Root Canal

I loathe the dentist. I used to be ambivalent about sitting in that chair, but then I had a really bad dentist who shamed (nagged me meanly about brushing- at the time I was only a once-a-day person), bullied me about my dental care (tried to force me into X-rays while pregnant and then acted like I was an idiot for declining to do so) and other unsavory things he did to my husband and kids. It totally turned me off of going at all! It’s silly, I know, but it’s interesting to note how adversely residual feelings like that can impact me.
Anyhow, after all these years of avoiding the dentist like the plague, I finally developed an issue that turned into a root canal. I walked into the dentist office totally naive of the process. I thought it would be like any other dental visit of drill-kill-fill-feel better, but oh no. It has not been so. I’m nauseous, in pain and altogether out of sorts, made worse by feeling overly embarrassed about missing so much time in my Wired for Reading workshop that I’m attending, for which there was a paid fee to go AND I get paid to be there! All this money wasted going out and coming in! It’s really frustrating! I’ve missed an entire day now! Ack! Hopefully I can finish out the week strong and stay all day tomorrow!

Some Solid Motivation

Old friends can surprise us. Here I am, blaring it from a website, that I’m losing weight! I’m running! And me? I need this. I need to be public and loud, otherwise it don’t hold myself accountable. Other people though??? They go all quiet for a year and then, suddenly, something like this gets posted on your Facebook stream:

This girl was one of my besties in high school. Tenth through twelfth grade were our years together. I found her at a time I really needed a friend. Before her, I never really had a friend who had a similar, twisted sense of humor or music tastes (she also straddled the pop/alt line, but unlike me, there is not NKOTB in her house today). I spent many nights at her house discussing important things and doing less important things, I’m sure- like painting our nails black, dying our hair with kool-aid, discussed the benefits of Doc Martins versus Birkenstocks, who was the hottest member of Jane’s Addiction (?!?) and vegetarian diets (it was the 90’s). She never got to be humongously gigantic or anything, but like me, she always had a little extra sumptin-sumptin shaking around on her.
Well, no longer! She has obviously changed something and is looking to win the accolades (and a few bucks) she has been working towards! Please, click on any of the links sprinkled throughout this article to go and vote for her as the most transformed body (hers really is the most transformed in this group). Please? She’s a good person (like, a really good person) who has worked really hard on this and has shown significant, positive change!
When I wrote to ask her if I could use her pictures, she had this to say
“I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. Has been an interesting year!! Precision Nutrition is just the best program ever – if you do decide to use my photo on your web site, please give a shout out to them as well – best group of people and really amazing program.”
Throw her a bone!
And then, while you’re hanging out looking at her pictures, if you’re anything like me, you’re also wondering when you can kick your butt back in gear so you can weigh in the 170’s too! Thanks for the super motivation, Denise!

Holy Blondness Batman

This week I am taking a reading workshop called Wired For Reading. It was one of those things where I knew I should, I knew I would, I also knew I should get it out of the way so I wouldn’t agonize over giving up a few precious days of hot, dry August all summer.
Naturally, I’m antsy at this thing. I’m standing in the back of the room on my tippy-toes to get my wiggles out while we discuss the birth of the English language (Did you know that the English language was born about 400 AD?) and the location of the tongue for varying letters in the alphabet. Interesting, but… I mean, summer’s here! It’s 76 perfect degrees out! Thank goodness I really like my new team of teachers. But still. I’m wiggly. So what did I do? I did what I ask my own students not to do- I escaped to the bathroom. While I did need to visit the restroom in an official capacity, I also just needed to move a little. While in there, I discovered that during our weekend in Idaho, all that time on the blanket and on the dock laying in the sun made my hair do this:

I’m suddenly a blonde!
That was fun, and free!
(Sorry about the tongue. I have a hard time taking selfies seriously and I got all embarrassed. Silly, yes?)
I’m thinking of doing another diet bet. I think I would lose weight, but even if I didn’t, I know I would do better with that level of accountability during the summer. I know this from past experience! I’m not completely committed yet, but I’m thinking on Monday I might get serious about it.


“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

This, of course, is Jim Carrey giving a commencement speech at Maharishi University’s School of Management in Iowa, earlier this month.
“So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality,” Carrey said. “What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. And if it doesn’t happen for you right away, it’s only because the universe is so busy fulfilling my order.”
If you read here with any regularity, you know that I’m always seeking my purpose in life. What am I truly meant to do? How am I supposed to make my mark on the world? How can I fulfill my destiny, live a satisfying, happy life, all the while making choices that leave this world a better place?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a singer more than anything. I spent hours and days singing. I sang on my roller skates, I sang on my bike, I sang while walking. In fact, the primary activity amongst my neighborhood friends and me was to circle the two blocks we all lived on while singing at the top of our lungs Top Gun’s version of You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling, We Are the World, Stand By Me and any other song we fancied. It was a way of life, singing was. I loved it. I still love to sing and I sing a lot, but I’m not a gifted singer. Or at least I don’t think I am. Instead of fronting an all girl pop band, I started thinking of my other strengths- I’ve loved working with children and I’ve liked little kids since I was one myself, so it was a natural choice to turn to teaching as a more realistic option. A safer option. I don’t regret that choice at all (well, sometimes, on a hard day), but what I do regret is never taking a voice lesson, never learning guitar and never allowing myself to buy into the idea that singing could ever be a possibility.
As life has progressed, I’ve watched people around me fight for those big dreams that Jim Carrey is referring to. I know people from high school who have been very successful doing things that seemed like pipe dreams- they’ve invented things, run nationally renown foodtrucks, have had television pilots made about them on HGTV, written books and I even know someone who became quite famous as a guitarist/pianist/producer/singer in a very successful indie rock band! He did the VERY thing I considered to be impossible.
My passion right now is nutrition, movement and health. Like anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight and has made a huge transition towards being active, I feel different. I have this vent diagram in my mind that categorizes the before and after of my life, and I can so clearly see the difference. I want to share that with others! What I’ve been struggling with is how to do that without being either overbearing or pious.
Toward the end of the year, a mom from my class approached me to let me know that Whole Foods is interested in partnering with teachers and schools to encourage kids to eat healthy and move their bodies through modeling and explicit teaching. I eat right in front of my students all the time. This year I was in my room, alone with my students, from 9:15-12:25 without a break. I get hungry around 10:30, usually, so the snack policy in my room was to eat when you were hungry, plain and simple, me included. Kids look to their leaders, so I always make sure to model healthy eating and usually choose fresh fruit or fresh vegetables for my morning snack. Whole Foods also sees teachers as health models, just like I do, and I think I’m the exact kind of person they are looking for. In addition, they are campaigning for salad bars in schools and so much more!
This seems like such an exciting opportunity, and like it aligns itself beautifully with my life’s purpose! I realized that I can live my life, my healthy life, as a role model for my students. I can share my love of whole-body, healthy-living with my students as part of their curriculum! And, as a role model, I even get to share the reward in front of me- running the Disney Princess Half Marathon! What better reward is there for making good choices than a really fun, athletic event, located at he Happiest Place on Earth? I’m so excited. And the best part is that I don’t even need to make a career shift to do this.
I met Brittany Herself last fall, and she said that she just keeps throwing spaghetti against the cupboard to see what sticks. What she meant was that opportunity arises from saying things aloud, taking risks and sharing your vision. When you do that enough, something is bound to grow legs and take off. She now has written a book, had a pilot tv show for HGTV, is a spokesperson for Rivet and Sway, was a model for Land’s End Plus Size, has been featured in magazines, on the TODAY show, GMA… The list goes on. Becca holds a contract with LeapPad now, spawned from her passion for teaching kindergarteners, as well as travels regularly for her home and family website (which has been featured in magazines and online, as well). Katie went on to become a running coach as well as was on the Dr. Oz show, has been featured in Runners World Magazine and has traveled around the country to run in races and observe cats‘ responses to different stimuli. Opportunity is out there if I throw some spaghetti. This is me saying I’m excited, and I hope something awesome and healthy happens for the kids I get to work with, now that I have found a new purpose.
So, Universe? I’m ready to see what can happen!
{Watch the whole minute, clipped together highlight video of the speech, though, and if you’re like me, you’ll go find the full length speech online. Then, just maybe, you might go down a Jim Carrey YouTube rabbit hole and waste an afternoon considering what a wise and funny man Jim Carrey is…}


It’s Summer!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever taken a break this long, from Tamara Shazam. I try to post at least twice a week, but sometimes life gets the better of you…
Like how it was the end of school! The wrap up for this year was exceptionally challenging. Finishing out the school year is always tricky- we have to pack up our rooms while continuing to teach increasingly less compliant children- but this year, with the move, I felt the emotional impact of my leaving acutely. Gracious, I’m going to miss my students. Squirrelly though they may have been, they were a kind, sweet group of kids who would have been great helpers next year… But I did say goodbye. Through a veil of tears!
Packing proved to be a bizarre reminder of my middle aged status- I injured myself by packing! Yep, the act of putting things in boxes, sealing the box with tape and affixing a label on it proved incredibly difficult for my right shoulder-blade-underarm-pectoral muscles. The repetitive motion proved too much for me and I started feeling a tearing/hot/burning sensation. For the past two weeks, I’ve been wearing my sports bra nonstop (so attractive!) and my compression wear. Holding my tatas down and any surrounding tissue has helped tremendously, but I have been unable to exercise or do much else. Even walking has been causing me pain (in my back?!) so I’ve been staying off my feet. Last night was the first night I slept without all the gear in two weeks and I didn’t have any pain, so I think I’m on the right healing track.
We headed to Idaho to see my parents the day after school got out and have been chilling Idaho style ever since! Hello SUMMATIME! Tomorrow I start a weeklong summer institute, but right now I’m not thinking much about that… 🙂


Revisiting 208- With Pleasure!

This morning I weighed in at 208! Woohoo! You may be saying to yourself, well, Tamara, that is a higher weight than the previously reported 205 pounds. Why are you doing a happy dance?

You know how I’m all like, “I’m going to be totally real with y’all on this here blog,” all the time? And I’m all like, “This blog is the place for me to hold myself accountable with public airing of my successes and failures,” quite often? Welp, sometimes it’s hard to publicly fail.

I wouldn’t even say I failed, outright. Mostly I faltered, got overwhelmed, got frustrated… Failure would have been completely going backwards and gaining a blue million pounds. I didn’t gain a blue million pounds, rather I almost got to my holy crap! panic weight of 220 pounds! That is the magic number- I have promised myself that I will never weigh more than 220 again, and when/if I do, I have to fall back on my mad dieting skillz and lose it before the fat literally takes over again. I have no doubt in my abilities to reach 340 in record time, without even trying. Fortunately, I only got to 218. Revisiting 220 and having to hold myself accountable to my promise happened way faster than I thought it would, so I set my mind to it and I whittled myself down to 212-214 then kind of hung out there for a month. I decided to train hard for the half marathon and let go of the diet, to just work and work out. I stayed at the same 213ish and was pretty okay with that. 212, to me, is pretty stinking skinny.
I figured out that what was making me gain and maintain was that I started snacking at night again (the increase in activity made me ravenous, so I just let myself do it) and I figured out, again, that night eating is my greatest down falling, my greatest weakness, and my greatest opportunity to binge. Last week I reinstated my nighttime 12 hour fast rule again. That means that I try to truly make my breakfast an opportunity to break a fast. I stop eating at 7:00 at night and don’t eat again until 7:00 in the morning. I try to make my dinner loaded with veggies with lots of fiber so I’m not starving by 8:30 and it works pretty well.
Just that small change made me lose four pounds this week. If I had doubts before, they are vanquished. I have been practicing the exact, same eating habits, I haven’t been exercising beyond packing boxes and teaching, and I lost four pounds! I’ll take it!

The Rise of Elasti-Girl!

One of the fun things about having a weightloss blog is that I get to share the weirdest, strangest things that are associated with losing a large amount of fat.
I was a big girl. Like I’ve said on a number of occasions, I don’t have a problem with big, I have a problem with unhappy. If you’re unhappy, fix that, and if you’re unhappy because of the fat or the fat’s side effects, work on that. So, anyhow, I was a pretty big girl. Of course, one day my skin didn’t suddenly split open spilling my innards and fat onto the floor, I streeeetched my skin out with fat over years and years. Then, for good measure, I got pregnant. Twice, while, I might add, weighing at or over 300 pounds. I really thought I was stretched to maximum before I ever got pregnant, but the babies definitively proved that idea to be false. You know, the babies were nice, but the skin? Meh.
Anyhow, today I discovered a new trick my body can do- I’m a real-life, Elasti-Girl! (My tag line is Growing super powers and losing other things… after all!) How do I qualify as a real-life Elasti-Girl? Well, when I have a scratch or bump or otherwise invisible-to-the-naked-eye skin anomaly in a hard-to-see area like the back of my knee, my butt or shoulder, I can simply grab it and pull it around the side of my body to take a look.
Nope. I’m not joking.
Like bread dough. Both really cool and unnerving…
I’ve not been doing anything with diet or exercise this week. I haven’t gone off my rocker or anything, but I haven’t worked out. At all. I’m moving my classroom plus finishing up the year as a teacher – you know- still teaching the kids science and all that good stuff! Anyhow, I’m giving myself the weekdays off until the school year is out. Then I’ll kick my (elastic) rear back into gear. Until then, this is my life:

I loathe moving.