Healthy Body

5 Ways to Re-Energize Your Weight Loss Journey

Before and After me anniversary
June 2017 to June 2018


I have been prioritizing my health and getting healthy for over a year now.

I have lost more than 50 pounds in the past year. Yes, that’s awesome, but I have yet to reach my goal.

And I am getting tired.

I’m getting tired of always making the healthy choice.  I’m getting tired of planning the meals, making time for exercise, making sure I am taking time to refresh my soul in the midst of busy.


Is anyone following me?!

If you are in the middle of a long health journey, stick with me. It can be hard when you have been making healthy choices for a long time, but you feel you still have so far to go.

Friend, don’t give up in the middle! Change takes time. It’s pushing through the hard times that builds our resolve and really creates those habits that will last long past the “diet” phase.

I find that in the middle of a long journey, it’s good to take a break. This is true on a road trip or long flight.

If you’ve ever taken a long drive, you probably stopped somewhere in the middle to get out and stretch your legs. We have done many long road trips. We usually find a place to let the kids run around. We change the music in the car or think of new discussion topics. On a long flight we often get up and do a little walk around the plane.


It is in our human nature to get bored.

But when I get bored on a road trip, I don’t turn around and go back home. That would be ridiculous! No, I change it up but I keep moving forward.

So how can we translate this to our weight loss journey? How can we change things up but continue going the right direction? How do we stop from getting bored?

Below are 5 “breaks” you can take in your healthy journey to recharge and keep going the right direction.

hello fresh box

  1. Take a break from Menu Planning

I’m starting with my own situation.

I am experiencing ‘menu planning fatigue’. Is that a real thing? I have no idea. But I have it.

We started a long round of Whole30 in the middle of February. It’s now June, and while we haven’t done strict Whole30 the entire past 4 months, I have menu planned 7 dinners a week for the past 16 weeks!

In the past year I have fallen in love with cooking. I love menu planning and finding new recipes. But it takes work. It takes energy. And I just don’t have it right now.

I just don’t want to think about what our family is going to eat every. single. night.

While I need a break from all the hardcore menu planning, I don’t want to resort to eating out or caving to pasta, pizza, and other frozen meals.

I still want to nourish my body. I still want to make healthy choices. I just don’t want to have to think about them right now.

So we are re-activating our subscription to Hello Fresh. We did Hello Fresh last summer and it was amazing. This will not be an in depth review of Hello Fresh, there are many of those online if you want more information. Feel free to send me an e-mail or comment below with your questions, I could say more good things than I have time!

Here’s the bottom line: With Hello Fresh I am given six options for dinner for the week and I pick three. Then it gets delivered to our door completely measured out and ready to cook.

My brain loves this right now!

It cuts down the choices from millions of recipes available online to six options.

If a recipe needs a tablespoon of thyme, there is a tablespoon of thyme in the bag for me to use. I don’t have to think at all. Maybe I sound incredibly lazy to you. That’s fair.

But that’s what I love about Hello Fresh. I can be lazy with my menu planning and food prepping and still feed my family fresh, homemade meals.

On the downside, this can be quite expensive. I’m thinking we will do this for a month, or maybe the summer. It will give me the break I am wanting, and then I will be ready to get back into the swing of menu planning. If you are in the UK you can use this link to get £20 off your first box.

Hello Fresh is not the only company who provides these types of meals, but it’s the only one I’ve used. If this description is making your heart sing, pick one and do it for a few weeks. Give your brain a menu-planning break.

 morning bible routine

  1. Take a break from your morning routine

Whether it’s intentional or not, you most likely have a morning routine.

You may get up early and enjoy a quiet house with a cup of coffee and your bible. You may go for an early morning run. You may have a workout you turn on your TV and follow.

Or you might jump out of bed and run around the house like a crazy person trying to get everyone ready to go their separate directions for the day.

Whether it’s organized or chaotic, your morning most likely has a rhythm.

Can you do something to intentionally change this rhythm? Can you add or take away something to give you some new excitement in your journey?

Can you get up 30 minutes earlier and follow a workout video?

Do you need to sleep in an extra 30 minutes to get more rest and get the workout in later in the day?

Can you spend 10 minutes listing what you are grateful for from the day before instead of spending 10 minutes scrolling through social media?

Can you pack lunches, lay out clothes, and sign papers the night before so your morning has a few minutes to spare to pray before you get too busy?

Can you make a change to your morning that will energize you throughout the day?

 fitness on the beach.jpg

  1. Take a break from the way you exercise.

This is usually a really good place for me to start when I get stuck at a certain place in my weight loss.

Sometimes I am not exercising at all. Simply adding an intentional time of movement can give a big boost to your weight loss and energize you to keep going on the journey.

Don’t overcomplicate this. You don’t have to get a membership to anything. Just start walking at a brisk pace or find YouTube tutorials you can follow. Do something in the privacy of your own home if you are not comfortable going out.

If you are already exercising, can you change up what you are doing?

Maybe you love running, but you’ve been running four days a week and you are starting to get bored with it. Run a different route. Ask someone to run with you. Listen to a podcast instead of music. Ask for playlist suggestions for new music to listen to. Do something to change up the feel of your exercise without having to change what’s actually working.

Maybe you want to stop running for the summer and take up swimming instead.

Is there a change you can make to what you are doing that will breath new life into your exercise routine?  

 iphone social media image

  1. Take a break from Social Media

Can we be honest with ourselves? Sometimes watching other people succeed is incredibly motivating. And sometimes it can be disheartening.

Sometime you see people losing weight and getting healthy and reaching their goals and you are so happy for them and inspired to go after your goals as well.

And then sometimes you see it and you think of how far you have to go before you are at that point. You think of all the things you are doing and the results you are not getting. And you start to wonder if those sacrifices you are making are even worth it. Your life is getting nowhere fast, it does not look that good in photos, and it’s hard to be happy. It’s hard to keep your motivation.

Take a break from the comparison mentality. Take a break from the perfect pictures. Take a break from living up to someone else’s life.

Take some time to live your life without sharing it online.

Take some time to love your life, not someone else’s.

There are a lot of positive, encouraging voices on the Internet. I pray and strive to be one of those voices. I follow many people that encourage me to be a better Christ-follower, wife, mother, and person.

But regardless of how inspired we are by someone else, there is a pull in our hearts to compare our life to others. This is not healthy. This is draining. This will suck your motivation faster than anything else.

Friend, be a positive voice.

Share the good. Encourage others. But never become a slave to an online image.

break perfection flower

  1. Take a break from perfection.

My heart needs this one.

A healthy soul, a healthy family, a healthy body—those are life-long pursuits. Those are not things that I am going to follow a program and achieve. Those are things that require time and patience and failure and learning.

There are times to realize you need a change and to stick to a healthy eating plan 100%. There are times to “never skip a Monday” when it comes to your workouts.

Then there are times to drop the expectations and settle in for the long haul.

There will be times I am going to fail. There will be days that I skip a workout. There will be afternoons where I search the house for chocolate and indulge. There will be times when I throw myself a pity party.

And then I will get back up and I will keep going.

Perfection is not a reality on this earth. Perfection is sabotaging. Perfection is exhausting.

Take a break from impossible standards.

Friend, this life is a journey. Sometimes we need to break up the monotony of a long road. So take a breath, pull over, and give yourself that rest.

i will not quit

Are you getting tired on the journey?

Tell me below what area of your life needs a break. What change—big or small—do you think would energize you to keep going?

I would love to encourage you to take that break and then to keep going! Don’t turn back now, you’ve come too far for that!


5 tips graphic




Healthy Body

Life Between the Before and After Photos

blog cover photo 1

Something amazing happens when you lose a significant amount of weight. You have a confidence and belief in yourself that is sky high. You have just done something hard. Real hard. When you start seeing results from hard work that you have done, it makes you believe that you can keep doing that hard work and you can keep getting those amazing results. Weight loss is addictive. At a certain point it turns fun! Passing up baked goods and sweet coffee is no big deal because you know you are on track. You start to believe that healthy feels better than junk tastes.

I was there two years ago. I had lost 60 pounds in just 9 months. (I even wrote a blog about it.) I didn’t do any crazy diets or ridiculous workouts. I just changed my habits. I ate good, nutritious, real food and I moved a lot. I was changing my mindset not just doing a quick fix.

This phase of losing weight is usually documented by lots of full-length mirror selfies.

Then I got pregnant. It was planned, it was wanted, but pregnancy changes everything for me. Actually, it was a pretty healthy pregnancy but I still did not move as much and I did not eat as healthy. But all of that was easily excused by a little human growing inside of me. I could say, this isn’t forever, just nine months—and then eat the brownie.

Some phases of life require you to give yourself some grace and do the best you can.

This phase of life is often documented by lots of growing belly shots.

Pregnancy alone is a short phase and in my opinion, it’s doesn’t have to sabotage healthy eating habits. It’s the post-baby newborn phase that does me in! Combine the lack of sleep and lack of time to prepare healthy meals and all of my hard work just a year ago was gone. The scale was back to where it was pre-weight loss and I was drinking lots of coffee with sugar and eating all the pastries. But again, I could tell myself, this is only temporary. Babies are only babies for so long.

Some phases of life require you to give yourself some grace and do the best you can.

This phase of life is documented by lots of face-only selfies at a good angle that also include the cute baby as a distraction.

Then came the unexpected tragedy. That baby that I had sacrificed my weight loss for, the one that I lost countless hours of sleep over, the one that I was willing to change my life for—was gone in an instant. Suddenly my life was about one thing: grief. All of my energy went into making it through each day. Healthy eating and an active lifestyle weren’t really important factors in my mind. Grief is overwhelming and it affects everyone differently. I went through a lot of phases with grief.

Some phases of life require you to give yourself some grace and do the best you can.

This phase is best documented with photos of things that really matter. Things that still make you smile on the darkest days.

A few months into the grief process, I had gained about 40 pounds and I was smacked across the face with the fact that I am an emotional, comfort eater. I have a memory of a clear, defining moment when I came to grips with this. I was staring at a photo taken of our family on the day we had a memorial service for Beckett. A lot of people had prayed for our family over the past month. A lot of people had prayed for that specific service. I wanted post a photo on social media to thank everyone for their prayers and tell of God’s goodness on that day. The problem was, I was not at all happy with how I looked. I debated for longer than I care to admit about just posting a comment with no photo or not posting at all.   But I finally told myself, this is reality, people see me look like this every day, and I am not changing anything by refusing to post a photo of how I look. I was in essence saying, this is how grief has physically changed me:


I would love to say that moment was a wake up call and I took control of my health after that. But I didn’t. That moment lead to a few brief healthy months, but it was exhausting. People continually made comments about how strong I was. I wasn’t. I was in shock.  I honestly don’t think I truly started to grieve Beckett until about 5 months after he died. Then it hit me hard. I stopped caring so much about eating healthy and working out and instead focused on starting to actually work through my grief.

Some phases of life require you to give yourself some grace and do the best you can.

This phase of life was not photo documented too well. It was spent writing, praying, reading and tucking myself away for a little while.


Around September I knew I was at a pivotal point. We were 8 months into grieving and we were approaching Beckett’s first birthday—a moment I knew would be emotional for me. Not only were we approaching what would have been a birthday celebration, but we were sending our other two kids to school. I would be alone in the house each day and I would be faced with the fact that my baby was not there with me. There also came a point when I knew I needed to get healthy. This was not because I was unhappy with how I looked (I was), it was because I realized how much life I was missing out on by being constantly tired and not feeling my best. I knew grief and a busy life contributed to part of this feeling, but I knew what I was eating and putting into my body contributed to a large part as well.

If you are—or ever have been—overweight, I’m sure you have come to this all-important moment as well. You know you need to change, you just aren’t sure if you can. Maybe you’ve tried before and haven’t been successful. Or maybe, like me, you have tried before and have been very successful. But you know how much effort and work it took to be that successful and you just don’t know if you have it in you to do it again.

Despite a very low confidence in my self-discipline, and the knowledge that I was an emotional eater, I decided to go big. I suggested to Brian that we do a Whole30 for the month of September. Don’t worry, this is not going to turn into an advertisement for Whole30. In a nutshell, Whole30 is thirty days with no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no legumes, and no added sugars. (It is so much more than that and I do have SO much to say, but I’ll save that for a different post) I won’t try to sell anyone on a certain program, but it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.

I didn’t just read an article and jump into a crazy strict diet. I bought the official book about Whole30 and I bought fully into the concept of rewiring my eating habits. I went through a month with a lot of emotional triggers, and I was forced to find different, healthier ways to deal with my grief and stress than my normal choice of coffee and chocolate.

I celebrated what would have been Beckett’s first birthday by serving cake to close friends and abstaining myself.

I took a bath at night to relax instead of going to food or drink.

I promised myself I would walk the kids to school every day, no excuses—and I did it!

I started shifting my focus from weight loss to enjoying a healthy life with energy and focus.

Some phases of life require you to give yourself some grace and do the best you can.

And sometimes ‘the best you can’ is pretty freaking awesome!

This phase of life was documented by photos I took but didn’t share. They were the “before” and “during” photos that would one day look great next to my “after” photos.

I should have written and shared my journey at that time. I was excited and I was going a new direction. But I didn’t. It’s scary to share a journey when you are still in the middle of it. I like to write about lessons I have learned once they are over. I really wanted my next health post to be, “5 Things I did to lose 60 pounds…Again!” and be able to show the success of my hard work once again.

I don’t have that success story yet. But I do have a success story. I am daily making healthier choices and I am more convinced than ever that what we put into our bodies makes a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. This time I’m not waiting until I have arrived to look back on the journey. I’m taking a step out there to share the ups and downs.

My hope in sharing this whole story is that someone might see themselves in one of these phases.   And if that someone is you, that you would be gracious with yourself and do the best you can. New mamas—that might mean slowing down instead of racing forward right now. If you are grieving, give yourself time and the emotional space to do that. And by the way, grief doesn’t just come from the death of a loved one, you may have experienced the loss of a job or the death of a dream. It all sets you back. There are legitimate reasons to prioritize other parts of life and take things easy.

While I believe this with all my heart, please don’t park your mind there. There were a lot of people who assured me I was right to focus on my grief and not care so much about my physical health. The month that I was facing a lot of emotional triggers that I talked about earlier, it would have been acceptable to those on the outside for me to ‘take it easy’ through that time. Only I knew the inside. I knew I was ready to handle more. I knew I was ready to make a change. I knew my health and my quality of life needed a change. You know if you are in a legitimate season of taking it easy or if you are in a season of excuses. If you are at a point where you know you need to make a change and you are just scared, quit saying you are doing the best you can and take that first step out into the journey. Make a choice to get healthy and tell a friend or your spouse. Find support of some type and start to share your journey. Don’t do it to look better or to compete with someone else, do it because your physical health is important.

I would love it if you even let this be your first step—comment below and tell me what phase you are in. Is this your first time trying to get healthy? Have you been down this road only to come back again? I would love to be able to tell you that you can do this! Let’s be people that can do hard things and let’s do them together.

Let’s document this phase of our journey with “in the middle of it” photos and not wait for the “after”!

in the middle 5

— Rebekah


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!