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This is WAR!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My head has been a mess lately - a serious, screwed up mess. But as I forced myself to leave today to head to the gym I thought about how my workout clothes often make me feel like a warrior. I'm on a mission whenever I go to the gym. Whatever the mission is for the day, I'm there to get it done. And suddenly one single thought popped into my head -- THIS IS WAR!

I'm so sick of the 360s. I hate them with a passion. Don't get me wrong, I like them more than every number I've seen before, but I just hate the 360s right now with a passion. And I'm ready to fight them. I'm ready to get this done and finally see the 350s!

Starting first thing tomorrow morning, I'll begin logging my food and exercise...writing out and then reflecting upon my battle plan for the day. I'll still listen to my body (like I did today when my body said no after 1.6 miles).

I'm ready to fight, and this 10 by 10/10/10 challenge is an excellent focal point from me. This morning I weighed in at 362.something so I'm getting close...if I can just keep the momentum and stop setting myself up for failure, I CAN do this.

Goals for the next 3 days:
emoticon Healthy and healthful lunches.
emoticon No less than 64oz. of water daily.
emoticon Use healthy snacks - like watermelon.
emoticon Keep calories between 1600-1800 per day.
emoticon Keep training for next week's 10k.
emoticon At least 120 crunches.
emoticon Box for no less than 20 minutes.
emoticon Get outside and play some!
emoticon Be your own cheerleader!

I may try to do photo blogs if I can remember. Maybe this will keep me on task. On Sunday I'll reassess and set goals for the next week. I'm taking it a day at a time, a week at a time. For each battle I win I get closer to winning the war. The ultimate victory? Beating the 360s and get UNDER that 350 mark. I'd like to get this done by Halloween. And I can. Slowly, but surely. One step at a time. One meal at a time.

It's on like Donkey Kong!!

(Okay, this looks like a general, but I really don't much care for the mustache.)

FYI: On another note - I just registered myself and my 8 year old son, Ethan, for a 10k walk on September 4th. Charleston Distance Run -- Here we come!!

Photos of the Day (from Yesterday):

Came home early for a nap and Tiggy decided to join me. She was right next to my head like this.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLES34 8/27/2010 5:21PM

    later, 360s.. CALLIKAS kicking you outttta town :)

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CBARRETT10 8/27/2010 1:38PM

  You are seriously sooo close to getting to the 350s!! Stay on track!

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ERIN4771 8/27/2010 12:06PM

    you are such an ass kicker, i love it!!!!

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SEXYSLIM78 8/27/2010 11:57AM

    girl you can do it! Take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, and im sure you will be well on your way to getting under 350. Stay focused! emoticon im here to root u on

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DRAGONFLYGIRL11 8/26/2010 3:18PM

    You can do it, say goodbye to the 360 and say hello to the 350s. I love your goal od 10 lbs by 10/10/10, makes sence. You can win this war!!

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DLEE27 8/26/2010 2:03PM

    I'm so glad that you joined the 10/10/10 team because you totally motivate and inspire me. Plus you're just plain old AWESOME! We can do this!!!

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FLWRCHLD97 8/26/2010 10:59AM

    you are emoticon

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MAGPIE17 8/26/2010 10:43AM

    Work it! Beat the 360s into the ground!

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KITHKINCAID 8/26/2010 12:03AM

    I hear ya girl - I'm DONE with these dang 270s - I need to see 260-something and SOON. I might join that 10 by 10/10/10 challenge as well. Let's do this!

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KMCK117 8/25/2010 11:22PM

    you will whip those 360's so hard they will spin..literally..WOOT WOOT 350's here you close

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RAVENSONG37 8/25/2010 11:16PM

    You can totally do this and I'm SO happy you joined us!!!!!!

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HEATHERALENE 8/25/2010 10:10PM

You've got a great attitude and it looks like you're on the right track...keep it up, keep setting those goals and keep on fighting for what makes you happy with you and you'll get there!
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GRACEISENUF 8/25/2010 10:09PM

    Hello new fellow teammate! I saw your blog post on the 10/10/10 team page and decided to pop on over.

Great goals and blog, very inspiring!



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THREEE 8/25/2010 8:49PM

    hey---good thought--the 9/4 walk is 10 (count it, ten) days away--keeping with the 10 by 10/10 theme emoticon

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A Deflated Balloon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I have a coworker who is a secretary of one of our in-house administrative law judges. She's a sweet lady, and a bit eccentric. When Administrative Professionals' Day (we used to just call this Secretary's Day but we've gotten so PC nowadays) came along she received a nice card and a balloon. It was one of those mylar helium dealies - you know the type. She was thrilled by the gesture and she deserved it for some of the crap she deals with on a daily basis, and always with a smile. For weeks she kept that balloon in her office. It held up quite nicely, actually. But one day we came to work and noticed it had started to droop. Instead of tossing the thing, she left it there in all it's droopy glory, and each day I watched it fall more and more, looking more sad, nearly to the floor. (Who knows, it may still be in there on the floor somewhere...I stopped looking.)

Today I'm feeling a bit like that deflated balloon.

I had a great, exciting blog for all of you. It was a gym blog, and the story is a good one so I'm going to attempt to tell it...but I doubt I'll do the feeling I had in that moment any justice considering the moments that followed.

Yesterday I arrive at the gym tired. I had a really healthy lunch - a grilled chicken salad that was amazing! Problem? No real carb-load to speak of. I try to balance my meals and I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before, but that salad was not going to hold me over through my workout 6+ hours later. I tried to rectify by eating a Luna Bar, but I felt ravishingly hungry still most of the afternoon. But I went to the gym anyhow. Sure I could make it through with that protein bar -- because I've done it before with just a protein bar an hour or so before, many times I've done this.

I hurry onto my favorite treadmill (after a few stretches of course) and start my 2 mile training walk. It's hard. I'm at a 2.6 speed to start when I usually jump right up to 3.0...but I felt I needed the warm-up. After 5 minutes I increase to 3.3, a speed I had perfected (so I thought) last week. It was even harder! I promised myself I could do 5 minutes, so I did. And the rest of my 40 minutes went along with 5 minute intervals of 3.3 and 2.6. All the while I'm looking around...people watching. I had brought a book but I just didn't feel like reading. I was missing my tunes like crazy and the mix of music from three different areas in the gym made it difficult for me to focus. Still, I promised myself those 2 miles and I was going to do it no matter what...even if I had to do the entire thing at a 2.0 pace I was going to do it.

I look down upon the lower gym area and spy a woman who seems to be the gym trainer. Not sure I've ever seen her before, let alone met her. I've wanted a training session badly but I'm still waiting for my insurance company to improve my application for the Weight Management Program to have some "free" sessions. Anyhow, I see that she's with a client. She's working through the proper way to do crunches (don't come up too far!) and then takes her around the weight machines to test her lifting levels. It was fun to watch, and I had nothing else to do -- who knows, I might overhear or see something and learn from it for free!

Next she brings the girl upstairs. Nice lady, probably mid-30s. Overweight, yes, but a smile on her face - ready for the challenge! I like that! She seemed like the kind of person I could get along with. She was much nicer than watching the woman in the aerobics class who stated very clearly that she just "CAN'T" do that, "I just know I can't" (and she wouldn't even try). Next thing I notice the trainer is taking a pulse and BP reading and then asks the girl to walk around the indoor track a few times. After she makes about 5 laps, she takes the pulse and BP again. And then she takes her around and starts showing her the different machines.

They attempt an elliptical first, but one 20ish year old is standing over/near the machine and blocking their path. Oh, she's not working out...she has no intention to. I already watched her give up on the bike after about 5 minutes and head into the boxing room for some "peace and quiet" (read: so she could talk on her cell phone, which she did the ENTIRE TIME she was there). So the trainer abandons the idea and takes her over to the treadmill next to me. I hear them behind me and then I hear, "Hang on a minute, I want to tell her something."

Oh crap! I'm doing something wrong and she just HAS to correct me. GRRR! I hate messing up!

The trainer walks over and says, "Hey! I just wanted to say that your form on that thing is excellent!" She smiles and I can't tell if she's just trying to placate the fat girl or what. "Oh really? This is right?" I ask, stupidly. (WTF is my problem?) "Yes!" she replies. And then she turns to her client and says "See how she's got her arms like that? That's the way to work the machine. You'll get a lot more out of it if you aren't constantly holding on." (Phew! Glad she didn't see me during my last 'recovery' interval where I was hanging on for dear life so I could get a drink of water! (Later she tells the girl that it's alright to hang on now and again to get your balance or when you're starting out, but that it's best if you put your arms in the 90 degree position -- I always tell myself "assume the position!" *lol*)

So the trainer hops her girl onto the machine (I didn't know there were people who had never used a treadmill before...another misconception!) and starts explaining the buttons. And then she starts telling her to take long strides, and if you can believe it she turns around to me, points and says, "Like she's doing!" The girl was on the machine a total of about 2 minutes (and she seemed deathly afraid of it, too) but for those 2 minutes I was the example. I felt like that girl in the workout DVD that is the example of the "advanced" version of the exercise. It made me smile. She also complimented me about my time (I was nearing the end and was almost at 40 minutes) and I confessed I was training for a 10k and she seemed genuinely impressed (they both did actually).

So those were my 2 minutes of fame. These two minutes were followed by confusion and, finally -- hell!

After my two miles and my 5 minute cool down I went to this little corner next to the aerobics room. I grabbed a mat and a 6-lb medicine ball and settled in to do my crunches. But before I started I figured I'd try my plank again, now that I know I can do them. It wasn't my 30-second plank from the other day. This was a 15-second I waited a bit and followed it with a second 15-second plank. I felt good about that. It was super hard, but I had done it. I settle in for my crunches, taking a slight breather before I start (when some random dude walking the track says, "You can do it girl! You're doing great!" and I swear I heard some of my Spark Friends speaking through him).

I think it was around crunch 60 or 80 or so that my head starts hurting a bit. I'm getting a headache and I'm confused as to why. I check my posture - spot on. My breathing is good. I've already downed about 80 ounces of water, so it can't be dehydration. I have no clue what it is...maybe it's the way my bun is laying on the floor or something stupid. Whatever. I push through the last 20 without much trouble and the headache has subsided. And then I head down for the weight machines to continue my ST workout. The headache comes and goes on certain machines, but I mostly feel pretty strong. I'm joking with the receptionist and trying to have fun as I finish what I came to do. By the time I leave there is no headache.

The rest of the night was fine...that is until about 3am this morning when I woke up cold and sore all through my head, neck and back. I swear I must've pulled something. I have no clue how I did it but I'm blaming those's the only new thing I've added and I've NEVER felt like this before. In fact, last night was pretty mellow compared to regular workouts. I was in such extreme pain that even a long massage from the Hubs did nothing to make me feel like I could sleep. I was in agony and my attempt at getting a good night's rest was ruined. (Doesn't help I didn't get to bed until like 11:30pm because we were watching a movie.)

So I've been up since 3am. My back and neck still hurt, though not quite as bad as what I woke up with this morning. Stretching isn't helping much, but I'll keep trying. The hot shower Hubs suggested did nothing. I'm sore and cranky and somehow gained 2 pounds since Sunday (go figure! I HATE THAT NUMBER 366...HATE HATE HATE, WANT TO KILL!). Right now I'm trying to survive the day. I doubt I'll get a full work day in. I need rest badly! (Nearly crashed a few times on the way in this morning...I shouldn't have been driving and I would've stayed home if this one project didn't have to be finished TODAY. GRRRR!)

I'm that little deflated balloon. I'm hoping my helium can last through at least a few hours so I can take as little time off as possible, but I need a nap like WOAH! I also need a masseuse, a chiropractor, and a team of doctors...but I don't have the resources for any of that right now. The headache was most likely an exertion headache, if I can believe the medical stuff from John's Hopkins' website (and other sources) and I don't know when I'll ever attempt a plank again! If it happens again without the plank, I'll know it's something else.

There it is. The really good, the bad, and the super duper wake me up out of a dead sleep and interesting dream ugly!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLY_DO 8/26/2010 11:07PM

    Do you think your blood sugar could have dipped to low? That could have caused the headache.

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THREEE 8/25/2010 9:11PM

    do you ever have high blood pressure concerns? because(if you're talking about doing the plank with your head in the lower position) head lower can be a problem...
after SUCH a proud moment at the gym(example), could you have done a little more than normal? might you have pushed yourself too much?

i think YOU have found a GOOD trainer...especially since she makes a point of not just 'atta girl'ing you...but pointing out the SPECIFICS of WHAT is makes me smile thinking that there ARE well-qualified trainers out there who know how to be supportive and POSITIVE, REAL encouragement to her 'charges'...heal quickly and keep up the good work!!! emoticon

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BOGUSANNIE 8/25/2010 11:50AM

    great workout....about the planks...don't rule them out...just try them again at a later time...they are a great exercise!

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BAYBELIEVER 8/25/2010 11:42AM

    I am so sorry for the headache because as you said, what an exciting day to be made an example of--a good example!!! How exciting! Just shows you how hard you are working it and how well! Don't get hung up on the scale...I know, it's hard. I did it yesterday. But after my walk this morning I realized (again) that I can't let it get me down because I feel to good "getting physical"!

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CONDZMOMOFJJQ 8/25/2010 12:28AM

    You are doing an AMAZING job! I commend you for doing planks! I gave up on them for now because I also had problems after I tried them. Since then, I've decided to stick to what I know that works: WALKING/Slogging! haha

Once I get 'more fit' I will try new things but until then, I'm not taking the risk of injury anymore!!

Good luck and keep up the GREAT work!!


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CBARRETT10 8/25/2010 12:03AM

  Sorry for your headache, but overall you kicked butt! Great workout!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYBUG1061 8/24/2010 11:43PM

  loved your blog and your doing great ...just remeber one day at a time..have a great day

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X_NITSIRK 8/24/2010 9:37PM

    You are doing awesome!! I had to look up what a plank was - way to go on being able to do one.

Having the trainer use you as an example had to feel awesome and validate everything you are doing. Hopefully your body is feeling better and you can get a goodnight's rest.

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FLWRCHLD97 8/24/2010 2:02PM

    i hope you can get some rest soon (and start to feel better too).

one step back now, two steps forward later, when your body is ready...

congrats on being the example in the gym, that is something to be proud of! emoticon

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SMPO79 8/24/2010 1:33PM

    Deflated balloon or not, you are still an amazing inspiration! I hope you heal quickly and get right back to it! emoticon

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ATROTTIER 8/24/2010 1:13PM

    Yep you had a rough night for sure, but following that incredible day at the gym yesterday - YOU ROCK! Taking it easy a bit might be the key to that killer pain you are experiencing today and then just get back on the horse when you are ready to go! Your helium will be back - I KNOW THIS!!

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KNOWMOREBBK 8/24/2010 12:19PM

    Well Chickie... all I can say is that you must be gaining a whole lot of muscle. How could you be gaining ANYTHING BUT MUSCLE! You must seriously be burning major calories with all your working out.

Your body needs rest today and you should listen to it. Light walking sounds about right.

I'm not going to burst your bubble at all. I have to say though that reading your blog today reminded me of the Seinfeld "Bubble Boy" episode. LOL!! It was a classic!

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SFGRUNNER 8/24/2010 11:34AM

    First, WAY TO GO on the workout!! You're the experienced athlete now! GO GO GO!!

Second, try some Advil or Aleve in case it is a strain and you've got some inflammation, but I honestly think it was exertion. You weren't properly fueled and were having a low energy day to begin with, and you probably just over did it. Let us know how you're feeling later!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/24/2010 11:31AM

    Awesome to get the feedback from the trainer like that, lets you know that you really are doing it right. I have gotten exertion headaches before and that could very well be what it was--they can come out of nowhere when you don't think you're working all that hard. In any case, sure hope you can make it through the day and get some rest and relief. Like Yoovie said, the gain is most likely water from ST and will go away (with some extra), but it's still frustrating to see that on the scale. You are doing amazing; hang in there and know that you are on the right track!


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DLEE27 8/24/2010 11:26AM

    Wow that must have felt so great to have the trainer compliment you like that!
I'm sorry about the headache though. That really does blow. I hope you can find some relief soon! It looks like you have lots of friends here willing to help blow that balloon back up! emoticon

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YOOVIE 8/24/2010 11:12AM

    I would do a hot bath instead of a hot shower, or if you cant do a bath- then a very very long warm shower and sleeping without a pillow tonight.

the gain is probably just swelling from your ST workout- it goes away and takes extra with it, I promise.

DO NOT let those good feelings disappear just because you have learned how to listen to your body.

Your body has been with you for decades, and you are finally learning how to listen to it. Now you will know in the future, when you start feeling cold and uncomfortable, STOP. It does NOT mean you are weak- it just means that you were not meant to do that much on that muscle group that day.

Don't be afraid to stop early if your body is telling you to. Starting is wayyyy harder than stopping.

Good job going in there and don't let the pain erase the compliments or PRIDE!!!

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RUSSELLORAMA 8/24/2010 11:06AM

    Aww, way to spread the spark! That must've helped with that deflated feeling just a little bit, huh? I hope your pain improves soon!

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SUGIRL06 8/24/2010 10:48AM

    What an awesome experience!!! I would have "woohoo'd" you too at the gym! Haha. Always great to be the "positive example" too! Sorry to hear about the headache :( I hope you figure out what it was. Don't give up on planks just yet. But maybe reserve them for "later".

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SASSAGAIN 8/24/2010 10:39AM

    OMG!! LOVE that the trainer used you as an example! goes to show that she not only noticed you, but was happy showing you off (even if you've never met before), it means good things when your free training sessions come up (*fingers crossed*).

Secondly, your headache could totally be exertion, but remember, you also said that you didn't have carbs at your lunch, so it could be a combination of the two. You were already feeling lethargic and pushed through, so that may be part of it, too!

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MAGPIE17 8/24/2010 10:39AM

    First off, way to go on being an exemplar used by the trainer!! You're doing amazingly!

In terms of the headache, I have an idea which may or may not be accurate. I used to get really bad headaches until I went to the chiropractor on a regular basis (bear with me, this isn't quite the point yet). I was only getting headaches when air pressure and weather was really bad, but for the last month, I started getting really bad headaches mixed with a *tiny* bit of nausea by the end of the day on Mondays. It wasn't til last week that I realized I was over-hydrating on Mondays, almost like I was overcompensating for the weekend (even though I hydrate fine on the weekends!). I'd drink about 16 glasses by 5 p.m., and around 4:30 I'd have a huge headache. I started paying more attention to how much water I was drinking. I was told by a friend that if I'm drinking that much water, I need to have more sodium. Maybe yesterday was a low sodium/high water day?

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CHICAT63 8/24/2010 10:22AM

    emoticon compliments on working out/training emoticon you go Sista ! Great feeling isn't. Sorry to hear about your headache I get thoses too, some go away and some are persistent. Drink plenty of water and pop an Advil, Motrin or Aleve it might help your neck/shoulder.

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LOOKY-LOU 8/24/2010 10:20AM

    Feel better soon emoticon

And congrats on having a hubby who would wake up at 3:00 and massage your neck!!!

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STRONGFOCUS 8/24/2010 10:04AM

    emoticon on being a good example!

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HEATHERALENE 8/24/2010 9:48AM

    Way to go on being the 'good example'! I know that had to make you feel GREAT!!! I'm sorry to hear about all the pain and crankiness...but don't let it keep you down! Hope you feel better and get some much needed rest soon!

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LIVE2SAVELIVES 8/24/2010 9:34AM

    what an awesome story! I bet that "new girl" will look for you every time she is in there! I'm sure it won't be long until you will have her sparking too! LOL

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NACHOSMAMA 8/24/2010 9:26AM

    Sorry about the headache. Let your body and mind rest for a bit. Congrats on being an example to others!

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RAVENSONG37 8/24/2010 9:15AM

    Aw...that headache sucks. But the rest...that is incredible! I'm so proud of you for being a great example to me and to totaly strangers!! FEEL BETTER SOON!

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TIKI Blast Week!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alright y'all. I've focused too much on what I haven't done and what isn't happening. This week it's about the stuff below and about focusing on the amazing crap I've accomplished all summer - spurred on by my TIKI-mates, spurred on by my amazing SparkFriends old and new, spurred on by my own pure will and determination. I'm going to remember how much of an animal I am this week, how much I've done, and how the sky is totally the limit here! I've got more in me so I'm reaching in to grab it, and being nice to myself along the way!

Today I went for a walk at lunch. I didn't worry about distance or speed really. I just walked. And by the time I was almost back to the office I had this thought, "I *LOVE* my legs right now!" I can feel the strength and power within them, which is without a doubt from this training I've put myself through. I walked a mile today at lunch. I had a blast. I loved myself. I loved the wonderful cool breeze. I loved the old buildings I walked past. I loved that I wasn't sweating and breathing uncontrollably! It's amazing when you stop to realize - Wow! I'm doing great! And I've still got so much more I can do! I can't WAIT to see what I accomplish next, what happens to improve my life because I took the effort to make it happen! I totally rock!

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~*~ TIKI Challenge BLAST-WEEK 8/23-8/29 ~*~
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Since my last TIKI check in, I am proud to announce that I WALKED 5 MILES JUST UNDER A 20 MIN/MILE PACE!!






The three excuses that I will BANISH from my life for this week are:
1. It's too hard.
2. There's no time.
3. I've done enough.

My plan this week is:

emoticon Cardio: Gym 5/7 days at least, 2-5-6 miles training without excuses, elliptical, Zumba, boxing and rowing - all while engaging my core!

emoticon Strength Training: ST 3 times this week, even if I have to do it on my own at lunch time. Try to beat my 30 second plank time and see how close I can get to a minute! Start testing myself with push-ups. Up the crunches to 100 per day...easily doable.

emoticon Flexibility: Continue to use my Yoga moves to work in my stretching routine, and try a few more/new moves. Stretch at least 15 minutes following a full workout and take 5 minute stretch breaks in between machines for a cardio flexibility boost.

emoticon Rest and Love: I will reconnect with nature again because I can feel, smell and taste my favorite season approaching. I will get a photo shoot in sometime this weekend with my boys in the great outdoors!

emoticon Nutrition: I will use the plan I made this weekend and eat my prepackaged homemade meals for lunches and some dinners. And when the supply ends, I will go back to my list and remind myself what else we have. The goal is to really use the food we bought and not buy more or end up going out every night!

I have been working hard all summer, but I refuse to go out with anything less than a BANG! -- Hells to the YEAH!



I am AN ANIMAL, hear me ROAR!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOGUSANNIE 8/25/2010 11:39AM

    woohoo...such positivity!!! GREAT!

congrats on the plank...they are my fave...I love to hate them!

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YOOVIE 8/24/2010 11:07AM

    ther eyou go!!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 8/23/2010 4:58PM

    Congratulations on your positive attitude and ability to focus on what is going well and what you like. I love that you are feeling so strong - that is an awesome feeling!

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CHICAT63 8/23/2010 4:31PM

    Hear me roar, I am a woman on a mission !!!! And in this corner we have Calikkia (a.k.a Esther) who is one determined, dedicated Tikimate to be reckoned with. emoticon Way to go, you can do this.

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CUATROMOMMY 8/23/2010 4:06PM

    Oh my are amazing.

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RAVENSONG37 8/23/2010 3:32PM

    Way to go!

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DLEE27 8/23/2010 3:26PM

    Whoop whoop!!!!!

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What is this Lifestyle Change?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today I woke up and had my very own version of the "sexy" breakfast that YOOVIE always talks about. I don't normally call it a "sexy" breakfast more than I call it a "calm, destressing breakfast" that prepares me for my day more than my former routine (wake up late, shower, dress, grab McD's and eat in the car on the way to work).

I set my alarm for 5am, yes. But I needed more sleep than that, so I took an hour nap (*lol*) before being woken up by pancakes in my face. (*love* me some Hubs!) As he asked if I was getting out of bed soon (as he wanted to get in...he worked all night) I said, "No! I'm eating right here in bed." Two bites later I realized I was missing my morning routine. I grabbed my pancakes and went out to watch my Angel reruns and sip some coffee (and add some bananas to my pancakes, because I just can't have pancakes without some sort of fruit). Halfway into the pancakes I was full (*shhh* ...he made too much ...he made an 'old Esther' serving of pancakes) and set the rest aside to enjoy my show and my coffee for a few minutes. I thought about waking the kids, but they have little to get ready in the morning and I thought I would wait until I went back for my shower at 6:30am.

I spent the next 15 minutes or so with myself. I logged on to check my SparkPage once, but then I closed up the laptop and just sat back and enjoyed the silence that is the morning.

I actually started having "one of those" mornings after the boys woke up. I couldn't find my belt. The only shirt I could find was the one that's too big and I don't much care for. I spilled almost my entire water bottle in my work bag. I spilled my coffee right on the boob of my shirt. (EDIT: I also forgot my cell phone at home, which is also my iPod for the gym, as well as a paper I needed for today at work.) I just shook my head, considered going back to bed for like a second, packed up my healthy lunch and snacks, and headed off to work - kissing my boys goodbye first and telling them to have a good day.

It wasn't until about 15 minutes ago (it's almost 10am now) that I realized that every misstep this morning that could've (and, in the past, would've) thrown me off just...didn't. And why? Because this whole "lifestyle change" nonsense? It's not really nonsense after all. This whole "exercise makes you happy" crap? Yea, it's not really crap either. And that "sexy" and/or "calm, destressing breakfast" really does help start my morning right. I got through several things that could've ruined my day because I'm better adapted to handling the stress. I can roll with the punches better than I ever did before.

And as I ate my snack of greek yogurt with strawberry freezer jam (homemade) and granola I thought about how much my life has changed in just four short months...

This "lifestyle change" they talk about doesn't take you from overeating, couch potato, TV-loving slob one day to overly active, never home, hiking mountains, granola vegan-eating, race winning, no TVs in the house health nut the next. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. It's a gradual change from the person you've settled into being to the person you always wanted to be.

It starts really small. For me it started with stopping my morning McDonald's addiction. It started with getting up a little earlier (like 2-5 minutes earlier) each day until I found the right time to get in my rest time before I had to start my day. It started with a cheese omelet and a slice of wheat bread. Every morning I had the same breakfast because I wasn't sure of my abilities and I was sure of my one choice - my egg and cheese omelet measured out (1/2 cup of egg beaters, 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar). (Lately I've added wheat bagels and cream cheese or peanut butter -- or Fiber One Pancakes if I can swing it have a little extra time (or Hubs surprises me).)

As time has progressed I've gotten used to my morning much so that even though I tried to resist it this morning and eat in bed, I just couldn't. I needed my routine! And while I'm not saying that eating pancakes in front of the TV while drinking creamer-laden coffee is "healthy" per's better than what I was doing three months ago. And this small change, this morning routine, even though it doesn't include a morning run like I'd love for it to, even though it's just about silence and centering before the chaos of the day commences, helped me get through the crazy that followed.

I'm looking forward to more changes as they come, but for now I've got down a much better morning routine, I have a gym routine following a long work day that's seemingly solid most days, my daily eating works like clockwork and my mind feels calm a lot more these days. For me, that's a huge lifestyle change from the stressed out, overworked, underpaid, unappreciated, suffering, surviving, barely breathing, pulling her hair out woman that stumbled upon Spark 4 months ago.

My lifestyle may not be the poster child for healthy living yet, but it sure has changed! Has yours??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 8/25/2010 6:53PM

    Yep - mine has changed for sure as well. I'm still working on my mornings (they seem to be the toughest past for me) but I love that "sexy" breakfast. I'm much better at "sexy" lunches and dinners right now, but your day just sounded so great I think I might try it! (Belt losing and coffee spilling aside). I find it hard to admit to myself sometimes that I really enjoy all the things I swore I wouldn't - but I'm owning that embarrassment too. So what if I said I'd never enjoy exercise? I am now, and that's what matters.

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BOGUSANNIE 8/25/2010 11:36AM

    Baby steps...VERY important aren't they!
good for you for not getting derailed!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/24/2010 11:42AM

    Funny how making one small change can lead to another and another and another until you realize that your lifestyle has been slowly transforming, isn't it? You are doing AWESOME, beautiful, and you are going to keep on rocking this!

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_DASH_ 8/23/2010 11:19PM

    this is a fantastically reflective blog!!! look at how much progress you are making! simply amazing to stop and reflect on it all. i love your wisdom and honesty and PATIENCE with how things come about. you have so many good reminders to all of us in this blog and i love it because it works for YOU. :D keep up the GREAT work E!

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SASSAGAIN 8/23/2010 9:29PM

    You are totally right! We used to eat out at least 3-4 times a month, now its maybe once a month (if at all). Plus my grocery cart looks so much healthier, as does my pantry and fridge. I also routine my day (having bells at school to let us know when snack and lunch are is great for that LOL) eating and working out. I get to school early and leave early so I can get my hour workout in before I make dinner for my family.

Positive lifestyle changes!!

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MESKIER 8/23/2010 5:59PM

    LOVE it. You are SO so so right about small changes. I tend to go gung-ho/all out and wear myself down easily in a hurry. Starting small leads to this "lifestyle" change. Thank you for sharing this.

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RAVENSONG37 8/23/2010 3:32PM

    I love love love this. You are totally right small step at a time. And don't underestimate that time for silence. It can be just as important as a morning run!!

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BECKYB73 8/23/2010 12:16PM

    I'm right there with you, Es. It's the small changes that really add up over time. I think I gave up my coffee first, when I realized I was adding like 300 calories of flavored creamer to it!

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ERIN1128 8/23/2010 11:45AM

    Woo hoo! The biggest change for me is rolling out of bed and exercising every really has become mandatory for me. I give myself one day a week off, and on that day, I always have to go get a second cup of coffee, LOL!

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BOURNBABE 8/23/2010 11:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FLWRCHLD97 8/23/2010 11:40AM

    yes, i've notices small changes do add up in the long run. if you try to change too much too soon, you are just setting yourself up for failure. thanks for posting on your progress! emoticon

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LIVE2SAVELIVES 8/23/2010 11:32AM

    WOW! Can't wait to start blogging about changes like this!!

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MERAINA 8/23/2010 11:05AM

I'm getting there. Werkin' it baby!
Keep on dancing girl! You go this!

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MAGPIE17 8/23/2010 10:35AM

    Way to go, Esther! I'm definitely eating at home more than I was, cut out caffeine almost entirely, and moving waaaay more than I was 1.5 years ago! Hooray for healthy lifestyle changes!

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Super Fantastical Sunday! - Week 18

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Okay, so I'm feigning excitement right now because while I want it to be fantastic, I'm just trying to remember everything I need to do in order to be successful this week. Yes, I'm going through the motions, because that's what I have to do. Fake it til you make it.

Weigh-In Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 362.8
This Week: 364.0
Loss/Gain: +1.2
SP Total Loss: 52.2
Total Loss: 102.6

Hence the stress and the faking it. Could be because my eating was off a few days this week. Could be because I ate out more than usual = high salt intake. Could be because I worked out hard and I never lose much when I push it like that until the next week. Could be a ton of things, but I'm trying to not worry about the why and just move on.

So for today the plan is simple. Clean and Cook. I've got a list of 4-5 meals I'm going to try to prep for this week. They include:

Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fingers with Baked Fries
Lentil Rice Casserole
Tator Tot Casserole (likely eaten today b/c the kids love it)
Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner

I've got the Chocolate Zucchini Bread in the fridge and everyone loves it, so it will make a nice sweet snack today.

I may have to head over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few more take out dishes so I can pack all this stuff up for the week.

All of these are either recipes I know work, or recipes I've found on SparkRecipes.

I'm trying to find stuff that's easy to make, easy to store, easy to reheat, etc. I also have on the list burgers and grilled corn, which can't be reheated and will just have to be made whatever night we choose.

Grocery shopping went well this week. We didn't have a list prepared so I stuck mostly to the outside of the store. I did pick up a bag of frozen chicken breasts because it's an easy fall back. Also picked up some lettuce for a big salad sometime this week. I got some frozen veggies and frozen fruits as other fall backs for smoothies and sides. With coupons and discounts we spent about 100 bucks. My goal is to not spend more than 30 bucks this week on extras. That include meals out and anything I have to go back to the grocery store for (we're out of deli meat, which is important for our football game and practice days).

Exercise for the week planned:

Today - I'd like to take a break between cooking and cleaning to go for a walk or head to the park with the dog and the boys.

Monday - 2-3 miles, 15 minutes rowing, ST
Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - 5 miles, ST? (I have to figure out how to fit this in...maybe I'll have to go back to ST on my own midday)
Thursday - Zumba, 20 minutes boxing
Friday - elliptical (45 minutes?), ST, cleaning
Saturday - 6 miles

I did clean out some of my old (too big) clothes last night from my room. Some of these remained from my 466 days and it was time to really let them go. I've got them in a bag to head to Goodwill later today.

Pic of the day:

So I guess someone's happy about the shorts I can no longer get away with wearing because they're just too big. Mad Max thinks it's a great carrying pouch....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOURNBABE 8/23/2010 11:41AM

    Great plan. Love the kangaroo kitty pouch. lol.

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MAGPIE17 8/23/2010 9:36AM

    Hahahaha....I officially *love* your cat! That is an awesome picture!

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MERAINA 8/23/2010 9:32AM


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RAVENSONG37 8/23/2010 8:59AM

    You look positively tiny in this pic. I hope you see and feel what 102 pounds gone looks like!!! Esther, you are incredible from your head to your toes.

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CHICAT63 8/23/2010 7:13AM

    Excellent cooking plan ! emoticon on the shorts, yep time to go for sure. emoticon

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FATBUMBGONE 8/23/2010 2:00AM

    I love your blogs and am now a subscriber. Glad you were able to put your old clothes to use- funny pic!

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KITHKINCAID 8/23/2010 1:33AM

    Haha! Kangaroo Max - very funny.

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BOGUSANNIE 8/22/2010 10:47PM are doing so rock!
Max looks pretty laid back...great pic, thanks for posting it!

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PAPER_WINGS18 8/22/2010 9:40PM

    hahaa what a great pic! Congrats on the success!(and the ability to carry around a kitty in your pants! lol!)

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KARVY09 8/22/2010 9:08PM

    Love that friggin' pic!! HAHA!

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CALLIKIA 8/22/2010 8:13PM

    There's room for my other cat too but she'd kill me! *lol* Max doesn't care about anything...she loves to lay on people so she was just chillin' there.

Comment edited on: 8/22/2010 8:34:52 PM

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 8/22/2010 7:47PM

    OMG I love the picture! Hilarious! Love that there's room for both of you!

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EMRANA 8/22/2010 6:38PM

  Best photo of too big clothes I've seen on Spark! emoticon

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DLEE27 8/22/2010 2:26PM

    Ahahahaha! I love that picture! Too funny, and also WTG!!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/22/2010 2:23PM

    When I say you are amazing and inspiring... I'm serious :)

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