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.

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My Spending Fast – The Lesson of the 4 Old Brushes

nospendingSo I’ve decided to expand our yearly February “no grocery store” commitment.  This year I thought about expanding it to “no restaurants.”  My only 2 exceptions were gasoline and whatever Valentine’s Day plans my husband makes.  The more I thought about it and looked around me at our first world home crammed full of first world “necessities” I became increasingly aware of my “first world spoiled-ness” (Is that even a word?) and was convinced we need to simplify our lives.
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So, after my “first world” epiphany, I began to plan.  I wrote out a whole month of meal plans carefully planning fresh foods for early in the month and frozen and canned goods for later in the month.  I purchased our typical budget ($400/mo.) worth of food on January 30th.  It took 3 people to roll the carts out and stuff all those groceries into our van!  The only thing I made SURE we had an abundant excess of was toilet paper.  ‘Cause Lord knows, we don’t need to be running out of toilet paper in this house.

We’ve eaten good this first week of the fast.  We had fresh spinach all week, fresh apples, bananas (they were gone by Tuesday), grapes, blueberries and many other goodies.  We ate these fresh produce items first knowing they would spoil quickest.  Confession time:  I will admit we had one slip-up.  We had an incident where we had ordered lunch at an organization a few months ago and they couldn’t find our payment.  We were there, it was lunch and didn’t have time to run home to pick up anything.  So we went to Wendy’s and let the kids eat from the value menu… (I told them they’d better be glad Mommy was being flexible)…. while I sat and drank my free Wendy’s water.  Lesson learned:  From now on, we take a bag of snacks and bottled water with us wherever we go, at least in the month of February.

So, I’ve already spent our budget this month, so how is this saving us money??  My hope is that it will make me think about what we DO have and make use of it instead of me joining in our culture’s “throw it away or buy a new one” mentality.  My only example thus far is this….. our children needed paint brushes for a canvas painting art class they just began taking.  I somehow missed the memo that they needed to bring their own brushes.  I thought the class fee would cover brushes.  In the past, I would have run out and purchased them both their own set of new br1brushes (along with at least $50+ of “necessary” stuff I didn’t know I “needed” until I got to the store).  But because of this spending fast, I asked my daughter to go through all of her paint supplies to see what she could find.  Did she find a whole package of brand new brushes?  Nope!  She dug like she was digging for a golden treasure.  (Did I mention this also accomplished a goal of cleaning up her  art area??)  She squealed when she found 4 used, crusted up old paint brushes.  We washed them up, put them in her backpack and took them to class with her.  She leaves them in class for when her brother goes in right after her and he uses them.  They are careful not to lose them because they are the only ones we own.  Since the brushes cost about $6 per package, I think I’ve saved around $12.  Whoa – that’ll surely make this whole “spending fast” thing worth it, right???

(Do you hear the intended sarcasm??  Go ahead, read it again with the sarcasm….)  Whoa – that’ll surely make this whole “spending fast” thing worth it, right???  BUT a second thought crosses my mind…. I didn’t just save $12.  I saved $62+!!  $12 for brushes and $50 of “needed” junk.  Oh and did I mention…. it taught my children to be happy and thankful for what they do have, to share what they have and to take care of their things….

It taught my children to be thankful for 4 old brushes.  brushes

There are lots of people have have 30 day no-spending challenges or spending fasts, etc.  Google them and maybe they have some good ideas that will inspire you!  Wanna hear the next step in my February project?  My goal is to make $500 extra this month by selling odds and ends using Facebook yard sales and eBay so we can increase our emergency fund……

Stay tuned to see how this project goes…..

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Tammy LanhamTammy Lanham is the wife of That Preacher Tommy Lanham, Momma to That cute little artist, Appolonya and that adorable engineer, Dylan.  She homeschools them both.  In her free time, she….. wait – she has no free time…  nevermind.

Thanks for reading!

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.

 

 

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.

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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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The Value of a Goal

I know I say it every week but – Wow!  What a week!  The cravings have come back with vengence.  Since I’m an emotional eater, I immediately thought about a possible trigger.  What’s been bringing on these cravings?  Why do I want to eat and I don’t mean just a Little Debbie cake, I want to eat the whole box!  (And I’m not exaggerating.)  The only thing I could think of was the lack of sleep over Easter weekend.  I had an excessive amount of work to do and really got overwhelmed in addition to the fact that we were up very early all weekend.  So, now I know.  I eat when I’m emotional and when I’m dead tired.  Do you want to know the really cool thing???  3 months ago, before I started this journey, I would not have given it a second thought.  I would’ve eaten that entire box of Swiss Roll Cakes (my absolute worst weakness) and not wondered about triggers or anything else.  I would’ve stuffed my face until I was miserable.

I’m making progress.  I’ve been at this for 14 weeks and have lost a total of 25.4 pounds.  This past week, I only lost .2.  I was disappointed at first but then I thought about this journey as a whole.  It’s not a race, it’s a marathon and as long as I’m still moving ahead, I’m winning.  It’s when I sit down and give up that I’ve lost.  Sure, I’ve lost some momentum and gotten a little frustrated, but I’m still here.  I’m still going.

Last week, in my call with Brian, my life coach, I mentioned some things I needed to work on… one being wanting to spend more time with my children.  Then I proceeded to give him every reason under the sun that I was “too busy.”  His exact words:  “Blah!  Blah!  End of discussion.  Just do it!”  Don’t you just love him?  Geesh!  I feel very blessed that I have found somebody who knows me well enough he feels he can kick my rear end into gear.  This week, I told him I was fighting those cravings and I felt I was losing some momentum.  “The one thing that always works is focusing on all your reasons.  Your reasons will always outweigh those temptations.”  (Brian Osher)  He’s a pretty smart guy, isn’t he?  So I’m compiling all my reasons for losing weight into a list this week so it’s convenient to review when I’m losing some momentum.  More words of encouragement from Brian:

“Get tough.  Step up.  God made us to do hard things.”

“Think about what got you committed in the first place.  Plan for the obstacles.”

“Get back to the basics, get fired up and make it happen.”

I write all this stuff down in a journal every week to review and keep me going.  Journaling has helped tremendously.  So has www.myfitnesspal.com where I journal my food and exercise daily.  I joined a challenge on that website 2 weeks ago to burn 3500 calories through exercise in 1 week.  Since I typically burn 1800 calories in workouts, I wasn’t sure I would be able to reach 3500 but I set that goal and worked towards it.  At the end of the week, I did not reach the goal.  I burned 3000 calories and I discovered the value of a goal.  Sure, I didn’t reach it BUT if I had not joined the challenge and set that goal, I would’ve still been burning 1800 calories. 

So with the help of my life coach, I set another goal this week.  I weighed in this week at 178.8.  My goal this week is to lose 1.8 pounds.  I typically don’t set a weekly weight loss goal but this week, it seemed necessary to help me gain some momentum.  When I lose 1.8 pounds, I will be EXACTLY at the 1/2 way point…. that’s a good reward.  Ahhhhh, the value of a goal…. 🙂

If you want to keep up with my posts on here, click “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” to the upper right hand side of this blog.  Be aware, you’ll also get some posts about money saving strategies…  See you soon!

Read the Blog!

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!)

This is what coupons can do for you!

As part of my weight loss strategy, I’m trying to buy more healthy foods and I would really like to buy more organic foods.  In order to do this, I need to save money because let’s face it… have you seen the prices at the Whole Foods stores?  Tonight, after some research, I headed to Kroger with my 3-ring binder of coupons.  I bought 18 boxes of pasta, 3 boxes of ORGANIC macaroni and cheese, 24 bottles of water, a bag of Lays Potato Chips, a 2 liter of Sprite zero, 6 family size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, sanitary napkins and 2 bars of organic olive oil soap.  My total before coupons was $62.02.  I paid a whopping $5.79 for these items! 

Kroger had a $5 off when you buy 10 participating items and I had great coupons on those items.  The Ronzoni pasta was .49 when you saved $5 and I had $1/2 boxes = final price was FREE!  The 24 pack of Nestle Pure Life water was $3.79, sale for $2.79 and I had a $1 coupon = final price, $1.79 (the price of 1 bottle at a gas station).  The Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese was .49 (no coupon) after the $5 off of 10 items was applied  I did good!   I had to ring things in 3 separate transactions.  The receipt pictured here was one of three but my total savings was 99%!  A new personal record!

Now, for those of you who want to save some $ at the grocery store (because let’s face it, it’s nearly impossible to save money in other areas of your budget – the insurance stays the same each month, the phone bill, cell bill, internet bill, house payment… it all stays the same… except for the gasoline bill – that one is continuously rising these days).  Groceries are one big area in your budget where you can really save some big money.  Too much work… takes too much time???  I’ve heard it all before… gosh, quit making excuses and get online, do a little research and quit whining!  Sorry… don’t mean to sound so brash but if I can do it, you certainly can do it!  The amount of money you will save will more than compensate you for your time and research.  I can feed my family of 4 on about $60 per week (includes personal care items like shampoo, soap, deoderant, etc.).  And we don’t just eat beans and rice!  Sign up to follow this blog and I’ll post everytime I find amazing deals – that’ll help you get started.  You’ll also get a notice every Tuesday when I weigh in for the week so just be aware you’ll also get an earful of my weight loss journey!  🙂  So quit wishing you could find more money in your budget & DO something about it!  Hurry up… sign up to follow this blog now!  😉

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.