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What I Learned in Six Months on Spark

Monday, October 18, 2010

Well, it's official. Today is my 6 month Sparkversary. I began my journey here on April 18, 2010 with no real sense of how things would turn out and whether this time would be THE time. Now, six months later, I'm almost 70 pounds lighter and a little bit wiser about what it takes to be a healthy human being. So how did my six months turn out? Here's the recap.

April - May
I struggled to find my place and had a lot of peaks and valleys along the way. I worked on resisting temptation, including a few peanut butter cups I left sitting on my desk for weeks, staring at me, just daring me to eat, eat, eat. I started out simply measuring EVERYTHING I could, and started to feel like I better understood portion sizes. I struggled through graduation and the eating and drinking that came along with it, and then learned that even after the fall I could get back up and start the next day anew - a big lesson on seeking out consistency, not perfection. I tried a lot of new foods and really started to learn what cooking healthy looked like, but I still heavily relied on Spark tools to keep me on task. For exercise I did a lot of walking and worked on my inStride cycle (it's like a hand-cycle, just pedals, that can also be used by the's used a lot in rehab facilities and cost me about 30 bucks on Amazon). Some nights it was all I could do to shove in 15 minutes of cycling, sitting in my recliner in front of the TV. I started attempting SP's ST sessions that were recommended for me. I lost about 20 pounds that first month and felt good to continue and set new goals for myself.

May - June
I thought about the goal of walking a 5k before the year was out, and the idea both scared and excited me. I tried it out one day, just to see if I could, and though I made it the entire 3.1 miles, I knew my body wasn't ready to "race" that much yet. I still had a lot more training to do to get where I wanted to be. But as much as I knew I wasn't ready, I started to understand that I could be, and two new words entered my vocabulary - "training" and "athlete." Could a fat girl be an athlete? I tried Zumba, and failed miserably the first time, but refused to give up on it and soon learned how to modify enough to work my ailing body into doing the full 60 minute workout. I did Yoga and started becoming more flexible. I still struggled with peaks and valleys throughout each week, but getting back up started to seem a little easier as I struggled my way out of each hole I built for myself. I also went on Depo and started to worry that the shot would hinder my progress. I contacted my insurance company about their Weight Management Program (which I will call today to finalize...took a while!). I joined AB and started my first real challenge (SIYC) with other Sparkers. It was a lesson in learning to set goals and working toward achieving them. It was also a lesson in letting go if those goals didn't pan out exactly how I wanted them. I started my 30 in 30 challenge, 30 consecutive days of working out for at least 10 minutes a day. I lost about 8 pounds or so.

June - July
The month started with a 5.5 hour hike through the Hocking Hills area and, while I struggled, I also surprised myself with my ability to endure. Suddenly the rock walls didn't seem quite so large and impossible if I just took one step at a time. I then experienced my first slow weight loss week following a bit of overdoing it on the hike. It was a lesson in not expecting the scale to give immediate results following extraordinary effort. I got back some bloodwork from the doctor and was placed in the pre-diabetic range, but also told that what I was already doing here at Spark would fix those problems if I kept at it. I had an interview in New York that I stressed major over, a return flight that made me feel, once again, like the fat woman nobody appreciated for her accomplishments and learned that no matter what I did, there were stereotypes against "fat people" that I couldn't completely escape. It was a lesson in outward appearances, inward emotions, and learning to let go of the expectations of others. I got my hair cut and was nervous about the short cut given to me, but soon realized that my hairdresser thought my thinner face could take a little shorter cut and it made me feel good to realize that I was displaying outwardly the progress I was making. I started to get tough with myself and demand more, setting higher expectations and realizing that I had the power to achieve them if I put in the time, energy and effort. I lost almost 15 pounds in my third month!

July - August
I started this month out just thinking about changes, seeing changes, and hoping for future changes. I ranted that three months had passed and I still hadn't dropped a pants size, and then had to recant when I realized that I actually had. I was down from a size 30 to a size 28 and feeling SO proud! I started to learn about how I could make healthy choices no matter where life put me. I could still allow my family the foods they enjoyed while I enjoyed the healthier options my body began to crave. At some point in July, I started training to walk that 5k, and signed up for the Debbie Green Memorial 5k in Wheeling, WV. I gained weight while still feeling changes in my body, and started to learn that the scale isn't always what we make it out to be. It was a lesson in letting go of the numbers and not letting them stop you from moving forward. I struggled with the idea that I was a "poser" for not running the 5k, but walking it, but then realized that I was training for walking in many of the same ways that a runner trains for a race - I labeled myself an athlete, with WALKING as my sport, and settled in my mind that walking and being good at walking was a FINE accomplishment and something to be proud of. I set out to make a month-long workout calendar and the drive to succeed in the fitness arena was born. I had training schedules and devoted myself to them, and I loved it! I joined the gym (after I gave up waiting for my insurance company) and added machine ST, regular Zumba classes, boxing, rowing, and the elliptical to my workout routine.

This month was a big month for me. My fourth month on Spark, I walked my first 5k, learned what it was to set a time goal (under 60 minutes) and meet it, learned what it was to push to the finish even when it hurt (and BOY did it hurt! Check out the race blog to see a picture of the blister I got in mile one that popped in mile 3! Brutal!). I met SPUNKYDUCKY and Spark became a part of my real life. I was made both Done Girl of the Day and Spark Motivator, and was given my first popular blog post award. It was amazing excitement rolled up with the fear of expectations of others encroaching upon what I *thought* I could handle. And what I learned from all of it is that I can motivate others by simply being me, by getting through the peaks and valleys and coming out the other side, by having bad days and pushing through, by trying and failing, by falling apart and putting myself back together, and by just staying true to the goals I set for myself and really being honest with myself about what I wasn't able or simply didn't accomplish. I learned a LOT about myself that month! And after my first 5k, I started training for a 10k, and I struggled with the 5-mile mental mark (probably much like I'll struggle with the 10-mile mark as I train for my half-marathon).

I reached the 50 pound total lost mark, losing about 8 pounds that month.

August - September

This was a very important blog to me. VERY important. I was so proud to see it make it to the popular blogs because I felt it was so important for everyone to see that sense of triumph. It was all about breaking through the mental barrier of 5-miles, but it was also about redefining myself and letting go of how I once thought of myself. The fat girl was one I had to let go because I began to realize that I no longer felt like the fat girl anymore. Yes, my body was (and is) still fat, I am still morbidly obese, but the inside drive and fire, the muscles I could feel under all that fat, were the body of a skinny girl coming to life. I looked at the mirror and I saw a different person, I saw the person I always wanted to be and I felt, for the first time in maybe forever, PRIDE in myself.

And while all the happy stuff was going on, I started a long struggle with the scale. It didn't give me what I knew I had earned. It wasn't showing the progress I could see with my eyes, and I declared battle against it, against the 360s, and against every expectation of a fat girl that the world had built up for me. And another word started to run through my head - "runner." It was something I truly wanted for myself. And the waiting to get there was killing me. I was ready mentally to take on the challenge, and I struggled with the fact that my body wasn't quite ready to respond to what I wanted it to do. I had to learn about taking the time to work to what you wanted, I had to learn patience, and I had to learn that I was seeing everything in the wrong way. I confessed that I still felt not a part of many of my Spark groups and friends because of the considerable amount of weight I still had to lose, and it took several people standing up to me and telling me not to discount or discredit their struggles for me to realize that the "woe is me" attitude was NOT getting me where I wanted to go. We were in this together - 20 pounds or 200 pounds, we are all fighting the same expectations and struggles against an addiction that is likely one of the most difficult to battle. You can't quit food the way you can drugs, alcohol or smoking, so we ALL are here to learn how to make healthy choices and make ourselves okay with food on an emotional level.

I walked a 10k with my son and realized that my body WAS ready for more, but I struggled with what MORE it could take and what MORE I wanted to give it. I'm still struggling with this, in a way. I started to learn about which exercises gave me the most bang for my buck and started hating long nights at the gym. It led to several times opting out of even going in place of spending time with my family. Suddenly, my family was becoming a major motivator and a major hinderance (I mean that in the best way possible). The word I needed (and still need) is balance. Month 5 was hard for this reason alone. I lost another 14 pounds or so.

September - October
Okay, you want the real hard dirty they are. Month 6 sucked. Major. But that sucky month, I think, has been the most important of all because it asked me to deal with the inside and really get down to the business of learning about where I started, what I want, where I'm going, what I've come from, and why I struggle so much with food. I had to learn to push through the excuses I fed myself to not work out, to not make the best choices, and MANY, MANY times this month, I have failed miserably. The excuse monster won more times than not, and I dealt with the thought that I couldn't go on fighting myself in a battle that I would lose either way. And then this thought hit me. As I considered giving up, I asked myself what I would be giving up. I asked myself what about my former life was so much more appealing than what this new life I had built for myself had in it. And do you know what I realized? Nothing. There is no "going back" because I don't want the life I had before. Sure, I could eat whatever I wanted and not think about exercise or food logging, but I was tired, sore, angry, anxious, upset, emotional, out of breath, physically exhausted, mentally drained, and my stomach was ALWAYS upset. I felt ashamed of myself around other people, so I lived as much of my life at home as possible. And I missed the sun and I remained miserable and testy. Sure, eating a chocolate cake tasted good, but I realized this month that I could have my WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, ACTIVE new life, and eat my cake too! It didn't have to be all or nothing, it didn't have to mean that I would trade cake for feeling good about myself. I could feel good about myself, enjoy my family more, enjoy myself more, and still have a bite of cake now and again.

So while this six month period signaled my big plateau as I tried to break the 350 mark, it meant the most to me in lessons because I learned that this WAS my life. There was not OTHER life to "go back" to, because there wasn't anything back there for me. THIS is where it's at, baby! And I'm riding this one all the way home! I'm not saying I won't struggle. Boy, will I struggle! But I know now that these struggles are much more worthwhile than the struggles I experienced before. And I'm stronger both mentally and physically than I ever was. I started to feel beautiful even though the scale didn't move. I would move my body in the bed and think, "Dang, my legs are getting small!" Dare I say it, I needed that plateau so that my mind could catch up to what my body was doing.

I struggled, and I got back up. I let go of my need for perfection, my need for immediate number results on the scale, and let myself realize just how far I had come and just where I wanted to go. I did the 5k I promised myself in month 1 I would do with my mom and sister, and I had a wonderful time. I met one of the Sparkies who inspired me in month one to dream a little bigger (RAVENSONG) and walked (and ran, partly) a race with her. And that word that I struggled with for so long --- "run" --- suddenly didn't seem so unreasonable. I had put in the time ST my knee and hips and I realized that while I felt soreness after a race, it was no longer unbearable and I could work through it. I ran even more of my 5k on Saturday and was surprised at the way my body responded more positively than negatively to the challenge. And I felt my spark renewed.

I lost a total of about 4-5 pounds this month, but I gained SO much more!

My wish for all of you Sparkies is that you enjoy continued success, and that you remember that the scale does what it wants to and that can feel horribly limiting at times, but the only way to truly be limited, is to limit yourself. Deal with the emotional challenges when those times come. Challenge what you think of yourself, who you think you are. Dare to dream of who you want to be a month, 6 months, from now. Sometimes we have to lose a battle to learn a lesson and win the war.


My wish for myself is 6 more months of learning, growing (mentally) and shrinking (physically).

* Drop to a size 24 pants (by Christmas)
* Finish at least 2 more races before the end of the year
* Train for a half-marathon at a 17 mile pace
* Let Spark's lessons filter into the rest of my life
* Try to not be so hard on myself
* Challenge expectations
* Change those cannots into soons
* Do what you do, and
* Never, never, never give up....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAIA2011 10/23/2010 2:43PM

    What a great blog! You are doing such amazing work and it is really showing! You are a champion!


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SPUNKYJOY77 10/21/2010 7:47AM

    Thank you for sharing your journey! What a victory!!! 1 emoticon

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 10/21/2010 6:10AM

    what an AMAZING 6 months!! I'm so glad to see that you've grown from your struggles this past month :)
I'm excited to see what the next 6 months have in store for you!!

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MERALO 10/21/2010 5:10AM

    I love your goals, and I'm so proud of you. Keep it up, you'll get to each of those goals, I don't doubt that for a second.

When you're training for your HM, check out this website

It's helped me a big deal, and I'm doing my first HM on 13 November with the aim to walking it in the runner's cut-off time. That's a big goal but I'm only 10 minutes over at the moment so I think I can do it. You can too!


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DSD831 10/20/2010 1:55PM

    Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap...I am giving you a standing ovation!!!!! You are phenomenal!!! fantastic blog. You hit so many of my same thoughts and struggles and so clearly put a voice to what so many of us go through in this journey. The one thing you said that resonates with me and stays with me daily is that if I "fall I could get back up and start the next day anew - a big lesson on seeking out consistency, not perfection." While you learned this in your first month or will be the thing that makes this time different. Bravo to you for honesty and for inspiring others. I wish for you continued success and more learning moments as you pursue your dreams and new accomplishments!!

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BOBBIGAGNON 10/19/2010 10:21PM

    Thank you for caring enough to share your journey with us.

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YATMAMA 10/19/2010 5:18PM

    I rejoice with you over your great accomplishments!!!

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KITHKINCAID 10/19/2010 4:02PM

    Many many congratulations Esther!!! I hear ya - month 6 is where it all comes down. You stop losing weight so fast, and you really have to buckle down and ask yourself some serious questions. You know that I've been through exactly the same hurdles this month. But we both made it through and we're better off for it!

Can't wait to see what the next 6 months brings!

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CHICAT63 10/19/2010 2:56PM

    All things add up, Esther you are an INSPIRATION !!!!! To think of all you have accomplished in 6 months and more is to come I am sure.

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MAGPIE17 10/19/2010 10:52AM

    So proud for you, girl. Keep it up, you're fabulous!

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CANTONIO 10/19/2010 9:40AM

    I think this is an amazing post. Really honest and you are just using all your tools. Success is ahead for you, 100%!!

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JADEDHEART17 10/19/2010 3:53AM

    This blog couldn't have been more perfect for me to come across. I am now into my 5th month and to see that you went through similar things as I have and am makes me feel a lot better about how I am coming along. I know everyone is different but it's so great to see that everyone has ups and downs and still sees progress. Congratulations!

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BRITOMART 10/18/2010 11:29PM

    I LOVE your attitude! it will take you as far as you want to go. Much joy on your journey.

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SAL2525 10/18/2010 10:40PM

    Awesome. I think I have been here about 6 months but I have not come anywhere close to what you have accomplished! You inspire me! Great blog! sAL

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GIVEUP30 10/18/2010 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KITT52 10/18/2010 9:18PM


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QUEST4CHANGE 10/18/2010 8:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticonSparktacular! Awesome accomplishments, epiphanies & progress! Thank you for sharing :)

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RAVENSONG37 10/18/2010 8:05PM

    I heart you Esther. I loved you 6 months ago and it's just gotten better from there. I hope you realize some day just how incredible you are.

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L*I*T*A* 10/18/2010 6:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NERDDAVE 10/18/2010 4:29PM

    Great post! I was thinking "that's what I do!" at a lot of points in what you wrote at various points of the last 6 months. You're definitely a motivator, and this post is destined for another popular blog post. Congratulations on all your achievements, I hope to have those kind of epiphanies too.

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    You are in inspiration, encouraging us to reach a little deeper and do more. Great blog.

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MNGIRLIE 10/18/2010 4:06PM

    What a great 6 month recap! Great blog and thanks for sharing with us.

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WALKERSSS 10/18/2010 3:49PM

    WTG losing so much weight in such a short time. I loved reading your blog and took much from it. Wanting the ability to leave reeses in front of me and not eat them. emoticon I admire your accomplishments and will mark today as a change for me. Since I can't do anything about the reeses I've been eating for about a week now, today I have a new determination. The Reeses are gone..thank goodness. I hate halloween. lol

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BARBARAROSE54 10/18/2010 2:52PM

    thanks for writing this blog and inspiring so many of us. When I see someone doing it I know I can too !

Good luck on reaching all your goals emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 10/18/2010 2:42PM

    emoticon This is an AWESOME blog! I am so proud of you. Thanks for motivating me today!

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MEGSFITNESS 10/18/2010 2:32PM

    Happy emoticon!!


Great job, Esther :)

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KATHY_10 10/18/2010 2:02PM

    Happy emoticon Anniversary. Your Doing Awesome..Keep it Up

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ATROTTIER 10/18/2010 1:47PM

    CONGRATS TO YOU!!! You are such an inspiration and I love that you have written all these blogs during your journey here and just to go back and reflect on everything you have went through is so cool, right? The half-marathon idea sounds really got me thinking about doing one...I wouldn't have said that probably 3 months ago!! LOL!!

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MOMFAN 10/18/2010 1:30PM


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PRETTYINPUNK_04 10/18/2010 1:07PM

    Love this blog! emoticon for sharing your wisdom. emoticon on all you have accomplished emoticon And I know you will reach a size 24 by Christmas emoticon

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GOGOSHIRE 10/18/2010 12:57PM

    What a great blog, Esther! Thanks for sharing!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 10/18/2010 11:39AM

    WOOHOO!!! Great job and Great Blog! I am so motivated to push myself even more now, thank you for sharing.

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COOLMAMA11 10/18/2010 11:14AM

    emoticon I loved your blog, it really made me stop and evaluate what I have been doing here on Spark, I have been trying, but I see I could be doing so much more..thank you for the proud my Spark have come a long ways..congrats on your successes!

Elaine emoticon

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DOWNTOWNJEN 10/18/2010 10:54AM

    I actually sat up straighter as I read through your blog. You are a natural writer and leader. Keep on keepin' on - you have an incredible future ahead of you. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful, honest insights with the rest of us. I know that it means a lot to me personally as I start this journey.

You rock!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 10/18/2010 10:54AM

    Amazing perseverance!!! Congratulation on developing such a sucessful plan in part by Sparking! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARVY09 10/18/2010 10:49AM

    Happy Sparkversary!

You've done amazing things, Esther. Be proud!

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YICHE12 10/18/2010 10:49AM

    Thanks for sharing this! It was very well documented, etc. Bravo!

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METTAKARUNA 10/18/2010 10:45AM

    Congratulations on your progress! You are an inspiration to many here. Good luck on reaching all of your goals, they will be achieved. =)

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/18/2010 10:40AM

    What an absolutely inspirational blog !! Congratulations on that phenomenal 70 pound loss !! As for plateaus, those are a normal part of the weight loss process. You're going to experience more of those as you lose, we all had them, so don't worry. They will pass with time. As you correctly said, this is all about embracing a healthy lifestyle !!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSSIBRAT 10/18/2010 10:29AM

    girl you are amazing and I am so proud of you and to be your friend!!

I love this

"My wish for all of you Sparkies is that you enjoy continued success, and that you remember that the scale does what it wants to and that can feel horribly limiting at times, but the only way to truly be limited, is to limit yourself"

this is what I need to remember so thanks for the reminder!!



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READINESSISALL 10/18/2010 10:27AM

  I loved reading this blog so much. You've done an incredible job, and thanks so much for bringing us all along in your journey. I love your goals, and have total confidence in you and your abilities to achieve them. Keep up the great work!

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Weigh-In Day - Week 28

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weigh-in Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 350.4
Goal this Week: 348.4
Actual Weight: 348.0
Loss/Gain: -2.4
SP Total Loss: 68.2
Total Loss: 118.6

I'm going to admit it, this week has been crazy. I stopped really logging because I didn't have much time to do it. I just ate what I knew was right, ate when I could and/or when I was hungry. As for workouts? Monday I skipped the gym and didn't do much of anything. It wasn't until just before dark that I took a chance and took the boys and Joey out for a training walk/run before yesterday's 5k. Tuesday I meant to go to Zumba, but instead went to see my boy at football practice. I missed last week's game and I missed all of my boys, including the Hubs. It was a lovely night just spending time with Hubs and the boys. Wednesday I was on my way to Columbus, OH for work. I worked out in the hotel gym that night, both cardio and ST. Nothing like my normal workouts, but I pushed a bit and made sure I put in some real time on it. Thursday morning I woke up earlier than I really needed to, and couldn't find a reason to NOT use that time to workout again. So I used the hotel gym, and my knee messed up. Friday I did nothing in prep for yesterday's race, and then yesterday was the 5k.

So, I went on autopilot and felt proud of myself for being able to do that when everything was going a little crazy. More importantly, I stopped thinking about my plateau and about what I couldn't do.

Today I woke up not expecting much other than a very sore knee, but nothing is as expected I guess. Sure, the knee is a little sore, as are my ankles and hips, but it's not unbearable. I'm super surprised! I know that walking and doing regular things on my knee after it pops out helps in heal better, but I had never run on it before. It's interesting to see that my knee is really liking the exercise on it.

So this week we're back on track.


emoticon Weight Goal: 346.0
emoticon Nutrition: 1800-2100 calories
emoticon Training for a possible 1/2 in March
That's right, I'm seriously considering doing a half next year and have set up a training schedule that will have me ready by the end of February (I hope!)
emoticon ST 3 days this week - M, W, F

This Week's Fitness Schedule:
Sunday - Rest Day, Short easy walk maybe
Monday - 2 mile training, full ST
Tuesday - XTrain: Zumba
Wednesday - 2 mile training, full ST
Thursday - XTrain: Zumba
Friday - Tennis, full ST
Saturday - 2 mile training

Tomorrow is my 6 month SparkVersary. 6 months! WOW! Here's to six more months of progress and learning, and to fitting into those 24s by Christmas! (I'm not giving up on that goal yet!) Today I am under 350 pounds and almost to 70 pounds lost. Sounds pretty darn good for 6 months of hard work, lessons learned and getting through the struggles.

Upcoming races I'm thinking about:
ACE New River Gorge-ous Trail Run & Walk 4.5 mile walk - October 23, 2010 - Oak Hill, WV
Toys for Tots 5k Run & Walk - October 30, 2010 - Morgantown, WV*
Indian Summer Run?? - October 31, 2010 - Athens, WV
Veterans Day 10k Run & Walk - November 6, 2010 - Wheeling, WV
Nick Caldwell 5k Memorial Run - November 13, 2010 - St. Albans, WV
Wilmington Turkey Trot 5k - November 25, 2010 - Wilmington, OH
Green Bank Turkey Trot 5k Run & Walk - November 27, 2010 - Green Bank, WV
Egg Nog Jog 5k?- December 18, 2010 - Cincinnati, OH
Running from an Angel 5k/10k - January 8, 2011 - Lake Mead, outside of Vegas**
Shamrock 1/2 Marathon - March 20, 2011 - Virginia Beach, VA***
Just a Short Run 8.1 Mile Run/5k Run/Walk - March 26, 2011 - Allison Park, PA
Cleveland Marathon (5k/10k/Half) - May 15, 2011 - Cleveland, OH

I'm not saying I'm going to do them all, I'm just looking at them and trying to remember what looked good or I've thought about doing. I may add more later.

* Hollynn - Did you see this one?
** A friend of mine wants to take me to Vegas for my birthday...I have a feeling I'm a little nutty considering the first thing I did was look up to see if there were any races around that time there. This is on my 30th birthday - wouldn't that be a great present to myself?
*** SPUNKYDUCKY is forming a team for this race and I'm thinking this might be a good 1/2 to do considering the support will be there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE17 10/18/2010 11:14PM

    Congrats on your 6-month sparkiversary, and WTG on getting below 350!!

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ATROTTIER 10/18/2010 1:39PM

    AWESOME job on the weight loss this week girl!! So proud of everything you have done!! All the races sound so great...I saw that Vegas one on there and thought for a split second that maybe I could meet you at that one...Vegas is only 6 hours away and we like to go in Jan...I don't like planning things too far in advance but that might be pretty cool!! Anyways - you are a racing queen!!! Take care of that knee my friend! emoticon

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MOMTO6PLUS2 10/18/2010 12:41AM

    Cheers to 6 months! And what great goals you have in place emoticon The next 6 months are gonna be awesome!!!



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ERINBEAR1876 10/17/2010 10:28PM

    What a fantastic weigh-in!!! I love your goals, and your fitness plan for this week rocks. Oh, I sure love tennis. I think Maci has been playing tennis, and I wanna play *pout*.

Oh, you are going to kick that half marathon's booty! You bet your bottom you can do it!!! I love your plans for that, and I love how you're continuing to look at races down the road! I wish they offered more around here, that's for sure!~

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KITHKINCAID 10/17/2010 8:40PM

    You and Hollyn are the best! And yes, a 5K for your birthday would be awesome :) I say do it!

So check it out - you stopped worrying, did the best you could this week, and the scale dropped! Way to go!!! And - happy 6 months :) I just celebrated mine - it's such a great feeling. Here's to the next 6 and more after that!

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DITTY1013 10/17/2010 5:10PM

    I am super impressed by you! You're doing an amazing job, and you're inspiring me to think about signing up for a race, too. Keep up the good work! emoticon

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CHICAT63 10/17/2010 4:09PM

    You are doing AWESOME, way to go on your loss this week ! You did it, you are under 350. Remain confident in regards to fitting in the 24s, you can do it !!!! Same thing for me i.e.: races, running partner or not I have registered for three more, he,he,he, addicting ! Remember it is not the time but finishing that counts over everything. Have a great week Esther !!!

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_AIYANNA_ 10/17/2010 4:00PM

    You're doing amazingly well, Esther!!! I'm so proud of you :) Congratulations on all your progress this week xxx

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TIGERJANE 10/17/2010 1:44PM

    WOW! Way to go on your loss this week! It's amazing how well you've done on here in such a short amount of time. Truly inspiring :) Nice to see a race in my old hometown on your list - Cleveland! I love your plan for the week, so organized and completely realistic yet challenging. So jealous of your race schedule! You're going to do SO GREAT!

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MACILINN 10/17/2010 1:31PM

    Woohoo! awsome wt loss! sounds like it was a busy week! whewwww it's great that you still ate w/i cal range w/o logging in. Just beaware that you have done so good for so long that you are on autopilot, and it's easy to veer off course if your not careful. Isn't it great your autopilot will give you a minus these days! before sparks could you say that??? I know mine was heading up to the clouds. Great job!

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GOGOSHIRE 10/17/2010 1:00PM

    Good job on the weight loss, Calli!

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STARTLIGHT 10/17/2010 11:44AM

    Congrats! on your weight loss. The journey is never easy but taking one day at a time makes it less of a challenge. Good luck and keep going. Remember it's the journey itself that leads to the end. KEEP SMILING! emoticon emoticon

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MAIA2011 10/17/2010 11:24AM

    It's so cool to read your excitement here. I hope you do a half! You have a great plan in place so rock it!

I admire you so much for soldiering through and breaking the plateau! AWESOME!

(I think there might be a lesson here in that you stopped watching the pot and it boiled for you. You know, Confucius say.)


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DOWNTOWNJEN 10/17/2010 11:00AM

    Amazing!! emoticon

Great job on going "auto-pilot"! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 10/17/2010 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are a MAJOR inspiration to all of us! What a terrific record. And it is so interesting that sometimes when we forget about the just...goes away...
emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/17/2010 10:41AM

    Keep up the good work. You are doing amazing. emoticon

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Auggie's 5k - Count Them...FOUR! Races in 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apparently I've caught the racing bug. Last week I gave you a race report from the Dayton Corridor Classic 5k, which I did with my family and Becky. This week was a promise I made to myself and Hollynn and Ron back in August after I finished my first 5k. The race was the Auggie's 5k in Wheeling, WV, which goes to support the Ohio Valley's SPCA.

Race #1 - My first 5k
Name: Debbie Green Memorial 5k
Date: August 7, 2010
Location: Wheeling, WV
Weight: 365.2 (the next day's weigh-in)
Biggest problems: Horrible blister on my right foot that took at least a month to fully heal, and the mental block of thinking "I can't do it" and "Walking isn't as good as running, I'm a poser!"
Highlight: Beating my under 60 minute goal and meeting Hollynn (SPUNKYDUCKY) and her husband Ron (PENGUITO)
Final Time: 57:21 (18:30 pace)

Race #2 - A race with Ethan
Name: Charleston Distance Run/Walk 10k
Date: September 4, 2010
Location: Charleston, WV
Weight: 356.2 (weigh-in the next day)
Biggest Problems: Mentally it was the 5 mile training mark and the idea of a HUGE hill in the middle of the race. It was also dealing with a hurt little boy when he didn't get a medal. (Which was later corrected by a Spark Friend and my boss.)
Highlight: Hearing my son say things like, "The only way out of this is forward." Oh, and the big fat cheeseburgers that we totally earned!
Final Time: 2:09:01.72 (20-21 pace)

Race #3 - A race with family (including Logan)
Name: Dayton Corridor Classic 5k
Date: October 10, 2010
Location: Dayton, OH
Biggest Problems: A lack of real training following my 10k and a sinus infection.
Highlight: Really bonding with my family throughout the race and racing with Becky (RAVENSONG)!
Final Time: 56:09 (18:09 pace)

Race #4 - Reuniting with SPUNKYDUCY, running, and a race with Joey
Name: Auggie's 5k
Date: October 16, 2010
Location: Wheeling, WV
Weight: 349.4 (according to when I got home)

So I tried my best to train a little for this race, but didn't really get in a lot of time. It's been a really busy week at work, including a trip to Columbus, OH for work on Wednesday/Thursday. Still, when we got to the hotel I ate a veggie burger and then changed for the hotel gym. (Great gym, but small. Still, they had TVs on all three machines, you can plug in your earphones and change the channel to whatever you want without annoying your neighbor.) I worked on running spurts here and there. On Thursday morning I did it again, actually running 1/4 mile straight at a 15 min/mile pace, but on my second running spurt, I felt pressure in my left knee when I landed on it. Once I got back to my room, it had popped out. So this morning I was past "loose" and onto a very sore and stiff knee, still I signed up to run this race and promised myself I would at least try.

We got to Wheeling a little later than I wanted, so I ran into the school in order to hurry up and sign in and get my bib (after my husband nearly ran me over with the car! *lol*). As I was leaving the bathroom I caught sight of Hollynn and suddenly felt much calmer. For some reason, this girl settles me. (As Becky did last week. Gotta love your Sparkies!) I headed out to grab my dog, Joey and figure out where the starting line was.

Shane, me and Joey before the race. SO glad I gave Shane my jacket before I started...I got warmed up super quick!

We were soon joined by Hollynn and Ron, who got to meet Joey.

Joey did pretty well in the big group of people until about 6 people wanted to pet him at once and he got nervous. I don't blame him! I would've felt surrounded and threatened too! He didn't snap or bite anyone, just growled once and did a lot of hiding behind me.

We started the race at the start of the gun (which scared Joey) and even though I started running with everyone else, I was soon left by myself at the back...the VERY back! *lol* I kept telling myself it was alright and that all I really wanted out of this race was the run a little and to hopefully beat 55 minutes (secretly hoping to beat 50).

Surprisingly, Joey slowed me down a bit. We had trained with key words, though, and every time I said "GO" he knew it was time to really move it. Unfortunately I had to tell him a million times, and he got REALLY confused when the front runners started passing us going the other way around mile 1. Still, I kept him on task and we passed the mile one marker who told us we were at around minute 17. (I checked beforehand, I needed to stay at about 17.5 to make sure I beat that 55 minute goal, so it felt good to hear that!)

We had to stop for Joey to relieve himself once, but once I passed the water station, Hollynn and Ron were coming back around and told me that the turn around was just ahead. I was jogging when I could, and when I couldn't, I was walking as fast as possible. I kept telling myself, "Go! Just go! Keep going!" The last 1/4 mile or so before the turn around, I was all alone on the course. I hate being last, but someone has to be there.

At the second water stop (the first stop, revisited), I didn't much need water, but Joey did...and the girl there wanted a photo of Joey. *sigh* We left the water stop and I took off jogging to make up a little time. Once I got to the 2 mile marker, the guy told me I was at about 34, and I thought, "I totally got this!" I did the math and realized that even if I did a 20 minute mile pace, or just a touch faster (which is now my comfortable pace) that I would beat my goal of under 55 minutes. So we went, and I thought about giving up, and I asked myself why I was doing this, and I was feeling so much pain in my knee, but I just kept moving forward. I looked down at Joey (who was also getting really tired) and said, "Look, even if we quit, we have to keep walking this way to get back to the car to go home. We might as well do our best and just finish this."

I walked most of the last mile as my knee was super tight now, but once I saw my kids and Hollynn running toward me, and Hollynn telling me I was going to beat that 55 minute goal I had, I tried to run again. But it hurt...a lot. And I apologized, but went back to walking, which Hollynn assured me was just fine. I turned the corner and I could see the finish, and I tried to run up the hill (what the crap is it with hills at the end of races? 2/4 of the races I've done have ended with an uphill. Seriously?!), which went VERY slowly, and ran across the finish line.

I don't remember seeing the clock other than noting that it wasn't 55 yet, but Ethan swears it said 52:32 (this race wasn't chip timed and I was at the back, so give me another few seconds! *lol*).

RUN! (Okay...jog...)

Hollynn and Ron were there once again to tell me what a great job I did, and that always feels great! And my kids and Shane being there telling me "Great job!" felt even better.

We did it again! Me, Ron, and Hollynn in that post-race glow!

I don't think I've ever sweated this much in a race before, honestly. That running really had my heart going. I'll need to drink a ton of water for the next 3 days just to refuel! *lol* When I started, my hair was completely dry...when I was finished, it was soaked! I had pit sweat, elbow sweat, chest sweat, knee sweat, and lower back sweat that was ridiculous! As for Joey? He was super, super thirsty!!

Me with 4 amazing boys who support me no matter what! I have a wonderful support group surrounding me every day and this picture will remind me that no matter what the scale says, what the 3 boys in this picture say is much more important to me.

Biggest Problems: The knee and a slow dog! *lol*
Highlight: Having another one down, running, and feeling that race spirit once again just being around Hollynn and Ron! We've already been discussing what's next.
Final time: 52:32 (16-17 something pace?)

3 Months
-15.8 pounds
15.5 race miles
4 races under my belt
3 Sparkies met
8 family members raced with (including the dog)

Plateau or no can't argue with that progress and accomplishment. Plus, I've cut my time from 57:21 to 52.32.

Now...when's the next race? Mom's got a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving she's considering. There's a 4.5 mile trail challenge walk next weekend I'd love to do. There is a 5k and a 10k I have my eye on for a "maybe" in November, and a 5k Egg Nog Jog in December. Plus, I'm seriously considering trying to train to walk a half, just to say I did, which means maintaining a 17 minute pace (or under) for 13.1 miles to beat the time restraints. No matter what it is, my goal is to just get better...slowly, but surely.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE17 10/18/2010 10:51PM

    Esther, I am so d@mn proud of you! Way to go, girl!!

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ATROTTIER 10/18/2010 1:33PM

    Incredible!!!! emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 10/17/2010 12:26PM


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HEATHER_TEACHAH 10/17/2010 10:27AM

    I am SO proud of you!!!!
I'm sending you a million hugs, can you feel them?

now rest that knee and drink your water :)

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WATCHMEGO2 10/17/2010 9:21AM

    Girl, you are totally rocking it!! You should be very proud of your accomplishments!

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CBARRETT10 10/17/2010 12:47AM

  You are on fire!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENGUITO 10/16/2010 10:46PM

    Way to go!

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CONDZMOMOFJJQ 10/16/2010 10:33PM

    YOU ARE AWESOME! I'm am SO inspired right now. I'm scheduled for a run in the morning and I was going to no-show it! My legs are sore and my confidence is shattered! I DON'T want to be last!!

After reading your blog, I am convinced that you are absolutely right. The point is that I finish and that I do my best!



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CHICAT63 10/16/2010 10:04PM

    You go Girl, running/walking with a dog amazing ! Mine can't run straight she is all over the place ! emoticon emoticon

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RUNNINGOLLIE 10/16/2010 9:43PM

    Awesome blog and accomplishments!!!!!!! I really like the Freedom Run (it has a 5 hour limit so a 22 min/mile max pace)-it's really fun and Antietam is nice to run through!

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RAVENSONG37 10/16/2010 9:32PM

    So proud of you Es! Great job staying in there and doing your thing. Shaving that kind of time off is incredible. I don't know if you realize how hard it is to drop that kind of's really awesome!

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BOBBYD31 10/16/2010 8:58PM

    your doing great, keep up the good work! if you do the trail be very careful they are slippery with rocks, leaves, roots etc easy to fall on trail runs. but keep up the fantastic work maybe you can walk the 8.1 mile at just a short run and the half marathon at pittsburgh marathon.

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JEREMY723 10/16/2010 8:30PM

    Great job and how wonderful to have Sparkfriends in person for walk/runs! And Hollyann no less:)

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KARVY09 10/16/2010 8:24PM

    You've done amazing in the last three months, seriously! Congrats on your run (yay, running!) and for many more in the future!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/16/2010 8:09PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JILLIAN_155 10/16/2010 8:06PM

    What an inspirational post! Thank you for sharing your experience and WTG on all those race miles. That is something to be proud of!

Where is the Turkey Trot you're thinking of doing?

I live in Buffalo and we have one here that is on Thanksgiving day as well. Ours is an 8K so just under 5 miles. I'm considering doing it....not sure yet!

Jillian :)

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SPUNKYDUCKY 10/16/2010 8:05PM

    I have been waiting for you to post this! YAY! I am absolutely telling you the truth when I say the only reason I hauled my butt up to Wheeling again was to see you guys (although I am really happy I went, this was my first race in 7 weeks and it felt great!) I am as always, so proud of your accomplishments and your desire to continue to push forward. My team is ready for the half if you want to join. I can't remember if I told you: the Irish Duckies, Virginia Beach, March 20th (7am -aaarrrggghh)...Any of our sparkies are also welcome to join the team.

Comment edited on: 10/16/2010 8:06:25 PM

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/16/2010 7:59PM

    Awesome girl, just AWESOME!!

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Weekend Update - Sparkie Friends and Another 5k Down

Monday, October 11, 2010


So Friday consisted of breakfast with Hubs, tennis, and 2 hours of cleaning out the car, but the theme for the day ended up being "wait." When the kids got home I finally had to track down Hubs, who had an appointment to get new tires on his car at 1pm. By 4pm I was over at the tire place and his car was JUST coming out of the garage. Apparently the truck with the tires was super late and Hubs waited around the shop for 4 hours for 4 new tires. WTF?

After I dropped off Ethan with Hubs, Logan and I headed up to my mom's house. After a call from Mom, we ended up stopping at our usual "halfway" point - Tim Hortons. The workers thought I was crazy because I wouldn't order a donut until I found out how many calories was in a Pumpkin Spice donut, to see if I could fit one into my day. Took me a bit, but I found out it was only 250 calories, and I could squeeze it in. (I didn't have a lot of time to eat on Friday because I was SOO busy.)

We got to my Mom's house after a quick trip at the local Wal-Mart to make sure I had some of the foods I've come to rely upon. (Wheat bagels, Greek yogurt, etc.) And then it was just a waiting game, waiting for Becks to get into town. Once she got there, she was greeted by 2 tired women and a tired little boy. We hugged like we'd known each other forever, and then chatted for at least an hour before we all crashed.

My mom's dog, Bailey, waiting with us.


I had a horrible time attempting to sleep Friday night/Saturday morning due to what I'm pretty sure is a sinus infection, but once we got up, Becky and I were off to explore. We decided to go to the local Renaissance Festival and just "hang out." It was a lot of fun, a lot of walking.

Crazy, wacky shows.

Beautiful costumes. Though...not all of them were. *lol* We had fun pointing out the wacky from the beautiful from the hoochie!

Becky (RAVENSONG) and I at the Ren Faire.

Isn't she just beautiful? And that little clip = SO cute!

We got some costume pics done by a real skeevie guy.

We were at the park from about 11am to 2pm or so, walking most of the time, so it was a good day. It was a lot of fun and it got us a chance to really get to know each other. After we got back to my mom's house, we headed out to Dayton to pick up our race packets (and $500 gift certificates for Red Star sunglasses!)

After that, all that was left was Starbucks (YAY!) and dinner. Mom made some yummy chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, and then Becky and I prepped as many veggies as we could find for huge salads.


10/10/10 - Dayton Corridor Classic 5k

The goal was simple - get Mom to the finish. It was her first ever 5k and she was really worried that she couldn't do it. What I didn't expect was that the overall support would leave us all running to the finish!

The whole gang.
Back row - Me, my step-brother Justin
Middle Row - Logan (my son), Mandy (my sister), Mom, Becky
Front Row - Librada and Tracy (my nieces)

We started late, but once we were off I could tell immediately that I had a challenge ahead of me. It's really hard to get a good breath when you can't breathe from a sinus infection, but I just focused myself and kept going. My only thought was to keep up with the group. About halfway through the first mile, the kids were eager to run. Justin, Logan and Tracy all took off and kept ahead of us the entire time. One thing we learned was that my step-brother looks like a runner. After the race we wished we had just let him go at the start line and run all out to see what his finish would have been.

Me and Becks ready for the gun to sound the start of the race.

Still feeling pretty good in mile 1

Things I learned about Becky this weekend: She's beautiful, inside and out. She fits right in with my family. Like I expected, she's definitely my SFAM (sister from another mother).

As we were crossing the first bridge, I looked over and pointed out the first mile marker to my Mom. "Already?" she said. My sister updated her on her pace (around 18:40) and mom felt encouraged. After the mile marker we initiated her into the drink cup throw (even though she had her camelback on and didn't really need the water...we knew it was just something everyone has to do in their first race. It made her giggle and that made us all smile.) After that mile, though, she already felt the need to pee and, thankfully, they placed a potty right there (and no line!). We waited for her, even though she told us to go on without her, and what really surprised her was that mile 2 was much faster than mile one, even with the stop.

Starting around the end of mile 1, Becky really started pushing my Mom. "If you can talk that much, Chatty Cathy, then you can go faster!" Surprisingly, it worked! Mom pushed herself to run a bit here and there. Once we got past mile marker 2, Becky said, "Leave it all out on the course!" Mom was confused and we all explained to her that she had just 1 mile left and then she didn't have to do any more, this was the time to push and get her very best time. She admitted to us that my step-dad had asked her, "What makes you think you can do it under an hour?" and that she really wanted to prove him wrong. That's all we needed to know, and the encouragement to leave it all out on the field gave my mom the real push she needed. She ran when she could, she stepped up her pace, and when we turned the corner to go into the stadium and she said, "I'm saving it," we asked her WHY. She didn't have an answer...we were almost there. No more saving! We turned the corner just as the first HMer was coming in.

It was funny, as they cheered for the HMer, we pretended it was all for us. (I really need to get that picture from Becky of my mom with her YAY pose! *lol*)

Suddenly, I didn't know what was happening, but my mom was running...and I was running with her. We ran half the track around to the finish line, the four of us finish together - My sister, me, mom, and Becky. And then Mom and I just about collapsed! *lol* We just hadn't trained for running that much. I felt like walking after about 1/4 of the track, but then the finish line was RIGHT THERE...I would feel stupid to run part of the finish and then WALK in. I couldn't stop. It took all my strength, all my breath, all of it, but I pushed it in, and so did Mom. I was completely 100% proud of both of us.

And how did we do time wise? Mom and I both finished in 56:09. It's actually a little over a minute under my first 5k time in August, which surprised me because I wasn't really even trying to make a PR. Felt good!

After the race, we got free massages from students at a local school.

Post-race food options were great! Bananas, yogurt (lite and fruit-on-the-bottom), pancakes and sausage, and pizza.

We got some free stuff, relaxed, and then checked our times and found out that both Tracy and Logan were the only kids in their age ranges, therefore, both won gold medals for the race!

We were already talking about next year and the next race. I think Mom has the racing bug too now. And both my sister and Becky have HMs coming up this weekend. I'm already thinking that I really want to do the Auggie's 5k this weekend and do better than 55, but I need to check with Shane to make sure we don't have any other plans.

Around 11pm they had a kids fun race. They lined all the kids up at one end zone and then had them run to the other end and back. Librada LOVED it! She did it 3 times and wanted to do it a 4th time! *lol* It was really great because they had all these little medals for all the kids who ran. Adorable!

Both Mom and I were sore after the race, so we headed back to the house, watched the Bengals game (because we couldn't get the Chiefs game in for Becky :( ) and then Becky and I both packed up and left.

And that's my boy after all the racing and a crazy weekend! *lol* Why do all my kids end up like this after racing? WHAT? *lol*

So that was my weekend. I had a great time other than getting sick. I still haven't broken my plateau, and I think I've decided not to step on the scale for a week or two and just dedicate myself to really setting my fitness and nutrition goals and meeting them. Hopefully in a couple weeks the big P will break and I'll feel better.

I must admit that I had a mini-meltdown on Sunday. First it was listening to Mom and Becky talk about all the changes that have been made since losing all their weight, changes I haven't really gotten to see, changes that are SOO far away. And then again when I realized that in a huge group of family and friends, I didn't feel like I fit. I'm the only one left who is still fat...and it's going to take me years to get anywhere near where I'll feel like I really fit with them again. It was a really sad couple moments. I just want to belong physically with the people I fit most emotionally and mentally...but both this plateau, and the large amount of weight I still have to lose leave me feeling hopeless sometimes. I'm not saying I'll "quit," just that I still get very, very frustrated. My main goal lately has been to fit into 24s by Thanksgiving or Christmas...but I don't see that coming about anytime soon because I'm still stressing over a lack of progress. *sigh*

It's really difficult, you know...feeling like you're working so hard and then realizing that you still have SO far to go. Realizing that many of the people struggling with you are likely to see their "final" success before you even get to the halfway point. I just want to make sure I remember later how hard this was for me. I'm not saying it's not hard for people who only have 40 pounds to lose...I don't discredit that struggle at all, I just want to remember the emotional challenge of always feeling so far behind everyone else. It's that same feeling you have when the HMer passes you up before you even see the finish line, to realize they could run circles around you. It makes you feel emotionally broken and the mountain grows larger mentally with each step.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAYBELIEVER 10/15/2010 9:59PM

    I love your blog. I loved everything about the race and getting your mom to the finish line! What a special opportunity to do this with your mom and make a new in-person Spark friend.

And, I can relate so much to what you said at the end about always feeling like you are behind. I keep having these, what I call "REALITY" moments because as good as I feel, as hard as I have and am working, every once in a while reality checks in to let me know I am still huge, still have a long way to go, and it seems so unfair. I know it gets you down. I am there with you. But there are other times where I feel on top of the world and know that I have a long way to go, but that I am DOING it. You are too! So, let the down times happen, they have to, but know that you are DOING this and you weren't not so long ago. That is a WIN in anyone's book, right?

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 10/14/2010 12:58PM

    Awww, CK, you have come SO far. Sorry that you had a breakdown after it was all finished BUT - you finished! AND a new PR! without even trying!!! You ran farther than you've trained for, you met a wonderful sparkfriend, and you pushed yourself (and I bet your son was SO happy for the gold medal!! I remember how much the last one meant to him when you had it specially made!)

I am so proud of you and I hope that you can see this as what it is-- another race in what will come to be a LONG list of races :) One day you CAN be that HMer running circles around the 5kers, but I'll bet you'll cheer on the 5kers because you've been there.
And now that you know that you can run more than 1/4 of a lap, it means you can do more! Never stop pushing yourself, because you can do anything you put your mind to. You inspire me to do the same :)

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MARLIMOO 10/14/2010 9:18AM


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RAVENSONG37 10/14/2010 9:05AM

    So, I tried to read this as if I weren't one of the characters, but I kept seeing my face on the page! But seriously, I want you to know that I had a wonderful time with you and your family this weekend. From the Ren Faire to the silly time in the car with your family to running across the finish line, you and your family were so wonderful to me. It breaks my heart that anything I said could have made you sad. I want you to know that I'm still on this journey with you Esther, that I get where you are coming from in so many ways...and that's not going to change if and when I hit my "goal weight". I love you and I think you are an incredible woman, through and through...but you gotta see that babe. (and you gotta see that BABE!) Much love to you...and hey, you set a PR and you're doing another 5km this weekend. You are unstoppable!

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TAMNTN 10/14/2010 12:17AM

    Congrats for pushing through! What a fantastic accounting of your week-end and accomplishment! :)

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SOON2BEFITSLP 10/13/2010 10:26PM

    Such a great play by play of a fantastic sounding weekend! I think it is so wonderful that you got to have this experience with your family and a good friend! Such good memories! Don't let this plateau get you down, you have made so much progress already! Could you imagine being where you are today? You are so inspiring and you fit wonderfully with your family. The pictures above prove so to me!

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JRIMM4 10/13/2010 6:12PM

    I really enjoyed reading about your race and it's super that you all participated as a family. AWESOME that you all (and especially 'mom') came in at under an hour! Big hugs in regards to your moments of sadness. Our moments of disillusionment may not spring from the same sources but the emotions I hear behind them are much the same.


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HARMONYBLUE 10/13/2010 1:19AM

    First congrats on pushing you mom to finish the 5k and see her to the finish line RUNNING! Thats just great. Second, enjoy what you body can do now it couldn't do before. You will get there. I swear I never plateaued until my doc warned me I MIGHT and then it has been slow progress every since. Sometimes I think if I get it in my head, it will come easily and then do everything right to make it true, this whole plateau business will just go away.

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FLWRCHLD97 10/12/2010 12:29PM

    I don't know if this will help or not, but I've started visualizing how I'll look after I lose the weight. When I first started on SP, I was scared because I've never been an ideal weight and I don't know how I'd look or if I'd change as a person (weird, huh, like magically losing fat is going to make me into a different person - it's not, but I thought, what if I turn into a biotch or something??).

Now, I visualize the person I know I am going to be. It will take awhile but I'll get there. And, now I know what I'll look like. I can't wait, I see myself running around in my backyard with my kids. Something I don't think I've ever done before. I can't wait to fulfill these dreams and visions, because it will happen. I just have to keep reminding myself that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and that it took years for me to put on this much weight, so why should I think that it should just "fall off" (I hate that term BTW).

I see you running around with your family, laughing, happy; with tears coming down your face when you realize how far you've come and how proud you are of yourself.

It will happen, I believe in you!

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LOOKY-LOU 10/12/2010 11:07AM

    Great blog. Your accomplishments are so amazing, but it is a long hard road. Just remember at least you are on the right road. It may be a long trip, but you are headed in the right direction!

Congratulations on the race!

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MAGPIE17 10/12/2010 10:34AM

    WTG on the 5K and I'm glad your kiddo got a medal :)! You are fabulous!

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BRIAEL 10/12/2010 1:29AM

    First, HUGE congrats on your family 5k, that is awesome sauce that you can participate in an event like this together. Seriously, it's amazing and that you kept each other inspired and motivated is brilliant. :)

I hear you on the "lots of weight to lose can make it seem like a never ending battle" and some days it's daunting but you CAN do this. Stop competing with your family and friends, you are running YOUR race against yourself, not against them. Did the first person in your circle to start healthy eating and exercise feel isolated because s/he was the "firestarter" that triggered it off? Talk to others about how they feel about the journey. You are NOT alone.

Two weeks ago I came home from visiting my sister in England, after having not seen her for 4 months and since I began eating healthy foods and exercising. Of course I was thrilled to be congratulated on my losses, but what really made me cry was when she said "You know, it wasn't until I saw how much smaller you are that I realised how big you have been. I didn't notice your weight, because all I saw when I looked at you was my big sis!". The people who love us don't see our weight, they see our character and our personality. Hold that thought in your mind when you feel that you are the fat one in the crowd. You are special to your family and friends, and the good news is that they understand your journey because they're sharing it with you! :)

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BTINTERNET 10/12/2010 12:29AM

    I am so impressed and you are so amazing!!!

(On the angst side, I have that a lot reading SP, actually - it's inspiring but at the same time, I'm on the other side of the hump from "all these successful people". Let's be there for each other, hon!

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ATREAT4ME 10/11/2010 9:04PM

    I have been there too. You are right in the groove with the family in all facets but one -- physically. It doesn't diminish neither what you've done nor what is left to do. It is just one day and a mini-meltdown (do those even count?). Like you said, you are not giving up. You are merely recording where you've been: factually and accurately. And you're doing it for your own reasons. Good!

I do want to echo the sentiments of many comments: you have done fantastic work. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us who haven't been here as long nor progressed as far. Even in this momentary mini-meltdown, you are an example. I very much appreciate knowing your struggle.

Thank you!

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MAMADELIGHT 10/11/2010 7:42PM

    Yay, medals!!!! Congrats! You are doing awesome -keep you eye on your accomplishments.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/11/2010 7:15PM

    Oh. My. God. I have jealously coursing through my veins that you two got to meet and hang out!!! I would have drove my ass to Ohio to meet you both. You both look BEAUTIFUL. And hello... a 5k in 56 minutes is AWESOME! I was just at the gym working on my own 5k and thinking to myself "If I finish somewhere between 40-50 minutes in November, I have to be satisfied." Remind me of that.

You are so inspiring Esther. Nothing but love!

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WW_KAREN 10/11/2010 7:00PM

    You are amazing! It is going to take you longer, but everyday is one day closer. Also, dieting is not just until you lose the weight. Its a way of life. One day at a time. :)

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ERIN1128 10/11/2010 6:26PM

    Hang in there babe, you are doing so great!!!

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CHICAT63 10/11/2010 3:56PM

    Ah, Esther do not be discouraged you have travelled this far ! Look forward and not back...We are with you, one thing I have learnt over this past year is not to compare myself to others, i.e.: weight loss. You are doing great, I know "plateau city" ain't easy.

Thanks for sharing your weekend with your family and Becky, you must be very proud of your son! At times you want it so much, I hear ya loud & clear and you just feel defeated but you are doing AWESOME, you are an inspiration, and your time is'a coming !

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SLFRISBEY 10/11/2010 3:44PM

    Don't get discouraged. I am also discouraged with being stuck where I am. I am so easily disuaded it's pathetic. I wish I had more where with all to make the changes I need and STICK TO IT! I try and fail and have a tough time getting back up. Luckily I have all of you fellow sparkers to keep me going! I will keep you going for sure! You're doing awesome!!!

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MRSSIBRAT 10/11/2010 3:29PM

    girl i am sooo proud of you!!! aand how awesome that you got to me up with becky

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KITHKINCAID 10/11/2010 3:19PM

    Great job Esther - and your mom too! Wow!

You just gotta shake it off lady. Don't let the emotional stuff bog you down. Feel it for what it is, recognize it, and then say "to heck with it" and just keep doing what you're doing. You WILL come through this. And I swear, I'm sending you some 24s so you've got an eye on the prize :)

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KIRSTEN 10/11/2010 3:10PM

    Wow, what a great time you had! Please, please, please don't feel discouraged because you aren't where others are. There will always be someone smaller, faster, or losing weight quicker than you. You can't change that. You are doing so great, especially with the racing! You are making it happen! Look how far you have come and praise yourself!!!! And just think about how great you'll feel when you have reached your goal!
PS: I know how you feel, this last year I lost 17 lbs.(my goal is to lose 100), and my 72 year-old father started the same time as me and he's lost 65. But I can't let that get to me, I still lost 17lbs!
You are an inspiration!

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NUMD97 10/11/2010 1:23PM

    I rarely comment on people's blogs that I haven't interacted with, but after all you wrote here (up until the last paragraph), it is such a testament of just how much you actually have accomplished. Easier said than done, I know, but this whole journey is not about how we "measure" up against others who have lost or are losing less than we have to. It truly is about us vs. ourselves, and no one else.

I've been watching your blogs for some time now, and you are setting such a positive example for your sons, making exercising and racing such an integral part of their activities with you. Plus, not to leave behind, the over 60 pound weight loss! C'mon! You're some kind of hero to so many of us here. Please do not diminish all you have accomplished by looking at how much farther you have to go. Look instead and see just how far you've come.

Your SP family as well as your original one, are rooting for you. Now root a little for yourself as well.

I wish you miles and miles of future successes,


Comment edited on: 10/11/2010 9:25:59 PM

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_TRIXIE_ 10/11/2010 1:20PM

    I love it, love it, love it. It sounds like an amazing weekend with great friends and family. I'm sorry you had a "mini meltdown" towards the end, but I think those are totally normal feelings and processes to work through. I have no doubt that you'll look back at this one day and be thankful for the tough days. It sucks, but they do make you stronger. Promise.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 10/11/2010 1:18PM

    Thanks for the race recap, sounds like an amazing day at the race! Having the support of friends and family can really help push you through to the end... in a race or in life's journey. No matter how much you have to lose, we will be there for you every step of the way. You still want the change and that's the best part. Imagine the converstaions you'll get to have when you start noticing those changes that your mom and Becki were talking about.
Chin up buttercup you just ran a 5k in 56 minutes. Awesome job.

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ATROTTIER 10/11/2010 1:17PM

    Great job on the 5K!!! You guys did great! Keep your head up friend b/c you are making great strides in your journey, you might not see it right away but you are changing inside and out and it's a process that nobody can define for you. Always think about where you started from and you haven't quit and I know you won't. My process is very slow when I compare myself to another's journey and I have to stop myself and realize these things and this is my life and I have to remember that it's not going to be overnight but by not giving up it will be eventual and wonderful when my final goal is reached. I too have jeans waiting for me in the closet...hopefully I can get into those "comfortably" in the next few months too!! C'mon girl WE CAN DO IT!!!

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MEGSFITNESS 10/11/2010 1:16PM


I'm sorry hun :( I don't know what you feel like, but I know how I feel bouncing back and forth through the same 5-pounds and seeing people I *started* with so far ahead of me. It sucks and even though both of us have worked so hard, the fact that other people "made it" and I "haven't" almost makes me feel ashamed! But, then I remember that I -have- worked hard and I -have- accomplished quite a bit and this plateau is just a number on a scale and my life-victories are so much more than that number.

I hope you're back in high spirits again soon :) you're awesome.

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GOGOSHIRE 10/11/2010 1:00PM

    Great blog, Calli! Don't be discouraged - don't choose that. Don't compare your journey with anyone else's - it's YOUR journey, and therefore you should be on your OWN timeframe. You have accomplished so much and you have so much still ahead of you.

You are doing so awesome and you're such a huge inspiration to so many people on SP here.

Thoughts become things, baby!

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MAMADWARF 10/11/2010 12:56PM

    oh esther, what a great weekend! i just want you to know i understand the last part of what u are saying cuz even tho i have lost 50 pounds i still am not in a normal weight range and its going to be a long time till i am. i just look at how far i have come and keep going. dont compare yourself. u have come soo far and are making such huge progress! i admire u so much and u do more than i ever consider. u will get there. we both will. jan

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/11/2010 12:18PM

    I couldn't help but cry. I am so happy for your and your mom. You did so well or is it did GREAT! Don't let that inner voice and plateau still your joy. You have come a long way and will get where you are going. emoticon

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CALLIKIA 10/11/2010 12:17PM

    Of course the kids race was at 11am, not pm. *sigh*

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YOOVIE 10/11/2010 11:53AM

    Awwwwwww those changes are on their way to you, too, I swear to god.

I can't believe your mom ran! That is wonderful!

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MAIA2011 10/11/2010 11:40AM

    That's an awesome race story! I am so glad that you gave your mom the bug! Really cute pics, too. You guys look so happy!


I am sorry you are still struggling with the big P. I am sure it doesn't help to look at how far you've come so I won't suggest it. I just think you are amazing and I enjoy reading your blogs a lot! Take care.


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Quick Fire

Friday, October 08, 2010

People say I write too much usually, but I don't have a lot of time right now so here I go...challenging myself to be brief.

* I went to the doctor. She took blood for a thyroid test, but think I'm just generally a cold person and losing 65 pounds has caused me to be even more cold without that extra insulation. She also pricked me for a glucose test. 118 after about an hour of eating a fig bar = really good, they said. As for the plateau and the 3-week TOM? Basically, she told me to just deal. The Depo takes 6-12 months to regulate finally (I'm on month 5) and the plateau will break eventually.

* This morning I ate scrambled eggs, some hasbrown potatoes, and one slice of bacon. I tried to eat a biscuit, but could only manage one bite. No matter what, I just don't eat like I used to anymore. It was a high calorie breakfast, but manageable. I'm not breaking my goals just because I'm P.O.ed at the scale.

* Today's workout? About 45 minutes of tennis with the Hubs and then 2 hours of cleaning/detailing my car. Yep, it took me that long, it was a MESS! It's still not 100% but I had to rush to get to the doctor's office. As for the tennis - we're both getting better. I've got a pretty good jump serve worked out, and we had one pass were we got like 7 returns! It felt good!!

* I'm about to leave (as soon as Hubs returns or I track him down...he went to get tires on his car 3 hours ago!) for my mom's house. I'm taking my oldest, Logan (11) and we'll be there through either Sunday night or Monday afternoon. RAVENSONG is already on her way there (I'll still beat her! *lol*) and will spend the weekend with us! I'm so excited I can hardly sit still and I'm acting all goofy crazy today! Should be a great weekend!

* Pray for my mom Sunday. (Go stop by her page and wish her luck if you'd like - she's SNOWFLAKE57 on my friends list.) The Dayton Corridor Classic 5k (Walk). The crew includes: Myself, my mother, my younger step-brother, my oldest son, my sister, my 2 nieces, and Becky (RAVENSONG). All we're hoping for is my mom's safe finish, time does not matter. Wish us luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGSFITNESS 10/10/2010 10:03PM

    Who says you write too much? LOL! Certainly not me :) I love your posts.

Grats on cleaning out the car!! I still have to do that :( My poor car looks like it rolled through an old ventilation shaft. So freakin dusty... inside and out!

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MAMADWARF 10/9/2010 11:59PM

    I love you blogs. Enjoy your weekend!!

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BAYBELIEVER 10/9/2010 11:29PM

    Have a great walk! What a great opportunity to be able to walk with your mom! Enjoy! Hope you take some pics and post! And don't let others worry you about the length of your posts. The rest of us enjoy them and others don't have to read them!

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VANILLAMAMA 10/9/2010 12:24PM

  I LOVE your blogs. Keep on writing even if it is 3 words or 3 pages. If you write it they will come.... LOL emoticon

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TIGERJANE 10/9/2010 11:23AM

    Who says you write too much? You're an EXCELLENT writer. i love all your blogs, even when it's stuff that I haven't personally experienced, it's like sitting down with you and having a conversation. Your writing voice is so incredibly personable!

Great job on your car - I really need to buckle down and clean mine too- uugghhhh.
Best of luck to your mom! Sounds like a great family experience :)

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SPUNKYDUCKY 10/8/2010 11:40PM

    Good luck on the 5k walk! I am cold all the time as well, but my thyroid hormone levels are normal, so I think it is just an adjustment period. I almost always have a polar fleece jacket with me. Check out - they have comfy "butter fleeces" for 19.99 in awesome great colors. No I don't own stock there, just love a comfy shirt and being warm :)

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JEREMY723 10/8/2010 8:59PM

    Have a safe trip! It would be cool to meet Spark friends in person. Enjoy!

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CHICAT63 10/8/2010 7:26PM

    Have a great family time and with RAVENSONG of course !

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ATREAT4ME 10/8/2010 5:53PM

    I love your long posts. Your writing is beautiful and entertaining; your insights, illuminating. I'm a tech writer turned techy-wannabe. Bullets are my favorite tools to avoi building good transitions. I like reading your transitions. Okay, enough about the writing.

Becareful with that thyroid. Getting it adjusted correctly is a crazy thing. I completely lost control of my body temperature this week as we tried to adjust my levels.

Have a great and safe drive. Absolutely will stop by your Mom's page.

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HARMONYBLUE 10/8/2010 4:36PM

    Have a great trip and 5K walk. For the record, I like that you are generally very wordy in your blogs. Very entertaining.

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KITHKINCAID 10/8/2010 4:12PM

    Have an amazing weekend! You guys are going to rock it out!!

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MAIA2011 10/8/2010 3:58PM

    That's great on the tennis! You are going to have fun this weekend and I will stop by and wish your mom good luck, too!

(I had a high calorie breakfast myself but I am sure that I will eat a reasonable lunch and exercise for about an hour this afternoon. That is way better than when I used to eat 5000+ calories a day and not exercise at all. Progress!)


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