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You Gotta Earn It

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last night I watched Eat Pray Love. It's a beautiful movie, but not exactly "amazing," as I had expected. Beautifully shot, beautifully acted, a beautiful script, but it was predictable...and I haven't even read the book. Still, there is the beauty factor, and plenty of great lines throughout the movie to keep me interested. (I'm a writer, when a line hits the heartstrings, I feel touched...a good script can do amazing things to a movie.)

Lines like this one:
"Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured - the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic, it's just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."

But there was also this theme running through it about forgiving yourself and not being so hard on yourself. There's even a part where they talk about how Americans feel the need to do something in order to EARN a break. And, if just for a moment, I got defensive.

You see, I made myself earn that movie. I was nearly home last night. I had decided to skip the gym. I was giving into the me that wanted to go home and clean and watch Castle episodes and just be with my family. And then, after coming out of a quick stop at Advance, I checked the Redbox app, because I remembered it was Tuesday and time for new releases. Eat Pray Love was number one, and I've been waiting for so long to see it. I quickly reserved a copy and then this voice popped into my head...

"You know, if you really want that movie, you're going to have to earn it first."

What? Where did that come from? Even more surprising was my response:

"I know."

Really? I know I have to earn this movie? Am I kidding me? But in my head the connections I made went so fast that I simply flew past them.

1) The Redbox is right across the street from the gym.
2) I was turning back toward town, and it would be stupid not to just stop at the gym while I was there...because I no longer had the excuse that I didn't want to go back to town.
3) Wednesday's exercise is going to be iffy, at best. No time, so there's not a real chance of devoting yourself 100% to it.
4) My gym bag was right next to me in the seat.
5) I would feel awful later if I realized I wasted a night in which there was a perfect opportunity to work out.
6) Line dancing was starting in about 25 minutes...and line dancing is fun.

So I headed to the gym, I changed into my workout gear, I grabbed a towel and my water bottle, and I headed upstairs. I walked 4 laps around the track, and ran 2 before stretching before class. I felt warmed up and ready to go. And an hour later I felt wonderful! Line dancing was fun! I was lighter on my feet this time. I hopped and bounced and shook my booty with the best of them...and I had burned a good bit of calories in the process. I had earned my movie.

And then, while watching the movie I made myself earn, I'm being told how silly and wrong it is to feel the need to earn things. I kept hearing these lessons in my head coming from the screen, like this gem...

* No man will turn a naked woman away just because she has a little pudge. Living a life of restrictive diet and calorie counting is exhausting, eating to fill your heart and soul is freeing.

Truth is, I've gone backwards on Liz's quest. While she learned how to eat in a more forgiving and taste-driven manner, I lived that way for years. I was always eating whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, whatever tasted good to me. I didn't care about my size or my jeans getting tight. And now? Now I'm feeding my body the fuel it needs. I'm learning how to use food as a tool to survive. I still enjoy it, I still want to eat great food - but my idea of great food has changed. Those cheeseburgers at McD's look nasty and greasy now, and they likely taste the same. But a bowl full of roasted vegetables in olive oil and spices is like heaven! Somehow, this change in eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and less processed foods, has led me to feel more connected with the universe. I, too, am having a relationship with my pizza - my whole wheat, feta cheese, spinach and mushroom pizza.

So, yes, I make myself earn it...and after thinking about the conflicting idea of that and the ideas represented in the movie, I realize that this is a step that needs to be learned as well. In the past, I didn't think I deserved anything. And now? I earn things in order to find some sort of happy balance in my soul and self-worth. I've done good by my body by working out and making a healthy dinner (whole wheat fettucine in a chicken and broccoli alfredo from SparkRecipes = yum! --- add a bit of salt and pepper though). And movies do my mind and spirit good because of the deep emotional connections I form with the words and the pictures on the screen. They keep me in touch with my emotions and fill my heart with thoughts of betterment. In my opinion, my quest and journey is about learning to earn it. And that's what I plan to continue doing.

I'm going to earn my Thanksgiving lunch favorites, like the sinful cheesy potatoes, by maintaining portion control, and starting my day right - with C25K W1D2.

If I want a sweet dessert, I will earn that by taking a walk after my meal with my family, and letting the food I've already consumed settle and digest. There is no reason I have to eat dessert immediately following the consumption of lunch or dinner. I tend to wait an hour or two now, and I drink a lot of water in between - another way for me to earn it. you have the "you gotta earn it" mentality or not?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DETERMINED_SOUL 11/26/2010 8:34AM

    I find myself telling myself I have to earn something as well. You have definitely found out what drives you to be motivated! Way to go!

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CALLIKIA 11/25/2010 8:03PM

    Let me say that I don't say I've earned food. That's a VERY dangerous path to be on. i may push myself a little if I know I'm going to have ice cream after dinner or something, but I never think a workout earns me food. What it does earn me is a non-food treat. A movie night. A relaxing evening on the couch. A little window shopping trip all by myself. It's special moments I earn, moments that fill my heart and soul. Filling my stomach has become something that needs to be done to live, not something I live to do.

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ATREAT4ME 11/25/2010 8:18AM

    I haven't read the book nor seen the movie so I cannot comment on it at all. But I marvel at your self-discovery and assessment. I enjoy the humor you use and the concepts like "earning" it. You are a great example and a real-life hero for me because you NEVER give up. I love that and I'm grateful for that!

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JLITT62 11/25/2010 7:56AM

    The first time I read the book, I thought she was so whiny. And I still think the first part, the part about the divorce, is pretty whiny, frankly.

But the book has slowly grown on me & I've read it several times now.

I also liked the line about men thinking they've hit the lottery if they have a naked woman in their bed -- I don't remember it from the book, but I remember it from the movie! (And the book is better, if you ask me).

Still, you also have to remember that that line comes from someone who is apparently a naturally thin person (I've seen her on Oprah). Easier said than done for those of us who have struggled so mightily with their weight for years.

I try not to feel I have to earn my food. That I have to do a certain amount of exercise for it -- I think that's very unbalanced thinking, altho I am still guilty of it at times. Instead, I try to just balance out eating well and exercising right -- and enjoying myself. Cause what's the point if you're not happy?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/25/2010 7:42AM

    I love this blog! now that I'm fully back in my weightloss groove YES I make myself earn something. OR if I eat it w/out earning it, I have to sort of pay myself back later (aka post-work exercise or pre-bed crunches or something.)

I love Eat, Pray, Love (ummm hello my dream life!) but I've done the eat part myself when i lived in italy last year and in 2008. That is precisely why I'm fat. I like that she lives like the Italians (eating w/out abandon, living to eat, WINE) and then cleanses herself and eats nutritiously. We are doing just that. We have done the "eat" thing, and now we're taking her 2nd journey- health, body mindfulness, weightloss. For me the 3rd step is more about loving myself, cause I think thats always the hardest part.

You are such an inspiration, E. I hope you have a GREAT thanksgiving today!!!!

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CHICAT63 11/24/2010 7:50PM

    Working and training hard = Earning lots ! As a Mom, a wife, working full-time and all the others hats we wear my gym or workout time is all MINE. I went to see the movie, before finishing reading the book both awesome....did prefer the book though. Great blog !

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JEREMY723 11/24/2010 6:57PM

    I enjoyed reading your observations about the film. Can tell you're an English major grad! (I'm married to one, lol) The author's next book, Committed, is way different. Have a great holiday!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/24/2010 5:57PM

    I used to, but not any more. Now, if I want something I have it. I don't make things taboo. However, I did earn my iPod, and I'm thankful about that.

I think you are amazing. I loved Eat Pray Love. It helped me challenge my thinking and I also chose to hold onto that quote, Ruin is the road to transformation. Genius.

You run your C25K W1D2 tomorrow, and I'll be right along side you freezing my ass off outside.

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SEEHOLZ 11/24/2010 2:52PM

    I struggle with this earn vs enjoy thing a ton-- I call it balance.. I mean, for me the word balance is some elusive ideal, yet it's my total key to being happy and healthy. Yes, earning is fine, but going overboard is easy... even on the earning...for me. I think it's about balance.

I love this blog, because you are so onto something.

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CALLIKIA 11/24/2010 2:43PM

    I'm not saying it's exactly the opposite, but I felt like I needed to defend my new lifestyle choice. Of course, the book is probably a little different, so the feeling it gives may be different as well. *shrug* Just the way I felt. It wasn't so much about the type of food she was eating, just her eating it without abandon, and not worrying about calorie counts and such.

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 2:44:33 PM

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KITHKINCAID 11/24/2010 2:35PM

    It's funny you brought up this movie - I haven't seen it yet, but I have a copy of the book for my plane read on the way to Germany. Even though I haven't experienced the joy that is "Eat, Pray, Love" yet, I think it's interesting that you interpreted it the way you did. Maybe my opinion will change after reading it, but I think her relationship with that yummy Italian food is EXACTLY what you're doing now, and what I'm doing too. It's learning to not be attracted to and want that gross, greasy fast food, and really LOVING those whole foods, prepared with heart and soul from scratch and not out of a box. Eating for the soul to me is the same thing as eating for fuel. You're fueling your body with the things it needs to survive, and damn if I'm not going to LOVE my whole wheat spinach & feta pizza for sure!

Also - in terms of the "earning" things, I think you might deem what you're doing "earning it" - but what if it's just a real, serious, life-style change? You went to the gym last night because you knew you wouldn't have a chance later and you really LIKE line dancing. That's amazing! And it sounds like you had fun while you were there. So if you used that to earn the movie - I guess that's fair, but I don't think you really needed to earn anything - you would have found a way to sit on the couch and watch the movie anyway if you REALLY didn't want to go to the gym, and I think you may have even chosen to go to the gym without the movie... But the fact is - you DID go to the gym, and whether it was for a dangling carrot or not, that's still major impressive!

Looking forward to reading the book - but I don't think it's going to be the opposite of what I'm doing here - I'm looking forward to it being EXACTLY what I'm doing here. All a matter of interpretation :)

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/24/2010 2:22PM


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ATROTTIER 11/24/2010 2:01PM

    I love this blog today!BTW I read the book and it was fantastic, I still need to check out the movie!

I do feel like I need to earn things, maybe it is the American culture but if it make those specific things more enjoyable and rewarding than why not? Especially if it's doing something better for our health.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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TIGERJANE 11/24/2010 11:49AM

    Girl, you are SO inspiring! You just never quit, and you dont make excuses! I wish I had just half your drive, seriously. Love reading your blogs. And, you made me want to see that movie, when I was convinced it wasn't my taste. $1.08? Yes please!

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RUSSELLORAMA 11/24/2010 11:13AM

    It is so much the earning of things or that we don't feel we're deserving of them? I will agree that Americans tend to overwork and punish themselves, but perhaps that's our common Puritan heritage? Anyhoo, I LOVE this blog and I'm glad that you're making positive connections between work and reward. You are doing so great!

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DOWNTOWNJEN 11/24/2010 11:10AM

    I do have an "earn it" attitude but like you the "it" I'm earning is something that either fuels my body in a super tasty yet responsible way, or feeds my mind/soul/heart/interactions with others.

Growing up in developing nations I got to see first hand how many struggle for things we don't think twice about (where's your water coming from? no phone, heck no electricity! no food stores - gotta grow it yourself). I think we, as Americans, have lost that connection to building/creating things for ourselves hence we make artificial "earn it" scenarios.

Hey - if "earning it" gets us in touch with some of the finer things in life like being connected and living life full out - I say "do it"!

Great blog!

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_MSAPRIL17_ 11/24/2010 10:55AM

    AHHH!!! I had posted a reply and LOST IT!!!!!!

I can't even remember what I posted now besides the fact that I absolutley LOVE this blog.

I see no problems with earning something. It can push you to finish the very thing you might otherwise not.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Thanks for posting this!

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The Best Intentions (C25K W1D1 Recap)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I had every intention of sleeping in yesterday...but I didn't.
I had every intention of just taking a leisurely stroll...but I didn't.
I had every intention of exercising this evening...but I didn't.

Sometimes our intentions weigh us down. Having the best intentions when eating out, when making food at home, deciding whether or not to eat that last piece of pumpkin pie. Those intentions can lead to big stress and, worse, guilt if we betray them. But sometimes, in the best times, our intentions can be freeing. We expect to have a few slip ups and we vow to be okay with them, we figure our ways around them, and then we up and shock the heck out of ourselves when we do the exact opposite.

I expected to sleep in, but I started my day early instead.
I expected a leisurely stroll, but I ran W1D1 of C25K instead.
I expected to hold off my workouts until Yoga tonight, but I threw in a little one earlier too.

It's days like those where it doesn't even feel like trying. Days like those when it's not about what didn't happen or what should have happened or what we could have done. It's freeing. It's exhilarating. Those are the days I live for.

I don't know why I decided to do C25k yesterday. I just wanted to see if I could get through just a tiny bit more than I was able to do last time. The last time I pulled my hip flexor in the third running segment and limped home defeated. Running for the longest time hurt....a LOT. Like, more than it should. And I stopped trying to do it on a regular basis. There were times when I'd think, "I feel good...let's just try it out." And I'd go slow and steady and wouldn't overdo it and come out with a little more confidence. But it still hurt for a long time. So when I walked out the door yesterday and started the app on my phone, I just imagined how good it would feel to report back here saying, "I'm progressing with it!"

The first thing I did? I didn't start the app at the beginning of my walk. The last time I tried this, I ended up running in a bad, bad spot on my normal route. You see, I live in the stix, the country, the boonies, the hills of wild, wonderful West Virginia. Yes, we have paved roads, but I don't live in a town. When people ask where I'm from, even people from WV, I give them the name of a nearby town that is more well-known. You can tell how well a person knows the area by whether they know the name. And you can certainly tell if someone grew up here if they know of former landmarks that are now long gone.

There's a certain charm about this. The beauty of the back hillside when it's frosted over and looks like a blanket of billowing snow. The field that floods across the street, or houses countless deer or turkeys, or bails of hay - depending on the time of year. But there are difficulties to this living too. The roads can be a challenge. None of them are straight, or flat, or even correctly and fully paved. It's a patchwork of years past and years present, it's the turn up ahead and the magic beyond the next bend, it's neighborhood dogs barking, while horses come up to greet you and a rifle shot is heard in the not-too-distant woods.

So the last time I went out on my run, I hit the first running segment halfway up hill 2 in my route. This time, I wanted to avoid that. I waited a few minutes before turning on the app and getting started on the warm-up, and I think that extra warm-up time may have helped as well. When the run segment came, I ran. And then it was over. And I didn't much think about it. After the third segment I had a brief thought of, "Well, there! Goal completed!" but it was quickly followed by, "Just a LITTLE more." At one point I was worried. How much more? Would I injure myself again? I didn't want to push too hard!

We dodged cars and holes in the road and the rough shoulder, and I kept going, and thinking, and worrying, and telling myself not to worry. Finally I pulled out the phone and turned it on. 10 minutes left?? That's it?! And half of that is cool down! I'm doing this!

My route was silly. I ran my regular 1 mile walking route, the turn around being right before the biggest hill on the route. And then I got to the bottom of the middle hill and turned around and went back. Turn again on the big hill, and back down hill two. That's when I checked my phone. And Ethan was hurting. And I was getting pretty tired. I still had gas, but I had forgotten to hydrate beforehand. I thought about just going home. But when I checked and saw 10 minutes, I told Ethan he could go on home, but I was finishing this.

I hadn't planned this part out...and I was in between hills 1 and 2 and unsure when that ringing bell would tell me to start running again. About halfway up my hill, I started begging for silence. "NO bell! Not yet! Please! Just let me get to the top." I reached the top and had just enough time to sigh with relief before my timer ding-a-linged my next running segment. It was getting difficult, especially considering my last running segment had felt like running on clouds, and this one had given me no time to recover from the climb. I hoped there wasn't much more.

*ding ding ding* "Begin cool down"

What? What did that say?! HUH?! Did I just? A smile as long as the Nile formed across my face. The sun felt beautifully brilliant in that moment. The wind pulled back loose strands of hair and chilled the sweat over my arms and chest. I did it. I, me, this 339 pound woman, had done what she had once thought highly unlikely. A bad knee, sore legs from a killer workout the day before, who always hurt when running. None of it mattered. All that was left was a walk home...and I'd be lying if I told you I was anything other than cheery.

I talked to my son about some problems he's been having. It was a serious talk, about life, and about speaking up for yourself, and about trying new possible solutions to your problem. I couldn't have had that talk without that workout. I had some higher level of understanding in that moment about what it took to succeed. I just knew whatever problem was put before us, we'd face it, together if we needed, separately when we must - but we'd meet it, and we'd find our own way around it.

And without even thinking about what was happening, I heard another *ding ding ding* and the words, "Workout Complete" come into my ears.

I turned to Ethan.
"Mommy did it!" I beamed.
"Did what?"

It didn't matter that he didn't understand the significance of what just happened. I did. I knew what was happening to me. And I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I had overcome, I had figured it out, I had struggled and come through the other side. And then I was home. And it didn't matter that my leg was cramped or my shoulder was pinched. I bounced up the stairs and whispered once more to myself, "I did it."

Do I look proud of myself?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 11/28/2010 9:46PM

    Wow!!! WAY TO GO!!!! Day 1 is only the beginning! You are amazing!

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BAYBELIEVER 11/23/2010 10:37PM

    Congratulations! That is awesome and incredible! You should be proud of yourself and you are right, you do look proud and you SHOULD!!
Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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ATROTTIER 11/23/2010 12:32PM

    YOU DID IT!!! So proud of you girl!! Take some pics of what you see when you take on these hills...I want to see the country...I'm stuck in this city and long to be a country girl! Congrats again - and I LOVE THE PROUD PIC!!

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LOOKY-LOU 11/23/2010 11:03AM

    You rock lady! emoticon

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BTINTERNET 11/23/2010 11:03AM

    You do! You're amazing!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/23/2010 8:27AM


I'm SO freaking proud of YOU. This blog gave me goosebumps and i teared up because I'm SO proud of you.

If there's one person on this site that I *know* will reach her goals, its you. Your determination is inspiring, my dear.


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CHICAT63 11/23/2010 5:16AM

    Woohoo, you are awesome. You can do this, as Mezzoangel wrote it a short time it will be Callika's C25K. You look happy, re-energised in the photo !

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SARAWALKS 11/22/2010 10:26PM

You're inspiring me to get up in the AM and run intervals!
We'll see if I do...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 11/22/2010 10:08PM

    This is so amazing and so wonderful and so beautifully written. I am so proud of you and I'm so happy for you and for me because it feels like one of my best buds will get to come along on my next run. Oh my! I will be thinking of your run and how hard you've worked for it. This is a sweet, sweet victory and I am cheering you on from Central Texas. Go Callikia!

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MAGPIE17 11/22/2010 8:22PM

    YAAAAAAY ESTHER!!! I'm so proud of you, girlie!

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REBECCAMA 11/22/2010 7:18PM


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MAMADWARF 11/22/2010 6:52PM

    you gave me chills! well written and well done!!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/22/2010 6:16PM

    Save that picture! And when you FINISH C25K, take another one and see how much you have changed. Callikia25K!!!

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DOWNTOWNJEN 11/22/2010 5:46PM

    YESSSSS!!! You describe it so well - I was right there with you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 11/22/2010 5:31PM

    You look SO DANG PROUD of yourself! YOU DID IT!!! And now you'll be running a 5K in no time girl cause that's totally the way I felt when I finished day 1. Day 2 and 3 are hard, cause you know what's coming. But I have the confidence that you're going to push through them anyway because that's what you do.

Way to go. I'm so proud of you!!!

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SUSIEMT 11/22/2010 5:21PM

    Good for you Esther! BTW I love your new picture! You look like a fighter! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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READINESSISALL 11/22/2010 4:49PM

  That's so awesome!!!!!! You are such a great writer. I really love your blogs so much. You are doing a great job!

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BRIAEL 11/22/2010 4:48PM

    Awesome! I love that it's given you an inner glow of happiness, of achievement. That alone is worth it, much less the benefit that the walk/run is doing for your health. :)

Smiley day! Hope it's the start of a great week. :)

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BORNAGAINBRAT 11/22/2010 4:45PM

    So very cool! emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/22/2010 4:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CANOGAPARKGAL 11/22/2010 4:34PM

    Others can give better comments about your workout - it was awesome. I'd like to comment about your writing. It is also awesome. You made me cry and feel happy at the same time. I love your descriptions.

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Weigh-In Day and Other Things of Interest

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weigh-In Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 339.2
Goal this Week: 337.2
Actual Weight: 339.4
Loss/Gain: +0.2 pounds

I warned yesterday that I wasn't expecting a good weigh-in today. Why?
1) I've been an emotional wreck and I know that stress can lead to weight gain.
2) I added in some stress eating this week. Not at all good, but I tried to hold myself back as much as possible. I certainly didn't give in to every impulse!
3) I ate out much of the week. Why, hello, sodium...nice to see you again! ...NOT!
4) I didn't work out much this week. I had to force myself to the gym yesterday in order to get in my 2 swipes a week at the gym required by the insurance company's weight loss program.
5) I didn't drink all my water. Not at all. Some days it was almost non-existent.
6) I didn't get enough sleep due to the stress.

So all of these things could have lead to a massive (or at least in my mind) gain on the scale today. All week I'd been watching my weight hover in the low 340s, and I knew that even the chanting of 338, 338, 338 wasn't going to make a difference today because I woke up bloated (my ankles are a little tight, which means they are slightly swollen).

Why didn't I have a huge weight gain this week then?
1) I ate less most days. There were days when I'm sure I went over...days I even forgot to track, but I was always conscious of what I was doing. The little rebel in me fought hard, but there were times that I simply won over by sheer stubbornness.
2) I did not let a few "bad" days dictate the rest of my week. Every morning I woke up with the thought that it was a new day with new opportunities and I had the choice to make the most of them.
3) (As MEZZOANGEL so kindly pointed out), I went to the gym even when I didn't want to. I remember Wednesday and the little fit my inner lazy rebel dished out, but I fought against it and went anyway. I cried through my workout. I focused my gaze on a nail in the wall and ran on the elliptical out of anger and fear and hurt feelings, and a dozen other emotions. It was not a happy workout...but it was a workout I made happen.
4) Even when my choices were bad, they were better than they used to be. Let's face it, I did not go to the store and buy Suzy Q's and Ho-Hos and 2 candy bars and coke. I pouted at home and, instead, rebelled with a grilled cheese on whole grain bread with light Campbell's tomato bisque soup.
5) When I was feeling out of it, I didn't withdrawal and hide. I was present. I showed up, and I made my frustrations known. I let it out in an attempt to let it go. Sometimes the support of Sparkies, even in the darkest hours, can lead you back to the light or keep you afloat. Don't underestimate the buddy system!
6) I used distraction methods for eating, and positive rebuttals to negative thoughts. "I still have so far!" was combated with, "And you've COME so far!" And "I hate these 24s!" was rebutted with "But they are beautiful and you are getting closer every day to making them part of your every day routine!"

That is what I attribute an only .2 gain (mostly bloat, I think I can safely say) to. In some ways, I am more proud of that .2 pound gain than I was of many of my previous losses. I needed this week, for some reason. And I got through it. And now I'm moving on.

So now we've reached Turkey week...and my goals look a little like this:

Weight Goal: 337.2
Calories Consumed: 1600-2200 per day
Calories Burned: 2270 for the week
Other goals:

* No eating out. I can go one week without eating out anywhere after the week I just had! Who is going to join me on this one week challenge? Should be made slightly easier this week with Thanksgiving coming up, a time to be thankful for the abundance of food we have available in this country - good food that's good for us and fuels our bodies!

* Water overload! I do best now on 10 glasses a day, so that will be my goal this week. I need to flush this sodium out of my system. Ethan asked me yesterday what was so bad about salt, so I'm going to do some research and have a talk with him about it this week. We'll both learn and teaching is always the best way for me to learn!

* Head held high! I made it through a very crappy and emotional week without trying to kill myself with unhealthy food. I made some bad choices, yes, but I made some very good ones as well. May this week be a lesson to me for the upcoming weeks left in this year and in the year to come!

My Turkey week plan:

Sunday - I'd like to get out for a walk sometime today. If my hips and legs feel up to it, I plan on giving myself the gift of a running spurt or two. If not, just walking the dog would be nice. I'll also do some cooking for the week. Going to make some pasta dish (which will make Hubs extremely happy) - a form of Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli - and then our every-week staple of Tator Tot Casserole with ground chicken.

Monday - Short day at work #1. Only 3 8-hour days this week! I'm going to be productive and, after work, I'm going to reward myself with yoga class and some ST!

Tuesday - Short day at work #2. I need to make sure I finish up everything that needs to be done, I don't want anything hanging over my head for the holiday. After work, I'm going to reward myself with my choice at the gym. I might go for a walk/run, or I might hit the elliptical. I might row, I've been missing that. Either way, I'll hit my calories burned goal for the day and make up for whatever I didn't hit on Monday (yoga doesn't burn as many calories I need, but it's only shy by about 100 calories...easily made up!).

Wednesday - Short day at work #3. I'll need to take a walking lunch this day. I don't think I'll have time after work to get to the gym, so I need to take advantage of the blessings of outdoor exercise. I'm thankful to have a job that allows me to eat at my desk and then use my entire break for exercise purposes. It's possible I'll be driving up to my mom's house after work and spending the night there. Make the turkey trot decision.

Thursday - Thanksgiving Day! There's a turkey trot in my mom's town this morning, so I'm seriously considering doing it. It starts at 9am. My mom mentioned it to me last month, but I doubt she'll be up to it, but that doesn't mean I can't do it on my own. Race or not, I'm getting some mileage in this day. My mom's walking route is lovely, so even if I just walk the loop a few times, I'll feel pleased with myself and okay to gobble a few of my favorites at lunch. Other than that, I plan on spending some glorious time with my family, loving my aunts, rejoicing in the traditions of our family, and just being the person I've become in front of all of them - changes they've already begun noticing and seem to enjoy.

Friday - BLACK FRIDAY! *lol* We'll get our plan of action together and get some holiday shopping done. It'd be best to do this in my mom's area where all the stores are, but we'll make that decision as a family where to hit the stores this year. I plan on doing some walking, running, and punching people out who try to take my stuff! *lol* Just playin' on the last one...unless it's a really great deal! ;) The gym will be open again, so if I need it, I'll go stress relieve there.

Saturday - Another SIBCCT, me thinks. It was a great joy to me yesterday as I was actually able to run 3 laps back to back. Usually 2 is my limit, and it makes me hurt. I'm working toward 4, then 5, and on from there.

I'm dubbing this week - BTTW Week. Balls to the Wall, baby! I'm making this week count! I won't kill myself over my goals, but when going, I'll push a tiny bit and make it count. I'll give myself one challenge a day, whether food, exercise, water, or mood related. I'll be conscious of every move and every action and be thankful for having another week to right whatever "wrongs" my mind may have tallied up for me this week.

Other things of interest:

First of all, a request to my Sparkies. I'm going to D.C. on the 5th of December for a week-long training. What I need from you is the following:
1) A song for my workout playlist that will let me use you for my fire while I'm gone.
2) A walking direction, route, or place of interest to visit. I have a half-brained scheme to let you all take me on a tour of the city by challenging me to walk to places and experience the enjoyment that travel + fitness holds! (May have more on this later...I have a thought but it's not fully formed, but you can still direct me to the sites using walking routes and mileage and such...)

Second, a thought. You see, I've been invited to Vegas for my birthday this year by a close friend. The first thing I checked about the hotel was whether it has a gym (it does), and the second thing was whether there were any races around that time. Well, there is. On my birthday. The Running from an Angel Marathon, Half, 10k, 5k and 50 miler is running in Boulder City, NV. I keep thinking that it would be great to start my 30's with a race in a foreign city, but working out the logistics in my head has been....stressful. How do I get there? Will my friend mind? Is it a crazy thought? I don't have to decide yet...I haven't even bought my ticket for the plane ride yet. (I'm a little nervous if I start a new job they won't let me go...) But I'm still thinking on it and considering it seriously.

Finally, some exciting news, at least in my eyes. A couple months ago I got a little crazy at the consignment shop. I bought a pair of 26s and a pair of 24s without even trying them on (because, well, they didn't fit yet). The 26s I could get on and buttoned, but could not zip, or breathe, or walk comfortably in. They now fit me and I wore them to work a couple weeks ago. (Yay for black jeans!!) But, as you know, the 24s were taunting me. To me, these jeans look SO small. I don't remember the last time I wore size 24s, but it was certainly back in HS at some point. When I bought them I could get them on my legs, barely...that was it. I have a picture and it's sad. Well, last night I put them on...all the way on. It was a struggle, for sure, but up they went. And then I took a backwards dive onto the bed and hurried to button and zip them. Talk about non-public jeans! *lol* They certainly don't "fit" yet, but my original goal was to wear them Christmas day (although I had a secret goal to have them fit by Thanksgiving). I count this as a win in my book! They will go on, button and zip - all by Thanksgiving! Now the real test is to see if I can drop the weight needed to wear them Christmas Day. Either way, they don't scare me anymore... And thanks to another wonderful Sparkie, when I finally get these jeans on (and maybe take them to wear on my Birthday in Vegas!!), I'll have a pair of size 22's to put in their place on the back of my door, the place reserved for goal clothes. I'm taking this accomplishment, especially considering the week I had!

What are your plans for Turkey Week? Wherever you're from, wherever you will be, be thankful for what you have, for the wonderful strides you are making for yourself, and hold your chin up with pride and determination.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATROTTIER 11/23/2010 12:25PM

    Love your plan!! I plan on working out on Turkey Day too! Jazzercise is having 2 AM classes, I want to get to the 7:30 one so I can get my hour in and then go home and pop my turkey in the oven since I am hosting Thanksgiving this year! We are doing black friday too!! So excited!! Whoo-hoo!! Have a beautiful holiday you wonderful woman!! emoticon

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MAGPIE17 11/22/2010 11:39AM

    BTTW, baby!! Rock this week!!

My current favourite workout song is "We R who we R" by Ke$ definitely amps you up!

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CANOGAPARKGAL 11/22/2010 6:44AM

The official National Institutes of Health DASH eating plan to reduce sodium, and therefore blood pressure.

Great blog as always - lots to mull over. Glad your weigh in was a win.
Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving.

I think this comment was meant for a prior blog. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/22/2010 4:33:05 PM

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/22/2010 5:24AM

    BTTW!!! my fave phrase!!!! (though I abbrev it: B2TW)
I'm so excited to hear if you get in any CARDIO on black Friday.... sometimes you gotta SPRINT to get the good deals :) :) :)

Happy early Thanksgiving!!!! sounds you like you have a great active week planned to combat all the yummy food :) :) :)

congrats on fitting into your SKINNY jeans! How great that you already have another goal pair on their way!

I am in LOVE w/ the newest Girl Talk album (called All Day) and most tracks on that would def spruce up your workouts (get it for free at ) I particularly feel myself wanting to run FASTER at the song called Triple Double.

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RAVENSONG37 11/22/2010 12:03AM

    My song for you is Firestarter by Prodigy. Cuz you, my love, are a firestarter! Congrats on the pants and chill with the stress. That's an order! Love.

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MAMADWARF 11/21/2010 9:32PM

    I had the same binge rebel meal a few weeks ago. Pathetic! lol... I love all your planning. I will be right there with you, sister.

My plan is to do the best I can, make a lot of the food myself so I can "tweek" it, play the kinect games with the family for some good action activities and stay mindful of what I am eating. I will also be thankful for what the last 8 months has brought me... my life back.

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KITHKINCAID 11/21/2010 7:31PM

    0.2? After the week that you've had? I consider that a SERIOUS win. Great job girl!

Vegas sounds so exciting. It's fun to dream even if some of those things don't work out.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I have no doubt in my mind that you will wear those 24s by Christmas. For sure!

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BTINTERNET 11/21/2010 5:17PM

    What great planning!

As for DC, where in DC will you be? There's lots of good places to walk and see things!

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BAYBELIEVER 11/21/2010 3:52PM

    Okay, my favorite workout song is "Rock That Body" by the Black Eyed Peas. I put it about 2/3s of the way through my list so just as I need that extra bit of energy and encouragement, there it comes!

I am also now adding to my list, Katy Perry's "Firework."

I love DC! You can get lots of great walking in there if you go to the mall area. And you can climb all the steps a few times at the Lincoln Memorial!

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TIGERJANE 11/21/2010 11:08AM

    You're making such amazing progress! Love that your "rebel" meal was grilled cheese and tomato soup, lol! Rock those 24's!

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MNGIRLIE 11/21/2010 11:03AM

    How exciting are those 24s?!? Way to go! I'm glad you're excited about it and you've got plenty of time to work on getting them more comfortable by Christmas. You can do it!

If I were to visit DC I'd TOTALLY visit the Smithsonian! I've always wanted to go there, but have never had the chance. I don't know much else for suggestions, but that's about it for me.

I'm going to come up with a good song suggestion for you. I've been listening to a lot of Brother Ali during my workouts. Not sure if you like hip hop/rap, but it's great upbeat workout music.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/21/2010 10:24AM

    I am SO happy for you!!! WTG keeping it together during a really rough week. Not to mention getting on the goal jeans! emoticon Your birthday plans sounds fun. I hope you are able to go and start your 30's like you envision. That would super.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/21/2010 10:22AM

    Hell yeah, BALLS TO THE WALL!!! Love it. And in case I haven't mentioned it, I love your background. I love trees.

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ATREAT4ME 11/21/2010 10:20AM

    I am amazed by you with each post. You rock. What a wonderful turn around.

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Saturday Morning Plans

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I didn't work out on Thursday. I didn't work out yesterday either. There's no excuse for Thursday beside being an emotional wreck. Yesterday I was busy, busy, busy.

Slept in - much needed!
Showered and hurried to the doctor for my Depo shot.
Weighed in at 345 on their scales (always higher than mine). She looked at my file. I weighed in at 352 on 10/8. Decided I could do better than that and I will next time I'm in there, but was happy to report to my doc on the way out that I was under 350.
Came home to prep for my interview. Once nails and such were done I headed toward Charleston. Showed up 30 minutes early (not late! *lol*)...oops! I apologized and explained I never knew what the traffic was going to be like at lunch on Friday...she understood.
Interview lasted for an hour. Went well, I think. It would be a great place to work. A lot of what I already do, plus a little extra, with higher pay and in the private sector. I explained that while I understood there were risks with the private sector, there were also more opportunities. What should be, will be.
Left there and drove straight up to the movie theatre to grab tickets to HP7 for me, Hubs, the boys and my MIL. Hubs left to drive down to meet me with MIL and boys in tow.
Shopped at Fashion Bug for a bit and found a purty sweater for 10 bucks and a couple other shirts on sale or clearance. All sizes were 1X or 2X. Much different from the 3X and 4X I used to buy. Felt good.
Movie was pretty good. Not the best HP, but good still.
By the time we drove home I was only up for grabbing pizza and movies for home and chilled with the boys before getting to bed and setting my alarm for this morning.

The gym opens at 9am and I plan to be there soon after. I need a good workout to break me free of this madness. Also needed today? TONS of water to flush this week from my system. It's been a crazy week mentally, but I think I'm ready to move on with force.

Plan for today?
1) Exercise well.
2) Drink LOTS of water!
3) Plan for the week ahead.
4) Grocery shopping.
5) Watch some football, maybe.
6) Clean! I want this living room DONE!

I'm not likely to have a great weigh-in tomorrow. I may even gain a pound or two from the bloat and stress of this week. But I'm trying hard to remember that this is just another week in my life, and not a make or break thing. I've got more work to do, and I've got a fire left in me. Going to surf some friend pages and ignite that fire a little more. And, if all else fails, listen to Katy Perry's "Firework" and remind myself to show myself what I'm worth.

I'm worth the time it takes.
I'm worth the trouble.
I'm worth the heartache.
I'm worth the success.
I'm worth the chance for a better life.
I'm worth the money for gym memberships and healthy food options.
I'm worth staying on the path I've paved for myself.
I'm worth a job that awards and appreciates my talents and lets me prove myself.

What are you worth?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/21/2010 8:07AM

    you ARE worth all of that and more!!!!

I have a hard time admitting what I'm worth, but I KNOW that I'm worth 8 hrs of sleep and getting to the gym 5 days this week. (so with that being said... i'm off to bed!!!:) )

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KITHKINCAID 11/20/2010 6:21PM

    Hope your Saturday was as it was cracked up to be! Sounds like an awesome plan. I'm sending good scale vibes your way for tomorrow. Even with a bad week you're still on the way down overall!

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BTINTERNET 11/20/2010 2:47PM

    You're doing really well! And you're definitely worth it!!

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RIGBY31 11/20/2010 11:57AM

    "... surf some friends to ignite the fire".... love it! I choose to do that often. My Sparkies are the smartest people who tell it like it is! Also, awesome that you "apologized" for being early for the interview (they duly noted that I'm sure). Hope you and the job are a good fit.

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MAMADWARF 11/20/2010 11:50AM

    You are doing awesome on your weight loss. 7 lbs since oct. 7th? Progress not perfection my dear!!!

What am I worth? Alot more than I used to think. I am worth my place in the world, good food, time for myself, new friends, encouragement and commitment. I am also worth a new puppy but hubby doesnt see it that way (yet). Im working on that one!!

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CHELLEBELLE104 11/20/2010 11:41AM

    You are so worth it! Doing the happy dance for you! emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 11/20/2010 10:23AM

    Sounds like you've turned a corner. The fire and focus are evident. I also love your attitude about this is a week in the life; not a break or make event. Good for you for maintaining such a balanced perspective.

THANK YOU for sharing your struggle and letting some one like me -- who never learned to experience negative emotions (repress, repress, repress!) -- learn from your fight. You exemplify what I want to be able to accomplish: recognize, admit, deal with, learn from, and move on. What a trajectory you've cast this week alone!

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CHICAT63 11/20/2010 8:57AM

    Today is a new today and tomorrow also ! Enjoy your Saturday, kudos for your interview.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/20/2010 8:53AM

    Hope you have a great day today and accomplish all that is on your list. emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/20/2010 8:51AM

    Ok... you can't tell me that being an emotional wreck isn't an excuse for not working out or I've lost my excuse for the entire week! emoticon

I'm worth the kicking and screaming and tears to get my ass to the gym that will lead to me feeling like a Curvy Bombshell Goddess sooner than later!!!

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Trudging Through Thursday

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First of all, a big thank you to all of you for your support yesterday. I'm still a bit of a wreck and getting a bit of distorted vision, but at least I recognize it this time. (I woke up today and looked in the mirror and was sure I was still as fat as I was on April 18th. Just like portion distortion, we all experience, at one time or another, a figure distortion. Sometimes the distortion is pleasant, and other times...not so much. As for me? For the rest of the day I'm avoiding mirrors.)

I sat down and took measurements yesterday. Like, mass amounts of measurements. I measured everything - my head, both the upper and lower parts of my neck, even the width of my shoulders and the length of my stomach (both sides and middle). I printed out an outline of the human body and just kept measuring and writing it down. Now it's time to tuck it away for a while and let myself just work.

I also dragged myself to the gym last night. I mean dragged. I whined and cried (literal tears) on the phone to Hubs on the way home about how much I didn't want to go. I hated myself and everyone in the gym and this stupid journey and everything about everything. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has "I hate everyone and everything" days!) The plan was to waste my time until pilates started at 7:30pm and then suffer through that torture once again, but the plan changed.

My workout last night was fueled by sadness, anger and bitterness. I hit the elliptical and I cried a bit before just being angry. I maintained a 130-150 pace nearly the entire time, through every interval change, because I was just running to blow off steam. Pilates started and I childishly said no. I wasn't torturing myself that wasn't aggressive or active enough. I wanted to run away, so I did. I started taking laps around the track, I ran a few laps, on my last running lap I sprinted the end of it, balls to the wall, all out, leave nothing behind. And it felt good, but I was still quite angry.

Forget this, I thought. I'm going home. I stopped by Kroger and bought one of their rotisserie chickens, grabbed some mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and biscuits from KFC and went home and ate my anger. And I STILL felt angry and bitter.

I *hate* this. I *hate* feeling not in control of my emotions. I thought I was doing better yesterday and then I got slapped in the face yet again by some of my biggest stressors and fears.

So today is going to be spent trying to let go. I don't care about anything but making these feelings go away! I've been so overly stressed lately and it's just making me crumble under the pressure. (Oh, I'm sure I forgot to mention that Hubs' grandpa is in the hospital again. I adore this man, and the other day he had some sort of fit, kept pulling out his IVs, there was blood everywhere, cursing at people, locked himself in the bathroom. This is 200% NOT like him. He's the most gentle and kind and loving person I know and he would NEVER act this way. And I'm scared...scared it's the start of dementia again. It killed me to watch my grandpa suffer through it and forget the wonderful person he was...I don't know if I can take it happening to another amazing man.)

Life is mean right now. And while I want to crawl under the desk, cry it out, and then move on to the happiness of the season, I feel like a shell of myself.

So...bare with me. I'm hoping to catch a break soon.

Positivity spin:
Tomorrow - Interview
This weekend - Harry Potter!
Next week - Thanksgiving!! and Black Friday
D.C. trip upcoming, Vegas after that, Utah mid-year next year.
The weather will change before I know it, racing season will be back, and I see myself actually RUNNING one this year!

(One positive that came from my anger-fueled workout yesterday - running has become much easier. I think I'm going to just keep doing a little here and a little there, but once the weather starts to turn a bit and I can stand being outside in the freezing cold again (it's hard to find that fancy winter weather running gear in super-duper-extra-looper fat@$$ size!) I'm going to try C25K again or some other running program. My goal is to be able to run a 5k by summer of 2011.)

EDITED: It felt good to write it, but it's no longer necessary.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWELL10 11/19/2010 8:07AM

    Girl, sometimes this journey just SUCKS!! We all feel it. Don't give up and it will get better! Way to work off the anger at the gym. It does help! Hang in there.

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MRSSIBRAT 11/19/2010 6:34AM

    I understand how you feel girlie...I was there this week too. I told my husband that this is the first week in a long time and I have been this way and it is the last week in a long time it will be this way so I am not stressing over it. SO don't worry girl. Next week is a new week!!

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ANAJAK 11/19/2010 2:54AM

    Hon I'm sorry you're feeling this way - sounds like you're trying everything you can :) Just keep on keeping on buddy we're all here right with ya and yes I'm (pretty sure) we all have "those" days...

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MAMADWARF 11/18/2010 11:36PM

    Oh yeah, I love the new icon picture too!

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MAMADWARF 11/18/2010 11:35PM

    IM sorry things are so rough for you. Just by reading your blogs over these months, I know you will work it out. I am so sorry about your grandpa in law. That makes me sad. My dad was like that too, when he was in the hospital. It is very very difficult to see someone so upset and disoriented.

I just want you to know that you matter to me and your grace in the way you handle things inspire me very much. Hang in there.. Jan

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/18/2010 7:06PM

    I've got nothing. It's all sh*t sometimes. But I'm right there with you. emoticon

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ATROTTIER 11/18/2010 5:38PM

    I'm so sorry you are going through all of this right now...sending you virtual hugs my fellow sparkie!! emoticon

I love that you are looking ahead to the good things coming up! Good luck on your interview tomorrow!!
I too cannot wait for Harry Potter this weekend - yaaaaa!!! Have fun!!
Short work week next week!! Thanksgiving!! Black Friday - YES!!
Enjoy it all my friend, and take it easy on yourself! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/18/2010 4:31PM

    Yeah, I have those days too, sometimes too many in a row to count. Stress will do that to us. So sorry about all the stuff going on, especially about your hubby's grandpa. Sometimes it's the meds they have them on in the hospital that can cause that kind of reaction, so hopefully that's what it is, not what you fear. Hang in there. You're a fighter; you have come so far, and I know you will make it. You've made amazing changes in your life, and even when YOU can't see the difference, everyone else can.


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DETERMINED_SOUL 11/18/2010 4:26PM

    Sometimes venting is the best way to get through your difficult times. I have those days when I work extra hard because I am angry at something, it does push me to do better other times as well because I now know I can do it.

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BTINTERNET 11/18/2010 4:21PM

    *hugs* Control is overrated sometimes.

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SARAWALKS 11/18/2010 3:00PM

    OH yeah, days like that for sure! And even if you do crawl under your desk and cry it all out, no problem, you will get cramped & bored under there soon and have to come out...
I am so sorry about Hubs' grandpa. Hope it is not what you fear... emoticon

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COMPASSLOST1 11/18/2010 2:58PM

    Ohhh my friend, how I completely understand the way you are feeling. I just read your blog from yesterday too, and I found myself feeling so close to you. I think that you and I have a lot in common and I really can relate to the way you are feeling. How daunting this journey actually is. How hard it is, and how people who don't struggle with their weight just can't possibly understand. I watched that Parenthood episode too, and that line struck me as well. It's true... we are our biggest critics, and while it makes us stronger, sometimes it hinders us as well. I have been having a lot of those "I hate everything and everyone" days lately, and I hope it's just a result of the changing seasons. You are beautiful and strong and inspiring, and know that even when you don't feel like you will ever make it you will. Just think about yourself when you started this. You had double to lose what you do now!!! You are doing a phenomenal job, and we can only do this one day at a time. I know you can do this. And I can't wait for the day when you run that 5K.

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MARCYNA 11/18/2010 12:56PM

    Same things happens to me....terrible days, just be patient to yourself and they'll pass

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ATREAT4ME 11/18/2010 12:12PM

    You may want to crawl under your desk and cry it out, but you won't do that because you're a fighter. I know it, everyone knows it, and most importantly you know it.

So we're here. All of us fighters. And we'll all keep fighting. Not giving up on you and not telling you what to do. Just hanging with you because you're a fighter and so am I. The buddy system.

Friendly tap to arm!

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RIGBY31 11/18/2010 11:20AM

    I have found excellent workout gear for *us gals* at the website. Even tennis skirts! A little pricey but a girl has got to look goooood when workin' it! Give it a try? (double bonus... a good outfit and good workout!)

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RAVENSONG37 11/18/2010 10:16AM

    I totally have I hate everyone days. Weeks even. Hugs babe. You are right where you are supposed to be and the only way around is through. Feel your feelings...that's a strength right there. Acknowledge your fears and understand they are fears, not reality. I've been missing my spark too and it sucks that we seem to struggle at the same times. Wish I could give you a giant hug.

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