Monday, July 26, 2010
You saw the storm brewing. The forcasters predicted it. But you thought you could handle the rain and wind. You've been through storms before and have come out the other side just fine. You were sure of your ability to just ride out the storm. And then it hit and you felt yourself swept up in the flood waters. You felt yourself being carried away from everything you had ever known, the house you had so carefully built after months of hard work. You were in the middle of renovations and the last thing you want to see is all your hard work washed away by the unexpected storm brewing.
Sometimes we get swept away in our own emotions. Whether it be guilt, joy, boredom, anger. For days we have been "good." For days we have kept ourselves on the path. We've continued our own renovations to our lives, creating a healthy environment out of the mess we had once created with unhealthy habits of overeating and choosing sugar and fat over fresh carbs, protein and fiber. And then the storm comes. We're flooded by emotions we had been keeping at bay for a while. And we think, "I can get through this! I've been getting through it all week with flying colors!" But the storm is too strong and we're weakened by days of making ourselves do what we're supposed to do, refusing to even recognize our emotions.
Yesterday the storm hit. It was a mix of a million emotions. It was joy over being so close to my first big goal. It was pride in my accomplishments. It was a feeling of, "I've earned this day!" And it was rolled up in the feelings errupting within me from the past week of being "on." It was heightened by the thunderclouds over head and the realization that my well-planned active day was ruined. And instead of regrouping and creating a new plan, I fell apart. I let the floods carry me away. I indulged in a case of "IDUNCARE"s. Normally this would be a day of eating all the things I couldn't normally eat, but I didn't do that. Instead I simply overate the things I have every day, things I had carefully devised a way to fit into my plan. I could have eaten each one of the things I had yesterday in a smaller portion and would not have been off track at all.
Cheese and wheat crackers. Grilled cheese on wheat bread. Life cereal. Wheat bagel with natural peanut butter. Milk. Coffee. I could have eaten every single one of these things in a day and have been well within my calorie goals. But for some reason I was swept away and all I could think was, "I don't care!" and "I don't WANT to measure today!" I didn't want the restrictions. Suddenly they felt more like weighted chains than the freeing feeling of a healthy body. And I had to drop the chains so I could swim the flood. So I wouldn't drown. In my head, that's how it felt.
When the storm passes and the sun comes out again, we stand up and look around to get our bearings. And what we're met with, what our eyes inevitably see, is the aftermath of the storm. The roads are still flooded in the low spots. Mud is everywhere. Bits and pieces of our house are torn completely apart. Trees are downed and blocking our path. The things we loved so dearly, things we cherished are spread around in a mess, because Mother Nature cares little for family photographs and what we consider "valuables."
The first thing to hit is the grief, anger and resentment. We feel the need to blame someone or something for what has just happened. We are sad for what is lost. But eventually we realize something very important...not all is lost. In order to move forward, we must evaluate what we still have. We must rebuild. We have gotten past the choices of waiting for death and beginning to live again, because we are still alive and death is not an option for those that love living. So we look around. We pick up the pieces. We sweep and mop the flooded waters from our home. We wash down everything before any rotting mold can set in.
Suddenly we realize how lucky we are that our house is still standing. We realize that our renovations in the past few months have made it more able to withstand the storms, and we thank ourselves for that. There is no time for blaming anymore, because there is so much to do to make sure we suffer as little loss as possible. And brick by brick, picture by picture, dried rug by mopped floor, we start to feel a little better.
This morning I woke up and find in my e-mailbox, a SP reminder - "You CAN Overcome Setbacks." That is my lesson for the week, and it is a lesson I needed more than any other today. It is time to move on. And just like the aftermath of a storm, I know that the repairs will take a few days. But I also know that I have the ability to make those repairs. I have the ability to make this house stronger for the next storm that rages down upon me. And with each storm I learn. With each storm I find better tools and sturdier materials. With each storm I learn quicker ways to handle the aftermath.
One thing I have learned is that I have a day like this at least once every single week. I discovered this last week, and I didn't do anything with that information. Perhaps if I had used it to board up the windows of my house, I wouldn't be dealing with as much water at my feet, but I know I cannot change what was, I can only move on from here. Part of my repairs will include evaluating why once a week I fight back against myself. Perhaps I've been pushing too hard. Perhaps I'm being too lax. The house isn't restored to it's previous condition immediately following a storm - it takes time and hard work.
What I do know is that I am grateful that my house is stronger now than it was in the past. I am grateful that I came through this virtually unharmed (other than an upset stomach). I am grateful for the lesson I will learn from this storm. And now it's time for the hard work to begin...
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Welcome to week 14!
Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 374.0
Goal This Week: 372.0
Weight Loss This Week: 6 pounds! (Holy poundage, Batman!)
Total Weight Loss with SP: 48.2
Total Overall Weight Loss: 98.6
I am *THIS* close to that magic number again. 366.6. In fact, it's quite reasonable to expect that I will be back at my century mark next week. It will also mean 50 pounds I've lost with SP alone, since April 18th.
Yes, this is crazy. Yes, this is a lot of weight loss at once. Yes, I'm exhausted today because I really pushed myself this week...but I don't expect to lose 6 pounds every single month. In fact, I full expect for my weight loss to slow down when I get in the low 300's. I expect to have to make more changes then to the way I eat. For right now I don't limit myself as much as I may have to eventually. If I want ice cream from Dairy Queen, I get it. I just try to make sure it either fits into my calorie goals or I can burn it off later. I have a few days here and there where I go over...but I have other days when I stay under my range and I try to burn calories like a MO-FO as much as possible.
Yesterday I think I went a little over my calories. However, I did 2.81 miles on the treadmill (60 minutes). Then I went bowling, and while I had a beer and a half or so, I also burned a ton of calories bowling and dancing with friends.
Goals for next week:
That's 2 pounds down and I will hit my 50 pounds down since starting SP and 100 pounds down from my highest weight.
Stay within my ranges. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies as well as more homecooked foods.
Go to the gym 3-6 days a week. I'd like to hit it again every day but I realize something MIGHT come up, including Ethan's football practice which is starting this week. I hope I'll still be able to make it to the gym as much as possible. My 10K training includes 2 miles on Monday and Wednesday and then 3 miles on Saturday. I really want to start improving my speed a bit. I also want to keep up my ST every week.
I still really wanted to hike up the hill. It's been a while since I did this and I'm sure I can get further and faster this time. I'm thinking I'll also take the boys to the lake today. I really want to relax and swim and enjoy the day with the family. Hubs was gone yesterday and I really missed it.
Completely random - Hubs asked the other day how much a trip to Hawaii would cost. After doing some surfing on the internet, I told him about my dream to hit goal weight and then renew our vows on a beautiful beach in Bora Bora or something and stay a week in one of those overwater huts. I told him how I want to go scuba diving and snorkeling and relax in the crystal blue waters. I told him how I want to one day have the honeymoon we never got to have. And...believe it or not...he seemed pretty into it! It's going to take a couple years to save up the money (maybe more! *lol*) and to get all this weight off, but for once I let myself dream ahead a bit in a more serious way.
Here's to another great week!
Friday, July 23, 2010
"So it was a very small beginning, but it caught fire." ~Chinua Achebe
Yesterday I had a long talk with a coworker who constantly insists she wants to be thin again, but never does anything about it. She has a million excuses, many of which we've all heard before, but one after one I shot them down for her.
HER: "You're doing great!"
ME: "You could do great too, you know?"
HER: "No, I can't."
ME: "Sure you can!"
HER: "I just don't have the willpower you do."
ME: "Willpower is a myth."
HER: "Well, I don't have the motivation."
ME: "Motivation can be built."
HER: "Well, knowing my luck, I'd lose the weight and my face would be all wrinkly."
ME: "Oh, I don't think so. You don't know that."
HER: "I do! I've seen people who've lost weight and their faces are all wrinkled." (She then told me that a friend of hers from school came in the other day and she looked 20 years older than my coworker...which my coworker attributed to the woman's being thin.)
ME: "That could be anything. Drugs, smoking, alcohol, a hard life. Maybe she has a lot of problems."
HER: "Well, just my luck I'd start losing weight and my husband would think I'm cheating on him."
HER: "He thinks that when a woman starts making herself look better it's because she has a new man."
Yeah, that's all I had. That sounds like the most irrational excuse I've heard so far. Wrinkles and your husband's insecurities are keeping you from making yourself feel better about yourself? Interesting...
I've been thinking a lot about how I started out...and reading through old blogs.
Week 1 - I struggled to find my place. Watching and logging what I ate made me want to eat better naturally. A lot of my digestive problems started disappearing as soon as my diet changed. I had that first feeling of pushing through the wall and feeling like I was flying, even though I was only doing about 15 minutes or so of exercise a few days a week. On Thursday I had a "down" day. I lost 9.6 pounds.
Week 2 - I worried about what clothes size I would be at the end of May (same, pretty much...*sigh*). I ranted about people staring at my stomach (which they don't do quite as much...either that or I don't notice as much). I walked even in the rain. I found some insight in a comment I made about the body being a tool and my healthy living class instructor's reminder that we only get one body and we can't break this one and just buy another. (That was a big thing for me, and I still think about it.) On Tuesday I had a freak-out moment and a down day. I recovered on Wednesday. I talked about the PB cups and temptation and how proud I was of myself for denying it (you know, I don't feel tempted quite as often anymore). I got impatient with unfocused friends on Friday and then I went and had drinks and ate some bad crap. I realized "being good" (as I always called it) wasn't as hard as I had always made it out to be. I lost 3.6 pounds.
Week 3 - I got through TOM, had a panic attack about school ending, but just kept going. I lost 4.6 pounds.
So, yes...it was a slow start....and yes, it started a fire. I just got back from the gym, my 5th day in a row. Today I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, did 10 minutes of yoga/stretching, and then did a full round of ST (about 25 minutes). For those keeping track, that's 80 minutes. I will admit that my knee has been a little sore the past couple days, but nothing major. It doesn't hurt when I workout, only after. It's not constant pain, just a dull throb now and again. I'm scared it's going to pop out on me, but I have to remember that I have made it much stronger and able to withstand more...but I still have to be careful. But I challenged the elliptical (and was jamming to new tunes from STAYFOCUSEDASH -- *love*) and ended up doing 45 minutes.
That's not all. This week I have gone to the gym 5 out of 6 days. (Sunday is rest day and the day the gym is closed.)
Monday - 100 minutes (cardio/ST)
Tuesday - 58 minutes (cardio)
Wednesday - 68 minutes (cardio/ST)
Thursday - 75 minutes (cardio)
Friday - 80 minutes (cardio/ST)
Total - 381 minutes (5 days of cardio/ 3 days of ST)
I'm hoping to keep this going, but I know that at least once a week so far I have at least 1 "down" day. One day where I don't want to do it anymore. I have two choices: push through or give up. The important thing is to keep coming back to it...to stoke the fire again and again to make sure it's still burning. My point is that I didn't start out this way. The important thing is it isn't easy. The important thing is that anyone can do this. It all starts with one single step followed by one foot in front of the other for a few minutes. You push through and do the best you can. You make the most of the time you have. You make each day count. And when you get down, you get back up...because you will fall. You will hurt inside and out. But you can get through it. You can. I hate to sound cliche, but if I can do it - you can!! Give up the excuses because if you never start you'll never get anywhere, and standing still is not moving forward.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I'm not calling it "met" quite yet...I had to squeeze in. Can you believe that I forgot that you can wiggle into tight jeans? I haven't worn anything tight in like 3 months...I forgot what it felt like! So I wiggled and jiggled and there I went.
I walked out of the dressing room smiling like a fool. I look around the store and suddenly it seemed larger. There were more options for me. THERE WERE OPTIONS! I turned around and saw this cute blue top with a white design across the chest. Square neck, which looks great on me. I picked up a 1x and went to the counter. (Crazy?) In my head I thought, "Hrm. I hope this fits." I was out of time to try it on. And then my mind answered, "Well, even if it doesn't fit yet...it will soon."
Oh, and in case you were wondering - it does fit. It's not public-ready. It shows WAY MORE than I want to, especially when the tight jeans are compressing my "ab fat" into an actual roll around my midsection. (I swear, I look like I'm wearing an innertube!) But I'll be making these jeans fit JUST RIGHT by the end of this summer and WILL (I said it) be able to say I'm a size 28!
Can't wait to rock the gym tonight. After that my plans are simple. Shower. Change into new TIGHT outfit. Go home to hubs and wait for his admiration. You never quite SEE it until you see it in tighter clothes, you know? Or even just clothes that fit! *lol*
Thursday, July 22, 2010
First of all, thanks to all of you that listened to me rant and gave me some wonderful comments/shoulders. Job still sucks, but I cannot control that. I can continue to put in resumes and hope there is something out there for me...or that another way is lit in the dark for me to follow. Moving on!
We all have goals we're working toward. Our goals change and, sometimes, so does our committment to them. So far I have lost over 40 pounds. That's great! I don't diminish this accomplishment at all (though I don't know exactly what to tell people...but I'll get to that later). BUT. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?) But I can't seem to break myself out of these stupid size 30 pants. And I'm done. As of Monday this week I decided I was officially done wearing size 30 pants. Seriously, 100%, with everything in me, done and over it.
So my one and only goal to focus on right now is squeezing my big (but shrinking) butt and stomach into a size 28. I've gotten a bunch of those weight loss trophies so far, but I really, really, really want that little picture that says "Down 1 Pants Size." So bad it fuels me every moment of every day. I must be in size 28s before the end of summer. I must see my shrinking butt in size 28 shorts before August comes to a close. THIS is my NUMBER ONE goal!
I keep hearing this comment. See, apparently when you have a lot of weight to lose, 30 is the magic number for people to start noticing. Lose 30 pounds, my mom always told me, and people start to see a difference. Well, that did happen, but I'm figuring out now that if you lose 40 pounds EVERYONE notices! Well, everyone that sees you semi-regularly notices.
Several coworkers have come up to me and said, "Esther, I just want to tell you you have really lost a lot of weight!" or "Gee, girl! You're really dropping a LOT of pounds, aren't you." What the eff do you say to that? I said "Thank you" to one person and felt totally stupid. They didn't really compliment me, they just stated fact. The other one threw me off with the emphasis on LOT and the word drop, like I was shopping in the store and dropped my friggin' wallet on the ground or something. I have worked really hard for these 40 pounds, thank you very much. Nothing was "dropped," everything was fought for and bought - in sweat! (*snort* FAME!)
So what do you say to a statement like this? Thanks for noticing? Yeah, some? (which I actually said and nearly slapped myself for the negativity in that response) What I should do is shout, "Hell yes I have!" but I don't know how appropriate that is. *shrug* Suggestions? (And why does this seem to be so hard for us...responding to this statement?)
This is what I'm reading right now. From one of my all-time favorites, Kurt Vonnegut. (Near God-like with a wicked sense of dry humor and a tell-it-like-it-is-but-masked way of speaking.) I point this out for three reasons.
1) I have finished The Master & Margarita and loved it! I passed it along to a friend. Nothing makes me smile more than crazy, wacky Russian characters that have some hidden themes and buried cracks behind their language. The Russians are SO sneaky at speaking out against an effed up system in their novels. FUN!)
2) I have found that reading while working out makes the time go by SUPER fast! I barely noticed the 3o-some minutes on the treadmill last night until I smelled something funky (more on that later).
3) Finally, I need to copy this quote for all of you. It stuck to me when I read it and thought, "I am SO blogging that one!"
"If Charles Darwin had not declared the Galapagos Islands marvelously instructive, Guayaquil would have been just one more hot and filthy seaport, and the islands would have been worth no more to Ecuador than the slag heaps of Staffordshire.
Darwin did not change the islands, but only people's opinion of them. That was how important mere opinions used to be back in the era of great big brains. [He's talking about us as the "big brains" btw]
Mere opinions, in fact, were as likely to govern people's actions as hard evidence, and were subject to sudden reversals as hard evidence could never be."
Sit on that for a while...especially the last line.
Two adventure stories to tell you from last night and one triumph.
--- Triumph - I went. Hubs wanted me to come up to his parents' place right after work to celebrate his dad's birthday, but I was having such a crappy day that I needed my gym time. NEEDED! So I went anyways, because I can't be everything to everybody and I didn't want to sit there bitter and angry and guilty. And when I was done, I made it to the party and felt great! No big deal, even though my mind tried to make it into one.
--- Adventure One - I nearly broke the treadmill. Seriously. I don't know if this treadmill just sucks or it's me, but this one treadmill squeeks on the right side. If I hold my weight up some using the handles, it doesn't squeek. I ignored it for a while (while feeling incredibly self-conscious because I know everyone could hear it) but at about minute 38 I started smelling a burning smell. I think the machine had had it with my big butt. So I got off the stupid thing and finished my two miles on the indoor track. No big deal, but scary. WTF happens if I break the equipment? *shrug* Do you know that I don't care...they said their equipment could handle me and I'm taking them at their word!
--- Adventure Story 2 - I started stretching after my two miles and an old guy who was walking the track said, "Good job!" to me. I smiled at the nice old man and then he asked me if I had diabetes. (Of course my head was like, "WTF, dude? What, because I'm fat I must have diabetes?" but he was my elder and I just answered the question without any lip. I told him that if I didn't do what I was doing I could end up that way.) He then proceeded to tell me that he used to be able to do 30 laps around the track in no time when he was in his 20's. "Wow!" I said. He told me he was 81. "That's great!" I said. He told me he did 3 miles the other day with a 30 minute break in between, and that he was now on his 17th lap of the night. "...." I had nothing to say. 81, borderline diabetic (yeah, he shared that too), hunched over, walking very slowly...he did 3 miles the other day on the indoor track. Break or no break, this man is amazing and I love him. The amount of time it must've taken (when we're all rushing to get this and that done and want a quick-fix workout). Usually I try to inspire other people at the gym...last night it was ME who was inspired!
So I was talking to Hubs last night (who is SO sweet when he's a little tipsy, btw - he told me like 3 times how GREAT I looked and was bragging on me to everyone at the party. *lol*) and told him that I want to take our oldest, Logan, to Green Bank, WV very soon on a Friday. After talking to him, and him agreeing (let's hope this wasn't just the Miller Lite talking because he should know by now that he can't take back something once he agrees!), I'm thinking we may do it tomorrow.
For those that don't know (Hubs didn't and he was born in WV, why should you?), Green Bank houses the Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully-steerable radio telescope. I learned about the thing in my Astronomy class (and there was a picture of the telescope in the book! Too cool!) and have wanted to take Logan. Logan is our science nerd. He hates school. He nearly fails every year and somehow manages to slip by (more boredom than stupidity we've discovered), but he can tell you tons of cool facts on Jupiter and Mars and the moon. He loves anything dealing with space and has decided that when he grows up he will be an Astronomer (though I wouldn't rule out Astronaut either). So, for Logan, this would be a dream day to go out and see this huge telescope and hear about all the strange findings they've made about space and the "stuff out there."
Here's a picture for you:
And just look how big the thing looks next to the mountains!!
So...that's it for today. GEE that was fun, wasn't it. GOLLY, I don't know what to do with myself now. GET a workout in?
(BTW - do you know if you can eat too much zucchini? *lol* We've had zucchini for weeks trying to get rid of those monsters. I think we're done with the 3 giants but I have a strong feeling there is another one or two waiting to be picked. I need to find a good zucchini bread recipe because that's what I'm really craving!)
GYM and GOALS (aGain)
One last thing...Zumba tonight at 7pm. I drove to work so I'll be able to go straight there and get there in time. If I feel good after I might hit the elliptical for a few minutes. No more treadmill until Saturday, though. I'm trying to stick to this 10K training schedule and today and tomorrow say "Rest/X-Train." Saturday is just another 2 miler. It feels good to feel like, "I'm GOOD! I GOT this!"
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