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  

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.

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…. 😦

Tammy’s Healthy Fresh Apple Cake Recipe (No sugar added)

Fresh Apple Cake Post for FB and PinterestI found this amazing recipe for Fresh Apple Cake but it was LOADED with oil, fat and sugar equaling over 300 calories per slice.  So I made a few adjustments and came up with this 169 calorie treat!  It’s absolutely delicious, made with whole grains and no added sugar (some sugar in glaze but not in cake)!  Hope you enjoy!

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Tammy’s Best Fresh Apple Cake 

Serves 20, 169 calories per serving

1 ½ cups applesauce                     ½ teaspoon, baking soda
1 ½ cups honey                                2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs                                                  ½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sifted white flour                1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sifted wheat flour               3 cups sliced apples (boil to soften first)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees                                                                            
2.  Mix oil, honey and eggs in a bowl and beat well.
3.  In separate bowl, combine flour, ½ tsp salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture.
4.  Add vanilla, fold in apples.  Pour into sprayed, floured tube pan.
5.  Bake for 1 hour.  While cake is still warm, invert into serving plate.

Glaze:

2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp lemon extract

Combine and mix all ingredients in bowl and drizzle over cake while cake is still warm.
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What happened when that preacher’s wife wore jeans to church on Easter?

Yeah, I heard of a few goofy comments about not honoring the Lord on Easter… I told you already what I think about that. See my recent post if you missed it.

I also realized that those Easter jeans of mine were tighter than usual. What I wear to church on Sunday is not at all about honoring my Lord. BUT what I put into this temple that he blessed me with… that’s another story. How I’ve been mistreating my body is getting awful close to dishonoring the Lord. Gulp – that’s uncomfortable, isn’t it?

So I began to immerse myself in education about the body and food. I’ve watched two documentaries now (Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives) and I recommend them both. My 7 and 10 year olds watched Forks Over Knives with me. That night when I tucked them into bed, they both said to me (separately) that they believed we needed to change out diet to include more plant based foods. I began to read The Daniel Plan and have once again begun to log my daily food intake and exercise on http://www.myfitnesspal.com regularly.

I’m discovering some new yummy tricks:

This is spinach salad.  That’s right, I said SALAD!  It’s lots of spinach, a few frozen strawberries, a frozen kiwi, frozen blackberries, 1/2 a frozen peach and apple juice.   The kids ate it like it was sherbert!   I call it “Spinach Salad Ice Cream”  🙂

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This is nothing but frozen bananas.  Nothing added – just froze bananas when they were ripe (peeled and cut into 3-4 pieces each).  Put them in the blender as we were getting ready to eat lunch to let them defrost a bit.  When we were done with lunch, I turned on the blender and this is what we got!  Frozen bananas the consistency of soft serve ice cream!

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I have a long way to go.  I weighed in at 207 pounds last Monday.  Yes, you just read that.  I told you my actual weight.  I’m not proud, it makes me sick to share it, actually.  But if I’m open and honest, it helps hold me accountable and maybe will help someone else.  I weighed in today at 202.2.  I’ve lost 4.8 pounds this week.  That’s a start.  My goal weight is 145.  I did it once before.  I got derailed by 6 months and 5 rounds of steroids (that was my initial excuse) and stayed off course for 2 years.  I’m back on the wagon, again.  Here we go!  Prayers appreciated.  Encouragement essential.  Friends needed.

 

By the way…. I’m doing this without surgery, pills, drink mixes, powders, milkshakes, etc.  I’m not bashing anybody who does!  My goal is to show that anyone can do this with the Lord’s help.  You can join myfitnesspal and see what I eat every single day and how much exercise I’m doing.  I’m also doing devotions every morning.  If I can do this, anyone can do this.

 

 

Heck, Yeah!

Well, it’s Sunday again.  And I actually stuck to my commitments this week!  We’ve received tough news regarding a family member’s health, we began the first week of homeschool co-op classes this week (I’m directing for the first time) and my husband was out of town for the week.  Want to talk about stress??  Guess when I like to eat??

I made a commitment to you last week that by this time this week, I would have chosen a 5K to compete in.  Strike that….. participate in.  🙂  I found one and I have found an amazing neighbor that’s going to do it with me.  We’ll be participating in the Race to End Homelessness at Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 9 a.m.  For those of you interested or challenged to participate, here’s the link:

http://www.roadracerunner.com/re_122326/RacetoEndHomelessness5kRunWalk2013.html

I began walking with Chesi (my neighbor) last Sunday night.  I went with the mindset we would walk a mile around the high school track and field track.  She went thinking we would do three.  By the 6th and 7th laps, we decided 2 miles was quite the accomplishment for us and ended our evening walking 8 laps.  From then on, we decided to walk every night.  We varied our speeds, pushed ourselves and really did well.  Some nights, we had other ladies join us and some nights, I walked alone.  At this end of this very stressful week, I can tell you, I walked (or in some cases even jogged) the better part of 27 miles total for this week.  I want you to understand, I haven’t given my weight for this journey yet (I will, just not quite ready to share that yet) but believe me, if I can do this at over 200 pounds, no athletic ability and absolutely (I really mean, ABSOLUTELY) no desire to run (in fact, I hate running), then you can do this.   Did you hear me?  YOU could do this!  I’ve started and tried so many times just to fizzle out and give up.  You know what the definition of success is?  It’s falling down 8 times, getting up 9.  In my case, it’s falling down 1,822 times and getting up 1,823.

I don’t know how long I am going to stay focused on this journey but I’ve made the commitment to see it through.  I am walking daily and logging every bite that goes into my body on http://www.myfitnesspal.com  I may fail miserably next week but for today, I will do this.  I will walk, I will move more, I will make healthy food choices.  Then tomorrow, I will get up and make that same commitment again.   Am I tired?  Heck, yeah!  Is it worth it?  Heck, yeah!  I’m pumped and ready to do this!  I weigh in tomorrow morning.  *Keeping my fingers crossed.*

Makes me want to puke…

I look at myself in the mirror squeezing into very uncomfortable clothes again.  Makes me want to puke…

I pull out the 1 pair of size 20 capri’s that I kept to show where I started my weight loss journey from.  Only to pull them on and struggle to button them.  Makes me want to puke….

I sit down in front of the television at night with a bowl of ice cream.  Just because I “need” to treat myself.  Makes me want to puke…. but I still eat it.

I hate the numbers I see on the scale.  I hate telling YOU how I’ve gained it all back.  Makes me wanna….. well,

PUKE

Break the stupid mirror

Pull my hair out

SCREAM

Hide in humiliation

How did I get back here?  I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I cry out to God, “Lord, why??  Why did you let me get back in this shape again?”  Only to hear Him whispering “Why did you choose this path, Tammy?”  I was there, so close to my goal.  I blogged all about it and you all listened.  You all offered your encouragement (which I treasure to this day).  But why weren’t you there to rip that midnight snack out of my hands??  Because I locked you out.  I stopped talking about it, I stopped blogging, I stopped doing anything about it.  It was easier to be quiet about it as the pounds piled back on in humiliation.  I stopped hearing “Wow!  You look great!  How much weight have you lost?” and started imagining your thought “Wow, she’s put all that weight back on.”

So here I am again.  At another starting line.  At another crossroads.  I walked in a Diabetes challenge here in our county yesterday and it felt good.  I walked for an hour.  I sweated.  I got uncomfortable.  It felt amazing!  I had energy all day yesterday and it’s addicting.  I need to take steps, drastic ones, to get off my rear end and start truly taking care of this glorious body God gave me.  I’m not talking about “stupid-drastic.”  I’m not crash dieting, bingeing or going on a “tongue patch” diet or a “freeze your fat” diet – (those seriously exist)…  I’m talking about eating right and exercising.

So I’m signing up for a 5K.  I don’t know where but I know it needs to be soon.  I’m using the Diabetes walk yesterday as my first day of training.  Pray for me.  Pray for my family.  I plan to blog each week – it makes me accountable.  Don’t let me go silent again.  My commitment to you is that by next Sunday (hope to make that my regular blogging day) I will have narrowed down some 5K’s and be ready to sign up for one.  I also plan to walk every day so if any of you are in New Castle and want to join me, let me know!  Can’t walk with me but you want to share in this journey?  Subscribe to this blog.  I hope it helps encourage somebody, somewhere along the way.  The Lord is walking me through this journey for a reason.

Ready….

Set…..

Go!

Gotta start somewhere…… right???

I’m back – it’s been a LONG and tedious roadsomewhere but I’m here.  Two years ago, I began this weight loss journey and lost 50 pounds.  Then about a year ago, I began fighting a mysterious illness (which no one ever figured out what the heck it was) with round after round of steroids and put back on over 40 pounds over the past 12 months. I’m better now and off of almost all the medicines.  I’m tired of using that as an excuse for gaining back the weight. So, I’m back. I’ve got a lot of emotional junk on my plate right now so I’m not sure I can handle a focus on the two or three big issues in our lives along with focusing on weight loss and exercise BUT I’m going to try.  That’s all I’m promising – I’m going to try.

start

 

I’ve got my two closest weight loss guru’s helping me – Terri and Kelly.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to even think about going down this long road again.  I started again a few days ago – on Monday, January 21st, 2013 (taking deep breaths, tears in my eyes and ashamed) at 201.2 pounds.  Two years ago, I started at 204.2 and promised I’d never get back into this position.  Well, here I am.  You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

Anybody lose weight, put it back on and lose again to successfully keep it off?  Please share any encouragment you might have to offer.  I could use it right now.
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