Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Little Personal For Me

First things first...

I have a HUGE giveaway for you tomorrow. I'm talking GIGANTIC! You will definitely want to stop by and enter. Undoubtedly, this is something on your wish list.

You still have a few more days to enter the Three Scoops of Love custom jewelry giveaway. Giveaway runs until Sunday, November 28th @ 10 pm MST.

Winner of the Say It On The Wall giveaway at the end of this post.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers! I hope you are all going to stuff yourselves silly (if you haven't already) and spend time with loved ones as you contemplate what you are grateful for.

I have thought about writing this post for a very long time - like months. However, something always stops me. I think I'm afraid to open myself up on this blog. Many of you know that fitness is a HUGE part of my life. It always has been, but it's even more so now. I grew up playing numerous sports, I'm a certified group fitness and cycling instructor, and I am an addicted triathlete. While I don't think there is any way I can put into words just what fitness and exercise means to me, if you don't mind, let me share one experience that stands out.

It's summer of 2007, I had an 18-month old and a 3-month old, both girls. My 18-month old is quite a little demanding. My 3-month old is an angel, but she's a newborn which means she also requires a lot of attention, and I'm not sleeping at night. Ever since becoming a mom, I have completely dedicated myself to being a wife and mother. I teach three group fitness classes a week, but sometimes that's more work than a break by the time I quickly nurse the baby, load up the diaper bag, haul both babies in the car, drop them off in the playroom, teach my 60-minute class, then rush to pick up my kids so I can hurry home and nurse the baby again, then try to jump in the shower at some point between meals and naps. Did I mention that my 18-month old only takes power naps? I'm lucky if it's an hour.

Add to this the fact that we are finishing our basement (I am the general contractor). My future SIL is living with us, their wedding reception is going to be in our backyard, my husband travels for work about once a month for 1-2 week periods, we are out-of-town almost every weekend for various family functions, and you can guess that I am about at the end of my rope.

So one day, we are driving in the car. I'm sitting in the back seat because my kids, who are usually angels in the car, are both screaming. My husband is driving and suddenly I LOSE it! I mean absolutely break down. After spilling everything I'm feeling, my husband turns to me with the sweetest, most concerned face and asks, "Honey, do you need help? Like medical or counseling or something?".


In the midst of everything going on in my life, I forgot to take care of myself. I didn't feel like Tamarynn. I felt like I had lost myself. This is where fitness came in. The very next day, I signed up for my first triathlon. I LOVE intense workouts. Something about pushing my body to its limits as I expend all my energy has a purging effect for me. I can feel the stress leave my body. My thoughts are clear. Endorphins run through my body and I am happier.

So I started training. I bought a double-stroller/bike trailer to take my kids with me on runs and bike rides, then swam at night when they went to bed. It wasn't easy, and there were definitely days I didn't want to do it, but I had already signed up and didn't want to die in the race. I didn't know how to swim. I hated running. But I did the workouts anyway. Gradually my endurance built. After 12 weeks, the day of my race came.

When I crossed that finish line, I felt the biggest sense of accomplishment. I had done this. Me.

Even though I look exhausted in the above photo (because I was tired), I felt empowered. I felt strong, and I felt alive. Three years later and I've got more than a dozen triathlons under my belt (had a baby in between some of those), and completed my first IRONMAN (Boise 70.3).

Bottom line - I did need help. I was lucky enough to find the solution. My triathlons are now my "anti-depressants". That is why I say I am an addicted triathlete. I feel a very noticeable difference in my mood when I'm not training. My husband knows if I haven't worked out that day. I am a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, etc. when I take that little bit of time to exercise. I'm happier, I sleep better, I'm more patient with my kids - the list goes on and on. I also notice a big difference in how I feel by what I eat. The healthier I eat, the more energy I have, and the better I feel.

I'm also a major fan of "The Biggest Loser" reality TV show.

So what does any of this have to do with you? Well, a big part of this season on "The Biggest Loser" is paying it forward. That's where I want to help. My goal is to reach out and help in any way I can. I know this has nothing to do with crafts or sewing, but it does have to do with life and health, so I feel it is applicable to EVERYONE!

I get questions all the time about fitness and diet - from people who come to my classes to friends and family. While I don't consider myself an expert by any means, there are many things I have learned in these areas, and if I can help even one person, I will consider this a success. I've thought about starting a new segment on my blog like "Fitness Fridays", where every Friday I dedicate the post to sharing something with you. It could be various exercises for a certain muscle group, a healthy recipe, training programs, etc.

Before I do this, though, I want to hear from you.

1. Is this something you would be interested in?
2. If so, WHAT specifically would you like to know about?

So I'm opening up the floor to you. Please let me know your questions. ANY question you have. Please don't be afraid to ask anything. I will do my best to answer them.

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Winner of the Say It On The Wall giveaway is...

Who is...
¨*:·.TIFF.·:*¨ "I "like" Say it on the Wall (Facebook)."

Congratulations Tiff! Shoot me a quick email to claim your prize (

If you didn't win, Say It On The Wall has a great deal going on this week: Get any one of these three wise men products 40% off with promo code WISEMEN40. Go here to check them out.


  1. I wouldn't mind a series like that. I'm always looking for healthy recipes the whole family would enjoy.

  2. I am nine days postpartum and I am so looking forwards to working out again. Summer of 08 I was overweight, just 5 lb shy of my full pregnancy weight, and then I worked it all off. I didn't have to alter my diet much, I lost 30lb over the course of a year on mainly exercise, and it felt fantastic. I feel like I look pretty good now despite being just postpartum, actually, because I've been bigger just from being chubby. I am excited to work out again for the amazing way it makes me feel!! :) I love the way I feel after pushing myself to the limit.

  3. I think that's a great idea. Maybe some easy "eat this, not that" and easy tips on exercise if you can't get to a gym. And how to keep the weight off once you've finally lost a little!

  4. I'd definitely read this ... I have a lack of motivation factor and would love to lose the baby weight. PS: My baby is 17 years old! Yikes! :)

  5. I'd love to read something like this. It's your blog, you can write what you want to! I'd be interested to hear about what kind of things you eat and how you avoid the convenient trip through the drive-thru.

  6. Thank you so much for this post. That is exactly how I've been feeling lately. Totally Lost! I just had my fifth baby four months ago and I have absolutely no time for myself. After my fourth child I worked with a personal trainer and got into the best shape of my life. When I got pregnant again I saw all that hard work go out the door. I was sick the whole nine months so I couldn't do much exercising. I want to exercise, but I just can't find the time or motivation. My baby doesn't nap much during the day and when she does it is only for about 30 minutes at a time. I would appreciate any advice on eating healthy recipes and tips. Also what could I do at home or how do I find the time to exercise at home? I've been in a complete funk and I'm not happy which makes me feel so guilty because I have a beautiful family which I adore, but I don't feel good about myself right now. Thanks for getting "personal" today, I needed it.

  7. Great post girl! Wanna be my personal trainer? lol.
    You're super woman! And it's so fun to hear about YOUR life!

  8. Thank you! This was a great post.
    I would love to hear more advice on getting in shape. My problem is that we don't have any exercise equipment for various reasons, I don't have a gym membership (for various reasons), and it's too cold to go running outside! What would you say to a person like me?
    I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say. I think its awesome that you found something that works for you and makes you happier. We all need some of that!

  9. Wow!! Hat's off to you girl. It takes an incredible woman to juggle all that. Fitness has been a big part of my life (on again, off again) so I would love a segment that would keep me motivated :O)

  10. Yes I would love a segment like that. I am the same way- I feel and am better when I exercise and take care of myself. I ran my first race ever TODAY- and it felt great. I am excited for the day that I can do a triathlon.... I would love any advice or tips you have...

  11. Great post. Go Tam! :) I'm so glad you found something healthy that works for you and of course I'd be interested in reading about it.

    Happy Thanksgiving! ;)


  12. First off thank you for opening up and telling us about that time in your life, I know for myself it is extremely hard to admit that sometimes I just can't handle it and I need help..

    Yes I would love a feature on exercise/fitness & healthy eating.
    Specifically I would love to learn how to cook healthy meals for an extremely picky family. Myself, I love to try new things out, but my husband is all about good ole home-cooked comfort food!

  13. I could truly relate to how u felt because I am feeling the exact same thing right now. I have been pregnant twice in the last 2 years (I lost my first baby and the second one is a healthy 7months old girl) and have totally let myself go, looks and lifestyle.

    It's a motivation for me to read on how you worked hard to find yourself and do something for yourself. I would definitely love to have you to HELP me but doubt that could happen (i'm all the way in Malaysia). Friday Fitness would definitely be something I look forward to read (and hopefully try!)! :)

  14. Yes Tam! I knew you were super fit and I actually think about you sometimes when I am working out. I need to know how to fit in stuff like really good workouts and strict dietary eating while being a mom and an avid crafter/etsier. Seriously, I need to be able to make some changes!

  15. oh yes! I think that would be great!

    I definitely need the help. sometimes i just need motivation and reminders.. and maybe answers to questions.

    Like if anyone out there has done P90X and if its a good work out. My friend is lending it to me

  16. This was a personal part of your life you shared, that I am sure was hard, thank you for doing that. It sounds like something you are passionate about, so I say go for it! It is you, and like you said, if you can help someone why not do it? I like the Fitness Friday idea.

  17. I think its so great that you opened yourself up and talked about how you were feeling. I was not at all prepared for the little case of postpartum that I had after having my daughter two years ago. I was unhappy for a while and this year (starting Jan 10) I made a decision to change so that I could be a better wife and mom. I found crafting and working out and they both were so important. I found that hour in the gym really cleared my mind and I was grumpy on the days I couldnt work it in. I think its great to try and find something that makes you happy and healthy before resorting to medication. I'm so happy for you and its great that you are offering help to others!

  18. You know how I feel about this....I think its awesome!!!

    love your skinny guts

  19. I would love this, and need it!! Thanks!

  20. I would love this new segment!!! I THINK about starting an exercise regimen everyday but never do. I just want to look better in my clothes and feel better about myself and be healthier for my kids. YES...please do this!!!!


  21. I'd be interested - specifically in tips about trying to balance workouts and mom/wife/homemaker/blogger/crafter/etc... I used to teach group fitness and was a Muay Thai fighter/instructor, ran six marathons, and competed in adventure races pre-baby, and while I am running on occasion now, it's nothing like the mileage I used to put in, and I just can't seem to get into any consistent routine. I have a wonderful Bob jogging stroller which has only seen occasional use, and a Burly bike trailer that's never been out of the basement. No gear excuses here, just obligations, and not wanting to drag my daughter out in some of the Michigan weather we have.

  22. Sounds awesome! I have 6 kiddos and we have decided to be done, so now I'm losing weight and getting in shape again and could potentially stay that way. Doing triathlons is amazing. What a blessing to have a husband who understands and is willing to help you put in the time to train! Of course, when mama's happy, the whole family is happier. Would love to hear about your experiences and be encouraged to go out for some "fitness therapy."

  23. I think you can tell from these comments that everyone is glad you opened up! I think as women we are super hard on ourselves to be everything to everyone and usually put ourselves last on the list. I'm only 26, but am over weight and have a gym membership that is not getting any use. I work full time and go to class at night, usually resulting in 15 hour days. I am just always tired and I know exercise would do me good and help manage my stress but it's hard and overwhelming to get started! Maybe you could start with something easy like your go to snacks for people on the go or your favorite exercises to do at the gym while you're training. I think we would all be interested to learn what a real athlete and mom like you does to fit it all in! THANK YOU!

  24. I would definitely be interested! I've been working with a personal trainer but my husband has been laid off for awhile and my prepaid sessions are almost up (as in I have like 2 left). I would love to read about how to exercise myself, stay motivated, healthy recipes, and (especially) how to handle stress without eating. Thank you for being open to doing this for us readers!

  25. I really would love to be able to run a marathon! how do you train for one? I would need BIG tips on how to organize my day. I have four boys and my oldest just turned 5 and my youngest is 10 months. I have always been in sport have one many mvp awards. Now that Im a mom and wife, I feel like theres no room for me....Everyone says that I have it together, but in all reality I feel like im running around with my head cut off! No sleep...always claning cooking...its hard! I really wish I could just get motivated and be able to say "No, its my time" Im 28 and feel 68 with alzhiemers! and one of my biggest problems is sticking to it, it seems like something always comes up and Im back to doing everything for everyone else....sooo yes please but up a new section to your AWESOME blog! and thank you for sharing you goals with us!

  26. I would absolutely LOVE something like this! You have no idea how much your post feels like my life right now. In fact, I have been on anti-depressants to "help" with these issues. They absolutely haven't.
    I don't mean to get too personal either - but I have fertitlity problems, so you would think I would be euphoric having 2 kids on my own right? I am grateful for being able to have these kids, but my body has suffered the consequences. When did I become the mom whose uniform became pj bottoms, an oversized t-shirt (bra optional) and fuzzy warm socks?
    I would love to look how I did before fertility drugs and (let's be honest) a few too many peanut m&ms.
    I need the motivation from someone who's "been there" and knows time (and my kids' meltdowns) is (are) not always in our favor. So PLEASE, please, please HELP! I would love for you to put this section in your blog. My husband and love handles are thanking you right now!

  27. I would love to hear more health and fitness tips. I just ran my first 5K recently... and it is addictive. I want to do more, I would love to complete and half marathon next year... but I have a really hard time feeling motivated and finding the time to train. I know I am a happier better person when I am taking care of myself... but sometimes I let 'busy' get in the way of that. No good. I would love to hear more from you about this! :)

  28. I didn't have to alter my diet much, I lost 30lb over the course of a year on mainly exercise, and it felt fantastic. I feel like I look pretty good now despite being just postpartum, actually, because I've been bigger just from being chubby. Bicalutamide I am excited to work out again for the amazing way it makes me feel!! :) I love the way I feel after pushing myself to the limit.


Where I am no longer blogging, this blog is for reading purposes only. I am afraid I just can't keep up with it anymore, therefore, I may not be able to reply to all comments. Thank you.

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