Tag Archives: nutrition

Life: A Bowlful of Salad?

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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.

Sometimes. 

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.

Sometimes.

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.

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Nurse Says I’m Rockin’ It! (Day 95)

Real Time Update:

Here’s a fun tidbit about yesterday. I had a doctor’s appointment and the nurse told me I was “rocking” the weight loss. I’d lost another 17 pounds since they weighed me in late January, which is was about when the post below was written.

In yesterday’s blog I alluded to an event I needed to have my game face on for. It was the BENew launch celebration held in Denver on January 25th. I had a blast as a runway model. Jerry and I were warmly received by the Life Force family, and the weekend was a great encouragement to us. I was even asked to share my testimony the next night. For today’s post I thought I’d share the rough draft of what I planned to say. Of course it came out a little differently when I actually spoke. Paula modeling at BENew celebration. I've lost roughly 17 pounds since this picture!

January 25, 2013:

Weight crept on slowly, but after two car accidents in 6 months I found myself in pain, emotionally shut down, and spending long hours each day in bed.  Just getting out of a chair took effort. As an author I was often embarrassed by Facebook pictures taken by friends at book signings. I couldn’t believe how heavy I was. And really, couldn’t they just capture my face, not my whole, out of control body?

When I was chosen as a beta tester for BeNew, I was at least 210 pounds. I received the opportunity to try a nutritional approach to weight loss as a pure gift. The very first week my energy and attitude improved to the point I begged Jerry to take a short walk with me. It was just a few blocks that first time. Over time my emotions stabilized. I found myself craving my Body Balance and my BeFull shake. My cravings for unhealthy food decreased, and I fell in love with walking. In 8 weeks I lost 27 pounds.

At the end of December I was at a writer event and the inevitable picture snapping started. My heart lifted when I realized I could smile straight into the camera without worrying about a double chin, and I giggled on the inside as I heard all the women whispering about how different I looked. The Facebook pictures looked great! In the last week I’ve had two friends walk right by me without speaking—when I called to them their eyes widened. They hadn’t even recognized me!

On Friday I chose to walk almost 3 miles to an appointment rather than drive—and I RAN most of the last mile. I am truly being made new—I love finding the me I lost, not just rediscovering a more slender, shapely me, but being able to move with ease, having more energy, and feeling more hope. And the new, healthier me is connecting with life in a new way, too—not just because I can wear new, cute clothes, but because I’ve grown physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. BeNew is a gift.

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 . . .

What this blog is about

Progression of weight loss from pictures taken at three consecutive writer events: 11-28-12, 12-3-12, 12-29-12

Progression of weight loss from pictures taken at three consecutive writer events: 11-02-12, 12-1-12, 12-29-12My BeNew journey began October 24, 2012.

My BeNew journey began October 24, 2012. Obese, I weighed in at roughly 210 pounds. On January 1, 2013 I began blogging about what it was like to walk this road to health. The posts below share that journey. (If you just started the journey to a healthier, thinner you, consider reading my early posts for ideas and encouragement!)

BeNew Outside 1

2-7-2013

On January 31, 2013, I had lost 32 pounds and 19.75 inches and felt  stronger, healthier, happier, and sexier than I had in years!

mom looking for her girl (2)

May 19, 2013

This picture was captured by a friend on May 19, 2013 at my daughter’s wedding. What a joy to feel completely comfortable with my body and how my clothes fit for this special day! In this picture I am down almost 50 pounds from where I started last October. Getting healthy is possible, my friends!