Saturday, August 21, 2010
So I was wondering today how on task I was with my August goals...I went back and checked and this is what I said on the first of this month:
So the plan for August? Keep at it. Work the nutrition goals you set for yourself in the beginning and get back on track with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Play time is over...time to work! (Though I can have fun doing it and then it feels a lot like play time.)
8/8 - 367
8/15 - 365
8/22 - 363
8/29 - 361
I'm so ready to see those 350s!
I, Esther, vow that today I am recommitting myself to the program I have set for myself. I will eat more healthy foods. I will cook at home instead of going out to eat. I will pick some fresh vegetables from my garden and enjoy the bounty the earth gives me. I will not let myself punish myself for missteps. I will learn and grow from the challenges I face in order to become a better, happier, healthier new me. I will stop focusing on the future of "the end" and start focusing on today and the here and now. I will ensure that my workouts benefit my heart and my soul. I will learn something new this month to add to my list of healthy activities. I will challenge myself to do better and allow myself the time to rest now and again. I will realize that I am not perfect and I could never try to be. Sometimes I will fall, but I will get back up again. I will not let the scale control my actions today or any day. I will remember that in life there is no scale following me around announcing my weight to those I meet. I am my own ambassador. A smile on my face and confidence in my step will show them that I am a strong, powerful woman who takes care of herself body, mind, and spirit. I will remember that by taking care of myself I am teaching my children healthy habits. And I will enjoy having my kids with me on active outings once again. I am recommitting myself to this process because it makes me feel like I can conquer the world. It makes me feel strong and wise and gives my heart the fullness it needs. I promise this to myself.
Now, let's see...this is what I've done so far as far as weight:
8/8 - 365.2
8/15 - 362.8
So it seems I've been under my goals so far. I have no clue what the scale will say tomorrow...all week it's been up and down (mostly up).
So what if I gain tomorrow?
No, really...what if? My eating has been a little erratic this week, and my exercise has been insane this week. I missed 2 ST sessions this week due to intense cardio session and/or the need to be at home with my boys. My body is sore. My knee went out in bed on Thursday, but it went right back in and I was good again. Today it's sore so even though I'm supposed to walk 6 miles, I know it's best to just rest it today and let it heal correctly. I'll focus on my son's game today. If I feel good I'll walk around the field when my son isn't playing. So IF I gain or maintain tomorrow, I'll just keep going anyways. Crap happens, and I have plenty of accomplishments to be proud of this week.
As far today is concerned, I'm in the middle of cooking a batch of Chocolate Zucchini Bread. I'll let you know how it goes. Sounds yum, though! (Just waiting on Hubs to get back from borrowing vanilla from the MIL.) In a couple hours we'll be headed to Parkersburg for Ethan's first game. They keep moving him around and there's talk that he'll be on both first string and second string offense...one as a guard, the other as center. He's excited and so am I!
So, one more full week of August. Time to show myself the discipline in eating I've learned over the past four months and send the summer out in high-style! I seriously can't wait to see (and then beat) the 350s.
Friday, August 20, 2010
So I'm at the gym peddling away on the recumbent bike and bored out of my mind. I think I hate the bike. It's boring. My feet get numb in that position. And I never feel like I'm pushing enough, sweating enough, accomplishing enough. But I know I'm burning calories, and I'm maintaining a 60-70 pace, so why am I so hung up on what I think isn't happening? And why does this feeling always seem to come a day or two after a huge accomplishment?
Yesterday I was sore but flying high emotionally. I had finally conquered my 5-miler, and I felt like I had done something brave and powerful. But I know I can't push like that every day. I can't conquer myself each and every day or I'll burn out or overdo it. Even Hubs commented yesterday that he thought my 5-miler was too soon, too fast while we were talking about how my body was so sore all day and I asked him what vitamins I could take to reduce the waste products brought about through the muscle tearing that happens in a work out. He looked at me, wondering why I needed such a quick fix, wondering why I couldn't just back off a little and let my body rest.
I know that I need to rest. I've done enough research on exercising and training and I know how important those rest periods are for repairing your muscles so they can continue to perform at their best. And I'm not necessarily looking for a quick fix for weight loss as I seem to be searching for a quick fix for muscle recovery so I can do it again, best myself, accomplish something. But as I was sitting there super bored I thought to myself, "OMG, is accomplishment a drug?" I'm a lot like an addict. My fixes are that pride in accomplishment...that feeling you get when you surprise yourself and do something you didn't think you really could. When I first started out my high lasted a long time, but more and more it only lasts a day or two. Not even 48 hours after my 5-miler accomplishment and I'm looking for my next fix.
I've heard a lot about how some food addicts end up switching that addiction for exercise, and a time or two I've even teased that I wish I could be one of those people because at least I'd be skinny. But I've been searching for balance, not addiction. I want to find a peace in my life. I don't want to be searching for any fix - food, exercise, drug or otherwise. If anything, I want to be high on life...So I'm worried...has pride become my drug???
Pride tends to be a dirty word in my mind. It's a selfish and egotistical word. Pride isn't good...isn't it one of the 7 Deadly Sins? OMG! ...that's what I kept telling myself.
Wikipedia says this:
Pride is, depending on the interactional and cultural context, either a high sense of one's personal status (i.e., leading to judgments of personality and character) or the specific mostly positive emotion that is a product of praise or independent self-reflection. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g., that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others. Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine: "the love of one's own excellence". In this sense, the opposite of pride is humility.
Pride is sometimes viewed as excessive or as a vice, sometimes as proper or as a virtue. While some philosophers such as Aristotle (and George Bernard Shaw) consider pride a profound virtue, most world religions consider it a sin.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, proud comes from late Old English prut, probably from Old French prud "brave, valiant" (11th century) (which became preux in French), from Late Latin term prodis "useful", which is compared with the Latin prodesse "be of use". The sense of "having a high opinion of oneself", not in French, may reflect the Anglo-Saxons' opinion of the Norman knights who called themselves "proud", like the French knights preux.
When viewed as a virtue, pride in one's appearance and abilities is known as virtuous pride, greatness of soul or magnanimity, but when viewed as a vice it is often termed vanity or vainglory.
For the past 24 or so years (I'm giving myself my early years, because we don't tend to criticize ourselves when we're super young) I've had humility shoved down my throat as a virtue. Be selfless. Do not be proud. Be a good loser. Don't be a sore winner. Show respect to your competitors. You aren't that good, that special. Don't think too highly of yourself. Don't get a big head. Don't be narcissistic. Be humble. Think of others, not yourself.
And I did that. For a long time I put myself last. For a long time I made sure my friends, family, kids, husband were happy, even if I didn't really feel happy at all. And I hated myself most days.
So maybe pride isn't such a bad thing. I'm realizing that people around me seem more happy with me when I'm happy. It's much easier to get along with those around me when I feel fulfilled, and for right now this training for a 10k is driving my ambition...but that doesn't mean it will always be that way. This "journey" we're all on is a narcissistic journey in itself. We spend a lot of time trying to change our appearance so we're constantly focused on what we look like, how we're getting fit, how our body is changing, etc.
But I'm still cautious. Is pride my drug right now?? I don't know...maybe. But I'm going to be more aware of this as I go and be proud of other accomplishments, like healing and rest days. I'm going to be proud that I'm giving my body the rest it needs and thank my muscles for healing so I can call upon them again soon. Maybe right now it's not about getting rid of my pride (because I'm starting to think that pride in one's self isn't as bad as all the stories and religions have made it out to be) but being proud of more than just my physical accomplishments.
What do you think? Are you chasing an exercise high? Do you experience down days when you have to hold back? Are you anxious to get to those challenge days?
Just for fun I've been going through some old pictures. Here's a picture of "skinny" Esther.
Age 4. Probably a picture for Easter. What the crap is up with the red sailor bow thing on that dress? Wow!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This is a picture of a girl who is unsure of herself.
This is a picture of a girl who is embarassed by the way she looks.
This is a picture of a girl who feels broken, alone, scared for the future, and unsure of what will happen next.
This is a picture of a girl who wants to be taken seriously.
This is a picture of a girl standing in a dark room in a gym, afraid that everyone around her is judging her.
This is a picture of a girl who wants it to be understood that while she may look like a 'fat slob,' she is doing everything she can to change - to make the outside match the inside so people will look at her and want to get to know her before deciding they already know who she is and what she's about.
This is a picture of a girl who knows exactly who she is.
This is a picture of a girl who is proud of the muscles she has built that are starting to show themselves already.
This is a picture of a girl who feels strong, united with her fellow athletes, excited for the future, and sure that the next step will be even better than the last.
This is a picture of a girl who demands to be taken seriously.
This is a picture of a girl sitting at her desk at work, who even though is tired and sore from her training at the gym last night, feels confident and proud and doesn't care what anyone around her thinks about her outside appearance because she can feel the power within.
This is a picture of a girl who understands that appearances don't matter as much as action, that she has made positive changes and will continue to make them, and understands that the people who are worth knowing will try to get know her before ever attempting to make a judgement on who she is or what she is all about.
That red-headed baby being held by her blonde sister had no clue that she would suffer through life, but would somehow find the courage to come out the other side. She had no clue that one day she would find herself 29 and weighing 366 pounds, and would still find the courage and strength to ignore those numbers and try for another - 5. Five miles of walking. Five miles, taking every step in defiance of what she was called in the past, of what she was made to feel like, of the judgements that were made about her. And she had no idea that she would come out of those five miles more sure of herself and her abilities, unafraid of numbers. Six miles? Sure. Ten miles? I can work my way up to that. Thirteen? Not at all spooky.
August 18, 2010
4 Month SparkVersary
The day I conquered the 5-miler
Faster, stronger, braver than ever before.
Today I feel like a warrior!
Yes, I am sore. Yes, I managed to get a blister on the OTHER foot. (OUCH!) But it feels so good to wear these battle scars, because --
Yes, I can walk 5 miles! (and do it under a 20-min/mile pace!)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
On April 19th I arrived home following a trip to a friend's house in Ohio. That friend had been working out and so had several other people around me. I guess I caught the bug, because when I got home I sat down at my computer and thought - Okay, let's make this work. From losing weight previously, I knew how important it was to log my calories, so I searched Google for a free site that would allow me to do that, and up popped SparkPeople. Sure, I'll check it out. Looked good enough. I liked that I could have my own space, and I'm always attracted to blogs, because I think they're a lot like journaling and that's always been a HUGE part of it for me. I made myself a promise - be honest. I told myself that no one was watching me anyways and that the most important thing was to be completely 100% raw honest with myself. Sugar-coating crap led me to one thing only - donuts...and cake...and cupcakes, okay, maybe a few things.
Now four months later, one of my biggest accomplishments and one of the biggest things that makes me love Spark more and more every day is that my honesty is appreciated and respected. If I had been faced with people bashing me for being honest, I would never have stayed and likely would have given up the whole shebang of trying to lose weight. But Spark has become synonomous with the word "support" and I have to give props to all my Spark Friends and anyone who just stumbles by for your advice, support, suggestions, encouragement, and simple *love*.
So in four months, I can honestly say that I've become a different version of myself. This version was always there in spirit, she just didn't know how to break free of the shell I had created for her and stuffed her into. Everything was just TOO HARD before, and now things are becoming easier each and every day. I have accomplished so much and have so much to be proud of after just four months of hard work!!
April 18th to August 18th, 2010
I have lost 50 pounds!
I was SO SO happy when the scale came down today to 366.2 so I could honestly say that I had lost 50 pounds from April 18th to today!
I have lost a total of 27.25 inches!
- 6.75 in the waist
- 7.5 off the hips
- 3 from my neck
- 5.5 from my thigh
- 2.5 off my calf
- 2 from my upper arm
I've gone from being able to do about 2 (yes, just 2) modified ("girly" as my boys say) push-ups to today being able to do 12 regular pushups in one minute. Granted, I can't go down that far, but this is a HUGE improvement.
After doing those pushups today I now realize that I am able to do a plank! I don't know for how long yet, but I couldn't even stay in the position long enough to count to one before!
I've gone from being able to do about 12 (very difficult) crunches, to doing 49 non-stop in a minute! (I'm so friggin proud! I'm loving my core today!)
My resting heart rate is around 65 now, which is in the low range. No clue what it was before, but I can assure you it was probably UP THERE! (I'll ask the doc when I go in next week what it was before.)
I have logged 5,874 fitness minutes in 4 months! That's an average of 1,468.5 fitness minutes a month!
I completed 30 in 30 - 30 consecutive days of working out in June! (I'm thinking of shooting for 50 or 100 the next time...but after I finish my 10k training...)
I went from barely being able to complete a full mile (walking) to doing 2 and 3 milers at least once a week. (And tonight is my 5-mile training, which I'm actually feeling a LOT better about today.)
I walked my first (non-competitive) 5k at home (5/26) in 1:15.39.
I walked my first ever competitive 5k (8/7) in 57.21! That's 18.18 off my previous time!
I've earned over 5,000 Spark Points (I don't concern myself too much with Spark Points usually unless I'm bored one day and try to start racking up a score by reading articles and doing polls. *shrug*)
I started merely walking and using my inStride cycle. Now I do Zumba, stationary bike, boxing, row machine, rowing on the lake, elliptical, treadmill, walking, (real) gardening, (fake) gardening, swimming, water aerobics (self-guided at the lake), hiking - and I just can't wait to try more things! I use as many opportunities as I can to burn calories...that's why they call me the Calorie Killa! ;)
I have gone from 0 ST to Spark's suggested ST routine, to a full round on the ST machines 3 times a week at the gym. I do anywhere from 50-70 crunches a day (where I used to do about 20).
I stretch before and after all my exercises and sometimes in between and have found that I'm much more flexible than I ever was before!
I went from not being able to complete a full Zumba class, to modifying the entire thing (taking out jumps and turns) to last night doing the full 35-40 minutes doing EVERYTHING everyone else did!
I have gone from my knee popping out once or twice a month to no popping since May. I still watch it and try to back off it feels loose or sore, but I can tell every day that it's stronger than it has been since probably high school!
I've found some great Spark Friends that I feel extremely close to!
I've met two Sparkies in the real world - and they were wonderful! And I hope to have more meetings within the next 6 months!!
I was nominated Spark Motivator (8/10). A huge boost to the ego. I thank you ALL for your support!
I received a Popular Blog Post Award (8/10) and met some wonderful new Sparkies through it!
I was Done Girl of the Day (8/13)! Thanks Donies!! :)
I volunteered to be Co-Captain of the Awesome Adventurers team for the Biggest Loser End of Summer Challenge in Team 300lbs. Plus! (GO ADVENTURERS!!)
I've gone from a woman trying to lose weight to an athlete training for her next event. From a woman obsessed with how horrible she thought she looked to a woman proud of the strength in her body and proud of how her body seems to be taking on a better shape. I've gone from a girl who hated to shop to one who can't wait to get to the stores to see what else fits now! (And I'm trying so hard to stay away in order to save money!! *lol*)
Spark has seeped into other aspects of my life as well. My youngest son is constantly paying attention to his body and feeding it the right fuel for football practice. He works on his days off to improve his strength and flexibility. He asks ME, yes MEE!!, for advice on how to get better, stronger, faster, and more effective on the field. I find work easier to get through (though I still hate it) and I'm constantly demanding more from myself while still trying to give myself the rest and credit I deserve. I'm not afraid to speak in front of people. I have more confidence because I've built this strong sense of self-worth. And even though it wavers from time to time (see yesterday's blog), I snatch it back in a day or two and feel stong and powerful again.
And I'm not sure if it's because of me or just coincidental, but I've noticed a change in my friends too. Each day on Facebook I see more comments from friends about working out, going to the gym, starting a program and committing to a healthier life. Let's hope we're all spreading that Spark throughout the world!
So here's to another four months (and more!) of learning, of growing in self-confidence and self-worth, and shrinking physically!! Here's to us Sparkies, and the troubles we face and conquer every day! Here's to those who said we couldn't and those who always believed we could (including our fellow Sparkies!). Here's to knowing that we are doing right by our bodies and creating a fulfilling and quality life! My health teacher once asked us what was more important - quantity of life, or quality. We all knew the answer, I'm just glad all of you here have decided to take the challenge of making it so!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Ignore this...look over there...
Oh, and for your information - it's really no wonder Stella got her groove back...
Wouldn't you if you had that standing next to you and smiling at ya??
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