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A Different Kind of Before and After (with Pics)

Thursday, September 09, 2010



Eleven years ago today I was in a hospital in serious pain, being encouraged to drink as much water as possible in order to make myself pee. Yeah, it was an extra special day. *lol* I went into the hospital on 9/8/9 to be induced to give birth to my first son. He wasn't due until the 12th but there had been issues. The biggest issue? In my first trimester I lost a lot of weight...like 30-40 pounds! (Whoever thought THAT would have been an ISSUE?) I signed in around 6pm, didn't get the induction meds until like 9pm, and by 10pm was in serious pain = labor. *lol*

A few hours later, after happy drugs and then only like 15-20 minutes of pushing, out came my beautiful boy...and then they stitched for 45 minutes. OW! So for days I was pretty much bedridden and in extreme pain. I couldn't hardly walk, let alone do any form of physical exercise! (Talk about progress! *lol*) He was beautiful and everyone fell in love with him immediately.



The next two years were...interesting. I struggled with trying to figure out motherhood, moving in with my boyfriend, starting college, and attempting to understand finances and how my life had been turned completely upside down. I'm sure I probably gained a lot of weight...and I gained more in the next couple years until I hit that highest weight - 466.6. I tried enjoying my boy, but I was struggling internally with trying to simply live through each day. It was a huge struggle. Depression. A rough home life. No money. I loved my son, but I wasn't really happy...at all.


Logan with his godfather.



Fast forward to this year. I took the day off work to take lunch to my son. His friends all said hello to me. I didn't hear one negative comment. I was proud to sit next to my boy and give him his Sky & Telescope magazine (present #1). I was happy and was able to do what every mother should be able to do on her child's birthday -- focus on my son. He's growing up way too fast, but he's beautiful and wonderful and I'm so proud that I got through those years of pain and struggle in order to get to here.

Yesterday his mother was strong and powerful and someone to he could be proud of...and that made me extremely happy.

10 minutes of morning Yoga
6 minutes Midday Cardio Warm-up
Midday ST including:
15 push-ups
1 30-second plank
100 crunches
15 lunges
15 squats
10 tricep dips
15 minutes on the elliptical after work
ST on the gym equipment (though a lot of our machines are out of order)
C25K attempt 2 - got through 3 run segments, 2 fast walk segments - 20 mins total

I was thinking of trying to fit in 30DS - L1D2, but I just couldn't after the 2nd attempt of C25K. My hip still hurts when I try to run. I need new shoes. I know that. Just have to figure out the money issue first.

So while I'm changing me for me, there's this added bonus of being able to really enjoy the life of my son. I wasn't the best mother before. A happy mother is much better for a child, I know that. And this version of me is much happier, healthier, and better to focus on him, his struggles, and what he's dealing with as he enters those crazy tween years. I feel like I know my son better. Today when I went to leave school after lunch, he came up and hugged me. In front of the entire 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade my son hugged me. For an 11 year old, that's really saying something!



I'd like to get to the gym today, but I can't make that promise right now. I need to run to the bank and the store, and then the boy gets home and we'll do homework, and then cake at Grandma's house, and then I should be able to get some sort of workout in. Whether in the gym or taking a walk with my birthday boy, I'll make sure I get my time in today, but the most important thing to me today is to focus on my son and make his birthday just lovely!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN4771 9/12/2010 11:10AM

    sometimes in order to appreciate what we have, we have to follow the other paths as well, in the end, you are exactly where you are meant to be....keep doing what you are doing, you are an inspiration and every time i read your blog, i want to hop on a plane and give you a hug!!! stay positive e......and keep enjoying all the benefits of this new life you are creating for yourself and your family, that's what matters the most.....

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VALERIENEAL 9/11/2010 10:04AM

    Stay on the path you are on and one day you will get to go have lunch with your grandchild. emoticon emoticon

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CRZYMOM04 9/10/2010 6:32PM

    What a great boy you have, what a wonderful story.


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ATROTTIER 9/10/2010 12:44PM

    Sounds like you got a great kid there - he is perfect motivation!! =)

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NATARSHAD 9/10/2010 9:28AM

    Such a heartwarming story. It makes us feel so good to know that our kids are proud of us. My daughter was teased at her old school because I am overweight. It made her feel so bad because they were talking about me. I had to assure her that I was ok with who and how I was, although I really wasn't. It was then that I realized that my weight impacted her in so many ways. She is at a new school and no one has made fun of me yet, but then again, her new school has a much more positive vibe. She also sees me working out and eating better (still a work in progress), which makes her conscious of my desire to be healthier and thinner. She won a pedometer for being good in gym class yesterday, but she didn't know what it was. After I explained to her what is was and how to use it, she decided to share it with me. I Love That Kid!!! They make is proud, and they make us better!

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LAURIE404 9/10/2010 8:21AM

    Wow! You are amazing. Your beautiful personality shines through in this blog. Your son is proud of you and you should be proud of you. You are a wonderful mom. Every child deserves a parents love, but that is not always the case. Your son knows how much you love him and a loving mom is better then all the cake and presents in the world. emoticonHappy Birthday to your son emoticon

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 9/10/2010 7:15AM

    so sweet :)

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PENNEYV 9/10/2010 5:12AM

    Sounds like happy birthday is really what he has experienced and happy motherhood to you!

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MADDEELOU 9/9/2010 10:28PM

    What a wonderful tribute to your son and a testament of your strength. You are an incredible woman and I am not surprised that your son is so proud of you. Tell him I said happy birthday. My baby turned 10 on the 5th. Where does the time go?

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MLW0421 9/9/2010 10:18PM

    Love this story! Thanks for posting it. Happy birthday to your son :)

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/9/2010 6:33PM

    Awesome--your son is no doubt incredibly proud of you. He wouldn't be hugging you in front of everyone if he weren't, and that speaks volumes!!

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SANDBBAR 9/9/2010 5:55PM

    Just beautiful! I agree...for an 11 year old to come and hug Mom in front of everyone...he's proud that you're his Mom!!
One thing about struggles in life...you gain an awful lot of insight into life, you APPRECIATE the little things so much more, I think...when you've had to struggle to get where you are. You've come far, and knowing what you do now, you WILL continue!! emoticon emoticon

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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 9/9/2010 5:00PM

    Happy birthday to your son and congratulations to you for all of your success so far. Keep it up. Your son needs you to be around for him.

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MAGPIE17 9/9/2010 4:52PM

    Happy birthday to your son! This is awesome, Esther!

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RAVENSONG37 9/9/2010 4:37PM

    AW! This totally made me cry! I love you and I love your baby boy (and his little brother too!!). They are so lucky to have you as their mommy!!

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ALISSA_SAL 9/9/2010 4:29PM

    Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSSIBRAT 9/9/2010 4:28PM

    such a great inspiring story...like i said before...you are someone he can be proud of and look up too...

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TALLYCAT13 9/9/2010 4:20PM

    this blog was fantastic. I currently struggle with a lot of the things you have overcome. It makes my heart smile to see what the flip side will be:)

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FLWRCHLD97 9/9/2010 3:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR SON!!!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 9/9/2010 3:15PM

    I absolutely loved the honesty in your blog! You are the best kind of mama - one that parents from the heart!



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LIVINGMYLIFE 9/9/2010 2:57PM

    Way to make me teary-eyed. What a beautiful boy you have, mama. Happy birthday to him! You should be proud of all you've accomplished and are learning about yourself and your abilities. You are an amazing woman, capable of so SO much. Depression and anxiety (both of which I've struggled with for the majority of my life) are brutal, but do not have to knock us down for the count. I believe in you and look forward to following you on your continued journey.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THREEE 9/9/2010 2:52PM

    with the exception of your trying times...
this is the most beautiful blog you could write...

and you are TOTALLY right...for him to come hug you in front of everyone, you KNOW you did SOMETHING very, very well...good job, mom, i'm proud of you too... emoticon

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MEGSFITNESS 9/9/2010 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Happy Birthday to your boy!

and happy non-scale victories to you. You must feel so very loved :)

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BAYBELIEVER 9/9/2010 2:10PM

    Your son is so handsome! How awesome that you were able to take lunch to him! A few tears even ran when you said he hugged you in front of all those people. You are right, that says a lot about who you are as a mom!

I loved this before and after, not about a camera picture, but a picture of who we can become when we take control and learn to like and then love ourselves (I am still at the learning to like stage).

Congratulations on a job (motherhood) being very well done!

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SASXONTHEMOVE 9/9/2010 1:49PM

    He's jusst gorgeous. I know about struggling with depression, (HUGS) it's terrible. But look where you and he are now! Amazing. Simply amazing!!

He is proud of you. And I can tell from this blog that you are extremely proud of him, too!

Happy birthday!!!

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MERAINA 9/9/2010 1:43PM

    emoticon

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MEXGAL1 9/9/2010 1:28PM

    you have a beautiful son!

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MABTE52 9/9/2010 1:27PM

    Small steps help acheive a lot of miles. You are doing great! Just keep up the great work! emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

I'm Not Afraid

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This song has been following me around and I think I know why...

Lyrics - "I'm Not Afraid" by Eminem (just a few I've chosen to share)
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Yeah, It's been a ride...
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there
...
I'mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me I'm tearing down your balcony
No if ands or buts don't try to ask him why or how can he
...
I'm not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel that you've been down the same road
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First of all "I had to get to that place to get to this one" is SO important. Because I've been realizing lately that I had to be the 466 pound recluse in order to really get here and enjoy it. I don't take my strength for granted very often because I know what it's like to be without it. I breathe much easier than I did four months ago. I'm no longer embarrased to walk next to my friend for a stroll because I know I won't be breathing heavily after just 5 minutes of walking. I can do a (slow) jog across the parking lot if it's raining without feeling like there's no oxygen left in my body. And the only reason I recognize this is because just months ago, that wasn't where I was. I had to be there to get here and really appreciate it for what it is. I may still be 350+ pounds, but I'm so much stronger than I've been in a very long time! I am strong and powerful because I put the time in to make myself that way.

Second of all, "I'mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly." It's a determination I strive toward. Because I'm still nervous I'll never get there. I'm still nervous that I will never know what it's like to run a 5k, or to wear a size 16, or to really feel comfortable in front of a camera without having to take 15 pictures to find one that I like. Yes, I'm scared. Out of my mind scared that I'll say that I will and then I won't...but that fear should never hold me back. Because no matter what size I am, runner or not, skinny waif or curvy 250 pound woman who can walk circles around you, my goal is to be fit and strong and healthy. That I can control. That seems reasonable because I'm already noticing how much healthier I am now that I've worked out for almost 5 months. So I'm going to be what I set out to be without a doubt. I'm going to be a woman not held back by her health or inability to set out on adventures. I'll travel and hike and enjoy my life. I'll get to that place where I feel comfortable just being me. Undoubtedly. (Such a powerful word!)

Third, "Now some of you might still be in that place/If you're trying to get out, just follow me." This is my Spark line, as is the hook at the end. This community is bonded together because we've all felt basically the same thing, and for me to think that my experience is just SOOO different from yours because you "only" had 40 pounds to lose and I had over 200, is just rediculous, and not at all fair to you! Wherever we are, we all struggle with the emotions of not feeling right within ourselves, of embarassment over pictures of ourselves tagged on Facebook by our friends, of humiliation when we can't do something our friends are capable of - whether it be fitting into a booth, going hiking for 5 hours, or even just jogging down the street to catch up with someone. We've been there. We struggle with the emotions of food - of wanting to eat all the delicious things presented to us, but knowing that our metabolisms just don't fit the lifestyle of eat all, gain none. We all struggle with comfort foods (be honest, we ALL have them), holidays full of food-sharing, of addictions (whether major or minor) to candy and sweets (CHOCOLATE!! YUM!).

But then, at different times, at different places in our journey through life, in different parts of the world, we all stumbled upon the same road. And as we reach out to members new and old, everytime we hit an "I Like This" button or spin that Spark Wheel or post on a team thread, we're saying one thing - we'll walk this road together. We'll band together and help each other along. Many of us realize that we can't have a "no man left behind" mentality, because there are friends we might never see again, who just aren't ready for the committment, but the secret is if we keep going, if we stay on this road...they know where to find us when they stumble back out of the wilderness. This path was laid for us, but it's up to all of us to take it...but we don't have to make the journey completely alone. That's why I pour my honest feelings into my blogs, because someone else might be affected by the same feelings, because someone might pick me up off the ground and offer to hold my hand for a while, or because someone who feels kicked to the side might see it and say, "Hey! Over here! I'm down here with you!" and we can get up together, dust each other off and continue on our way.

Yesterday I did nothing yet again but slink back into my old habits. I kept asking myself why I was doing it, but my only answer was, "I don't want to talk to you. I don't care." I was a 3 year old who had been picked last for the kickball team again, grumpy and hurt. And while I still never got an answer from that grumpy girl, I let her know that it was okay to feel that way. And I tried again to make some plans while she sulked in the corner. And this morning she didn't want to get out of bed for the simple TEN MINUTES of morning Yoga I had scheduled for her. And still, she didn't want to talk. So I went about my business, and I ate some breakfast and had some coffee and we just didn't talk.

And on the way to work I felt like she felt a little better. Like she had somehow won the stand-off. And I let her keep on feeling that way as I coaxed her into those 10 minutes in my cubicle before we sat down at the computer. Now, that isn't to say that she won't rebel again later when it's time to do the other small things I have on the list for her today, but for right now, there is this sense of calm. I'm not taking it so seriously today. I'm moving on from intense training mode with a sense of pride and a renewed sense of adventure. This is my chance to try new things! I don't have anything to train for right now...all I have next month is a 5-mile trail challenge and two 5ks, both I feel confident about being able to complete if they were scheduled for today. So it's time to explore this world of freedom.

I made up little lists and already gave myself a little star for my morning yoga workout. And whatever I do or don't get done today and tonight, I'm going to try to have fun with it! I'm even considering taking tomorrow off work (it's my oldest son's birthday and I just want to spend some time with him).

My boss took me this morning to a shop that makes trophies and medals and she paid for a medal for my son, which she has instructed me to mail to him so it looks "official." (Yes, I have that kind of boss...which is why I don't leave this place even when the job and salary suck, she saves it/me every time I feel like I'm sinking. She's like a second grandmother to me and I feel almost like a part of her family. She kept saying over and over, "They should be ashamed of themselves! I kept thinking all night about how his feelings were hurt and it makes me mad!")

So, my dear Spark Friends...don't be afraid of this journey. We'll walk it together!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERI165 9/24/2010 7:58PM

    This song is my mantra right now. I love it.

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BECKSTEVENSON 9/19/2010 11:45PM

    I love this! I connect inspiration with music all the time, and this is GREAT! :) THANKS FOR SHARING!

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BIONICMONARCH 9/17/2010 10:59PM

    emoticon

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MISSCUS 9/16/2010 12:04PM

    wishing I had an ipod I would add that song to it for motivation. What a great blog...

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DESSALENA 9/16/2010 10:49AM

    Great blog! So true in so many ways! With that attitude...you WILL make it...UNDOUBTEDLY!!! emoticon

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ANGIE_BABY38 9/15/2010 8:57PM

    I SO needed to see this ... thank you for sharing!!! We can do this! emoticon

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SHELLPRO 9/15/2010 1:02AM

    emoticon

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KENAZFEHU 9/14/2010 11:12PM

    Isn't that funny? Eminem is such a negative character to me that I wouldn't have imagined pulling inspiration from him. But you pulled it off. Good luck on your journey!

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WSTXBLUEBONNET 9/14/2010 10:39PM

    You are incredible!! You GO, girl!!!! emoticon

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LALA0123 9/14/2010 8:57PM

    emoticon

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DESTINEDTOBFIT 9/14/2010 8:52PM

  Wow, great post. Okay, you got me; I'm subscribing. I loved the deep exploration, the quiet resolve, and even the realization that the struggle is the struggle, no matter how many or how few pounds you want to lose. I needed this right now. I feel a bit stronger. Thank you so much...

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KAMSNTY 9/14/2010 8:32PM

    I just added that song to my ipod! Great blog!!!! emoticon

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JAYLYN64 9/14/2010 7:46PM

    Love your blog, and it does feel better to know we are in this together. It helps to have support. There is another Eminem song that has helped me in some difficult times. He does have a talent with words.

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GRAMMIE1959 9/14/2010 6:42PM

    emoticon

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ZOSMOMMY 9/14/2010 4:23PM

    Great blog post. This song is a favorite in our house. I didn't use to be an Eminem fan but hes just so talented in writing his lyrics. His struggle can be applied to many situations by many people. emoticon

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MSAPRILMAE 9/14/2010 3:56PM

    Thank you for expressing how I feel from time to time. It's true, we pretty much all share the same feelings about weight loss.

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BAILEYB22 9/14/2010 3:36PM

    I love running to this song!

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LIFECHANGING3 9/14/2010 2:41PM

    Thank you!! I needed to read this today

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NWHURLEYGIRL 9/14/2010 1:40PM

    This was a great post. I'll be checking back in to your page frequently, to get a dose of inspiration and to see your continued progress. Best wishes to you!

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PERSEVERANCE45 9/14/2010 1:16PM

  Thank you. Never alone.

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BO-MAN 9/14/2010 11:39AM

    Best. Blog. Post. Of. The. Month!

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JOJOSZENT 9/14/2010 10:21AM

    Wow, so honestly truthful and a true inspiration.

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IWNT2BFIT 9/14/2010 10:02AM

    I appreciate your honesty. It was real motivation to keep going.

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LCOBB46756 9/14/2010 9:05AM

  I think I really needed to read this today. I have been having one of those (last two) days myself where I don't feel like working out, I just want to sit in the bed and do nothing, but after reading this post, I am gonna get on that treadmill and do my intervals... and feel happy the rest of the day... Good luck to you... and God Bless!

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KLPEFFERS 9/14/2010 9:00AM

    Undoubtebly one of the BEST blogs I have read in a LONG time!

Totally keepin this part:
"we all struggle with the emotions of not feeling right within ourselves, of embarassment over pictures of ourselves tagged on Facebook by our friends, of humiliation when we can't do something our friends are capable of - whether it be fitting into a booth, going hiking for 5 hours, or even just jogging down the street to catch up with someone. We've been there."

In my go-to "don't wanna do it" file so I have a little piece of motivation when I need it.

Thank you for sharing this and I'm Not Afraid either!

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STRUMERCAT 9/14/2010 6:58AM

    Thank you for sharing. Make sure that stubborn little girl knows that momma's doing some major good things for herself and the people she touches through this blog.

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ELIZABETHJBARTZ 9/14/2010 5:04AM

    Thank you so much for your honesty.

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1BEACHWALKER 9/14/2010 12:13AM

    So, So True! I know exactly how you feel! You keep it up-you are an inspiration. I added you as a friend, once a read this blog! I have been doing Spark People for a few weeks and it really is a big help. I finally got down past that darn plateau I couldn't go below before. Enjoy each pound that comes off and don't look at the whole picture-that's what helps me alot. emoticon C

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JPR-ARTIST 9/13/2010 9:01PM

    Good Thoughts!

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RAINSONG17 9/13/2010 8:27PM

    thanks. I needed every word of this today.

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GIULIANABAKER 9/13/2010 8:15PM

  JUST SIGNED UP TODAY AND SO GLAD I READ YOUR BLOG. I FELT REALLY MOVED BY YOUR WORDS BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING MOST OF US FEEL YET WON'T ARTICULATE FOR FEAR WE'LL BE JUDGED. ALTHOUGH MY JOURNEY IS JUST BEGINNING I FEEL ENCOURAGED BY YOUR WORDS. THANKS FOR SHARING! emoticon

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MRSSKI888 9/13/2010 4:43PM

    I love this song too!!! Awesome blog!

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JLEMUS1 9/13/2010 2:21PM

    Awesome blog, thanks!!! emoticon

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DIALIOTO 9/13/2010 11:10AM

    Thanks, that was so GREAT!!!

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JLHORLANDO 9/13/2010 10:50AM

    I love your blog! You are so right when you write that it doesn't matter how much weight we individually have to lose, we all have very similar emotional issues to overcome, fear being the major one. While I may have my exercise and diet going wonderfully (that was my first priority), the rest of my life is still a long way from where I want to be. We all have our different challenges and it is so helpful to read the inspiring stories of others who are struggling and succeeding just like I am. God Bless you and thank you for your inspiring words.

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SCARLETMOONOWL 9/13/2010 2:31AM

    I needed to read your blog! Thank you. I am scared to death of so many things about losing weight, that sometimes I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. But that isn't who I am and it won't get me where I want to go. So, thanks for reminding me why I am here and that sometimes you just need to do things scared. By the way, I am so adding you as a friend!!!

Blessings and joy,
Ciara emoticon

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WEIGHTDIP 9/13/2010 1:32AM

    Thanks so much!

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ANGE1010 9/12/2010 10:18PM

    You go girl. I love your heart and your passion. Stay with it and we'll travel to victory together. You're an inspiration.
God bless,

Ange

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PAMANNN247 9/12/2010 9:01PM

    WOW! Fantastic sentiments! You are so right about us all be joined by a struggle to change! You have amazingingly clear perspective~ I will remind myself of your post the next time I am struggling with myself and my old habits. Thnk you for your wonderful post! : )

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SURVIVOR20J 9/12/2010 8:55PM

  Very interesting blog. You have touched my heart. emoticon

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UP2ME_CC 9/12/2010 1:45PM

    emoticon

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VIRGOLGAL 9/12/2010 1:29PM

    Fantastic Post!!! You are a major inspiration.

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NITELITE72 9/12/2010 11:05AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog. This journey we are on is so much better with those around us encouraging us and inspiring us along the way. You are an inspiration to me...thank you!!

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1NIMUE 9/12/2010 9:05AM

    Thank you so much for this blog! I really felt your caring attitude and it struck me right in the heart. With such inspiration, I know I can go on.

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LEONJOYCE 9/12/2010 6:55AM

  emoticon

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NICOLE.ALICIA 9/12/2010 12:51AM

    Loved reading your blog!

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LIBBYL1 9/12/2010 12:09AM

  a wonderful anthem!

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MYSTERY-LADY 9/11/2010 11:13PM

    Nice Blog

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BOSTONSUNRISE 9/11/2010 9:54PM

    What a great, inspiring post! It reminds me of the quote "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." That quote always makes me think of all the reasons we have to disregard small failures and press on, even when results are less than plentiful. We are learning. And we must keep going.

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NURSEKELLY09 9/11/2010 9:30PM

    Wow, what an inspiring blog! I love this song, and am now going to have a totally new perspective of it and think of you and how motivating you are every time I listen to it! Congratulations on your success so far! Keep up the amazing work!

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The Dangerous Unmarked Path

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I just finished reading JUST_TRI_IT's Momentum blog and it's got me thinking.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3613697


Unlike my friend there, who feels a rush of momentum from completing a challenge, I have the opposite feeling. It's the same feeling I had this weekend when I walked over the timing strips and past the finish line and realized that there was nobody but my son and I to realize what we had just done. It's a big sigh once I realize I've finished something I set out to do. It's boredom. It's frustration, only it's worse. It's a feeling of being lost.

All along the way, the way was marked for me. In training, I had my Smart Coach app that told me what walks to do when and how many miles. I wrote it all down on my calendar. I carried it with me everywhere I went and if I lost my way at any time, I could simply pull out my little chart and check to see where I was supposed to be. During the race, the road was marked with spray paint on the ground. Go left, right, straight, up, down it told me. And I followed. Paths not meant to be taken were roped off and arrows clearly painted on the ground before me. The way was marked. My path was set. All I had to do was follow.

But once you cross that finish line, there is no one there to tell you which way to go. You are ushered off the track and thanked for your participation and then you have to find your own way. You have to start making the decisions again - do I want pizza? soda? to go back to the car and just go home? I hate to say it, but the feeling of "it's over" is almost always followed with that feeling of "which way now?"

Yesterday I was still lost (hence the "What Now?" blog). I couldn't figure out what my next move should be. And while I started my day the same way I do every day, when the chips and dip were pulled out by my son around lunchtime, I found myself slipping back to pre-Spark patterns. Not once in the past 4+ months have I regressed this far. I spent the entire day in my nightgown watching TV, movies, Gilmore Girls episodes. I made excuses like "my hip still hurts" and let those keep me from even leaving the house. I told myself I was ugly and didn't want anyone to see me. And I actually repeated those words, aloud, to my husband. (Points to him for telling me that was a silly thought and reminding me how beautiful I am, but I just couldn't believe him yesterday.)

It's not that I wanted my "old life" back. Not at all. I was bored and cranky and fed up with everything. And as far as food went, it went a little something like this:

Egg Beaters Omelet with cheese and mushrooms
2 cups of coffee, light cream
Chips and Dip - a lot, too much
A cup of Ice Cream with hot fudge
A cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, light mayo, ketchup, on white bun
2 Light hot dogs, on white buns with ketchup
2 pieces of leftover Pizza Hut pizza (pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage)
More ice cream with hot fudge in a waffle bowl

And I felt sick and tired and horrified, and then unfeeling and uncaring and depressed. And I realized that I felt like the old me again. And then I realized something else...I didn't like it. I wanted the me from the day before back. The one who is addicted to sweat and sun. The one that can't let a day pass without taking a short walk or doing some sort of activity that gets the blood pumping. The one who feels confident and strong and amazing and beautiful. Let's face it -- I was lost...again.

Around 8pm I considered just going to sleep and throwing in the towel for the day, and then I realized that I needed something emotionally. I was stunting and silencing myself and I needed to write, to organize, to get it out and see it on paper. A blog just wouldn't work, because I wasn't ready to face SP yet. I wasn't ready to admit my failures to all my friends. It had to start with me. I looked down and found a journal on the floor in front of my dresser. Perfect! I'll go old school and just write it out. I tracked down a pencil and then opened it to the first page. It was then that I realized that this was my journal from my "new life" journey attempt years ago, when I was coming down from 466.6. I hadn't seen it in years. I stopped writing in it right after our move to WV. The last weight recorded in it was 377.

KITHKINCAID made a suggestion on my What Now? blog yesterday that really had me thinking. She said, "I would just set it as your goal to just "exist" for a while at your new weight." But when I found that journal, I knew I wasn't ready for that yet. See, when I moved to WV, when I stopped writing in that journal, that's exactly what I was doing. I was exisiting at my new weight. But something else started to happen to, I stopped focusing on what the right things to do where. Exercise came to a halt. Eating right slowly became less and less important. And I spiraled into a world of living at 377 pounds. I lost another 11 pounds to get to 366 and hit that century mark, but I quickly got myself back to 380 or so, and stayed there for a long time. I'm not willing or ready to do that yet.

Thankfully, KITHKINCAID also made another suggestion - fast walking the jogging sprints in C25k is the actual program is still too difficult. And that thought sounds much better to me, because it gives me a clear path to follow. I'll have directions, goals, things laid out for me to accomplish along the way. And, for now, that's really important.

Because 356 is not good enough. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it's not enough for me right now. The last time I did this, I was happy to sit at 380 for a while and try it on for size. It was a new me completely from the 466 nearly bed-ridden woman I had created. And it was fun to see what new things I could do and try at this weight. But 356 isn't quite different enough. I still feel like just a little smaller version of myself. Yes, I know I can do a LOT more, I realize that every day, but I feel in my heart and soul a desire to do even MORE. I can't let that fire die down...not yet.

(BTW - NOTHING against KITHKINCAID, and I will consider this idea of just learning to be a new me when I think I'm ready to handle it...because I believe it's important to settle into your new life....I just don't trust myself with that yet without worrying I'll ruin it.)

So, no resting for me yet. Hubs helped me last night diagnose the wear on the soles of my shoes and my feet to try to determine my gait from these cues. (I know it's ideal to get fitted at a running store, but the closest one I know of is 2.5 hours away...though I MAY have found one in Parkersburg...which I will be looking into.) I already know I have high arches, and from the wear on my shoes it seems I likely have a more natural gait, which leads me to cushioning shoes. While I'd love to verify and be sure, I may not be able to wait for that. I may have to just order my best guess perfect running shoe and see how it fits when it gets here.

The goal is to attempt C25k with the appropriate equipment. And then, if it is still too difficult, to dial it back again and complete C2F5K first (Couch to Faster 5k *lol*). I'll walk my regular 20 minute pace or so during the walking segments, but then really push to speed walk as close to a 15-minute pace as possible during the jogging segments. If I can make it through and improve my walk pace, I'll be just that much closer to really running! (A dream I can't seem to abandon...and why should I? My doctor has never told me not to try, just to be careful and take stock and interest in what my body is telling me it can or can't yet do.)

After my experience yesterday, the scale has me up 1 pound, back to 357. If I hop right back on the wagon I may hope to see 355 this week and be done with Battle 2. All is not lost.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMHAINHEATHER 9/11/2010 6:36PM

    I heard somewhere (on a running site I think) that jogging training should wait until you can comfortably walk a 15-minute mile regularly. Then your joints and muscles are somewhat adjusted and ready for jogging.

I didn't take this advice and ended up injuring myself and developing a heel spur. Take it from me, slow and steady wins this race.

I love reading your blogs! Most of the time it feels like you're writing straight out of my head :-)!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 9/8/2010 2:01AM

    I'm so proud of you for working through the emotions of it all! I know that is the hardest part.

I am legit sick right now but HOPE to be back to burning mega calories w/ you soon :)

(hugs) to my fave calorie killa :)

(ps I fully support your new wtf signature. I added mine months ago, since I literally catch myself thinking that EVERY day in Korea, but now it has a NEW double meaning!!!)

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HARMONYBLUE 9/7/2010 11:27PM

    There are tons of internet resources to help you determine the shoe for you and your particular needs according to gait (runnersworld.com is a great source) but once you find the TYPE of shoe you need, I strongly suggest buying from Zappos, free returns no hassle as long as the soles aren't worn (so "jog" around the house on carpet until you make your decision) I ordered four pairs to try on and just sent the three that didn't work back.

Also, do you do yoga? I started doing yoga when I was at my heaviest from a book called mega yoga, designed with modified poses for people of size and it helped so much with flexibility, confidence and peace of mind, plus would offer great stretches after your hard workouts and a good full workout for your recovery days.

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BAYBELIEVER 9/7/2010 10:16PM

    You really seem to have worked it out for yourself here! I think a C25K is a wonderful idea, and even a C25FK is good! I know what you mean about not knowing where to go and not knowing where to go. This is an activity issue first. I love the feeling I get when I walk 3-4 miles or swim laps. But what do you do to keep motivated? Walk further? Well that takes more time. I already walk a mile in the morning. And swimming burns so many more calories. But I think this is part of the appeal of mixing things up. If we mix things up (or for me) then the variety is adding new things to my fitness plan, but keeping the other things "new" and not getting too old. At least, that is what I feel this week.

And there is that letdown after you accomplish something that you had as a dream/goal. So finishing the 10K was logically followed by a little let down. But don't let it bring you down! You still accomplished it! You are still amazing! And, you even got to do it with your son! How awesome is that! A memory you both will share forever!

Have a great week, and remember to pat yourself on the back a couple of times this week for all that you have accomplished!

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COMPASSLOST1 9/7/2010 5:18PM

    I know that feeling of accomplishment followed by "what now...?" It really is a lost feeling. Where do I go from here type thing, but what you have to realize is that there is ALWAYS something else to accomplish. There are always other goals to be set and met. There are always longer races and triathlons, and half marathons and bike races and swimming, and etc! You have accomplished soooooo very much, and while I think that being happy with who you are is essential, I think we can always grow (hopefully NOT in the waist! hahaha) and learn new things. I've learned that the smallest goals met tend to be the most rewarding because you are accomplishing things, and you are getting somewhere, even if it is slowly, you see results.

Keep up the good work, and don't worry about slipping up a little bit. It could have been a LOT worse, and at least you look back and learn from that day. You can do anything you put your mind to, even if it takes you awhile to find WHAT to put your mind to. :)

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BOGUSANNIE 9/7/2010 4:17PM

    go online to Nike...they ask questions and then point you in the proper footwear direction, this will give you a good sounding board for other brands...
The higher the arch the more neutral the gait I do believe...Asics has a great one and for heavier weight people which helps a lot..I like it :)

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 9/7/2010 4:01PM

    I love your honesty. You motivate me to be honest here on SP, too. And sometimes it's hard to face, but journalling in private is a good step when you still want to think about it and figure it out. I did the same thing about the cupcakes this weekend - wrote in my private paper journal first before I made myself finally come back.

Is Couch to 5K a program on here?? What is it? I wonder if I could do it.. or if I even want to.. I wonder if my dog would be able to keep up.. She's a Maltese and I have trouble making myself walk just for ME.. if she isn't along to join me.

Kudos to you for rededicating yourself after eating over and above.. and getting into negative mind-space. Good luck!!

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KITHKINCAID 9/7/2010 3:56PM

    All is definitely not lost. We ALL have those set-backs days. The important thing is that you recognized that you didn't like it! HURRAH! Breakthrough moment. That's so awesome. And good for you for knowing that you're not content to "just be" yet - that's totally cool. Personally, I'm trying to slow myself down a bit (not in weight loss, by any means, but just in my "what's next?" nature because I'm like you in that I always have to have something on the go). I used to get mad at my therapist for not "prescribing" things for me to do. I wanted her to give me the steps, set up the rules and then I would just do them. It took me a long time to realize that she wasn't doing that for me for a reason. I needed to be the one to set my OWN way. And that way if something went right or something went wrong, it was all on me, because it was my idea in the first place. I started achieving my successes for myself and was able to own them because I wasn't doing things because people told me too. Works the same way with failures though - I don't have anyone to blame anymore - but that's ok too. Failures make us human! And I'm enjoying them just as much as the successes at this point. I hope you are too! It just means you're making progress.

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ATROTTIER 9/7/2010 3:05PM

    Everyday is different for sure! I've been here too many times and its not like it goes away, these days haunt me until I fight back and say NO! It is easier to fall into pre-spark habits and forget what we have learned and loved but it's true the sick feeling makes us realize that we are healthy and our bodies don't want the junk anymore. Everyday is a constant struggle for me and I know what you are going through and while that might not make it easier - just know that you are on your path and you have the strength to determine your next move and I know it's going to be incredible!!

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ATROTTIER 9/7/2010 3:05PM

    Everyday is different for sure! I've been here too many times and its not like it goes away, these days haunt me until I fight back and say NO! It is easier to fall into pre-spark habits and forget what we have learned and loved but it's true the sick feeling makes us realize that we are healthy and our bodies don't want the junk anymore. Everyday is a constant struggle for me and I know what you are going through and while that might not make it easier - just know that you are on your path and you have the strength to determine your next move and I know it's going to be incredible!!

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MERALO 9/7/2010 1:02PM

    I love how honest you are during your blogs. You've overcome much and you've made all the right moves to get you to your happy person. And I understand that lost feeling, sometimes goals are just what we need and I've learned for the first time that I need goals too...I always used to just cruise along and I now know that that was the reason I failed so many times. Now I'm working towards a big goal and I'm hoping I don't feel that lost feeling. Thanks for making me aware of it, I'll be sure to have a back-up plan in place.

Well done on yur progress so far, I'm truly humbled by how much you've accomplished.

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ERIN4771 9/7/2010 12:15PM

    sounds like you and i had about the same type of day.....it's so easy to fall back into old patterns, and frustrating as well, since we have come so far and learned so much!! all we can do is accept that there will be days like that, like it or not, but how we move on from those days is what really defines how much we have grown...my husband is always so positive when it comes to the "dark days" as i call them, and has hard as it is to believe what he says, at least it puts a smile on my face :).....thank you for posting the good, the bad and the ugly, it's refreshing to see nothing get sugar coated, and i for one really appreciate it.....keep staying positive, you are a great motivator chica!!!!!
erin emoticon

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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 9/7/2010 12:11PM

    It is hard work to lose weight and stay on this journey we are on. However, it is a very worthwhile journey. It may not be going to well for you right now but if you get back up, dust yourself off, and get moving again it will get easier. You can do it and we are here to support you along the way.

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MEGSFITNESS 9/7/2010 11:48AM

    It is so very important to remember that this journey is as much (if not more so) mental than it is physical. You're going through a lot of changes physically and losing weight affects everything from a molecular state--everything from your hormones to your metabolism to your self image and perception... it's no small undertaking! But, knowing that, just know that you're still going to be you when you lose the weight. You're still going to be powerful and strong and beautiful and lovable. You're still going to be good to cuddle with and your husband is going to cherish you even more--because you'll be around to cherish a lot longer.

I'm glad that you know that it's not time for you to "rest" yet. Taking a day off is one thing, but putting yourself on a plateau when you're not ready for it is dangerously close to quitting. I've done that, and it was one of the most miserable 6 months I've been through.

I like this blog from you :) It means you're still here, you still care, and you're still trying. We can do this!

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MAGPIE17 9/7/2010 11:42AM

    I've gotten stuck lately too. Once I reached my goal, I didn't know where to go from there, and I gained 5 lbs. I've had trouble getting back to the gym, I'm not eating as well...I'm scared to face the scale after the weekend I just had! I think that fast-walking the jogging parts of C25K is a great idea right now, and I think completing the C25K program that way is a great goal to have! Let's work towards our new goals, Esther!

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RAVENSONG37 9/7/2010 11:27AM

    1. I am ALWAYS here to cheer you on and celebrate ALL your successes, whether it be crossing the finish line for a race; losing a pound; choosing veggies over chips...whatever. I am here and I love you.

2. You are the one who is figuring out what you want your life to be like and you are struggling to break decade-long habits. Give yourself some credit for breaking them all those other days you did well rather than focus on the one day you didn't do exactly what you know you want to.

3. Your awareness is different now. Taking a break doesn't mean staying put at the same weight for months or gaining. It means listening to your body and mind and giving it rest for a day or two or a week or two...but being mindful always. You got this babe, because you love it and you love you, not because you have to or because you "should".

I have missed you and I'm so happy to hear that you are here, working this out. Succeeding through challenges stirs things up for us emotionally and mentally. Be proud that you are doing exactly what you need to do right now!

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FLWRCHLD97 9/7/2010 11:21AM

    it is so hard to get out of the mental "rut". if you don't mind me sharing, i had a similar experience this past weekend where i was eating like i did pre-spark. unfortunately, i was up in the middle of the night on saturday because my stomach and body were very angry with me - it was not fun or pretty. i never realized how much of a difference there was with my body and mood from just the few changes i've made in what i'm eating. i noticed i felt more depressed when i was eating crappy foods.

sometimes i believe we fall back into our past habits and ways because it is comfortable and easy. it is much easier to prepare packaged foods or open a bag of chips versus cleaning and cutting up veggies or cooking a homemade meal. eating pre-spark is what we have done for years and years. this was our way of life.

now that we have spark (we meaning everyone here on SP who shares a similar background), we know better. we have seen results. we know how good it feels to try something new and like it (either new food or new exercise). but sometimes we just fall back into our old habits because it is easy or maybe we give in to past feelings of insecurity and feel that our body should look like how we feel on the inside (or maybe that's just how i feel sometimes).

but it happens and most likely will happen again in the future. but, we don't have to give in to our past ways, we can and will overcome. because life is different now, we have the support of SP (at least that's what i have to keep telling myself :-)

you are doing great. i appreciate your honesty when you post your blogs, thank you!

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SNOWFLAKE57 9/7/2010 11:19AM

    Hey, Moms even get where they just want to settle but I also feel I need to continue. Your column was just plain awesome and nothing short of an encouragement for all. I am so proud of you and look forward to seeing you reach your next 100 pound weight loss. Don't give up. It will definitely be worth it all. I even broke down last night and bought a kids size ice cream cone at Dairy Queen, ate a few bites, was mad because they gave me a vanilla cone instead of a twist cone, then tossed the rest of the cone. This morning, I got up, saw Justin off to school and headed out to walk. Can't wait to register for our 5K together at the end of this week. Love you much daughter! Your Mom.

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CALLIKIA 9/7/2010 9:49AM

    I tend to go on autopilot. I eat the foods I know fit into my plan and don't try anything new for a few days. I've got some tried and true favorites that are great fall-backs when all else fails.

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 9/7/2010 9:33AM

  All is not lost is correct. If you knew what I've been putting in my body these last three days - it'd be enough to keep us both full/sick for at least a week.

I need a hard restart, so, it's back to basics for me. Weigh/measure all food, track all exercise...blah blah blah. Until I can get my head on straight again, that's what I have to do.

What works for you?

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Loving the Progress, but What Now? - Week 21

Monday, September 06, 2010

First of all, here's my weigh-in update from yesterday. (The 10k blog was too important! *lol*)
emoticon
Weigh-in Day (Yesterday)

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 358.4
This Week: 356.2
Loss/Gain: -2.2
SP Total Loss: 60 pounds!
Total Loss: 110.4

Quote of the Day:
“Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”

All yesterday, I kept thinking one thing... "Okay...now what?"

When I started SP on April 18, 2010 I:
* could hardly walk a mile.
* took 45 minutes or so to walk 1 mile around the track.
* used my inStride cycle for 10 minutes when I got home from work a few times a week.
* worked out just 3 days a week, from 15-30 minutes.
* just measured and counted food we were eating regularly.
* switched from white bread to wheat bread.
* used my lunch breaks to walk around the ball park.
* started drinking 8 glasses of water a day.

Since then I have progressed to:
* using whole wheat, whole grain bread.
* started cooking fresh meals at home on the weekends for the week.
* discovered at least a dozen new healthy recipes my family enjoys.
* started branching out to cooking without a recipe.
* learned to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables more.
* cut my fat intake to more reasonable levels.
* joined the gym.
* working out 5 days a week.
* using my rest days as active rest days, doing some small exercise.
* started Zumba classes.
* found out I can ride a bike again and gave up the inStride cycle.
* went hiking and loved and hated it, loved more than hated.
* walking 2-3 miles on my slow days, and 5-6 on LWD (long walk days).
* walking a comfortable 20 minute mile.
* walked a 5k race at a little over an 18 minute/mile pace.
* walked a 10k race with my son.
* conquered rock walls and huge hills.
* went from not able to finish 2000m on the rowing machine to finishing in 12.20.
* boxing regularly and now can work the speed bag.
* strength training 3 times a week.
* completing 100 crunches in a session.
* working out for 45-120 minutes in a session.
* completed a 30 second plank (couldn't do a plank at all before).

So, what now? What's next for my big life makeover? I do have plenty of options of things I can try, things I've been interested in...I just have to figure out what I want to tackle next. From the traditional to the strange forms of exercise I can use and challenge myself for the next few weeks. If you have other ideas, lay them on me! I need something to work toward for improvement! These exercise-related NSV keep me going and keep me from focusing on the numbers on the scale! They also keep me from getting bored.

Options:
* half-marathon walk training.
* 30-Day Shred.
* try Couch 2 5k again. (Need $$ to buy running shoes.)
* challenge speed on the speed bag.
* improve my boxing techniques and really use boxing as training.
* really tackle the rowing machine and tackle more programs on the machine.
* tackle the elliptical training programs on the machine.
* work toward a comfortable 15 minute/mile pace walking.
* work on the house - super-clean, super-organized, fixed and mended everything.
* take up racquetball.
* train on the free weights for more diverse strength training.
* Yoga! More moves, super flexibility.
* Pilates. I've never done anything like this...*shrug*
* start biking outside. (Need $$ to buy a bike first, though.)

Yesterday I tried C25k again. It went well for the first 10 minutes, my knee felt pretty good the whole time and I didn't die during the first 2 running segments. And then the 3rd running segment came and I pulled something in my left hip (I think it was my hip flexor muscle...I've pulled it before). I did a lot of stretching last night and felt much better this morning. I'm not sure if it's the way I run (my stance) or if I'm just still too big to do this. I might try again next week. Even if I just take it one day a week and keep working W1D1 until I can make it through it fully. I don't care if I have to take it slow as long as I'm seeing progress.

Challenges:
* AB: TIKI challenge has ended (have to post my endplate today and some pics), but we have the WTF (What the Fall?) challenge coming up in a couple weeks.
* Team 300 lbs. Plus: I'm still co-captaining the Biggest Loser End of Summer Challenge. This challenge ends September 14th.
* Self challenge: I'm still working on Battle 2, to get to 355. I'm SO close, and then the final push of Battle 3 will begin, to get under 350.

I'm frustrated and lost right now. *lol* That sounds completely absurd, but it's completely honest. If anyone has suggestions or input, let me know! Until I figure it out, I'm just going to spend the day trying to figure out my next move.

I know I still have some races coming up:
* October 2nd - Barkcamp 5-mile trail challenge. No planned goal for this one and not sure I'll do it. I'm not really all that scared of 5 miles anymore, but I think the trail part could be interesting.
* October 10th - Dayton 5k. This is all about family time. I'll be walking with my mom, step-brother, son, and sister.
* October 16th - Auggies 5k. My challenge to myself is to either run part of this one or improve my race walking pace. I'd like to do it under 50 minutes.

Okay...that's it for today. Just trying to plan my next move. Does anyone else freak out like this after completing something you trained for weeks for? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!! *lol*

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISADEL 9/10/2010 10:20AM

    On the topic of buying a bike, you should look to see if there's a bicycle recycling co-op in your city. I'm told that many cities have them.

The way the one in my city works, basically, they have a location where they take in donations of bikes and parts and they also keep a large number of tools (including very specialized bike tools) available. They offer classes to teach people how to repair and maintain bikes, which you can pay for either by paying cash or putting in volunteer time. There's also a program through which you pick out one of the donated bikes that's available, repair it into good working order, do some volunteer time to cover the cost (or optionally pay cash), and then it's yours to keep.

They also (as time permits) have some of their volunteers do things like fix up bikes to either be donated to community organizations (mainly children's bikes) or made available for sale to the public.

By volunteering, I've taken an entire 6 class series on basic bicycle maintenance skills without having to pay any cash for it at all.

Another short term option would be to look into what bike rental opportunities are available in your area. There's a place not too far from me, for example, where I've rented a bike a few times for about $5 an hour. That's obviously not a very economical option if you're going to be riding a lot, but it can be a very good way to get outside occasionally for a change of pace or just get a taste of whether you like riding outside enough for it to be worth pursuing owning a bike yourself.

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 9/7/2010 3:52PM

    Wow, you can do a plank for 30 seconds? I can't do it at all any more! When I lost 60 lbs in 2006 (from 300 to 240), I managed to get to it around 260 lbs, but I can't do it any more. I stopped exercising and lost all my arm strength and my hips are just so big.. So anyhow.. impressed by that!

I would suggest Yoga for better flexibility and stretching after intense walking/jogging and better core strength and then adding some other core muscle exercises such as Pilates, but Pilates is really tricky.. and there are other core exercises that are not as difficult. And keep up regular walking short and long walks. OMG you walk 5-6 miles some days? 2-3 miles is a SHORT walk? You blow my mind!



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SKYLMT3 9/7/2010 11:28AM

    You sound like me, I want to try everything! In the last year I took up pilates, 30 Day Shred, yoga, and biking. Love them all. Pilates is great for flexibility and core strength. Biking is so much fun. Great to connect with the community and feel FREE! Just like being a kid again!

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RAVENSONG37 9/7/2010 11:22AM

    Yes. I freak out. Usually it's after any obstacle I have overcome (like making it through the wedding weekend without a major binge or freakout...) that I feel lost and unmotivated. My advice is to seek out something new to focus on while also looking at what is it within you that gives you this sense of being lost or dissatisfied. For me, I think it's that I put so much energy and thought into whatever it is I'm gearing up for, that once it's over I feel the let-down. Then I also fear that without that thing, I'll be totally off track and go back to where I was before. Keep thinking and talking...it's the best thing you can do for you!

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BOGUSANNIE 9/6/2010 11:30PM

    Look at all those wonderful changes...
It's great that you are able to look past the scale to all the other awesome things that you have gained from your journey...how fabulous!

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COLD_GOLD 9/6/2010 8:57PM

    oh my goodness! I LOVE this blog... I love that you have listed all sorts of amazing changes. I totally relate to feeling bored or uninspired, even after achieving success. What about some outdoorsy challenges like a longer hike or something? I dunno. Maybe it`s `cause I really like wilderness, but I find a different sort of satisfaction if I train for a hike or go out biking in the country or something. Maybe that`s something to work towards? BUT... you are doing fantastically!

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_AIYANNA_ 9/6/2010 2:06PM

    "As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery."
C.P. Cavafy

We were taught this poem in high school. The whole poem is about how the journey is much more important than the destination. What we learn along the way, about ourselves and about life is what matters most. It's only natural that you're feeling lost and frustrated. We all get that "now what?" feeling from time to time. Give yourself some time to think about what you would like and enjoy doing next.

I am hoping to start the c25k next week, too. If I see that I can't complete the first day I'll keep doing it until I see that I can.

You should be so proud of all the progress you have made so far. You are a true inspiration and a real motivator for the rest of us.

Thank you xxx

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KITHKINCAID 9/6/2010 12:26PM

    Hey Esther! Amazing job - look how far you've come. I'd say focus on the C25K since you just really want to run so much - BUT, tone it down from jogging during the intervals to speed walking at a 15min/mile pace and work yourself up to that. You can stick with the shoes that you have for walking (as long as they're not worn out). I'm running the C25K program right now and even with running and walking intervals combined I'm only doing 15min/mile, so if you can walk that that's impressive!

Otherwise - I I know you probably don't want to hear this - I would just set it as your goal to just "exist" for a while at your new weight - see how it feels, do what you FEEL like doing for exercise, and something with come to you. I'm not saying to stop losing weight - you won't anyway, but just relax a bit on the challenges. Goals and challenges and teams are wonderful (and necessary for sure sometimes), but ultimately, being able to just live without having to be striving towards anything in particular is also a big goal of this program (for me anyway). Take it or leave it - but it might be an option for you to just ENJOY fall and see what comes up. I'm sure you will amaze yourself - you amaze me :)

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JKJEE10 9/6/2010 11:54AM

    Congrats on your loss so far!! amazing!! I did want to say about the 30 day shred...I actually started it a couple of weeks ago with the goal of making it all 30 days... I got to day 15 and I decided to stop..not because it was hard...although it was lol...But I stopped because one of my goals at this moment is to lose the weight and then focus on building muscle. When I looked the Shred up I noticed that alot of people only lost about 5 lbs during the month. I didn't want to do all of that work to lose only 5 lbs...now I did notice some differences after the 15 days... I lost 2 in around my waist and a few others in other places...and my bulge went down...BUT... I was teetering around the same number for a few weeks and the scale would just not move. It was not motivating at all because I knew I was working hard but the scale was not moving. And I know there are other ways of changing...but for me I wanted to get rid of some more weight before anything else. So for now I am continuing to exercise...trying to every day but I will restart the shred once I hit onderland. I hope you find something that you love!! I just wanted to give you my input on the Shred!! GL!

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PINKCHEETAH175 9/6/2010 11:38AM

    you are sooo not alone!!! as crazy as it seems as soon as I've finished conquering one goal....it seems I have a new one planned instantaneously.....always keeps me moving forward with a challange for sure....You have some amazing options!!! and wow what energy!!!! I am jogging...or wogging my first 5k next weekend...and then what? i am not sure yet...but I am sure I will have it planned by Sunday! LOL....have a great week!! and what great accomplishements you've had thus far! keep up the great work!!

Alissa

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KRISTEVEN1 9/6/2010 11:30AM

    Congratulations on your 100+ pounds weight loss. That is an incredible achievement. You really impress me with the variety of physical activities that you are involved in. I've shied away from classes, because I'm embarrassed about my size. But now that I've lost a few pounds and am feeling a bit more confident, I will look into some of these classes. Thanks for the inspiration! Keep up the good work, you are doing amazing.

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10k?? No Way!!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Yesterday Ethan and I were signed up to walk the Charleston Distance Walk's 10k. 6.2 miles with a killer hill in mile 3-4 we had dubbed "The Monster."

We woke up 5 a.m. groggy and freezing! A crisp fall-like morning was upon us. We dressed in the clothes we set aside the night before for the race and grabbed jackets that we could strip when we felt it had warmed up enough. I put moleskin on both of our feet and grabbed everything I thought we would need. Putting my contacts in was the last step before we headed out the door for the nearly hour drive to Charleston (and we were only about 10-15 minutes behind schedule!). I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and coffee (which I didn't drink much of because I was afraid it would make me want to pee throughout the entire race! *lol*) and then headed south. I kept hoping the sun would come up before our 7:30 a.m. start!

We arrived at West Virginia's gold dome, parked, fed the meter (apparently we didn't need to! GRRR!) and went to pick up our race packets. It was still pitch dark outside, but we were excited to be going into the capitol building, which neither of us had ever been in.


Ethan in front of the big, heavy doors of the capitol building.

After picking up our 2 shirts and hat, as well as our numbers, we headed back to the car to finish prep and drop everything off.


A big glass chandelier in the inside of the dome.


Ethan with his hat, in front of the Governor's office.

I put the body glide stuff on both of us and we put our numbers on and headed to potty once more before the start. I barely made it to the start line and stretched for a minute when the cannon went off to start the race. It still took us a little time to get over the starting line as we were back behind most of the runners of the 5k.

Mile 1:


We joked and laughed our way through the first mile. Turns out my race pace is much faster than Ethan's so I just slowed down a bit while pushing him just enough to keep up. I told him how important it was that we just weren't last and he tried to up his pace a bit. Still, I resigned myself to just finishing, even if my boy needed a little more time to do that than I did.

He was amused by the water stations and thought it was awesome that he could pitch his cup on the ground if he wanted (though they kept up pretty well with trash bins and trash pickers nearby). He was happy to see the mile 1 marker, but was frustrated with his headphones which wouldn't play his music over a whisper.

Mile 2:
i pushed a little bit to keep pace with the people around us, but Ethan suddenly realized he hadn't stretched beforehand. His legs were really starting to feel it! I promised him that once we got to mile marker 2 I would stop and give him the chance to stretch out, and that's just what we did. I tried to let the fact that we were getting passed not affect me...but it did a little. I picked up the pace just after our stop to get back to where we had been before.

Mile 3:
All first 3 miles were streets I had walked on lunch breaks over the past 4 months. They were streets I knew very well and I kept pointing out things to Ethan to keep him distracted. I knew he was starting to feel a bit tired already and I worried he wouldn't be able to finish. And then I reminded him that most people would soon be turning off and giving up, but that we were going to set off in a different direction and challenge The Monster. He loved the idea of a challenge and pushed through.

Miles 4 and 5:
It's hard for me to gauge when and where miles 4 and 5 stopped and started. Once we broke off from the 5k pack there were no mile markers or indications of how far we had gone (strike 1 for the race organizers, in my book! Those mile markers are SO important!!). I know there was one water stop where we actually had to refuse water because we'd been given so much already! My tummy was sloshing and it didn't feel very good. So I politely refused and we headed up The Monster.

The Monster:
461 feet. That's what the race course map's elevation chart told me we would have to tackle. And it was all very UPhill! I had to take just a couple tiny breaks to catch my breath, but suddenly Ethan was catching up and having to set his pace back for me! *lol*


Ethan overlooking the freeway below.


We're still in this!


Break 1 looking back at what we'd already done!


And looking up at how much we still had to do!

We reached the top and found the water station before entering the cemetery...and Ethan found a tree! *lol* He had to pee and there were no bathrooms or port-o-johns available along the 6.2 miles anywhere! He found his tree but I could tell he wasn't feeling too hot. (Apparently it wasn't just a pee...and apparently he chose the wrong leaf AGAIN! He likes to pick ferns to wipe with, and those don't feel so great on the bum! OMG - don't tell him I told you about this! *lol*) Still, we headed into a cemetery with a word of ...encouragement?... from the water station girls. It went something like this! "Just go down there. It's all downhill, until it's uphill again!" WTF? We thought we were done with the hill! (Boy, were we wrong!)

We went downhill for like a second before we found more hills. We guessed we were about at mile 4.


No, those aren't gang signs. He thought we should have a mile marker. *lol*

The cemetery was pretty with the morning sun coming over the hill. I tried to let that distract me from the climb, flat, climb more, flat, climb more, more, more of the trek.


I joked with Ethan that they put the cemetery on this course so that if people just keeled over from the climb, they wouldn't even have to take them anywhere to dispose of the bodies. Just dig a hole! *lol* We tried joking a lot for distraction and most times it actually worked.


Look! We beat it! We reached the top and are FINALLY headed downhill!!

Miles 5 and 6:
Still no mile markers. Most of this was back down The Monster. I jogged a bit to make up some time, but my right ankle was bugging me after all that uphill climbing. Still, I jogged because it was easier than trying to balance a walk downhill. We made it out of the cemetery and I started to realize there were only 2 people behind us. We tried to shake them but we couldn't. And these weren't just any two people. They were wearing jeans and tie-dyed shirts. They looked like they were out for a Sunday morning stroll and thought it would be fun to put a number on and follow a group struggling up the hill. It looked like they were having no trouble at all, and that irked the heck out of me as I struggled! I was reaching that point where I wanted the finish line...and Ethan was faring much worse. At one point down the hill I actually said, "OMG! I'm done." but we kept walking anyhow.

Ethan kept saying, "Mom, we can't turn back now. The only way out of this is forward." and he was right. So we kept going. I jogged when I could and we brought back some laughter and jokes by trying to shake the people behind us...and by chanting "really big cheeseburgers!" *lol* I had promised him on the way up The Monster that when it was all over I would take him to a good restaurant and we would both order huge cheeseburgers to celebrate finishing the race. (Don't get on me about cheeseburgers after a workout. I didn't care then and I don't care now. I've been basically avoiding the things for months but this day called for cheeseburgers and french fries...and the thought of that got us through the next 2.2 miles!)

As we headed down The Monster I pointed out the stadium where the finish line was. "Look! We're SOO close!" so we sped up and made it off the hill and around the corner, with 15 mile runners flanking us on either side, passing us up but cheering on my boy as we passed. The whole race people cheered for my son. Told him he was doing a great job. Told him he was awesome. And that felt better than any praise anyone could have given me! (I actually enjoyed them clapping for him instead of my pity claps I usually get!)

All we had to do now was walk straight and then head around the track to finish. I kept telling Ethan that as he slowed to almost a crawl. He was exhausted and I knew it. Once we got in the stadium I took his hand and pulled him ahead of me. "We've got this, baby. The finish is right around this corner!" Suddenly we were greeted by crowds of people cheering for the 15 mile finishers, who were distracted by my son...and they clapped for him and cheered for him, and suddenly his pace increased and I struggled just to keep up! *lol* (He did it all for the glory!!) I told him to look up and see that the finish line was right there. He was a little disappointed that it said 2:08.something, but I reminded him that we hadn't crossed the start right at second 1 and that we could still finish under 2:10 if we hurried. An we hurried and walked across the finish line together.

"We did it!" I told him...and he was tired, but proud. That was until he saw all of the 15-mile runners receiving a finisher's medal and he realized he wasn't going to get one. No one was there to welcome the walkers. No one seemed to care that we had done this amazing thing. And my wonderful son looked up at me and said, "Mom? Where's my medal?" And my heart broke. We were told to get off the track and while he cooled down in the water sprayer, I tried to reason myself away from that same thought that plagues me -- walking isn't all that amazing at all. Running is much harder. We suck!



But you know what? We deserve respect for what we just did! We deserve clapping and cheers and a finisher's medal. We paid for this race just like those runners did. We finished it. We put in the effort. We nearly tore holes in our feet walking up a 461 foot Monster of a hill. And that's what I plan on telling the race organizers when I call them on Tuesday. Because I want my son to have a medal for what he did. And that's that.


Finally, those really big cheeseburgers I had promised. We each only ate 1/2 of ours, had a couple onion rings and some fries and were stuffed. We headed home proud, but still a little angry (at least I was!).


But medal or no medal. Respect or no respect. This little boy deserves a huge amount of credit for what he did yesterday. While I had trained for this race for weeks and worked my way up to 5-mile walks, this boy used only what endurance he gained through football practices and games to make his way through 6.2 miles, a 461-foot climb up the Monster, a grueling jog back down, and a strong finish.

You guys tell me all the time how amazing I am for what I've done. But I have a secret to tell...I'm just trying to live up to the fire this boy and his brother put in my heart every day. I want them to be proud of their mom, and these races are a way for me to show them that I can put my mind to something and succeed...to show them that it's possible so they know that they can do it too.

I am only half as amazing as that boy is right there.
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----
In other news: Weigh in today has me down another 2.2 pounds (to 356.2), for a total of 60 lost since April 18th!

EDIT: Official results for Ethan and I:

3091 Esther 29 F Sandyville WV 2:09:01.72
3092 Ethan 8 M Sandyville WV 2:09:01.20

There were two 70+ year olds behind us at 2:12. *lol* Ah-well, we weren't dead last at least.

EDIT 2: The response I got from the race director regarding the lack of finisher medals:
"I am sorry to report that due to money, we did not offer medals to walkers. This is an issue that I will be happy to take up at the next committee meeting on September 27 and I will be sure to mention your son's feelings. I hope other than the lack of finishing medals, you and your son had a great time. It is quite an accomplishment on the part of your 8 year old son."

So, there was enough money for the runners to get medals but not the walkers? Hrm...interesting. AND WRONG!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMWEBB40 9/8/2010 1:41AM

    It is an awsome thing to walk/run a race with your kids. My kids have been doing 5ks with me.(although they are 16 and 19). I love that they want to do this with me and it's something we can talk about in years to come. You both deserve a metal. emoticon

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THENEWDARLENE 9/7/2010 7:35PM

    You both did an amazing job! Congratulations! Thanks for motivating me to move more!

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KARVY09 9/7/2010 3:53PM

    Go Esther and Ethan! You are amazing and don't need a medal to know in your heart how awesome you both are! Though I agree that ponying up for a few extra medals is an insignificant expense... Grr!

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PRIMALMICHAEL 9/7/2010 3:28PM

    You are both really awesome! Congratulations on a job very well done!

Michael

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CDHORBACH 9/7/2010 3:21PM

    I think it is wonderful that you are involving your children in activities such as this. It shows them the importance of exercise. Good job for finishing, wow your son does deserve a medal!

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ATROTTIER 9/7/2010 2:26PM

    You two are the BEST ever!! Your little boy did AMAZING!! You should be so proud to have him at your side and I know you are!! I know it was hard on you both but what an awesome acheivement - you give me such inspiration! emoticon

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BAREFOOT-LISA 9/7/2010 2:24PM

    That's ridiculous! I'd ask exactly where his fees went, if they were short on money! Psh. Regardless, walking IS amazing. Sure, running is harder on the body, but really I don't see the difference! Some people struggle just as much to make it through a mile running OR walking and what you 2 accomplished with that 10k, it just blows my mind and sparks my whole day!

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YOOVIE 9/7/2010 1:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
WAY TO GO ETHAN AND CALLI!!!!!!!! GREAT JOB!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO WHAT YOU DID! EVER! MUCHO RESPECTO!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MERALO 9/7/2010 1:18PM

    No medal? That's wrong on way too many levels! I live ina 3-rd world country and if 22000 walkers can all get a medal at one of the biggest walking events in the southern hemisphere....then the organisers of your race can too. Bummer.

BUT...what an amazing achievement by an 8-yr old. That must make you an equally proud mama. Keep encouraging him to join you, it's a fantastic thing to to do together.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 9/7/2010 11:37AM

    All I have to say is that I'm super proud of both of you. 10K's are no joke, and with a 461 ft incline right in the middle. It sounds like an amazing experience to share with your son. (not going to lie, I got tears in my eyes).

Oh and cheeseburgers and loaded with protien so I think a great post workout reward!

CONGRATULATIONS!

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SKYLMT3 9/7/2010 11:30AM

    Very cute! I nkow my son is often my "fire" and inspiration. Congrats on all the progress!

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_MSAPRIL17_ 9/7/2010 11:05AM

    What an amazing blog!! Congrats to you and Ethan!!!!! What a great way to spend time with your little guy and from the looks of it he was completely tuckered out after.

CONGRATS!!!

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RAVENSONG37 9/7/2010 10:58AM

    Well, if you are only half as amazing as he is...he must be off-the-charts totally freaking awesome. I'm so proud of you both and so happy that you met your challenge. You faced the monster and prevailed. Sorry I thought it was Sunday...I was so wrapped up in wedding stuff...anyhow...GREAT WORK! I love you!

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KAYLAP101 9/7/2010 10:30AM

    wow! brought tears to my eyes! what an amazing little guy!!!
You guys did awesome!!! 10 k is SOO far!!! Congrats on finishing!!!

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 9/7/2010 7:40AM

  You tell E that I am so, so, SO proud of him and his momma for what they did. Tell him I'm sending him a big ole squeeze and that my hugs are better than any medal because I only give them to rockstars.

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BAYBELIEVER 9/6/2010 9:34PM

    You are right, on one count. What your son did was incredible and he deserves a medal and a hamburger!! But you also are amazing. Training or no training think of where you were just a little while ago and know that it was 6.2 miles, with a huge hill in it, and no idea how far you had gone! I am so encouraged by you and doing a 6.2 mile walk in only 4 months! Amazing!

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MAGPIE17 9/6/2010 6:59PM

    I'm so happy for you and your son! Way to go, both of you!!

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CBAILEYC 9/6/2010 4:44PM

    Well I'm all teary-eyed here, touched and admiring BOTH your determination and success. Well done. Well done indeed!

A standing ovation for your achievements!
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C~

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KITHKINCAID 9/6/2010 12:38PM

    Wow girl, just wow. You are the best mom ever. That kid is SO lucky to have you as his mom. You made me cry over here this whole story was just so beautiful. And you BOTH did it. You earned your cheeseburgers. AND your medals. I agree - he should get one - and so should you. You need matching medals to hang on the fireplace - or wherever.

Congratulations on everything. You must be beaming with pride - despite the lack of physical rewards.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/6/2010 11:54AM

    I'm crying right now! Ethan is amazing and you're an amazing mom! Congrats to both of you, not only for your HUGE accomplishment with 6.2 miles but for doing it together!

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RAWKNRUN 9/6/2010 8:59AM

    Awe, could he be any sweeter or cuter? You should be a very proud mama, I hope my dd and I will do races together someday as well (she is only 4). Hugs to you and your medal earning son!

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PELESJEWEL 9/6/2010 1:51AM

    Your kid is amazing! He loves his mom! Great job on the 10k walk! You really are rocking your journey!

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ps Love the pics! Especially the cheez burger smile!

Comment edited on: 9/6/2010 1:59:34 AM

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 9/6/2010 12:07AM

    OMG what an awesome blog - with photo documenting and everything! and about such an amazing day and experience! You both did super amazing incredible jobs! I am upset, too, that they did not have awards for the walkers- COME ON, at LEAST for the KIDS who did it!! But really, I'd want one, too, if I managed to walk it! You are in WAY better shape than I am!

You have some of the same motivation I do.. like you said, - ".I'm just trying to live up to the fire this boy and his brother put in my heart every day. I want them to be proud of their mom, and these races are a way for me to show them that I can put my mind to something and succeed...to show them that it's possible so they know that they can do it too." Well, I have yet to do a race, but someday I expect I'll do a 5K and someday I'll hike Mt Monadnock, which my 3.5 year old ALREADY wants to hike. It's on my doorstep, practically ( just a few miles away) and the second most climbest mountain in the world! So yeah, we have to, but it won't be easy!!

Back to the point..

HURRAY ETHAN!!!!
And HURRAY MAMA E!!!
You both Rock!!!!

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JEREMY723 9/5/2010 9:56PM

    Thanks for the play-by-play of your event! Sometimes I feel bad that it's very flat around here, right next to Lake Erie. When I see your photos this week of the hill I'm glad it's flat here:)

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_TRIXIE_ 9/5/2010 7:52PM

    My heart just swelled with pride for both of you after reading this! Congrats on the victories!

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CHICAT63 9/5/2010 7:13PM

    Oh, so an amazing and inspirational blogs to all of us !!! Way to go Esther & Ethan you guys ROCK. Just awesome, I agree your son should get a finishing medal. You conquered and won - way to go.

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EMRANA 9/5/2010 7:06PM

  I enjoy reading your blog anyway, but this was the best of your posts I've read yet. I've got happy little tears!

Don't even worry about the race organizers, go buy your own medal and present it to your son. It would probably be a better quality one anyway ~ more worthy of the boy he is. While you're at it, get one for yourself! You deserve one too.

I found your page through Becky73, who is one of my friends, but I am going to add you as a friend as well. Hope you don't mind. You're very inspiring! I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now. You've got the same determined spirit I do. Congratulations on your latest weight loss goal reached! emoticon

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KAYEREADER 9/5/2010 6:23PM

    Congrats on your pounds lost, but also to your amazing son! That is an awesome experience and an awesome finish!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 9/5/2010 5:53PM

    awwww this was such a great blog!!!!! thanks for sharing and CONGRATS on the 10k w/ your wonderful son and on losing 60 lbs so far!!!!

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MGRIFFITH32 9/5/2010 5:45PM

    Congrats! What a great partner you had. Great job!

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SEANSAUNT 9/5/2010 5:37PM

    I'm proud of you both, and I don't even know you! 10K is a looooong way! I just did my first last saturday and thought I was going to die! And we only had small hills!

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_DASH_ 9/5/2010 5:04PM

    ok i cried reading this.
you did a great thing!

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AGCUNNIN 9/5/2010 5:01PM

    What a great thing you did for yourself and your son! Maybe you can print him an "official" looking certificate of achievement. Or even better, he can start getting in shape with Momma and cross the finish line as a runner in the future! Getting a medal could be a huge motivator.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/5/2010 4:41PM

    OK, you are a machine! And amazing! And an amazing mom! And screw the race, go out and buy a medal and send it to your house in an envelope and make up your own freaking award. He's not going to know the difference and it will keep him motivated for the next time.

Love this blog! And your energy. You inspire me!

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REBECCAMA 9/5/2010 3:53PM

  Congratulations!!! I hope you find a way to give him that medal. Maybe print up an award certificate and stick it in the mail or something for him to get in a few days.

WTG to both of you for doing it. emoticon

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_AIYANNA_ 9/5/2010 3:13PM

    Ok, crying like a baby here!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully inspiring story with us. You and your son must be so proud of yourselves and each other.

I think you're right to be upset with the organisers. Everybody should be given a medal for their participation. Especially the children.

You are a wonderful person and mother and have a beautiful family :)

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5KLUKAT 9/5/2010 12:56PM

    What a great blog! I don't have children, but if or when I do, I hope to be the sort of mother who shares these experiences with them, just like you. And I imagine that Ethan is just as proud of you as you are of him! Congrats on all of your achievements this week!

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ERIN1128 9/5/2010 12:46PM

    OMG Esther, this blog totally made me cry...I think it's just amazing that you did this together!

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KNOWMOREBBK 9/5/2010 12:39PM

    What a great mom you are... and what a lucky kid Ethan is to have such a supportive Mommy. He is a trooper.

Good luck to then in football today!

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KAY-SUPREME 9/5/2010 12:13PM

    This is seriously a great story. I'm super proud of both of you!

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LOOKY-LOU 9/5/2010 11:59AM

    Okay, I am pretty sure EVERY mother out there would cry if they read this one! What a great thing to share with your son! Hope they give you both a medal...you both did great!

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SASXONTHEMOVE 9/5/2010 11:47AM

    OK, I'm crying! What a great blog and I'm glad that you're going to call the race organizers on Tuesday! What a kid you have there! You and Ethan are two amazing people. I even like the cheeseburgers!! and Ethan zonked out in the car???? makes me all gooshy--momma, you are awesome!

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MENACE79 9/5/2010 11:46AM

    Yeah, this blog made me cry too. This is awesome, and I'm book-marking it for when I need motivation. I think you both deserve medals!!

Great, great, great job... let the natural high of what you just accomplished carry you for as long as it can!

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SLIMKATIE 9/5/2010 11:36AM

    Congrats to you both for finishing!! You're right, walkers don't get nearly enough credit! You did great, and should be very proud :)

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 9/5/2010 11:33AM

    Dang it, your blog made me misty eyed :P Hehe. I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an inspiration!! I loved this part, "Don't get on me about cheeseburgers after a workout. I didn't care then and I don't care now." Bahahahahahaha!! Okay! :)

I agree that he deserves a medal, and you're such a great Momma to fight for one!! I love your pics, what a special day...you are so cool!!!

Great job, both of you :)

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