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.

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It’s Not Failure…right?

I feel like I’ve done pretty well on controlling my eating habits and not eating when I’m emotional.  But apparently, from the results of the weigh in today, something went wrong, right?  I’m not sure.  The more I get “into” this weight loss thing, the more I am learning it’s a science, a passion, a lifestyle, a struggle all rolled up into one.  I’m not sure it’s anything I did “wrong” but it may be that my body is just not responding right now.  I let Jillian Michael’s almost destroy me so you’d think that would be very helpful in my weight loss journey.  Wrong – that’s where the science comes in.  I worked my muscles hard this week and after some research, I found out that your muscles hold on to water when they’ve been worked so hard.  The water apparently helps muscles in the healing process.  And guess what?  Water adds to your weight… and this week, I’ve had other reasons I’m retaining water…. ugh.

So there you have it – this week’s weigh in is 170.2 – up 2 pounds from last week.  My first weight GAIN since I started this journey in January.  This is where the importance of my sponsor, Terri and my life coach, Brian come in.  They are vital in this struggle and they hold me accountable and won’t let me quit.  In the past, I’ve said stuff like “Well, I lost 30+ pounds, I fit in my clothes better.  I’ve done pretty good.”  and then I would slowly return to my old lifestyle.  I have a feeling that Brian and Terri won’t allow that to happen.  This is a change in the way I view food, the way I see life and how I take care of my body.  Honestly, I get a little irked when people comment, “Oh, you’re on a diet, aren’t you?”  IT IS NOT A DIET!  It’s completely different and I can never, ever see myself going back to the way I was living.  I’m fighting this addiction to food and I will fight it every day for the rest of my life… it’s not going to stop when I reach my goal weight.

My amazing friend Tanya Torp writes in her blog:

It has taken me a long time to get to this point.  I’ve stopped and started more diets and workout routines than the number of flavors at Baskin Robbins.  I’ve had at least 6 die hard workout buddies who claim to have the same goal of  seeking a healthy lifestyle  as me quit faster than you can say “Pastry sale at Magees Bakery”.  One by one they offered accountability and partnership and as soon as I really started to lose weight and hit my stride…they decided perhaps this “workout” thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  Not one of them is exercising to this day.  I have allowed myself to even use them as an excuse for not getting healthy. “Poor me.  I can’t exercise without an accountability partner so I might as well do nothing”. Yes, it really does sound lame written out like that doesn’t it?

So, why do I do it if  I dread it?  Why bother working out at all?  I come from a family plagued by obesity.  I grew up watching my mom try every diet and exercise program available from eating only hot dogs and cabbage for one diet, to some soup only menu thing that smelled awful, followed by the  Atkins craze, SlimFast, and Weight Watchers.  I saw her succeed with Jazzercise only to end up right back in the same cycle that I have learned to perpetuate.  Get excited, get dedicated, practice extreme discipline, get bored, get busy, and fizzle out.  Guilt.  Shame.  Giving up completely. And then, we begin all over again.  But, I want something different this time.  I want to live without the diabetes that is breathing down my back begging permission to access my body while holding a sign saying “But, I run in your family.  It’s only a matter of time”.  I want to have babies and run and jump with them.  At 36 years old,  I am careening into my 40′s  never having worn a bikini in my life .  I want to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded.  And, as much as I dread the idea of what my husband calls “real camping”, he adores it and I want to share it with him…peeing in the woods and all .  I’m no “sissy” so-to-speak.  I have survived Africa and all manner of living situations.  I just happen to think it is not a crime to be comfortable when camping.  A nice KOA with some port-o-potties, a blow-up bed, perhaps some showers.  Is that too much to ask? Well,  it’s not “real camping” to hubby until compasses, survival skills, and leaves are involved.   But, huffing and puffing up some obscure mountain kinda takes the picturesque romance right out of the whole thing.

I’m going to tell you a big secret.  Fat people know they’re fat.  Or at least I should say we know “we’re” fat.  It is no surprise to us.  It is also no surprise to the 40 Billion dollar a year diet industry selling us miracles like some Snake Skin Oil salesmen in some old Western.  They literally thrive on obesity.  Diet pills.  Diet meals. Exercise equipment most people in their right minds know will never work.  But, desperation breeds blindness and before you know it some infomercial promises become hopes to be dashed.  Radio spots on popular stations offer us “Lose weight fast” dreams and millions of people fall for it a year.  The truth of why I get up early every morning is that the only thing that will work long term is slow consistency and that just ain’t all that sexy.  Eating less.  Eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.  Burning more calories than you take in.  And, building muscle are slow and painful processes that net real results…in time. I do this because I refuse to believe a risky surgery is worth more than merely taking care of what God has already given me.  I do this because all of the excuses in the world have finally caught up with me and they want to hog tie me to the railroad track of heart disease, diabetes, or other debilitating diseases and I say “I don’t even think so sucka”!

To read more of Tanya’s amazing blog, visit:  http://thetorps.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/one-day-youre-gonna-run/

So, back to work…  going to a week of church camp where someone else will be cooking and I will have little time to exercise, journal or eat right.  Please pray for me…  I’ll be back in 2 weeks with an update!

 

No Magic here…..

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

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

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

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

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

Have a good week, folks!  God bless!

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

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.

 

 

A New Decade of Pounds

My official weigh in this week is 188.4!  I’m out of the 190’s and in a new decade!  That’s -2.6 pounds for the week and -15.8 pounds for the year.  I’ve lost 62 sticks of butter!  🙂

This is been a unique week.  I fought cravings like crazy this week and I also had female stuff going on.  Typically during this time, I gain 5-7 pounds of water weight.  This time, I gained .4.  That’s a huge difference for me!  I’ve learned several things about cravings this week – when I have them, I eat what I’m craving.  God gave me that craving for a reason – my body needs it.  The thing I’m having to learn is that my body does not need 3 of what I’m craving!  I also have figured out I eat when I’m thinking about food so I change my thought pattern or get involved in something else (walk away from the kitchen, go play with the kids, walk out to the mailbox, turn on the radio, go work out).  I’m still doing 20 minutes a day on the eliptical (except for Sundays) and trying to work in other active times – going to the park, playing with the kids, going for a family walk, etc.

My food choices are changing.  That book I mentioned last week (Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss 30 Day Plan) has been a very good resource for me.  Again the calories in 1 biscuit = 14 slices of toast with jelly… totally blew me away!  There’s so much more that I’ve learned from that book!  I’ve tried garden burgers this week, I ate salmon w/ roasted veggies (seriously, roasted veggies are FANTASTIC), roasted veggie pizza, salsa soup… I love to cook so I’ve had a fun time learning new recipes. 

I’ve stopped rewarding my kids with food as their treat for doing extra work or helping out around the house.  I didn’t realize how much I did that.  When my daughter lost a tooth this week, we gave her a book under her pillow instead of candy.  She loved it!  When we talk about celebrating, we don’t involve eating out.  This weekend is the opening weekend of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and my husband and son go spend a few days with my father-in-law.  It’s a girl’s weekend for my daughter and I and we were talking about what we wanted to do.  Instead of going out to eat, we decided it would be fun to go roller skating and then take some healthy foods to the park & have a picnic.  Creating memories…. and changing the way I (and my family) think about food.   I’ve always heard you have to change your relationship with food and I think I’m starting to understand what that entails.  I’ve still got a lot to learn but I’m getting there. 

I decided to set some specific number goals with my life coach last week and we decided a reasonable goal for me to reach is 173 by June 1, 2011.  (Getting closer to you Tom Hailey!!)  That would put me at -31.4 pounds for the year and 23 pounds left to my goal weight of 150.  We broke that down into smaller weekly goals of 1.5 pounds per week or to take some weekly pressure off, we decided on 6 pounds per month.  That’s a good, slow, steady weight loss that I can accomplish.  This is a marathon – a slow and steady race that will not be won if I’m in a hurry.  My sponsor, Terri, is amazing.  I know I talk about her & Brian (the coach) every week but I cannot stress how vital it is to have a support system OTHER than your spouse.  It’s too much responsibility to put on your spouse so I urge you… don’t put that pressure on them.  The relationship dynamic is too challenging. 

I appreciate all of your support, your encouraging comments and your prayers.  I shared this battle with my church family this week and they have been very supportive and encouraging.  I encourage you to share your battle with someone.  It’s insanely hard to open up and share this stuff with strangers on facebook & the internet but it was especially difficult for me to share this with my church family – the folks that see me eat a doughnut Sunday mornings or see me in the grocery store weekly.  It adds a whole new level of accountability and support.  Thanks for reading my ramblings….  subscribe to this blog to read my ramblings every week!  😉  Click on “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” in the right hand column of this blog and you’ll get a reminder whenever I post stuff on here.  Share comments with me – let me know how you’re doing on this road to recovery. 

If you do what you did, you get what you got.

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.

Tough Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.