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Wednesday's WAL Exercise (Step 1: Parts a, b, c)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I hate self-help books. The only thing I hate more than general self-help books, though, are diet and weight loss books. Let's face it, most of them say pretty much the same thing. And many of them include some diet that, if followed, will allow you to lose all your weight and make you the happy, healthy person you always wanted to be. It all seems so easy...too easy, because, seriously, who can follow the strict meal plans of most diet books? I've been given several books in the past. The Sonoma Diet book is sitting somewhere in my house. I never read it. I skimmed it, but half the things they wanted me to eat I simply don't like. And, I don't know about the rest of you, but eating things I don't like for the rest of my life seems like a pretty lousy way to live, therefore, for me at least, it's not sustainable.

The other day I was walking through Odd Lots. We were there to pick up trash bags, but I happened upon a bin of books, originally priced at $3 and marked down to 50 cents each. For someone who loves reading and loves absorbing all kinds of books, 50 cents was just too good a deal to pass up. I started digging. Along with an impulse fiction buy and 2 Artemis Fowl books to read with Ethan, I picked up a book written by Stacey Halprin called Winning After Losing. Whatever, it's only 50 cents. No skin off my back if it's the same regurgitated crap that every other self-help weight loss book on the market touts. The picture on the back was certainly interesting. There are actually two, one of Ms. Halprin near her highest weight of 500 pounds, and one holding old underpants (which she jokes, aren't a flag) next to her new skinner, but not "perfect" body. I know I recognize her from some television show or another, so I figure with the work she put in to lose the weight and the fact that she isn't "perfect," she deserves me giving her a chance and hearing her out.

I knew things were different from the get-go. Upfront she tells you that this book won't focus on diet and exercise. This book is geared more toward the maintaining phase, toward the emotional battles and experiences that come from being more "exposed" after shedding layers of protective fat. "I decided to write this book because even though there are hundreds of books that tell people how to lse weight, I couldn't find a single one that explained how to keep the weight off." she says in her introduction. She sets up her book as a step-by-step guide to examining your feelings and emotions, the things that caused you to put the weight on in the beginning, the fears you have once you've hit goal, and the struggles that come with the maintaining phase.

First of all - no, I am not in maintenance mode. I still weigh over 340 pounds and have a LONG way to go, but why wait until the end to dig through the emotional nonsense? My diet and exercise are pretty well figured out. I can run on autopilot right now and still lose weight at this moment, so why not spend this time wisely, by working on the mental battle. I figure that, perhaps, and hopefully, I'll be setting myself up for success by dealing with it as I go. I refuse to yo-yo again. Plus, when I REALLY started this journey I was 466 pounds. I've lost nearly 125 pounds so far, and I kept most of it off for several years, going into maintenance mode for a while in order to focus on other things - like learning to love myself and giving myself permission to go after my goals/dreams. I'm hoping these exercises will also bring me back from my funk. (Today is worse than yesterday, but better than the day before. My back has a knot in it, which has given me a huge headache that nearly took me back to bed this morning. I'm simply counting down the minutes until I can go home again. At least I have a four day weekend ahead of me!)

Halprin suggests writing down these exercises in a journal. Well...this is my journal, so I suppose I'm going to be completely honest and raw and share the mental nonsense with all of you. Heck, you might want to raid your local Odd Lots bin (or search online) for a copy of the book and follow along with completing these exercises.

Step One: Celebrate Your Success
Say Hello to the New You

* Part A: The Old You and the New You
List the things you're most proud of, things you couldn't do before that you can do now.

I'm most proud that I feel more like a person living than a person dying. At 466 pounds, I awoke with a sense of not wanting to look at the world around me. I felt like a failure. I felt like my life was over. I was in my early 20's and I was preparing myself and those around me for my death. I broke off friendships and retreated into myself. I wouldn't give any more of myself to anyone because I was too busy being wrapped up in the process of killing myself. Now I wake up each morning with the desire and will to live. Things aren't all the way I want them to be and, yes, some morning I simply want to go back to bed. But it's not because I don't want to live, it's because I've not yet gotten into a job that makes me feel fulfilled. I want to live, I yearn for it. Even those days when I'm off I wake up pretty early in the morning to start my day. I can't wait to get outside or get to the gym. I can't wait to spend time with my family. I can't wait to be active and feel my legs move under me! I want to go, see, do, experience -- I want to LIVE! For me, that's the most exciting change of all. Sure, I love that I can walk without getting out of breath. I love that I can go hiking and play tennis without feeling like I'm about to die of exhaustion. I love that I can wear smaller clothes and that I look better in clothes. I love that I can cross my legs again if I sit just right. I love that I can actually "curl up" on the couch because my stomach is smaller. But the most exciting thing of all is the transition within of waiting to die to wanting to live!

* Part B: Acknowledge Your Support Team
Make a list of everyone, from your partner, to your friends, kids, coworkers, neighbors, relatives, and pets, who has played a part in your success.

- Shane. My husband is a quirky man. We fight from time to time. Sometimes they are brutal, evil fights and we say the most severe and mean things to each other. There were even times when our fights got physical (man, that feels so long ago!). But the truth is, we literally grew up together. We met when I was 12 or 13 years old and we've been together, for the most part, on and off, ever since. We've learned our triggers and, sometimes, I think we know the other person better than we know ourselves. More than the love of my life, he really is my best friend. He's been with me through my parents' divorce, through the times when my abusive father crippled my self-esteem, through my depression, through the birth of two children, through the times when I felt like the biggest failure, through the times when I didn't stand up for myself, through me being practically bed/house-ridden and 466 pounds - and he's been with me when I demanded respect, when I felt like I deserved the world from him, when I felt like I needed more out of life, when I got a little selfish and found my happiness, when I felt stressed and overwhelmed, when I felt the world of possibilities before me, and when I started taking care of myself. He has loved me through it all. Who could ask anything more from a mate?

- Logan - When I was 17 years old, my life changed forever. I was a pregnant teenager, and the disappointment of a large extended family. Many times I considered giving up, because the look of disappointment on the faces of people I admired so much broke my will and my spirit. But I didn't know how to abandon a child...that wasn't in me. At 18 I had Logan. For a long time he felt more like a little brother than my own child. (I had always wanted a little brother growing up.) I called him my Bubby and suddenly, life was tougher than I could have ever imagined. He was difficult at times, but he made life bearable because in him there was hope. I clung to him, and, at times, I still do. Now he's 11 years old and he goes to the gym with me sometimes (last night we did line dancing together!). He's not the most driven or coordinated, and once he gets bored of something he's done with it...and while, at times, that drives me crazy as I attempt to complete the goals I set for myself, mostly he reminds me that it shouldn't be all work, that it CAN be fun, and that we can make it that way. He's still my rock. I adore him.

- Ethan - My mini-me is the sweetest and most temperamental child I've met since, well, since me. *lol* Our resemblance goes far beyond looks and into the heart of who he is, into his personality. He's extremely loyal and attached. He wants nothing more than to make those people he cares about, and sometimes even complete strangers, happy. He wants of acceptance, recognition and success. He wants to be notice, but he doesn't want to be the center of all attention because the burden of living up to that expectation is too much to carry. He loves me deeply, and I never, ever, ever have to doubt that for a second.

- Mom - She was my shelter in the bad times, my light in the darkness, my protector and comforter. If it were not for my mother, I promise you that I would not be here right now. She held my father back from the edge of killing me. She pulled me back from the edge of killing myself. When the world was falling apart around me, she was there, doing what little she could, which was just enough to save my life. My mother is not superwoman, but I do hope she realizes that not only did she will me into this world, deliver my infant body, and shelter me from the elements around me, she saved my heart from dying, she saved me from complete, irreversible damage to my self-esteem. There aren't words enough to thank her for what she has done, and continues to do for me. When I first started this journey, I made a comment to her about how I chose to eat a salad one night because I was trying to be a good girl, and it was my mother, my angel who said simply, "You are always a good girl, whether you eat good things or not." It was important to hear so early, and has saved me a from a tremendous amount of guilt in those times when the temptation monster wins out and I give in.

I'm going to continue to add to this list as I continue this journey, because I know that I will never be able to complete it in one sitting. In fact, you Sparkies are going to need a section all your own!! *lol*

One last section, just because it goes so well with the others. (Sorry this is so long!)

* Part C: Before and After

-- The Old Me --
I used to see myself as: a failure.
Most of all I wanted to be: thin and happy.
More than anything, I wanted to be able to: breathe without hurting.
Every day I hoped: I would find and be loved.
If I had one wish it would have been: to be thin. (I thought it was the answer to everything!)
My favorite dream for my future: was to be thin, rich, and the happiest person alive.

-- The New Me --
Now I see myself as: a work in progress.
Most of all I want to be: proud of myself.
More than anything, I want to be able to: live without fear or restriction.
Today I hope: that those around me can share in the light of every day.
Now I wish: that I could spread the joy I've found to others suffering and in need.
My favorite dream for my future is: being content within myself and sure of my abilities. (It's funny, I no longer care about being rich, I just want to be comfortable.) time to let that digest a bit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAYBELIEVER 11/10/2010 10:58PM

    I love this and what you are doing! There is so much of this that has to be about the mental part and learning to love ourselves again! I love what you said about waking up wanting to live and not thinking about dying. I know exactly what you mean, and it is, for me, a work in progress, but so much further along for me--and you, I can tell--at this point in the process. Way to go for you! And I will look forward to walking through this process with you and appreciate you sharing this with us!

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HARMONYBLUE 11/10/2010 9:43PM

    I'm most proud that I feel more like a person living than a person dying. This line almost made me cry as I can so relate. You are living and expanding your life every day. You are an inspiration ad I am glad you could find a helpful book to motivate you. I hate that every "diet" book out there assumes you are starting from scratch. I want one that assumed you know the basics and are well on the way to success, a book to help with that last long mile.

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ATREAT4ME 11/10/2010 9:14PM

    I love what you're doing and I applaud you for doing it. This emotional work, I think, will be very fruitful to you. These are certainly great questions for me to ponder as well and I appreciate your sharing them. You are amazing and strong and I'm grateful you're here.

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SPARKIN_REESIE 11/10/2010 4:25PM

    Sounds like a pretty helpful book! emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 11/10/2010 12:22PM

    Sounds like a wonderful twist of fate that you found this book for 50 cents in a bin. I think it's great that you recognize the important of working on what's inside AND what's outside. It's a process too, not something to put off until maintenance. If you work on changing the inside, the rest will follow. You're doing amazing. I can't wait to hear more wisdom that you share from your exercises in the book!

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ATROTTIER 11/10/2010 12:05PM

    I love how you always look to try something new and even something that you were not a fan of (self-help books) and take it for what it's worth and make it so useful for you! I love your spirit and your honesty and it really makes me reflect on my life and my "work-in-progress" too!! thanks so much for sharing!! emoticon

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NUMD97 11/10/2010 10:56AM

    I applaud your ability to be so comfortable in yourself nowadays that you could put it all "out there" for the rest of us to ponder.

For a person of many words usually, this left me speechless. I am certain that your insight will echo for many.

Thank you for sharing this, and all the best,


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SEEHOLZ 11/10/2010 10:42AM

    You sound like you have very strong relationships in your life that kept you going when you couldn't. I can related a lot to the relationship with your husband and all the ups and downs. You are lucky and they are lucky to have you!

Great reflections!!!

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RIGBY31 11/10/2010 10:16AM

    Excellent to prepare for the *end* now! I think so muchyou wrote is relevant to what's going on right now. The ME before I started with SP is so different than the old, aimless *dieter* that I was. I scribbled down the book title and am going to get emotionally ready for the new me (the newly evolving me!).

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MEGSFITNESS 11/10/2010 10:14AM

    Looks like this was very therapeutic for you, hun :) Hope it helped!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/10/2010 9:55AM

    Another thought provoking soul searching blog. Thanks.

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4MYTWOKIDS 11/10/2010 9:48AM

    Great blog....really made me think when I was reading each section.

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Update and All That

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I've spent most of the morning and afternoon in training yet again. (And then got asked some rather rediculous and stupid questions from our intern. *sigh*) Anyhow, just a quick note to update you all on yesterday/my mood/etc.

After I wrote my blog, I stopped complaning and sent out 4 resumes via email and wrote down several others to send out in the mail later (hopefully today, if I have stamps on me). I've lowered my standards so much because I just need more money. Things are a little stressful at work right now because our Governor is becoming a Senator and our boss, basically, will be someone completely different. Now, this doesn't put my job in any danger directly, but my more immediate boss is making strides toward leaving and that's putting a little more strain on my heart. Through all the crap here, everything I've been through these past 4 years, I've stayed, in large part, because of her. Her grace, eloquence and just general self has kept me here against my better judgements. *lol* I adore her and will miss her so entirely!!

I had my second yoga class last night. I was looking forward to it as something else that would possibly lift the funk I've been feeling. Turns out it wasn't a magic cure either, but at least I felt my same limber self after. Yoga was difficult and challenging last night. She led us through some of the regular warm ups and then went on to put us straight on our backs. What did that mean? Oh, just some bridge ups (OW!) and reverse planks (OW! OW! OW!). My right elbow still hurts from attempting to do a reverse plank with my hands facing the wall behind my head. I hurried to modify the turn of my hands because I knew the pressure was too much and placed my fingers facing out toward the sides instead, so that was a little better. Still...OW! I had to cut my planks a little short, but I held on through most of them, which is amazing considering I've never before attempted a reverse plank before. (Seriously! OW!! *lol*)

After I left the gym I had to get the grocery shopping done. I had opted out of shopping on Sunday because I just didn't feel in the mood for it. I couldn't bring myself to do much of anything Sunday, actually. I had written up a shopping list at work and planned out what I would buy, and stuck mostly to the plan. And then I swung by Taco Bell for a Chalupa, that tasted like poo because it was an old, stale shell, and went home. At home I put groceries away and ate a small portion of the Tuna Helper my husband made. And then I proceeded to curl up on the couch and watch TV. By the time I went to bed I was feeling a smidge better.

I'm about to put a call into Hubs to see if he got my email about putting in the ingredients for Potato Soup for dinner. If not, I'll have to make a more detailed dinner tonight, which might not do much to increase my mood. I'm better, I swear. Not totally there, but faking it well enough. I vowed on the drive here to just say thank you to everyone and everything in my mind.

Thank you school buses for stopping to let us by.
Thank you Hubs for flipping that switch yesterday morning. I have heat!
Thank you car for warming up so quickly!
Thank you son for scraping my car windows, and other son for starting my car for me.
Thank you guy in front of me for not slamming on your brakes.
Thank you Tuesday for not being Monday.

And thank you all for being wonderfully understanding, supportive and encouraging. I know that there are others out there feeling sadness, that downward pull, that "what's it all about" and "what's the point?" is drawing in. Be it S.A.D. or simply a feeling that hits us within, I am sorry as well for your suffering. I hope that we both pull out of it very soon, because I know we will pull out eventually. I'm trying. Really, really trying. And until I make it, until something happens, I'll just keep going...because I have to.

Did have some of my boss' spaghetti with meat sauce today for lunch. It was our break from training and smelled so good, and just eating a little of that sounded much better than waiting for later or dragging in my own food in front of everyone. Still good on calories. Controlled my portion sizes. Feel alright about it. I'll just watch myself tonight. I hope there's potato soup in my future!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 11/11/2010 8:47AM

    Yay for potato soup!!!
And *big hugs*

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ATREAT4ME 11/10/2010 9:08AM

    You remind me so much of one of the VIPs in my life. She is a "face-adversity-head-on" kind of girl who has really pulled herself up by her bootstraps. She's tough, amazing, wonderful and I am lucky to have her in my life. I think you are much the same and I am getting the benefit of two such incredible people. Thank you, Esther, for sharing yourself so openly with us. You are a true light in this (new-to-me) land of recognizing and giving room to my emotions.

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_DASH_ 11/10/2010 7:04AM


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ERIN1128 11/9/2010 5:01PM

    So glad you're bouncing back, though I knew you would! ;-)

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RAVENSONG37 11/9/2010 5:00PM

    Sounds like the right attitude friend.

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_AIYANNA_ 11/9/2010 4:57PM

    I'm glad you're feeling a little better, Esther. Personally speaking, I feel much better by knowing that I'm not the only one struggling with life and my inner demons at times. I hope everything goes well on the work front. Keep up the amazing work!!!

Hugs xxxx

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TEAM-SARAH 11/9/2010 4:32PM

    Hehehe, "Thank you Tuesday for not being Monday" amen to that.

Glad you're having a better day today. Also congrats on taking action and sending out a bunch of resumes, awesome!!

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MEGSFITNESS 11/9/2010 4:04PM

    Fake it till you make it, girlfriend!


I hope that your resumes bring up some good opportunities for you. I'd be sad if I lost my boss too... She's such an amazing person and great leader. I hope you two can stay in touch through out these changes.

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SARAWALKS 11/9/2010 3:26PM

    I loves my potato soup too! emoticon
Finding the thank-yous is always good medicine!
With that sort of shake-up coming at work, no wonder you feel dicey. If my boss were leaving, I would be in full panic mode. Lost one good boss already and I was so fortunate that I get along with the new one even better! perhaps it will work out similarly, or maybe you'll find another really good job... emoticon
Remember you are emoticon

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MAIA2011 11/9/2010 3:12PM

    I'm glad to see you're feeling better!


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All I've Got to Give

Monday, November 08, 2010

Okay, I wasn't going to blog today because, well, I'm just not feeling up to being happy. So, warning, this is not one of those happy, encouraging, positive blogs. It's a heads up...for you, for me.


I'm more sad and depressed and irritated than I have been in about 7-8 years. The last time I felt this way, I was likely suffering from PPD following the birth of my youngest son.

Saturday night was supposed to be great. I told myself not to have any expectations. I fully intended to simply enjoy the time alone with my husband. I thought it was just what I needed. It wasn't. It failed. I failed.

Dinner started with two boys across from me taking one look up and down me, and then hiding their mouths behind their menus and talking about front of me. I tried to let it go.

The guy next to me and his girlfriend were already quite drunk. (It was a long wait...I got through that part just FINE!) He starts hitting me on the arm (I bruise easily there) and talking about how much he loves Paula Dean and how he loves cooking with butter and how he hates healthy S&#t. He tells me he's the former sheriff of the most joked-about podunk county in WV and he orders another beer, and another, and another...and he keeps getting louder...and every time I turn to talk to Hubs, he interrupts me and wants to know everything about me and wants to tell me his life story. He tells me he owns cabins and rents them out, and tells me we should come stay in one. I'm getting scared of him! His girlfriend or wife (I doubt the latter, she looked easily 15 years his junior and I didn't see any rings) proceeds to tell me about how little money she made working for the state (I know, I JUST told you I work for the state, dumbbutt!) and then tells me that she's moved on somewhere else and makes 46k a year. (Yes, she actually told me her annual salary.) The bill for the two hoodlums and their friend and the two kids chatting about me across the table? 195 bucks. And they fight over who is going to pay for it and start throwing around hundreds and fiftys like they haven't a care in the world...and then the former sheriff asks for beer in to-go cups for his hot honey and him. *sigh* I'm about to lose it. I joke about it in the parking lot and told Hubs that I wanted to punch him in the neck.

Hubs mentions a headlight is out and then immediately says, "Where's an Advance?" My heart sank. THIS is how he wants to spend our evening alone together? Fixing the car? Why can't it just wait? Everyone knows that any cop who pulls you over for a broken lamp is likely to simply run your plates and then give you a warning and send you on your way. No big deal. We can deal with it tomorrow. But there was an hour or more before the movie, and a Wal-Mart next door, which Hubs assured me had the part we off we went. We spent the good part of 20 minutes in a long line for ONE light bulb. When we got outside, Hubs couldn't wait.,. the hood was popped immediately and he got to work putting in the bulb. "It's simple! I've done it in the dark before." And then it all fell apart. The bulb fell in the casing and we didn't have the proper tools to get it out...and as I'm shoving my hand into the hole, trying to grip the stupid thing between the only two fingers that will fit in there, my blood pressure and my temper just kept going up and up and up. I'd had it. The night was ruined. Instead of just having a relaxing evening out, again I'm called to jump in and figure something out, fix something, make something work.

We give up. We drive back to the movies. Still 45 minutes until our movie starts. I want to try again. For some reason, something in me won't let it go...I've been like this a lot lately. I can't leave things unfinished or undone or unfixed. It grates at me, it's all I think about, and my head actually, physically hurts because of it. I want it fixed. I want to know *I* fixed it. I want it done NOW. I want to know I can control the situation and move on. Thirty minutes in the parking lot, grease on my hand, my hand actually hurting from shoving it into this small hole, and gobs and gobs of people driving by...not one of them stop to ask if we need help. In our town, it would've taken 2 seconds for someone to stop. I once had the bumper of my car catch on fire in my driveway and 5 people just passing by for work that day or wherever helped me put it out. By the time the fire department showed up, it was all taken care of. I railed the city and it's inconsiderate people. I railed at my Husband for causing all this mess. And then I slammed the hood down and the door shut and we went to see the movie.

I hated everyone for the rest of the night. Everything got on my nerves times 120. The guy that made fun of an overweight woman in line for ordering candy, a large Coke and a large ICEE...he nearly got a verbal lashing from me about not judging people without knowing them or their situation. The girl who kept kicking my husband's seat through the movie, kept talking through the movie with the person next to her, said, "Good movie" before the movie was even OVER, and then proceeded to nearly kick my husband in the head when she jumped over the seat to run to the bathroom. (They came in late to the movie and CHOSE the seat in the corner...stupid!) And her again when I heard her joking about it in the bathroom.

I got home and I hated my husband for not talking to me enough, and for not even wanting to come to bed with me. I hated the cold for...making me cold. I hated the furnace for not lighting fast enough. I hated everything and everyone. So I just went to bed, and I slept HARD.

Yesterday I got angry again, though I tried not to. Hubs woke up and the first words out of his mouth were, "Did you get the bulb out?" GRRR! I had forgotten all about our little problem. I went back outside, worked for about 30 more minutes, got frustrated, slammed more doors, hurt my hand more, got dirty again, and got really, really, really lightheaded. We gave up and drove to get the boys. And I warned Hubs about how depressed I'd been feeling...and he asked if I wanted to talk about I did. And he said nothing. He didn't address or even acknowledge that I had spoken. The only words he spoke were, "Can you stop at Advance?" and "Look! I got toys!" (another trigger...I have no money now to buy anything unnecessary). He said nothing about any of it all day.

I'm trying not to blame him. I know how he's feeling and why he's acting the way he is. He feels like crap because he knows it was his fault about the bulb. And he knows that if he would've just listened to me, it wouldn't have happened. And he thinks he's the reason for my pain and frustration right now. It's also his fault that it took me 45 minutes to get my window to defrost this morning because he switched a switch under my hood to have the heater blow out COLD air instead of WARM onto my windshield. He was woken up again by a frustrated, crying Esther who was literally out of her mind trying to figure out how she could do everything right, yet again, and still have so much go wrong.

So, that's how I've been feeling lately. It's a mess. My head is a mess. And, yes, I mostly know what's happening. Stagnation. I don't do well when there isn't any forward progress happening. I even vocalized this to Hubs yesterday when I said, "This weight loss thing is the ONLY THING I can control and see progress in right now, but it's not enough any more."

We need money.
I need a new job.
We need a house.
We need better cars.

We're in the process of getting by, and I can do that for a good long time, but there comes a point where I just crack. I've heard people ask me, "How do you keep going?" or say to me, "You are amazing! You just keep going! I don't think I could do that!" I heard it when I was working full-time and going to school full-time and working part-time at the paper and juggling it all. I hear it now with the weight loss. I'm sick of hearing it. I keep going because I have no other option...because I keep thinking that maybe, someday, eventually, hopefully, I'll stumble upon a step that actually leads me somewhere. I keep going - I keep working because my family needs money. I don't quit my job because I can't find another one. I'm searching for jobs everywhere. I put the resumes out there, I put myself out there, I go to the interviews with a smile and confidence - and then nothing. I can't quit my job because we need the money, however little money it might be.

Part of it, also, is that I can't travel right now. It's been since March since I've really had a trip away without some sort of chore or race attached to the trip...and that gets to me. I need to get out and see and experience and be myself somewhere that isn't here. I need an escape, and there's no escape to be had, because I don't want to go alone and no one is available to go with me, because my car can't take the traveling anymore, because there isn't any money. So that's weighing on me too.

Anyhow, I'm pouring this out so that I know what's happening. I'm pouring this out so that you understand if I don't come check in every day and comment on your blogs and stay active. This could last a day, or a week, or a few hours, or a year. No clue. NO, NO Clue how long this feeling will be with me, but usually once I get here, it sticks until there is either a change in my life or one in my heart.

Bare with me...I'm struggling through...

One thing that is different though, is the feeling I have toward myself. I don't feel like the fault or cause of my situation right now. I used to feel that way more than anything. I used to think I wasn't worth anything. But now, lately, this time, it's been more about not being able to get others to recognize my worth. I keep saying, "But I did EVERYTHING I was supposed to, and nothing is happening!" At least I have that confidence in myself, and most of it is because I've made myself stick to the plan. I stuck to the plan with school...I kept my job and went to school full-time because I thought it would look great to both grad schools and future employers. But, so far, I've been rejected by every single one. It was what I was told, researched, and knew was the right thing to do, and it still didn't lead to where it was supposed to. BUT....BUT I know it wasn't me. It wasn't because *I* didn't follow through. *I* didn't drop the ball. So, if nothing else, at least knowing that a change in my self-confidence continues into the depression times ...well, that's something.... I think....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLFRISBEY 11/9/2010 9:23AM

    (((HUGS))) We are here for you no matter what. I am in a VERY similar place and the frustration is coming to a head. I hate when I can't take the stress anymore, but onward I go. If you need anything, please let your spark family know (and yes, I do think of it as a family :) ).

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COSMOS 11/9/2010 8:38AM

  I'm sorry that life is hard right now. You're amazing, whether your angry or not.

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MAMADWARF 11/8/2010 10:51PM

    Do what you gotta do. I think you have come very far in your journey of self discovery. What person wants to carry the world, all day every day? I dont. It sure is nice when someone else picks it up for awhile. You can take it back after you have had a rest... We will be here...

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ATREAT4ME 11/8/2010 10:13PM

    I read your post as soon as I saw the notice this morning. I've been thinking about it all day and I don't have anything constructive, or helpful, or insightful to share. I am sorry about that. I would *love* to be able to say exactly the right thing so you could see yourself as this amazing powerhouse that I see all the way from Texas. I would love for you to see that even when you're angry and tired and frustrated and rolling around in all that emotion, your words are strong and serve as evidence of how you will Not. Give. UP! Take care and know that even in the not positive, happy posts you are a shining light for me. Thank you! Cheryl

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HARMONYBLUE 11/8/2010 9:59PM

    Ok I take back the comment I made on yesterday's blog about "an otherwise nice date night". Sounds like it went quite awry. You are doing a great job controlling the things you CAN control. The money situation, the job situation WILL get better. You may have to get outside your chosen profession or comfort zone for a while to do it or just wait it out. Because times are soooo tough right now, especially for media.

Also, a quick story that may or may not have relevance to you. When my husband and I were getting started out in our marriage, he had a very pessimistic view of life (he had terrible childhood and called a tent at the local campground home for quite some time) and our current living situations did nothing but validate his claims that life was crappy and I remember praying one night for hours-knocking on that universal door- and praying for my knock to be heard and for a door to open and enable me to provide for him (my hubby) in a way that would show him life could be good. I prayed for a door to open that make things easy for him. And I was also suffering from major depression at the time, but it wasn't until I got outside of myself that things turned around. There is nothing more satisfying for the mood and the spirit than lifting someone else up.

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CHICAT63 11/8/2010 8:17PM

    Ah, Sista here you emoticon box away !!!! Everyday is an obstacle, an another hurdle and for what or should I say WTF. I am sorry you are feeling this way, losers and double losers (remarks, snirks, etc.) out there unfortunately. But you are amazing, you have started a wellness journey for yourself. Be determined, be dedicated and be desired all for YOU ! emoticon emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 11/8/2010 6:38PM

    I'm sorry. That sounds like a really terrible day. I hope things get better for you this week!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/8/2010 5:44PM

    :( I'm sorry Esther. I don't even know where to start. The first thing that comes to mind is that you ARE amazing. The second thing that comes to mind is that I've been experiencing waves of anger on and off too. The more weight I lose, the more unresolved issues surface... especially since I'm not eating through my feelings. Things are changing for you... to keep things the same would be impossible, so the best thing you can do is roll with the punches. And if it involves throwing a couple punches, than so be it. One day at a's going to involve a whirlwind of emotions. We are here to support you. I don't say that lightly, I genuinely mean it. I may not have met you, but I feel invested in your journey and you have been a beautiful support on my own journey. Say the word, I'll do what I can.

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SEEHOLZ 11/8/2010 5:05PM

    Sorry you are in such a dark place-- that sucks. I hope you know that this will pass and that it is all worth hanging in for- when you said stuff about the lighbulb and being angry at DH, I thougth about the times I have been channeling my anger at my DH over something that was not that big of a deal, because I have been unhappy with some other things in my life and it made things worse for me. I really feel for you, because I can sense the feeling of needing a break and not being able to catch one. I also love to travel and I hate when I feel trapped here. One thing that has helped me is to do little things like take a whole Sunday and "pretend" like you are out of town... and go to some activiity just for you... maybe just go and hang out .. for me, even hanging out at a bookstore or some event/festival/activity/friends' house etc... basically having time to myself can make all the difference in the world. If you could travel except for the money, you can take 1 day out of your life and enjoy... and it does not have to cost money... heck, hanging out in the whirlpool for an hour at the Y does the trick when things get desperate-LOL.


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TEAM-SARAH 11/8/2010 4:51PM

    I'm sorry that you are struggling right now. You have an impressive amount of self-awareness and I'm sure that will go a long way. You keep going because you have to keep going and sometimes it's all going to seem like it's falling apart. I have those times where one thing really sets me off and I am just angry and hateful toward everyone. Sounds like you had a lot of reasons to be angry, but it's still not mentally healthy anyway. Just keep talking it out, do what you can. Be sure you're taking care of yourself above all. Things WILL work out for the better. Just hang in there :) There are always going to be rude and hateful people out there who will say mean things to feel better about themselves. People suck, plain and simple. No getting around it, unfortunately. Take care, and I hope you feel better soon. Come vent here anytime... you have no obligation to have every blog be happy, positive and inspiring. This is you, the good and the bad and you're still an amazing and inspiring woman because you persevere.

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CARMINACG 11/8/2010 4:44PM

    I think everyone at many times in their life just has so much crap on their plate that it all seems overwhelming. If anything taking a step back, looking at the whole pic, and figure out in small steps what you would like to do to make you happy.

Example (with my hunnys support in late '09) I quit my career, we relocated back to our hometown away from the more expensive larger city. I went back to work for my family run law firm.

Positives that have come of this - we were able to get a good handle on our student debt, re-build the work-life balance I was desperatly lacking for alomost 3 yrs! Work on spending some more quality time with each other. Able to put more time and effort into assessing how we deal with stress and how it effects our relationship.

If you make small changes - the positives will flow into your life more then you realize! Best of luck with everything!

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FLWRCHLD97 11/8/2010 4:03PM

This is a 20 minute video of something that my friend sent to me. It's very powerful and might help you during this time. If you're interested in seeing the rest of the video, just let me know via sparkmail. My friend let me borrow the full DVD and so far I've had one thing come true in my life after applying some of their suggestions.

I just thought this might help you out because I've had so many days that just felt like they spiraled out of control - but it doesn't have to be that way! Even if this is a bunch of crap, being positive, thankful and visualizing change can't hurt!

And, this is not a cult, I was worried when my friend first sent me this link that I'd have to drink purple koolaid or something crazy like that. It's not...I hope you can watch the video and I hope it helps you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RIGBY31 11/8/2010 3:22PM

    Just know you always have a place to vent here. Time will move things along for you, I'm sure.

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RUNNER12COM 11/8/2010 3:17PM

    Oh, man. Bless your heart. I know that feeling of everything conspiring against you. I swear, it's not just paranoids that feel that way.

I wish I could do more, but I can say a little prayer for you in these tough times. Hang in there, my fabulous Spark Buddy!


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MEGSFITNESS 11/8/2010 3:16PM

    I think Mr. Hubs was trying to be a good -listener- by not commenting on how you feel, but at the same time, some acknowledgement and support would've gone a long way.


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DOWNTOWNJEN 11/8/2010 3:01PM

    Oh boy can I relate! (only my thing is with a non-profit that I helped found that has done tremendous work and I STILL can't find money to pay people and yet EVERYONE wants our services -ACK! And I do this with seriously damaged eyesight and a chronic autoimmune disease - PAH!)

Yeah - I keep staying the course too. I get the same question - "how do you do it?" I do it to survive - because I can't give in - but I'm getting freakin' close!

Big hugs. This will pass but it sucks going through it! I keep telling myself that in every great journey there is the time(s) the heroine faces great obstacles - where you swear that they cannot persevere another day, hour....minute. Then something happens and they make it. Those situations make for interesting reading - but the reality of going through them still sucks.

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TIGERJANE 11/8/2010 2:56PM

    A raw blog, and you should be so proud for being able to vocalize what's going on. I often feel the way you're describing, and you're right, we just have to carry on. I hope you're able to pull through and get out of your funk soon, as hard as it may be to fight it. Spark is always here, when you're ready! Maintenance is no joke, and holding steady through the holidays is something to applaud. You will get through this!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/8/2010 2:55PM

    Praying this weight lifts soon and you can shake these blahs. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/8/2010 2:36PM

    That IS Something. A BIG something.
Not gonna offer any false comfort here.
You just gotta be where you are, and don't worry about your spark buddies, we keep you in mind and emoticon
You don't need to do or be anything but who you are! That is cool with us.

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CALLIKIA 11/8/2010 2:35PM

    And for the record, I don't hate any of you. It's not even hate really, it's just frustration with the world, I think. I still love hearing about all your accomplishments! I cried tears of joy when Dash finished the NYC Marathon yesterday and felt actual joy within me for her! I'm a strange point right now. Just know that I still adore all of you, I'm just a little irritable right now. (Okay, a LOT irritable! *lol*)

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RAVENSONG37 11/8/2010 2:32PM much stuff here. Thanks for sharing Es. I'm always here for you too...I hope you know how much I care.

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Weigh-In Day

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weigh-in Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 345.6
Goal this Week: 343.6
Actual Weight: 342.2
Loss/Gain: -3.4
SP Total Loss: 74
Total Loss: 124.4

I feel like Hiro in Heroes! "YATTA!" I did it! I beat that 344 into the ground, y'all! That makes me super happy! And being SOO close to 75 pounds lost with SP and 125 pounds lost total makes me even happier! I can see the 330s and I'm coming for them!! :)

Yesterday I was talking to Hubs' uncle when we dropped off the boys for the night (That's right, MAMA - Hubs and I took the night off and had a date night last night!) and he asked me how much weight I had lost. Since that morning's weigh-in had said 341, I took the opportunity to say "about 75 pounds" and it felt SO great! "Wow!" he said. "That's great!" And then Hubs' pipes in... "Yeah, she went through a plateau for a couple months. She was losing inches even though the weight wouldn't budge, and then finally the weight came off again." *lol* Actually, the plateau only lasted a few weeks, not a couple months, but I'm sure with my whining about it it seemed like months! ;) I just let it go and didn't correct him on anything, because what I saw and heard was pride in my husband's voice...and I *love* that. I love that I'm making him proud!

Last night we had the night to ourselves. We dropped the boys off around 5:30pm or so (after a birthday party during which I avoided pizza and cupcakes!) and we headed south to Charleston. I let hubs pick our place for dinner. I opted out of a few places, but otherwise I just gave him carte blanche to eat what he wanted. I knew I could figure out what to eat wherever we went. He picked Hibachis, a Japanese grill, and I got Vegetables and Tofu and some sushi (tuna and cucumber rolls). I only ate about half my dish and felt full. :) (And got a verbal lashing from the guy seated next to be about how he doesn't like "that healthy sh!t." *roll eyes*)

The night was going well until Hubs realized I had a headlight out and we tried to put in a new bulb and the stupid thing fell into a hole from which we couldn't get it out of (we tried for about an hour!). We finally resigned to let it wait until tomorrow when we had the right tools and then we went to see Red. (Very good movie, but what do you expect with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman? *LOVE*) I was angry from the frustration of the car issue, and ended up eating too much popcorn and Reese pieces. *sad* My stomach still hurts! I proceeded to use the drive home to attempt to drown my body in water to counteract the crap I had fed it. (At least I learned a lesson. I think I'm totally over the idea that going to a movie means eating popcorn. It just wasn't even good, and I felt horrible after!)

To recap last week:
Sunday - I walked a mile around the football track for exercise. 2183 calories consumed. 132 burned.
Monday - I had my first yoga class and LOVED it! 1773 calories consumed. 318 burned.
Tuesday - I overworked myself with 2 classes and ST. 2135 calories consumed. 1263 burned.
Wednesday - I just walked around my office and didn't log it. 2247 calories consumed.
Thursday - I walked a bit on breaks, and ST on my own in my office - and felt physically ill, so I stopped short of my goals. 1624 calories consumed. 144 burned.
Friday - Line dancing again! WOOT! 2058 calories consumed. 566 burned.
Saturday - I walked 2.21 miles, pushing myself to do most of it at a 17-18 minute mile pace. Way too many calories consumed (can't track because I wasn't paying attention). 566 burned. Did MOST of my ST, but forgot my crunches, push-ups and planks. D'oh!

I didn't reach my 4000 calorie burned goal, so I've lowered that goal. I'm going to just keep going and not worry about changing anything this week. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Goals for this week:
emoticon Nutrition:
1900-2250 calories (but sitting around 1600-1800 will be fine with me too. Sometimes I have low calorie days because I don't feel much like eating. 1600 calories is still plenty.
emoticon Fitness:
2270 calories burned. 3 FULL ST sessions.
Sunday - Something easy like a walk with the fam.
Monday - Yoga!
Tuesday - Line dancing or Zumba. ST
Wednesday - Pilates (hopefully! Have to get some work on my car first!)
Thursday - Line dancing or Zumba. ST
Friday - Line dancing?? (not sure if they're having it) or Elliptical
Saturday - LDW - shooting for 3 miles this time. ST????????*

Crunches goal: 500
Modified push-ups: 120
Regular push-ups: 10-15
Planks: 6 @ 45 or more seconds
Modified planks: 2 @ 30 seconds or more

emoticon Hubs
Spend some quality time with Hubs on Friday when I'm off work.

emoticon Boys
Read with my boys at least 2 nights this week.

emoticon Me
Spend some time reading with myself. Journal some about my feelings now and try to remember what's changing and how much these changes have made a positive impact in my life.

* Saturday is going to be a little nutty. My aunt and uncle are having their 25th wedding anniversary in Columbus. Because I was the flower girl at her wedding, I feel like I should certainly be there. Hubs and I are going to travel up to Columbus on Saturday, see some friends we've been missing, and attend the anniversary dinner on Saturday.

And Wednesday may end up a little nutty as well. Going to try to get to the NTB place by 5pm so I can get my tires balanced and rotated. Hoping it doesn't take too long and I'm out of there by 6:20pm or so so I can make it to pilates.

Thankfully, I have Thursday and Friday off this week. Going to use this time to rest and bond with the family. Also going to work on cleaning the front room so we can get a new couch in here.

emoticon A special note to my Sparkies:

Thank you for being so supportive! Thank you for understanding when I feel like the world is falling down around me! Thank you for telling me that things will be alright, and thank you for understanding when it takes me a while to come around to your thinking! Thank you for being a huge source of inspiration and support. I love you all and don't know what I'd do without all of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARMONYBLUE 11/8/2010 9:43PM

    You totally blew your goal loss out of the water. Congrats! Can't wait to see what you can accomplish next week. Too bad about the headlight, but glad you and the hubby had an otherwise nice date night (and he got to show his pride for your accomplishments!)

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CHICAT63 11/8/2010 8:20PM

    Woohoo, congrats on your loss. Sista you are rocking it, 75 pounds excellent !

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KITHKINCAID 11/8/2010 4:15PM

    Congrats on BUSTING that plateau girl! You're amazing!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 11/8/2010 1:19PM

    Congrats on continuing to do such a great job!

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TEAM-SARAH 11/8/2010 12:23PM

    Sounds like an awesome week, congrats on the great weight loss! Glad you loved your first yoga class so much. I'm so proud of you for trying!!

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 11/8/2010 12:14PM

    Congrats on a great weigh in! Sounds like you have your priorities good and are doing AWESOME!!!

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DOLL2THEWALL 11/8/2010 10:35AM

    You are doing amazing, lady - way to kick that 344 in the butt! So happy for you. :)

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MAGPIE17 11/8/2010 10:27AM

    Keep it up, Esther! You're rocking this!

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ATREAT4ME 11/8/2010 7:55AM

    You are amazing! I love your blogs and your weekly goals.

And I'm super duper doubly thrilled for your night out with Hubs. What a blessing.

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/8/2010 5:57AM

    WOW amazing!!!! great job w/ burning so many cals in a week!!! you seem SO happy!

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RAVENSONG37 11/8/2010 12:58AM

    I love you for a million of them is that D and I watched Red on Friday too!!

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TIGERJANE 11/7/2010 7:49PM

    Wow, you're really getting those exercise minutes in! And your calories look great . . . makes me feel like I should be kicking it harder than I am. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

Comment edited on: 11/7/2010 7:49:32 PM

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BARBARAROSE54 11/7/2010 4:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LADYINOHIO 11/7/2010 3:55PM

    Girl, you have some awesome AND realistic, totally reachable goals~ that alone took me like 2 years to come around to, so I think you're doing really good in regards to getting with "the program", hehe! I am in awe of, and inspired by, your total loss, your loss since you joined SP, and your determination especially... I know I've told you this before... but I really feel like I can't tell you enough how proud I am of you, and how much you motivate me to keep making good choices.
Thank you for being a fABulous, beautiful person, and a great sparkfriend~

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MEGSFITNESS 11/7/2010 2:56PM

    Congrats hun!! you're awesome and I'm glad to hear that hubs talked you up so much :D

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MAIA2011 11/7/2010 11:42AM

    Awesome! This was so great to read! I love how you have this thing by the short hairs, lady! (Also, I liked Red, too. Bruce Willis is great in movies like this. Do you remember The Whole Nine Yards? That one killed me.)

Spark on!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/7/2010 10:58AM

    Congratulations on beating 344 into the ground! You are doing SO good. emoticon

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READINESSISALL 11/7/2010 10:52AM

  I just love your attitude, and how awesome you are in keeping track of your progress and goals. When I saw the title of this blog I couldn't wait to see the results because I just KNEW you had done it. You are doing such a great job!!! Congrats!

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GOGOSHIRE 11/7/2010 10:45AM

    Awesome blog! 330s, here we come!


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MAMADWARF 11/7/2010 10:31AM

    Wooohooo! I knew you would break that 340 mark! You are on your way now and not gonna go back!!!!
Im so happy that you went on a date! sounds awesome. I love those kind of restaurants. They are so entertaining and you know exactly what is in it!

I want to see the RED movie so I am glad you gave me a recommendation. I dont usually get popcorn at the movies anymore cause it is hard to control how much I eat but if I do, I give myself 5 big handfuls or I make frank get a medium (not a large) and watch that I eat no more than half. (There is AMC popcorn on the nutritional tracker).

Your upcoming week sounds awesome. (I miss reading to my kids. That was our nightly ritual when they were little. Now they cant wait for me to go to bed so they can have the living room, make fattening snacks and watch all the crap TV on DVR!).

Happy you broke that barrier! You are only a few pounds away from kicking the 40's to the curb forever!!

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FLAMENM 11/7/2010 10:22AM

    COngrats on meeting your goal!!!

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ANNISSAT 11/7/2010 10:19AM


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Remember, Remember... (with pics)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Take a look through my photo gallery on my computer and you'll start to think I'm a narcissistic fool! Page after page of photos of yours truly, often 10-20 in the same outfit from the same day, all different poses. I used to take that many pictures at once so I could hit on just one that was acceptable for public viewing on sites like Facebook. Sure, some of it had to do with lighting, with holding the camera steady, flash or no flash, you know, the technical stuff. But 9 times out of 10, the reason was to get just the right angle to make me not look enormous on film. I wanted a picture I wasn't ashamed to show people. "You have such a pretty face!" I always heard, so that's what I always tried to highlight. But there's a right way and a wrong way for fat girls to look great in photos. (Men surfing for women online, pay attention! We can fool you in the blink of an eye with our pictures!!)

There are over 32 pictures in this "session." (And then I put my glasses on and tried again. *sigh* All for what? This:

(From January of this year)

But I started noticing something else in that photo gallery. Around April, the pictures start to change. No longer are they of me trying to make myself look skinny, they're of the things we're doing and the food we're eating to actually MAKE me skinny. Less of these random photo shoots in a false attempt to boost the ego.

But I still have my photo shoots, of course. They've changed a bit. I make funny faces, or I just want to see how I look that day using my phone's camera. But now instead of taking 10-30 pictures to find one that's good...I'm taking 10 to 30 pictures because they ALL look good, and I can't believe it, and I keep thinking I'll hit on that one angle where it all goes to poo again. But it doesn't. It honestly doesn't.

Here are just a few recent ones. I'm going to pick something random from each set, just to prove my point.

This set had about 50 or so, no lie.

This set had about 7.

This set had about 5.

This set had about 15 because I loved them all and felt so darn pretty.

This set had 2, just 2. I liked them both.

This one had 2 as well. The other was just a little further away.

That being said, I can't wait until I feel the same way about candid shots, group shots, and fuller body shots. These are still my enemies! So, while progress is slow, progress is there. I'm having more fun looking at myself in the mirror. I don't shy away or say negative things to my reflection. Instead I think, "Hrm...good day! Take a picture!" And those good days are coming more and more nowadays.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAFODIL24 11/8/2010 8:18PM

    You are beautiful emoticon

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MAGPIE17 11/8/2010 10:11AM

    You look beautiful, Esther!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/8/2010 7:02AM

    you are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your pics and stories of how you're growing to love yourself a bit more:)

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RAVENSONG37 11/8/2010 12:56AM

    you are so dang gorgeous.

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ERIN4771 11/7/2010 10:02AM

    amazing photos esther!!! it's also nice how the good days are becoming more and more frequent than the "other" days....sounds like you are starting to believe you are actually a beautiful person....about time my friend!!!!! now, go forth and continue with the picture taking....nothing narcissistic about it AT ALL!!!! emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 11/6/2010 9:36PM

    lol love it! same here ;p

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REBECCAMA 11/6/2010 8:42PM

  You look great! Congratulations!!

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HARMONYBLUE 11/6/2010 8:13PM

    Looking good in pictures is definately one of the nice parts of this journey.. I am familiar with the photo montage to find one that didn't make me look huge. But I still have trouble with a little double chin and of course the tummy (my trouble zones). All of you new pics look great!

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ATREAT4ME 11/6/2010 12:12PM

    You are absolutely darling! Wowsers. I absolutely love your writing and feel like I know you in *real life* because of them. By far, my favorite sentence you've written is in this blog: "I'm having more fun looking at myself in the mirror." I am so happy for you. I am just thrilled and pleased and excited for you! Thank you for sharing yourself like this with me!


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DETERMINED_SOUL 11/6/2010 10:31AM

    I am with you. I hate having my picture taken, but I am getting more confident, hence more accepting of my pictures.

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BAYBELIEVER 11/6/2010 12:39AM

    You are beautiful! Outside and in! I am glad you are realizing it too, a little more each day and since we don't have to get film developed anymore, let's keep on taking 'em! Your confidence just shines through!

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EMRANA 11/5/2010 7:19PM

  What Mezzoangel said. emoticon

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 11/5/2010 6:29PM

    I can totally relate. I have used to take tons trying to get the right angle. Love that its easier to get a good one now. You look great!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/5/2010 6:13PM

    I thought you were beautiful before, I think you are beautiful now. True story.

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MUTANTQUEEN 11/5/2010 5:28PM

    Great blog! I've shared this experience, like so many others have, I'm sure. I was just noticing that yesterday, as a matter of fact. I feel I look best when you can actually see my jawline, which goes away when I gain weight. So now it's a lot easier to take good pictures. I just wonder how I'll feel looking at myself when my weight is down lower than it's ever been since I've been an adult. I hope I still like what I see!

Congratulations on your progress!

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MAMADWARF 11/5/2010 5:16PM

    Love the realization, the progress, the blog, the pictures! Love it Love it love it!

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ATROTTIER 11/5/2010 5:08PM

    Just beautiful!! I love that you are loving yourself more each day, makes the journey that much more special!!! Have a wonderful weekend you gorgeous lady!

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SEEHOLZ 11/5/2010 5:04PM

    I hate most pics of me... at any weight. I am so unphotogenic..hence ignorance can be bliss-LOL. I do take some, but just here and there. I hate people who will 100% avoid all photos, so I try to just suck it up and go with the flow, but I am super embarrassed about most of them.

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ERIN1128 11/5/2010 4:52PM

    Love it! You're gorgeous!

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    hahah! I love it, and I feel like you are revealing my secret too! I feel like if anyone ever picked up my phone and looked in my gallery they'd think I was crazy (and maybe I am a little).

You are right, you look beautiful in all those pictures! Way to go lady!!

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DOWNTOWNJEN 11/5/2010 4:28PM

    You have some killer bone structure!

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CALLIKIA 11/5/2010 4:24PM

    Lol! I hate my nose! I keep wondering if it's possible to lose weight in your nose cuz it just seems too big.

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MNGIRLIE 11/5/2010 4:23PM

    You ARE a beautiful woman! Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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MAIA2011 11/5/2010 4:21PM

    I'm with Megs! I love your nose and your freckles are heartbreakingly adorable! I love that you are so happy playing with your camera, too! I am still very afraid but I'm working on it.

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MEGSFITNESS 11/5/2010 4:13PM

    yay! That's a non-scale victory, lady :)

p.s. on a random note: I like your nose.

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TEAM-SARAH 11/5/2010 4:08PM

    You are beautiful and I'm glad you're celebrating that and feeling great about how the hard work is paying off!!

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JACKELOPE 11/5/2010 4:08PM

    Fantastic blog post! I am also guilty of taking a million shots just to weed out that *one* perfect picture. :) I'm so glad to hear that you are able to appreciate all the hard work you've done - sometimes we're the last one to notice.


Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 4:09:13 PM

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SLFRISBEY 11/5/2010 4:01PM

    You are a beautiful lady!

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KITHKINCAID 11/5/2010 3:54PM

    You DO have such a pretty face. But the rest of you is beautiful as well - inside & out!

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