Tag Archives: running

San Diego II – The Beach

Some sidewalks led to more exotic spaces than others.

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Not that I don’t like strolling through my neighborhood, but there was an extra excitement bubbling forth as Sarah and David urged me down the sidewalk in San Diego leading to the beach. I couldn’t resist stopping to capture pictures of sea lions

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and several of the dipping sun.

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But Sarah and David ran ahead, calling that I must hurry if I was going to watch the sunset from the sand.

So I rushed ahead only to pause and snap more shots, then revel in the fact that I could run barefoot across the lawn of a green park and catch up to them. A year, and almost 60 pounds ago, I couldn’t have done it. I’m still shocked than I can now.

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Once across the little park we rushed down some stairs to a beach so we could feel sand beneath our feet

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and dip our toes in the ocean

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as the sun took her own stroll on the horizon.

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While she journeyed, we played her glow.


Once the sun disappeared

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into the ocean

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all that was left was a faint fragment of light reminding us of where she’d been. It was hard to see anything but shadowed outlines.

Sarah urged me to walk a little closer to a big rock. Trusting soul that I am, I did. Not making any new discoveries I questioned the quest, and she urged me on. I stepped closer. Suddenly the big rock arched it’s back, and I realized I was just across the space of my living room from a sea lion!

Delightful! (But too dark to capture on film.)

Sharing the moment with Sarah and David, knowing we were there for work, but playing together as family, was surreal. A hunger grew within to share this type of thing with Jerry and all the kids. To work and travel together, seeing the world, experiencing sunsets on horizons all across this great planet. And I was reminded of that day on the mountain last July when God told me it was okay to dream of such things.


Some sidewalks lead to more exotic beaches than others.

Aslan, the White Witch, and my Weight Loss Journey (Day 94)

We all wear masks. I’ve been called positive, playful, and joyful. I am, but I am not those qualities in isolation. Only those closest to me know the depth of my fight for joy.

Today was one of those fighting-for-all-I-was-worth mornings. Tonight’s schedule included a special event that would require a public face.  I didn’t want to plaster on a fake mask, but no one would want to see the discouragement I fought.  I needed to dig deep, find my joy, and be a survivor.

Thankfully the weight loss journey has given me a new, healthier way of coping. I walk, run, stomp . . . and eventually pray. The fresh air, the ground beneath my feet, the birds singing, and the conversations with God help me combat my struggles and deal with whatever negative emotion my peri-menopausal body flings at me.

So I walked to my morning appointment in hopes I would be in a better state for the evening’s requirements.

Much of this last year has been about breaking free of a hard season, not just the car accidents, but also the years of intensity that preceded them. Last summer I awoke for several days to Christmas carols playing through my mind and heart, sensing HIS presence in them.

It wasn’t the season for such music, and I shared the experience with my friend Jill, wondering at what it might mean. As we talked she got excited. “It’s His promise to you, Paula. Remember The Chronicles of Narnia? Because of the reign of the evil White Witch, it was always winter and never Christmas in the land. But when Aslan returned the waters began to thaw. Father Christmas broke through the evil forces. Eventually the land blossomed into spring and summer. The songs are God’s promise that  Christmas is coming in your life. Winter is thawing. The reign of the White Witch is coming to an end.”

I’d had much joy during the Christmas season, but in the cold of January I’d struggled to find it again. I began begging God to show me that this promise was true. I share this story so you can appreciate what happened on my three mile trek.

I started off at a pretty good clip, focused on the goal of being on time to my appointment. Soon I was on an unfamiliar route. I knew the area from the road, but not from the footpath. I came upon a frozen stream.

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Captivated by the cold beauty, I slipped closer.

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And I noticed something surprising for that January day.

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A cracking.

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A slight gurgle.

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The unmistakable sounds and sights of thawing.

“Are you paying attention?” HE said.

“Yes, Lord.” My heart sang. “Aslan is on the move.”

I’m sure He smiled.

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I slipped back onto the sidewalk. My heart and body felt light.

And I ran for a mile.


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30 lbs of sugar. I can’t believe I used to lug this much weight every day.

I’ve been posting about my weight loss journey, sharing journal entries from about two months ago so I can offer you guys a daily chronicle of the weight loss journey, but I decided to slip an extra post based on where I am real time. It was just too impacting on me to wait 60 days to share.

Jerry and I were at Sam’s Club. He pointed to the sugar and asked me to pick up three 10 lb bags. I couldn’t believe how heavy they were, how much they weighed me down. I know the weight I lost was more evenly distributed, but still!

I can hardly process how I lugged that much weight around every day for so many years. No wonder I move with much more ease. No wonder I feel so much lighter, inside and out.

I’m so grateful to God who is leading this journey, to my husband who told me I could do it, to my prayer group who prays for my victory, to Ben M. who was convinced I needed to be a beta tester, and the people at Life Force who invited me in. And of course to BeNew.

There are obviously hard days on a journey like this. Days when emotions or party food or plateaus threaten my forward progress. But from where I stand right now, I am shocked at how much easier it has been than I expected. The good nutrition in Body Balance and BeNew has curbed the cravings and made me stronger. People all around me have been sick this winter, but I feel a sniffle, then it goes away. I have energy that sometimes shocks me. And I have fallen in love with movement.

When you’re thin you take the ability to move for granted. With most people the weight creeps on slowly, and you don’t even realize how much joy of moving you’ve sacrificed. I could cry when I think about how much effort it took to even get out of a chair sometimes, and how light I feel now. I treasure my meandering walks through the neighborhood. I feel like giggling when I can’t help but actually run a while. The other night I dreamed I ran, effortlessly, for miles, not blocks.

Spiritually there is change, too. It’s like I’d given God access to everything but my body. There’s a new connection between us, and I sense His pleasure as He watching me living more of the life He created me to live. We take walks together, and my heart bubbles forth as I listen to the bird sing or feel His prompting to pray something unexpected.

If you’re on the fence about facing your need to lose weight, please don’t delay. If you’re trying shed the pounds but ready to give up, don’t! It’s not only about looking better (that just wasn’t enough for me), it’s about living better. Fuller. Stronger. With more joy.

I still have at least 20, maybe 30 more to go. It’s coming off more slowly now, and on some days that’s frustrating. But I’m not stopping. Where I am is so different than where I was, and I can’t wait to see what it will be like where I’m going.