Tag Archives: eating healthier

A Hobbit Forming Adventure

MV5BMzU0NDY0NDEzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTIxNDU1MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Last night was the chance of a life-time. You only get to see the opening/midnight showing of a movie once, right?

I’m not a huge midnight/opening night girl. But the Tolkien craze is one thing I share with my kids–and once kids are teens and young adults it’s especially fun to find common interests since Mom no longer dictates a schedule.

So at 11 p.m. last night I climbed into the mini-van with my sixteen-year-old (passenger side, of course, since he just got his driver’s license). We picked up a few friends and met my daughter and her friends at the theater for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. At 3:20 a.m. we climbed out said mini-van and stumbled into our house.

My head is swimming today, folks. But being invited along with my teen–priceless and worth it! (The movie was awesome, too!)

This was a bit of milestone for me in my weight loss/get healthy journey of the last year. You may remember this post where I chronicled Day 51 of my weight loss journey–and the fun of going to the midnight showing of the first Hobbit movie.

hobbit paula

Last year. About 25 pounds down and 30 to go.

I believe I was 20-25 pounds down at that point. I was serious about calorie reduction and packed a water battle, apple slices, and popcorn (with less butter than theater popcorn) into my purse. As I remember, I was also concerned about eating after 7 p.m., something I’d focused on NOT doing during those early days of weight loss. I was surrounded by junk that night and oh-so-tempted to buy a soda. But I resisted the Coke and only snitched a little of the cookies and candy the kids around me offered. It felt mostly like success.

Last night was similar except I lived in the position of one who’d reached her goals instead of one working toward them. I packed healthy treats and planned ahead for late night snacking by eating less at the evening meal and taking a walk.

This year I also planned ahead by indulging in the rarity of an energy drink. Thanks to Kaos Gold, the new energy drink by DtC, I ingested only 30 calories and 80% less sugar than if I’d chosen another brand. No doubt my energy drink kept me awake so I could act like a teenager in the wee hours of the morning.


Kaos gold to help me stay awake! Roughly 30 lbs less than a year ago!

It’s fun to compare last year’s Hobbit night pictures with this year’s. Last year, the coat was getting too big, but I still had some pounds to lose. This year I’m in a brand new DtC t-shirt size medium! I don’t think I’ve purchased mediums since getting pregnant with my third child, 18 years ago!


My friend and fellow Kaos Gold lover, Suzy.


The title for this post has a double meaning. While going to the midnight showing has become a hobbit-forming adventure, so has caring about my body and being intentional about maintaining a new life-style at the size I was created to be!

Folks, I fully intend to be at the midnight showing of the third Hobbit next year, even if I will be 49 years old! (Dying to see what happens next. They left us with a cliff hanger!) AND I fully intend to post a picture here celebrating continued health and life-style change!

Best wishes on your hobbit-forming health adventure!


Life: A Bowlful of Salad?


Here I sit, munching salad and pondering the Benew journey. The salad surprised me.

As I made it a few minutes ago thoughts like boring filled my mind.

Sabotage along the lines of, “Really? For the rest of your life you’re going to mindful of how you eat? Avoid unhealthy, high calorie foods? Eat salad?”

But here I sit. The red and green grapes add sweet freshness to the spinach and the handful of mixed nuts a nice protein crunch. I’m super glad I didn’t give into the nagging negativity, the voice that tried to talk me out of getting my greens.

It seems all good things will be confronted.

It’s a strange place to be, this new phase where I am content with my body. I could lose a few more pounds, but I feel “normal.” I’m not counting calories anymore. I’m taking my BENew metabolism booster, but I only do a meal replacement shake when I want to, not daily like I did when I was serious about dropping weight. Sometimes I crave my BEfull shake, blended with frozen fruit. Other times I don’t. Sometimes, like today, I want left-overs and try to balance whatever they are by having a reasonable portion and a big salad. And sometimes I just want to blow off this whole journey. On those days I lie awake at night wondering if the bad choices I made will result in going backwards.

A good writer wouldn’t use the word “sometimes” repeatedly like I just did. But that’s where I’m living.


It comes from seeking a new normal, trying to sustain the healthier lifestyle I’ve chosen even when I’m not intentionally fighting to drop pounds. Before I was motivated by a goal. Now my only motivation is not to return to go backwards. (That and to look good in my friend Megan’s dress for the Carol Awards* in a few weeks.)

The never-never land of maintenance isn’t cut and dry. I no longer try to hit 12 or 1300 calories a day. I just try to eat smart and move. The lack of a calorie counter’s accountability is scary sometimes, and sometimes I abuse the freedom. Other times it’s freeing, and I do just fine. There’s that word again.


I want to avoid extremes. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life obsessing about calories; I also don’t want to throw caution to the wind. Thus this struggle of finding a new normal.

A friend told me her method for maintenance is to weigh every few days. If she’s gained a pound or two, she cuts back to 1200 again until she returns to her target weight.  It sounds reasonable. What about you? Anybody have good advice on the end of the weight loss journey, those days when you could lose a pound or two, but mostly want to maintain?

I want my eating life to be more than a bowlful of salad–but I also want to be healthy and sustain the better habits I’ve developed.

Invite a friend to the discuss on maintenance:

Is life a bowlful of salad?

*The Carol Awards, sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers, honor a book ofHeartsongChristm.indd the year in multiple genres. My novella, “You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch,” included in the Christmas collection, Postmark: Christmas, is a finalist for best novella of 2012. Winners will be announced in September.

Weight Loss Journey Day 36

I’ve gone public.

I hadn’t planned to do so until I’d lost enough weight I was sure people could tell a difference. I thought 20 or 25 pounds.

Sarah being silly up close

My girl, Sarah, who spilled the beans

But Sarah didn’t know that, and spilled the beans all over Facebook, posting my story on her dad’s business page, Yes, It’s that Good. Then of course he posted a link on my personal page.


Still, it was pretty awesome—and convicting—what she said. I’ll let her words speak instead of mine:

I’m so proud of my Mom, Paula Moldenhauer. God has let her get knocked down time and time again, so He’s starting from the ground level and building her into something even more amazing. And for the first time in my 21 years she has done something not only for her heart, but she has taken the challenge and decided to work on her outside too.

Today when she came to get her hair done I was shocked! She’d lost almost 20 pounds!!!! Not only is she one hot mama now, she walks straighter, smiles bigger, and laughs more…. I didn’t know it was possible 😛 It’s so good to see her proud looking at her reflection again. 🙂 She’s the total package! BENew has been amazing for her, even as a crazy home schooling mom of 4 (and the extras here and there) she has been able to live her life style and just make some healthier choices.

I’m so proud of you, Mom! You’re beautiful inside and out!

Real Time Update:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about Sarah’s comment–that in her WHOLE life she never remembered me taking care of my outside.


In the last ten years or so, I’ve become increasingly passionate about freedom–the freedom to live as we were created to live. Emotionally, I worked hard to release damaging behaviors and attitudes, like my tendencies toward perfectionism and performance-driven behavior. Spiritually, I connected with the wonder of God’s grace and made efforts to get off the legalistic treadmill of trying to be good enough for God. I learned to open my heart wide to accept the unconditional love of my God and grew in my ability to offer it to others . . .

But my girl’s right. I missed the connection when it came to my body. It was like that part of me was off limits. Nobody, not even God, had the right to speak into that.

But gaining weight and not taking care of my health wasn’t freedom. I know that sounds weird. I mean isn’t freedom having all the chocolate I want???? But what slowly crept over my body was bondage.

I’m learning a new freedom as I am returning to the size I was created to be. A freedom of movement. A physical connection to joy. The power to choose healthy foods. The energy to live!

Physically, I’m getting my life back.

And you know what? I’m glad my kids get to see it. I want them to have healthy, full, free lives. I hope my recent journey is an object lesson they remember when they are pushing 50 and staying healthy takes more effort than it does for them now.

How About You?

What is freedom to you in the area of your physical self? How do your kids perceive your choices for (or not for) health? What do you want them to see?