202 Sticks of Butter!

Most of you know I started this weight loss journey back on January 18, 2011 when trying on clothes in a Lane Bryant dressing room, my daughter very innocently says to me “Mommy, your legs are fat.”  That was my point – the point you’ve heard me talk about.  That point when I was miserable, I dreaded trying to lose weight A-GAIN and was at my rope’s end.

I came home that day and cried, felt like hitting a brick wall with my fist and wanted to collapse in the floor with a big box of chocolates.  That would’ve really helped the situation, right?  I decided to make some changes, a little at a time.  In the past, I thought I just didn’t have enough will power.  I had tried all the diets, all the trendy tricks.  But this time, something made me look at my eating habits as an addiction (for me, it was), a disease I needed to fight.  I studied the Alcoholics Anonymous model and put some of the practices to work in my situation.  I immediately contacted a life coach to meet with on a weekly basis to set small, attainable goals and to hold me accountable.  I also found a sponsor – a woman who had gone through the struggles I was about to go through and came out on the other side.  I literally called her in the middle of Kroger one day because a recipe I was making called for 2 boxes of Ho-Ho’s and I knew there would be leftovers.  I wasn’t sure I could handle that.  In fact, I was trembling.  God bless Terri – she kicked my butt and helped me decide to not even make that recipe.  “Walk away from the Ho-Ho’s!”  🙂  It’s been amazing what a difference of having partners through this has made.  I know that if I screw up, my coach and my sponsor will come after me and make me explain my actions.

You have no idea what an accomplishment for me this is – to have lost 50 pounds!  The most I’ve ever lost my adult life is 7 pounds and that was before my wedding.  If you’re sitting at your computer thinking “I’m so proud of her but I couldn’t do that…” then you won’t be able to do it.  “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re usually right.”  -Zig Ziglar.  I’ve had to change my thinking before anything else started to change.  I’ve had to rely on God for a lot of strength.  On weeks I don’t do my devotions as regularly or stay focused on my time with Him, I don’t do well on the scale.  I know it sounds crazy.  I don’t care what you think.  I know my strength comes from the Lord almighty and I give him all the glory for this weight loss.  Cheesy as it may sound…

So, I stand before you today having made some lifestyle changes, a little at a time over the last 10 months.  It hasn’t been easy, I’ve worked for every ounce lost.  I haven’t taken any diet pills, I’ve not had surgery, I’ve not joined a gym, I’ve not joined Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.  I’ve made small changes to become more active and I’ve educated myself on what I eat.  Did you know that one, ONE whole wheat Pillsbury Grand’s biscuit is equal to 14 slices of whole wheat toast WITH JELLY?  Just learning stuff like this helps me make better choices.

I weighed in this morning at 153.8 pounds.  I began 10 months ago at 204.4 wearing size 20/22.  I’ve lost 50.6 pounds, the equivalent of 202 sticks of butter.  I’ve still got some sticks I’d like to lose but all in all, I’m ecstatic with this loss.  Just think where I would be if I were still at miserable and at my rope’s end.  I’m so glad God gave me the strength to make the changes and take the steps to get here.  It was a journey well worth it.  I look forward to continuing this journey.  Follow along by clicking “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” if you want to get email alerts when a new blog post goes up (usually about once per week or less).  I’d love to get your feedback and hear your stories.

Stupid Burger…

I met my goal for last week’s weigh in!  I weighed in at 164.4 – exactly 40 pounds lost since this journey began 22 weeks ago on January 18, 2011.  I feel like that’s a pretty significant accomplishment.  My struggle now is to not let that number satisfy me.  I’m still in size 14’s (although they are becoming more lose every day) and have quite a bit of extra padding  around my middle I want to see gone.  I have 14.4 pounds to go until I get to my first goal weight of 150.  Then we’ll see how I feel and where my body wants to go from there.

For some reason, I have been craving burgers.  Not just any burger, I want the really, really bad for you one:  McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger.  I’ve craved it for about 2 months now but was able to curb that desire with my own homemade healthier version.  This week, I had a Boca burger (fantastic, by the way) with Veggie Swiss Cheese, Morning Star Farms Veggie Bacon on a whole wheat bun w/ lots of veggies.  Tasted fantastic but I woke up the next morning having dreamed about that Micky D’s Cheeseburger.  Pretty bad when you’re DREAMING about food, right??  I have been eating lots more junk the past week and in my mind, I thought it might be because I wanted this burger so bad.  I decided it would be better to go just ahead and eat that stupid burger before my entire waistline pays for the deprivation I’m putting my body through.  🙂

So Saturday was the day.  I went to a homeschooling convention and my husband and children stayed home (a rare day out by myself).  After the convention, I drove to the first McDonald’s I could see.  Those golden arches might as well have been the gateway into heaven as far as I was concerned.  My mouth began watering at the sight.  I pulled in the parking lot, took a deep breath, picked up my Tosca Reno Clean Eating for Family & Kids book (Is there no end to my hypocrisy?) and headed to that oasis of grease and cheese on a bun…..

When I walked in the door, there were over a dozen people in line (one register open) but I didn’t care.  My children weren’t waiting restlessly in line, nobody was hurrying me to get to the next event on our schedule, so I just stood there.  And waited.  And waited.  While I was waiting, and waiting…. (and waiting)… I started noticing the things around me I don’t typically notice.  Out of the 12 people in line, 3 seemed to be a healthy weight.  The other 9 were overweight or even obese.  The workers behind the counter seemed to hate what they were doing and drudged about watching the sea of frustrated sharks waiting for their grease on a bun with eager anticipation…. to get out of there.   Then I noticed the signs advertising their food.  One board advertised a breakfast menu “Each under 300 calories” and right underneath, a sign advertising their Rolo McFlurry along with the loaded with sugar smoothies.  The images were of healthy, well dressed people enjoying this nasty processed stuff they call food.  They really know how to make that stuff look appealing.  No wonder our culture has such a backwards view of food.

By the time I waited over 20 minutes in this environment for that burger I’ve been craving for 2 months, that burger looked a lot less appealing.  I paid my $1.06 and headed out the door (I got it to go).  I get to my van, turn on the A/C, take a deep breath as I thank God for this “food” – I didn’t dare ask him to bless my body with nourishment from this thing – and opened up that beautiful golden wrapper.

…………………………TO FIND THE WRONG ORDER!……………………   they gave me a single.  😦

I have not been waiting for 2 months to enjoy this “treat” to get jipped into enjoying only 1/2!  So you know what I did??  That’s right, honey, I went back.  Only this time, I didn’t enter that sea of sharks (there were at least 14-16 more people in there now), I decided to go to the drive through.  When I got the window, well….. (shaking my head)…. this is so sad….  here’s the conversation:

MCD – “May I take your order?”

Me –   “I just came in and ordered a plain double cheese burger.  When I got to my car, I opened it and it was a single.”

MCD – “So, do you want to bring it back inside?”

Me – “No, I just came from in there and saw the crowds so I drove to the window.”

MCD – “You got what you want, right?  You ordered  a single and got a double?”

Me – “Eh?  No, I ordered a double and got a single.”

MCD – “So you want to come inside and get the right order?”

Me – (wondering if this was a special needs worker) “Ummmm, no, I want to get it fixed through the drive through.”

MCD – “So what were you trying to order?”

Me – (Are you kidding me??) “I ordered a plain double cheeseburger and got a single.”

MCD – “How many burgers did you get?”

Me –  “One.”

MCD – “So you got what you ordered?”

Me – (really trying to remember to be kind) “No, I ordered  a plain double cheeseburger and got a single.”

MCD – “So what do you want me to do about it?
Me – “Fix the order and give me a double cheese burger?”

MCD – “How many pieces of cheese do you want on it?”

Me – “I don’t care, whatever usually comes on a plain double cheeseburger.”

MCD – “How many burgers do you want on the bun?

Me – “What??  I want 2 burgers with cheese on 1 bun… the stuff that usually comes on a plain double cheeseburger.”

MCD – “Okay, ma’m, please drive around.”

When I drove around, she told me my total was $4.  When I told her I was the one with the messed up order, she looked at me very confused and asked me why I came through the drive through and didn’t go inside the store.  ****GRRRRRRR****  I seriously am not a violent person but THIS is what was going through my head:

Needless to say, by the time I got my plain double cheeseburger 33 minutes after I walked in the door, I was frustrated and ready to just eat the thing.  I tried taking a deep breath and enjoying it.  It was not hot, it only had one piece of cheese on it and the bun was stale.  ugh….

Stupid burger…..

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!

Empty Gas Tank

This has been a good week!  I’m still working out on my eliptical 20 minutes every day (except Sundays) and I’m using myfitnesspal.com (it’s FREE) to track my calories and exercise.  I’m making good food choices and incorporated some new flavors into my eating habits (recently discovered asparagus – oh my goodness – how good that stuff is!).  I have lost 24 pounds in 12 weeks!  I’ve lost 3.2 pounds just this week.

One of the things I’m noticing is that I’m focusing a LOT on my exercise routine, my health habits and eating habits.  When I first started working with Brian Osher, my life coach, a couple of years ago, he shared with me his idea that life is a bunch of gas tanks.  We work hard to keep those gas tanks from running empty (by keeping balanced) but sometimes we get low in one of the tanks and our lives start running rough.  I’ve been working very hard to keep my health tank full and the rewards are visible and fulfilling.  I also think I’ve been neglecting some other tanks of mine and they’re getting low.  One tank I’m worried about is my relationship with my children tank.   When I mentioned this to Brian, he said, “So change it!”  Don’t you just love the honesty of my life coach???  🙂

By nature, I cannot sit still.  I HAVE to have lots going on and a big to-do list where everything is scheduled.  I schedule school with my children every day (they’re homeschooled) but I have a hard time remembering to schedule Mommy time with my children.  So this week, in addition to keeping my eyes on my health tank, I’m working on refilling my kid tank.  I’m actually scheduling time in my calendar to sit down and play with my children.  I now know it won’t happen unless I make it a priority and schedule it.

So that’s it for this week – what tanks are you neglecting?  What can you do right now to start refilling that particular tank?  See you again next week….

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.

 

 

“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!)

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!

Stupid wagon

Fell off the stupid wagon – and you know why?  Because I went out to eat with my husband last night for his birthday at CiCi’s (pizza buffet) and for some reason, didn’t know when to stop.  I’m so frustrated with myself!  I had been doing so good!!  Now to remember the stuff I’ve been reading everyday during my devotions & reading time.

“Faith offers hope where none existed.”  – Zig Ziglar

“Every problem is a stepping stone of growth, and every difficulty is an opportunity to trust God more completely, to follow Christ’s example of selfless service and to experience God’s presence.  Out faith-filled response to pain results in great gain.”

“Hard work always pays off.”  – Proverbs 14:23

“Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.”  Proverbs 15:22

I’ve been thinking…  if I’m going to treat this like a disease, I really need to research AA and some of the other additional help groups out there.  Don’t alcoholics have sponsors?  Someone they call if they’re about to make a bad decision?  Maybe I need a sponsor to call when I’m overcome with bad ideas & need some encouragement.  Maybe I should carry a card with me that has some of the above quotes and scriptures on it so I can pull it out and remind myself.  Maybe I should write down my daughter’s stinging words “Mommy, your legs are fat.”   That’ll surely remind me what I’m doing and WHY I’m doing it.  I am frustrated but I’m also encouraged.  I know I can do this – I’ve tried losing weight many times before but I’ve never once in my life tried to beat this disease.  There’s a difference and I’m finding out day by day what those differences are and how to overcome this mess I’ve gotten myself into.