Tough Week

What a week!  I had a run in with a nasty tummy virus last week and felt just awful.  I STILL worked out!!  That’s usually the first thing to go when I lose my drive & intensity.  I stop working out regularly, I stop thinking about what I’m eating and eventually, I’m back to my old ways.  So I was really concerned this week about falling back into my old patterns.  I’ve been listening to a set of audios called “Self Talk for Weight Loss” by Shad Helmstetter.  What a motivational boost!  I listen to the first 2 tapes (they have it on CD, too) every morning.  The first is called “Believing in Incredible You.”  Helps get me ready to face the day and motivates me to be my best. 

I’ve been trying to eat healthy and watch my portions but the nausea was awful during that virus so I haven’t eaten very balanced all week.  I’m getting back on track after my call with my life coach, Brian Osher.  Let me stress the importance of a life coach – they’re amazing to work with.  If I didn’t have the accountability and motivation that my life coach provides, I would’ve been done with this “journey” before the end of January.  He helps me clearly establish the vision, find the direction and pave the path to get there.  He also has threatened to kick my rear end anytime I may need it so that fear is always there, too!!  😉  Thank goodness he lives in California!  hehe! 

My sponsor, Terri has been amazing.  She’s very uplifting and is constantly sending me new healthy recipes.  If you’re thinking about doing this, working with a life coach is a very important tool in your toolbox.  I think having a sponsor is also extremely vital.  Be sure to choose someone who has already fought this fight and has come out on top of it.  Terri is a great friend who has fought this battle for 5 years.  She checks in with me and is there day or night when I’m having cravings or emotional issues that drive me to want to eat the entire kitchen…. literally.  Just like the old saying:  “Don’t take financial advice from poor people.”  I say “Don’t take weight loss advice from overweight people.”

I’ve made a few changes this week – I’ve increased the workouts to 20 minutes each day but I have decided not to work out on Sunday.  Sunday is my “free day” to not work out or watch too closely what I’m eating.  I’ve been working out every day but recently, on Sundays, I’m finding myself working out at 11:30 p.m. just to get it in.  So I removed that stress from my life and gave myself a “relax” day in there.  I’ve also decided to only weigh in every 2 weeks (yes, in part because I can tell I have probably gained and didn’t want to face the scale this week… just being honest) and I had a friend tell me that he only had a “breakthrough” on the scale about once every 10 – 14 days.  Weighing in every 2 weeks gives me more time and will help me not get as discouraged if I’m not seeing much change week to week.  I took my measurements so I can see the physical changes even if there may not be much change with the numbers on the scale.    I’ve also made another change… I have been hearing about the positive health benefits of fasting one day a week.  This week, it seemed that statistics and stories about it showed up on the radio, in the book I’m reading and in my devotional time, so what’s God trying to tell me?  🙂  So I did it.  I fasted one day this week (not the entire day, just from midnight to about 6:00 p.m.).  Wow – I’m amazed at how focused I was and how it helped me renew my committment to this journey.  I’m committing to making this a once a week practice.  It was very hard but I think it was very beneficial to my physical self as well as my spiritual self.  I challenge you to look into it and try it.  If you keep doing the things you’ve always done, you’re going to get the results you’ve always gotten.  So why not try a change?  There are ways to fast even if you have special dietary needs, etc…  Look for a way you CAN do it instead of making excuses as to why you can’t.  Maybe just fast from certain foods… but do something different.  It moved me completely out of my comfort zone. 

I’ve been “sober” now for 26 days – the thought of overeating is gross… 🙂  If you’re doing this with me or you want to make that committment, click the “Yep, sign me up” button on the right hand side at the top of this page.  Send me a message sharing your story (totally confidential) and we’ll go through this together.  It’s amazing what a community of support and encouragement does for someone in a fight like this one. 

I leave you with these words of encouargement from this morning’s devotion:  God had plans for the Israelites beyond their comprehension when all they had on their minds was survival.  The promise was clear and strong, but the path to deliverance would not be easy.  God’s great promises often involve great challlenges to test our faith in and our loyalty to Him.  I must reflect on His greatness and remember how He worked in the lives of men and women who trusted Him with their lives, their hopes, and their futures.  Proverbs 4:25 says “Keep your eyes straight ahead, avoid sideshow distractions.”  Write that verse down on an index card & put it in your pocket, on your fridge, on the bathroom mirror… God will bring that verse to mind when you are tempted.   Thanks for listening to my babbling for one more week… 🙂  You guys are blessings in my life.

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Confessions of a Food Addict in Recovery

So I’ve been on this journey for an entire week now… guess that doesn’t quite make me an expert now, does it?  But I have started and I will finish this.  I’ll re-cap for those of you just discovering this food addict’s blog.  I am Tammy Lanham and I am a food addict.  I have been sober for most of the past week.  Definition of sober:  showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion or prejudice.  The “excessive” part is where I have problems.  I eat to relieve stress, calm me down and when I’m emotional.  I use it as a drug.  I have been comparing this struggle to an alcoholics struggle with becoming sober.  Thank goodness, I have never had to fight the horrid battle an alcoholic faces but I’m battling my own demon, the demon of overeating.  I do not belittle an alcoholic’s struggle in the least – in fact, since I’ve started viewing my own battle as an addiction, I can better appreciate what an alcoholic goes through, although I am sure I still haven’t a clue. 

You see, I’ve tried losing weight for the better part of my adult life.  It’s my genes, right?  Not my fault so might as well have another doughnut, right?  Maybe it’s my thyroid…  See the problem?  I’ve made excuses all my life.  I’ve made bad food decisions all my life.  I’ve belonged to gyms, gone to weekly weight loss support groups and been on more diets than I can count.  I didn’t even want to set any goals (resolutions) this year because I set the same goal every year:  “to lose weight” and every year, I get frustrated and fall off the wagon.  So I waited until mid-January and with very little gusto, decided to try this thing one more time.  And I might add, this was about the same time (okay, the exact same day) that my 7 year old daughter with her nose sneered in disgust quietly told me in a dressing room at the clothing store that “Mommy, your legs are fat.”  Crushed me into a million little pieces.  Still puts a lump in my throat just thinking about it.  It was a very low moment for me. 

I contacted my life coach Brian Osher and he set my wheels into motion.  You see, I’ve lost weight tons of time (and gained even more back) but I have never done THIS before – I have never tried to beat an addiction, to remedy a disease.  I have to view it this way so my brain doesn’t tell me “You’ve done this a million times before and it never works.”  I have to scream at my brain to “shut up!”  So I’m telling it that I’m overcoming a disease – an addiction that has taken hold of me and is literally trying to kill me.

I hate exercise.  I know that healthy eating AND exercise are the keys to beating this but I HATE exercise.  At the end of my coaching session last Tuesday, Brian asked me to set a goal for the week.  My goal was to climb onto my eliptical machine (the one that’s sitting in the basement collecting dust… yeah, that one) for at least 5 minutes every day.  Okay, Brian, I can commit to that.  And I did it!  In fact, now I’m doing 8 minutes a day.  And this week, I’ve committed to doing that every day and adding in one Christian yoga session.  Baby steps…  a little at the time. 

Here’s a shocker – I eat pretty healthy.  Some of my favorite snacks are dried banana chips, sunflower seeds and dried apples.  I eat whole wheat pastas and breads.  I eat lean red meat and organic veggies and fruits.  The problem is that I don’t know when to stop.  I eat all the time – I think the proper terminology is “grazing.”  I’m not really hungry, I just eat because I happen to be walking through the kitchen as the cabinet doors fly open, grab me and pull me over while shoving yummy snacks down my throat… at least that’s what it feels like.  So this week’s goal is to cut out second helpings and stop grazing.  I can have a snack but I have to put it in a small bowl (make it a portion) and sit down & enjoy it.  No more sitting a bag of chips on the counter and eating out of it until half of it is gone.  To help me remember to stay out of the cabinets, I have a rubberband holding the handles of the cabinets together.  Sometimes, I wish I had a padlock… but the rubberband will do. 

Another baby step I’ve taken is to find a sponsor – isn’t that what they call the people who buddy up with the alcoholic to help him/her through a tough time?  I’ve got a sponsor who has lost weight, kept it off and is passionate about health.   She is setting an example to her 2 young children.  She will kick my butt if I don’t follow through on my commitments (and believe me, this woman WILL severly kick my rear end into shape – it doesn’t matter if she’s 10 hours away!)  She loves me and encourages me daily.  She’s on speed dial on my phone. 

Another baby step – I’m keeping a journal and filling it with positive thoughts, scriptures, quotes I see on facebook or hear in my husband’s sermons.  My favorites from this week:  “Temptation is a sign that Satan hates you – not a sign of weakness or worldliness.  Every temptation is an opportunity to win, to overcome evil and to do good… an opportunity for victory.”  – Tommy Lanham   “Sometimes you have to believe in somebodys’ belief IN you before your belief kicks in.” -Les Brown

This week, I lost 3.2 pounds.  That’s 12 sticks of butter according to my good friend Tom Hailey.  🙂  Thanks Tom…

So you see, I’m not setting any long term goals.  I know what weight I am comfortable at and I’d like to get somewhere in that area but for now, I need to make it through THIS day.  I will make good decisions for THIS day – I will be sober today.  I will exercise today.  I will spend time with my Creator today.  I will take care of our children today.  I will respect my husband today.  I will succeed TODAY.  I have no idea what will happen tomorrow but as for TODAY, I am doing this!