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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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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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