Power of a Wise Choice; 3 Case Studies

 

cancer surgery    Friends 2    Friends 3

 

Some of the most important friends in my world have had a bad week.  They may not know it but I have learned from them.

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tongue cancerFriend #1 – Chesi has tongue cancer, that’s right on her dad-gum tongue! Who has ever heard of that?!?  She had part of her tongue removed during surgery last week.  She’s young, has two young boys at home and she’s active in her community.  She could have easily let a cancer diagnosis cripple her.  But you know what?  She hasn’t. She’s fighting.  She’s a tough little booger!

Where’s Chesi’s choice?  Her reality is cancer.  There’s no choice there.  It’s what life has dealt her.  Her choice is her mindset.  I watched her be rolled back into surgery with tears in her eyes but a smile on her face as she waved to us.  This woman is making a choice to live, to stay positive and deal with her rotten reality named cancer.

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marriageFriends whose marriage is in trouble – It’s an awful situation. They both feel trapped.  They have resolved to live in a toxic life of misery.  They have options. But neither wants to see them because making any choices may be too painful.  Staying in the marriage may be a lifelong toxic choice at this point and getting out of the marriage may have it’s own lifelong toxic consequences.

Sometimes, there are no good options.  Sometimes choices suck.  But they are still there, however painful they may be.  Not making a choice can be just as painful as making one.

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My frobbery.pngriend, Emma, could be really bitter about the thief that stole over $1000 worth of fireworks from her business and then tried to run over her in the parking lot.

But when the news showed up and the cameras were in her face, Emma gave thanks and encouraging words of appreciation to the neighbors and bystanders that offered their help when she could have easily spewed hatred and anger towards the thief.
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Chesi, you are teaching me to keep a positive mindset and not let the realities of life get me down.  You are an inspiration.

My couple friends – you have taught me that I always have a choice. Even if the options suck, I am never trapped because there are always options. But not making a choice can be worse than making a terrible one.

Emma, you have taught me that I can choose my focus.  I can choose to be thankful and encouraging, even in a bad situation.  Thank you for that reminder.

3 lessons:
I can choose my mindset.  I can choose my focus.  There are always choices…  

 

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Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

 

 

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The Stair Climber From Hell

Okay – A little over 2 weeks ago, I began a journey to being healthier.  No, I don’t sell weight loss stuff, I don’t endorse any gym equipment… heck, I don’t even LIKE working out.

Jacobs-Stair-2I started going to the gym M-F.  The first day, I walked on the treadmill 10 minutes, worked on the elliptical for 10 minutes and looked at that scary machine in the corner – the stair climber.  I saw what it did to people.  Sometimes it tried to eat people. It turned great big muscular men into sniveling, panting, weaklings.  Sure, people would start out running up those things but they soon learned. And I knew – because I watched what it did to people. I ran home trembling in fear.

The next day, I did the same on the treadmill and elliptical but got brave enough to go figure out how to turn on that stair climber.  I watched a girl run up those stairs for about 20 minutes and although she was breathing fast, she walked away alive.  Seemingly undamaged from this simple machine.  So I could do this, right??  Oh, how cocky I had become.

Rocky Balboa stepsI climbed on with the Rocky theme music thundering in my ears.  I’m gonna conquer these steps…. I can do it!  I had a goal of 1000 steps.  That should be easy, right???  The girl I watched run up those stairs did over 3000.  I started off slow and kept a steady pace.  Well – this isn’t so bad.  My knees are holding up okay, my breathing is steadily getting more labored but I’m doing it!  I look around at the people in the gym wondering if they can hear the Rocky theme playing, too?  I wonder why they’re not staring, even applauding in admiration of this great feat of strength and courage I have begun.

I begin to feel a little more winded.  A little weaker in the legs.  I had already done an entire 10 minutes on the treadmill AND 10 minutes on the elliptical so I’m already plumb exhausted, remember?  😉  I began to pant, like those strong men I had seen…  but no, no, no…. that wouldn’t happen to me, right?  I’m taking it slow and steady…  Geesh, I must have gone nearly 1000 steps by now, right?

There’s a little screen that shows how many steps you’ve gone.

I’m on #18.

I’m not kidding.

Suddenly, the Rocky theme stopped.  All of those images in my head of me victoriously dancing at the top of this machine for all the gym patrons to applaud my efforts well – kinda died.  And I became a sniveling, panting, weakling – just another victim of the stair climber from Hell.  I did make it to 100 steps but was sucking wind and thought I was going to vomit right there by the treadmill.  Rocky never vomited.

But I went home elated that I even climbed on that stupid thing.

stairsNext day, I went back.  There was a guy on the stair climber struggling – big muscular guy…. I’m sure at one point he was strong but that machine was doing it to him – turning him into a sniveling, panting weakling.  Why are these people letting this machine do this to them???  Why do they put themselves through the torture?

You won’t believe this.  That stupid stair machine called my name.  It mocked me.  It told me I could never be Rocky.  It taunted me so badly that I HAD to get on it and teach it a lesson.  I could do 100 steps again…  I did it once and survived….that’s right.

Oh, I was, once again, quite cocky.  It turned me into a sniveling, panting weakling BUT I made it to 111 first!  Oooh, I felt like I had conquered it, at least for the moment.

Each day, I added a few more steps.  Then, THEN, I was really going to teach it a lesson!  I introduced that stair machine to my husband, Tommy Lanham!  He’s the strongest, most determined man I know.  Bet you can’t take HIM you silly stair climber!

We stepped on the side-by-side machines and began to climb.  Tommy asked me to hum the music to Rocky.  I just smiled wondering if he knew that had been going on inside my head.  He knows me well.  We climbed and pushed and sweated and you know something?  That machine turned my husband into a sniveling, panting weakling, too!  What in the world!?!

stairs3Tommy began going with me to the gym – yep, TRUE LOVE right there, folks!  But I think Tommy heard that machine’s taunting, too.  I think that’s how it gets ya – sucks you right in.  We are helpless victims.

I’m proud to announce, that 2 weeks later, Tommy and I each climbed 750 steps today!  Yeah, it’s not quite my initial goal of 1000 but you know what, it’s a whole lot better than the 100 I did that first day.  I am now able to go over 2 miles on the elliptical (in about 30 minutes) and I take a weekly Body Pump class.  (FYI:  this may be TMI but I’m proud that I can now take the Body Pump class and still sit and get off the toilet without assistance the next day!)  I call that progress, folks!

And so far, that stair climber from Hell hasn’t won.  Yes, it still taunts me, but I’m still going, baby!  And I’m not stopping!

Oh yeah – I weighed in this Tuesday at 206.2.  🙂  I’ll take that.

I Need an Attitude Adjustment

We have been hit by one thing after another over the past few months and it’s been physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausting.  I mean it folks, I’m pooped.  Since we moved, we had one week of calm before the storm of Appolonya’s skin condition started and have since seen 7 doctors, we had to go gluten free for about 10 days, then the muffler fell out from under our car, we thought the transmission went out in our 267,000 mile van, Appolonya and I got a nasty virus (I’m talking gross-nasty…), my husband hurts his knee in a Wiffle Ball tournament (yep, you read that right, a Wiffle Ball Tournament) – but his team won! – and has to be on crutches and in a knee brace for a couple of weeks (he says it’s worth it since they won), all while still trying to settle in from a big move and adjust to a new homeschool co-op group, and Tommy tries to keep up with his graduate studies while starting a new ministry.

Drained.

But you know what, I’ve been focusing so much on all the little “fires” I’ve been putting out, I’ve forgotten to see the positive.  I saw War Room last week.  Twice.  I realized that I seem to have forgotten who was in charge…..  So, last week I started googling positive motivational sayings and Bible verses and printed a bunch of them out.  I looked specifically for quotes (and photos) from movies and individuals that our children are familiar with.  I took them to Office Depot and got them laminated and wah-lah!  This is what I got!

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Now, I am aiming at putting these reminders all over our home as reminders.  I’ll take some photos after I’ve gotten them hung.

In the meantime, I’m looking at the positives:
1.  Appolonya is doing better – she doesn’t have any serious or life threatening illness

2.  Tommy is off crutches – no serious damage to his knee and no surgery required

3.  The van ended up only needing a $17 part that a family member put on for us

4.  The car was fixed by a friend at church for $30

5.  I have a ton of new gluten-free recipes that I love

6.  We love our new homeschool group

7.  My amazingly smart husband has got a 4.0 in grad school

See?  Lots and lots of positives!  And #8.  Our house is finally settled in and put together (but don’t ask about the garages…. they are currently in “enter at your own risk” condition…..)

It’s all coming together.  I just needed an attitude adjustment and a reminder that God is in control.

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Spending Fast Update

I’ve been gathering my notes on our spending fast last February. If you are thinking of doing one of these, here are a few tips we learned…

First and foremost – AND MOST IMPORTANT…….

1. Stock up on toilet paper!! – You can “make do” with just about anything else in your home but this is one that you simply cannot substitute. Buy more than you think you could possibly need.  Then add one more package.

2. I went the last night of January and purchased my fresh foods like spinach, bananas, apples, kiwi, oranges, pears, etc. Spinach and bananas only last about a week (you can also freeze the ripe bananas) but apples, kiwi, oranges can last longer especially if kept in the fridge and pears can last a little longer if you buy them not entirely ripe.

3. Meal plans were a must for us. I wrote out all 4 weeks of menus while looking through my freezer and pantry. If I had frozen hot dogs, I knew I would need to buy a package of buns.  A great alternative to bread and buns are tortillas – they last much longer before going “stale” or growing green mold and can be used as buns, taco wraps, peanut butter roll ups or just plain sandwiches. It was important to buy the things I would need to use up the stuff in the fridge / freezer / pantry (i.e. buns for the hot dogs, etc.).

4. We also didn’t go to restaurants or out to eat the whole month either so it was important for us to keep snacks and bottled waters with us at all times. We looked at our calendars and double checked for any events that would call for pot luck meals or any special spending situation (birthday party invites, etc.) that would cause us to spend extra money and took steps to resolve or avoid it being an issue.

5.  We didn’t change our habits when it comes to milk.  We often drink almond milk which has a shelf life of up to a month.  We also buy raw cows’ milk from a local farmer.  We drank the cows’ milk the first week, then drank almond the rest of the month.

All in all, we did pretty good. We are going to be doing the same thing again next February. Let me know how yours spending fast goes!  Be sure to leave comments and recommendations for the rest of us!

Stay tuned to see how this project goes…..

Click on “Follow This Blog” over to your top left to get a notice when the next blog comes out!

Tammy Lanham

 

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

Thanks for reading!

Get Over It!

gotochurchYep – I just said it…. get over it!  My husband has been preparing for a message tomorrow on evangelism.  

e·van·ge·lism  [ih-van-juh-liz-uhmnoun

1.  the preaching or promulgation of the gospel; the work of an evangelist.

Evangelism is not just the work of the minister.  If I truly believe what I say I believe – Jesus died for my sins so I can spend eternity in Heaven – how much do I have to hate somebody to NOT tell them?  If my worst enemy was in the path of a train, I’d attempt to save their lives.  If I know the cure for cancer, wouldn’t I tell people??  People around me are in the path of something much worse than cancer or a train.  Sin, Hell and separation from Jesus.  For eternity.   A miserable life on earth void of purpose and meaning.  Empty.  And I often don’t share my faith because I’m worried it’ll be socially awkward?!?  What the heck is wrong with me?

So somebody in some church somewhere stepped on your toes.  Somebody commented about your clothing and embarrassed you.  Somebody mentioned a “tithe” and you got all worked up and offended.  Somebody somewhere frustrated you so now you’re not ever stepping foot in a church again.  Really?!?  You’re giving up the life Jesus promised – a full life, abundant and free from your stupid, petty frustrations.  Is it worth giving up heaven?  Is it?  I don’t care if you don’t go to my church, just go somewhere!  The Bible tells us to worship together.  No getting around it…. go to church.  Get over your hurt feelings, your frustrations, your embarrassment and get out of bed in the morning to worship Almighty God.  So what if you feel out of place?  You will be blessed.  You will hear something that will stir your soul…. ready or not. 

Now, are you going to spend more time offended that someone would challenge you like this or are you going to go set your alarm clock?  It could be a life changing decision.

Challenging Video right here that got me to thinking…..

How Michael Jackson and Tommy Lanham Ruined My Evening

I love my husband.

He came home as we were preparing to go the ball park tonight and watch my son play a Rookie Ball game.  It’s like t-ball but they hit the ball that is pitched from a pitching machine.  In this case, a round wheel that whirls and spits the ball out.  Gorgeous night for a game.  I came through the house gathering the last of the supplies – ball, hat, glove, batting gloves, cleats, the ball player, you know… the essentials.

As I gather the ball player, I noticed he and his sister are staring intently at a video my husband has pulled up on the laptop.  It’s the Michael Jackson Thriller video.  At the very moment this image popped up……

Michael Jackson

………. my children did this…..

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Appolonya ran into the corner screaming “Why??  Why?????  Why would you show us that??”  I went to console her and she lashed out at ME asking “Why would you let Daddy show us that, Mommy?”  Yeah, like it’s MY fault…  In the meantime, Dylan is balled up in the fetal position on the floor squeezing his eyes shut and holding his hands over his ears while he’s screaming at the top of his lungs “Dad, make it STOP!”  Might I add that Dad is still sitting at the laptop trying his best to not bust out laughing.  I’m shooting darts at him in my mind but he doesn’t feel them.

mad

Yep – nice, calm, peaceful night before a ball game.  After the game, dear ol’ Dad had to go counsel a family and left Mommy at home to get the children in bed.  After we got home and got our baths, Dylan wouldn’t get more than 5 feet from me.  He sat in the floor in the bathroom while I helped Appolonya blow dry her hair.  When I tucked her in, he sat at the foot of her bed asking if that man was ever going to come back.  Then I tucked Dylan in.  Oh goodness…..  Poor kid.  He finally decided it would be okay to fall asleep if he slept with every single light in his room on.

Yep  – he’s asleep with every light on.  ‘Cause that’s how we roll when Daddy terrifies his children.

Thanks Tommy – and thank you Michael Jackson for such a peaceful evening.  Tommy – next time, you’re on tucking in duty!

 

 

 

Why That Preacher’s Wife is Wearing Jeans to Church on Easter

 

 

lecrae_these_are_my_church_clothes

 

One of the most common responses I hear from people as an excuse to miss church is that they don’t have any nice clothes.  Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Christian Standard entitled “A Challenge to Church Clothes.”   My main point is that we don’t have to dress up to please God.  He doesn’t care one single bit how I am dressed to go to church.  I do believe modesty is desired but beyond that…. what does it matter if I wear jeans, a frilly, flowery dress or sweats?  The response to that article was strong.  I got letters telling me I didn’t deserve to worship if I couldn’t dress up and give my best to God each Sunday.  Not.  the.  point.  Anyway, without exploring the depths of this subject, I am making a statement.  Here it comes… are you ready?

I, the preacher’s wife, am wearing jeans to church on Easter Sunday.

I don’t think the world will collapse.  Easter celebrations will go on as planned.  Delicious lunches will be consumed.  Jesus will be worshiped.  No matter what I wear.

Tomorrow is Easter.  I will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection (even in my jeans).  Very important day in my Christian faith.  It’s not a fable.  It’s not some fairy tale.  It’s not a myth or tall tale.  It really happened.  Isn’t that almost impossible to believe?  I mean, come on!  If you  go to church tomorrow somebody is going to get in front of you and tell you that a guy came back from the dead.  In our worlds, our finite minds, with our life experiences, this sounds absurd.  And it is.  Really.

But Jesus isn’t limited by our world, our finite minds or our life experiences.    And thank goodness for that!  But I know of a lot of people who won’t go to church tomorrow.  Not because they are bad people.  Not because they don’t believe.  In fact, most believe in God but they have a variety of reasons to stay home.  They get to sleep late.  They get to stay in their sweats all day.  They get to spend the day with family.  They get to rest.   But the one excuse I don’t want to hear is “I don’t have nice enough clothes.”  So I’m wearing jeans.  If the preacher’s wife wears jeans, you can surely wear jeans without any judgment, right?

My challenge is this:  try a church you feel comfortable in.  Just try.  Tomorrow.  If you hear something that challenges you, makes you a better person, makes you feel something you thought you had lost touch with, wouldn’t it be worth it?  You can still sleep late – most services don’t start until after 10 a.m.  Wear anything you want.  At our church (as with a lot of churches) you CAN stay in sweats all day.  AND you can bring your family.  And best of all, you’ll rest like you haven’t rested in years.  There will be peace.  Beyond understanding.  Even if you wear jeans.  With holes in them…  it’s okay.  We won’t judge.

Tammy Lanham
 
 
Tammy Lanham’s husband, Tommy, ministers at New Castle Christian Church in New Castle, Kentucky.
 
http://www.NewCastleChristianChurch.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

It ain’t over, yet…

It ain’t over, yet…  🙂

Last year at this time, I was miserable.  I had so much extra weight on me.  My self esteem was suffering and I didn’t want to go through “another year” of setting the same old resolution only to get off track by mid-January and lose hope AGAIN.

This year, I was miserable because of health issues.  I’ve had a shoulder injury which has caused some excruciating pain at times and ended me up in the Emergency Room.  I’ve been sedentary since the Wednesday before Christmas and on lots of pain pills and muscle relaxers.  For about a week, I could not even wash dishes, vacuum, lift anything heavier than a fork or do laundry.  (Oh, darn, right??)  I’m realizing what a true gift my health really is.

So, here we are on New Year’s Eve, 2011.  No, I have not hit my initial goal of losing 50 pounds, in fact, over the holidays, I gained about 5 pounds and just in the past week (since the ER visit with my back) I have gained an additional 3.  I’m weighing in somewhere around 164.  So, I have a decision to make.  Do I let it get me down that I’ve gained 8-10 pounds back or do I use that as a springboard to motivate me to keep going forward with more energy and determination?  I choose the springboard.  I found this photo posted on facebook:

This is my motivation.  I haven’t made it to my goal yet but I’m not as far from it as I was this time last year.  My journey began January 18th, 2011.  It does not have an ending point, a destination of sorts.  It will be a lifelong journey for me so I’ve settled in for the long haul.  It’s not a diet.  It’s a mindset.  A lifestyle.  I know at this time of year, there’s the big fitness push, all the TV commercials, all the books on the shelves, all the talk is about getting fit and healthy, getting organized, getting out of debt, etc.  If you do choose to try and live healthier this year, I challenge you, don’t let it be a fad – do it for real this year.

 

I’m starting somewhere around 164 this year, last year I was 204.8.  Some resources I have found useful over the past year:

 

The book GOALS by Tommy Lanham – to step by step this book really helped  me set small attainable goals with a purpose… ones I can actually accomplish!  I can’t tell you what a difference this book has made in my personal journey.  It’s a short, easy read that has the potential to change your life if you let it.

 

A life coach – I have worked with a life coach through most of this journey.  It really helps me stay on track when I know that each week, I have someone asking me, “How’d you do this week?”  “Did you do your 5 workouts?”  “What do you feel you need to do this week?”  My life coach has helped me focus on what’s important and the REASONS I have to lose weight.

 

A sponsor – I have a dear friend of mine who has lost so much weight.  She understands it – she “gets it.”  She didn’t have surgery, do fad diets or starve herself.  She understands how much of an addiction this can be and howhard it is.  I can call her in the middle of Kroger with 2 boxes of HoHo’s in my cart and she will tell me to walk away… ask me how I know!!  🙂  She will be 100% honest and even though she’s 10 hours away, she will kick my butt if I don’t stick to the plan.

 

www.MyFitnessPal.com – this is a website I have been using to track my food intake, count calories and connect with others who have the same goals I have.

 

I have not been doing my devotions and reading my Bible like I should over the past few weeks.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays has gotten me off track spiritually and I really do believe that when I’m off spiritually, every other aspect of my life suffers, including the weight issue.  I’m starting off tomorrow with 3 new books.  Made to Crave, the Made to Crave devotional and The Maker’s Diet.

I’ll keep you posted on my opinion of these books.  I do want to encourage you to read, educate yourself and challenge yourself.  If you immerse yourself in information about health & wellness, you’re much more likely to stick to losing the weight and making healthier choices.

 

Brian Tracy says “You are what you think about most of the time.”  If you think about how much you miss those doughnuts or those sweets, that’s what you will focus on.  Instead, think about health, read about it, start your own blog about it, talk about it with your spouse, family members, friends.  Surround yourself with information and health and it will be a great start to this journey.

So, there you have it.  My renewed commitment to my health, my God and my blog.  🙂  If you want to receive a notification when I post a new blog (typically 2-3 times per month) then click on “Yep, I’m in, sign me up!”   Let me know if you’re on the same journey and let’s cheer each other on!  God bless you this new year!

 

Focus

Focus.  It’s not just a car that Ford makes.  🙂  When you focus on something, it becomes important in your life.  That’s why it is essential to have a goal.  It gives you something to focus on.  I once heard a motivational speaker ask “If you go hunting and you see a field full of deer, do you just randomly shoot hoping to get lucky or do you pick one, focus on it and shoot?”  Any hunter out there will tell you your chances of killing a deer are next to nothing if you try to shoot them all.  You’ve got to have focus.

When I first started this journey on January 18, 2011, I weighed 204.4 pounds and was physically and emotionally miserable.  I chose to focus on my weight and becoming healthy again.  I read books that educated me on nutrition (not silly fad diets), I joined www.myfitnesspal.com and educated myself on calories and exercise.  I began working on setting goals, developing healthy habits and making a plan with my life coach, Brian Osher.  I began to move more and eat wisely.  I weighed in every week and blogged weekly about my experiences as the weight began to come off.  Choosing to focus on my journey was as big a decision as committing to eat healthier and start exercising.

I weighed in this morning at 155.4.  To date, that is a loss of 49.0 pounds.  I have so much more energy, I feel fantastic (most days) and my health issues (especially the digestive issues) have all but disappeared.

I’m going to risk sounding negative here but I want to share something.  When people see me and notice the weight loss, they often ask “How did you do it?  I really need to do something about my weight.”  When I tell them (often to their disappointment) that I am eating healthier and exercising, you can almost see them mentally change the channel.  I get excuse after excuse as to why they can’t change their diet:  “My husband likes fatty foods and I don’t want to cook 2 different meals for us every night.”  “I have a hurt (insert body part) and can’t exercise.”  “I just can’t find the time to exercise.”  You know what?  That only tells me that they don’t really want to do something about their weight.  Zig Ziglar says “If you really wanted to be something different than what you are, you would already be making the changes to become what you want.”  You’ve got to get to “That Point.”  If they’re not to that point, I can see why they tune me out.  So forgive me when I answer the “How did you do it?” questions with a quick but polite answer.  If you really want to know more, ask for more details but I won’t offer them.  I’ve been tuned out too many times.

My weight loss has not been easy – I have often equated it to the disease of alcohol addiction, only my disease is food addiction.  When I stopped making excuses, God blessed my efforts and has been faithful.  I know it sounds absolutely crazy but when I lag behind on my devotions or find myself lacking in my prayer life, my weight tends to go up.  I honestly believe that losing weight is as much a physical endeavor as it is emotional, mental and spiritual.

Do you find yourself offering excuse after excuse?  Don’t wait for New Year’s – start now – start tonight.  “If you’re going to make a real and lasting change, you must make changes immediately and enthusiastically!”  – Tommy Lanham

Make this a focus and do something for yourself, the Lord’s temple, your children’s parent, your parent’s child, your spouse…. stop making excuses.  Click on “Sign me up” at the right hand side of this blog & join me as we go through this journey together.  I need you – I need your support and your success stories and your “I just ate a bag of Ding-Dong’s” stories.   Commitment is a balance between formula and freedom.  Let’s be free together!  Come on, we can do this!

 

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.