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

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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.

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…. 😦

Our New Homeschool Room

There are so very many differing ideas behind homeschooling and how (or if) to set up school in your home.  A lot of people don’t set aside any particular space for it and some have immaculate setups very similar to a traditional classroom setting.  Just look on Pinterest and you will find a plethora of ideas.  I’m organized but not all that creative so you’re not going to find fancy charts and a bunch of “Pinterest-y” things in our classroom but this may give you an idea of how we do it.  It works best for us to have a learning space separate from our living area.  We are renting right now so we have little to no wiggle room on how to decorate the basement (thus the 1/2 paneling on the walls and no carpet) – but with some throw rugs and creative placement, I have made quite a little pleasant learning area.

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                                Our school in the basement…..

 

 

 

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                   Math Area
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            Reader books and                    Dylan’s work box system
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Social Sciences and Geography
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Curriculum / Teacher Shelf         Appolonya’s work boxes
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               Teacher Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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           Language Area
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         Art / Music Area
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              Science Area

State Fair Homeschool BINGO

I’ve had a lot of people inquire about our homeschooling.  We always start school the first Monday of the Kentucky State Fair.  We make it a field trip fun day to kick off our school year.  Each child has their own bag of snacks, a water bottle and a BINGO sheet I made to challenge them to look for new and exciting (as well as some old favorite) displays at the fair.  I decided to upload a copy if anyone is interested!  Enjoy!kystatefair

Get Over It!

gotochurchYep – I just said it…. get over it!  My husband has been preparing for a message tomorrow on evangelism.  

e·van·ge·lism  [ih-van-juh-liz-uhmnoun

1.  the preaching or promulgation of the gospel; the work of an evangelist.

Evangelism is not just the work of the minister.  If I truly believe what I say I believe – Jesus died for my sins so I can spend eternity in Heaven – how much do I have to hate somebody to NOT tell them?  If my worst enemy was in the path of a train, I’d attempt to save their lives.  If I know the cure for cancer, wouldn’t I tell people??  People around me are in the path of something much worse than cancer or a train.  Sin, Hell and separation from Jesus.  For eternity.   A miserable life on earth void of purpose and meaning.  Empty.  And I often don’t share my faith because I’m worried it’ll be socially awkward?!?  What the heck is wrong with me?

So somebody in some church somewhere stepped on your toes.  Somebody commented about your clothing and embarrassed you.  Somebody mentioned a “tithe” and you got all worked up and offended.  Somebody somewhere frustrated you so now you’re not ever stepping foot in a church again.  Really?!?  You’re giving up the life Jesus promised – a full life, abundant and free from your stupid, petty frustrations.  Is it worth giving up heaven?  Is it?  I don’t care if you don’t go to my church, just go somewhere!  The Bible tells us to worship together.  No getting around it…. go to church.  Get over your hurt feelings, your frustrations, your embarrassment and get out of bed in the morning to worship Almighty God.  So what if you feel out of place?  You will be blessed.  You will hear something that will stir your soul…. ready or not. 

Now, are you going to spend more time offended that someone would challenge you like this or are you going to go set your alarm clock?  It could be a life changing decision.

Challenging Video right here that got me to thinking…..

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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Appolonya, The 8 Year Old Entrepreneur!

My daughter, Appolonya, is such an inspiration to me!  That girl is always thinking about how she can help others and how

she can earn money.  She picks things she loves to make something that could help others and to make her some money.  She listens to Dave Ramsey… can you tell??  🙂    She has such an entrepreneurial spirit.  She already collects magazines for recycling from our community every Friday and turns them in to a local retailer for resale in the used market.  Last summer, she set up a lemonade stand in our front yard and sold her homemade cookie bites and made almost $100!  It’s was hard to be excited when she made more at the lemonade stand than I did at the yard sale!

For Christmas, she asked for and received about a dozen kids’ business idea books and has already begun reading through them.

I recently visited a chocolate making class presented at the Henry County Public Library (which was fantastic by the way) and I returned home teaching my 8-year-old daughter how to make what we did in class.  She was so excited!  The first thing out of her mouth was “Oh, thank you Mommy!  I can make these so people can buy them from me to give to their sweethearts!”  So, here’s a look at what she can do and how much she charges…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s your opportunity -support the 8 year old entrepreneur!

http://appolonya.wordpress.com/valentines-specials/

Stockpiling

Just a short post but wanted to share:  I have found it very rewarding to stockpile – I took a shelf in the basement & a few boards & cinderblocks and made my own storage.  You can do it in your basement, in a closet… anywhere some shelves will fit.  Stockpiling is stocking up on stuff when you find it at rock bottom prices.  The sales cycle to where everything goes on sale every 6 weeks or so.  Items are considered “rock bottom” when they’re the lowest price, best sale you can find.  Here’s a short video of my stockpile.  It has taken me about 2 months to shop the sales & get this system going.  Take a look & ask any questions you may have.  I’m still new at this so if you have any suggestions, fire away!