Join the challenge!

A few how-to’s and explanations on how to survive a spend-fast. Hope you’ll join me for this February’s Spend Fast Challenge!

This challenge will force you to clean out and use up what you already have and discover time and money you didn’t know you had. Join the adventure!

First: Ask to join the Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1215035715260083/

Second: Visit the website and sign up for blog notifications:
https://tammylanhamimagesblog.wordpress.com/february-spend-fast-challenge/

up-for-the-challenge

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Best Detergent Recipe EVER!

laundryI have been making my own laundry detergent for over four years, now and am VERY happy with the results. However, my whites started not looking quite as white.  So I’ve been playing with detergent recipes to get a good combination that seems to work and here it is:

2 bars ivory soap, shredded (a cheese shredder works best)

2 cups washing powder (not baking powder, Arm & Hammer Washing Powder is at Walmart and Kroger on the detergent aisle)

2 boxes baking soda

1/2 box Borax

1 box Purex Powdered Bleach

2 cups of Oxi-Clean for extra icky laundry

Use 1 small scoop (about 1″ deep, 1″ around) for regular loads, a heaping scoop for heavy stained loads.  I have made many batches of this recipe and each batch makes just under 3 gallons and lasts about 8 months.  I do 4-6 loads of laundry per week for my family of 4.  I haven’t even used half of the washing powder, borax or Oxi-Clean, yet.  MUCH cheaper than buying Tide (or even the cheap store brand stuff)…

headshot 2Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking, and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus whose mission is to equip and empower entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers to climb to their untapped potential.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

 

 

 

Thank You For Noticing!

crying.jpgI went to the gym today and a sweet friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months stopped me and told me she could see where I had lost weight.
I almost cried. I love her.
You see, I haven’t lost a lot of weight. I’ve lost 19 pounds. And yes, that is a lot to some but I have 71 pounds to lose!  I’ve been working my butt off for 4 months, AND I lost 17 pounds the first month.
Three months of only losing 2 pounds makes me a little sick to my stomach…. and a tiny bit dead inside.
Today’s encouragement gave me the umph I needed to keep going….
Stop and encourage someone today – whether it’s losing weight, getting fit, taking care of their kids, or just rocking day to day life with a smile on their face, somebody may need to hear that you noticed.

headshot 2Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking, and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus whose mission is to equip and empower entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers to climb to their untapped potential.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

Power of a Wise Choice; 3 Case Studies

 

cancer surgery    Friends 2    Friends 3

 

Some of the most important friends in my world have had a bad week.  They may not know it but I have learned from them.

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tongue cancerFriend #1 – Chesi has tongue cancer, that’s right on her dad-gum tongue! Who has ever heard of that?!?  She had part of her tongue removed during surgery last week.  She’s young, has two young boys at home and she’s active in her community.  She could have easily let a cancer diagnosis cripple her.  But you know what?  She hasn’t. She’s fighting.  She’s a tough little booger!

Where’s Chesi’s choice?  Her reality is cancer.  There’s no choice there.  It’s what life has dealt her.  Her choice is her mindset.  I watched her be rolled back into surgery with tears in her eyes but a smile on her face as she waved to us.  This woman is making a choice to live, to stay positive and deal with her rotten reality named cancer.

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marriageFriends whose marriage is in trouble – It’s an awful situation. They both feel trapped.  They have resolved to live in a toxic life of misery.  They have options. But neither wants to see them because making any choices may be too painful.  Staying in the marriage may be a lifelong toxic choice at this point and getting out of the marriage may have it’s own lifelong toxic consequences.

Sometimes, there are no good options.  Sometimes choices suck.  But they are still there, however painful they may be.  Not making a choice can be just as painful as making one.

PAGE-DIVIDER

My frobbery.pngriend, Emma, could be really bitter about the thief that stole over $1000 worth of fireworks from her business and then tried to run over her in the parking lot.

But when the news showed up and the cameras were in her face, Emma gave thanks and encouraging words of appreciation to the neighbors and bystanders that offered their help when she could have easily spewed hatred and anger towards the thief.
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Chesi, you are teaching me to keep a positive mindset and not let the realities of life get me down.  You are an inspiration.

My couple friends – you have taught me that I always have a choice. Even if the options suck, I am never trapped because there are always options. But not making a choice can be worse than making a terrible one.

Emma, you have taught me that I can choose my focus.  I can choose to be thankful and encouraging, even in a bad situation.  Thank you for that reminder.

3 lessons:
I can choose my mindset.  I can choose my focus.  There are always choices…  

 

headshot 2

Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

 

 

The Day God Showed up at the Junk Store

Yesterday, my family and I went to several yard sales.  While at one in a nearby town, a lady there heard me asking if they hadclosed sign any cast iron pieces.  I recently cleaned up and restored a family heirloom piece to near mint condition and I was so proud of myself!  I wanted to see if I could restore some rusty, gunky pieces.

She told me of a junk store just a few blocks from where we were.  I was so excited!  We got in the minivan and drove to this little store.  They had stuff piled up everywhere outside and I was tickled to “hunt.”  I made it around to the door to see a sign that said “Closed.”

I was almost in tears.  I know – it’s a sickness when cast iron can bring you to tears!

Anyway, I turned around to leave when a regular customer / good friend of the owner appeared behind me.  I have no idea what his name is so we’ll call him “Bob.”  He reminded me of Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty.

So “Bob” said “The owner was going out of town for the morning but said he’d be back later today.  I have his number if you want to see if he’ll be here soon.”  So I called Tim (the owner).  Tim very bluntly said “I won’t be there for a few hours.  Sorry.”  Okay – so I tried…. time to go home.  😦

About that time, this lady appeared inside the front door of the store.  About scared me to death!  “Bob” told her we were from out of town and really wanted to look at the cast iron pieces.  Penny so graciously let us in.  There’s no way to explain how excited I was to be going inside this little treasure box!!  Giddy could not begin to explain it.  I walked into a little room that was completely dedicated to cast iron!  Oh my goodness!  I got dizzy!

There were lots of mostly clean pieces that were hanging on walls and sitting on shelves but what got me even more excited was the grocery cart sitting in the middle of the room full of rusty, gunked up pots and pans.  Did I mention the word giddy earlier?  Go one step farther and you can imagine my world!

TJJ excitedSo I spent the next 45 minutes digging every single piece out of that grocery cart hunting for the nastiest, grossest pieces to practice cleaning on.  I seriously broke a sweat during this hunt, people.  I excitedly took the 3 skillets and one little bean pot to the counter to get prices and make my final selections.  Penny noticed these items weren’t priced and said she needed to call the owner to get the prices.  She tried to use her cell phone and it wouldn’t work.  “Bob” offered his but was out of minutes and he suggested she use my phone I had called the owner on earlier.  She called Tim and asked about the skillets.  I don’t know exactly what was said but I heard that man screaming at this girl like a dog.  She very quietly kept saying “I didn’t know.  I didn’t have much of a choice.”  He told her he couldn’t price anything over the phone and yelled at her for borrowing a customer’s phone to make a call.  I don’t know which broke my heart more – the fact that I couldn’t take home my treasures or that Penny looked like she could burst into tears when she told me.   I literally walked to the minivan in tears.

 

She called Tim and asked about the skillets.  I don’t know exactly what was said but I heard that man screaming at this girl like a dog.  She very quietly kept saying “I didn’t know.  I didn’t have much of a choice.”  He told her he couldn’t price anything over the phone and yelled at her for borrowing a customer’s phone to make a call.  I don’t know which broke my heart more – the fact that I couldn’t take home my treasures or that Penny looked like she could burst into tears when she told me.   I literally walked to the minivan in tears.

So that’s it, right – live through disappointment and go home.  Quit thinking about it.  Just go on with regular life.  Except I couldn’t.  The lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.  Go to sleep – close your eyes, breathe in, breathe out…. eyes fly open – I can’t get that woman’s face out of my mind.  Why, Lord?  Why is she on my heart?

go back

 

 

 

What?

Go back.

What do you mean “Go back.”  Why, Lord?  Why in the world would I go back??

Go back.

What in the world would I say?

Go back.

Geesh – really?

Go back.

But I don’t want to.

Go back.

So I got up this morning with my stomach tied up in knots and these people on my mind.  Why would I drive 45 minutes to a town completely out of my way and what the heck would I say to these complete strangers when I got there??  Would I talk to the owner, Tim?  Would I give Penny a hug?  What?  Why in the world??  It’s none of my business!!

Go back.

But what if they tell me it’s none of my business?  Because… it’s not, really.  Right?  What if he throws me off his property?

Go back.

But….

Go back.

I begrudgingly got dressed and got in the car.  Again, I tried to reason with God.  Ever tried to do that?  Never works out in the end but I still tried.

Lord, it’s Saturday.  My husband’s home today.  I have guests coming for lunch tomorrow, I need to be home today.  With my family.

Go back.

But what will I say?  I have nothing to say, Lord!

Go back.

pouting

Okay – FINE!  I’ll drive there!!  But this is going to turn out badly.  What could I possibly say to accomplish anything positive????  Tomorrows newspapers will read “That Preacher’s Wife has Head Ripped Off by Junk Store Owner” That’ll be just great, won’t it Lord?  Is that what you really want?  For me to make a fool of myself?  To get yelled at?  Why in the world would you want me to do something like this???

 

 

I thought about calling my friends to make sure they had bail money ready – what if he threw me off his property or had me arrested for harassment??

Go back.

All the way there, I argued, fussed and imagined every single worst possible scenario.  When I got there, the parking lot was completely full.  I rolling vandrove past the place three times and finally reasoned “It’s full – I can’t even pull into the parking lot.”  You know, my silly van turned into the parking lot anyway.  Stupid van.  Never listens to me.  I had to park on the edge of a hill.  Great.  The van will go rolling down the hill and when I get thrown off the property, I’ll have to hitch hike home.  Perfect.

I get out of the van and walk towards the door where there are 7-8 large, burly, bearded men laughing loudly.  I tried to quietly walk past.  Lord, I’m not talking to any of them.  They could eat me for dinner.  About that time, one of the men looked at me and said, “Sorry, we’re closed until Tuesday.”  Shew.  Off the hook!  I can go home now!  Felt like I was skipping through a field of daisies!

I turn to walk away.  Something literally hit me in the gut.  You know that feeling when you go over the top of a hill when you’re on a roller coaster.  Or riding in the back of a vehicle when a maniac is driving way too fast over a hill?  Yeah – that feeling.  Hit me right in the gut.

I honestly didn’t even have time to think about what I was going to say.  I turned around so fast and the words “Is Tim here?” ran out of my mouth so fast, I couldn’t catch them.  The biggest, burliest dude looked at me and said, “I’m Tim.”  Gulp.

Legs – listen up…. run.  Turn right now and run.  Stupid legs didn’t listen either.  There I stood with all these men looking at me.  I quietly asked if I could speak to him privately for a moment.  He stepped away from the group.  Lord, what the heck have you gotten me into????  What do I do now?

“I was here yesterday.”  Wringing my hands, nervous.  Really wanting to puke.  Seriously.  That knot that’s been in my stomach for the past 24 hours is trying to make its way up my esophagus.  All over the big burly dude.  That wouldn’t be good.

“This is not something I would normally do.  In fact, I hate confrontation.  It really bothered me the way you spoke to Penny yesterday on the phone.”

“What are you talking about??”

That sounded defensive.  Lord, don’t let him punch me.  Please?  Wonder if the van has rolled away yet…. come on legs, pleeeeease??

“I was standing five feet away and I could hear you yelling at her.  It has really bothered me and had to come back to say something about it today.  It’s probably none of my business but you didn’t need to talk to her the way you did.”

scary faceLord – why is he staring at me like I’ve lost my mind?  Why did you put me in this very awkward position?  Why won’t he say anything?  What do I do, Lord?  Please keep me from puking on him.

“Wow.  I was trying to tell her I couldn’t price anything over the phone.  I’ve been ripped off before doing something like that.”

Our conversation turned to his past experiences of people stealing from him, taking advantage of him, etc.  I told him that’s not what I came for – I came to challenge him on the way he spoke to Penny.  He then told me Penny was his fiance.  The knot in my stomach got worse.  Poor Penny.

He then asked me which cast iron pieces I was looking at.  “I honestly don’t want to purchase anything from you.  I just wanted to tell you that you can’t speak to people the way you spoke to her yesterday.  It’s not right.”  He then asked me to please come in the store and show him what I had been looking at.

Why does he want me inside?  I’m not going in there with him…. um….. where did all the guys who were here go?  Hello?  The parking lot is completely empty except for my van perched on the edge of the hill.  He’s going to take me somewhere inside, chop me up into little pieces and fry me in one of those beautiful cast iron pans, isn’t he??  Gulp.

Go back.

stranger danger 1 stranger danger 3

stranger danger 2

Are you kidding me, Lord?  Stranger danger!  Going in a closed store with a man I just confronted for yelling at his fiance?  No.  No way.  I won’t go.  Nope.  Not. Going.

Go back.

I couldn’t stop my feet.  They were following Tim inside the store.  Stupid feet.  What – is NOTHING listening to me today???

Inside, to my relief, I saw “Bob” and Penny, both.  Penny said I looked familiar and Tim said “Yeah, she just jumped all over my a** for yelling at you yesterday.”  The look on Penny’s face was absolutely priceless.  He told her what I had said.  I told her she was worth more than gold to God.  There were tears.  We walked back to the cast iron room and I showed him the pieces I had found yesterday.  He gave me pricing on them but I told him I wasn’t here to buy.  I ended up buying anyway but made sure he knew that’s not why I came back.

At the checkout, Tim continued to tell me everything going on in his world – busted water pipes has destroyed his home, a mini stroke in January, uncontrollable high blood pressure, he passed out at work a couple weeks ago…..  Honestly, I was thinking “Time to go!  I did what you wanted, God.  Now let me go home!”  I had my  hand on the door and the door pulled open a couple of feet.

Go back.door

Something grabbed that door, pulled it shut and these words came flying out  “I’m not very comfortable doing this but is it okay if I could pray with you?”  What??  Lord, come on!  I was almost out the door!

I prayed for Tim’s health issues, his business, his home, Penny and their relationship with one another and even prayed for silly old “Bob” sitting in the corner.  When I got done, “Bob” shouted “Amen!”  Tim smiled and said “Penny needs all the prayers she can get.  I’m an a** to love.”  Penny very quietly said “The Lord sent you here today.  Thank you.”  Just for a brief moment, time  stood still.

You know, there have been times in my life that I felt like I should’ve done something.  It was on my heart and I didn’t do it.  But this time, I had no control.

I COULD NOT walk away from this.  The Lord wasn’t going to let me leave until I did what He wanted.  No matter how incredibly awkward and uncomfortable.

How many times have I turned away from that “I need to do something” feeling?  I’m in a hurry, I’m running late, I need to go do this, that and the other.  How many times have I refused to listen to God’s leading only to deny someone a blessing He was trying to give them.  I’m so stinking stubborn.  stubborn

Tammy LanhamTammy Lanham is the wife to Tommy Lanham and Momma to  Appolonya and Dylan.  She homeschools them both.  She travels and speaks to women, entertaining and encouraging them in their Christian walk.In her free time, she….. wait – she has no free time…  nevermind….

Thanks for reading!

 
 

 

The Stair Climber From Hell

Okay – A little over 2 weeks ago, I began a journey to being healthier.  No, I don’t sell weight loss stuff, I don’t endorse any gym equipment… heck, I don’t even LIKE working out.

Jacobs-Stair-2I started going to the gym M-F.  The first day, I walked on the treadmill 10 minutes, worked on the elliptical for 10 minutes and looked at that scary machine in the corner – the stair climber.  I saw what it did to people.  Sometimes it tried to eat people. It turned great big muscular men into sniveling, panting, weaklings.  Sure, people would start out running up those things but they soon learned. And I knew – because I watched what it did to people. I ran home trembling in fear.

The next day, I did the same on the treadmill and elliptical but got brave enough to go figure out how to turn on that stair climber.  I watched a girl run up those stairs for about 20 minutes and although she was breathing fast, she walked away alive.  Seemingly undamaged from this simple machine.  So I could do this, right??  Oh, how cocky I had become.

Rocky Balboa stepsI climbed on with the Rocky theme music thundering in my ears.  I’m gonna conquer these steps…. I can do it!  I had a goal of 1000 steps.  That should be easy, right???  The girl I watched run up those stairs did over 3000.  I started off slow and kept a steady pace.  Well – this isn’t so bad.  My knees are holding up okay, my breathing is steadily getting more labored but I’m doing it!  I look around at the people in the gym wondering if they can hear the Rocky theme playing, too?  I wonder why they’re not staring, even applauding in admiration of this great feat of strength and courage I have begun.

I begin to feel a little more winded.  A little weaker in the legs.  I had already done an entire 10 minutes on the treadmill AND 10 minutes on the elliptical so I’m already plumb exhausted, remember?  😉  I began to pant, like those strong men I had seen…  but no, no, no…. that wouldn’t happen to me, right?  I’m taking it slow and steady…  Geesh, I must have gone nearly 1000 steps by now, right?

There’s a little screen that shows how many steps you’ve gone.

I’m on #18.

I’m not kidding.

Suddenly, the Rocky theme stopped.  All of those images in my head of me victoriously dancing at the top of this machine for all the gym patrons to applaud my efforts well – kinda died.  And I became a sniveling, panting, weakling – just another victim of the stair climber from Hell.  I did make it to 100 steps but was sucking wind and thought I was going to vomit right there by the treadmill.  Rocky never vomited.

But I went home elated that I even climbed on that stupid thing.

stairsNext day, I went back.  There was a guy on the stair climber struggling – big muscular guy…. I’m sure at one point he was strong but that machine was doing it to him – turning him into a sniveling, panting weakling.  Why are these people letting this machine do this to them???  Why do they put themselves through the torture?

You won’t believe this.  That stupid stair machine called my name.  It mocked me.  It told me I could never be Rocky.  It taunted me so badly that I HAD to get on it and teach it a lesson.  I could do 100 steps again…  I did it once and survived….that’s right.

Oh, I was, once again, quite cocky.  It turned me into a sniveling, panting weakling BUT I made it to 111 first!  Oooh, I felt like I had conquered it, at least for the moment.

Each day, I added a few more steps.  Then, THEN, I was really going to teach it a lesson!  I introduced that stair machine to my husband, Tommy Lanham!  He’s the strongest, most determined man I know.  Bet you can’t take HIM you silly stair climber!

We stepped on the side-by-side machines and began to climb.  Tommy asked me to hum the music to Rocky.  I just smiled wondering if he knew that had been going on inside my head.  He knows me well.  We climbed and pushed and sweated and you know something?  That machine turned my husband into a sniveling, panting weakling, too!  What in the world!?!

stairs3Tommy began going with me to the gym – yep, TRUE LOVE right there, folks!  But I think Tommy heard that machine’s taunting, too.  I think that’s how it gets ya – sucks you right in.  We are helpless victims.

I’m proud to announce, that 2 weeks later, Tommy and I each climbed 750 steps today!  Yeah, it’s not quite my initial goal of 1000 but you know what, it’s a whole lot better than the 100 I did that first day.  I am now able to go over 2 miles on the elliptical (in about 30 minutes) and I take a weekly Body Pump class.  (FYI:  this may be TMI but I’m proud that I can now take the Body Pump class and still sit and get off the toilet without assistance the next day!)  I call that progress, folks!

And so far, that stair climber from Hell hasn’t won.  Yes, it still taunts me, but I’m still going, baby!  And I’m not stopping!

Oh yeah – I weighed in this Tuesday at 206.2.  🙂  I’ll take that.

The Difference a Week Makes

help scale
Feet on a bathroom scale – Isolated

I’ve been really pushing myself this past week. I’ve reached a point where something just clicked and I’m sick to death of being this overweight. I have never yo-yo’d with my weight, just little by little constantly gone up. With one exception…. about 5 years ago, I lost 50+ pounds and was 3 pounds from my goal weight. First time in my life I ever lost weight like that. Then I began breaking out with mysterious bumps all over my body. I ended up being treated for nearly 2 years by specialists & doctors who never did figure out the cause. 2 years later and rounds and rounds of steroids later, I found all the weight put back on plus some. And I’ve continued to gain since then….

Then I began breaking out with mysterious bumps all over my body. I ended up being treated for nearly 2 years by specialists & doctors who never did figure out the cause. 2 years later and rounds and rounds of steroids later, I found all the weight put back on plus some. And I’ve continued to gain since then….

I woke up last week miserable. I have a friend on Facebook (thanks Greg!) who is posting photographs of the scale each week. I used to do that. Why did I stop?  I got on the scale for the first time in months to find myself weighing 218 pounds. Wow – what a reality kick in the gut.

I began doing the same 7 things I did last time, including not eating past 7:30 at night, getting plenty of sleep, exercising 5x per week, tracking my food on http://www.myfitnesspal.com, and several other small lifestyle changes. I have not gone on a diet – I still eat any food I crave. I don’t go to meetings, there are no tricks. Basically, my master plan is to eat less and move more.

Today, I woke up and weighed in at 207.4. I have lost 10.6 pounds this week. I know there is a lot of water weight to account for that big of a loss but I have also worked really hard and that will not change.  I have doubled my distance on the elliptical and can climb double the amount of stairs I could a week ago. I have tons more energy, I feel healthier and stronger… now, only 60.4 pounds to go!

I am on a journey once again. I have started this journey before (since the 50+ pound loss a few years ago) and after a few days, gave up. I think part of my issue is staying accountable. That is the reason for this post – I’m telling my actual weight and what I’m doing. Other people now know. That motivates me to stay on track. Your prayers are appreciated.

My New Pet: Sourdough bread!?

FM aratisan breadfarmers marketWhen we lived in New Castle, Kentucky, this wonderful woman, Janet, baked the most amazing sour dough bread you’ve ever put into your mouth.  Topped with some smoked cheddar, it would bring anybody to their knees begging for more. I visited her often at the local farmers market.  In other words, I stalked her every time she was there and secretly hoped she would turn her head so I could grab the whole basket and run for home.  yogistealsSince moving to southern Kentucky,  I have not found a “new Janet.”

So a friend posted on Facebook she had extra sourdough starter and asked if anybody could use it.  I’ve been DYING to learn this craft so I enthusiastically responded (pretty much begged) – “Me!  Me!”  I picked it up from her house and then life came along.  Hours after picking up this precious specimen of fermenting dough and bacteria, we got our sons’ crazy baseball schedule.  My free evenings were put on hold.  Until the end of November!!  Oh sourdough, how long will you elude me?

This was almost 10 days ago.  Three days ago, after having dreams of sinking my teeth into a fresh loaf of hot, homemade bread dripping with warm butter, I FINALLY found this amazing website explaining what to do with this prefect little baggie of starter.  Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into?  There are exactly HOW MANY steps to doing this!??!  And there are feedings?!  Whaaaaaa?  You’re supposed to FEED this stuff (previously referred to as my precious specimen) twice a day?  I’m lucky if I feed my kids twice a day!!  (joking…….. kind of…..)

gremlins-2-the-new-batch-still

So I began feeding it.  Holy cow – this stuff is like the Gremlins movie back in the 1980’s – you feed this stuff, it grows!!  I mean, seriously, it doubles in size twice a day!  It’s kind of like having my own pet.  I feed it, check in on it, make sure it doesn’t explode out of the bowl I currently have it housed in, watch for bubbles to make sure it’s breathing…. just like some kind of weird pet.  From a horror film.  A low budget one.

Then yesterday.  Oh my.  I decided it was time to do something with this living, breathing pet of mine.  Okay – that’s a lie.  I HAD to do something with it because I feared it would take over my kitchen.  And eat my children.

I revisited that really awesome website and watched videos for an hour.  After regaining my strength from being so overwhelmed, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in.  I mixed this stuff and began to knead the bread.  For 20 minutes.  Whoa!  No wonder my grandma could bring you down with one whack of a wooden spoon!  She was so strong from kneading bread!!  I was literally sweating through my clothing – my husband began chanting from the kitchen table “Come on, you can do it!”  Yes, I have my own sourdough cheering squad.  And he’s sexy as all get out…..  be jealous.

lowres01

After 20 minutes, I covered my pet and let it rise once more.  Several hours later, I peeked at it.  It
had doubled in size again.  Ready for baking!  I followed the instructions and 30 minutes later, the timer beeped.  This glowing, lightly browned knob of warm, steaming bread came out of the oven.  My beautiful little pet had been baked to perfection.

_MG_3856

Then I ate it.

insert-evil-laugh

Go ahead, ask me if I feel guilty.  Ha!  Not one stinking bit!  I’m even going to eat it’s children and grandchildren without remorse!  And with butter and jelly.

And after I shot the images to go with this blog, I turn around to find this waiting……  I think he liked it.

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Onward to more baking adventures!!

Two Week’s Progress = Up or Down ??? pounds!

Okay, so I haven’t taken a photograph of the number on my scale to share with you yet.  There’s just a little bit of embarrassment and shame in doing such an act so I’m working up the nerve.  Are you wondering why would I share my weight anyway?  For me, it has a higher level of accountability attached when I’m reporting my actual weight to you.

So, what have I been doing the past 2 weeks?

Week 1 – felt very guilty about weighing as much as I do
– began praying and asking God’s help in getting healthy
– began visiting our local gym

Week 2 – Announced to the world (well, the Facebook world anyway) that I’m making a commitment to get healthy
– Stopped eating after 7:30 p.m. – no exceptions.  Even if I’m late fixing dinner, if it’s not consumed by 7:30, I don’t eat.
– Revived my http://www.myfitnesspal.com account (only started logging food and exercise today but I’ll get better)
– I’m walking on the treadmill 20 minutes, and the elliptical for 10 minutes 3 days a week at our gym
– I’m swimming 45 minutes to an hour 2 days per week
– I’m not cutting out any food whatsoever – just watching my portions and not going back for seconds

Results – My legs feel so much stronger
– I’m not out of breath as much
– My jeans aren’t cutting me in half when I bend over (or heck, even when I’m standing straight up!)
– I’m sleeping much better
– I cannot explain how much more energy I have

Ready for the measurable results???
I’ve lost 9.2 pounds in the past 2 weeks!  

So, next week…….  I’m making my weigh-in day on Tuesdays so there will be consistency.  Next Tuesday, I will take a photography *GULP* of the actual scale and the actual number.  Please don’t judge – I don’t want to be this heavy.  I’m making changes.  I’m trying.  Your encouragement is priceless.  Your criticism is not needed and it really does cut me deep.  I take it very personally.  It takes a lot of nerve to put yourself out there like this…

 

 

Here I Go Again…. Need your support

Changing my lifestyle…. I’ve not been taking care of myself, especially the past year. I’m going to get back to my goal weight. I’m going to feel good again and have energy. I will do this.

Now, I’ve made it public. I’ve got to do it now, right? I blogged as I did it 4 years ago and shared my actual weight and everything. Lost 50 pounds!  The accountability seemed to work. Working with a life coach made a big difference too.  I’m now 16 pounds heavier than I was in the “before” picture below.  ugh…….

Tammy at 30 pounds downlowres2

I’ve already learned I can’t do this alone.  I’m working with my amazing husband as my life coach and I’m volunteering at the local gym in exchange for a family membership.  I’ve worked out 4x this week alternating between cardio and swimming in the pool.  I’m working on cutting down portion size but I’m not planning on cutting out any foods completely – just cutting down.  (So Randy, I can still have chess bars!!)  I’ve also revived my online http://www.MyFitnessPal.com account.  If you have an account, search for me – my username is TammyLanham.

If you’re doing this with me, please, please stay in touch and let’s keep each other accountable.  I need it.  Thanks for signing up for my blog posts!

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Next week, I’ll show you the updated beginning number – which is much higher than this original beginning one…. 😦