Tag Archives: benew

I Am the Artist

A friend of mine wrote this and posted it to Facebook. Such a valuable concept that I’ve been thinking about it over and over. Too often I’ve given the very design of my life over to others. To their opinions or expectations. But when the metal hits the road, I am the responsible for my own canvas. I choose to look to the Creator with a capital C to help me discover all He intended for this canvas. I often seek wisdom from the world around me, trustworthy people, good books. But in the end I choose. Thanks, David, for giving me permission to share this!

I AM THE ARTIST by David G. Colister

I am the artist and I am the artwork on the canvas of my life.

This canvas is and always will be mine. If it bears unwanted graffiti then I did not guard well enough my canvas. If my painting lacks the color, perspective, style, composition, or mastery I desire to represent my life then only I, the artist, am responsible.

If I lack the talent, tools, resources, and vision necessary to paint my life’s picture as I desire it, then I must devote the time, effort, study, ingenuity, and discipline necessary to realize the beauty I want for my life. And I will remind myself, demand of myself, and force myself, with all vigilance, to own up to the quality of my artwork at all times and in all stages of its development. My life is my design.

I must deny the incessant interruptions that would distract or delay my work. I must persevere in refusing access to the endless line of uninspired critics who insist on invading, without invitation, the studio of my mind.

I find nothing more heinous than the thought of someone forcing me to paint upon my canvas according to their vision. I will not let this happen no matter how much I admire, need, or fear a person — be it a relative, lover, friend, boss, co-worker, financier, celebrity, or ruler. This is my life, not another’s. I hope others love what they see on my canvas, but I will not sacrifice my authenticity for their approval, regardless of the cost to me or our relationship.

Likewise, I will refuse any selfish temptation to force my vision upon or touch my brush to the canvas of another at any cost to myself. Each one must take responsibility for the results of one’s own life’s canvas. I must give others the freedom to paint their life their way. Not only would it be wrong to take credit for the art someone else creates, but it would be artistically criminal for me to force my vision upon another’s canvas.

Therefore, I will make no excuses for the quality of my painting and I will pass no blame. I am responsible for the final version that will ultimately define my life. My painting will hang for eternity in the Museum of Humanity. I am ever mindful that I am only allowed one painting in those hallowed halls, so I will make my contribution count. I will add to the collective beauty of human history, not stain it.

With God as my witness and by His grace, I pledge to maintain my resolve to paint my life on my own terms and with my own hand and according to my own vision.

My mind is set, my hand is steady, my heart is full. I am determined to paint a masterpiece of which I am proud, that represents my truest self, that satisfies my soul, and inspires other artists both now and for generations to come. Therefore, I will paint well. I will paint true.

One day I will place my signature upon my masterpiece when my life is finished. On that day I will kneel before my God, the Creator of creators, to reflect upon the art that is my life and will do so with deep gratitude, humility, and awe for the opportunity to paint a human life…

I am the artist and I am the artwork on the canvas of my life.

You can read more of David’s stirring thoughts by connecting with him on Facebook.

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

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!

Monday Morning Makeover ~ Marathon Thinking

Today’s video explores how new thinking for the long run helps us reach our goals.

Nip it in the Bud

budOne of the biggest concerns about weight loss is: what if I just gain it back? This pesky question haunted me, and I hear it often from friends.

My answer after a few months of living in the maintenance stage? Sure, the temptation is there to forsake new, healthy habits, but nip it in the bud! Deal with the issue early on this time instead of waiting until the weight has crept up and the body is weaker again.

Of course this is easier said than done.

My goal is to approach this issue with intentionality, but not worry. (Of course sometimes the worry creeps in, and sometimes I’m not intentional, but then I remind myself that life isn’t about my ability to live it perfectly every second, but to keep on track over the long haul.)

When I lost weight I purposely didn’t do extreme changes I knew would be hard to maintain. I tried to make it simple: move more, eat less. I chose a healthy support system, not fad diet pills, but products that were actually good for me and helped me build toward strengthening my body, not just weight loss.

Now that I’m seeking to maintain, I find these values are a part of who I am instead of something new I’m cultivating. Still, it is harder to hang onto their application when I’m satisfied instead of not. Last year I took long walks in all kinds of awful weather, but this winter it’s much easier to choose comfort over cold.

But a friend shared her trick, and it seems to be working for me. (It must work for her because she is one of those spunky tiny grandma types, full of energy and keeping the weight off!) Here’s what she does: She weighs herself daily. If she notices a weight gain, she cuts calories to 1200 for a day or two until she returns to her target weight. That way she nips weight gain in the bud, dealing with it when it’s a couple of pounds, not ten.

I’m still at the stage of life when weight can fluctuate around female cycles. I’ve given myself a target weight and allow fluctuation within 3 pounds without getting uptight. But if it pops up to 4-5 pounds above that base (instead of 2-3), I cut back on calories and increase movement.

I also don’t weigh daily like my friend does, but I make a point to weigh in every few days, so i can keep things in check. I usually know when I’ve slipped on healthy choices, even before the scale tells me. Sometimes, like last weekend when I spent some time away with my husband, I choose a short season of “feasting.” Back-to-back meals out are not common for us, and Jerry and I chose to enjoy the elegance of the fancy food at the Broadmoor (pictures coming soon!)–then came home to more realistic eating! Monday morning’s step onto the scale confirmed my need for it!

How about you? Any maintenance tricks?

Share it!

A plan to overcome the fear of gaining the weight back

IMAG2696

PS Some of you have asked about using the BENew products during maintenance. Since the products are all-natural and healthy, you can use them long-term. I have friends who weren’t/aren’t overweight but use half doses of the metabolism booster because it’s healthier than a cup of coffee, boosts energy, and fights the unhealthy visceral fat that even skinny people have. Some choose to do the BEPure monthly cleanse for the health benefits, not weight loss. Those who were strictly weight loss focused and reached their goals have done everything from stopping the products to cutting them in half, to continuing with them. Many of them also now take Body Balance to support good nutrition and health. I’ve chosen to continue partial usage of BENew and take my Body Balance daily. Not only do I want to support the maintenance stage, but I feel good on the products and believe in their health benefits.

Stretchy Skin

Ugh.

I’m finally admitting it to myself.

I’ve got hanging skin. Not much.

But who wants any?

Initially I was pleased with the reshaping of my body. The cellulite disappeared quickly. There wasn’t much evidence of loose skin as I keep doing all the right things: LOTS of water. Lose weight at a reasonable rate. Good nutrition. Exercise.

These healthy habits contributed to my skin keeping up with my new size for the MOST PART.

But I could still use a little tightening in my lower tummy. Which sent me searching. There is a lot of advice out there. The two factors coming against me are that it can take up to 2 years for the skin to shrink completely, and the fact that I’m aging means my skin is already less elastic.

Most of the information I found, like this link, focused on what I already did. Good nutrition. Activity. Water. Water. Water. (EVERY site emphasized water intake!)

But I did find a few tips that were new.

It’s funny that I’ve been craving lavender. I love the fragrance. I love how it makes me feel peaceful. One of the sites I found said that rubbing lavender oil into the tummy every night can actually help the skin tighten. This particular site said it was even more effective with combined with castor oil! I purchased the lavender right away. . . I’m considering the other. This particular resource offered 25 different ideas to support tightening of the skin. Another idea I may explore is using almond oil.

Another site recommended adding vitamin C and zinc to my daily supplements. I routinely take extra C and used to take zinc, but haven’t recently, so I plan to pick up a bottle. Why not? It’s an easy and inexpensive addition to the care of my skin–AND good to keep me healthy with cold season upon me!

Since the area I’m most concerned about is my abdomen, I am getting serious about the video my daughter shared with me which targets this area. Turning soft places into lean muscle helps everything–including the skin. I’ve avoided weight training in this weight loss process. Just not a big lifting gal, but much of what I read suggested adding weights. Thinking about it . . .

There are also things most sources agreed I should avoid: tanning, chlorine, and, and junk food. Each of these things steal from the what the skin needs to become more elastic.

Of course there are all kinds of creams I could purchase to put collagen, retinol, and Vitamins A, C, and E directly into my skin. I have a tightening gel I’m using right now, but it’s almost gone. Before I spend a lot of money on creams I think I’ll focus on the other ideas I’ve found.

If you want more information, I thought this video was fairly comprehensive, balanced, and helpful.

The great thing about most of what I learned is that the strategies aren’t just about tightening loose skin, they are reasonable choices that make me stronger and healthier, too.

Tweet this post:

Tighten excess skin after weight loss.