Makes me want to puke…

I look at myself in the mirror squeezing into very uncomfortable clothes again.  Makes me want to puke…

I pull out the 1 pair of size 20 capri’s that I kept to show where I started my weight loss journey from.  Only to pull them on and struggle to button them.  Makes me want to puke….

I sit down in front of the television at night with a bowl of ice cream.  Just because I “need” to treat myself.  Makes me want to puke…. but I still eat it.

I hate the numbers I see on the scale.  I hate telling YOU how I’ve gained it all back.  Makes me wanna….. well,

PUKE

Break the stupid mirror

Pull my hair out

SCREAM

Hide in humiliation

How did I get back here?  I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I cry out to God, “Lord, why??  Why did you let me get back in this shape again?”  Only to hear Him whispering “Why did you choose this path, Tammy?”  I was there, so close to my goal.  I blogged all about it and you all listened.  You all offered your encouragement (which I treasure to this day).  But why weren’t you there to rip that midnight snack out of my hands??  Because I locked you out.  I stopped talking about it, I stopped blogging, I stopped doing anything about it.  It was easier to be quiet about it as the pounds piled back on in humiliation.  I stopped hearing “Wow!  You look great!  How much weight have you lost?” and started imagining your thought “Wow, she’s put all that weight back on.”

So here I am again.  At another starting line.  At another crossroads.  I walked in a Diabetes challenge here in our county yesterday and it felt good.  I walked for an hour.  I sweated.  I got uncomfortable.  It felt amazing!  I had energy all day yesterday and it’s addicting.  I need to take steps, drastic ones, to get off my rear end and start truly taking care of this glorious body God gave me.  I’m not talking about “stupid-drastic.”  I’m not crash dieting, bingeing or going on a “tongue patch” diet or a “freeze your fat” diet – (those seriously exist)…  I’m talking about eating right and exercising.

So I’m signing up for a 5K.  I don’t know where but I know it needs to be soon.  I’m using the Diabetes walk yesterday as my first day of training.  Pray for me.  Pray for my family.  I plan to blog each week – it makes me accountable.  Don’t let me go silent again.  My commitment to you is that by next Sunday (hope to make that my regular blogging day) I will have narrowed down some 5K’s and be ready to sign up for one.  I also plan to walk every day so if any of you are in New Castle and want to join me, let me know!  Can’t walk with me but you want to share in this journey?  Subscribe to this blog.  I hope it helps encourage somebody, somewhere along the way.  The Lord is walking me through this journey for a reason.

Ready….

Set…..

Go!

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Gotta start somewhere…… right???

I’m back – it’s been a LONG and tedious roadsomewhere but I’m here.  Two years ago, I began this weight loss journey and lost 50 pounds.  Then about a year ago, I began fighting a mysterious illness (which no one ever figured out what the heck it was) with round after round of steroids and put back on over 40 pounds over the past 12 months. I’m better now and off of almost all the medicines.  I’m tired of using that as an excuse for gaining back the weight. So, I’m back. I’ve got a lot of emotional junk on my plate right now so I’m not sure I can handle a focus on the two or three big issues in our lives along with focusing on weight loss and exercise BUT I’m going to try.  That’s all I’m promising – I’m going to try.

start

 

I’ve got my two closest weight loss guru’s helping me – Terri and Kelly.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to even think about going down this long road again.  I started again a few days ago – on Monday, January 21st, 2013 (taking deep breaths, tears in my eyes and ashamed) at 201.2 pounds.  Two years ago, I started at 204.2 and promised I’d never get back into this position.  Well, here I am.  You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

Anybody lose weight, put it back on and lose again to successfully keep it off?  Please share any encouragment you might have to offer.  I could use it right now.
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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!

 

I won’t go back.

I’m ashamed to admit that since October 11 (about 4 weeks ago), I have gained 5 pounds.  😦  My workouts haven’t been as intense or regular, halloween happened (thus a house full of candy) and I entertained quite a bit (a house full of yummy homemade goodies).  I am struggling with fear.  The entire time I’ve been losing this weight, my mind keeps telling me “Oh, I hope I don’t gain this back.”  I am very fearful.  So when I got on the scale on Oct. 11 and it said 153.8 (the smallest I have been since way before our wedding day 11 years ago), I thought “Okay, I’m so close!  I just hope I don’t gain it back.”  See?  My brain is setting me up for failure.  Zig Ziglar says “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are usually right.”  It’s a mind game.

Last week, I ran laps around our church gym.  I made myself chant to my steps “I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back” for 11 laps.  I came home and read my journal and all my past blogs.  I wont’ go back.  I’m reading some of the books that had an impact on me early on in this journey.  I won’t go back.  I am journaling again and am finally starting to regain some self control.  I won’t go back.  I am haunted again by the reality that for me, this is a disease, an addiction that I must not let get the best of me.  I won’t go back.  When I walked by the candy bowl after halloween, I literally could not keep my hands out.  I would eat 12 candies before I ever realized what I was doing.  Then I would feel guilty.  Then I would want more because I felt guilty.  Do you see the crazy cycle?  I won’t go back.

So, instead of waiting until I got back down to 153.8 again to start blogging, I decided I wanted to be open and real about this struggle.  There may be someone else out there that has gained back after some loss.  Granted I am pleased that it’s only a 5 pound gain.  While 5 pounds is very hard to lose and it is devastating, it’s not nearly as heart breaking as having gained all 50 pounds back.  Oh, I won’t go back.

We got a new DVD/VHS player this week.  Ours was toast.  The VHS player (we had 2 separate machines) tried to eat our friends’ movie they let us borrow.  I finally bonked it on it’s head to see all the lights light up momentarily and then it died a forever death, never to be resurrected again.  My husband took the thing apart and finally got the movie out of it but there were pieces all over the living room floor.  I know it sounds crazy but I feel a lot like that VHS player.  I am to the point of not really working (out) all that much and when I do, I don’t put forth my best effort.  I feel like I need that bonk on the head – I’m at the point where that bonk can make all the lights come on again and I realize where I am and what I need to do to start working again before I die that forever death.  I need to be taken apart and re-assembled.  I won’t go back.  That’s why I’ve gone back to the beginning.  I’m taking small baby steps and making better choices.  I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back….

 

 

 

Please join me on this journey – I need your encouragement.  Click on “Yep, I’m in.  Sign me up!”  to receive email updates whenever I post (and I will start blogging more regularly, about once per week).  Feel free to leave comments and suggestions!  I need them!  God bless!

 

 

Heck yeah, I bought it!

So last week, I was given the challenge of living through my very first weight GAIN since I began this journey 21 weeks ago on January 18, 2011.  I gained 2 pounds over the previous week.  So here are some of my lessons learned:

– My body does not respond well to stress

– Stress is evil

– I hate stress

and

– Stress messes with my weight

So all in all, the lesson I learned is: AVOID STRESS!  I’ve discovered this amazing stress-reducer of a website called www.ProductiveBalance.com    It’s a fantastic website application that helps me prioritize and really helps reduce stress.  If I have 4-5 things to do on my list for today, I put them in order of prirority (by assigning points) and linking them to my core values (which Productive Balance helped me set up, too).  At the end of the day, I can see where the things I checked off as accomplished affect my life as a whole.  Example:  I put 15 minutes with each kid (I call them Mommy Minutes) each night as an action item on my to-do list and attach it to my core value of “family relationships.”  At the end of the week, I can look back at how much I worked towards building up that core value and which values I have neglected.  Helps me figure out where to spend more time to maintain balance.  Productive Balance has been great in my weight loss journey.  I add my workouts as high priority items and if I miss them or half way do them, I see that on the charts and I know where I need to focus in the future.  Fantastic tool.  If you’re interested in trying it – try it free for 2 weeks and tell them Tammy Lanham sent you, you’ll receive a special offer.  (I know…. I carry that kind of clout!!  HAHA!!)  If nothing else, it’ll really help you develop your core values.  We’ve all got them but most of us have never written them down and really looked at them.

Back to the weight loss – I have had some non-scale victories this week.  You know those size 14’s I was tickled about getting into 3 weeks ago?  Well, they are loose and 2 or 3 pair of capri’s have already gone into the “too big” pile.  I went to JCPenney’s and found a dress I absolutely LOVED.  It was purple polka-dotted, fitted and gorgoeus!  Best of all?  It was a SIZE 12!!!!!  Holy cow!  Heck, yeah I bought it!  It was on sale AND I had a coupon for it!  🙂  Here’s a pic but soon I’ll post a pic of ME in it.

Did you know the non-plus size clothing sections at JCPenney are HUGE!  I’ve never in my life seen so many clothes I could actually fit into!!  Seriously folks, I’ve been shopping in the plus sizes since high school.  I honestly had to ask the sales associate what was the difference between the women’s sizes, plus sizes, misses sizes and juniors.  When she showed me all the sections that contained my size, I about fell over.  Honestly, it was overwhelming to see the choices I had.  I always thought I had a good variety to choose from in plus sizes but this was crazy!!  And this is personal so men, skip this line…. I got fitted for a bra and went from a 44 to a 36!  I haven’t been in a 36 since 10th grade!

This week’s official weigh-in:  165.0 – yeah!  I’ve lost 39.4 pounds and I’ve got 15 more to hit my goal weight of 150.  🙂  We’ll see if I’m ready to stop there or if my body keeps going.  That’s the great thing about this – I’m  not on a diet.  I’m changing my lifestyle.  The weight will stop where it will……….

My goal for next week is to exceed 40 pounds lost.   I think that’s very doable.   Wanna see if I reach it?  Go ahead & sign up to follow this blog by clicking “Yes, I’m in!  Sign me up!” on the right hand side of this blog and then go visit Productive Balance and get organized!  🙂

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!

 

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.