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WMP Initial Meeting & Surprising People

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Okay, let me first get you the information I got today from the initial contact meeting I had with the PT lady at the gym.

She was running a little late with her previous appointment, so I didn't really get in to see her until around 10:45am or so. She recognized me immediately as I've seen her around the gym (if you go back in my blogs you'll see the day she actually used me as an example for how to walk on the treadmill). She asked a lot of questions...

PT: So, Esther, why now?
Me: Honestly? I don't know. In April I just sat down to try and then it all just clicked for me.
PT: So, what's the hardest part?
Me: Mostly it's the mental part. My brain wanting to do things my body isn't ready for, like the running I talked to you about before. Plus, I just went through a big plateau so that's been a bit of an issue mentally.
PT: So how have you been doing?
Me: I've lost 70 pounds since April.
PT: Wow! How have you done it?
Me: I started out just watching what I was eating, starting to make good choices. I started out working out like 3 times a week for about 15 minutes or so...that's all I could do. Now I work out 5-6 days a week, and I'm usually here for an hour to an hour and a half.
PT: So what does your workout schedule look like right now?
Me: Well, right now I'm training for a half...
PT: A half a mile?
Me: No, a half-marathon.
PT: Wow! Okay.
Me: I did 2 5ks last week or the week before, one on the 10th and another on the 16th, and I ran some of both of them, so I've been working on running a little bit. (We talked a bit about the whole running = eating more things, and I told her that I'm considering just backing off the running for a bit and just work on dropping poundage for right now. She basically said she understood, but didn't give her opinion either way.)
PT: So did you do the 5ks competitively or on your own?
Me: Oh, no...they were races. I've done 4 so far this year - 3 5ks and one 10k, mostly walking but I've added in a little running now.
PT: Wow! That's great!

So it went like that for a while. She said wow a lot. She told me that I sounded intelligent. There were a couple times where she asked me (basically) WTF I was doing on the program then? *lol* I told her that I wanted to save money on my gym bill, and that I wanted to have someone professional that I could ask my questions of. We talked about Spark, and she knew the site. She seemed to have a bit of trouble setting up a workout schedule for me because it wasn't as easy as just setting up someone new. She also used the word "inspiring" a lot. Still, we worked on it together and she gave me a good plan of action. She told me that we'll meet once a month to check on progress and see if we need to develop more for me to do. (She thinks I should probably be moving off the gym machines and onto more free weights...that means my big butt will be rubbing shoulders with the big men on the other side of the gym more...them and Lori (she's a competitive female body builder and is amazing!) so I better get over my fears there!)

Then it was time for the initial weights and measures. (This actually wasn't hard for me. I kept thinking, Wow! Just think what that would've been 6 months ago!!)

Weight: 346 (*love* that their scale even has me under 350!! WOOT!)
Body Fat Percentage: 53.3%
Pounds of Fat: 184.6
Pounds of Muscle: 161.6

So what are the final goals for me? She's hoping to get me down to 30% body fat. With where I'm at now, that means 115 pounds lost, for a final weight of 230! TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY! Can you believe that? I guess I need to settle my mind with the fact that I may never be 150 pounds, and that's alright. Actually, 230 seems somewhat manageable to me. 115 pounds doesn't scare me at all! It's crazy! Of course, once I get to 230, we'll re-evaluate and I may want to lose more after that...but for now, my goal is only to get to 230. (I keep saying that over and over...it just doesn't sound right. Whatever, I'll take it!)

Other stats:
Blood Pressure: 128/80
Pulse: 60 (she said it was nice and low)
Waist measurement: 52.25

The plan:

Nutrition
She gave me a journal. I'm to write down everything I eat. I'll meet with the dietician next week to go over my eating plan and see if I'm doing what I should, but for now I just need to log everything. She also gave me a copy of a little book from calorieking.com that has calorie/fat/carb counts of foods! BONUS!

Exercise
She said I'm good on my cardio, and to just keep going. She likes that I'm working toward a one minute plank, and agreed that I need to stop being so scared and try to do regular pushups instead of the modified kind. She also told me that I should keep up the crunches I'm doing and not worry about using the ab machine downstairs. (And I'm thinking that means I should add another set of 15-20 to my crunches! *lol*) We're going to keep working most of the exercise machines, but I told her that I wasn't sure if I should just keep increasing my weight as I go or if I should work on sets. She said I should move on to sets. So this next week I'll start doing 2 days of ST (one down from before, but we're actually adding to my training here!) and do 3 sets on each of the machines we picked. The first set will be 20 reps, then 15, then 10. I'll increase the weight by 5 or 10 with each set. (Example: I get on the pulldown machine and start doing 20 reps at 30 lbs, rest, and then 15 reps at 40 lbs., rest, and then 10 reps at 50 lbs.) In addition to these 3 sets of decreasing reps and increasing weights, we've switched me over to dumbbell shoulder presses instead of using the machine. I'll just start doing 1 set of those. Plus, we've cut out the leg curl machine (I told her that it hurts my knee) and I'll be moving to the leg press machine and work both my thighs and calves (2 different workouts) on that machine, just 1 set of each to start.

I had to giggle to myself a few times during our meeting (remember, I told you she probably had no clue what she was getting with me! *lol*). One was when she introduced me to a girl who is in month three of the same plan. The girl said, "That first month kicked my butt!" and Cissy (the PT) said, "Oh, she's been kicking her own butt for a few months now!" She also actually said out loud once that she didn't know what to do with me. *lol* I feel good about our meeting and will meet with the nutritionist on Tuesday (though I gave her the wrong time so I'm going to try to call her Monday and try to reschedule...I don't want to miss Zumba!)

It seems the theme of this weekend has been surprising people, including myself. Yesterday after breakfast and tennis, Hubs and I headed up to his father's house to help on the garage. His dad is trying to get the garage floor leveled to prep it for concrete and I knew he was trying to get as much done as possible tomorrow. I told Hubs I was going to drop him off because I wanted to see my MIL's chickens (she's got baby chicks hatching) and see his Grandpa. Hubs made some off-handed comment about how I never work when I go up there and for some reason I took that as a challenge.

So I got up there yesterday and started helping. For two hours straight I was raking the ground to pile up gravel, shoveling that gravel into holes, shoveling and raking sand, and helping to level the floor. Two hours straight! At one point the boys went to take a break and I thought, "I've still got some left..." so I headed back to the rock pile to begin raking rocks again and forming piles so it would be easier to shovel it up. A few minutes down there by myself and my FIL was down there with me. "I saw you working down here and I couldn't let you work alone!" he said.

Around 1pm we ran out of sand and gravel with only about 2/3 of the garage done. Now, I hate to leave a job ALMOST done, especially when there's so much of the day left! I kept saying, "There's got to be some way to get more sand!" Long story short, my FIL took two more trips to get more sand while I went to grab some lunch (pizza). When they got back the first time we had to hurry and clear the truck so he could go back for another load before the place closed. By 7pm we were finally done with the floor of the garage and it looked wonderful! My MIL and FIL kept saying over and over how hard I had worked and how much help I was. My FIL looked at me across a bonfire (we had some cardboard to burn) and said, "You know, Esther...if it wasn't for you pressing us to go get more sand, it wouldn't be done right now." I was proud! I made my in-laws proud!

Yes, I had 8 pieces of pizza yesterday and a Miller Lite, but for crying out loud I worked for about 5 hours doing hard manual labor! My arms, legs, and especially my shoulders, are killing me today! It was the first time in a very long time that I felt like I had more stamina than I ever have! I just couldn't be stopped...I just kept going! I surprised myself!

Hope you're all having a great weekend! I've got Ethan's playoff game tomorrow, where I may have to work half of the time in the concession stand... (BOO!! Don't make me work around food again! NOOOOOO!) I cut my walk short today (got 1.3 of the 2 miles done) because the WVU game is on right now. Hoping for a good weigh-in tomorrow, but I'm already down to that 346, even according to the gym scales!! YAY!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABBELINGBHELL 10/27/2010 9:43AM

    you are just awesome on so many levels and so inspiring!!!!! you rock!!!!!!!!

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STARLIGHT615 10/26/2010 10:00AM

    WOW is right! You are doing amazing!! Keep up the great work!

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RAVENSONG37 10/26/2010 9:54AM

    You are incredible. See. Even strangers know it!

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KITHKINCAID 10/24/2010 8:04PM

    Wow - love surprises like that. Glad you had a good experience at the gym. You are kicking ass lady - so amazing!

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RUNNINGOLLIE 10/23/2010 7:24PM

    Awesome progress!!!!!! emoticon

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HARMONYBLUE 10/23/2010 6:57PM

    Glad you had such a great consultation and got to surprise yourself and the trainer, though surprising yourself is the best feeling of all.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/23/2010 5:11PM

    You are going so good!! emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 10/23/2010 5:01PM

    You are most definitely inspiring! You are doing so much more than many so-called "thin" people, and just think if what you're carrying around right now -- I mean that in a good way, you know.

I am always so amazed at people who have a lot of weight to lose -- and still have so much energy! It's most definitely inspiring.

I really hope that didn't come across as condescending cause I don't mean it that way.

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MINIDRIVER63 10/23/2010 4:33PM

    APPLAUSE!! (I almost typed "applesauce!") I am so impressed and inspired by you. You are WonderWoman!

Thanks so much for sharing your conversation with the PT - I bet you blew her mind!

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RIGBY31 10/23/2010 4:31PM

    Holy Smokers! I was exhausted after you described your workouts! I need to get my behind working a little harder!

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_DASH_ 10/23/2010 3:59PM

    "Me: Well, right now I'm training for a half...
PT: A half a mile?
Me: No, a half-marathon."


HAHAHA YOU EFFING ROCK!!! YOU SHOW HER!! damn right!!!! it's amazing isn't it!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 10/23/2010 3:46PM

    161 lbs of muscle?!?!!! That is incredible!!! And 30% bf at 230 sounds great, you're gonna look so strong and fit!! Exciting!!!!

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ATROTTIER 10/23/2010 3:44PM

    Awesome meeting with the trainer!! I loved that you showed her!! LOL!!! sounds like you might benefit from this anyhow though so that will be fun what you learn along that program and I know you'll share all the goodies with us faithful readers!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

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EUPHRATES 10/23/2010 3:36PM

    Wowzers! I'm inspired!
emoticon

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CHICAT63 10/23/2010 3:24PM

    Woohoo, you are down 350 AMAZING !!!! You rock Esther, manual labor is hard especially when your body isn't used to doing some. emoticon emoticon

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JEREMY723 10/23/2010 3:24PM

    I'm sure the personal trainer is learning from you and expanding her knowledge to help you. Good for you! Keep up the good work:)

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MAIA2011 10/23/2010 3:20PM

    Sounds like you scared that personal trainer! That's the coolest thing I have heard all day! I am running out of words for you because you are just so flippin' SPARKTACULAR!




R> emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/23/2010 2:57PM

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! You ARE inspiring. Believe it!

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Re-Evaluate

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday I followed the same basic eating pattern I've been using for weeks. The problem is, ever since I started this training and actually started running, I've been HUNGRY lately. I've gone over on my calories the past two days now and that is going to end right now. It's funny, I never had this problem before. I have to wonder if it's the running that's doing it. It's not like I'm running 6 miles every day or anything, but I have heard of this happening. The thing is...I'm still almost (yay! i get to say ALMOST now!) 350 pounds. Now is not the time to struggle with wanting to eat MORE.

So I really have to think about whether I even want to keep trying to run or not. Maybe I should just go back to my high calorie burners - like the elliptical machine. According to Spark, I have to spend a couple hours running/walking to even get close to the calorie burn I get in 30 minutes on the elliptical. And running hurts more. And walking for hours is pretty darn boring. I don't want to give up on it, but maybe it's time to back off a bit...or maybe I need to work up enough stamina to also do the elliptical on my running days.

I'm not making any decision now, I'm just thinking out loud.

Yesterday I also had this moment....I was standing in my office and saw myself in my computer monitor. I did a double take because I saw that my profile is getting smaller. Of course I shrugged it off as an optical illusion - you know, like one of those fun house mirrors? But, hey! It was a really fun moment.

Today I finally get my Friday back! I had to get up and take the boys to school, but then Hubs and I are going to go out in a bit. I hope he realizes that I'm hoping to play tennis again this morning. I don't care if it's cold. The time goes by fast because it's fun, and I burn a good amount of calories without realizing it. Before I realize it I'm sweating up a storm, my legs are feeling the burn, my shoulders are sore, and an hour has passed.

After tennis and breakfast or lunch, we need to do a little grocery shopping and then Hubs has to go up to his parents' place to help his dad prep the garage floor for concrete. For me, that means I'll either spend the day cooking, cleaning, or I'll just head over to the gym and get another little workout in today. I have to do some more ST again!

I've got an appointment tomorrow morning at 10:30am with the insurance company's contact person at the gym. No clue what we're going to do for this fitness test, but I hope to get plenty of questions answered and have her give me more things I can be doing to really work off this weight.

Mentally, I'm all over the place. One minute I'm feeling good about what I've done so far and the next I'm thinking "NOT ENOUGH!" I'm working through it...I'm just ready to repeat the success I had in the first five months or so now that I'm done with that plateau. I keep telling myself, "I've got this. I'm not done yet!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 10/24/2010 7:55PM

    Well knock on wood, getting over that plateau hurdle has thrown me down another size and I'm really struggling to believe it but it's true - so I hope the same for you! Fingers crossed. The second 50 pounds on your way to 300 will be much easier. (I say that cause I want you to believe it as much as I want to believe it will be true for me emoticon)

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MAIA2011 10/23/2010 3:14PM

    Running sounds cooler to tell people but the elliptical is a calorie burning machine for sure. I wish I had started sooner but I was married to the stationary bike and afraid of the elliptical. On the other hand, running does great things for the muscles in your legs that the elliptical doesn't seem to do as well. Trade-offs.

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JLITT62 10/23/2010 8:02AM

    I think the real question is why are you running? Are you running cause you love it? Or because you think you should? The answer should be cause you love it.

Next question is are you properly fueling your runs? And eating for recovery afterwards?

Sometimes exercise makes me hungry, and sometimes it suppresses my appetite. Life's a mystery!

And finally, are you drinking enough? Often if I'm hungry I'm really thirsty.

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CAROBEAR1 10/23/2010 6:17AM

    I'm feeling the same way about running vs elliptical...now that I've finished the 5K I was working towards and can comfortably do 2 mile in my morning workout, I think I will put elliptical and "running" together better once I'm finished my 100 day challenge. I also find I'm SUPER hungry after I get off the treadmill in the morning but sometimes have some protein like a piece of turkey meat....it makes me feel better and doesn't have the high calories of the protein bars or drinks.

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TRENTDREAMER 10/22/2010 6:13PM

    "The thing is...I'm still almost (yay! i get to say ALMOST now!) 350 pounds. Now is not the time to struggle with wanting to eat MORE. "

* omg i remember the first time i started lifting after joining sp. i wuz eating over 4000 calories a day and gained like 0.2 pounds.

im going through another always hungry eating everything in sight phase. its weird

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MIGHTYFINEWINE 10/22/2010 1:42PM

    It's the running.

I can burn 500 calories (according to my HRM) in Zumba or on the elliptical or walking or hiking and then go and burn 500 calories running the next day and on the second day, I am SO MUCH hungrier.

I have found that if I am running quite a bit, I can up my daily calories by around 200 and still lose weight, even if the Spark numbers don't quite compute. If I followed the Spark suggestions while I was running, I would be seriously starving.

I've talked this over with a few of my running friends and there are a lot of theories that running actually boosts your metabolism for longer post-activity than many other activities. So you are actually burning more calories for hours after your activity than what you might have logged/tracked.

Edit to add: I agree with the talk about proper refueling. IMMEDIATELY after running, I drink a cup of low fat (NOT nonfat) milk to get fats, sugars and calories into me. And then within an hour, fulling refueling yourself with a well-balanced meal. It helps a ton. And it helps with my muscle recovery too. I am never sore after runs since I started refueling properly!

Comment edited on: 10/22/2010 1:47:35 PM

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FLWRCHLD97 10/22/2010 1:33PM

    You do have this, the plateau will END - you are so NOT DONE!!!

You will find out what you need to do, I believe in you emoticon

It will happen, maybe right now you're just getting used to what works for you, re: routine, exercise, what your body can handle, etc. It takes time to finally settle in to something that works for you; and then when you finally do settle in, you have shake it up again and try something new!!! At least that's how the cycle seems to be from what I've read on SP...it's not a bad thing, it's just a new challenge. And I know you can ROCK challenges!!!

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ATROTTIER 10/22/2010 12:04PM

    Oh wow - I was feeling the same "hunger" after the 6 weeks I did C25K and I'm also trying to figure out if I want to dedicate time to finish the program - I haven't lost any weight doing it because it's true I need add'l food just to curb my hunger and I'm not burning as much calories on that treadmill that I could be expending on something else. There is a different feeling that is achieved on the treadmill or just jogging in general that you can't get from any other exercise and that was keeping me going for a while but I'm wondering if I should focus my attention to weight loss right now and get my "runners high" later on! LOL!!

Hope you have a wonderful day today - hoping you get to play tennis - I love how you talk about it, you are so happy doing it and that is awesome!!! emoticon emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 10/22/2010 11:30AM

    Sometimes when I have a "hungry" day, I tell my body that the feeling of hunger is the metabolism working away, eating up the fat...stupid, but it works! I FEEL myself getting thinner and then the hunger just seems to work itself out.


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CANOGAPARKGAL 10/22/2010 11:12AM

    I'm not a runner so I can't speak from experience. Maybe there is something in the Fitness part of Spark that would help: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource
/fitness.asp



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MEGSFITNESS 10/22/2010 11:02AM

    Of course you're not done yet! Far from it :) You're still rocking awesome.

I think Mezzoangel addressed the hungry running issue better than I could. I don't know about eating back half the calories you burned, but I know that you should definitely have a recovery snack after a good run.

Have fun playing tennis!!! Even if hubs doesn't want to, you could smack a ball against the wall :)

OH! And p.s.--your monitor is not a funhouse mirror. What you see is what you get! You ARE losing weight and you SHOULD notice it in your face ;)

Comment edited on: 10/22/2010 11:03:24 AM

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LONGWINDINGROAD 10/22/2010 10:18AM

    I agree about the running. I have been working on increasing the amount of running I do, and the more I run the hungrier I am! I'm usually okay, though once I eat my breakfast, but I find that I eat everything sooner (ex...I used to eat my snack at 11, but now I eat it at 10...and lunch used to be at 2, but now it's at 1) I've still been able to stick in the ranges that Spark sets, but I really understand what you mean!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/22/2010 9:33AM

    It's the running. I'm struggling with the same thing and it doesn't seem that uncommon. I just read an article in one of my old Fitness magazines that said even in this area, women struggle more than men because their blood sugar drops so much quicker after a run. They recommended eating back half the calories you burned, and eating solid food not a protein drink or something of the like. You could try that and see if it works, but I find myself weighing the pros and cons of running now. I don't want to be starving all of the time in order to be a runner. Not a good tradeoff for me personally.

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Is the World Changing, or Is It Just Me?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

For the past few weeks I've been noticing something. It's like a shift has happened, and I wasn't even aware that it was happening. We read all the time about obesity and weight loss. Heck, I've been learning about diets my entire life. But what I've noticed lately is a general consensus that we need to shift our thinking and habits as a whole, instead of looking for quick fixes and magic pills.

Last week I went to an event at the Ohio Statehouse. It was hosted by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and was to honor 10 men and women who have shaped the lives of human history by fighting for justice and equality. It was a diverse group of people, all fighting under one main theory - ALL men/women are created equal. (BTW - I'll post a link later to the ceremony. There were some touching speeches, especially those by Dr. Frank Hale, who works as Vice Provost at The Ohio State University, Rhonda Rivera, who is known as the "matriarch" of the LGBT rights movement in Ohio, and Baldemar Velasquez, who continues to fight for the rights of migrant farm workers. Oh, and you can catch a sneak peek of yours truly all close-up and such -- SCARY!! -- during Rhonda Rivera's speech. If you can't wait for me to post the link, go to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission's website and click on the link for the 2010 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.)

While I was looking forward to the event, and was seriously moved by several of the speeches made, I had this tiny kernel of fear in the pit of my stomach the whole time. You see, following the event was a reception, and that generally means tiny foods that are calorie-packed. I was extremely nervous because I didn't know where my next meal was going to come from and I knew I needed to find SOMETHING to eat, especially since my stomach was screaming at me about halfway through the ceremony. (It's used to snacks!) But what I found upon fighting my way through the long line to a small grouping of tables actually surprised me. Sure, there were general treats (and, yes, I had a bite of chocolate brownie and a half a buckeye....I just couldn't see past the irony of eating a buckeye in the state capitol building!) but there were also tiny finger sandwiches. The choices? Steak, turkey breast, and portabella mushrooms. I opened the sandwich and find a small amount of protein, a slice of tomato, and some sprouts. YUM! (I picked the turkey.) Moving further down the table I found a wide assortment of fruit and, if you bypassed the general chips and dip, you could feast on hummus and pitas and a generous helping from a big bowl of roasted vegetables.

Now I grew up in Ohio and, while I've never been to an event at the capitol building, I have never seen reception fare be so....health conscious. Everywhere I've gone lately I've noticed a push toward more healthful options. And it got me thinking, has the world changed, if just a little? Or maybe....maybe it's just me.

You see, before I wasn't looking for the healthy options. I was looking for comfort food, sweets, something that tasted sinfully delicious! It was free food, and I just wanted what looked the best. So maybe it isn't that the world is providing more healthy options, but maybe I'm just looking for them. Maybe that's why I know of places in Charleston like The Bluegrass Kitchen, which serves veggie burgers and plenty of healthy food options, or Tricky Fish, which serves delicious fish tacos that are healthy and amazingly tasty (as well as their support of local WV farmers and growers by using WV-grown products in their food). Maybe it's not so much that these options weren't there...maybe I'm just now noticing them because I'm seeking them out.

Or maybe, and a girl can hope and dream, maybe there is a shift happening in the world. WV became synonymous with the word obesity when Jamie Oliver brought his cooking to Huntington and some list announced this state as the most overweight. So maybe people really are taking notice. No longer do I go to a reception, cookout, or some sort of eating event, without finding at least 1 or 2 random healthy options on the list. For example, my work is famous for serving one main dish at every event we host - fried chicken. Sad, I know. But it's cheap and quick, and a lot of people really like it. But last week I was shocked to see that the small box of fried chicken was accompanied by a lean roast beef, some green beans and potatoes, and a huge healthy salad. I don't remember those options ever being there before! And at a "snack day" event last Friday, there were a TON of healthy options - whole wheat bread, lean turkey breast, mustard instead of mayo, fresh fruit.

Whether me or the world at large, I sure am happy for the shift I'm seeing. It leaves me with few excuses to eat unhealthy. I can no longer simply say, "There weren't any healthy options there." They're there. We have to look for them, and we can find them if we do. It's the difference between knowing that I'm not going to go to T.G.I. Friday's with my girlfriends and would rather shift their focus to a place like Applebee's or Tricky Fish, so that I can enjoy my meal guilt free.

Oh, and a word of the wise to places like T.G.I.Friday's....I seem to think the world is shifting a bit, and if you don't hop on the boat very soon, you're going to be left with a pretty empty dining room. No more hiding behind a lack of nutritional information. No more 3 options of healthy food on the menu, none of which I even remotely would like. Give the people what they want! Healthy Options!!



**this message brought to you by the Esther Council on Healthy Eating Options, or the ECHEO, not approved by T.G.I.Friday's or any other establishment (but they should be listening...I'm just sayin'!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOWNTOWNJEN 10/24/2010 9:56AM

    I've been noticing the change too! Bring on the healthy alternatives!!

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MAIA2011 10/23/2010 3:09PM

    You're so funny! Yes, things are shifting but not as much as your attitude! It is amazing what we miss when we are stuck in the same box with the same habits but when we are the ones who change then we see things in the world that were literally invisible before.

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LOOKY-LOU 10/22/2010 12:15AM

    Gosh I love your blogs...

Thanks!

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KITHKINCAID 10/21/2010 10:43PM

    Here here! I am lucky to live in the city - far more healthy choices regardless and everyone here at receptions fights to be the most gourmet - so I'm used to the hummus plates and fancy sandwiches. Lord knows I have had to make enough dinners out of crut d'ete and hors d'oeuvres. But I agree - in this day and age, if a restaurant can't post their nutritional information publicly (ahem...Cheesecake Factory) then you KNOW it's bad for you and I won't even go there.

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SUGARSMOM2 10/21/2010 9:16PM

  one thing to remember is free choice . all places do not need to serve all the things that some consider a healthy choice . please remember that there are people who love to eat regular foods and perhaps they could do both .

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DDHEART 10/21/2010 9:10PM

    What an encouraging trend...I don't see it all the time but I do see it too so maybe...maybe!

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SLFRISBEY 10/21/2010 4:11PM

    YEA!!! Ohio did something right!!! :) I am originally from Columbus and proud to see my peeps doing it up right! And HORRAY! for you choosing the healthy food. I still have issues with that when I am out on the comapny dime. Thanks for sharing!

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ELSEEBEE 10/21/2010 3:51PM

    Outstanding blog! I think it's a little bit of both positions you observed. I think people are becoming more aware of the health issues obesity brings on. You are so right when you say people need to start eating out at restaurants that offer healthy options. But, good for you, to have made a shift to looking for healthier options!

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AMOHAME2 10/21/2010 3:24PM

    Awesome! It's great to hear that people as a whole are finally becoming more health conscious! I truly hope this isn't a passing "fad"!! Between "going green" and becoming health conscious, I like the way we're headed!

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CHICAT63 10/21/2010 3:18PM

    Hoorray for this healthy movement !!! Wishing they would do the same here at my workplace, needless to say I always bring some snacks, protein source. More and more though restaurants are offering healthier options. Way to go Esther !!!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 10/21/2010 3:17PM

    I plan corporate lunches and parties and there is a very large trend towards being healthy. People want healthy and tasty and it is possible. Isn't it exciting!?

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MEGSFITNESS 10/21/2010 3:10PM

    Preach on, Sistah! Preach on!

:D

I think there's a shift. There's definitely a shift where I work. The upload failed, but my company has put nutrition information on the vending machines and started including fiber one and granola bars in with the candy and other options.

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MAMADWARF 10/21/2010 3:04PM

    I have noticed it too but maybe we are just now looking. I know most places I go to have a under 600 calorie meal or a healthy choice option that is pretty amazing. and if they dont, i order from the nutritional menu. Last night, went to dave and busters and had the under 600 calories steak meal with veggies and rice. it was fantastic and I didnt even finish it all. Hooray for good changes!!

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RACHELLY0724 10/21/2010 2:29PM

    Get 'em girl! And absolutely AGREED about places not being willing to share their nutritional information - enough already! Although I'll admit, I about have to pick myself up off of the floor when I see the calories etc of some of these dishes!

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ATROTTIER 10/21/2010 2:10PM

    All the healthy options sound so yummy right now - haha almost lunchtime here! Anyways, I think you are right about the general shift in the world...I see it little by little...it would be nice if it was overnight but my hope is that it will be seen more frequent. That event sounds really awesome, I'm glad you were able to go and enjoy all factors in it even the food options that you were nervous about!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 10/21/2010 1:39PM

    I'm crossing my fingers that it's the country at large. My last event had more than enough healthy fair as it was a wedding with a vegan bride, but a healthy shift would be amazing as a whole.

Congrats on picking the healthiest options available!

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LONGWINDINGROAD 10/21/2010 1:00PM

    I think it's GREAT that you were able to find so many good choices at your event! It's wonderful to be out and see so many healthy, tasty options in restaurants and events these days.

I WISH my office was on that healthy bandwagon! We had a kickoff breakfast (if you can call it that) this morning for United Way (we're big supporters). I ate breakfast at home because I just had a feeling that my choices would be limited...boy was I glad I did! They had donuts, cookies, coffee and orange juice. That's it?! And a couple of months ago we had a big pitch-in for a retirement party, and I was doing SUCH a good job avoiding it until one of the managers basically forced me to go over and get something to eat. I told myself that I would only eat the healthy options...do you know what I had?! GRAPES! There was pizza, fried chicken, cheesey potatoes, chips, dip, cookies, 3 cakes, candy...and grapes. You have to be kidding me! My husband said that I just need to start setting the example and bringing healthy dishes with me...I'm afraid that I'll end up bringing a lot home!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 10/21/2010 12:30PM

    The American Government is considering the "obesity epidemic" a threat to national security, fearing that we won't have enough fit bodies needed to supply our military. So no, you aren't imagining it...Public Health, Public Admin, and our Government officials are all working on it. Adamantly.

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RIGBY31 10/21/2010 12:14PM

    Hear ya! Love that there is starting to be a focus on choosing quality, healthy foods. Like smoking (sorry if you're a smoker!) glad to see the shift is getting away from unhealthy lifestyles. If we focus on a personal level, we can affect positive change in society.

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MERAINA 10/21/2010 12:13PM

    Love it! It's a good thing! The world & us... both changing for more healthy living!

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1/11/11 Starting Template and Thoughts

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I went ahead and bit the bullet and joined the 11 by 1/11/11 challenge. The only difference is that (after I realized it wasn't NOVEMBER 11th of this year we were shooting for) I decided I'm setting my bar a little higher.

*****
I do declare that I,Esther, will lose 20 pounds by 1/11/11. Today I weigh 346.0. My weight on 1/11/11 will be 326.0 or less.


I will accomplish this goal by taking the next several weeks to build on healthy habits which relate to the topic of the week.

week one - 10/17: planning/awareness
week two - 10/24: nutrition
week three - 10/31: sleep/rest
week four - 11/7: water/hydration
week five - 11/14: exercise
week six - 11/21: relationships
week seven - 11/28: stress management
week eight - 12/5: rewards
week nine - 12/12: making my health a priority
week ten - 12/19: managing emotional eating
week eleven - 12/26: maintaining motivation
week twelve - 1/2: seeing progress and re-evaluating goals
week thirteen - 1/9:celebrate successes


For week one my goals which relate to planning and awareness are:
- eating: Eat mostly clean, 1600-2000 calories a day
- cardio: Training for HM 3 times a week, cross train 3 more days, active rest on the last day
- strength training: ST 3 times a week and incorporate new exercises to target new muscle groups
- water: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
- sleep/relaxation: Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night
- other: Complete at least 2 races before the end of challenge...figure out which ones.

In addition, for the next week:
I will try 1 new recipe or food. Artichokes, maybe?
I will push myself harder 1 day. On Saturday!
I will read 1 article on planning/awareness.
I will support 2 new Spark Friends.
I will force myself to make-up whatever exercises I opt out of on the day I plan it.


I'll keep you up to date on how it goes!!
****

Also, a few thoughts.

Yesterday I felt...different. Seriously, that's what I said to myself. I'm walking around in size 26 pants and a 22/24 shirt, clothes that actually fit me, and I thought to myself, "I just feel ...different." I'm not sure what that means right now, but I want to make a note of it for future reference. I do know that yesterday I felt a little sassier, a little more me, and much smaller than when I started out.

This whole plateau thing was crazy. I mean it, I was freaked for weeks thinking nothing was going to happen. And people told me that when it broke, it would break fast and I'd lose a bunch. And then that didn't really happen. I stepped on the scale Sunday and had lost a little over 2 pounds. And I thought to myself, "What the heck happened to losing a lot after a plateau?!" I'm nervous to report this, because I don't want to jinx it, but this is what the scale has said the past couple days. I hadn't intended to weigh-in every day, but I had to weigh-in yesterday for our Biggest Loser Challenge.

Sunday - 348.0
Monday - 348.4 (I think!)
Tuesday - 346.0
Wednesday - 344.0 (I'm not sure about the point something, I just know it said 344.)

I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. Lord knows the fluctuations my body goes through in a week. But I do know that most times it fluctuates up and down. Only once has it fluctuated down consistently, and I had a good week that week. It came up a little bit at the end, but overall it was a good week, I remember. So I'm hoping to just keep going and bank on staying at or under that 346.0 goal I set for this Sunday's weigh-in. Maybe this is the "big loss after a plateau" I was hearing about. Maybe my scale has lost it's dang mind. Maybe...I don't know. Either way, it has been rather nice to see.

I tried on one of my old size 26s again this morning. I got these jeans at the Goodwill store near my house, and it's an old pair, I can tell. None of that fancy "stretch denim" and no vanity sizing. I had to lay on the bed to get them zipped, but that's more than I could think about doing 2 weeks ago, so I'm moving in the right direction. I refuse to check my progress on the 24s until Sunday.

About those 24s... Yes, I have a pair of size 24 jeans that I bought from the consignment shop. When I got them I couldn't even get them over my hips and belly. A few weeks ago, they started coming up over my hips. Then last week, I was able to get them all the way up, but they're nowhere close to zipping. I've been telling you all that it's my wish to be able to wear them on Christmas Day, and that's true...but I have secret wishes too. Do any of you do this? You set a reasonable goal, and then you set a "push it" goal. I don't want to jinx myself out of success, so I take a goal that could be reasonable if I really worked at it, and then I give myself a little extra wiggle room of time. For example, there are 12 weigh-ins between now and 1/11/11. If I lose 2 pounds a week, which is possible if I don't hit another plateau, then I could be down 24 pounds by 1/11/11. So what do I do? I give myself those 4 pounds for possible mistakes along the way, and I set my goal at 20 pounds by 1/11/11.

So while I do want to be able to wear those 24s on Christmas Day, it's a secret wish of mine to wear them to Thanksgiving lunch with my family. Like I said in my WTF template, I haven't seen most of them in a while, and I want them to see the work I've put in. Until I put those size 26 pants on yesterday, the loss wasn't even evident to me, so getting into a size 24, which I don't think I've worn since high school, would be a big deal for me and, I think, should make some sort of noticable change in my body shape. But, I worry. Thanksgiving is just a month and a week away. 36 days to break through another size. The idea of failing at that scares me, so I settle in my mind the idea of possible failure, and make a much more reasonable goal of Christmas Day, giving me another month to work with. Am I the only one who does this?

Finally, about sizes. I don't understand them anymore. I once thought I did, but I just don't. You see, I wore a size 26 pair of pants yesterday. They had a little give in them, but they weren't stretchy and weren't stretch denim. And they fit quite well, actually. But the last time I wore a size 26, I was in my senior year of high school. I may have also very well been pregnant at the time (another story for another time), but I don't believe my weight was over 300. So....I don't get it. Have pants changed (okay, I know they have some), or have I? Is it possible that my body shape is changing even when the scale is slow? Is it possible that this "fit fat" body I have now is just slimmer than the "just fat" body I had back then? *shrug* I do know that the last time I fit into a size 16 or 18 was in junior high. It was also the last time I was under 200 pounds. So what I expected was 180-190 would = size 16 or 18...but, I don't know....that seems strange now. This whole size thing is something I just can't wrap my head around. When you spend a year just trying to fit back into jeans (size 32), and then fight for 6 months just to be able to shop at a plus-sized store (instead of ordering online), you forget all about what sizes mean.

It doesn't make that much of a difference, but I just wanted to mention it. It confuses me and I have no clue what to expect. I do know that once I get this stupid belly to shrink (it's happening, slowly, I've been noticing more leg lately) that I'll like the way my pants/jeans fit better. I hate having my stomach out there broadcasting to the world, "HEY! I'm fat!"

Leaving you with one last thing. I watched BL last night, and cried. And (no spoilers here) when the eliminated contestant was recapping what he/she had done at home, he/she said, "I used to look in the mirror and see a fat man/woman. Now I look in the mirror and see a man/woman who is overweight, but who is trying to become healthy." That's how I feel now. I'm no longer just a fat woman. I'm a woman who is seriously overweight, but who is trying to get healthy. (They also said they spend like 5 hours in the gym a day, which I find rediculous, but....to each his own!....I guess they are trying to win some big bucks at the end of the whole thing, which could be great motivation, I'm sure!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAIA2011 10/23/2010 3:03PM

    Sizes may be weird these days but there is no doubt that your body is better now than high school because were you hitting the gym with this intensity in high school? I love hearing about how you're doing and what you discover everyday. You are special and you are accomplishing so much that it is just beautiful. I am especially happy the way you are changing how you talk to yourself. That is what I hope to emulate!

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ERIN4771 10/20/2010 8:35PM

    i watched bl as well, and thought rick was amazing for saying that!!! clothes and sizes have definitely changed, it's hard to really know what size you are sometimes, when a 10 in one store is a 14 in another etc.....i like how you keep making goals, and even if you have a bad day, you get back on the horse and keep going, that's motivating to me, so again, i wanted to say thanks!!!

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CAROBEAR1 10/20/2010 2:45PM

    Been reading few of your blogs since I recently did my first 5K and was cruising on people who were talking about theirs...I like your forward momentum and I'm keeping up with your blogs to try to regain some momentum for myself...I set a "SIZE" goal for myself last year and when I got there (lost 60lbs) I didn't know what to do...I realized I still had weight to lose and how it had been hard work but nothing too difficult and then haven't gotten back to it yet....so with my momentum lost I moved back up one size and can now only say I lost 50lbs :( but my 5K might have started it going again...
AND reading great blogs from people with momentum!! Thanks

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ATROTTIER 10/20/2010 2:27PM

    So true about having a fit/fat body!! I was thinking about this recently for sure! I was wearing a size 26 jean when I was at my highest of 282 lbs sedentary so YES you are doing awesome!!! I'm shocked that I can get into some size 18's right now - even though I have two tighter pairs sitting in my closet waiting for me...I'm able to get them over my booty and zip them but sitting down might be uncomfortable at this point (belly issues)...I'm thinking 10 more pounds and I will be strutting my stuff!! The size thing is weird and we are so much more healthy so we carry our weight differently I think then someone who weighs the same but doesn't work out on a regular basis. It does make the journey much more better right to be getting into those smaller sizes that in our mind were so much more unattainable before we started!!! Whoo-hoo!! Girl you got this like crazy - love your pic!!!

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MEGSFITNESS 10/20/2010 2:20PM

    My secret goal has always been to love myself and to let myself believe that other people do/will too. Photographs are always hard for me to look at if they're below the face. So, I have a 'secret' goal to find 1 good thing about my body if/when I see it in a photograph. And I try to tell myself every day that my boyfriend won't quit loving me when I get smaller boobs.

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TEAM-SARAH 10/20/2010 1:14PM

    It's so hard to put height/weight together! I mean I wear a 12 and I'm between 190-200 but some twelves are bigger than others and it all depends on the brand and the cut and where you carry your weight! It's tough to nail down. Just try (if you can) to not get too wrapped up in the numbers. If you think about it rationally, the sizes clearly do not matter and are not consistent (easier said that done, I know, especially when it comes to weight loss!)

Just keep working hard you're doing amazing! I think you've set some really awesome goals for yourself. It'll help keep you motivated through the dreaded holidays!

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KITHKINCAID 10/20/2010 12:32PM

    Um, yes, I have secret goals. I think we all do. You 'set' the realistic ones, but then you secretly hope to bust through those far sooner than expected. Everyone wants to 'win' at something. The tough thing is with this whole process, every time you 'win' you detract a bit from the overall goal of just being healthy and just living your life. I struggle with that almost every day. Sometimes the push is worth it, but at the end of my weight loss, I don't want to have to continue to push all the time - all this work should just come naturally at that point I'm hoping.

And lady - I wrote a whole blog about Vanity Sizing and about how America's idea of what constitutes an "18" has changed DRASTICALLY over the last 5 years. Case in point - I'm wearing a pair of size 20 jeans today that I pulled out of a bag of clothes from over 6 years ago. According to Lane Bryant, I am currently a 14/16 top and an 18 bottom. Well - I had to suck every last ounce of myself in to get into these jeans today, and my muffin top hangs out over the waistband. So...make of it what you will. All I say is - as much as the number matters, it doesn't. Depending on what stores you shop in, everything is different anyway. Why we can't just all go to men's sizing is beyond me. At least with them a 32 pant means 32 inches. Done and done.

Sorry! Long comment disease...oops.



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RIGBY31 10/20/2010 12:22PM

    I have a stack of neatly folded size 22's in my closet that I refused to get rid of because a) spent good $ for and b) loved the styles. I'm close to wearing them again. Right now they pull and stretch every which way. But my path will soon lead directly to them as my go-to outfits. Keep up the fight!

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XTMONT 10/20/2010 12:07PM

    "Is it possible that this "fit fat" body I have now is just slimmer than the "just fat" body I had back then?"

Yes. Yes it is.

Plus as I've discovered, no one makes sizes the same way. I have work pants that range from 14 (Atelier by Nordstrom) to 18 (Lane Bryant). So who knows....except that I'm not defined by any of my numbers, be them sewn into the back of my pants or flashing at me on the scale!

And when you get into those jeans...post a picture!

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LONGWINDINGROAD 10/20/2010 11:27AM

    I completely understand the secret goals! I have the goals I tell other people and the goals I'm secretly hoping to achieve...this way if I only make the goal that I shared with everyone, I will still feel like I've accomplished something!

You're doing an amazing job! I think that with your determination you'll be able to zip those jeans up by Thanksgiving...even if you decide not to wear them (because zipping and being comfortable are two TOTALLY different things!!), your family will see the change in you...physically AND emotionally! Keep up all your hard work...you're going to do amazing things!

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RAVENSONG37 10/20/2010 10:46AM

    A few things...yes that "fitfat body" takes up less space. So, don't try to figure it out too much...just go, shop around and wear what fits. I have pants in my closet from size 8 - 14 which all fit me reasonably well. It's crazy-making! Also, you can totally meet you goal by Thanksgiving...and even if you dont, your family is totally going to see the changes you have made. A pant-size does not define all the work you have put it in!! Lastly, that comment about being an over-weight person who is becoming healthy really struck me last night too. Next it will be about seeing a healthy person in the mirror!!

Love you Es!

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MAGPIE17 10/20/2010 10:28AM

    I think you're doing fabulously, and I think that you can achieve your secret goal. You can already get them on, you just need to be able to zip them up, and I believe you can do it by Thanksgiving!

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Yesterday Was a Good Day...Kinda (& WTF Template)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yesterday I was rejoicing in the 6 month Spark glow. I decided that, plateau or no plateau, reaching my goal of 70 pounds in 6 months or not, I deserved a reward for the hard work I've put in in the past 6 months. So I gave myself 100 bucks out of my savings account and I took my lunch break to go shopping at Lane Bryant.

I walked into the store ready to try on 28s, and grabbed a few 26s...you know, just in case. Color me shocked when the 26s actually fit and I found myself with a new pair of black pants for work (which I'm wearing today, thank you), a new pair of bootcut jeans (I've moved from their Blue "Curvy" to Red "Moderately Curvy" thanks to my hips finally shrinking.), and a new size 18/20 tank top. Oh, and the real reason I *had* to go shopping - a new bra. No size difference there, I still got big melons! *lol* But the last bra I had started poking me last week. (Stupid underwire!)

All of the excitement of this shopping trip made it easier to get past the fact that I was sluggish all day, still sore, and was attempting to talk myself out of an easy 2 mile training walk/run after work. (I even "forgot" my workout clothes at home...*sigh*) Whatever! Progress cannot be denied! I rushed home, changed, and headed out to the gym with my oldest son.

By the way, I finally got the insurance papers all submitted for my insurance company's Weight Management Program. I started the process back in June, but it was a long, hard road of making sure everyone else got their crap done before I could be officially enrolled. And then yesterday, I finalized the paperwork and attempted to have the gym switch me over to that plan. (There was a guy filling in who didn't know how to do it, so he just let me workout last night and told me to talk to them about it tonight. *LOVE* my gym!) For the first 3 months, I will go from paying $38 a month for my membership, to paying $45 a month co-pay for the same. However, I will get the benefit of a fitness assessment and the exercise physiologist or PT, whatever she is, to evaluate my fitness level and work with me on what I can do to improve the areas I want to improve. (I've already started a list of questions for her in my head!) So, yes, for 3 months I'll actually be paying MORE than I am regularly. But for the rest of the year, I will drop down to a $14 a month co-pay for my membership, saving me $195 over the next year. SCORE! Plus, the program requires you to check into the gym at least 2 times a week to remain eligible, so it will help to keep me accountable!

As for my workout last night? The plan was a 2 mile walk/run training to begin my half-marathon training, followed by a full round of ST. I didn't want to do it....at all. But I went anyways. I set my Nike+ Sensor watch after my 5 minute warm-up, and started by jogging the first tenth of a mile. I walked then until it said .40, and then jogged another tenth to .50. At .90, I jogged again until I hit the one mile mark. Then walk again until 1.40, and jog to 1.50. And finally, I ended it with a jog from 1.90 to 2.00, where I stopped my watch (YAY!) and did a 5 minute cool down. I probably looked like a fool. I was still sore from Sunday. My hip wanted to act up pretty badly, but whenever it did, I worked on just focusing on my steps and stride, trying to steady my gait and run a soft jog. The result according to my sensor?

2.00 miles
Final Time: 33:27
Pace: 16:41

I can totally live with that! I opted out of my ST for the night (I know, I know....but I was SORE and tired and a million other things and I honestly felt like I couldn't continue on much more without damaging the hip and/or knee further). I woke up today with a really sore hip, but with a knee that's feeling quite good. And then I put on my new black pants, paired it with a new top I got from KITKINCAID (Thank you!) and I'm feeling pretty good about myself today.

Here's how the rest of the week's training plan is set:
Tuesday - Zumba & Boxing
Wednesday - 2 mile walk/run training & Full ST
Thursday - OFF (City Council Meeting)
Friday - Tennis, Elliptical X-Training, and Full ST
Saturday - 2 mile walk/run training

=========
I'm leaving you with the new WTF Template. Keep me accountable! Do your own as well, if you'd like. Six weeks left and those 24s are still hanging on the back of my door...with the amount of 26s fitting now, though...I'm seeing a better chance to zip them by Christmas!

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~*~ WTF(all)??? Challenge Template 10/18 - 10/24 ~*~
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There are SIX WEEKS of WTF??? left and Yoovie tells me that is PLENTY of time to make a huge difference in my body SO HERE WE GO!!!

emoticon Part 1: Exercise and Nutrition emoticon

I want to give myself a real challenge for the next SEVEN days, so I dare myself to [begin half-marathon training and burn at least 3,000 calories this week while staying within my calorie ranges].


To make sure I can meet this dare, I will [stick to the training schedule I've set for myself and use a lot of the same foods I've been using the past few weeks to regulate my caloric intake].


I'm also claiming bragging rights on the fact that I [technically ran TWO 5ks] last week! (One on Sunday the 10th, another on Saturday the 16th) AND I RAN SOME OF BOTH!


I would also like to focus on my [LEG] muscle groups this week by [bringing in a ton more ST including squats, lunges, and whatever else I can find].


For cardio, nothing will stop me from [reaching the goals I've already set for myself. I've worked in rest days, and I won't allow myself to crap out on the other days instead! This isn't the NFL Draft! NO TRADING!]


Three things I will not eat this week will be:
* Cake/Cupcakes/Muffins
* Hot Dogs/Hamburgers (general cookout foods)
* Candy bars/Chocolate (I need to lay off for at LEAST a week!)


My excuses that I cannot use this week will be:
1. It hurts. (It's fine when it's real pain, but sore and HURT are two totally different things!)
2. I can't do this.
3. I'll never get where I want to be anyways, so who cares?!

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Part 2: The rest of your life

How have you been doing when it comes to your weekly ritual of 'you' time?
Not well AT ALL! I've been so wrapped up in work, home, whatever else is going on around me, that I forgot to take a moment to breathe. I did watch How to Train Your Dragon with the whole family the other day, and it felt so great to just do SOMETHING together in a relaxed setting that I really want to repeat that again this week! (New movie or activity, of course.)

Are you particularly motivated or scared into action by a specific event approaching? What is it?

TONS!
1. Thanksgiving. The first time I'm seeing my extended family since before I started here. My sister has lost all her extra weight and is now a trained running machine, so I'm terrified people won't even notice the hard work I've put into these past 6 months!

2. Yes, you heard me, I'm training myself for a half-marathon. Screw the naysayers (mainly, me)! I can do this if I train for it! And the 1/2 I'm looking at isn't until March, so I have plenty of time!

3. VEGAS BABY! My friend hasn't confirmed the dates yet, but she did send me an option of dates in and around my birthday for a Vegas trip, just the girls. I WANT! (And I want to rock a pretty dress too!)

4. My friend's wedding next July. Seriously, this is now constantly on my mind. Could I dare think I could be around a 20 or so by then? Or, *GULP*, even an 16 or 18? Is that even doable? I have NO idea, but I'm working toward that as we speak!

5. Oh yeah, Christmas! DUH! I want my size 24's to actually fit me so I can wear them on Christmas Day! They've gone from not able to get them past my hips, to on my hips, partly, but nowhere near zipping yet. We're going to get there, people!

What will you do this week to keep balance between staying on top of your fitness and maintaining sanity in the rest of your life?
Look, the fact of the matter is, I have a ways to go before I'm really truly happy with the ability and size of my body. I have a LOT of work ahead of me. So the goal is to simply ask myself, "Can I do this or more for the next year?" If the answer is yes, we're good. If it's no, I have to analyze whether that is my excuse monster talking or whether the level I'm attempting to maintain is actually too high for my actual fitness level.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAIA2011 10/23/2010 2:48PM

    You.Are.Awesome! I love to hear about all your workouts even though it makes me feel seriously inferior. LOL (OK, not really joking!)

Keep going with your bad self!

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KITHKINCAID 10/19/2010 4:09PM

    Yey! You got the clothes! That was fast :)

Hope you like them and that you can get some wear out of them. Some of the stuff in there I wore constantly - they were my favorite sweaters! If you don't like something though, or if it's too big (apparently you're already in an 18/20 top!) then feel free to donate it or pass it on.

You'll totally be in those 24s by Christmas. And now you have a pair of 22s to "nail to the wall" as YOOVIE says.

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RIGBY31 10/19/2010 3:56PM

    Whew! You amaze and exhaust me! I want your energy, staying power, persistance! You rock!

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CHICAT63 10/19/2010 2:55PM

    Woohoo, you did just awesome at that pace by the time your half-marathon comes around you will have it under 3:00 for sure ! You are to be very proud, keep it up Sista !!!

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TEAM-SARAH 10/19/2010 1:40PM

    I haven't been around lately, but so glad to see you are still doing amazing. A half marathon?? wow girl, good for you!

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CANOGAPARKGAL 10/19/2010 1:20PM

    I'm now following your blog, and sending congratulations on all of your accomplishments. VEGAS! yes. emoticon emoticon

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XTMONT 10/19/2010 1:19PM

    Love the reward! Keep up the good work!

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MAGPIE17 10/19/2010 11:48AM

    LOVE How to Train your Dragon! Got it for my birthday this weekend! WTG on the intervals last night, and rock this week, Esther!

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FLWRCHLD97 10/19/2010 11:25AM

    You are emoticon. Congrats on your anniversary too!!! I don't think I responded yesterday, I meant to send you congratulations yesterday, I'm sorry about that. You have come so far in your journey, I am constantly inspired by you and your progress.

Thank you so much for sharing and keeping it real (even when you struggle, I struggle too so it's comforting to know that I'm not alone - not that I want you to struggle, but it seems like it's a necessary evil to becoming healthier!).

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MEGSFITNESS 10/19/2010 11:16AM

    I love how realistic and excited your WTF! template is :) And I'm excited for your 26's!! You're so close! SO CLOSE!

I'm also excited about your Lane Bryant adventure :) So what I'm more excited about--I'm almost too small for that store!!! I had to shop at JC Penny the other day. HAD to. It was so very uncomfortable being pushed out of the comfort zone of a store dedicated to "women like me" but then I realized how many more options and combinations and PRICES that it opens up for me. I'm excited for you to get there too.

Oh, and I'm Right Fit Red too ;) Love 'em.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 10/19/2010 10:57AM

    Congrats on the new pants. That's always a great feeling (and one I'm sure you'll feel Christmas with the pants on the back of the door)!

2 5K's is also amazing, and I have no doubt that you will be able to get ready for your half in time. What an amazing goal.

You have a great plan of attack for this week, so stay the course and you'll hit your numbers for sure!

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SUSIEMT 10/19/2010 10:57AM

    Esther I love your blogs! I hope you don't mind if I copy and paste just a bit of it (the part about what I will not eat.) to my own page. I felt like you had really been looking at my nutrition tracking and said I will not do what susiemt has been doing!LOL
Seriously, you can be down to an 18/16 by July! You can do it!

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KARVY09 10/19/2010 10:43AM

    We loved Vegas and it was the perfect getaway so I definitely hope you get to go!

Congrats on your new purchases and what struck me most about this blog... your pace is getting better and better all the time. I remember when you were wondering if you could break a 20-minute mile and look at you getting closer and closer to 15! Think of it this way, if you can work up to a 15-minute mile by March, you'll finish your half in less than 3.5 hours. Can you imagine that? I can.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/19/2010 10:40AM

    Esther... that is an AWESOME!!! time :) I am SO proud of you :)

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