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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Sometimes I Cry – Journey Through Gaining Weight Back

I keep a journal of prayers / thoughts / rants / scriptures.  I reluctantly share an entry from today’s journal:

“Lord, I’m miserable!  I’ve gained back 1/2 of the 50 pounds I have lost.  I am miserable – my back hurts AGAIN, my knees hurt AGAIN, I am not sleeping well AGAIN – I hate this!  I am so ashamed that I don’t want my husband to touch me.  I am ashamed that I cannot wear any of my clothes. I’m ashamed that I don’t even know what size I am because I can’t bring myself to put on anything without an elastic waist.  I can’t even walk one lap at the stupid walking trail without tremendous effort and frustration.  This sucks!  I’ve been traking my food again very faithfully for the last month and working out more regularly and I’m constantly gaining – gained 4 stupid, stinking pounds in the past week.  And don’t even try to tell me muscle weighs more than fat – I’m taking measurements, nothing is shrinking, anywhere.  Crap – this is frustrating.  I feel the grip of this addiction around my throat crushing me – crushing my self-esteem – crushing my will.  I feel defeated.  God, I cry out to you for help.”

After writing this in my journal, I opened my Bible and devotion book to read God’s answer to my silly ranting:

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” – Psalm 27:14

“God uses the discipline of waiting to teach us lessons we cannot learn any other way.  Waiting can be especially difficult when it seems as if everything in our lives is stuck at a red light, but He may be preparing a person or a situation so that when we proceed again He can work even more powerfully.  To us, waiting seems like a waste – or worse, it feels like things will never be right again.  When we have to wait, we shouldn’t just sit and fritter away the time.  We should pursue God with all our hearts, try to determine the reason God wants us to wait, and trust His goodness and timing because He is, after all, God.”                           -Excerpts from The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Rieghard

So, I wait.  I work out, I eat right and I wait……… and sometimes I cry.

I won’t go back.

I’m ashamed to admit that since October 11 (about 4 weeks ago), I have gained 5 pounds.  😦  My workouts haven’t been as intense or regular, halloween happened (thus a house full of candy) and I entertained quite a bit (a house full of yummy homemade goodies).  I am struggling with fear.  The entire time I’ve been losing this weight, my mind keeps telling me “Oh, I hope I don’t gain this back.”  I am very fearful.  So when I got on the scale on Oct. 11 and it said 153.8 (the smallest I have been since way before our wedding day 11 years ago), I thought “Okay, I’m so close!  I just hope I don’t gain it back.”  See?  My brain is setting me up for failure.  Zig Ziglar says “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are usually right.”  It’s a mind game.

Last week, I ran laps around our church gym.  I made myself chant to my steps “I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back” for 11 laps.  I came home and read my journal and all my past blogs.  I wont’ go back.  I’m reading some of the books that had an impact on me early on in this journey.  I won’t go back.  I am journaling again and am finally starting to regain some self control.  I won’t go back.  I am haunted again by the reality that for me, this is a disease, an addiction that I must not let get the best of me.  I won’t go back.  When I walked by the candy bowl after halloween, I literally could not keep my hands out.  I would eat 12 candies before I ever realized what I was doing.  Then I would feel guilty.  Then I would want more because I felt guilty.  Do you see the crazy cycle?  I won’t go back.

So, instead of waiting until I got back down to 153.8 again to start blogging, I decided I wanted to be open and real about this struggle.  There may be someone else out there that has gained back after some loss.  Granted I am pleased that it’s only a 5 pound gain.  While 5 pounds is very hard to lose and it is devastating, it’s not nearly as heart breaking as having gained all 50 pounds back.  Oh, I won’t go back.

We got a new DVD/VHS player this week.  Ours was toast.  The VHS player (we had 2 separate machines) tried to eat our friends’ movie they let us borrow.  I finally bonked it on it’s head to see all the lights light up momentarily and then it died a forever death, never to be resurrected again.  My husband took the thing apart and finally got the movie out of it but there were pieces all over the living room floor.  I know it sounds crazy but I feel a lot like that VHS player.  I am to the point of not really working (out) all that much and when I do, I don’t put forth my best effort.  I feel like I need that bonk on the head – I’m at the point where that bonk can make all the lights come on again and I realize where I am and what I need to do to start working again before I die that forever death.  I need to be taken apart and re-assembled.  I won’t go back.  That’s why I’ve gone back to the beginning.  I’m taking small baby steps and making better choices.  I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back….

 

 

 

Please join me on this journey – I need your encouragement.  Click on “Yep, I’m in.  Sign me up!”  to receive email updates whenever I post (and I will start blogging more regularly, about once per week).  Feel free to leave comments and suggestions!  I need them!  God bless!

 

 

Focus

Focus.  It’s not just a car that Ford makes.  🙂  When you focus on something, it becomes important in your life.  That’s why it is essential to have a goal.  It gives you something to focus on.  I once heard a motivational speaker ask “If you go hunting and you see a field full of deer, do you just randomly shoot hoping to get lucky or do you pick one, focus on it and shoot?”  Any hunter out there will tell you your chances of killing a deer are next to nothing if you try to shoot them all.  You’ve got to have focus.

When I first started this journey on January 18, 2011, I weighed 204.4 pounds and was physically and emotionally miserable.  I chose to focus on my weight and becoming healthy again.  I read books that educated me on nutrition (not silly fad diets), I joined www.myfitnesspal.com and educated myself on calories and exercise.  I began working on setting goals, developing healthy habits and making a plan with my life coach, Brian Osher.  I began to move more and eat wisely.  I weighed in every week and blogged weekly about my experiences as the weight began to come off.  Choosing to focus on my journey was as big a decision as committing to eat healthier and start exercising.

I weighed in this morning at 155.4.  To date, that is a loss of 49.0 pounds.  I have so much more energy, I feel fantastic (most days) and my health issues (especially the digestive issues) have all but disappeared.

I’m going to risk sounding negative here but I want to share something.  When people see me and notice the weight loss, they often ask “How did you do it?  I really need to do something about my weight.”  When I tell them (often to their disappointment) that I am eating healthier and exercising, you can almost see them mentally change the channel.  I get excuse after excuse as to why they can’t change their diet:  “My husband likes fatty foods and I don’t want to cook 2 different meals for us every night.”  “I have a hurt (insert body part) and can’t exercise.”  “I just can’t find the time to exercise.”  You know what?  That only tells me that they don’t really want to do something about their weight.  Zig Ziglar says “If you really wanted to be something different than what you are, you would already be making the changes to become what you want.”  You’ve got to get to “That Point.”  If they’re not to that point, I can see why they tune me out.  So forgive me when I answer the “How did you do it?” questions with a quick but polite answer.  If you really want to know more, ask for more details but I won’t offer them.  I’ve been tuned out too many times.

My weight loss has not been easy – I have often equated it to the disease of alcohol addiction, only my disease is food addiction.  When I stopped making excuses, God blessed my efforts and has been faithful.  I know it sounds absolutely crazy but when I lag behind on my devotions or find myself lacking in my prayer life, my weight tends to go up.  I honestly believe that losing weight is as much a physical endeavor as it is emotional, mental and spiritual.

Do you find yourself offering excuse after excuse?  Don’t wait for New Year’s – start now – start tonight.  “If you’re going to make a real and lasting change, you must make changes immediately and enthusiastically!”  – Tommy Lanham

Make this a focus and do something for yourself, the Lord’s temple, your children’s parent, your parent’s child, your spouse…. stop making excuses.  Click on “Sign me up” at the right hand side of this blog & join me as we go through this journey together.  I need you – I need your support and your success stories and your “I just ate a bag of Ding-Dong’s” stories.   Commitment is a balance between formula and freedom.  Let’s be free together!  Come on, we can do this!

 

Step by Step – 5 Steps I’ve Taken in this Journey

So last week, I was all ready to blog about gaining weight – I thought it had been a tough week and had prepared to blog about a gain.  Then I got on the scale and 183.6!  I had lost 0.8 – which is enough to put me at 20.8 pounds lost since I started this journey 10 weeks ago!  Yay!!

This is a crazy journey, people.  Instead of changing my eating patterns, I’ve had to understand my old eating patterns and develop new ones.  If I simply change what I’m doing, then at the end of this when I reach my goal weight of 150, I will go back to my “regular” patterns and thus, back to my “regular” overweight self.  I’m changing the way I think about food and I’ve stopped “rewarding” myself or worse, “comforting” myself with food.  I’m changing my relationship with food – I know… it sounds like a cliche but it’s true.

I’ve had so many of you contact me this week telling me you want to start on your own journey – don’t you dare let me hear you call it a diet.  That word is now a 4-letter word in my world and it is not to be uttered in my presence!  🙂  Anyway, this journey for me has been a tough one – I still have 33 pounds to go.  Here’s a step by step list of what I did to get started…

1.  I got a life coach. (best investment of this entire journey).  My coach, Brian Osher, helps me set attainable goals which motivate me to strive harder to reach the next goal.  He also holds me accountable.  If I set a goal to work out everyday and I miss a day due to laziness or not making my workout a priority, he will not let me off the hook.  In fact, he kicks my butt.  For those of you who have never worked with a  life coach, they typically set up weekly sessions over the phone.  The sessions are typically 30-40 minutes long and at the end, you have a list of 1-3 small steps you’re focusing on this week to help you reach your ultimate goal.  For the most part, coaching sessions are less expensive than counseling sessions.  Several of you have asked why my husband wasn’t coaching me (he’s a life coach, too).  My answer is simply this:  how would you like to live with the person who would kick your butt if you did something to sabotage your goals?  🙂  Tommy Lanham is a fantastic coach with a wonderful Christian world view who has helped me develop my business and coached me in other areas but we both agreed he was too “close” to this situation and it would be better to get someone else for this particular journey.

2.  I got a sponsor. (just like in AA – it’s that person I call in the middle of the night when I’m craving brownies or I’m at the grocery store with a cart full of ding-dongs…  true example by the way.)  It has to be a person (same gender as you) whom you trust, who will understand the addiction you’re fighting and support you no matter what.  They also have to be tough enough to hold you accountable.  In my opinion, when I was looking for a sponsor, I wanted someone who was thin and had fought the fight of losing weight and I wanted someone of like faith.  It’s kind of hard asking a skinny girl who has always been skinny to help you lose weight.  They typically just can’t identify with you.

3.  I read good books. And I don’t mean grab a good romance novel, either.  Find something that interests you in the field of weight loss and read it – grab an inspirational biography of someone who has lost weight.  Read an informational book.  Avoid the “diet” books but read anything that’s motivational or inspirational.  One of the books I have read during this journey was “Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss” book – I found it on the clearance rack for $2.  It was DEFINITELY worth the read.  That’s where I found out that 1 biscuit (one regular, plain old biscuit) was equal in calories to 14 slices of toast WITH jelly!  That book completely challenged the way I looked at food and what I “thought” was healthy.

4.  I did something. With the help of my life coach, I found small, attainable things that could do that would get me moving.  I started taking an evening walk, I found out I enjoyed the eliptical machine (yeah, the one that’s been in my basement for a year), I found out that when I take laundry down the basement steps, I could go back up & down those steps 2-3 times without dying!  Little steps to get started but you’ve gotta do SOMETHING!

5.  I journal.  I write down in a journal things that I read, things I hear on TV or in Sunday’s sermon or things I read in my Bible that inspire me and make me want to keep going.  Then on bad days, I read through that journal.  When I am craving chocolate, I read those thoughts written in those pages and they strengthen me.  I also journal my conversations with my coach and write my action steps each week in there.

I also journal every bite that goes into my mouth.  It was incredibly hard to do and I tried it for 2 months without success.  I would either lose the paper, forget what I ate or just lose interest.  UNTIL I found www.myfitnesspal.com – it’s a FREE website that helps you track your food & exercise and it lays a foundation for you, letting you know the ideal amount of calories, sugar, sodium, fat, etc. for you.  It’s set up a little like facebook – you have a “wall” and you make friends (search for me if you want – my username is TammyLanham) and you can encouarge each other, see what other people are eating and ask questions in the forums.  It’s been a wonderful tool for me.  Did I mention it’s FREE?  🙂

So there you go – the 5 steps I have taken thus far.  I’ve lost 21 pounds in 10 weeks and have 33 more pounds to go.  Are you with me?!?  Click the “Yep, I’m in!” button to the upper right hand side of this blog to join me and others on this journey.  In about 2 weeks, I’ll have a HUGE announcement, an exceptional benefit for those of you (ONLY) who are following this blog.  So sign up, share this on your facebook page & get ready to jump in!  Let’s take this journey together!  (Be aware, I also blog about extreme couponing on this blog so you may get some pictures of me hanging out of dumpsters and walking out of the grocery store with almost free groceries… something I’m sure you don’t want to miss so sign up now!)

This was Christmas Day, 2010 at 204.4 pounds.

 

This is April 10, 2011 at 183.6 pounds.

 

 

The number…

GULP….. so here we go…

As most of you know, I’m on a journey – a journey to become sober.  Definition of sober:  showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion or prejudice.   I am Tammy Lanham and I am addicted to food.  I’ve been sober for 10 days. 

I use food as a drug.  I began my journey on Tuesday, 1/18/11 with a call to my life coach Brian Osher.  Brian has coached me in growing Tammy Lanham Images and he was the first one I thought of when I finally admitted I needed help.  What made me realize I needed help?  In a clothing store, as I tried on clothes, my 7 year old daughter sneered her nose & said in disgust “Mommy, your legs are fat.”  She never, ever says stuff like that so I knew it was sincere.  And a shattered Mommy fell into a thousand little pieces on the ground (figuratively).    

Then, on Friday, 1/21/11, I had my first fall off the wagon experience… yep, just 4 days into my journey, I messed up.  What a role model I am, huh?  I took my husband out to eat at CiCi’s (a pizza buffet) restaurant for his birthday.  I felt miserable.  The very next day, I did it again – I ate way too much for dinner and wanted to puke.  I honestly believe I would be bulimic if I didn’t despise throwing up so much.   That feeling after you eat too much is just awful – not just the physical misery but the emotional disappointment you feel in yourself. 

With much thought and prayer, I felt like I needed to get additional help.  If I was going to use AA terms like “sober” and “falling off the wagon” then I needed to find some positive AA –type solutions.  I read online about sponsors in AA:

“A sponsor is someone who has been where we want to go in our twelve step program and knows how we can best get there. Their primary responsibility is to help us work the 12 steps by applying the principles of the program to our lives. They lead us by example as we see how the program works in their lives through sharing their personal experiences and stories of where they were and where they are now. We start to learn how to become sober by listening and doing the footwork that our sponsor shows us on a daily basis. In time we make these new changes a habit which helps us to remain sober one day at a time.”

If alcoholics have sponsors for their addictions, I can have one for mine, right?  So I thought about my amazing cousin Terri Newcomb.  I honestly think we were sisters separated at birth.  We have children about the same age, similar personalities and outlooks on life and even our parenting styles are similar.  She has fought a weight battle for 6 years and is staying thin and healthy.  When I read “they lead by example” on the sponsorship definition, I thought of Terri.  She is an extremely caring woman who will not hesitate to kick my rear end into gear if I need it.  I knew she would be the person to ask.  And I was right.  This past weekend, I almost had a melt down while grocery shopping for a big family meal I was preparing on Sunday.  I wanted to prepare Ding Dong cake for dessert – but I didn’t think I could handle having the Ding Dongs in my house.  I was literally shaking.  Terri walked me right through that temptation and I walked out of the store with Jell-O and peaches instead. 

And then I found another role model of sorts – Tom Hailey.  Tom has recently been through the weight loss factory and came out at the end of the line looking and feeling amazing.  He posted photographs of his scale periodically.  I thought “Oh my gosh – that’s crazy.  I could never do that.”  Then my friend Shaina Nailleaux  posted her weight yesterday on her blog…  so I guess the peer pressure got to me!  Hehe….  Or I’m delirious but here I am posting my weight…

I began this year on January 1st at two hundred four pounds.  I began this journey on January 18th at two hundred one point eight pounds.  Today, February 1, 2011, I weighed in at one hundred ninety six point four pounds.  I’ve got a long way to go – I’m not setting any long term goals.  My goal is to get through today.  Once today is over, I will move forward to tomorrow.  I know I am comfortable around one hundred fifty pounds.  Each day, I will make decisions that will affect tomorrow in a positive way and help move me closer to one hundred fifty pounds.  I will succeed.  Anybody want to join me?  I challenge you to join me on this journey.  Sign up to follow this blog.  All you have to do is put your email address in the blocks to the right and you will get an email when I post a new thought.  Friend me on Facebook and let’s do this together.  I have no idea what I’m doing – I’m just trying to do this one step at a time.  Let’s do it together!