Category Archives: The Early Weight Loss Journey

Weight Loss Journey Day 52

meauring tapeCan I celebrate with you? Down 2.5 inches in my bust, 4 inches in my waist, and 3 inches in my hips!! Thighs and arms are smaller, too. I want to keep losing, and will keep working at this, but if I never lose another inch or lb it is so worth it. I feel so much stronger, have so much more energy.

I’m praising God for this gift!!! Walked almost 4 miles tonight and really didn’t even feel it. I called my dad for his birthday and we talked while I walked for an hour. It was so cool to catch up with him while I exercised.

And I’ve found some great deals on gifts for the kids—clearance stuff like $7 for a $47 shirt!  That $100 Jerry gave me is s-t-r-e-c-h-i-n-g.                                                    ~December 14, 2012

Real Time Update:

I haven’t measured in a couple of weeks, but on January 31st I was down 19.75 inches!

What About You?

Sometimes the inches show more about weight loss than the scale does. Have you found that to be true? Do you weigh, measure, or both?

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Weight Loss Journey Day 51

hobbit kids

David and Sarah, Sam and a friend–and Gandolph, of course!

Ugh! Days like this are hard.

One appointment to the next. No time to exercise . . . and went to the midnight showing of The Hobbit with the kids. That was fun . . but . . . all those slender children of mine think a midnight showing means tons of high calories snacks.

I did eat more than 1200 today, but my whole goal for this exercise loss has been to tackle it in a way that I can maintain once the weight is down. I want to feel “normal” so I can live like this later.

So . . .  instead of not eating after 7:30, which has been my goal since I started 6 weeks ago, and instead of feeling deprived of no snacks at the theater, I made adjustments. I cut up an apple and covered the slices with lemon juice and slipped that, some lower calorie popcorn, and two water bottles into my purse.

I did indulge in half of a homemade cookie that Seth’s friend’s girlfriend baked and two miniature candies Sarah brought to share. So I had a little junk. But mostly I made healthier choices than I would have in the past.

hobbit paula

Gandolph and me

Looking at my calorie intake for today I would have been able to do that AND make my calorie goal if I’d fit in a way to exercise. But some days are just like this. The point is I’m making CHANGES and not giving up.

Real Time Update:

I’m reminded that losing weight is a marathon not a sprint–at least for people like me who let too much weight pile up before dealing with it.

But be encouraged, my friend! Mindfulness about food, exercising, taking healthy products to support you, all of that kind of thing PAYS OFF.

I’m daily blown away with how much better I feel. It’s not just that I’m wearing cute clothes again or getting all kind of compliments, it’s that I feel like ME again.

I know I’ve said it before, but it is huge to start to feel normal. To be almost the size you were intended to be when God created you. I didn’t even know I no longer felt like me. The weight came on slowly, and life just moved forward. Then I woke up and realized I had to deal with what had happened to my body. And as I did, I rediscovered myself.

And I’m loving it.

(BTW, the coat in this picture was the one I wrote about a while back that was given to me in answer to prayer a few years ago. I’ve enjoyed wearing it for several winters . . . but it’s too big now! Time to check out some winter clearance racks!)

What About You?

How do you handle the snacks at movies or other special events? Have you had an experience when you surprised yourself by feeling like the true YOU when you didn’t expect it?

Weight Loss Journey Day 50

I’m under calorie count today because I burned over 500 calories exercising! (I’m learning I can stay satisfied on the amount of calories I eat as long as I earn at least 300 by exercising. That means I actually ingest 1500 or so, but burn 300 so my count stays around 1200.) Today I earned over 500, then didn’t get around to eating them all. Crazy! When I first started this journey anything under 2,000 seemed like torture!

After my surprise prayer adventures, I often start off walking without a plan and ask the Lord to show me where to go. Today, I made a point to walk around the elementary school again now that I know more specifically how to pray for those kids and teachers. I prayed that the 50% hired back would be hand-picked by the Lord to help move the school toward healing, and that those left without a job would be led to the right place for this stage in their life/career. I also prayed for the kids, for the families, for community people who will be a part of the healing.

After I finished I walked past an empty strip mall that was very close to the school. I found myself praying for a church to build there that would know how to care for the needs of the families of that school.

Then I kept wandering, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me, and ended up walking to the nearest high school just as they let out. I mingled in the crowds, praying silently for the kids I walked by, for the school, for the teachers. I also prayed specifically for the baseball team, since my boys play on it.

I still weigh 190 lbs. Ready to drop again. I’m told sometimes you stall out, but I don’t like it.                                        ~December 12, 2012

BeNew Outside 2

A recent picture taken about 2 pounds ago. Unfortunately the sun was in my eyes so my face looks a little weird!

Real Time Update:

After I wrote the above I plateaued briefly at 190, then dropped another 7 pounds pretty quickly. Then things slowed again.

I’m now another 60ish days into the weight loss journey and down to roughly 175 pounds, which puts total weight loss of 35 pounds. I gotta tell you, the last ten has come off MUCH more slowly than the first 25! But the point is that it continues to come off!

I don’t know if I can prove this scientifically, but it feels like my body needs some time to adjust in between losses now. I’ll be frustrated for a while, then suddenly drop 3 or 4 pounds. But I’m learning not to get too excited when I start dropping again because it doesn’t last too long before the weight loss slows again.

Weight Loss Journey Day 49

steak

Photo courtesy of free-extras.com

I didn’t have time to exercise today and didn’t want to go way over calorie count like I did last Tuesday, so I was very intentional about eating. For breakfast I had my shake. At lunch I ate a huge salad and a little grilled chicken and fruit. I didn’t love it, but it was a lot of food, only 240 calories, and kept me full until supper.

The boys cooked, which meant spaghetti.

Carbs. UGH.

But I ate light. I felt the need for protein so found some leftover skillet steak. Even with all that I was only -7 at the end of the day. But . . . and here’s the surprise . . . I almost felt too full after supper!

I’m definitely changing.

Real Time Update:

My body is starting to help me make good choices instead of whining at me for more food than I need. But I have to listen carefully and stop just before I think I’m full. If I keep eating until full, then I’m usually too full within 30 minutes.

Listening to my body doesn’t mean listening to my emotions. Sometimes they still rear their silly little heads and cry out to be satisfied by food–which never works.

I want to be more intentional about eating slowly and waiting a while before thinking I need more food. I’m finding truth in the old saying that you feel more full as time goes by. When I eat too quickly I often eat more than I need, then feel too full within 30 minutes.

Something else that helps is making a meal about rest, atmosphere, and fellowship. There really is something to lighting a candle, sharing good conversation, and taking your time with a meal.

It is also really hard to resist mindless eating when there is a screen in front of me and snacks close by. At our small group on Sunday there were crackers and popcorn on the table in front of us. It was really hard not to mindlessly eat while I watched the speaker on the DVD. I didn’t totally blow off all my hard work to learn to eat right, but I did eat more popcorn than I should have. Next time I hope I can measure out a certain amount and stick with my plan!

What About You?

What does your eating time look like? Have you found that being intentional about enjoying the food and fellowship of a meal helps reduce calorie intake? How does eating in front of the TV affect caloric intake?

Weight Loss Journey Day 48

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Photo courtesy of httpfree-extras.comimagesconfetti-1311.htm

Let the celebration begin! I can’t believe it! I stayed in calorie count though I went to a party and ate high calorie food. (I found I didn’t want very many sweets. I hear that as BeNew reshapes your nutrition this is part of the positive change, less sugar cravings! Yay!)

So much of being able to eat reasonable calorie counts and still lose weigh is about MOVEMENT. Exercise, baby! And it doesn’t have to be sweaty, pounding exercise. Just a walk. Or a swim. Or SOMETHING.

MANY people at the party commented on how much I’d lost. It’s fun to see the sparkle in Jerry’s eyes. He’s so proud of me. I felt better than I had in a long time and had a blast at the party.

This whole exercise/calories burn thing is confusing. At first I thought I burned more calories simply if I walked further, but that wasn’t always coming up true on my exercise app (I use Map My Run, but I’ve heard there’s also a Map My Walk).

Then I thought maybe it had to do with not only how far I walked, but how fast. But that wasn’t panning out either. I finally figured out that terrain also comes into play, for example, I burn more calories when I walk the route that takes me up and down smaller hills than I do when I climb up the very long hill (which is over a mile, I think) and then walk back down it. But I do burn more if I walk faster, too.            ~ December 10, 2012

Real Time Update:

I’ve done Pilates twice this week! It’s the first time in over a year. I couldn’t handle such exercise after my car accidents. I feel it in my neck and a little in my upper back, but I’m trying to give it a chance by modifying how I hold my head so as to put less strain on my neck. Just pulling out that DVD felt like a HUGE step forward in fully regaining my life.

Another huge step forward is that I actually wrote fiction this week–three whole chapters! Another first since that second accident last June.

The third huge step is returning to full responsibilities with my job as coordinator for ACFW Colorado, another ball I had to lay down after that last accident.

Now comes a new struggle with weight loss. Continuing BALANCE now that I am able to return to a full schedule with all the responsibilities I had set aside as I fought for healing and health after the car wrecks.

My head still acts up with extended time at the computer, so that helps me take breaks, but last week I still pushed too hard and didn’t keep to the goal of my (almost) daily walk. I’m determined to do better this week. I need the sunshine, the movement, the alone time with God and nature.

What About You?

Do you have a favorite exercise DVD or app? How do you find balance?

Weight Loss Journey Day 47

IMAG0291What a blessing to enjoy traditions even though the kids are (mostly) grown up. We had a lovely  family day. Sarah came home for the afternoon, and we made snowflakes for the living room window—our annual winter tradition.

I have so much more energy these days! I got up BEFORE church, made a southern breakfast (which I ate, just in lesser quantities), and mixed up homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone to enjoy with our traditional hot chocolate.

After my thoughts last week about needing a day of rest/worship/family time, I didn’t even try to exercise. I was about 1300 calories instead of 1200, but that’s not bad considering I had a few cookies! I ate light at supper—my shake and no extras in it. And I found I was content with herb tea (no calories) when the rest of the family had their hot chocolate. I didn’t feel left out or deprived. I just felt . . . intentional . . . as I made choices for less sweets and smaller meals, but still allowed myself a bit of cookie dough and a couple of small cookies during our family time. I love My Fitness Pal app. It keeps me accountable!

Oh! And a huge thing happened at church that encourages me to believe I’m hearing the Lord with these little nudges on my walk. I saw a young woman who teaches at the elementary school near our house—the one I thought the Lord told me to walk around a couple of times and pray for earlier this week. I told her about the experience, and she told me that the school has been taken over by the state for poor performance!

All the teachers will be fired at the end of the year, and only half will be invited back! I had prayed for hope as I walked around that school, not even knowing how hopeless things must feel for those there, having no idea what was going on! I’d also prayed for change, for revival. It’s incredible to think that the Holy Spirit is this personal, that He  shows a momma in Colorado how to pray about things she knew nothing about.                   ~December 9, 2012

Real Time Update:

Here we are two months later. I’ve been on this weight loss journey for 119 days. Last Thursday I shared that I took a week off from being bonded to My Fitness Pal. I wanted to see if I could keep losing weight without logging every calorie. I hoped I’d learned enough about eating well that it was now habit. Here’s what I noticed:

1) I mostly stuck to my new eating habits, but found it easier to snitch a piece of chocolate or something like that when I didn’t have to record it.

2) While I got in some exercise, that feeling of needing to burn calories to buy more at my meals was diminished, which resulted in less drive to get outside.

3) I lost weight at about the same rate I did the week before.

So, what’s the verdict? There’s NO way (in my mind) I could have changed my eating habits early on without the help of a calorie tracker. However, I’m pretty wise now about what I can and can’t do. Still, the accountability helps.

I thought about returning to My Fitness Pal, but my husband suggested I try to apply what I learned this week and fix it instead of going back to the more rigid approach. That said, I’m going to give this idea one more week. But if I don’t lose, I’m back to recording every bite.

I do have a mother-of-the-bride dress to buy!

Weight Loss Journey Day 45

Jerry and I attended a Christmas party for a company he’s done a little work for.  I ate carefully during the day, took small portions at the party, and stayed within calorie count! I’m a far cry from the girl in October who couldn’t deal with birthday celebrations. Oh, I go over calorie count as I did on Tuesday, but I’m so much better.

IMAG0603To be honest, I felt a little uptight about going. The father of this family has been known to make $100,000 in a month, and I can’t even compute such a thing. His goal is to earn a solid million next year. His giving goal is to single-handedly finance a revival campaign in Africa to the tune of a million dollars.

As I’m being remade inside and out, I have to deal with my concept of money. It was almost as if the church environment where I grew up believed it was holy to have little. Oh we spent money on stuff, just bragged about our great finds and sale prices. As an adult, I have more earning power than I’ve used because I want to be home with the children. For years, we’ve chosen to live on one salary. With my husband having an entrepreneur’s spirit, our finances have gone up and done as the businesses he built did the same. In the Bible the Apostle Paul said he knew how to be abased and how to abound. (Funny how  I remember the old King James language even though I rarely read that version now.) I know, at least at some level, how to be abased.

I’m ready to learn how to abound.

Our financial ups and downs have given opportunity for me to learn about God’s provision. We’ve done without a lot of stuff, but never without what was needed. Even in bad times I’ve often had enough in the freezer and pantry to share with others who struggle.

One year I told the Lord I needed a new coat. Soon after my friend, Jan, gave me one. She’s about the only female I know with arms as long as mine, and it fit perfectly! Over the years the kids have had amazing opportunities that I still don’t know how we paid for except that we prayed, and God provided.

That felt a bit cavalier. Struggling financially is awful. I’ve cried more times than anyone but the Lord knows. And there were times I couldn’t contain the struggle and burst into tears at really embarrassing places, like a check-out counter at the grocery store.

It’s hard to learn to trust God in this area, to pray in free-lance writing projects or book contracts for me and product sales for my husband. I hate it, but I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned for anything. It’s been hard on the kids, but there was a maturity forged in them through such struggles. It positively impacted their work ethic and taught them about faith, family, and perseverance.

I sense the LORD moving in our finances. Since Jerry has started working at Life Force International I’ve been blown away by the opportunities given him, as well as the healthy attitude from the company about money. I sense someday soon I will be faced with a new learning curve, discovering how to abound financially.

I pray if that happens money will be a tool, not an idol. That I can feel the freedom to enjoy what is given me, but that I can also be generous. There is no shame in having money. And I’m thinking Jerry and I may finally have grown enough to be trusted with it.

Real Time Update:

It’s funny what comes out in a weight loss journal. But doesn’t all of life affect all of us? I KNOW I’ve eaten to out of feelings of being deprived due to financial lack. I’m learning to think before eating mindlessly, that food doesn’t fix emotion (unless I’m truly in a blood sugar low because I NEED healthy food.) I want my transformation to be complete–inside, outside, upside down me! And if I’m living NEW and FREE, I gotta deal with money attitudes . . .

How About You?

What issues connect to your eating habits that surprise you?