Opportunity Archive

How I Lost 75 Pounds in Seven Months, Part Three

Posted February 21, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

In part one, I told you I eliminated the most stressful things from my life. In part two, I shared that I got my body in deliberate movement every day. Today I’ll share with you the third and final thing I did to lose seventy-five pounds in seven months.

In order to do that, I have to take you to Kentucky.

I’d passed through Henderson, Kentucky on my way west. As God would have it, I spent several days in the home of a lovely couple. Each morning, Clydean and I would gather around the kitchen counter. I’d drink sweet tea and she would mix up some powders from a can with water and down it.

We’d then set off on all sorts of adventures in Kentucky. And, it was obvious this lady who was older than me had far more energy than I did. I’ve always been a high energy person so I just chalked it up to being fatigued from miles in the saddle.

I week or so later, I found myself not only back in Kentucky for speaking engagements, but I’d suffered a horrible injury on the bike. While climbing the steep Wabash River Bridge coming back into Indiana, I suffered a full thickness tear of the medial collateral ligament in my knee. I wound up on a farm outside Henderson for almost two weeks while recovering.

While there, each morning I observed as my new host, Melody, going through the same ritual Clydean did. While I was drinking Diet Pepsi, Melody mixed powders into a cup with water and chugged it down. She also felt great, had lots of energy and just generally looked healthy.

Every morning, I watched. I’m from the lineage of Doubting Thomas but I could see it (whatever “it” was) working in her. Each morning we’d go through the same routine.

I’d pop the top on my Diet Pepsi while she scooped powder into a plastic cup, added water and drank.

Every time, she’d ask me if I wanted one of her “shakes” and I’d decline. She’d attack her day full of energy and I’d love her and hate her at the same time.

Finally (I know, I’m a bit slow), I began asking questions about what was in this mysterious concoction she and Clydean consumed so religiously. That was when I was introduced to something that has completely changed my life by repairing my body at the molecular level.

Right there, in what I consider the least likely of places—a farm outside Henderson, Kentucky—I met Reliv®.  I began taking it just to see what would happen. I’d already survived a crash down a mountainside, being attacked by a dozen water moccasins and a torn ligament in my knee. Surely I’d survive this formula. Right?

Reliv® completely changed my life. I had more energy. My overall outlook on life significantly improved. Pain that I once had was gone.

Rather than feeling like I was dying a slow death, for the first time in years, I felt vibrant and alive.

I figured it was the placebo effect because NOTHING could be this good. I studied the information about these products and what happens at the molecular level. Fortunately, I’ve been a student of the human body for decades. The Reliv® scientists were spot on.

I was finally getting the proper nutrition my body needed to perform the way God designed it to. For the first time in my life, I was completely in sync with the world. I felt great. My purpose was aligned with my gifts and my body was in fluid motion.

I am a skeptic. I didn’t jump on the gulp-down-a-shake bandwagon Clydean and Melody were riding each morning. They were so gracious, even when I accidently made comments about my doubting the effectiveness of what they were consuming. My thoughts screamed it each time I watched them but I never intended for it to actually come out of my mouth.

I’ve never been so wrong about something in my life. It has made all the difference. In fact, if I were president of the United States, I’d make it mandatory that all homes be filled with the stuff!

Today, I’m loving life, feeling great and am enjoying 75 less pounds than I had a year ago. I know it sounds crazy but I’m so grateful I injured my knee and was laid up on the farm outside Kentucky. That’s where I met Reliv®. 

Because of the difference it has made in my life and since it’s not available in stores, I even became a distributor so I can share it with everyone. Every day as I reflect on where I was a year ago compared to today, I am filled with gratitude that God led me to this life-changing product. I help people be healthy and for those who want extra income, I get to help them become distributors as well. Life is good. Very, very good.

Thank you Clydean and Melody for introducing me to Reliv®. I will never be the same.

Where are you in your journey? Are you satisfied with the way you feel? What obstacles have you faced? Share them here!

Also, if you’d like to explore what Reliv® can do to improve your quality of life, just let me know. You can contact me three ways:

          1) Email me at reba@rebajhoffman.com,

          2) Complete the contact form on my website

          3) Leave me a voicemail right from my website. Just click the “leave voicemail” tab on the right side of the page.

 

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

The Familiar

Posted September 26, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

As I plan for my latest departure on the Road to Freedom Tour, I feel a bit nostalgic being surrounded by so much that is familiar. I lived in Jacksonville, Florida for over forty years. I know the streets. The history. I’m able to pick out even the smallest subtlety in any area of town.

144 W. 4th Street, where I lived in the inner city

144 W. 4th Street, where I lived in the inner city

There aren’t many roads I could travel down in this town without a memory of some sort flashing on the silver screen of my mind. Many of them good. Some painful. All a part of the history that is Reba J. Hoffman. 

I marvel at how I survived the inner city high school as a teenager with a slow Texas drawl. I ran the same cobblestone streets as a child that Dakota and I rode down as we wound our way through downtown. Only God could have protected me in that environment.  My heart filled with gratitude at how He cared for me when I didn’t even know it. He met my need when I didn’t know I had it.

Andrew Jackson High School, where I graduated. It looks much better today than when I walked its halls.

Andrew Jackson High School, where I graduated. It looks much better today than when I walked its halls.

As I rode through the Avondale community, I noticed the old Shell service station had been replaced by shops and eateries. While I’d been away–or perhaps just not paying attention–someone repaved memory lane.

There is a blessing in the familiar. I didn’t have to ask directions or MapQuest it when I needed to go to Barnes and Noble to research my latest book I’m writing. I just went. No wrong turns. No relying on GPS or written directions. I knew the way.

The familiar.

My heart pulls me away from the familiar to… well… out there, somewhere. To a place I’ve never been on roads I’ve never ridden. It beckons me to come. I must obey. I know this has to be the restlessness felt in the heart of every pioneer as they left comforts and comrades, opting for the unknown and uncharted in search of… something.

Jacksonville, Florida Skyline from the River Walk Trail

Jacksonville, Florida Skyline from the River Walk Trail

The Road to Freedom is all about exploring the unknown. For me, it’s traveling alone by bicycle to places I’ve never been and meeting women I’ve never known. For these women victims of violent assault and sexual abuse, the unknown is trying to face a world free from their abuser or the shame they’ve lived with for years, or even a lifetime.

Just like I feel comfortable, yet unsatisfied and restless in the wonderful city of Jacksonville, Florida, these women have learned to exist in their familiar. They don’t like it. In fact, they hurt deeply but it is all they know. It’s easier to maintain than to blaze a new life for themselves.

It’s easy to accept the familiar and not try to live your dreams, heal your wounds or live the abundant life God intended for you to live. The unknown carries fear. But it also can open up a whole new and fulfilling world. 

 

Out there... somewhere.

Out there… somewhere.

 

 I’ve lived in the familiar and I’ve traveled down unknown roads not knowing where they would lead. I have to tell you, given the choice I will always choose the road untraveled to the familiar. It’s exciting, liberating, and completely fulfilling. I wouldn’t trade my life on the bike for anything. I took a chance and stepped out of the familiar. Lives have been changed… including my own. The familiar isn’t worth giving up that for.

What about you. Are you holding on to the familiar when you’re being nudged out into a new world? Share it here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Across the Table

Posted August 23, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

BibleYesterday morning I was invited to a Bible study in the home of a retired female pastor. I eagerly accepted the invitation and before I knew it, I found myself sitting around a long table with other women.

I was asked to share about the Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour and as I did, the lady directly across the table began to tear up. She went on to share a story of pain and ultimate forgiveness.

She’d had been treated inappropriately as a child by her half brother. As they grew into adulthood, they parted ways. Her brother repeated these acts and landed in prison with a twenty year sentence.

I was released from prison and recently this dear lady got word that he had died. She was at a loss as to what to do. She John Audobon Lake 2allowed God to heal her childhood wounds but she’d also build a mighty protective fortress around her emotions and didn’t want to open that gate again.

At God’s prompting, she finally met with her brother’s children and experienced a grand and glorious healing.

The Bible study continued for several moments. Suddenly the lady next to the one who’d shared began to cry and said she was having a very difficult time trying to forgive the drunk driver who struck and killed her son back in May. This mother’s heart bled for her son.

I opened my mouth and love mixed with grace flowed out. There is a difference between grief and forgiveness. A grieving mother must first grieve, then the forgiveness is possible. For a long while I poured out God’s love to her. It  is incomprehensible what this mother was facing. It’s unnatural for a mother to bury their child.

Southern IllinoisIn my finite mind, I planned on sitting in on a neighborhood Bible study while sipping Thursday morning coffee. But, as God would have it, women were there who needed ministry… to share their stories… to receive a word of encouragement from a stranger to their town, albeit one who blew into their community wearing spandex and helmet hair.

As I hugged them goodbye and headed to my temporary home, I was struck by the reality that we never know who’s sitting across the table. They may appear happy, healthy and whole but they could be suffering in silence.

I’ve faced that during this trip more often than I have words to express. Women–and some men–who put on a brave face but in private relive the same nightmare over and over again. 

I urge each of you to take note of the person sitting across the table from you. Whether you know them or not, you really don’t know what they may be experiencing… the pain they endure… the silent suffering that fills their day.

Take a moment to encourage them, to pray with them or to discover how you can help them. If we all do that, the world will be a better place.

 

6 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Bride Number 497

Posted August 20, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
My New Friend, Clydean, got me into the kitchen

My New Friend, Clydean, got me into the kitchen

As you read this, I’ll be crossing two states, from Kentucky to Indiana and then into Illinois. I spent one last glorious day in Henderson, Kentucky.

I had the privilege of ministering to a woman in a homeless shelter before lunch. I sat and listened as she poured out her heart to me. If you haven’t walked a mile in this woman’s shoes, consider yourself very, very blessed.

After lunch on the Ohio River in downtown Henderson with my new friend, Clydean, we headed to a modest home in the downtown area. There, for the second day in a row, I got to sit and chat with Bride Number 497: Helga.

Helga was born and raised in Berlin and after the war, she fell in love with an American soldier.

Lunch on the Ohio River

Lunch on the Ohio River

They were married and Helga boarded a ship to the United States. She was known to the authorities as Bride Number 497.

Helga is an 84 year old feisty woman with a zest for life and endless life experiences. I sat as she regaled me with story after story… of her homeland… of the war and the different ways they were treated by soldiers from various countries as they made their way through Germany.

I instantly fell in love with Helga, perhaps because she filled in gaps about my father’s roots. I imagined what it was like for him before he came to America. Or maybe it is because Helga’s personality and love for life is infectious. Whatever the reason, I sat transfixed and hung to every word she spoke.

Helga doesn’t see very well now, so I’m sure she won’t remember me by sight. But I will sure remember her. Her eyes sparkled with adventure and as she told stories, I was instantly transported back to the military ship that carried eighty brides from Europe to their military husbands in the States.

Helga and me... new budds

Helga and me… new budds

My stomach churned as she relived the storm at sea and how she and her friend went out onto the deck… the forbidden place during such storms.

Perhaps I identified with the little bit of renegade I saw in her…that independence that insisted on living life on her terms, even if it meant getting in trouble.

My life is enriched by meeting Helga. For those brief moments, I was living history right along with her, her memories and the life she forged on two sides of a wide ocean.

I’ll never forget Helga. She lives life and does it her way. The world was changed forever when Bride Number 497 graced it with her presence. Here’s to you, dear lady!

8 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

 In today’s episode, I interview novelist Beth K. Vogt.  Her second novelCatch a Falling Star,  hit the bookstore shelves yesterday. She candidly shares about life’s story question, “What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan?”

Author Beth K. Vogt is living her dream

Author Beth K. Vogt is living her dream

 

You can also see an interview I did with Beth on May 1, 2012, the day her first novel, Wish You Were Here, launched.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-ti0X4DRHU

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment

[Podcast] Why Women Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Posted April 10, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Women of my generation were taught to keep quiet, not get noticed and don’t step on anyone’s toes. That makes it really tough to think about striking out at your age to live your entrepreneurial dream, doesn’t it? Or does it?

Photo by Mary Denman Mary Denman Photography

Photo by Mary Denman
Mary Denman Photography

 

Join me for this week’s podcast. Just scroll down and click to listen!

Episode 002 SHOW NOTES

 

 

1 Comment. Join the Conversation

New Horizons

Posted March 1, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Yeah, I was a big chicken

Yeah, I was a big chicken

Thank you all for such a great year of blogging. You have been so wonderful and supportive as I found my voice, shared words of encouragement, wisdom and enlightenment.

Wow, that just sounded like I’m breaking up with you. Not a chance. In fact, I’m taking things to a whole new level starting this month. You all know my passion to help people (especially single women) believe in themselves and live their dream. That’s going to continue. Here’s how:

Audio Podcasts. Starting in March, I’ll be adding a podcast to my block schedule. Why? Well, think about it. You can download it to your i-pod or cell phone, or burn it to a CD. While you’re driving to work you can get encouragement. Does it get better than that?

I've really been working hard

I’ve really been working hard

Guest Experts. Hey, when pursuing your dream, you’ll need expert advice. Some of it I’ll be

able to provide. Some I won’t. From time to time, I’ll bring in experts to share their wisdom with you.

My Biggest Blunder. Hey, I’ve made just about every mistake in the book when it comes to entrepreneurship. In fact, if they paid award money for that, I’d be a billionaire. But why should you make those same mistakes when I can so easily help you avoid them?

I’ll be charging. Ok, not really but I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. J

It’s been a great year and I look forward to the new one as we take this journey together.

 

I'm ready for the new adventure!

I’m ready for the new adventure!

May you always have a dream in your heart and the courage to pursue it.

What do you think of the changes? Greatest thing you’ve heard all day? Think it stinks? I really want to know! Share it here.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Hidden in Plain Sight

Posted February 27, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

girl hiding her eyesI recently watched Hunger Games with friends. Those who know me understand this is a radical departure from my typical genre flick but I was up for something new.

I’d never read the books and my only exposure to the movie was a glimpse here and there on the laptop of the airline passenger in the seat beside me on a flight to Kansas City.

The thing that stuck out most in my mind wasn’t the fact that children fought to the death to feed their families in sport. Nor was it computer generated animals that actually killed people. It was the paint.

I was amazed that someone could paint themselves to completely blend into rocks to avoid detection. This young man was NOT a rock. Yet, he was able to apply enough “stuff” that anyone would walk right by him and never even know he was there.

Know what? Answers are like that as well. Just like the white tail deer that cannot be seen in the forest or the cheetah that deerdisappears in the grasses of Africa, blessings are right there in front of you, hidden in plain sight.

Once they are pointed out to you, you clearly see them but if you’re only looking at and for the obvious, you’ll miss out on a lot of really exciting stuff.

Opportunity is normally right there before your eyes at any given time but you can’t see it… at least until you stop gazing at what stands out and find what’s hidden in plain sight.

Here are a couple things you can do to help with that:

Stop focusing and just look. The moment you stop trying to focus your eyes on something, it allows your brain to take in the entire scene and the lion appears. It’s true with opportunity as well. Get the big picture.

Mountains Reflecting in Calm LakeAnticipate what’s hiding. If you know something is there, you then understand all you have to do is find it. That’s half the marathon already run!

I don’t want you to miss the blessings in life that are hidden in plain sight. If you did, you’d miss out on the best part of life. And, it’s right there where you are. Just look and expect to see.

Have you ever passed something up that was right there but you didn’t see it? What was the result? Share it here.

 

I make it easy for you to share my post with others. Care to tweet? http://clicktotweet.com/a9v_M

Be the first to comment

Today, I Choose to Be Disciplined

Posted January 31, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Okay. Now I’ve done it. You were humming right along with choosing to be grateful, happy and courageous and then I had to go and toss in discipline. You’re pretty mad at me, aren’t you?

Most people rank discipline right up there with castor oil and flu shots. You know it’s good for you but it is a painful experience. That’s why I don’t like to use the word. There’s a much better way to look at it. Perhaps this post well help.

Discipline really is just taking advantage of opportunities in the moment. Nothing more. Nothing less. At any given time, you make the choice to work at living your dream… or not, washing the dirty dishes…or not. It’s simple, really.

Discipline need not be that ugly ogre that makes your nose crinkle when you think about it. It really is your friend. I promise. Here’s what discipline can do for you:

It makes the end of your day more rewarding. Don’t you just love to go to bed at night after a really productive day? Yeah… me too.

It puts you ahead of almost everyone else in the world. The only thing separating successful people from non-successful ones is that person kept going after most lacked the discipline to see it through to the end.

Discipline actually saves energy. Seriously. It takes more energy grappling with the guilt of not doing those things you should. If you discipline yourself to just do it, you’ll hold fatigue at bay.

Discipline makes you love yourself. There is no greater feeling than to have given something your all. When you’ve daily worked at what you know you should do, you look in the mirror with the utmost admiration.

Discipline is a learned behavior. It’s not like blue eyes of freckles. With those, either you have them or you don’t. But you can always work at being more disciplined. It’s entirely up to you.

While being disciplined is a choice, our emotions tend to buck and grumble against it. But you don’t have to accept that. You’re in control. All you have to do is decide you’re going to be a disciplined person and then take advantage of the opportunity of any given moment.

It is simple, just not easy. It does take work. But it is well worth the effort. Try combining things that you love with tasks you must do. For example, I’m writing this blog post while sitting on my deck at the lake. I’m basking in the sunshine while doing my work. Very pleasant.

I sincerely hope you say to yourself, today I choose to be disciplined. It will make all the difference in your life, your world and your dream.

Where are you when it comes to discipline? Do you have it? Or wish you did? Share it here and you could win a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

It’s Never Too Late!

Posted November 15, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I hear individuals all the time saying they wish they would have done something earlier in life, because now it’s too late. I can understand that if you wanted to be a child idol and you’re 35. I’d say that dream is gone. If you want to be a wide receiver for the NFL and you’re 62 AND female, chances are that ain’t gonna happen.

But the overwhelming number of once-upon-a-time’s can still be achieved. I know an eighty-three year old who always wanted to go to college. But, marriage, kids, wars, illness, deaths and other life events kept coming up. Now she’s in the classroom working on her degree.

On February 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn was the first human to orbit the earth as part of the Friendship 7 in Nasa’s Mercury Space Program. He always dreamed of returning to space. He felt it was of tremendous importance to understanding the rigors of space on the human body. In 1998, John Glenn returned to space, fittingly aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Want more? Jessica Cox flies an airplane without arms. She uses her feet. Tony Melendez plays the guitar the same way. Both were born without arms. Didn’t stop them.

Still not convinced? Katy Sullivan runs without legs. Never had them. Mikey Stolzenberg, a 12-year-old boy from Florida, plays high school lacrosse without arms or legs.

My point is that it’s never too late to become what you’ve always wanted to be. What to be a salsa dancer? Don’t know why since salsa is better eaten with tortilla chips, but hey, if you want to dance salsa, then why not?

Want to ignite that fire of passion again in your heart for a dream long left for dead? Do this and you’ll be amazed at what happens:

1)   Admit. It’s ok to say that you allowed your life to lead you off the path you wanted to be on.

2)   Believe. Pure and simple. Believe you can do it. Perhaps not like you could when you were a kid, but you can still do it. Believe!

3)   Commit. Determine in your heart, soul and spirit that nothing will keep you from living your dream.

It’s really simple as ABC. I didn’t say it was easy but it surely is simple. Never underestimate the potential you have and always believe it’s never too late to be who you are destined to be.

What do you dream of doing? What happened to derail you? Do you think it’s time to live it? Share it here.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation