Lifestyle

The Year of Tammi

Sometime in 2016 I casually mentioned to someone that it was ‘the year of Tammi‘, and while that is an unclear term, I felt I had to keep the fine details to myself because at the core was an internal struggle of which I was ashamed and fearful. I was facing an unchartered path and didn’t know whether or not I’d succeed, and just in case I didn’t, I was hesitant on publicly announcing it’s presence {this statement in itself illustrates the bigger issue at hand}.

So ‘the year of Tammi‘ was such a broad and vague term – but it’s time to let it shine.

The Year of Tammi started in Fall of 2015. I was at a routine yearly medical appointment and all of a sudden my doctor started talking about my health and weight loss surgery. Wait, surgery?

Apparently new Canadian protocol meant that my doctor not only had to council me on my high and climbing BMI, but also go into detail about surgery options available to me. This included the health ramifications if change didn’t happen – which was ultimately my death in very descriptive form.

Here I was – in a gown sitting on a table, a woman nearing 37 years old with young children and unbeknownst to me the conversation focused on drastic measures to alter my lifestyle – or I’d die. If this is a new scaring tactic in the Canadian health care system, well – point made.

While weight {and thus self esteem} issues followed me my whole life, I like many, don’t necessarily see a problem until it’s a big one. In that moment, in gown on a table and feeling more exposed than I was at all comfortable with, I for the first time ever – was completely terrified.

I knew there had to be a major change, or else.

This conversation {read: lecture}, was the trigger which made me realize that this simply had to be the year of change, a year for me.

So, I needed to lose weight, that was apparent. Yet anyone that’s ever tried to do this, and adapt their eating and activity habits after a lifetime, knows that it’s a lot harder than just saying it’s going to happen. I’d been there before many times, the foul ‘diet’ word. Due to past failures and frustrations, I knew that in order to succeed, I’d have to take a different approach.

More than what I ate or how much I moved – it required a firm commitment to myself, and a complete change of mindset. I had to make myself and my well-being a priority.

So therein lies the biggest problem – because I didn’t do that. Other roles such as wife and mother meant that I always put others first – always. While other duties and responsibilities were always of super high importance to me, it’s only a bad thing if the person doing the supporting isn’t functioning at a respectable level. Plainly put, I needed to bump myself up on that priority list, so that I could live to enjoy everything I held dear.

In 2016 I learned the difference between what my body needed for fuel, and how much was excess simply because I could and wanted to. Emotional eating, boredom eating, rewarding myself with food, bad food choices – you name it, I did it. I didn’t concentrate too heavily on activity at the start but made it a goal to move every day, even just a brief brisk walk on the treadmill.

But more than that – I had to put focus on my emotions and surroundings – so I could pinpoint the triggers that made me always turn to an unhealthy lifestyle. If there was going to be changes from short-term happiness to long-term well-being, I had to be more aware of when and why I didn’t before put myself first – and then try to find reasonable solutions to choose otherwise.

I tell you, it’s this self-awareness and self-care aspect that is the hardest part, it’s no wonder that so many ‘diets’ fail time and again, since they only scratch the surface and don’t get to the root of the issues. Honestly, sometimes the journey made me grumpy, comparable to turning down that piece of favourite cake {ok, any cake}. I was like a toddler learning to walk, yet those steps got faster and steadier the more I got to know myself.

As I moved through this journey, the changes slowly started to show themselves. Over time I started generally feeling better – I was more confident than I usually was, had more energy, and a lot of the constant aches and pains subsided.

Yet the mindset struggle and balancing everything was and still is the most challenging part. I had to learn that my upkeep was a conscious decision to love myself no matter what stage I was in, because it was this self-love that pushed me to continue. Turns out I had previously relied on all ‘love’ from others, and never from myself. So whether it was food, exercise or sleep – my body and mind needed this self-love to achieve my goals. This journey was more about getting to know myself what I needed – which all required cautious and careful steps with eyes finally wide open to what was around me.

 

 

Absolutely! ????????

A photo posted by TAMMI ???? (@mychaos) on


I would compare learning to love oneself to that of the love from a child. My daughters love me with no restraints or conditions – no matter my size or shape, the day or circumstance. They would say that I am the only me, and that is something worth celebrating … so why is it so hard to think the same of ourselves? We as adults need to consciously demand that the outer and inner negativity and criticism be silenced so that self-celebration becomes the loudest. We all NEED to.

In 2016 I learned that our outsides are simply a shell we live in, and that the inner self-love and self-care is the key. Great things happen when you demand overall greatness and upmost respect for yourself.

Alas in this journey of mine, some supported and embraced my new confidence, strive and self-loving path to living completely; while others felt threatened, deemed me selfish, and refused to place more worth on myself as I was doing. Or in some twisted way, the felt their own spotlight wasn’t centered on them anymore, so they had to fabricate something bigger to fade mine.

Loving yourself doesn’t meant you have nothing left to give others. In fact it’s the opposite, since you have to fill up that cup of yours before pouring it back out. You cannot give what isn’t there, and this is clear in my outlook when comparing then vs now – as I truly love myself, others and life a whole lot more {and growing}.

For those curious, in 17 months I’ve lost almost 70 pounds and no longer have a BMI considered dangerous to the point of a death lecture. And while decreasing this number was the catalyst {and I am very happy about it of course}, it’s the numberless gains that mean the most, of which which I feel so very grateful. The internal changes is like knowing someone your whole life and finally seeing them. In this case, me meet me.

I learned to respect and value myself, and in turn raise the bar when it comes to the treatment of myself from people in my life, because I became aware of the possible detriment and harm to my health and happiness from those who are dishonest and disloyal to me – when I had given decades of complete golden support to them.

Not related to weight loss but rather the change in mindset, I finally put my foot down and deemed myself worthy in both business and in my personal life – and to choose not be a target for abuse. What I can only {for now} describe as unbelievable tactics to control, manipulate and cause intentional pain and suffering both mentally and physically. My outside/inside change was a catalyst to finally permanently remove myself from harms way.

That being said, I wholeheartedly admire, cherish and adore those that stood firmly by my side – with me and for me at the level I deserve. Those beautiful stars sure did shine bright in the darkness, and it’s amazing to see the genuine and honourable rise amongst those that unfortunately chose otherwise. You know that saying about tough times and those standing by you when you need it most, are real family? It’s true, you know.

So, in the year of Tammi I realized that I absolutely matter, dammit, and I need and deserve to be treated well. From others and especially by and to myself. One doctors appointment and a decision to finally place value on myself started a dedication which doesn’t stop now that it’s 2017. Hell no. I’ve somehow found strength to survive with a goal to thrive!

Hey I’m Tammi, allow me to introduce myself {adjusts crown}. The year of me is now the life of me, and it’s about freaking time.

 

 

Adjust the crown, look into the fire, smile and wink. Life is tough, but so are you. . . #quotes #truth #behonest #honesty #courage #lifelessons #life #clarity #lifequote #seekthegood #emotion #love #hope #motivation #inspiration #wisdom #iam #beyou #unstoppable #strength #goodvibes #empowerment #fearless #choicesmatter #mindfulness #mindbodyspirit #keepitreal #quotestoliveby

A photo posted by TAMMI ???? (@mychaos) on

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20 Comments

  1. You are beautiful inside and out, my friend. I have loved seeing how much you have changed over the last year, not just physically but your inner you. You have overcome obstacles that everyone woman fears and you have proved to be so strong, witty and nobody’s fool. Keep beating the storm.

  2. Well I am sorry to hear that you had this scare; I am proud of you for taking the steps to make the situation better!

    Getting in shape via diet and exercise sounds so simple; yet it’s not. It’s a huge commitment and I speak from experience when I can say there are days when you want to throw in the towel and give up…

    Change comes slowly and with persistence, and a hard fought self-acceptance that you are strong enough for this! Good luck on this next year of Tammi! ♥

  3. thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been working through a similar journey myself with my personal fitness and with coming to treat myself with more care and respect. It is a truly difficult thing to rewire the impulse to put the needs of others wholly before yourself, and to set your own health and happiness as a worthy and important priority. congratulations on your successes – I needed to read this today 🙂

  4. Thank you, Tammi, for sharing with us. Like most Mothers, You put your family first. Now you realize that when you love yourself enough to take care of your needs, good things follow. Most of us have a similar struggle. You have my utmost congratulations for doing what was necessary. I still struggle but take it day by day. Hugs and know that we wish only the best for you and yours.

    1. Day by day – yes! That is my new motto lately, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Baby steps. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement!

  5. Well said! Congratulations on the weight loss; that’s something that’s so hard to accomplish. More importantly, congratulations on learning to take care of yourself. I definitely have changes I need to make for better health and you’ve inspired me. The best time to change is today!

  6. Wow, what a read! This reminded me of myself in so many ways!

    Great job on the weight loss!

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think it will do a lot to inspire others.

  7. Wow! I know how hard the struggle is and it’s just like the 7 step program at AA where you take it one day or hour at a time! Congrats on your weight loss! I can’t believe you had that to lose, you always looked beautiful to me and I would never have guessed that you struggled with weight. So great that you now can share this journey with us and thank you for that because it’s very inspiring. Although I must say the doctor was very rude.

    1. Awe, thank you so much Doris. I want to share more for sure, yet with anything – baby steps. I’m very guarded in some areas. But if it inspires just one person, I’d love that.

  8. Very well written! As a mom it’s hard to put yourself first. I’m impressed with how far you’ve come already.

  9. Congrats, I could see your progress in pics you would post on Instagram. You look beautiful as always. I’ve been working/struggling with mine, from the surprise of my husband walking out a Year and half ago for his mistress, I spiralled downwards so bad, depression, stress, anxiety, eating nothing but junk. when I moved in July, I found out I’m pre diabetic now, I have high cholesterol. So I joined WW and so far I’m down 42 pounds, tons more to go, baby steps.

    1. Ugh, I unfortunately know exactly what you are going through Chandra, I’m very so sorry to hear that. Horrible right? It’s easy to let negativity and toxic people get you down and keep you down for too long, but there comes a time when you say ENOUGH. Good for you for picking yourself up and taking care of yourself, sounds like you are on the right path now. I’m on the fence to say this, since it’s sad but also true – you can only count on yourself to take care of you. Let’s do this!

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