Tag Archives: health

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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

 

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.

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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,

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Using the BENew Products

I made the video below to answer the questions my customers are asking about which products to use, how to use them, and what my approach to weight loss has been. It’s a little over 15 minutes long. Just FYI, I’m going to begin making a series of YouTube videos on weight loss products and becoming a businesswoman, so if that interests you, you might consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.

Also, the weight loss program I am on is BOGO for the rest of this month. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about this approach.

How to use the BENew weight loss products

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.

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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.

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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!

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My friend and fellow Kaos Gold lover, Suzy.

Wahoooo!!!!!!!

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!

Mango Miracle (Middle Weight Loss Journey Days 70 and 71)

The posts below are taken from what I now consider my middle journey, about 1/3 of the way into my weight loss goals.

Day 70

Went out for a wonderful New Year’s Day breakfast with Jerry. Since I racked up so many calories at breakfast I had a small bowl of soup for lunch and my shake for supper. I feel satisfied. Isn’t it amazing I’m starting to feel satisfied with so much less food?

Added up my miles for December. I walked 64.44 miles in that one month! I’m thrilled.                          ~ January 1, 2013

Day 71

Mango Miracles

Frozen Mango and papaya. At first I used smaller individual bags and froze in 1 cup servings. Now I freeze in 1/2 cup servings so I can mix more flavors without having too much. I also wrap the fruit in plastic wrap and only use one larger Ziploc bag. Always looking to save $$. (The only caveat here is that blueberries tend to freeze better in individual bags because they are so round that they break out of the plastic and roll around.)

This is embarrassing. I said I prayer, and when God answered I was too dense (at first) to see the answer right in front of my eyes.

Here’s what happened. I’ve wished for frozen mango to go in my shakes at lunch but didn’t want to spend the money with everything so tight right now. So I said a little mango prayer, letting the Lord know my desire.

Today I went to the discount food place. I was IN MY CAR driving away when I realized there was a whole flat of an unfamiliar fruit. I went back in, “uh . . . are those mangos?”

Honestly, I’d never bought one whole, only cut up and frozen in a bag!  The discount place was about to close, and there were a whole flat of mangos left that needed quick attention, so they gave them to me.

Tonight I peeled, cubed, and froze 22 cups of mango, wrapped individually. That’s 22 meals when I can add tang to my shake! I also prepared 3 pomegranates and froze some papaya and pears that needed to be used quickly before they were old. It feels super good to have healthy, low calorie food frozen and waiting.

Real Time Update:
Some people say that eating healthy is cheaper than eating poorly. At our house I was already cooking from scratch and mostly avoiding processed food when I began trying to lose weight and eat more healthy foods. To take it up a notch with more fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of protein has NOT been cheaper. But between prayers and a willingness to work, there has been provision beyond my budget.

What About You?

Do you have any tricks to eat well and not break the bank?

Weight Loss Journey Day 2

Bought raspberries yesterday (thanks to a great deal at the discount food place where I go) to add to my meal replacement shake. What a treat! I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did yesterday. I’ve decided to try to cut 500-800 calories a day instead of being legalistic about the 1200 calories suggested to the BETA group. I want to honor what they are asking of me, but I also want to approach this in a way that is sustainable for me. Just that 300 calorie freedom makes me feel more in control. I’m probably used to more than 2,000 a day, so I think cutting to 1200 a day is a little drastic. Maybe as I adjust I can be at 1200 calories more consistently. I want this to be long term change for me, not a fad diet, so I’m trying to make incremental lifestyle change that connects to our family system.

I’m using some of the recipes offered, but not following the meal plan exactly. Cooking for 3 teenage boys is already a trick in my schedule and for our resources, so I’m going to be healthy and wise, cut portions, but not live someone else’s plan. I hope I’m not being rebellious. I don’t mean to be. I just want to fit this change into the design of our family so I can maintain it. And of course there’s the issue of my not being a vegetable lover and many of their recipes pushing past my tolerance level on that.

The bridge we crossed during our snowy night walk

The bridge we crossed during our snowy night walk

Today was REALLY good. I had energy and didn’t miss my coffee. We went out to eat to celebrate Samuel’s return from the hospital. I found I could be satisfied eating half the portion offered me. Jerry and I shared a plate, saving $$ and calories! And salad tasted a little better than normal. I’ve spent my life not wanting to waste tummy space on something I dislike as much as salad. But maybe knowing a small salad has only 15 calories made it more attractive—or the fact that eating less of the other stuff left room for it. At any rate, it is an incremental change, this effort to add in this healthy choice and back away from more of the heavier food.

At 10 p.m. it was BEAUTIFUL outside. The first snow off the season danced in the lamplights, and I begged Jerry to take a walk with me. He’s a good guy and couldn’t resist the begging in my eyes. We walked the nature trail holding hands, laughing at my child-like effort to catch snowflakes on my tongue, acting like we were teenagers instead of hitting the other side of middle age. Crossing the little snow-covered bridge by our house was almost fairy-tale like.

Fabulous. I couldn’t believe I had the energy!

Weight Loss Journey Preamble and Day 1

Pre-weight loss adventure 1:

9-28-2012 Booksigning with Kathy Kovach

Kathy Kovach and Paula sign books on Septemeber 28, 2012

I was driving to a booksigning when Jerry called from the Life Force International Conference. He told me the company is releasing a new product in a couple of months and is looking for a BETA group to track so they can share results when the product releases. I sensed that this was the answer to the prayer I’ve prayed for a couple of years now, “Lord, please help me to know what to do about my weight. I don’t have the courage to tackle this issue, but I know I need to.” I’m so excited! But . . . I hate the facebook picture barrage that always comes after. I mean I’m glad my friends love me and take my picture and tag me, but it is hard on the ego to see pictures posted in such a public forum that show how heavy I am. I’m starting to call them the fat Paula facebook pictures.

Pre-weight loss adventure 2:

Today was incredibly hard. Life Force needed a picture designed to show my bulges instead of hide them. I put on some make-up and fixed my hair, but still felt so ugly and exposed. Can I really do this? Can I really have a picture out there of how bad I look right now? I feel stripped and weepy. It was really hard to put down my weight, too. How did I let this happen??

Pre-weight loss adventure 3:

I can’t believe it. I wasn’t chosen for the BETA group. I really thought God promised this to me. After the June 5th car accident I pretty much completely shut down. Once I surrendered to the process (i.e. quit trying to work when my whole being was shutting down), He began to bring resources to me. The chiropractor found a technique that reduced my dizziness and the feeling of my head swelling and bursting by at least half. I found a doctor who specifically treats trauma victims. I started going to a counselor. So much good, physically, emotionally, and spiritually is happening. I was just sure I’d be chosen for this weight loss program. It would be the final piece to truly getting well—to coming back better than I was when that car pulled out in front of me.

I’m so confused. God??

Pre-weight loss adventure 4:

Why do I doubt? Oh me of little faith. Someone dropped out of the BETA test group, and Life Force replaced her with ME! Wow. This is big. I can’t wait!!

Day 1 – Wednesday (October 24, 2012)

One minute I’m excited, the next I want to burst into tears. I’ll be 47 this month, and this is the first time I’ve been brave enough to take charge of my weight. Starting this journey at—oh this is embarrassing—210 lbs.

I really believe BeNew is the answer I’ve been praying for—I love the focus on nutrition and the support of the BETA group’s secret page. I’m excited about the metabolism booster, the cleanse, the carbohydrate blocker, and the deep nutrition and organic base of the one meal replacement I’ll do each day.

But it’s also scary, totally outside my experience. I fear failure and feel overwhelmed by paying attention to what I put into my mouth. I’ve never counted calories and have no idea what each bite holds. Jerry helped me get some on-line resources to track the caloric intake of what I’m eating. That helps, but it really is like being flung into a whole new universe, this thinking about calories!

I thought about admitting how scared and even emotional I am to the BETA group, but they are Jerry’s peers, the company he’s chosen to make his next career since things crashed with his business of the last 8 years. But I don’t want to be perceived as a whiney wife. Everyone else is being so positive, excited about the products and the experience. I’ll just keep my fears to myself and Jerry.

As to physical effects, I’ve felt a little bit of heart pounding. I think I’ll cut out my coffee tomorrow. With the metabolism booster I probably shouldn’t have the caffeine. And since I like my coffee with cream, that cuts 50 calories!

I was really hungry by the evening meal. Supper was healthy, and I didn’t feel deprived even though I kept within healthy calorie intake. Yeah!

I studied the suggested exercise routine, but I know I can’t do it. My neck and back still hurt too much from the car accidents. Anything jarring, like butt kicks, is too much. I’m going to be more consistent with the stretches my physical therapist gave me after my first accident and add walking back into my life. Didn’t walk today, but just the food changes overwhelmed me, so I’ll tackle the next change tomorrow.

Oh, and the first week of the diet we do a cleanse. It’s full of healthy stuff. It doesn’t taste bad, but it is green and kind-a weird, and not how I want to end my food day, lol. But I’ll do it . . .