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What's That, Lucy? Another Football for Me to Kick?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yesterday was a different sort of day. I don't have a reason for it, I just felt more in control. I think sometimes we just have to "get through" the rough patches in order to come back to the realization that we're stronger than we ever imagined. For the past few weeks I've been giving into my excuses and letting them run me out of the gym, onto the couch, and back to the stove for a second helping. I resisted what I could and stayed out of complete danger zones whenever possible. But my stomach sure let me know when I was making a fool out of myself with my rebellion. Even my body has been protesting - a hurt finger, a cut on my tongue (no clue), and hives yesterday in one spot on my chest.

But yesterday, like I said, was a different sort of day, in that I didn't give in to every excuse I had to give myself. At lunch, I thought about just sitting here at my desk reading a book. But I didn't. I got up and went outside for a walk. It was a short walk, under a mile (I didn't change clothes and was starting to sweat...it's not QUITE as cool out there as I thought) and only 15 minutes, but it felt good to move my feet midday like that again.

The lull between when everyone else leaves at 4:30pm and when the 4-10ers get to leave at 6pm was unusually quiet yesterday since half of the 4-10ers were out leaving just 3 of us (and two all the way on the other side of the office). It was the longest hour and a half here at work! Still, at 5:45pm, I took the time to get my gym clothes on and lace up my running shoes. I wasn't sure what my gym routine would look like completely, but I did write up some sort of mini-plan on my notepad.

Cardio - 20-30 minutes
Core Work on Reclining Bench - 4 types of crunches, 15 reps each
Push-ups and Planks
Try cable machine for hip flex exercise
Cardio - 15-20 minutes
Full ST on machines
Full Stretch - 10-15 minutes

This is what a typical exercise gym routine looks like for me. It's like circuit training, and it keeps me from getting too bored on one machine. I've stopped telling myself WHERE to get my cardio, and have started simply saying - Do something! Anything!! So with this plan in mind, and the realization that it could quickly slip through my fingers like it has so much in the past few weeks, I went to the gym anyways.

I figured I'd do the elliptical. It's easy. The treadmill has been frustrating me lately anyhow because, well, I'm not too sure why. I guess too many hours spent on the stupid thing for training squeeking out 4 miles here, 3 miles there, 3 times a week. Got VERY boring! I got to hate the stupid dreadmill. But when I got upstairs I walked right past my elliptical and put my waterbottle into the hole on the treadmill, claiming it as mine, calling it out, setting up a duel. With headphones in, my playlist shuffling its heart out, and my waterbottle good and cold (and half-full), I started for just a slow walk. Surprises of surprises, 3.0 has become ...mundane. I find myself nearly tripping as my body tried to go faster than the speed I had set for it. So I upped it to 3.2 and found that much more to my liking, but still pretty easy. After a 5 minute warm-up, I saw my hand moving back to the speed up arrow, and I jumped the machine to a 3.7 and found myself walking at a challenging, but doable, 16 minute mile pace. One minute, I told myself, just 60 seconds. It was just a moment, a thought in my head, and I realized that what I wanted that night was a C2F5k program. So I set it up in my head. Enough with the planning and thinking, this is on the go work! Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of tinkering with a workout. 20 minutes later and fully exhausted, I settled into a cool down and thought, "That's good. That'll be just fine."

I stretched coming off the machine and looked over at the ab reclining bench thinking, "Oh no!" And then I took a deep breath, filled my water bottle again, and trudged over to the other side of the gym. I picked up the 6 lb. medicine ball (pretty blue!), having to walk right past the bodybuilding couple. (Intimidation x10!) They smiled and said hello, and I returned the same. And then I carried my stuff to the ab reclining bench and began. And it all hurt (in a good way) and I kept thinking, "No, that's enough. That's good for now. It's better than nothing, right?" And then I kept going. All 60 done. 4 sets (different types of crunches) of 15 reps later, I'm wiping down the bench and heading over to return the medicine ball.

I didn't want to do my planks either. But I did. I didn't want to follow it with my push-ups. Still, I did. And I really didn't want to look like a fool trying to figure out the cable machine (I was so scared of the humiliation if the ankle cuff didn't fit my ankle!!). I did it anyways. I went over to that machine, I got my bearings, I did the best I could and I felt better after having accomplished a little tiny something I've never done before.

I thought I was done after that. I really did. But I'd been carrying those silly handwrap boxing gloves around with me all night, so I really SHOULD use them. I ended up there for 15 minutes...and nearly made a new friend. (She was a shy girl, young, likely a few years younger than me, and I don't know that I've seen her there before...maybe once. She heard me in the boxing room as she was walking the track and she slipped in behind me while I was on the speedbag. She kicks REALLY high! *jealous!!* But I could tell she wanted to feel that speedbag. I made sure to switch on and off in case she wanted to jump in, but she waited until I left and then I hear one pop, and another, followed by the sound of the speedbag bouncing off the hook it hangs from...I wanted to help, but she'd already switched back to the punching bag and we both seem to be on the shy side. I left it alone. Maybe next time one of us will be more brave. We shared smiles last night, nothing more.)

When boxing was done, I filled the water bottle again and headed downstairs. I didn't want to do the weight machines...but I did. All of them. And I challenged myself to up the weight on a few and the reps on a few others. I felt the workout already and all that was left was a final stretch. And suddenly I catch myself walking over to a bench in the weight lifter area, right next to bodybuilding couple, and I sit down on the edge and proceed to do tricep dips. What the crap? I then found a quiet corner and stretched it out. And I walked back to the locker room with my head held high and my muscles already a little sore. Felt good. Felt VERY good.

I went home. I helped take out the trash (I never do MORE after I get home from a workout!). I heated up some Jambalaya and ate it up. And then I opened my mail and cried a little bit.
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"Enclosed you will find a medal for you and your son. A 10K is an amazing accomplishment no matter if you run or walk or any combination. I was heartbroken when I read about not giving walkers a medal. I know it won't erase the memories of that day, but focus on the feeling you had crossing that finish line." ~ Clare



Thank you so much, Clare! You had both of us smiling from ear to ear!! (Ethan kept saying, "I've got TWO now!! *lol*) This medal is even more special than any I could have gotten from the race organizers. it's from a fellow Sparkie. It's from one of my girls. One of the people who has watched me struggle, who knows what I deal with emotionally and physically on a daily and weekly basis, and who even has watched me fall, doubt myself, and then, bruised and battered, get back up again. Words can't express how thankfull we are to you for your kindness and generosity!
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Yesterday was a different sort of day. Crazy stuff happened. I could have stressed over every little thing. But I didn't. Instead I found myself doing what I knew best - challenging myself. I found myself acting like the new-old me (does that make sense?). Excuses came the WHOLE TIME! The entire day I found excuses to eat what I wanted, do what I wanted, not do what I didn't want. And all I could think was, "What's that, Lucy? Another football for me to kick?" I wasn't falling for the same stupid lines. Not this time. Not again. I wasn't letting that inner doubter win. I was going to do what I knew was right whether it "hurt" or not. And this morning I woke up ready to continue the streak.

I didn't want to get out of bed. But I did. I didn't want to slave over the stove just for a healthy omelet breakfast. But I did. I'm hoping I can keep this going for another 4 months and keep the streak alive. I have new goals in mind, and new Sparkers to meet! I have family to see at holiday events soon, and I want jaws to drop to the floor! I want the need for industrial forklift companies on speeddial to pick up said jaws from the floor. I want the "Wow!" comments to keep rolling. I want to catch someone out of the corner of my eye looking me up and down. I want them to ask me how. I want to hear that they are proud. I can't wait to see them, and I can't wait to say - Well, no...the whole college thing is not helping me one bit. I still don't have a better job. I'm still making the same crappy income. I haven't written much and haven't published anything. I didn't get into any of the graduate schools I applied to. But I've done THIS to change my life for the better. And it's working! It's something I can manage. And I have NOTHING to be ashamed of!

"I'm tired!"
"I'm always sore! I'm sick of being sore!"
"I want to just spend time with my family."
"I just don't want to!"
"Haven't I earned a rest? A break?"
"One won't hurt, right?"
"A little is better than nothing, right?"

What's that, Lucy? Another football for me to kick? I know this storyline and it always ends with me, sad, lonely, betrayed and depressed on my arse on the ground. I ain't falling for it this time!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATROTTIER 9/22/2010 1:27PM

    You really did do it!! I love how you "didn't" want to do some of the gym stuff but still ended up doing it...I always feel like this and I hear my Sparkies in my head encouraging me to keep going - I'm gonna hear you today when I try to talk myself out of going but I know I will be there. Good for you girl!! I love the medal story too! emoticon

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MAGPIE17 9/21/2010 4:45PM

    Way to own yesterday, Esther! And those medals are awesome, wtg Clare for sending them!

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LADYINOHIO 9/21/2010 2:09PM

    How wonderful! Just about all of it! And you and your boy are soooo cute. :D
Keep going girl, that momentum will keep growing!
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FLWRCHLD97 9/21/2010 1:42PM

    WOO HOO - you go girl! Nice medals too!!!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 9/21/2010 1:26PM

    I'm so glad they finally made it to you. I was super excited when I got them and couldn't wait to mail them off.

You know I think you are amazing, fantastic and just plain awesome!

Keep it up girl. I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished!

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HARMONYBLUE 9/21/2010 1:08PM

    I loved this blog. Your workout made me think I have been slacking on mine. How long does it take you to finish that whole thing?!!!! And I admire for for figuring out the cable machine. I admit, I only use the cable machine if the pulley attachment I need for my workout is already on the machinebecause I am intimidating by having to try to change it in front of the body building types (it's in the free weight area) and am very uncomfortable with the preacher curl bench for some reason. I have at least gotten totally comfortable with my dumbbell routine and even one arm rows in front of the "weight lifters" And finally, so glad you got those medals!!! That made me cry.

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KITHKINCAID 9/21/2010 1:07PM

    Little tear in my eye on this one - congratulations for kicking those demons to the curb. You are truly inspiring for picking yourself up time and time again. Woohoo!

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_TRIXIE_ 9/21/2010 12:13PM

    Isn't Clare fabulous? That picture is great--your son looks happy and he's learning how much it means to have nice friends. This is just a win-win all around.

Thanks for sharing the story!

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MEGSFITNESS 9/21/2010 11:29AM

    Omg... this made me laugh out loud "I want the need for industrial forklift companies on speeddial to pick up said jaws from the floor"

;D I think we all want that but you especially deserve it. Did you see all the shout outs to you on the new template? I can't say how many people on the message boards for 10/10/10 marked you as the person they want to congratulate.

As far as being published: you could publish your blog as a memoir! It would be an inspiring read for some folks. I'd buy it.

I love the pic of you and your son. Smiles abound!

Have a wonderful, happy, healthy day :)

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MAMADWARF 9/21/2010 11:10AM

    Thank you for that blog this morning!! SOOO proud of you kicking your own butt and doing it ANYWAY! You are a force!!

I want all those things,too, for all of us!!

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MAIA2011 9/21/2010 11:06AM

    I just read the blog because of the title but it wasn't what I expected. You kick a*& woman!

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RAVENSONG37 9/21/2010 11:01AM

    pretty freakin awesome...all of it!

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KARVY09 9/21/2010 10:53AM

    Sounds like a good gym day, despite it being a kinda reluctant one! I'm so happy you guys got your medals!!! YAY! And I had an omelet for dinner too! yum!

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ABETTERCHERYL 9/21/2010 10:52AM

    OMG, that's awesome. Clare is awesome. I love that she sent those!

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MERAINA 9/21/2010 10:38AM

    emoticon

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LPFOUTS 9/21/2010 10:32AM

    What a great way to start the day... with happy tears! Girl, you totally gave me what I needed today. Motivation to eliminate excuses! Thanks for sharing your story and thank you for blessing me today.

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A Different Walk

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've been noticing lately that there's something different about the way I walk. Five months ago, walking was difficult, to say the least. Now it's no surprise that walking has become easier (my breathing and distance especially) but even a walk to the bathroom has changed.

Faster - First of all, my walk speed has increased, even if it's just walking down the hall to check my mailbox and see if I've gotten any work yet. (Seriously, two days with NOTHING is starting to get to me!) Even grocery shopping with the Hubs has become more enjoyable. My husband has always walked super fast, and keeping up with him at any time was a challenge. I always used to tell him to stop running and he'd turn to me, laugh, and say, "This is just my normal pace." A few months ago he turned to me as we were walking into the grocery store, stopped, and said, "You're keeping up with me!" *lol*

Head Up - Okay, we all hear about how your confidence is boosted by living a more healthy lifestyle, but really I never expected to be walking with my head held high at 350 pounds! There are days when this changes, when I feel not so great and start comparing myself to the hot ladies around me, but those days are becoming few and far between. I'm more confident now. My head is up. I smile and say hello to people. And for those of you keeping track, I rarely get that "STOP LOOKING AT MY STOMACH" feeling anymore. I don't know if people just don't see it as much, or if I'm distracting them with my winning personality and charming hello, or if I'm just not as affected by it as I once was.

Pain Killers - Walking used to hurt. I work as a secretary, which means WAY TOO MUCH time on my rump. So when I'd get up after hours of sitting, I'd feel a lot of stiffness and pain in my hips, knees, legs, and back. I still have painful days, but those are usually following a difficult workout the day before, and that pain, I feel, is totally justified. I get up now from my desk and walk down the hall without the killer pain I used to have in my joints. It makes me feel almost normal. And getting out of the car after an hour commute? Not really all that creaky anymore!

Can't Stop - I fidget a lot more now. I can't stand to sit at my desk for long periods of time. I used to avoid going to my mailbox, the bathroom, anywhere. I'd wait until it was absolutely necessary for me to do so. But lately, I make special trips just as an excuse to move. I don't want to sit here all day! There are times when I stand at my desk and type because I just want to be on my feet. There are times when I'll walk around my cubicle and clean just because I need a reason to be moving around again. And parking in the parking lot is hilarious, because every week I seem to get further and further from the front door. I used to park a few spots from the front door. Now I don't mind if I have to park halfway down the parking lot. That little walk into the office in the morning makes me feel like my day is starting a little better. It gives me time to get the blood flowing after an hour drive to work.

So how has your walk changed? Do you strut? Have you found it easier to move? Sometimes we think in terms of big things. 100 pounds lost...marathons....lofty goals that keep us going, sure. But I think it's also important to notice the little things that have changed for us. I like my new walk. My feet and legs and whole body feel much stronger. And I know with each step I take I'm taking myself into the next phase of my life.

Strut your stuff today!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 9/21/2010 12:38PM

    emoticon You are amazing!

I've noticed the same things. I used to swear that I HATED walking - but that's honestly because it was painful. I don't have nearly as much pain now - and like you said - it hurts when I kill it at my exercising the day before - and that's justifiable.

Yey! Hugs for you for walking a new walk!

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ERIN1128 9/21/2010 12:26PM

    OMG, the medal story got me all teary! Thanks for sharing!

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_DASH_ 9/21/2010 8:18AM

    i don't necessarily notice myself moving faster as much as i notice it's easier. i'll walk across town from my apartment and have these weird realizations that i'm not sweating or winded. it still feels surreal hahah. great blog!! hope you are enjoying some crisp fall walking weather your way esther!

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BAYBELIEVER 9/20/2010 9:39PM

    Me too! Most of the time I can tell I am walking taller, like I have a string connected to the top of my head just pulling me up. And faster, yes faster? I run through Walmart (well, not quite). I don't mind where I park. I run into stores, the library, etc instead of having my son do it.

Cool, isn't it?

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WW_KAREN 9/20/2010 8:57PM

    I do notice I can walk further without huffing and puffing. Its a good feeling.

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ATREAT4ME 9/20/2010 6:43PM

    Yes, I've noticed that I walk differently; I walk more and I leap off of chairs (Yes me at 250 lbs. leaping!) and I'm ready to go do, go try, go, go, go. Great observation! Thank you for writing it down.

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ATROTTIER 9/20/2010 4:51PM

    so true! I have noticed that I walk with more confidence and my hubby always said the same thing to me about "that is my normal pace" when I would walk at snail pace when I was larger and now I keep up and I think he likes it! :)

Great blog - we have to love these everyday moments just as much as the big milestones as well! You keep struttin' too girl!! emoticon

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CDHORBACH 9/20/2010 2:56PM

    I have been noticing the same thing! I walk on my treadmill everyday and I have found that I can walk faster for longer periods of time! I totally strut when I am off my treadmill as well! Congrats on seeing such great progress!

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RAVENSONG37 9/20/2010 12:21PM

    I'm taller. Seriously. So, my hubs is 5'9" and I'm, uh, taller than that. I always, always used to slouch and try (totally subconsciously) to fit in with people. Like being tall AND fat was just too much. But we (hubs saw it first) have noticed that as I feel healthier and smaller, I stand tall and straight. I embrace my 6'0" frame and no longer fight my height. It feels great too, my hips, shoulders, neck and knees love being straight and even rather than slumped to one side. Thanks for making me think about this!

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MAGPIE17 9/20/2010 12:08PM

    Woot! Way to go, Esther! I know I'm walking faster and longer, and my endurance is way up! I'm sure I strut now, too, in my fancy new clothes! :P

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KARVY09 9/20/2010 11:27AM

    Huh... I just thought everyone else was getting slower. LOL, but it's true I do get annoyed at how "slow" everyone is walking on the street, getting off the train, etc. when really it's ME who's a lot speedier!

Relish those awesome changes, Esther. You're getting FIT!

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MJRVIC2000 9/20/2010 11:17AM

    I try to do 10 to 12 miles a day, but I give God the glory for what I am able to do. It's not me, but Christ living in me. God Bless, Vic, Team Leader of God's Family.

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Weigh-In Day and Another Reason to Lose

Sunday, September 19, 2010

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Weigh-in Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 355.8
This Week: 352.2
Loss/Gain: -3.6
SP Total Loss: 64
Total Loss: 114.4

Quote of the Day:
“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

This week was crazy. I'm still not sure how I lost nearly 4 pounds, but I'll take it. I skipped my workout yesterday because my legs were super sore, and I know it's from that reclining ab bench at the gym. I love that I've found something that really challenges my body like that! Yesterday I saw 349 on the scale, but I knew it would go up a bit today. TOM has hit and my weight likes to juggle like this. Still, it was so exciting to see that number, and I'm hoping that within the next two weeks I can see it again and again and move down from that!

Last night I got hit with another reason to lose. I met my friend Sarah four years ago at the job I'm in now. She trained me in my position and later moved on. This summer she headed off to the west coast (Seattle) with her boyfriend and I was so afraid we would lose touch completely. We've done a pretty good job keeping touch, though. Through Facebook, ironically. Last night I got a message from her that she set her wedding date and wants me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. *GULP*

The first thing I did was cry. I have this self-esteem issue with my friends getting married. In the past I've felt like my friends don't want me to be in their weddings because of my weight, which is why the only weddings I've been in are my mother's second marriage and my sister's. So for my friend who is now so far away and who has only been a friend for about 4 years ask me to be in her wedding just filled my heart.

After I got over the emotional part of it all, the math began. *lol* How little could I possibly be for this wedding? Thankfully, the date is FAR off. She told me as soon as they picked the date because she wanted to give me a heads-up (it's in Utah, which means I've got to get some money together so I can get us all down there). July 17, 2011. So I start doing the math and I'm thinking I might be able to be around 250 when I get there if I keep a steady pace and have a few push weeks here or there. I know 250 still sounds big, but for me...I haven't been that small since high school. Plus, with the way my body is changing already (I've already got collarbone poppage at 350 pounds, for crying out loud!) I have hopes that I can get my body into a shape that looks good on me.

So, there it is. Another reason for me to keep going, keep losing, keep learning how to be healthy. Plus, there's the added bonus of a trip, which means VACATION! in some regards! *lol* PLUS, the place in Utah we're going I've been told is in between 4 national parks. Can you say hiking!?! WOOT!

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Weight Goal for next week: 350
(Let's face it...I'd love for it to be 349.9 or lower! *lol*)

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Food Goals:
* Measure everything!
* Record/track everything!
* Find some time to make dinners. (I didn't get my batch cooking in this weekend so I'm going to have to improvise this week. I have the stuff for dinners, so I have to find time to make them. Maybe tonight I can get 2 meals made, and then eat night make dinner for the next night or something...always staying a step ahead.)

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Fitness Goals:
* Sunday - 2-3 mile walk
* Monday - 1-2 miles treadmill or elliptical, abs on reclining bench, full ST, push-ups, planks, cable machine for hips
* Tuesday - Zumba
* Wednesday - 2-3 miles treadmill or elliptical, ST, rowing
* Thursday - Zumba
* Friday - 3-4 miles treadmill or elliptical, ST, boxing
* Saturday - C25k attempt 4 with modifications

Ultimate fitness goal - Calorie burn of 3000-4000

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Other Goal
* Write at least 1 page a day for 4 work days.
* Use extra time for writing articles.
* Look for and apply to at least 2-5 jobs.
* Make sure all forms are in for Weight Management program through insurance company.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 9/21/2010 12:34PM

    Oh my gosh - Utah is SO gorgeous. You will LOVE hiking there. And you can TOTALLY do 250 by then! Girl - I don't even have collar bone poppage yet - you're doing so amazing. And I'm so happy that your friend asked you to be in her wedding. What an honour. That's so awesome.

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ATROTTIER 9/20/2010 4:45PM

    YES!! Congrats!! I'm so excited for you and I know how you feel about being "asked" to be in a friend's wedding and it is emotional. I love the "collarbone poppage" comment!!! awesome girl!! great job on the weight loss last week, you earned it! emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 9/20/2010 12:00AM

    She asked because she wanted YOU...not your weight whether it's 250 or 350...she wants YOU!!!

Remember that...

You are worth it! emoticon

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.DUSTY. 9/19/2010 10:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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THREEE 9/19/2010 10:21PM

    congratulations on the popping collar bones...THAT is something i lOOk forward to...

oh, 10 months...young lady, 10 pounds a month IS doable for you...i don't think that is a problem...and what a reward for your continuing efforts--a trip AND a wedding...lovely

i wish you luck, but what you need is CONTINUED perseverance which i think YOU have made in the shade...i wish you LUCK, LUCK, LUCK anyway

go, go, go!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGPIE17 9/19/2010 8:45PM

    Yay Esther! Congrats on the weight loss and being a bridesmaid! I totally think you can reach 250 by next July, the way you're burning through this, and the program you're starting through work....rock this week, girl!

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CHICAT63 9/19/2010 3:51PM

    Oh, so happy for you that you friend has requested for you to be her bridesmaid, how touching indeed !!! Woohoo, on your loss and your plans. And you will be just beaming as a bridesmaid. emoticon emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 9/19/2010 1:56PM

    It is such an honor to be in the wedding party! You are doing such an amazing job. No doubt you'll have so much fun and your friend will be so happy you're there to help her celebrate. Great job!

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KARVY09 9/19/2010 1:44PM

    Congrats on the loss and the collarbones (OMG)! You're going to be a beautiful bridesmaid no matter what your weight!

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RUSSELLORAMA 9/19/2010 1:44PM

    Those are great goals and you have done sooooo amazing!!

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CBARRETT10 9/19/2010 1:23PM

  You've come a long way baby! You'll do fine on your weight loss.
I know you're going to look AMAZING!
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YOOVIE 9/19/2010 12:24PM

    omfg I can't believe you've lost 115 pounds. That's like, a whole model!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 9/19/2010 12:12PM

    I am *so* proud of you for coming this far and EEEE!!!!! can you imagine being 250 for the wedding??? what AMAZING motivation!!!!!!!!!!!

HUGS

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HONEYBUNCH24 9/19/2010 12:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
YOU are doing FANTASTIC!!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/19/2010 11:39AM

    No matter where you are physcially, you are going to be BEAUTIFUL!

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MFFNSLYR 9/19/2010 11:34AM

    What a great incentive to lose the extra pounds! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 9/19/2010 11:18AM

    What fantastic motivation! And you've already come so far! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

LOVE your plan, it inspires me. Hey, you could even get up & cheer while you're watching DA GAME! emoticon

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_DASH_ 9/19/2010 11:13AM

    i have complete faith in you.

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READINESSISALL 9/19/2010 10:52AM

  These are such great goals, and what a flattering thing that your friend asked you to be her bridesmaid. You will be a beautiful bridesmaid!!! :) Check you out, all sore from the ab bench! You are workin' it! Great job! And congrats again! Your friend is lucky to have you by her side!

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JEREMY723 9/19/2010 10:46AM

    A great goal and a great place to visit. Never been myself, would love to get out west some day.

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JBABY27 9/19/2010 10:32AM

    you are so inspirational. You have a good head on your shoulders and are extremely motivated. i can't wait to see where you will be weeks/months down the line. keep it up!

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COMPASSLOST1 9/19/2010 10:29AM

    :) Amazing. You are doing such a fantastic job. Congratulations on being asked to be in your friend's wedding!!!!!!! Clearly, you are very honored. Your goals are spot on! Very achievable and at the same time challenging. I know you'll do a fantastic job. I can't WAIT until you get under 350!!!!!!!!!! Wooooo!!

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SWEETS86 9/19/2010 10:28AM

    You will do it! You are rockin'!

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GROEDER 9/19/2010 10:14AM

    Way to go!!! Sounds like you have a great plan and I'm betting on you to hit that 250 mark by the wedding!!!
My best to you as you continue.

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PTMOMROCKIT 9/19/2010 10:04AM

    You go girl! What amazing achievements you've worked for so far!! It's amazing how short term goals can help break the monotony and give you a glimpse of the light at the end! You can do it, keep up the AMAZING effort, and thanks for the the motivation with my Sunday morning coffee!!

sarah

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ILOVELIFE2012 9/19/2010 10:03AM

    Awesome blog. You sound like a pretty awesome person. So organized. Congrats on your weight loss to date. Fantastic!!!

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JAPOPE1 9/19/2010 10:02AM

  these are great goals..you can do it!

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Let the Journey Continue

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I spent yesterday as a slave to the clock. I knew I had a meeting at my son's school at 1pm, but by 11am I was at the gym trying to squeeze in a workout. The trainer girl was there. Actually, I'm not sure if she's a trainer. She might be a physiologist or whatever it is. Either way, she's always helpful and encouraging. After my flub last week of not getting a chance to talk to her, I was hoping I would get a chance again this week.

I started on the elliptical because, as of yet, it's the best bang for my buck as far as calorie burn vs. time spent. I set it to the Weight Loss mode and finished the 33 minute routine and cool-down. I did notice that my pace has increased considerably as it's now around a steady 130 pace (it used to hold around 115 or so). All through my elliptical routine I kept eyeing the reclining ab bench across from me and decided, "I'm going to try THAT today." (I love trying new things at the gym!!)

Once I got done I grabbed a 4lb. medicine ball and headed to the ab bench. Crazy! I'm telling you right now that the bench and I are going to have a love/hate relationship. If you're getting bored with your floor crunches, try a reclining bench like this! Not only does it really push the work on your abs (OMG I totally felt it!), but it also works your hips as you struggle to maintain balance and really fight against gravity here. I usually do 100 floor crunches, but this time I only got 60 in. It was TOUGH! YAY for a challenge!

The whole time I was watching my watch, trying to gauge how much time I had left and I figured I had just enough time to push out a full ST routine on the machines. As I pulled out my record sheet for my ST routine, the trainer girl at the front desk came over and said simply, "So how long did you do?" That's one thing about this gym. They take an interest in their clients. They rejoice with you and help you when there's any issue. I took it as my opportunity to ask her some quick questions. I told her about the reclining ab bench and how much it just about killed me. "Oh, so it was a good challenge for you?" Yep! And that's when I really dove into my discussion. I told her about how I felt it in my hips and how that was a good thing because I was really trying to find machines that would build me stronger hips. I told her that I was trying to run, just a little bit, and that it had given me serious pain in my left hip. I explained that I had been studying the different workouts I could do to really strengthen that hip so it wouldn't cause me pain when I tried to run.

"I love that you said it like that!" she said. (Huh?) "You didn't say, 'So I'm not going to do that anymore.'"

I felt the biggest pride in myself. I told her that giving up was not an option and I felt like she was just as proud of me as I was. She offered to show me the cable machine (using the ankle cuff I can do several workouts for my hips) and told me to make sure I'm doing the two leg machines, which I am.

Do you know what I wish? I wish I had the gym to myself for just one hour. I feel intimidated sometimes to try new things while I'm there, but if I had the time to just fumble through it and try everything out I'd feel much more brave to really get a full-body workout when I'm in there. So, I ask you - how can I find a way to kick out every single person out of the gym?? *lol* I guess that's not reasonable, so I'll just have to get more brave about asking questions. I'll have to try things and fail in front of everyone, and be okay with that. I won't know what I'm capable of until I really push myself, but it's so scary to fail in front of those skinny-minnies!

My eating has been a little off but I'm still in my calorie ranges so I'm not stressing. I did have a little bit of cake last night, the sugar-free kind. And then I proceeded to have serious stomach problems. It sounds strange, but...could I be allergic to something in this cake mix? I lost all color in my face, had serious stomach cramps, and felt all in all AWFUL! Trashing that stuff! EEP! Thankfully I feel better this morning.

So journey on. I'm still learning. I'm still getting through. Yesterday was very stressful. I'm having job issues, house issues, car issues (including accidentally running into a sign at the football field)...it's been a rough few weeks. But I gotta stick to the one thing I know how to do...live healthy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 9/21/2010 12:23PM

    You should totally ask that trainer to give you a machine introduction. They do it for prospective members - so since you ARE a member they should give you a quick run through for free!

And I TOTALLY hear you on the stomach issues. That happens to me any time I eat anything that is "sugar free" "fat free with Olean" or has any other heavy preservative in it to make it taste good. They replace the real sugar with sugar alcohols that don't digest in the stomach. They go straight to the lower intestine and then are rejected by the body so need to make a quick exit - blech!

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REDSASSENACH 9/20/2010 9:28AM

    I always used to be self conscious at the gym, mine is in my office park and is full of high-power yuppies that do triathlons and stuff like that- and here I am, heavier-than-I-wanna-be redhead with a bunch of tattoos. I stick out like a sore thumb. But, I put my headphones on and I'm in my own world, and I figure- I'm there doing the work, so I'm proud. They might judge me if they saw me on the couch with a bag of doritos- but I have nothing to be ashamed of working my tail off at the gym. I just tell myself they see me and silently cheer me on for being there with them- not 'what is SHE doing here?!'

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LOOKY-LOU 9/19/2010 11:56PM

    At my gym, if I see someone working on a machine and I want to try it, I just go over to them and say, "Can you explain how this machine works?"

99% of the time, people are awesome...don't ask the same person more than once in one day, cuz you never know if they are in a hurry, but I think most people really are happy to help!

And if they are rude...well you didn't want to be their friend anyway...

Go for it! You will make "gym buddies" and that's so much better than having the gym to yourself!

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MAGPIE17 9/19/2010 8:43PM

    I'm glad you got to talk to the trainer, and she gave you exercises to help you prep for running! Yay!

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CYNDER 9/19/2010 10:12AM

    Great job!

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MADDEELOU 9/19/2010 9:49AM

    emoticon Congrats on trying new things at the gym. The trainer sounds awesome. Can you schedule an appointment with her and have her show you how to use the equipment you are not familiar with?

Glad you are feeling better. Stay strong!

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THREEE 9/19/2010 1:11AM

    I DO have a suggestion to get the gym to yourself if you are not opposed to a little flatulence emoticon

oh, i just love that your trainer is both encouraging AND apparently well-informed...so many gyms hire people to 'sit' the machines and have so little empathy...i think you've found a gem at the gym emoticon

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NACHOSMAMA 9/18/2010 6:51PM

    Keep on keepin' on, girl. You can do it!

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MRSSIBRAT 9/18/2010 6:16PM

    omg love this girl!!!! You are braver then me...I am just now starting to feel more comfortable in the gym...especially in the weight section cause all the guys are there like starting at you. Fortunatly my husband is there with me so that makes me feel a little better....I am sooo excited that you found something to help strengthen your hip!! You WILL be running soon!!

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RAVENSONG37 9/18/2010 6:03PM

    One thing I noticed about being at the gym is that everyone is really open and happy to offer advice or suggestions. No one was born being an expert at using gym equipment so people are usually pretty helpful. I know I am. :) I am so proud of you for sticking to it. Great job!

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CHICAT63 9/18/2010 4:03PM

    Never be intimated to ask questions at your gym, seriously ! It avoid uneccessary injuries believe me when I tell you. Sista, with time you will let go of this "...but it's so scary to fail in front of those skinny-minnies! " you are there to TRAIN, you are a valuable member of that gym; you count also. That trainer or the woman that encouraged don't be afraid to take some of her time especially if she is offering.

I can relate to stomach problems, I seem to have those when I digest too much "artificial stuff, i.e.: Splenda, diet drinks and whatever". Drinking a lot of water and have you tried taking in ground flaxseed every day, it helps.




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ERIN4771 9/18/2010 2:06PM

    i love how you are always trying something new, not shying away from it because it's new and intimidating.....keep kickin butt chica!!!!


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MNGIRLIE 9/18/2010 1:54PM

    I totally hear you on wishing you had the gym to yourself for an hour. That's the very reason I never tried the elliptical machines they had there because I was worried I'd like like a dummy fumbling around on it. Not to mention I never got a full walkthrough on all the weight machines I was pretty intimidated to try those too.

I'm glad to hear the gal at the gym applauded you for your frame of mind on the running and trying to strengthen your hip. She's right. You're going about this the proper way and you'll see the benefits before too long.

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_AIYANNA_ 9/18/2010 12:35PM

    I'm glad you had such a great time at the gym. I'd love to able to go to the one in my town while my daughter's at school but I don't feel that I can ask my MIL to babysit my son for something like this. They don't have a child area either.
Why don't you try going to the gym at a time when there are less people so you would feel less intimidated to try out more equipment? You could ask the trainer you met if there's a less busy time during the day.
As for the cake, artificial sweeteners can cause bad reactions to some people.

Have a great weekend and keep up the amazing work xxx

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READINESSISALL 9/18/2010 12:11PM

  Way to go at the gym! It can be SOOO intimidating, but you did such a great job! Should we all start calling you little gym rat?! haha
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

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MAIRESAURUS 9/18/2010 11:49AM

    Congratulations on conquering the ab bench!

I second SHIMMER. Every time I have Splenda, my stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable. Even a tad bit pins-and-needle-y. It's something about artificial sweeteners that do not agree with me (or many folks, as it appears!). Perhaps try natural sweeteners like Truvia/Stevia, black strap molasses, honey, and yes, sugar, in your baking.

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HARMONYBLUE 9/18/2010 11:49AM

    What a great gym experience. Glad you learned a couple of new machines,especially to strengthen your hips. Can't wait to hear you are running pain free!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 9/18/2010 11:38AM

    It could be a reaction to the sugar substitute in the cake. Splenda makes my stomach blow up huge, and causes some really gross side effects...blah.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 9/18/2010 11:29AM

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time at the gym. Glad that you found something new to challenge yourself with and *completely* understand the concept of a love/hate relationship. I am headed out for a bike ride and going to hit some hills today, which will definitely be both love and hate as welL!

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Back to the Basics - Leg3.Day1

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I don't know what it is about 5 months or 60 pounds or the change in seasons, but something in me snapped last night. After all the support I received here on Spark, I still felt overwhelmed and completely underappreciated...not by Sparkies, but by people in the world around me, people I have to face everyday, people who, I know in my heart, love me no matter what. That evil little monster crept into my head and reminded me of all the bad things I used to tell myself, and I felt completely powerless against him.

My little devil might not be like yours. He tries so many different ways to make me fail so that he can win. Sure, he holds the regular "you're a loser" card in front of my face from time to time, and whenever I'm not strong enough, I believe him. And it extends beyond weight loss and exercise. He sits down and lists the reasons why I'm a loser. They include:

* You went back to school and STILL nobody wants to hire you.
* The people at work don't like you.
* Your job sucks, and it doesn't pay hardly anything.
* No matter how hard you work and how many hours you put in, you're stuck.
* You will NEVER be a competitive athlete.
* You can't even seem to stay on task for a week without slipping up.
* There is NOTHING special about you.
* Everyone around you can run circles around you.
* No matter how hard you try, you will always be inferior.

I rarely have fat-head syndrome either. Instead, my evil demon has tried another interesting method of cheating me out of my fire...it's a type of reverse psychology. Until I see a picture or look in the mirror, I believe that I'm smaller than I actually am. Growing up there were times I didn't understand why I got so much attention for being overweight, because I didn't see myself as that big, even though I really was. I would (and still do) compare myself to other overweight people and tell myself they're bigger than I am, even though I've got them beat by at least 30 pounds. I have skinny-head syndrome and, sometimes, it can be a show stopper. Why would I need to lose weight if my brain is telling me I'm just fine the way I am? I can fit there, I can do that, I'm not THAT big! But the truth is, I am. (Is this just me? I hear all the time about fat-head syndrome, but never the reverse.)

Yesterday those little demons in my head got the best of me, and I called in sick not to my full-time job, but to myself. I lied to myself and told myself I needed a mental health day and rest away from the exercise and healthy eating habits I have held myself to for months. It was not a good night. I spent no less than 4 hours yelling at myself in my head, telling myself I was worthless and not worth the time or energy required, and just having a big, fat pity-party for myself. And, yes, junk food was involved.

But this morning, for some strange reason, I woke up feeling better than I have in a while. Sure, there was a little guilt over last night. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and shook my head at myself asking, "What have you done?" But I took a deep breath and tried to refocus.

This is not easy. None of it. And it doesn't get easy as time progresses. In fact, sometimes it gets harder because the emotional part of it comes up and bites you in the big rear end. And as you're standing there, rubbing your bum, shocked and confused and afraid, you wonder where to go from here. And as I asked myself that very thing this morning, the answer came to me without much effort - time to go back to the basics.

Today is Day 1. Forget yesterday. Forget the past 5 months. Forget it all and move on from here like you're starting this journey anew. Sure, you're in a different place at THIS starting line than you were at the last, but that will just allow you to focus on new things. I guess what I'm saying is, I've decided that this is the next leg of this never-ending journey.

It starts today.
It starts with measuring everything once again.
It starts with religious logging of everything eaten.
It starts with attempting to follow the Spark plan to a T.
It starts with an exercise plan that includes activity every day.
It starts with baby steps that are a smidge bigger than before.

I feel like a toddler who has grown into a young child, a tween, if you will. I'm still working on becoming who I will become, but I have to let that child-like part of me go and learn to grow up. I'm building up my wings. I've learned to walk, now it's time to learn to fly. I need to focus on what is important to the process.

The What the Fall challenge started without me yesterday, but I'm hoping my girls will give me a free pass. I was mourning the loss of my inner child and making it possible for me to move on. Sometimes we have to start again. Sometimes we have to let go in order to move on.

Time to get back to the basics. Today is Day One.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEWKIRBIE 9/17/2010 11:34AM

    I have the skinny head syndrome too..and man does it stink! I like the way I look..face wise, and I think that my body is a lot slimmer than it is, then I catch a peek at myself coming out of the shower and BLEH! It is tough.
I find this "weight loss thing" kind of like an onion, I am peeling back layer after layer and realising things that I didn't know about myself before or I never really took the time to think or know about. Sometimes you do need to take time off and figure out your own stuff before you can push on.
You're getting there, and you're doing great Esther, welcome to the tween's it's where I am too.

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THREEE 9/16/2010 6:48PM

    DO NOT TALK MEAN TO OUR FRIEND...STOP IT...we don't like to hear that

actually, it SOUNDS like you came around...a fresh start is a great idea emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 9/16/2010 6:17PM

    I totally have/had "Skinny Head". I never understood what people were making such a big deal about. But approaching 50 pounds lost and only 2 people really "noticing" that I've lost weight is a real eye opener. I was so big, had so much to lose, that 50 pounds is only a drop in the bucket. And it sucks. SUCKS! It's depressing when the reality of the amount of denial I was in finally hit me. I realized that that denial was protecting me though. Protecting me from really feeling all the hurt and pain of being so overweight and unhappy. But once I was honest with myself and stopped the denial it got a lot easier and I just started accepting the fact that it was going to take a LONG time to get where I want to be eventually and that people aren't going to notice, and that's ok. It's my journey anyway.

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SUGIRL06 9/16/2010 3:49PM

    I am glad you have your heard back on straight today! We all have those days! Good idea to start over. You can do it!
~Ang

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ERIN4771 9/16/2010 12:48PM

    i swear we must share the same little devil!!!! eekk....it is hard to face the day sometimes when that voice starts questioning everything and pushing you back down, believe me, i dealt with it a few days ago....it seems the closer and more confident i get, something can trigger it, and sadly when i am in a bad mood, i tend to look for the triggers to reaffirm the put downs in my head.....wow...that did no sound good at all....onto something more positive....you are starting a new day, a new way and with a better attitude, that's what matters, and a for the little devil, kick his *ss to the curb, not mine, mind you, but the curb no less....keep up the awesome blogs!!! you are an inspiration to me if that counts for anything emoticon

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ABETTERCHERYL 9/16/2010 11:53AM

    I LOVE days when you just get a huge dose of motivation, seemly out of nowhere! For some reason, you just wake up with a new reality check and the courage to do something about it. You ARE worth it. You CAN do this. It's not going to be easy but this is going to be one of the harder things in life that will completely worth it.

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MEGSFITNESS 9/16/2010 11:50AM

    Gosh, I have skinny-head syndrome all the time. It makes it harder to lose weight because it fools me into thinking that I'm *happy* at this weight. heh..

Sorry to hear about your bought with the devils. They seem to be bigger, the more we give in to them. Next time that devil starts piping up, just ask yourself if you'd say any of those things to your spark friends or to your husband or to your child. If you wouldn't say it to us--don't say it to yourself. Don't even let it in. Argue with yourself if you have to, but try to counter every negative with a positive or at least say to yourself, out loud if you have to "If I won't say that to Megs, I won't say that to myself."

emoticon

Welcome back to your FastBreak. Welcome to Spark People! Thanks for joining us. I know you'll love the community here :) (hehe.. as part of your new starting line)

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FLWRCHLD97 9/16/2010 11:38AM

    I have skinny head syndrome too - it's very weird, I just read another blog this morning about someone else who has the same symptoms. I just left a comment on that blog that when I look in the mirror, I don't see who I am and what I really look like. It doesn't click with me until I see a picture of myself, then I think to myself, "God, am I really that obese?"...

For the longest time I told myself that I loved how I looked, that I was comfortable and content in this body. But, deep down inside, I don't think that was true. I think I just told myself hoping that I would believe it. I now know that it can be different and that I deserve to be happy and healthy. I can choose to see the "real me" and I can choose to do something about it.

My body will one day catch up to what I think it should be :-) Just like yours will. We can't do everything we want to as soon as we want it to happen. We abused our bodies for years (physically and even mentally), it's going to take time for our bodies (and minds) to adjust to a new life style - but we will get there, because we are worth it!

We will slip up along this journey too, we are human, we make mistakes. There is no "perfect" anything (perfect body, perfect day, perfect human, perfect whatever). If we can learn to accept the fact that we will make mistakes, maybe we can learn that it's okay and not beat ourselves up over it (accept that fact and move on, don't dwell but ask what can we do better NEXT TIME...because there will be a next time).

One thing that I know is different this time in my journey, is having the support and love of my fellow sparkies! Everyone I've met so far has been spectacular with their support and encouragement!!!

I like your attitude, we should take it one day at a time. And, I liked your analogy of letting go of the inner child, well said!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 9/16/2010 11:01AM

    In every journey there will be peaks and valleys. It means you are human. Sorry you aren't at a high point right now. The good news, you know what you need to do. Getting back to basics is a great idea, I just recently re-evaluated what worked for me when things were going good vs what I'm doing now. Small changes will lead to big results. I just know it.

I see a beuatiful strong woman, an caring mother and amzing friend. Yesterday was the past, let's move toward the future.

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MAGPIE17 9/16/2010 10:28AM

    I'm pretty positive you're not too late to join WTF, Esther :P. Welcome to tween-hood! :D

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LOOKY-LOU 9/16/2010 10:20AM

    Great blogs these last few days. I have read all of them and really FEEL when I read them. I too WANT TO RUN. I dream of this amazing freedom that I felt when I ran in high school, but I just don't like it when I actually do it!!!

Great idea...today is day 1 - I am starting over with you....

Have a great day! emoticon

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RAVENSONG37 9/16/2010 9:41AM

    Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy.
Wayne Dyer


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REDTHREN 9/16/2010 9:38AM

    I have skinny-head syndrome too. My belly and/or butt are always bruised from me not realizing how much space they actually take up lol.

But you know what, if we keep working at it, one day we will be the statuesque goddesses we picture ourselves as!

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SARAWALKS 9/16/2010 9:19AM

    You are a wise woman. Life is so full of these times when we begin again and we might as well get used to it! And by the way it always helps me to have a pity party too...sort of refreshes the insides in more ways than one! emoticon

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KARVY09 9/16/2010 9:02AM

    Great attitude and glad you're feeling better about yourself. Enjoy this brand new day!

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