It ain’t over, yet…

It ain’t over, yet… ¬†ūüôā

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!! ¬†ūüôā ¬†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. ¬†ūüôā ¬†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.¬† ūüôā¬† 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 РI 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!

 

Empty Gas Tank

This has been a good week!¬† I’m still working out on my eliptical 20 minutes every day (except Sundays) and I’m using myfitnesspal.com (it’s FREE) to track¬†my calories and exercise.¬† I’m making good food choices and incorporated some new flavors into my eating habits (recently discovered asparagus – oh my goodness – how good that stuff is!).¬† I have lost 24 pounds in 12 weeks!¬† I’ve lost 3.2 pounds just this week.

One of the things I’m noticing is that I’m focusing a LOT on my exercise routine, my health habits and eating habits.¬† When I first started working with Brian Osher, my life coach, a couple of years ago, he shared with me his idea that life is a bunch of gas tanks.¬† We work hard to keep those gas tanks from running empty (by keeping balanced) but sometimes we get low in one of the tanks and our lives start running rough.¬† I’ve been working very hard to keep my health tank full and the rewards are visible and fulfilling.¬† I also think I’ve been neglecting some other tanks of mine and they’re getting low.¬† One tank I’m worried about is my relationship with my children tank.¬†¬† When I mentioned this to Brian, he said, “So change it!”¬† Don’t you just love the honesty of my life coach???¬† ūüôā

By nature, I cannot sit still.¬† I HAVE to have lots going on and a big to-do list where everything is scheduled.¬† I schedule school with my children every day (they’re homeschooled) but I have a hard time remembering to schedule Mommy¬†time with my children.¬† So this week, in addition to keeping my eyes on my health tank, I’m working on refilling my kid tank.¬† I’m actually scheduling time in my calendar to sit down¬†and play with my children.¬† I now know it won’t happen unless I make it a priority and schedule it.

So that’s it for this week –¬†what tanks are you neglecting?¬† What can you do right now to start refilling that particular tank?¬†¬†See you¬†again next week….

Step by Step – 5 Steps I’ve Taken in this Journey

So last week, I was all ready to blog about gaining weight РI 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 Рwhich 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!¬† ūüôā¬† 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?¬† ūüôā¬† 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?¬† ūüôā

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.

 

 

“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!)