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!

 

 

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The New-“er” Me

I made it!  I made it!  I just overcame my first plateau!  I lost a grand whopping total of 1 whole pound in the previous 2 weigh-ins so I decided to switch the routine up a little bit and jump-start my body into losing more weight and it worked!  Let me share some details.  I do the same workout every morning – I try to burn 350 calories on my elliptical in around 25-28 minutes.  I never eat before a workout (I get insanely sick to my stomach) and I try to stay at or just under the 1200 calories I’m trying to consume each day.  That was the old”er” me.

Well, I decided to do some different workout routines.  I am a part of a walking group that meets on Wednesday nights and I started working out with a lady from my church to a DVD workout program on Monday mornings.  The variety in workouts helped keep me from getting bored this week.  Kinda new for me.  I liked it.

I never, ever eat breakfast before a workout.  It makes me sluggish and sick to my tummy.  But after reading all the information on metabolism, I’m convinced it’s wise to eat a little something before a workout.  I experimented a couple of days and found out that 1/2 of a banana about 15 minutes before a workout didn’t cause much nausea.  Huh… who would’ve thought?  😉  This is me…. getting smarter.

As I reviewed my food journal (logged online at www.myfitnesspal.com – a completely free website, by the way) I noticed I was staying between 1000-1200 calories most days.  For the goals I have set, it is recommended that I keep my calorie intake at 1200 per day.  The body needs 1200 calories just to eat, digest, breathe, keep your heart beating, etc.  So I think my body was holding on to everything I was putting into it because I suddenly stopped the regular weight loss (averaging 1.0 – 1.5 pounds lost per week).  I started eating a bare minimum of 1200 this week and also ate back some of my workout calories.  (1200 +350 for that elliptical workout each day = 1550 calories).  In order for your body to burn calories and lose weight, you have to give it enough energy (calories) to do so.  I know, sounds kind of mixed up, doesn’t it?  But I started eating more and ended up jumping right off that plateau I was stalled at.  This is me…. getting wiser.

Today, my dad had surgery to remove some skin cancer.  During the procedure, my kids and I went out to the stairwell and went from top to bottom (3 flights of stairs) 8 times.  Took me 6 minutes and buddy, my calves are feeling it tonight, but I did it!  There was a day not too long ago (about 3 1/2 months ago, to be exact) that I could’ve walked up the 11 steps from my basement without getting out of breath.  Yes, my extended family visiting in the waiting room must’ve thought I was weird.  The staff at the hospital must’ve thought I was weird.  No, I didn’t have workout clothes on.  Yes, I was concerned I’d be all stinky by the time I was done.  No, apparently, I wasn’t all that concerned because I did it anyway.  And yes, I did get sweaty and stinky.  I don’t care because I did it ANYWAY.  Yep, that’s the new”er” smarter, wiser me.  I kinda like her….. even if she is a little stinky.  🙂

Oh, yeah…. you wanna know my weigh-in this week?  I weighed in at an even 176.0!  I am now 1 pound from the weight I was at on my wedding day almost 11 years ago.  I’m MORE than 1/2 way to my goal.  I started at 204.2 and my goals is 150.  28.2 down in 3 months, 10 days.  26 more pounds to go.  Let’s do this!  Follow this blog by clicking “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” to the upper right hand side of this story.  Let’s do this together!  Find the new”er” you!

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.

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.

 

 

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.

Frustration

Weighed in this morning… very frustrated.  I only lost .4 this week.  I guess I should be happy I didn’t gain but I really worked hard this week and was wanting to reach the 10 pounds lost mark (194).  My session with my life coach Brian Osher last week may have actually prepared me for the number this week.  He was really encouraging and kept telling me “Slow & steady wins the race.”  In fact, my husband Tommy Lanham preached a message on Sunday morning entited… “Moving Forward in Faith – slow and steady wins the race.”  What??  Are you guys ganging up on me now???  Geesh!

Anyway, I think I did pretty well this week – I worked out on the eliptical every day (even the 3 days I had a tummy bug) for at least 10 minutes and did 15 on Monday.  I was careful with my portions and added extra fruits and veggies to my diet.  I did however have some drama in my life this week and I HATE drama.  I think satan is trying to tempt me in the area I am most vulnerable – emotional eating.  I thought I had done well and made it through.  I certainly did not overeat any this week – which, by the way makes for 17 days in a row that I’ve been sober!  🙂  I write in a journal every day and it’s mostly verses I read or things I hear that are encouraging to me.  On the hard days, I go back through and read some of the entries.  Here are some for this week.  Maybe they’ll help you, too:

“Good habits take time to develop.  This is a crockpot, not a microwave.  There are no shortcuts to maturity.”

Proverbs 28:9  “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him.”

Phil 1:6  “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

Though unseen, God’s strength and power are under me, pushing me up, protecting me and enabling me to fly.

Proverbs 25:16  “When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down; eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick.”  (How appropriate is that for me this week???  My #1 weakness is chocolate and unfortunately, I’ve been known to eat it all in one sitting.)

“Replacing habits takes time.  don’t expect it to happen overnight.”

“Results will come the right way.”

All of these things are quite encouraging but when reading them after a week of focus and effort with little reward, they kind of irk me.  I want to lose weight NOW – I’m tired of this, I want the scales to reflect my discipline… my giving up chocolate that day this week when I really could’ve eaten the whole box!  That’s at least worth a pound lost, right???  Then I turn on the TV and see The Biggest Loser where people are losing double digit amounts of weight every week – I can’t even make it to one whole digit!  See my frustration?

I’m not giving up – it’s totally a mental thing because right now my body and spirit say “Forget this… it’s not worth the hard work for such little reward.”  But I know it’s for the good – I have to keep remembering the words of my daughter in that fitting room… “Mommy, your legs are fat.”  Yep, I’ll keep going for another day, and then another, and then another.  I will not give up.  Don’t you give up either.  I’ll kick your butt.  😉