Category Archives: Faith

I’m an Author! OMG!!!

Holy cow!! This happened!!!  Check that off the bucket list!

This book as been in the planning stages since 2013.  I’m glad I didn’t write it back then.  The period from 2015 to 2017 was intense with respect to staying on track and struggling with the mental game.  There were lessons to be learned and my ego needed to be beat up a bit to learn them.

My perspective on how to sustain a “fit life” is more balanced now.  I tried to get all of that into this book so it will become a handbook for “how not to quit” along with some practical tips about eating and such.

When I finished teaching in June, I made a plan to write this book in 30 days.  Took a few weeks longer.  But hey!  It’s up now!  Yay!!!

My inner math nerd did my very best to go live with the book on Amazon on August 18 at 8:18 am.  Yes.  That’s 8/18/18 at 8:18 am (if you write your dates like we do here in the states).  Hahahaha!

While I wait for Amazon to set up the “Inside this Book” feature, I thought I’d share the intro with you here.  These are images of the actual pages in the book.  (Pause the slideshow to read.  Maybe increase the zoom on browser, too.)



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I’d like to thank my husband, Paul, for helping me with the cover.  (If you remember – there was a banner behind me on stage with a picture of a guy in board shorts. Check out Paul’s self-imposed 77-day boot camp adventure here.)


Next step – get the Kindle version up.  That shouldn’t take long.  Just need to check on the formatting to make sure it looks good as an ebook.

Eventually – Audible.  That may take a bit longer.  I learned I can do that as a self-publishing author.   Yay!   I want to narrate and edit it myself, so I need to watch some tutorials about how to do that.

If you want to purchase the paperback book on Amazon, you’ll get it speedy quick!

If you want a signed copy, that will take longer because you’re getting that from me.  I’m waiting for my copies to arrive, then I’ll write in your copy, then mail it off.  Limited supplies on that option, so click here.  If you get a order form, there are still some left!

When the copies I ordered arrived, I will be randomly drawing a name or two from the mailing list and sending off a free copy.  If you’re not on my mailing list but would like to be, you can join us over here.

If you would like me to be your Accountability Coach or Nutrition Consultant, click here for more information.



Filed under Books, Faith, Life, Nutrition, Organization Tips, Weight Loss, Workouts

67 Weeks – Clarity

Published on Saturday.  Edited on Sunday.  Processing continues…

Life happens, right?  I really have been walking around in a fog for the last month.  Not the worst time in my life, but stressful.  And then this morning – clarity.

I’ve been lucky and have been able to train with sufficient focus for a few years.  It looks as though 2014 is literally karmic payback time.  Life was already a little stressful before my husband’s accident (he’s recovering well, thank God), but after that, there was just so much extra for me to worry about do that I haven’t been able to keep all the balls in the air.  I’ve been waiting for the spring break from school that started today to get caught up on work and sleep.

But without getting into details, in the last 72 hours, the Universe has provided several unrelated events that I interpret as a sign that I’m supposed to be doing something else.  I have a few years before the state says I can retire,  but it’s pretty clear that changes are afoot.   And that makes me incredibly sad.  Heart broken.  I’ve been feeling that sadness and grief for the last two days.  This morning, I woke up feeling nauseous from it, but a few minutes of reflection and prayer got my head to the right place.  It’s time to find my courage and embrace the change that is happening.

Some of this is out of my control.  But no worries – things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to.   It has been harder over the last few years to do what I do.  The gap between what kids need to know to be successful in upper level mathematics and what they have actually learned has been getting wider.  I will keep my mind open and follow the path as it presents itself.  I’m wondering now if the next move should be into the middle grades.  Maybe I can use what I’ve learned in upper levels to help prepare younger kids for what’s ahead.

One of the reasons I’ve accomplished what I have as a teacher is that I take ownership over my practice as if it were my business.  So what happens next, whatever that turns out to be, it will be my decision.    My priorities are lined up correctly – husband and training come before any job.  But I am that teacher – the one that likes to ask questions, rock boats, build programs.  I like to invest myself.  I like to empower kids – I do not teach or practice compliance.  I teach”Badassery 101″.  My students will run things.  And that, I suspect, is why I am not a good civil servant.  😉

I will continue to reflect, pray, and talk with hubby and friends, so that a plan will be made that sets things up to honor what’s important and helps me transition to the next thing.  Just in case my kids are reading this – don’t worry. We still have AP exams right around the corner and you will rock it.  I will help you stay fiercely focused.  My loyalty is to you.

But enough of that.

My life works best when I’m lifting.  Lifting is better when I’m focused.  I’m excited about the progress I’m making – especially considering I’ve been making progress while navigating the change in routines that come from two people sharing a car, one of those people healing from an accident, and that car needing repairs.  Too much stress and too many little things bothering me.  But that stress over the last couple of weeks has started a weight gain, too.  Not worried.  I know how to handle that.  Make some decisions and move on.  I’ve also been working with a new coach online who adjusted things in my program so that I can stay on track while handling this crazy time.  (No negative issues with previous coach and I still recommend him.  Change is good and even necessary.  I like learning new things from new people.)

So on this first day of spring break, I reconnected to my joy of lifting.  Today’s lift was an upper body hypertrophy split.  I’m getting stronger and bigger.   I’m excited about what is going to happen over the next year.  I’m certain that the next time I compete, the improvements will be quite noticeable.  I don’t think for a second that the obstacles I have to navigate are over.  2014 is going to be a challenge.  I’ve had challenges before and I am confident in my ability to get a thing done.  I’ve done a lot already, and I’m not talking about bodybuilding, because I haven’t accomplished much there – yet.  It took me 16 years from start to finish to get that Bachelor of Science in Mathematics – my most feared subject in high school.  There have been some awards, a national certification, and a masters degree.  I’ve accomplished almost* everything I chose to accomplish letting time be the variable.  I’ve taught for 18 years and I think I’ve taught every level of mathematics from 8th grade through calculus 2.  And I can give a pretty decent pep-talk, I’m told.


I’ve told people that I feel like the old dog at the pound that no one wants to adopt.  Well, that’s just how I feel at work.  I feel joy when I lift.   Afterwards, I feel hopeful and excited about the future.  I daydream about new adventures and new opportunities.  I dream about having a life where my success is based on my hard work.  The responsible, grown-up part of me knows I have to wait until the state says I have earned my retirement.  There is a possibility that this is all happening because there is some amazing opportunity in education I don’t know about yet because everyone knew I wasn’t available.  No matter what happens, I will maintain forward progression.

This week was not great, but today was pretty good.

*I did not get the Presidential Award for Teaching in Mathematics.  I decided to wait to apply again when there was a president I wanted to meet.  😉









Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Competing, Faith, Life

The Most Frustrating, Inspiring Part of Bodybuilding is…

TAMMY vs. ____

It feels like I’m constantly battling against some obstacle.  It’s usually a cranky hip.  Sometimes, the pissy back jumps in to help out her cranky buddy. Did I really just say that my back has my hip’s back?  That’s silly.

Sometimes, it’s just my f’d-up geometry.  (Scoliosis, flat feet, bunions)

Sometimes, it’s my job.  Had to put in academic warnings today.  Third quarter academic warnings are always tough.  Makes me question why I bother.  Should get a job in an office somewhere.  At a nice, quiet desk job.

But sometimes, my opponent is more – formidable.


I had progress pics and got a DXA bodyfat analysis done.  I sent all the data off for a second opinion.  I’m not going to share specifics just yet.  I’m still in shock.  And I’m probably overreacting.  But the inner voice I’m battling tonight is repeating “You just wasted the last three months.”  And then it goes to the really scary place – “You’re too old for this.  You’re not an athlete.  What were you thinking?”

And after a certain amount of time to process that, a very quiet and calm voice slowly begins the pep-talk.  She reminds me that setbacks are normal and they are necessary.  She reminds me that I do this because I love the activity of doing it.  I do it to overcome fear.  I do it to repeatedly fall and get up.  Every setback is a lesson that needs to be learned.

So the most frustrating and inspiring part of bodybuilding is the continual opportunity to grow psychologically stronger as my ego repeatedly is handed to me on a platter.  I want to quit.  I want to hide.  I want to crawl out of public view.  But what I think of as a major setback is really nothing in the big picture.  This is anything but a life and death situation.  This isn’t important.  It’s just a setback.  It’s just an ego check.

I’m learning.  I’m listening.

Yeah, I have my battles.  Because I know I want to hide when things are tough, hide and feel sorry for myself with nachos and ice cream – that’s why I started this blog and the Facebook page sometime later.  I need to keep pushing myself out of the comfortable place and out in the open.  I never wanted to be ‘inspirational’.  I want to be held accountable.  I wanted more support.

I’m trying to build as much muscle as possible.  I’m trying to get bigger and stronger.  Ultimately, I’m putting myself through a challenge every day.  My body just isn’t cooperating right now.  The psychological part of this is so much harder than the physical.  That’s the challenge, I guess.

The news I got today isn’t the issue – it’s just data.  What I’m writing about is the real obstacle – the mental game.  The mental gymnastics, the uncertainty, the questioning…that’s the rub.

Sometimes, all that’s required is faith, patience, and courage.

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Filed under Faith, Life, Motivation, Teaching