facebook.

This happened repeatedly.

It was about bedtime when the thoughts simmered enough to become cohesive, and I tackled the project, determined to finish.

It is now 12:17 a.m.

almonds_and_sea_salt_front_1900

This is good, too

I started out pretty well. When the weariness hit and I reached for energy I first chose an apple and water, such a healthy snack as my fingers flew across the laptop on my keyboard.

Unfortunately, that morphed into dark chocolate and almond milk before midnight hit. The good news is I didn’t eat an entire bar.

The good news is also that if I was going to indulge I’m glad it was my favorite brand.

The bad news is that it was two different flavors of my favorite brand and more little pieces than I care to count. (I did resist the third flavor in my cabinet, raspberries in dark chocolate, but I digress.)

And so here I am, clicking away on this blog, thinking that too many choices like this, and the weight I lost will find me again. Thinking that I want to be a writer but that sitting at my computer burns roughly 100 calories an hour, and I don’t even want to consider how many calories I just consumed, especially since I inhaled a calorie-rich supper and half a hot-fudge Sunday before beginning my midnight vigil.

I like to think there are some positive, take-away tidbits when I write about this stuff, even in my bad choices. I suppose the most profound thought I have at this moment is how very easy it is to return to old habits, even after two years of making better choices.

I comfort myself with the reminder that each day is a new beginning. One choice doesn’t undo all the good accomplished. And maybe, just maybe, admitting my step backwards in this public way will help me choose those steps forward.

And honestly? Chocolove rocks. My editing goals were accomplished. I have a soft, warm bed waiting for me. Tomorrow’s rain forecast was cancelled, and I have the opportunity to take a nice, long walk.

His mercies are new EVERY morning.

Until next time,

paula cropped

 

Tromping on All or Nothing (Again)

Peace in the midst of chaos. Balance. You’d think I’d be better at it. I’ve had ample opportunity to learn.

I think (hope) I’ve made progress in cultivating joy in times of emotional struggle and sorrow. But old habits creep up in new places.

During early marriage there were a few phrases I heard often from my husband. One was, “it’s not all or nothing, honey.”

Here on A Benew Journey we’ve talked often about taking back our lives. I shared my story of how being benched help me learn to care about my own needs and find a healthier lifestyle, prioritizing my emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Enter the new test of balance: Overwhelming Good!

When my husband and I returned  from helping go through my mother-in-law‘s home we were emotionally and physically fatigued. God and loved ones met us with a wonderful surprise. A friend told me she’d prayed for years for an opportunity to bless our family. This came when she was able to gift us not only materials for a face-lift to parts of our home, but also her expertise. Having just remodeled her own house, she knew how to do things we didn’t.

10645234_10204219778229697_3251294756801228991_n

While we were gone she and our children dug in, pulling down old, out-dated wallpaper, emptying shelf after shelf of books, and reshaping the walls so they would look beautiful when painted.

IMAG0565

Notice the gratitude wall in the hallway . . .

Then my friend ordered the materials to rebuild our ancient privacy fence. These answers to years of prayer overwhelmed me with gratitude. After taking a day to unpack and assimilate, I dug in thinking I’d have a brand-new family room in a week, and that if the boys helped on a week-end we’d have the post holes dug. My friend and I could leisurely add the other boards while my husband was at work.

IMAG0605

It’s not quite what happened. We are on day 19 or 20 of the family room project, and only about half the holes are dug and filled with cement and a new pole. (And that much only happened with several friends pitching in.)

This morning I felt the call to be still. To talk these wonderful (though somewhat challenging) situations over with the Lord. I have other work to do, commitments to keep. I’ve been skipping my walks (isn’t painting enough exercise?) and giving into less healthy food choices out of exhaustion. I want to bury myself in this project. To GET IT DONE.

This morning I realized it isn’t just the bad that gets me out of balance. It’s the good. The exciting projects. The work I love. I felt His whisper, His reminder to be on guard against all or nothing living. (I guess He and Jerry are on the same page.) That what is accomplished in this day is sufficient. That healthy choices are important and pushing too long and hard, even in the good things, is a step backward not only in my physical health journey, but my joy. In my life.

There will always be overwhelming tasks. It is my goal to be a wildly productive woman. But if I forget the moments–If I don’t embrace life on the overwhelmingly busy days, then I’m back to square one, rushing, but not living. Meeting goals without enjoying the beauty of moments well lived.

I painted over my gratitude wall, my 1000 little breathless moments recorded in multi-colored magic marker. (We won’t talk about how many coats of paint it took to cover the marks of the orange sharpies!) As we painted I felt those thanksgivings were the foundations of the new, beautiful space. The color I chose is called “refreshed.” And that’s what noticing life’s good moments did for me, it refreshed my heart, helped it live more fully alive.

IMAG0620

Beneath these beautiful, refreshed walls is a foundation of 1,000 moments of beauty, things noticed by choice, by slowing down and savoring. Gifts from the hand of Creator God who gives all good things.

My BeNew journey continues. When the good (or difficult) things in life bring unexpected responsibilities, when something wonderful happens that requires more hours than I dreamed, I can’t live all or nothing, throwing myself into conquering the project. I’m learning to prioritize life. The moments. The beauty. The healthy choices that keep me strong for the next project.

Two days ago I completed bookshelf #1. Non-fiction neatly alphabetized and housed in cases of misty surf and calming celadon. (blue-gray and green)

IMAG0619

Do not be deceived. This bookcase is now full!

Tomorrow I’ll paint and hang a homemade bookcase for my fiction collection. Or maybe that will wait until next week. But it will get done. And I will chose to sleep. To be responsible with other commitments and not just bury in this project. I will take time to make Sam homemade biscuits. I will pray. Enjoy the outdoors. Breath the fragrance of fall and actually notice it.

How about you, my friend? Are you resisting tunnel vision? Are you living life, breathing in the breathless moments, or just conquering time?

As you work, embrace joy. See the faces of those you love. Hear their words. Taste your food. Have a little fun . . .

IMAG0586Until Next Time,

moldenhauer signature3

 

Walking and Weighin’ and Being Sensible

Sense-and-Sensibility-Kate-Winslet-kate-winslet-16177546-1296-912

Photo from fanpop.com

Evidently I have great timing. Twice this week I’ve started a walk under cloud cover and ended up getting soak. Like Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility I begin with a blind optimism that I won’t get caught in the rain. Then I do.

I suppose like her the truth is I haven’t minded so much. After the heat of some very hot days a little cool and wet feels like refreshment.

And no, a handsome man did not come and rescue me, though my husband did attempt to  on his way home from work. I was only a block from home by the time he caught up to me so he just grinned through his open window and followed me around the corner. I grinned back through dripping eyelashes.

I’m feeling more optimistic than I have since I decided I needed the accountability of a Weigh-In Wednesday. The scale has receded instead of continuing its rising. I’ve taken walks despite the rain, and with the exception of one day this weekend when I watched the Lord of the Rings marathon and enjoyed all the treats lining our family room counter, I’ve been mostly sensible about my food intake.

(I was very good on Monday to make up for Sunday’s indulgence! Light and healthy!)

My rainy walk last Thursday included some tiny hail pellets. Yes, I do live in Colorado. 94 degrees that morning, stifling heat, then the rain and ice. ICE.

Tuesday’s walk started with glorious reminders of the beauty of summer.

20140729_150510

Soon the trickles started.

20140729_153052

I made it half-way through my walk before the rain got heavy.

20140729_153723

It grew in intensity for the mile and a half back home. Me walking, the cars splashing past.

20140729_154256

By the time I rounded the last corner the water rushed down the street next to me.

20140729_154656

I was soaked (picture coming on Friday).

But I have to say my attitude rocked. It doesn’t always, so I’m celebrating this fact and hoping it shows some sort of wonderful resilience forged in the fires of life. (More on that on Friday’s post, too.)

How are you doing this fine Wednesday? What successes are spurring you on in your journey of health? Where is it raining on your parade?

The rain will come. But even if it overcomes us there is One who is good who carries us to safety.

The One who cares sees every struggle of our heart and body. He is not callous to our pain. His heart is tender. He longs for us to call upon Him, to let Him take action. To be strong for us in our time of weakness, whether in our bodies or our hearts.

Hang onto your successes. Make good choices for health one at a time. Lean on the Creator when your energy and hope wanes.

Let’s do this thing!

Until next time,

moldenhauer signature3