CALLIKIA   23,823
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CALLIKIA's Recent Blog Entries

Where Has August Gone?

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:

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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.

Signed:
Esther
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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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKY-LOU 8/22/2010 11:52AM

    Setting goals is fantastic, but falling downa and getting back up...well that is SUCESS!!

You can do this! You will see and beat the 350's, you just gotta remember to get back up! emoticon

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ERIN4771 8/22/2010 9:47AM

    rest is definitely key!! you will get to the 350's, no worries!! keep up the great work, and let us know how the chocolate zucchini bread turns out...sounds interesting!!

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KITHKINCAID 8/22/2010 1:23AM

    Fingers crossed for you girl! You deserve it!

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BAYBELIEVER 8/21/2010 10:29PM

    Almost there (to the 350s)! But look at how much you have accomplished! So, just know that it will come, if not tomorrow then soon! And yes, the rest is important! Listen to your body and let it know you care enough about it to take a day of rest when needed and eat some pretty awesome healthy foods.

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BEATLES34 8/21/2010 10:23PM

    you can doo it! good luck to ethan, too!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 8/21/2010 6:44PM

    I'm so incredibly proud of you, you are such an inspiration!!!

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RAVENSONG37 8/21/2010 4:47PM

    mmmm...chocolate zucchini bread....mmmmmmmm....I'm comin over! No matter what the scale says tomorrow you will move forward. I know it and so do you. I hope you enjoy the game today and cheer a little louder for me!

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CHICAT63 8/21/2010 3:14PM

    You are having good results and you also need to rest at times, I know it's difficult but believe me it helps. You can still have an active " rest day ". Keep up the good work, you've got this ! Bring on the 250s and September. emoticon emoticon

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BOGUSANNIE 8/21/2010 2:45PM

    great job so far...you are bringin' it lady!!!!
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DLEE27 8/21/2010 1:48PM

    Great month so far! You are rocking your goals!!!

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RRAYNER 8/21/2010 12:48PM

    August did really fly by and, alas, I did not fare as well as I would have liked to with regards to the scale.
I think now that school is starting (I'm a secretary at the school), discipline will set in. At least I hope so.
We can all relate to what you're going through.
Hang in there!
Rose emoticon

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SUGIRL06 8/21/2010 12:32PM

    Yes, sometimes you need to rest! I am glad you know that and don't push yourself to more pain! Feel better soon and keep up the great work!
~Ang

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Is Pride a Drug?

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.

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emoticon
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[1]. Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status.[2] One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine: "the love of one's own excellence".[3] 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".[4] 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.[citation needed]

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.
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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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOGUSANNIE 8/20/2010 10:40PM

    ahhhh, balance...when you find the formula...post it!!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/20/2010 9:51PM

    Dude, get out of my head. Seriously. I'm having your week and I'm experiencing the same things.

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KITHKINCAID 8/20/2010 7:27PM

    This is a great blog Esther - speaks to a lot of the stuff I'm working on in my own therapy currently. I think you said it best though when you said you are seeking balance. That's the key word. Personally I have been riding waves of "highs" my whole life - what's the next big thing? This is dangerous thinking - because after you graduate, get a good job, travel, get married, and have kids, eventually you have to "settle down" and there are no more "big things" so you run out of things to look forward to - or at least I did. When you are happy with yourself and self-focused (not self-centered, self-focused) there's more balance, and you can be as happy with the lows as with the highs. It's not easy to work on, but I'm getting there - and gaining a lot of patience along the way. Many people in my life have commented about my sense of "calm" lately and how even-keel I seem. Funny that that has happened only since I started really focusing on myself and becoming what I always associated with being selfish. It's not selfish at all - it's recognizing that YOU and your own achievements and personal goals are THE MOST important thing you could possibly do. And no one can really fault you for that!

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RAVENSONG37 8/20/2010 6:33PM

    I think I had that same dress!! This is a great blog...I'm going to think about it some more...chew on it a little. I used to be addicted to the scale moving. I think I'm working on just being healthy but it's tempting. Maybe I'm more addicted to results (being that super-over-achiever and all...). I love how you make me think...even on a Friday!

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KATRIONAH 8/20/2010 5:13PM

    Pride...hmmm. Yep, we were taught not to be prideful. But....I think there is two kinds of pride. The one that says I am better than anyone else and phooey to the world. ( Obviously that is BAD PRIDE ) Then there is the kind of pride that says I want to do the best I can and by being a better me I might inspire others to be successful in their ventures too. That is Good pride.

So....I think pride can be okay. and.....really congratulations on your success's Have a great weekend.....Karen emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 8/20/2010 3:18PM

    If the bike is boring then find something else, for sure! But remember, like you said, not every day should be super intense exercise. You need those recovery days too. They are equally important :) You're doing amazing but you definitely need to know when to give yourself a break too. You will get burnt out... I have definitely made this mistake before. I feel like I gotta go hard all the time or I'm wasting my time. Jillian Michaels can get to us all on occasion. You're doing fantastic though, celebrate that. I think sometimes I verge on replacing the food addiction with an exercise one as well. That's definitely not the right way to go about it, but I know how easy it is to do that! If I don't have some kind of thing to focus on intensely and dedicate myself to... I have no distraction. Definitely takes a lot of practice to find that balance, but you WILL. It's not easy, I still struggle, but I never give up and I know you wont either :)

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SHELLYC2010 8/20/2010 2:34PM

    As I read your blog for the day, It made me think of Our Greatest Fear by Marianne Williamson. http://explorersfoundation.org/glyp
hery/122.html
I like you and so many other I taught be humble, not to think of yourselfs, Not to celebrate those accomplishments because you will make someone else feel bad. I think in itself pride is not a bad thing. Why shouldn't we be proud of what we are accomplishing why should we celebrate. Yes, I think you could get carried away with it. At the same time 24 years of not feeling it, You have so much to be proud of! You'll work out your balance for working out and rest. Unfortantly you may swing to far one way before you get it figured out. but you'll do it.

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MAGPIE17 8/20/2010 1:35PM

    I think you have a right to be proud, but make sure (like you referred to) that it's not a fleeting thing. Be proud that you completed your 5 miles, but STAY proud. Don't dismiss is (or as you say, search for your next high) right away. And be proud that you're making such an awesome LIFESTYLE change. If you keep pushing as much as you seem to be, you might burn out really soon. And once you burn out, it can sometimes be difficult to get back on track.

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BAYBELIEVER 8/20/2010 1:22PM

    OMG! I blogged about this almost exact thing a short time ago! Yes, I have realized I have become and exercise addict! I can't stand not being able to do something on every day! And the more the better because it makes me feel great!

I hadn't thought about it from a pride point of view though. Interesting. Because the other day after doing my 40 minutes of laps (only 4 of which were NOT the crawl), and my 20 minutes of jogging and aerobics, I got out of the pool and realized I was walking straight, with my head held high! Do you know how long it has been since I have done that? I bet YOU do! And if that is what pride is leading too, then I think it is a good thing. I may still be fat. And I will be for a while. But I am getting fit. And I am so, so proud of that!

And, yes, Sparkpeople friends had to talk me down and tell me that I needed days to rest and to listen to my body. I do that better now, because I have realized that I get out the next day and feel even better! But, on that day or so of rest, I sure do feel like a slug!

Congratulations on all you are accomplishing! You set the bar so high!!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

The Answer is -- Yes, I Can!

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.

But this...?


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
Time: 1:36
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!)
emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEMT 9/23/2010 7:09PM

    I loved this blog Esther! Yea You!

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LORRAANN77 8/28/2010 12:02PM

    RAH! RAH! RAH! You're doing GREAT!
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REDSASSENACH 8/27/2010 2:57PM

    Your pictures speak volumes. Aside from how your body's changed, there's a very clear and significant change in the energy coming from you. Great job. Power, strength, and confidence are beautiful characteristics to have.

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STACEY628 8/27/2010 1:17PM

    emoticon
Can't wait til I'm ready to take that leap!

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-KIMBERLY- 8/27/2010 12:05PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NACHOSMAMA 8/27/2010 9:36AM

    You go girl!
emoticon

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WINWIN1 8/27/2010 6:40AM

    YES!! We can - great attitude

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MYASHA 8/27/2010 1:10AM

  emoticon emoticon

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JILLINWONDER 8/26/2010 8:55PM

    You go, Callikia! I love what you're doing for yourself and know you're gonna be one of the amazing, inspiring success stories! You're doing great!

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GWENFITNESS1ST 8/25/2010 8:23PM

    Thanks for sharing. You are wonderful! emoticon

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LUVMYSELF1ST 8/25/2010 8:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VEHAMILTON1 8/25/2010 4:23PM

    emoticon
Go Girl!

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RUNJEWELRUN 8/25/2010 4:20PM

    Congrats! Keep up the good work :)

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TEMPEST272002 8/25/2010 3:44PM

    What a truly beautiful expression of your journey so far. Like you, I have been amazed at how quickly my fitness improving. With each step, I gain confidence and strength. You're after picture is fabulous, sexy and strong! Keeping going!

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PEACEJENN 8/25/2010 12:58PM

    emoticon Truly AMAZING!!!! :) Congrats!!! :)

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TONISTRELEC 8/25/2010 10:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HOTTIE41465 8/25/2010 10:43AM

    Greay Blog. Very inspiring. emoticon

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SDKENT79 8/25/2010 9:33AM

    emoticon

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JUNE302 8/25/2010 8:56AM

    you go girl!! wear those blisters proud!!

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DESSALENA 8/25/2010 8:05AM

    You're awesome!!!!!

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CRROCKERGIRL 8/25/2010 7:44AM

    Oh my gosh! You are a rockstar!!!

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SPARKANN 8/24/2010 11:59PM

    Awesome!!! emoticon

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DEBLYNN323 8/24/2010 9:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTYTHICK 8/24/2010 9:49PM

  YOU RIGHT I USE TO FEEL THE SAME WAY I WAS 318 POUNDS KNOW I AM 143 TO ME PEOPLE STILL MAKE COMMENTS. THEY SAY I LOOK SICK THEY CALL ME SKELETON I DONT CARE MY MOM IS WORRIED ABOUT ME BECAUSE SHE NEVER SEEN ME SO SMALL. I WENT FROM A SIZE 26 WOMAN TO A SIZE 9 JRS. AND I FELT GREAT THREW THE JOURNEY BECAUSE I KNEW PEOPLE WERE LOOKING AT ME SAYING SHE IS FAT BUT I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING AND THAT WAS GETTING THE WEIGHT OFF.

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SMPO79 8/24/2010 4:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Hooray for super-strong, amazing, inside and out gorgeous women!! You make me proud to be on the same road...never stop!!

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RKINUGIRL 8/24/2010 3:14PM

    So glad you posted this. I needed to read it! emoticon emoticon

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MICKEYCUSTER 8/24/2010 2:08PM

    WOW! You go girl!!!! Thank you for the breath of fresh air and positive attitude.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/24/2010 2:09:14 PM

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LITTLEFIREFLY 8/24/2010 9:44AM

  great post and great job!!

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NATARSHAD 8/24/2010 9:22AM

    emoticon I can totally relate to what you were feeling and how empowered you feel when you do something good for yourself. This morning I am tired and sore from last night's workout, but like you, it's "full steam ahead!" emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/24/2010 9:23:15 AM

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TONISTRELEC 8/24/2010 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COBOUCH53 8/24/2010 8:51AM

    You Go Girl!!! Great blog - I love the confidence you have developed in yourself. . .From that far away picture to right up front on center. Great Job!

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HEIDE69 8/24/2010 7:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_KRISTIN 8/24/2010 6:39AM

  Amazing blog!! You are such an inspiration! I feel like that alot (the beginning of your blog) Look how far you have come!! Be proud - you are stronger and look beautiful!
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ARRILISIA10 8/24/2010 12:53AM

    I've been there along with you...having doubts about myself, about what people think of me based on the way I look on the outside. But it doesn't matter just as long as we know who we are and what we can make of ourselves. We don't have to answer to anyone but ourselves. You definitely shine with budding self confidence!
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NELLEGRRL 8/23/2010 8:32PM

    Beautiful post!!!!
I'm friending you ASAP!
love it :)
Thank you.
Just keep going, and I'll be here on the other end, going and going.

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FITTERLIFE4ME 8/23/2010 7:58PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BURKEBRIZ 8/23/2010 5:05PM

    I LOVED your blog! Way to go! Your empowerment is inspiring!

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DTCELLO 8/23/2010 4:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DTCELLO 8/23/2010 4:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DTCELLO 8/23/2010 4:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BABBELINGBHELL 8/23/2010 3:11PM

    you rock!!!!!!!

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DRAGONFLYGIRL11 8/23/2010 2:58PM

    Great post! you are wonderful!! emoticon emoticon

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CBAILEYC 8/23/2010 12:47PM

    Fantastic!


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MIZZMIA 8/23/2010 11:34AM

  You rock!

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**ALISON** 8/23/2010 11:33AM

    This blog brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing :)

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ERASURE 8/23/2010 10:00AM

    Inspirational!

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WEMINICH 8/23/2010 5:47AM

  Congratulations!

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SUSH_ASH 8/23/2010 1:28AM

    nice blog

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GEMINIS_25 8/23/2010 12:38AM

    Congratulations on your Sparkversary!!
You are so inspirational; I'm rooting for your continued success.

Your words capture my feeling when I picture myself on the track, looking all clumsy, slow, and out of breath........and then capture my feelings of how I want to feel (how I remember feeling) when I can run a mile (or more) continuously without stopping!

Can't wait to say, "Today: I feel like a warrior!" I am so absolutely going to take a picture of my fierce, empowered self!

Great blog! emoticon

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GEMINIS_25 8/23/2010 12:29AM

    Congratulations on your Sparkversary!!
You are so inspirational; I'm rooting for your continued success.

Your words capture my feeling when I picture myself on the track, looking all clumsy, slow, and out of breath........and then capture my feelings of how I want to feel (how I remember feeling) when I can run a mile (or more) continuously without stopping!

Can't wait to say, "Today: I feel like a warrior!" I am so absolutely going to take a picture of my fierce, empowered self!

Great blog! emoticon

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My Four Month SparkVersary

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

emoticon 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!

emoticon 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

emoticon 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.

emoticon 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!

emoticon 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!)

emoticon 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.)

emoticon I have logged 5,874 fitness minutes in 4 months! That's an average of 1,468.5 fitness minutes a month!

emoticon 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...)

emoticon 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.)

emoticon I walked my first (non-competitive) 5k at home (5/26) in 1:15.39.

emoticon I walked my first ever competitive 5k (8/7) in 57.21! That's 18.18 off my previous time!

emoticon 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*)

emoticon 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! ;)

emoticon 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).

emoticon 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!

emoticon 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!

emoticon 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!

emoticon I've found some great Spark Friends that I feel extremely close to!

emoticon 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!!

emoticon I was nominated Spark Motivator (8/10). A huge boost to the ego. I thank you ALL for your support!

emoticon I received a Popular Blog Post Award (8/10) and met some wonderful new Sparkies through it!

emoticon I was Done Girl of the Day (8/13)! Thanks Donies!! :)

emoticon 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!!)

emoticon 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!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNINGOLLIE 8/19/2010 11:19AM

    emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 8/19/2010 10:46AM

    You're awesome!!!! Happy SparkVersary!!! You've hit some incredible goals in the last 4 months and and you'll do even more in the next 4! Keep up the great work!


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BAYBELIEVER 8/19/2010 12:30AM

    Great blog! So much in just 4 months! Who knows where else you can go, right?

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BAYBELIEVER 8/19/2010 12:24AM

    Great blog! So much in just 4 months! Who knows where else you can go, right?

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LVCYHONEYCHURCH 8/18/2010 6:35PM

    You're a super star! Way to go!

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RAVENSONG37 8/18/2010 4:33PM

    You are doing amazing things. It's about time you realized it!!!

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O0VALD0O 8/18/2010 3:28PM

    Congratulations on all those wonderful things you've accomplished!

I'm also very surprised when people look up to me for advice and such. I've only been training in boxing and thai kickboxing for 4 months and already I am known as one of the "senior" members in my classes at the gym! It's always a bit of a shock but such a compliment, I bet it is even more for you since it's your own son!

Keep up the good work and awesome attitude! *hugs*

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 8/18/2010 2:17PM

    I knew you were awesome, but when you put it in those context you are awesomer. Proud to have you as a sparkfriend, and keep the motivaiton coming.

Congratulations on the pay off of all your hard work.

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TEAM-SARAH 8/18/2010 1:55PM

    Yay happy sparkversary!!! You have come so far, especially in your attitude which is definitely the most important!! Imagine where you'll be on your 1 year sparkversary!!

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KITHKINCAID 8/18/2010 1:37PM

    Happy SparkVersary! We joined at exactly the same time! I totally thought you had been here longer than me - you're doing so well! Sending lots of love and support your way for another four months (plus) of achieving what you know you can.

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SFGRUNNER 8/18/2010 1:13PM

    You're awesome! Such an inspiration, thank you for sharing!

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BEATLES34 8/18/2010 1:03PM

    you are so wonderful and strong! i love this blog!

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BEATLES34 8/18/2010 1:02PM

    you are so wonderful and strong! i love this blog!

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DLEE27 8/18/2010 12:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUGIRL06 8/18/2010 12:07PM

    emoticon You are doing so great! Its amazing how far you've come in only 4 months! I'm so glad you had the moment of clarity and found the RIGHT website to help you with the positive environment for support! And where would we be without you too?? Keep up the great work!
~Ang

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_MSAPRIL17_ 8/18/2010 11:50AM

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You have had some MAJOR accomplishments in 4 short months, congratulations!!!!! You are a true inspiration!!!!!

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ERIN1128 8/18/2010 11:41AM

    You ROCK!

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BOGUSANNIE 8/18/2010 11:38AM

    Cheers to you!!!

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BECKYB73 8/18/2010 11:31AM

    You rock, Calorie Killa, you absolutely, totally and completely ROCK!!

Try those planks...I surprised myself by being able to do them (on the Bosu ball, no less) for 10 second holds. I know that if *I* can do it, YOU TOTALLY CAN!

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FLWRCHLD97 8/18/2010 11:20AM

    you are an inspiration to us all (no pressure implied, just stating the facts). keep being honest! (and thank you for your honesty) emoticon

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TRIGFROST 8/18/2010 11:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon of "50" pounds... emoticon

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CUATROMOMMY 8/18/2010 10:41AM

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You are doing awesome and will continue to impress yourself. I love hearing all about it in your blogs.

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-JENSSPARK- 8/18/2010 10:40AM

    You've made some amazing progress! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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MAGPIE17 8/18/2010 10:39AM

    Woohoo!! What an inspirational blog! Way to go, Esther!

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MERAINA 8/18/2010 10:33AM

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Oops!

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??

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 8/19/2010 10:38AM

    ohhh yeah....

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RAVENSONG37 8/18/2010 4:27PM

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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CHICAT63 8/18/2010 11:03AM

    emoticon drool *lol*

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MERAINA 8/18/2010 10:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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