Healthy Body

5 Things I did to Lose 60 Pounds

before after photo with words


It’s time for my now annual Birthday Post. On my 30th birthday I did a lot of goal setting. 30 felt momentous. Like I was embarking on something new. And I did! I knew I was moving to a new country, I knew my life was changing. I knew I needed to make certain changes. One of those changes was my health. While my birthday is in November, I didn’t actually start doing something about it until the end of February. Since that time I have lost 60 pounds in 9 months and hopefully gained some insight into this personal journey of mine.

The most common question people get when they lose weight is, “What did you do?” So this is what I did:


  • I set goals. Before we even moved, before I changed any habits- I envisioned the future. I created a secret Pinterest board full of motivational quotes, success stories, and tips. I made a note on my phone setting out my rewards for every 10 pounds lost. Some of them were big- at 50 pounds lost was a new haircut and my first ever color! Some were small-60 pounds is a new coffee cup. I set a plan for saving money for those rewards, and I made a visual representation of my goal. I did all of this before I ever lost the first pound.


Boston has gotten lots of rides in this pack this year

  • I started an active lifestyle. Brian and I have always loved going for walks, I’ve had gym memberships before, but I never actually had an active lifestyle. Our lovely village makes this so possible for me. I think an active lifestyle looks different for different people. For me it means I walk my daughter to school in the morning (1 mile round trip) and walk her home in the afternoons. I started an exercise program. At first it was twice a week, now I strive for 5 days a week and land somewhere around 3-4. Our family chooses to walk to places in our village instead of drive whenever time and weather allow. We spend our evening playing at the park instead of cooped up inside (again, this was easier in the summer). It’s the discipline to be ready earlier and the desire to be healthy that drives me to keep up with these changes.


Almond Flour, Cheese-less Pizza

  • I focused on eating real food. I have not dieted in the past year. I did do a 30 day “cleanse” which consisted of no flour, no sugar, no dairy. For the most part I have stayed away from gluten (I’m not intolerant, but my body just doesn’t respond well to it) and I am daily striving to stay away from added sugars. As a general rule, we try to eat clean in our house. Meaning we eat food that is grown or raised instead of manufactured. I have always been a picky eater. When I was in 4th grade, I went an entire year refusing to eat anything red. I wouldn’t eat lettuce until I was in college. And don’t get me started on pickles… This year my world has opened up! As I am trying new things a whole new realm of recipe possibilities are opening up to me and I am loving it. What I am saying is- it IS possible to change your tastes! This is coming from a girl who lived on cereals and pasta and all things artificial. If you had told newly 30 year-old me that 31-year-old Rebekah would request homemade guacamole for her birthday meal, I would not have believed you!


My all time favorite exercise: Adventures out with my family

  • I had help from friends. My husband has absolutely been amazing this past year. He is my biggest support and help. He has been trying to get healthy for years now, so he’s been all for trying new recipes and making healthy changes in our home. I dearly love my husband, but sometimes you just need a girl who understands all the emotional junk that comes along with this journey. My sister has been my secret weapon the past year. We have shared victories, frustrations, recipes, and fashion help (I ask- she helps). And as I started losing more and more weight people started noticing. Some people are natural cheerleaders. Find these people! I know the ladies at my church who will notice when I have lost another pound and will compliment me lavishly. I love seeing these people! When it feels like I am stuck, or just feel a little down on myself- they will always give me a little confidence boost.



  • I realized this is a spiritual battle. I save the best for last. Here is the truth: none of this was me—it was all GOD. When my motivations are selfish, I will always fail over time. When my motivation is to glorify God with my life and my body, everything changes. I hugely recommend Lysa Terkeurst: ‘Made to Crave’ (or in the UK this link)* for anyone who wants to truly change her mind and heart in this area.


I said earlier this has been a personal journey. And this is what I have learned: it’s not about following all the rules correctly and achieving a top level; it’s about becoming. It’s about changing my daily habits, and my daily thoughts that then turn into weekly, monthly, and hopefully lifetime habits and thoughts. I think this is true of the Christian life as well. When I try to keep rules and expect perfection from myself—I fail. I fail big time. But when I daily make a choice to give God my heart and mind, I take steps at making new habits and patterns. I begin growing more like Him in my life in a process that will take a lifetime. Thankfully, it’s not a journey that I’m on in my own strength, but in His.


*This post contains an affiliate link.  This means if you click the link and buy the book, I get a percentage of the sale and you don’t pay any extra!



Reflections of a 30 Year-Old

30 goal setting photo

Today I turn 30.

I am not real big about age.  But I am real big about goals.

This is what I am realizing right now: I am big about ‘right now’ goals. I make a to-do list almost every day. Each year I make goals for that year.  I have a big goal to get to Wales ASAP. But there was never a point in my teens or 20s when I sat down and said, “By the time I’m 30 I hope to…”

How do I know if my life has been successful up to 30 if I don’t have a list to check off? This is a hard question for a list girl. I am reading an awesome book right now and I just read a chapter about setting life goals. So I did. I made a list of 30 life goals. It gets me all excited to pray for and strive to attain these goals. But before I opened that book today, I spent some time in a more important Book defining what success should look like in my life. This is what I came up with:

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tight to what is good. Romans 12:9

I don’t want to be fake. I really dislike fake. I want genuine in my life. I want a genuine love for others. I also want a genuine love for what is GOOD. Along those same lines, I am praying this:

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  Galatians 5:13

I don’t want to be selfish. I really dislike selfish. I love freedom in Christ, but my desire is to serve others in love. My prayer is that God shows me what this looks like in my life.

Do everything without complaining and arguing.  Philippians 2:14

I don’t want to complain. I really dislike complaining. This is one of the first verses I taught my daughter. I have her repeat it to me almost daily. In reality, it is one I should repeat to God daily.

Okay, enough with what I dislike, here is what I love:

These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.  Titus 2:4

I realize I am currently an “older woman” and a “younger woman”. Discipleship and training are big on my heart. I am in no way an expert on loving my family, but I pray God both teaches me and uses me to teach.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “for God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”  2 Corinthians 9:7

This year I am finding a new love in giving. One of the goals on my list is for my family to one day give more than we keep. How is this possible? I have no idea, but I love finding joy in giving. I get excited just thinking of what God has in store to teach me in this area.

I could share so many more areas of life I see God pointing at as I look through goal setting from scripture, but this is the one that sums up my cry to God this morning:

And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!  Psalms 90:7

Today I made a list of 30 life-time goals. My prayer over those 30 goals is that God makes my efforts successful. But my prayer over my life is that God shows me His approval.
Bring on the next 30 years…