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Being Okay With Just Me - W15.D2

Monday, August 02, 2010

So yesterday I signed up for my first ever 5k. But...there's a catch. I will be WALKING this 5k, not running it.

The fact that I even feel the need to clarify that for all of you should show you something about my mentality. The truth is, Spark has been a wonderful tool, but it has also brought me to moments of jealousy for all the things I cannot do. I have been so inspired by people who are so far along in their journey I'm suprised they can still see me on the path behind them...WAY far back...behind that tree....around the corner...behind that ugly looking dog. Yeah...back there! So while I signed up and paid for my first "race," I'm having trouble getting past the fact that I cannot yet run a 5k race.

What's the point of 'racing' then, if you can't run?

The point is simple. I cannot I walk. Because of years of damage from weight and just being a woman (raise your hand if you're a chick with bad knees!), and a surgery at the age of about 16 disconnecting my ligament from my patella to the outside leg muscle, and years of knee is, well, pretty shot. I have tried previously to run on it (because I just *love* that feeling of running...I don't know why), but every time I do I feel fine during the "run" but afterwards I find myself on the injured list. Trips me up each and every time. The last time I attempted to jog was probably in May, maybe early June... It felt great! I did little intervals of really, really slow jogging on a walk with my son to my mother-in-law's house. On the way back home, while climbing out of the car (Hubs was already at his mom's so we visited for a while and then he drove us all home) -- POP! -- out went my knee.

I blamed it on a million things. You should hear the garbage that comes out of my mouth when this happens to me! You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but there is still this huge amount of frustration, especially when I've been working SO HARD to build up strength and lose the fat...those extra pounds that every doctor says are my knee's demise. I hit the wall and I almost always lose my momentum. "Why should I try so hard if I'm just going to get hurt? How am I supposed to do this when I try to do this and something like THIS happens?" (I'm whiney when I don't get what I want exactly the way I want it.) Still, one thing that Spark brought me is body awareness. I realized that day that I still cannot safely jog without risking a serious injury. It's too much too soon. I had two choices - risk injury after injury for the thrill of the achievement, or stick to the safe activities that I could continue again and again without hardly any risk. This time, and this time only, I backed off.

So when I think of this race day and I hear myself troll through the list of negative comments about how I'm not a "real" competitor or how silly I'll look with a race bib for a walk... As many times as I tell myself that I still can't even WALK that quickly, I have remember one thing. I walk because I can. And there are people who can't. And I used to be one of those people.

My youngest son is now 8 years old, but when he was bored I was reaching for the stars as far as my weight was concerned. I was topping the scale and avoiding the world. I couldn't move or do much of anything. I got a hernia from getting frisky with the Hubs one night. Even THAT was too much exertion for me! I didn't sleep in the same bed with my husband anymore, I had my own bed. I was depressed (I had *bad* PPD on top of other things) and wanted nothing more than to eat my way into my grave. Life meant absolutely nothing to me. Walking through the grocery store wore me out so much I'd have to sit down several times (the bags of dog food were my favorite comfy spot to sit). I asked my husband to do almost everything for me. I wouldn't get off my butt to cross the room if I didn't have to, because it hurt. I hurt ALL THE TIME.

And while I was much better off in April of this year, I found myself feeling those same pains. I felt myself out of breath and in pain just trying to lap the track once. When I started this journey I couldn't even walk a mile without feeling like my legs were going to fall out from under me. I did it. I pushed through it. It usually took me longer than 30 minutes to do a mile...closer to 35 or so, at least. But I did it one step at a time.

April 18th was just a little over 100 days ago, and in those 100 days I have taught myself to walk a comfortable 20-21 minute mile pace. If I push, I can get a brisk 16-18 minute walk out. The first time I tried to walk 3.1 miles with my kids it took me ...I don't even remember. Well over an hour. I *think* it was an hour and fourty-five minutes. I had to stop at least 4 times. I got bloated and swollen at mile 2. I felt like I was going to pop by mile three and I collapsed on the porch when I finally made it home. My husband was so concerned he asked me not to try it again for a while. That was May 23rd. Now, on August 2nd, the mere idea of walking 3.1 miles on Saturday - I have no doubts that I can do it. In fact my only concern is making good time (I want that "under an hour" victory!). I told my husband and my mother-in-law my plan and neither one of them doubted me.

So what's the moral to this story? That's easy.

On Saturday I will COMPETE in my first ever 5k. I will get a RACE bib and a time chip thingy for my shoe, and I will have every bit of pride in my heart as I would if I were running a marathon. Because for me, this is a major achievement. And not only that, this is a major stepping stone for the future. After this 5k I can look forward to walking a 10k, and then maybe even a half marathon! I can look forward to doing things I could not have done 8 years ago.

I AM an athlete, and Saturday I will compete for the first time ever. An athlete, you say? Well, yes...of course! I have trained in my disciplined. I followed training schedules. I worked on increasing my speed and stamina. I have increased my distance and focused on increasing my speed. I have pushed myself in cross training on off days to ensure I'm building healthy, lean muscle. I have focused on carb loading before long walks and high-protein recoveries. I have concentrated on refueling my body with the right things, with things that will improve my training. In 100 days I went from a girl who couldn't walk a 30 minute mile to a girl who can do 3 miles at an easy 21 minute mile pace. I've learned about the right shoes, about pacing and breathing techniques, about stretching, about warm-ups and cool downs and recovery. Where in there do you see a non-athlete?

So this Saturday, this athlete will compete in her discipline -- WALKING.

I will pin on that bib (and take a picture) and secure my time chip (and take a picture). I will do my stretches (and take a picture), and then I will step up to that starting line and wait for the gun or whistle or bell or whatever tells us to begin. I will set my pace. I will encourage those around me. I will pump my arms and call upon the muscles I can now see in my calves to propel me forward. I will keep my eyes focused on the forward and will listen to my body to ensure I get the most out of it. I will demand the utmost from my training without pushing myself beyond my physical limit. I will keep an eye on my time but remember to pace myself for the finish. I will pass at least one person, and then chuckle as someone else passes me. I will try to get some of the water they give us at our stops into my mouth. And then I will cross the finish line and I will get to know that feeling I read about in a million running and racing blogs...that feeling of accomplishing something. And the fact that I walked instead of running won't matter, because I will have done it. And I will have joined an elite group of athletes who can say that they have.

Don't know about you, but that sounds okay to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 8/24/2010 8:32AM

    Wow I think I teared up a bit. You can walk and that is awesome! Because you are right, some people can't. Its perfectly fine to walk a race because you are doing it! And you are raising money too for other people who need help! Go you!
PS. Catching up on old blogs! Way behind...

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    AMAZING blog! You have left me in literal tears. I've been (slowly) doing the couch to 5k plan, but couldn't even imagine entering now when I know I can't run the entire thing. But then I read your blog, and I realized...I CAN enter now! I WILL enter now! Thank you, thank you thank you for an amazing inspiration! I can't wait to hear how you kick that 5K's ass!

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    You are going to kill that 5K and you know it. And like you said we are all at different stages in this "race". Some are way ahead and some are behind and its all ok. I, for instance, really wish I could do Zumba, but my bad knee won't let me do that. But I can swim for exercise. So I guess we have to take what our bodies can give us at this time and hope for even more improvement/changes in the future. You are an athlete and so am I. We just might not look like your typical athlete. My brother is a fitness fanatic. He does triathalons etc. Thankfully he lives in Georgia (far away). But he was visiting last week and we were talking about our swimming. He was bragging that he could swim a mile in 1/2 hour. I said I could probably do it an hour - I haven't ever counted my laps but I think I am close. He sort of snorted in derision. I didn't say anything at the time but I wish I had told him to try that mile with an extra 200 lbs in his back and see how fast he could swim then. Oops sort of went on a tangent there. But my point is, we are athletes even at our size and no one can take that away from us. Keep up the fan frigging tastic work.

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PRETTYMANDI 8/3/2010 2:33PM

    Yay on the new pants! LOL

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BECKYB73 8/3/2010 12:26PM

    The only race to worry about is the one to reclaim your health; and that's something you're kicking ass at.

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    You go out there and rock the course girl! You will have a blast, and I too can't wait to see the pics.
I remember my first 5k walk. It was cold. I was slow, but I felt good just being there, wearing the t-shirt and bib. I remember feeling the need to run across the finish line. It was exciting, and when I looked over at the runners crossing their finish lines, I decided to just picture myself doing the same. But crossing the line, whether you run, walk, crawl or roll, is what is important. Go Esther GO!

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KNOWMOREBBK 8/2/2010 9:45PM

    I am so happy for you Esther. You have found the athlete inside of you and that athlete is not only strong, but smart. I'm a chick with bad knees and my knees reminded me last month to slow it down a little. I listened and am a stronger person for it. You walk that race with your head held high and see the look on your kids faces when you pass the finish line... Now that's the picture I want to see.

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MAKALANI22 8/2/2010 8:45PM

    oh my gosh, it's amazing that you're taking the step to walk it! try not to let your ego get in the way and tell you that you need to run it, or that you even need to walk it quickly. accepting our bodies where they are at and loving them as they change is what it's all about!

i'm proud of you. can't wait to hear about how it all goes!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 8/2/2010 7:39PM

    YAY!!!! Of course you are an athlete! Keep saying it until you believe it! So proud of you for signing up and getting out there. I can't wait to see your pictures of you in the racing bib. It is a great feeling

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/2/2010 7:03PM

    I love you for writing this Esther. I've been struggling with my own 5K stuff, and reading this makes me so happy for you and so proud of you. I wish I could be there cheering you on, but I'm looking forward to the pictures!

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MAGPIE17 8/2/2010 6:43PM

    You're going to rock the 5K, Esther!

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    YOU ARE AN ATHLETE and you are incredible. I really struggled with the "not being good enough" thing when I was getting ready to run my 5K. I could run the whole 5K, but if I did walking/running intervals I not only felt a lot better but my time was actually 5 minutes FASTER than just straight running. It took a while for me to overcome it, but I found something that works for me. And I crossed that finish line incredibly proud.

Someone told me once about racing: There will always be someone faster than you and there will always be someone slower than you. Because even if you finish last in the race, you are finishing ahead of all those people who didn't have the strength to compete in the first place.

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CALLIKIA 8/2/2010 5:52PM

    Snort! I said when my son was bored. That's all the time to hear him talk. Lol!

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    You are amazing! I look ahead at what others have done and wonder if I'll EVER get there. I don't want to put my life on hold just to work out like a maniac, but at the same time I want to make some decent progress. I think we need a form of tunnel vision in which we look forwards but see no one but ourselves... I am SO excited for you! I would be there at the finish line cheering like a lunatic if I could!


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KILA1228 8/2/2010 4:39PM

    Honey be proud of have far you come!!! You look awesome in your new pictures. In those pictures you can see the DIFFERENCE!! We all have our moments of jealousy and discouragement but we push through it and feel so much better afterwards!! You are DOING IT!! Be proud Saturday and I'll be looking forward to seeing those race pictures!! Don't forget to take pics afterward!!

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July Recap-August Goals - Week 15

Sunday, August 01, 2010

First up, full-on frustration...

Weigh-In Day

Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 368.0
Goal This Week: 366.0
Actual: 369.2
Weight Loss This Week: Gain of 1.2 pounds!
Total Weight Loss with SP: 47
Total Overall Weight Loss: 97.4

No. I refuse to move my ticker. I refuse to believe that this is anything more than my body adjusting. Yes, I was a little lax this week with my eating, but I stayed true on my workouts and pushed myself til I hurt. I had to take my rest day yesterday instead of today because my legs and arms and abs were SO sore...and I wake up today and they still don't feel 100%.

This week is here to challenge me. It's here to see how bad I really want it. This is me asking me to prove myself. That 366 was in sight and I will just have to fight that much harder to get it. I have to remember that I lost 6 pounds last week! I have to remember that gaining has not been a regular thing. I have to give myself the authority to forgive myself and move on from here. Because I realized yesterday that I'm really tired. I turned to Hubs and said,"I wish I could just be DONE already. I'm exhausted!" It really is exhausting thinking about what to eat, drink, and what activity or exercise to do every single day. It's exhausting to keep myself so focused. But I'm in it for the long haul, so I'm ready to push through physical and mental exhaustion.

July Recap - August Plan

Weight beginning of July: 379.3
Weight goal for beginning of August: 371.3 (-8)
Actual Weight beginning of this month: 369.2
Actual Weight lost in July: -10.1

So even though this week was a bust, I still lost 10 pounds this month, and that's nothing to scoff at! As for next month? I WILL get that 366 and move past it. I'm already signed up for a 5k walk this weekend, which I'm hoping will push me to really concentrate on the things that I know work for me. Slow and steady wins the race, right? My strength, stamina, and speed have all improved this month, and I can't be angry at myself for anything else. I have to learn to rejoice in what I have done and move on from here, making better choices for myself and continuing my success.

Inches lost in July -

.75 in the calf
1.25 in the waist
.5 in the hips

My body feels much different today than it did on June 30th. I'll post pics later so we can compare, but I think the shape of my body is changing ever so slightly. People are certainly noticing much more.

So the plan for August? Keep at it. Work the nutrition goals you set for yourself in the beginning and get back on track with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Play time is over...time to work! (Though I can have fun doing it and then it feels a lot like play time.)

8/8 - 367
8/15 - 365
8/22 - 363
8/29 - 361

I'm so ready to see those 350s!

I, Esther, vow that today I am recommitting myself to the program I have set for myself. I will eat more healthy foods. I will cook at home instead of going out to eat. I will pick some fresh vegetables from my garden and enjoy the bounty the earth gives me. I will not let myself punish myself for missteps. I will learn and grow from the challenges I face in order to become a better, happier, healthier new me. I will stop focusing on the future of "the end" and start focusing on today and the here and now. I will ensure that my workouts benefit my heart and my soul. I will learn something new this month to add to my list of healthy activities. I will challenge myself to do better and allow myself the time to rest now and again. I will realize that I am not perfect and I could never try to be. Sometimes I will fall, but I will get back up again. I will not let the scale control my actions today or any day. I will remember that in life there is no scale following me around announcing my weight to those I meet. I am my own ambassador. A smile on my face and confidence in my step will show them that I am a strong, powerful woman who takes care of herself body, mind, and spirit. I will remember that by taking care of myself I am teaching my children healthy habits. And I will enjoy having my kids with me on active outings once again. I am recommitting myself to this process because it makes me feel like I can conquer the world. It makes me feel strong and wise and gives my heart the fullness it needs. I promise this to myself.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    wonderful, wonderful!

Great job on the 10 pounds GONE forever! You're so inspiring!

And...I absolutely LOVE this:

"I will remember that in life there is no scale following me around announcing my weight to those I meet. I am my own ambassador."

SO well put, and SO true! Thank you for reminding us all!

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    Fantastic job with the 10lbs. You can do it again in August. I know its exhausting but wasn't it more exhausting hauling your butt around 97lbs ago or so? You have come so far, don't stress on how much further there is, because you will be doing this for life, but hopefully it becomes easier and easier. (at least I am hoping that it does). As usual, thanks for sharing.

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SUGIRL06 8/2/2010 7:42AM

    Awesome plan girlie!

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MADEMCHE 8/2/2010 2:10AM

    10 pound loss is amazing in July! Way to go! Hope you have a fantastic August!

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RAVENSONG37 8/1/2010 11:49PM

    You are totally gonna rock august! Great job in July and I believe in you!

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    Wow, you are doing so good for yourself!

Sore muscles are good but it also means that tiny tears occurred from working out. That can cause inflamation, and that could mean more water is temporarily held in the tissue. I can't be all scientific about it because I'm an accountant (medical jargon scares me), but I think you won't see that 1.2 gain hang around long once the muscles heal...

You ROCK! Thanks for blogging - it's motivating and inspirational to read your blogs!!

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KNOWMOREBBK 8/1/2010 7:55PM

    WOOOO HOOOO!!!! That-a-girl. And I have to believe that the 1.5 lbs gained was all muscle. Bring on August!

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IPATRICIA 8/1/2010 7:31PM

    Wow, what a blog.You are an inspiration!!! emoticon

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Hodgepodge Thursday with an F - W14.D5

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A-E are done. G I did last week. Guess I kinda missed something there. So, without further ado, here is your Hodgepodge Thursday, F style.

emoticon Flaxseed
Okay, peeps. I'm just starting to research thanks to blogs from ERIN1128. Anyone want to add to the research? I'm just sayin'...the stuff looks gross! But I'll try anything once.

emoticon Fear
I realized today that while I've posted several race forms on my vision wall here at work, I never filled any of them out. I looked at them today and realized that their August deadline for early registration is about to pass me by and I had better get on it. So why did I procrastinate? Well, part of it was that I wasn't SURE a month ago that I could DO a 5k or even a 10k! I was so sure that an injury was going to hit me and I would be out the money. But the real reason? Yep, you guessed it. I was afraid. Scared. Like pee-your-pants scared. What if I couldn't do it? What if I got all excited and told everyone and then I had to crap out? What if everyone thought I was stupid because I'm WALKING a RACE instead of RUNNING it. But all of that is crap. Excuses. The dreaded E-word.

So as of tomorrow (I'd do it right now but the sites are blocked at work *rolls eyes*) I will be signing up for three races.

Aug. 7th is the Debbie Green Memorial 5K Walk in Wheeling, WV
Sept. 4th is the Charleston Distance Run (10K Walk) in Charleston, WV
Oct. 2nd is The Barkcamp Race 5 mile trail challenge in Belmont, OH

And about my fears? I'm handling those.

The rediculous "they're all gonna laugh at you" -- Why the he!! would other runners and walkers be concerned with what I'M doing when they're trying to run a race, for crying out loud!? As for my friends and family, they'll support me...and if they don't, ah-well! And even if I have to go uber slow, even if they shut down everything and pack it up to go home, I will finish. If that 80 year old man can do 3 miles, I can definately do ALL of these. I'm training and getting fitter and better able to handle this every single day! And if I do get an injury? I'll asses the damage, check with the doc, and then do what needs to be done or push through. Get over your fears, Esther! They're just silly!

emoticon Food

My nutrition goals have slipped a little bit since I've been working so hard on the mental and the fitness. I'm still watching my calorie and other ranges, but I'm not keeping my meals as balanced. I've slipped back into fast food choices (even though I chose healthy) and prepackaged foods. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance 10-hour days and 1-2 hours at the gym with cooking. It's a work in progress here in my head. I leave the house at 7am and don't return until 8:30-9:00pm most days. Now that we're adding in Ethan's football practice (we'll talk about this later) I'll have one more thing on this already full plate. For right now? I'm just NOT dealing with it. If I can get by still losing weight and inches by making those healthy fast food choices and quick sandwiches or whatever, grabbing time to cook whenever possible, then I'm not going to worry about it right now. I have enough on my plate. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...yet. (I heard a song the other day that said, "You're so afraid of breaking it you won't let it bend" or something like that...that's how I'm feeling about it.)

emoticon Football

My 8 year old has been so excited to start football since he signed up in like early June or something, maybe before. He's been counting down the days to the 26th (Monday) for so long now and when the day finally came, we went with the information we were given in June - 6pm, HS football field. We showed up, him in full gear, and NOBODY was there. Not a soul! The field was locked. We stayed until 6:30 to make sure they didn't have to move back the time or something and still nothing. My son cried.

Tuesday evening my son FINALLY gets ahold of his friend and teammate who tells him that he has already missed 2 practices - Monday and Tuesday nights. Apparently they moved the time to 5:30pm and moved to another random field of grass in town somewhere and NOBODY CALLED US! (Can you tell I'm angry about this?) I sat in that car with a dejected little boy for 30 minutes, doing everything I could think of...calling his friend, searching the White Pages online on my iPhone for a coach's number. All we had was "Coach Jackson" and some indication that there were a lot of Steves acting as coaches on the teams. I called random numbers and still found nothing. And I was the one who had to break his heart and tell him that we couldn't sit in the car all night waiting on something that wasn't going to happen.

So tonight is practice 3, practice 1 for Ethan, and I'm so mad I want to punch every single coach in the face and kick them between their legs. Shane is already on warning to hold me back from going to jail because NOBODY makes my baby cry and then makes ME out to be the bad guy! By the time I leave I had BETTER have number to every coach as well as numbers for several other kids. I had better have a schedule too, as well as some verification that my child will not be penalized in ANY way for missing 2 practices when THEY are the ones who dropped the stupid ball here!

Okay, rant over.

emoticon Fumer

Finally, I decided last night that smoking is impeding my progress fitness-wise. (I know, duh!) So with Hubs' help, I am going to try to give up the ghost this weekend. I am NOT looking forward to this weekend, so I'm trying to come up with fun, active things that will get me out. Swimming, hiking, weeding the garden, washing the car, whatever. Something to keep me busy and remind me how hard it is to breathe with crap in your lungs. So, uhm..heads up for all of you - expect the cranky to start soon! *lol* And wish me luck! And hold me to this! I don't know if I CAN do that 10K in a reasonable time if my lungs are screaming for oxygen.

For all my TIKI girls - KILL IT! For all my SP Friends - FACE YOUR FEARS! For anyone and everyone - TODAY IS A NEW DAY! MAKE IT GREAT!

Peace out, Holmes.
emoticon (Fido)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENSONG37 7/30/2010 10:45PM

    you are simply incredible and i love you!

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ANGEL7912 7/30/2010 11:02AM

    Aww, the football story is horrible emoticon I can't believe nobody called to inform you. I would def want to kick them between their legs too,LOL. Sounds like you are doing everything you need to keep going and get ready for those runs. And if you have to walk some then so be it. At least you are DOING it and not everyone has the courage to even try. So I say "you go girl". Keep up it!!!! I have faith that you can do all of them.

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ERIN1128 7/29/2010 5:17PM

    Dang, girl, I was just looking at your May v. June pics on your home page...amazing! :-)

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MAGPIE17 7/29/2010 2:00PM

    Rock it, Esther!!

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MERAINA 7/29/2010 12:38PM

    Absolutely L.O.V.E. this blog!

Keeping it real, love it.

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If I Really Knew Me... (Part 1)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So, yes...I've been struggling lately. (The scale said 370 this morning. *sigh*) But what I've been struggling with are important demons. This is the part in the scary movie where you have to figure out what this demon is, what's it's like, and what it's weaknesses are so you can defeat it. Not every demon is the same. Emotional eating. Self-confidence issues. Lack of 'motiviation.' They ALL have different personalities. And the key to getting rid of each one is different, if even just a little bit, from another. So today, in my quest to discover what this demon is, what he shall be called, and what I will need to do to exorcise (*lol*) him, I'm starting a list of the things I need to make me whole. The things I need RIGHT NOW.

I've been whining to myself about the things I don't have and what I "need" to be happy...but I really want to dive into what my real emotional needs are. It's not about a new recliner or a new car (though I will need one of these very soon so I can still get to work). It's not even about a new job (though, let's be honest, I have more ambition in life than to sit behind a desk and be someone's assistant for the rest of my life). But someone reminded me of something...maybe this stagnation is what I NEED right now. Maybe there's a purpose for it. So why not try to get everything out of it that I can? So that got me thinking about my other NEEDS. REAL things. HONEST to GOODNESS, down-to-the-heart things. What does Esther, the soul of Esther, need to be healthy and happy?

This might take a while...and I may have to come back to it later as I continue a journey of self-discovery. I've started off by simply collecting pictures that make me feel at peace, calm, that really speak to the heart and soul of who I am. And a word of warning, this will probably be a lot of freewriting. I need this to come organically from within. I need my thoughts to connect to what's hidden inside. It's a little Freudian, but there you go.


Yep, that one definately has to be up there. What appeals to me about travel, though? Immediately I think, "I want to SEE things!" but that's not even the base of it. I want to be a PART of things. I want to feel like my time here mattered. Like I had a hand in something. Like I experienced something. I want to learn through the eyes (and shoes) of others. I want to know what is unique and different about everything, and everyone. I want to find the beauty in everything...maybe then I can be assured of the beauty within myself. Maybe then I can prove that I am beautiful to those who have doubted me for so long. Maybe then I will know that my father was wrong. That I AM worth something. That I have something to contribute. That I have worth.

Successful job.

And not just ANY job. I really want to be the head of a major publisher or magazine. Part of this may be my insecurity in my own writing. Maybe I don't think I can adequately transmit the thoughts in my head to the world. Maybe I'm afraid no one will care. But I feel the need to influence the process of the messages getting out. Things need to be changed. There are kids out there like me. And I want to heal that little 8 year old's heart with the words on the page. I want to tell her (and me) that she is special and wonderful and beautiful. I want her to know about the magic in life, and I want her to know that she can make some of her own. I want to hold her close and protect her from the big-bad-everything of the cruel world, but I also want her to learn early that I can't always protect her. I want her to know that there will be times she will need to protect herself. I want her to know that it doesn't always seem fair, but that others have it worse. I want her to know that just because there are others who have it worse, it doesn't make her struggles any less important or valuable or life-changing. Her experience is unique, and it should be shared with others.

A huge house, with a pool and a movie theatre!

I used to think I wanted this because I wanted to stay secluded from everyone, and maybe there is a little part of that there...but there is so much more. My entire life I felt limited - by money, by access to things I wanted to see and do, by my weight. Somehow I feel like if I could gather up all the things I really want to have and do in my life and put them in a nice package with a big bow, then nobody can take them away from me. No one can limit what I do because I will be able to shut them out and lock the gate. I can protect myself from their judgement. I can have what I always wanted without fear of it being stripped out from under me...and what I always wanted was a feeling of security. A feeling that the world wasn't going to fall apart around me at any moment. I used to dream of a fire destroying our house in a matter of minutes, and I guess it came from that fear that everything could be taken away in the blink of an eye, with one wrong move. (Oooh..that's telling with the all-or-nothing approach I tend toward with the weight loss thing!!) I want to feel safe for once and forever, and more than that...I want my kids to always know that. Always!

The beach.

The beach both mystifies and scares me. It's power is so amazing and I'm constantly terrified that my legs will be ripped from under me and I'll drown (this one's actually happened when I was about 5 or 6 years old). But then there is this marriage of land and sea, of solid and liquid that I just can't seem to wrap my head around. And the colors are so beautiful and vibrant. It's a place that is seemingly untouched. I mean, I know we've destroyed what the oceans once were (especially with the oil spill fiascos!) but it almost transports me to a time that used to be. I do this a lot when I travel too. On a trip to New England I kept looking in the forrests, imagining I was a Native American and trying to picture what the world looked like before the concrete jungle sprung up within it. This mystifies me a little bit, and I'm grappling with what it could mean personally to me, but I think it might have something to do with my distrust in the modernity of the world. In my feeling that it was all once so perfect and we ruined it. Maybe I think that *I* was once perfect and this is my guilt in feeling that I ruined the perfect creation I was. Maybe I want my kids to remain perfect, and it's my frustration in knowing that that can never be. They will be influenced by people in the world, bad and good alike, and they will come away completely different people from the perfect babes I once held in my arms. They will find corruption within themselves and will make mistakes, and I will have failed at keeping them as close to perfect as possible. Maybe it's just that I'm afraid of failing. *shrug*

So, there you go. Four will do for now...and I'll try to revisit this later. Lately I've wanted to use my blogs as a way to explore the emotional side of this journey. I feel like I have the eating and exercise under control, but the emotions I keep avoiding. I need to confront them now before they sabotage me for good down the road. I know that this break through of 366 that I'm so hoping for is a big emotional step in the right direction, and I'm ready to prepare myself to reaching goals I always dismissed in my mind as "You can't do that, don't even try."

Sorry if the reading is boring for you, but I have *always* said that blogs are personal things. Sure, I share them with you, because I *hope* that maybe something I say will spark a thought within you. I have always wanted to help people achieve their full potential (another topic for another time), but to be completely honest (and selfish, perhaps), I need these blogs more than you do. I need to be able to come back and say, "Oh yeah! That's why this was so important! I need to get that back in my life!" I need to remember when I was at my highs and lows emotionally so I can make the connections I will need to be a more fulfilled person, a person better able to handle life (and weight loss's) trials and triumphs. be continued...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCYSUNFLOWER 7/28/2010 10:56PM

    I think you are on the right track. You can do all the right food and fitness stuff, but our emotions ultimately drive our decisions. Can't ignore them forever! I am doing the same as you - exploring what I want and where I want to go. I HATE swimming pools because I had many bad water experiences as a kid, but now I think I want one someday. And I miss the beach. I dream about my grandmother's beach house and think I might want to live by the water someday (not this rocky Washington State bay stuff!). I've been dreaming via and Bing maps - you can find some amazing real estate that way! LOL

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BAYBELIEVER 7/28/2010 10:23PM

    I really enjoyed your blog. It is an interesting approach to self evaluation. It made me think about who I am and what I really want in life. So, someday, I may steal this idea. That's how much I liked this approach.

You are doing a great job with food and fitness, it is great that you are trying to wrap your whole self up in a nice bow, complete with healthy psyche!

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ANGEL7912 7/28/2010 8:07PM

    I loved your blog and it was not boring by far. I actually felt myself getting closer to the screen like when I'm watching a real intense movie. it was when you were talking about helping that little girl. I thought I was going to cry. You have an amazing way with words. It keeps me reading anyway. I'm happy and grateful that you shared this and please continue to. You are helping others through your blogs, I know for certain it got me thinking about different things in my life. That little girl thing really got me. I do know I have unresolved issues from childhood that I have been and continue to work on. So thank you Esther for reminding me that there is that little girl still inside of me that needs attention if I'm going to become healthy emotionally.

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H2ONTHEWAY 7/28/2010 6:40PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I am looking forward to reading part 2. Keep your head up and keep on truckin. I believe the emotional part of this journey is tougher than the other counterparts to it.

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ERIN1128 7/28/2010 12:02PM

    Honey, I don't think you could be boring if you tried! Keep on plugging, you're really doing great...I think self-awareness is a huge part of this journey.

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JENJENSKSF 7/28/2010 11:52AM

    Awesome blog! And it's definitely not boring to us, it helps us understand you and some of the issues you may be facing. It also helped me think about myself, and I'm thinking that I should probably try to figure myself out better. There must be reasons why I self-sabotage... I get so close and then revert back to all the bad habits.
Thanks for sharing!

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ANGELLYBELLY 7/28/2010 11:37AM

    Beautiful blog. Great introspection.
I feel exactly how you do about the beach ;) I'm always filled with awe.

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KARVY09 7/28/2010 11:34AM

    I hope that writing this has helped you. You are a beautiful person and enjoy all the joys life has to offer!

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YOOVIE 7/28/2010 11:33AM

    what Toronto said!

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RACHELLY0724 7/28/2010 11:27AM

    I'm there - I've got this block at 300 - and even aside from that it's like 15lbs - I've NEVER stuck with something and lost 20lbs - what is that? WHY do I get comfortable and slip and sabotage whatever, to keep myself pinned into this prison of unhappiness? WHY? Right now I'm between 299 and 302, and it's like, WHY?

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MERAINA 7/28/2010 11:14AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
To the future & great inspiration!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRETTYMANDI 7/28/2010 11:07AM

    I feel your pain. I am hovering right above 200. Every time I get close to 200 I freak out and start self-sabotaging and I can't even figure out why? What is more scary about weighing 199 than 202? I can't tell you because if i see 202 I run out and eat peanut M & M s all weekend until I will never find out. :(

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CREATINGAMANDA 7/28/2010 10:43AM

    I loved this! Can't wait for part 2!

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Biggest Loser Results - W14.D3

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Well it would seem that today is the final weigh-in for Biggest Loser competition in Team 300 lbs. Plus. We'll know the results sometime Thursday afternoon (I'm not expecting a win...these guys and gals rock!), but until then, let's look over just my results.

The competition started on June 8, 2010. We weighed in every Tuesday morning (which is a couple days after my Sunday weigh in, so you'll notice that these weigh-ins don't match the ones on my front page). We logged any exercise minutes we put in as well. As far as my results, I only had ONE week where I gained, and we'll go over that...

Date --- Weight --- Pounds Lost/Gained --- Exercise Minutes Logged
6/8 --- 392.6 --- Starting Weight --- N/A
6/15 --- 387.6 --- -5 pounds --- 491 minutes
6/22 --- 389.2 --- +1.6 pounds --- 740 minutes ***
6/29 --- 385.0 --- -4.2 pounds --- 495 minutes
7/6 --- 379.0 --- -6 pounds --- 385 minutes
7/13 --- 377.2 --- -1.8 pounds --- 225 minutes
7/20 --- 375.0 --- -2.2 pounds --- 291 minutes
7/27 --- 372.0 --- -3 pounds --- 551 minutes
Totals ---- -20.6 pounds --- 3,178 minutes

% of weight lost = 5.25% (if I'm doing that right)
Average weekly exercise minutes = 454 min/wk
Average weekly weight loss = 2.94 lbs/wk

I'd have to say that even I can recognize the amazingness of these numbers. The one week I gained was the week I had 740 exercise minutes, which is the week we got lost in Hocking Hills and hiked for 5.5 hours. It's really no wonder my body needed time to adjust to the mondo stores it obviously needed for that day and the extra growth of muscle, no doubt, that the hiking did. It's really no wonder I lost so many inches last month!!

So even if I didn't win, I think I still won. I kicked 20.6 pounds out of here. I topped 3,000 fitness minutes, for crying out loud! I made my body stronger, leaner, and more adept to fighting fat cells. Where is the loss in that?

Yesterday I was an emotional wreck. I'm still trying to understand why I feel the need to self-sabotage at least once a week, but no matter why I do it, the truth is I always rally back. Other than that one week in June, I don't think there has been another gain since I started April 18th. But I don't want to live the rest of my life struggling all week to make up for one day. I don't want to always feel behind. So I still need to work through the mental block I'm facing.

I think part of it may be a small fear of success. Stick with me for a moment here. In my life there have been many times where I have been afraid of the end of things. I'm afraid of reaching my goal because part of me is afraid that there will be nothing left to do when I get there. Now, I know this is silly to think of when I get to 366, because there is still PLENTY to do after that...but, I feel those same old feelings again. Just like the situation with my job, I struggle with a need to "make it big" and prove to everyone that I am a valuable person in this world, and the thought that big will never be enough.

Until this job I have right now, I have never held down a position anywhere for longer than 9 months. And most of the jobs I've left, I've left on my own. I'm not sure what I need out of life, but I feel like it might be a job with some surprises. I need to be creatively engaged and forever learning and growing. I can't stand doing the same thing day in and day out. And I think this is also part of this struggle I'm having. Day in and day out I eat a lot of the same foods. I measure constantly. I log everything. I exercise doing a lot of the same things I've always done. Joining the gym was something to "mix it up" and I have loved the elliptical and weight training machines, but I can already tell that this is going to get old soon too. Even when I was a kid I used to wake up one random day and decide that everything in my room needed to change. I've been like this for as long as I can remember.

I can't have the same week every week. I can't have the same weekend every weekend. I need change to stay engaged. I need something new every now and again in order to feel like I'm moving forward. It would be wonderful if I could go buy a whole new wardrobe right now, but I can't seem to fit a few of my 30's still, and most of the 28's don't fit at all. Yesterday I caught myself saying, "I *hate* clothes!" Let me just say, I have never before HATED clothes as much as I do right now. This "in between" that I'm in has gotten old. This baggy pants crap has gotten old. Doing the same exercises, still losing weight, and still not being able to squeeze into every size 28 in the store - yeah, that's old. What's more, not having the money to even attempt some wardrobe updates has gotten super-duper old.

I'm striving for change and while the pounds are coming off and that makes me extremely happy, I can't seem to break through the whole "this is getting old" mentality. I see all of you wonderful people dropping pants and dress sizes right and left and I think, "When will it be my turn?" Yes, yes, I know...stop whining, you fit into a size 28 just the other day...but it has taken SO long and it's still not a true size...and I found two pairs of 30's last night that are still uncomfortably tight (and this, btw, is completely rediculous). I hate plus size clothing manufacturers and designers right now. I hate clothes. I hate banks that won't give me money I don't have. ;) *lol*

It's amazing how you can do so much, get so far, be so proud of yourself, and still be angry about the process. *shrug* I'm still working it through my head.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGEL7912 7/28/2010 7:54PM

    I think you are doing an amazing job. Things that others wouldn't even attempt to do. How awesome is it that you lost 20+ pnds in what like a month and a half. I do hear what your saying though. I love self-sabatoge. Well not really but I seem to do it so much that an outsider would think that I loved it. I too hate the clothes thing. I have a pair of 8 jeans that I can fit into perfectly yet most of my clothes are 14. I started my spark journey in march and have lost five pounds. Now I know that something is going on inside my body which I continue to get testing done for yet I find the need to beat myself up ALL the time because I should have lost way more weight then what I have. Its so crazy how we can be our worst enemies and never even think of saying the things we say to ourselves to those people in our lives that we don't necessarily care for. So when those thoughts and feelings start coming-Pause- and remember how far you have come,the hard work you've put in,how much healthier and stronger you are today, and that you are worth it. Because YOU ARE!!!!

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 7/27/2010 11:44PM

    We are making huge life changes, and I think it is healthy and normal to have the wide range of emotions going on. I understand your fear of success - I deal with that all the time relative to weight loss and career. Sometimes it doesn't feel like the changes happen fast enough and then sometimes we seem to slow ourselves down. Maybe the way our minds generate self-sabotaging behavior is a way in which we can pace ourselves to adapt to the changes.

You are doing so darn well and this blog proves it. You are definitely not going to stagnate in your goals, so get used to being 'in between' until you hit your goal! I am really excited to see where you go next. It was comforting and inspiring to read this blog because the noise in my own head sounds more normal now!


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SPUNKYDUCKY 7/27/2010 9:05PM

    Be assured many of us struggle with our successes and sabotage ourselves at the best of times. You have done some hard work though and you deserve the recent losses!

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RAVENSONG37 7/27/2010 7:56PM

    So, for everything you said "I hate" about I challenge you to come up with 2 where you say "I love" or "I'm proud" or "I'm grateful". You are speaking my language sister (and I still move my furniture around all the time!) and I get that stinkin thinkin. But, it aint no help. You aren't doing the same things you were 1, 2, 6 months are doing incredible awesome different things. I too love variety....and you will see that you have more options with clothes as you get smaller. It will happen! But I gotta tell you. I'm stuck between 10-14. Sometimes I squeeeeze into an 8 and sometimes I squeeeeze into a 14. It's crazy. My bridesmaid dress is a 12 and I'm so pissed about it cuz I haven't had to buy a size 12 dress in over a year. Anywho...those sizes aren't what's really buggin ya is it? Try that challenge, it may change how ya feel for a minute. Love you sweetcheeks!

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RAVENSONG37 7/27/2010 7:55PM

    So, for everything you said "I hate" about I challenge you to come up with 2 where you say "I love" or "I'm proud" or "I'm grateful". You are speaking my language sister (and I still move my furniture around all the time!) and I get that stinkin thinkin. But, it aint no help. You aren't doing the same things you were 1, 2, 6 months are doing incredible awesome different things. I too love variety....and you will see that you have more options with clothes as you get smaller. It will happen! But I gotta tell you. I'm stuck between 10-14. Sometimes I squeeeeze into an 8 and sometimes I squeeeeze into a 14. It's crazy. My bridesmaid dress is a 12 and I'm so pissed about it cuz I haven't had to buy a size 12 dress in over a year. Anywho...those sizes aren't what's really buggin ya is it? Try that challenge, it may change how ya feel for a minute. Love you sweetcheeks!

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MERALO 7/27/2010 12:07PM

    You can do this!

I have the same REALLY well all week and then blow it all on the weekend, to start all over again...sigh. I haven't started addressing those issues yet, will get there, but kudos to you for doing some self-analysis and trying to figure it out. That's half the battle - from there you will find a solution.

About the Biggest Loser Challenge - we did a family one back in the beginning of the year and it was so much fun. Our format was that everybody had to put the equivalent of 1$ per weigh-in into a jar - at the end of the 12-week challenge I used the money to buy everyone a little prize, something they wanted which was fitness related. We didn't have a winner per se, as we decided that any loss was awesome so we all got to benefit. We got little home-made certificates and it was all so cheesy that it was hilarious!

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ERIN1128 7/27/2010 11:53AM

    WOW, 20+ lbs in less than 2 months! that is amazing, woman! You are truly an inspiration.

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PRETTYMANDI 7/27/2010 10:41AM

    You will get there, but I understand your frustration! I gained 2 pounds this week because I got so stressed driving to my brothers funeral and back that I decided to exist solely on Peanut M&Ms and popcorn. I am not sure how that helped the situation, I feel like crap now, but at the time it was the only thing I could think to do. I have some pants that are 2 sizes bigger than the ones I am wearing today that are tight. I am vain. I will tell you what I did: I found a store where I was the smallest size in their shorts since that is where I really have the problem. I have a lot of weight in my lower stomach so it is hard to get the shorts around my waist. For me that store is KOHLS. I am a smaller size there than anywhere else so that is the only store I will buy pants from and those are the only pants I will use to consider what size I am. Of course, we only had money for 2 pairs of shorts so I have to put on my old baggy ones sometimes and I have to wait til we have money for more but I keep saying things like "Oh man, all of these shorts are too loose I can't wait til I have the money to get to KOHLs and get more that fit" I may be lying to myself a little but if I am not using a consistant size of pants to measure my size then I am just going to get frustrated. I think you should pick one brand of pants or whatever and use that as "your" brand for awhile. That way your size will always be going down.

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GOGOSHIRE 7/27/2010 10:37AM

    Great post. I do the self-sabotage thing, too, and I was reading, I got an idea.... I think I'm going to make it a mini-goal to try to go 3 days in a row without sabotaging myself. I'll break it up into smaller chunks at first rather than trying to go for a whole week. That should be doable, right?

Thanks for sharing!

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TRISHY12 7/27/2010 9:59AM

    Great job on the amazing weight loss! You are such an inspiration to me. I've been at this since the end of April and I've just crossed the 20 lbs. lost mark.

As far as changing things up goes, sometimes we need to do it to re-spark ourselves. I've changed the focus of my exercise from walking to the elliptical. It's too hot and humid to really get out and walk and I just got an elliptical, so it kind of made sense. I've also changed up my workout videos a few times and went from using coach nicole's new you bootcamp for ST to using 30 Day Shred to ST.

I don't think it much matters WHAT you do - so long as you're doing SOMETHING! Change is good... especially if it is necessary to keep you motivated to keep going. Also, when we keep doing the same routine day in and day out, our bodies adapt to that level of exertion. Changing it up is a good way to keep our bodies challenged... therefore keeping the weight falling off.

I totally understand how frustrating clothing sizes can be... While I just found out I can squeeze into a few pairs of size 16 jeans, I still have size 24's that I can wear just fine, while other 24's are sliding down my legs. Some 22's are too big, some 18's are too big.... ugh!

I bought a pair of 18 shorts at the end of June... they can now be removed without undoing the button or zipper. But most of the 16's I own I still have to squeeze into and I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing them out in public.

As far as shirts go. I can wear anything from a 2x down to an XL... no rhyme or reason there either. I think if anyone asks me what size I'm wearing now, I'll just be honest and say, "all of them!"

Keep up the great work! We CAN do this!

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LEYETTE 7/27/2010 9:47AM

    Congratulations on losing 20.6 lbs.!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BALLOUZOO 7/27/2010 9:44AM

    Congratulations on your progress!

remember slow and steady emoticon

You are almost there for the 28's, maybe another week or two?? You can do it!! It's hard being in between. I use safety pins and belts.

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MERAINA 7/27/2010 9:44AM

    I'm there with ya... I have gotten into the "hate" everything mode too... But still I keep going on. I was just thinking... "I want to throw away all of those clothes! but they are all that fits right now!" They are baggy, but the next size down is to tight to be comfy! I know too that my walking is growing stale to me as well, last night I did a couple of Zumba DVD's I have to mix thing up a bit, plus it looked like rain outside. I have another "Dance" DVD @ home that I may try... "Dirty Dancing" DVD. LOL It has the dances from the movie Dirty Dancing. So I may put it in for something "new" to do. Wish it had Patrick Swayze teaching, but he isn't! Whew! That would really make it a good one! LOL *monitor steaming up*
Keep on going girl! U R worth it!

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