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51 Things Spark Taught Me - A Pound for Pound Wrap-Up

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So this little tidbit got tacked onto my race recap, only because they both happened in the same weekend....

Sunday was Weigh-In Day

Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 369.2
Goal This Week: 366.0
Actual: 365.2
Weight Loss This Week: 4 pounds!
Total Weight Loss with SP: 51 pounds!!
Total Overall Weight Loss: 101.4 pounds!!!

So, finally, I'm going to give you:

51 Things Spark Taught Me

1. Honesty is refreshing.

2. People on the same path need your support as much as you need theirs.

3. Every day is a chance to make a better life for yourself!

4. Finding opportunities to eat right and exercise are never as hard as we make them out to be in the beginning.

5. Excuses are evil... and can be overcome or ignored.

6. It's important to recognize reasons from excuses. Injuries can hinder the long-term, and reasons talk you out of pushing them. Excuses? See #5.

7. "If I can do it, you can!" may be corny, but it's true!

8. The human body is astounding in its ability to heal and survive!

9. Even a 400-pound woman (who is now 365 pounds, thank you) can become an athlete.

10. Everyone's level of exercise is, and always will be different. I may never compete in a triathlon, and I might, I'll never know until I try...and I'm okay if I don't.

11. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

12. Plans are great, but flexibility endures!

13. When in doubt, take a walk. Just go! Move! Even for 10 minutes!

14. You can do anything for 5 minutes...and eventually for 5 minutes more.

15. Increasing your exercise and "switching it up" are so important to keep things interesting. I'm hardly ever bored, and when I am, I switch it up again.

16. You can be your own personal trainer. The internet and Spark are amazing tools!

17. Always talk to your doctor, because you never know what kind of support, encouragement, and advice you're going to get from him/her.

18. You can eat anything you want, just not every day and not as much as you want.

19. That swelling in your ankles comes from salt. Salt may taste good, but other things taste better!

20. Switch out your Morton's salt for cracked sea salt, better taste and you use less!! YUM!

21. Learn to cook vegetables. Whatever your veggie, keep them on hand at all times. (I'm jonesing today cuz Hubs packed lunch and forgot a veggie! EEP!)

22. Balance means something! Balance your meals, your workouts, and your life for a better chance at success!

23. Having trouble staying on task? Set a month-long challenge, and keep starting it until you finish it. Exercise used to be a chore, until I did my 30 in it's become a habit! (Thanks SPUNKYDUCKY!)

24. Give what you take. Then again, give more.

25. Feel ignored and overlooked? What have you been looking at lately? Visit other pages and find some new friends...maybe someone out there needs more support than you do today.

26. Sometimes you have to say "can't"...but add a yet for now. (I can't run...yet. Maybe when my knees are stronger.) (Accepting this was super hard for me. I hate waiting for anything I want! *lol*)

27. Run, walk, or swim your own race.

28. If you're brave enough to try, start learning what the healthiest fattening options are at the local food joints. That way when things come up and someone wants a meal on the town to celebrate (or the kids just want to grab McDonald's) you can make the right choice in the moment and not feel overly guilty about it.

29. Moderation doesn't work for everyone, and not with everything. There are some things just better suited for special occasions, meaning a special trip to the store, than a regular seat in your freezer/pantry/fridge.

30. Fruit is a great dessert option!

31. Smoothies = yum! Top with some light cool whip and, well, see #30!

32. Sure, the journey is long, but if every week is something fun it doesn't seem like such a chore!

33. Setting goals is important...and HARD!

34. Fear of success is just silly. So is fear of failure. Healthy fear for safety is one thing, but fear of how others will view you is not your concern.

35. What's the saying, "I've never regretted a workout I did, only the ones I didn't do?" Not true. I've regretted a few in that I shouldn't have moved so fast, but I learned from every single one. I learn nothing from nothing.

36. It really is as simple as eat less, exercise more.

37. Drinking your water is KEY! A good week can be given or taken from my water intake.

38. You don't have to be skinny to go to the gym.

39. You will be questioned and stared at, but all by people who either don't understand or don't matter. Either explain and lead them to the light, or let them on their ignorant way.

40. A large shrinking body can look funny sometimes, but every rut is an area that was once a place where fat was and now no longer is. Rejoice in your divots!

41. You can't believe everything you read. Do research, make a reasonable judgement, and if it works for you keep doing it. If not, stop. If you still don't know, ask around.

42. Trying new foods = fun!

43. You don't have to follow "I've lost 50 pounds" with "I still have SO MUCH MORE to go."

44. You'll catch yourself doing #43 anyways.

45. Don't give up on those people who say, "I wish I could be thin" while eating a chocolate bar, unless they show you they are just not ready. Lead by example!

46. If you have a real craving, indulge. Try to do it on a day when you feel powerful. When I can logically think out how much I want of something vs. how many calories I have to spare, that's when I indulge...because I'M in control, not the craving!

47. Sparkies are great, especially in person!

48. Your blogs are for you and no one else. If they help others, great! Otherwise they are a tool to help you on your journey to discover who you are and what makes you tick.

49. Sweat will not kill you. (Though, yes, it will make your hair look like crap. But a skinny body with some jacked up frizzy hair will feel amazing, who cares about fly-aways when you feel strong and powerful? You will probably feel like you could kick anyone's butt who looked at you the wrong way anyhow!)

50. Admire yourself for a change!

51. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can take the place of the right frame of mind. Mental power is stronger than you could ever imagine!

*I'll add pictures later.*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELLORAMA 8/16/2010 11:36PM

    "Rejoice in your divots!" I LOVE THAT! Congrats on your success I know there is more to come!

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LRSILVER 8/16/2010 7:07AM

    Thank you for sharing. So True. emoticon

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LYSERGICBLIS 8/15/2010 9:34AM

    ohmygosh... can I just hug you? lol
This is SO inspirational - especially when I'm debating whethere to go to the gym or not today (this is DAY 2, and I'm already lazy lol). Thanks so much for the candid, and honesty you dispose. emoticon

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CTTAGENT 8/14/2010 11:10PM

    I like your blog! So true, and real. Thanks

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AUNTB63 8/14/2010 8:46AM

    Inspiring info, thanks for sharing how you feel. I'm sure there are plenty of people at SP who can relate to some or all of your points. Congrats on your weight loose and best of luck to you (not that I think you need it) on your continuing journey to a healthy, happy lifestyle. emoticon

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CALCUN 8/13/2010 10:18PM

  Great stuff! Thank you!!

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KENNELQUEEN123 8/13/2010 8:10PM

  Thanks just what I needed for inspiration tonight.
Made me smile.

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DAVISMDAWN 8/13/2010 6:58PM

    OMG, you are both hilarious and motivating. I love it and keep up the good work!

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LINGAIL1 8/13/2010 6:30PM


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WINTERRAIN 8/13/2010 6:12PM

    Love this blog and number 38 took me a long time to believe!

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CATLADY69 8/13/2010 5:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IMPERIODEE 8/13/2010 5:42PM

  i love this. thank you for sharing!

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LOVELY*LADY 8/13/2010 5:04PM


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COOLCUKE 8/13/2010 1:36PM

    this blog is FANTABULOUS! you go, girl!

my fave:

"49. Sweat will not kill you. (Though, yes, it will make your hair look like crap. But a skinny body with some jacked up frizzy hair will feel amazing, who cares about fly-aways when you feel strong and powerful? You will probably feel like you could kick anyone's butt who looked at you the wrong way anyhow!)"

"jacked up frizzy hair", lmao! love it!


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1BIGENGINEER 8/13/2010 1:18PM

    #34 & 38 are my faves. Thank you for the great advice and motivation, I definitely needed it!

And congrats on losing 100+!

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THYCKNSWEET 8/13/2010 10:31AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FAT_GIRL_RUNS 8/13/2010 10:07AM

    Love it!

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NIC582 8/13/2010 9:56AM

    Congrats on 100+!!! And thanks for the insight and advice... it's going to come in VERY helpful as I am just starting!

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BEAOG2 8/13/2010 8:57AM

  Thank you. I'm knew to spark and this has given me great motivation

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MRSSIBRAT 8/13/2010 8:23AM

    This is great! Thanks so much for taking the time to write all these down!! Keep up the good are doing great!!

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SWEETLIPS 8/13/2010 7:31AM

    Bless you! Has anyone told you, you are awesome? Well you are emoticon

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SFGRUNNER 8/13/2010 7:11AM

    You're amazing! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!


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AJBOYER222 8/13/2010 12:31AM

    This blog makes me happy! It's exactly how SparkPeople makes me feel too, and I'm glad that so many of us are learning to change our attitudes and our lifestyles. We will succeed and we will be amazing! Thanks for the inspiration! And keep up the GREAT work!

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CLOUDA9 8/12/2010 11:32PM

    Filled with insight and inspiration! Thanks for sharing each and every one! emoticon

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MRSKS2009 8/12/2010 10:33PM

    Thanks for number 34. I needed someone to say that so bluntly!


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BRANDTSGIRL 8/12/2010 10:23PM

    Thanks for ALL 51 your quite the hero!

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LASHAE5 8/12/2010 10:20PM

    Wow this is wonderful..Thanks for sharing and I agree i need to keep this on the fridge...

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MERRY40 8/12/2010 10:14PM

    Terrific job! Great insight-thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your success! emoticon

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DBFBILLY 8/12/2010 9:23PM

    Yes, thanks for sharing..and congratulations on your journey emoticon

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FIGHTIN4FITNESS 8/12/2010 8:47PM

  Very encouraging. Thank you and keep up the good work! emoticon

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N-ACHIEVE 8/12/2010 8:36PM

    This is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. You are awesome!!! emoticon

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LUBAML 8/12/2010 8:12PM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing!!! emoticonLuba

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ONLYBETTER 8/12/2010 7:55PM

    Thanks for the inspirtation. I'm definetly gonna have my mom ready your blog! :) We are in it together to lose!

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RAIDERMOM2277 8/12/2010 7:20PM

  What a wonderful insight to this journey we are on.

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ANURSE2 8/12/2010 6:09PM

  Thanks for the inspiration!

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WARMINGTOZERO 8/12/2010 5:30PM

    They were all great, but I really liked no. 35. That's a very good point and I've never thought of it that way before.

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MILLER1224 8/12/2010 5:06PM



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TEAM-SARAH 8/12/2010 4:46PM

    Beautiful :)

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THEWINNER33 8/12/2010 4:13PM

    We should make copies of this and keep it on the refrigerator. This is all so true. Good job.

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LOURON 8/12/2010 4:04PM

    Deffinitely a saver emoticon

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PRECIOUSM 8/12/2010 4:00PM

    Love this blog..

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MIJAMAGS 8/12/2010 3:36PM

    Wonderful Blog....Love your attitude! emoticon

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FAT_2_FAB 8/12/2010 3:10PM

    I'm going to add this to my motivational poster. You are AMAZING!

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ALISSA_SAL 8/12/2010 3:10PM

    Wonderful blog! Thank you so much for sharing!

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KIRAN17KIRAN17 8/12/2010 2:38PM

  awesome !!!

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CHRISTYD921 8/12/2010 2:30PM

    emoticon loved it!

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W8WHITTILER 8/12/2010 2:25PM

What an awesome blog, i love the points you are bringing across here!
Thank you, you have just pushed me to move a bit more!

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DEAJCOOK 8/12/2010 2:24PM

  Awesome! Thanks for sharing what you've learned.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 8/12/2010 2:13PM


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CRZYBUMP 8/12/2010 1:16PM


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We Race for a Reason - Race Recap + Weekly Update

Sunday, August 08, 2010

FYI - This is LONG!

Yesterday I had Hubs drive me two hours north to Wheeling so I could "compete" in the Debbie Green Memorial 5k. So here's how it all went down...

First of all, the number of people was astounding! I did some calculations using the race results and there were over 1200 finishers (both runners and walkers). I picked up my race packet and then headed to the car to drop it off before the race. On the way back, I stop to retie my shoe (tied it too loose after I put my chip on) and as I'm getting back up I see Hollynn (SPUNKYDUCKY) run right by me. I turn to Hubs with the biggest smile ever and say, "OMG! That's totally her! I KNOW it!" Turns out it took her a moment and soon enough her and her Hubs were turning around to say hello. We hugged like we'd known each other forever and then introduced our men.

Hollynn and I pre-race.

Reflecting on the race all the way home, it meant so much to me that not only was it my first race, but it was my first time meeting a fellow Sparkie (other than my Momma, of course). She was so sweet and her husband was amazing. Attentive, interested, funny. It was a great experience! She gave me a lot of advice about not only the upcoming race, but about future races and promised she would be there to watch me cross the finish line. We spent about an hour pre-race just chatting away, getting to know each other, sharing our experiences, and having a blast! I didn't even have a chance to get nervous before we parted ways so they could head up towards the front where the runners should be and I fell back to the walking crowd.

I loaded up my iPhone with the TIKI mix (Thanks so much STAYFOCUSEDASH!) with one addition to start me off - La Roux's Bulletproof. Before we had even started, the older gentleman at the parking lot said to me, "You walk your own race out there and don't push yourself to do what anyone else is doing." So I kept telling myself "Walk your own race." And then we were off (after a small delay due to a small house fire on the course! EEP!).

Ready to Race.

The Start:
Sucks. Seriously dude. You're jammed in this huge crowd and you spend the first tenth of a mile or so trying not to step on people. Plus, they started us off with a friggin' huge hill. (WTF dude? *sigh*) Once we took the first turn people started to break up as the faster people headed ahead and the slower ones stayed back.

Mile One:
Like I said, it was hills like WOAH! First up half of it, then a flat patch to the right, then back up again, and up again, and then DOWN DOWN DOWN! I started noticing as we turned left after the downhill that my right foot was already getting a blister. "Oh, great!" I think. I also thought at this point of giving up. I was really starting to get frustrated with being passed by people who didn't seem to be having any trouble and I felt like even though I was keeping my steady pace that I was struggling more than usual. I thought, "I can just go home now...nobody has to know." But my Sparkie ahead of me would certainly know. And I would know. And then I put my arms back in the right position and pushed forward. "I don't care if I have a shoe full of blood at the end of this," I thought. "I am finishing. Period."

And then I take a left turn and I see one of those time clocks and it says 17 something and I think, "Holy crap! I'm going fast! Is that the mile marker?" Sure enough, I pass Ron Green (the race organizer and Debbie Green's brother) and he says, "Mile one! 18:10! Great job guys!" as I pass. 18:10? Okay...I'm doing great!!

Mile Two:
By the time we got to the water station, I was so friggin' happy to see them! I didn't hydrate enough beforehand and was parched. I didn't get a lot in my mouth because I did NOT want to slow down...and dodging paper cups kinda blows. I thanked the little boy holding the cup and proceeding to spill half of the cup down the front of my shirt! *lol* I kept pushing through. I remembered that I had been working out to this playlist before and I knew what my pace should be. I figured I was right on if not a tiny bit ahead. It was a really, really hard mile. I kept searching for the mile marker and not seeing it. I was cursing everyone in my head...and then we walked down a street full of homes where people were outside watching the race.

Out of the corner of my eye I see this very large woman sitting on her stoop, and I see her look at me and suddenly she starts clapping and cheering...and I knew it was because of me. I knew because she kept watching me and cheering and it made me feel like perhaps I was inspiring someone...and that always makes me push through.

Around the corner I see a race worker and he says 1.3 miles left. You guys are doing great! We turn back around the block and I hear a girl behind me go, "Oh my God! Thank God we're not last...I thought we were!" I realized then that I was not last...and that made me feel a little better. And then I saw the time marker at the second mile marker. 34:10. What the crap dude? I start doing the math in my head and realize that I've done the past mile in 16 minutes! OH MY! I am MOVING! This is an excellent pace for me...the best I've ever done, and when I did it last at that pace I really thought I was going to die! But I still had something left in me...and then my blister popped.

The Third Mile:
Yeah, walking on the right foot was really starting to get to me. It hurt a LOT. But I didn't care. I WOULD finish this race. It felt like it took forever. It was the longest mile of my life...and I kept going through the race course map in my head. When we took the next corner I realized that I was nearly there. I heard loud music and I knew that soon I'd be turning a corner to see the Finish line. I buckled down and got my second wind...and starting actually passing some people! *lol* I see the WesBanco building and realize we're almost there. And then I hear cheering! Off to the left are SPUNKYDUCKY and her husband cheering me on! LOUDLY! *lol*

I reached into myself and thought, "This is it...the final push." I could see the finish line and all I wanted was to cross it! I pumped my arms and legs up the final hill (WTF is up with the hills, dude? GRRRR!) and I pretend my foot is fine and after a bit I don't even really feel the pain anymore. And then I see that I'm about to cross that line and it says 57 something and I think...I've done it! I've done what I've come here to do.

And I pass the finish line panting like a dog on a 13 mile run. *lol* But I did it. And there's my Sparkie pulling me over to the water, cheering me on, telling me I've done amazing! (I only wish I could have seen her and her hubs cross that finish line.) "You did it!" she said. "You're done!" And I kept repeating that one word -- DONE...DONE.

Ron, Hollynn and I after our 5k!

So now for the final results:
471 661 28 Esther Hupp, 29*, Sandyville, WV 57:21 18:30

I was 661 out of 750 walkers.
I was 28th in my age class for women out of 34 (age 25-29).
My final time was 57:21 (though I'm not sure that's from when I crossed the finish line, but I'm not being picky).
And my pace time was 18:30...which is friggin' amazing for me!

So after I rehydrated with a couple bottles of water, we head down to watch the closing and (more importantly) see if we won the door prize trip to NYC! *lol* (We didn't win. :( ) There was a super long line for the free food for racers after, but it looked like nasty pasta, an icky salad soaked in some sort of oil, and pizza...and none of that looked a bit appetizing. Hollynn and Ron pulled out a big surprise when they brought out a cooler of yummy healthy food. *love* this! Totally stealing this idea for my next race! So instead we had turkey wraps and strawberries with our water. I just couldn't stop laughing -- this is a total Sparkie thing to do, bring your own food for after your race! *lol* So I snapped a picture...

Around 9:45pm, with the Hubs impatiently waiting to leave, I hobbled back to the car, changed out of my sweaty shirt and settled in for the long ride home only after checking on my foot. No real clue what happened, but it doesn't feel too good. Thankfully I brought the medicated bandaid and slapped one on immediately before heading home...then I lay back and let Hubs drive us the two hours home.

And for your viewing pleasure...or displeasure, actually...this is what my foot looked like when I got home.

Finally, because it's Sunday it's also Weigh-In Day.

Highest Weight: 466.6
SP Starting Weight: 416.2
Last Week: 369.2
Goal This Week: 366.0
Actual: 365.2
Weight Loss This Week: 4 pounds!
Total Weight Loss with SP: 51 pounds!!
Total Overall Weight Loss: 101.4 pounds!!!

I did NOT expect this! Usually when I work out super hard it takes my body a week to catch up...but I did have that gain last week. So there it 366...actually, I skipped that! Three hundred sixty five! Holy crap! I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself. I finished my first 5k. I've lost 100 pounds again and surpassed it. I've lost 51 pounds since April 18th, since starting SP! Ask me today and I'll tell you -- I totally rock!

Thank you Hubs!
Thank you Hollynn and Ron!
Thank you Spark Friends!

I can't WAIT to tell my kids when they come home here soon!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETSUGAR7 9/14/2010 12:03PM

Thank you for sharing your awesome story~

Keep up the good work~

It is better to vent and talk about everything it is like it sets you free and it feels good~

Have a great week


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LIFEISPURRFECT 8/14/2010 10:05PM

    What an inspiration! You rock girl ;) And congratulations on your first 5K emoticon emoticon

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LINGAIL1 8/13/2010 6:38PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUV2HIKEAR 8/12/2010 9:22PM

    Way to go! Proud of you girl - you ROCK!!!


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PATTIQ1 8/12/2010 5:46PM

    GREAT JOB! and congratulations for your persistance and dedication!

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FAT_2_FAB 8/12/2010 3:22PM

    First, let me say I sat here in tears reading your blog. It's amazing how you can be so proud of someone you've never met, but your strength, courage, perserverance, determination, motivation (the list goes on and on) stretches for miles, and I can't tell you how happy I am for you. You did a great job.

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DEAJCOOK 8/12/2010 2:34PM

  After reading this I think I need to seriously consider doing a 5K! Awesome job, great perseverence! emoticon

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13-1GIRL 8/11/2010 4:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great JOB!!! loved the bog!! you are doing AWESOME!! Are you addicted, when is the next 5k?? LOL !!woohooo!!

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SURCH1 8/11/2010 3:57PM

    What a wonderful feeling it is to finish your first 5K!!! Congratulations!!!

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KIMMYLOU2012 8/11/2010 3:20PM

    You are quite an inspiration. Keep on going, you are doing GREAT!!!! Nothing feels quite like crossing that finish line does it?

Congrats!!! Kim

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 8/11/2010 8:40AM

    You are awesome! That totally inspries me to do a 5k! I've been talking about it, but I keep putting it off, thanks for the inspiration!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WONDERJUL 8/10/2010 1:13AM

    Loved reading about your experience. Way to go!!

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SBHPATRICK 8/9/2010 11:21PM

    Awesome blog about a wonderful accomplishment - congratulations!

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    What an awesome first race experience! I'm so proud and happy for you - and it is very cool that you got to hang out with a fellow Sparkie. Way to go Esther! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/9/2010 11:14:41 PM

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CARTER3281 8/9/2010 8:31PM

    WOW! Congratulations on the race and your weight loss. You are inspiring. emoticon

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MIZCATHI 8/9/2010 8:00PM

    So inspiring, thank you so much for sharing your joys, triumph, and sweet agony!

Cat emoticon

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SIXTEES 8/9/2010 7:48PM

    You did the amazing thing - made a tear come to my eye!
And the 5K. I hope this might be me someday.
Good work.

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ELISADEL 8/9/2010 5:04PM

    So glad you enjoyed your first race!

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    woohoo ON THE 101 LBS LOST And 51 since April - You are absolutely amazing! You inspire me so much. (not that I want to add any pressure). Just incredible!

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BAYBELIEVER 8/9/2010 3:15PM

    Way to go! Wow! 18:30 per mile. That is awesome! And with hills and everything! You should be so proud...oh wait! You are! You go ahead, and you just keep celebrating and shouting it from the rooftops! I would!!

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MERAINA 8/9/2010 2:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonHappy dance time! emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticonDo the happy dance! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_TRIXIE_ 8/9/2010 2:22PM

    Way to go! I'm so proud of you!

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JRIMM4 8/9/2010 2:13PM


Really, really amazing rundown! Thanks for sharing, as someone who is not sure they'll ever take to running - I have to admit I've always been curious and you've allowed me to take a glimpse. Thanks!


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-JENSSPARK- 8/9/2010 2:11PM

    Congrats! You worked so hard and you deserve to feel great about your achievement! Awesome job on the race!!

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ATROTTIER 8/9/2010 2:01PM

    I'm so glad I found your blog because of Spunky who is on one of my teams and I always follow her inspirational blogs. Hearing your experience with your first 5K is getting me really pumped up for mine which is in like 6 weeks. I'm still training for it and I think your story has encouraged me to really keep on with my training because the 5K does sound intense but wonderful at the same time - I'm totally bringing my own food too! Thanks for sharing your experience - you did fantastic!!!! =)

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    Simply amazing. I am glad you finished and got to meet a new friend. Great job and great job on the weigh loss too!

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TEAM-SARAH 8/9/2010 1:04PM

    Oh my gosh that looks quite painful!! To think... you finished this race way comfortably under an hour AND with that painful blister! Wow... way to push yourself, I am soooo proud of you! Isn't it amazing what the atmosphere of the race does for your motivation? Already thinking about the next?? :)

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARVY09 8/9/2010 12:43PM

    Girl, congrats on the 5K and your "badge of honor!" Your heel looks nasty, but hun, it's a badge of honor and you should totally wear it that way! I'm so happy you beat your goal and finished in under an hour. Isn't amazing what can be done?

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HARMONYBLUE 8/9/2010 12:35PM

    Congrats on finishing your first 5K. It sounds like and amazing experience. And losing 100 pounds and all you have accomplished so far on this journey, I am jealous you got to meet Hollynn and Ron! They seem super cool:)

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BOGUSANNIE 8/9/2010 10:23AM

    Awesome Work!!! Congrats to you on your first 5K!!! Remarkable, I am glad you didn't quit!

Congrats on your Total weight loss as rock!


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MARYANNGI 8/9/2010 10:05AM

    Congrats of finishing your 5k. emoticon emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 8/9/2010 6:18AM

    Amazing journey in every way - the race, the awesome progress since Spark, the optimistic outlook! You rock!

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    emoticon on your amazing accomplishments! You are doing emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/9/2010 2:47AM

    Absolutely phenomenal! You have something to be proud of, and how cool to end up connecting with SPUNKYDUCKY there, too?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1128 8/8/2010 10:15PM

    You kicked a---! You're awesome!

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NETTER61 8/8/2010 10:10PM

    Oh, Esther! How proud we are of you!! And you have every right to brag and boast about these accomplishments! You have done such an awesome job!!! Congrats to you! Sure hope the blister heals quickly.

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PENGUITO 8/8/2010 9:16PM

    It was great meeting you & Shane! Hanging out with you guys was the best part of the day! Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments! emoticon emoticon

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SPUNKYDUCKY 8/8/2010 8:55PM

    I feel like I relived the race reading your blog. I was exhausted after work today, so might get mine up tonight, tomorrow at the latest...yours is wonderful - totally worth the length to experience the race through you. Meeting you and Shane was our favorite part of the day, even better than crossing the finish line and I had tears in my eyes for you when you finished -I was so proud of you for working so hard! It was a perfect day.

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RAVENSONG37 8/8/2010 8:11PM

    You totally made me cry. I'm so proud of you Esther. Your foot is totally a war wound!!

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RAVENSONG37 8/8/2010 8:11PM

    You totally made me cry. I'm so proud of you Esther. Your foot is totally a war wound!!

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KILA1228 8/8/2010 7:54PM


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STARDUSTD 8/8/2010 6:26PM

  emoticon on kicking that 5K's butt! And on your amazing weight loss. emoticon emoticon I'm glad you realize how totally awesome you are. What an enjoyable blog to read!

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TRACYDUKA 8/8/2010 5:45PM

    YAY! You go lady! :D That's so awesome! :) I wonder what would prevent a blister in that spot? You might want to go to a running shoe store that specializes in 5k-marathons and they might have ideas, like certain socks, etc.

CONGRATS on the weightloss! That's beyond awesome. And you didn't share it with us in Awesome Adventurers! :) That's awesome. :)

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    WOW! I am amazed and impressed and am all misty-eyed for you! (Okay, actually crying...) I was sitting here working on some client stuff that is NOT adding up, is an undocumented mess, and is giving me a gigantic headache and then I popped into Spark and saw your blog post. Thank you for your honesty, your courage, and for being so real and positive! I would have been cheering like a freak for you if I could have been there!!


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KNOWMOREBBK 8/8/2010 5:00PM

    That is so wonderful!!! I am so proud of you! It almost chokes me up to see how much you have accomplished in such a short time!

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PRETTYMANDI 8/8/2010 4:49PM

    Go you! Go you go you go you!

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SHERRY528 8/8/2010 4:14PM

    Wow, Esther! It was SO FUN to "BE AT THE RACE WITH YOU!":-) We could feel just like we WERE! Thanks for such a good report-I can JUST IMAGINE what it was like crossing that FINISH LINE!
YOUR POOR FOOT, tho! Sure hope it's not hurting tooo bad today-but we know it is. Hope it eases soon and you just revel in what you did to get it. You're AWESOME---and to THINK that part of the reason those families of the children have it a lil' easier is CUZ OF YOU!!!
And to TOP IT OFF---100+ GONE and 50+ with SP---such fantastic timing for a REWARD for you! HUGS!!! Sherry

Comment edited on: 8/8/2010 4:19:35 PM

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MAMADELIGHT 8/8/2010 3:16PM

    WICKED AWESOME!!!! You did it, lady!!!

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MADDEELOU 8/8/2010 2:51PM

    Wow!!! You totally ROCK!! Congrats on the race and the weight loss. Over 100 pounds--incredible. It was a great race report. Thanks for sharing. Hope your foot is healing quickly.

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It's Not About Me -Getting Ready for the Race

Saturday, August 07, 2010

"Debbie Green was a 7 year old girl from Benwood, WV. She was like every other little girl…she loved going to school, cheerleading, and playing with her friends. Debbie was loved by all who knew her. She enjoyed life to the fullest. In 1970, Debbie was diagnosed with leukemia. For two long years, she battled the disease with courage and determination. On February 10, 1972, friends from all over the Ohio Valley put on a benefit show for her, calling it “Debbie Green Day”, helping her during her difficult time. That day meant so much to Debbie and her family, but in less than 2 months, on April 4, 1972, Debbie lost her courageous battle with leukemia. Now, from tragedy comes triumph, and from sadness comes hope. Debbie’s memory lives on with this wonderful event which benefits local children who also suffer from leukemia and need our love and support, just like Debbie did 38 years ago."

Yesterday I struggled with the "why am I doing this" question. Hubs thinks that driving 2 hours to walk 3.1 miles is just plain silly. He's trying to be supportive, but he just doesn't get it. And I can't blame him for that. But this morning I posted a link to the race on Facebook and up pops Debbie Green's story...and it hit me. The outcome doesn't really matter for me. Why did I pay money to walk 3 miles? "Proceeds of the event will benefit a local recipient who suffers from leukemia."

This is for a fellow West Virginian. It's for someone who can't think about things like running/walking a 5k, 10k, HM, or Marathon...because their thoughts are focused on getting better, on surviving. They don't question whether living is important because the choice is literally life or death. And if my little bit of money helps them or their family even a little with hospital costs or living costs, then it's completely worth it. I need to remember that's really not about me.

The motto or tagline of this race is simple -- Race for a reason. That's what I hope to do tonight. For the WVian suffering with lukemia, for my kids who believe I can do anything and never doubt me, for my husband who puts up with what I want even when he doesn't really understand, for people here on Spark who don't think they could ever walk a 5k, and for the child I was and the woman I want to be. (Okay, so it's a little about me.)

My clothes are in the dryer now. My iPhone is charging. My kids are getting ready to go up to Grandma's for a camping trip. Hubs is getting a little more sleep. I'm looking up directions and am about to print out my receipt so I make sure I have proof that I signed up and paid. And then we're off around 2:30pm. I'll post some pictures tomorrow for everyone. And, most of all, I'm not going to focus on the fact that the scale isn't budging and I'm getting a little frustrated by it. (I'll deal with that tomorrow.)

I'll be back tomorrow as a woman who has completed a 5k.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENSONG37 8/8/2010 8:03PM

    As the child of a woman who died of cancer, thank you for your support of those who need it. Thank you for being selfless and generous and for using your amazing body to help others. Thank you for being wonderful.

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BAYBELIEVER 8/7/2010 11:25PM

    Awesome blog! I can't wait to see photos and here how proud of yourself you are! The heck with that scale, you know you are changing! It will catch up.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/7/2010 3:19PM

    You are amazing girl! I'm rooting for you and waiting to hear ALL about it! emoticon

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MAMADELIGHT 8/7/2010 3:04PM

    I ran a half for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I was overwhelmed by stories of survivors and the ones who had passed. Those carry you through those miles.

Nice work!

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MAGPIE17 8/7/2010 2:43PM

    Have an awesome time!

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    This is really awesome!! I bet if I looked around in my area I could find some benefits like this one to participate in. Rooting for you!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 8/7/2010 1:22PM

    I am driving 1 hour 15 to do the race as well. Maybe we will see each other there. Good luck in the race!

Comment edited on: 8/7/2010 1:23:05 PM

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PRETTYMANDI 8/7/2010 1:08PM

    Yay you! I am so proud of you! You inspire me! For the first time ever I am thinking about walking a 5k now.

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 8/7/2010 12:27PM

    I am with you in spirit!! I am really excited about this... Can't wait to hear about it and see some pics! Woohoo!!

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SASSAGAIN 8/7/2010 12:27PM

    You are going to have an awesome time! Can't wait to see you finish that race!!

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ERIN1128 8/7/2010 12:03PM

    You go girl! Make sure you bring a camera, so hubs can take a pic of your triumphant finish!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 8/7/2010 12:02PM

    Yeah, you will!!!! You are amazing :)

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Do It Right - W15.D6

Friday, August 06, 2010

So I went to the gym today and made myself go through 30 minutes on the elliptical in order to earn my boxing time. This is a new activity for me so it's more like fun time than working out. I struggled through the first 20 minutes or so of those 30 minutes, but I earned my time and I put on my gloves and headed into the boxing room.

I don't really know what I'm doing. I just do whatever I want...that's why I have to earn it. But today I saw the speedbag there and I have always really wanted to learn how to work that silly thing.

First of all, it's the prettiest piece of equipment in there. It's red with black lining, and has a cute little white lacing up one side.

Second, I have no coordination, and I really want to be coordinated. I'm hoping I'm not to old to learn.

But the last time I tried to hit the speedbag, the thing popped right off the little ring it's hooked on, and I felt silly and inexperienced and a bad little kid who was gonna break somebody's toy. But today, I didn't care. Today I reasoned that there was no one in the room with me. The gym was pretty quiet. I kept my headphones in and vowed to figure out how to hit the thing with some rhythm, even if it was REALLY slow.

After about 10 minutes I did find my rhythm. It was super fun to figure out where to hit the bag with my hand to get the right bounce back, where exactly I had to strike the bag (and where not to hit the popped off about 4 times as I tried to figure it out, each time I learned something new), and when to hit the bag on the bounce back.

I kept thinking about how all of this is a learning process. What foods to eat when, what works for me as far as calories burned and calories consumed. It's all about the right combo, the right left right hit on the speedbag.

By the time I left the gym I felt renewed. I can still learn and I will continue to learn for the rest of my life.

I also felt something else...powerful.

Powerful is a great feeling. For the rest of my workout I kept on my handwrap gloves like they were my very own version of Wonder Woman bracelets. It was the big S on my chest that propelled me through 50 crunches with a medicine ball and a full set of strength training. I didn't want the power to end.

I finally took my gloves off during stretching and, you know what? I still felt powerful. You can't cut my hair and steal my strength...because it's within me. That power I feel is the confidence I have in my ability to learn and grow as a person.

No, the scale hasn't moved in 2 days (which is weird because my weight never stays the exact same two days in a row), but my muscles are looking great. And I feel so much stronger than I ever have.

I hope I feel powerful again tomorrow at the 5k. I don't have any worries about doing 3 miles, but I feel....unsupported by family and friends right now (not my Sparkies though! Feeling the love there!). Hubs doesn't want to make the drive. I don't think he sees the point of driving 2 hours so I can walk 3 miles when I can walk out the door and walk 3 miles down the street. And I can't seem to find a way to explain it to him. I just need this. I'm chasing that powerful feeling. I'm chasing the high of confidence. (And maybe I worry that I won't get that high...and I'm scared that I feel the need for it...)

But whether I go alone or Hubs comes with me, I will go tomorrow. And I will do it up right. I will wear the right clothes and put my star headband on, and put my arms in the right position, and push my legs to do their best for me. And when I'm done...I'll be done...and then I'll try to gauge how I feel...

I'd love to end this on a high, but all I feel like doing is .... *shrug*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENSONG37 8/8/2010 8:00PM

    you are putting me to shame! I'm feeling lazy just reading what you are doing...good motivation!!

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PRETTYMANDI 8/7/2010 9:51AM

    You rock! I want to box, too! I have done it with the wii and really liked it! Since finding spark there are all sorts of sports that are fun that I never would have considered before!

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IPATRICIA 8/7/2010 4:19AM

    Wow! what a blog, I felt 'Powerful' just reading it. emoticon

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SUSIEMT 8/7/2010 12:08AM

    Well, I can see that Big Red S on your chest myself! It looks good on you. You are powerful. You may want to tell Hubby that you need his support on this journey and if he is not willing to give you the support you need you will get it elsewhere! From the people that love you! Your spark buddies!

Take care luv. We can do this! emoticon Enjoy your walk tomorrow!

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Don't Go Shopping When You're Tired - W15.D5

Thursday, August 05, 2010

So yesterday was brilliant. Seriously. I had a good day at work, followed by a great time at the gym and then blissfully quiet evening with the Hubs.

I ended up doing 3.06 miles in 60 minutes on the treadmill (after a warm-up on the indoor track) and then did 5 or 6 minutes of cool down on the indoor track. About mile 2.5 I hit that wall and thought I'd die, and then I pushed through and felt like I was flying! I *love* that feeling! Following that performance, I'm not too too worried about Saturday (except for the weather because it's been storming like crazy here in WV!).

Weird Gym Story:

So last night I'm reading my book on the treadmill, doing a solid 3.1 pace and I feel good. And then this guy comes up and gets on the machine next to me. He sticks in his headphones and gets a steady walk going before upping to a run and doing a few intervals. I think nothing of it. And then the guy starts talking, and singing, and muttering under his breath. I mean, I couldn't understand everything he was saying, it was just super annoying. Half the time he's mumbling the words to a song (I assume) and the other times he's telling himself "Come on!" and "Let's go!" I honestly think that unless you're relatively alone in your part of the gym you should keep these pep talks to yourself. Sure, I've slipped every now and again, but not for like 20 minutes straight! I nearly lost it when I thought I overheard him say, "Ow! My ball sack!" No lie.

Needless to say, I nearly hugged the next guy who didn't talk to himself at all and seemed relatively normal. Of course, I didn't want to seem abnormal so I kept that thought to myself.

After the gym I showered and put on the tight shorts (which won't be tight in a couple more weeks, mark my words!) and headed to dinner with the Hubs. Mexican. Chicken fajitas. Relatively healthy considering. I curbed my munch on the chips and salsa and drank a ton of water. Then Hubs decided we should go somewhere after dinner. Now in the near hickville town near our home, there is rarely anything open late other than the bar, and even they close early sometimes (and the other one, I learned, had no electricity because of the storms), so where we ended up was Wal-Mart. We walked around leisurely for an hour. We circled the entire store and looked at everything from batteries to tires to workout clothes (sports bras and socks and shirts in my basket, oh my!). I finally turned to him and said, "Hun? I'm exhausted. I think I need to go home now." And home we did. And in bed I did soon collapse.

Apparently I didn't sleep enough because I feel like poo on a stick right now. It took everything in me to get myself out of the bed this morning. I thought I was going to kill someone if they looked at me wrong, and then I just got giddy, and I've been there pretty much all day. And it's an ugly day. And I'm sore and tired. And I have to work 11 hours here and then another 3-4 at the paper. And all I want to do is crawl into a ball and snore and dream. And instead I ate 4 servings of honey roasted peanuts for a snack, which I bought on a tired shopping trip to CVS, which I went to in order to get cash out to give a co-worker for the ham and cheese sub she brought me back. Moral of the story? Esther needs more sleep. And Esther is using today as her rest day because if I tried to do a push-up I'd probably fall on the ground and wouldn't be able to get up.

emoticon ---I'm jealous of this emoticon right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSING107 8/11/2010 10:20AM

    Haha I probably would have thought it was funny at first, then gotten annoyed after ten minutes of it. Ow my ball sack? LOL. But then again, Come on and Lets go sound like lyrics to a Lil Jon song...

You're a great inspiration, congrats on your progress so far!

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RAVENSONG37 8/8/2010 7:58PM

    "Ow my ball sack!" teehee....

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BAYBELIEVER 8/5/2010 10:47PM

    I love that you are jealous of the emoticon! Don't worry, it didn't walk on the treadmill first! You keep doing what you are doing, but be sure to get enough sleep to stay healthy and ready to rock it!

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    Here's to wishing you a good night's sleep, but I also have to thank you for the laugh! OMG what was wrong with that weirdo's ball sack??? Wonder if that was my ex-husband...? Nah, he'd never have been on a treadmill!

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CALLIKIA 8/5/2010 3:52PM

    People at work comment that I can read anywhere. I often walk around the office reading and I haven't run into a wall...yet.

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ERIN1128 8/5/2010 3:44PM

    That's so weird, there's an older guy who walks and runs around the park where I live, and he's constantly talking and muttering to himself! I thought he was just a crazy, but maybe this is a thing some guys do? Or maybe there are just a lot of crazies around, LOL!

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MERAINA 8/5/2010 3:34PM

Wish there was a smilie with a hammock to relax in! I'd give it to you!

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-JENSSPARK- 8/5/2010 3:33PM

    Great night at the gym! I have to have my iPod in so I don't get distracted by the other gym goers. I also can't read when I'm working out. I can't stay focused enough on the book, so I'm jealous that you have that to help the time go by faster. Heck, I can't even focus on whatever TV show I have playing on the little TV attached to my machine.

So, you found sports bras at WM? Please share that info!

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