Tag Archives: fitness blogger

WHY Did I Keep Quitting?

DISCLAIMER: As much as I’d like to have a visit with you if you think I might be the right coach for you, this post isn’t about coaching. Even if you work with someone, they might just focus on the program and not get into a topic like this – even though it’s critical for long term success. This post is based on my personal journey since 2010. I don’t expect it to resonate with everyone, but it might help one person.

You’ve done it before.  You’ve started a program.  And…then you quit.

I started and quit many times.

And then something changed. 

You might know my story, but I’m digging a bit deeper in this post.

There are several things that contribute to “success”.  Let’s use a working definition of success in terms of a heath transformation as…

HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS: Sticking with a program long enough to reach a goal and then having the tools to maintain it.

I didn’t have the THE mysterious thing that I needed to make a health transformation success happen before. Was it a piece of knowledge I was missing? Was it a character flaw? Was it a weakness in my personality??

And then *POOF* it all clicked. It made sense.

It wasn’t fear of dying early was on my mind this whole time, even though the doctors were quite clear about that risk. That was the catalyst for the real work I needed to do.

It was a mindset shift! I needed to figure out WHY I was OK with quitting repeatedly. That’s actually out of character for me.

I needed to be willing to be vulnerable, get my ego out of the way, and be brutally honest with myself as I looked for answers to questions I didn’t want to ask.

I did this to myself.  That’s obvious.  But WHY?????

The reflective work to find the “WHY do I keep quitting” was THE thing I needed to do.

Highly successful people have demonstrated motivation and determination in other areas of their lives.  But they will still sabotage their own self-care!  Right?  I did.  And then I used “lack of motivation” as an excuse.   Or blamed my screwed-up priorities. Those are easy to grab.

But they aren’t the reasons. They are the results of something else.

As a math teacher, I dealt with this daily. Apathetic teens were willing to give up the high school diploma instead of challenging their fixed mindset about how they couldn’t learn algebra and/or geometry. (And I suspect there is at least one adult reading this right now who probably had to power through that particular mindset, too!)

This health stuff and the math stuff are more closely related than most people think.

Be brave.  Ask yourself the hard questions…

  • WHY are you repeating this pattern?
  • Why don’t you think you deserve to fix this??

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing this alone or working with a trainer or coach.  If quitting feels like a better option than pushing through and figuring out WHY you want to quit, there is something underneath that is the driver for what you might think is a a lack of motivation or a weakness in your determination-muscle.

Even if you have a coach who is willing to engage in the work with you about these hard questions, if you’re not willing to dig in, the result will be the same.  The pattern will repeat.

My hard truth was that I didn’t believe I deserved to treat myself better. It felt like I hadn’t earned it.

My self-worth was based on what I did for others.  I was invisible unless I was reflected in another person’s opinion of me.  I wasn’t actually me.  I was some type of character in my own life based on my “roles” (wife, teacher, daughter, sister, etc). 

I’m NOT blaming anyone other than myself for how I felt.  No one expected me to become invisible – quite the contrary. 

People usually want the people they love to be happy and thriving.  But I wasn’t happy, wasn’t thriving, and nothing was going to change until I figured out why I didn’t care enough to change.

I’m not a psychologist, so I’m sure there is more under there to explore, but I needed to have the epiphany that I wasn’t properly caring for one of God’s kids…me.  I needed to step back and look at what was really going on.

And I needed to accept that my self-neglect, which I thought was honorable because I was putting others first, would actually harm them over time as I developed more serious health issues.

Sick, unhappy Tammy would not be a good partner for my husband and would not be a good teacher for my students.

After that, I approached everything like it was a problem at work.  What’s not working?  What will fix it?  Work. The. Problem.

The answer for me was to give up pretending I knew what I was doing, give up control, get help, and do what I was told.  Period.

I resigned to trust that process and be patient.

There have been a few changes on “Team Tammy” as people either needed to leave or I needed something different.  That’s OK and expected.  It’s part of the growth process.  If you take this route of working with a trainer or coach, your job is to find the right one to be on your team.

Refer to DISCLAIMER above! I am NOT the right coach for everybody. Not even going to pretend that’s the case. There are plenty of coaches and trainers out here doing this work online and in person. Do your research. Trust your gut!

My underlying resolve to keep all of this going for myself remains in tact because I was able to adopt a mindset that values self-care without making it seem like selfishness.


Filed under Life, Motivation, Weight Loss

Improvement Season Update and a New Business Introduction!

Long time, no see!  Sorry I’ve been quiet here on this blog.  Life has a lot of things happening right now.  I’m busier than I was during my competition season last summer and fall.

Improvement Season Update

Physically, I’m doing great.  I’m back to a healthy body weight.  Actually gained more than I intended.  The plan was 15 pounds.  But I didn’t feel “normal” again until I was up by 25.  And then I gained another 5.  My scale weight is fluctuating around 155 pounds now.  I’m working to maintain it there.

This scale weight, for this improvement season,  feels drastically different than it did at this point after my 2015 season.

Upper body lifts in the gym have been productive.  Eight weeks ago I tested my bench press.  Eight weeks ago I was still recovering from a long contest prep, so I didn’t expect much, but the calculated 1RM was still about what it’s always been – around 125.

By “always” I mean exactly that.  I remember a time when it jumped up to 128 and I was impressed by how many YEARS it took to go up 3 lbs.

Tested it this week again.  After 8 weeks, my calculated 1RM was 146.  Up 20 lbs in 2 months????

Yup.  Something is different.

I’m not super thrilled with extra body fat, but that’s how my body works.  When I’m anabolic, I grow.  I grow everything – not just muscle.  All tissues needed to recover.   Joints feel good, too.

There is that social pressure though, right?  I’m not immune.  No matter what anyone thinks, my reality is that I’m a bodybuilder, not a fitness model.   And it feels like I’m back under construction in a big way!!!  Yay!!


But can we just pause for a second and reflect on that bench.  A 20-pound increase in bench press in 2 months??  Who does that?  Hahahaha!


The Birthday I’ve Waited For

This Wednesday, February 14th, will be my 56th birthday.  This is the weird one.  My mother died when she was 56.  It’s going to be difficult come November when her death anniversary gets closer.  I think I better plan to do something epic for the day after that.  When I turned 50, I pulled a truck.

What to do?  What’s an appropriate physical challenge for outliving some superstitious date on the calendar?


Private Practice

The main reason I’ve been slacking on my blogging duties is because I’ve been working every spare minute on my new business – private, online teaching/tutoring.

I am retiring early from teaching after this school year.  It’s time to go for a lot of reasons – none of which have anything to do with a loss of passion for teaching.  It still feels like that’s my calling.  I enjoy teaching math to teenagers and not many people do.

However, being a government employee was never my calling.  That was what I needed to be if I wanted to be a teacher.

Times have changed.  Technology has advanced.  I can now go into private practice.  The plan is to retire next summer and begin working with students privately online.

I can only work with a few online students now because I’m still working full time and training.  Next August, private practice will be my full time passion-project.  That’s exciting!

The current task has been to create an online presence that reflects my real life experience.  That’s what I’ve been working on these last few months.

<Shameless cross-promotional marketing in 3…2…1…>

I would appreciate it if you would take a look at what I’ve created and give me any feedback you have…


My new blog is www.onlinegeometrytutor.wordpress.com

My YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages are all called Online Geometry Tutor, too.

File Nov 18, 5 48 39 PMPinterest screenshot

Oh my.  It seems like a lot when I list it all in one spot.

It’s been a feat to create content that I can use in all these places.  That’s why, if you’re following on the LMS page, you’ve seen some of the Online Geometry Tutor inspirational quotes popping up.  I’ve got to multi-task!

I do need your help if you’re willing.

If I was your math teacher, or the teacher of your child, I would appreciate it if you would drop by the Facebook page and review with a star rating.  If you would be willing to write a review of what it was like to work with me, that would be helpful to parents who visit the page looking to find out more about me as a teacher.

Following and sharing pages and/or posts would also help parents find me.

My latest video…


My business plan is to start with the online teaching first, then launch something with fitness.   I’m still not sure what that is going to be, but I want to offer something that supports people with their own health transformation, but isn’t exactly the same as what other online coaches offer.  As soon as I know what that’s going to be, you’ll know.

There is also that book I’ve been asked to write…that’s been on the back burner until I “retire”.  Ha!  Doesn’t sound like retirement, does it?


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Teaching

Popularity is Overrated

There are techniques one can use to increase visibility for a blog or a Facebook page. (I don’t actively use Twitter, never opened an Instagram account.). I don’t do many of those things. I have reasons…

1) I’m busy.
I have done a few things a person is supposed to do to grow their blog/page. It’s very time consuming. I gave up FarmVille and Words With Friends because of time. I used to write a lot more, enjoy it, but don’t have time for that, either. (I’m supposed to be writing exams and working on my online client files right now.)

2) I don’t care (or I try to not care).
I have always been that person who has one or two close friends. I’m not a social butterfly. I am a nerd. I am some kind of an introvert – a weird kind that apparently enjoys doing some “out-there” kinds of things. Like posing on stage.  Like sending my picture to Siouxcountry last December. That impulsive move started everything.

Not exactly sure why I did it.  Up to that point, I had been very careful about keeping that image to myself.  I was asked to share my story on other pages, but I was very apprehensive.    I didn’t want a lot of attention.  Remember, I’m an introvert.  And I knew it was a dramatic transformation pic, so I didn’t trust strangers to handle things with respect.  So why did I send it to Jason?  I knew his page was very respectful to female athletes.  He’s protective.  But what made me send it on that day?  Ego.  I was feeling a bit feisty and full of myself on that day.  (It happens.)   I saw a transformation picture of a young woman who lost something like 15 pounds, got a spray tan and heels, and then shared her before/after picture.  Ok.  I remember thinking that she’s proud and that’s awesome.  But that’s not a transformation.  THIS is a transformation (i.e. blue plaid shirt to black posing suit pic).

I wanted to pull it back as soon as it was sent.  And I spent a good 5 or 6 hours mortified when I picked up the vibe that he needed to check it out because he thought it might be fake.  Understandable, I guess, but it was the first of a few times in the past 11 months when I wish I hadn’t sent it.

In about a month, it will be one year since Jason was kind enough to share my story his page and then things took off. He’s been a great supporter since.  My page grew, his page grew, anyone who shared the pic saw growth.  Any big bumps I get in new Likes are still coming when someone shares a picture of my transformation.  (Sometimes, I get lucky and have a good piece of content, but I’ve NEVER gotten a couple hundred new people on the page from a blog post.  Just the pictures.)  There are still only a few pages that I really trust to handle things well.   When a picture is shared, there can be too many negative comments.  I do feel attacked and it  is unpleasant.  Those few administrators handle it for me.  (And just when I sound like an ungrateful b*tch…keep reading…)

So all that said – the point of this blog is to remind people who are chasing those “likes” that they should be careful what you wish for.  I miss being a private person.  I miss being able to have an opinion without creating drama.  I can’t vent at will anymore.  What used to be an outlet for me has turned into something else.  People forget I’m a real person and assume I have thick skin to deflect the ignorant or hurtful things that are said.  I honestly don’t think anyone has thick skin.  Maybe they just stopped reading the comments.  But I do read them.  Every one.  I manage my Facebook page and this blog like my classroom.  Because I do that, people respect the page and play very nicely together.  But it has become a little more work and frustration than I anticipated.  I also don’t like the OCD-like feeling of having to check it frequently to stay on top of the comments.

Sometimes,  I wish I hadn’t started this.  I’ve been cyber stalked.  I’ve been challenged and maligned.   People I don’t know get offended as if I posted that thing directly at them.  (Hell, people get the most offended when I post pictures of food that they deem as “bad”.  I’m the one who ate it.  It’s not like I’ve got you tied to a chair and I’m going to force feed you a Pop Tart.  “Nutrition as Religion” is a post that may or may not happen.  I’m not sure if I’ve lost my interest or my courage on that one.)

And then Facebook changes a few things and other pages go bonkers trying to increase their reach.  Post after post of pages sharing other pages because they are on some kind of mission.  I’m sitting over here in my corner of the Internet wondering why.  We don’t get anything for it except more time spent managing it all.  Given – maybe a little credibility.  But the pages I like have seriously good content.  Most little pages are just trying to be big pages.

I am very grateful that there are almost 450 people following this blog.   I am also grateful that 5800 people “like” the page on Facebook – it’s an ego thing. But many of these people don’t really like me as a person.  They will  turn on me in a heartbeat.  They are consumers and clicking the Like button is like a purchase.  They will threaten to take their business elsewhere if I say something that bothers them.  That’s fair and reasonable.  That’s what I do.  If you annoy me – CLICK – and I’m outta here.  There is a MAJOR page in our industry where the administrator didn’t think I had the correct opinion when I commented so he ripped me a new one for being stupid – personally, by name.  CLICK.  And most pages that share his stuff…CLICK… because I don’t want to be reminded how how it felt to be dressed down like that in public.  See what happens when you get too big for your britches?  Raised wrong, I say.  Raised. Wrong.

I’m starting to wonder if page administrators are playing Facebook and “Likes” are the score in the game. Isn’t it  just like playing Farmville or Candy Crush – get a little help from your neighbors to progress in the game?

Pretty sure someone will “unlike/unfollow” me right now because I said out loud that I don’t really care how many people “Like” my page and they will take that as meaning I’m ungrateful for my success.  Unless the people that follow my stuff are going to to help me move, drive me to a colonoscopy appointment, or go to a movie with me, we aren’t really friends, so it’s cool.  Shop elsewhere.  It’s social media.

So why not close it down if it’s not fun anymore?  I’ve thought about doing just that – a lot.  (Many private pep talks from Martha and Kendra to help me keep my head on straight. Thank you!!)   I haven’t yet because of one thing – it’s helping a few people.  I’m a teacher.  That’s not my job, that’s who I am.  It’s in my DNA, I think.  Every time I get frustrated at work, I plan my escape.  I’ve announced my retirement on Facebook, so that’s ‘real’ now, right?  And then…the kids come in and sit down.  They make me laugh.  Some come visit after they graduated.   They remind me that what I’m doing is important.  Every time I get close to shutting down the Facebook page or just walking away and letting it sit there and collect dust, I get an email or a comment from someone with an amazing story to tell.  I am building my post-retirement business on the side a few years earlier than planned because a few really amazing women have shared their dreams and asked for my help.   They are willing to hire me and that shows they are willing to invest in themselves so the time I invest in them becomes something of value to both of us.  So many others have told me they have done the same thing with trainers in their local area.  They are getting the help they need.  Real people making real changes in their health – that’s coming from the page.  Several people who tell me that they are inspired by what I’ve done are doing more with greater challenges. I’m inspired by them.  I’m inspired by YOU.  You have no idea how many times in the last year I’ve wanted to sleep in but get up and out because I have to be the example for someone. I usually won’t know who, but I will post that I’ve done it and then an email comes.

I appreciate so much when you share your story with me so I can hang on to your sincerity in this superficial social media unreality.

So for the pages who are overly ambitious about playing the game – stop.  Just do your content.  Quit trying to be inspirational and just be real.  People will find you.  People will share your stuff.  Post pictures of what you’ve done.  People like that a lot.  I’ve learned that I can’t hit a home-run every day.  Any time I post anything thinking “they will really like this”, it falls flat.  It should, too.  If it’s not authentic, there is no point.

So, at risk of stealing my friend Colin’s thunder – who has told me at a hundred times – Just Do You.


Filed under Life, Motivation, Opinions, Venting, Ranting