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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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The Aftermath - W14.D2

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...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    What a beautifully crafted metaphor - and it is so true. We had the real thing here in Milwaukee recently - bad enough to call FEMA. They have run out of flood kits here in town, but I am wondering if a "flood kit" of sorts would work for this kind of issue with long term health reform. You have the vision, and the tools, and the skills to repair the damage, so I have no doubt you will find a way to deal with this.
Anyway, I love the way you think and write! Thank you for your thoughts.

Maria emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/27/2010 5:28:10 PM

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RAVENSONG37 7/26/2010 3:21PM

    You have a beautiful and strong house...and it gets stronger all the time! Even through the storms and floods. Keep it up babe, YOU CAN DO THIS!

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    I struggle so much with the "measuring as restriction" thing. Sometimes I get SO frustrated that it takes me 45 minutes to make my lunch because I weigh and measure everything. Sometimes I get SO frustrated that I see food in grams and cups and tablespoons.

But I normally get over it when I realize that measuring is THE MOST valuable tool in my journey. I guess I'm not offering any advice, just an "I hear, ya!"

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KNOWMOREBBK 7/26/2010 1:46PM

    We were bashed with rainfall here too, but you look like you got the worst of it.

You know we all have those days. I personally believe there is no way to have the "perfect caloric day - EVERY day" scenario. I won't believe for one minute that you have lost 98 lbs by eating perfectly everyday. You are a workout warrior and you will recover from the rain and everything else.

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KARVY09 7/26/2010 10:05AM

    Hun, it's OK to have days like that once in awhile. You definitely didn't set yourself back too much. And it's a brand new week and a brand new month next week! You're in an awesome spot to pick yourself up, dust off, and keep moving!

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MERAINA 7/26/2010 9:43AM

    The hard work that you have already been doing has made you stronger to withstand the storm. Time to dance in the rain!
You are so much stronger than you knew in the past!
Splash in those mud puddles and have a blast!

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MAGPIE17 7/26/2010 9:40AM

    Awesome blog and analogy! Onwards and upwards...or downwards, if we're talking lbs! ;)

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So Close I Can Taste It! - Week 14 Weigh-In

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome to week 14!

Weigh-in Day

Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 374.0
Goal This Week: 372.0
Actual: 368.0
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:

emoticon 366
That's 2 pounds down and I will hit my 50 pounds down since starting SP and 100 pounds down from my highest weight.

emoticon Stay within my ranges. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies as well as more homecooked foods.

emoticon 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.

emoticon 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERAINA 7/26/2010 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUZIEW27 7/26/2010 8:09AM

    Congratulations!!! emoticon emoticon

What an encouragement you are to others!!!

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 7/26/2010 12:33AM

    You are doing so well and seeing how determined you are really motivates me!

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BAYBELIEVER 7/26/2010 12:11AM

    Love your dream! I hope you all can make it a reality! Looking forward to hearing when you are at 366 and hit that century mark!

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FINEBABY72 7/25/2010 5:14PM

  You have done such an emoticon job! Your dream of going to Hawaii isn't a fantasy, it's something you can work toward, and all the hard work you have done and are doing you will deserve something special like Hawaii!! Keep up the great work, your very inspiring to me! emoticon emoticon

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SWELL10 7/25/2010 4:18PM

    ROCK ON SUPER CHICK!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYASHLEY 7/25/2010 4:17PM

    Wow, you are amazing and that honeymoon idea sounds perfect. What a great way to celebrate all you worked for and renew your marriage. Congrats girl! keep it up!

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ANDIEJZ 7/25/2010 2:38PM

  Rock on GF! 3 words: Fab-YOU-Lous!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/25/2010 2:24PM

    OMG dude. 6 pounds? WOW!!!!!!!!!!

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RANDOM00B 7/25/2010 11:14AM

    Holy Cow, you are awesome!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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SWEETS86 7/25/2010 10:59AM

    You are AWESOME!! Keep it up you'll be there before you know it!

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KNOWMOREBBK 7/25/2010 10:44AM

    That is so amazing. I can't believe how much weight you have lost in just a few months. That is a lot of sweat and tears. You MUST reward yourself with something when you cross the 100lb mark!


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RUNNINGNP2B 7/25/2010 10:23AM

    You have worked so hard, you deserve all the best! Glad the hubs and you are planning a trip to Hawaii, sounds like a fantastic goal trip if I've ever heard of one!

LOB YOU Chicky!!! Enjoy your Sunday!

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MAGPIE17 7/25/2010 10:12AM

    Way to go! I'm sure you'll cross 366 next week! Woot!

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TRISHY12 7/25/2010 9:55AM

    (((APPLAUSE)))) Congratulations on throwing away those 6 pounds! You must be incredibly proud of yourself for your accomplishments! Less than 2 pounds to go to reach 100 pounds GONE FOREVER - that's truly amazing! You are kickin' butt woman - and nothing can stop you!

I absolutely LOVE the idea of you guys heading to some tropical destination to renew your vows once you reach your goal weight. What a great goal to keep you motivated. I'm glad to hear that your hub is excited about it too.

Keep up the AWESOME work... you CAN do anything you put your mind to! I'm cheering for ya!

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GREENIE-GREEN 7/25/2010 9:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are an inspiration!

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Reflections - W13.D6

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."
ME: "What?"
HER: "He thinks that when a woman starts making herself look better it's because she has a new man."
ME: .....

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, 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 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.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN1128 7/25/2010 11:12AM

    Love this blog! Thanks for sharing.

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MAGPIE17 7/24/2010 1:02PM

    Dude, started slow? You lost over 15 lbs in 3 weeks! Down days or no, you're on fire! Keep it up!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/24/2010 12:48PM

    The first time I lost weight, I had got to the point where I was so sick of my own excuses that I just shut up and put up.

Your coworker is bananas, but you held your own. Congrats girl!

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TRISHY12 7/24/2010 6:13AM

    We've all been there. We all know. It's WAAAY easier to make excuses than to make it happen. The hardest part of this journey for me was the decision to actually start it! When I started, I had this preconceived notion that it was all or nothing... HOURS of working out... eating ONLY healthy food ALL the time... etc... etc... I didn't realize back then that EVERY step (even the baby steps) were steps in the right direction and that every step (no matter how big or small) actually COUNTED.

I've come up with (and have heard) some doozies as far as excuses go... but wrinkles? Fear that your significant other might think you're cheating? Seriously? That's almost laughable! And the "dog" ate my homework..

Kudos to you for rockin' it at the gym! Way to show that elliptical who's boss! Hopefully one day I'll make it 45 minutes at a time on the elliptical without dying. lol Keep up the great work and the great attitude. We CAN do this!

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KILA1228 7/23/2010 6:27PM

    I love the talk you had with your co-worker. You were honest and truthful. Good for you for being honest. Lots of people aren't so honest and sometimes that's what a person needs is a little honesty to push them towards their weight loss goals.

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SWEETLEXIE520 7/23/2010 4:39PM

    I think our minds need the down day as much as our bodies do. Not to say we should indulge in negative thoughts, but we just have to lean on others on those days. And you're doing so well at that!

I just saw your compare pic on your main page and wow - the results are so evident - those jeans and shirt you just bought will be public ready so soon!

You are awesome!

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GOGOSHIRE 7/23/2010 3:54PM

    Great post! Your co-worker sounds like she's not ready yet. For whatever reason, whatever she gets out of keeping things the way they are outweighs changing.

Wrinkles? Really!

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