Week One, Done.  Now Onto Week Two!

I’ll start off Right away by saying that last week was a success!  I learned a few things:

  1. I learned that I have been eating way more than I should over the past year.  That should be obvious with my weight gain, but I set my caloric intake to 1900 in my journaling app, thinking that was really generous, but then I felt like I was starving all week as I stuck to my plan.  Clearly, I had some bad habits and I need to break them.
  2. Working out is really hard right now!  I’m either dreadfully out of shape or I’ve gained some serious weight and it’s harder to carry it all!  So I weighed myself to see which was most likely the culprit…
  3. Yeah, I’ve gained.  I weigh 222.  220 is my code red, no options now point and I managed to go from last August, 2016, at 190 and just over a year later, I’m 32 pounds heavier!  Unbelievable!  I was pleased to learn why working out is a challenge, but disappointed that I’ve gained so much back.
  4. That said, 40 pounds seems like a drop in the bucket compared to 150 pounds.  That felt impossible.  This feels minor in comparison.  It won’t feel that way as I lose it, but for now, I’ll cling to the feeling that this will be a cinch.
  5. I’m a slow starter.  I need to ease my way into the weight loss process.  Failure and fear shadow me from every corner so being successful at minor events makes a huge impact on my future success.  This week was a getting started week, and I’m ok with that.  The pounds will come off when my head is in the right place.


This week I want to continue to make positive changes and will continue to ease myself back into the fat loss game:

  • Keep journaling and tracking.  Continue to make positive changes to my diet.  STAY ON PLAN.  STAY STRONG.
  • Hit 10,000 steps per day.
  • Run three times.
  • Lift twice- once on Tuesday, once at home.
  • Post at least once to tamarashazam.

This weekend was Gigi’s birthday so there was more celebratory foods around than usual.  I ate fries, chips and a sampling of tiny desserts that were definitely not on plan, but were for my girl.  This week I’ll have to refocus on breaking the spell sugar has on me.  We also headed to the mushroom show.  Bradley and I went when we were first dating and it was fun to take the kids to it, then wander around in the woods, looking at the mushrooms we could find there.  My dad surprised me with a visit and overnight and I made some story stones for my class.  It was a good weekend with lots of sun, family, food and exercise!  And can you believe I have a fourteen year old now??  Gah!

And So It Begins…

Today was interesting, to say the least.  It’s been a while since I’ve restricted anything, it would seem, as I had to tell myself NO a lot today.  I needed a lot of redirection and reminders from myself: “Nope.  It wasn’t in your lunchbox therefore it’s not in your belly.”  Guess what?  I DID IT!  So far, not one thing has gotten in that shouldn’t have.  Well, I did sample a grape at the store, but that’s not cheating.  If I ate the cookie, sushi, cake, wine and chips sample, that would be another story.  I felt like a grape was ok.  Ha ha!  

It’s definitely a familiar feeling: the one of denial is a reminder of choosing health.  So while it’s hard, now, and sucks because I want to eat the thing, I feel like with day one under my belt that I’ve got this.  I need four more and I’ve got the beginnings of solid habit energy.  After two weeks it starts really feeling right.  I’m excited that the ball is rolling, now I wanna kick it way out to the field!

Tomorrow?  Add exercise.  Happy Monday!


(Here’s photographic proof of yesterday’s run, done by 10:30am- so far, so good 😊 .)

BOO!  It’s October and I’m Scared!


I’m scared to take the leap and get rolling on my health again.  I’m scared of failing.  I’m scared of all my bad habits, my lack of willpower, my negative attitude about working out, my exhaustion…  but more than that I’m afraid of letting go of all my progress and backsliding.  I worked too hard to lose all this weight and get fit to gain it all back and lose my strength and fitness.  I just have to.  No choices.  I guess this is what being a grown up really means: bootstraps and self reliance.

I was thinking about when I was first getting started so long ago.  How I leaned on crutches, made goals, took babysteps and took each moment as it came to me so I wouldn’t overwhelm myself.  Sometimes this meant I could look at the day or week and trust that I could do it.  But sometimes my battle is fought minute by minute, hour by hour.  I have to remember that my power comes from self talk, a lot of coaching in my head, a lot of determination and some basic rules I set up for myself.  I also used to make prize goals for myself.  Gifts or events I would earn for doing well on my project and met goals.  

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m getting back to basics.  I’m making rules, setting goals and earning prizes.  I need to motivate myself and it all starts tomorrow.

Long-term goals: 

  • Lose 40 pounds before I turn 45 (one year)
  • Run up to 5 miles consistently (once a week).
  • Strength building at the gym or at home 2-3 times a week 
  • Running 2-3 times a week
  • Healthy eating consistently
  • Wipe out poor habits
  • Post at least once a week on Tamarashazam
  • Hit 10,000-12,000 steps daily
  • This week’s Goals:

    1. Run once after school and on both Sunday (today) and Saturday next week.
    2. Go to lifting on Tuesday night.
    3. Track food in myplate every day to gather data and start making dietary changes.
    4. Weigh myself to see the scary number before Saturday, 10/14.

    Cash and Prizes!

    Now we apply the goals, wait a year, work hard, and see what happens!!! 

      Celebrate Schools 5k


      This was our sixth year running the Celebrate Schools 5k! We went with a superhero theme this year- we had Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Harry Potter. Yes, he IS a superhero, too! He flies and does magic. Hello. Gigi ran a sub 30 minute 5k and came in third, which made her pretty happy. The rest of us were simply glad to muddle through the event.  

      Baby Stepping

      Now that the school year has started to find its flow and I can trust it, my mind is starting to turn to my health.  I have gained weight, my friends.  I haven’t gotten on the scale, yet, but a few alarming things are happening.  One, when I run my stomach is shaking enough that it makes me nauseous.  Two, I’m hot all the time.  I haven’t been hot all the time since I was much heavier, which tells me I’m either entering menopause or I’m gaining enough weight that I’m getting a winter layer.  I’d rather be cold!  I know myself, though, and I know that if I suddenly jump in and start exercising like a fiend and dieting for fat loss that I will rebel.  I kind of feel like I’m starting all over again.  I’m getting the working out part down pretty quick, I just need to get the food back in control.  

      Last week I started the process of easing back into things with honesty.  I learned that was the key to my success years ago.  I recently started looking at what I was eating and realized I’ve switched out a lot of my healthy choices for fast, easy food.  I recognized that my night eating is out of control- my new medication can make me feel sickish and it seems to have turned my appetite on around the clock.  I need to take control of that. 

       I also hosted a lunch with a group of friends who are in a similar place of feeling out of control or needing support.  We realized that we help to keep one another accountable just by being around one another.  My friend Julie and I experienced the same thought cycle and managed to avoid eating a chocolate biscotti from the staff lounge just because we saw one another.  Knowing who my community is and where my supporters are is incredibly empowering.  On top of that, we are bringing our sneakers to school to walk laps on rainy school days or for days where we owe ourselves a workout but know we won’t once we leave!  We decided we’d be there for one another in that way, too, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

      I’ve decided to slowly work on the food.  I’ve noticed an incredible upswing of sugar cravings since I started the anxiety meds, prompting the night eating.  These past two weeks I worked on integrating more Whole Foods into my diet with lots of whole grains, high fiber, fruit and vegetables.  You know, the gassy stuff just in time for spending days in a classroom!  My next step is to start tracking my food in a tracking app.  I use myplate.  From there comes the natural elimination game that happens when you see what you’re actually eating and how much more you could eat if you ate healthier!  LOL!

      Regarding exercise, now that the half marathons are over, I feel like I can step into a more balanced training plan focused more on building lean muscle.  That said, I’m also focused on cutting some fat, first.  I put my favorite fall skirt on and it was tight.  Like, really tight.  I just need to fit my wardrobe appropriately again!  I started going to lifting classes again and plan to integrate them regularly as the school year continues.  I also have a few events in front of me: Captain Jacks Treasure Run 8k* on 10/29, the Hot Chocolate 15k in March and the Big Climb, also in March.  Orca Running renewed my ambassadorship for the 2018 season, so I’ll be running several of their races as well: My Better Half and a few others.

      I really feel good when I weigh around 190.  I just wanna get back to that!

      It’s all coming together.  By the time Christmas rolls around I should be titanium and able to resist the goodies.  😉

      *use code tamarashazam17 for 10% off if you sign up!!

      Beat the Blerch

      We Beat the Blerch again this year!  Guinevere beat him harder than me since I wimped out at the last minute and dialed my race back to a 10k.  It was the right choice for me.  I had just finished my first full week of school and was tired out.  I made it to four miles and felt pretty wiped out and grateful that I didn’t push for the whole thirteen miles.  Gigi, on the other hand, thought she had an awful run but ended up with a PR!  I was proud of her on many levels, but mostly just for making it.  Next year the Littlejohn’s will me representing with one more on our team- Jude is planning to run the 10k with me!  He’s already started training up, so come next year, we will all be Beating the Blerch!

      And That Was September.


      I gave myself the month of September to settle into my life again.  Starting back at school can be intense any year, but after last year I was very cautious about dipping my toes back into second grade.  But this year?  This year, my friends, the new rules bargained by my union have made my life so different!  So straightforward!  So sensible.  Get this: I have 21 kids in my class right now.  21.  It feels like kids are missing!  I have time to meet with every kid!  I can solve problems with kids without the rest of the room losing itself!  I’m so honored to work with these guys this year.  Last year was valuable, too.  It was like finals week in college or something.  I learned so much about myself and my job.  Because of the huge size and broad spectrum of learners I worked with, I now feel like I have a proufound understanding of what a second grader really looks and acts like; diversity is my reality so versatility must also be.  I started out with the largest class size and, through no-shows and kids moving, I whittled down to the smallest.  It won’t last, this I know, but for the moment I’m like one of those people who just struck it big at a casino or something and I’m giddily rolling around on my bed of cash-money.  Except this time it’s a snazzy new contract supported* and bargained by some of the best people in the district who really listened to us, to me.  Can you tell I’m thankful??

      I’ve been keeping busy busy busy during my spare time.  Being medicated for my anxiety means I get to spend a lot less time angsting over every minor little thing and I can get outside my head a little more.  I’ve been amazed at how much free time I’ve had lately, which means I’ve been distracted by anxiety a whole lot over the past few years.  I have been finishing up memory keeping left and right, making these magic potion bottles and manufacturing all kinds of stuff for my classroom.  

      What I haven’t been doing is working out or watching my diet a whole lot.  I’m presently avoiding the scale and am just considering starting back up again.  It’s necessary- my clothes are getting alarmingly tight!  Time to get things rolling again!

      *much loves go out to Macky, Deb L, Christina D, Lydia, Leah, Thom, Andi, Bradley and anyone else who had a finger in the EEA bargaining contract pie.  I’m so grateful for all of you.

      Iron Horse Half Marathon

      Sunday was finally the day when Gigi and I had to prove our mettle, rise and grind and run a half marathon.  Training in the summer is hard for me.  The mix of heat and vacations makes it harder than I ever realize to get all of my training in.  The good news is that Gigi and I managed to train up to 11.5 miles, so we weren’t too far away from the full distance.  As with every run, especially the longer runs, there’s a level of worry.  Getting out on a long trail like this and having a problem is way different than having a problem on a three mile run.  It’s scary to think of running on an injury for a long time or choosing to not finish.  Gigi’s knee was bothering her while my hips and knees are still recovering from Disneyland.  Add to that sore spots on our tootsies from the previous day’s tromp through the bubbles with wet feet for three miles! So we were cautiously optimistic as we stepped from the bus to the trail.  We both believe in the advice of “Never trust a run in the first mile,” though, so we were determined to give it a try, even if we had to walk a bit.


      It turns out that we both were grateful for the grace we allowed ourselves.  We both ran our slowest half marathons, but we did run them.  For me, I was surprised.  I ran without any issue until I passed double digits, I started feeling tired during mile ten, then the shade went away during mile 11.  I started getting out of breath in a way that was out of control and my heart rate started jacking up into the 178-181 range.  I got the chills and goosebumps and realized that I was showing signs of heatstroke.  It was around 85 degrees, I had been running for over two hours…  it made sense that I was getting sick so I slowed to a walk and only ran for the last .1 mile as I crossed the finish line, and my heart never slowed to under the 150’s until I sat in my car.  The heat had a big impact.  For Gigi it was her knee.  She tripped and fell several weeks ago, skinning and deeply bruising her knee.  Her other knee made up the difference and ended up overworked as we trained up to our current mileage.  In Disneyland she required a knee support while we were in the resort.  Her knee started talking to her on mile three of the Iron Horse, so she spent some time walking intervals and stretching at water stops.  I was proud of her for paying attention to her body instead of chasing glory.  We are both very sore.  Much more sore than we were when we ran our 11.5 a couple of weeks ago, which we both find a bit comical.  She always complains that she never gets sore anymore, but I think this race made her change that tune. Ha ha!


      Next up?  

      • Beat the Blerch on September 16.  I still haven’t decided if I’m running the half marathon or 10k.  I’m trained up for the half now…  lol.  It’s hard to say no to distance!  
      • Celebrate Schools 5k On 10/7 in an effort to raise funds for Oak Heights!  If you sign up, make sure and choose my school!  The more signups we have under our name the bigger piece of the fundraising pie we get.  We are not a wealthy school,  every penny counts!
      • Cap’n Jacks Treasure Run on October 29th!!!!  This is literally happening on my birthday!  It’s a pirate themed 5k or 8k through Woodinville.  Join in and celebrate with us if you like!  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday and this is the closest to a party as I would ever throw for myself. 😉  The kids and I are running the 8k and we can toast with bananas and water after!  🙂 use my code for 10% off at checkout -tamarashazam17 

      Bubble Run 5k

      We rose and shone extra early this morning to run through the bubbles at the annual Bubble Run 5k.  I have to say, of all the fun runs we do, this is the one I love as much as the kids!  I’m not sure why I like bubbles as much as I do, but there’s something about walking through those bubble bogs that is mighty motivating.  I’m not alone, either.  Jude was crazy about the bubble run! He told me that he wants to do every year, even if it’s a 10k.  I thought that was pretty cute.  Of course we will.  Afterwards he went haywire at the bubble stage, making bubble snow angels and standing in the line of bubble cannon fire while Gigi and I danced to earn a little prize.  We will return!

      DISNEYLAND


      We made our yearly pilgrimage to Disneyland.  We were there during the eclipse, the Pokémon World competition and for the local annual pass holder’s first day to use their passes again.  The result was that the first few days were pretty awesome and vacant while the last two days were absolutely nuts!  We found ourselves choosing the walk to and from the park over waiting for the busses, this time, and wracked up over 20,000 steps per day.  I’m always surprised by how easy Disneyland is, now that I’ve lost so much weight.  It used to be that Disneyland was a killer.  My feet, back and legs would just ache after a day in the park.  The bus was a necessity, not a luxury.  This time I picked gigi up and carried her on my back for half a block.  Her weight plus my weight adds up to my heaviest weight, and it was painful to walk!  My hips and knees hurt so bad, I couldn’t believe I walked around like that all of the time.  I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.   It was a pretty incredible experiment!  We had a fabulous time, as always, and bought the annual passes so we can return next summer for the cost of airfare and hotel.  


      Can’t pass these guys by!