No Magic here…..

It’s been a crazy busy week but a good one.  Just wanted to do a quick post to fill in everybody on the progress of this weight loss journey I’m on.  I didn’t blog last week but my weigh in was 172.2 (loss of .8).  A little smaller number than usual but I was still happy with it.  So far, I’ve not gained or stayed the same  – I’ve lost something all 19 weeks of this journey.  If only you knew how many times in my life I’ve tried this and failed….

What’s different this time?  I’ve got a coach, a sponsor (accountability partner) and I’m helping mentor someone else through this journey.  When you’ve got a team to work with, it’s amazing how much more accountability there is and when someone else is looking to you for information, you’ve got to be the real deal.  You can’t back off or eat unhealthy stuff when someone else is watching you.  It’s amazing what accountability does.

My weigh in this morning was 168.2, a loss of 4 pounds just this week (and a loss of 36.2 so far)!  That’s the most I’ve lost in a single week!!  I’m now in the 160’s!!  I’m teaching a large money saving strategies class tonight and I’ve been working a lot of hours putting the final touches on the presentation.  Tomorrow is my son’s birthday, I’m having a yardsale Thursday and Friday, my daughter is running her own lemonade and cookie stand during it,  and our best friends are coming to spend the weekend with us for Dylan’s big birthday party on Monday.  When I have that much going on in my life, I want to eat!  That’s why my goal this week was to survive without gaining anything.  So far, so good – a 4 pound loss is major in my world!

I’ve had tons more people asking me how I did it… what’s the secret.  I feel like I’m disappionting them when I say “Eat healthy & exercise.”  I think they are expecting some magic potion or pill.  I get contacted on facebook almost weekly about trying a new diet drink, pill or strategy.  There is no magic here.  It’s hard work and learning.  “When we stop growing, our momentum quickly fades, and we start the process of atrophy.”  – Zig Ziglar

It’s about the choices you make.  “Like a sturdy building, each choice we make to honor God is a block in the structure of our spiritual experience.  We grow stronger with each God-honoring decision.  Life is a classroom.  Only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”  – Zig Ziglar

Have a good week, folks!  God bless!

Oh, and if you want to follow this blog, click on the “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!”  button to the right of this text and you’ll get an email everytime I blog (usually once per week). Be aware, I also blog on here about coupons and money saving strategies so you’ll get some info. on that too if you sign up!

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I’m smiling.  And it’s a miralce, too.  Let me explain.

Have you ever had one of those weeks that seemed to go on for an eternity and all you wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take a long nap?  It has been that kind of week for me.  I lost a lot of steam this week and at times wanted to give up.  I’ve lost 25 pounds, clothes are fitting me better, people are starting to notice, time to slack off, right?  NO!  I’m not on a diet, I’m not losing weight on a time table and when I reach that goal weight, I’m not changing anything that I’m doing now.  I’ve changed the way I think about food – it’s no longer a comfort for me, it’s fuel to keep me going.  When I’m hungry, I no longer mindlessly put things in my mouth until I can’t stuff anything else in.  I try to think about what I need fuel for – am I hungry because I have worked out and need more calories, or am I hungry because I am stressed or have had a difficult conversation with a friend or family member?  I’ve made a lot of progress.

UNTIL this wretched week…  I had to go back and re-study the changes I’ve made and re-focus on why I’m doing what I’m doing.  Keeping a journal has been a huge blessing for me.  It has helped me see my journey on paper.  The reasons I’m losing weight:  I am tired of being fat.  I want to run and play with my children without the threat of passing out from exhaustion.  I want to be active and healthy.  I want to put on a bathing suit without hoping the earth will swallow me up before anyone sees me.  I want to stop using food as a sedative, a comfort that only seeks to destroy me.  I want to give God the glory for this temple he has given me.  Up until now, I feel like I have defiled it by stuffing it full of junk and then expecting Him to bless it.  If I go back to my old habits, I have failed.  I will succeed, with God’s help, I will do this.

So this week, I lost another 1.4 pounds to weigh in at 179.0…. I’ve lost 25.4 pounds total and have 26.6 pounds left to go.  I’m almost half way there!  I can’t believe it – I’ve tried diets, weight loss tricks, sporatic workouts, restricting foods (low carb diets, etc.) and nothing has ever worked.  People are starting to notice the weight coming off and are asking me “What are you doing to lose weight?”  Well, what do I answer to that?  It’s enough to fill a book but I’m sure if I started THAT answer, people would eventually fall over from exhaustion listening to me explain.  So how do I answer them in 1 minute or less??  I’m working out and eating healthier?  But that doesn’t even begin to explain the transformation my mind and spirit are going through.  I’m a different person, I’m being changed from the inside out, slowly but surely.  How do you explain such a transformation?  For now, when I’m asked how I’m doing it, my new short answer is… “Read the blog.”  🙂

Feel free to share this on your facebook page, sign up for email notifications when I put up a new post (be aware, you’ll also get coupon info) by putting your email in the “Yep, I’m in!” box to the right.  Thanks for your encouragement and support – without you guys, this would be much more difficult.

“Mom, you’re shrinking!”

It’s been a challenging week on several levels.  I am really getting tired of my exercise routine and it’s becoming more difficult to find the energy and desire to get up and do it.  I have worked out every single day on my eliptical (with maybe 3-4 exceptions – those days, I did a yoga session) since January 18th.  I’m so glad it’s beginning to get warm outside so I can walk in the local park or just go outside and play with my kids.  I prefer doing my workout in the mornings before the kids get up, then I get my shower and devotions in while it is still quiet.  This is really tough because I am not a morning person (ask my husband, he’ll tell you!)  As most of you who read this regularly know, I work with a life coach.  My session with Brian Osher this week helped me to see where I need to get up earlier to avoid the stresses of rushing through my workout/shower/devotion time.  So, I have been doing just that.  I’ve been in bed by midnight (on weeknights) and up by 7:30 (8:00 this morning).  I’m typically a night owl and up until around 2 a.m. but then we sleep until 8:30 or 9:00, even 9:30 some days.  I can tell you, this has been a transition for me but I think it’s worth the “pain” of getting up earlier.  I feel much better during the day and I’m not as stressed (I eat when I’m stressed).

So, now for the weigh-in…This week, I weighed in at 184.4!  I’m .2 away from having lost 20 pounds!!  I’m down 2.4 since last week.  This is the most weight I have ever lost and I feel terrific!  I no longer reward or comfort myself with food, I see it as fuel, that’s it.  Yummy fuel, yes… but fuel.  As we were doing the Bible lesson with our kids before bed the other night, my son looked at me and said “Mom!  You’re shrinking!”  Oh, what joy that child gave me!  I know you’re not supposed to have a favorite kid but at that instant….   hmmmmmm…….  (JUST KIDDING!!)

I am seeing a difference.  My size 20’s are in a stack to put in a yard sale.  In fact, I wore a size 16 pant to church on Sunday!!  I’m never going back (and if I do, I will be completely miserable squeezing into smaller sizes because I refuse to buy larger ones).  You’ll know if I gain because I’ll be walking around with big splits in pants that are too small!!  This is not a diet – I’m not changing the food or denying myself anything.  www.myfitnesspal.com has been a blessing – it allows me to track my food and exercise each day and tells me what my boundaries should be (how many calories, sugar, fat, etc. I should have).  It’s completely free… I urge you to check it out.

So, that’s my week.  How was yours?  Follow this blog or share it with friends… Click the “Yep, I’m in, Sign me up!” button on the righthand side of this page and enter your email.  You’ll get a notice everytime I write something here.  Be aware, you’ll also get updates when I find good deals (I just happen to dabble a little in coupons!)

Dumpster Diving for Coupons

Yep, I told you I was crazy!!  🙂  But I’m not the only one!

Do you realize that my jumping into dumpsters has saved my family $260 this week – that’s the equivalent of some folks’ paycheck – AND I didn’t spend 40 hours doing it!  🙂  AND next week’s grocery money is going to our emergency fund…  Go ahead & talk about me, I don’t mind.

Some of the most frequently asked questions:

1.  Where do you get all your coupons?

You can search online (my favorite site is www.thekrazycouponlady.com), Sunday paper inserts or even search a few dumpsters.  I recommend the ones at the recycling center – they’re extremely clean.  Google “drop off recycling centers” in your area.  It’s legal to go through the dumpsters but I always take a second and tell the people there (some are unstaffed so I don’t worry about it) what I’m doing.  They look at me funny.  I don’t mind.  In today’s adventure, the guys actually started sorting the papers for us & pulling out the inserts!

2.  How do you organize them all?

There’s lots of ways but I use a 3-ring binder and the clear baseball card organizing sheets.  I divide all the sheets into sections (categories) and then fill them w/ my coupons.  I spend about 30 min. a week throwing out the old expired ones and putting in the new ones.

3.  Is it worth it?

Again, I have purchased an enormous amount of food this week for about what I would spend on our regular groceries.  I’ve got tons left over.  Think about how that could benefit somebody in your community or at your church.  Local food banks will be so glad I dove into those dumpsters!  I shop from my stockpile before I go to the grocery store and my grocery bill has shrunk tremendously.

Add any comments you would like and ask any questions you might have.  I’ll post when I find great deals so if you want email notifications when I post, just click “Yep, sign me up” on the upper right hand side of this page.  You’ll also get news udpates regarding my weight loss journey.  It’s been mentioned to me several times about teaching a workshop on this stuff here in New Castle, Kentucky.  If you are interested in something like that, let me know!

 

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!

Progress despite setbacks…

This has been a tough week.  I’ve struggled more this week with cravings than I have this entire year.  I’ve been keeping a caloire count (not real rigid, just a running total in my head) and trying to stay between 1200 – 1500 calories per day.  The Dr. Shapiro book I blogged about last week has been an absolute treasure.  It’s really helped open my eyes to what really is healthy and what is perceived as healthy.  Like I said last week, 1 biscuit = 14 pieces of toast WITH JELLY…. Never would’ve guessed it.  This week’s official weigh-in is 191.0.  I lost .8 this week.  I’m not upset – I’ve had to fight some pretty strong cravings this week and I’ve found out that getting out of the house, even for a moment, helps curb those cravings.  I walk to the mailbox at the end of the drive or I go to the basement & do a load of laundry – anything that gets me away from the kitchen for a few minutes. 

We had some friends come over one evening and instead of sitting down to a huge meal and then playing board games all night (which is what I would have normally done), we had a bowl of chili, went to our church’s gym, walked laps, played tag w/ the kids and had fun for about an hour before coming home and playing board games.  I am beginning to have a desire to be active – I’m not dreading workouts, I’m looking forward to them (most days – some days I still struggle).  I have a desire to go hiking, camping, roller skating… anything to move my body & break into a sweat!

I’ve made some self discoveries this week about why I eat.  My sponsor Terri sent me some interesting thoughts:

“We live in a society that focuses so much on food it’s scary. Think about it. EVERY event in your life, from weddings, to showers, to reunions, to family get togethers, almost REVOLVES around food.  This has been the case FOREVER (think of Jesus’ first miracle: he was at a wedding and there was food and wine, and *gasp* they RAN OUT!!!  HUGE faux pas! Mary knew this would embarrass the family, right?  So she asked Jesus to step in).  It’s ‘rude’ not to provide guests with the best food you can in as great of an abundance as you can – this also shows status/wealth.  Think Martha – Mary & Lazarus’ sister, I know the lesson is that she missed speaking with Jesus, but Martha was doing what she’d been raised/taught to do – be the ‘good’ hostess, and as women, it is ingrained in us that showing your love/respect means providing the best and most food you’re able to do.”

“Also, another thing I’ve tried to re-train myself to do: STOP treating food as a reward/punishment. When you do that you’re attaching emotions to it.  THAT is the part of your brain that you’re fighting with at the moment.  Food is neither.  Food is sustenance.  For instance, before WW when Z was a toddler he had shots and was so upset, I took him for ice cream after.  Since I joined WW, I saw the error of my ways.  I was ignoring his feelings by smothering them with food.  I was pushing *my* issues onto him.  So, now, we talk and he tells me things that bother him (or I hope he does).  You need to do the same thing with yourself.  If you make a goal, don’t ‘treat’ yourself with food.  Treat yourself with a treat: a pedicure or a new book or something you’ve been putting off.  Buy something for the house that you’ve told yourself you don’t need, even though you want it.  THOSE are ‘treats’. Don’t punish yourself with food either.  Don’t let a gain on the scale make you reach for the cookies!  You are going to have ups and downs.  Try not to attach the emotions of frustrations to them.  All easier said than done.”

See why it’s so important to have an awesome sponsor?  This really hit home for me.  When my kids get shots, my motto is “Get a shot, get ice cream.”  I still give “treats” to the kids when they clean their rooms or do some extra work for me – it’s always in the form of food.  I’ve started this week recognizing how much emphasis I put on food and how much of my life revolves around it.  Terri really opened my eyes to that and I am so thankful I have her by my side in this recovery.

My life coach has also been an amazing cheerleader and direction setter for me.  He is constantly challenging me to push myself to the next level and holding me accountable.  Two amazing tools in this fight to stay sober.  I’ve been “sober” since January 23rd.  Since January 18, I have lost 13.4 pounds.  This week, I’m working with Brian Osher (my life coach) to set some specific number goals.  I’m excited.  Where are you on your journey?  Click “Sign me up” to follow this blog – leave a comment to share where you are on your journey.  God bless you.

Missing: 50 Sticks of Butter

FINALLY!!  I see progress!  Last week I was the photographer for Johnson Bible College’s 2011 Homecoming in Knoxville, TN.  With the travelling, it was hectic so I didn’t get to blog or check in.  I had very little sleep and ate when I could (mostly at the school cafeteria buffet) so I was a little nervous about this week’s weigh-in.  Just to catch you up, I weighed in at 196.0 two weeks ago.  This week, I weighed in at 191.8 – that’s a 4.2 pound weight loss in 2 weeks!  I’ve lost 12.4 pounds since I began this journey in January… that equals 50 sticks of butter!  🙂 

I’ll tell you what I think made the difference – the food.  I know… duh, Tammy… right?  I’ve been working out and not really paying much attention to WHAT I was eating.  I paid close attention to the portions and I ate pretty healthy anyway, or so I thought.  I eat lots of fruits & veggies and whole grain pastas and breads.  Did you know that 1 biscuit w/ a small pat of butter is equal in calories to 14 pieces of whole wheat bread WITH jelly??  I had no idea!  I’ve been eating whole wheat bread for years now but did you know the kind I was buying (those nicely wrapped, wide loaves) bread that “cost” 200 calories per slice.  That means a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread was costing me nearly 500 calories!  Just by looking at labels this past week, I’ve become quite educated.  Now I buy the 100% whole wheat bread slices that “cost” me 35 calories per slice. 

I’ve been reading a book called “Dr. Shapiro’s Picture-Perfect Weight Loss 30 Day Plan” that I found at 1/2 Price books on clearance for $2.  (Because you KNOW I’m all about saving money…)  Might end up being the best $2 I’ve ever spent.  The book is full of photographs that show the comparison between what you thought was healthy and what really is healthy.  One page shows a biscuit w/ butter and the next shows the 14 slices of toast w/ jelly.  I’m very visual so this helped me see the difference.  One rainbow cookie = four scoops of sorbet, etc.  Very eye-opening. 

It also challenges you to keep a journal and changes your relationship with food.  I am very impressed.  I am still working out at least 20 minutes a day (except on Sunday) and having weekly calls with my life coach Brian Osher.  If you’ve never worked with a life coach, I suggest you give it a try.  The first session is complimentary so you have nothing to lose.  I check in regularly with Brian and my sponsor Terri Newcomb.  They’ve both been very beneficial in this process and I don’t know what I’d do without either of them.  “God doesn’t give up on us when we fail.  He lovingly starts over, eliminating the flaw and adding the elements of the Spirit, the accountability of friends and the guidance of the Word to start shaping us again.”  Thank you my friends for helping me get through this.  We’ve still got a long way to go and I have no doubt that you’re in this for the long haul. 

My husband, Tommy Lanham, is a speaker and one of his messages last week was about getting cooked in the squat.  I know… sounds a little nuts.  He told of a story when a little boy went to his neighbor’s home for dinner as often as he could.  One night he noticed the biscuits were flat asked the cook “What happened to the biscuits?”  She replied “They squatted to rise and got cooked in the squat.”  That has stuck with me.  I lost a lot of momentum a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t seeing any progress on the scales.  I was frustrated but I kept going because of sheer determination – not because I was motivated by any means.  I almost got cooked in the squat but this week, I saw the rise.   

Keep going, folks… a lot of you have committed to do this with me – don’t get cooked in the squat…. wait for the rise.  It’s amazing when it happens!  Be sure to click “Yep! I’m in” or “Follow this blog” (to the right of this article) so you’ll get a notification each time I update (should be weekly).  “Like” the article and share it on facebook if you have friends who may benefit from it.  Thanks guys for your support.

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!