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.

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!

 

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!

The New-“er” Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is now a weight loss blog…

I’ve been struggling with what to do with this blog – I’m a professional photographer and I have been using this blog as a sort of brag-book for my clients.  But I recently began to fight a battle with weight and it seems that has taken over this blog so I’m just changing this blog to a weight loss blog.  If you want more information on Tammy Lanham Images blog, please click here.

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.