I haven’t done much self-promotion other than post my pics on my own Facebook page and here on my blog.  Coach posted a few pictures on his page, too.  My friend Kim asked me to send it to Dr. Oz.  Did that.  Heard nothing.  There are people out there trying to make a career capitalizing on their weight loss.  I understand that.  I understand the passion to share what you’ve learned and want to help people.  I am a teacher – I get to help people everyday.

Yesterday morning, I did something kind of impulsive.  I sent my before/after picture to a site that I really respect – Siouxcountry.com.  I don’t have time to check out all the bodybuilding sites out there, but of the few sites I follow, Siouxcountry’s Facebook page does the best job promoting women’s bodybuilding in a respectful, responsible way.  They post transformation pics quite often, usually of competitors who have done several shows.  The actual site is really wonderful.  Message boards.  I read them, but I don’t comment.  I’m a little intimidated being such a novice in this sport.  I never felt comfortable sending my pictures to them because I’ve only done the one show and I didn’t win anything.  (Other than surviving a three year transformation process and getting on stage in a bikini when I can’t even walk around the house in my underwear.  So in my mind, I got a trophy for overcoming about a THOUSAND things that scare the shit out of me over the last three years.)

Anyhoo – the administrator, Jason, sent me a friend request and replied to my email right away.  He said he would post the picture later in the day.  About an hour later, he posted a status update with a warning about how fake transformation pictures would not be posted.  I kind of freaked out a little on the inside.  The timing was just too close to my email.  It bothered me all day.  I know – I’m supposed to be badass and all, but anyone who really knows me knows that I’m kind of a softy.   (I carry spiders outside to release them instead of squashing them.)  I decided to wait and see what would happen.  If the picture didn’t go up, I would know he thought it was a fake.  Wouldn’t change reality, but I guess I wouldn’t be surprised.  In the last year, I’ve had a few WTF moments with people in this fitness/bodybuilding world.

Then it posted.  And I think that post has changed my life just a little bit.  Just checked – in a little over 24 hours, it has been “liked” on Facebook 1089 times, “shared” 426 times.  I got an email from someone who said they saw it on someone’s page I don’t know.  I looked at it and it had 325 “likes” and about 30 “shares” from there.  I don’t know what the technical definition of “viral” is, but “Black Bikini Barbie Me” is flying around the planet tonight.  It’s just a little overwhelming.  I’ve made a lot of new friends.  I’ve chatted with a few today and it’s been wonderful.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when my 15 minutes is up.  After 17 years teaching, I know that I can never predict which students I will reach on a level deeper than the intended objective.  It’s a humbling thing to know that everything I say lands differently – good or bad – sometimes with more impact than intended.  I hope this picture will have a good impact for someone.  It’s a little dramatic to say I saved my own life, even though that’s probably what I did – but if that picture helps anyone realize that the process takes time, but it works – well… no words for how that makes me feel.

This is all kind of hard for me to grasp.   I’ve lived it.  I’ve documented it here.  The outcome seemed like a logical consequence to the choices I made and the actions I took.  Maybe the pictures make it seem more mysterious than that?  I wonder if people really realize that it is just one step at a time, every day, for … for the rest of your life?  Simple.  Not easy to do, but not complicated either.

Oh yeah…here’s the picture.  You’ve seen it before, blog buddies.  Just for fun, let me know if you see it in unexpected places, OK?

Tammy - before and after 8x10

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