Category Archives: Getting Healthy

I am a Warrior

I remember looking at pictures of a friend doing the Warrior Dash last year. I also remember thinking I could never do that. I said I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t have it in me. I wasn’t a runner.

Fast forward a year later. I’ve been getting healthier. And I’ve been working out consistently. When my kettlebell friends suggested that we sign up for the Warrior Dash earlier this year, I was very nervous. They had to convince me to do it. I still didn’t think I would be able to finish it. However, we kept working out, and getting stronger, and started running more.

Guess what? I am a Warrior! I survived the Warrior Dash today!! This was one of my FinishYear goals, so I am excited to cross it off my list.

They Kettlebell crew before the race

We have an awesome group of people who work out together at 6am most mornings. We are like a family. We push each other, and encourage each other, and love watching each other get skinny strong. There are some amazing success stories from these people in this picture. I was so glad to get to experience my first Warrior Dash with all of them.

My friend Joy and I after the race

If you’re not familiar with the Warrior Dash, it is a 5K run with obstacles like climbing over walls, under barbed wire, swimming through mud, and running over fire (just to name a few.) It was awesome!! 

My super encouraging workout buddy, Jordan

I love this group of people who help push me to do better every time I work out. They motivate me, encourage me, and celebrate with me. I am so thankful for all of them.

But the bigger lesson that I continue to learn is that I can do more than I think. Let me say it another way. YOU can do more than you think.

Too many times, we tell ourselves that we can’t do something because of fear, or because deep down we know it’s much easier to make an excuse than to do the hard work required. I am very proud to say that I finished the race today. I would not have imagined a year ago that I would be able to do this.

Which leads me to wonder what I will be doing next year at this time that I can’t imagine now. Because I am convinced that once we tap into this hidden potential, unbelievable things can happen.

What is it that you think you can’t do?

Stop saying you can’t, and start working towards making it happen! Let me know what it is in the comments, and I would love to help encourage you.

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Filed under #FinishYear, Community, Getting Healthy

One year done!

One year ago this week, I made a decision.

A decision that would change my life.

I decided to get healthy.

I didn’t go on a diet.

I didn’t starve myself.

I didn’t start working out only for a short time and then quit.

I wasn’t even quite sure what my plan was.

But I did know that I was committed to getting healthy.

I knew that I was six months away from turning 40.

I knew that I was out of shape.

I knew that I wanted to stop the yo-yo dieting cycle I had been on for most of my adult life.

I was sick of it!

Photo courtesy of Itsfitnessbaby.com

And now, a year later, I feel great.

I am still working on making healthy food choices. Continuously.

I workout 4-6 times per week.

I engage in community with people who encourage and support me.

I challenge myself to do something new.

To run farther. To try a new workout. To push myself harder.

Am I exactly where I wanted to be? No.

But, the results have been encouraging.

I am smaller. I feel alive. I feel happy. I feel strong.

I trust that I can continue to live a healthy lifestyle.

It starts with choices. Every day you have the option to make them.

What choice can you make today to live a healthier lifestyle?

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Filed under Getting Healthy, weight loss

LifeChangers – A New Look

LifeChangers

It’s a series about people just like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

And they are willing to share their story.

Some people are inspiring simply by watching them. This week’s LifeChanger definitely did that. She was learning to get healthier and lose weight. She changed her life. And in the process, she inspired people without ever trying.

Meet my friend Terri. Two years ago, she had a routine doctor’s appointment. Her doctor was reviewing her family history. Heart disease. Breast cancer. The list went on. What he said next flipped a switch in her. He said, “If you don’t start taking care of yourself, guess where you’ll be in 10 years?”

Terri – 2009

She knew she had to lose weight. In the past, she had tried every diet imaginable. She could drop the weight, but it never stayed off. This time, she decided it would be different. She joined Weight Watchers the next day. The day after that, she started walking. She walked one lap around a parking lot and was winded.  But the next day, she walked again. She kept walking 6-7 days per week, and continued to increase her distance. She followed the Weight Watchers plan consistently. She went to her meeting every week, and continued this for a year. And guess what happened? She lost the weight. 56 pounds to be exact.

I love Terri’s story because she didn’t go on a crash diet, lose the weight quickly, and gain it back. Instead, she chose to change and get healthy. She learned that simple lifestyle changes are the key to getting healthier. And guess what else started happening after she found herself walking five miles consistently? She realized she could do more. She started running. She ended up running a 5K and The Shamrock Shuffle that first year. And she loved it!

Terri has been a huge motivation to me. She has inspired me and encouraged me to embrace my own healthy lifestyle. She is a big supporter and helps keep me accountable on my own journey. Some of the best advice I have gotten has been from her.

Here are some strategies that have worked for her:

  • Find a program that works for you. For her, it was Weight Watchers. She liked that she could eat anything she wanted. She avoided things she knew she would have a hard time resisting. The points program worked for her.
  • Accountability is important – she had several amazing cheerleaders who encouraged her, celebrated her, and supported her. She also went to her meetings every week to keep her accountable.
  • She doesn’t deprive herself. If she wants a brownie, she will take one bite, and throw the rest away. She didn’t do this in the beginning, as baked goods are a downfall for her. But, that has helped keep her in check.
  • She asks herself – Why do I want to eat this? Am I bored, stressed, hungry? This has helped her realize her emotional eating patterns.
  • Exercise – she suggests to find something that you like. Does it feel good? Do you like doing it? For her, walking and running are exhilarating. She gets excited when she can push herself farther and finish a new distance.
  • Celebrate milestones – She rewards herself for milestones. She always uses non-food items. New clothing is something that she likes. Be sure to celebrate when you accomplish something new.
  • You’ll have bad days – Just learn to get up and try again.
  • She admits that eating out has always been a challenge. It can be hard to determine the point value, and there are not many healthy options. She chose to eat at home as much as she could, and then order as healthy as possible when eating out.

It was incredible to watch Terri’s journey. Every week, she looked different. Her body completely changed, and her outlook did too. She shared what she was doing when people asked. She motivated so many people. She’s heard people say that she helped push them to start running, or to start Weight Watchers, or to start eating healthier. That is always really encouraging to her.

She had reached her goal weight. She looked and felt good. She was continuing to run. Then people starting saying to her, “You look great! You’re not going to keep losing, are you?”, or “You’re done now, right?” or “You don’t possibly have any more to lose!” And she listened. It was an unconscious decision, and only something that she now realizes she did. She stopped going to her Weight Watchers meetings. She thought she’d be fine.

She gained back 17 pounds in the next six months. Most people probably didn’t notice. She still looked great. And she didn’t allow herself to get discouraged. But, she knew she could do better. She hadn’t been journaling or keeping track of her food as often, and had started eating things that she normally wouldn’t eat. She realized that she had let other people’s opinion determine what she should do. And she wasn’t happy about it.

So, in January of this year, she went back to Weight Watchers. Within a few months, she was under her previous goal weight. She’s now adjusted her goal weight down some, and is continuing on the program.  She’s lost a total of 67 pounds now, and only has 7 more to get to her goal. Wow!!

Terri – 2012

Terri knows that a healthy lifestyle is a journey. It has taken her two years to get where she is. She did it the right way, only losing 2-3 pounds per week. She knows that everyone wants instant gratification, but it just doesn’t work that way if you want lasting lifestyle changes.

She’s continues to run, and is currently training for The Rock and Roll half marathon in July. She continues to be inspired by the people who have started doing something because they saw her taking action. That really motivates her.

She continues to inspire me, and I hope she has inspired you.

She is a LifeChanger.

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Filed under Encouragement, Getting Healthy, LifeChangers

Gone from Sight

I can’t stop thinking about Jamie this week. I think about her so often. Every time I wear my Team Jamie tshirt, or my pink breast cancer hat, or when I see pictures of her beautiful daughter, Kayden.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since she’s been gone. I have written about lessons I learned from Jamie, and I have continued to be inspired by her friends and family.

Jamie’s Wish is coming true this week, thanks to the amazing efforts of those who loved her, and people who never knew her. How awesome is that? Not only was she extremely inspirational during her time on earth, but she also wanted those who were coming after her to have it better than she did. She was truly selfless.

Jamie was a big part of the reason that I made the decision to get healthier and stop making excuses. She would have done anything to be healthy. And here I was, slowly killing myself, by choosing to be completely unhealthy. Something changed in me when I made that connection. I could choose to continue living in denial, or I could choose to change. I chose to change, and I have not felt this healthy or strong in a very long time.

Unfortunately, I also learned today that one of my Senior Vice Presidents from work also passed away from cancer. He had kept his illness very private, so it was a shock to many of us. Our President of Sales sent out this poem that someone had given him when his father passed away. I couldn’t help but think that it described Jamie perfectly.

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

I continue to be inspired by Jamie and the legacy she left. Every day is a chance to make your mark on the world. To leave your own legacy. So, let’s get moving!

As Jamie would say,

Much Love,

Tammy

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Filed under Comfort, Death, Friendship, Getting Healthy, Life lessons

Maybe I wasn’t stuck

The other day, I wrote that I felt stuck. And I did. But was I really stuck in a rut with my fitness and healthy eating plan?

Not really.

I have started adding running intervals to my walks. And I’ve continually stuck to my kettelbell workouts. I am working out at a consistency that I have not had in many years. I did have a little work to do with my eating habits, but they weren’t out of control.

So what was going on?

I think I realized it when I read this comment that my husband wrote on my Facebook post.

How can you be stuck when you’re motivating me?  You make it possible for me to pedal those extra miles.

I simply FELT stuck. In my mind, I was beating myself up. I wasn’t doing enough. I was going to start gaining weight back. I wasn’t dedicated enough. It is just too hard. I am destined to be this size forever. I don’t have what it takes to keep this up. It would be so much easier to just give up.

But when I read his comment, I was reminded of other people who have told me similar things. My healthy eating and working out routine has helped motivate some others, including him. They see me making an effort and working hard, and they feel inspired to start making changes. That’s how I started as well. By watching others make significant changes. And being inspired by them. I’m still continually inspired by people I work out with, and friends who are living active, healthy lifestyles. I will be writing more about this soon.

So, I have decided to silence that inner critic. I can do this. It is really not that hard. I am dedicated, and want to truly change and be a healthier me. I just needed to remind myself!

How do you silence your inner critic? Sometimes it feels like a constant battle, doesn’t it?

 

 

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Motivation

Feeling stuck

I have been in somewhat of a “funk” for the last few weeks regarding my plan to get healthy. Don’t get me wrong. Things have been okay. I have still been working out, eating healthier, and added running intervals to my walks. I even fit into pants that I have not been able to fit into for years! But, something has still felt off. I’ve felt stuck.

A traffic cone stuck in the mud of the old ent...
A traffic cone stuck in the mud of the old entrance to Bathurst Basin from the River Avon in Bristol. Français : Un cône de signalisation dans la boue à l’ancienne entrée de Bathurst Basin depuis la rivière Avon à Bristol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I kept thinking about it and wondering why I felt so off. I loved this image, because in feeling stuck, I also found a “caution” sign that hit me over the head.

This is the point I usually get to and then STOP!

As I’ve written about before, I have been a serial yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life. I was always in great shape growing up because I was an athlete. But once I got into the real world and wasn’t consistently working out, I put on weight. And then there were those kids! I took full advantage of the “I’m pregnant” excuse, as well as the “I just had a baby” one too. Okay, so it was six years ago, but that still counts, right? 🙂

Since I’ve had kids, I have had multiple periods of dropping weight and working out. However, I usually got to about this weight and size and then would start feeling extremely confident. I would start eating things that I had cut out of my diet. I would exercise a few times less per week. I would slowly start revisiting old habits.

The difference this time is that I have not been focused on the weight. I have been focused on getting healthier. And I understand myself a little better. This time, I am realizing that trigger BEFORE I put 15 pounds back on and then feel defeated. I am realizing that I need to start holding myself more accountable for what goes in my mouth again. It is the only way to push through this next level of losing weight and getting stronger and smaller.

And of course, you can apply this lesson to so many different areas of your life. Marriage, work, relationships, kids, dreams, etc. The list can go on and on.

So, how do you overcome feeling stuck?

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Persistence

What a difference a year makes

I remember getting ready for the mother/son dance a year ago.

I had nothing to wear. I was out of shape, overweight, and felt so frumpy.

I was looking forward to going to the dance with my son and seeing him with all of his friends. But, I still was focused on me, because I just did not feel comfortable with how I looked.

Fast forward – one year later.

Instead of a dance, they decided to do a roller skating party!

Had I been at the weight and in the physical shape I was the year before, I never would have agreed to go. But now, I was excited about it.

My sons had never been roller skating! So, this was a new experience for them. They were so excited!

And, instead of sitting on the sidelines and not exposing them to this fun activity, I was able to embrace it. I had a great time! (It also brought back crazy memories of skating almost every weekend in the ’80s!)

Why?

Because I am in better shape now.

I am stronger.

I am healthier.

Photo by Otree Photography

While I still struggle with finding something to wear, it’s for different reasons now, and not because I am trying to hide every feature.

This is not a before and after picture. Especially since you can’t really see me!  It’s just a glimpse into how you can feel completely different when you start making better choices and taking care of yourself. The simplest things that would have brought stress to you no longer do. I am excited about being able to be a Mom who is active and doing fun things with my kids. My Dad was always that way, and I have wonderful memories of all of the adventures we used to go on.

One year from now, you can either be happy that you’ve made progress, or frustrated with the fact that you haven’t even tried.

What’s your choice?

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Motherhood, Motivation

Six months in…..

Six months ago, I started a journey to get healthy. I finally came to a decision that it was time to stop making excuses for my weight and my health. It was time to change.

I didn’t want to go on another diet.

I didn’t want to drop weight quickly, only to gain it back within a few months.

I no longer wanted to continue on the yoyo cycle that I’ve been on for years.

I wanted to learn how to be healthy.

Six months later, I have made significant progress. I am down more than two sizes, and am in better shape than I have been in a long time. I have lost weight, inches, and have so much more energy.

While the progress is important in order to help continue to motivate me, I am not focused on it. I am focused on making healthy changes. Eating better, working out consistently, and being more active are the main goals. For me, it’s the consistent small changes that make a big impact in the long run. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like I can’t wait until this over. This is how I live now. And I feel stronger and more alive than I have in a long time. I feel like I am myself again.

I am convinced that each person needs to find what works for them. For me, these are the things that have been working.

I read Lysa Terkheurst’s Made to Crave book – it helped me view food differently

I listened to podcasts called Inside Out Weight Loss– it was like having your own personal counselor

I joined a kettlebell studio– This has become a habit (and somewhat of an addiction). I workout 4-5 times per week consistently. And I have an amazing support group of people who are also trying to get healthy. I also have a trainer who pushes us to do more than we would ever do alone. This has helped me remember how strong I am and that I can do whatever I put my mind to.

I stay off the scale – This works for me, as I am muscular and get frustrated by the numbers. I am also working to be healthy and stronger. My weight is not the most important factor in whether I feel healthy or not. I know this does not work for everyone, but it works for me.

I drink a ton of water – I drink water all day long. I also drink a big glass of water when I am hungry. It helps curb the cravings.

I forgive myself quicker and move on – If I have a bad day, don’t eat well, or don’t workout, I don’t continue beating myself up. I forgive myself and move on. Tomorrow is a better day. I was stuck in the cycle of giving up so quickly when I had a bad day. I refuse to do that anymore.

I have multiple support systems – I think this is so important. I have my workout friends, and I have several others who have lost weight and kept it off that I check in with. I share my progress and struggles. They’ve agreed to help motivate me and cheer me on when I need it. I think this is one of the biggest pieces that people sometime miss. Doing it on your own is not nearly as much fun and rewarding as having people help support you.

I am very excited to be starting a new year having already made significant progress. I know that I can continue with this lifestyle, as I’ve already been doing it for six months. The confidence and sense of accomplishment that I feel is so satisfying. I feel smaller, stronger, healthier, and more aware of who I am. I don’t ever want to go back to feeling how I did before this.

So, what works for you? I love hearing stories of how you are getting healthier.

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Motivation