Thank You For Noticing!

crying.jpgI went to the gym today and a sweet friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months stopped me and told me she could see where I had lost weight.
I almost cried. I love her.
You see, I haven’t lost a lot of weight. I’ve lost 19 pounds. And yes, that is a lot to some but I have 71 pounds to lose!  I’ve been working my butt off for 4 months, AND I lost 17 pounds the first month.
Three months of only losing 2 pounds makes me a little sick to my stomach…. and a tiny bit dead inside.
Today’s encouragement gave me the umph I needed to keep going….
Stop and encourage someone today – whether it’s losing weight, getting fit, taking care of their kids, or just rocking day to day life with a smile on their face, somebody may need to hear that you noticed.

headshot 2Tammy 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 whose mission is to equip and empower entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers to climb to their untapped potential.

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

What happened when that preacher’s wife wore jeans to church on Easter?

Yeah, I heard of a few goofy comments about not honoring the Lord on Easter… I told you already what I think about that. See my recent post if you missed it.

I also realized that those Easter jeans of mine were tighter than usual. What I wear to church on Sunday is not at all about honoring my Lord. BUT what I put into this temple that he blessed me with… that’s another story. How I’ve been mistreating my body is getting awful close to dishonoring the Lord. Gulp – that’s uncomfortable, isn’t it?

So I began to immerse myself in education about the body and food. I’ve watched two documentaries now (Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives) and I recommend them both. My 7 and 10 year olds watched Forks Over Knives with me. That night when I tucked them into bed, they both said to me (separately) that they believed we needed to change out diet to include more plant based foods. I began to read The Daniel Plan and have once again begun to log my daily food intake and exercise on http://www.myfitnesspal.com regularly.

I’m discovering some new yummy tricks:

This is spinach salad.  That’s right, I said SALAD!  It’s lots of spinach, a few frozen strawberries, a frozen kiwi, frozen blackberries, 1/2 a frozen peach and apple juice.   The kids ate it like it was sherbert!   I call it “Spinach Salad Ice Cream”  🙂

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This is nothing but frozen bananas.  Nothing added – just froze bananas when they were ripe (peeled and cut into 3-4 pieces each).  Put them in the blender as we were getting ready to eat lunch to let them defrost a bit.  When we were done with lunch, I turned on the blender and this is what we got!  Frozen bananas the consistency of soft serve ice cream!

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I have a long way to go.  I weighed in at 207 pounds last Monday.  Yes, you just read that.  I told you my actual weight.  I’m not proud, it makes me sick to share it, actually.  But if I’m open and honest, it helps hold me accountable and maybe will help someone else.  I weighed in today at 202.2.  I’ve lost 4.8 pounds this week.  That’s a start.  My goal weight is 145.  I did it once before.  I got derailed by 6 months and 5 rounds of steroids (that was my initial excuse) and stayed off course for 2 years.  I’m back on the wagon, again.  Here we go!  Prayers appreciated.  Encouragement essential.  Friends needed.

 

By the way…. I’m doing this without surgery, pills, drink mixes, powders, milkshakes, etc.  I’m not bashing anybody who does!  My goal is to show that anyone can do this with the Lord’s help.  You can join myfitnesspal and see what I eat every single day and how much exercise I’m doing.  I’m also doing devotions every morning.  If I can do this, anyone can do this.

 

 

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!

 

That Fat Girl

Tonight as I was preparing to play softball with our church softball team, I began to have flashbacks of that fat girl in elementary and middle schools that was always picked last.  And when I got forced onto someone’s team because I was the last person in line, I played pitifully.  Those flashbacks made me apprehensive about playing.  All the insecurities of that fat girl came flooding back.

I found out tonight that it’s not enough to change your body and lifestyle but you’ve got to change your mindset.  I was dressed in the most athletic thing I could find (a pair of 1 size too big denim capris and a red tank top) standing in my living room behind my kids on the couch watching Electric Company.  The characters on the screen were singing about taking chances, take a step forward and get in the game even if you are scared.  Wow – isn’t it cool how God can speak to us in any number of mediums?  As I stood there, I felt my confidence building.  Then my daughter, suddenly realizing I’m in the room, turns and says to me, “Mommy, you look absolutely magnificent losing so much weight!”  She came over and hugged me and told me I used to be so big and now I’m so little.  Thank you God for that little messenger giving me your message of encouragement.

Many of you have asked why I haven’t blogged the past 2 weeks.  It’s not that I’ve lost motivation or gained any weight.  We were out of town last week at the North American Christian Convention where I served as the Student Convention Photographer and had no time to write.  This week, I suffered a bout of the 24 hour flu.  And let me tell you, it was awful.  I went outside on a day when the heat index was 115 degrees in my sweat suit with my bathrobe on to warm up.  So the answer is – No, I’ve not gained any weight.  I’m still motivated, still working out and discovering great ways to change my diet to healthier choices.  I’m reading a great book by Tosca Reno that I highly suggest.  It’s a practical guide to eating clean and includes foods we actually will eat.

I weighed in this week at 160.0 – a loss of 2.4 more pounds.  That’s a total of 44.4 pounds lost since January 18, 2011.  🙂  I’m 10 pounds from my first goal of 150.  It’s amazing the new person I am becoming.  I’m more confident, more active, have tons more energy and a much more positive outlook on life.  Can’t wait to see what Goes does next!

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 must be aliens….

Wow, I honestly cannot believe I’m doing this.  I have been that “fat girl” all my life.  I was the last one picked to play sports in my PE class and I never played any team sports.  And all of a sudden I have a deisre to participate in a 5K on July 16th at the Bluegrass State Games!  Isn’t that crazy?  Last week as I was training to walk in that 5K, I had a desire to pick up some speed and jog a little.  It HAD to be aliens taking over my body because I literally despise running.

As most of you know, I’m a photographer and I photographed Louisville Bible College’s senior banquet and graduation this weekend.  On Friday night at the banquet, they had a fantastic seafood buffet and finished it up with a piece of chocolate meringue pie.  I had been “saving” my caloires all day so I could enjoy this meal guilt free and it was fabulous.  When I got to that pie, my mouth was watering.  It was actually frozen so I defrosted each bite in my mouth letting it slowly melt and savoring each morsel.  I have no idea what any of the speakers were saying or what was going on in that room because I was completely enjoying that piece of pie.  Now, here’s where the alien thing must have happened…. the next thing I know, I’m full and I push the last 2-3 bites of that fabulous frozen chocolate pie away from me!!  It’s chocolate pie for goodness sake!!  What in the world came over me???  Had to be aliens, just had to be….. have YOU ever seen any fat aliens??

Here are a few more instances that I am sure proves aliens are taking over my body:

I got up off the floor without getting on all fours and pushing myself up inches at a time…

I wore a pair of size 16’s and they’re about to fall off of me (I started in size 20/22)….

I went to the grocery store and bought healthy stuff…

I mowed our yard last week (hubby’s back is hurting) in 90 degree heat and I didn’t die…

I did a yoga session and could actually do most of the poses…

I played soccer with my children in the yard and actually ran faster than they did…

I ate asparagus and liked it….

I ate Doritos (my favorites) and they made me sick to my stomach…

See?  How else could you explain all this craziness???  Has to be aliens…. has to be…

I weighed in at 173.0 this week, down 1.0 from last week and a total of 31.4 pounds lost since I began this journey January 18, 2011.  Come on, join me in this journey and see if the aliens will take over your body, too!  😉  Click “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” in the upper right hand side of this blog to begin the transformation!  Start watching for the space ships….  hehe…..

“Mom, you’re shrinking!”

It’s been a challenging week on several levels.  I am really getting tired of my exercise routine and it’s becoming more difficult to find the energy and desire to get up and do it.  I have worked out every single day on my eliptical (with maybe 3-4 exceptions – those days, I did a yoga session) since January 18th.  I’m so glad it’s beginning to get warm outside so I can walk in the local park or just go outside and play with my kids.  I prefer doing my workout in the mornings before the kids get up, then I get my shower and devotions in while it is still quiet.  This is really tough because I am not a morning person (ask my husband, he’ll tell you!)  As most of you who read this regularly know, I work with a life coach.  My session with Brian Osher this week helped me to see where I need to get up earlier to avoid the stresses of rushing through my workout/shower/devotion time.  So, I have been doing just that.  I’ve been in bed by midnight (on weeknights) and up by 7:30 (8:00 this morning).  I’m typically a night owl and up until around 2 a.m. but then we sleep until 8:30 or 9:00, even 9:30 some days.  I can tell you, this has been a transition for me but I think it’s worth the “pain” of getting up earlier.  I feel much better during the day and I’m not as stressed (I eat when I’m stressed).

So, now for the weigh-in…This week, I weighed in at 184.4!  I’m .2 away from having lost 20 pounds!!  I’m down 2.4 since last week.  This is the most weight I have ever lost and I feel terrific!  I no longer reward or comfort myself with food, I see it as fuel, that’s it.  Yummy fuel, yes… but fuel.  As we were doing the Bible lesson with our kids before bed the other night, my son looked at me and said “Mom!  You’re shrinking!”  Oh, what joy that child gave me!  I know you’re not supposed to have a favorite kid but at that instant….   hmmmmmm…….  (JUST KIDDING!!)

I am seeing a difference.  My size 20’s are in a stack to put in a yard sale.  In fact, I wore a size 16 pant to church on Sunday!!  I’m never going back (and if I do, I will be completely miserable squeezing into smaller sizes because I refuse to buy larger ones).  You’ll know if I gain because I’ll be walking around with big splits in pants that are too small!!  This is not a diet – I’m not changing the food or denying myself anything.  www.myfitnesspal.com has been a blessing – it allows me to track my food and exercise each day and tells me what my boundaries should be (how many calories, sugar, fat, etc. I should have).  It’s completely free… I urge you to check it out.

So, that’s my week.  How was yours?  Follow this blog or share it with friends… Click the “Yep, I’m in, Sign me up!” button on the righthand side of this page and enter your email.  You’ll get a notice everytime I write something here.  Be aware, you’ll also get updates when I find good deals (I just happen to dabble a little in coupons!)

Missing: 50 Sticks of Butter

FINALLY!!  I see progress!  Last week I was the photographer for Johnson Bible College’s 2011 Homecoming in Knoxville, TN.  With the travelling, it was hectic so I didn’t get to blog or check in.  I had very little sleep and ate when I could (mostly at the school cafeteria buffet) so I was a little nervous about this week’s weigh-in.  Just to catch you up, I weighed in at 196.0 two weeks ago.  This week, I weighed in at 191.8 – that’s a 4.2 pound weight loss in 2 weeks!  I’ve lost 12.4 pounds since I began this journey in January… that equals 50 sticks of butter!  🙂 

I’ll tell you what I think made the difference – the food.  I know… duh, Tammy… right?  I’ve been working out and not really paying much attention to WHAT I was eating.  I paid close attention to the portions and I ate pretty healthy anyway, or so I thought.  I eat lots of fruits & veggies and whole grain pastas and breads.  Did you know that 1 biscuit w/ a small pat of butter is equal in calories to 14 pieces of whole wheat bread WITH jelly??  I had no idea!  I’ve been eating whole wheat bread for years now but did you know the kind I was buying (those nicely wrapped, wide loaves) bread that “cost” 200 calories per slice.  That means a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread was costing me nearly 500 calories!  Just by looking at labels this past week, I’ve become quite educated.  Now I buy the 100% whole wheat bread slices that “cost” me 35 calories per slice. 

I’ve been reading a book called “Dr. Shapiro’s Picture-Perfect Weight Loss 30 Day Plan” that I found at 1/2 Price books on clearance for $2.  (Because you KNOW I’m all about saving money…)  Might end up being the best $2 I’ve ever spent.  The book is full of photographs that show the comparison between what you thought was healthy and what really is healthy.  One page shows a biscuit w/ butter and the next shows the 14 slices of toast w/ jelly.  I’m very visual so this helped me see the difference.  One rainbow cookie = four scoops of sorbet, etc.  Very eye-opening. 

It also challenges you to keep a journal and changes your relationship with food.  I am very impressed.  I am still working out at least 20 minutes a day (except on Sunday) and having weekly calls with my life coach Brian Osher.  If you’ve never worked with a life coach, I suggest you give it a try.  The first session is complimentary so you have nothing to lose.  I check in regularly with Brian and my sponsor Terri Newcomb.  They’ve both been very beneficial in this process and I don’t know what I’d do without either of them.  “God doesn’t give up on us when we fail.  He lovingly starts over, eliminating the flaw and adding the elements of the Spirit, the accountability of friends and the guidance of the Word to start shaping us again.”  Thank you my friends for helping me get through this.  We’ve still got a long way to go and I have no doubt that you’re in this for the long haul. 

My husband, Tommy Lanham, is a speaker and one of his messages last week was about getting cooked in the squat.  I know… sounds a little nuts.  He told of a story when a little boy went to his neighbor’s home for dinner as often as he could.  One night he noticed the biscuits were flat asked the cook “What happened to the biscuits?”  She replied “They squatted to rise and got cooked in the squat.”  That has stuck with me.  I lost a lot of momentum a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t seeing any progress on the scales.  I was frustrated but I kept going because of sheer determination – not because I was motivated by any means.  I almost got cooked in the squat but this week, I saw the rise.   

Keep going, folks… a lot of you have committed to do this with me – don’t get cooked in the squat…. wait for the rise.  It’s amazing when it happens!  Be sure to click “Yep! I’m in” or “Follow this blog” (to the right of this article) so you’ll get a notification each time I update (should be weekly).  “Like” the article and share it on facebook if you have friends who may benefit from it.  Thanks guys for your support.

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.