Tag Archives: healthy eating

About That Weight Thing

Been processing life pretty hard. You’d think when a gal’s pushing 50 she’d have it all figured out. Evidently not. Life keeps sending transitions, putting me on my toes, changing. So I write about graduations and weddings and broken dishwashers and grace.

But as real life rushes and changes and challenges I want to hold onto all that stuff I learned in the year of my journey back to health.

And I haven’t thought about all that much lately.

Here’s the thing. I’ve spent the last few months fluctuating between caring about my new healthy habits and blowing them off. As I wrote many times, weight loss and stronger, healthier bodies require a life-long willingness to change, not a one-time diet.

51pZjxywRgL._SL500_SS100_I’m disgusted with myself tonight. I ate a whole box of Raisnets. Not exactly a great choice, but a once in a while splurge would not be that big a deal. The problem is I’ve been splurging for days. It’s easy to do when you spend a week attending parties.

But it’s beyond all those graduations and weddings and baby showers.

Maybe the lack of concern for my body is related to sending my third born off to work in the mountains this summer only to then send him to the dorms at his chosen college.

Or maybe it’s related to the fact my daughter will be traveling with a humanitarian team to a not-so-safe country.

Could it be that I just didn’t care about focus while my house was torn apart with the dishwasher leaking under the floor saga?

There’s other stuff, too. Deep processing of grace and freedom. So deep that I’ve had tension stomachaches again, the kind I used to get when I was trapped in perfectionism and legalism.

But really, is any of that worth losing the hard-earned freedom of regaining my normal weight? Aren’t all of those a return to emotional eating?

Honestly, I’ve chosen NOT to be intentional about what I’m eating.

I feel sluggish. I’m not staying on a good sleep schedule. I’m ignoring the fresh spinach in the crisper. A friend posted something to facebook that explains exactly how I feel. Anybody relate?

cartoon

So I could use prayer, my friends. I look at pictures of when I was over 200 pounds and remember how I got that way one pound at a time. How I promised myself I’d never do that again.

I want to nip this attitude in the bud NOW.

I want to walk again. Do crunches and planks. Eat better food. I want freedom of movement and clarity of thought and all the gifts of being the size God intended when He created me.

Tonight I’m reminding myself that every single choice for health is stepping back on the road I want to be on. I don’t have to allow this behavior to continue. I can live in the freedom of healthy choices.

Any advice?

Until Next Time,

moldenhauer signature3

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Practical Tips to Break the Food Addiction

OUCH: “When the desire for treats is triggered by difficult emotions, it’s not really a desire for treats. It’s a thinly veiled attempt at self-medication . . . our souls are thirsty and ravenous . . . if we fail to . . . fill our souls with spiritual nourishment, we will forever be triggered to numb our loneliness with other temporary physical pleasures . . . this issue is bigger than emotions; it’s really about spiritual deprivation . . . and self-medicating with food . . . vicious cycles I must avoid.” Lysa TerKeurst

One of the best parts of my journey to health has been discovering some of the “whys” behind my eating choices and learning to be mindful of those when I want to reach for food. It’s amazing how the realization that I’m trying to fill an emotional need with something that won’t satisfy, but will instead derail my goals, gives me strength to walk away.

Sometimes it is now as simple as a quick prayer breathed to the Lord, telling Him I want Him to fill my needs, not food.

It was harder earlier in my journey. Maybe because the cravings were more physical than they are now-metting with agent 2-along with being emotional, which they still are. During that time period I found a cup of licorice spice or peppermint tea helped curb the cravings and still felt like a treat. I could sip my no calorie tea and do something else I enjoyed rather than eat–like read a book, write in my journal, chat with a friend, or play on Facebook. I read later that peppermint tea curbs the appetite when you’re hungry and Licorice tea (I like Stash Licorice Spice) curbs sugar cravings!

God is sweet to give us great tasting, no calorie options. Early in my journey I also found that taking a walk when I got a craving was a great alternative. Once I started walking I no longer felt hungry, and the time it required often took me to the next scheduled meal, so I didn’t think about snacking between.

The other cool thing is that walking never fails to connect me back to God. I hear the birds and am grateful for the beauty of their song–and next thing I know I’m thanking God for the gift. Or the sun shines or me, or the sky is a brilliant blue, or I see a flower, a tree, a mountain . . . or I simply feel the fresh air upon my face. Nature draws me to the Creator. Another cool thing that often happens as I walk is that He’ll prompt me to prayer or I’ll use the time to listen to Scripture on the audio Bible app on my phone.

The last few weeks we’ve talked about spiritual practices and how they relate to weight loss, but God created us mind, body, emotions, and spirit. We also need tangible, practical, physical plans to help us succeed in our journey to breaking the food addiction.

What practical plan do you have for the next time you are tempted to self-medicate with food?

Father,

Help me not to self-medicate with food. Give me what it takes to break the cycles of food addiction. Free me to enjoy my life, not just my food. To find freedom not in eating anything I want, but in choosing a fuller life over a fuller tummy. Help me to turn to You when I am tempted to self-medicate. Be my healer. Show me healthy alternatives to my addictions, even if for a while they are simply distractions. But in the long run, draw me to Yourself.

Being practical in overcoming the need to self-medicate with food

PS. I truly believe my Benew products have reduced cravings and helped my physical self in this journey to break the food addiction cycles.

Mmmmm

IMAG3190

I’ve admitted in the past that part of my struggle with weight loss and healthy eating is my lack of tolerance for raw veggies. I’m always on the lookout for healthy ways to get some green stuff down.

Here’s another salad for the vegetable challenged: lettuce, pomegranates, walnuts, and kiwi fruit. I LOVE it.

I also enjoy a good turkey quesadilla. Unfortunately I discovered last year when I was diligently counting calories that though the quesadilla didn’t feel filling, the caloric intake added up quickly between the butter, cheese, and flour tortilla (the one in the picture is a typical white tortilla, but I have found healthier, lower calorie options). It was also not as nutritious as I wanted it to be.

My solution was to eat half of what I used to, put less cheese inside, and mix a little ranch dressing with a lot of cholula sauce, which has no calories, for a dipping sauce. (I don’t usually do dressing at all, not on my salads even. Mostly because I don’t really like dressing. But this is the one place I love a little ranch.)

Paired with a big salad, my old favorite was no longer too much of an indulgence, and the fresh foods added health. It’s also a quick, easy, no fuss meal. (If you’ve already prepared the pomegranate ahead of time! Sheesh those things are work. But worth it.)

I love that this easy dish connects with many of my values–it’s a simple pleasure I found a way to hold onto instead of giving up during my get healthy journey. The less familiar fruit in the salad makes it feel exotic and looks beautiful. And the kiwi and pomegranates are antioxidants and great for my body!

I’m no longer counting calories, but I hope I’ve learned something about managing portions and upping the nutritional value of my meals.

Do you have a favorite you’ve adapted to your new lifestyle?

Share it: Salad for the vegetable challenged added to an old favorite=low calories and nutrition

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ New Perspectives

Buena Vista 5“I can instead of I can’t is a powerful little twist of phrase for a girl feeling deprived” (Lysa TerKeurst).

In life and in food we humans have a tendency to want whatever it is we think we can’t have. If our thoughts get into that cycle of thinking about everything we can’t have, that’s what we want!

But what if when we’re tempted to something that is permissible, but not beneficial, we twist that negative to the positive: I can be healthier and slimmer. I can eat one piece of chocolate instead of five. I can enjoy a salad tonight. I get to bask in the sunshine as I walk today.

For the first months of my weight loss journey I tracked everything that went into my mouth on the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. As I got closer to my goal I stopped tracking calories, but continue to eat the way I learned in those three months that I tracked my food. The lack of specific accountability made it a little harder to be wise, but was also a good transition to life-style change, not just weight loss.

As I made changes some of the twist of phrases I used were:

  • I can eat one small handful of chocolate mixed with walnuts instead of several and only chocolate.
  • I can be satisfied with one helping at supper tonight.
  • I can enjoy my smaller sized clothes–and continue to enjoy them by choosing to fill my plate with a lot of salad and a little pasta instead of the other way around.
  • I can go to bed without a snack even though I didn’t get a full supper tonight. It’s worth it to keep losing weight instead of pigging out late at night. I had a full lunch, and I can enjoy a big breakfast in the morning.

It’s really about perspective, isn’t it?

As I journeyed to my 55 pound weight loss, this was my prayer:

God,
I want this journey to be a lifestyle change, not a one time experience that doesn’t last. Please help me not to return to mindless eating. Help me to resist returning to junk food. Give me a desire for the wonderful, nutritious food You created. Help me to add movement to my days. Thank you for helping me choose not just what is permissible, but a lifestyle that is beneficial.

It is still my prayer today.

What “I can” twists of thought can you embrace this week?

Share it!

A twist of phrase can bring success!

Fighting it Through

20140219_144018Here I sit with the same old struggle.

You’d think after more than a year of a healthier lifestyle I wouldn’t fight this battle anymore.

I’m upset.

And I want a cookie. Or several.

Or a nap.

Actually I want both, in that order.

An innocent conversation turned into something different. Though I don’t believe there are lasting hurts, my emotions feel worn-out and tangled.

And why does that have to lead to food?

Why isn’t my first response to do something good for me–take a walk, say a prayer, cry a little and let it go?

But even though I know eating will NOT fix me, even though I know mindless eating (especially of empty calories) will HURT me, my overwhelming desire is to nurse my wounds with food.

This is another reminder that food struggles are more addictions than habits. Habits can be changed in 30 days; addictions must be stood up to for the long term.

The struggle decreases with time, but it doesn’t disappear.

And so we come full circle to where I started not only in this post, but over a year ago: Fighting the craving for sugar. Reminding myself it will hurt my body and do nothing to settle my emotions.

Today I stopped. I wrote out my feelings here instead of eating them. I had a big glass of lime water. I don’t always. But today I fought through.

That’s what we do, my friend. We persevere. We continue on. We fight it through. We refuse to be defeated in our journey to emotional and physical freedom.

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Fight though emotional cravings

Vigilance ~ Maintaining Weight Loss

IMAG3238-1Here I am again.

Life gets a little tough. Disappointing news hits. And I’m sitting at my computer dreaming of popcorn.

With extra butter.

For over a year I’ve fought to lose and then maintain weight.

After all of this time you’d think old habits could be completely broken.

Only maybe reaching for food to deal with emotions is more like an addiction that requires life-long, sustained effort to resist than a habit that can be broken after 30 days.

Today’s trigger is the fact that my youngest son needs another hip surgery. Tomorrow’s trigger may be something simple–like feeling bored.

But no matter which hits, I know food will solve nothing.

I just took a break to make a nice, hot cup of no-calorie, healthy antioxidant green tea. And I’m saying a prayer for strength, comfort, wisdom.

It’s one of those next better choices I seek to make over and over.

I started typing again only to have my rings irritate me because they are rolling around on my fingers as they often do now on chilly days. (And these are my smaller sets. I gave away the bigger ones.)

I love it that my fingers–as well as all parts of me–are thinner.

I hate it that the journey to health didn’t end when the chart said normal instead of obese. That even now I must be on guard to maintain.

But it is worth it, this new vigilance.IMAG3229-1

Never, ever again can I return to a lifestyle of mindless eating to numb emotion if I want to be strong and healthy, and maintain a normal weight.

And that is okay. Because food never solved the problems anyway.

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ WANTING Change

san diego 6Do you know, way down deep, that you are loved?

Take it a step further:

Do you know, way down deep, that you are loved JUST AS YOU ARE?

Entering the weight loss journey is better if you start from a foundation of love. (So is life!) We change not to seek love, but because we ARE loved, and we are worthy of a BETTER situation.

So have you thought about this?

God loves us JUST AS WE ARE, and He loves us too much to LEAVE US just as we are.

Whether in physical/weight issues or inner emotional/spiritual junk the God of Love wants to see us progressing toward freedom, joy, health, and strength.

One thing that gets in the way of my weight loss/health goals is indulgence. Indulgence isn’t the occasional planned treat. Indulgence is eating without restraint, especially repeatedly. It is ignoring the need to be mindful of how we treat our bodies.

Here are reasons I indulge:
-Because I want to, plain and simple. That looks good, I want it, I have no restraint.
-Because I feel sad or empty and try to fill with something besides God
-Because I’m tired of being “good.”
-Because I’m feeling deprived somewhere else in life
-Because I’m angry
-Because I feel rebellious
-Because I’m feeling stuck creatively
-Because a treat is available that usually isn’t
-Because I act mindlessly, focused elsewhere with too much food in front of me
-Because I’m stressed out
-Because I feel hopeless

Why do you indulge?

That definition–to act in an unrestrained way– came from the Made to Crave Devotional. It really convicted me. Nowhere else in life do I think it is okay to be unrestrained, mindless, or indulgent. Why have I felt it was justified when it comes to food?

The author, Lysa TerKuerst, said, “We have to see the purpose of our struggle with food as something more than getting to wear smaller sizes and receive compliments. Shallow desires produce shallow efforts . . . The process . . . has to be about more . . . It’s about recalibrating our souls so we want to change for the right reasons.”

And so I ask myself why I want to change, and my answers are shallow AND deep. Here’s a list I made when I was about halfway to my goal:
-I want to wear a smaller size
-I want to have more stamina to do the tasks before me
-I want to walk without being winded
-I want to get out of a chair without it being hard
-I want to be healthier
-I want to be stronger
-I want to reduce risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes
-I want to honor the memory of my friend, Phyllis, who died of cancer. She admonished me to lose weight as the cancer she had was statistically higher in women who were overweight. She wanted better for me.
-I want to give God the throne of my life, even in my body
-I want honor God by caring for His dwelling place
-I want to be the size God intended when He created me
-I want to be closer to Him, to turn to Him when I long and crave
-I want to live in greater joy, not because I’m skinnier, but because my body is being treated as it was meant to be treated and because there is joy in moving and connecting with God in my body, not just my mind and spirit and heart
-I want to bring greater joy to my husband. I had no idea how much I had deprived him of until I started losing weight, and he was so happy.
-I want to have energy for my children

Why do you want change?

Knowing the why helps us have the strength when we are tempted to indulge. Maybe you could make your own why list and post it where you’ll see it. You might also want to journal about what triggers you to indulge to help you become more aware as you endeavor to make healthy choices.

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Knowing the WHY helps us overcome.

Back to Healthy Choices and BeNew Thinking

The holidays are over, and with their disappearance needs to come the release of an indulgent attitude!

For me, it’s back to what I know. Just because I entered 2014 at a normal weight for the first time in years doesn’t mean I can return to old habits. And like my devotional on Sunday admitted I did a little too much indulging over the holidays.

The great thing about my new lifestyle is I now realize how easy it is to nip back thinking in the bud and get back to the goal of a forever healthier, thinner me. (So initially “back” thinking was a typo, but I liked it and left it! It’s not just bad thinking that needs to go, it’s back thinking, thinking from the old days that takes me backward!)

Here’s my plan.

Step 1: Return to being mindful of how I treat my body. This is not only important while actively losing weight, this is for the REST OF MY LIFE.

bepure

Step 2: Do a gentle, healthy cleanse to help my body stay strong and release toxins from the crud I brought into my system with holiday eating. I’m using the BeNew Gentle Detoxifying Cleanse, called BEPure. I’ve found a cleanse also helps reduce cravings for more bad food.

Step 3: Make the next better choice. As I pre-schedule this post I’m taking a break from days of long hours of writing fiction to meet a deadline. The old Paula would have devoured chocolate when the creativity waned and then munched on salty snacks while staring at the computer screen. And don’t think I wasn’t IMAG3213tempted. But instead of allowing the stress to take me into mindless eating of empty calories, I’m enjoying lunch as I write–and today, at least, I made the better choice: A healthy protein shake with mangos, blueberries, strawberries, and almond milk. Mmm. (I’m using the BeNew vanilla protein shake. With the frozen fruits blended in it’s almost like ice cream!)

Step 4: Determination to MOVE. In the house on the cold days–a few sit-ups, maybe even a workout video. Walks on the warmer days. Taking a break from the computer even if it’s just to do some stretches.

Share: What’s your healthy choices plan?

*BTW, the BeNew weight loss/nutritional products I chose for my health journey are on an amazing New Year’s Resolution special. Until the end of this month you can actually buy one month and get one month totally free! The company even paired the whole weight loss program with Body Balance, the best nutritional support available, IMHO. Follow my links, or contact me for more information. If you are a new customer and order by phone instead of on-line, you’ll get free shipping, too! I also made a video explaining how to use the products. I’ll post it after I meet my book deadline, but if you want a sneak preview it’s already on YouTube.

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Balance and Transformation

san diego 6How are the social situations going for you? Do you struggle even more to maintain your eating goals with all the parties and special events?

It’s super hard to resist the goodies as gatherings with friends, and I grew up in a culture where lots of yummy food equated love. I’m afraid I’ve passed that onto my family, especially our boys. Mom cooking sure seems like love to them.

This is an area where I’m trying to find balance. I want to still bake my mother-in-law’s famous chocolate cake for special occasions, treat the family to homemade pizza or challah bread, or surprise them with homemade cinnamon rolls. In my quest to be healthier and thinner, I’m not willing to give up my love of baking or the joy the family receives from such treats.

But this BeNew journey is about being transformed. Real, lasting change. Lysa TerKeurst of the Made to Crave Devotional said, “short-term sacrifices will lead to short-term results.”

While I’m not willing to forever avoid making my mom’s oh-so-good banana cake or my grandma’s apple pie, I am also learning that there has to be a life-style change if I’m going to be healthy. I don’t make treats as often, and when I do make them I practice moderation in enjoying them. Every day I seek to add in lots of healthy stuff, like spinach and nuts, cut back on pastas, bread, and sugars, and enjoy the goodness of fresh and frozen fruits.

But all of this pondering eating habits doesn’t really get to the heart of the struggle, does it? Lysa encourages, “Every time I make a choice I have to ask myself, ‘Am I being conformed, looking a lot like the crowd and staying stuck in defeat? Or, am I transformed, breaking away from the vicious cycle of defeat by courageously saying no? No more. No thank you’.”

I especially love the phrase, “every time I make a choice.” This journey is on-going. Every single day we make multiple choices, choices that either conform to social pressure to eat (or our own need to fill a void with food) or lead to transformation of our lifestyle and body. For me, this is also a spiritual journey as I draw near to God, inviting Him into my choices, my thoughts about food, my struggles and my successes.

Lord,
Please help us to trample the old ways for good. We don’t want short-term solutions, but transformation life change. Give us the wisdom as we navigate treats and holiday celebrations, showing us the balance of enjoying good things without sabotaging our health. Please pour out your strength and your guidance. Give us new desires for healthy living. We don’t want to make our bodies off limits any more. We give You permission to ALL of who we are. Inside, outside, body, spirit, mind, will, and emotions.

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Victorious Small Successes

IMAG2685“Self-control starts by making one good choice.” Lysa TerKeurest

Don’t you love the idea of victorious small successes?

That means we can feel successful several times a day! We can celebrate each tiny step forward. When we fall down it doesn’t have to sabotage us, we can just make a good choice the next time and celebrate victory again!

In her Made to Crave Devotional, Lysa TerKeurest said, “Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it only by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting, and just plain hard to reach. But if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won’t seem so impossible.”

I appreciated the Scripture Lysa chose, too. “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;”

It’s similar to a verse that deeply impacted me in college, found in Romans 5:3-4: “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

In both of these Scriptures perseverance played an important role. Today I’m applying Lysa’s verse to weight loss. In college I studied this verse during a time of great despair. I remember life being so hard that I saw it in black and white. It was like all the color drained out. I even contemplated suicide. I have several memories of God’s intervention in that time, but two stick out. The first is that I walked to class and felt led to take an unusual route. I passed an amazing flower that was exactly my favorite color. I KNEW He was showing it to me, and the bright happy pink burst upon my black and white world.

The second was the study of that Scripture. The commentary I read talked about how hope is the mark of Christian maturity, how if we allow God to produce perseverance in our suffering, our character will deepen, and eventually we will discover hope. (And hope does not disappoint.)

Hang with me; this is all coming together in my mind. Putting these two concepts together is important, I think, for the weight loss journey.

Lysa says, “Self-control starts by making one good choice.” Her Scripture said that self-control produces perseverance, and my Scripture said that perseverance produces hope.

If we make that one good choice–whether it be in weight loss or in life–we can celebrate that small success. As we persevere, one good choice after another, celebrating each one, hope grows! We can truly begin to believe in change, that life can be different. That we can overcome our struggle, whether it be with our weight or some other life issue.

As Lysa said, “Big things are built one brick at a time. Victories are achieved one choice at a time. A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.”

Yes, Lord, help us all build a path to victory one choice at a time!

How about you? Let’s celebrate a victorious choice!

Celebrate victory one good choice at a time.