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, happy...pictures 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.
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 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 easy...it 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.
...to be continued...
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.
Monday, July 26, 2010
You saw the storm brewing. The forcasters predicted it. But you thought you could handle the rain and wind. You've been through storms before and have come out the other side just fine. You were sure of your ability to just ride out the storm. And then it hit and you felt yourself swept up in the flood waters. You felt yourself being carried away from everything you had ever known, the house you had so carefully built after months of hard work. You were in the middle of renovations and the last thing you want to see is all your hard work washed away by the unexpected storm brewing.
Sometimes we get swept away in our own emotions. Whether it be guilt, joy, boredom, anger. For days we have been "good." For days we have kept ourselves on the path. We've continued our own renovations to our lives, creating a healthy environment out of the mess we had once created with unhealthy habits of overeating and choosing sugar and fat over fresh carbs, protein and fiber. And then the storm comes. We're flooded by emotions we had been keeping at bay for a while. And we think, "I can get through this! I've been getting through it all week with flying colors!" But the storm is too strong and we're weakened by days of making ourselves do what we're supposed to do, refusing to even recognize our emotions.
Yesterday the storm hit. It was a mix of a million emotions. It was joy over being so close to my first big goal. It was pride in my accomplishments. It was a feeling of, "I've earned this day!" And it was rolled up in the feelings errupting within me from the past week of being "on." It was heightened by the thunderclouds over head and the realization that my well-planned active day was ruined. And instead of regrouping and creating a new plan, I fell apart. I let the floods carry me away. I indulged in a case of "IDUNCARE"s. Normally this would be a day of eating all the things I couldn't normally eat, but I didn't do that. Instead I simply overate the things I have every day, things I had carefully devised a way to fit into my plan. I could have eaten each one of the things I had yesterday in a smaller portion and would not have been off track at all.
Cheese and wheat crackers. Grilled cheese on wheat bread. Life cereal. Wheat bagel with natural peanut butter. Milk. Coffee. I could have eaten every single one of these things in a day and have been well within my calorie goals. But for some reason I was swept away and all I could think was, "I don't care!" and "I don't WANT to measure today!" I didn't want the restrictions. Suddenly they felt more like weighted chains than the freeing feeling of a healthy body. And I had to drop the chains so I could swim the flood. So I wouldn't drown. In my head, that's how it felt.
When the storm passes and the sun comes out again, we stand up and look around to get our bearings. And what we're met with, what our eyes inevitably see, is the aftermath of the storm. The roads are still flooded in the low spots. Mud is everywhere. Bits and pieces of our house are torn completely apart. Trees are downed and blocking our path. The things we loved so dearly, things we cherished are spread around in a mess, because Mother Nature cares little for family photographs and what we consider "valuables."
The first thing to hit is the grief, anger and resentment. We feel the need to blame someone or something for what has just happened. We are sad for what is lost. But eventually we realize something very important...not all is lost. In order to move forward, we must evaluate what we still have. We must rebuild. We have gotten past the choices of waiting for death and beginning to live again, because we are still alive and death is not an option for those that love living. So we look around. We pick up the pieces. We sweep and mop the flooded waters from our home. We wash down everything before any rotting mold can set in.
Suddenly we realize how lucky we are that our house is still standing. We realize that our renovations in the past few months have made it more able to withstand the storms, and we thank ourselves for that. There is no time for blaming anymore, because there is so much to do to make sure we suffer as little loss as possible. And brick by brick, picture by picture, dried rug by mopped floor, we start to feel a little better.
This morning I woke up and find in my e-mailbox, a SP reminder - "You CAN Overcome Setbacks." That is my lesson for the week, and it is a lesson I needed more than any other today. It is time to move on. And just like the aftermath of a storm, I know that the repairs will take a few days. But I also know that I have the ability to make those repairs. I have the ability to make this house stronger for the next storm that rages down upon me. And with each storm I learn. With each storm I find better tools and sturdier materials. With each storm I learn quicker ways to handle the aftermath.
One thing I have learned is that I have a day like this at least once every single week. I discovered this last week, and I didn't do anything with that information. Perhaps if I had used it to board up the windows of my house, I wouldn't be dealing with as much water at my feet, but I know I cannot change what was, I can only move on from here. Part of my repairs will include evaluating why once a week I fight back against myself. Perhaps I've been pushing too hard. Perhaps I'm being too lax. The house isn't restored to it's previous condition immediately following a storm - it takes time and hard work.
What I do know is that I am grateful that my house is stronger now than it was in the past. I am grateful that I came through this virtually unharmed (other than an upset stomach). I am grateful for the lesson I will learn from this storm. And now it's time for the hard work to begin...
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Welcome to week 14!
Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 374.0
Goal This Week: 372.0
Weight Loss This Week: 6 pounds! (Holy poundage, Batman!)
Total Weight Loss with SP: 48.2
Total Overall Weight Loss: 98.6
I am *THIS* close to that magic number again. 366.6. In fact, it's quite reasonable to expect that I will be back at my century mark next week. It will also mean 50 pounds I've lost with SP alone, since April 18th.
Yes, this is crazy. Yes, this is a lot of weight loss at once. Yes, I'm exhausted today because I really pushed myself this week...but I don't expect to lose 6 pounds every single month. In fact, I full expect for my weight loss to slow down when I get in the low 300's. I expect to have to make more changes then to the way I eat. For right now I don't limit myself as much as I may have to eventually. If I want ice cream from Dairy Queen, I get it. I just try to make sure it either fits into my calorie goals or I can burn it off later. I have a few days here and there where I go over...but I have other days when I stay under my range and I try to burn calories like a MO-FO as much as possible.
Yesterday I think I went a little over my calories. However, I did 2.81 miles on the treadmill (60 minutes). Then I went bowling, and while I had a beer and a half or so, I also burned a ton of calories bowling and dancing with friends.
Goals for next week:
That's 2 pounds down and I will hit my 50 pounds down since starting SP and 100 pounds down from my highest weight.
Stay within my ranges. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies as well as more homecooked foods.
Go to the gym 3-6 days a week. I'd like to hit it again every day but I realize something MIGHT come up, including Ethan's football practice which is starting this week. I hope I'll still be able to make it to the gym as much as possible. My 10K training includes 2 miles on Monday and Wednesday and then 3 miles on Saturday. I really want to start improving my speed a bit. I also want to keep up my ST every week.
I still really wanted to hike up the hill. It's been a while since I did this and I'm sure I can get further and faster this time. I'm thinking I'll also take the boys to the lake today. I really want to relax and swim and enjoy the day with the family. Hubs was gone yesterday and I really missed it.
Completely random - Hubs asked the other day how much a trip to Hawaii would cost. After doing some surfing on the internet, I told him about my dream to hit goal weight and then renew our vows on a beautiful beach in Bora Bora or something and stay a week in one of those overwater huts. I told him how I want to go scuba diving and snorkeling and relax in the crystal blue waters. I told him how I want to one day have the honeymoon we never got to have. And...believe it or not...he seemed pretty into it! It's going to take a couple years to save up the money (maybe more! *lol*) and to get all this weight off, but for once I let myself dream ahead a bit in a more serious way.
Here's to another great week!
Friday, July 23, 2010
"So it was a very small beginning, but it caught fire." ~Chinua Achebe
Yesterday I had a long talk with a coworker who constantly insists she wants to be thin again, but never does anything about it. She has a million excuses, many of which we've all heard before, but one after one I shot them down for her.
HER: "You're doing great!"
ME: "You could do great too, you know?"
HER: "No, I can't."
ME: "Sure you can!"
HER: "I just don't have the willpower you do."
ME: "Willpower is a myth."
HER: "Well, I don't have the motivation."
ME: "Motivation can be built."
HER: "Well, knowing my luck, I'd lose the weight and my face would be all wrinkly."
ME: "Oh, I don't think so. You don't know that."
HER: "I do! I've seen people who've lost weight and their faces are all wrinkled." (She then told me that a friend of hers from school came in the other day and she looked 20 years older than my coworker...which my coworker attributed to the woman's being thin.)
ME: "That could be anything. Drugs, smoking, alcohol, a hard life. Maybe she has a lot of problems."
HER: "Well, just my luck I'd start losing weight and my husband would think I'm cheating on him."
HER: "He thinks that when a woman starts making herself look better it's because she has a new man."
Yeah, that's all I had. That sounds like the most irrational excuse I've heard so far. Wrinkles and your husband's insecurities are keeping you from making yourself feel better about yourself? Interesting...
I've been thinking a lot about how I started out...and reading through old blogs.
Week 1 - I struggled to find my place. Watching and logging what I ate made me want to eat better naturally. A lot of my digestive problems started disappearing as soon as my diet changed. I had that first feeling of pushing through the wall and feeling like I was flying, even though I was only doing about 15 minutes or so of exercise a few days a week. On Thursday I had a "down" day. I lost 9.6 pounds.
Week 2 - I worried about what clothes size I would be at the end of May (same, pretty much...*sigh*). I ranted about people staring at my stomach (which they don't do quite as much...either that or I don't notice as much). I walked even in the rain. I found some insight in a comment I made about the body being a tool and my healthy living class instructor's reminder that we only get one body and we can't break this one and just buy another. (That was a big thing for me, and I still think about it.) On Tuesday I had a freak-out moment and a down day. I recovered on Wednesday. I talked about the PB cups and temptation and how proud I was of myself for denying it (you know, I don't feel tempted quite as often anymore). I got impatient with unfocused friends on Friday and then I went and had drinks and ate some bad crap. I realized "being good" (as I always called it) wasn't as hard as I had always made it out to be. I lost 3.6 pounds.
Week 3 - I got through TOM, had a panic attack about school ending, but just kept going. I lost 4.6 pounds.
So, yes...it was a slow start....and yes, it started a fire. I just got back from the gym, my 5th day in a row. Today I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, did 10 minutes of yoga/stretching, and then did a full round of ST (about 25 minutes). For those keeping track, that's 80 minutes. I will admit that my knee has been a little sore the past couple days, but nothing major. It doesn't hurt when I workout, only after. It's not constant pain, just a dull throb now and again. I'm scared it's going to pop out on me, but I have to remember that I have made it much stronger and able to withstand more...but I still have to be careful. But I challenged the elliptical (and was jamming to new tunes from STAYFOCUSEDASH -- *love*) and ended up doing 45 minutes.
That's not all. This week I have gone to the gym 5 out of 6 days. (Sunday is rest day and the day the gym is closed.)
Monday - 100 minutes (cardio/ST)
Tuesday - 58 minutes (cardio)
Wednesday - 68 minutes (cardio/ST)
Thursday - 75 minutes (cardio)
Friday - 80 minutes (cardio/ST)
Total - 381 minutes (5 days of cardio/ 3 days of ST)
I'm hoping to keep this going, but I know that at least once a week so far I have at least 1 "down" day. One day where I don't want to do it anymore. I have two choices: push through or give up. The important thing is to keep coming back to it...to stoke the fire again and again to make sure it's still burning. My point is that I didn't start out this way. The important thing is it isn't easy. The important thing is that anyone can do this. It all starts with one single step followed by one foot in front of the other for a few minutes. You push through and do the best you can. You make the most of the time you have. You make each day count. And when you get down, you get back up...because you will fall. You will hurt inside and out. But you can get through it. You can. I hate to sound cliche, but if I can do it - you can!! Give up the excuses because if you never start you'll never get anywhere, and standing still is not moving forward.
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