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SUCK IT! Entry Card and Day 1 Challenge

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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emoticon 1. Pick any 5 things to measure that you will measure again on New Year's Day. Post those current measurements here. it can be everything from how many modified pushups you can currently do, to a 5K time, to a bra size, I don't give a crap. Personalize it.

A. Length of Time Running @ Speed: 90 sec @ 4.5
B. Weight: 338.4
C. Jeans Size: 26-28
D. Morning Workouts/Week: 0
E. Fruits/Vegs per Day: 3ish

emoticon 2. Declare yourself. Do so by choosing one or more of the following.

A. Make your declaration of independence from imminent failure, guilt and pressure. Write a paragraph, a statement or a blog about how you will do your best, and not hate yourself if you fail.

I, Esther, do declare that I am, from this point forward until the end of 2010, releasing myself from guilt, pressure, and the risk of failure. I will remember that each day is a new day, each moment new. I will remember that no one gains 80 pounds back in a month without seriously attempting to or having some sort of physical conditional or malady. I will remember to celebrate my accomplishments by sharing them with all my Sparkies, but also by giving myself something small or big, even if it's just a self-manicure or a foot massage. And I will take the time this month to remember that laying down the guilt upon myself for supposed missteps, is a selfish act of punishment toward someone I love very dearly. If a friend or loved one made a tiny mistake, I would forgive immediately, so I should do the same to myself, instead of beating myself and dragging the family down into my misery. I will love me, and I will remind myself of that each and every day.

B. Post a current body shot if you have not already posted one, or at least an updated one you can use as a before picture. This isn't a long challenge, only 4.5 weeks- so you may not make alot of progress in a body shot- but the goal here is to not backtrack in December, right?

Always post a monthly picture. I did my WTF? pictures last night, but I need to do a more public version as well. Waiting for my new yoga pants to get here first...

C. Post an awesome profile picture of yourself, if you don't have one.

Reminder to myself: I'm going to do a photo shoot with myself this weekend and have fun with it, pulling in props and/or Christmasy fun!

D. Put up your ticker. This is IMMENSELY helpful. it shows where you are now, which can be tough to admit, but its courage that makes all the difference. You know that's the truth.

I always do pounds lost, because it means more to me and reminds me of what I have accomplished. I need that reminder much more than what I still have yet to lose.

E. Redo your sparkpage with flair and determination. Freshen it up. We're done with the tired same old same old.

Did last night! YAY!

emoticon 3. Make the decision that no matter how many times you fall in December, you wont wait 24-48 hours to make up for it. Make sure your next act, after falling, is standing up straight. Immediately. State one victory you have already had today.

I pushed myself through the midday blues and munchies by allowing myself a small cup of coffee. I may make this a regular thing, if it works. Less calories, a special treat, and I can still work off the caffeine. (Plus, I'm always falling asleep around 3pm...this might help!)

emoticon 4. Tell me what you are absolutely going to do right today.

I WILL go to the gym.
I WILL complete C25k, W2D2.
I WILL follow that cardio with ST.
I WILL choose between solo-ST or pilates.
I WILL not guilt myself if I don't choose pilates.
I WILL go home and eat something healthy.
I WILL wrap the few presents we have before bed.
I WILL be in bed, ready for sleep, by 10pm.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKINFOX 12/3/2010 3:33PM

    Rock your December!!! emoticon

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ATROTTIER 12/2/2010 1:35PM

    Love it!!! Best of luck to you this month!

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/1/2010 10:38PM

    Yay! emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 12/1/2010 8:01PM

    Wowsers! What an awesome challenge. Way to go Esther. I love your enthusiasm.

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November Recap - December Goals

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Weight Calculations:

Weight November 1st: 347.2
Weight Goal for December 1st: 339.2
Actual Weight December 1st: 338.4*
Weight Lost in November: - 8.8 pounds

* And a note to myself, I woke up so bloated this morning it HURT and my rings wouldn't go on my fingers. I don't know WHY the bloat...I drank a ton of water yesterday. Hopefully it goes away SOON! (I've gained 3 pounds of bloat since Sunday... *pouts*)

Body Measurements:

Waist: 48 - 47.5 = .5 inches
Hips: 59 - 59 = no change
Thigh: 25 - 24.75 = .25 inches (x2!)
Upper Arm: 15 - 15 = no change
Neck: 15 - 15 = no change
Calf: 22 - 21 = 1 inch (x2!)

Total inches lost in November = 3 inches
Yep, that's it. 3 measly inches. How does someone lose over 8 pounds and yet only loses 3 inches? Well, let me tell you. My body has been reshaping itself for months now, but no month more than this one.

* My stomach apron (oh, I hate that term!) has flattened out some and is making it's move northward.
* My calves are finding more definition.
* My ankles have lost their bulge.
* My wrists and fingers are much smaller. Many of my rings barely stay on my middle and first fingers now. (They started out on pinkies and ring fingers!)
* From the side, you can tell my abdomen is flattening out. There is no longer the huge slope. For those of you who have had the pleasure of knowing - I now look down and can only see my boobs, no more stomach poking out below it.
* I've gotten a bubble butt of sorts, which irks me, but it's be the slow progression of a huge shelf butt to a higher, leaner, more structured bubble butt, and I have already started to notice changes in it in the past few weeks.

My biggest challenges with my body right now:
- my HUGE thighs. But I have a feeling running is going to help. ;)
- my stomach. I honestly have fears that I will ALWAYS have a huge stomach apron, a flat one that's just skin but hangs down to my knees. I have nightmares about it, no lie.

More importantly, what did I *do* in November? (I've got to learn to celebrate myself more!)

emoticon I attended my first Yoga class. (FUN!)
emoticon I got into Line Dancing classes!
emoticon I learned about overdoing it with Zumba, Line Dancing, Treadmill and ST in one night! And that night I learned what a severe drop in blood sugar feels like! YIKES!
emoticon I reminded myself that it is VOLITION that keeps me going, not some mythical magical power called "motivation."
emoticon I learned to increase my water intake. It does a body good to get even MORE than 8 glasses a day!
emoticon I fought with, and made up with the scale. I now know more what to expect before I step on in the morning, so it doesn't really scare me anymore.
emoticon I realized I was starting to like my face more. I'm learning to love my body as well.
emoticon I took the time and actually had a date with my husband, and while it was a crazy mess, I grew to love him more...and have all month. It's been a month of love and realization.
emoticon I hit the biggest bout of depression I've had in a very, very long time, and then realized I could pull myself out of it, one finger and toe at a time.
emoticon I had a few job interviews that went well, and I'm still waiting to hear on one, though I think the other opportunity may have died.
emoticon I started reading a self-help book, Winning After Losing, and started doing some of the exercises in it.
emoticon I met pilates, which apparently stands for Pain, Intimidation, Laughter, Anger, Tightness, et Soreness. MEAN! I haven't been back since, though there's another opportunity tonight...
emoticon I said goodbye to the 340s, told them where they could take theirs and what they can do with it.
emoticon I had a couple off days, and then I got right back up and started again...

...and then something magical happened....

emoticon I decided to try Couch 2 5k again, and I made it through day 1. Tonight will be week 2, day 2, and I'm so happy and already addicted! For November 2010, my biggest accomplishment will ALWAYS be, that I started to run. I couldn't before, and I can now...and that's HUGE in my world!

And along with that change, came others, emotional ones. I felt more connected to those around me, my support group, strangers, the world at large. It's like running freed my heart to love. I went from the most depressed I've been in 7 years in November, to the most serene I've been in the past 11 years. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but I'm basking in the glow.

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And now it's December.

My goals:
emoticon $400 - savings
Save up another $400 bucks for Vegas and buy my ticket. (I'm waiting to hear from the job prospect, which I should know about next week. Don't know what will happen if I get the position, so I'm holding off another week, even if it costs me another 30 bucks or so.)

emoticon Under 330
My weight loss goal is really simple this month. I want to be under 330 pounds. That's 8 more pounds if you go from today's weigh-in, but only 5 if you go from Sunday's. Either way, it's doable. If I do make this I will buy myself a Wii Fit balance board.

emoticon C25k Week 3 +
Get to at least week 3 on C25k. I'm still nervous that I'll have to repeat weeks like I did last time I tried this. It took me a month or more to get week 1, day 1 completed, so why would I ever assume it's going to be smooth sailing from here? Next week makes me nervous already.

emoticon Find/Set Races
I'll let you in on a of my 2011 goals is to do at least 11 races before the year is out. I want to start early enough so I don't have a race every weekend. Plus, I'd love to be able to do a couple out of state races this upcoming year, so I need to start planning now.

emoticon 1000 + Fitness Minutes
1000 for the month. That's just a little over 30 minutes a day, but I'll be taking Sunday's off. So I'll have to make it up with some longer sessions (heck, Zumba is an hour-long class!). I think this is totally doable. (I'd love to hit 1500 though, secretly.)

emoticon Enjoy!
I'm going to try to remember this month to enjoy everything. Whenever life gets hard, I want to step back, remember what's good, and move from that place instead. I'm going to start that by really savoring my trip to DC. While I could think of all the things that make me nervous/sad and/or scare me (like being on my own for a week in DC), I'm instead going to love that I won't have anything tying me down...I can go at my own pace, where I want, when I want. I can walk out of my hotel room at 3am if I want to, I don't have to worry about someone watching the kids or someone missing me.

emoticon 14 ST sessions (and consistency!)
I have to work on getting consistent with my strength training. First of all, my routine takes forever! I'm going to ask the PT about that. I just don't have an hour or more to spend on ST 3 nights a week. Second of all, I'm doing something wrong because my elbows have been killing me. I opted out of my planks and pushups on Monday because I really don't want to injure myself. Still sore. *shrug* There are 4 weeks in December, I do ST 3 times a week, plus I need 2 more ST sessions this week....that all = 14 ST sessions this month.

emoticon 1800 Calories a Day, 1 Cheat Day a Week
So I've been having some difficulty with wanting to eat more (probably from the running). So I'm going to try to stay as close to 1800 calories I can for 6 days of the week, while letting myself go even slightly over my range on one day each week. Maybe this will get me through the week by remembering that if I want something, I can have it on cheat day, as long as I can fit it in. I don't know...but the past two days have NOT gone well. More than actual hunger, I've been THINKING about food almost constantly. It's driving me nuts! So I've got to have some channel for that. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't, either way, trying to stick to 1800 calories a day will be a good thing to grasp onto. I need to stay in that habit if I want continued success!

So, November went relatively well, and I have high hopes for December as well. I just want to enjoy the last of this AMAZING year, a year that changed my life, a year when *I* changed my life! This is a big year for me, so I'm savoring it. I'm already thinking ahead a bit, but I don't want to put all my hopes in 2011. What's the saying - The problem with diets is Mondays? The problem with New Years Resolutions is midday January 1st. Instead of pinning all my hopes on NEXT year, I'm going to SAVOR the last precious month I have in 2010. I'm going to use it to form a good solid base for the next year too, by building and learning and growing. A month is plenty of time for learning and adventures, and I'm not about to waste 31 days just hoping for the ball to drop!

Make December COUNT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKINFOX 12/3/2010 3:44PM

    Awesome goals and emoticon

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READINESSISALL 12/2/2010 12:05PM

  Your monthly recaps are SUCH a great tool. It makes me so happy to see your progress every month--you always kick so much booty! You should be REALLY proud of those 3 inches! The areas you lost from are not easy places to lose! Great job!!!! Hugs!

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/2/2010 12:57AM


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BTINTERNET 12/1/2010 7:29PM

    Awesomely awesomeness!

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MAMADWARF 12/1/2010 5:41PM

    you are doing great! *I too have the tummy thing going on. BOOOO! I am always lifting and moving and thinking how awesome it would be if it was gone. I try not to dwell....* Lets rock december!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/1/2010 5:17PM

    You aren't the only one who is feeling bloated. I apparently have gained 3 pounds since Sunday? WTF!

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BRIAEL 12/1/2010 4:36PM

    Love your plan, love seeing your monthly achievements and commitment to your healthy future.

Awesome girl, keep it up! :)

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ATREAT4ME 12/1/2010 4:05PM

    Excellent plan, Esther. I am so happy that you're running these days. I'm completely understand when you say you feel more connected. I've been walking the same trail at lunch for years. Another person in this building had the same schedule. He just nodded hello to me for the first time ever last week when he saw me running. LOL!

I love that you're not pinning your hopes on some ball to drop. Instead you are taking the bulls by the horn. You are making the positive action that you need to build the future you want. Woohoo.

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SARAWALKS 12/1/2010 3:36PM

    emoticon plan! Celebrate 2010, create a foundation for 2011! emoticon
and you are SO inspiring to all of us! Yay Esther! You get the emoticon

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BARBARAROSE54 12/1/2010 3:15PM


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SNEELY0610 12/1/2010 3:03PM

    emoticon Post! You did a great job in November and your goals for December sound great and very do-able.
I know what you mean about the fear of always having a stomach apron, I have that same fear (after 2 vertical c-sections I know that I'm going to have something there.) I've just decided to worry about that when the time comes and for now enjoy losing the weight.

Hope you have a very successful December!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/1/2010 2:52PM

    Reading your accomplishments and goals is so encouraging. You are doing GREAT.

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SUGIRL06 12/1/2010 2:39PM

    Awesome job in November and awesome goals for December!! And I love your acronym for pilates!!! So true...

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 12/1/2010 2:32PM

    I plan on joining you in December! It will be the best month yet.

As for the food, I highly suggest chewing gum, it has flavor and gives your jaws a workout. I've been having killer mid-afternoon cravings, and yummy flavored gums have squashed it.

Congrats on all your sucesses in November. Can't wait to see what December holds for us!

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DC Challenge - With a Little Help From My Sparkies

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Okay, here we go. I thought about all the things I wanted to say today in a blog, and then it all went out the window when I realized I hadn't put my DC plans into action yet and I'm running out of time.

So, here's the deal. I leave Sunday, around 11am for Washington D.C. for work training. I'll be there for a whole week. I'll be in class from 8:30a-4:30pm every day, but I have my evenings to myself. While I did check and discovered the hotel has a gym and a small indoor pool, I want to get out at least a few nights and catch the winter/fall air while taking in some sights. I've never seen DC at night, and I hear it's beautiful. I'll admit, I'm a bit worried, as Hubs keeps remarking to me that the crime rate is terrible there and I'm likely to get mugged and die while out on a run, but I have to keep telling myself two things that generally work for me 1) just be safe, people do it all the time and you don't hear about 10 people a night dying while on a run or walk in DC and 2) you're just not that special.

Okay, let me take a second to explain that last one, because I've gotten crap for it before. You see, when I was a kid I used to be afraid all the time. If I was told there was a 1 in a million chance I would get hit by a bus, I'd be terrified that I'd end up being that one. Well, I don't know if someone said it to me, or I just came up with it myself, but one day I decided I couldn't live my entire life in fear. So I started telling myself, "You're not that special." In other words, what are the real odds that I'm going to be that one in a million? (I know, I know, the odds are 1 in a million! *lol*) But, what are the odds? Is it more likely that I'll get hit by a bus today walking outside, or is it more likely that I'll be fine. So anytime I get scared to do things (go to NYC alone with a friend, go on a plane, etc.) I tell myself, "You're just not that special." Now what happens if I happen to GET that special and something does happen? Well, what can I do about it now? I'm not going to not live just so I don't die. That's just stupid. So I take as many precautions as I can, I am safe as possible and then I just do it. For this trip I bought a small wallet I can slip in my pocket. If I still don't feel safe, I'll tuck the hotel key and some cash and my cellphone in my bra and off I'll wouldn't be the first time I went for a walk/run with stuff in my bra! (In fact, I do it all the time.) I'll walk with my head up. If I notice someone, I'll make sure they know I see them, but then look away as to not be threatening. And if I get nervous, I'll hum, or sing, or whistle. It's much better to be thought of as crazy than to be thought of as the perfect, silent victim. I'll walk tall and proud, head up, taking care to know what my surroundings are, and whatever happens, happens.

Okay, so onto the challenge. I kept thinking to myself, other than the general monuments and museums, I don't know much about what's in DC. I certainly don't really know my way around (though I've been Googling with street view for weeks, virtually walking around the city so I'll feel more comfortable once I'm there). And wouldn't it be more fun if I didn't feel so alone?! (Being alone also scares me...less and less lately, but I'm not a hugemongous fan).

So here's where you come in. In the comments below, I want you to leave me 3 things:
1) A direction. Left, right, straight.
2) A number of blocks or miles (in tenths...I'm not walking a marathon here!).
3) A song.

And, let me say, number 3 is super important because Esther's playlist is boring the crap out of her. Help me breathe new life into it, and attach your name to my playlist, so I can use you as inspiration to continue.

The idea is for me to walk out of my hotel, and follow the directions I'm given in order to get somewhere...take a Spark tour of the city, without any of you even realizing where you're leading me. Of course safety will have to come into play. I may have to divert directions if I reach a dead end or a freeway ramp or something, but it might be a little fun to try. (And thankfully, my phone has Google maps and GPS to get me back to the hotel safely.)

One final thing...if you know the DC area, feel free to suggest to me:
* good restaurants
* good walking/running paths
* good parks
* cool free stuff to do

So, Sparkies...what do you say? Do you want to take me on a tour of our nation's starred city? I promise to take pictures and report back where all I best I can.

Here's your template:
Direction: (Left, Right, Straight)
Distance: (in Blocks or tenths of a Mile)
Song: (please give artist name too so it's easier to find on iTunes!)

Here's hoping this works!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLFRISBEY 12/1/2010 2:00PM

    Direction: Straight
Distance: The Reflecting Pool (rnning towards Lincoln Memorial)
Song: Firework- Katy Perry

I LOVE LOVE LOVE DC... If I didn't live in Chicago I would totally look into moving there. It's beautiful! I went this spring with the hubs and we went on a little jog one morning. It was really early but I have never felt so exhilarated as when we jogged toward Lincoln from the Washington Memorial along the reflecting pool. It's a long stretch but I felt strong and powerful! Go for it! You're awesome!

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SUGIRL06 12/1/2010 9:09AM

    There is a book shop/bar/restaurant near Dupont Circle that was interesting (and yummy food) that I went to with a friend when I was in DC. And suggestion for dining while in DC, find a whole foods and hit their buffet for quick easy, healthy meals! I don't know where your hotel is but there is a Whole Foods on P street between 14th and 15th. I was so excited when I discovered it was around the block (literally) from my hotel! Anyway, have fun in DC!!!
PS. My favorite running song is Air Force Ones by Nelly. Just a very upbeat song!

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ATREAT4ME 11/30/2010 10:26PM

    Direction: Left
Distance: .75 of a mile
Song: Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Cline

I hear you can get Bolivian food in DC. Would love to see a picture of a Bolivian restaurant. Suggest you have the spicy pork if you get a chance. Empanadas are great too, but often fried. The only time I've been to DC was one afternoon and it was barely enough time to walk the Mall and see some of the Smithsonian. Highly recommend the Air and Space and American History museums. Nothing quite like seeing Old Glory close and personal.

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MAMADWARF 11/30/2010 8:55PM

    1. right
2. .8 of a mile
3. Foo Fighters: Gimme Stitches (Jan)
GO GO GO! You are that special. Hope the criminals cant see it! lol, you will be fine!

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TRENTDREAMER 11/30/2010 6:48PM

    * Straight
* 3 blocks
* Telephone (Lady Gaga)

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FLWRCHLD97 11/30/2010 5:53PM

    So here's where you come in. In the comments below, I want you to leave me 3 things:
1) A direction. Left
2) A number of blocks or miles (in tenths...I'm not walking a marathon here!). 0.5 miles
3) A song. Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin

Good luck, you can do it! We visited DC in 2008, very nice place. There are walking and jogging tours in DC:

I saw a lot of people running around the National Mall, it's pretty at night too!

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BTINTERNET 11/30/2010 5:15PM

4 blocks
Don't Talk Just Kiss by Right Said Fred

The safety of this plan is in direct relation to the location of your hotel. If you're down by the Convention Center, head towards the Verizon Center and Chinatown - there'll be lots of people. If you're down in the business district, head towards Dupont Circle or K Street or GWU or Georgetown.

Bring layers - the weather has been freakish lately. (Yesterday there was frost, today I went out without socks or a coat....)

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SWEETS86 11/30/2010 4:12PM

2 blocks
Disturbia -Rhianna

Have Fun!!

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LOOKY-LOU 11/30/2010 3:24PM

    Oh, you have to tell me how this goes!

Direction: Right
Distance: Just one block (so you can fit in another)
Song: Raise Your Glass - Pink

Be safe and have fun!


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KARVY09 11/30/2010 2:40PM

4 blocks
Let Me See - Morcheeba

Make sure you get to Dupont Circle, a beautiful place at night with lots of cute little coffee shops. The area around the mall is safe and you can do that walk to the Lincoln Memorial at night without a problem (there are plenty of tourists and police mulling around). There are a lot of dangerous neighborhoods, but I'm willing to bet that you won't see any of them.

You wanna try something new? Ethiopian food. The best I've ever had is in DC:
R>Beer? Go to the Brickskeller. I bet you can find something you like:

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XTMONT 11/30/2010 2:13PM

    Direction: Left
Distance: 3 blocks
Song: All Fired Up by Pat Benatar

Have fun! My sister lives out by Dulles Airport but I haven't seen the city in years!

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SEEHOLZ 11/30/2010 1:41PM

    Direction: right
Blocks: 7
Song: Marchin On OneRepublic

I'm the same way... I used to be afraid to walk down the block in the dark..

I've come to realize that safety is about awareness and making reasonable choices. Maybe look up some running routes beforehand, bring your phone, some maze and keys and look around yourself...

While I've never run in DC ( been there but didn't run)I've run in Zagreb Croatia, Prague, Dublin, Cologne, NYC, San Francisco...and some smaller places with scary dogs.. I stay on main streets and hope that I'm not that special either.

Have fun in DC... enjoy it!

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WATCHMEGO2 11/30/2010 1:37PM

    Direction: right
Distance: 4 blocks
Song: Ridin' solo by Jason Derulo

Hope you have a great time!

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SARAWALKS 11/30/2010 1:35PM

    I too lived about 5 min. from the DC line in Maryland for 5 years...used to take metro into DC all the time and wander by myself. I was usually in daylight. But I think in certain areas you'd be OK at night. Good advice in previous comment. I didn't carry a backpack, I felt that was inviting trouble too, & always kept cash hidden on my body.
I LOVE Washington Cathedral. Parks in general are not so safe, but the cathedral close is like a park and is probably just fine. There are people who stay there in the guest house year round (in fact I have stayed there). It was built exactly like a Gothic cathedral and is fascinating to learn about and to view, no matter what time of day. check out the hours. FREE.
I would be careful walking on the streets near there but there used to be a pretty good Mexican restaurant nearby. also if you walk south toward the middle of DC, or take a bus down Michigan Ave., you will be in Georgetown - touristy but fun! LOTS of good restos here.
The mall is a must and you will love the museums. this is also pretty safe.
You can walk from the mall up to the Capitol building, and to the left of that is Union Station which has lots of shops & restos.
In the area to the left of that are other restos and some pretty cool Irish pubs, fun any time of year. Probably not too dangerous in this area but still, stick to your fast walking/whistle a tune plan & you should be fine.
I should mention that I was raised to be a fraidy cat also. But when I moved to DC alone (separating from hubby, going to music school) I got over it. I too just decided it was not worth it to be afraid. You will be fine!
Oh yes, Bethesda is another fun area but maybe a bit hard to get to without a car.
emoticon and have a great great time! I know you will! emoticon emoticon

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CRAZYK8S 11/30/2010 1:18PM

    Almost everything is free in DC! My brother lives in DC and I used to live there. My number one advice to avoid any um...trouble...keep your electronics put away. Don't talk on your phone while walking around etc. Unless they (your electronics) are an easy target you will be left alone. And stick to areas with lots of people (but this is pretty easy in DC). And you are right about the chances being really slim!

I suggest the cathedral...I love that place, but depending on where you are staying it might be hard to get to.
You're going down - sick puppies

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MNGIRLIE 11/30/2010 1:12PM

    Direction: Left
Distance: 2 blocks
Song: Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

What a fun thing to do. I really had a hard time only suggesting one song. I'm a music pusher so if you ever need more suggestions come my way!

If I was in DC I'd totally go see the Smithsonian!! I hope you have a great trip!

P.S. I traveled alone for work for a long time. I carried (and still carry) a small key chain thing of pepper spray with me. It helped me feel a little safer. Luckily I never needed to use it.

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BECKYB73 11/30/2010 1:08PM

Super Bon Bon by Soul Coughing

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/30/2010 1:04PM

    What a fabulous idea ...

Direction: left
Distance: 5 blocks
Song: Flo Rida Club Can't Handle Me

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BRIAEL 11/30/2010 1:02PM

    What an incredible way to overcome fears. Awesome girl! :)

Direction: Left
Distance: 3 Blocks
Song: FPI Project - Back to my roots

I am now looking forward to reading your "done it!" blog. Have a safe and happy time in DC. :)

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RAVENSONG37 11/30/2010 12:43PM

    Direction: straight
Distance: 3 blocks
Song: Firestarter by Prodigy

Sounds like a great challenge Es...I hope you have a wonderful time in DC!

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A Different Kind of Change

Monday, November 29, 2010

I hate to say anything in fear for jinxing what may happen...but I feel a wave of change coming over my life. Of course the weight loss has a lot to do with it, but it's more than that. I've changed. Things have changed, or could be changing. The world feels a little different to me lately. A good different. And instead of dreading the fall, I'm breathing in the fresh air and vowing to enjoy every blessed minute of it.

For some of us, most of us, good times come in like tidal waves. Big, and full, and dumping blessings upon us, but completely unexpected, and over in a flash as we try to reconcile ourselves with what's been left behind and try not to feel afraid for what's to come once the water clears. I'm feeling a wave like that coming over me, coming over my loved ones...and I doubt that I would be this intune to what is happening if not for my journey of self-discovery and self-love.

There are job possibilities afloat. One I thought had died, has been revived. I will know for sure next week what will come of it, but being allowed to hold fast to hope one more week has been like a breath of fresh air. Another possibility is not for me, but for my husband. He, too, seems different, and this opportunity looks good. There's no telling what will happen with it, but I'm just trying to be thankful for this hopeful feeling in my heart and mind.

On Thanksgiving Day, Hubs and I had a blow-up of a fight. It was loud and crazy and completely unnecessary, mostly stemming from the stress built up in me over the challenges of the day ahead. I soon apologized and we were good once again. And then, later, we spent three blessed hours alone together shopping. He was attentive. He wanted me to have not only what I needed, but what I wanted. It was a different kind of feeling for both of us. Reckless, to some extent, while still being responsible. We didn't nickle and dime ourselves, but we didn't blow our savings either.

Yesterday I spent my rest day working on the house, like I said I would. The most surprising part of that is that I did what I said I wanted to do. And I mentioned it to my mom later. I cleared out 4 boxes, even though I wanted to stop after 2 (throwing things away can be difficult for me, but it wasn't so much this time). After that was done, I cleared out a basket from another part of the living room and really got down and cleaned and swept the entire floor. Afterwards, I took Ethan out with me to pick up a few items at Wal-Mart. What started as a "let's look at Christmas stuff" and "I need a smaller wallet for D.C." turned into a bit of a spree on some much needed decorations. Why much needed? Because this year, unlike years past, I'm not clinging to the idea of the Christmas spirit to get me through, I actually feel it. I feel the chill in the air and it makes me smile. I put up a tree and it makes me want to hug my kids tight. I couldn't care less about presents right now (except my shopping list is still full and I'm nowhere near done on that), it's about the season, the feeling, the way people seem a little merrier, even if by accident sometimes.

And I felt merrier yesterday too, so I went to the grocery store and did the shopping for the week. I was good, got only what we needed, cut back where need be, and indulged where I could. And, as silly as it may sound to be proud of going to 2 stores in one day, I have to explain that 80 pounds ago that was nearly impossible. I would have been exhausted, too tired, lazy. I would dread having to put things away when I got home and having to cook, and I just would refuse to go. But yesterday I went, and shopped responsibly, and came home and put things away, and set up a tree, and started dinner, and finished it later, and cleaned a little more, and started addressing Christmas cards. I was a machine that wouldn't quit...and it felt so different from me, a version of me I always wanted to be but was held back from by the strain of the weight I was holding onto. It felt good to buy things for my family and myself as a reward for the new life we had been cultivating for ourselves.

One thing I didn't buy for myself was a $15 tree skirt. It was beautiful, and I wanted it, but I had to say no somewhere. I put it back and figured I'd talk it over with Hubs later. But later, Hubs took Ethan with him, and picked up the tree skirt I wanted and paid for it himself. It wasn't about need. No, we didn't need a silly tree skirt, it was something he wanted to do for me. And the reason he went to Wal-Mart at all was for tape, in order to wrap my present, so he could proudly place it under the tree. A gift for me.

And do you know what? Of all of this, do you know what means the most? Him. His attitude toward me. He showed up at my work today after his interview. I had hoped he would, but doubted it. He doesn't know the area well. And as I had just given up hope of him arriving and surprising me, I settled back in my chair and got a ring from the front desk to tell me he was out front waiting for me.

I just had to share today that while my world is changing around me, and while I think some of that may actually be to my eyes changing to the things already there, I have come to realize and understand and be thankful for the blessing that is this new change in our lives. We are different people, my husband and I. We are nicer to each other and to ourselves. The moment he realized I was serious and this wasn't just another attempt. The moment he saw me doing more than he's ever seen me do. The moment he realized I was taking care of myself, he jumped into this place of peace. Actually, we jumped in together.

It's not really a change I can describe fully. There's no date to mark on the calendar for this change in us. There are just these feelings and the moments when I look at him and want to cry because we have become the people I always hoped we would be - two partners, equal in every way, after the same goals and dreams, fighting the world together, and holding tight to one another in an understanding that one part is whole without the other, but that the other makes each of us more complete.

So today has not been spent worrying over calorie counts and fitness minutes, because right now I have a firm grasp. (Although I'm a little stressed over some trouble in my knee, but I've learned that continuing as normal has helped it to heal faster. Still, I worry.) No, today has been about this glow I feel inside. My life has changed. 80 pounds ago I was a different person altogether and, yet, the same. It's not that I deserve more now, but that I demand it. It's not that it's easier work being me now, but I'm willing to work harder to get it. When all else fails, I will remember that not only have I been changing physically, but mentally and emotionally and, yes, even spiritually as well. I don't know why or how it happened, but I have a feeling it's all connected - or, at least, it should be. And I'm glad to be feeling that change now.

Suddenly, my goals don't seem so out of reach.
* Under 330 by Christmas. (26 days and 6 pounds to go!)
* 326 or less by 1/11/11. (43 days and 9 pounds to go!)
* 100 pounds lost with SP by Valentine's Day. (76 days and 20 pounds to go!)
* Under 300 by Shane's 31st birthday. (5 months and 36 pounds to go!)

And further off?
270 by July 2011?
250 by September?
230 by December 4, 2011? (My PT's set goal weight..and a weight that made Hubs almost downright giddy to hear the possibility of! *lol*)

It can happen. If I keep working hard on loving myself and doing what needs to be done without falling victim to my own excuses. The belief in CAN is another change. I can. It can happen. We can do this. It CAN be done.

What has changed within you? For just today, please love yourself and remember that the mental part of this journey is more important than any time you might spend on a treadmill or elliptical. It's one of those big keys to life, so it goes beyond numbers on a scale. Learn to love yourself a little today, just a little...and maybe tomorrow, you'll love yourself a little more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE17 11/30/2010 9:59PM

    I'm glad to see you so happy, Esther! I hope you're communicating these awesome feelings with your family; it sounds like your relationship with your husband is flourishing as you change, which is wonderful! :D

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ATROTTIER 11/30/2010 12:29PM

    Beautiful blog today my friend! I really appreciate you taking the time to write what your journey means to you and sharing it because it's true we lose that whole factor when constantly thinking about fitness minutes and calories all day and for that I thank you again for making me realize it and to really take a part in my day today to sit and think about the wonderful things happening all around us and it might be because of the season, or others, or maybe I do have an impact on it as well. Have a wonderful day! emoticon

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RIGBY31 11/30/2010 12:04PM

    "...falling victim to my own excuses".

Thank you for that phrase. It actually got me up and away from the computer to do a 2 mile walk. And you're right, peace and happiness come from within. Loved this blog.

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JLITT62 11/30/2010 11:25AM

    You have hit the nail on the head. In the end, it's really all about loving ourselves. If we don't, no changes we make will ever stick. And when we love ourselves, we can truly love the ones in our lives, too.

Great blog!

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SHEILA1505 11/30/2010 4:52AM

    This deserves a double high five!
Well done - it's amazing how great life can be when you look at it through different perspective

Great big Hugs

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EMRANA 11/29/2010 10:15PM

  Oh wow, you always write well but this one brings tears to my eyes. Bask in your happy glow ~ you deserve it!

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SUGIRL06 11/29/2010 9:19PM

    I don't even know what to say but this blog is just amazing (but you are always an awesome blogger I think). Anyway, just wanted to let you know I was here reading. I know what you mean about the changes in life that take place along with this health change. Things seem easier I think. I'm so glad you are doing so well in all areas of your life! You have a wonderful family and a wonderful life and deserve to enjoy every moment!

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 11/29/2010 9:12PM

    This blog made me smile...a lot! How sweet!!!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/29/2010 8:53PM

    I really loved reading your post - thanks!!


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ATREAT4ME 11/29/2010 8:26PM

    Congratulations. I understand how Hubs wanting you to have that tree skirt means so much more than having the tree skirt. I am glad he figured that out! What a great change that is manifesting in the tones of your posts lately. It gives me a front-row seat to the change you describe. I am so happy for you and so proud of you.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/29/2010 7:44PM

    I agree with Briael... when you change, the world around you changes.

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BRAINYBLONDE5 11/29/2010 7:24PM

    amazing blog :)i am so happy you are feeling this glow inside :) you can easily reach all your goals. youve come so far && you can do this :)

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ERIN1128 11/29/2010 7:12PM

    Love love love this blog! Love your honesty, and love that things are changing for the better. It's all good!

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MACILINN 11/29/2010 6:22PM

    way to go girl, yes, life is treating you right because you are treating yourself right! I have to say, I am amazed when things don't go my way. How's that for weird? if life isn't going my way my first instinct is to see what I am doing to make it not feel right. Sounds like you are figuring that out. I am almost 50 and had to learn the hard way. Congrads for taking a look at life through the glasses of self. You will find out life is preety darn good! Oh, a pd a wk is a good goal to try and achieve. anything more than that is major work!

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RUSSELLORAMA 11/29/2010 6:21PM

    Amazing post! It makes me so happy to see that you are embracing impending change and not running from in fear. I think what's changed for me the most lately is my attitude toward food. I don't fear it, I don't obsess over it, and it's not my enemy.


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BRIAEL 11/29/2010 6:13PM

    Did it ever occur to you that YOU are the change that has spurred all the differences around you? Your attitude, your approach, your state of mind is so radically different that it's infectious. Seeing what you have achieved has probably kicked everyone around you into a new gear and made them reassess what matters to them .. as much as you have realised what is important to you.

I'm so pleased that your life is coming together and you're happy and open to the changes you're creating. Awesome! :)

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CANOGAPARKGAL 11/29/2010 6:10PM

    The most worth-while blog I've read all year. Thank you for sharing your progress and feelings in such exquisit detail. May your days be merry and bright. emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/29/2010 6:05PM

    Your positive energy is like a wild fire reigniting my own flame. Thanks for much for sharing your joy and hope. You make me feel like it can be done.

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SARAWALKS 11/29/2010 6:05PM

    Oh, Esther, you are making me cry here! emoticon But it's a happy kind of cry. How did you get to be so wise, so early in your life? I am so glad for you and for Hubs. Just knowing about your being happy makes me very happy too! I have never had that in a relationship and have stopped looking for it, but if it ever finds me unawares, I will certainly grab it with both hands and attempt to cherish it without crushing the life out of it! As you both are doing. God bless you both and keep that holiday spirit coming! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Post-Thanksgiving Weigh-In...Here It Comes...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So here it is...the result of my Thanksgiving week...

Weigh-In Day

Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 339.4
Goal this Week: 337.2
Actual Weight: 335.8
Loss/Gain: -3.6 pounds!!

Take that Thanksgiving turkey nonsense!!

And for those keeping track -
SP Total Loss: 80.4
Total Loss: 130.8

That's right...I've lost 80 pounds this year alone. Since April 18th I've changed my body, my attitude, my outlook, and certainly my fitness level!

80 pounds ago walking was difficult. I was slow. I needed breaks.
80 pounds ago my breathing was labored when I did anything.
80 pounds ago I was depressed with myself and just generally sad.
80 pounds ago I didn't think I could ever be thin, or fit, or worth it.
80 pounds ago I made a decision to try, but I didn't know how far it would go.
80 pounds ago I felt like the butt of every fat joke.

And now?

Now I can run. Short bursts, yes. But I love it, and I'm getting better!
Now walking is a breeze. I can make the mile trek to the market and back without a second thought in my mind.
Now I am proud of this still fat body of mine.
Now I know that I can have whatever body I choose to have, if I put the work in. And I know I'm worth the work it takes.
Now I know I made the right decision. Something led me to Spark, and it has been a catalyst for a new life.
Now I hear fat jokes, and they make me sad, because I realize that being fat doesn't necessarily mean that a person eats too much, or is extremely lazy. They could very well be like me, a person working on themselves whose body doesn't match the work she is doing, who goes beyond the expectations of what a person who looks like me SHOULD be able to do or handle. Weight is not important - heart, health, and mind are!

My plan for Thanksgiving was set. Start the morning with C25k W1D2, so I didn't feel so awfully guilty about indulging in a few family favorites - like the horrible for me cheesy potatoes and not-something-you-should-eat-too-much-of stuffing. As I went through the buffet line our family had arranged, I kept putting things back. I got a serving of something, thought I wanted more, added more to my plate, and then reconsidered and put some back. What I had left on my plate was - about 3-4 oz of mostly white meat turkey, about 1/2 a cup of stuffing, a serving of those cheesy potatoes, about 1/2 a cup of mashed potatoes, a couple tablespoons of low-fat, low-cal gravy, and a roll. I immediately handed over 1/2 my roll to Hubs, and then proceeded to eat about half of everything. Before long, I realized I was completely full. I felt a little guilty...there was still so much on my plate. But I had to push it away and let the guilt go. This was about me and what my body needed. I wasn't going to stuff myself silly just because there were starving people in wherever that might like my couple bites left of cheesy potatoes! I did have some of my aunt's famous tea (with real sugar in it), but I drank so much water that day too! And after lunch I tried to walk, but the rain was cold and pelting and I headed back in, defeated.

Some things I heard Thanksgiving day made my heart light. I actually had a full conversation with my sister, who has completed 2 half-marathons, and my cousin, who just completed his first 5k with an awesome time! Put me against them and I'm a nobody in the race world. But I didn't care. I walked most of my races, but I put just as much work into training for them. We talked about running, which I could now comment on because I ran part of 2 races this year and have started the C25K program - and love it! We talked about heart rate monitors and Garmins and how competing against yourself is the only thing that matters. My cousin wants to do a tri or a marathon someday, he thinks. My sister thinks a half is her limit. As for me? The board is wide open! I've still got so far to go, and so much to build on - and here is where that is a blessing. Who knows where I'll be this time next year? Who knows what my body will be able to handle? I keep thinking - how many 300+ pound people you know can say they run 3 times a week? How many have completed 5ks and 10ks? I'm doing great things already, so there's no telling where I might end up!

Other things I heard, the good and the bad that stuck with me.

My aunt, who I look up to as far as fitness is concerned: "I'm so mad that I'm full!"
*lol* She was saying what I was thinking as I'm glaring at my half-finished plate. And she gave me the permission, in a way, to be okay with not finishing it.

My sister: "So how much weight have you lost now?"
Me: "Well, I weighed in at 337 yesterday, so just shy of 80 pounds."
Her: "That's it?"
Me: "Uhm, that's 80 pounds since April 18th. That's a lot to lose in a little time!"
*sigh* We don't always get along. I'm trying to reason with myself that she meant it positively instead of how I felt it come across. I explained that I had lost about 125 since my highest weight, and she just nodded...but...*shrug* We don't communicate very well.

Oh, and my mom, when she saw me in my workout gear before my C25k run that morning: "I don't want this to sound bad, but I think you're losing all your weight in your boobs!"
Me: *laugh* "Mom, I have on 2 sports bras, so they're kinda shoved in right now." *lol*

So, now Thanksgiving is over and done with. I indulged in sweets that evening, I ate way too much food for dinner (I was famished after Hubs and I took a shopping trip around 4pm and didn't get back until almost 7pm!), and I felt awful the next day. I stayed pretty well on task. No workout Friday, but there wasn't a lot of time what with shopping, packing, and driving the 3 hours home.

Yesterday I got up and went to the gym and finished C25K on the treadmill. I felt like a champion! I generally set my running segments to a speed of 4.5 or so. I pushed a little here and there to 4.7, and laid back on one to a 4.3, but the last running segment I wanted to try a I did...and it felt alright...and that made me feel very good! I wanted to go home after, but I didn't. I did my 45 modified push-ups, 2 planks, and 100 crunches, then did a full round of ST on the machines. I kept talking myself into things, and I love it when that happens at the gym!

Oh, one more note about Thanksgiving - Hubs and I discovered that Old Navy had a few stores open Thanksgiving with everything in the store on sale. We found one about 30 minutes away and drove there together. It was the most pleasant shopping trip I've had in a long time! I just threw a bunch of stuff in the cart and then headed to the dressing rooms to try it all on. Walked out with 2 XL long tanks, an XXL sweater that is beautiful!, an XXL long T-shirt, and a grey cover thing that looks amazing on me (XXL). I could have bought XLs in some other things, but I wanted stuff that looked nice NOW, not later. The XLs fit, but were tight and showed a little more pudge than I like (but the XL tanks look great on me!). Hubs got a pair of nice khaki type pants, a button-down shirt, and a sherpa-lined hoodie. And we got the boys each a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. (Logan's says: "Addicted to Homework" and Ethan's says: "I'm not trying to be difficult, it just comes naturally." *lol*) Oh, and we got Ethan a winter coat, snowboarder style with a fur liner on the hood. We saved almost as much as we saved! (We spent about 158, we saved 145!) I'd say that was a pretty good trip! I caught the last of their online deals yesterday and got a new pair (smaller) of yoga pants and a thermal tee.

So, I feel proud of my Thanksgiving. I lost almost 4 pounds in the biggest food-driven holiday weeks! (Of course, 2 of that was likely from sodium flush from last week.) I accomplished most of my goals and let myself just be happy with myself. I'm getting to like parts of my body...even my legs, which are shaping up even better with the running!

This week:
* C25K Week 2 (M/W/F, probably)
* Eat within my, now lowered, ranges
* Still burn 2200 calories this week
* Drink 10 cups of water a day
* Plan and pack for D.C.
* Check in with the PT on Tuesday night
* The return of Zumba! *lol*
* Make a meal-list for the week and get shopping (today)
* Work on Christmas shopping

I hope you all had an equally successful Thanksgiving week!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATROTTIER 11/29/2010 2:59PM

    Congrats on losing weight during Thanksgiving week!!! This was my 2nd Thanksgiving since I started my "journey" into weight loss but this year was more impressive as far as really thinking about what went on my plate and how much went also. It's like a totally different me, I know that I ate more than I normally would for a dinner but I gave myself an out and said it's only once a year and I to picked and choosed the side dishes that I wanted more than others like you did. The whole 4 day weekend was a blur of business and random food choices but all in all I have to say it was good! So proud of you and your choices this week! Good luck on C25K this week too!!! =)

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ATREAT4ME 11/29/2010 9:06AM

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I especially love how you face the fact that you don't communicate well with your sister. My brother and I are in the same boat. I know we love each other very, very much but getting past the necessary words is a constant struggle. We're working on it, much like you and your sister.

I cannot wait to hear about your week 2. I was so excited for you when I saw your post on the c25K team. You are a runner, Baby! You have been -- in your heart -- for a long, long time. Now your body is going to begin matching your heart. The smile on my face is as big as Texas!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 11/29/2010 6:44AM

    OMG you did SO well!!!!!!!!!!

Esther... you lost as much weight as some of us GAIN post-turkey day :)

I'm a few lbs up myself, but I'm thinking its mostly water weight (sodium+wine pudge) so I'm not too worried.

I'm so proud of you for all that you've done. you DO look like you've lost more than 80 lbs and I bet your sis was also shocked because you've lost 80 lbs but you've gained SO much more in terms of your fitness abilities! you can RUN, you've done races, etc. In short: you're amazing. (I know I say that a lot, but,well, I mean it!)

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BARBARAROSE54 11/29/2010 6:38AM


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TIMELESSCRONE 11/29/2010 2:03AM


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SUGIRL06 11/28/2010 9:51PM

    You are just rocking this week! (and this year might I add). Way to go on Week 1 of C25K! It is the hardest to start a new thing right? And I felt the same way on Thanksgiving "what do you mean I'm full?? But its so good!" But at least we can stop when we're full now and not keep going! Have a great week girlie!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/28/2010 8:39PM

    You are amazing. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/28/2010 7:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Wonderful attitude, wonderful week - and you earned it! (by the way I loved that blog meditating on it still)

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WILLIAMV3 11/28/2010 5:20PM

    What an inspiration you are! Great for you!!! emoticon

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MAGPIE17 11/28/2010 4:43PM

    I'm thinking that your when your sister said, "that's it?" that she was surprised it wasn't more. You look like you've lost a lot, hon, so maybe to her it looked like you've lost a lot more than 80 lbs. Glad you had a great thanksgiving!

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CHICAT63 11/28/2010 2:52PM

    You are AWESOME, the goods and the bads of seeing family ! Great deals at Old Navy, you should put up some pics....hmm sorry about your sister, my twin sister is the same in regards to me. But do you know what Esther we love them anyway because Sweetie, we both have come much, much farther than them ! HUGS, Josée

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CANOGAPARKGAL 11/28/2010 2:20PM

    So wonderful to read all your successes. Isn't it great to go into a store and buy things you like at a hugediscount. You'll be enjoying those new clothes and the new body they fit onto.

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XTMONT 11/28/2010 1:51PM

    Way to go! You are such an inspiration!

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RUSSELLORAMA 11/28/2010 1:40PM


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JEREMY723 11/28/2010 1:12PM

    Keep up the great work!

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JEAN_WIKE 11/28/2010 1:04PM

  One book on family relation calls those comments "zingers". I find it easier to deal with them since reading a quote on someone's SparkPage (sorry, don't remember whose) "Critical people have to criticize, that's what they do".

You are inspiring, I'm glad I stumbled across your blog.

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DALMOMOF3 11/28/2010 12:10PM

    ignore the negative comments, you are an inspiration! keep up the good work! you can do it emoticon

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FITMARY 11/28/2010 10:26AM

    Ah, yes, family. The gift that keeps on giving.... Good for you for not losing your cool over all the remarks. Sounds like you are doing really, really well! Congratulations!!!

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SLEEKKITTY 11/28/2010 10:06AM


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-SHIMMER-ANN- 11/28/2010 9:59AM

hhhhhhhhh!!!! Congrats!!!!

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LILYCARE 11/28/2010 9:58AM


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