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Here I Go Again...

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Since this is my first blog in over three years…aaaahhh, I’ll make it the down and dirty recap/update.

When I last dropped off from Sparkland, I was half way through my second year of school which had been quite brutal in many ways. I completed my AAS in Exercise and Movement Science and I now work in the fitness industry; a journey I embarked upon following my empowering success on the way to a healthier me. But the program was very aggressive and I maintained an average of 18 credits the entire time, which lead to maaaaaaany hours of homework and very little time to focus on my health. Seems like an impossible riddle, doesn’t it? By the time I graduated, I had packed back on 35 of the original 65 lbs. I had lost.

Within a month of graduation, I dropped 20 lbs, simply because the stress of school had ended; true story. I did nothing different. I can now attest to the fact that stress does in fact lead to weight gain. I also learned during that time that I am a confirmed “stress-eater”! (Think Exercise Physiology oral exam.) Six months ago I reached my lowest SP weight, but I continue to drift up as much as 10 lbs and back down again – currently I am up. Which is what brought me back to SP with more focus. Blogging has always been a huge factor in my success in this journey.

All of the boys are now grown and it is coming up on two years since the youngest (and last to leave) moved out. They all make us very proud as they make their way in the world. Michael (the oldest) and his girlfriend just moved to Arizona (where she has family) this past weekend. Mathew (the middle son) and his girlfriend are still in the area. He completed his AAOT in Criminal Justice and just started working in juvenile detention. Markus (the baby) is happily living the bachelor life, rooming with three high-school buddies who are all equally focused and responsible. He is working on his transfer degree in political science.

After all the boys moved on the whole “empty nest” thing hit us pretty hard and seemingly unexpected. Last fall Kristy moved out after 18½ years, in an effort to figure out her “purpose” since the children have gone. And while I supported her journey, it was a long dark winter for me.

She moved home at the end of spring and we got married on June 1st. The date was a whim, since we planned to wait until our 20th anniversary, but with Michael and Kaylee moving away we weren’t sure they could make it back in January. So we decided on the Wednesday before, picked up our license on Friday and crashed a local county park for the ceremony on Sunday.

We are happier than ever and while it was devastating at the time. Her journey brought her much peace which in turn brought us closeness that we both had longed to share for many years.

Career wise, I have been working for three years for the YMCA as a Wellness Coach, along with a couple days a week at LCC in the fitness center as an Instructional Specialist. It was my own journey to fitness that brought me to this career and now it is time to get my own fitness back on track. So here I am.

My plan is to continue where I left off. Blogging, as I said, was a HUGE factor in my success so this is where I am starting. I will fill in the blanks as I move along continuing to create me.

I look forward to catching up with my old peeps and your journeys, as well as meeting new folks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEQ911 7/3/2014 8:01AM

    Congrats on your wedding!!!!

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CODEMAULER 7/1/2014 2:24PM

    First, congratulations and Let Love Rule!!

I'm so glad to see you out here. I appreciate the update, thank you for posting all of the news.

School was a big pause in my good habits, too. Apparently I can't workout my brain and my body on the same projects!!


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    I'm so happy for you!! Congratulations on your recent wedding with a LONG relationship attached. ;) I'm really happy to see you here, and I'm looking forward to getting all caught up.


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Do Over

Friday, December 10, 2010






  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TX_WILDHEART 1/30/2011 3:24PM

    I feel ya! Last March I jacked up my knee in a bike accident. Knee surgery - not fun. I did my recovery and my PT - had to go back to work. I came back to sp at 196. Groan.
Working to get back in the mid 180s... and beyond.

Was just checking to see how you were doing!

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MADZOE 1/13/2011 4:08PM

    I just now saw this blog. Wish I would have before. I know EXACTLY PRECISELY HONESTLY how you feel. Last year was horrible. So it stands to reason it can only get better from here. I ended 9 lbs heavier in Dec 10 than I was in Jan 10 and 22 lbs heavier than i was in Apr 10.

Love ya, and I know you will do better.

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GRALLEN 12/13/2010 9:23PM

    We are always learning and re-learning. You'll get there.

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KEAKMAN 12/11/2010 9:58AM

    My dear friend, I am here with you. You can see my weight tracker: up 40 pounds - FORTY POUNDS! - from this time last year. As Tim alluded have the tools. You know how to use them. It's simply time to take them out and do so. I have complete faith in you Tam. YOU CAN DO IT!

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LLTS01 12/11/2010 9:49AM

    But look at everything else you have accomplished.

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ARTHURTOM 12/11/2010 12:00AM

    Time to readjust the toolbelt!

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What About Glutamine

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Key points on glutamine are that it is a non-essentiall amino acid (protein), meaning that it is already produced in your body. It is also naturally occuring in plants and animal tissue, which means that in addition to producing our own, we get some in our food.

It is most prevalent in the blood stream and is used by muscles, as well as the rest of the body, to 'build stuff'. A couple other points, are that glutamin helps to keep acid build-up minimized and aids in joint function. Again, you might notice some benefit as a serious body-builder, but for the majority of us, it is money that has greater benefit when spent on whole foods.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTSLADY 11/23/2010 11:25PM

    I've been taking it for years and can't tell you thing one it has done - lol. I've taken 500mg daily in pill form. I take it for promoting gut health. Since my glutamates were high last time I had my neurotransmitters tested (I have overfocus issues... ;0)), I backed off. My glutamates are lower now (glutamine can theoretically raise glutamates, but I seriously think it was dairy doing most of the damage). I will reintroduce glutamine pills and see what happens in another 6 months or when I get around to another test (cha-ching). I know: "most" people don't have this problem ... or so we think! ooooohhhh emoticon (lol)

I came here to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and I was surprised to find you've blogged a bit - cool beans Tam! Good to learn from you at your expense. ;0) Thanks!

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BEAUTIFULANIME 11/18/2010 1:58PM

    Thank you for the tip.

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CODEMAULER 11/18/2010 1:01PM

    Since glucosamine is falling out of favor as a joint supplement, is glutamine the next idea?

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KEAKMAN 11/18/2010 9:44AM

    Okay, while you are being the wise answer glutamine similar to glucosamine? (the second sounds like a sugar - glucose - but then what do I know?)

Keep on dropping tidbits for us!

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KASHMIR 11/18/2010 9:40AM

    I use glutamine when I'm deep into the training season, but unless I'm running 20+ miles a week, not so much. I think it does help with muscle recovery...for me at least.

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Common Questions

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I just wanted to share with you all, some questions that I hear a lot. This particular conversation is one I had with my SIL via FB (which is why the short-hand on her questions). These are some of the key things I've studied over the past year. One thing I've found especially interesting is the information I am learning about sports-nutrition. Primarily that it isn't much different from general nutrition. The things that are stressed over and over again are eating a well balanced diet, eating often enough and the timing.

Question: “ok so i just finished insanity and need to know if i should start right back or switch to something else for a week or 2 and then do it? went to a forum that said wait a week rest since it is so strenuous on your muscles?”

Answer: Yes, take a week off or better yet-active rest. That means low/no impact: swimming, walking, hiking, biking, yoga something along those lines. Great job, BTW

Question: “yea i think for the week i will switch between my recovery workout of shaun t's and then yoga booty ballet? think a wk is long enough of a break?heard talk about muscle memory and all that blah blah lol!! and what should i use for muscle soreness cuz i'm getting to muscular with the whey protein lol that i didn't know was for muscle builder!!! and also i heard to take vitamin e pills u know why??”

Answer: Good plan. Muscle memory is what happens when you start working out, especially with new movements. That's why it's really important to learn proper movement patterns and maintain good form.

Normal food is plenty. The protein supplement is totally unnecessary, unless you're a pro body-builder and even then most of us (especially meat-eaters) get more than enough in our regular diets. I'd suggest dropping the protein supplements completely. Our bodies don't store the protein in the way people think, it doesn't just get deposited straight into the muscle. I used to think that, too. It is used to build muscles, true, but it is also used to build hormones and most other bodily components. Muscles get larger from working them, and the repair process-not from the protein itself.

I'm guessing the reason the vit E is recommended is to help reduce inflammation from the workouts. You also get the (anti-inflammatory) omega oils from cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and tuna. Flax seed and walnuts are a great source as well. But really, a well-balanced diet is the best plan.

As for the muscle soreness, that's a good thing-assuming it is soreness and not pain-there's a difference. Your best option for recovery is to do some really good stretching after your workouts and if you really need it, ice the sore areas for at least 20 minutes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTSLADY 11/23/2010 11:19PM

    I had a trainer tell me your muscle memory was from your young years and I, in essence, couldn't change much; rather, I'd have to work harder to change my memory because I didn't use it much when I was young. When I say harder, I mean I'll never be able to stop working out to maintain my changes or weight loss. Make sense? I'm fried right now.

ArthurTOm's right about vit E, but the info on what is excess is weird to me. Seems to me that "one size does NOT fit all" for any vitamin, but doctors don't usually check it unless you ask. I did, of course ;0). I was taking 800iu and backed down to 400iu because I was "over" in my blood labs. I'm not "most" people though (malabsorption yada), but I also don't eat grains where some E comes from. So I mention all that because I wonder if ATom's checked his levels before and after taking the supplement? I also make sure I take a MIXED tocopherol, not the "dl-alpha" which is synthetic. But I digress ... :P.

Love when you talk about this stuff Tammy. Thanks for the info.

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LLTS01 11/19/2010 11:12PM

    Be prepared for my long list of questions.

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CODEMAULER 11/17/2010 12:48PM

    You learn the coolest stuff at school!


I am grateful that you share what you're learning, especially since you do such a great job of breaking it down and explaining it for us!


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SUSANSERENE 11/17/2010 11:06AM

    Tam, excellent information and thank you!

I'm glad you posted today; I've been thinking about you. Are you a Ducks fan? (who here isn't, eh?!)

Take care, kiddo, and know that you are thought about and sent blessings often.

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ON2VICTORY 11/17/2010 10:59AM

    wow, great stuff!

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KEAKMAN 11/17/2010 10:42AM

    Lots of great info Tam - thanks! (are you SURE you don't want to pull up stakes and move to Portland and be my personal coach?!?!)

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ARTHURTOM 11/17/2010 10:26AM

    I've been switching my ST workouts around to change up my muscle memory. On the sports nutrition, getting a balance of all nutrients can be called any kind of diet or nutrition plan but it just makes good sense as you well know.

One thing I've found interesting is that there has been some thinking that vitamin E suppliments in excess of 15-30 IU a day is not needed and could be ultimately harmful to your health. Here's one of the links that I've read about it...


...which further confirms to me the importance of a balanced nutrition plan that includes your daily vitamin and minerals within the food itself.

I currently take a vitamin E 400 IU a day and will continue to do so until the current supply is gone but I believe I will forgo getting another bottle and assess after a 3 month period. Lots of good stuff here Tam! Thnaks

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CRIS76 11/17/2010 9:47AM

    Short but VERY informational - thanks!

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Just One Thing

Friday, June 18, 2010

I’m long overdue for a blog, in part because I don’t exactly know where to start. I guess with the last term is as good as any place. I finished spring term with a 3.87 GPA; a strange number because each + counts for some minute portion of a point-go figure. Winter term I finished with a 4.05. What happened to the old 4-point(s) system? I guess that’s to give an edge to the strugglers and over-achievers. Ha! I took 15 credits (4 of which required 12 actual hours per week) and I have NO IDEA how some folks manage to hold a job AND go to school full time…that must be who the +’s were designed for.

To recap my minimal presence here, while I did manage to pull some outstanding grades and evaluations (yes, I’m bragging), I worked my ass off for every bit of that achievement. On the other hand (or cheek), my ass does not reflect that accomplishment-as I regained 18 # of my previous loss. You would think it is not possible, what with it being an ‘Exercise and Movement Science’ program. Ah, therein lies the clue…it truly is a science-based program; lots of reading, and even more research and writing. There are only 2 PE credits built into the program, so any REAL activity, must be accomplished on your ‘own’ time-as if there were such a thing.

I did, however, manage to do a pretty decent job with my food. Over the entire school year, I bought lunch from the cafeteria ONE day. I packed my meals and snacks every day and kept it very healthy-at least through the school day, which ended between 4 and 7 pm, depending on the day of the week. Weekends and evenings proved to be a challenge about half the time. I also learned that I am a big stress-eater. Like in the 4-5 days leading up to mid-terms or finals, I ate everything in sight…with a shovel!

I’m taking the summer off from school and at this point, it looks as though I will be able to take a bit of a lighter load next year, because I have some prior credits that will be transferable. That being said, the least I will get by with is 12 credits per term, so still a full load, but about 10-15 (actual) hours less per week! And that’s a good thing. I’m sure to have more on this whole subject at the end of summer, as I’m nearing the end of my UI extensions and I don’t know exactly how that will impact my schooling.

Taking time off from school does not mean I get to laze around though-at least not all of the time. The honey-do list waits, and it seems the closer I got to the end of the school year, the longer it got. I’ve got a few things done, or near done; trimming hedges, fixed a bed frame, fixed legs on the dining chairs, started seeds for the garden (better late than never), reorganized and cleaned out the laundry closet, started building a bed conversion for the FJ,

What a flattering picture!

Hey, I am no carpenter-but it will do the job!

attended a couple graduation gatherings, took pictures and posted a piano on Craig’s List, installed the hitch on the FJ (I got it about three months ago) and of course, the usual housekeeping and laundry chores. Today I will finish the bed for the FJ and maybe mow AGAIN, before it rains AGAIN.

Still on the list; install interior moldings throughout the house

Kristy staining the molding.

(a remaining project from our home addition four years ago), install new light fixture in the kitchen (bought it a couple months ago), replace the pond pump and filter system, fix and sell the dune-buggy, teach Markus how to drive (very, very scary), get myself back in shape, clean and de-clutter the garage AGAIN, plant the garden and whatever else comes up. We’ll throw-in as many weekend outings and campouts as possible, too.

A couple weeks ago, my sweetie joined the sparkfamily; KKELSON (the calendar-girl to be). Oh yeah, and after reading Skinny Bitch (thanks Erika), about a week ago Kristy decided she was going to be Vegan. So now I get to learn how to make really boring food seem exciting. Of course, I’m supporting her decision as much as possible. I can’t bring myself to TOTALLY commit-I like my dairy and fish/shellfish too much, but I’ve cut that waaaaaay down, too. And here’s something annoying…I haven’t lost a single ounce since this conversion process but my gut hurts like hell. Now I’ve just got to get myself back on track with regular exercise.

Details to follow at another time, but I’ll leave you to ponder this one irritating detail that I learned last term. It takes two-plus weeks for your body to build muscle tissue and only four hours for your body to store excess calories as fat. That’s right…it’s not all in your head!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEAG29 10/4/2011 11:55AM

    Can that even be true???????

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DOTSLADY 6/26/2010 5:55PM

    emoticonI think you're amazing for accomplishing what you did with such a life change! And you make me not want to go back to school - lol. I'm impressed you packed your lunch and fed yourself better than a cafeteria. I'm impressed your efforts were rewarded with good grades. I would want to hire you.

Your honey-do list is long - be glad you're healthy and happy enough to do it. I'm skeered ;o) to say it, but really really hope this lack of dairy thang is gonna wipe out my depression for GOOD. Keep your fingers crossed. Then I can get on to my own honey-do list. It's a burden to procrastinate. Adds to stress, lack of sleep & energy, heart attacks and other crap! :P

What's up with the gut hurting? I'm all over that one (my fave subject!): do you take probiotics? I wonder if that would help. If you're interested, I can veer you to brands.

Skinny Bitches. Hmm, didn't read the whole thing. I can only say some people can tolerate some foods, right? I wish Kristy well on that journey. And if she ends up hungering for meat, have her come visit the Paleo team - lol.
emoticonYou are strong of mind and body.
emoticon emoticonGo TAM!

Comment edited on: 6/26/2010 5:57:06 PM

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GRALLEN 6/20/2010 3:46PM

    Ok my head is spinning after reading all this. I, too, am surprised you haven't lost more for all the activity you have been doing with the chores. You're aware of what's going on so I know you won't lose sight of your program and will get back on it sson.

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KEAKMAN 6/20/2010 9:27AM

    Tam, the problem is that you are a mature and responsible grown-up. You realize that you are investing time and money on your education and that you get out of it what you put into it. You also know that there are no do-overs in real life. THAT is why this year was so hard for you - you did your job rather than party and act half-a$$ed then bitch and moan when you got Cs.

I love you for it!

Your summer list sounds long and difficult, but if I know you, you'll enjoy it, do it beautifully well, and throw in a couple dozen other things as well! Have a great summer and return to school rested and rejuvenated.

I was wondering why they don't build in a PE credit each term for your program....let you put your new-found knowledge to work for yourself AND give you a chance to de-stress. Something to suggest when you complete the program....I KNOW they will tell you that they can only cram so many credits into a degree, but that just ain't so (check out how many years it takes a RN to get her/his 2 year degree!)

Glad to see Kristy here with us!

OOoooh, and don't forget "volunteer for HTC because I am such a great friend" goes on your list too!

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ROYALETBONE 6/19/2010 1:19AM

    Glad to hear that next years load will be a tad lighter- course wise. Maybe you can get back to focusing on WHY you wanted the major? Oh, yeah!

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LLTS01 6/18/2010 9:24PM

    Wow- you have accomplished a lot this past year. I feel like you have been moving at lightening speed while I stood still . Congrats on your amazing GPA- that is no small feat.


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KKELSON 6/18/2010 6:45PM

    It takes two-plus weeks for your body to build muscle tissue and only four hours for your body to store excess calories as fat.
Great =-(
On a happy note; getting back in shape will not be a problem for you.

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CODEMAULER 6/18/2010 3:12PM

    "It takes two-plus weeks for your body to build muscle tissue and only four hours for your body to store excess calories as fat."

EGADS! No wonder falling OUT of shape happens so quickly (in comparison to getting IN shape)!!!


I'm in my last school term and I'm already stressed. Eating is under control only part of the time. In other words, I totally understand your challenge.

Hang in there, I'm sure we'll both get through this!! ~ Trish

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